About Nature School

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Each Class has a base camp to start and end their day but learning, play and exploration happens in all areas of camp property.

Each class has a base camp to start and end their day but learning, play and exploration happens in all areas of camp property.

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Camp Albemarle is located on 29 acres of open grass and wooded areas, and is bordered by Bogue Sound.

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Our students learn and play outdoors in all seasons, and in rain and shine.

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September 2016

Our outdoor school launched, born from a dream & a prayer. The school started as The Preschool at Camp Albemarle, offering 2 day & 3 day preschool classes, and an afternoon class for homeschool students.

April 2018

Homeschool classes for older students were added. Our name changed to Nature School at Camp Albemarle to better reflect program offerings.

September 2021

Nature School expanded to offer full day private school classes for grades K-5th.

August 2023

Nature School added a 6th grade class and began pursuing adding a full middle school through 8th by the 2025-2026 school year.

Program Philosophy

  • Sharing God’s love through His creation.
  • Connecting students to nature to inspire appreciation for the natural world.
  • Providing a safe environment to encourage exploration and learning.
  • Assisting students in their interactions with each other to promote cooperative learning and encourage problem-solving.
  • Developing activities that are focused on the individuality, abilities, and interests of each student.
  • Promoting wellness and physical strength through active play.

Our Staff

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Katie Andrews

Nature School Director 
[email protected]

Katie grew up in central NY but spent many summers visiting her grandparents in New Bern and has called Eastern NC home since 2016. She graduated with high distinction from Liberty University with a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction: Leadership and has a BA in English from the State University of NY at Albany. Katie is also a certified nature-based teacher through The Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools. She has completed professional development through Mindstretchers Academy, Project Learning Tree, Project Wild, Antioch University, and the Center for Resilient Children. She has over a decade’s worth of experience working with children of all ages and developmental abilities in diverse settings. Additionally, Katie is trained in Conscious Discipline and Responsive Classroom. Katie is passionate about expanding nature-based educational opportunities beyond the preschool years. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the outdoors and camping with her family, reading, good coffee, and baking bread.

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Elizabeth (Tibby) Barefoot

Office Assistant and School Nurse
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Elizabeth moved to Carteret County in 2017 when she and her husband decided to make their dream of living at the Crystal Coast a reality. Tibby grew up in Charlotte and spent 15 ears of her life in Raleigh after attending NC State University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Zoology and Biology. She also has a BS in Nursing. Tibby has worked as an RN in labor & delivery and post-partum, allergy and asthma, and pediatrics. In her free time, she loves spending time outdoors with her husband and two kids, running, baking and watching her husband and son fish. Tibby fell in love with Nature School after seeing her son thrive in their preschool program. She’s excited to be a part of kids growing and learning in an environment that allows them to be creative and to see God’s creation firsthand.

 

 

Preschool Teachers

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Jennifer (Jenn) Edwards

5 Day Preschool Lead Teacher
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Jenn was born in Florida but has spent most of her life in Eastern NC. Her true calling is working with children and she has volunteered and trained with various faith-based organizations as well as with the Boy Scouts of America. Jenn is a certified nature-based teacher through ERAFANS and has completed professional development through Project Learning Tree and Mindstretchers Academy and is certified in Conscious Discipline. Jenn is most passionate about facilitating wonder-based play and making enduring connections with children, inspiring them to shine. She is deepening her understanding of the benefits of outdoor learning and is particularly interested in the connection between time spent outdoors and improved mental health. Outside of work, Jenn enjoys spending time with her family - her husband is a certified EMT, she has two sons, and she homeschools her youngest. As a family, they enjoy exploring, scouting, camping and volunteering in the community.

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Megan Dettle

2 & 3 Day Preschool Lead Teacher 

Megan grew up in Indiana and attended Bellarmine University in Louisville, KentuckyShe received a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Sociology and Theology. The Marine Corps brought her family here 12 years ago and now that her husband has retired, her family has made Cape Carteret their homeMegan has worked in youth ministry, traditional schools, and the Armed Services YMCAMost recently, she has been a stay-at-home mom to three daughters and a Girl Scout LeaderShe has felt God’s call to return to teaching young children. Megan is excited to be a part of the Nature School family and combine her love of God, nature, and children in one amazing place.

