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E. Cayce Dumont

President of the Board


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


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

Secretary of the Board


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.


Liliana Zarnowiecki

Director of Operations, Playworker


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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Melanie Heokstra

Treasurer of the Board, Founder


Melanie is a science and outdoor educator, and helped launch Wonder Woods, and also serves as the Treasurer. She has a passion for all things related to the natural world, and believes children--and adults--belong outside. She has worked in a variety of positions before realizing her calling as a teacher, including Director of Operations for Plant Chicago, Performance Analyst for the City of Chicago's Inspector General, and owning a renovation and repair company. She has a JD and MS in Sustainability Management from Illinois Institute of Technology, and a BA from the University of Michigan.


Bridget Bancroft

Director of Communications

Bridget is an artist, educator, gardener and mother. She has a BFA in Painting and a Masters of Arts in Teaching. She has taught Choice Based Art to Pre-K-12 students in Chicago for over 12 years. Bridget has a passion for all things education, and after working hard to design progressive, student centered spaces within the restraints of public school classrooms, Bridget is overjoyed to take her practice into the freedom of the outdoors. In addition to teaching visual art, Bridget has run gardening and nature art programs with the Chicago Park District, assisted in building out restorative practice systems within school settings, taught yoga and meditation, been a member of the artist/teacher collective Spaces for Possibilities, a member of the Radical Playworkers group, and now an active parent member of Hoyne Street Playgroup. When she isn't teaching, making art, or organizing, Bridget can be found biking and swimming outside year round, or watching in awe as her almost 3 year old grows up so incredibly quickly. 


Joanna Faye Doyle

Board Member


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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