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Wild Mushrooms

About our Teachers

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in."

-Rachel Carson, Sense of Wonder

  • We hire teachers with complementary skill sets, typically pairing early childhood education and environmental education. Our teachers have experience working with young children and come from progressive fields of education with emphasis on nature-based, environmental, and outdoor learning. 

  • Everyone on our team, including interns and volunteers, undergo background checks. Lead teachers have current CPR and First Aid certifications and have received Nature-Based Teacher Certification through the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools (

  • Our team participates in ongoing professional development including: collaborative planning, team meetings, attending and facilitating PD workshops, partnerships with other nature-based schools, written publications, membership to professional associations, and work with (or as) consultants, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Staff: Text

Meet Our Team

These inspiring teachers lead our programs and cherish time in nature - rain or shine!

Staff Bios

Forest [Home] School Co-Op Lead Teacher/ Summer Camp Director

Forest Preschool Guide/Lead Teacher

Leah loves to be outdoors! She has experience working with a wide range of ages and is excited to be part of the Notchcliff team. As the head of the cooperative, she works closely with children K-5th grade (and their parents!) to balance unstructured nature play with thoughtful, intentional teaching that aligns to MSDE curriculum. She has a level 1 Nature-Based Teacher Certification with ERAFANS.

Hannah joined the team in Fall 2022 and has been frolicking in the forest ever since! She is inspired by the forest, meadows, and streams at Notchcliff. She enjoys facilitating nature-based art experiences and foraging with the forest preschool.

Lead Teacher

Kelly is a long-time early childhood educator who is excited to be working with young children outdoors. She finds great inspiration from her native homeland, Greece, as well as her family. She began teaching at Notchcliff in Fall 2021 and is certified as a level 2 Nature-Based Teacher with ERAFANS. She is thrilled to be part of the team!

Administrative Assistant

Jasmine joined the team at Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools (ERAFANS) in 2021. She puts her organizational skills to work, assisting with program registration and billing for Notchcliff as well as membership and professional development programs offered by ERAFANS.  Jasmine was honored with the Maryland Nonprofits 'Service with Distinction' Award in 2022 for her pivotal support role at ERAFANS during the pandemic.

Seedlings Lead Teacher/Guide, Elderflowers Nature Series Guide, and Substitute Teacher

Laurie has a love of science and nature that stems from childhood. She has degrees in earth and environmental science and has developed science content for a science museum and for various non-profit organizations where she worked with school groups. She has also developed K-12 online science courses for virtual schools. Laurie loves to spend time outdoors when hiking with her daughters, horseback riding, and camping annually in the Catskills with her family. 

Orugas Serie Naturaleza Lead Teacher and Forest Preschool Substitute Teacher

Summer Nature Camp Lead Teacher

Monica Wiedel-Lubinski, M.Ed.

Executive Director of the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools, Founding Director of Notchcliff

Monica is an experienced leader in nature-based education. She is the founding director/co-director of three nature-based early learning programs in Maryland (The Nature Preschool at Irvine, Wild Haven Forest Preschool & Childcare, and now Notchcliff Forest Preschool). She is also the director of the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to nature-based professional development.

When she is not in the forest, Monica travels far and wide to support the growth of nature preschools as a consultant and keynote presenter. She a contributing author to STEM In Early Childhood Education (Cohen and Waite-Stupiansky, 2019), and to the Nature-Based Preschool Professional Practices Guidebook (NAAEE, 2019). Most recently, she coauthored Nature Play Workshop for Families: A Guide to 40+ Outdoor Experiences in All Seasons (Quarto Press, 2020). She is currently writing a book about nature-based education for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) with an expected release in 2023.

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