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Kristen Perchalski, Lead Teacher – Saplings

My name is Ms. Kristen, and I am a Saplings teacher. I have taught for over 10 years, and between Atlanta, D.C, and Orlando, I have worked with children from infancy through second grade in both public and private schools. I have a masters in education and love watching young children discover themselves and each other through play-based experiences. 

I am so excited to be a part of the Wild Oak team! I grew up in New Jersey and Georgia and graduated from New York University, where I also volunteered in my sister’s classroom. When I worked with AmeriCorps in the Atlanta public schools, I realized I wanted to pursue education, so I went to the University of Pennsylvania to get my masters in teaching.

My first teaching job was at an adorable converted house in Atlanta where I had a group of ten four and five year olds for a half-day program. From there, I moved to Northern Virginia and taught second grade in a high-needs public school. Then I moved to Orlando and had the opportunity to teach at both a Reggio-inspired preschool and an elementary charter school. Before moving to WNC, I returned to Georgia and had a blast teaching public Pre-K. When I found my way to Hendersonville, I was fortunate to find Wild Oak and become a founding member of this amazing space for learning!

My Favorite Things

I absolutely love being able to teach creatively through play. Having the opportunity to also get out in nature with students every day is a dream come true. Outside of the classroom, I love exploring the outdoors with my daughter Anya and my sister Erica and her family. I also love to read, paint, care for animals, and travel to new places.

My Philosophy

At one of the schools I worked at, the famous quote painted on the wall in the lobby was, “Children are not things to be molded, but people to be unfolded.” I think about those words often as an early childhood educator. Every day I have the privilege of helping our little people unearth who they are. I take my responsibility seriously to create a safe, loving, challenging environment for them to take on this exploration.