Meet Our Teachers
Here to Help Students Grow
We have a fantastic team of caring and supportive instructors. All Oak Rose Forest School staff are passionate about making a difference in children's lives, through their tireless dedication and drive to build heart-centered, child-led learning experiences through play, awe & wonder. Get to know our committed team and their role in continuing our tradition of re-wilding young humans.
Founder & Director
Ms. Caitlyn grew up in Florida across from a nature preserve. She spent much of her childhood exploring, building forts, playing and pretending to be a witch in those woods with her sisters and friends. In many ways, the forest has called her back, and she's be given the mission to re-wild children in nature.
She is a poet with an MFA in Creative Writing, an educator with an MA in Education, and a certified in Forest & Nature educator. She is also a licensed hypnotherapist & Shamanic practitioner studying animism and indigenous ways of living & thinking. Currently, she is receiving a certification in forest therapy & sanctuary.
She has been working with & teaching children of all ages for around 15 years. Her vision for healing and reimagining education inspired and informed her journey and experiences. She designed this program after becoming a mother to a highly spirited wild-child, and serving in a variety of roles within the school system (teacher, mentor, department head, assistant principal, director of admissions & outreach, head of school, head of curriculum, academic director & educational consultant in child psychiatry) so she could better understand education, and the student experience from as many perspectives as possible. She has toured over 100 schools in both NYC and NJ and recognized a great need for bringing play, magic, nature, story-telling, life skills, social/emotional learning and freedom into the experience for young children, and that the environment is crucial in fostering these conditions.
She has witnessed that children have innate wisdom, gifts, drive and abilities to learn and lead, and they need only to be guided and given a safe container to thrive. She believes that awe, wonder, joy, imagination and play are a child's birthright and the keys to being empowered, happy, healthy and authentic individuals. She believes the forest needs children as much as children need the forest, and has vowed to foster this connection to raise an inspired generation of stewards, lovers, storytellers, & confident believers to change the world.
MacKenzie W. Kell was born and raised in the woods of Upstate New York. She served as a nanny to many children for decades, then later became an English professor. After the birth of her son, she received a certification in Early Childhood Waldorf Education through the Sunbridge Institute, and has taught nursery through the grades in both forest and farm settings. A lover of all things children and nature, MacKenzie spends most of her days playing in the forest, facilitating writing workshops, and studying various teaching methods. A storyteller at heart, she feels the greatest way to teach children is through real life experience, while taking risks, and utilizing all weather and conditions as motivators to explore the natural world.