Faculty and Staff

Administrative Staff

Amy Flaum, Director of Admissions and Enrollment

amy flaumAmy has worked at Hawthorne Valley for 11 years, previously in the Development Office. She also is the girls’ volleyball coach. Amy earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Springfield College, and is a Hawthorne Valley alum. In her off time she enjoys children’s literature, gardening, and playing volleyball.

To send Amy an email, click here.

Caroline Geisler, Director of College Guidance, Administrative Chair and Director of Development

caroline geisler Caroline earned a Barnard College Honors degree in English and a minor in Art History. She attended the NonProfit Learning Center which was sponsored by the Berkshire Taconic Foundation, and was part of the class of 2005. She also attended the Annual Leadership Workshop Columbia County, class of 2006. Caroline attends the annual NYSAIS conference for school leadership and development. Her previous work experience includes publishing for the New York Times and Hearst Communications.

To send Caroline an email, click here

Taylor Race, Development Associate and Athletic Director

Originally from Germantown, NY, Taylor attended Castleton State College where she played college basketball, attended the University at Albany where she received a Bachelor of the Arts, and attended the University at Cincinnati where she received a Master’s of Science degree. Taylor has experience in a variety of fields and a passion for athletics. She coaches numerous athletic teams including elementary, Junior Varsity and Varsity Women’s Basketball.

To send Taylor an email, click here

James Thompson, Main Office

To send James an email, click here.

Early Childhood Faculty

Andree T. Ward, Parent-Child Teacher

andy wardAndree has been a Waldorf Early Childhood educator at HVS since 1982, teaching Kindergarten, Nursery, and Parent-Child classes. Her other professional responsibilities include mentoring and evaluating Waldorf Early Childhood teachers and evaluating developing member schools for the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN).

Andree participates in the annual WECAN conferences in Spring Valley, NY, and has also attended several international conferences in Dornach, Switzerland. She has gained further professional development by attending conferences which focus on specific topics, such as puppetry and birth-to-three. She has attended Association of Waldorf Schools of North American (AWSNA) conferences as the delegate for HVS. She is a member of WECAN, the Anthroposophical Society, First Class, and Pedagogical Section. Andree has been a core member of the Alkion Center since its inception and teaches in the two year Foundation Studies program and the annual Summer Intensive. She directs the courses in the Early Childhood Specialization of the Waldorf Teacher Training Program.

To send Andree an email, click here

Katie Demers, Peach Blossom Nursery Assistant and Grade One Playgroup Teacher

katie demers To email Katie, click here

Christy Field, Rose Kindergarten Teacher

christy fieldChristy has been teaching since 1997. She has experience as an art teacher, Spanish teacher, and as a lead early childhood teacher. She has taught in various settings including public and private schools, museums, and in programs for migrant farmworkers. Prior to moving to Hawthorne Valley in 2014, she founded and taught for five years in her home-based kindergarten, RiverNorth Kindergarten in Rochester, New York. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from SUNY Fredonia, and a Masters in Science of Teaching from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her Waldorf training includes a degree in Waldorf Early Childhood Education from Sunbridge College, as well as Nurturing the Roots, a three-year advanced therapeutic course for Early Childhood Educators. Christy attends Waldorf Early Childhood Conferences at the Association of North America annually. She is New York State certified in Art Education and Spanish. In her free time, Christy enjoys exploring the area’s natural and cultural attractions with family, gardening, and handwork.

To send Christy an email, click here

Janene Ping, Morning Star Kindergarten Teacher and Kindergarten Chair

janene pingJanene studied Humanities at San Francisco State University. Her Waldorf training includes a degree in Waldorf Early Childhood Education from Sunbridge College, attendance of yearly seminars at Rudolf Steiner Institute, and attendance of yearly conferences at the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America. She has taught Puppetry Arts at Antioch Center for Anthroposophy & Early Childhood and Puppetry Arts at Rudolf Steiner Institute. She is the Artistic Director at Magical Puppet Tree, attends summer seminars at Antioch’s Center for Anthroposophy Renewal Program, and attended the Canadian Conference for Early Childhood Teachers. Her interests include travel in Europe and the Northwest, gardening, herbal studies, craft curriculum study, researching world cultural myths, exploring world mystery centers, fairytales and folktales & Anthroposophy.

