Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School is pleased to announce that Emily Kozakeiwicz will be the class teacher of our rising First Grade in the Fall of 2023. As you may be aware, Ms. Kozakiewicz has been working at the school this year as our 4th grade class teacher while Rachel Loshak was on a leave of absence. We have seen first-hand her care with the children, her excellent holding of the class and her warmth with parent and collegial relationships. We feel very lucky with this fit. Emily was born and raised in Michigan, the oldest of 4 siblings. A love of animals, music, theatre, and spending time in the woods all permeated her childhood. She completed her B.F.A in theatre at DePaul University in Chicago, IL, where she also co-founded a small traveling theatre company and trained as a yoga teacher. She worked in various settings as an early childhood educator and care-giver, including Head Start programs, Reggio-Emilia programs, and in-home care. Emily spent time traveling and living in many different parts of this country, as well as Ghana, West Africa where she worked in an orphanage school. In 2005, Emily met Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education as a volunteer co-worker at Camphill Special School Beaver Run, working with children with special needs. She fell in love with the approach of Waldorf Education, as well as Biodynamic farming and gardening, completed a training in Biodynamics and participated in the Camphill Seminar in Curative Education. Emily worked on several Biodynamic farms including Spikenard Farm and Apiary, and Turtle Tree Seed in Camphill Copake, before combining her love of working with children with agriculture in the farm-based Visiting Students Program at Hawthorne Valley Farm, initially working as a Children's Gardener, and later managing the horseback riding program. She was a founding teacher of the EARTH Program at Hawthorne Valley, a farm-and-nature based therapeutic program, and taught there for seven years. Emily has over 20 years of experience working with children from early childhood through high school, and completed her Waldorf Teacher Training in 2011. Welcome Emily!