Meet the Staff

Erin Houlihan

Erin has worked with children for most of the 45 years of her life.  She strives to create spaces where others can flourish and be themselves.  She believes in the essential gift of play for people of all ages and all abilities.  On her journey as a teacher in the Montessori and Waldorf environment, Erin has found kinship in this work with the outdoors.  It is outside where we can find great beauty, challenge, solace, and freedom to not only run, but also connect ourselves to the elements of the Earth, and the gifts they can share.  It is her life’s passion to do this work with families, and continue to see Education with fresh eyes, meeting the needs of children with the needs of the time.  When not outside romping around the woods with the kids or building fires, she continues to find her edge so that she too can be learning and growing.  Working in the realm of children is truly an honor.  She continues to explore how she can be an Elder to our youth and help guide them with wisdom and equip them with skills into a world filled with much challenge and joy.

Erin is a Co-Director holding A Living School, Squirrel and Hawk Guide, and Board Member. 

You can reach Erin at

Anna Zinga

Anna has always had the love of dirt and the desire to help others as the driving forces of her being. These two life joys have intertwined in Anna’s work as a middle school science teacher. Anna strived to create a safe space in the emotional chaos of the world for the children to thrive and be themselves. Anna has also worked professionally in organic farming and special education and appreciates the impact these fields have had on her teaching.  Anna personally connects to science, the earth, and people by spending time on cave expeditions, in the woods, and trying to make people laugh in all aspects of life.

Anna is a  Co-Director holding Administration and Finance and Hawk Guide.

You can reach Anna at

Jodie Janovec

Within my 48 years on this planet, I have had a multitude of diverse work experiences and teachings that have culminated into my current role as an educator at Violet Glen. My focus is growing the fiber handwork and related component of the program and supporting the humble beginnings of Humble Oak with a group of passionate and dedicated individuals.  I’m mutually passionate about growing food though my concurrent work at theTurtle Creek Gardens biodynamic farm. I find great joy at the farm sowing seeds and tending to the young seedlings and plants in the greenhouse. As for my collective educational background and training, in 1999, I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and an Environmental Resources certificate from Kansas State University. Years passed, and I now find myself with my family of four in Southeastern Wisconsin, an area of natural beauty that I hold dear in my heart. In my time here, I have furthered my education by participating in the Lifeways Early Childhood Training program in 2012, and I was certified by the North American Biodynamic Farming Association within its Apprenticeship program in 2018. Career-wise, I have worked as a fresh-cut flower farmer, and a Waldorf-based childcare provider. In 2019, I launched Alice Hall Fiber Designs, LLC, a business which I oversee to market my unique, handmade, felted wool garments/accessories. My art is inspired by the designs, patterns, and colors of the natural world.  I am merging my passions for and knowledge of art, nature, and, of course, education. Along with my husband, raising two sons has allowed me to further realize the importance of the educational gifts and personal-growth opportunities that the natural world has to offer. It is truly beautiful to see young children learn how to better interact with peers, themselves, and with the world around them through projects, arts, games, and exploration within nature. It is my job as an educator to foster this learning and to teach children that being you is the only thing that you can be. 

Jodie is a Co-Director holding The Folk School, Beaver and Hawks Guide and Board Member.

You can reach Jodie at

Monica Storey

Mo has a love for the outdoors that began as a child where she could be found running around barefoot, getting stuck in trees she climbed too high and singing in the woods. She named every tree and animal and may have even been caught kissing worms at an especially young age.

She earned a BA in Early Childhood Education in 2015 but had a profound calling to stay home to raise her children. You can find her learning and exploring with her three children alongside her husband. She spent some time homeschooling with a nature-based education and is inspired by Waldorf and Montessori philosophies. She also spent a season as a Tinkergarten teacher before having her third child. She strongly affirms that children already have such an innate curiosity and love for the earth and feels not only honored but compelled to foster and nurture that sense of wonder.

Aside from kissing worms, Mo is also a lover of the arts and has many creative hobbies and interests. From learning to weave, to playing music with friends, she is always eager to dip her toes in new and various crafts! She has run her own photography business since 2017 where she works with families and has a lifestyle/documentary approach. She is beyond excited to be a part of the Humble Oak community!

Mo is a Beaver Guide.

You can reach Mo at

Noel Battista

Noel has worked as a Lead Teacher in a kindergarten classroom for the past five years. She spent this time focusing on social/emotional learning and forming strong bonds with her students. She strived to incorporate nature into her classroom in many forms. Growing up, Noel was always outside with her siblings playing and exploring. Together they tried every idea in their survival guide book making forts, homes for animals, inventing new ways to catch fish and more. Reflecting on this time, Noel remembers the joy and excitement she felt with every new outside adventure. She continues to carry this excitement for nature into her adult life. 

Noel was drawn to outdoor education to blend her love for supporting children and the outdoors. She hopes to guide young learners to find the same excitement in nature that she has found. Noel believes that nature is a critical component to life with many lessons to share. A belief she wishes to share with those around her. 

Noel is a Squirrel and Beaver Guide.

You can reach Noel at

Danika Talbot

Danika arrives at Humble Oak with diversified experiences in teaching settings from public, private, and independent schools to developing her own curriculum at an organic vegetable farm and woodland settings.  She believes the first seven years of life are the most critical.  Danika has found her niche as an outdoor educator spending time guiding young children in the wonders of nature.  She is passionate about the outdoors and its healing effects. Being outside in nature builds resiliency and reverence for the world. Danika is honored to join the supportive Humble Oak tribe and begin this new adventure in stewardship of the land.

Danika is a Squirrel Guide.

You can reach Danika at

Morgan Janovec

Humble Oak has grown as I have grown. This collective movement feels like kin, as I too have roots that tether me to the geographic and spiritual location in which Humble Oak lives. Since the age of one, this region of Wisconsin has felt the stamp of my footprints and the reflected light of my curious eyes. The lands and animals of the forests, prairies, and waterways of this regions were amongst some of my first teachers and companions, engaging me in the eternal curiosity and imagination that is intrinsic to the human experience. As I entered adulthood, I left the family nest in search of independence and adventure. The dramatic landscapes of the Western US have provided me with this independence as well as a better understanding of who I am and how I can best be a contributing member of this planetary community. I am currently attending the University of Montana with the intention to eventually work as a professional counselor. Until then, I am interested in channeling my energy into outlets that allow me to engage with people in therapeutic and educational contexts. One of my guiding beliefs is that much of the pain and fear that we experience as a society is due to the degree of disconnect that we feel within ourselves and within our human and greater-than-human communities. In my experience, engaging in art, outdoor play, mindfulness/yoga practices, and environmental stewardship has allowed me and others to bridge these gaps and serves to create a richer and more interconnected existence both within our inner private worlds and the physical shared world. At Humble Oak, it is my intention to help provide a communal space where young and growing humans can engage in such methods of connection, shared growth…and fun!

Morgan is a Guide in our Summer Camps.