K-2 Educators

3 - 5 Educators   6-7 Educators   EC/Intervention   Enrichment/Electives   After School

Kelly Anderson, Kindergarten

Kelly relocated to Western North Carolina in 2018 from the Green Mountains of Vermont. She grew up with an appreciation of the outdoors and is excited to continue exploring the mountains here. Kelly studied at both the University of Vermont and Castleton State College in Southern Vermont. She taught in Vermont’s school system for 13 years with most of her experience at the middle school level. She has a passion for teaching math and believes that student voice is an integral part of education. In addition to teaching, Kelly also spent many hours with her students coaching and officiating both soccer and basketball. One of Kelly’s favorite places to travel is to the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica where she has been a student as well as a teacher to English language learners. Kelly and her two dogs, Finn and Stout are pleased to call Hendersonville their home, and she is thrilled to be a part of the FernLeaf Community!

Lucy MacGregor, Kindergarten

Lucy is deeply honored to spend her days with children. She is inspired daily by their love, curiosity, authenticity, and presence to life. While she is a guide to their learning at school, she is clear that each day, the children are teachers to her. She knows for sure that the connection she makes with each child is a gift to her heart each and every day.  

Lucy earned her master’s degree in education at Antioch University and her early childhood Montessori credential through The Center for Guided Montessori Studies. She has been teaching in various forms all her adult life and in early education for the past 12 years. 

Lucy believes that early childhood is a sensitive and powerful time in a child’s life as young students learn and grow through self-directed, hands-on exploration with the environment. She creates a rich and nurturing learning space where children can explore their interests, discover the wonders of the world, learn about themselves, and develop friendships.

Lucy’s own childhood was spent in Northern Ireland where she grew up before her family immigrated to the United States and settled in Virginia. Since then she has lived in California, Oregon, and Colorado before moving to North Carolina to work with North Carolina Outward Bound School as a rock climbing instructor. Her roots and family have grown here in North Carolina, where she shares her life with her teenage children, Elijah and Rowan, and their many furry animal friends. 

Lucy enjoys sleeping under the stars, hiking, rock climbing, and floating down rivers. She is honored to be part of the FernLeaf community and to pass on the good that she has been gifted through her relationships with her own teachers.


Amy Schmitte, Kindergarten (Teacher Assistant)

Amy grew up in Syracuse, NY, where her childhood spent outside fostered her love for the environment. She earned a bachelor’s degree in conservation biology at the State University of New York. During her college career, she spent her time gaining experience in the environmental field. She volunteered at a local wildlife rehabilitation center and worked as a hellbender salamander field research assistant. During her senior year, Amy fell in love with environmental education and decided to pursue that interest. She interned at a local nature center working with environmental educators teaching children in Syracuse city schools about the nature that surrounds them. Her love of all things nature led her to move to Western North Carolina. She served with AmeriCorps Project Conserve for two years in Tryon, North Carolina as the education assistant at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center. She taught children in grades k-5 in schools, on field trips, and during summer cam


Launa Tierney, Kindergarten (Teacher Assistant)

Launa joined the Fernleaf family from the Hendersonville Community Co-op. Her passion for nurturing children is not a new one. Originally from Michigan, Launa spent years nurturing children through Girl Scouts, coaching middle school and high school athletes and as a parent volunteer at the schools of her three children. Launa received her associates in business while raising her children into successful adults. Being a present parent was and still is an important aspect of her life. Launa’s mission has always been to help every child believe in their full potential just like she did for her own three children.

Launa and her husband, Sean, fell in love with WNC in 2006 while visiting Clemson with their middle daughter. Somehow, still not sure how they happened upon Hendersonville, but they fell in love, set their mind to move here, and seven years later, here they are.

Launa’s daughter Tinesha and her husband Josh followed them to live and work in Hendersonville. Tinesha and Josh have added a grandson and soon another grandchild. Her daughter Aubin lives and works in Greenville. Her son, Connor and wife Maddie live and work in Michigan.

In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, and getting lost in her genealogy research.


Jennifer Love, 1st Grade

Jennifer grew up in Richmond, Virginia, but fell in love with the mountains of Western North Carolina as a student at Warren Wilson College. She graduated with a degree in Elementary Education, and began teaching in Henderson County that fall. After eight years of teaching, Jennifer took a few years off to raise her two children and to serve as a founding board member of FernLeaf. She has a passion for play-based learning and strives to differentiate and make learning fun for her students. She has a love for children's literature (with a particular love for Roald Dahl) and finds great delight in sharing her favorite books with her students. In her free time, she loves distance running, listening to music, traveling, cooking, and going on adventures with her family and friends.

