Faculty & Staff
Meet the people who bring our education to life!
Jamie Quirk, School Chair x220
Although new to PWS, Jamie is entering her tenth year working on behalf of Waldorf Education. Formerly the admissions and marketing director at the Waldorf School of Princeton in New Jersey, she is also passionate about the continental Waldorf movement, and the role of collaborative leadership within and among institutions. According to Jamie, “anthroposophical wisdom can and should fuel the administrative work of our Waldorf schools. Connecting people is my mission.” Jamie holds degrees and professional certificates from Rutgers University, New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Rowan University; she is also completing her certificate in Waldorf Administration & Leadership Development through Antioch University New England. In her rare spare time, she enjoys deepening her knowledge of the animal kingdom, handwork, poetry, and children’s literature.
Mary Beaton, Director of Administration x207
Mary spent her early years exploring Atlantic coast cities: born and bred in the Bronx, she attended college in Boston and London, and worked in Washington, DC and New York City. In 2004, Mary and her family began their West Coast adventure here in Portland, Oregon. After first being introduced to Waldorf education at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York, Mary and her partner Jels were delighted to find Portland Waldorf School for their two girls; a transformative education and right on their local bus line. After careers in finance and event planning, Mary began volunteering in the PWS Admissions Office, then working part time. She has spent the last several years working as Director of Admissions, and is now serving as the Interim Director of Administration. In her spare time, and in an effort not to be too jealous of her daughters and their classmates, Mary has been enjoying writing workshops, working in encaustic (beeswax collage!), and bookbinding with faculty and parents.
Shanti McCarter, High School Chair x221
Shanti joined PWHS in 2013 as the High School Admissions Coordinator. She subsequently took up the role of High School Chair, which she held for three years, adding the work of High School Student Assistant Coordinator in 2016. A Waldorf alumna herself, Shanti attended the Honolulu Waldorf School from first to eighth grade. The Waldorf high school had not yet opened, so she received her diploma from a private college prep high school, followed by a Bachelors of Art in History from Willamette University. Shanti joined Honolulu Waldorf High School’s Humanities Department in 2001, where she taught and worked in administration for eight years. She now lives in Milwaukie with her husband and teenage son. Shanti is particularly passionate about student leadership and Community Based Education – connecting the curriculum to the people, businesses and the natural environment that surround the school through service, guest speakers, field trips, and projects. In her free time, Shanti enjoys hiking, gardening, biking, kayaking, and dancing.
Addie Buck, Main Office x200
Addie is originally from Minnesota where she graduated from Augsburg College in Minneapolis with a B.A. in Metropolitan-Urban Studies with a focus on Community Development and Sustainability. Her work experience includes several years as a front desk/receptionist and in sales and customer service. Most recently her family lived in Dallas where she worked as an Early Childhood block teacher for a Waldorf-inspired homeschooling group while also contributing her time as a volunteer parent working on committees such as finance, communications, and the welcoming committee. Addie enjoys reading, eurythmy, handwork, crafts, festivals, and studying Anthroposophy. She thrives in supportive roles and finds joy in working collaboratively with others. She strives to model patience, empathy, and intention while maintaining a peaceful, clean, and enriching environment. Her educational background holds a focus on Community Development and Sustainability, a broad area of study in the establishment and growth of vibrant, thriving communities – something she sees as very important work of the school and something she looks forward to
Dionne Kane, Operations Manager x204
Dionne joined our administrative team in 2013 as our receptionist/main office person extraordinaire, but she has been a part of the Portland Waldorf School community since her daughter began Parent/Child classes in 2007. Dionne’s interest in Waldorf education began many years before, when she was teaching meditation and studying esoteric psychology. Her studies led her to an interest in Anthroposophy and she delved into Waldorf Foundational Studies and teacher training. She now keeps many day-to-day elements of the school running smoothly as Operations Manager. Dionne spends most of her free time working in her garden and
Kate McGill, High School Secretary & Registrar x218
Kate grew up on Long Island, New York and first came to Oregon to attend Reed College. Her resume includes office work, radio broadcasting, community organizing, events coordination, blood donor recruitment, actuarial work, and corporate pension consulting. Kate has had a series of enthusiasms, including a stint as a master gardener. She learned then that preparation of the soil is the basis for healthy growth and development, which is why her son Brian was a student at Portland Waldorf School. Prior to working in the high school, Kate worked at a host of volunteer positions at PWS, including the library, finance, development, scrip committees and three years as parent council chair. Kate lives with her husband Terry and is very proud of their son for growing up to be a college basketball player and a person who talks to his mother.
Meghan Hof, Admissions Coordinator (PK – Grade 8) x209
Meghan received her B.A. in Journalism from Washington and Lee University and her M.A. in Teaching Languages from the University of Southern Mississippi. Before moving to Portland in 2015, Meghan ran her own photography business that, in addition to photographing weddings, involved creating, marketing and running a successful online photography school. In addition to her Admissions work, she has taught ESL in the High School, as well as in Poland, Venezuela, and elsewhere in the United States. Her favorite assignment was creating an English language program for Sherpas at the climbing school at Mount Everest base camp. In her free time, Meghan loves to hike, ski, travel and explore.
Connie Vera, Admissions Coordinator (High School) & Alumni Coordinator x206
Connie is a Waldorf alumna who grew up in Southern California. She attended California State University, Northridge, graduating magna cum laude with a BA in Journalism and Public Relations and a Minor in Sociology. For more than 14 years, Connie worked with various PR agencies and non-profit organizations in conjunction with high-profile clients within the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. After the birth of her first child, Connie became the Administrator for the Waldorf Institute of Southern California (WISC), an AWSNA accredited teacher-training program, which opened a door that inspired her to work more deeply in the educational field. During her time at WISC, Connie had two more children and ultimately followed her passion for education. She began working toward her Waldorf teacher certification and subsequently attended the University of Southern California (USC) where she received her MA in Teaching, summa cum laude. In 2015, Connie and her family happily moved to Oregon and immediately fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. Connie is a lifelong learner who never misses a moment to learn more about people and life, giving credit to the blessing of having a Waldorf education. She enjoys working with fiber arts, knitting, cooking, jogging, snowboarding and yoga/meditating; but nothing tops spending quality time with her three lovely children and her best friend, who happens to be her husband.
