Niki has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Kentucky, a Master’s certificate in Environmental Education from Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, and an M.S. in Environmental Studies with a focus on science education from Antioch University New England. As an undergraduate student of science, Niki found that her passions were rooted in being outside, understanding ecosystems, and sharing a sense of discovery with others. This set her on a path to exploring the natural world wherever she goes and to pursuing life as a teacher. Before joining Rainbow’s Omega Middle School in 2015, Niki spent a decade helping to build the math, science, and middle school programs at the Four Rivers expeditionary learning school in western Massachusetts.
Of the many things Niki loves about Rainbow, one of them is the holisitic approach to teaching and learning. As a science teacher, Niki strives to engage kids through well-rounded experiences that include art, inquiry, design, outdoor adventure, local issues, and personal passions. Niki believes firmly in the power of teenagers to make meaningful contributions to science and to create positive change in their communities. She sees the explorations of spirituality and culture that also take place in Omega as key to developing people who are ready for the social and environmental challenges of our time.
Outside of school, you can find Niki with her own two kids, Sara and Owen, and her husband Andy. As relative newcomers to Asheville, they’re often out exploring hikes, streams, playgrounds, arts, and restaurants around town. Niki is excited to live in a place of such extraordinary biodiversity and can also be found brushing up on her tree id or trying to spot the elusive hellbender.
You can reach her at: Niki.Gilbert@rainbowlearning.org