Our Team

You have to be a little unusual/ridiculous/passionate to work at Schoolhouse. The hours are long, the sun is hot, and the salary isn’t going to build a big bankroll. 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) 

Chief Executive Officer

Email: wendy@schoolhouseofwonder.org

Wendy has 25 years of 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) 

Chief Operating Officer

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, and now our COO. In her free time, she likes to grow food, play ukulele, make inventions, and generally goof around.


Rebeca Franca (2022)CBF3899F-3366-453F-8974-28FBF9395D63.jpeg

Program Director

Email: rebeca@schoolhouseofwonder.org

Rebeca is new to North Carolina and the beauty that it offers. She is originally from Brazil and has lived around the US working for multiple camps and organizations. She has earned her B.A. in Human Development from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg FL, and after college decided to pursue camp as a career. She loves creating environments where people can learn and grow, especially in the outdoors. She enjoys making art, traveling and laughing until her stomach hurts.

Alice Hester (2021)

Administrative Assistant                                                               

Email: alice@schoolhouseofwonder.org

Alice grew up in Durham but currently resides in Chatham county. She has worked for many years as an administrative professional, but also has experience working in the early childhood field. She loves spending time with her family, friends and pets. In her downtime she enjoys cooking, traveling and learning new things. She is excited to be part of the Schoolhouse team!

Jimmy Herrighty (2022) IMG_6058.JPG

Durham Site Manager

Email: jimmy@schoolhouseofwonder.org

Born and raised in New Jersey for over 10 summers I called the Pine Barrens my home. I began working at Summer Camps in 2007 and never left! Since I have worked in a number of different camps across the country. I believe nature is the great equalizer and we all have things to learn and share with one another.


Bev Medina (2018) 

CIT Mentor

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 the 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.

Joe Pirani (2014)

Durham Lead Camp Counselor

Joe hails from Seattle, Washington but he moved to North Carolina early in his childhood. His favorite activities include backpacking, skiing, canoeing, and playing video games 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.

Aly Topscher (2022) AlyClimbing.jpg

Durham Lead Camp Counselor

Aly studied marine science in school but loves teaching about all environmental topics. She has completed several cross-country road trips to teach kids and adults about the natural world. She participates in many outdoor sports from climbing to skateboarding to scuba-diving. When she’s not exploring, you’ll find her drawing, painting, and reading.

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Durham Lead Camp Counselor

Pam loves all things outdoors and values cultivating meaningful connections with people and the natural world. She wants to bring her passion for nature and play into every interaction with campers, CITs, fellow staff, and community members. Outside of camp, Pam is a Graduate Assistant at UNCG, in the Community and Therapeutic Recreation department. She looks forward to becoming a CTRS in Durham, and serving her community through nature-based interventions.

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Durham Lead Camp Counselor

Alexei is a freshman at The University of Colorado Boulder who grew up in the woods of Durham NC. Majoring in Business, Alexei has grown to appreciate the great outdoors and the mountains of Colorado and is excited to share this love for the outdoors at camp this summer!


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Durham Lead Camp Counselor

Macon hails from Durham, NC and is proud to call West Point on the Eno a home away from home. He’s currently studying civil engineering at NC State and wishes that his classes included as much water time as Schoolhouse. When he’s not actively in camp, you might find him in one of North Carolina’s many state parks, or maybe interning at a local civil engineering firm. Macon grew up camping with the Boy Scouts and you can even find his Eagle project in the West Point on the Eno park.

Claire Rusconi-WarnerPXL_20220516_212457306.MP_2.jpg

Durham Lead Camp Counselor

Claire grew up in Durham, North Carolina and has been spending summers at Schoolhouse of Wonder since she was a little kid. She has always loved spending time in the woods and playing fun games at camp. She also loves swimming in the river and having splash fights. She is excited to spend another summer meeting campers and making fun memories at camp.


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Durham Lead Camp Counselor

Callie is from Durham, NC and is currently a student at Warren Wilson College studying Philosophy and Outdoor Leadership. When they aren’t outside, they can be found reading, writing, or making plans for the next adventure. They are so excited to share nature with friends and campers all summer!