Deena Fishbein, Director of Finance x202
Deena received a B.S. from Duke University in Botany and, after dedicating 3 years as a classical flutist and playing in Carnegie Hall, went on to earn a M.B.A. from the UCLA Graduate School of Management in Arts Management. She has worked over 25 years in non-profit organization management with a specialization in finance and held a CPA license for most of that time. Aside from work in non-profits, Deena lived at Wind Spirit Community, an intentional community in Arizona for six years, where she devoted much of her time to growing food, caretaking the landscape, and nurturing interpersonal connections as components of a lifestyle geared to be more in harmony with her surroundings. She is a recent Portland transplant, joyful to be once again around moisture and family.
Crystal Lawrence, Business Manager x210
Crystal Lawrence works in the school’s Business Office as the Business Manager. Crystal comes to PWS with many years of experience in both Accounting and Human Resources and has a Bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University.
Cathleen Arutunian, Accounts Receivable Assistant x201
Cathleen received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo, CA. Cathleen and her husband Aaron live in Milwaukie with their daughter Grace, son Ben, and golden retriever Sadie. She is thrilled to be part of the PWS community.
Malia Winn, Accounts Payable Assistant x201
Malia has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and Business Administration from UC Berkeley and has taken extension courses in Financial Accounting. She is highly organized, brings over 20 years of administrative experience, and finds purpose and fulfillment in assisting others.
Teresa Chou, Registrar
Teresa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine and has many years of previous work experience as an Administrative Assistant with the County of Los Angeles. She is excited to bring her exceptional organizational skills to PWS!
Rochelle Giametta, General Administrative Support x212
Rochelle grew up in Modesto, California, attending UC Santa Cruz where she majored in cultural anthropology and Latin American studies. She has worked in a wide variety of fields, including doula work for pregnant teens, board president of her children’s co-op preschool, and co-founding a support program for early childhood education and mental health. Her family joined PWS in 2015 after seven years of homeschooling, and she and her husband Jeff are parents to Matteo (Ms. Berg’s class), Ellie (Ms. Nelson’s class), and Gabe (Lilac Kindergarten). They’ve also recently welcomed Juno, a chocolate lab/mastiff puppy who is currently 80 pounds of enthusiastic snuggling and enjoys pretending she is a lap dog. Rochelle believes in actively creating communities, and has, in addition to her work and parenting, started a neighborhood Soup Night tradition, and sought out volunteer opportunities with her children wherever possible. In her spare time, she loves to practice yoga, bake, and hike with her family.
Kelly Hogan, Living Laboratory Director x205
Kelly Hogan is the Director of the Living Lab, the Environmental Education Initiative at Portland Waldorf School and she has been a PWS parent since 2005. Kelly is the former director, co-founder and preschool teacher of Mother Earth School, an outdoor immersion urban farm school taught by Waldorf teachers in Portland. She is also former director and co-founder of the Institute of Permaculture Education for Children, a non-profit organization where she continues to host sustainability trainings for teachers of all backgrounds. She received her Waldorf teaching certificate from the Micha-el Institute in Portland, OR and has been teaching since 2005. She has additional training and background in permaculture, Jon Young’s nature connection mentoring, and ancestral living skills. She serves on the Board of Directors at GeerCrest Farm, is a leader in the Portland area Camphill-inspired initiative, supports the Elderberry School of Botanical Medicine with their administration, leads citizen science tracking trips on Mt. Hood, and is trained in Theater of the Oppressed as a means of exploring issues of equity, which she views as the foundation of the sustainability movement.
Yvonne Cseko, Spring Creek Store Manager x208
Yvonne grew up in Southern California and studied Theatre, Voice and Design at Pierce College. She worked for a Fashion Designer for several years. After her Uncle brought Waldorf education to the family she worked for the Pasadena Waldorf School for several years as the Administrative Secretary. While starting a family she worked for Nickelodeon for many years as an ink and paint artist and color stylist. As her children began school at Highland Hall Waldorf School she offered her services as the Communications Coordinator and then the store manager. Relocating to Portland in 2006 with her husband Robert and two boys, Cameron and Lucas, she again offered her services as school Store Manager. She is a skilled craftsperson with an eye for color and a passion for gardening and cooking. Her two sons are PWHS alumni.
Justice Rosales, Athletic Director x211
Justice grew up in Houston, Texas, before moving to the Pacific Northwest and graduating from Washougal High School. Justice graduated with his Bachelor’s degree from Washington State University in Personnel Psychology and Human Resources. While attending classes, Justice coached basketball in Beaverton for four years, traveling across the country for basketball tournaments and events. Justice brings great knowledge and experience to leading, and enhancing the entire essence of a sports experience.
Brendan Eiswerth, Facilities Manager x222
Brendan grew up in Center City, Philadelphia where he attended a Quaker High School. He transplanted to Portland to attend Lewis & Clark College and graduated in 1995 with a BA in History. After spending a few summers leading trail crews and doing work as a wilderness ranger, Brendan settled down in Milwaukie in 1998 where he purchased a house and started the Milwaukie Sunday Farmers Market. Brendan continues to manage the Farmers Market May-Oct. From 1999-2004 he started and ran a landscaping business, Earl & Long’s Edible Landscapes, that focused on edible plants and organic practices. In 2005 Brendan began with a half time position at PWS helping to maintain the 7 acre grounds and transitioned into his current position as Facilities Manager a year and a half later. Brendan and his wife Tracy live a few blocks from PWS with their son Owen and daughter Rue.
Ian Terrell, Library Manager x219
Ian has been a bibliomaniac all his life. His first job was as a used book seller and he enjoyed that work in many different bookshops all over the country. He has an English degree and a degree in Library and Information Science and has worked in Youth Services, Digital Projects, Medical Research, and Medical History. Waldorf schools have been a great fit for his son and daughter, and the PWS Library is a great fit for him. His wife also suffers from bibliomania and their home library is almost large enough to rival the PWS Library collection. When he’s not in a library or wrestling with his children, Ian tries to support local artists, and will go far out of his way to patronize good Shakespearian theatre.
Jessica Banks, Lily Classroom Lead | Jessica earned her Waldorf Early Childhood Certification from the Eugene Waldorf School in 2007 and has been teaching and pioneering Waldorf Schools in Idaho ever since. During this time, Jessica has taught kindergarten, preschool, aftercare, summer camp, gardening and handwork for grades 1-5. She has also served on the boards of both private and public charter Waldorf schools. She most recently was the founder, administrator and lead teacher of Sweet Clover School, a Waldorf preschool in Hailey, Idaho where she lived with her beautiful eight year old son, Edyn. Jessica’s educational interests lie in brain development, whole child teaching, inspiring a love of learning, parent collaboration/education, and supporting and advocating for special needs students. Outside of the classroom, Jessica enjoys backpacking, camping, hiking, knitting, sewing, felting, dancing, meditation, yoga and mothering.
