An Independent School for PreKindergarten through 8th Grade
I am a third generation educator, and have had the privilege of seeing behind the scenes in education alongside my mother, who was a K.P.S. teacher. My belief in the necessity of education that inspires, honors, supports young people’s journeys is guided by my mother, ancestors, and loved experience having gone through K12 education. I have worked both in public schools and at Kazoo School, but Kazoo has drawn me in with its open-minded and nurturing environment and staff. I feel a true sense of community here, and that is what I believe the education of our children requires. Community is the structure in which relationships and understanding exist and grow, and without which the very real and needed socio-emotional elements of our humanity are not validated. I feel at home here at Kazoo and in progressive education, and it complements my activist and organizer background. I began at Kazoo teaching the summer camp Peacemakers, which is a social justice/issues centered camp where we explore racism, ableism, classism, (hetero)sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. I still teach at least one Peacemakers camp a summer. I believe children are the future, and as such need to be listened to and believed. I am proud to be learning from my colleagues as both friends and mentors, and helping to bring my unique identities, experiences, and potential to Kazoo.
I am thrilled to be a part of the Kazoo staff! Since 2013 I have enjoyed teaching Kazoo summer camps, assisting in Extended Day and occasionally substitute teaching Pre-K to elementary. I am a nurturer by nature. I have always loved children, watching them grow and nurturing their exploration through life. I am currently a nanny for two children I have had since 2015. I am also an active Birth Doula with Rootead Doula Collective.
In the Kalamazoo community, I have been seen and heard on stages, film and radio for over 20 years. I am passionately involved in the area’s LGBTQ community. At home I have an amazing life partner, 2 dogs and six cats, and am a lover of all animals. Life is wonderfully full.
My passion for the performing arts and the healing arts pair beautifully together with my love of nature to help educate and nurture each and every child I get to share time with. I’m really looking forward to a wonderful year with our Natural Learners.
BA in Performing Arts from Western Michigan University
All my life, I was told that people could see me as a teacher, but I couldn’t see it because I despised homework. As my spirit called for a decolonized atmosphere, I assumed schools would be a place where I had to change my expression (considering that as a student I got in trouble a lot for dress code). When I learned about Kazoo School, I was pleasantly surprised that not only was this a place where my expression is encouraged, but many people that I met through WMU and/or activism were working there too. Being an advocate for youth, especially with marginalized identities, education has always been key to open people’s minds. I’m a strong believer in applying new knowledge whenever possible, including when conversing with humans younger than me. I’ve done this with my sister who is nine years younger than me and thanks to her, I have learned to elaborate new terms and ideology based on age. Being challenged helps me grow as a person and being asked why certain things are the way they are, brings me gratitude to be able to pass down empathy to other people, especially kids. I am grateful to be able to learn and converse with all of these students.
BFA emphasis in Sculpture from Western Michigan University
BA Gender and Women’s Studies from Western Michigan University
Mackenzie Hatfield is joining Kazoo as a classroom assistant. Mackenzie brings a wealth of experience to Kazoo! She worked at the Girl Scouts, as a Lead Preschool Teacher/Child Care Provider at the YWCA, as a teacher Gull Lake Homeschool Partnership, as a Young Adult Coordinator at The People’s Church, and as Program Director at YMCA.