Our Team

You have to be a little crazy to work at Schoolhouse. The hours are long, the sun is hot, and the salary isn’t going to build a big bank roll. But the privilege of introducing kids to nature, helping them discover how capable they are, and watching them grow in confidence every day is absolutely worth it. And the hugs don’t hurt either. Here’s our team who is dedicated to nurturing curiosity, celebrating courage, and most of all, caring for the whole of every child.


Wendy Tonker (2011) 

Executive Director

Email: wendy@schoolhouseofwonder.org

Wendy has 25 years experience as a nonprofit director and organizational development consultant. She joined the Schoolhouse staff in August 2011, after one year of service on the Board of Directors and three years as a camp parent. Wendy earned a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Appalachian State University and a Masters of Public Administration from North Carolina Central University. Wendy finds joy in spending time with her family or seeking out hunting and fishing adventures. “My hope for kids that join us at Schoolhouse is for them to feel loved and supported to discover, fully embrace, and express who they are.”

 


Marty Jorgensen (2016) 

Program Director

Email: marty@schoolhouseofwonder.org

Marty grew up in Casper, Wyoming, and spent her childhood rambling around, snowshoeing, and climbing trees on her family’s land on Casper Mountain. Inspired by her time outdoors, she decided to follow her passion for being outside and graduated from Green Mountain College with a degree in Adventure Recreation. Marty worked for a number of summer camps and outdoor organizations before bringing that experience to Schoolhouse of Wonder. She began her time at Schoolhouse helping start our Orange County location and managed that location for several years before becoming our Program Director. In her free time, she likes to grow food, play ukulele, make inventions, and generally goof around.


Bev Medina (2018) 

Project Manager

Email: bev@schoolhouseofwonder.org

Bev is an engineer by training; educator by practice; and outdoor enthusiast by nature. She moved to North Carolina from Florida, where she grew up exploring beaches, marshes, and swamps, to pursue a M.S. in Environmental Engineering. After working a summer at Schoolhouse while in grad school, she found herself hooked on mentoring kids in the incredible outdoor spaces that the Triangle has to offer. She joined the team full-time in spring of 2019, and has since served in a variety of roles, both in the office and in camp. She’s an avid cook, and loves exploring new hobbies and spending time with her two rescue dogs. 


Maddy Rossie (2015)

Camp Coordinator

Email: maddy@schoolhouseofwonder.org

Maddy Rossie is a Cary, North Carolina native who grew up here in the woods and creeks in Wake County. She spent years in the ballet and performing arts world and graduated with a Theatre degree from Adelphi University in New York. After graduation she was drawn back here to her true home. Inspired by her 12 years as a Girl Scout, she returned to the outdoors where she found Schoolhouse of Wonder. She’s excited to continue creating magical camp memories for campers and staff, to teach a love of nature, and to share what she’s learned with the next generation of leaders!


Kailey Palazzi (2019)

Camp Coordinator

Email: kailey@schoolhouseofwonder.org

Kailey has called a few states home throughout her life, spending 14 years of it in western Massachusetts where she is from. The mountains and the outdoors are always calling her and have led her to seek many opportunities to make nature her office. The hills of the Berkshires, the North and South islands of New Zealand, and now the parks of North Carolina are some of these places. Kailey loves to talk about her family, her cat, and her favorite TV shows. She is looking forward to make some new memories at Schoolhouse.


Joe Pirani (2014)

Lead Camp Counselor

Email: joe@schoolhouseofwonder.org

Joe hails from Seattle, Washington but he moved to North Carolina early in his childhood. His favorite activities include backpacking, skiing, canoeing, and playing videogames with his friends. He graduated from UNC Asheville with a bachelor’s in earth environmental science. He is excited to make a difference in the world by working to protect our natural resources.

 


Quinn McGuire (2019)

Lead Camp Counselor

Email: quinn@schoolhouseofwonder.org

Quinn is a Durham native and grew up attending Schoolhouse as a camper. On the rare occasion that she isn’t busy, she spends her time adventuring outside and observing any sort of creatures around. Her favorite hobbies include backpacking, hiking, tending to her pets, and sharing the natural world with whoever will listen. She hopes that she can share the magic of Schoolhouse and nature with everyone. Someday, she will hike the whole Appalachian Trail!


We also count on our wonderful board of directors to help round out the team. We’re grateful for the dedication our staff and board demonstrate every day. It shows up in big and small ways, and we couldn’t do it without them. 

Want to join this crazy cast? Check out our Employment page.