Hello! I am Amber Marsolek, the owner and educational guide at Duluth Forest Kinderhaus. First, I am a wife and mother. By day, my husband Seth manages a civil survey and engineering firm. He then spends his evenings coaching baseball and hockey and being involved in any other activity our boys take part in. We live in Duluth with our three wonderfully active boys (Owen, 11; Alden, 9; Remington, 4). Life is busy and happy and we wouldn't have it any other way! I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 2005 with a concentration in Sociology/Elementary Education. Shortly thereafter, I accepted a paralegal position and, 8 years later, knew I needed to get back into education. I attended St. Scholastica and attained my Graduate Teaching License in 2013 and finally my Master of Science in Teaching in 2014. I taught kindergarten for two years and was blessed to have the opportunity to teach kindergarten outdoors at a local school. Through that opportunity, I became completely engulfed by using nature as a teacher and was inspired to learn more about nature play. I delved into learning more about forest schools and outdoor education, as it became my passion and is truly best practice. Per my Masters research, I recognized the need for this type of program at the primary level, as Duluth has a handful of thriving nature preschool programs. It is through this process, the vision of Kinderhaus became a reality.
During the 2016-17 school year, I facilitated the opening and teaching of Wandering Roots Nature School in Proctor, MN. Taking the opportunity to teach at the preschool level allowed me to deepen my knowledge and insight into the development leading up to the kindergarten year.
After a summer of serious construction and program development, Kinderhaus entered into its inaugural year in 2017. To be a business owner and an educator is entirely more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. These little people teach me everyday about the wonder and magic that is childhood and how fascinating the natural world is when we let it lead our way. I have also have the unique and wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Duluth Nature Play Collaborative for the last three years. This group consists of area nature preschool teachers and involved community members that seek to educate, inspire, connect, and advocate for nature play for young children in Duluth, MN. You can find the Collaborative on Facebook.
Music specialist -- cindy carlson
Hello, My name is Cindy Carver Carlson. I began my journey in music as a little girl playing violin, singing, and a little bit of piano. My mother was my teacher and I grew up going to the Symphony and listening to my Grandpa and Grandmas Pipe Organ and the accordion. I taught Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education for the schools for 28 years and have taught Kindermusik for 15 years. I created a music and movement preschool called Concordia Community Arts play care in which music is integrated naturally the whole day with kids. I received Level 1 Orff Training and have spent the last 15 years perfecting my piano, ukulele, and guitar teaching. I use a hands on active approach to learning and see learning as individually and process based.
storytelling specialist -- LANE SCHRAUFNAGEL
My name is Lane Schraufnagel. I grew up on the outskirts of Duluth near the French River, where I learned to love spending time outdoors, especially in/near the water. I hope to help people of all ages, but especially young people, deepen their relationships with their home and environment by exploring, wondering, and much more. I believe it helps us ALL (family, friends, gardens, forests, waterways, bugs, animals, etc.) be healthier and happier when we know and care about each other. My favorite outdoor activities are swimming, singing, hiking, sharing stories, skiing, making art, climbing trees, building forts...the list goes on! I am excited to get to know you and your family in the coming months.
cooking specialist -- ZACH MCALEAR
I grew up surrounded by nature, whether it was the tidal pools on the Oregon coast, the red rock canyons of southern Utah, or the endless woods behind my house in upstate New York. I took this love of nature with me to Prescott College, where I received my degree in Environmental-Based Adventure Education. There, I learned the importance of place-based education and the tenets of experiential education, which helped me to develop my own philosophy on education, one that is guided by nature-based, self-directed learning. I am thrilled about the opportunity to work for this school, make a positive impact on your children, and cook a lot of yummy food!