Miss Georgine, our "Roots & Shoots" After School Club Coordinator and gardening teacher extraordinaire, has been instrumental in developing Hickory Hill Academy (HHA), formerly Kids Express Learning Center, enrichment programs. She particularly enjoys guiding children's adventures in learning in HHA gardens and forest but also strives to meaningfully integrate gardening, art and nature studies into the after-school lessons.
Miss Georgine has seven siblings, including three sisters with teaching degrees and talents in the arts, and two brothers with degrees in ornithology. After HHA animals are sheered in the spring, Miss Georgine's sister usually brings her spinning wheel and engages the children in spinning the wool. Her brother has brought live owls for the children to observe up-close.
Georgine joined HHA in 1998 with a degree in early childhood education and a Master's in Educational Administration. She has been teaching for over 30 years and has been able to fulfill her wish, at HHA, to work in a setting that guides learning in very natural environments.
Nothing makes Miss Georgine happier than nurturing children's learning and enthusiasm for gardening. During the school day, you may find Georgine working with the children in the gardens or cooking up a special treat there, using truly garden-fresh produce.
From fourth grade on, Georgine wished not only to teach but to teach young children to enjoy school. She has directed programs ranging from that of a college preparatory private school in Omaha to Dane County's Head Start program. Georgine has authored numerous books and articles. Her latest publication is a collaborative work titled “Rethinking Nutrition: Connecting Science and Practice in Early Childhood Settings” (©2010), which features photos of HHA children and is internationally distributed. In Natural Awakenings, June, 2008, Georgine described children's gardening experiences at HHA.
Miss Georgine gains many rewards through volunteering with local programs that help to nourish children and families. She is involved in a weekend food program for elementary children in a Middleton school, and helps provide homegrown produce from the HHA gardens to a nearby food bank.
Miss Georgine takes great pleasure in the gifts that children bestow upon their teachers, in the lessons to be learned from children as they express themselves through art, discover 'magic' in nature, and develop bonds with their teachers.