Meet WSP

Early Childhood Faculty

christinaa2015Christina Assirati

Early Childhood Director, Honeybee Nursery Teacher
Christina Assirati has many years of experience working in early childhood education in both private and Waldorf school settings. She earned a BA in Education and BS in Health and Nutrition from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; where she is originally from. In 2007, Christina received her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Teacher Training Program. She holds a Site Supervisor permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. In 2016, she completed the RIE Foundation Course at the Resource for Infant Educarers. In her free time, Christina enjoys knitting, gardening, and being outdoors with her family.

yasukoi2015Yasuko Inoue

Apple Blossom Nursery Teacher
Yasuko grew up in Kobe, Japan and graduated from Osaka University of Foreign Studies with BS in German Studies, where she met Waldorf Education for the first time. This special meeting and her own educational experiences in Japan led her to the decision to come to the United States. She explored the different styles and possibilities in Education at Indiana University and received her Master of Science degree in Elementary Education. After working as a second grade teacher at a public language immersion school in Culver City, Yasuko moved to Northern California to start her family. Since then, she has been following her passion for Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy, and has been part of WSP community for the past 10 years as a parent, an aide in Extended Care, and an assistant teacher in Rose Kindergarten. Yasuko received her Waldorf teaching certification from Rudolf Steiner College in 2010.

Angie Johnson

Rose Kindergarten Teacher
Angie holds BA in Human Development from California State University with a major in Early Childhood Development and a minor in Special Needs. She has 15 years of experience working in licensed early childhood programs, and holds a Site Supervisor permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. In addition to this training and experience, she is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Teacher Training program at the West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy. Angie is a wool/fiber art enthusiast and enjoys creating various toys and decor to share with the WSP community.

Megan Lin

Bluebell Nursery Teacher
Megan is a Bay Area native. She holds a BA in Liberal Studies and an Early Childhood Teaching Certificate from Rudolf Steiner College. She has been working with young children and their families in a Waldorf setting for the past 12 years, and has taught parent/child playgroups, nursery, kindergarten, and high school students. Megan founded the High School Handbell Music Ensemble for WSP and has been working for the school since 2011. In her free time, Megan enjoys training and performing in classical ballet, watching baseball, reading, and spending time with her family.

aliciaAlicia Miller

Morning Glory Kindergarten Teacher
Alicia was born in California and is a native of the Bay Area. She began in the early childhood field as a nanny, before earning a BA in Early Childhood Development from Brandman University. She completed the LifeWays Early Childhood training and was the owner of a home-based LifeWays program for several years before she became an Early Childhood Aide at WSP in 2016. Alicia is currently working towards her Waldorf Teacher Training at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher training and will graduate in 2018. In her free time, she enjoys painting, hiking, and visiting the beach.

Anchita Nidhindra

Sunflower Kindergarten Teacher
Anchita grew up in India, where she attended Medical school, and obtained her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) degree. She was introduced to Waldorf Education after she moved to the United States and started her family. She is studying with the West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy in British Columbia, Canada to receive her Waldorf Teaching Certificate. Anchita also holds Early Childhood Education credits to comply with the state of California Community Care License. Anchita worked in the Early Childhood program at WSP for several years before becoming the Sunflower lead teacher. Her inspiration comes from the principles and practices of Waldorf pedagogy that honor and nurture the unique as well as universal elements within each human being. Anchita’s other passions are hiking, gardening, and reading.

JaneJane Schwartz Philipson

Grades Extended Care and Parenting Child Program Teacher
Jane is a graduate of Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. She holds degrees in both Education and English and American Literature. Inspired by her mother’s work as an early childhood educator, Jane went on to teach kindergarten and primary grades both in the Midwest and the Bay Area. She holds special interest in the process of reading and language development in young children and has provided both parent education workshops and private instruction/support for primary grades children in this area.

Grades 1 – 8 Faculty

Ramona Budrys

Grade 1 Teacher
Originally from Connecticut, Ramona moved to the Bay Area in 1988, completed her law degree at Santa Clara University, and worked as a prosecutor for several years. Motherhood led her to Waldorf education, and she completed her Waldorf teacher training at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California. Finding the classroom infinitely more interesting than the courtroom, she has been teaching since 2004. Ramona hopes the children entrusted to her at WSP find her love of learning infectious.

