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 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.”
Regional Program Manager
Grant Thomas, a Durham native, grew up catching snakes and other critters in the Eno River, a hobby that has stayed with him to this day. Grant graduated from the school of filmmaking at UNC School of the Arts, in Winston-Salem, NC. He is passionate about working with children outside of the traditional structure of the classroom and has worked as an educator at several children’s museums, including the Boston Children’s Museum and the Museum of Life and Science. Grant has a deep-rooted love for the wonders of nature and also enjoys travel, new adventures, animals (real & imaginary), and playing the banjo. “I want kids to establish a life-long sense of awe about the natural world and a deep love of nature and of themselves.”
Wake County Site Manager
Meg Gulledge is originally from the village of Misenheimer in Stanly County, North Carolina. She attended college in the mountains where she worked two years at the Environmental Leadership Center and two years at Buncombe County Child Services’ afterschool program while going to school for art. Meg says she is excited about combining her outdoor adventure skills from working 10 summers at a Girl Scout resident camp with the environmental and administrative skills she obtained from working the past 6 years at the Town of Cary’s Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve. “I’m thrilled about the opportunity to bring the Schoolhouse mission to Wake County. I can’t wait to get to know this new group of kids and parents.”
Orange County Site Manager
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 has worked for a number of summer camps and outdoor organizations and is excited to bring that experience to Schoolhouse of Wonder. In her free time, she likes to grow food, play ukulele, make inventions, and generally goof around. New to North Carolina, she’s already enjoyed her first Cheerwine and is excited to see all that the area has to offer!
Meagan grew up in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania and spent most of her time climbing trees, picking berries, looking for spiders, going on explorations in her forested backyard, and building epic snow forts. Her passion for the outdoors continued to grow after spending several summers as a camper at an environmentally focused resident camp on the shores of Lake Erie. She attended Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where she earned her B.S in Chemistry and was involved in several campus organizations with a community service focus including Alpha Delta Pi sorority and the Centre Science Club. Meagan has worked with a number of youth and educational programs and is thrilled to be back in the outdoors as part of the Schoolhouse of Wonder team. When she isn’t studying for her M.B.A. program, Meagan enjoys gardening, cooking, reading on her porch swing, hiking the local trails, visiting any and all bodies of water, going to museums, and discovering the beauty in everything. She is excited to share her passion for nature (and love of moss) with the kids and help guide them on their own journey of discovery.
Pam Andrae (2017)
Durham Program Coordinator
Durham Program Coordinator
Marcus was born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City but found his way out of the city life quickly. He ended up going to Indiana University to become an Elementary School Teacher. After realizing he wanted to work in the out-of-doors he left the classroom and went on a journey that took him from Indiana to the Catskills, the Berkshires, the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and even West Africa before he came to North Carolina. Marcus has worked with a wide variety of people from rural and inner-city areas and children and adults with developmental disabilities. In his free time, Marcus enjoys going on long bike rides, playing ultimate frisbee and yard games, going hiking, gardening, and creating projects with wood. After being a camper as a child himself for 9 years, Marcus feels he is living his dream career.
Brittany Ballentine (2018)
Brittany is a Raleigh native, and a recent graduate of Shaw University, where she received her undergraduate degree in Biology. Her passion for both the outdoors and working with children has allowed her to work as a recreation leader at the Walnut Creek Wetland Park and as a site coordinator for a YMCA afterschool program. Although she was not a very outdoorsy type of child, her love for the environment bloomed much later in life. She is the co-founder and president of Shaw University’s very first Wildlife Biology Club. Being able to teach and mentor children, while in an outdoor environment, has been a dream of Brittany’s. Joining the Schoolhouse of Wonder team is a dream come true. There’s no better classroom than the outdoors. Brittany enjoys music, reading, camping, hiking, and spending as much time as possible with family and friends.
Durham Camp Coordinator
Melissa grew up in New England, where as a kid she got the chance to explore a variety of habitats including both the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the beaches of Southern Massachusetts. These memories inspired her to major in environmental science, with hopes of teaching others how special the outdoors can be. She has worked for a variety of non-profits all around the country, teaching a wide variety of ages as well. She is very excited to begin her next adventure with Schoolhouse of Wonder, and is very excited to teach new hands-on experiences and inspire the next generation to love the outdoors. In her free time you can find Melissa exploring new places, diving into a good book, or atop a mountain.
