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Forest Friends Team


Laura Johnson

Program director and lead teacher

Hi! I'm Laura. I'm passionate about helping people grow. That love of seeing people grow drives me to teach, to create, to write, and to bring Nature Preschool to the Coeur d'Alene area. 

I've taught in outdoor environments to kids and adults alike from the time I was 16.  I taught at the collegiate level for my former career. Through experiences with my adult students, my own family, and seeing first-hand the huge need for quality early childhood programs, the vision for Forest Friends school began several years ago. I've pursued that vision through volunteer work and pilot programs in the community, and opened Coeur d'Alene's first nature preschool in Fall of 2021. 

I am a lifelong student of nature but I don't sit still much.  I love mountain biking, backpacking, climbing and pretty much anything that lets me recharge outdoors!

  • M.S. in Forestry

  • Certificate in Montessori Primary (age 3-6)

  • Over 20 years of Outdoor and Environmental Education experience

  • Pediatric First Aid & CPR certified

  • Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certified


Katie Weed

Assistant Teacher

Hi, I’m Katie! Ever since I was young, I have loved being in the outdoors. As I have gotten older, I have had the opportunity to volunteer, work and lead many outdoor programs that have only increased my desire to be constantly observing the ways of nature. 

I lived in Post Falls, Idaho until my parents decided to purchase property in Wolf Lodge, (about 30min from CDA). On our little ranch we have, horses, cows, chickens, ducks and lots of wild animals that come say “hi”. 

I was homeschooled growing up which consisted of doing school with nature all around and animals to keep me company. My favorite homework buddies were our chicks and ducklings.

I love learning along side children in the outdoors, and together we can observe what the details of nature teach us. 

I enjoy backpacking, horseback riding martial arts, reading and road trips. I am excited to see what is in store for this semester at Forest Friends School!  

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