Catherine Dwyer

Grade 2 Teacher
Catherine joined WSP as our Grade 1 teacher in 2018. She has a degree in Educational Psychology from UCLA and earned her Waldorf Teaching certificate from the Kula Makua Waldorf Teacher Training Center in Hawaii. Catherine came to us from the Honolulu Waldorf School and brings with her many years of experience, not only as a grades teacher, but also in handwork, junior high humanities, middle school/high school science, early childhood, and in administration.

Suman Desai

Grade 3 Teacher
Suman was born and raised in South India, where she studied Electronics and Communications Engineering. She moved to the United States in the late 90’s to work as a Software Engineer at America Online. She met Waldorf Education when her family temporarily moved to India for about 4 years, during which she had the opportunity to work as a class teacher at a pioneering Waldorf School in Bangalore. Suman completed her Waldorf Teacher Training in 2018 and has been associated with WSP during the last few years in various capacities including her teacher training practicum and substituting in the grades. She is excited to continue the journey with this class and be a part of WSP.

monica2015Monica Laurent

Grade 4 Teacher
Monica was born and raised in Italy where she graduated from the Catholic University of Milan with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She moved to the United States and earned a master’s degree in Multicultural Communication from DePaul University. Monica graduated from the Rudolf Steiner College Teacher Training Program in 2005 and from the Gradalis training in Trans-Disciplinary Therapeutic Education in 2006. She is also trained in the Lindamood-Bell language and math program. Monica worked as an intern and then became the co-director of the Educational Support Department before taking her first first grade class in 2008, which she graduated in 2016. Monica is excited to begin the journey again with her new class.

cathyw2015Cathy Waheed

Grade 5 Teacher
Cathy grew up in California where she attended High School, the University of San Diego and the University of the Pacific where she graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering.  She left network engineering to volunteer and work at WSP, first by joining the handwork group at WSP in 1998, and three years later she was working in development for the school. She started the Waldorf teacher training and began teaching as a substitute at WSP.  Cathy enjoys family, cooking, travel, running, skiing, sailing, gardening and reading.

Alecia Dodge

Grade 6 Teacher
Alecia has been teaching in Waldorf Education for over 28 years. As a handwork teacher, she taught for fourteen years at the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara followed by four years at Waldorf School of the Peninsula. She returned to the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara as a class teacher in 2010 and graduated that class in 2017. In 1999 she was part of the first graduating class of the Applied Arts Program at Sunbridge College in Spring Valley, New York. Alecia holds a BS degree in Home Economics from the University of California at Davis, MA in Waldorf Education and received her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Rudolf Steiner College. Prior to becoming a Waldorf teacher, she was an entrepreneur, owning and operating her own dressmaking/design shop in Berkeley, California. Alecia is married with two grown children, both of whom attended the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara from kindergarten through the eighth grade.

Amie Wong

Grade 7 Teacher
Amie was born in Hong Kong, and has lived in California since she was a young girl. She has been a Waldorf teacher in the Bay Area since the late 1990s. Amie was a kindergarten teacher prior to joining WSP as a class teacher in 2001. Besides her service as a class teacher for eleven years, she taught math and science in middle and high school. Amie graduated with a BS in Biochemistry from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, earned her Waldorf Teaching Credential from Rudolf Steiner College and her California State Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from UC Berkley.

Amy Van der Wyk

Grade 8 Teacher
Amy is a native of the Bay Area and has a BA in Fine Art from Sonoma State University. She earned her Waldorf teaching certificate from the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2002. After teaching at a Waldorf-inspired nursery school, she became a class teacher at San Francisco Waldorf School. Amy joined the faculty of Waldorf School of the Peninsula to begin her second eight-year journey as the teacher of the class of 2024. She is inspired by the beautifully complex picture of child development that informs the pedagogy in Waldorf schools, and continues to be in awe of the wisdom in Rudolf Steiner’s curriculum. Her Waldorf-educated son and daughter are now college students. In her free time Amy enjoys gardening with her spouse.

 

Grades 1 – 8 Subject Faculty

Rich Armstrong

Music, Middle and High School
Rich is a multi-instrumentalist, switching between vocals, trumpet, percussion, and guitar. He has played, toured, and recorded with many well-known bands and singers. Additionally, he is a regular and contributing member of several Bay Area bands, has released several albums and records regularly with music producers and is currently working on a full-length album of his own. Rich takes music education very seriously, and devotes much of his time to getting kids involved with music. He currently teaches wind ensemble in the middle school, and hand bell choir and jazz band  in the high school and considers the success of his grass roots program at WSP to be his highest achievement.Under his direction, the jazz band performed at the Waldorf100 celebration at Golden Gate Park in the spring of 2019.

lisab2015Lisa Babinet, PhD

Math, Middle and High School
Lisa earned a BA in Mathematics, MS in Mathematics Education and PhD in Science Education from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also taught graduate school. She has a master’s degree in Applied Psychology. She has taught mathematics in middle and high school for over three decades in independent schools on both coasts. Lisa has taught at Rudolf Steiner College and currently serves on the AWSNA Leadership Council as the Northern California Regional Representative. She is the parent of two lifelong Waldorf students and enjoys reading, hiking and crafting.

