Faculty

Orchid Migñon-Jones

Nursery Preschool Teacher

 

I hold a Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Micha-el Institute in Portland, Oregon and a B.A. in Community and Social Justice in Education Studies from University of Santa Cruz, California.

I enjoy hiking, sewing, painting, dancing and meditation. I found Waldorf education after working in non-profits, Montessori classrooms and outdoor schools. When I found Waldorf education it was partnered with an outdoor forest/farm immersion program. I fell in love with the deep and inspiring experiences the children had on a daily basis. We were able to reach a loving relationship of care and stewardship toward the land, animals, trees and plants. Nowhere else have I been allowed to support children grow to be empathetic beings toward people as well as nature as I have in Waldorf Education.  I am inspired by the all-outdoors forest kindergarten models from Germany and Switzerland.

I love Waldorf education because it is a whole-child approach which meets the child at each developmental stage they go through. I have been teaching for 13 years, 8 of those years I have spent in Waldorf education. I would love to see a state-wide curriculum which honors the emotional and social development of children and which brings multi-cultural learning and celebration of diverse backgrounds. I hope that one day our state funded programs will pick up the impulse of Waldorf education. Every child deserves a place where they can grow, not just in their head - but with their whole body.

The work we do in Waldorf education shapes children into balanced and harmonious people who are capable of achieving their dreams and loving themselves, each other and the world they live in. The ability that children have for wonder and curiosity in life inspires me each and every day.

Paula Brown

Songbird Preschool Teacher

I am a graduate of St. Martin's University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with endorsements in early childhood education, early childhood special education, special education, and reading. In addition, I also attended Micha-el Institute with a 4-year certificate in early childhood education. A lifelong learner, I had attended numerous workshops, intensives, trainings and conferences pertaining to Early Childhood Education; Early Childhood Special Education; Special Education and therapeutic work in both mainstream and Waldorf programs.

I have also received training in the native language of the Lower Puget Sound peoples (Lushootseed) and hold a therapeutic riding instructor's certificate from the Professional Associaton of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH)

My interests and passions outside of the educational setting include: attempting to get my finger on the pulse of the Anthroposophia of our age and getting in rhythm with it; I love to spend time with  my family and friends; I love horses and I wish everyone could have an experience of these gracious, extraordinary creatures.

Early experiences that helped shape my educational philosophy were, of course, my own experiences in the public school system as a child and as an adult.  As a Special Education teacher in the public school system, I encountered many children who were totally shut down very early in their school journey. I attribute this to increased pressure to academicize (I made this word up!) the curriculum at a younger and younger age. When No Child Left Behind was enacted,  I knew it was time for me to get out of public education. 

I had been fortunate during my public school career to have discovered the Tacoma Waldorf School. I was invited to study this thing called "Anthroposophy" and topics related to Waldorf Education. I was thrilled to be able to study with the likes of Maureen Conlen, Sara Smith-Sorenson and Bill Bryant among others.  I am so grateful to them all.  It was during this time that the Spiritual Impulse of Waldorf Education resonated for me in a profound way.

The reason that I am passionate about Waldorf Education is because it awakens infinite possibilities within the human being. We get to work with the Spiritual World in that endeavor. We get to spend our time with developing human beings. What a joy! I continue to strive to embody this truth, but am fraught with human frailty.  However, I will get up to try another day.

As Waldorf Schools are able to remain connected to the living being of their schools and continue to work with the Spiritual Hierarchies AND we continue our inner work, I have an imagination that Waldorf Schools will flourish as well as the social impulse that it serves--the Threefold Social Order.  The world needs to find a different way. Anthroposophy--the wisdom of humankind--has much to offer the world as we seek to operate out of love for all beings.

I wish to be of service in any possible way to help humanity, our fellow creatures and our Mother Earth as we continue our evolutionary path.

Bre Hernandez

 

Songbird Preschool assistant

 

A Tacoma native, Bre joins us for a second year, moving from kindergarten assistant to preschool assistant, as well as continuing to work as the Lead Teacher in after school Child Care.

C.L Heidal

Starlight kindergarten teacher

 

CL was born in Tokyo as Carol Lee. Her love of the natural world and it’s inhabitants,  especially children and horses came from her growing up outdoors on the rugged coast of Japan. Her first career,  teaching horses and their riders came out of her childhood love of riding and equestrian arts. She moved to the states after living many years in the British Isles. It was in California where she first heard about and became interested in Waldorf education. Her now grown sons are Waldorf graduates, where she can see the many gifts they received from this beautiful education. Her deep interest in early childhood education and anthroposophy have not wavered but grown stronger over the many years she has taught kindergarten. We are blessed to have her.

Jennifer Lewis

 

Nursery Preschool assistant

 

Jennifer is a graduate of Central Washington University, and is a certified Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach. “I am honored to be a part of the Waldorf community at TWS which educates the whole child. I look forward to building community with the parents, children and teachers.”

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Sara Smith

 

Parent-Tot Teacher

 

Sara’s education includes a teaching certificate from the Eugene Teacher Training and BS from Evergreen State College. Her professional experiences include over 15 years as a  Kindergarten, Preschool, and Parent-Child Teacher. She is a card-carrying Journeyman Boilermaker,she can steer a sea-going vessel, and, in a pinch, she can officiate weddings and other auspicious events!

Sara’s relationship to Waldorf Education began on the first day of school in her daughter’s preschool class at the Tacoma Waldorf School. It was clear from that first moment. She had found the proper school for her daughter and her own true vocation. Several years later she entered into teacher training in Eugene, Oregon, where she experienced the most amazing education. Sara had a Bachelor of Science from an innovative institution; however, she had never experienced education that taught to her whole person. Her days were filled with art and music, stories and movement. She literally could not stop smiling for her entire training. She was challenged to the very core of her being, and held lovingly in her strengths and weaknesses. She began the real journey of becoming a human being.