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Jenn Smith

2 & 3 Day Preschool Lead Teacher 

Bio Coming Soon

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Sarah Grenier

5 Day Preschool Supporting Teacher
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Sarah attended Appalachian State University earning a degree in dietetics. She joined the Army and attended Baylor University for a Master's in Nutrition. As a dietitian, Sarah counseled everyone from children to the elderly. After serving 6 years in the military, she wanted to focus on her two kids. She attends the Unitarian Coastal Fellowship and leads a Cub Scout Den for Pack 446. Sarah is also a local artist.
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Jamie Davis-Williams

2 & 3 Day Preschool Supporting Teacher 
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Jamie grew up in Emerald Isle and has spent most of her life on the beach. After graduating from Swansboro High School, she attended Coastal Carolina Community College, getting her Associate's degree in Early Childhood Education. She has worked in various preschool settings including Excel Learning Center. Jamie currently lives in Hubert with her family, her fiancé and 11 year old son and two fur babies Meadow and Tater. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and anything involving water. One of Jamie's favorite things are dragonflies.

 

 

 

 

 

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Crystal Libby

2 & 3 Day Preschool Supporting Teacher 

Bio Coming Soon

Lower School Teachers

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Ann-Marie Robinson

Kindergarten Lead Teacher
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Ann-Marie was born and raised in Carteret County. After graduating from West Carteret, she attended NC State earning a degree in Psychology while obtaining her Elementary Education Certification from Meredith College. After returning to Carteret County, she married her high school sweetheart and began her teaching career at Morehead Middle School teaching math. After her oldest daughter was born and Bogue Sound Elementary opened, she transferred to teach first grade and later kindergarten. Three years later, her youngest daughter was born. She is retiring after 20 years from Carteret County Schools to follow God’s direction to teach in a Christian-based setting. She is active in children’s ministry at her church and has taken children’s ministry classes through Campbell University, as well as completed nature-based professional development through ERAFANS. Ann-Marie is also certified in Conscious Discipline. Outside of work and ministry, she loves boating and kayaking here at home and camping in the mountains. She is excited to see where God is leading her in this new chapter of her life.

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Jacqueline Arthur

Kindergarten Supporting Teacher & Art Teacher
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Jacqueline was born and raised in Carteret County. She graduated from West Carteret High School then attended UNC Pembroke and East Carolina University studying art and elementary education with an emphasis in reading. Being an artist, Jacqueline loves sharing her passion of art with students. She spent many of her teenage and college age years babysitting, nannying, and working in the nursery at church before beginning her career in education. Watching her mother as a teacher, she knew she wanted to follow in her footsteps but not in a traditional classroom, so she’s excited for this next step in her career in a place she feels she fits in best. Outside of work, she loves animals (horses and dogs specifically) and spending time outdoors with them. Jacqueline is trained in Conscious Discipline.

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Sharon Fulcher

Kindergarten Supporting Teacher & Guidance Counselor
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Sharon has lived in NC all her life feeling the pull of the ocean like a great orbiting moon. The beach is home, the sea spray her oxygen. She graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and Family Relations and went on to receive a Master’s degree in Special Education and a Master’s degree in Counseling Education. Her greatest pleasure has come from teaching children. Throughout her college years and beyond she was a camp counselor and assistant director at Camp Don Lee in Arapahoe. Those experiences as a student of nature and then a counselor helped her share a love of the outdoors and all its wonders.  Sharon retired once after 4 years teaching special education and then 28 years as an elementary school counselor and found it was not something she was particularly pleased with. The ocean’s waves have thrown her back on shore to return to what she loves – children laughing and learning. Outside of work, Sharon cherishes her time with her husband and grown daughter, traveling, camping and living in this little heaven on earth we call the Crystal Coast.

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Susanne Martin

1st Grade Lead Teacher 

Sue moved to Carteret County from Raleigh in July 2022 with her husband, Jim. She has a daughter Nicole who graduated from Appalachian State and her son Scott is studying at UNCW. Sue received her B.A. in Psychology from Drew University in NJ. She completed her master’s in education (counseling) at Xavier University in Ohio. Sue has spent over two decades working in Early Childhood Education as a teacher, director, and service coordinator for children with special needs. Last year, she taught fourth grade at Queens Creek Elementary School in Onslow County. She learned a lot from this experience but felt something was missing that could make the educational experience even more meaningful. When Sue learned about the Nature School, she realized that what was missing was the opportunity for her students to actively move their bodies and to learn from one of God’s greatest gifts - nature. Sue is most often found outside running/walking with her husband or at the barn with her horse during her off time. She is so excited to teach first grade, giving her all, engaging and connecting with her students, and soaking up all the school has to  offer.