To email Janene, click here

Dorothea Davis, Rose Kindergarten Assistant

dorothea davis To send Dorothea an email, click here

Kathleen Mueller, Morning Star Kindergarten Assistant

kathleen mullerOriginally from Healdsburg, California, Kathleen graduated from The Evergreen State College with a BA in Agricultural Education. She started as an intern in Hawthorne Valley Farm’s Visiting Students Program where she was completing her undergraduate degree through an independent study contract. She is currently a second year student at the Alkion Center’s early childhood teacher training. Kathleen loves spending time outside in the woods, with her sister, hiking, swimming in the ocean, cooking, gardening, sewing, and crafting.

To send Kathleen an email, click here

Walli Zay, Peach Blossom Nursery Teacher, Kindergarten Playgroup Teacher, Aftercare Teacher and Summer Camp Coordinator

walli-zay-webWalli has been with Hawthorne Valley School for more than a decade, teaching German and Kindergarten. Before that, she was a Kindergarten teacher in Munich and Freiburg. Walli completed the Foundation Year at the Alkion Center and also attended the Rudolf Steiner Institute for Language Instruction. She received a certificate for Social Studies and Family Care, a certificate for Home/Family Helper, and was trained at Fachschule fur Sozialpadogogik (South Germany) for Educator and Kindergarten teacher. Walli is interested in Anthroposophical Medicine, was trained in Switzerland for Rhythmical Massage Therapy, and cares for the sick in their homes.

Send Walli an email by clicking here

Lower School Class Teachers

Marie Conroe, Grade One Class Teacher, September 2017

First Grade teacher 2017 Marie ConroeMarie’s work in Waldorf-inspired education initiatives in Brazil and Japan stirred her desire to pursue teaching as a vocation. She is a former Waldorf student, has a B.S. in Entrepreneurship & Sociology from Northeastern University, and M.Ed. & Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Antioch University New England.

Marie has been involved in education and community building work since 2009, including working in schools and Camphill communities, teaching English and music abroad, tutoring, and organizing community events and workshops. Just prior to joining Hawthorne Valley School, Marie worked in the Kindergarten at Marin Waldorf School in Northern California.

Email Marie.

Cara Stone, Grade One Class Teacher

cara stoneA graduate of the University of Texas, Cara holds a B.A. degree in Anthropology with a double minor in French and English.

She is a lifelong student of Anthroposophy and has been active in Waldorf Education for over 25 years. She has taught in various Waldorf school settings for 10 years and will carry her Waldorf Teacher Certification training through to the end in 2017.

Cara has also worked in the healing arts as a massage therapist and energy bodywork therapist since 2000. She loves to travel, meditate, be in nature, spend time with her family, and do many artistic activities including, knitting, painting, sewing, acting, singing, and leading an ongoing Circle for the women of the community.

To reach Cara by email, click here

Meaghan McKenna, Grade Two Class Teacher

meaghan mckennaMeaghan holds a Bachelor’s degree in the Social Sciences from Harvard University where she graduated cum laude. She also holds a Master’s degree in Education from Antioch University. Meaghan has extensive experience teaching at the Early Childhood level. Her Waldorf teaching experience outside of Hawthorne Valley includes three years at Morning Meadow Waldorf School. Meaghan moved into teaching in the grades in 2013. When not teaching, she enjoys visiting the beach, handwork, poetry, drawing, yoga, meditation and spending time with her three children.

To email Meaghan, click here

Andrew Sansone, Grade Three Class Teacher

andrew sansoneAndrew is the Grade Three Class Teacher. He holds two B.A. degrees, both from the University of Vermont, one for European Studies and one for German Language. Andrew received his Waldorf Teacher Training certificate from Eugene Waldorf in Oregon. He is a member of the Anthroposophical Society and has attended workshops for both 7th and 8th grade Waldorf Preparation. Prior to joining the faculty at Hawthorne Valley School, he taught at the Corvallis Waldorf School in Oregon and the Rudolf Steiner School in Massachusetts. Andrew’s interests and hobbies include tennis, squash, meditation, camping, music, and carpentry.

