Hello, my name is Melissa Haugo or Miss Melissa as the children call me. I am a Fargo, North Dakota native but have lived in Iowa since 2006. I received a B.S. in elementary education with early childhood and reading endorsements from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2005. In March 2021, I completed the nature-based teacher certification through the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools (ERAFANS).
For 10 years I was the director and teacher at a small Lutheran preschool. My desire to introduce children to nature grew stronger each year. Finally, the opportunity to open Hugging Tree Nature Preschool arrived in September 2021. Hugging Tree is in its 3rd year and I am in my 15th year of teaching preschool.
Outside of school, my husband Brady, our 7 year old daughter Summer, 2 dogs (Lucy and Kasey), and I love to explore. We enjoy traveling and taking day trips. I am an avid trail runner and spend a lot of time running on the dirt trails in the Cedar Valley.
In addition to a passion for the outdoors, I have a passion for music. I play as a substitute violist in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony and freelance around the community.