The LEAPNOW Team

Please also check out the amazing LEAPNOW Advisory Board.

Cassie Bull M.A., ADTR
Cassie Bull M.A., BC-DTR

Academic Director & Co-Founder

Cassie co-founded and has been co-directing LEAPNOW since 2002.  With creativity as the leading force in her life, Cassie began her journey into adulthood as a dancer and a baker. Both became lifelong passions and the cornerstones of everything else she has done. After earning a BFA from Wichita State University, Cassie had a full career as a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher in Colorado and New York. Discovering that more was happening in her dance classes than just learning to dance, Cassie went on to earn a Masters in Somatic Psychology in 1988 and worked in psychiatric hospitals, bringing her love of movement and creativity to the mentally ill.

As a therapeutic activities program director in a psychiatric hospital in New York, she developed a horticulture program, a dance/yoga program, and a cooking program for adolescent and adult addicts as well as leading movement therapy groups for all the residents at the psychiatric hospital. During this time Cassie received her ADTR (Advanced Registry, Dance Therapist) and Certification in Authentic Movement. She subsequently directed the Somatic Psychology Department at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado - training dance therapists and body-centered psychotherapists. She is most juiced about the intersection of movement, passion and creativity and her current creative passion is in creating works of fabric art.  Cassie is an affiliate faculty member at Naropa University.  Cassie also created and leads a training in Authentic Movement facilitation called Body Visible/Body Invisible (BVBI).

James Quinlan
James Quinlan

International Programs Director

James has been working with LEAPYEAR students for almost a decade. He sets up the group travel semesters abroad, hires and trains our group leaders, supports the solo internship placement process, and is an integral member of our retreat facilitation team. James is currently working on his Master's degree from Meridian University in Counseling Psychology, and earned his BA from the University of Minnesota in Business. He has led LEAPYEAR group semesters in India and Latin America, and has also worked locally doing social advocacy work for youth. When not in the office, James can be found kayaking in local rivers, doing 5 Rhythms Dance, and other outdoor activities.

Rebecca Carrillo
Rebecca Carrillo

Assistant Director

Rebecca began a lifelong adventure of learning and service at the University of San Francisco where she majored in International Studies with an emphasis on Politics of Latin America. While studying abroad in El Salvador, Rebecca worked in a cooperative where she learned to repair bus seats, sew anything, make dentures and roast coffee. She was greatly inspired by her experience accompanying those struggling for justice and liberation.

After graduating from college, she backpacked, biked, and ate her way through Guatemala, Belize and Mexico, honing her travel skills and perfecting her Spanish. She returned to California inspired by the value of experiential learning through intentional travel. Before LEAPNOW, Rebecca spent five years working in San Franciscoís Mission District creating pathways to higher education for underserved youth in the community.  She is an aspiring baker, juggler and muralist.

Sam BullSam Bull

LEAPNOW Co-Founder & LEAPYEAR Co-Director

Born in a leap year, Sam founded and has directed LEAPNOW from 1994 through 2016.  After earning a degree in geology from Princeton U. in 1982, he made a decision not to use the word "career" until he was at least 30, choosing instead to follow the "golden thread" of whatever he most wanted to do. This resulted in 9 years of exploration in the U.S., Asia, Central America and Europe. Some of the highlights were: Extensive study in Hindu and Carmelite(Catholic) monasteries in India and the U.S.; work as a carpenter, waiter, computer consultant, folk music restaurant manager, lobster fisherman, and trail crew leader in California and Alaska. Continuing to follow the golden thread after 30, he coordinated a program for the homeless in Seattle, directed a job-training program for youth-at-risk (the New Hampshire Conservation Corps), and was the Career Services Director and International Student Advisor at Naropa University for 2 years. He is a senior fellow of the Hendricks Institute, and is certified in Conscious Relationship Transformation and Body-Centered Transformation through the Institute. Sam is an affiliate faculty member at Naropa University.