MichaelaMichaela Bergmann

Eurythmy, Middle and High School
Michaela completed a five-year training course to become a stage eurythmist and eurythmy teacher for all ages, at the Eurythmeum Stuttgart, Germany. She also has a diploma from Micheshof Hepsisau, Institute for Therapeutic Pedagogy and has studied acting and drama. Michaela has been a eurythmy teacher since 1999, and is also experienced in working with children who have special needs using therapeutic eurythmy techniques. Michaela joined our school in 2003.

Paula Chacon

Music, Middle and High school
Paula has been a music educator since 1989, working with adults and youth. Her work is grounded in the interconnection between voice, body, mind, and spirit; teaching singing, choral music, and community singing for healing and awakening. She has sung in regional opera, oratorio, and choral productions. She has performed in choral/voice recording in the Skywalker Chorus at Lucas Arts, and regularly sings sacred pop and gospel at a local spiritual center in addition to singing and playing piano, drums, harmonium, or guitar in a local chant band. Paula earned her M.Div. from Meru Institute, is a certified Music and Sound Healer from California Institute of Integral Studies, as well as a certified Bioenergy Balancing Practitioner, and holds a Certificate of Completion from the School of Uncovering the Voice. Paula lives with her husband, two children, and a little terrier in San José.

PhilPhil Dwyer

Practical Arts, Middle and High School
Phil’s love for the practical arts and the land has been with him since his early years in rural New England. This passion took him on decade-long journeys to apprentice with master craftsmen, farmers, educators, and cultural creatives. He began his lifelong work with Waldorf education as a young man with Waldorf initiatives in Oregon and Georgia and taught at Honolulu Waldorf School for many years. He brings years of experience—as a professional artisan, handyman, farmer, teacher, and cooperative businessman—to all aspects of his work as a creative educator supporting students, parents, and colleagues.

leal2015

Leah Lader

Grades 3-5 Strings and Music, Middle and High School Orchestra
Leah is an educator, musician, designer, and parent. She received her BS in Industrial Design with a Certificate in Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati. After designing products ranging from women’s footwear to toys to washing machines, she decided to shift her career and focus on her passion – teaching music to young people. Upon arriving in the Bay Area, Leah taught general music, recorders, and strings in public elementary schools for the Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA). After four years of teaching, Leah took over as the In-School Music Program Manager at CSMA, and led the program for nearly five years. During that time, she began teaching music for us and now manages the concerts in addition to teaching students from grades 3 through 12. Leah is currently a first violin in the Redwood Symphony, after having been a member of the Cleveland State University, University of Cincinnati Conservatory Sight Reading and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestras.

Sharon Lindsay

Educational Support
Sharon completed degrees in Psychology and Education at the University of Calgary, Canada. She has worked in a variety of educational settings, providing students with learning and psychological support. Sharon is also trained as a mind-body therapist and applies this work to her support of students when she can. When Sharon began to have a family, she discovered Waldorf Education and has always been active in her Waldorf community, including being connected to the Waldorf School of the Peninsula for over a decade. She has done training at Steiner College in the Waldorf Teacher Training program and Waldorf Remedial Education. Sharon is passionate about helping students and families to find creative strategies for working with learning differences and individual needs.

Lily

Lily Mallekpour

Movement, Grades 1-8 
Lily was born in Iran and moved to the US at the age of 10. She grew up San Diego until the age of 23 and then moved to the Bay Area. She earned her BA with a double major in World Literature and Fine Arts and her master’s degree from Santa Clara University in Clinical Psychotherapy. At that time, Lily became a social worker within a non-profit that focused on helping foster youth. After having her own children, she became interested in Waldorf Education and began her studies at Rudolf Steiner College. Lily has also spent most of her adult life as an instructor within the athletics sphere. Lily is a wife and mother of three Waldorf students and enjoys Spartan racing, cooking and traveling.

alex2014 Alex McGregor

Spanish, Grades 1- 8, High School Guitar Ensemble, Middle School Basketball Coach
Alex received his Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Arts from Bard College in New York, where he studied film and music composition. Having spent much of his childhood in Colombia, he is a native English and Spanish speaker. Alex has been teaching Spanish, French and music to students at Waldorf and public schools in New England since 2007, and joined our community in the 2014 school year. In addition to teaching Spanish, Alex has brought his love of music to our High School Guitar Ensemble, which he has been teaching since 2017, and he began coaching basketball in 2015. Alex can often be seen commuting to work by bicycle during the school week, and in his free time he explores the local mountain roads and trails by bike.

