Staff

Wren Hayes, Building Block Commons Director

Wren Hayes, Koala Teacher / Teddy Teacher / Director

The students say Wren is "the silliest" of the teachers, while the other staff members say she is actually just "the loudest." Wren is often seen leading Outdoor Classroom adventures, as her lifelong love of nature and science propel her into the great outdoors. Creative, goofy, excitable and optimistic, Miss Wren brings laughter and experience to the classroom each day. Her outgoing personality and strong community ties complement her undergraduate degree in Public Policy of Education from William Smith, Master's Degree in Teaching from UNH, her post-graduate degree in School Administration from UNE and her post-graduate certification in Curriculum Design from University of Wisconsin support her natural leadership skills. Her dedication to having a "screen free" school that still teaches coding and STEM skills is from her work programming for digital education applications and teaching online while staying home with her young children. Wren’s teaching pedagogy is heavily influenced by her work experience and studies while living in Hawaii on the works of Maria Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Rudolf Steiner (Waldorf).

David Hayes, Building Block Commons Director

David Hayes, Co-Owner/ Business Administrator

Mister David is a compassionate global volunteer with a full time job within the science and sales corporate world. (David and Wren often joke that he has to work in the corporate world to "support her teaching habit.") When in the classroom, he uses his skills from teaching Exeter Hospital’s parenting classes to create laughter and joy with the children. His business experience and compassionate personality make him an awesome fit for supporting the caring business model of Building Block School.




Wendi Friend, 4/5-Day, Enrichment Teacher and Assistant Director

Wendi Friend, Panda Teacher / Lunch Bunch Teacher / Co-Director

Wendi's warm personality and kindheartedness make her a favorite of students seeking love and support! Wendi is often seen on the floor passionately reading books to excited children, or engaging them in deep conversations at the art table. Her sense of order helps the classrooms run smoothly while her ability to be flexible makes her a perfect fit for the Pre-K age group. With a degree in Fine Arts from Emerson College and NH Early Childhood Credentials, Wendi draws on her experience as a parent and long-time Building Block teacher to create a thoughtful and inviting classroom experience.

Alice Gould, Koala Teacher / Teddy Teacher

Alice Gould, Teddy and Koala Teacher

Miss Alice is adored by the children because of her unwavering patience, her enthusiastic love of silliness and her ability to establish clear routines for the classroom. Alice is often mistaken as a child while she swings on the swings, builds amazing sand castles, and squeals with joy as she puts the last piece on a tall block tower! It is rumored (by the students) that Miss Alice knows "all the words to EVERY nursery rhyme ever written." Her love of music and rhyme help her encourage an understanding of phonemic awareness and language skills in the classroom. Alice attended Salem State College and went on to raise her son (a BBS alumni!) and then completed her NH Early Childhood credentials while working at BBS since 2011.

Carey Thomas

Carey Thomas, Carey- Kangaroo Teacher / Morning Support Staff

Miss Carey grew up in the woods of New England and felt a strong connection to nature, spending most of her time outdoors. Carey is often seen working one-on-one at the language arts center with children or telling them about the wonders of the earth during outdoor time. Carey also loves books- all kinds of books-! This love of books eventually led her to complete her bachelor’s degree in English and become a teacher. Here, she was able to combine her love of literature and the outdoors teaching urban at-risk students and guiding them on outdoor adventures. After many years of teaching, Carey took time off to raise her two children. Through their eyes, Carey has been experiencing the magic of the world all over again. Guiding her children with love and warmth, helping them to experience joyful moments in everyday life, Carey found that exploring the world with young children is what she truly loves and is completing her NH Early Childhood Credentials. With her cheerful disposition and big smile, Carey nurtures preschoolers through imaginative play, stories, songs, movement, and of course, nature.

Amy Evans

Amy Evans, Panda and Kangaroo Teacher

Miss Amy discovered her love of learning while making pine-sap mud pies and mixing “witch’s brew” in the woods beside her childhood home.  Amy is most often seen still making mud pies, getting messy at the art center, or teaching STEM skills in the Outdoor Classroom. As a summer camp art director and elementary school educator, she used her creativity, love of nature, and back-to-basics skills to shape young budding artists, nurture a love of life and learning, and to develop a love of teaching.  With a Bachelors of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Literature from Saint Michael's College and her NH Early Childhood credentials, Amy has fused her love of Children's books, her curiosity of the natural world, and her calm demeanor to help kids get messy, learn about themselves and their environment, and recognize their full potential.  She has influenced kids of all ages in and out of schools, made a living as a glass artist, and even home schooled her three sons during their formative years before joining the Building Block team.

Heather Blaisdell

Heather Blaisdell, Teacher

Miss Heather is a new addition to our team. As a mom of two young adventurous boys, she finds herself constantly outside no matter the weather. Her passions are skiing and exploring beaches with her family. Heather taught second grade for 7 years in South Portland, Maine but decided to take some time off after having her second child. She grew up in Exeter and attended the University of New Hampshire where she received her BS in Early Childhood Education and her Masters in Elementary Education. Heather has always loved working with young children and seeing the world through their eyes. She especially has a passion for reading aloud to children and planning curriculum where she can share her enthusiasm for learning. Heather’s own son recently graduated from Building Block Commons School where she volunteered and got to experience his excitement coming to school every day. Heather’s experience with teaching elementary education along with her knowledge of caring for young children make her a great addition to our Building Block team. She is extremely excited about this new teaching adventure.

Chad Verbeck, Music Teacher

Chad Verbeck, Music Teacher

Chad Verbeck is a singer/songwriter from New Hampshire and lead artist in the band Rockspring (Yes- wow- they are kind of a big deal). He has been playing music since a young age, inspired by his dad who is also a musician. Chad is a "day at home" father of three young boys while spending his nights and weekends traveling New England playing bluegrass, folk and blues shows. His sounds and songs are influenced by artists such as John Denver, James Taylor, The Who and the Grateful Dead. After multiple shows at Building Block, the children’s interest, engagement, and enthusiasm for his music made it clear that he should be a part of our staff!

Joe Karstadt, TaeKwonDo Teacher

Joe Karstadt, TaeKwonDo Teacher

Mr. Joe Karstadt began his TaeKwonDo journey over 27 yrs ago. He is a 5th Degree Black Belt and the Owner/Head Instructor of JSK TaeKwonDo, a very reputable Martial Arts and Child Development Program in Phoenix, AZ that he is now excited to be bringing to us at BBS! He is a 2x World Champion and has also been Inducted into the Official TaeKwonDo Hall of Fame. He is an Internationally recognized Instructor and a current member of the U.S. TaeKwonDo Team. While pursuing his personal TaeKwonDo goals, he has also spent the last 15 yrs of his training dedicated to sharing his love of the art with people everywhere he goes. His ability to connect with children helps bring out the very best in every student he meets. His lessons are based on respect, self control and focus to help create positive and confident young children! His feeling about Children & Martial Arts is that 'It's not just about kicking and punching...It's about the character we build in our young children today!'