About Wauhatchie (waa-ha-chi)
The name Wauhatchie is a Cherokee word that can be defined as “Great Wolf” or “ Beautiful Mountain and Valley.” The Lookout Valley community in which our campus resides is rich in history and lore. Like most of this area of Tennessee, Lookout Valley has roots within the Native American culture. In fact, one of the first names of this community was Wauhatchie, named in honor of the Cherokee Chieftain, Chief Skyuka Wauhatchie Glass. (From The History of the Lookout Valley Community by Richard Alexander McKeel).
Wauhatchie School Objectives
- Provide young children the time, space and play to develop their fullest potential
- Provide opportunities for all activities to be child-initiated and child-led, with adults acting as facilitators
- Provide individual attention with a 1:5 teacher to child ratio for ages 4-6 and 1:12 teacher to child ratio for ages 7-12
- Build children’s on-going relationship with the land, to one another, and to themselves
- Provide opportunities to work collaboratively to create, problem solve, support one another, dream of a bigger and better world
- Encourage healthy habits and lifestyles
- Facilitate children’s risk-taking, made as safe as is reasonably possible
- Increase motivation, self-esteem and concentration
- Develop respect for the natural world and also respect for its dangers
- Stimulate children’s innate curiosity by being close to nature
- Teach children to become well informed and caring stewards of the natural world
- Encourage family involvement in nature-related learning on site and at their homes
Jean Lomino, Ph.D.
Jean has been an educator for over 40 years and holds a Ph.D. in Leadership with an emphasis in Environmental Education. She spent many years as a classroom teacher for grades K-8, using outdoor education as the framework for her teaching.She was the Director of Education for the Chattanooga Nature Center, 2002-2005 and from 2005-2013 Executive Director. During her last two years in that position she managed the merger of Reflection Riding and the Chattanooga Nature Center, Jean received training from the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo and also attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program. She was a founding member of the board of directors for Ivy Academy, the first outdoor charter school in Hamilton County. Since 2000 Jean has been an adjunct professor for the graduate program in Outdoor Teacher Education at Southern Adventist University. For the past three years she has also worked as an outdoor education consultant and teacher trainer and has been a presenter at city, state and regional conferences.
Jean attended Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training at Cedarsong Nature School, in Washington, one of the first Forest Kindergarten programs in the United States. She has recently returned from a two-month assignment in Guangzhou, China as a Forest Kindergarten consultant for Lions Education at their No Boundaries Forest Kindergarten. (You can read the blog about her China experience on the "news" page of this website.)
Diana was born and raised in Chattanooga. She is the youngest of the four Rowell children. At age 16, she moved to Gainesville, Georgia to finish high school and study dance with Diane Callahan at Brenau University. From there, she moved to London to attend Arts Educational School , studying performance art and music with a focus on the Royal Academy Ballet technique. Upon returning to the states, she settled in New York to continue her dance education and study fine and liberal arts at Parsons School of Design. She also obtained a certification in classical Pilates as well as certification in yoga for children. New York became her home base and for the next decade as she freelanced and traveled. Her work experience includes: teaching dance to children and adults, owner of a vintage apparel boutique and modern furniture sales.
In 2001, she returned to Chattanooga to work at her family’s bed and breakfast. Over the next several years she worked converting their guest house into an event space. After having children she began researching Rudolf Steiner and the Waldorf educational model. In 2012,she started a nature based preschool and homeschool resource center at Lookout Lake. In 2015, she joined in mission with Dr. Jean Lomino to launch Wauhatchie School. She presides over Wauhatchie Arts Center, a 501c3 dedicated to education and the Arts of which Wauhatchie School is a program.
Wauhatchie sits beneath two mountains, surrounded by lakes, streams, forest, and meadows where teachers guide students through nature encounters that help develop a greater understanding of themselves, and of the surrounding world.
Meet Wauhatchie in person.
We're just a short drive from downtown Chattanooga.