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Durham Camp Counselor

Erin is so excited for her third summer working at Schoolhouse, and her eighth summer as a part of the Schoolhouse family! She is originally from Raleigh, but her home away from home is Virginia Beach, where she is studying Music Education at Virginia Wesleyan University. Erin likes to spend her free time being creative, playing video games, and hanging out with her two cats, Clara and Autumn.

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Durham Camp Counselor

I’m an eagle scout and getting ready to graduate high school. I love hiking and discovering new things in nature with friends. I plan to go to Western Carolina for collage.


Alexa ChambersIMG-7071.jpg

Durham Camp Counselor

Alexa grew up in Durham and was a Schoolhouse camper. She loves reading, writing, baking, and running. She’s excited about college in the fall, where she can find new hiking trails and running paths. When she isn’t busy, she’s normally reading some form of fantasy book or convincing her friends why The Martian is the greatest book of all time. She can’t wait to get back to the eno and back to camp!

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Durham Camp Counselor

Marcus was born in Harrisonburg VA, but grew up in Durham NC. Marcus has been going to Schoolhouse ever since he was 5 years old. Now as an adult Marcus is going to University of North Carolina at Greensboro to study kinesiology. He likes to stay active by playing tennis, going rock climbing, being outdoors in general.


Jamie Salemi

Durham Camp Counselor

Jamie is a North Carolina native and lifetime woodsman. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2021 with a double major in Human Development and Family Studies and English and Comparative Literature. He is currently pursuing a Teaching Licensure at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
When he is not busy building forts with campers or telling campfire stories, Jamie can be found playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends, writing short fiction, or cuddling with his many, many pets.

Cody Berberian

Durham Junior Counselor

I’m Cody
I love being outside and working with kids! I play soccer for my school and club. It is one of my favorite outdoor activities. I also love swimming in the river and catching snakes. I am very competitive and love any sport or game. I like to watch movies and spend time with friends and family.

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Durham Junior Counselor

I am a lifelong Durham resident currently attending Riverside High School. I grew up going to Schoolhouse and hope that everyone gets to have the great experiences there that I did. I love the Eno River and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and have hiked the entirety of the Eno River segment (in small pieces). I enjoy backpacking, swimming, and climbing trees that my family thinks are too tall, too skinny, etc.

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Durham Junior Counselor

Xandra is a high school student with boundless curiosity and a hunger for knowledge. They love the outdoors and the natural world, hoping that one day they will get to travel the globe. Although most of her free time consists of procrastinating and playing an absurd amount of word games and Sudoku, she also loves art; both experiencing and creating it. Xandra started her time at Schoolhouse as a camper, progressing to working as a CIT, and now she is returning as a Junior counselor. She could not be happier. As a Junior counselor, Xandra aims to spread her love for curiosity and the outdoors with her campers, as Schoolhouse once did for her.

Wade GabrielIMG_5738.png

Durham Junior Counselor

Wade grew up in Durham and spent his childhood summers at Schoolhouse. He likes spending time outside and hanging out with his several pets, as well as friends and family. He has experience from being a camper to a CIT, and knows the ins and outs of how the camp runs. He can’t wait to work there this summer!

Mira HanspalWebsite Photo.jpg

Durham Junior Counselor

Mira has a passion for the outdoors and fun. She attended Schoolhouse as both a camper and a CIT and is excited to return as a Junior Counselor. Most days, Mira can be found in the woods with her dog or tending to her garden. Her hobbies include drafting, construction, gardening, boxing, crocheting, and listening to music. Mira hopes that she will be able to bring kids a fun, and safe summer as a Junior Counselor and wishes to spread the love she has for nature. In the future, she plans to travel the world and go on extensive backpacking trips in foreign countries and pursue a career in architectural/environmental engineering.

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Durham Junior Counselor

Linden is a Durham native and has been spending their summers at the Eno since they were 5 years old. Their favorite part of Schoolhouse is telling and hearing fun stories! Linden loves painting, learning about soils, and spending time with their cats.


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Durham Junior Counselor

Jayden was born in Durham and grew up going to schoolhouse camps. His favorite activities are biking, wood carving, designing and building things, and hanging out with friends. He wants to be an engineer but in the meantime, he wants to bring the schoolhouse experience to as many campers as possible.

