Meet our school’s warm, friendly and knowledgeable faculty and staff:
Lauren Denton, Director
Originally from New Jersey, Lauren moved to Sequim in August of 2014 after living in Seattle for 10 years. She was a double major in communications and Spanish at Villanova University and has a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on nonprofit management from the University of Washington. In between undergraduate and graduate school Lauren spent one year working as a student coordinator at a language school in Costa Rica and two years serving as a Peace Corp volunteer in HondurasAfter completing her master’s degree, Lauren worked for eight years as the Director of Global Programs at University Preparatory Academy, an independent middle/high school in Seattle. Lauren and her husband, Keith, have two children at Five Acre School – Sawyer and Marea. Lauren’s passion for child-centered learning and becoming a part of the Five Acre community were priorities for the Dentons when they decided to move to the Olympic Peninsula. Her interests include running, hiking, camping, theater and global education.
Amber Tjemsland, Office Manager
Amber has been an active member of our community since her children began at Five Acre. Prior to becoming a mother, Amber worked as a credentialed Art and Ceramics teacher in California. In addition to her role on the Five Acre PSO, Amber taught in the Discovery class on Wednesdays for two years, was a substitute teacher and she has also served regularly as an office substitute. Given Amber’s familiarity with our families, school culture, and teaching philosophy, we feel she is great fit for this position. Amber plans to become a long term member of our office staff and we will be training Amber to take on the role of Business Manager in the future.
Autumn Piontek-Walsh, Owner
Primary Class (Pre-K)
Terry teaches in the Primary Classroom. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a Chemistry minor from California State University Sacramento in 1986. She worked in the analytical laboratory and Environmental Chemistry field for over 20 years in California. While working she spent as much time as she could volunteering at her first daughter Sarah’s Waldorf school. This is where she found a love of teaching and working with children. Ready for change, she and her husband Scott moved the family to the Olympic Peninsula in 2005 and she began home schooling with her daughter 5th through 9th grade. During this time her second daughter Olivia was born. Olivia attended Five Acre School through the 5th grade. While Olivia was at Five Acre, Terry began to volunteer in her classroom which lead to substitute teaching in all the classrooms. In 2013 she took a position in the Primary Classroom and has been loving it ever since.
Discovery Class (grades K-1)
Andrea has been an early childhood educator at Five Acre school for many years. She loves animals and nature which translates to the way she works with children. Andrea is gentle and calm, always trusting that children will lead her in her best teaching.
also Foreign Language (French)
Miriame was born in Paris, France. After getting a Master degree in International Economics and working in a research institute on Energy, Climate Change and Development, she moved to Sequim in 2014 and completed a year long course on the art of teaching French with the “Alliance Française”. She is now a certified French Teacher. She joined Five Acre school in 2016. She also teaches French culture and history at the Continuing Education at Peninsula College and gives private French language classes for all ages.
Adventure Class (Grades 2-3)
Sarah was born in Montana and grew up in Montana, Alabama and also lived in Alaska. She moved to the Washington in 2005 to be with her mother and sisters. When Sarah started her family, she sought out a school for her boys that would fit their active lifestyle and provide an active learning environment. She has been a parent at Five Acre since 2010. In 2011 Sarah decided to pursue her teaching degree. She spent several months’ student-teaching in the Explorer classroom. In the spring of 2013 Sarah earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Reading from City University. She was hired to teach at Five Acre in the fall of 2013.
Sarah has two children and lives on a small farm in the Agnew area. The Farm has two dairy cows, a horse, two dogs, three cats, rabbits, chickens, peacocks, fish and a bearded dragon. She enjoys reading, being outside, hiking, walks with her boys, gardening, crocheting and making homemade lip balms and salves. She loves living in the Pacific Northwest! Sarah loves teaching and loves how much she learns FROM the students. Laughing with the students is one of her favorite parts of her job.
Explorer Class (Grades 4-6)
Tom Harris has been teaching the upper elementary students at Five Acre School since he was hired in 2001. Tom earned his bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1986, got his teaching degree from the Upper Valley Teacher’s Institute, and was awarded a Master’s degree from the University of Vermont in 1992.
Before coming to Five Acre School Tom taught in both Vermont and California. While still in college Tom started working as a summer seasonal backcountry ranger in Olympic National Park. He worked in Olympic National Park for ten seasons from 1985 through the summer of 1994.
Tom is married to Kate Reavey and has two children, Maeve and William, both of whom graduated from Five Acre School and attend the Sequim public schools. Tom is a long time soccer player, coach and organizer. He also enjoys fly fishing, hiking and camping. Tom also had a short career as a timber framer which grew out of his long time interest in woodworking.
Music and Performing Arts
Rosie Sharpe has worked at Five Acre School since 2008. Rosie has a degree in both Art and English Literature from the University of Washington, and also attended Penland School of Crafts for two years. She has completed Levels one and two Orff Schulewerk Certification (an innovative approach to teaching music) and plays Fiddle in a Contra Dance Band.
Previous adventures include cooking on various boats in Alaska, designing textiles for industry, teaching yoga, and working at Children’s Montessori in Port Angeles. She has two children attending the school. She loves to quilt, read, hike, garden and spend time with her family including her eight brothers and sisters.