Meet the Team

Jen Mckay, Camp Director

Hello there! My name is Jen McKay. I graduated from KSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 2005. I am married and have 2 kids. I have taught 1st grade, 4th grade, and am currently teaching Kindergarten at Village Elementary here in Emporia, KS. This is my 8th year at Camp Alexander. It is a very rewarding job watching all the campers learning through play, making new friends, as well as making memories in the great outdoors.


Juan Ramirez, Program Director

My name is Juan Ramirez and I am a teacher at Village Elementary in Emporia, Kansas.  I graduated from Fort Hays State University with a degree in elementary education. I also have an endorsement in Spanish and an ESL endorsement from Newman University.  I started my teaching career back in 2000 and have been teaching since. My teaching career started in Dodge City, Kansas but I have been teaching in Emporia since 2005.

During my free time, I enjoy playing sports and spending time outdoors. My favorite sports are soccer, basketball, and football. I also enjoy coaching my son’s soccer and basketball teams.

As an educator, I enjoy working and teaching young students. I believe successful students stay active and continue to learn throughout the year.  I think Camp Alexander provides great opportunities for students to continue developing skills throughout the summer that will help them be successful in the classroom at the beginning of the new school year. I look forward to the opportunity to work with past, present, and future students through Camp Alexander.

Carla Fessler, Off-Season Camp Coordinator

My name is Carla Fessler and I am the Off-season Camp Coordinator.  I keep busy assisting the Board of Directors with fundraising, grant writing and day to day operations at camp. I am the main contact person from September to May, and I am always happy to assist you with any questions you may have about camp.  I served as the Camp Director from 2013-2016.

I graduated from ESU with a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in ESL, an MS in Curriculum and Instruction, and an MS in School Counseling. I am currently a counselor at Riverside elementary.

My husband Wayne and I feel very passionate about Camp Alexander and hope that each summer more children from our community get to experience what the outdoors and Camp Alexander have to offer. My husband and I are lifelong residents of Emporia.

Israel Alvarez, Camp Counselor

My name is Israel Alvarez.  I have lived in Emporia for over 15 years.  I’m an Emporia High and Emporia State graduate, and I spent 8 years in, both the Army and the Navy.  I also work for the Emporia School district as Ana 6th grade ELA teacher.  I graduated with my Masters degree in Elementary Education from Emporia State and I also have my bachelors degree in graphic design from Emporia State.

In my free time, I love spending time with my daughter. We enjoy going out to the movies and going out to eat.  I also like to video edit and mingle with photography once in a while.  I also play disc golf with friends. Since I have 4 dogs, during the summer we like to go out to the lake to cool down.  I’m a huge Dallas Cowboys fan and enjoy going to the occasional Royals game. This will be my third year working at Camp Alexander and I look forward to the opportunity to work with your kids this summer.”

Natalie Battenfield, Camp Counselor

My name is Natalie Battenfield. I am a Emporia State University graduate with my bachelors degree in Elementary Education. I currently teach kindergarten at Walnut Elementary School in Emporia. This is my second year of teaching and I am passionate about working with kids and watching them grow and learn. I have a 6 year old daughter, Lillian. In our free time we love to do anything outdoors. Some of our favorite things to do are camping, lake trips and riding bikes. I am a huge Kansas City Chiefs and love supporting my daughter with all her sports and activities. I cannot wait to work with your children this summer!

Krista Charboneau, Camp Counselor


Sarah Hill, Camp Counselor

My name is Sarah Hill. I graduated from Wichita State University with a bachelor’s in elementary education. I have taught 4th and 5th grade for 12 years. I am currently teaching 5th grade at Village Elementary. I am looking forward to the sunshine and the great outdoors!


Karalyn Karjala, Camp Counselor

My name is Karalyn Karjala. I am a current student at Emporia State University for a bachelor’s in Health and Human Performance. I also am a current gymnastics coach at Sunflower Gymnastics. Some things that I like to do in my free time are hanging out with my dog Ollie, hiking, archery, and biking. This will be my second year working at Camp and I am looking forward to another great summer at Camp.


Riley Lane, Camp Counselor

My name is Riley Lane. I am currently attending Wichita State University for my bachelors degree in elementary education. I have been a paraprofessional at Logan Avenue Elementary School for 4 years. This is my first year as a counselor and I am looking forward to a fun summer! In my free time I enjoy hammocking, long boarding, and hiking!


Jake Smith, Camp Counselor

My name is Jake Smith. I graduated from Emporia State with a bachelors in physical education and I will be a first-year teacher come the fall of 2022. This will also be my first year as a camp counselor. In my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I also enjoy attending the gym regularly to lift weights, run, and play basketball with friends.


Autumn Washington, Camp Counselor

Hi! My name is Autumn Washington. I graduated May 2021 from Emporia State University. In my free time I enjoy cycling, hiking, and spending time with my dog Duke! This will be my first year as a camp counselor, and I’m looking forward to a great summer!


Camp Alexander Board of Directors

Annette Legako, Chair
Gary Bacon, Vice Chair
Alicia Redeker, Treasurer
Kathyrn Whitcomb, Secretary
Kevin Ogle, Maintenance Director
Jaffar Agha
Mike Alpers
Corey Bacon
Steve Blocker
Wayne Fessler
JC Mock
Al Slappy
Scott Smith
Tracy Edwards, Financial Advisor

620-794-1830  •  1783 Road P5  •  Emporia, KS 66801