Barbara Neumann

Eurythmy, Early Childhood – Grade 5
Barbara comes to WSP having been a eurythmist in the Bay Area for over 30 years, performing, teaching and conducting eurythmy therapy. She earned her BA in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. Barbara also holds a Diploma in Anthroposophical Studies from Waldorf Institute of Mercy College of Detroit, an Artistic Eurythmy Diploma from Eurythmy Spring Valley, a Pedagogical Eurythmy Certificate from Emerson College in England and a Therapeutic Eurythmy Diploma from Dornach, Switzerland. She and her husband raised two boys in San Francisco, both of whom attended a Waldorf school from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

JaneJane Schwartz Philipson

Grades Extended Care and Parenting with Heart Teacher
Jane is a graduate of Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. She holds degrees in both Education and English and American Literature. Inspired by her mother’s work as an early childhood educator, Jane went on to teach kindergarten and primary grades both in the Midwest and the Bay Area. She holds special interest in the process of reading and language development in young children and has provided both parent education workshops and private instruction/support for primary grades children in this area.

kerstinp2015Kerstin Pintus

Handwork, Grades 1 – 8
Kerstin received her BA in Physical Therapy from the University of Cologne, Germany and also holds a diploma in physical education with focus on movement and special education from the staatlich anerkannte Gymnastikschule Dortmund, Germany. In her 30 year career in Physical Therapy, she focused on working with children of all ages. Her interest and passion in all aspects of handwork and fiber arts originated at a very young age and have only grown stronger with time. Since 2001, Kerstin has volunteered, substituted and assisted in various handwork classes at WSP from grades one through twelve. She graduated from Rudolf Steiner Colleges Waldorf Handwork teacher program and has taught Handwork at WSP since 2013. Additionally, she has taught doll-making to parents, teenagers and educators since 1998. Her goal is to kindle a passion for handwork and inspire to create beautiful work.

anna-rAnna Rainville

Master Teacher
Anna has taught in public and Waldorf Schools for over thirty years, and has been a class teacher at the Waldorf School in Lexington, Massachusetts and at the Waldorf School of the Peninsula. She has taught in the Public School Institute at Rudolf Steiner College for teachers interested in integrating the arts and Waldorf methods and travels nationally as a mentor and teacher.  Her book, Singing Games for Families, Schools and Communities, includes dances for all ages which she presents in workshops and community gatherings coast to coast. For her work in early childhood, she was chosen outstanding teacher of the year by the California Kindergarten Association. Anna is delighted to share her love for history, grammar and music in middle school and high school blocks.

Claire Roberts

Gardening, Grades 1 – 5
Claire graduated from the University of Iowa, with her BA and Certificates in Cultural Anthropology, Sustainability, Global Health, and Spanish. While attending UI, she spent a month in the the Andes of Ecuador, learning about local efforts to reclaim traditional farming methods. A forever life-long learner, Claire received a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Regenerative Design Institute, and completed RDI’s Ecology of Leadership course. She has most recently worked as an Outdoor Educator at the Web of Life Field School, where she developed and facilitated programs in environmental studies and leadership for students of all ages. Claire is grateful to have the opportunity to unite her passions of sustainable agriculture, community building, and the great outdoors as our elementary school garden teacher.

Ayzin

Ayzin Uludag

Gardening, Grades 6 – 8

Originally from Turkey, Ayzin has been working with children of different ages since 2007. Holding her BA in Early Childhood Education, she worked both as a kindergarten class teacher, and a co-teacher for children’s art projects in Museums and Photography workshop in public schools. After moving to California, Ayzin studied Traditional Chinese Medicine on Medical Qigong Therapy at Five Branches University and then completed her Waldorf teacher training at Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2018. During the last two years of the training she worked closely with our former gardening teacher and taught art classes in upper grades. Doubling her passion in nature with art, she is very enthusiastic about working artfully with children in the garden as well as practicing sustainable design and biodynamic principles. She enjoys playing flute and ukulele, spending time in nature, cooking, wood working and designing.