To reach Andrew by email, click here

Karin Almquist, Grade Four Class Teacher

karin almquist Karin is a 2013 graduate of the Hawthorne Valley Alkion Center’s Teacher Training Program. She holds a B.A. in History from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters of International Affairs from the University of Washington, and Master of Arts and Master of Philosophy degrees from Columbia University. Her teaching experience ranges from kindergarten to the university level, including teaching English at the Seattle Refugee Resettlement Program, and at the Tele Gymnazium and Tele Grammar School in the Czech Republic. Prior to joining the faculty at Hawthorne Valley School, Karin taught at Mountain Laurel Waldorf School in New Paltz.

To send Karin an email, click here

Michael Haley, Grade Five Class Teacher

mike haley Mike graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in Geography before completing the Eugene Waldorf Teacher Training program in Oregon. Mike taught grades one through eight at Whatcom Hills Waldorf School in Bellingham, Washington. He has attended summer intensives at Rudolf Steiner College, The Michael Institute, and Sunbridge College. Mike worked in Peru as a teacher and mentor for the Semillas de Vida School. His hobbies include woodworking and playing old time music.

Email Michael by clicking here

Kelly Weimer, Grade Six Class Teacher

kelly weimerKelly holds a B.A. degree from Evergreen State College with a major in Art History and Curatorial Studies. She received her Waldorf Teacher training from Rudolf Steiner College in California and Emerson College in England. Kelly has also completed course work at the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology, the Steiner Waldorf Dyslexia Association, and Johansen Sound Therapy. Prior to Hawthorne Valley School, she worked as a first, second, and fifth grade assistant at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City.

To reach Kelly by email, click here

Kevin Kilb, Grade Seven Class Teacher

kevin kilbKevin has been the class teacher for Grades One through Eight in the past, and worked in Germany as an English teacher. Kevin attended a full time training with Eugene Schwartz and Norman Davidson at Sunbridge College and received his Waldorf Teaching Certificate in 2000. He earned a B.A. from Boston College with a Management major and an Accounting minor. He’s currently enrolled at SUNY Columbia-Greene Community College for further studies. Kevin’s professional experience includes working at Camphill Triform and teaching painting in Germany. He has gained professional development through the Center for Anthroposophy, two short sessions about crafts-based education and middle school arts. Kevin has lived abroad in Germany and traveled to Paris, Alsace, Norway, and Dornach. He is interested in local anthroposophical initiatives, enjoys reading about sensory integration (Waldorf/mainstream) and extra lesson work, as well as making costumes.

To reach Kevin by email, click here


Candace Christiansen, Grade Eight Class Advisor

Email Candace.candace christiansen

Earth Teachers

Stuart Summer, EARTH Program Teacher

stu summerStuart has a B.A. in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic. He has a Waldorf teacher’s training certificate from the Alkion Center. He has 20 years of experience teaching in the lower school at Hawthorne Valley. Prior to joining the faculty at Hawthorne Valley, Stuart taught the Waldorf Curriculum at Eurythmy Spring Valley and Second Grade curriculum at the Sunbridge Institute. He has a certificate in Advanced Waldorf Seminar from Sound Circle, attends the AWSNA annual conferences, is involved with the responsive classroom level one, was in a study group on Rudolf Steiner’s Education For Special Needs, and most recently was in a research group on land-based education. His interests include speech courses, canoeing, hiking, professional reading and travel to Germany.

To reach Stuart by email, click here

Lisa Damian, EARTH Program Teacher

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Emily Kozakiewicz, EARTH Program Teacher and Gardener

To reach Emily by email, click here

High School Faculty

John Cronin, High School Chair

john croninJohn received his certificate in Waldorf Teacher Training in 2004. John has a significant educational background, receiving a B.S. in Geography from Fitchburg State College, Master’s Coursework in Geology from Washington State University, Master’s in Education for Science and Math Education from the University of Lowell, and completed PhD coursework in Science and Math through the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. John has also had a wealth of teaching experience; at Fitchburg State College, Washington State University, Portsmouth High School, Assabet Valley, High Mowing Waldorf School, and Great Barrington Waldorf School. He did summer renewal work at the Nature Institute in 2008. John owned and operated Scott Lens Science for fifteen years and Wood Joinery for eight. His interests include astronomy, reading, nature, building boats, and studying Anthroposophy.