Brittany Buynak, Lily Classroom Assistant | Brittany has lived, worked, and volunteered all over the world. She has been a student volunteer in Australia, an intern in Florida, and an au pair in Germany. She has worked as an environmental educator in Ohio and as a Waldorf intern and teacher in South Africa, Scotland, Germany, and California. She received her Bachelor of Specialized Studies in sociology and geography and Certificate of Environmental Studies from Ohio University’s University College. She then moved to Stuttgart, Germany, where she received a Master of Arts in Waldorf class teaching and English subject teaching. Brittany enjoys exploring the outdoors, scuba diving, yoga, cooking and baking, is fluent in German, and even took a clowning course while studying in Germany.
Shay Roselip, Rose Classroom Lead | Shay comes to PWS most recently from California where he taught kindergarten for three years at the Berkeley Rose Waldorf School. Prior to living in the Bay, he attended the Waldorf Teacher Education Training in Eugene. Shay has enjoyed working with young children for over 10 years and is ardently dedicated to protecting childhood. He is always striving to develop further capacities and deeper insights into the true nature of the growing human being. Outside the classroom he enjoys playing music, cooking, herbalism, handwork, gardening and hiking.
Amy Wen, Rose Classroom Assistant | Amy was raised in a mountain community of southern China surrounded by nature. Her introduction to Waldorf philosophy was in 2006 while attending college. She was very impressed with the curriculum. Her passion and strong desire to work with children in education led her to a job at Zhuhai Chuntong Waldorf School after graduation. She was a kindergarten assistant for four years and also attended training and received her WECC certification as a Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher. In 2013 her son was born and she took some time off to spend with him. In 2015 Amy and her husband and son moved to Portland, where she worked recently as a preschool teacher’s assistant at Shining Star Waldorf School. Some of her favorite activities are; gardening, cooking, reading, arts and crafts, and Tai Chi. She is eager to learn more about child development and to expand her knowledge as a Waldorf teacher.
Lisa Kimball, Lilac Classroom Lead | A California native, Lisa grew up in the warm sunshine: singing, dancing, and playing make believe. She married in 1994 and moved with her husband John to the Northwest in 2001 to raise their two girls. She fell in love with Waldorf Education while researching alternative teaching methods for her youngest daughter, Greta. Lisa began working in the kindergarten as a substitute and the next year began assisting. She worked in the kindergarten at Portland Village School for three years. For two years Lisa was working as an assistant in handwork when she realized she really missed early childhood. She has worked with infants and toddlers and led a preschool class before coming to Portland Waldorf School. She worked as an assistant in the Lily Kindergarten for a year and a half. Lisa has a Lifeways teaching certification and is currently studying early childhood education with the West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy. She began leading in the Lilac Kindergarten in Winter 2018. Lisa feels honored to be in the presence of children every day and feels she has the best job in the world. She is a loving defender of childhood and play.
Anca Hariton, Lilac Classroom Assistant | Anca has studied at University extensively, earning Bachelors and Masters degrees in Architecture in Romania; a teaching credential from Sonoma State University; and a Waldorf Teacher Certification from Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California; as well as several other workshops, summer trainings, and certifications in writing, ESL, marionettes and puppets. She has also published murals, picture books, posters, greeting cards, and poems. Anca speaks English, French, German, and Romanian. She worked as a class teacher at elementary and Waldorf-inspired charter schools in California for ten years and she taught a short term 8th grade class in clay bust sculpture, math, and acrylic painting at the Anchorage Waldorf School in Alaska.
Jenny Nielson, Bluebell Classroom | Jenny is originally from a farm in a tiny town near the beach in New Zealand, but has been living here in Milwaukie for almost ten years. She has two children at PWS, one in Grade 2 and one in Grade 4. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture and has recently become a fully certified Waldorf teacher. Jenny writes, “I love working in Early Childhood. Young children fill me with so much hope for the world and I really feel that the environment we provide for them nurtures their whole being. I know that some of the lightness, reverence and wonder we bring to the children goes with them far beyond the kindergarten. I have been very grateful to be part of the PWS community for the past five years. As a stranger in a strange land with little kids, no family around and a traveling husband, I found so many dear friends and colleagues, so much care, so many new ideas and such a lot of social pleasure and support at PWS. I love the school very much and so am very happy to be here to welcome new families and their children.”
Jamie Hennessey, Bluebell Classroom Assistant | Jamie earned a BA in Anthropology and Religious Studies from Texas State University and is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Teacher Training program at Micha-el Institute. She most recently worked as a Waldorf assistant teacher at Hummingbird Nursery School in Portland as well as substitute teaching in the kindergarten at Portland Village School. She previously taught environmental restoration and education to students in a classroom setting and on field trips in California and Maryland. Jamie has two children and enjoys reading, knitting, and gardening.
Heather Gannon, Parent Child Class | Ms. Heather is a dedicated Waldorf early childhood educator with over 20 years of experience as a Waldorf teacher and a Waldorf parent. Originally from Massachusetts, Ms. Heather received her BS in human services and counseling/psychology from Lesley University. In 2001, she moved to Eugene, Oregon, with her three children and shortly after began her Waldorf teacher training. Since 2014, she has been an active and much loved early childhood teacher in the Portland area. Ms. Heather lives in Beaverton where she enjoys beekeeping and gardening. She finds true joy spending time in nature, especially when she is by the ocean. Ms. Heather is thrilled to be serving the community of students and families here at Portland Waldorf School.
Ch’aska Quillo, Cricket Care Aftercare Lead | Ch’aska grew up in Minnesota, where she had her first experiences with anthroposophy in a Waldorf kindergarten and as a child at Camphill Village MN. The sweet simplicity and nourishing traditions and rhythms she found there enkindled a passion for anthroposophy, Waldorf Education, and the community found within. She volunteered in both places as an adult, after which she continued her explorations as an English teacher at Kusi Kawsay Waldorf School in Peru, kindergarten assistant at City of Lakes Waldorf School in Minneapolis, and as the aftercare teacher at Micha-el Waldorf School in Milwaukie. Ch’aska is a musician, a lover of textile arts, and is currently studying eurythmy with the Pacific Eurythmy training program.