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Durham Junior Counselor

Ray grew up in Durham going to Schoolhouse camps during the summer. He enjoys canoeing and backpacking. He can almost do a handstand. He is very excited to spend his first Summer working at Schoolhouse of Wonder!


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Durham Junior Counselor

Thomas was born and raised in Durham, with an avid interest for nature. He has been attending Schoolhouse as a camper for many years, and is very excited to take the next step in becoming an active leader and worker. Thomas has always been interested in the outdoors, and particularly enjoys rock-climbing and exploring rivers. He enjoys working with younger children, especially when he can help them understand a new topic. In his free time, Thomas loves to play video games, practice the bassoon, and spend time with friends and family.

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Durham Junior Counselor

I was born and raised in Durham and currently go to Riverside High School as an engineering student. I enjoy swimming, hiking, studying wildlife, and walking my dogs. Some of my other hobbies include making art and gardening, as featured here with my beloved fern Fernesse

Zach Van HornD9D9FD3E-5B5F-4DB6-8222-5C1DB06C4901.jpeg

Durham Junior Counselor

Hello, I am Zach Van Horn, I have been spending my summers at Schoolhouse of Wonder since I was 5 years old, and I truly love the West Point on the Eno. I am a sophomore at Carrboro High in CH and I love the outdoors, pranks, the SoW games (my favorite is 6 Feathers), Connect 4 and water time! I can’t wait to spend the summer with campers and make sure the leave dirty/tired/happy every day.

Hannah WyattFA165F74-3457-4F1A-A7E6-29E6BC351C53.jpeg

Durham Junior Counselor

I’ve lived in Durham my entire life, and started going to school house when I was younger and always dreamed of working at the camp.


Maddy Rossy (2015)

Wake Site Manager

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) 

Wake Camp Coordinator

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 making even more memories at Schoolhouse.

Mazvita MeekinsEE177154-D24F-445C-B104-38EAB202A710.jpeg

Wake CIT Mentor

Hi y’all! My name is Mazvita. I’m a biology major at Winston-Salem State University and a science mentor on the side. Outside of school I love to read, rollerskate, and roam outdoors. My favorite activities are swimming, hiking, and play outdoor volleyball. I love to make connects and inspire people to be the best version of themselves.


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Wake Lead Camp Counselor

Zach is originally from California but has lived in many places before landing here in Durham! He has a ton of different camp experiences, from teaching campfire culinary to goat yoga! In his free time you can find him throwing pottery, playing DnD or outside hiking and paddling with his two dogs. He can’t wait to explore and learn with everyone!


Addie JacksonIMG_0015.JPG

Wake Lead Camp Counselor

2022 being her second year as a lead counselor, Addie is yet again ready to indulge in another summer filled with the love and magic found here at Schoolhouse of Wonder. Addie grew up in a small town in a valley of Appalachia, spending her time as a child catching bugs and exploring the natural world outside her door. Now, she’s studying Environmental Studies and Strategic Communications at High Point University: ready to use her newfound technical knowledge to nurture the next generation of critter-loving-kids!

Eileen Tan1750D286-6EDC-471E-BA5D-DCC908C0A0C6.jpeg

Wake Lead Camp Counselor

Eileen is an recent NC State University graduate, with a major in Zoology and a minor in Wildlife Science. This is their second summer back at Schoolhouse of Wonder and could not be more excited for what adventures await this time around! Eileen is an avid skier and lover of action (and racquet) sports, as well as an artist. Kind of a jack of all trades type beat but enjoys exploring new things!


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Wake Camp Counselor

Linda Cate Collins grew up moving through several states along the east coast, gaining experience with a variety of camps and volunteer organizations working with animals, inspiring a love of nature. She graduated from Longleaf School of the Arts and is now pursuing an Associates degree in Science at Wake Tech. She’s always looking for something new to learn and share with others, be it snail facts or just a cool spot in the woods. She has a love for music and plays a few different instruments. She is an entertainer at heart and can find something in common with just about anyone.

Cole Farmer9DA3D217-2B62-4C31-8200-CAFA71449706.jpeg

Wake Camp Counselor

Hi my name is Cole and I just graduated from UNCP in theater! Looking forward to a fantabulous summer enjoying the great outdoors!


