Eliza Petzinger demonstrates a great balance of enthusiasm and leadership and a strong connection with the community of Owen County. She comes to the project with knowledge and understanding of the communities’ affairs and innovation issues, gleaned from growing up and raising a family in Owen County.
Eliza holds a B.A. with honors in Biology from Wittenberg University. She also successfully earned graduate credits in Environmental Ethics, Human Physiology and Natural Sciences from the University of Utah via the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Eliza has volunteered and accepted numerous research positions spanning from Bermuda to Hawaii and back to her home land of Kentucky. Eliza worked for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, as a Fish Restoration Biologist, where she was named project leader on the restoration of two endangered fish species.
Eliza’s focus now is on raising her children, and she is directing her resources and extensive relationships towards founding a school for her own kids and community at large. Having grown up in Owen county, Eliza is deeply entrenched in the community, awarded an official “Sweet Owen Citizen,” honored with the retiring of her basketball jersey and being inducted into the Owen County High School Athletics Hall of Fame.
Eliza is very dedicated to making this school a safe learning environment where children can grow into respected citizens of the global community.
In addition to beginning Owen County Montessori, Emily Lofald’s current undertaking, is running, managing, and working on her own small family farm, “Hundred Happy Acres,” which specializes in pasture-raised, heritage breed meats. Emily and her husband, Ken, have also allocated approximately 82 acres to forest stewardship in their efforts to maintain, support, and ensure that this significant part of a healthy eco-system survives, flourishes, and spreads to other farms. Emily was awarded the 2013 Outstanding Regional Forest Steward Award for the North Central Region of Kentucky.
Emily earned her B.S. in exercise physiology, with a focus on nutrition, from Ohio State University. Since then, she has pursued additional education in the areas of natural, organic, and ‘earth-friendly,’ sustainable methodology, which she has incorporated into her approach to nutrition, agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, and the raising of her two sons. She is also a determined advocate, educating others as to the importance of creating more sustainable farms and lifestyles.
Due to Emily’s desire to educate others in the areas of self-sufficiency, sustainable farming & lifestyle, her passion now, is to raise her two sons in an environment that will strengthen and empower them to that end, while also providing them with a solid, academic background. Thus, her energy is now focused on creating an alternative school for the young people of the community in which she resides.
Director of Child Care
As a young girl growing up in the beautiful loving arms of Owen County Kentucky, all of my mother’s closest friends were teachers or caregivers of children. As was she. Through their love of teaching they taught me to also love teaching. Since my teen years I have loved spending time around young children. My first job at the age 16 was working at the Montessori School of Frankfort’s summer camp, and later as the assistant teacher for their daycare. I started noticing children “naturally took to me” and me to them. At age 18 I worked for Kentucky State University’s daycare center Rosenwald as a teacher of the two year olds. Through Rosenwald’s extensive training I learned the great importance of my job which is the corner stone of any small child’s entire life, instilling the love of learning through play. At the age of 20 I moved to Texas to be with family and to experience life in the big city. I worked in Houston’s daycares for five years (A&B nursery school and Kindercare) when I then discovered the fantastic world of being a families’ personal nanny! I nannied for the two children of astronaut Eileen Collins for 15 years (boy howdy was THAT fun!). Once her children ‘outgrew me’ in 2009 I moved home to my sweet Kentucky. I’ve nannied for a few families since being back but I have missed teaching in a daycare setting where I can reach out to more children at once. My dreams of having a small classroom of young children in this wonderful community has come true, and I’m overjoyed to be working with Owen County Montessori!
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