Chlöe Kunst, Cricket Care Aftercare Assistant
Lukas Schneider, Grade 1 | Lukas is a Waldorf “lifer.” The son of biodynamic farmers, he attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School from kindergarten through 12th grade, and went on to double-major in music and German at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. After college, he spent a summer teaching cooking and farming skills at a Hawthorne Valley summer camp designed to share those skills with students who couldn’t access them elsewhere. There, he realized two things: he loved working with 7-12 year-olds; and he was so inspired by the joy and enthusiasm these students found when working with their hands, discovering nature, and exploring their environment. Out of his own experience as a student, Lukas remembers these lessons as the most inspiring—the ones where lessons from the classroom were given shape out in the world. Field trips, class plays, practical arts, and athletics transformed academic and social concepts into active and tangible lessons. He believes that learning through these real experiences gives Waldorf students the particular strength and confidence to dive into new projects and activities without the fear of not knowing the outcome. Lukas has spent the past two years as a class teacher at Swallowtail Waldorf School. Before that, he worked at a Waldorf early childhood program here in Portland. Lukas began his Waldorf teacher training at Micha-el Institute and will complete his training this summer at Hawthorne Valley Alkion Center in New York. He enjoys observing his own students in their learning and reflecting on ways to enrich the experiences he brings to them.
Johanna Hibbard, Grade 2 | Johanna grew up in California and Eugene, OR. She attended the University of Oregon, majoring in Romance Languages. Her interest in Romance Languages grew out of her love for Italian cinema. She went on to receive her MFA in filmmaking from the University of Iowa and her MA in Media Studies from the New School in New York. Her award-winning, short, animated films have screened widely at festivals around the country and abroad. As a professor of Media Arts at Pacific University she found that her real passion was for teaching. She eventually left her job at the university to focus on her growing family. She discovered Waldorf education through her children and immediately knew that she wanted to become a Waldorf teacher. She attended Antioch University New England and received her Waldorf teaching certification for the grades. She has worked in classrooms ranging in age from 3-13. She is thrilled to be a part of the PWS community. Outside the classroom, she loves to go for walks with her family and their dogs in her SE Portland neighborhood.
Jill DeSantis, Grade 3 | Jill has been a member of the PWS community since her children began attending Parent Child classes in 2001. She has over 25 years of teaching experience, the majority of which has been in Waldorf education. She began her teaching career as an ESL instructor while working abroad for several years. In 1997, Jill received her Master’s degree in Waldorf education from Antioch University New England. Since that time she has worked in both in public and private schools. For many years she taught math to middle and high school students here at PWS. She has also been a guest and substitute teacher for extended periods while a couple of our teachers were away on family leave. Jill’s most recent classroom experience has been as class teacher for grades 3-8 at Portland Village School.
Bene Foley, Grade 4 | Originally from California, Bene grew up in the sunny agricultural college town of Davis. When she was thirteen, her family moved to the East Coast, where she lived until she graduated from the University of Maryland. She spent most of her childhood believing that she would become a teacher, but never found an educational system that resonated with her. After college, Bene moved back to Northern California, where she started a family. Her first visit to a Waldorf school was when her daughter was three years old. She knew instantly that it was the education she wanted for her children. It also became clear to her that this was how she wanted to teach. The following year, Bene took a job as the first grade teacher at the Waldorf School of Mendocino County. Now in her twelfth year of teaching, Bene has taken one class from 1st through 6th grade and another through 5th. During her years of teaching, Bene took courses in both Waldorf Education and Curative Education. Bene moved to Portland in 2015 to begin with her new class. She is married with three children who are currently reaping the benefits of a Waldorf Education. She enjoys her job more than most people she knows. When not in the classroom, Bene loves to read, cook and take long walks.
Elizabeth Webber, Grade 5 | Elizabeth Webber comes from a family of teachers and carpenters and grew up on a farm and a one-room schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania. Elizabeth studied painting and textiles at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, earned a BA in Sociology at Dickinson College and a teaching certificate at Sierra Nevada College. After years of public school teaching, Elizabeth discovered Waldorf education and anthroposophy. She then completed foundation studies at Micha-el Institute, earned a certificate in Applied Arts/Handwork at the Fiber Craft Studio in New York and a Waldorf teaching certificate at Antioch University New England (M.Ed 2016). Before taking her first class at PWS, Elizabeth taught Humanities, French, Art, Drama and Japanese in public, charter and alternative schools. She also substituted at area Waldorf schools, taught English to international students at PWHS and wrote and edited for LILIPOH Magazine. Outside the classroom, Elizabeth enjoys running, biking, yoga, reading, creating, studying and learning, travel and outdoor adventures with her husband and son.
Alynn Nelson, Grade 6 | Alynn graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in Studio Art and Art History. After college, Alynn moved to Salt Lake City, where, serving as an Ameri-Corps volunteer for a year, she worked with under-served women and teens as an educator and medical assistant for Planned Parenthood. For four years Alynn was an art teacher for a Montessori-influenced preschool and kindergarten. She then completed the three-year Waldorf teacher-training program at the Micha-el Institute, overlapping with coming to PWS in 2007.
Jim Conlon, Grade 7 | Jim has been involved in Waldorf education for thirty years, including completing two cycles of eight years as a class teacher. He studied secondary school science education (Biology) at the University of Vermont and Pomology at Cornell University. He received his Waldorf teacher training at the Waldorf Institute in Detroit, Michigan and studied biodynamic agriculture at Emerson College in England. He also completed the Spacial Dynamics training in 1994. He taught at the Hawthorne Valley School from 1986 to 2004, taking one class through eight years and then teaching movement/PE for grades 2-12 and Geography and Astronomy main lessons in the High School. After moving to Portland, Jim took one class through the grades here at PWS. With his current class, he is on his second cycle here at the school.
Virginia Berg, Grade 8 | Virginia earned a B.A. in German from the University of Oregon and a Waldorf teaching certificate from Waldorf Teacher Education, Eugene, OR. She began at Portland Waldorf School in 1991 and her first class promoted in 2000. She completed the Spacial Dynamics training during that same period. After the birth of two sons, she worked part-time at PWS in many capacities: as a high school humanities teacher, grades evaluator, substitute, Interim College Chair and administrative support. She also participated in the Sound Circle Mentors’ Colloquium. When Virginia is not teaching, knitting on a gorgeous Oregon riverbank after a long hike and swim amid family, friends and/or students constitutes her perfect afternoon.
