Krisanna spent her childhood on 15+ acres of farm, field, and forest in the Northeastern corner of Alabama. From her earliest memories, she was helping the family plant, harvest, and preserve food from a massive garden. Her allowance was earned by helping with the family’s greenhouse business. Her strong sense of responsibility was developed as she took on the joy of caring for many different pets throughout the years. She was homeschooled through 8th grade, which allowed the time for countless hours of imaginative play romping through the forest and down to the creek.
While growing up, Krisanna had many opportunities to work with children in her family’s church, and after high school, she realized that planning and teaching really suited her personality. So she earned her degree in elementary education from Southern Adventist University. Krisanna landed her first teaching job in Kindergarten at a public school near Chattanooga, TN. Over the next 8 years, she taught 6 Kindergarten classes and twice she looped up with those classes to teach them again in 1st grade. Then, in need of a change, she taught a year of 2nd grade in Dalton, GA before moving to the Nashville area for her husband’s job.
During these years teaching public school, Krisanna was faced with the juxtaposition of using incredible teaching strategies and techniques, but also many developmentally inappropriate standards and practices as well. Her interest grew in brain research and what affects children’s ability to self-regulate, get along with others, and focus. She wondered, “What if these kids could have more than 30 minutes of recess each day? What if kids had less screen time and more time in imaginative play? What if they grew up a little more like I did, in nature? Would it make a difference?”
For a few years, Krisanna worked with a principal and group of teachers who shared the vision of becoming a STEM school. While visiting an existing STEM school for professional development, Krisanna had the opportunity to observe a Forest Kindergarten in action. From that moment on, this is the direction she has wanted to take her career. She believes nature school could be the answer for today’s children, by helping them develop stronger, more creative, empathetic, and focused brains. She feels very blessed by this opportunity to learn and grow as a teacher at Ferntop.
In her free time, Krisanna enjoys many peaceful moments kayaking or riding scooters with her husband, taking walks at the park with their Yorkie and 2 goats, and playing in the backyard with their 11 chickens and 2 ducks.