Welcoming Mary Faith Laughlin as our next Apprentice and Art Guide!

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We are thrilled to announce that next year Mary Faith Laughlin will be Apprentice and Art Guide at The Forest School! 

Already Mary Faith has played a key role as Art Guide during our founding year. As both Apprentice and Art Guide next year, Mary Faith will play a crucial role in our elementary, middle, and high school studios, guiding learners, leading Socratic discussions, designing Quests, establishing community partnerships, and more.

Mary Faith grew up in Memphis, TN, but considers herself ‘fairly local’ after calling Georgia home for the past 17 years. After graduating from Auburn University in Human Development and Family Studies, Mary Faith obtained her certification as a Child Life Specialist. She began her professional work at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in the AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorder Center, providing diagnostic education and psychosocial support to patients and their families. Mary Faith has volunteered in a variety of environments with children since that time, including Camp Sunshine and The Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Most recently, she has worked as an ambassador for Noonday Collection, a fair trade jewelry line that partners with women in developing countries. Her greatest passion and joy is helping others discover how to live fully alive in who they were made to be. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, traveling, and connecting with her family and friends. Mary Faith and her husband David reside in Peachtree City with their three children, Drew, Lydia, and Ryan.

Mary Faith emerged as the leading candidate for Apprentice Guide role after a national search. To date, we've received over 200 applications for Guide roles from a high quality, diverse pool of candidates. Mary Faith joined us for an in-person campus visit at Pinewood Forest during which she engaged with many stakeholder groups including our co-founders, multiple learners, and founding parents of The Forest School.

Throughout her time as Art Guide and through the Apprentice Guide interview process, we and others came to see that Mary Faith has a knack for identifying a child’s interests and guiding them to explore those interests. Mary Faith is a fervent learner and warm-hearted leader who loves children and values giving learners agency. In addition, her experience working as a Certified Child Life Specialist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Cancer Centers positions her to help The Forest School team provide developmentally appropriate Socratic guiding, activities, and support.

Please join us in welcoming Mary Faith Laughlin in her new role!


Tyler Thigpen