Jeremy Bates, Math Specialist | Jeremy Bates grew up in Utah, where he learned to work hard in school and get along with his five siblings. He studied science and teaching at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and taught for two years in mainstream schools before accepting a position at a Waldorf Kindergarten in Salt Lake City. He has been teaching at Waldorf schools ever since and completed his Waldorf teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California. Jeremy comes most recently from Mendocino County, California, where he took a class from third to eighth grade. While there, he developed a passion for teaching mathematics, especially in the middle school. Jeremy enjoys running, hiking, reading, recreational mathematics, woodwork, fishing, general relativity, playing the guitar, and spending time with his family.
Carrie Mass, Eurythmy | Carrie was introduced to Waldorf education when she attended a Waldorf school in California from grades 3 to 8. She then completed the four-year eurythmy training in Spring Valley, NY in 2002 and spent an additional year doing artistic training, followed by a year of pedagogical training. Carrie has worked with various performing groups and ensembles over the years and currently works and tours with Portland Eurythmy. Carrie began teaching eurythmy in 2005 at the Live Oak Charter School and the Sebastopol Independent Charter in California. Carrie came to PWS in 2008 and enjoys teaching eurythmy to students in the grades, parents, alumni and the larger community.
Vanessa Faryan, Games & Movement | A Waldorf student herself from preschool through 12th grade, Vanessa received her BA in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz, and has spent the last four years teaching in Waldorf schools while completing both her Waldorf teacher training through the Center for Educational Renewal at Summerfield Waldorf School, and Spacial Dynamics training. She has spent the last year building a movement program at Berkeley Rose Waldorf School in California, and is excited to bring her skills and enthusiasm to the PWS movement program, providing collaborative curriculum that is balanced in fun and form.
Corey Averill, Strings | Corey was the first high school freshman to win the Oregon State Solo Contest on cello and has studied with such teachers as Stephanie McDougal, Hamilton Cheifetz, and Yo Yo Ma. He played in the National Honors Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He received a bachelor’s degree in music from PSU in 1993 and taught cello at Clark College in Vancouver, WA from 1991 to 2006. He plays in a variety of orchestras, including Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theater, and the Eugene Symphony, and also formed his own music business, Duo con Brio, in 1989. Corey has worked at PWS since 1998, teaching strings, band, orchestra, bell choir, and 11th Grade Music History.
Michelle Averill, Choir & Band | Michelle attended PSU on a full four-year scholarship, and received a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance. She has performed in such works as Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratoria, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and Faure’s Requiem. Prior to teaching at PWS, she was assistant choir director in her church, and taught voice privately. Michelle began teaching at PWS in 1999 and currently teaches choir to Grades 5-12 as well as 6th– 8th Grade band.
Victor Garza, Spanish | Maestro Victor studied Business Administration and worked in the movie industry for seven years as a Production Engineer. He then became a language teacher in Oaxaca, Mexico and has worked in many different settings: universities, language schools, art schools, and high schools. He has taught history, dance, art, and languages. He received his Waldorf Teacher Training Certificate in 2008 and has been teaching at PWS since 2004.
Ute Luppertz, German (Grades 1-4) | Ute has a M.A. in Special Education and German from the University of Cologne, with an emphasis on German as a second language and holistic learning. She has many years’ experience teaching and developing programs for children, adolescents and adults learning German as a second language. She has been teaching German at PWS since 1995.
Mariama Loos-Diallo, Handwork | Handwork has been a constant and beloved interest for Mariama since she learned to knit in grade one. After graduating from the pioneering class of the Portland Waldorf High School, Mariama continued her education at Whitman College, where she earned a B.A. with honors in her self-designed major of Post-Colonial Studies. Mariama became the handwork assistant at PWS in 2008 and she began to attend Waldorf conferences and eventually enrolled at Rudolf Steiner College to pursue her interest in Anthroposophy and handwork teacher’s certificate. Mariama continued to assist for five years before becoming lead handwork teacher. A Portland native, Mariama feels strong ties to her Austrian and Senegalese heritage and is proud that her grandparents were tailors, an indigo dyer and a weaver by trade. Her most recent hobby is learning about plant dyes. In addition to handwork, she loves to dance, watch plays (particularly Shakespeare), do home improvement projects, laugh with friends, and practice eurythmy.
Kimberley Lehecka, Handwork Assistant | Kim grew up in the Northwest. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Pacific Northwest College of Art here in Portland. She worked for a number of years in graphic design and advertising. She was introduced to Waldorf education through her son and began volunteering in handwork and eventually assisting at the Portland Village School. She is so happy to be here at PWS continuing to assist in handwork. When she is not knitting, Kim enjoys exploring and making all kinds of art, traveling and taking in as many outdoor adventures as possible with her family and friends.
Tom Myers, Woodwork | Tom worked as a commercial fisherman, was the vice president of the United Fishermen of Alaska, and was on the board of directors of the SE Alaska Fishermans’ Co-op. He then became foreman of SE Alaska’s largest shipyard until moving back to Portland in 1979 to open a custom woodworking shop. Tom has taught as a woodworking teacher at PWS since 1992. He completed the three-year applied arts course at Sunbridge College and has taken continuing Waldorf education classes through the Micha-el Institute, where he teaches adult woodworking and teacher training classes. He is a founding High School teacher.
Francine Adams, Therapeutic Eurythmy & Remedial Education | Francine obtained her B.S. at Western Oregon State University. She then received her diploma in Waldorf Education from Emerson College in England and a eurythmy diploma from Das Eurythmeum in Stuttgart, Germany. Francine also took coursework to complete her training in pedagogical and therapeutic eurythmy. From 1983 to 1993, Francine taught eurythmy and high school history at Kimberton Waldorf School in Pennsylvania. In 1993, she came to Portland Waldorf School, where she has worked in a variety of roles, including class teacher, eurythmist, college chairperson and high school history teacher, as well as her current position which includes therapeutic eurythmy and remedial support.
Morgan Bulson, Structured Word Inquiry Specialist | Morgan received her Bachelor of Science degree in Childhood Education and Special Education, with a concentration in English from the State University of New York College as well as a Master of Arts degree in Dis/Ability Studies with the Curriculum and Teaching Department at Teachers College: Columbia University. She has an Oregon State Teaching Certification in Special Education and is a National Board Certified Teacher: Exceptional Needs Specialist. She has worked as a private screener and private tutor for students with dyslexia for several years and prior to that as a special education teacher and learning specialist at public and charter schools. She serves on the board for Decoding Dyslexia, Oregon, and is the co-chair of the Decoding Dyslexia Ambassadors Group, whose aim is to help guide the efforts of dyslexia advocates and stakeholders in order to allow a more powerful and unified voice for change. She has also given many presentations on dyslexia and special education to teachers and parents and is a champion of students with dyslexia.