Pamela York

Art, Educational Support
Pamela grew up in North Carolina where she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel with a BS in Business Administration. She left international consulting in the software industry to volunteer in the WSP kindergarten in 1997. Pamela graduated from the Rudolf Steiner College Teacher Training Program in 2005 and from the Gradalis Training in Trans-disciplinary Therapeutic Education in 2006. She was the founding teacher of the WSP Preschool program and then became the Director of Educational Support. Pamela is a HANDLE Practitioner, an artist, and a sailor who returning to WSP having sailed across the Pacific.

 

 

 

High School Faculty

Rich Armstrong

Music, Middle and High School
Rich is a multi-instrumentalist, switching between vocals, trumpet, percussion, and guitar. He has played, toured, and recorded with many well-known bands and singers. Additionally, he is a regular and contributing member of several Bay Area bands, has released several albums and records regularly with music producers and is currently working on a full-length album of his own. Rich takes music education very seriously, and devotes much of his time to getting kids involved with music. He currently teaches wind ensemble in the middle school, and hand bell choir and jazz band  in the high school and considers the success of his grass roots program at WSP to be his highest achievement.Under his direction, the jazz band performed at the Waldorf100 celebration at Golden Gate Park in the spring of 2019.

lisab2015Lisa Babinet, PhD

Math, Middle and High School
Lisa earned a BA in Mathematics, MS in Mathematics Education and PhD in Science Education from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also taught graduate school. She has a master’s degree in Applied Psychology. She has taught mathematics in middle and high school for over three decades in independent schools on both coasts. Lisa has taught at Rudolf Steiner College and currently serves on the AWSNA Leadership Council as the Northern California Regional Representative. She is the parent of two lifelong Waldorf students and enjoys reading, hiking and crafting.

Farida Baxamusa

Earth Sciences
Farida was born and raised in Mumbai, India. Her love for the outdoors and in-depth research about the different Earths Systems brought her to study Geology in college. In 2013, she moved to San Diego, California to pursue a 2nd Masters in Geology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Farida has enjoyed every bit of her teaching journey having taught at San Francisco Waldorf school, various colleges, after school programs, summer schools and online tutoring programs. She is passionate about education and spends her free time homeschooling her girls.

Michaela

Michaela Bergmann

Eurythmy, Middle and High School
Michaela completed a five-year training course to become a stage eurythmist and eurythmy teacher for all ages, at the Eurythmeum Stuttgart, Germany. She also has a diploma from Micheshof Hepsisau, Institute for Therapeutic Pedagogy and has studied acting and drama. Michaela has been a eurythmy teacher since 1999, and is also experienced in working with children who have special needs using therapeutic eurythmy techniques. Michaela joined our school in 2003.

Paula Chacon

Music, Middle and High School
Paula has been a music educator since 1989, working with adults and youth. Her work is grounded in the interconnection between voice, body, mind, and spirit; teaching singing, choral music, and community singing for healing and awakening. She has sung in regional opera, oratorio, and choral productions. She has performed in choral/voice recording in the Skywalker Chorus at Lucas Arts, and regularly sings sacred pop and gospel at a local spiritual center in addition to singing and playing piano, drums, harmonium, or guitar in a local chant band. Paula earned her M.Div. from Meru Institute, is a certified Music and Sound Healer from California Institute of Integral Studies, as well as a certified Bioenergy Balancing Practitioner, and holds a Certificate of Completion from the School of Uncovering the Voice. Paula lives with her husband, two children, and a little terrier in San José.

Marina Budrys

Humanities
Marina is an alumna of WSP and attended Waldorf Schools K-12. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Literature from the University of California-Santa Cruz and is currently working on a MFA in Creative Writing at the University of San Francisco and a Waldorf High School Teacher Diploma at the Center for Anthroposophy. In addition to rigorous study of the written word, Marina studied history, beekeeping, sustainable farming, and climate science. She is delighted to share with students her enthusiasm and curiosity for discovery.

alisond2015Alison Davis

Humanities
Alison is a PhD candidate at Stanford University specializing in French and Francophone Literature, and she has been sharing her love of language and cultural history with students at both the high school and university level since 2006. Alison earned her BA from the University of Kansas and MA from the University of Notre Dame in French and Foreign Language Pedagogy, but her passion for teaching reaches far beyond the typical classroom. Alison also teaches all forms of fitness and yoga classes and volunteers as a facilitator of creative writing workshops in the juvenile justice system.

