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Our Team

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Natalie Jess-Fiene
Program Director and Lead Practitioner

Natalie has spent the last 15 years working outdoors as an archaeologist and silviculturalist in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Alberta. She holds an honours degree in Anthropology from Saint Mary’s University, is a certified Field Leader through the Outdoor Council of Canada, and is a certified Lead Forest and Nature School Practitioner through the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada.

Having worked through a myriad of adverse environmental conditions and challenges makes Natalie an excellent role model of resiliency and confidence. She is excited to share her enthusiasm for discovery and understanding of nature while fostering connections between children and the natural world. She believes that outdoor play and outdoor learning are the right of every child and necessary for a healthy childhood. She is excited to provide the children in her community with the opportunity to thrive and grow in Forest School. 

Natalie is interested in the history of land-use, the connection between culture and nature, and the role we can play in sustainability and environmental preservation. She believes that children must build a genuine connection with the natural world before they can truly act to protect it.

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Maya Hoehne
Support Practitioner

Maya is currently the full time forest school instructor and program director for Pictou County Forest School, but is joining us for the summer. Prior to her role with PCFS, she ran a successful dayhome in East Mountain for several years, with an emphasis on free play, and building resilience and self confidence in nature.

A loving mother of two and active outdoor enthusiast, Maya has a depth of experience working with children and sharing her love and interest in nature.

 

Formally educated in Fine Arts and Child and Youth Care, Maya returned to her lifelong passion of being in the woods, free to run wild, to play, and to discover, without the confines of “learning in a box”. Drawing on a variety of life experiences she has the ability to engage children in sharing her sense of wonder and respect for the natural world.

Maya’s belief is that by spending time in the forest, through play and invisible learning, children of all ages will gain respect, and a sense of ownership and responsibility for the natural world.

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Nicole Lennerton
Support Facilitator

Nicole is an educator by trade, teaching math and science to junior high and high school students before making the decision to stay home with her kids. She and her wife also own Enchanted Forest- Mindful Parenting.

Nicole has a passion for getting children outside, risky play, child-led learning, and guiding children in their own growth to becoming confident, happy humans.

Starting her own forest pre-school last year and running multiple programs gives Nicole first hand skills and understanding of what it will be like working at a forest school. Being able to foster a love of the natural world in children through child-led activities and interests is something she is excited to continue with Truro Forest School. She has experience being outside with groups of children, navigating their safety, their interests, their successes, and their challenges while ensuring they are having a positive experience outside.

Nicole has watched her own children, along with numerous other children in her life, thrive in these outdoor environments and can hardly wait for the spring sessions to start!

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Victor Miniotas
Support Facilitator

Victor is an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for bushcraft, orienteering, and all things fun in the forest! He has over 20 years of experience in Scouts where he is a program coordinator and mentor with the Truro Third Beavers. Victor has extensive training from various organizations including the Outdoor Council of Canada, Leave No Trace Canada, St. John’s Ambulance, and Adventure Smart.

Victor brings a valuable perspective to Forest School through his first-hand experiences with ADHD.  He believes that nature provides endless possibilities for personal growth and wellness by giving us the opportunity to develop in our own unique ways. He looks forward to supporting children who struggle in the conventional classroom by exemplifying how nature can help us thrive in all aspects of our lives.

 

Victor is passionate about connecting his community to the outdoors and he strives to dismantle barriers by working towards inclusion and accessibility for all. He enthusiastically promotes outdoor recreation, respect for the natural world, and how much fun being outdoors can be! Victor is a long-time resident of Truro, and he is delighted to finally have Forest School in his community.

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