Kim Sinclair, First Grade Assistant | Earlier this year, Kim interned at PWS in Ms. Berg’s and Ms. Webber’s classes and substituted in other Grades classes and in Early Childhood and Aftercare. This fall, she will be assisting Mr. Schneider with a new and very eager First Grade class during main lesson. Kim recently graduated from Antioch University in New England with her Waldorf Teacher certificate and an M.Ed. Over the past decade, she was a director for Music Together and also earned her Forest Kindergarten Certification from Cedarsong on Vashon Island, WA. She went on to create and direct a Forest Kindergarten in Fairview, TX, for The Living Ethics School, where she worked as a handwork and preschool teacher, and director and coordinator for their Waldorf-inspired events and festivals including Lantern Walk, May Day, Michaelmas, Autumn Fair, and Spiral Walk. Kim’s daughter, Finley, joins Ms. Foley’s class this September.
Thiago Millones, Grades Aftercare Lead | Thiago Francisco Millones was raised in Costa Mesa, California where he grew up a first generation American, his mother’s origin being Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and his dad hailing from Lima, Peru. In his schooling he pursued a diverse assortment of various subjects like psychology, business, marketing, philosophy, and automotive technology in hopes of discovering what he wanted to do. Through several acts of faith and a little destiny he stumbled upon anthroposophy at the Waldorf School of Orange County. There he began his Foundation Studies training and then became the Assistant Director of Aftercare. Following this he took another leap of faith, packed up and moved to Portland in search of all the tasty food and beautiful nature Oregon has to offer! He is grateful to be joining the PWS community and for the warm welcome he has received as a new Aftercare Teacher.
Heidi Schaefer, Grades Aftercare Assistant | Heidi recently moved to Portland from Montana where she worked as a Therapeutic Youth Counselor in Flathead for the past seven years. Her previous work experience includes teaching high school German and working as an early childhood assistant and co-teacher at Glacier Waldorf School for four years. She brought German and French lessons to pre-k through 2nd grade students and created circles incorporating song, verse, gesture, movement and dance. She attended weekly anthroposophical discussion groups and early childhood teacher training intensives in Seattle and Sacramento. Heidi has a BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley as well as an Elementary Education teaching credential from San Jose State University.
Jeremy Bates, Mathematics | Jeremy Bates grew up in Utah, where he learned to work hard in school and get along with his five siblings. He studied science and teaching at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and taught for two years in mainstream schools before accepting a position at a Waldorf Kindergarten in Salt Lake City. He has been teaching at Waldorf schools ever since and completed his Waldorf teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California. Jeremy comes most recently from Mendocino County, California, where he took a class from third to eighth grade. While there, he developed a passion for teaching mathematics, especially in the middle school. Jeremy enjoys running, hiking, reading, recreational mathematics, woodwork, fishing, general relativity, playing the guitar, and spending time with his family.
Jamina Shupack, Mathematics | Jamina graduated from University of Oregon with a degree in Environmental Science and Biology. She comes from a long line of math teachers and envisioned being a math teacher from a very young age. Jamina worked as a tutor in Eugene, which gave her intimate insight into how different people process math concepts. After college, she spent a few years working on small organic farms and teaching in school gardens. Jamina has been enjoying working with the Living Lab to create hands-on real world projects that enliven and enrich our curriculum. When she is not in the classroom, Jamina loves to sew, knit, garden, cook, ferment, hike, and venture off on bike tours.
Sam Wasko, Mathematics & Life Sciences | Sam first came to Portland Waldorf School as a student in the 7th grade, and graduated from the High School in 2008. Since an early age, he has been fascinated by the processes and results of experimentation, whether with the natural world, or manmade materials. He pursued this fascination during higher education, studying biology and chemistry at Warren Wilson College, where he also met his wife, played rugby, and continued to develop a passion and talent for blacksmithing forged during his 11th grade practical arts block with Mr. Myers. Bringing his enriched knowledge, deep appreciation, and infectious enthusiasm for the sciences back to Portland, Sam returned to PWS as a math and science teacher in the high school, and is currently completing his Waldorf High School teacher certification at the Center for Anthroposophy’s Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program. Despite his busy schedule, Sam finds time to constantly absorb new scientific and historical facts, go hiking and camping with his family, and recently, road trip his way across the United States.
Wade Cavin, Physics & Human Development | Wade received his Bachelor’s degree in biological science from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois with a focus in physiology and neurosciences in 1979. Since then, Wade has worked in research and applied science, both biological and chemical. Following college, he worked for an environmental consulting company in California overseeing hazardous and radioactive wastes at the University of New Mexico and then at environmental laboratories in New Mexico and Colorado. Wade completed Waldorf teacher training in New Hampshire in the summer of 2002. His independent study includes the understanding of the adolescent and the development of scientific perception according to Goethean principles. As part of his interest in the role of perception in understanding phenomena, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico in 2000 and a Master’s in Humanities from Prescott College in 2015. Wade also teaches aspiring Waldorf teachers at the Micha-el Institute in Portland. Wade has been at Portland Waldorf High School since 2000, teaching sciences and math, playing piano for eurythmy classes and coaching tennis.
Gavin Warnock, Physics & Mathematics | Gavin earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in physics and studio art, both with honors, from Grinnell College. He most recently taught STEM classes at Howard Street Charter School in Salem, where they focus on education that is personalized, active and engaging. He has experience teaching classes in mechanics, cosmology (astronomy), electricity and magnetism, optics, quantum physics, general relativity, the physics of music, engineering, astrochemistry, and algebra. Needless to say, he adores physics and math! Fun fact — Gavin is also the assistant roller derby coach for the Rose City Rollers: Breakneck Betties!
Bec Blanchard, Humanities | Bec Blanchard spent her early years in Minnesota, but moved to the Pacific Northwest as a child where she fell in love with mountains. After completing her B.A. at Whitworth University, triple majoring in history, theatre and French, Bec spent a nomadic decade working as a nanny and running half-marathons. In 2010, she moved to Eugene, Oregon by way of San Francisco, in order to pursue a career in teaching. Bec earned her Waldorf Certification for grades 1-8 from Waldorf Teacher Education Eugene and then earned her high school certification from Rudolf Steiner College in their summer program in Sacramento. Bec is currently working on a Masters in Education through Rudolf Steiner College, writing her thesis on transgender and Waldorf pedagogy. Bec divides her time between teaching, stories, and running long distances. There being few things as glorious as an Oregon summer, she will be sure to be found ensconced in the mountains over the summers, keeping company with her books and her running shoes.
