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Nature's Schoolhouse Team

Caring & Dedicated

Nicole Tomayko


Director // Administrator

Ms Nicole is our Director and Administrator, and the founder of our school.  Her youngest son was the driving force that led her to leave her career in technology and website operations, and open Nature's Schoolhouse. After guiding her three older children through the public and charter school systems, she knew her youngest son (and the entire community) needed something different. She is now committed to helping children explore and learn in a natural, hands-on environment.

Nicole studied Journalism and Psychology at the University of Akron in her home state of Ohio. She moved to the Austin area in 2008 and enjoys spending time at all the local parks, lakes, rivers, and streams. 

Nothing brings her more happiness than seeing the growth and evolution of our students.

Upper Elementary Teacher

Ms Kacie is the Lead Teacher for our Upper Elementary cohort. She graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and is certified to teach Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and English as a Second Language.

Kacie has long been a lover of nature and has always sought to share that love through education. This desire has led her down the alternative route of education. As she completed her schooling, she began to research different means of alternative education alongside her coursework, and she still likes to dedicate some of her spare time towards reading books of educational philosophers and alternative education practices. She also likes to dedicate time to rock climbing, gardening, writing, and playing the guitar.

Kacie Fenton


Sarah Walker


Lower Elementary Teacher

Ms Sarah is the Lead Teacher for our Lower Elementary cohort. As a mother of three girls, Sarah understands the importance of personalized learning and a nurturing classroom environment. In addition to leading a local homeschooling community, she volunteered extensively within our Nature's Schoolhouse community before joining our team officially, giving her insight into the unique needs of young learners.

Sarah's teaching philosophy centers around nurturing essential life skills like communication, self-advocacy, self-expression, and mindfulness. She believes in fostering a classroom environment where students are encouraged to explore their voices and embrace their individuality.

Additionally, Sarah is passionate about yoga, rock climbing, hiking and simply spending time in nature, and integrates these practices into her teaching to promote the well-being and emotional growth in her students.

Early Elementary Teacher

Ms Sarai is the lead teacher for our Early Elementary program. She has always had a love for nature and teaching. She has been teaching for four years and has loved every bit.

Sarai is currently completing her teacher certification alongside her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and has an Associate's degree in Family and Child Development.

She also has a passion for fitness and is a cycling instructor when she's not teaching. She loves motivating and encouraging others! 

Sarai Valenciana

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Keli Pollarine

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Student Success Coordinator

Ms Keli is our Student Success Coordinator, and works with every student who enters our school to create an Individual Learning Plan to guide them through their educational journey. She also offers tutoring and intervention services for those who need it. She is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX, with a B.A. in Liberal Arts and Communication. She has over 15 years of experience working with children from infancy through high school, including those with varying mental and physical disabilities. She is certified to teach Special Education K-12, Social Studies 4-8, and Theater Arts K-12.

Keli is passionate about understanding children's behavior and brain development; and specializes in using compassionate, ethical alternatives to ABA techniques for children with special needs. She is also a mother to 3 children who enjoys coffee, hiking, wacky accessories, and true crime stories in her personal time.

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