Michele Corral, 1st Grade

Michele is an Asheville native (yes… really, a native). She graduated from UNC Asheville, and taught at Hall Fletcher Elementary for 10 years. She has a passion for environmental education, hands-on activities, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) projects and brain-based learning. While working at Hall Fletcher, she helped lead a pilot program that implemented commercial composting districtwide. She also led efforts that resulted in the school winning the Elementary Solar Schools Challenge in 2015. Most recently, Michele served on Hall Fletcher’s digital leadership team where she helped create engaging lessons with stop-motion animation and STEAM-based projects.

Michele is a mom to two sweet children, Kauis and Mila, and life partner to Chris.


Billy Hoyle, 1st Grade (Teacher Assistant)

Billy was born in Marion, North Carolina, but now calls Asheville home with his wife, Ginny, and Bunnies, Ollie and Piper. He went to Appalachian State University for his Bachelor Degree in Recreation Management. He has been working with youth since he was 16 years old, teaching outdoor skills at Camp Bud Schiele. Since then, he has tried on many hats. Some of his favorites were as a Ranger for the Tongass National Forest in Juneau Alaska, a shipboard naturalist for Disney Cruise Line, and most recently he has been a Program Supervisor and Director of Camp-Wide Activities at Talisman Summer Camp in Zirconia. Billy believes the house of tomorrow is built on the foundation of today. In his free time, he can most likely be found traveling, gardening, backpacking, playing video games, or learning the banjo.


Sarah Bachler, 2nd Grade

Sarah grew up outside of Chicago. She then moved to the mountains and attended the University of Vermont where she lived in applied housing for environmentally conscious students and found her deep love for hiking and gardening. While at UVM, Sarah obtained a dual license in Special Education and Elementary Education. Throughout college Sarah volunteered at a family shelter and helped to run an art therapy program for the children living there. She also mentored a teenager with autism throughout college through a village mentoring type program. Sarah completed her student teaching at a magnet school with a sustainability focus. She worked with many refugee students and decided to dedicate a year after college to relocate to Thailand. Upon returning to the US, Sarah moved to Asheville (hoping to find a warmer Vermont) and began work at CooperRiis, a holistic healing community, and working at a Montessori preschool.

Prior to joining FernLeaf's teaching staff, she spent a year working with our EC Department.

Sarah likes to spend time with friends, go hiking in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, and taking art classes.


Whitney Mebane, 2nd Grade

Born and raised in coastal Massachusetts, Whitney received her master's degree in education from Antioch University. During her studies, she spent a semester in New Zealand studying various ecosystems while creating and implementing an environmental education curriculum. Her time there marked the beginning of a wanderlust that has carried her far and wide. She spent a year in Hawaii teaching on the North Shore of Oahu, she has backpacked extensively throughout the world, from the deserts of the Southwest to rain forests of Tahiti, she lived on a 150-foot schooner in the Caribbean, and has studied the rain-forests and marine ecosystems of both Belize and Guatemala. Whitney, and her husband, Jason, moved with their two Saint Bernard dogs from Seattle, where she taught for over nine years and helped establish STEAM programs and curriculum, to WNC for the opportunity to be part of the FernLeaf community. As a family, when they aren't travelling, they like to take hikes and see live music.

Zack Johnson, 2nd Grade (Teacher Assistant)

Zack grew up in Williamsburg, VA and spent most of his adult life in Charleston, SC. He fell in love with the mountains on an anniversary trip and finally moved to the Hendersonville area in 2014.

Having always been a lover of history, he spent time working both in museums and historical interpretation. Most recently, he has spent 15 years in public libraries promoting literacy and a love of reading to children and young adults. A strong passion for storytelling has developed during those years in libraries as well! For a short time, he taught at a private school in Charleston, SC which primarily used project based learning, and has also taught American history through an online learning platform.

Zack enjoys spending time with his wife and three wonderful children! Also - camping, hiking, cooking, music, literature (he’s a sci-fi guy,) and theater are other interests and passions.

Being a part of the FernLeaf team allows him to cultivate a caring and creative learning environment and he is always looking for those moments when students light up with understanding!