Nature's Schoolhouse Team

Caring & Dedicated

Nicole Tomayko

Director // Administrator // Teacher

Miss Nicole is our Director, Administrator, and Lead Teacher for our Kinder/1st Grade Part-Time program.  Her youngest son, Andrew, 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

Miss 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

Natalia Macias

Natalia_edited.jpg

Lower Elementary Teacher

Miss Natalia is the Lead Teacher for our Lower Elementary cohort. She earned her BA in Holistic Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and has been a teacher for nine years. Natalia began her teaching career while living overseas in Spain, teaching ESL.  She has a passion for healing arts, wellness, and fitness, and very much enjoys fostering a sense of mindfulness in the classroom and in children’s lives.  She has been fortunate enough to have lived and traveled in many different countries, helping develop  a deep appreciation for different cultures. 

Natalia’s deepest wish as a teacher is to provide an environment where children are able to express their feelings appropriately, feel supported and cared for, build upon their skill set, and feel confident enough to take risks in a safe and encouraging space.  But most importantly, to have fun! 

When not teaching, Natalia enjoys spending time outdoors, forest bathing, cooling off in a body of water, practicing yoga or dance, exploring new restaurants, seeing live music, and traveling!

Assistant Teacher

Miss Hannah, our Assistant Teacher, recently moved to Austin from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She completed her Associate’s degree in Education at Cape Cod Community College and plans to continue her studies to get her Bachelor's degree in Education with the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher.

 

Hannah is passionate about helping children think creatively and explore their curiosity. She is patient and nurturing, and always strives to create an environment where students feel comfortable asking questions and making mistakes. In her free time, Hannah enjoys writing, embroidering, watching movies, and walking her dog.

Hannah Williams

Marcie Tomayko

School Nurse // Gardener // Handywoman

Marcie, who is lovingly referred to by our students as "Baba," is our School Nurse and garden enthusiast.  She enjoys working with the children outside and encouraging them to pave their own path. She is always spearheading some sort of project around our schoolhouse, whether it's building an outdoor sink, constructing a chicken coop, trimming tree branches so the kids can play in the shade, or reorganizing the gardens.

Marcie spent most of her nursing career in the Hospice field, where she enjoyed practicing a more natural and holistic approach to medicine. After retiring, she dedicated her time to gardening. Now, whether she's working in the garden, teaching basic life skills, or applying bandaids to scraped knees, she enjoys spending time with the children at Nature's Schoolhouse.

School Assistant

With a nurturing personality and hands-on approach towards learning, we are thrilled to have Gwenevere "Zsa Zsa" Tharp on our team. 

Gwenevere recently graduated from Cedar Park High School, where she served as an officer on the Celebrities Dance Team and graduated with a public service endorsement, specializing in Education.

Gwenevere is currently pursuing a degree in Education at Austin Community College, and hopes to be an Elementary School teacher one day.

Gwenevere Tharp

To learn more about our staff, contact us.