MCCLC Staff

PRESCHOOL TEACHERS

Jenna Plotkin | Preschool Teacher


Education & Experience: Jenna is a mother of three and has been working with preschool age children for 6 years, and is currently working towards her degree in early childhood education. Teaching Philosophy: “If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.” - Rachel Carson Favorite thing about kids: My favorite thing about working with preschoolers is their sense of wonder and innate curiosity. I love being asked “why?”, taking the layers away and getting to the purest and simplest reasoning. It makes me stop and think about things in a way I haven’t before.





KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS

Kate Eckhardt | KINDERGARTEN TEACHER


Education & Experience: Kate has a Master's Degree in Environmental Leadership from Naropa University. She has taught preschool, environmental education, kids' yoga, and creative movement for many years. Interspersed with her time teaching, she has worked for several environmental nonprofits, recently running a Farmers' Market in Asheville. She has studied permaculture and herbalism, and has worked on several farms in WNC. Teaching Philosophy: "The courage to teach is the courage to keep one's heart open in those very moments when the heart is asked to hold more than it is able so that teacher and students and subject can be woven into the fabric of community that learning, and living, require." Parker Palmer Favorite thing about kids: Their joy & enthusiasm is contagious!

Favorite thing about working at WBNS: TI have found my dream job at WBNS! We have a fabulous school community, and I get to share many of my passions in the realms of farm, arts, and forest with the kids.




Lou Zeller | KINDERGARTEN TEACHER


Education & Experience: Lou has earned an Associates Degree in Educational Sciences for Early Childhood, and has been teaching young children for 20 years. She taught for 3 years in a 1 year old classroom, 4 years in a 3 year old classroom, 11 years in a 4-5 year old classroom, and now 2 years teaching kindergarten. Teaching Philosophy: "Change the world, one child at a time." Favorite thing about kids: My favorite thing about children is their curious nature and spirit. Young children are so eager to learn about the world around them. I feel honored that I get to witness and be part of their discoveries and accomplishments. Favorite thing about working at WBNS: My favorite thing about teaching at WBNS is how connected our students are to nature. Having access to woods, creeks, fields, dirt, sticks, and rocks inspires their creativity, enhances their awareness, and nurtures their compassion for each other and the world around them.





ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS

1ST - 4TH GRADE

Jenna Plotkin | Preschool Teacher


Education & Experience: Jenna is a mother of three and has been working with preschool age children for 6 years, and is currently working towards her degree in early childhood education. Teaching Philosophy: “If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.” - Rachel Carson Favorite thing about kids: My favorite thing about working with preschoolers is their sense of wonder and innate curiosity. I love being asked “why?”, taking the layers away and getting to the purest and simplest reasoning. It makes me stop and think about things in a way I haven’t before.





MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS

5TH - 8TH GRADE

Jenna Plotkin | Preschool Teacher


Education & Experience: Jenna is a mother of three and has been working with preschool age children for 6 years, and is currently working towards her degree in early childhood education. Teaching Philosophy: “If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.” - Rachel Carson Favorite thing about kids: My favorite thing about working with preschoolers is their sense of wonder and innate curiosity. I love being asked “why?”, taking the layers away and getting to the purest and simplest reasoning. It makes me stop and think about things in a way I haven’t before.





SUPPORT STAFF

Josie Mundy| Preschool Director


Education & Experience: Josie has an Associates Degree in Educational Sciences for Early Childhood, and has been teaching preschool for 11 years. She also is a Level 2 Administrator and is in her 2nd year of being the Administrator for The Hot Springs Community Preschool. She will be starting her journey to earn her BA in Early Childhood Administration this fall. Teaching Philosophy: "A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” ---Brad Henry Favorite thing about kids: I love the children's spirits. I love that being around them everyday makes me the happiest I've ever been at a job, if you wanna call it that. I love their sense of wonder and imagination. I love when they show their excitment because they acomplished a task or learned something new. I'm thankful that so many parents share their children with me to help them grow and learn in a fun, hands on, experience.




Deborah DeLisle | Founder & 4th & 5th Grade Teacher


Education & Experience: I earned an Associates of Science in Art & Eengineering from Monroe County Community College in Michigan, and a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood, and a K-6 teacher license from Western Carolina University. I have completed some graduate work in Early Childhood Adminstration with the University of North Carolina and I am currently working on graduate work in Experiential Learning with Concordia University. I am a grass-roots innovator with a deep love for small town community living and have designed several businesses over the years to help meet the needs of it's people. I have been working with children for over 25 years and plan to do so for at least 25 more! Teaching Philosophy: "Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime" ― lots of people claim this one! Favorite thing about kids: I love the way they dress. Favorite thing about wokring at MCCLC: I am truly in love with this community. In all it's "realness", with our differences, our creativity, our bold bravery and commitment to children, I am continually amazed, inspired, and energized by this project and the people who fuel it.




Lenore Luster | K-8 School Director


Education & Experience: I am a graduate of The University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. I was employed by Pittsburgh Public Schools for 8 years before moving to TN and joining the amazing staff at Hot Springs Community Learning Center! I have been with Madison County Community Learning Centers ever since! Currently, I am the Business Administrator for MCCLC. Teaching Philosophy: "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." John Muir Favorite thing about kids: Their amazing ability to call it like it is and keep you on your toes! Favorite thing about working at WBNS: I feel so fortunate to work at WBNS! I get to spend my days on our beautiful 30 acres, work with the most amazing staff, and hang out with the coolest kids! I pretty much learn something new each day!





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