Owner/Director and PreK/K Teacher
Martha is an avid hiker and environmentalist. She is equally passionate about honoring children and protecting childhood, connecting them with the planet, and fostering their ability to think critically, help others, and love learning. If you give her a call, she will probably be outdoors with her husband (a biology and environmental science teacher) and her three kids ages 14, 9, and 3.
A lifelong nature lover, Martha fell in love with teaching after homeschooling her oldest son. After six years working at a local preschool, she left to be home with her kids during remote learning and teach a pod of treasured children. It was in the building of this pod that Heartwood Nature School was born – combining her love of play-based, emergent early childhood learning with her love and respect for nature.
Martha graduated from Emerson College with a Bachelor’s in Multimedia Journalism and a minor in Environmental Science. She has worked for The Boston Globe and written for several national publications, raised her own pigs, turkeys, and chickens on a homestead, owned a bakery, and ran a non-profit organization.
She is a member of the Merrimac Anti-Racism Alliance and holds her Nature Teacher Certification from the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools, of which the school is also a member. She is nearly half way through her goal of hiking all of the 48 4,000-footers in New Hampshire.
Daniela Currie-Gutierrez was born in Mexico City and raised in Puerto Rico and New Hampshire. She studied Art Education at the University of New Hampshire. At UNH, Daniela was very involved in student life as a Resident Assistant and with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. She also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, traveling to Oklahoma and Atlanta during spring breaks to work on houses. After college, Daniela’s commitment to community and service continued to develop; she worked at the New Outlook Teen Center in Exeter, NH, through the Americorps*VISTA program. Then it was off to Latin America for 18 months of backpacking and volunteering. She made her way from Chile to Mexico, hopping on and off buses, boats, and the occasional horse. Upon returning to the States, she began teaching at Sparhawk High School, where she worked for 13 years. She loved sharing her passion for art, community, and travel with the students; whether in the classroom guiding the students in various art projects, creating international cultural travel experiences, or connecting with the students at lunch, it was all driven by the value of community.
The past year has allowed Daniela the opportunity of quality time with her tiny human while connecting more with nature. Heartwood’s child development mission being interconnected to equality and justice while immersed in nature spoke to her. The community is a dream come true for her as a parent and a teacher. She is thrilled to be spending purposeful time with nature–with both her tiny human and the Heartwood community. Daniela is delighted that they will all have the opportunity to learn, explore, and spend time together on a beautiful adventure.
Growing up on Plum Island, Hana developed a deep connection with the Earth and a profound respect for nature. She feels honored to help cultivate the same connection for one children. Most recently, she spent 7 years at an local preschool, but she has worked with children all her life. Hana holds a Bachelor’s in Art from Endicott College and is near completion of her Child Development Associates from Northern Essex. She is a lover of horses and photography, and will bring her bright smile and special way with children to the fore as the Preschool Teacher at Heartwood.
Christine is a gardener and wildflower enthusiast, who loves sharing her knowledge while learning from like-minded plant lovers. As caretaker at Camp Kent Nature Center in Amesbury, she directs a summer camp as well as an afterschool hiking club for children in elementary and middle school. After years of working in a variety of preschool programs and summer camps, she has continued to fall in love with teaching year after year. Hands on, play-based environments are where she thrives the most as a teacher. Christine is constantly amazed at what both teachers and students gain in nature-based, emergent early childhood learning settings. She holds an Associates in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelors in Environmental Science. Through her travels in northern Vermont, the Berkshires, Southeast Alaska and Southwest Montana, she realized her need to come back to beautiful New England. Christine loves sharing her passions in observing nature, creating open ended art, and growing whatever she can get her hands on. You can usually find her in the Butterfly Garden at Camp Kent Nature Center, or roller-skating the rail trails around town. She is delighted to help connect children and families to nature in a supportive and loving community like Heartwood.