Our Board

Julia Arnold – President, Cooperative Director

Why: Julia (and her husband) chose homeschooling so their children would lead a life of learning outside the classroom. Nothing brings her more joy than to get asked if there is “going to be any school work?” after a day of learning in the community.  She loves that homeschooling has helped find her tribe and she looks forward to helping others find theirs, too. 

Julia loves the beach almost as much as she loves the mountains. When she doesn’t have her toes in the sand or a book in her hand she’s usually on vacation in West Virginia. Every outfit Julia wears is accessorized with Golden Retriever fur from her three dogs, Nugget, Buzz, and Winnie. Besides her dogs Julia loves dark chocolate, leopard print, and being spoiled by her husband, Dave.

Julia can be reached at jarnold@oceanstatecoop.org

Elizabeth White – Vice President, Assistant Cooperative Director

Why: Liz’s son was barely a toddler when it became incredibly evident what kind of child he was (feral) and what kind of environment he thrived in (mountains, oceans, forests, the edge of cliffs); even at that young age, she couldn’t fathom breaking the wild spirit that he was with desks, schedules, and behavior charts. From there, It didn’t take much research to go from interested in homeschooling to completely hooked. Since then she’s happy to report that she’s found a homeschooling community that benefits her entire family and has become an absolute cornerstone of her son’s educational journey.

When she isn’t battling full moons and modern plagues in the emergency room where she works, you can usually find Liz either road-tripping, hiking, climbing, swimming, or following her (still feral) child up the tallest trees he can find. That is, unless it’s the middle of the night. Anytime after midnight and she’s crafting up a storm in the magnificent silence that is a sleeping household.

Liz can be reached at ewhite@oceanstatecoop.org

Vichara Santos Silva – Secretary

Why: There is no place like home! Vichara truly believes this and knows there is no better environment for her four children to blossom in than when they are with her or Jonathan. Creating experiences and providing opportunities for them to explore are ways she nourishes their growth. A day full of adventure, they may decide to visit a library, farm, or go on a walk. On other days, they will stay in pajamas, cook together, and work on their individual goals. Either way, they love the flexibility that home education allows! Another thing they are really looking forward to doing together is  traveling and worldschooling.

For the last fifteen years, Vichara has worked in both K-12 public school settings and out of school learning environments. Her prior experiences include: teaching special education at the Los Angeles Unified School District and Little Wound School District, program director and associate director at Breakthrough Providence, and a founding teacher and board member of the Wonderment Microschool.
Other than being a mom and an educator, Vichara loves playing field hockey, shopping, laughing, and bonding with loved ones over a delicious meal.  She looks forward to meeting other families building a community where our children thrive in!

Vichara can be reached at vsantossilva@oceanstatecoop.org

Cara Taul- Membership Coordinator

Why: When Cara’s oldest child was just a toddler, there were many questions from friends and family about when they were going to sign her up for pre-school, or at what point they were going to put her into day care. That got Cara and her husband (Josh) thinking, why is that the expectation? After doing some thinking about their own personal experiences in public school, they decided to explore homeschooling options. Needless to say they loved what they found. They were thrilled to be able to offer a different, more flexible schooling experience and lifestyle for their children. To allow each child to learn at their own pace and have more time to focus on their passions. The flexibility to be able to take off for a mid-week adventure to the mountains or spend a beautiful September day at the beach is their favorite part about homeschooling!

Now with three kids in tow with a wide variety of hobbies and interests, they have found their community with OSC. The kids absolutely adore their new friendships and all the activities that the community brings. Cara and her family are sure now more than ever that this lifestyle is a perfect fit.

When Cara isn’t dealing with the chaos that comes with having three kids, three dogs and more chickens and ducks than you can count on one hand, you can find her exploring new hiking paths with her family and friends. Otherwise, you can find her at home with a large cup of coffee and some dark chocolate working on her latest knitting or crochet project.

Cara can be reached at Ctaul@oceanstatecoop.org

Kati Hersey – Treasurer

Hello! I’m Kati, mom to Sylvia. I have been part of OSC for a year now! I have homeschooled Sylvia since kindergarten. I am a massage therapist and I have my own practice in Cranston, I’ve been massaging since 2006. When I’m not teaching my kiddo or massaging, I’m hanging out with my husband and family. I am so happy to be part of this amazing community.

Kati can be reached at Khersey@oceanstatecoop.org