To reach John by email, click here

Susan Ambrose, High School Administrator, International Student Coordinator, and English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher

susan ambroseSusan is the school’s ESL teacher and is currently developing the program to support the needs of its international students. Susan has had much experience in teaching English language to adults in the U.S. at a private English language school and in the English Language Institute at SUNY Westchester Community College. She has also had multiple experiences abroad and most recently taught English B at an International Baccalaureate high school. Susan has also been the head of the English Preparation Program at EF International Academy, Academic Coordinator at EF International Language Schools in Tarrytown, N.Y. and served as Materials Coordinator at the same school. She earned her undergraduate degree in Spanish Language and Culture from SUNY Purchase and moved on to her graduate studies for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Manhattanville College, she is pursuing a PhD for Teaching and Curriculum. Susan has many extracurricular interests, including cooking, films, literature and traveling.

To reach Susan by email, click here

Simon Frishkoff, Science and Music Teacher, and Assistant Athletic Director

simon frishkoffSimon is the high school’s Biology teacher, teaches some music classes in the lower school, assists the middle school Orchestra as well as the high school Orchestra, and is the Assistant Athletic Director. He completed the Waldorf Teacher Training course with a Science track at the Center for Anthroposophy in 2009. His prior education includes a B.A. in Theatre from Oberlin College and a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University. Simon has taught the sciences (primarily Biology) and math, physical education, and music at Hawthorne Valley School in both the lower and high schools. Previously he taught at the Lake Champlain School and Burlington College. He was a naturopathic physician in Vermont for seven years. Simon’s interests include natural medicine, music, writing and performing.

To reach Simon by email, click here

Jennifer Kenyon, Language Arts and History Teacher

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Brett LaFave, Math and Metalworking Teacher

brett lafaveOriginally from Voorheesville, NY, Brett attended Arizona State University on a National Merit Scholarship and received his B.A. from Barrett Honors College. While there, Brett traveled to Tanzania with Students for International Change and helped to develop partnerships with local schools and community leaders promoting HIV education and women’s empowerment. Brett received his Masters of Arts in teaching from SUNY Empire State College, in August 2016. He completed his Waldorf Foundation Studies at the Alkion Institute and the renewal course titled “Self Education through Intuitive Thinking and Artistic Perception,” based on Rudolph Steiner’s Philosophy of Freedom, at the Center for Anthroposophy. Brett strives to inspire students at Hawthorne Valley with his passion for problem solving. In his spare time, Brett can be found hiking the Adirondacks and riding his bike.

To reach Brett by email, click here

Abe Madey, Math and Metalworking Teacher

abe madeyAbe has a B.S. in Meteorology and Oceanography from SUNY Maritime and did Masters work in Atmospheric Sciences at SUNY Albany. He taught Meteorology at SUNY Albany and Sailing and Navigation at Sea at the Education Association. He has studied at the Alkion Center and attended Bring Science to Life –  a professional development program at The Nature Institute. His interests include watercolor painting, computer layout and graphic design, baking and electronics.

To reach Abe by email, click here

Lawre Stone, Arts and Humanities Teacher (on leave for the 2016-2017 school year)

Lawre has been at Hawthorne Valley School since 2005. She currently teaches Art, History, and English. She organizes and facilitates the weekly High School Forum, runs the Social Action Group and Amnesty International activities, and assists the high school Chorus. Prior to joining the faculty at Hawthorne Valley School, she worked in the N.Y.C. Public School system, was the Education Director at the Noguchi Garden in Queens, N.Y., was the Annanberg Foundation Artist-in-Residence, and taught both Art and History at the Long Island City High School. In 2006, she received her certificate for Waldorf Teacher Training from the Alkion Center. Her other educational background includes a B.F.A. in Painting from the R.I. School of Design, an M.F.A. from Bard College in Painting, and she completed a New York State teaching license course at Hoftsra University. Lawre has pursued professional development by taking advanced bookbinding classes at the Center for Book Arts in N.Y.C., and has also taught a Bookbinding course to adults at the Alkion Center for Waldorf Teacher Training. Lawre is on the Henriette Reiss Award Committee (an art grant awarded annually to a Hawthorne Valley Senior or graduate), is an advisor at Art/Omi International in Ghent, N.Y., is a member of the Columbia County Council on the Arts, and continues to exhibit her own artwork in a variety of exhibitions. Practicing fine arts and painting is an important interest for Lawre. Her work has been exhibited extensively in N.Y.C. in both galleries and museums, and has appeared in major art journals such as The New Art Examiner, Art in America, Teme Celeste, and The New York Times.