Wake Camp Lead
Frank is a native Central Floridian who grew up backpacking through the Ocala National Forest and through the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. He graduated with a bachelors degree in Sociology in 2013, and in 2015, he went on a 2000-mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. He currently lives in Cary, North Carolina, pursuing his love of environmental education with Schoolhouse of Wonder and hopes to enrich the lives of young outdoor enthusiasts. Frank has been a part of numerous outdoor youth camping experiences through his church and is excited to be leading the next generation of campers today. In his spare time, he loves to do yoga, read good books, hike, and play instruments.
Ebonee Alston (2018)
Ebonee is from Louisburg, North Carolina where getting dirty while playing outside became a necessity. She grew up playing basketball on a dirt court from dusk till dawn, making trails through the woods, and riding ATVs through gigantic mud puddles. Ebonee obtained a Physical Education degree from North Carolina Central University in 2016. Upon graduation, she knew her degree would lead to educating youth in a traditional setting, but felt as though something was missing. Ebonee soon discovered Outdoor/Experiential Education where she could contribute to youth’s personal growth, social awareness, and life skills development. Being a part of the Schoolhouse team will give Ebonee an opportunity to give back to her community and expand her knowledge in the field. Ebonee is very excited for the wonders of camp and hopes that each camper enjoys the wild adventure of nature.
Durham Camp Lead and Field Trip Instructor
Pat is originally from a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, but has been moving around the country since graduating college. Pat has worked for outdoor recreation organizations including Raleigh Parks and Recreation, wilderness therapy programs in Utah and Georgia, several environmental/adventure education jobs, a climbing/whitewater rafting guide in the New River Gorge, and as a Traveling Trainer for Leave No Trace, touring the country with his wife teaching outdoor ethics while living out of a Subaru. Pat received his Bachelor’s Degree in Outdoor Recreation from Southeast Missouri State University and his Master’s Degree in Recreation Resource Administration with an emphasis in Recreation from the Southern Illinois University. Pat is so excited to be apart of the Schoolhouse of Wonder team and loves teaching and guiding kids in the outdoors. When Pat is not working he is spending time outside climbing, paddling, surfing, hiking, and biking with his wife and dog.
Sarah Margaret Christy (2018)
Sarah Margaret was born and raised in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she spent her free time exploring, hiking, and falling in love with the great outdoors. Her fondest childhood memories include searching for the best swimming holes and trails and spending summers outside at various camps. She is a recent graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies and minors in biology and medical anthropology. Sarah Margaret is passionate about inquiry, the scientific process, and learning through exploration and play. She has several years of experience working with children and families in a variety of educational, medical, and recreational settings. When Sarah Margaret isn’t working, you can find her hiking, reading a good book, playing board games, or enjoying the sunshine and fresh air on her front porch. Sarah Margaret is thrilled to be joining the Schoolhouse team and is looking forward to exploring, learning, and growing alongside students and campers!
Wake Camp Lead
Growing up in the Ozarks of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, Maggie is most at home in creeks and rivers. Today, she spends her free time searching for the the best picnic spots in North Carolina as well as gardening and volunteering with a dog rescue group. Maggie holds a Bachelor’s degree from Drury University in sociology and psychology. Since graduation, Maggie has gained years of experience in group leadership from three ropes course facilities as well as in environmental education from Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in the Town of Cary and with the City of Durham’s Outdoor Recreation department. She is excited to join Schoolhouse youth in learning about nature and developing emotional intelligence.
Wake Camp Lead
James was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where he lived until age 6. He moved to Northeastern PA where he fell in love with being outside and attended a camp at the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC). Eventually, James went on to work as both a camp counselor and an environmental educator at PEEC, teaching a diverse range of ages (three-adult) and backgrounds (local and inner city). James’ camp counselors were huge role models for him and he wants to give others the same great experiences that he had as a kid. In James’ free time you can find him wandering through the forest with a guidebook identifying and studying local flora and fauna, working on his photography, backpacking, or fishing.
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.