Jen Walker, Ph.D.
Executive Director & Discovery Days Teacher
Jen Walker earned her Ph.D. in English at the George Washington University with a primary area of interest in environmental humanities. She has taught English, history, environmental studies, and education at Salisbury University and McDaniel College. In addition, she has taught numerous experiential education courses, taking students to places such as Yosemite, the Everglades, post-hurricane Louisiana, and Hawaii. Closer to home, Jen has organized learning opportunities from state parks and trails, to art museums, climbing walls, the symphony, the beach, and mountains. She is a proponent of service opportunities for people of all ages, and has worked with groups as diverse as the local homeless population, children with terminal illnesses, and various environmental organizations. Some of her other adventures have been working with inner-city D.C. youth in summer enrichment opportunities, developing programs and curriculum for high schools and colleges, and teaching yoga to children throughout the Baltimore area. Jen has homeschooled her children for the last three years, and prior to her work with World House, ran a homeschool cooperative for 2 years.
Programming Director and Creative Foundation Teacher
Melissa has spent the last 20 years sharing her passion for hands-on learning with young children. As the former owner of Leaping Learners Child Development Center in Hampstead, Maryland, she successfully developed educational programs for young students, managed teachers and staff, and directed the daily operations of the Center. Prior to this, Melissa spent 14 months exploring the principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach at The Young School in Howard County, a compassionate, child-centered, hands-on approach to learning that continues to inform Melissa’s teaching philosophy. At Carrol Community College Child Development Center, Melissa acted as Educational Program Specialist, taught early childhood classes, and mentored practicum students. Melissa is a lifetime resident of Maryland. When not in the classroom, you can find her working in her garden, baking a loaf of chocolate zucchini bread, or, with camera in hand, taking full advantage of exploring the wonders of our natural world through her view finder. Melissa lives on a farm in Northern Baltimore County with her son, Jack and their dog, Cooper.
Member Communications Director
Beth has her Bachelor’s degree in child psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and has dedicated her career working as an early childhood educator in day-cares, schools and as a private nanny. Her educational philosophy is rooted in child directed learning and influenced by the works of Peter Gray: Free to Learn; Howard Gardner’s: Multiple Intelligences; and Unschooling theory. She is currently a full time homeschooling mom to her 4th grade daughter and has been one of the core members of the World House team from the start. Beth dedicates tremendous time and energy to this community, with a focus on the essential member communications and as the office manager. Beth grew up in St. Mary’s County on the Potomac River and enjoys any opportunity to be near the water. As a child, she spent most days exploring the woods and the water, learning about these habitats and eco-systems firsthand. Beth also enjoys living history, primitive skills and spent a lot of time in her youth working in and around Historic St. Mary’s City, Maryland’s first capital. Beth and her husband Jeff love spending free time listening to live music, especially jam bands and attending music festivals. She is always open to new ideas and adventures!
Music InstructorTrevor is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and musician who began studying music at age four. In his early youth, Trevor studied traditional Irish and Cape Breton music and dance, traveling the around the East Coast, as well as parts of Canada and Ireland performing with his family band. As Trevor’s musical interests broadened over the years, he began to pick up different instruments and styles and began composing music on guitar and piano. Trevor is a homeschooler and graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he found a niche for his music by forming original bands and performing/composing music for many theatre productions. For several years after college, Trevor worked as the Music Director for the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Rivals of the West theatre company, both leading the bands for popular musicals such as Hair, and Little Shop of Horrors, as well as composing original scores for many of the plays. Trevor now works as a full time music educator both teaching private lessons as well as teaching regularly at a music school in Baltimore. Trevor is also a regular performing musician in several professional theatre companies in Baltimore City as well as a member of several local bands.