Teachers and Staff

Westbrook teachers are unique individuals who have a profound love and respect for both the young child and for nature. Nature-based early childhood education asks a great deal of its teachers. While fostering meaningful relationship with each child based on caring and understanding, they must also deliver a strong, creative curriculum while rising to the physical challenges of outdoor work and play in all types of weather. Joy in their work comes from a deep commitment to fostering the child's love of the natural world and to seeing them reach their full potential in all domains of development.

At Westbrook, we have a high teacher to student ratio of 1 to 4. This reflects our focus on safety and the quality and quantity of personal attention each child receives. Each class has a head teacher, who is ultimately responsible for the administration of the curriculum and for communication with the parents. All of our teachers are available to parents for discussion pertaining to their child and to address any concerns.

Suzanne Fogle, Founder Advisor,  was the Head Teacher at Westbrook from 2013-2018 and Director from 2013-2023. She holds a Baccalaureate degree in Early Childhood Education as well as a Teacher Certification in Waldorf Early Childhood Education from Emerson College in England. She earned her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Maryland, and she completed her graduate school coursework in Molecular Biology. Suzanne is passionate about providing a well-rounded holistic education that nurtures the whole child in a natural preschool setting.

Danielle Caldwell, Director, has been with Westbrook since 2014 serving as Office Manager for the first few years, then Assistant Director through June of 2023, and now Director. She has her Master of Arts and Master of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and worked in higher education administration for almost ten years before becoming a full-time mom. She brings years of experience volunteering and serving on boards at the preschool level. Her twin boys attended Westbrook and were enrolled in our very first Kindergarten class in 2014. Danielle enjoys serving the Westbrook community while learning all about the wonders of nature.

Meghan Huszagh, Community Administrator, attended Parent-Child Class with her two children for two years. Following her time here as a parent, Meghan was the Assistant for our Parent-Child Program for two years before joining the administrative team. She brings her extensive artistic education from Pratt Institute and FIT and experience being a full-time mom to our school along with her creativity. She has a corporate background in Sales and Operations and is an avid hiker and gardener and loves to continue to learn about nature.

Thayer Smock, Head Teacher in our Mixed-Age Kindergarten, is also a former parent at our school. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and has been working at Westbrook since 2015. Thayer has experience working with kindergarteners and first graders and brings, along with her gentle, loving approach to the children, an enlivening curiosity and enthusiasm for nature.

Hannah Fischer is the Teaching Assistant in our Mixed-Age Kindergarten. She has been teaching art and nature classes to young children since 2016, most recently at Amber Farm. Her favorite part about working with children is sharing moments of teamwork and discovery. Hannah enjoys spending free time watching her chickens forage and going for walks in the woods.

Lauren Santa is our Parent-Child Group Leader. Her education and professional background are in healthcare where she has learned so much about the human spirit and its affinity towards connections in nature. She hopes to gently facilitate meaningful experiences in nature for the children of Westbrook and their parents alike. She loves to travel (especially to National Parks), enjoys photography and watercolor painting. She practices yoga and integrates its principles into her daily life as well as in her approach to parenting her daughter. Lauren is enthusiastic to learn and grow with the Westbrook community.

Lauren Murphy, Parent-Child Assistant, has attended Parent-Child Class the past three years with both of her sons. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in marketing which she utilized during her time in the corporate realm working with multinational companies. As a competitive hip-hop and ballroom dancer, she is a strong advocate of creative movement. Lauren enjoys doing sensory, art, and music-related activities with her children. She also loves to travel and have outdoor adventures with her family.

Brenna Cochrane, Parent-Child Assistant, recently moved to Redding from New Zealand with her husband and two children. With both of her kids attending a nature-based school in New Zealand, she knew Westbrook would be the perfect fit for both herself and her family. She enjoys spending free time with her family, gardening, exploring nature, and getting messy making pottery. Brenna loves to get crafty and creative. She holds a diploma in Ceramics from The Dunedin School of Art and loves to incorporate nature and local materials into her pottery.