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Heather Cavanagh

First Grade Supporting Teacher
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Bio Coming Soon

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Cheyenne Mendoza

3rd Grade Lead Teacher
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Cheyenne was born in the small town of Thomaston, Georgia but she grew up here on the Crystal Coast and considers both places home. She graduated from UNCW with her Bachelor's degree in Education with a focus on K-12 Spanish. She enjoys learning new languages and is fluent in both Spanish and English. Cheyenne was a homeschool student for most of grade school and because of this, she had the opportunity to work with children in a teaching role from a young age. She has a deep love and appreciation for nature, God and teaching. She is so grateful to be able to work in an environment that encourages growth in all three. Cheyenne has completed professional development through ERAFANS and is certified in Conscious Discipline. In her free time, Cheyenne enjoys hiking and going on adventures with her family, reading, photography, learning the violin and volunteering in her church’s children’s ministry.

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Gina Inman

3rd Grade Supporting Teacher

Gina was born in Jacksonville, FL in a military family and moved around a lot during her childhood. In 2001 she moved to Carteret County where she graduated from high school and then from Carteret Community College with her Associate of Arts degree. Gina has been a proud homeschooling mom for 13 years. Her favorite subjects are English and History. In her free time, she loves spending quiet evenings with her family and exploring and hiking.

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Becca Walker

3rd Grade Supporting Teacher
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Sarah McMorrow

2nd Grade Lead Teacher 
Sarah and her husband Sean moved to Eastern North Carolina in the winter of 2021. They both have a love of the ocean and the outdoors. Sarah was born and raised in West Virginia. She has also lived in Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. Sarah received a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree from Marshall University in 2007. She completed a graduate level Transition to Teaching program at Calumet College of Saint Joseph and received her Elementary Education teaching license in Indiana and most recently North Carolina.  Sarah has worked with children of different ages and developmental abilities in a variety of educational and childcare settings for the past 18 years.  She is very excited to continue her career path at Nature School. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her 2 dogs. She loves hiking, photography, and traveling.
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Anna Harris

2nd Grade Supporting Teacher 
Anna graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. After graduation, Anna spent three years as a behavior technician for children with autism. While working on her Master of Education in School Counseling degree, Anna is familiar with Nature School and excited to be a part of the Nature School family. She looks forward to seeing students share God's love through his creation and learn within their natural environment. Outside of work, Anna enjoys spending time with family, friends and her fur babies.
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Bethany Cordero

4th-6th Grade Lead Teacher 
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Bethany was born and raised in Forsyth County but spent her vacations in Emerald Isle and dreamed of calling the beach home. In 2013 this dream became a reality as she and her husband moved to Carteret County to start a family. Bethany has her Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing with a minor in Psychology and a teaching certification in Elementary Education from UNCW. After spending a few years in the business world, Bethany followed God’s leading to make a switch to teaching and has taught 1st, 2nd, and 5th grades as well as been an academic interventionist, until her children were born. Bethany feels blessed to be able to send her boys to a faith-based and nature-centered school and is excited to join the staff after years as a Nature School parent. Outside of work, Bethany and her family are very involved in their church, and they love spending time together as a family. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, boating, paddleboarding, reading, biking and family game nights.

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Kaliegh Blevins

4th-6th Grade Supporting Teacher

Kaliegh arrived to NC in 2020 by way of Kodiak, AK, joining the Nature School team soon after her move as a preschool and Sprouts supporting teacher. Before her move she spent several years teaching special education in Alaska and is an avid lover of the outdoors. Kaliegh loves that nature school is not like a typical classroom and was drawn to this mode of education because of how being outside in nature inspires her teaching and promotes feelings of wellness. Her goal is to learn more teaching strategies that will have her students hooked and wanting to learn more. Outside of work, she loves coffee, hiking, fishing and foraging with her family, as well as cooking and baking for family and friends.

