Mindy is owner and lead-teacher of Blue Sky Kindergarten, an established and well-loved Preschool & Kindergarten Program in Boulder, Colorado.
Being a mother and teacher has been my life/work for the past 37 years. I have been so fortunate to be able to be in the presence of “little people” in the most magical and fascinating years of early childhood. I began Blue Sky Kindergarten here at 3046 11th Street 25 years ago. Before that I had a small home kindergarten in my home for many years. When I first walked into Blue Sky and heard the sound of the water bubbling down under the bridge and heard the birds sing high up in the cottonwoods, I knew I was home. The fact that children had been coming to this school since 1954 was clearly “felt in the air” as one walked through the gate. I am happy to say I have been teaching in my sweet classroom since the first day I walked into the school 22 years ago.I began studying movement, music, and singing at Boston Conservatory of Music as an undergraduate. Then moved on to the New School for Social Research and SUNY to begin early childhood training, and intensive movement theory training with Betty Meredith Jones, a former student of Rudolf Laban. I then began to research Rudolf Steiner’s work, and studied at Rudolf Steiner College, and Bottmer Gymnastic training in Spring Valley New York. I appreciate and admire many Waldorf teachers that I have mentored with in the past especially Beth Sutton, creator of the Enki approach, and Joan Almon who I admire for her work and devotion to children all over the world, and Suzanne Down’s puppet mastery.I am presently on the board at The National Institute for Play, headed by Stuart Brown, author of “Play.” I have been an adjunct faculty member of Naropa University since 1980, where I have been teaching “Kindergarten Magic” a hands on course in the practice and application of early childhood pedagogy, and mentoring new teachers. I have recently written a chapter that has been published by Springer publishing Spirituality In Education, a collection of writings on how spirituality can be integrated in different educational environments. My quest is to nurture and embrace the magic of the early childhood years with love and attention to each individual child.
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Cristina Drews MS Ed. has been an educator since 1975 and has taught in public and private elementary schools, adult literacy programs, and teacher trainings.
Cristina Drews MS Ed. has been an educator since 1975 and has taught in public and private elementary schools, adult literacy programs, and teacher trainings. She has been working and teaching in both independent and public Waldorf schools since 1985. Cristina received her master’s degree in Reading Instruction and Curriculum Development from California State University. She holds a certificate in Remedial Education as an Educational Support Instructor from Rudolf Steiner College. Cristina specializes in Children’s Literature, maintains a large private collection of children’s books to support the Waldorf curriculum, and advises families and faculties on Children’s Literature. She is a Grade Level Instructor and Field Mentor for Gradalis Consulting. Cristina teaches in the Educational Support program at Shining Mountain Waldorf School, and offers Educational Support services for regional Waldorf schools on a consulting basis. Cristina has been a Waldorf class teacher, reading teacher, and maintains a private tutoring practice in Denver. Her presentations in Parent Enrichment as well as in Professional Development are highly acclaimed.
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With over 30 years in Waldorf Education Susan is considered of the best teachers and mentors in the movement today.
Susan received her Waldorf Training and Waldorf Remedial Education Training from Rudolf Steiner College. She has taught Grade 2 three times within full 8 years cycles at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School. Susan also worked as Assistant Director of the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Education and has taught in the training program. She fell in love with Waldorf education after teaching in Pennsylvania Public Schools after graduating from Penn State. Susan has taught at the Public School Institute at Rudolf Steiner College in grades 1-8 from 2008-2016. She mentors and evaluates teachers in Waldorf schools all over the U.S. in both public and independent Waldorf schools.
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Eric had a wish to someday bring to others an education which opens the mind and heart but also provides capacities for practical work and a way for each individual to make his or her own way in the world.
