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Staff & Faculty


Lindsay Jalonen and Cecily Timmons share the directorship of Wild Oak School. You can learn more about Lindsay and Cecily on the Board of Directors page.

Seedling School

Sprouts Classes (mixed-age, 3s and 4s)

Rosie Morris, Lead Teacher – Sprouts

I am a nature enthusiast and believe children grow best in an environment where they can connect to their world, peers and grown ups in a natural setting.

I strive to create a safe space where they are encouraged in every way to explore and learn at their leisure while building a foundation of friendships with those they share their experiences with! Learn more about Rosie here.

Saplings Class (Kindergarten)

Kristen Perchalski, Lead Teacher – Saplings

I have just finished my tenth year of teaching! Between Atlanta, D.C., and Orlando, I have worked with children from infancy through second grade in both public and private schools. I am so excited to join the Wild Oak team!

Learn more about Kristen here.

Wild Oak School

Lower School Class

Mary Jo Ambrose, Lead Teacher – Lower School

Mary Jo fell in love with the NC mountains as a child and has since enjoyed and camping. After graduating from Wake Forest University with a bachelor’s in elementary education, she embarked on a career in outdoor education in the mountains of southern California, leading everything from natural science to ropes courses and team building. Since then, Mary Jo has taught 3rd, 4th, an 6th grades individually, as well as STEM for Kindergarten through 6th, most recently at Lake Lure Classical Academy.

Learn more about Mary Jo.

Lower/ Middle School Class

Tricia Kyzer, Lead Teacher – Middle School

I have been outside teaching and learning alongside students for more than 15 years from the swamps to the mountains. I believe we all need spaces to notice the world around us, ask questions and make connections to allow real learning magic to happen.

Learn more about Tricia here.

Afternoon Academy & Afterschool Program

Claudia Behringer-Smith, Afternoon Program Coordinator & Assistant Teacher – Sprouts

I recently graduated from the University of Central Florida where I studied psychology and education and have worked in outdoor and wilderness education for over five years as a trip leader, cabin counselor, and waterfront director. I fully believe that the most growth and independence is found in the outdoors!

Learn more about Claudia here.

Want to be an Afternoon Guide?

If you are interested in teaching at the Afternoon Academy, please email We will consider all expertise and class ideas, but are particularly interested in STEM/ STEAM, wilderness and outdoor education, visual arts, performing arts, Spanish language and culture, and music. Classes are offered to students Monday through Friday 2:15-3:35 and 3:40-5:00, typically in 5-week sessions (there are a handful of weeks that are off-schedule because of holidays).

If you are interested in working with us, visit Wild Oak’s employment page.