Kathleen Nelson

Founder / President

Originally from Washington, D.C, and a daughter of the principal of the Capitol Page School, Kathy’s perspective was seriously influenced by growing up in such a rich melting pot of diversity. Her vision for World Academy was informed by her social justice background and the wonderful role models around her. She lives with her husband, Gary; son, Garrett; and golden retriever, Chloe in Hollis, NH… but spends most of her day at World Academy.


  • B.A. in Education from the University of Maryland
  • Masters candidate in Educational Supervision – Rivier College
  • Graduate work in Early Childhood Education - Supervision and Curriculum Planning – Wheelock College, Boston, MA
  • Southern NH University, NH
  • Teacher Certification - States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maryland
  • Notary Public, State of NH


  • 1980 - Present - Founder and Executive Director/Head of School at Small World Learning Center and Academy, The World Schools, World Academy in Nashua, NH
  • 1977-1980 - Director and Supervisor for 3 sites at Growing Tree Child Development Centers in Nashua, Amherst, Merrimack
  • 1975-1977 - Kindergarten Teacher and Director at Growing Tree Child development Center in Nashua, NH
  • 1973-1975 - Ninth Grade Teacher at Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, MD

Award and Achievements

  • Selected one of Network Publications Women of the Year - 1990
  • Awarded Providian’s Child Care Leader - 2000
  • Nominated for the Nashua Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year 2004
  • Citizen’s Bank Business Award - 2005
  • Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow

Committees and Memberships

  • Nashua West Rotarian – Rotary West – 10 years
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Award Program Chair – 3 years
  • Rotary Fellowship Committee Chair – 4 years
  • City of Nashua Child Care Advisory Commission member 15 years and Chair for 4 years
  • City of Nashua’s Comment and Review committee – 3 years
  • Trustee of the Humane Society for Nashua
  • Member in good standing:
    • Early Learning NH
    • National Association for the Education of Young Children
    • Society for Supervision and Curriculum Development
    • Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue
    • Humane Society of the US
    • National Association of Elementary School Principals
    • National Association of Notaries
    • National Organization of Women


  • “Service is the rent we pay for a space on this earth.”
  • “From those who have been given much, Much is expected.”