Eric has taught through grade 8 and just completed Grade 3 at Mountain Phoenix Community School in Denver. He grew up traveling with his parents on various assignments with the U.S. Army. The range of experiences in that transient life formed in him a deep appreciation of cultures in all their diversity. He received a B.A. degree from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, where he truly came to see the value of a liberal arts education. It has proven to be for him a value which increases every day. He realized he had a wish to someday bring to others an education which opens the mind and heart but also provides capacities for practical work and a way for each individual to make his or her own way in the world. He eventually found this in the principles and practices of Waldorf education. Eric finds the dividends keep coming in his work-in-progress as a Waldorf teacher and citizen of the universe. This former endeavor began formally for him with graduation from Antioch New England Graduate School in a Waldorf/Integrated Day public school program. He has been teaching for 20 years, half of those in independent Waldorf schools and half in Public Waldorf schools. Eric continues to enjoy travel, but has come to appreciate that there is in fact, “no place like home”. He finds his renewal best in nature and returned to Colorado, his parents’ home state, several years ago. He greatly enjoys time in his big back yard near the Cache la Poudre River.
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Sandra led two classes (1-8) at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School. She is currently teaching at Shining Mountain Waldorf School.
Sandra was born in Colorado Springs and was raised in Southern California. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. While attending university, she met her future husband, Corey Kirschner. Upon graduation, Sandra met Waldorf Education. She then attended the Waldorf Institute of Southern California at Highland Hall in Los Angeles for her Waldorf Teacher Training. With certificate in hand, Sandra and Corey moved to Colorado where she became the First Grade Teacher at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School in Niwot. Sandra led two classes (First through Eighth Grade) at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School and also worked for one year as an assistant at Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten. In 2012, Sandra was hired as the First Grade Class Teacher at Shining Mountain Waldorf School. Sandra lives in the quiet mountain community of Jamestown with her husband, Corey, and their two cats. Sandra loves scuba diving, downhill skiing, hiking, dancing, and stargazing.
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Born and raised in South Africa, Thesa attended Johannesburg Teachers’ Training College before graduating from Emerson College in Sussex England in 1969.
Ithaca, Greece is the ancestral home and birthplace of Thesa Callinicos’ parents. Born and raised in South Africa, Thesa attended Johannesburg Teachers’ Training College before graduating from Emerson College in Sussex England in 1969. Thesa has worked in Private Waldorf Schools in Western United States for 33 years. Since ‘retiring’ in 2011, Thesa has been mentoring and evaluating teachers in various Waldorf inspired charter schools and is currently helping to form the North Fork School of Integrated Studies, a school within the public elementary School in Paonia, Colorado.
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Leah has been a teacher for 26 years and has been teaching at the Live Oak Charter School in Petaluma for 14 years.
I began teaching with Teach For America in a Spanish/English bilingual classroom in Oakland a few months after graduating with my BA in English Literature. It was never intended to be my permanent career, but I was surprised to discover that I wasn’t terrible at it! 26 years later, I am still in the classroom. I moved to a duel immersion program in Redwood City after a few years in Oakland and loved my time there. Family need moved us to Petaluma, where I have lived for close to 20 years now. When my own children reached school age, it was clear to me that it was time for me to join them in the Waldorf journey. Thus, I’ve been teaching at Live Oak Charter in Petaluma since 2006. I had the privilege to take a class 1-8 and have taught in 6-8 most recently. I love children, am fascinated by the process of learning, and am excited by working with adults to deepen our own learning.
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Vernon has been working at The Denver Waldorf School since 2008, assisting in the 1st and 2nd Grades before taking on the 1st Grade as class teacher in 2010.
Vernon has been working at The Denver Waldorf School since 2008, assisting in the 1st and 2nd Grades before taking on the 1st Grade as class teacher in 2010. He attended Evergreen State College and graduated with a Master’s in Education and a Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Antioch University of New England in 2010. In addition to teaching at The Denver Waldorf School, Vernon also serves as a founding member and co-chair of the school’s Diversity Committee.
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She has an MSEd in Waldorf Education and has taught at Shining Mountain Waldorf School as well as the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork.
Meg Gardner grew up in Oklahoma building tree houses and playing her viola. She attended Indiana University, receiving a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies. While working with high school students with disabilities, she learned about Waldorf Education, and immediately enrolled at Sunbridge College, where she received her MSEd in Waldorf Education. She began as a class teacher at the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork in 2005, where she discovered her passion was teaching in the middle school. Meg joined the middle school faculty at Shining Mountain Waldorf School in 2013. She is currently holding her third group of middle school students at Shining Mountain and will be entering eighth grade for the sixth time this fall. When not teaching, Meg is exploring the world with her husband and two sons, cross-country skiing, hiking, painting, printmaking, and reading.
