Kickapoo Valley educator awarded Administrator of the Year Award

Meaghan Admin Of Year Award

LA FARGE, Wis. (WKBT) — Meaghan Gustafson was awarded the Administrator of the Year Award for her integral part in the creation of the Kickapoo Valley Forest School.

The Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education (WAEE), an action-oriented community that celebrates excellence in environmental education, chose Gustafson for this Award.

Over the last 15 months Gustafson has worked with a team of community members, Kickapoo Valley Reserve staff, La Farge school employees and the La Farge School Board to start a new tuition free public charter school. This school is very unique as it will take place outside in nature for most of the day, each school day, all year round.

Much time and dedication has been allocated to the creation of such a rare and special educational opportunity. KVFS is committed to meeting the social and emotional needs of young children within a nature-based setting. Gustafson is very dedicated to bringing quality early childhood education to the region.

“Embedding a high quality early childhood education option within the sensory-rich natural environment is a confluence of my personal and professional passions. Having the opportunity to work with this “dream team” of educators to breathe life into the Kickapoo Valley Forest School has been such a wonderful experience. We are very excited to be introducing a forest school model to our community.”

A forest school allows students to integrate academic skills directly through their time with nature. KVFS focuses on the ability to allow for social, academic and life skills to develop through play in nature.

KVFS recognizes that students can learn important language, math and reading skills while simultaneously having access to being outside. As students explore the great outdoors they expand on grade specific academic standards by translating these learned concepts into real world situations.

The La Farge School District is very supportive in offering this learning opportunity to families. More information about the new forest school in La Farge can be found on the Family Resources and Curriculum pages on the website at

The Kickapoo Valley Forest School will be on site at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve and will open its doors to 4 year-old Kindergarten (4K) and Kindergarten students in September of 2021.

Enrollment for 4K and K will begin in February 2021. KVFS will continue to expand a grade each year until it serves students 4K through 2nd grade. Follow KVFS @kickapoovalleyforestschool on social media for updates about enrollment.