About Us

Our Team

Our Leadership

  • Sheri Grace, PhD

    Director

    A North Carolina native and the founding director of Piedmont Forest School, Sheri received her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC and her Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College in New York City, NY. Her passion for wanting to make a difference in early childhood education led her to gain her doctorate degree in early childhood education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her research interests include the ways families of color support language and early literacy development, and the essential roles movement and self-directed play have in learning. Sheri also directs EdPath Specialized Learning Services, her early intervention and tutoring practice.

    Sheri is a compassionate, empathetic, and kind soul, deeply caring about people. Her demeanor – calm yet energetic – is the perfect combination for encouraging kids to observe and connect to nature. A long-time animal and nature lover, she is crazy about her husband, two grown children, and two dogs, Ava and Juliet. If Sheri cannot be found in the woods with her the children or coaching Learning Partners as our Learning Coordinator, she is kayaking, camping with her dog, or walking barefoot in the creek, observing the birds, and appreciating the natural world around her.

  • Cole Kampen, PT, DPT

    Chair of Board

    Cole (she/her), raised in Greensboro, NC, received her undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from St. Catherine University in Minneapolis, MN. After being away, she settled back in the Triad and has homeschooled her three children for several years.

    Cole facilitated a forest school homeschool co-op for about three years, before teaming up with Sheri to help create what is now known as Piedmont Forest School. Cole is passionate about how this teaching model nourishes young children's minds and loves being able to observe PFS students grow.

    She is also the owner of Triad Pelvic Health Physical Therapy in Greensboro. In her spare time, when she is not tromping around with her kids, she can be found gardening, visiting friends, pounding cabbage into sauerkraut, or sneaking chocolate in the closet.

Our Learning Partners

  • Rachael

    Lead Learning Partner

    Rachael (she/they) is a Lead Learning Partner here at Piedmont Forest School with eight years of experience working in the field of early childhood development. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a concentration in Health and Human Services, from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, focusing on early childhood development.

    Before becoming a Preschool Teacher, Rachael worked at a local bookstore for around 10 years, expanding her knowledge of children's literature. She then moved into the behavioral health field to help and guide children and teens on the autism spectrum. As both a forest school teacher and an exceptional education teacher, Rachael intertwines the principles of a Reggio inspired outdoor and nature education, while staying true to neurodiversity and anti-ableist values. Rachael likes to be considered a “co-discoverer” because she studies and explores nature alongside the children. Rachael's enthusiastic, positive nature makes every child at Piedmont Forest School feel accepted, heard, valued, and safe.

    When not outdoors, Rachael can be found playing her guitar and creating music with her family, cuddling with Woody Guthrie (their cat), and enjoying the company of their new dog Freddy.

  • Frances

    Lead Learning Partner

    Frances, Lead Learning Partner at Piedmont Forest School, shares her life-long love of nature with children of all ages. A native of the Piedmont, she grew up in Durham and now lives on her extended family's farm in Davie County. She graduated from Prescott College in Prescott, AZ (a leader in Outdoor Education and Environmental Studies) with a degree in Cultural Ecology. After years of working for Naturopathic Physicians, Frances discovered Waldorf Education where she studied the curriculum at Antioch University, getting her M.Ed and K-8 certification.

    Frances started a public charter school in Prescott, teaching there for eight years. Prior to PFS, Frances taught in the Davie County School system in NC in the Pre-K Program. In 2020, before joining Piedmont Forest School, Frances taught and studied the Forest School way at Woodland Discovery in Concord, NC. Frances' soft tone captivates students' attention and helps guide them safely in their exploration of the forest and all things living there.

    One of her favorite memories was her experience as a Petting Zoo Manager at the NC Museum of Life and Science when she was 14 years old, and she has been involved in nature education ever since. When in nature, Frances often thinks of the quote, “Let living things live.”

  • Taylor

    Lead Learning Partner

    Taylor joined Piedmont Forest School in the Fall of 2021. She graduated from the Animal Behavior Ecology and Conservation program at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY and has over six years of experience providing care for children.

    Taylor enjoys helping children discover the magic within the natural world, and believes developing an appreciation and connection to nature at a young age is essential. Her fun loving attitude encourages PFS students to explore the outdoors by observing native animals and plants in their habitat. Being part of this journey and cultivating kids' love for the great outdoors, makes Taylor a valuable addition to the PFS team.

    For fun, Taylor loves hiking, making art with native and invasive plants, and volunteering with wildlife rehabilitation.

  • Patty

    Lead Learning Partner

    Patty is a Lead Learning Partner here at Piedmont Forest School with over 15 years of experience working with and caring for children. She has a background in Montessori practice, and a passion for learning new skills. Patty believes every child is a unique miracle, worthy of respect, love, compassion, and patience.

    Patty would do almost anything for her students and their families. She is loyal to those she serves, and strives to develop meaningful relationships with each child and family.

    In Patty's free time, she loves camping, reading, and exploring the outdoors with her husband and four children.

  • Jessica

    Lead Learning Partner

    Jessica joined PFS in 2020 and currently works with our children enrolled in our after-school and home-school programs. Jessica received her Bachelor's degree in Biology from Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC and is fluent in Spanish.

    Jessica grew up with five siblings, an exciting childhood with chaotic surprises. Her kind spirit and compassionate nature make every child feel safe, valued, and loved at PFS. Jessica's friendly nature and welcoming smile invites newcomers to join the PFS family.

    In addition to her work with PFS, Jessica enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and hiking.

  • Tim

    Assistant Learning Partner

    Tim first became involved with PFS as a volunteer when his youngest daughter began attending in 2020. Tim enjoyed his volunteer work so much, it led him to become an Assistant Learning Partner at PFS.

    Tim grew up spending time outdoors 'round the clock with friends and family. He finds comfort and peace being surrounded by the natural world and these experiences from a young age have equipped Tim to be a perfect fit here at PFS. Tim's gentle demeanor and calm presence, helps reassure the children around him that they are safe, while allowing them the space to explore and take risks – an essential part of learning within the forest school philosophy.

    Tim teaches safety and survival skills, incorporating hand tools, shelter construction, and fire building. This helps bring to life the imaginations of our students, creating innovative spaces where children can explore and engage in pretend play.