Jessica Rhys is the founder, operator and head teacher at Fiddleheads. Jessica has a degree in Environmental Education and Cross Cultural Studies from Prescott College in AZ. She has taught at the early childhood level in both public and private institutions including in the Patagonia School System in AZ, and at Mayberry Hill Preschool in Casco, ME. She long served as the Program Director at Cultivating Community in Portland, ME, a nonprofit dedicated to at risk youth development, urban gardening, and advocating for a sustainable local food system. She also served as the Coordinator of the Maine School Garden Network, helping to connect, support and implement school gardens around the state of Maine. She has lived in Oregon for four years and her most recent and most relevant training yet has been as the mother of her two young sons.
As well as being a mother and a teacher Jessica is an artist, a guitar player, an enthusiastic cook, an experienced gardener, and an avid birdwatcher. She is proficient in Spanish and French and believes in the benefits of early exposure to foreign language. She is passionate about early childhood education, and fosters a deep personal connection with the natural world.
Arielle Slaughter is a heart-centered, early childhood educator from the Midwest. Arielle strives to weave mindfulness and well-being into the foundation of all her interactions when teaching and learning. She believes deeply in the importance of bringing children directly into nature and helping them connect with themselves and with the natural world. One of her biggest joys in life is being out in the forest and simply noticing and appreciating all that the natural world has to offer. Outside of teaching, Arielle is a mother to a spirited three year old and lives in the Tabor neighborhood with her family. Most of her free time is spent hiking with her family and dogs, doing yoga, writing, and rollerskating.
Amy Hopkins is a heart centered mother of three, ages 20, 11 and 3. She loves being with children, especially how they present the opportunity to truly be in the present moment. She has been working with children off and on for over 20 years. She worked as a nanny, and taught a pre-kindergarden class in her early 20's. Amy eventually discovered her passion for yoga, and went forward to become a yoga teacher. She is certified as a Bikram Yoga teacher of 20 years, and completed the Rainbow Yoga Kids Teacher Training. She opened a yoga studio in Eugene Oregon in 2003, and stayed for 11 years building a strong community of yoga practitioners. She has since sold the studio, but continues to teach yoga here in Portland and has worked as a nanny while staying home with her youngest, Maa Kuma.
Fiddleheads is a fully compliant and certified early childhood center by the state of Oregon.