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People

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E. Cayce Dumont

Board Member

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Cayce is a writer, ghostwriter, editor, unschooling mom, and lifelong learner. She has a B.A. and M.A. in English and has taught writing to children, college students, and adults. Her favorite thing to do is sing with her 9-year-old, but she also loves making food, talking about food, poetry, music, watching WNBA games, and hanging outdoors with kids.

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Audrey Todd

Executive Director, Playworker

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Audrey Todd is the Executive Director and also serves as a cooking instructor and play worker. They are the former Chef & Food Education Director & Farmer with The Forest Playschool as well as their Lead Teacher in the summer programs. Audrey taught the past 8 years teaching young children outside in a garden, outdoor kitchen or woodland environment. Audrey believes in creating outdoor experiential learning environments that foster creativity, resiliency, and healing. They're a seed planter of plants and abolition. They hold a Forest School Teacher Certificate through The Forest School of Canada, are a member of Radical Playworkers Chicago, and have presented at the Midwest Forest School Congress. Audrey serves as a Board Member of Northern Illinois Nature Preschool Association (NINPA). They hold a B.A. from Knox College. They completed Chicago Action Medical's 20-hour Street Medic Training. They love word play, carrots, and using all five senses to explore the natural world. While not in the woods, you can find them reading or swimming at the lake. 

Natalie Gardner

Board Member

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Natalie has her M.A. in Teaching from National-Louis University and currently is a Temporary teacher with Chicago Public Schools.  Natalie loves bringing her kids outdoors or brining nature inside as much as possible.  She formerly was the Board President for Hoyne Street Playgroup in 2016-2017. She got interested in Forest Schooling when she had a child and sent her child to The Forest Playschool.  She's a huge fan of animals and loves to think about how kids learn.

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Elizabeth Schadrack

Board Member

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Elizabeth Schadrack is a kindergarten teacher with a Masters in Education and a background in ecology and restoration. Before working in "inside schools" she worked as the math and science teacher at The Forest Playschool and helped found Forest Families, the organization that became Wonder Woods. She is happy to join the Board of Wonder Woods and thinks that the dynamic, joyful, curiosity-driven, child-led play that its playworkers support is making the world a better place. Elizabeth loves walking in the city, eating cookies, and thinking about how kids learn to read and write.

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Liliana Zarnowiecki

Director of Operations, Playworker

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Liliana comes to Wonder Woods with a background in education and has taught everyone from preschoolers to adults in a wide variety of topics and fields. She’s as at home teaching a cartwheel to a kindergartener as she facilitating a professional training with coworkers. She grew up fly fishing, canoeing, and hunting, and as an adult her current favorite nature-y hobby is foraging for fungi and plants… and then figuring out delicious things to cook with them! When not in the woods she loves to do fiber arts like crocheting and needle felting, and on the weekends you might catch her in a head-to-toe food-themed outfit. Liliana joined Wonder Woods in Summer 2023 as a playworker, and is excited to grow in her new role and share her experience in development, optimization, and organizational growth with the Wonder Woods community. Her favorite part of play school is witnessing sheer joy.

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Joanna Faye Doyle

Board Member

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Joanna has a Masters in Special Education as well as a graduate certificate in STEM Teaching & Leadership.  In addition to her certifications in general education and special education, she has endorsements in numerous areas including Gifted Education, English as a Second Language, and Theatre/Drama.  They have over a decade of experience working as a teacher in Chicago Public Schools, where they came to realize the importance of letting students drive their own learning.  Before pivoting to teaching, Joanna worked as a Stage Manager in both Washington D.C. and Chicago.  When not geeking out on all things education, Joanna and her family love to go camping in their ridiculously wonderful giant tent.  They also love playing board games and table-top roleplaying games.  In addition, Joanna is a member of the leadership team for Forest Schools for Illinois (FSIL)

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Maisie Smith

Playworker

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(any pronouns) 

Maisie has been working with children of all ages for many years in a variety of settings including summer camps, after school programs, and a homeschool learning community. Maisie loves forming relationships with children around what they are passionate and excited about and especially enjoys being weird and silly together. Maisie has always loved to spend time outside exploring, creating, playing, building, walking, climbing, smelling, watching, swimming, playing soccer...and more! She loves to make art and craft pretty much anything in her free time, whether that's crocheting a hammock for her pet rats, sewing a puppet, or making a painting for a friend. Maisie moved to Chicago in 2021 from her home state of Massachusetts, where she still has lots of family and friends. 

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Jenn Wisegarver
Board Member

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Jenn Wisegarver's 15 years of Early Childhood Education experience, 7 of which were in administration, has left her with a passion to help education programs flourish. After experiencing Nature Play for the first time in 2017, she was convinced that the Forest School method is the best way to support whole-child (and adult!) development. Her babies, born in 2015 and 2018, have been tramped through the woods on a regular basis ever since. Jenn's Nature interest led to serving as Advocate and Activist at Forest Schools for Illinois for four years (with one year on the Leadership Board), a group striving to update Early Childhood licensing standards to include exclusively outdoor education opportunities in our state. Nowadays, Jenn's salary comes from working at Cassandra Quinn Consulting as a Client Success/Operations Manager, as well as serving as section leader and soloist in the Unitarian Church of Evanston's choir.  If you can’t find Jenn, the first place to check would be the garden. The second place would be wherever the cookie dough is hidden

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Mariah Sporrer

Summer Playworker

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Mariah is from Phoenix, AZ, first gained experience with childcare by volunteering as a camp counselor at an overnight camp in Flagstaff, AZ. The experience as a camper and counselor gave them a passion for childcare and nature and went on getting their first job at The YMCA. They have completed some college studying Natural Resources and Studio Art . During this time she started working in retail up until 2020 when she moved to Chicago and decided to go back into child care in 2021. Being able to help children grow and explore new things about the world has been much more fulfilling and fun for her. They now work as a SECA at Brentano Math and Science Academy. They have always been interested in crafting, the arts and the beautiful curiosities of nature and they are excited to learn alongside the children about the local nature and inner workings of playschool, once again!

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Doren Barrientes
Summer Playworker

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Doren has a background in special education and is a dedicated SECA during the school year. He has has a love and passion for making music and likes to skateboard in his free time. Doren has found a calling in early childhood development and enjoys learning and growing from new experiences. Outdoor learning is new to him but he loves the concept and is excited to be apart of the team.

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Reginald Williams

Summer Playworker

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Reginald, a proud Chicagoan, is a fun loving and curious student of life who is excited to join Wonder Woods as a playworker this summer! He studied International Affairs as an undergraduate and is fresh off the heels of completing his Masters in Teaching and his first year of teaching in CPS! When he is not serving as facilitator for young peoples’ learning, he loves studying all things Chicago and engaging with the many cultural institutions that our city has to offer. He is excited to meet and ground with the entire Wonder Woods community, and he welcomes any great music, book, and food recommendations, and he is also open to hearing any thoughts on promoting good living that you may have! Thank you.

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