Wren’s Nest Forest Preschool Director


Wren's Nest Forest Preschool

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Tasha Ball

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Bristol, VT
United States

The Willowell Foundation has a unique opportunity for a passionate outdoor early educator to lead our Wren’s Nest Forest Preschool program into its next chapter. Our nature-based preschool located in Addison County, Vermont is expanding and building a new facility. This exciting transition opens up new possibilities for Wren’s Nest, and we’re looking for applicants with a desire to help lead and grow an already thriving program. This is an outstanding opportunity for someone to incorporate a love for working with young children with a passion and enthusiasm for nature-based education.


Job Summary: 

The Wren’s Nest Director will work full-time to play an integral role in the daily running of this program by working directly with students, collaborating and overseeing staff members, including student interns, AmeriCorps service members, and volunteers. They will also attend networking events, and keep the program in good standing with SPARQ and Vermont State licensing regulations. The Director will also assist in the design and build of the new school facility set to begin summer 2023 and complete fall 2024. 

About Willowell and Wren’s Nest:

The Wren’s Nest Forest Preschool, run by The Willowell Foundation is a licensed, center-based program serving children ages 3-5. The mission of the Willowell Foundation is to cultivate healthy communities by connecting people to the arts, education, and the environment, through land-based programs. The Willowell Foundation has been a registered 501c3 since 2001 when Willowell purchased 230 acres of land in Monkton Vermont. Willowell runs numerous programs including: The Walden Project (outdoor, public high school through Vergennes Union High), The Wren’s Nest Forest Preschool, New Roots Program, Pond Brook Middle School, summer camps, afterschool programs, artists residencies, and more.

Wren’s Nest Philosophy:

Wren’s Nest employs a whole-child, immersive, sensory-based approach to learning. The program aims to foster each child’s independence and understanding of the interconnectedness of the natural world through a joyful, play-based, and emergent approach. 

Wren’s Nest creates a warm and caring place for children to embody their natural sense of awe and wonder. Children develop a deep level of comfort and love for the land and its inhabitants. Each child’s interests guide the learning process. Children at Wren’s Nest are encouraged to take personal and developmentally appropriate risks. For preschoolers this may be staying outside longer than they’re used to, holding a bug in their hands, or it may simply be walking into the woods for the first time without their trusted adult. 

Wren’s Nest works collaboratively with families to create a program that integrates each child’s academic needs and the nature- based philosophy of the program.

Our goal is to provide families with language and confidence to engage their children in a wide range of exploratory and educational outdoor activities. The learning and experiences at Wren’s Nest are intended to continue beyond the end of the school day and follow each child home and out into their communities and world.  


Compensation Information

This full-time salaried position runs (7:30-3:30) five days a week with the school calendar. Four days of week are working directly with students and staff and one day a week is an optional flex day for attending network meetings, program planning, and professional development opportunities. Some evenings and weekends required for family events and meetings. 


$40,000-$50,000 a year depending on education/experience. This includes summers and school vacations. This position is not benefited at this time, but may become so in the future.