Phil

Phil Dwyer

Practical Arts, Middle and High School
Phil’s love for the practical arts and the land has been with him since his early years in rural New England. This passion took him on decade-long journeys to apprentice with master craftsmen, farmers, educators, and cultural creatives. He began his lifelong work with Waldorf education as a young man with Waldorf initiatives in Oregon and Georgia and taught at Honolulu Waldorf School for many years. He brings years of experience—as a professional artisan, handyman, farmer, teacher, and cooperative businessman—to all aspects of his work as a creative educator supporting students, parents, and colleagues.

leaf2015Lea Fredrickson, PhD

Physics, Spanish, Math
Lea is a California native and attended Waldorf school from kindergarten through eighth grade. In high school, she became interested in Physics, which she pursued further in college. She always enjoyed studying Spanish and spent one year abroad at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. Lea received her PhD in Physics from UCLA studying the Biophysics of hearing. She is currently working on her Waldorf High School Teacher Diploma at Rudolf Steiner College.

Laura Grau

Spanish
Laura was born and raised in Spain where she graduated from ESADE – Ramon Llull University with a bachelor’s degree in Tourism. She moved to the United States in 2010 and earned a master’s degree in Project Management. Laura has worked as a Conference Manager for several years and has taught Spanish in public school and private students. Motherhood led her to Waldorf Education, and she is pursuing the Waldorf World Languages teacher training at the Sunbridge Institute. She is excited to begin this journey and passionate about inspiring young minds to discover the world through the lens of the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures.

leal2015Leah Lader

Orchestra, Middle and High School
Leah is an educator, musician, designer, and parent. She received her BS in Industrial Design with a Certificate in Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati. After designing products ranging from women’s footwear to toys to washing machines, she decided to shift her career and focus on her passion – teaching music to young people. Upon arriving in the Bay Area, Leah taught general music, recorders, and strings in public elementary schools for the Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA). After four years of teaching, Leah took over as the In-School Music Program Manager at CSMA, and led the program for nearly five years. During that time, she began teaching music for us and now manages the concerts in addition to teaching students from grades 3 through 12. Leah is currently a first violin in the Redwood Symphony, after having been a member of the Cleveland State University, University of Cincinnati Conservatory Sight Reading and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestras.

Sharon Lindsay

Educational Support
Sharon completed degrees in Psychology and Education at the University of Calgary, Canada. She has worked in a variety of educational settings, providing students with learning and psychological support. Sharon is also trained as a mind-body therapist and applies this work to her support of students when she can. When Sharon began to have a family, she discovered Waldorf Education and has always been active in her Waldorf community, including being connected to the Waldorf School of the Peninsula for over a decade. She has done training at Steiner College in the Waldorf Teacher Training program and Waldorf Remedial Education. Sharon is passionate about helping students and families to find creative strategies for working with learning differences and individual needs.

denisem2015Denise McCluskey

Biology
Denise has a BS in Biochemistry from UCSD and spent time in research laboratories in their Medical Center and volunteering in their programs to support at-risk youth. She worked in the biotechnology industry for ten years.  Denise founded a Waldorf-inspired homeschool initiative, has completed her Waldorf teacher training and is studying Spacial Dynamics while finishing her Master’s degree in Waldorf Education. Her interests and education pursuits are wide-ranging and ongoing— from developmental psychology and multicultural studies, to neurolinguistics, and daily poetry writing.

Alex McGregor

Spanish, Grades 1- 8, High School Guitar Ensemble, Middle School Basketball Coach
Alex received his Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Arts from Bard College in New York, where he studied film and music composition. Having spent much of his childhood in Colombia, he is a native English and Spanish speaker. Alex has been teaching Spanish, French and music to students at Waldorf and public schools in New England since 2007, and joined our community in the 2014 school year. In addition to teaching Spanish, Alex has brought his love of music to our High School Guitar Ensemble, which he has been teaching since 2017, and he began coaching basketball in 2015. Alex can often be seen commuting to work by bicycle during the school week, and in his free time he explores the local mountain roads and trails by bike.

kellym2015Kelly Leahy McKeown

Guidance Counselor, College Counselor, Wellness
Kelly is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and holds a California Pupil Personnel Services Credential with a specialization in K-12 school counseling. She received her master’s from St. Mary’s College with a dual emphasis in School and Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. Kelly discovered Waldorf education when one of her graduate school professors taught the temperaments and assigned a hand-written reflection paper that required page borders to be decorated with beeswax crayons. Prior to joining WSP, she spent over a decade at both an independent high school and a public fourth-eighth grade school. Kelly was a teacher, counselor, director of service learning programs, coordinator of health education curriculum, and facilitator of peer counseling and mediation. She has a passion for student leadership development and has ushered many emerging leaders through the process of setting and realizing their goals.

