About Us

Wendy Calderon

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Hi!  My name is Wendy Calderon and I am proud to welcome you to the Dragonfly Forest!

While I am originally from California, I have come to love Austin and the wonderful outdoor educational opportunities that it provides for my students.  I started my career working with children when I was 15 yrs old at a day care center, in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, as part of an internship program. Throughout my college years, I worked at the Children’s Center in Humboldt State University, as well as PCFA Pacific Child and Family Associates as an ABA (behavior) therapist.  I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Ethnic Studies, and have accumulated over 14 years of experience working with children.

When I moved to Austin in 2011, I had the privilege of working for KIPP Austin Communidad as a teacher. Working at KIPP gave me the foundation, determination, and passion to work with children as an educator. The commitment, tenacity, and dedication I gained while working at KIPP has contributed immensely to the type of teacher I am today. I have spent most of my adult life outdoors learning new things, exploring new places and I could not think of a place that makes me happier than when I am outdoors. My experiences as a mother and teacher are what encouraged me to open this school and offer an outdoor space where children can learn, grow, and gain a love and passion of learning through nature. Owning this school is the best thing that has ever happened to me because it allowed me to combine my two passions, teaching and being outdoors. 

We are very excited to introduce our teacher assistant:

Hi my name is Schila Challenger.  I am currently attending college and studying Kinesiology. My love of animals and children is what makes me happy to be working at The Dragonfly Forest. I love learning new things in a fun and creative way so that I can then pass my knowledge to others. I think it is important to teach others including children to respect their earth and all of it’s organisms, because if you take care of the earth, the earth will take care of you. I encourage the people around me to constantly explore, grow an learn new things, just like I am learning, so that in the future we learn to love and care for the world around us.

Say hello to our teacher Cindy Silacci:

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Hi my name Cindy Silacci. I’m excited to be joining the Dragonfly Forest family! I have always had a passion for teaching preschool age children. Before having my son, I was a preschool teacher for over 11 years. I look forward to spending time with your precious children and learning more about them. I promise to provide a loving environment where your child can play, thrive and learn. I look forward to an amazing school year!

Say hello to our parent volunteer:

Jill Crecelius

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Jill Crecelius graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor of science degree in Math Education.  After teaching in both the Houston and Austin areas, she pursued a career in real estate and now owns a real estate brokerage with her husband, Jared.

She is passionate about keeping learning fun and organic and following the natural interest of the child.
“Play is one of the best teachers, in my opinion. I support kids in their explorations by observing, modeling, and asking a few well-timed questions.  It is so fulfilling watching children learn, make connections, and organize their thoughts about the world.”