Meet The Team

Kestrel is a collaborative learning community. Staff at all levels contribute original ideas, knowledge, and suggestions to help guide the organization. We plan together, work together, and connect with the natural world together. We pay fair wages and provide excellent training to qualified instructors. 

Jessica Kagle, Founder & Program Director

Jessica holds a master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and has a lifelong passion for playing in the woods. She has 15 years of experience as a professional naturalist and educator, and a great love for the wildlife and lands of New England. She is also a certified K-8 science teacher with several years of classroom teaching experience in both public and independent schools. Jessica teaches primarily through asking children to design creations based on real experiences, and by encouraging them to be silly, adventurous, and muddy.  She loves nothing more than educating people through relationships with wildlife. Jessica can often be found bicycling around New England or standing out in the rain watching frogs and salamanders. 

Clayton Kern

Clayton Kern, Education Coordinator

Clay earned his Masters of Science in Marine and Environmental Biology from Nicholls State University, and BS in Environmental Biology from Unity College. Clayton has taught at Nicholls State University, Catalina Island Marine Institute, and even started his own business, CoolClay’s Fossil Expeditions! Clayton loves living off what the Earth provides by foraging, hunting, fishing, and gardening. In his spare time he enjoys SCUBA diving, rock climbing, and lives for adventure.

Benjamin Rossetter, Instructor

Ben comes to Kestrel having (nearly) finished his Master’s Degree in Education at the Teton Science Schools and Prescott College.  After finishing his BA in Philosophy at Hamilton College, Ben spent the past ten years wandering the country guiding, teaching, skiing, rock climbing, and generally having a good time while working and playing outside.  He particularly loves looking at the diversity of feathered flying creatures and the structure of snow crystals as they fall from the sky.  Ben is incredibly excited to bring energy and excitement to the students of Essex County while immersing himself in new and wonderful environments.


Tracy Bowen, Bookkeeper  

Tracy is grateful to have grown up in a place and a time where she was free to roam unsupervised in the Great Sippewissett Marsh and play with the animals at neighboring Sacconnesset Farm on Cape Cod. She's a great believer in giving kids time to explore nature, and in Kestrel's mission; she's hopelessly drawn to working in non-profits. Plus, she enjoys an on-going argument with Jessica about whether cats or dogs are better (cats are).