To reach Lawre by email, click here 

Subject Faculty

David Anderson, 10th and 12th Grade Play Director

david andersonDavid was an English Teacher at Weimar Waldorf School in Germany and has taught various courses in England and Ireland. He spent three years acting, writing, and teaching at Shakespeare Alive! in Massachusetts. In addition to directing plays at Hawthorne Valley, Mr. Anderson is a director, actor, and workshop leader at Walking the Dog Theater. His other significant interests include poetry, performing, and hiking.

To reach David by email, click here

Jong-Won Choi, Eurythmy Teacher

jong wonJong-Won completed the Eurythmy Training Program at the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA, receiving a eurythmy diploma recognized by the Goetheanum. In addition to that, she completed TETNA (the Therapeutic Eurythmy Training in North America) in Copake, NY. She also completed the Foundation Year Program at the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA. She received her M.A. in Education and her B.A. from Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea. She is a member of the Anthroposophical Society in America, the Eurythmy Association of North America, and the Association for Therapeutic Eurythmy in North America. Her hobbies and interests include reading, handwork, cooking and baking.

To reach Jong-Won by email, click here

Marie Conroe, Student Teacher, Lower School

First Grade teacher 2017 Marie ConroeMarie’s work in Waldorf-inspired education initiatives in Brazil and Japan stirred her desire to pursue teaching as a vocation. She is a former Waldorf student, has a B.S. in Entrepreneurship & Sociology from Northeastern University, and M.Ed. & Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Antioch University New England.

Marie has been involved in education and community building work since 2009, including working in schools and Camphill communities, teaching English and music abroad, tutoring, and organizing community events and workshops. Just prior to joining Hawthorne Valley School, Marie worked in the Kindergarten at Marin Waldorf School in Northern California.

Email Marie.

Maria Jimena Concha, Spanish Teacher

maria jimena conchaJimena has extensive experience teaching Spanish in all grades. She taught at several private schools, including Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School in the early 2000’s and Housatonic Valley Waldorf School. She also worked as a private tutor for both Spanish and English language learners. Jimena received a B.A in Modern Languages from the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, and has participated in education and language workshops at universities in Germany, Canada, and the United States.

Candace Christiansen

candace christiansenTo reach Candace by email, click here

Aleta Dellenbeck, High School Spanish Teacher (on leave for the 2016-2017 school year)

To reach Aleta by email, click here

Kara Desiderio, School Nurse

Kara serves as the school’s nurse. Originally from Columbia County, she holds a B.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a B.S. in Nursing from New York University. Kara has been a long time community healthcare advocate working for innovative harm reduction efforts in California and New York. Most recently she led a statewide transgender health program in California and worked in the Emergency Room at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. In addition to being a Registered Nurse, she is a certified sex educator, herbalist, and is passionate about school based healthcare. She strives to inspire young people to take care of their bodies and make healthy choices as they grow. Kara loves traveling, swimming holes, and snuggling her tiny dog, Lionel.

To reach Kara by email, click here

Cecelia Elinson, Early Childhood Place-based Resource Teacher

cecilia ellisonCecelia began teaching at Hawthorne Valley in 1987. In the past, she has served as a Cobbler’s Assistant, a dairy farmhand, and as an organic garden assistant in Israel tending to orchards, beehives, and gardens. She studied Botany and Meteorology at Cabrillo Junior College, has received her Certification in Waldorf Education at Highland Hall and also studied the Classics at Wayne State University.

