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Stevie Shickel Lee
Born and raised in Harrisonburg, Stevie's roots go deep in the Shenandoah Valley. She loves spending time with children and enjoys the wonder that kids bring to everyday life. She is a NOLS Outdoor Educator, Leave No Trace Master Educator, and Wilderness First Responder with CPR training for children. Stevie has over nine years of professional experience in outdoor education. She has a bachelor's degree in Sport and Recreation Management and a master's degree in Sport and Recreation Leadership. She has worked as a climbing guide in West Virginia, as well as a crew leader for Appalachian Conservation Corps. With more than 500 days logged leading participants in wilderness recreation, you can rest assured that your child will be well cared for under her supervision. Stevie's hobbies include mountain biking, rock climbing, XC skiing, kayaking, and spending time with friends and family.
David plays a critical role in the planning, vision, and communication of Appalachian Forest School, and has since the very beginning. He will probably never write a bio.
Susannah enjoys spending time in nature and sparking creativity in children’s lives through outdoor exploration, free play, and nature connection. Susannah holds a MA in Teaching from James Madison University and is certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR. Before joining the Appalachian Forest School Team, she taught fourth grade with Harrisonburg City Public Schools, worked as an adventure team director at a summer camp, facilitated for an outdoor learning center, and was a tour guide for a rock climbing and zip lining program in West Virginia. She loves implementing story telling, place-based learning, and independence-building skills into her teaching style. Susannah follows a restorative justice approach to social and emotional well being. In her free time, she enjoys going on walks with her husband, gardening, playing music with her band Rosy Eyes, beekeeping, and cozying up with a good book.
Jessica Cooper is a mother of two and has worked with children the past five years at the United Jewish Community Center of the Virginia Peninsula as preschool teacher and advocate of child-led, emergent curriculum, and nature-based learning. She received her Nature-Based Teacher Certification from the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools and has also worked as a Nature-Based Teacher Consultant for Smart Beginnings teaching webinars for local preschool and daycare providers on introducing nature-based learning to their classrooms in the Hampton Roads area before relocating to the Shenandoah Valley. She is happy to call Harrisonburg home and enjoys hiking and reading!
Born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley, Andrew has been romping in creeks and wandering through the woods since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. His passion for the great outdoors blossomed through a cumulative 15 years of participating and instructing in countless nature camps. Through these programs Andrew has led many adventure trips, and he has been certified in CPR, AED and Wilderness First Aid. In recent years, Andrew has spent time hitchhiking around the United States, working as a surgical Assistant in a veterinary clinic, and facilitating education on world hunger and poverty through Heifer International. Andrew loves the joy and wonder that kids bring to every day, and enjoys fueling their creative and intrepid natures with rock paint and wild stories. On a lazy day, Andrew loves to go hiking, create via any medium, bike around Harrisonburg and play board games.
While Elizabeth was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley, later attending Roanoke College and the University of Virginia, she has lived the last 12 years abroad, teaching first grade at various private international schools in Dubai, Addis Ababa, and Moscow. She loves traveling, hiking, kayaking, baking and playground hopping with her husband and two young daughters. After a few whirlwind years of pandemic life, teaching and parenting, Elizabeth and her family are ready to settle back into a quiet, country life in Virginia, break away from screens, get back to nature and the inquiry based teaching she finds so powerful. She is passionate about early childhood literacy and can't wait to talk to you about what you're reading, on your own and with your kids!
Meg grew up on the Severn River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, in Maryland and transplanted to Harrisonburg to pursue her degree at JMU. She has spent the last 6 years living in Harrisonburg, getting to know the mountains, rivers, flora and fauna. She has a BA in Modern Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, with a concentration in Spanish Language. Her experience working with children has taken place in many different contexts, from a Reggio inspired forest school to a Montessori classroom. Meghan is a certified Montessori Lead Teacher through the American Montessori Society. She is thrilled to be joining the AFS community and strives to bring as much openness and curiosity to each day as children do. When she’s not spending time with children, she can be found cooking, crafting, gardening, reading, kayaking, and swimming.
Rose is an artist who came to the Valley for her undergrad only to find her home wrapped up in these mountains. Growing up in a large family of naturalists with a running total of 25 nieces and nephews, she feels at home and herself with littles in the woods.
The best remark Rose ever received came from a mentor mentioning she helped him notice nature more. She is thankful for kiddos who do the same for her and is happy to pass along the favor. Rose has worked with children in various capacities. Being Aunt Rose, teaching art to K-5 at a private school, art tutoring, children's book illustration, and being a live in nanny for kids with high-needs, to name a few. She enjoys drinking black tea with honey and friends, reading Gail Carson Levine and Jane Austen to nieces and walking around the city of Harrisonburg. Her superhero name would be, Just Ivy, as many have dubbed her the "good" version of Poison Ivy.
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