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Wake Camp Counselor

Emma Gan has grown up with Schoolhouse of Wonder, starting when she was just a CIT at 14 years old. She’s always loved the outdoors and being a role model for kids, and Schoolhouse was the perfect place for that! Emma loves all the critters in the parks, whether it’s the tiny woolly aphids or the many different snakes, she’s always gonna be happy to see them. After moving to a big city for university, Emma is excited to be back in the woods with the campers, making each day magical!

Vica HenryIMG_20210608_104604736.jpg

Wake Camp Counselor

Vica is a Durham native and grew up exploring the Eno River, Umstead, and the Ellerbee Creek. For fun, she plays guitar, hikes, does yoga, makes art, and spends time with friends. She is currently a rising sophomore at Amherst College with a prospective Mathematics degree. She is super excited to return to Schoolhouse this summer and experience / contribute to the magic of camp 🙂

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Wake Camp Counselor

Lucy grew up in Durham and spent summers hiking and swimming in the Eno as a kid. She currently attends UNC-Chapel Hill and is majoring in environmental science. She loves spending time outdoors, reading, and going on road trips.


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Wake Camp Counselor

Hunter grew up in North Carolina and has been going to outdoor summer camps their whole life. They love camping, kayaking, rock climbing, and pretty much anything that involves being out in nature. They just finished their first year at college studying art and are excited to be home and back in the woods! Hunter has worked at Schoolhouse for two years as a Junior Counselor and Counselor and is very excited to be back for another summer!

Zoe BalmerSchoolhouse Website.jpg

Wake Junior Counselor

My name is Zoe and I absolutely love Schoolhouse! I was a CIT for 2 years and this summer (2022) I will be going into my second summer as a Junior Counselor. One of the many things I love about camp is that we get to be outside in nature and explore in the woods. Turtles are one of my favorite animals and it’s super exciting when we find one at Umstead! I am a junior at Broughton High School and part of the IB program. I am also part of the dance department and Varsity women’s soccer team! I’m excited to get to know every camper this summer and make this a magical experience.

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Wake Junior Counselor

Annika is a rising senior in high school and has been at Schoolhouse for 7 years now, whether as a camper, CIT, or counselor. She loves working with kids and having fun outdoors. When she’s not at Schoolhouse, she’s a counselor at an afterschool program, working with more elementary school aged kids. Annika also loves playing rugby and cooking.

Libby CarterB55A3AA7-CB15-4EFE-96BE-58BE5BC5ACC7.jpeg

Wake Junior Counselor

Hi! My name is Libby Carter. I’m a student at Franklin County Early College High School. I enjoy reading and dancing. My favorite Schoolhouse games are poison dart frog and six feathers. I’m super excited to be working at Schoolhouse this summer!

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Wake Junior Counselor

I grew up surrounded by nature in the rural outskirts of Raleigh where plant and animal life was plentiful. As a little girl I was fascinated with all things outdoors and would always be getting into trouble in the surrounding woods. I’m really interested in gardening, biology, swimming, drawing, and taking loads of pictures of my cat.

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Wake Junior Counselor

Clara grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and attended Schoolhouse of Wonder as both a camper and a CIT. She is planning to study Biology at UNC Chapel Hill in the fall. In her free time, she likes to play sports and travel!


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Wake Junior Counselor

Hi! I’m Gillian but in camp I also go by Gg. I’ve been at schoolhouse since I was a camper myself and I can truly say it’s magical!


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Wake Junior Counselor

Kayla grew up in Cary, North Carolina, where she loves to visit state and local parks and be surrounded by trees and animals. She currently attends high school in Raleigh, and is passionate about science, teaching, and communication. Some of Kayla’s favorite places include the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Yellowstone National Park, and Bond Park. When not in the woods, Kayla enjoys crocheting, swimming, and playing with her pet rabbit, Doki. Kayla is excited to continue fostering love and care for the great outdoors within future generations!

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Wake Junior Counselor

Charlie was born and raised in Raleigh. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing, drawing, reading playing video games with friends and being in nature. He is excited to be part of the Schoolhouse of Wonder team as he has been going as a camper/CIT for as long as he can remember.

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Wake Junior Counselor

My name is Henry Stephens Powers, I have attended schoolhouse of wonder since I was 8, and this is my second year as a junior counselor. I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking. Schoolhouse taught me how to love nature, and how to have fun outside.