To reach Cecelia by email, click here 

Peter Elliston
Larry Glatt, Orchestra, Chorus and Music Teacher

larry glattLarry has taught a number of courses at Hawthorne Valley School. Currently he is the Orchestra, Chorus and Music teacher for the lower and high school. He has instructed Music, Chorus, Orchestra, Games and more. He has played an integral role in the music portion of the school: directing the music for the school’s plays; organizing after school music teaching; organizing music for the high school coffee houses, Jazz band, and creating A capella groups as needed. He received his undergraduate degree in Music Performance from Queens College, an M.A. for Performance from the same school, an M.A. in Music Theory from Florida State University, and a PhD in Music Performance from Florida State University. Before Hawthorne Valley School, Larry taught at both the Halton School and the Alan Howard School. He spent ten years as Music and Choir Director at Shaa-ai Beth-el Synagogue where he was also a teacher. Larry has been the Guitar and Music Appreciation Instructor at Illinois State University and has been conducting workshops at Westminster Choir College. He composed “Life: The Musical, not the Cereal” and enjoys performing classical guitar, singing, composing, cooking, and canoeing.

To reach Larry by email, click here

Claudia Knab-Vispo, High School Adjunct

Claudia earned her PhD in Land Resources from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her Diplome Arbeit from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen, in Munich Germany. Claudia one of the founders of Hawthorne Valley’s Farmscape Ecology Program, and is the field botanist there. After working on enthnobotany in Venezuela, she returned to look at the plants of farm fields (ethnobotany of a sort) and wilder places in and around Columbia County. Much of her recent work has involved following-up on Rogers McVaugh’s flora of Columbia County. The fieldwork for that publication was done in the 1930s and, with the help of Rogers’ unpublished fieldnotes, Claudia has been returning to his sampling sites in order to update our botanical knowledge of the County.

To reach Claudia by email, click here

Aldo Lavaggi, Lower School Adjunct Teacher
Nancy Lundy, Adjunct Music Teacher

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Kristin Madey-Pilgrim, Lower School German Teacher

kristen madey-pilgrimTo reach Kristin by email, click here

Sheila Mahut, High School Practical Arts Teacher and Shop Steward

sheila mahutTo reach Sheila by email, click here

Eric G. Müller, High School English and Drama Teacher

eric-mueller-webEric was born in Durban, South Africa, and double majored in literature and history at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He attended Emerson College in Sussex, England, where he completed the Foundation Year, with emphasis on drama and creative writing. He studied Waldorf pedagogy at the Waldorf Institute in Witten-Annen, Germany, where he specialized in music education. Together with his family he moved to Oregon, where he became a class teacher at the Eugene Waldorf School, carrying a class through the eight year cycle. During this time he also taught German and music (orchestra, chorus, and individual classes). He was a co-founder of the Eugene Waldorf Teacher Training Program.

Currently he teaches English and Drama in the High School. The blocks he teaches include Eschenbach’s Parzival, Goethe’s Faust, Homer’s The Odyssey, History through Music, and Comedy and Tragedy. He is a founding member of the Alkion Center, and the director of the education department. Over the years he has served as both faculty and college (council) chair, and sat on numerous committees, such as the Teacher Development Committee, which holds a special interest for him. He has written two novels as well as a collection of poetry. To learn more about Eric’s work, please visit his website [http://www.ericgmuller.com].

To reach Eric by email, click here

Martina Angela Müller, Arts Teacher

martina mullerAlways searching for the spiritual in art, Martina is a visual artist practicing in a number of different fields. Apart from numerous exhibits of her work in galleries and various area venues, she has been internationally published as a children’s book illustrator, and has taught painting, drawing and sculpture at adult education centers and at the middle and high school level. The main body of her work is abstract painting, fueled by the ongoing question into the nature and expression of color. Born and raised in Germany, she studied art at Emerson College in England, at Ruhruniversität Bochum, and at the Institute for Waldorf Pedagogy in Witten Annen, Germany. In her mid-twenties she moved to Eugene Oregon, where she was artist-in-residence at the Lane County Council of the Arts, and cofounder of the Waldorf Teacher Education Program where she was head of the art department for several years. In upstate New York she was cofounder of Gallery 345, an experimental Arts Collective in Hudson, NY whose mission it was to engage the viewers in dialogue and activities. She is currently working as a freelance artist and teaches at the Alkion Center for Adult Education, of which she is a cofounder, and at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. She and her husband Eric Müller have three grown sons and live in Ghent, NY, where she maintains her art studio.

