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Meet Our Staff!


Meadowlark School is lucky to bring together an incredible team of early childhood and education professionals. Our teachers have a passion for working with children and see it as their calling. Each of our teacher brings an unique background and expertise that helps shape a diverse, nurturing, and rich environment for our children. Collectively, our staff has decades of experience working with youth, raising their own children, and researching child development. We are thrilled to be able to bring together such a caring, creative, and competent staff.


Hope Hawley,

Lead teacher and Co-Founder


Hope is a lead teacher and co-founder of Meadowlark. She taught at a Nature-Based Reggio Emilia inspired school in Northern Virginia, and has a background in yoga instruction. She is a maker and creative soul, through and through, and has shared her artwork throughout the community. She is always knitting, sewing, or spinning wool. She also loves cooking, reading, and setting up projects for her two children. She is excited to share handwork, yoga, and music at Meadowlark. One of the things Hope enjoys most about the Reggio Emilia is the way art and nature are tied together and presented to the child so that they may use their own experience and creativity to express themselves.

Jennifer Newberry, Assistant Teacher

Jennifer began her career as a music educator. She received her Bachelor's in Music Education and her Master's in Music History, as well as a diploma in Musical Instrument Repair. From 2008-2020, she spent years teaching music in public and private school settings, private lessons for students of all ages, and repairing instruments professionally. However, she realized her heart was with teaching young children and joined the Meadowlark staff in 2021. She believes the music classroom should incorporate one central piece - play! She has researched Kodaly and Orff methodology, combining methods from both practices to make the classroom feel like an organic play experience while allowing the children to learn about music. Her belief about learning through play is what drew her to Meadowlark, and she approaches the classroom with the philosophy of "let them be little." 

Outside of the classroom, Jennifer loves working with her hands and being active. She is an avid runner and still repairs instruments in her home shop. 

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Lori McCurdy 

Lead teacher and Garden Educator 


Lori began her professional career as a preschool teacher, as well as serving as a nanny for multiple families over the years. Additionally, she taught a multi-aged group with special needs in a private elementary school. In 1997, she graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies: Emphasis in Early Childhood Education.


From there, her path continued as a parent educator in a home visitor capacity with the Early Head Start Program. She has also worked as a Crisis Intervention Specialist with families at risk of having a child removed from the home. And in this role, Lori served as a family advocate within the court system.

In the early 2000’s Lori  intentionally slowed the pace and opened a home daycare when her own son was a toddler.

Then in 2010, she began volunteering as a Missouri Master Naturalist, supporting schools in developing their school grounds and mentoring teachers in outdoor education. That morphed into being an Outdoor Classroom Program Manager at the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture. In fact, she helped with the installation of the rain garden that now thrives at Meadowlark School!  

All her life, she’s had an appreciation of nature and believes it is one of our greatest teachers!

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