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Orange Site Manager

Email: maya@schoolhouseofwonder.org

Maya grew up in Chapel Hill playing in creeks and selling Girl Scout Cookies. She studied Science Education at NC State, but instead of going back to a traditional classroom, she continued working at camps and outdoor schools where could catch snakes and play in the mud. When Maya is not working she is either looking for salamanders, crocheting, or playing with her dogs.

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Orange Camp Coordinator/CIT Mentor

My name is Precious Hairston, rooting from Greensboro, NC. A current high school science teacher; Earth and Environmental to be exact. I have degrees in Environmental Studies and Agricultural Education (Professional Service). I love all things nature, fashion and new experiences (food, music, places and new people).


Quinn McGuire (2019) 

Orange Lead Camp Counselor

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!

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Orange Lead Camp Counselor

Sophie has grown up in Chapel Hill since the fourth grade, and attends school currently at UNC. Some of her favorite things to do are midnight walks, picking up snakes, and drinking sweet tea. She is so excited to be coming back to Schoolhouse this summer!


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Orange Camp Counselor

My name is Donovan Corbett and I’m a return camp counselor at Orange. I look forward to another great year of fun and excitement with the campers and staff.


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Orange Camp Counselor

Anna is originally from Durham, but is currently a student at UNC Asheville majoring in art with an education licensure. Her goal is to become a high school art teacher. She works as an aftercare counselor for elementary school children in her free time and loves spending time with kids. She loves exploring the outdoors and creating art of all kinds. As a teacher, she wants to bring the outdoors into the art curriculum. She believes it is important to appreciate and protect nature in any way you can. She is excited to spend her summer outside teaching, learning, and having fun!

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Orange Camp Counselor

Arlo was born in Massachusetts but grew up in Durham, NC. Arlo really enjoys working with his hands, whether it’s with art, writing, building, or folding paper cranes. He is looking forward to creating connections with others and nature.


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Orange Junior Counselor

Daniel grew up in Hillsborough NC, with a history as a camper at Schoolhouse. Sporting a fierce love for nature, he loves to venture out into the wilderness looking for new sights and discoveries to photograph. Aside from photography, Daniel also loves to cook for his friends and family. He’s always excited to be part of the team at Schoolhouse

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Orange Junior Counselor

Alex loves being in nature and enjoys going on hiking, canoeing, and backpacking adventures. When she isn’t outdoors, she likes to read and bake new recipes with friends. She is looking forward to connecting with campers and exploring nature with them this summer!


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Orange Junior Counselor

Eli Konvalinka was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. He attended Schoolhouse as a camper, worked as a CIT, and now is a Junior Camp Counselor. Eli is a rising senior at Cardinal Gibbons High School and enjoys playing tennis, listening to music, playing video games, and exploring the outdoors with friends. He is excited about returning to Schoolhouse this summer and having fun with the campers.

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Orange Junior Counselor

Hello! My name is Trinity Konvalinka. I am a junior at Durham School of the Arts and a second year junior counselor at Schoolhouse. I love playing the guitar, running, tennis, nature, and spending time with my friends. I’m really looking forward to getting back to the river this summer, and engaging with the campers. I’ve definitely missed it, and I’m excited to have fun and see the smiles the park and activities bring to the campers faces.

Darshan Mayer-Patel

Orange Junior Counselor

Darshan has been coming to Schoolhouse since he was a camper. In his free time he likes to enjoy hanging out with friends and traveling. Darshan has been to 31 out of the 50 US states. He hopes that he can share the same wonderful Schoolhouse experience he had as a camper with everyone.

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Orange Junior Counselor

Alex Penn is a Junior Counselor at Orange and a rising senior at Riverside High School. Raised in Durham but native to Madison, Wisconsin, Alex has been participating in Schoolhouse of Wonder camps for almost as long as he’s lived in the state. Though not an archetypal outdoorsy person, he finds a second home in the forests he explores on the outskirts of his neighborhood and is profusely thankful for an opportunity to work in such an environment. Alex’s favorite type of weather is rain, which is a testament to his positive outlook on life and ability to see beauty in melancholy.

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 amazing team? Check out our Employment page.