Our Board

Little Schoolhouse in the Woods is a nonprofit preschool dedicated to advocating, improving and providing access to quality outdoor early education for children of all socio-economic demographics in the Cincinnati west side.

MISSION STATEMENT

Little Schoolhouse in the Woods Outdoor Education Program mission is to foster a love of nature and to guide children toward healthy relationships with themselves and others.

PHILOSOPHY

It is our belief that children are naturally curious and eager to learn about themselves and the world around them. They are able to communicate their needs and desires. They can ask questions, explore and find answers. Children learn best when they are interested and engaged while accompanied by warm, stable and caring educators and caretakers. We believe children have the right to an education that fosters respect for nature and each other.

VISION

Our goal is to provide children with access to a beautiful, natural play space and a warm, caring environment. We support independence, positive self-esteem, and social emotional skills while allowing them to unfold in a developmentally appropriate manner.

Our Board

We are pleased to introduce you to our Board of Trustees. Each member is dedicated to our mission of fostering a love of nature and guiding children toward healthy relationships with themselves, each other and nature.

Robyn Weaver, President

Robyn’s journey with Little Schoolhouse in the Woods began in 2012 when she and her husband were looking for childcare for their son. Even before that time, she has been an advocate for outdoor education and experiences, having led adolescents on a 25-day wilderness trip and a service learning trip in Guatemala while teaching at Eagle Rock High School and Professional Development Center in Colorado through a fellowship with Public Allies and Americorps. She is passionate about educating children, with a Bachelor’s in Spanish and International Studies from The Ohio State University, a Masters in Education from the University of Minnesota and a second Masters in Literacy from the University of the Cumberlands. Having taught in public schools since 2007, Robyn has experience teaching Spanish, English as a Second Language, and is currently a Reading Specialist for students in grades Kindergarten through fifth grade.

Her students inspire her when they find their voice in leadership and decision-making by building confidence and understanding respect. Robyn is also passionate about using her strengths to contribute to the bigger picture–reimagining education in our country.

She and her husband live in Northside with their two young boys, who are both proud alumni of Little Schoolhouse in the Woods. They now attend Parker Woods Montessori, a magnet school that is part of Cincinnati Public Schools.

Cathy Driscoll, Treasurer

Cathy Driscoll holds a B.S in education and an M.S  in nursing.  She was an early childhood teacher at the Cincinnati Waldorf School for 14 years, where she not only was a teacher but was a leader in varying capacities at the school.  Serving as department chair, member of the board, and leadership council member, she helped guide the school and its faculty for many years.   She believes strongly in outdoor education as the most holistic way to educate children and embraces all aspects of hands-on learning and teaching through doing.  Allowing a young child to experience nature is the most healing thing we can do for the next generation and the earth.

Jason Hamzy, Secretary

Jason Hamzy is Co-Founder and Co-Teacher at Little Schoolhouse in the Woods. He is a National Geographic certified educator and holds an Ohio teaching license. He has taught math and science in the public classroom and was a substitute teacher for Cincinnati Public Schools. He has worked with Little Schoolhouse in the Woods since 2012. Teaching children outdoors about nature is one of his greatest joys and accomplishments.

David McKenrick, Trustee

David McKenrick is a longtime resident of Northside where he and his wife Anna raised their four children.  He was employed as an accountant at the Greater Cincinnati Water Works for his entire professional career. Upon retiring in 2007, he had more time to devote to his interests of woodworking, Rya rug making, cycling and running, and now enjoys exploring a whole new world through the lives of his grandchildren.

Jacque Daugherty, Board Trustee

Jacque Daugherty is a professor in the Western Program for Individualized Studies at Miami University. She is a sociologist with a PhD in the socio-cultural foundations of education; and she has taught and published interdisciplinarily on issues of equity, education, and climate change. She spent almost a decade of her early career in nonprofit social service organizations. Her students do service learning projects with Little Schoolhouse, and her kiddo attended school here. She wants to live in a world where all children have the opportunity to attend preschool at a place like Little Schoolhouse in the Woods–where they can follow their own interests, grow as a part of a collective, and hang out with trees. She lives in College Hill with her family.

Mary Dudley, Board Trustee, she/her, MA Botany, MEd Workforce Education & Development, Montessori Secondary Teacher I & II Credential
Mary Dudley, Board Trustee
Board member, Mary Dudley
Mary is a passionate educator whose career has taken her around the country from Cincinnati to Seattle to Boulder to Coral Gables and back as she strives to bring environmental education to students of all ages who seek to integrate nature into their daily lives and classroom curriculum. Currently Mary is working as the agriculture education teacher at James N. Gamble Montessori High School. This is her fifth year teaching at Gamble and sixteenth year in the field of botanical education. She holds two graduate degrees, one in botany and another in workforce development education. Mary also holds a credential from the American Montessori Society to teach secondary I-II. She has two young children ages 6 & 4 and her family has lived in Westwood near Montana Ridge for eight years. When she’s not teaching she enjoys cooking meals from garden fresh produce and looking for beautiful wildflowers in Mt. Airy forest with the occasional visit to Little Schoolhouse in the Woods to greet our neighbors and share the joy of the outdoors.
Lee Hamzy, Executive Director
photo by Nikita Gross

Lee Hamzy is co-founder and co-teacher at Little Schoolhouse in the Woods. She is a certified ERAFANS educator and has 17 years of experience working with early childhood and her empathetic demeanor and perceptive approach to early childhood development have helped to build a world class nature based, student led early childhood program. As Executive Director, Lee is not on the Board, but she works directly with them to help keep everything running awesome!

Please support outdoor early education by clicking on the Donate button below. Thank you!!

 

NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS

Little Schoolhouse in the Woods admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.