In the kindergarten, Sara is touched again and again by the journey each child begins toward this endeavor. Our Kindergarten children are compassionately inspired to become themselves. The very best of themselves.

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blake bruce

kindergarten assistant

Teacher

 

Kindergarten assistant and Child Care Lead Teacher/Assistant

I am a graduate of the Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington with a Bachelors of arts with an emphasis in performance arts and business. 

ove to sing, act, and dance. Love teaching people how to weight lift and find the best fitness regiment for themselves. I also enjoy hanging out with my family and nephews when I have the chance to see them.

I was raised to just see the world and make judgments, but through my experiences as a young person I have found there is more to life then just what you see. Being able to observe and evaluate your environment through all your senses gives a whole new perspective that may change a persons mind or thinking. This is why I think anthroposophy is such a great way to understand humans and our connections on such a universal level.

Waldorf not only gives the children time to use creative thinking, but also gives the teachers a chance to think and evolve a long with them. We at Waldorf really want to see your children be innovative, honest, and find ways of learning that works for their individual needs. This makes me passionate to be apart of this wonderful environment because it’s no long about me, but it’s about the we, and what we as teachers can do is give the best possible education and lead by example so that your children grow successful for themselves, but also for the future of our culture.

I hope to see Waldorf expand and reach more people with the thinking of being all inclusive. The future of Waldorf doesn’t just lie in the hands of the educators, but also the children who grow to tell stories, moment of positivity, and learning of when they were student at Waldorf. 

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Sandra roulette

grade 1 Teacher

Sandra has been teaching for 30 years in a variety of settings and ages. As a university student she took an active interest in Waldorf education and began her early childhood training already a mother of two. She created a state licensed preschool in her Seattle home in the eighties using Waldorf methods. After several years in early childhood she began to teach elementary school, and most recently she has taught a homeschool middle school group.

Sandra grew up in the northwest as the oldest of four children. Early interests included playing in the brambles, leading neighborhood parades, and exploring the nearby streams, sloughs, and wildlife. These unfettered hours of childhood matured into valuable strengths and wisdom over the years that she still relies upon. She has recently become a grandmother; a delight and joy that quickly expanded beyond her expectations. Her grown children both live in Seattle, where they grew up.

She holds a BA in Education from Antioch University Seattle, a Waldorf Early Childhood certificate from Rudolf Steiner College, and completed grades training with Sound Circle Teacher Training.

Anand MaliakaL

 

grade 2/3 teacher

 

 

 

 

 

Anand is a first generation Indian American from a mixed cultural heritage.  His childhood and early adulthood was spent in Massachusetts in the suburbs of Boston.  He attended public schools in Lexington, MA where he excelled in art and English classes.  He had strong connections with nature as well spending many days exploring the various wooded areas near his hometown.  One of his favorite places to spend time was at Walden Pond in Concord, MA.

After High School he attended the University of Vermont in Burlington.  It was there he was able to balance my love of the outdoors with a solid liberal arts education.  He majored in English and took several education courses to compliment his studies.  After graduating with a B.A. in English he moved back to Massachusetts and began working in various settings with children.

In 1993 he entered the Waldorf Teacher Training program at Antioch New England Graduate School. He enrolled in the Integrated Day program as well and spent the next two years working and commuting to New Hampshire on the weekends to complete his Masters of Education.

In addition to his love of outdoor recreation, he also enjoys painting and working with pastels in his spare time.  He also is an avid singer and has participated in numerous local choirs in Olympia. He has always considered himself equal part artist and teacher as he works with children to develop their own unique gifts and capacities.

Giavanna Reyna Grade 4/5 Teacher

 

I graduated from Pepperdine University with a B.A. in Sociology. I have completed my Foundation Year of Waldorf teacher training and am midway through a Masters in Education program with emphasis in Waldorf education. I acquired Forest Kindergarten Certification and taught in nature immersion programs at Cedarsong Nature School on Vashon Island, fostering social and emotional intelligence in young people and promoting their critical thinking through emergent curriculum.

 Some of my favorite things include redwood forests, hiking to waterfalls, picnics, reading poetry, the Puget Sound, unexpected snowfall, hot yoga, and buttered popcorn with a good movie. All of the above, preferably, in the company of children and loved ones.

Unlike my own early education in the public school system, I step-parented two young children who were educated in Waldorf schools. In addition to a solid and age appropriate academic curriculum, I was continually impressed with their expansive expression of creativity, their exposure to theater and music, their connection to nature and animals, their commitment to community service, and the remarkable extent of their empathy and self-confidence.  

Regarding the future of Waldorf education, I anticipate that it will become progressively recognized and highly regarded. A cookie cutter education is becoming less relevant in this time of great changes in our world. Not only do such things as medical technologies need to continue to advance in novel ways, but we are also dealing with our planet's resources continuing to diminish. The need for sustainable solutions will only increase as the world population increases. It is going to be people who are educated in ways that amplify their individuality, their creativity, and their critical thinking skills who are going to be the most valued thinkers and workers. Because Waldorf education cultivates depth, knowledge, and merit on so many levels, I believe that Waldorf educated people will become more and more important and valued.

The reason I am passionate about being a Waldorf educator is reflected in Rudolf Steiner’s words: “The true teachers and educators are not those who have learned pedagogy as the science of dealing with children, but those in whom pedagogy has awakened through understanding the human being.”
— Gia Reyna

Staff

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Amanda Haydon

Interim Administrative Director / Child Care Center Director

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Chantal Hulet

Enrollment Coordinator