We are excited to announce that we have five new guide dog mobility instructors! Congratulations to Jessie St. Clair, Amanda Baumgartner, Palmer Dooley, Addie Yake, and Jane Allman, who have officially completed their three-year GDB instructor apprenticeships.
The apprenticeship requires practical, hands-on experience in training both our dogs and our clients, as well as a comprehensive academic course of study. We commend them on their achievement, and wish them much future success in their careers here at GDB!
Jessie St. Clair
Jessie St. Clair was born and raised in San Francisco. She has a bachelor’s degree in geography from San Francisco State, and prior to coming to GDB she worked at adventures courses and as a deckhand on several boats that provided educational sailing excursions for elementary school kids. She enjoys camping, backpacking, and kayaking with her dog, Leo, who is a black lab/Catahoula mix.
Amanda Baumgartner hails from Chicago, Illinois. She attended Southern Illinois University where she received a bachelor’s degree in animal behavior, and Moorpark College where she was awarded an associate’s degree in exotic animal training and management. While in college, she worked as an assistant in the laboratory of behavior analysis. Post-graduation, she worked for Extreme K-9 training dogs in police work and scent detection, as well as providing extreme behavior modification for dogs. She also was a dog trainer at This Able Veteran, a non-profit organization that trains service dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder). Her hobbies include weight lifting, paddle boarding, and eating delicious food. She and her husband, Kyle, have two pet dogs – a Belgian Malinois named Rip and a Pitbull named Rocky.
Palmer Dooley comes to us from Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a bachelor degree in biological anthropology and anatomy from Duke University. Prior to GDB, Palmer worked for seven years training dolphins and sea lions for the Navy Marine Mammal Program in Georgia and Washington. She loves Mexican food, and in her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding, running (she has competed in 23 half marathons), golfing, and traveling. She and her husband, Eric, have a Labradoodle named Hurley.
Addie Yake grew up in North Lake Tahoe, Calif., and attended both the University of Washington where she got a degree in economics, and Moorpark College where she received an associate’s degree in exotic animal training and management. She has worked as a contract financial analyst for Microsoft, and a marketing coordinator for a tunnel boring machine manufacturer. Her pastimes include camping, yoga, and painting. She and her husband, David, have a coonhound named June, and a cat named Blarney.
Jane Allman is from San Clemente, Calif. She has a bachelor of science degree in wildlife management and conservation from Humboldt State University, as well as an associate’s degree in exotic animal training and management from Moorpark College. While at Humbolt, she worked on field research team projects, including: harbor seal telemetry, black bear/human interactions, and shorebird/raptor relationships. Her hobbies include paddle boarding, hiking, and running in K9 Gladiator races with her dog, Hackett, and spending time with her husband, Matt.