The Founding Leadership Team

leadership team

Original Nest co-founders (Teresa Cole, Mandy Palmer, & Kristi Cameron

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 members, school staff, and school parents who offer unique skills and experience which are instrumental to the successful governance of the school.

Nest co-leader Mandy Palmer

As the school opened, Mandy, Kristi, and Teresa chose to have a shared leadership model rather than a more traditional approach to leadership as is typical in early childhood programs. In general, early childhood programs operate with either a single schoolwide director who is solely responsible for making decisions on behalf of the school or they operate with a board of directors that is composed primarily of individuals who are not involved in the day-to-day operations of the school. In the latter instance, the board of directors makes the overarching operating decisions for the school while a board-appointed individual (typically the school director) makes the day-to-day decisions for the school.

The “leadership team” approach to governing is unique to The Nest. In this model, the leadership team is intentionally composed of individuals who are invested in the daily life of the school. Decision-making is shared amongst the

Nest co-leader Kristi Cameron

leadership team; where disagreement or conflict arises around decisions, the team makes every effort to reach consensus. 

Because of their belief in the power of multiple perspectives and unique points of view, Mandy and Kristi believe that the leadership team model contributes a richness and vitality to the life of the school and empowers each member of the staff to share their ideas and opinions.  In this way, each person’s strengths can shine and challenges can be met with a spirit of empathy and the intention of helpfulness.

In every instance, the goal of The Nest leadership team is to govern in good faith in an ongoing effort to do what is best for the overall health and well-being of the school.


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