About Us

Parent Testimonials

IMG_6076“If you or a friend are looking for a stellar preschool, you should check out Burlington Forest Preschool at Ethan Allen Homestead. They play by the river,go hiking, catch frogs, come home muddy and happy, and this week even took a trip to meet up with the Crow’s Path program out on Rock Point. Early education that actually lets kids experience risks that every other program we have seen has worked to eliminate. And our little man loves it.” – Joanna E.

IMG_7275“We feel so lucky to have our son at such an incredible school. It is a wonderful, welcoming program that really brings out the best in him. The location is so ideal, and the kids thrive being outside, active, and able to explore. The program definitely taps into kids’ natural curiosity… our son comes home every day eager to share what he’s discovered at school. We love the positive attitude he walks away with! Can’t wait to send our younger son next year!” – Cayenne M.

IMG_0799 (2)Burlington Forest Preschool has provided our daughter with an amazing opportunity for creative learning, adventure and outdoor experience; a foundation that will benefit her for life.  She comes home with a huge smile, full of stories about the new, exciting things that she learned and explored that day.” – Jonna J.

“My son LOVES going to school every day. The teachers are amazing and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of parents to be involved with. I could not say enough great things about the school and experiences we have had with them.” – Shannon R.


 Meet the Teachers


Nicole Mandeville – Owner and Head Teacher

Nicole is a licensed teacher with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education, and taught preschool in several settings after graduating from UVM in 2008. After experiencing multiple approaches to implementing a preschool curriculum, she began to look for a new program to join, one where children could regularly connect with the natural world. Eventually, she realized there wasn’t one in the Burlington area! In 2013, Nicole and her previous co-owner started the school. Nicole’s favorite moments with children are those where their ideas and questions come through to inspire the learning of the group. In her free time, Nicole enjoys painting, cooking, reading, traveling, and exploring outside.


Lizzie Werner-Gavrin – Assistant Teacherimg_2040

Lizzie grew up running around in the woods of Vermont, building forts and climbing trees. After high school she headed out west to study at Prescott College in Arizona, where she focused on US/Mexico border issues and the arts. Following that , she worked as an outdoor educator for many organizations, including Farm and Wilderness and Wren’s Nest Forest Preschool. She loves working with preschoolers in a place-based environment, connecting with the students, and building their interests into the day. In her free time she enjoys dreaming of bike adventures the world over and tossing rocks into large bodies of water! Lizzie is thrilled to be part of the Burlington Forest Preschool community!


Lauren Akin – Assistant Teacher

Lauren's Photo(1)Lauren is an educator and musician, committed to building and nurturing community that’s rooted in connection to each other and to the land. She has been sharing her passion and love for the natural world with children for over 7 years.  As a nature-based educator, she weaves song, story, games, crafts, and mindfulness to create an educational container that helps students connect to their authenticity, cultivate compassion, and feel at home in the natural world.  She began her journey with nature-based education when she completed a year-long internship at the Earthwalk Village School in Plainfield, Vermont.  She went on to work as a Lead Mentor for the Crow’s Path Field School in Burlington, Vermont. She served as Crow’s Path’s Director of Youth Programs from 2014-2016.  





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