Our Staff

Our Staff

Karen Hatcher, Executive Director

When it comes to her work, Karen has two passions:  empowering youth and building community.  She’s excited to “put down roots” with the Cornucopia Project after several years on the road as National Director of Students In Action, a youth leadership training program for middle and high school students.

A New Jersey native, Karen previously led Celebrate NJ, an educational nonprofit, where as Executive Director she developed a number of  programs reaching more than 100,000 students during her tenure.   She credits this work with  helping her develop a deep understanding of how to bring out the best in young people and what it takes to get things done with passionate volunteers and limited resources . 

Karen and her husband, Mark, are recent Peterborough residents; she’s a lifelong learner, and avid home gardener with a passion for growing, canning, cooking and eating tomatoes.  She doesn’t hesitate to “dig in” to make her community better and currently volunteers with the Fresh Air Fund, the 100+ Women Who Care, and the Peterborough Welcome Team.   She looks forward to getting her hands dirty!  You can reach Karen at karen@cornucopiaproject.org. 


Hannah Bissex, Farm to Fork Coordinator

Hannah is passionate about empowering youth with the knowledge and skills of sustainable agriculture. She grew up with homesteading parents and recognized while studying mathematics at Northeastern University that farming is alive with problem solving opportunities. She has pursued a number of educational models which combine math and science with the natural world, from the Island School in the Bahamas, to The Meeting School in Rindge, NH.  Hannah is now the coordinator of Cornucopia’s Farm to Fork program, and is thrilled to be digging into this opportunity to build a sustainable program that gives young people the opportunity to make a positive change it their world.  You can reach Hannah at hannah@cornucopiaproject.org.


Joyce Carroll, Director of Community Engagement

Joyce joined the Cornucopia team in 2012, bringing with her a background in community-based nonprofits.  A gardener for more than 35 years, Joyce owned and managed a gardening business and vegetable stand in upstate New York where she grew everything from heirloom flowers to giant pumpkins.  Her love of gardening and the natural world are a reflection of her childhood roots—surrounded by farms, livestock and forests.  She delights in how gardening continues to bring new adventures and lessons to her and her community.  Joyce lives in Peterborough with her husband, Pete. She has two grown daughters and one grandchild!  You can reach Joyce at joyce@cornucopiaproject.org.


Heather McClusky, Administrative Assistant

Heather came to the Cornucopia team with a wealth of office management skills and a passion for community service. Some of you may know her from her role as the Administrative Assistant for the Peterborough Fire and Rescue Department, where she worked for 11 years. Heather lives in Peterborough with her husband and three children. She is an active home gardener, Girl Scout troop leader, and a member of the Peterborough Recreation Committee.  You can reach Heather at heather@cornucopiaproject.org.





Jennifer Trapani, Interim Farm to Fork Coordinator, School Garden Educator

Jennifer spent her formative years captivated by science. She attended the University at Buffalo where she developed this passion through their Biological Sciences program and also had the chance to participate in a National Science Foundation Research Experience at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. After her undergraduate experiences, she spent the next two years as a Docent at the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park, NY interacting with the public and building her desire to pursue a Master’s degree for environmental education at Antioch University New England. During her time as a co-coordinator with Community Garden Connections, Jen deepened her interest in community capacity-building related to food security in light of a changing climate. In this role, she explored the myriad benefits of community gardens alongside community members and peers through hands-on involvement in the local food system. She is excited to be stepping into the interim Farm to Fork Program Assistant position while also teaching in the Cornucopia School Garden Program. She loves sharing her deep cultural and generational connection to food with others in the community. You can reach Jennifer at jennifer@cornucopiaproject.org.


School Garden Educators

Kathleen Bigford

KathleenBigfordKathleen has been growing and preserving vegetables and fruits for her family all her adult life. She is very excited to share what she knows just as she did during her 20 years at Great Brook School where her goal was to get students outside as much as possible. In addition to many other adventures, she and her students planted gardens, grew hydroponic lettuce in a greenhouse and helped with gardening projects around the school. Since retiring in 2015 she has been closely involved with the Kearsarge Food Hub in her hometown, Bradford, NH, as their board chair, farm stand and garden volunteer, and avid supporter. Kathleen says, “Joining the Cornucopia Project fulfills my long-time goal of helping young students learn how to grow, harvest and prepare healthy food.”


Cathy Joly

Cathy joins us for her fourth semester at Cornucopia. She has gardened since she was a little girl, her earliest days spent rushing to transplant the thinned-out lettuces and carrots from her mom’s garden into her own part of the garden. She says, “I still avoid thinning plants whenever I can!”  Cathy brings a permaculture and homesteading background to Cornucopia. For the past 15 years, Cathy has been fortunate to homeschool her two children and participate in many amazing learning opportunities.  She loves sharing the joys of nature with children of all ages.


Lauren Judd 

Lauren has been a Garden Teacher since the spring season of 2017, and has done work with non-profit farms and intentional communities in NH, CO, and HI since 2006. She has worked in the private-school sector with young children, directing after school activities, and also as a volunteer with a Vermont Town Library, a Children’s Museum, and with a Community Food Co-op. She created and sold a popular restaurant in Southern Vermont with a focus on using local and organic ingredients. Besides working as a Garden Teacher, Lauren is a co-leader of the Peterborough Girl Scouts Troop. She holds a Dual BA in Sociology and Social Psychology, with a minor in Cultural Anthropology from Keene State College. She loves to hike and see musical performances and will occasionally bring her guitar into the school garden for some plant and vegetable songs. Lauren lives on a farm with her husband, two children, and four dogs, where they grow berries, fruit, nuts, and vegetables. Lauren loves sharing her joy found in food and the outdoors with her garden students.