Hear Sam speak about LEAPYEAR in a 9-minute video.

 

Philip Aspinalle
Philip Aspinall

Grounds & Marketing

Phil directs students doing construction and landscaping work on the land during LEAPYEAR retreats. During non-retreat times he coordinates LEAPNOW marketing and outreach.

A global nomad who has resided in Canada, the U.S, and Costa Rica, Phil most recently led groups of young adults doing experiential service based trips in the high Andes and Amazon region of Peru. Phil earned a double major (Environmental Studies and Economics) from UC Santa Cruz and brings a diverse background in teaching, marketing, maintenance, and outdoor education to his work at LEAPNOW.

 

 

 

Laurel Marks
Laurel Marks

Student Journey Coordinator

Raised by Waldorf teachers in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Laurelís life has been infused with art, creativity, and imagination. At the age of five, Laurelís parents sold their house and took her travelling around the world. In the monkey forests of Bali and the bustling markets of Bangkok, Laurel fell in love with the vibrant, colorful joy that comes from exploring a new world, culture and language. After returning, Laurel took dance classes, learned to play the cello, found her passion for creative writing, and spent summers swimming in the Yuba River. Laurel studied abroad in Granada, Spain then graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Literature and Creative Writing and has worked teaching kids sustainability and science in the mountains and redwood forests of California, helping teachers transform early childhood education in Nepal, guiding students on forty-day trips through the Amazon Jungle in Peru, and training raptors near Yosemite. In the past five years Laurel has traveled to over 20 countries, volunteered at an orphanage in India, at a circus school in Peru, and built a classroom for an LGBTQ youth group in the heart of the jungle. In the past year alone, she has traveled around the world doing her own solo internships - working with kangaroos in Australia, practicing yoga in Bali, temple hopping in Cambodia, tuk-tuking through Thailand, and trekking through New Zealand! This past summer she led trips through the Amazon Jungle in Peru and got to bathe with electric eels, boogie with pink river dolphins, and hug sloths! Laurel uses her diverse travel and work experiences to help students find the internship that best combines their desire to serve, their dreams for a future career, and their passion and purpose.

 

Calli Rose Bull
Calli Rose Bull

 Kitchen Manager & Administrative Coordinator

Raised on the LEAPNOW campus over the past 16 years, Calli has been teaching LEAPYEAR students to cook and bake for the past three years. Calli has a burgeoning catering business, and also works at local farms and farmer's markets, and brings this passion for quality food sourcing and preparation to her work with students.

A Waldorf student through 9th grade, Calli completed high school by studying art and photography on the Greek island of Paros, studying in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and through independent study. She is currently studying Counseling Skills while working at LEAPNOW.  Calli completed a year toward her BA at Quest University in Canada, and plans to complete her BA in Women's Studies at Sonoma State University. A student of dance, photography, and fire spinning, Calli supports the entire staff through her work in the LEAPNOW office.

 

Sanghamitra Sarkar
Sanghamitra Sarkar

India In-Country Coordinator

A native of India and resident of Varanasi, Sanghamitra has guided Westerners to live and study and volunteer in India since 2002.  A fluent English speaker and member of the LEAPNOW staff for many years, she hosts our India travel groups, sets up homestays and internships, provides vital orientation to the culture and smoothes the way for our group leaders and students. In addition to working with LEAPNOW students, Sanghamitra hosts individual travelers in India throughout the year.  Sanghamitra has degrees in Indian History and Travel and Tour Management, and with her strong love of travel, culture, and meeting new people, she is a great liaison between Indian and Western culture for Westerners entering her country.  Sanghamitra also works with individual travelers to provide them with a gentle and culturally rich landing and entry into India.  

 

LEAPYEAR Navigation

Questions? Call us!

Phone: (707) 431-7265
Fax: (707) 431-8479

Email:

LEAPNOW
11640 Highway 128
Calistoga, CA 94515

Map & Directions

Additional Resources

Naropa University

 

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