Christopher Zinn, Humanities | Christopher grew up in New York, in a close-knit Italian-American family. He attributes his devotion to poetry to his love for the music of his Italian relatives’ speech. He was educated at Georgetown University and New York University, where he received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature. He taught Humanities and American literature at Reed College, directed Reed’s American Studies program and was Fulbright Senior lecturer in Turkey in 1993-94. In 1997, he was appointed Executive Director of the Oregon Council for the Humanities and continued in that position until 2006. He has taught cultural history at the Oregon College of Art and Craft and he lectures and writes frequently on American literature and culture and leads Delve readers’ seminars for Literary Arts. Christopher also has served on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Federation of State Humanities Councils, the National Advisory Board of Imagining America, and the Friends of Chamber Music. After eight years as a Waldorf parent, Christopher began teaching literature, history, and social studies at PWHS in 2007 and has studied at the Rudolf Steiner Institute, Rudolf Steiner College, and the Center for Anthroposophy. Christopher has a lifelong love of basketball and music; he persists in playing pickup basketball at any opportunity and likes to stumble along the fretboard of his guitar and ukulele. He is also a devoted cyclist and is grateful to live in one of the most bike-friendly cities in North America. His wife, Nathalia King, is Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College. Their two sons, Gabriel and Sebastian, are PWHS alumni.
Liz Truesdall, Humanities | Liz is a Waldorf graduate, having attended Shining Mountain Waldorf School in Boulder, Colorado from K–12th grade. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Portland State University, where she made the Dean’s List. She is currently completing Waldorf High School Teacher training with an emphasis on Humanities from the Center of Anthroposophy in Wilton, New Hampshire. Liz has a passion for literature and an intimate knowledge of Waldorf pedagogy. She is responsive to high school students’ specialized and changing needs and wishes to inspire students to excel in meeting their goals. Liz has worked for many years instructing students in martial arts, self defense, and kettlebells and barbells (her favorite hobbies). She has also recently been a guest teacher at Haleakala Waldorf High School in Makawao, Hawaii.
Wibke Fretz, Humanities & German | Wibke is a native of Hamburg, Germany. Her experience of growing up in this multicultural city led her to study political science and international relations. She attended Philipps University in Marburg, where she had the opportunity to explore the humanities, study abroad and work for the Goethe Institute in Accra, Ghana. In 1999, she completed her studies with a M.A in Political Science. Wibke moved to the United States to teach German and European History at McPherson College in Kansas, from which she previously received a B.A. in American History in 1996. Here, she discovered her love of teaching and decided to pursue this path by adding a M.A. in Germanic Languages and Literature from the University of Kansas in 2002. With a toddler in tow, her family moved to Oregon in 2003, where her husband worked with the Indian Health Service on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation and Chemawa Indian School in Salem. In 2010, life-changing events took them to Eugene, where her husband pursued a path in architecture. Here, Wibke reconnected with her bicycling roots by undertaking a cargo bike-building and community agriculture apprenticeship at the Center for Appropriate Transport while teaching German for various institutions. Her family moved to Portland in 2013 and she joined PWHS as a part-time faculty member the following year. Immediately feeling at home, she was mentored by Rebecca Soloway, who led her through Foundation Studies. Wibke now teaches Humanities and German and is currently enrolled in the Center for Anthroposophy’s High School Teacher Training, which she will complete in 2017. Wibke’s family enjoys making things (ask her about their wool mattress endeavor) and when she is not involved in a project, she can be easily spotted riding her cargo bike around town.
Isabel Umanzor-Fleming, Spanish | Isabel has been teaching middle school and high school for more than fifteen years. She is a Spanish native speaker, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish Teaching from the University of Bio Bio, Chillan in Chile. Since she began teaching, she has been passionate about maximizing individual student performance, inspiring them to enhance their Spanish language development by bringing Hispanic culture to the students through readings, films, music, and theatrical performances.
Cathleen Badger, ESL | Cathleen began teaching ESL in Paris in 1992, and has continued to work with ESL learners for the past 26 years. She holds a master’s degree in TESOL from the University of Southern California. Cathleen began her Waldorf teacher training at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, and recently completed her training in grades teaching as well as in remedial studies. She has taught at Waldorf schools in Los Angeles, including Highland Hall High School and the Westside Waldorf School. Cathleen’s goal has always been to try to apply Waldorf teaching techniques to many current issues in education.
Corey Averill, Orchestra | Corey was the first high school freshman to win the Oregon State Solo Contest on cello and has studied with such teachers as Stephanie McDougal, Hamilton Cheifetz, and Yo Yo Ma. He played in the National Honors Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He received a bachelor’s degree in music from PSU in 1993 and taught cello at Clark College in Vancouver, WA from 1991 to 2006. He plays in a variety of orchestras, including Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theater, and the Eugene Symphony, and also formed his own music business, Duo con Brio, in 1989. Corey has worked at PWS since 1998, teaching strings, band, orchestra, bell choir, and 11th Grade Music History.
Michelle Averill, Choir | Michelle attended PSU on a full four-year scholarship, and received a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance. She has performed in such works as Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratoria, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and Faure’s Requiem. Prior to teaching at PWS, she was assistant choir director in her church, and taught voice privately. Michelle began teaching at PWS in 1999 and currently teaches choir to Grades 5-12 as well as 6th– 8th Grade band.
Tom Myers, Applied Arts | Tom worked as a commercial fisherman, was the vice president of the United Fishermen of Alaska, and was on the board of directors of the SE Alaska Fishermans’ Co-op. He then became foreman of SE Alaska’s largest shipyard until moving back to Portland in 1979 to open a custom woodworking shop. Tom has taught as a woodworking teacher at PWS since 1992. He completed the three-year applied arts course at Sunbridge College and has taken continuing Waldorf education classes through the Micha-el Institute, where he teaches adult woodworking and teacher training classes. He is a founding High School teacher.
