Nancy Jones, M.S. Founder

Nancy Jones is the founder of The Children’s Farm School. She and her husband, Dave, live on the farm, where they raised their four children. She has a Master of Science in Child and Family Studies. Nancy is also the Board Director.

photo of Jeanne Leppicello standing in front of red barn wall

Jeanne Leppicello, B.S. Director

Jeanne is the Director of The Children’s Farm. She studied Therapeutic Recreation at Southern Connecticut State University. She lives nearby and is a parent of three former Children’s Farmers. Jeanne contributes special help for classes, the office and the farm and also helps with daily classes as needed.

Photo by Jeanne Leppicello

Photo by Toby Leppicello

photo of teacher Jenny Jacobson standing in front of red barn wall

Jenny Jacobson, B.S. Teacher

Jenny Jacobson returns for her 24th year of teaching at The Children’s Farm. A former student at the Children’s Farm (80-81), she studied Child Development at the University of Nebraska. Jenny lives in Mahtomedi with her husband and three children. She enjoys gardening and the beach.

Sarah Shanks, B.A., J.D. Assistant Teacher

Sarah is in her 1st year on staff with the Children’s Farm.  She studied at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities and at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Sarah lives in Lake Elmo and enjoys gardening, playing volleyball, and spending time with her family. All three of her kids attended Children’s Farm and she is excited to once again be a part of this great community.

Children's Farm teacher Mickey Eckert standing in front of the red barn.

Michele (Mickey) Eckert Teacher/co-Summer Director

Mickey is in her 8th year on our staff with 12 years of prior experience as an Early Childhood teacher. She studied at Mankato State University. Mickey lives in Roseville and enjoys gardening, camping and spending time with her family. She also enjoys walks with her dog, Sully.

Summer staff members wearing their red Children's Farm t-shirts.
Summer 2022 staff

Summer Staff 2023

Teacher Profiles 2023

Many of our summer teachers are college students preparing to be teachers or to work in fields with young people. They team teach in an internship program here to learn the unique perspectives of outdoor teaching using nature and animals as the learning environment.

Summer 2024 Teaching Interns Needed – positions filled for 2024 – reach out in February 2025 for application

POSITION: We seek enthusiastic and motivated individuals to team-teach groups of 18-20 preschool and early elementary children. This is an opportunity to work and learn in a unique teaching environment with a well-developed curriculum based on developmentally appropriate hands-on activities using positive child guidance. There is a strong environmental and science emphasis. All classes are taught outdoors. Animals are used in the curriculum every day.

Dates are June 10-August 22 Hours are M-Th 8-4/4:30 and Fridays noon-4/4:30.

Email: for more information

Summer Junior Counselors: Positions filled for 2024 – email us in March 2025 for summer 2025

Do you like children and animals and being outside in all weather? We are looking for volunteer Junior Counselors to assist children with watering the garden, holding/petting kittens and chicks, reading to children and more! Junior Counselors can be going into 6th grade up to 11th grade. A volunteer certificate is provided at the end of your time for the number of hours volunteered. Training is provided.

Email: for more information

Summer 2024 Garden and Nature Educator – position filled for 2024 – reach out in February 2025 for application

POSITION: This job combines the actual work of maintaining a complete and well-established vegetable garden, with helping children and teachers plant and harvest the vegetables for children ages 3-10 in the summer classes.  Afternoon classes for kindergarten through 4th grade offer opportunities to contribute to the Nature classes, cooking classes and the History on the Farm classes.  This position does involve weeding and watering as well.

DATES:  June 10th-August 22nd. Hours:  8 am to noon, 4 days a week.  Afternoon hours on Fridays for 3 hours and other afternoon hours as curriculum and weather permits. Total hours about 20 hours per week, depending on background and interests.

Email: for more information