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Our Team

LEAP's Founders

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Lindsay Velasquez

Co-Founder/Director

Lindsay has a deep love for family, friends, nature, learning, community, travel, and all things health and wellness. She earned her BA in Business Management from CCU and later her Masters in Elementary Education from WGU. She spent ten years teaching in different childhood educational settings - public school, private school, internationally, homeschool, recreational.


With the birth of her first son, Julian, she decided to stay home and focus on being a mom. As a stay at home mom, her love of learning led her to further her education and become a Certified Health and Wellness Coach as well as a Yoga Instructor. She loves to be involved in the community and takes part in local mom groups, started a neighborhood book club, and teaches a yoga class here and there.


Lindsay spends her days playing (mainly outside) with her children (Julian 4, Luca 2). She loves planning trips and fun adventures, homeschooling her boys, exercising, traveling, learning, drinking tea, going for walks with her husband, listening to books, spending quality time with family and friends, and snuggling with her black lab, Luna.

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Evelyn Wilkinson

Co-Founder/Director

A nature-lover and avid hiker, Evie feels most at peace when being outside in nature.  Whether it's picnicing or backpacking, in Kentucky or while traveling, being in a natural environment calms her soul.  Combining her desire to work with children in education with her love of nature culminated in LEAP Outside's program. 

 

Evie has a Masters in Teaching and years of classroom experience, but during the Pandemic, Evie decided to stay home with her toddler son and began to research the Forest School philosophy.  The evidence-based research from the long established Forest School model matched her intuitive parenting style of child-led, exploratory play in nature, and so she reached out to the local Forest Preschools to get involved.  She then furthered her education and training by becoming a Certified Forest School Teacher and Director through the Forest School Teacher Institute. 

 

As a parent and a teacher, Evie has seen how child-led play in nature enhances a child’s physical, motor, social, emotional, and cognitive development.  Her dream for LEAP Outside is to create a supportive and inclusive space for families to connect in nature.  When children develop a relationship with their environment, they want to help protect it, and in the process grow curious, confident, and creative, which leads to a brighter future for all!

 

When not teaching, you will find Evie spending time with her husband, Colin, son, Ford, and pet pig, Charlie Brown.

Jillian Cottrell

Jillian is very excited to become a member of the LEAP Outside team! She grew up in the high desert outside of Los Angeles, California. She and her husband and moved to Kentucky in 2010 and couldn’t believe how green and beautiful it was when they arrived here!

Hiking and camping are some of her favorite pastimes. Her son Jacob was born in 2017 and he has always longed to be outdoors in nature. He is a wonderful hiking buddy. Jillian has always had a natural affinity with children and is thrilled to be a part of the Forest School community!

Anna Kristin Wilson

Anna Kristin has a BA in Educational Studies and Spanish from Transylvania University and a MAT in Elementary Education from the University of Louisville. She taught 3rd grade at Eminence Independent Schools for 5 years before devoting the next part of her career to one very special student~ her son Jack Chesley. As a stay-at-home momma, Anna Kristin spends her days homeschooling, planning fun adventures and play dates, and organizing her neighborhood moms group in Norton Commons. She loves spending time with her family and friends, snuggling Angel- her precious shih tzu puppy (8 years old is still a puppy, right!?), going on walks/hikes, and doing Refit (dance fitness). She is so excited to return to the “classroom” with LEAP, creating fun learning experiences for you and your child to enjoy together! Her hope is that these classes will become precious memories of your time with your little one!

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Your Class Leaders 
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Jennifer Malone

Hi! My name is Jenn and I am a former teacher turned mama. I am married to Josh, have two boys (Beau age 4 and William age 10 months), and two pups (Mia and Stella). Some of my favorite things Involve spending time outside in the beautiful world we live in. In our family we love to spend as much time camping, especially at the lake, as we can! 

Jennifer will be teaching a Mixed-Age, Tadpole Class (0-5 years old) on Monday's from 10-11am at Maples Park in Crestwood.

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Stephanie Thurman- McCrocklin

Hi I’m Stephanie! 

Born and raised in Louisville KY  I have an Elementary Education Degree from Eastern Kentucky University. I was a preschool teacher turned SAHM. Married to Grant, mama to Violet (6), Max (3), and we have a mini  Bernedoodle  named Finn. We love to spend most days outside, swimming, walking/hiking, picnicking, or just playing in the backyard. I also love running in every season (one of the many things I love about KY!) I love watching my own children learn and play in nature and can’t wait to facilitate that opportunity for you! 

Stephanie will be teaching a Mixed-Age, Tadpole Class on Wednesday's from 10-11am at Tom Sawyer State Park.

Playdate Coordinator

Vanessa Beard

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Substitute Teachers

Amanda Brown

Melanie Reynolds

Nikki Gaddie

Paige Yaksic

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Vanessa will be planning and leading playdates for you and your kiddos to enjoy. 

You do not need to be attending a LEAP class to join our playdates. Check LEAP Outside Community's Facebook Page to see details of upcoming events.