Christina Oran

Mathematics

Christina earned her Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Haverford College and her Master of Arts in mathematics from UCLA. In addition to mathematics, she studied chemistry, computer science, and fine art. Christina has taught high school mathematics in independent schools in Los Angeles and the Bay Area since 2006 and joined WSP in 2017. She enjoys reading, drawing, and spending time with her children.

carolyns2015Carolyn Siegel

Clay Modeling, Basketry
Carolyn began working with clay seriously in 2001, has taught small groups of students, and shows and sells her sculptures locally. Carolyn completed her Waldorf High School Teacher Training as well as a Master’s in Waldorf Education through Rudolf Steiner College. Her Master’s thesis was entitled Learning by Making: The Value of Sculptural Arts in Waldorf High Schools. “I didn’t think of myself as an artist until I got my hands in clay,” says Carolyn. “Then the artist in me sprang to the forefront. Clay’s forgiving nature is a great medium to birth the unseen but felt inner ideas and emotions into the world of the seen and expressed.”

jans2015Jan Smith

Art & US History
Born and raised in California, Jan was introduced to Waldorf Education as a senior in high school when her family hosted a Waldorf exchange student from Germany. Jan holds bachelor’s degrees in Book Arts and Politics from UC Santa Cruz and an MBA from San José State. She has worked for public, private and non-profit organizations where she specialized in international marketing communications, events and market research. After becoming a mother, Jan decided to return to her first love, art. She has been working as an art teacher since the 1990’s. Jan currently teaches in both the Art and Humanities Departments and is the adviser for the student-run high school yearbook.  Her passions are travelling, painting and making books.

JenniferJennifer Staub

Chemistry & Earth Sciences
Born in Germany and raised in Northern California, Jennifer attended the Sacramento Waldorf School from first through twelfth grade. It was in high school where she developed a deep love and enthusiasm for the sciences and returned there to teach in 2009. She holds a MS in General Biology from Mississippi State University, a BA in Psychology from Beloit College, and minors in chemistry, and biotechnology. Jennifer has been a teacher at the Sacramento Waldorf School, the Haleakala Waldorf School, and the Waldorf School of Orange County having taught courses in the sciences, humanities and arts. Her interests are broad, ever-evolving and include the practical arts such as ceramics and knitting, the theatre arts, Latin ballroom dancing, camping, and gardening.

Ayzin

Ayzin Uludag

Art
Originally from Turkey, Ayzin has been working with children of different ages since 2007. Holding her BA in Early Childhood Education, she worked both as a kindergarten class teacher, and a co-teacher for children’s art projects in Museums and Photography workshop in public schools. After moving to California, Ayzin studied Traditional Chinese Medicine on Medical Qigong Therapy at Five Branches University and then completed her Waldorf teacher training at Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2018. During the last two years of the training she worked closely with our former gardening teacher and taught art classes in upper grades. Doubling her passion in nature with art, she is very enthusiastic about working artfully with children in the garden as well as practicing sustainable design and biodynamic principles. She enjoys playing flute and ukulele, spending time in nature, cooking, wood working and designing.

Jinhee Yoon

Spanish
Jinhee was born and raised in South Korea where she earned a B.A. in Spanish Language and a Master’s degree in Spanish Literature. She completed the teacher’s training for Waldorf Early Childhood Education at La Salle University in Madrid. In Korea, Jinhee worked as a Spanish translator and interpreter for several years while teaching Spanish lessons to students of all ages. While she pursued her passion for education and learning languages (she speaks Korean, Spanish, English & Mandarin), she discovered Waldorf Education in Spain. While there, Jinhee worked for El Puente Azul Waldorf School of Valladolid. She moved from Spain to the Bay Area in July 2015 and since then she has taught Spanish private lessons to high school students. Jinhee came to WSP as a nursery assistant and substitute teacher (including Spanish) for all grades before becoming our high school Spanish teacher. Her goal is to help children to acquire understanding of the diversity, respect and knowledge of Spanish and Hispanic culture through its language.

