Educators

The Founding Leadership Team

The Nest Nursery School was founded by a leadership team composed of school co-founders Mandy Palmer, Kristi Cameron, and Teresa Cole. In February 2015, Teresa left The Nest Nursery School to open The Willow School in Decatur, Georgia. Mandy and Kristi continue in the role of school leaders, with support from an Advisory Board composed of community […]

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Kristi Cameron

Co-Founder/Administrative & Pedagogical Coordinator/Leadership Team
Kristi has nearly 20 years of experience in many different areas of education, including experience in the classroom with ages ranging from infants to adults. She has studied the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood extensively and has participated in several study tours to Reggio Emilia, Italy. Previously, she was the Pedagogical Coordinator for Inspired Practices, a non-profit organization founded to support ongoing dialogue and thinking among local educators about the experiences of Reggio Emilia.

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Mandy Palmer

Co-Founder/Green Room Lead Educator/Leadership Team
Mandy has over 15 years of experience as an educator and teacher of children ages 3 months through 5 years. Prior to co-founding The Nest she spent 10 years teaching at the Grant Park Cooperative Preschool where she furthered my study and practice of the Reggio Emilia approach to early children education. She participated in developing curriculum for the school in my role as part of the pedagogical team.

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Trisha Ward

Nest Chef & Cooking Atelierista
Trisha and her husband, Bert have a grown son, Will, and have lived in Chamblee for over 30 years.  When Will was young, she started working in his preschool and realized she liked working with young children.  After working in several preschools for many years, Trisha attended Dekalb Tech’s early childhood education program in 1996 and this is where she was first introduced to the  Reggio Emilia Approach. She immediately embraced the approach and have been studying and learning about it ever since. 

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Kalei Fowkes

Blue Room Lead Educator
In April of 2013 Kalei graduated with a B.A. in psychology from Flagler College, a small liberal arts college in Northeast Florida. Eventually, she hopes to earn a doctoral degree in socio-developmental psychology and work as a researcher in a university setting. She is principally interested in the way young children form ideas about the self, others, and the world at large and how those concepts influence their development and social interactions. Kalei’s academic interests, passion for the arts, and love of children all culminate to bring her to The Nest where she aspires to nurture our students. 

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Rachel Clark

Blue Room Lead Educator
Rachel moved to Atlanta in 2009 to study creative writing and art at Georgia State University. Some of her favorite studies included drawing, printmaking, graphic novels, and narrative craft. After graduating, she took on a role as Infant Educator at The Nest in the fall of 2013.

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Catherine Carlock

Orange Room Lead Educator
Cathy is a self-proclaimed ‘late bloomer’; who has dappled in all kinds of life and career paths from yogini to bookkeeper to massage therapist and everything in between until at 46 Y.O., Cathy discovered her career as an educator/guide/partner-in-learning with the littlest learners. After completing 4 years as a classroom teacher, Cathy went on to create a state-licensed service for infants and toddlers in her home.

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