To reach Martina by email, click here

Bonnie Nordoff, Piano Accompanist

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Sylvia Nordoff, Lower School Eurthmy Teacher
Caroline O’Neill, Handwork Teacher

caroline oneillCaroline has taught all lower school grade levels, and also serves as manager for the school store Turose Craft & Gift Shop. She received her certification for Handwork at Sunbridge College and a Bachelor’s of Science in Urban and Environmental Planning from Worcester PolyTech. She has both attended and taught at Handwork conferences. Caroline’s hobbies include hiking, canoeing, traveling, craftwork and natural dyeing.

To reach Caroline by email, click here

Sara Parrillli, Lower School Handwork Assistant, First Grade Assistant
Michael Pewtherer, Practical Arts Teacher

mike pewthererMike studied Adventure Education at Prescott College, Biology at SUNY Columbia-Greene and received a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Minor in Wilderness Education from SUNY Empire State. He has received Waldorf teacher training at Alkion Center. He taught the Naturalist Program at Hartsbrook. His is a director at Woodland Ways, a Wilderness First Responder and author. His interests include SCUBA and free diving, hunting & tracking.

To reach Michael by email, click here

Marianne Rannenberg, Reading Specialist

marianne rannenbergMarianne brings over 25 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings to her work at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. With a strong background in humanistic, student-centered education (Ecole d’Humanité, Switzerland) and early music and music education (Schola Cantorum, Musik Akademie, Basel, Switzerland), as well as a degree in developmental reading (MS, University at Albany; NY State certification K-12), she brings a creative, individualized approach to her work. Her long-standing involvement with Waldorf education since 1980, together with her strong interest in learning differences help her to integrate a holistic vision of each child with instruction that is carefully tailored to address specific needs. Marianne currently teaches both in her home in Harlemville and at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School.

To reach Marianne by email, click here

Leopoldo Sanchez, Lower School Movement Teacher

leo sanchezLeo has over twenty years of experience in teaching movement and physical education. He received a B.A. in public accounting from University Autonomous of Morelos State in Mexico, and a diploma in Physical Education from Naruto University of Education. Leo also is certified in spacial dynamics from the Spacial Dynamics Institute Inc. Leo is fluent in Spanish, English, and Japanese, and has served as an instructor for the Greek Pentathlon at the All in Peace Festival in 2004 and 2006.

To reach Leopoldo by email, click here

Helen Suter, High School Sculpture Teacher, Middle School Block Printing Teacher, and Mosaic Teacher

Helen has lived in Switzerland, Peru, and South Africa, where she attended the German School and made her first acquaintance with Anthroposophy. She received a B.A. with honors in Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Arts. She went on to earn an Advanced Diploma and M.F.A. in Sculpture, both summa cum laude, while teaching History of Art Seminars and Foundation Year Sculpture at Michaelis.

Her work includes large-scale welded and assembled steel and mixed-media constructions, as well as textile and installation works. Her art has been exhibited internationally in more than 80 gallery and museum shows, including the Cape Town Biennial, the Newark Museum and the Norman Rockwell Museum grounds.To see some of her work, visit her website.

She attended the Alkion Center at Hawthorne Valley and received a certificate in Foundation Studies. Taking up teaching in the Waldorf school environment and sharing her passion for art with her students, is a hugely rewarding and inspiring experience for Helen.

To reach Helen by email, click here

Anna Taiga, Ninth Grade English Teacher
James Thompson, Twelfth Grade English Teacher
Conrad Vispo, High School Adjunct Teacher

Conrad earned his PhD in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin, an MS in Wildlife Ecology from Indiana State University, and a BS Wildlife Ecology from Cornell. Conrad is currently adjunct faculty at the Cornell University Dept. of Horticulture. Before returning to Columbia County, where he grew up, Conrad conducted ecological research on a variety of organisms, including mammals, birds and fish in a variety of places, including the woods of northern Wisconsin and tropical Venezuela. His recent focus is on agroecology – investigating the questions of what habitats can farmland provide for native species and, in turn, what can those native species provide to farming? Conrad’s passion is understanding historical and modern patterns of animal (including human) ecology on the land. Conrad is a founding member of Hawthorne Valley’s Farmscape Ecology Program.

To reach Conrad by email, click here

Elizabeth Young School Therapist

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