Director: Lavonne Taylor
Miss Lavonne has 11 years of experience as a preschool director and teacher in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and 5 years as the founder, owner and director of Forest Hill Nature Preschool. She has a B.S in Early Childhood Education from Towson University, and a M.A. in Technology for Educators from Johns Hopkins University. She loves ice cream, but her passion is teaching children in a hands-on, nature-rich environment. She lives in Forest Hill with her family. She attends Bel Air United Methodist Church, where she sings in the choir. She is grateful for the opportunity to follow God's direction in her life, for the beautiful landscape of Harford county, and for daily opportunities to be blessed by children. She is particularly blessed to be a part of a growing school community as we embark on a new journey in our new location!
Assistant Director: Melissa Ayers
Miss Melissa has been working with children for 10 years. She is preschool and infant toddler certified and is working on her Early Childhood degree at Harford Community College. In her spare time she enjoys crafting and spending time with her family. She loves animals and nature!
The teaching staff at any school is the most critical element for the inspiration and success of the students. In recognition of the importance of attracting and retaining high quality teachers, we offer an attractive compensation package including: competitive salary, health benefits, paid sick and personal leave, wellness incentives, paid community service, paid vacation time after first year of employment, paid ongoing professional development, tuition discounts for children of staff members, and the opportunity to join an amazing group of people!
We are proud to have a fantastic staff joining us this year.
We are proud to have a fantastic staff joining us this year.
Miss Melanie & Miss Jordy
Miss Jordy is excited to be continuing her adventure as a teacher here at FHNP. Miss Jordy has a BS degree in early childhood and special education from Towson University and is excited to be returning this year to teach in the four year old program. Miss Jordy is passionate about animals and the outdoors, and loves to use nature as a learning tool for her students, as she feels it is important to educate the future citizens of our society about the planet that we call home.
My name is Melanie Shelly and I am excited to be working here ate Forest Hill Nature Preschool. I have my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education as well as 24 years of experience working with children. I have worked with ages infants through school age. I was a para educator in the school system. I have been a director of several preschools. I also have had the privilege of owning my own Day Care Center for the last seven years, which I recently sold to move to York, PA to be closer to family. I love working with children and watching their sense of wonder, and encouraging them as they learn new things. I want to be a positive impact in the lives of children I get to work with. In my spare time you will catch me hanging out with my family ( I have 6 kids), paddle boarding or just exploring the world around us.
Hello, my name is Judy and I have been working with 4's for a little over 6 years. I am a firm believer that children learn more while having fun, which is why I like to incorporate music and dance into every lesson. I am CPR/First Aid certified and have my Medication Administration certificate. Every year I attend a variety of trainings with my daughter (the art teacher) to help bring new and fun ideas into the classroom. Throughout my years I have had the privilege of being a Girl Scout Leader, volunteer at a shelter and a partner with a Grandparents Support group which have helped me develop great communication and problem solving skills. I can not wait to have fun with your kids and listen to all of their stories.
Miss Bri has been working in our 4 year old program and has previous experience with all ages. She has been working with children for 8 years. Miss Bri is currently taking classes at Harford Community College to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education. She loves working with children, and encourages them to create their own adventure! She is excited to be returning to FHNP this year.
Miss Dawn is very grateful for the opportunity to join the Forest Hill Nature Preschool family. She earned her teaching degree from Millersville University in Pennsylvania and has over twenty years of experience in the field of education. Miss Dawn has had a variety of roles: Middle School Science Teacher, Assistant Director at Living Classrooms Foundation, Virtual Teacher for Connections Education, Robotics Program coordinator and instructor, and Assistant Director at a daycare located in the White Marsh area. Miss Dawn enjoys reading, mountain biking, roller coasters, and snowboarding.
Miss Nicholle grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and attended Slippery Rock University where she completed her Social Work degree. She has been working with children for the past 8 years and has taught 3s for the past year at Unity Presbyterian Church in PA. Her favorite thing to do is go to the beach and explore new state parks. She will be a Lead Teacher in the PM centers and aftercare program for this coming school year! She is most excited to experience the nature aspect of the preschool and incorporate nature into her lessons!
Miss Caland is excited to begin her second year teaching at FHNP. Miss Caland received her associate’s degree in early childhood education from Harford Community College in 2016. After, she attended Towson University and earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and special education in 2018. Miss Caland has always had a love for children. She believes in creating opportunities for children to develop to their fullest potential while also creating a positive and loving environment that they feel comfortable and safe in. Miss Caland looks forward to working with all the children and families!
Miss Kim is very excited to join the FHNP team in the 3/4s room. She attended Shippensburg University and graduated with her Bachelors degree in 2016. Her previous experience includes working in an Autistic Support classroom, being a Pre-K teacher, along with lots of other experience nannying for families, working with children in homework clubs and middle and high school girl groups. She enjoys teaching children and watching them grow and learn. She is truly looking forward to a fun year with the children and families!
Yoga: Miss Julie
Miss Julie graduated from Stevenson University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She taught pre school out of college at Woodbrooke Early Education Center and then stayed home to raise and homeschool her two amazing children who are both now successfully graduated and in college. She has a strong passion for kids and believes the world can learn so much from their positivity and happiness. Miss Julie loves traveling with her kids all over the world, but especially to the islands. She has a strong passion for working out and is studying to complete her personal training certification.