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Suellen Leonard

6th Grade Science and Math Teacher

Suellen was raised on a farm in Oak City,  North Carolina. Pursuing a degree in science education,  she attended NCSU, where she met her handsome husband,  Nate. Suellen taught four years as a high school biology and earth science teacher before becoming a mom. Being a mom to Pierce, Creed, and Selwyn has been an awesome and transformative journey for her.  She also enjoys serving at her church in many roles,  where her husband is senior pastor.  Few things bring her as much joy as working with young people. Suellen has a passion for foster/adoptive families and helps to lead the Family Matters support community.  She has held a variety of teaching positions but most recently has taught sewing and calligraphy at the community college and in the community. She loves how these hobbies help her share her love for God with others. In her spare time,  she loves to hike, throw a cast net, sew up some new clothes, brew another pot of coffee, try a new craft, listen to a Tim Keller podcast, or watch some HGTV.  

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Faith Seigle

6th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher

Faith grew up in the Tampa Bay area of Florida but has lived most of her life inwestern North Carolina. Her family moved to Goldsboro in 2005, and made Carteret County their home in 2018.  Faith and her husband have two grown sons and one precious daughter in law, who all reside in the Durham area. Faith graduated from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee with bachelor's degree in elementary education and middle grades language arts. Additional certifications include reading specialist and science. Her NC teaching license is current to 2027 and she is Montessori certified for ages 2-7. Outside of work, Faith enjoys travel, college football (Go Heels!), and a warm cup of coffee.

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Michael Grantham

Lead Teacher
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Michael has lived in Eastern NC his whole life. He graduated from East Carolina University with a BS in Business Management and he is currently serving in the NC Army National Guard. He has worked in the private and public sectors of education for over 7 years and has also been teaching for over 20 years through the Boy Scouts and swimming lessons. Michael is proudly an Eagle Scout. Michael has his initial teaching certification through the Association of Christian Schools International and is certified in Conscious Discipline. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, offshore fishing and bowling. He loves teaching outside where students’ attention spans are increased and more learning can happen than by being in a classroom all day.

Homeschool Program Teachers

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Kelly Justice

Sprouts Lead Teacher
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Kelly grew up in Wilson, NC and spent her weekends and summers here on the coast. She graduated from East Carolina University with a B.S. in Finance and worked in accounting and finance until she and her husband were blessed with their two amazing girls. They moved to Carteret County for the small-town life and she became a stay-at-home mom and then a homeschool mom. Kelly spends her days with her girls learning, playing with their Boxer puppy, hiking nature trails, gardening, cooking and baking, doing arts and crafts, singing and playing music and enjoying each other’s company.  Kelly is also a Girl Scout Troop leader of 19 precious girls and is passionate about teaching them important life skills, how to enjoy and care for nature, to be good citizens and to be courageous and strong. She has a lifelong passion for learning and is currently improving her Spanish, guitar playing and growing her green thumb.

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Laurie Power

Eco Explorers Lead Teacher

Laurie is an avid homeschool mom and has been a part of the nature school family since 2017.  Laurie has her B.S. in biology and studio art and moved from Ohio to NC as a graduate student in Marine Science at UNC Chapel Hill.  Before starting her family, Laurie was a lab researcher at marine labs around the country.  Locally, she was the Outreach Coordinator for the Aquarium at PKS, traveling with animals and teaching in schools across the state.  She was also an educator for Maritime Museum here in Beaufort, and has held many different positions teaching learners of all ages both indoors and as well as adventure programming outdoors. Laurie lives in Otway with her husband and two children, and a small zoo of pets both furry and feathered.  She loves being outdoors and on the water, paddle boarding, sewing, and traveling.

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Rachel Page

Sprouts Supporting Teacher
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Rachel graduated from the University of NC at Charlotte with a major in English and a minor in linguistics. She has previously worked with children on the autism spectrum for over three years, however after having her own child she decided a change of pace was needed and found Nature School. Rachel is eager to dive into the nature school way, combining her passion for the outdoors and working with children. In her free time, she enjoys biking, kayaking, and camping with her husband and son.

 

 

 

 

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Elijah Rosado

Eco Explorers Supporting Teacher
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Elijah was born and raised in Eastern North Carolina. He loves teaching and has spent years helping children learn and be more excited about learning. Elijah comes from a church background, where he has helped teach Sunday school, as well as Vacation Bible School classes. One of the things that he is most excited for is being able to help children experience wonder and be excited about nature and learning. When Elijah isn’t at work, he loves quality time with friends, road trips, sightseeing, and is passionate about cooking.