NANCY WILSON, M.ED.- EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Nancy Wilson has been working with young children for over 25 years. She began working in child care centers in high school and continued to find joy working for a child care center owned and operated by the college she attended in VT. After college she followed an interest in natural health and well-being which led her to discover a passion for the Natural Foods Industry. She lived in both California and Vermont opening and managing natural food stores. During this time she worked closely with local schools giving store tours and teaching children about health and nutrition.
The birth of her daughter inspired a career change leading her to return to pursue a Master's degree while working full time as a lead teacher. Locally, she served as the Lead Toddler/Preschool Teacher, and Summer Program Coordinator at Monadnock Area Cooperative School formerly located in Hancock, NH. In 2005, she became a Founding Teacher and the Assistant Director of the Pine Hill Child Care Center in Peterborough NH. At PHCCC she worked with all age groups developing curriculum and mentoring both high school interns and interns attending the Waldorf Teacher Training program at Antioch University New England. She holds a M.Ed. and received her Waldorf Teacher Training from Antioch University New England. Her Waldorf Training ranges from Early Childhood through Grade 8. She has also completed one year of independent study with Sophia’s Hearth in Keene, NH as part of her training.
In 2011, Nancy returned to the Natural Products Industry to better support her family during the recent economic recession. She worked as a Sales and Marketing Representative for the largest natural products brokerage in the country supporting 45 brands working with stores in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
In 2015, Nancy accepted the position of Executive Director of A Child's Nature. Nancy is delighted life has unfolded in a way to allow her to return to the work she loves – her heart’s work - serving local children and families. Being part of a community committed to providing the highest quality, true human care is her dream and she is incredibly grateful to be seeing this dream come to fruition. She lives in Peterborough with her partner, Jeff, and her daughter, Maya, a former Pine Hill student.
Betty Mulrey, BA, MBA,M.ed., Ed.D, Assistant Director, Lead Toddler Teacher
Betty Mulrey was raised in VA, residing the last 33 years in NH. She has been an early childhood teacher and a center director in both public and private settings in the U.S. and abroad. She has taught early childhood courses at local colleges and universities, including a lab school where she mentored student teachers. As a school principal, she organized and designed an elementary school structure for a new school district. Betty enjoys presenting workshops on children’s literature, puppetry, the role of therapeutic puppetry, story-telling, literacy through music and art, collaborative relationships, building meaning through the arts, problem-solving, and teaching tolerance. As a SERESC task force member, she designed indicators for culturally competent early childhood programs. She sings in a local chorus and the NH Chamber Choir. Betty holds a B.A. in math from Hartwick College, an MBA from Chapman University, an M.Ed from Rivier College with a concentration in early childhood, and an Ed.D from New England College, specializing in social problem solving in early childhood.
Betty loves to learn from the children, taking their lead as much as possible. The heart and spirit can be beautifully nurtured if we as educators pay attention and listen to those entrusted to our care. Children, teachers, families and community all need to be nourished, respected, and valued as contributing members as well as stakeholders. In this way, relationships grow in strength and value, and the environment for learning becomes rich with promise and potential. Our children need to be flexible, creative, kind, caring, and open to ways of thinking that will enable them to navigate and contribute to the world. Elbert Hubbard said, “A school should not be preparation for life. A school should be life.” Alfred North Whitehead (1967) wrote: “When you understand all about the sun and all about the atmosphere and all about the rotation of the earth, you may still miss the radiance of the sunset.” Let us ensure that those who learn from and with us have the opportunity to experience sunsets and sunrises.
Megan Wright, M.Ed., Lead Preschool Teacher
Megan holds a BA from the University of Rhode Island in Landscape Architecture with a minor in Studio Fine Art as well as an M.Ed. from Antioch University New England in both Elementary and Early Childhood Education. During her time studying education at Antioch University, she was able to take elective courses in Waldorf Education - this sparked a sincere interest to learn more and bring Waldorf methods into her work with children.
Most recently, Megan held the position of after care teacher at the Monadnock Waldorf School. Her experience working with children over the years encompasses a variety of settings both indoors and out. She served for two years as a Student Conservation Association Americorps intern developing curriculum for use in both state and national parks. She worked as an Outdoor Education Instructor at Nature's Classroom and Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center in West Brattleboro, VT where she facilitated programs focused on ecology, conservation, and outdoor leadership for groups of children ages 3-12. She also held the position of Lead Teacher at The Wediko School in Windsor, NH - a residential school for middle school and high school aged boys. She taught a variety of subjects, with a focus on Studio Art, Science, and Math.
