Amy Marotz, M.Ed

Director, Lead Guide,

Holistic Education Expert

Reiki Master

FSTI-certified guide


With 20+ years teaching experience, Miss Amy prides herself on truly hearing, seeing and valuing every individual student. She believes that the most important product of any educational system should be a happy, healthy child, balanced in mind, body and spirit. She strives to fill students with abiding love, compassion and grace for themselves, their families, and their communities at large.

As a trained studio artist, she endeavors to bring fine art into the classroom at every opportunity.  Her other passions are travel, which she channels into the school’s Roadschool trips, and animals- which are an important part of every student’s daily experience at AWS.

Amy is the parent of two sensitive, gifted children (ages 13 & 16).  She also serves as the Vice President and Holistic Schools consultant for Microschool Builders, as well as on the Board of the Good Knight Child Empowerment Network 501(c)3, based out of Beltsville, Maryland.

Jenelle DenHerder

Kindergarten & Early Elementary Guide,


Jenelle is a nurturing, creative, and fun kindergarten & early elementary guide with an 18 year background in childcare and teaching.

Her educational background includes an associates degree in early childhood development and a bachelors degree in early childhood education.

She believes children learn best through play in a calm, safe and gentle environment which has been thoughtfully curated in our classroom.

Jenelle takes a child led approach to teaching, which includes actively listening to what the children are interested in, then incorporating those interests into the lessons to foster their development. This approach develops  a love and passion for learning.

She has an organic approach to teaching and learning. Meeting the student where they are developmentally and scaffolding their growth.

She also recognizes the wisdom that nature provides and blends it into the curriculum, allowing nature to guide us as we navigate our Mother Earth during forest school.

She enjoys spending quality time with her family, watching her three young children (ages 6 mos, 5, and 8) explore the world, working in the garden, tincturing herbs, painting, and going on walks.

Victoria Blackbird

Forest Wisdom Guide

Reiki Master

Yoga Teacher (200 hrs)

FSTI-certified guide

Miss Victoria has studied Integrative Health Sciences, Complementary Alternative Medicine and Herbal Medicine and is an LGBTQ+ identifying practitioner. She works with adolescents and adults of all ages who have experienced a variety of struggles such as anxiety, traumatic stress, sensitivity, grief or loss as well as with those in transitions seeking personal growth, accountability and to manifest change. 

As Victoria works with others, she incorporates traditional energy medicine and holistic health practices to encourage transition, support healing and create a framework for each individual’s well being. She cultivates a safe and sacred space for release and processing, as well as provides tools for clients to move forward with a sense of empowerment and inner peace in their practice towards true authenticity.

With an inquisitive mind and open heart, Victoria sees and connects to magical energy in all areas of life. She seeks to guide the growing learners at AWS in that same light inviting them to build trust in themselves and engage adventurously with the world around them.



Emily Hallaway

Assistant Guide, Nutrition Program Lead


Reiki Practitioner

Miss Emily and her family (ages 6 and 10) have been a part of AWS since 2020. She has played a pivotal role in the development of our school!  She is the guide who heads up our nutrition and home economics kitchen. She also assists with classroom activities and helps our days go smoothly!

Miss Emily always has a friendly smile and encouraging words for our students during their passion project times.  She is a adept reiki practitioner and essential oil expert, and often uses her training to serve as an adjunct ‘nurse’ during the day if kids aren’t feeling 100%. 

Miss Emily also acts as a guide on many of our Roadschool trips- she is always up for adventure and learning! 


Her pup, Oliver, often accompanies her to work!


Nathan Stevensen

Caretaker, Yoga Instructor

Nathan is the friendly, caring face that starts every student’s day. He assigns and oversees daily chores!  He has a loving manner with an emphasis on kindness, inclusivity, and responsible citizenship. 

Mr. Nathan is not only our on-site caretaker, he is a NASM certified Personal Trainer, who uses his expertise to lead Monday morning yoga with our students.  He grew up not far from our school, and native, and is honored and humbled to care for the land that is so adjacent to the land his family cared for not long ago. His foster daughter lives in New Orleans, but we see her when she comes to visit and help with all the weekend chores!

He is a quiet and careful listener, creating a comfortable, warm, and encouraging environment for our students.


Heather Johnson

Assistant Guide


Miss Heather has dual teaching degrees in ESL K-12 and Spanish K-12 from Bethel University. She has studied abroad in both Costa Rica and Spain. In fact, she and her husband Kit met on a university study abroad trip to Segovia, Spain.

Miss Heather is mother to three children (ages 6, 8 and 10)and spends her ‘off-days’ teaching the Toddler Two class at Woodbury Preschool at the Grove Church.

She uses her early childhood expertise to facilitate emergent literacy and sensory activities for our younger students. She also uses her Spanish fluency to support AWS students who are studying the language.