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ABOUT US

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CHILDHOOD

Childhood is the foundation of a healthy, productive life. We honor, protect and nurture the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual being of the developing child.

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COMMUNITY & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

We value an atmosphere of social renewal and stewardship in which individuals flourish and can contribute to the greater good of all.

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IMAGINATION & CREATIVITY

We believe that imagination and creativity are fundamental. Art, music, and movement are integral to our curriculum.

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INDEPENDENCE

We value the freedom to educate according to the needs of each child, so they may become free, independent thinkers.

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PASSION & COMMITMENT

We are committed to nature and to people. We share our passion with others to connect people with nature and to inspire everyone to be stewards of the environment.

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LOVE OF NATURE

We value the diversity and resilience of nature and treasure its beauty. Nature sustains and renews us, provides unexpected moments of joy, and inspires our daily work.

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INSPIRING ACTION

We believe that every person was born with unique abilities and talents for a specific, beautiful purpose to effect positive change.

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TEAMWORK

We work together to embrace opportunities and challenges in an ever-changing world. We encourage creativity, innovation, and action while respecting individual points of view.

OUR TEAM

Nashira Tuing
Nashira Tuting
Academic Director

Nashira earned her Bachelor's Degree in Human Development, and a Master's Degree in Education Administration. Nashira is a lifelong learner and is currently pursuing her PhD in Human Rights with a focus on Children's Rights. She is passionate about ensuring every child has a right to education, health, physical/emotional safety and happiness.

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Before joining Healing Roots Nashira spent several years consulting for schools on their social-emotional health programs and Restorative Justice programs for students. She spent three years on the Administration of the Anchorage Waldorf School and six years teaching in, promoting and running a Waldorf-inspired community school in Florida. Prior to teaching, she was a counselor at a domestic violence shelter, and worked as a birth and postpartum doula. Attending many home births and teaching lactation education. 

In her down time Nashira is an avid writer, volunteers at her local library, loves to travel, practices yoga and takes long-distance backpacking treks. Nashira has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (Georgia – Maine), the Florida Trail, and sections of the Pacific Crest Trail. She loves to be outdoors with her three daughters, who have joined her on many of these long-distance journeys.

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Leah Willis
Office Manager and Enrollment Coordinator

Early on in Leah's education she received distinguished recognition from the Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators for Academic Achievement and Citizenship. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Dance from California State University, Long Beach, and her Master’s Degree in Business Administration. 

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While studying business, she founded a nonprofit organization. Presently, The organization places Dance curriculum, nutrition education and career programs into underserved schools and facilities.

Her organization has partnered with entities including: the Long Beach Unified School District, Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada and St. Louis, Missouri, St. Louis Public Schools and We Rock The Spectrum Kids Gym Corp. Students experience guest artist workshops, service learning projects to improve their communities, and learn dance technique and discipline in seven different disciplines of Dance. 

Leah has performed as a Company Member of the renowned Jefferson Dancers touring the US, SMC’s contemporary dance ensemble Synapse Dance Theater, and was personally selected by world renowned West African Dance Master, Nzingha Camara, to join the company: Ballet Kouman Kele.

For fun Leah loves to dance, cook, swim and travel. Throughout her endeavors, she joyfully homeschools her two young children. She has an eclectic mix of professional and performance experience and is very eager to share this passionate journey for many years to come.

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Jen McCluskey
Business Administrator

 From a young age, Jen yearned to travel the world. She  journeyed solo across the globe spending long stints of time in Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Being a talented artist she graduated with a degree in Graphic Design, and later she started her own graphic design business. 

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She lived many years in an off-grid yurt and became a sailor. During her travels she learned the art of Kriya Yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation. She studied to become a practitioner so she could support and guide others to discover their own innate ability to heal and maintain health and happiness. 

Jen loves mountain biking, hiking, swimming, kayaking, and skiing but her favorite way to pass the time is adventuring in the outdoors with her daughter. Jen's passion is to help raise children to be good citizens; to create a better world. 

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Debbie D.
Community Connections and Relations

Debbie's accomplishments include studies in Art, Engineering, Organizational Leadership and Early Childhood through 6th Grade education. As a natural born grassroots organizer, Debbie dove into the world of education and created a local whole-child, nature based community learning center.

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The community center eventually transformed and grew into a PK-8 farm, art, and forest school located on 30 acres of pristine woods, creeks, and waterfalls. Debbie is currently working on completing her Masters in Experiential Education. 

For fun Debbie loves to play her ukulele, cook, sing, hike, play with her puppy and paddle board on the River.  Debbie herself is extraordinarily fun.  She loves to laugh and dance, and she is always creating new, exciting, important things that help heal and improve our world.  Through all of her eclectic experience and journey she lovingly homeschooled her three children for most of their early education. Children are her favorite.   

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Natalie R.
Past and Present Studies Teacher

Natalie's love of history began when she was a child while listening to her grandfather talk about his time in the U.S. Navy during World War II. She went off to obtain her Bachelors degree in Secondary Education and her Masters degree in History at Stony Brook University. 

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Natalie has been teaching for over thirteen years in both Long Island, New York and New York City. She has taught an array of subjects including American history, European history, Art, and many more. She enjoys watching students come alive in the classroom and is committed to making a difference in the educational system. 
 
