Jennifer DeVille: Executive Director, Co-Founder, Lead Guide
After earning an MA in French Literature, I went to work for a non-profit public school reform foundation at Johns Hopkins University. I received excellent on the job training in the field of education, from research on how children learn to classroom management techniques and everything in between. I began by writing reading prompts and activities and ended up developing curriculum, training teachers to implement the curriculum and visiting many of our country’s “worst” schools. By the time my first daughter was 2 years old (2005), I was ready to homeschool! I joined an umbrella right away for support and encouragement. We started out inspired by the Waldorf method and Charlotte Mason–lots of outdoor time spent observing, gardening and playing. We used Cursive First, Spell to Write and Read, Math-U-See and many, many wonderful library books! My second daughter (almost 13) taught me the valuable homeschool lesson that what works for one, does not always work for another! We have since explored unschooling, project-based learning, and many, many wonderful library books! My son just turned 7, and his journey has been unique as well. I’m excited to be able to offer him hands-on, multi-age group learning experiences through Global Foundations, which I’m sure will include some amazing library books!
Kristin Royce: Co-Founder, Operations
For as long as my working memory extends, I’ve had a love of learning. From helping my mom set up her classroom as a young child to spending a decade in the public schools teaching fifth grade, watching children thrive and have their Ah-Ha moments is what bring me life! My Master’s degree in School Improvement Leadership and Administration and the recent years I’ve spent building our family-run real estate investment company have all given me the experience, wherewithal, and drive to make the GFT vision a reality! I truly feel it is my calling to bring this tutorial to fruition to assist other families, like ours, looking for a different and better way to educate our children. As a family, we have used the world as our classroom and look forward to sharing our experiences and building upon them with our expanding tutorial family! To us, homeschooling means freedom and exploration and a passion for learning that will see our children through their entire lives… I’m getting chills! I LOVE to hear from our community, so please reach out and let us know how we can help improve your homeschooling experience!
Nathalie Savell: Guide
I am a bio-mom of 2 kids – an 8 year old boy and a 2 year old girl and stepmom to a 12 year old boy. I am passionate about the importance of letting kids be kids, and being nurtured in a holistic environment that encourages them to know themselves and learn how to be in community. I see play as the most important work of childhood! My background is in mental health and holistic wellness.
In addition to being a Guide at Global Foundations, I also work as a mental health therapist and coach and lead therapeutic nature hikes for women. In my spare time, I can most often be found in the garden, following my 2 year old to the playground, hiking with friends, or at a countryside brewery (following my 2 year old around 😉).
Julia FitzGerald, Middle School Guide
While working as a freelance violinist, fiber artisan, and adding to my skills as a maker of as many things as I can manage, I have spent years homeschooling with my two kids (one now in college, one in middle school). I have never felt that “teacher” appropriately described my role in my own kids’ education; instead, I think of myself as one resource among many, a consultant, an organizational assistant, a facilitator — and fundamentally, a passionate do-er or projects and lifelong learner.
For me, learning and encouraging lifelong learners is the most exciting thing. The value of my liberal arts education at the The Northwest School and the Johns Hopkins University, and my background in art history and academic research libraries, was above all that I learned how to learn — about anything. My experiences working with young learners led me to a deep belief in the power of story, of projects (doing, making, or showing something to make your thinking visible), of integrating and connecting “subjects” wherever possible, and of kids considering their motivation and taking responsibility for their own learning.
I’m a shameless promoter of the value of looking at history and cultures other than one’s own, recognizing patterns and connecting new information to what we already know, mathematical and scientific literacy, participating in the arts and humanities, and let’s never forget practical life skills — how to collect the skills you need to create your life. I believe that each person’s authentic and unique self is essential to the world conversation, that doing hard things is not only possible but amazing, that we can always collect more tools for our toolboxes, and that there is no limit to our capacity for growth. When we are learning, we are never behind and we are never done. Our mission as humans, what we live for, is to learn, to create, to collaborate, and to communicate. Now that’s exciting!