Educators at The Mayapple School are directly responsible for making our school a wonderful place. The individuals below each hold an important place at The Mayapple School.
Melissa West is a Teacher, Director, and Founder at The Mayapple School, where she shares her love of adventure and the outdoors with students and campers. She holds a B.S. from Radford University for Interdisciplinary Studies and has earned a Virginia teacher’s license for General Education, Pre-K through 6th grade. Previously, Melissa West has worked as a resident camp counselor for Girl Scouts of all ages, an environmental educator, preschool teacher, and farmhand on organic farms. Melissa West grew up on Long Island, New York, and came to the New River Valley after falling in love with the mountains during her thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.
Ashton Keffer returns for her third year as Assistant Teacher at The Mayapple School, where she shares
her love of agriculture, the outdoors, and the magic of childhood with students. She holds a B.S.
from Radford University in Psychology. Ashton lives and works with her husband, son, and two dogs on
their multi-generational dairy farm in Craig County. She is an avid knitter, hunter, and artistic
Jenna Booth is an Administrative Assistant at The Mayapple School. She is key in the “behind the scenes” work keeping The Mayapple School running smoothly, from book keeping to childcare subsidy coordination. Jenna has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Roanoke College and provides Adult Day Services at Virginia Tech with The Engagement Center for Creative Aging. She lives in Blacksburg with her two sons, both of whom have attended The Mayapple School.
Erika Reid is a Substitute Teacher at The Mayapple School, where she shares her love of hands-on education with children.
Heather Heins is a Substitute Teacher at The Mayapple School, where she enjoys guiding children in intentional play and project based learning. She is a Registered Nurse at Lewis Gale Hospital Montgomery, where she has managed care of patients of all ages since 2010. Heather Heins holds Bachelors degrees in Biology and Religion from University of Mary Washington and an Associate Degree in Nursing from New River Community College. She lives in Blacksburg with her husband and two daughters, both of whom have attended The Mayapple School.