While Natalie is not teaching, she enjoys both domestic and overseas travel, making and designing her own clothes, grappling with DIY projects, researching genealogy, and spending time with her husband and teenage son. 

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Medinah E.
Science Teacher

Medinah has been teaching middle and high school Science for 9 years in the public school sector. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a Minor and concentration in Secondary Education.

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 She received her Master’s Degree in Special Education. In 2020, she became fondly known as the "Science Teacher Mom" because of her exciting and compassionate help given to homeschooling parents and teachers to engage their learners, by delivering impactful STEM kits! Medinah’s passion is to guide the minds of these young scientists in each classroom by showing them that science can be fun, accessible, and interesting!  If she’s not doing science activities with her sons, you can find her traveling the world, indulging in a good book or hanging out with her family!

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Veronica H.

Spanish Immersion Teacher

Veronica was born in Spain and spent her childhood between Spain, Venezuela and the US. She earned her Bachelors Degrees in Journalism and Spanish. 

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Veronica has been teaching for over 15 years, working with immigrants, families and children in the US and abroad. She has taught English to children and adults in Spain and Taiwan. In the US she taught ESL, Family Literacy and Civics in adult education programs in southern Arizona. More recently, she worked in Montessori and STEM schools diving into experiential and project-based learning which allowed her to integrate her creativity and love for the outdoors with her students in classes such as school gardening.

In her free time Veronica loves to spend time learning about the various native plants and birds in her environment, observing her ecosystem and finding ways to be more in harmony with the world.

She is especially interested in learning about land stewardship practices such as regenerative agriculture. She also enjoys doing volunteer work in Spanish. Veronica and her husband live a peaceful life and enjoy meditating, exercising and being in nature.

 

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Jessica Hewitt
Art, Health and Outdoor Education Teacher

Jessica has worked within the field of education for close to 15 years. She began as a para educator at a therapeutic day school which encouraged her to earn her Bachelors in Elementary Education with a Special Education Endorsement.

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Since welcoming her first child, she has focused her education efforts on understanding child development and specifically the importance of play in development. With her new understanding she created Outdoor Education classes that center around supporting families at play while offering nature related themes tied to mindfulness, yoga and SEL. Seeing the need for social emotional learning, Jessica decided to continue her education by earning a Masters Degree in SEL. This has allowed her to consult with families on an individual basis, working with parents to find creative ways to build on their strengths, restore family balance, find ways to play, and lean into joy. Jessica adores all things creative and opportunities to learn. She can often be found with her hands in the dirt or in a beautiful bread dough, after she’s washed them of course!

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Jennifer C.
Music Teacher

Jen (B.F.A., M.Ed.) is a classically trained pianist and violist. During her 30 years experience as a performer and educator she has seen firsthand how the transformative power of collaborative music making can be used to achieve outstanding results. Jen sees music as a way to bring transformative experiences into lives.

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She loves  steel drums because their sound is relaxing and inviting, like a tropical breeze.

Under Jen's guidance, musicians experience creativity, joy, and camaraderie. Moreover, successful music- making reveals itself through the process, paving the way for genuine team building and innovation.

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Jen B. 
Teacher Coordinator

Jen earned her Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on Education, and an endorsement in Linguistically Diverse K-12 Education. In addition to educating children, she has a passion for health and wellness. 

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She recently graduated from a Holistic Nutrition Program and holds a Level II Reiki Certification.

Jen is creative and encourages her students to think “outside the box.”  She uses this knowledge to help her be a better teacher. Jen believes in helping kiddos learn how to nurture mind, body, and soul health at a young age so they can live their best life. Nature really inspires Jen, so in her downtime you will find her with her daughters, mostly outdoors, doing anything active. They love adventuring to new places and discovering new things. They spend time volunteering at local horse rescues. I am sure you guessed… Some of them found their forever home with Jen! Animals seem to find their way to her. Would you believe that she has had BLM mustangs and even a buffalo show up at her house?



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Trevor S.
Math Teacher

Trevor began working in schools and educational programs when he was 16. His love of education and working with kids began when he was hired by his 3rd-grade teacher as an assistant at his local after-school program. Trevor was then promoted to Site Coordinator of the program.

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He worked alongside many different students and staff to introduce new physical and educational activities. He did not want the program to simply be an after-care center for the students to complete their homework, but somewhere they were excited to go that would also continue their education past the normal hours of the school day. 

Teaching remotely has become second nature for Trevor. In 2020, he began working as a Remote Learning Teacher, hosting a classroom of a dozen students ranging from Kindergarten age all the way to 6th grade. In an online “One-Room School House” he was challenged by having to jump from subject to subject, grade to grade, all while keeping the students under his care safe online, and making it to their online classes on time! During this online teaching adventure, Trevor became very familiar with all things tech relating to online learning. He began developing and integrating a myriad of online education tools to provide children with the best education. 

As much as Trevor loves working with students and teaching, he does have other hobbies too! During his free time, Trevor loves to listen to music and play the Pokemon Trading Card Game. Trevor has been avidly collecting Vinyl records for years now and has amassed a pretty sizable collection of all of his favorite artists and albums. He loves to go thrifting, swim, and try new food! 

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Coming Soon:
Social Emotional Learning Specialist