Katherine Pomeroy, Applied Arts | Katherine was born in Philadelphia, moving to the Portland area as a second grader. Katherine studied fine arts at Portland State University with a concentration in drawing, weaving, and ceramics. Later, she continued at Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, where she studied weaving, textile surface design, natural dying and Book Arts and Printmaking. Katherine completed the three-year Applied Arts Program at Sunbridge College in 1998 and she currently serves as a part-time faculty member at Rudolf Steiner College’s Handwork Teacher Training program. Her outside interests include fabric arts, gardening and cooking, bookbinding, printmaking, and playing the piano. Handwork, crafts, and the home arts have been a centering thread running through her life and she enjoys the opportunity to share her many years of practical experience and her love of the activity with the students at PWS. Katherine has taught at PWS since 1994 and her grown sons are both PWS alumni. She lives in Beaverton with her husband and their two dogs.
Nina Churchill, Fine Arts | Nina Churchill grew up in Washington and comes from a family of artists, architects and designers, with art education being central to her family. Nina studied Fine Arts at WSU as a student in the Honors College, receiving her BA in Fine Arts, Summa Cum Laude. Upon graduation, she moved to New York where she earned a M.S. in Communications Design from Pratt Institute with honors. Following graduation, Nina stayed in New York, working professionally in art, graphic design and package design, where part of her work was creating identity systems for large corporations. Six years later, Nina and her husband moved to the Bay Area, where she continued to work in art and design and rekindled her lifelong interest in plants and the natural world. She expanded her work into residential landscape design and received a certificate in Landscape Design from UC Berkeley. During these years, Nina’s two children were born and began their Waldorf educations. Nina began teaching at a Waldorf-inspired school in Marin County as a pre-school assistant. She received her teaching certification from the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2005. That year, she and her family relocated to Portland, where she began teaching at our high school, first teaching main lesson in art history and growing to include main lessons in modern art history, architectural history, geology and orientation classes for students new to the high school. Alongside her high school teaching, she taught pedagogical sculpture, middle school art and assisted in handwork in the lower school. She has just completed an 8-year journey through the grades, and is taking another middle school class in addition to returning to her PWS roots in the High School. Nina enjoys creating art, being outdoors, gardening, sewing, reading, walking and especially spending time with her husband and two children.
Sarah Rem, Eurythmy | Sarah was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California where she attended the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara from Kindergarten-8th grade. She completed her eurythmy training in 2008 at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California. Upon finishing the training, she taught for two years at the Chicago Waldorf School, then joined the Eurythmeum Fairytale Ensemble in Stuttgart, Germany, where she toured and performed eurythmy throughout Europe. Sarah came to Portland Waldorf School in 2011, where she teaches in the High School. Sarah is very happy to be in Portland, where she continues to work artistically and deepen her pedagogical capacities. Taking advantage of the natural beauty the Northwest has to offer, she also enjoys fly fishing, baking and gardening.
Carlye Bryant, Games/Movement | Carlye has been a member of the Portland Waldorf community as a parent, teacher and volunteer for more than fifteen years. A lifelong mover and athlete, Carlye enjoys cycling both on and off road, running, paddling, skiing, rowing, and anything to do with the out-of-doors. She is a former endurance racer, having trained and raced duathlons, Olympic and half-ironman distance races for nearly a decade. She is a registered yoga teacher, and has taught throughout Portland over the past decade. Her two children attended PWS from preschool through 8th grade. Carlye has received Spacial Dynamics training, and she holds a degree in Communications from Northern Michigan University, with minors in English and Journalism. She is passionate and enthusiastic about working with adolescents and brings a fun, spirited energy to her teaching.
Jeanne Rogers, Drama | Jeanne was trained as an actress at the world-renowned Neighborhood Playhouse in NYC, where she studied under legendary acting teacher Sanford Meisner. A professional actress for over 30 years, Jeanne has performed opposite many well-known actors such as Nick Nolte, Don Johnson, Ron Howard, Marion Ross, and Margaret Hamilton. She has guest starred on TV shows such as LOST and Grimm and has been featured in several movies, most recently You May Not Kiss the Bride with Rob Schneider. Jeanne has extensive experience teaching teen’s and children’s drama classes on a regular basis. She was Director of Youth Education in Hawaii at The Academy of Film and Television, taught at the non-profit Free Arts Clinic in Los Angeles, and for 10 years Jeanne was the Drama Teacher at the Honolulu Waldorf High School. Jeanne has also directed many plays including; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Harvey, Look Homeward Angel, The Crucible, Hamlet, and many others… Since moving to Oregon, she has taught drama for the Northwest Children’s Theatre and Oregon Children’s Theatre. She is thrilled to be working as the Drama Teacher at Portland Waldorf School.
Michael Johnson, Life Skills | Michael “Chael” Johnson received his B.S. in Psychology specializing in developmental psychology and Youth Development from Utah State University. Shortly thereafter he moved to Perth, Australia, where he became a counselor and sexual educator for rural primary and secondary schools as well as adults with developmental delays and Downs Syndrome. His passion for sexual education stems from prevention of sexual assault on children and this preventative passion began branching into other fields of prevention. After returning to the US he became the Program Manager for Salt Lake County’s Youth Services Substance Abuse Prevention program and a certified Rape Crisis Advocate and Prevention Coordinator. This passion has continued to drive him toward education. The recent move to Portland, with his new young family, opened up the opportunity to teach in his first experience with a Waldorf school. He also enjoys camping, acting, public speaking, and continued education in mental health and prevention.
Joshua Talbert, Student Assistance Coordinator | Joshua graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a Master of Arts in Professional Mental Health Counseling and from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics, Classical Civilization Concentration. He is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Oregon and has worked as a child and family therapist at The Center at Heron Hill in Canby, an outdoor, nature-based outpatient clinic for adults, children, and families. He also has specialized training in Ecopsychology, which considers the patient’s relationship to their environment as an important part of improving their health. Joshua is a Waldorf parent and a strong advocate for teens.
Simone Levine, Outdoor Program Coordinator | Simone has a BA in Communications and Photography from DePaul University, and an MA in International Education and Development Cross-Cultural Exchange and Training / Peace and Conflict from New York University. She worked as the Program Director and International Educator at Carpe Diem Education in Portland for seven years before founding her own business called Intrepid Gap, where she is the Chief of Endless Opportunities (CEO). She counsels and coaches students and families who plan on taking a gap year by connecting them with alternatives to education and work, matching interests with internships, volunteer positions, apprenticeships, and cultural study programs worldwide. Simone is also a certified Wilderness First Responder and an experienced yoga teacher, and has worked on several PWHS outdoor trips in the past. She is looking forward to leading the trips this year with our high school students.