Pamela York

Art
Pamela grew up in North Carolina where she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel with a BS in Business Administration. She left international consulting in the software industry to volunteer in the WSP kindergarten in 1997. Pamela graduated from the Rudolf Steiner College Teacher Training Program in 2005 and from the Gradalis Training in Trans-disciplinary Therapeutic Education in 2006. She was the founding teacher of the WSP Preschool program and then became the Director of Educational Support. Pamela is a HANDLE Practitioner, an artist, and a sailor who just sailed across the Pacific.

Administration

ashleyAshley Brickeen

Admissions Director, Nursery – Grade 8
Ashley grew up in Los Altos Hills. She earned a BS in International Security from Wellesley College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Magna cum Laude. She taught 3rd and 4th grade mathematics at a local private school while volunteer managing a tutoring program for at-risk elementary school children. Ashley has managed speakers and events for The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco for many years, where she got to hear lectures by scientists, politicians, and entertainers. Her favorite speakers were Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. Madeleine Albright. She worked at Google in recruiting and special projects, where she co-created and ran a series of programs to engage middle and high school girls in computer science. Ashley came to Waldorf while searching for an education that would support the healthy and natural growth of her children while engaging and challenging them in ways she never experienced in her more traditional education. In her free time she enjoys HIIT training, kayaking, crafting and occasionally sky diving and scuba diving.

Janet

Janet Dunwoody

Pedagogical Administrator

Janet grew up in Ireland where she earned a BA with Honors in Modern History from the University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland. Since then, she has also completed Waldorf Teacher training in addition to Spacial Dynamics, social inclusion leadership, Bal-A-Vis-X and HANDLE. Janet joined WSP at our Movement teacher in 2001, before later going on to additionally become the chair of the Pedagogical Council, part-time Faculty Chair and serving on the Management Team, among other committees, while continuing to teach Movement. She was the lead in creating the social inclusion vision, mission and policies for the school through the No Bully program, incorporating the work of NVC and Kim John Payne. In this regard, Janet has provided ongoing support for teachers, students and parents. She also served on our Board of Trustees for three years. With her wealth of experience, Janet has now been called to be our Interim Pedagogical Administrator. All three of Janet’s children have been students at the school and are now grown and pursuing their diverse life passions. In her free time she is an avid runner and has completed, among other races, the Boston Marathon and the San Francisco 100 miler.

Pierre Laurent

School Administrator
Pierre has been in business and high tech most of his life, before he joined the school. He worked for well-known high tech companies in marketing and business capacities, has advised smaller organizations and startups, and run a startup company. He joined our Board of Trustees in 2005, four years after he and his wife enrolled their children. On the Board, Pierre served on the Strategic Planning Committee, as Treasurer, co-chair of the 2009 Campaign for the Future then Board President. His wife is a long serving Waldorf teacher and two of their children have already graduated from the school. Pierre other interests include the outdoors and the intersection of Technology, Society and Children.

audreyAudrey Lee

Admissions Director, High School
Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Audrey moved to the Bay Area when she was offered a full college scholarship. Audrey holds a BA and a MA in Industrial Psychology and Organizational Behavior and worked in human resources for several start-ups in the Silicon Valley as well as at large global corporations internationally for 15 years. Audrey discovered Waldorf Education through parent-child classes with her young children. Audrey is also a trained Waldorf high school teacher.

Sandy Olson

Development Director
Sandy grew up in Westport, Connecticut and has lived in the Bay Area for 25 years. She graduated from Sacred Heart University with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and was a CPA with Ernest & Young, LLP specializing in tax work and financial planning. She has served on WSP’s Board of Trustees as a board member and Vice President. She has co-chaired WSP Galas & Raffles along with other fundraisers and committee work. Her children attended WSP since Nursery school. She has a love of travel and seeks adventures in her spare time.

JoAnn Waldman

Director of Finance and Operations
JoAnn was born and raised in the Bay Area. After receiving her BA from San Francisco State University she remained in San Francisco and worked as a small business consultant. Pursuing her MA, she moved to Jerusalem, Israel, living there for seven years. Upon return to the United States to be closer to family, JoAnn lived in Breckenridge, CO and worked as the controller of a property management company. After four snowy years, she returned to her native home, Sunnyvale, California to join another local school in the position of Director of Administration and Finance and has continued to hone her skills in the at independent schools. JoAnn brings with her a blend of strategic leadership, business management experience and organizational skills. In her free time, JoAnn enjoys reading, art, camping, road trips and most of all spending time with her family.

Our children’s class teachers became friends in the course of the our time together. We felt that they took a personal interest in each student and built close relationships with them. They were approachable and supportive.

Katharina Woodman

Alumni Parent of Two, Waldorf School of the Peninsula