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Grade Level Specific Watercolor Painting
“I choose Waldorf because I want to support each student's individuality through a multi-faceted curriculum."
As both a founder and teacher at Santa Fe Waldorf School, Jennie Baudhuin has dedicated her adult life to Waldorf education for over 35 years. She is an innovator of programs, mentor and Spacial dynamics instructor to schools within the Waldorf movement in the U.S., Mexico, China, Greece and Ecuador. Trained as a Waldorf teacher at Sunbridge Institute, she obtained certificates in Remedial Education from Rudolf Steiner College, as well as Spacial Dynamics from the Spacial Dynamics Institute. Jennie has developed programs such as Movement Education Grades 1-4, PeaceJam, Hands-in-Peace, Waldorf Education for Adults Program, and the Global Friendship Project. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Excelsior College.
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Grade Level Science
Karl David Johnson, M.A., has been an educator for 35 years and has taught in the Waldorf movement since 1986.
Karl David Johnson, M.A., has been an educator for 35 years and has taught in the Waldorf movement since 1986. He has served as Pedagogical Director at both the Siskiyou School in Ashland, Oregon and the Kona Pacific Public Waldorf School on the Big Island of Hawaii. As a class teacher he has graduated two classes and has experience teaching at the high school level both in music and in wilderness education. He is a certified Educational Support Specialist and a graduate of the Gradalis Institute Transdisciplinary Therapeutic Educators Course. An experienced mentor and consultant, Karl has mentored teachers at dozens of schools and has trained and conducted workshops in China, New Zealand, the Hawaiian Islands, Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.. He has taught on the summer faculty for the West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy in British Columbia, in the Xian Waldorf Teacher Training Program in Xian, China, as a Foundations Studies course facilitator for Sophia Institute, and now joins the team at Gradalis Institute. Karl Johnson is the author of the forthcoming book: Honing Our Craft: Pedagogy and Leadership in the Waldorf Classroom.
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Grade Level Specific Games & Movement, African Dancing & Drumming
Mashobane has spent his entire career working in Waldorf education. He is a specialist in movement and African dance and drumming.
He grew up in rural South Africa during the Apartheid regime and studied Waldorf education at the Baobab Community College near Johannesburg. In 1998, he moved to the United States to study at Sunbridge Institute in New York to become a Waldorf class teacher. After completing his training, Mashobane was recruited to teach physical education at the Denver Waldorf School. He eventually found his home at the Lake Champlain Waldorf School where he taught PE for 17 years. Mashobane loves Afro Beat dance, African drumming, exploring his ancestry, and travel. He speaks 8 languages and is working on learning Mandarin. He is also trained in Spacial Dynamics.
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“Guten Morgen, Frau Simunek!” Every morning I am greeted by these joyful words, along with bright eyes, strong handshakes and several hugs from my delightful second grade students.
I have been a class teacher at Boulder Valley Waldorf School in Niwot for 7 years and a foreign language teacher since 2004, though currently I only teach German to middle school students; well, and enough to my second graders to satisfy their curiosity about my mother tongue. The Gradalis training allowed me to continue my journey as class teacher with my previous class while diving into the kaleidoscope of the Waldorf teacher training. And when my eighth-grade students graduated from BVWS in 2018, so did I as one among the first graduates of the Gradalis teacher training. Some of my busiest and most intense but also most satisfying years were the ones when I was offered the opportunity to not only teach at Boulder Valley but also teach German and Goethe’s Faust at Tara Performing Arts High School in Boulder. To accompany our students from first to eighth grade is unique and special, but to be allowed to continue that journey up to college was quite extraordinary and miraculous. While I have been working closely with Spanish and Mandarin Chinese teachers here in Colorado, I took equal delight in working with the Russian teacher at the Freie Waldorf Schule Wien West in Austria, where I taught English, English Drama and Geography from 2011 to 2012. But maybe I should just start at the beginning? I was born in a tiny medieval town with the enormously long name of Waidhofen an der Ybbs in the northern foothills of the Austrian Alps but grew up in the steel town of Kapfenberg in the southern Alps. At the Karl Franzens Universität in Graz, founded in 1585 by Archduke Charles II of Austria, I studied English, Geography and Economics, Russian, and Pedagogy to become a teacher at a Gymnasium, a college prep school, grades 5 through 12. Then destiny began to intervene. A Fulbright Scholarship granted me the opportunity to study in the Vietnam War Literature Collection at CSU in Fort Collins for my Master’s thesis, American Women in Vietnam War Literature. There I met my future husband, Julian. With two precious little boys in tow we skipped across the Atlantic a few times to live and teach at public and private schools in several European countries and a couple of US states before putting roots down in Louisville, Colorado. Although my cousin had introduced me to Waldorf education years earlier, it was here that I not only rediscovered it but was thrown right into the deep end of the Waldorf pool when I answered an ad in the Daily Camera for a German teacher position at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School (now Boulder Valley WS). And the rest, well, you only have to go back to the top to read what happened then.
