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Bonnie River, Ed. D. Candidate. Bonnie began her journey in education in 1971 when she completed teacher training at San Jose State University. During this time she joined an Anthroposophical study group in Santa Cruz, CA, and made the decision to devote herself to a life in Waldorf Education. In the ensuing 40+ years, Bonnie has served on faculty and in founding positions in 5 Independent Waldorf Schools and 2 Public Waldorf Schools. She served teaching in Kindergarten 15 years, grades 1-8, one cycle and other grades picked up along the way. She also taught high school anatomy and physiology as well as senior seminar.
Bonnie completed the Remedial Education Training called ‘The Extra Lesson’ with Audrey McAllen at Rudolf Steiner College and the Chirophonetics Training with Alfred, Gunde Bauer and Bruno Callegaro in the United States and Austria. Bonnie has extensive knowledge in combining the work of the doctor, the therapist and the teacher. Her focus to the specific needs of individual children guides her teacher training contributions. Bonnie is also known for the Independent Waldorf Schools rubric-based assessment of Waldorf Students and is currently reworking the rubrics she published more than 10 years ago.
Early Childhood Education Department Chair
TTE Therapeutic Training
Thom Schaefer has been a lifelong educator, teaching and administering from elementary school through college. He has taught at elementary and high school levels in public school as well as in Waldorf settings. Thom, a former public school principal, was a Waldorf class teacher for fifteen years in California and New York, taking one class from grades one to eight. He then worked as a full-time consultant to Waldorf schools all along the West Coast. Thom and his family then moved to Boulder, Colorado where he taught history, English, movement and drama in the high school at Shining Mountain WS for a decade and a half, and also became the Pedagogical Dean of Faculty (K-12). Thom has been a Waldorf teacher trainer and an anthroposophic adult educator at Rudolf Steiner College in California, Sunbridge College in New York, the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto, and Gradalis.
Thom completed the Spatial Dynamics training with Jaimen McMillan. Over the past fifteen years they have been involved in international peace projects (OlymPeace, AllinPeace, HandsinPeace) in Greece, the Middle East, Ecuador, and China that use movement, art, and non-violent communication to go beyond flags and break down stereotypes. The research from these projects (Thom’s master’s thesis) demonstrates how movement, art, and games can overcome stereotyping and prejudice.
Currently Thom functions as the Education Director at Credo High School, a Waldorf-Inspired Public Charter School founded in Sonoma County, California in 2011. This June Credo graduated its first senior class. Thom also serves as a core faculty member of Rudolf Steiner College’s Hybrid Teacher Training Program. Thom serves as a steward, faculty and board member of Gradalis Waldorf Teacher Training. Thom is the father of three grown children and has five delightful grandchildren with one just newly arrived.
Grades Department Chair
Donna Newberg-Long received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from University of Denver. Her passion for educating children and the need for a meaningful education for her 4 children led to the founding of a successful Waldorf school on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1983 where she was educator of the year. Here she embraced the Hawaiian culture and taught grades 5-8 while administering the school for 16 years. Finding meaning and purpose through the work of Rudolf Steiner as a personal path of development, Dr. Long has been a student of anthroposophy for over 30 years. She received her Master’s Degree in Education and Waldorf Certification from Antioch New England Graduate School. In Seattle, she taught 5th through 8th grade at Seattle Waldorf School while also chairing the College of Teachers. During her years at SWS, she revitalized the middle school program and began traditions such as middle school musicals and an electives program that served to retain middle school students.
Donna is dedicated to Waldorf education and spent a number of years in charter and public schools to broaden her view of the challenges and opportunities available for public Waldorf education through the charter movement. She was founding Principal of Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, Colorado, a top 100 school in the nation, after which she worked in Denver with failing schools, diverse populations and English Language Learners. She began consulting at Mountain Phoenix Community School, a charter school inspired by Waldorf education, in 2009 and became Principal while she led the school in its move to Wheat Ridge and its exponential growth in enrollment from 42 students to over 500 in 4 years. She maneuvered through the challenges of teaching in the public system while working with State and Common Core Standards and also maintaining the integrity of Waldorf education in this setting. Her knowledge of Special Education laws, District expectations, and charter school rights can assist schools leaders who are dedicated to Waldorf education in their schools.
She is a faculty member and Director of Administration for Gradalis. With her husband Tim, she leads our Gradalis Business Services department—providing support for schools through Board and Administrator Training—offering guidance for public and independent schools as they tackle strategic planning, 3-fold governance and self study that can lead to healthy and vibrant futures for Waldorf schools. She is the grandmother of 2 little girls and visits her children in Seattle, Aspen and California as often as possible.
Grade Level Instructor - 6th
School Support Services
Tim Long earned an MBA in Hospital Administration from the University of Colorado Medical Center and currently serves as Treasurer on the North Metro Fire Rescue District’s Board of Directors having previously served on the Northglenn (Colorado) Urban Renewal Authority as Commissioner. As well, Long has served on many Boards of Directors while spending most of his professional career working in and around hospitals, physicians and healthcare administration, strategic planning and development – both in the Denver metro area as well as internationally. While healthcare development projects continue, he lent a hand to Mountain Phoenix Community School in obtaining its Bond financing which enabled it to procure land and buildings plus acquisition and construction of more classrooms and a middle school on the School’s property. Tim and his wife Donna have six children and two granddaughters. In varying pursuits, the entire family carries a passion for the great outdoors from the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean.
