Our team of professionally-trained and highly-skilled educators is here to help your child grow and reach their potential. We believe in supporting and engaging the whole child, inside and out, in this critical stage of their development. Please learn more about our broader educational philosophies and values here, as well as our unprecedented teacher benefits.

Kathryn Long | Program Director & Lead Teacher

Kathryn is a co-founder of the Growing Wild Forest School and its parent organization, The Forest School Foundation. She is also a  proud member of the American Forest Kindgergarten Association. She is an empathetic and creative being who loves working with children and guiding them in the natural world.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and has over a decade of experience in early childhood education and care, including teaching in early learning centers, providing small-group childcare, and nannying.  She is certified EEC Level 8. Her continuing education has included the Academy of Forest Kindergarten Teachers, as well as Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia systems and the latest research on child psychology.  She also teaches voice and piano lessons part-time with an Asheville music studio. Kathryn's purpose is to support all children's evolving sense of self and intrinsic belonging in the human community and natural world.

Mica Whitmire | Lead Teacher

Mica has worked with children and young adults for over ten years as a counselor, caregiver, facilitator, and teacher. He particularly likes helping young children be aware of their feelings, speak their needs in clear and kind ways, and using silliness, play, and roleplaying to work with deeper issues in a fun and productive way. He is a trained permaculturalist and gardener, musician, storyteller, poet, and performer, and is initiated with the Mankind Project of Asheville. He advocates for social, ecological, and economic justice in the world, and is dedicated to practicing a life where all beings are treated with respect, affection, and care.


Jaz Rosalbo | Lead Educator

[bio coming soon]

Kelly Gaskill | Lead Teacher

Kelly is a lover of nature and comes alive when sharing in the fascination of the natural world with children. Much of her adult life has been spent interacting with and exploring the outdoors. Well versed in the natural world of the Appalachian Mountains, Kelly has a vast knowledge of local plants, crafting with natural material, wild foraging, wilderness awareness, and honoring the rhythms of nature. She has been the director of Mudpuppies Nature Program in Barnardsville, NC; which mentors young children in developing deep connection with the natural world, with the support of a loving compassionate learning community. She regularly works and plays with the kids’ program at regional Earth Skills Gatherings. She also teaches natural plant dyes, weaving and basket making to adults.



Giselle Cuevas | Assistant Teacher

Giselle specializes in Yoga, Mindfulness, and Farm-Based Education. Traveling and living in intentional communities granted her the opportunity to earn certifications in adult and children's Yoga, Permaculture and other sustainable agricultural practices, and earn her Bachelors of Fine Arts. She also founded a program named “Eclectic Kids” which connects yoga and mindfulness through expressive art and nature and farm-based activities. Giselle loves to motivate and inspire children to reach their highest potential through creativity and mindful growth.

Deanna Rose | Assistant Teacher

Deanna is a graduate of Warren Wilson College with a degree in Gender & Women’s Studies and Anthropology. While attending school there she worked on the herbalism crew in the garden while making teas and more! She is a certified holistic community herbalist by the Blue Ridge School of Herbalism. Deanna has taught kids herbalism, gardening and had a singing chorus with kids. 

Danaka Olsen | Assistant Teacher

[bio coming soon]

Substitute Teachers

Grace Upshaw

Eliza Rose Laubach

Additional administrative and financial support is provided by The Forest School Foundation.

Meet the rest of our team here!

Want to join us as a Forest School Educator? Curious about our employee benefits? Our new CAREERS page is coming soon!


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You can also get to know our teachers better on our YouTube channel!