Read about Martina here!
Standards & Curriculum Frameworks by Grade
Prairie Adams is Author of the Gradalis Curriculum Frameworks which will be available to schools in Fall 2020. Over 12 years of Waldorf teaching, Prairie has worked with other experienced teachers in and outside the movement to provide these critical guidelines for our schools.
Prairie Adams has been involved in Waldorf Education since her daughter entered the kindergarten class when the Santa Cruz Waldorf School in California opened its doors in 1976. Her involvement as a parent in various Waldorf schools continued as her family moved from Santa Cruz to Sacramento, then Auburn, and finally Boulder, Colorado. During this time she also worked with Rene Querido as the secretary at Rudolf Steiner College. in 1985 after moving to a community in the foothills of Northern Colorado, she began her studies in Eurythmy which culminated in a diploma from Eurythmy Spring Valley in 1993. From that time forward she taught kindergarten to adults and children K-8. In 1999 she took a first grade at the Denver Waldorf School where she remained as a class teacher for nine years and another year as the delegate and conference coordinator. Following this, she spent a year in Norway where she continued her studies in Eurythmy and received her BA from Den Nørske Eurytmihøyskule in 2012. She returned home to work as a Field Mentor Supervisor for the Hybrid Program at Rudolf Steiner College. Presently she is a founding member of Gradalis and the Pedagogical Director of a new Public Waldorf School in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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Grade Level Singing and Dancing
Magally is currently the 3rd grade Class Teacher at the Denver Waldorf School. Her passion is bringing new concepts to her students and community.
She had been a Spanish teacher at DWS for 17 years before inheriting her current class in the 2nd grade. In her position as the Spanish teacher she shared culture and language with students from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Throughout her years in the Spanish program she took part in training at Steiner College and worked on her Foundation year locally. She was a part of the Waldorf Spanish Teachers Association for many years. She co-started a program in her school which took 6 graduating senior classes to Peru and Costa Rica and completed service work in those countries, giving her students a hands on experience with the Spanish language and native people. With a BFA in Dance in Indo-Afro American culture, she uses this diverse American history to tell the stories of the cultures that have remained in the shadows for so long. She uses this exploration of cultures and anthroposophy to enrich her work with her current class and in DWS’ Diversity and Inclusivity committee. She worked in collaboration with the Longmont Conflict Center and Denver Conflict Center in bringing Restorative Practices into her school. She has taught “continental” American dance and cultural experiences in regional conferences and at the AWSNA national conference in Washington. She was selected to co-present research work in D&I for the national AWSNA conference this year in Chicago. She is also currently working closely with AWSNA to develop programs to support teachers of color in Waldorf schools.
Read more about Magally here!
Grade Level Poetry & Speech Work
From an early age I had an interest in form that led me to study form in all its manifestations, including sculpture, architecture, speech and drama.
At Emerson College Thesa began her speech training with Mechthild Harkness and Graham Rickett and her eurythmy training with Elizabeth Edmunds. She did further eurythmy training with Marguerite Lundren at the London School of Eurythmy. She studied for nine years with Steven Moore, who was certified in speech in eurythmy in Oslo and Dornach. This was followed by six years of speech training in Hawaii with Virginia Brett. Thesa has trained teachers at various Waldorf Schools in Dramatic verse and recitation. From 1978 to 2011 she taught recitation in in grade 1 through 6 (2 cycles) and grades 1 through 8 (two cycles) as a Waldorf Class Teacher.