Stacey Gummey, Founder, Executive Director and Lead Teacher

Stacey is a certified Forest Kindergarten Teacher and a trained Pennsylvania Master Naturalist.  She is also a native of Kennett Square, PA. Stacey began her studies at West Chester University in Pennsylvania with a focus on Art Education. She went on to MCCA Training Institute in Maryland and received her Early Childhood Education Development and Curriculum Teaching Certificate and also studied the Reggio Emilia Approach where she honed her skills as an Early Childhood Educator. After 5 years as a classroom teacher and 8 years as a Director at a large playgroup in Washington,  DC. Stacey Gummey founded Hickory Hill Nature School to meet the needs of families who value the Forest Kindergarten philosophies and to offer an alternative to a 4 wall classroom that does not fit all children's needs.  Stacey has come full circle in her love of nature as she experienced a very nature rich childhood in Kennett and Unionville growing up. Stacey and her husband Michael are also the proud parents of Endsley (10) and Hutch (7). They currently reside in Chadds Ford, PA. Stacey is in pursuit of her herbalism certificate. One should never stop learning!


Jessica Ladin, Lead Teacher

Jessica is excited to join HHNS for her third year of learning and growth in nature! She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island in Coastal Policy and Management, and a Masters of Education from the University of Delaware. She served in the United States Peace Corps as a Marine Conservation Development Extension Volunteer, in the Federated States of Micronesia. During her time in Micronesia she realized her commitment to environmental conservation through education. She worked for four years as an environmental educator and teacher naturalist, and then taught third grade at a Delaware public school for two years. She is also a mother to two budding naturalists. Her other pursuits include birth doula work and herbalism studies.


Libby Piper

HHNS Teacher

Libby is delighted to join HHNS and share her joy for nature with children and families. Through stories, playful movement, and mindfulness practices, she intends to restore harmonious relationships with the land for families, generations, and communities. After more than 20 years of working with children and families in a variety of therapeutic settings, she has learned the healing benefits of nature for the body, the mind, and the spirit.

Her experience includes mothering two young men and numerous pets, most notably her dancing dog Dylan.

She is a graduate of the University of MD in Hearing and Speech Sciences and currently attends Kings College of London in pursuit of an MSc in Applied Neuroscience.

Author of the award-winning Honeysuckle Hugs: A Blend of Botanical Poetry.

Creator of Honeysuckle Hugs Earth-Based Education.

A yoga therapist, teacher-trainer, Reiki Master, and a Munay-Ki, Nusta-Karpay facilitator.


Josie Marsh

Josie Marsh has been working for the last 2 years for Fairville Friends School, first as a substitute and then as a teacher's assistant.  She also created and taught "Nature Camp" for the Kennett Library and spent some time at The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County.  Although she has an engineering degree, since having children Josie has returned to her childhood roots and now enjoys helping children discover the beauty of imaginative outdoor play. During her free time, Josie enjoys going on outdoor adventures with her family, riding bicycles, gardening, cooking, and advocating for trails, sidewalks, and bike lanes in the Kennett area.


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