Business and Finance
School Support Services
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.
Temporal and Visual Arts
Lin grew up in upstate New York on the Canadian border with her four brothers. Her education began in business, and she received her A.A.S. 2-year degree in Business Administration with a minor in Accounting. After working several years in the business world, Lin decided to become a teacher.
She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a B.A. Degree in Special Education. She currently has three endorsements in Special Education. Lin has worked as a Special Education resource teacher as well as a classroom teacher with children from preschool through eighth grade.
Early in her life, Lin encountered Waldorf Education at the first Waldorf school in Colorado in Greeley. She completed her Waldorf Teacher training in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. She has taught Kindergarten in private Waldorf Schools as well as in another Waldorf Charter.
Lin has developed and incorporated Waldorf therapeutic remedial work throughout her teaching career. She has an M.A. degree in Transpersonal Counseling and Education from Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, post master’s course work in Dance Therapy from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, and post master’s course work in Applied Psychology from the University of Santa Monica in California. This is Lin’s fifth year mentoring Lakota teachers at the Lakota Waldorf School at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. This is her second year at Mountain Phoenix Charter School.
All in all Lin has been teaching for 27 years. Waldorf education and therapeutic support for children has been her passion and her life’s work. She has a wonderful 26-year-old daughter who was educated in Waldorf Schools and who graduated from Shining Mountain Waldorf School in Boulder, Colorado.
Grade Level Instructor – Early Childhood Education
ECE Field Mentor
Grade Level Instructor – Early Childhood Education
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.
Grade Level Instructor Grades One & Two
Reading and Remedial Specialist
Janis has been involved in Waldorf education for over 30 years as a parent, class teacher, mentor, curriculum specialist, and administrator. Her two adult sons have attended independent Waldorf schools from K through12. Janis has acted as a pioneer for two Waldorf schools; the Sandpoint Waldorf School in Idaho and the Shepherd Valley Waldorf School in Boulder, Colorado. Janis is a lifelong learner who holds the following degrees and credentials: BA in English, M.Ed. with a focus in Waldorf education, a California state credential K12, a California state Specialist credential K12, and a Waldorf teaching certificate from the Waldorf Institute of Southern California in Los Angeles. Janis is also a Virtues Project Facilitator. She has lead Virtues workshops for teachers in Waldorf inspired charters in California, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah.
Janis has been passionate about Waldorf education since her first son Eli was born in 1970. She now travels to Germany to see her grandchildren who attend the Uberlingen Waldorf school. It is wonderful for her to see her legacy carried forward and how hergrandchildren are enriched by the Waldorf community there. She loves to travel the world exploring different cultures. She and her husband John, frequently travel together and most recently to; Ireland, France and Germany. Janis loves music, art, drama and films. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband John, their 2 two dogs and an adventuresome cat named Ziggy.
Field Mentor - Arizona
Grade Level Instructor - 3rd Grade
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.
Grade Level Instructor - 4th Grade
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.
Clay Modeling and Drawing
Grade Level Instructor - 5th Grade
Jane has taken two classes through the full 8-year journey at Live Oak Waldorf School where she has also been active in leadership and administration. She was Chair of the College of Teachers, as well as an acting Board member. Jane is a member of the Anthroposophical Society, First Class and Pedagogical Section, and has worked with such esteemed leaders of the Waldorf movement as Else Gottgens, Georg Kuhlewind, Friedemann Schwartzkopf and Dennis Klocek. She has been a mentor for teachers in training at Rudolf Steiner College, as well as schools throughout northern California. Jane has a B.A. with honors from Stanford University and is a founding member of the Northern California Mentors’ Collaborative. She is currently a Grade Level Mentor for Gradalis.
Grade Level Instructor - 7 & 8
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.
Music -Singing & Instrumental
Lee Sturgeon Day was born in England in 1941 and educated in England, Italy and France. She was personal assistant to Sir John Betjeman (Britain’s Poet Laureate) for 3 years. Other activities have included: traveling, writing food guides, managing a London Coffee House, therapy and social work, farming, and flame throwing in a circus. Her book A Slice of Life describes the healing path of anthroposophic medicine. Several workbooks and children’s stories are also available on her website—Lifeways for Healing Education.
Lee was co-founder of The Center for Social Development in England, and Lifeways for Healing Education in Detroit. She has led biography workshops in Europe and North America since 1975, and offers these and other workshops for adults and retreats for schools and other communities. She teaches in several Waldorf Teacher Training programs. (She was a Waldorf parent for 13 years).
Some Themes: Personal Biography/Life Cycles, Nurturing Relationships, Using Our Imagination, Finding Balance in Daily Life, Double Trouble, Movement (Form) Drawing as a Path of Development.
Nancy Mellon is a counselor, mentor, and former Waldorf teacher whose courses and workshops brim with creativity! Nancy has taught therapeutic writing and storytelling would-wide for many years. She is living now in Boulder CO. Her newest book encourages practical wisdom amidst rushing screens and robotics.