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, 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.
Jackie Stevenson, Teacher
Miss Jackie had taught at Building Block for seven years before taking two years to be at home with her daughter. She graduated with her B.S. in Education from Keene State College. Jackie is excited to be back in the classroom to join in creating age appropriate learning environments that emphasize child led exploration. She is passionate on the importance of play in a young child’s development both indoors and outdoors. Jackie’s lifelong interest in art is something that she loves to incorporate into the curriculum, allowing children to express their creativity in many different mediums. Miss Jackie also greatly enjoys being in the outdoors, especially camping with her family, exploring hiking trails and investigating tide pools with her two year old. She believes that nature allows for the best opportunity to learn, no toys or materials needed!
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- 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, 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.
Miss Ashley grew up sheering sheep on a farm in southern New Hampshire and climbing trees to find the perfect reading perches. After studying journalism at Bennington College in Vermont (and reading way too much Kerouac) she set out to find her own adventure spending the next decade traveling around the US and teaching everything from sustainable agriculture and tree stewardship to classic literature and social studies. In 2012, after deciding finally that teaching really was the most fun and rewarding occupation, she graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with her BA in Sociology and minors in Education and English. Miss Ashley still reads, even in the grocery line, and takes as many classes in every subject as she can fit into her schedule. She believes that her job as a teacher is to encourage her student’s natural curiosity and to give them the tools to pursue their own questions about the world around them. She is excited to pass on her passion for learning to her class and to share her lifelong love of books.
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!'
Susan Rowe, Elementary Teacher
Miss Susan joins our team with enthusiasm, humor, and an uncanny ability to see the world through the lens of a child. Her love of the outdoors, respect for each child’s uniqueness, and ability to reach each child where they are stems from her Montessori certification. She was first drawn to this methodology of teaching once she became mom to her two beautiful children, who are growing at light speed before her eyes. These multi-aged classrooms that fostered choice, independence, and the use of hands-on manipulatives pulled her in and became her home as she put aside the Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy she received from UNH. She knew she found her niche. As a Montessori educator, she quickly realized how immersed students become with hands-on, student-led learning. This became a focus of her teaching, and also inspired her to develop STEM enrichment programs after school. Wind, water, fire, and earth are elements she is drawn to, as evidenced in her love of camping, surfing, hiking, and skiing-all of which involve spending time with her family. This love of the outdoors is evident as she blends those core values of taking care of the earth, our minds, and our bodies into her classroom. Her energy is endless, as is her enthusiasm for teaching and learning.