At Dodge Nature Preschool, early childhood development is at the core of our programs. Our staff has a strong background in education. They hold advanced degrees in various fields including early childhood education, psychology, environmental science, and art. They are certified in CPR and First Aid and have also completed numerous hours of in-service training to meet the requirements of NAEYC and state licensing. We frequently partner with local colleges and universities to place student interns and teachers in our classrooms. There are two teachers and one assistant teacher in each classroom. Our high teacher-to-student ratio of 3:18 allows for children’s learning to take place in small, intimate groups both indoors and outdoors.
Amy has her M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Sonoma State University and her B.S. in Business with a minor in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota. Before starting at Dodge, she managed preschool programs at the Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County and taught as an adjunct professor at Santa Rosa Junior College. Amy has experience teaching preschool using a Reggio Emilia approach as well as coordinating, managing and teaching family, school and camp programs in nature and environmental centers.
Joey has been a part of the team at Dodge Nature Preschool since 2003. She holds a B.A. in history from Macalester College and an M. Ed. in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Minnesota. Joey is a regular contributor to the podcast “Teaching with the Body in Mind.”
Beki has been at Dodge Nature Preschool since the fall of 2016. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Beki has worked as a newscast producer and in public relations. Most recently, she spent eight years teaching cake decorating classes.
Allison has been part of the team since 2017. Allison is alumni preschool parent and has experience as a lunch bunch, substitute and float teacher. Allison has a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Cornell and continues to grow her knowledge of early childhood and nature education through continuing education.
Anna has been a Naturalist for the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, Lowry Nature Center, Dodge Nature Center, & others. They have a M.A. in Education: Natural Sciences and Environmental Education degree from Hamline.
Anna has taught preschool and elementary students for field trip & outreach groups, often incorporating education animals in programing.
Danielle has worked as a naturalist with Minneapolis Parks and Recreation, collaborated with Minneapolis Nature Preschool, and teaches prairie ecology classes at Green Wisdom School of Botanical Medicine. Danielle received her B.A. in Gender Studies and a minor in Environment, Society and Culture from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.
Jennifer began teaching at Dodge in 2013. She earned a B.A. in Communications with a minor in Film at the University of St. Thomas and a Master’s in Education: Natural Science and Environmental Education from Hamline University. Jennifer has worked in the Bloomington school district and at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.
April has been at Dodge since 2017. She taught preschool at Fraser school and was a special education teaching assistant in Saint Paul Public Schools. She has an AS in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s in Natural Sciences & Environmental Ed. from Hamline. April enjoys camping, hiking, and canoeing with her family.
Sally holds an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from the U of MN. She has taught preschool and elementary students and holds licenses for birth through 6th grade & certification through the MN Master Naturalist program.
She volunteers as a teacher/naturalist, serves on the MAEE board and enjoys family hiking, canoeing, and more.
Katie came to Dodge Nature Preschool in the fall of 2020. Before starting at Dodge, she worked as a Naturalist at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. She has a B.A. in Biology from the University of Minnesota Morris and a Certificate of Environmental Education and Sustainability from Antioch University, New England. Katie enjoys cross-country skiing, biking, baking, and crafts.
Judy has a BA in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and Masters of Arts in Teaching: Science and Inquiry from Hamline. Judy joined the Dodge Nature Preschool team in the fall of 2017 after she supported Bud, the Dodge Nature Center eagle, as he made his home here at Dodge. She has been an Education presenter for the University of Minnesota Raptor Center and is a Master Gardener.
Kari began teaching at Dodge Nature Preschool in 2014. She has over 15 years of experience as an early childhood teacher with extensive study and experience in the Reggio Emilia Approach. Her educational background includes a B.A. from Hamline in Communications and Psychology and early childhood credits from St. Kate’s. Kari enjoys spending time with her family hiking, exploring, making music, and sharing lots of laughs.
Dasha is an alumni parent and has been at Dodge since 2016. She has her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Minnesota. She is excited to spend time with children in nature and utilize her growing knowledge of early childhood education. Dasha enjoys spending time outdoors biking, skiing, kayaking, and traveling.
Melissa received her M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University and her B.S. in Human Services from Geneva College in Pittsburg. Melissa joined Dodge Nature Preschool in 2020. Before Dodge, she taught at the Concordia University campus and was a Youth Director at the YMCA in Greensburg, PA. Melissa enjoys biking, fishing, hiking, and spending time with her husband, cat, and poodle.
Melissa received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Wisconsin and her Masters at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She joined Dodge Nature Preschool in the fall of 2015. She has experience developing curriculum for children K-8 about wellness and sustainability, curriculum built around a school garden, greenhouse, and schoolyard chickens. Melissa enjoys gardening, yoga, and exploring local parks with her family.
fionn joined the Dodge staff in 2021. They graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA with a concentration in critical media studies and filmmaking, & received a CDA teaching certification. fionn taught in various early learning settings including Reggio Emilia & Montessori-inspired spaces. they enjoy biking, outdoor adventures with their dog, and spending time near water.