Natalie’s passion for teaching can be traced back to childhood when she would line up her stuffies and “teach” them using a chalkboard in her bedroom. She grew up in Tampa, FL where her passion for the natural world was born while spending her summers on small islands, exploring mangroves, saltwater biomes and wetlands. She has lived in these majestic mountains of Western North Carolina for the past 9 years, studying and immersing herself in the unique flora and fauna of this diverse area. Natalie was able to share her love of nature with many students for nearly 20 years, having taught children ages birth to 5th grade.
Natalie is an advocate for young children with a passion for outdoor education and mindfulness in early childhood. She believes in nurturing the whole child with an emphasis on the unique spirit of each individual.
During the 2020 school year, she started a micro-school with her husband to support students with virtual school and to provide a safe and emotionally supportive space for learning and growing, in-person, during a global pandemic. She says it was the most important work she's done thus far in her teaching career. Those experiences prepared her to meet the ever evolving needs of her students at FernLeaf Community Charter School.
Natalie holds a master’s degree from University of South Florida, where she majored in Early Childhood Education. When she is not busy with teaching, she can be found hiking, camping, and traveling with her husband, Xavier and their 5 children together.