Meet our teachers! 

JENNIFER BRANTLEY

Director and Lead teacher

 

Jennifer has been a passionate educator for over 10 years. Jennifer studied education in her undergraduate work, achieved a master's degree in fine art and a Lifeways of North America certification in early childhood. Around year six in her teaching career she was introduced to Waldorf education and never looked back. She fell instantly in love with it's compassionate teaching style, Waldorf's focus on the whole child, and the importance of nature and play and most of all a sensitive understanding to the developmental stages of human growth. It was with Waldorf inspired education that she began to deeply support, connect with and change the lives of children and their families.Jennifer strives to engage the whole heart, mind and soul of each child.

Prior to starting Little Acorn School Jennifer taught at St. Luke's school in NYC, the Washington Waldorf School in Washington, D.C. and helped pioneer a Waldorf inspired schooling cooperative in Western N.C. In addition she has has assisted adult continuing education courses in welding and blacksmithing for the School of Visual Arts in NYC, taught unique art and cooking classes to children, and directed and developed one of a kind after school programs.

 

Jennifer beautifully weaves her extensive knowledge and experience into every classroom and family community she serves. Her love of teaching and unique talents are always apparent in the creativity she brings to teaching and in the support she brings to families. Reach out, Jennifer would love to meet and support your family! 

JOEL BESEMER

Assistant and Administration

 

Joel has been a consistent support since the birth of Little Acorn School in 2018 with everything from administrative duties, preparation of and attendance in school festivals, and filling in as Jenny’s assistant during the school year and summer camp days. Joel deeply understands the beauty, truth and goodness that is at the core of what a Waldorf early childhood teacher models. Joel would say his first responsibility at Little Acorn is to assist the flow of each day so Ms. Jenny can share her considerable knowledge and experience in Waldorf early childhood teaching. His aim is to create and maintain a safe and loving environment with his natural warmth, patience and ease when guiding young children.

Joel’s fondest memories are from when he taught little Weeblo’s (the youngest age group 4-8 of the Boy Scouts of America) in the outdoor summers of Wisconsin. In 2013, Joel was working for a loan company and felt utterly unfulfilled. He dropped everything to return to Wisconsin to help his brother, a single parent, raise his 2 young children. In between playing “Mr. Mom” with cooking family meals, packing lunches, and getting the children to school and back, Joel started the Evergreen Community Initiatives, a non profit organization that ran a homeless shelter serving all ages in the community, provided a food and clothing pantry, and a weekly community meal for those in need of food or community! Seeking meaningful work and keeping strong family connections have always been very important to him. He continues to stay close with his one older brother and an identical twin. He has relevant inspiration from his mother who was a kindergarten teacher and his father who taught music.

 

Joel enjoys reading, nature walks, camping, cooking, gardening and helping maintain our school play yard. A few things on Joel’s bucket list include: traveling to New Zealand and to finish writing his fantasy novel. Together, Joel and Jenny lovingly create a safe and joyful learning container with the picture of healthy communication and teamwork always in mind!