Megan is deeply interested in implementing developmentally appropriate curriculum which inspires children to engage in and become more aware of our beautiful natural world. She has found her passion working with children and is eager to bring her experience in both nature and the arts to the children at A Child's Nature. On the weekends, you may find her out and about at Monadnock State Park where she is a Park Ranger!
JESSICA cUMMINGS, Lead Infant Teacher
Jessica is currently finishing her A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education from Nashua Community College. She holds enough credits and experience to carry a Lead teacher position in the State of New Hampshire. Jessica discovered the beauty and wonder of Waldorf Education while attending the parent/child program at Pine Hill Waldorf School with her own daughter. She fell in love with the philosophy and quickly began to study and learn more about this approach. We are so pleased to have such a warm-hearted, loving teacher join our team caring for our youngest children. Jessica is excited to learn more about Waldorf Education. Her lovely daughter, Keira joins us in the Sweet Pea toddler group.
Lori Olson, A.S., Associate Infant Teacher
Lori holds an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Manchester Community College. Lori found Waldorf Education after moving to the area and reconnecting with a childhood friend who works at Pine Hill Waldorf School. She has searched for a program with a heart-centered approach to caring for young children and we are delighted she found us! Lori has been taking up the work of learning all she can about Waldorf Education. She recently completed a month-long training with Lifeways - a Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Training program. We are so grateful to have Lori's loving presence here at ACN.
Sam Morton, A.S., Lead Aftercare Teacher
Sam holds an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Nashua Community College. She was enrolled in the Waldorf inspired child development program at Conval High School in Peterborough NH for 3 years and during that time she served as an intern in our program under our former name, Pine Hill Child Care Center. Since that time, Sam has held teaching positions in both NH and Oregon working with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Sam is deeply committed to developing an understanding of Waldorf Education and is a warm and loving teacher to the children in her care. She recently completed a month-long training with Lifeways - a Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Training program. We are so grateful she has joined us once again.
Jo-Ann Maxwell - Associate Teacher
As a youth raised in Massachusetts, Jo-Ann co-created and held a board of director’s position from an accredited alternative high school. She has devoted the last 19 years to human development work as a mother, artist and actively involved parent. She has held many volunteer roles at Pine Hill Waldorf School, including Parent Council Liaison for eight years and Auction Chair for four years.
Jo-Ann is delighted to join the Staff of A Child’s Nature. She brings her experience of Waldorf Education, gained through working at the Pine Hill Waldorf School for ten years. She served in the office and the school's medical room for seven years. Jo-Ann spent four years as the Pine Hill School's Summer Program assistant teacher and Kindergarten substitute teacher, and supported the young children in the school's aftercare program.
Jo-Ann has has fueled her Waldorf inspiration over the years by attending Summer Renewal Courses and other workshops offered by the Center for Anthroposophy. She completed child development classes at Sophia's Hearth Family Center and is currently enrolled at Manchester Community College to continue acquiring early childhood education credits.
Jo-Ann lives in Amherst with her husband, Brad, and their two daughters, both of whom are graduates of Pine Hill Waldorf School.
lynne pentler, B.A. - Associate teacher
Lynne Pentler received her Waldorf inspiration as a parent while her daughter attended Pine Hill from kindergarten through eighth grade. She believes that the protective nurturing of Waldorf inspired education and parenting prepares the children to go off into the world with confidence and compassion. Lynne has a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Biochemistry, as well as being NH lead teacher qualified. She has worked in a variety of jobs from research in biology labs and technical writing, to co-managing a retail arts and toy store at the Pine Hill Waldorf School.
Her prior teaching experience consists of four years at a more-traditional preschool, four years as a special education aide at the public middle school level, and a lot of volunteer work in the classrooms at the Pine Hill Waldorf School. Lynne joined the Pine Hill Child Care Center in the summer of 2006 as an Associate Teacher working with all of the age groups. In 2010, she became the Lead Teacher of the Infant Program caring for babies aged 6 weeks to 18 months, and in 2012 she completed the early childhood training certificate at Sophia’s Hearth Family Center specializing in the child from birth to three.
Lynne helped with the transition from the Pine Hill Child Care Center in Peterborough to A Child's Nature on the Pine Hill campus in 2013. She has been working with both infants and toddlers and enjoys seeing how the little ones change and grow.