Now Enrolling 1st through 5th Grade

In the early school years, children learn best when academics are conveyed through artistic media such as painting, drama, music, storytelling, and other direct experiences that stir the emotions. Every detail imaginable contributes consciously to the totality of the Waldorf learning experience: the colors in the classroom, the colored chalk drawings on the blackboard, the rhythms of the lesson and the day, and the way the teacher speaks, moves, and balances humor with seriousness.

Our approach relies upon an interdisciplinary structure within each grade and progressing through the years. Diverse modalities of teaching are integrated to ensure that students encounter a variety of learning styles. As a result, each child is able to comprehend classroom material and find positive areas of self-expression. Long before educational research confirmed the idea of “multiple intelligences,” Steiner understood the need to balance the head, heart, and hands. 

How the Shining Mountain program brings the curriculum to life:

Math
Learning the times tables involves movement and discovering the magic patterns of numbers.

Ancient History
The fifth graders participate in a Greek Pentathlon – throwing the javelin and the discus, wrestling and running – to complement the study of ancient Greece and enliven history and a dynamic culture.

Modern history
Sewing on treadle sewing machines accompanies the study of the Industrial Revolution, allowing students to feel history in a new, tangible way.

In Grades 1-5 the content of the curriculum builds on what has gone before and unfolds in a way that is interesting and meaningful to the children, because it addresses the developmental changes they are experiencing. This developmental approach is fundamental to a Waldorf curriculum.

All learning is embedded in an artistic context. Drama, handwork, painting, singing, and eurythmy are interwoven with the academics. Steiner found that children of this age learn best when the material engages them at a feeling level; the arts-rich curriculum touches them deeply and enhances memory.

The Class Teacher usually teaches a class of students from Grades 1-5 and works to develop an atmosphere of familiarity and trust. Individual learning takes place in a supportive community environment; each benefits the other.

The Class Teacher instructs the Morning Lesson curriculum, taught from 8:30 to 10:30am each day. Each Morning Lesson block lasts for 3-4 weeks and includes core academic subjects. Following Morning Lesson there are four subject classes per day, each lasting 45 minutes. Subjects taught include: World Languages, Games/P.E., Handwork, Eurythmy, and Instrumental and Choral Music.

Marian Munkvold-Saunders
Interim High School Administrator

Marian was born and raised in Norway, before moving to Houston, Texas in 1998. After graduating high school there, she attended EM Strasbourg Business School in Strasbourg, France, and the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas where she received a BBA and MBA in Finance. After college she moved to Carlsbad, California where she continued working in the business and investment field. Once she became a mom, she and her husband moved to Santa Barbara, California where she stayed home full time, raising two children. In 2010 their young family returned to Texas and settled in Austin. At this time she discovered Waldorf education. Both children have attended Austin Waldorf School since kindergarten, and Marian was actively involved in the parent volunteer community there. In 2017 she joined the administrative staff at the Austin Waldorf School where she worked as Administrative Support and then Office Manager. She and her family are thrilled to call Boulder their new home and to become part of the Shining Mountain Waldorf School community. Marian loves to read, cook, do handwork, travel, and spend time outside with her family skiing, biking, and hiking.

Monica Maldonado

Grade 6 Assistant

Monica Maldonado began their professional teaching career in 2014 after receiving a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from The Master’s University School of Music. Monica has experience in teaching music and art in one-on-one, small group, and public school settings, as well as one year of teaching music, art, and history in the elementary school setting as a student-teacher. Thanks to their teaching experiences, Monica strongly believes that every child can become a musician and artist and that all learners deserve a well-planned, differentiated arts education. They are very excited to be working at Shining Mountain and supporting their class in any way they can. Monica is also passionate about traveling, performing shows with their band and creating abstract mixed media artwork.

Ashley Marsico
Registrar

Ashley grew up in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois and has traveled to many different places all over the world including: Mexico, Portugal, France, UK, Morocco, Spain, and the British Overseas territory of Gibraltar. In 2014, after studying and living abroad for two years in Granada, Spain, she moved back to the city of Chicago where she met her fiance Tom. She first learned about Waldorf education from Tom as he attended the Chicago Waldorf School from PreK-8th grade. In an effort to learn more about this education, she attended a CWS holiday fair where she was immediately inspired, and in 2015 started Waldorf Teacher Training in Chicago. Ashley is a Fiber Artist and has been perfecting her craft since she started to crochet at 7 years old, so when learning that the Waldorf curriculum included crochet, she was hooked! Ashley brings over 7 years of teaching experience including a year as an Early Childhood and Handwork Assistant at CWS, as well as 4 years of administrative experience at CWS working as their High School Office Manager and Registrar & Database Manager. She is very excited to join SMWS and is grateful to take on this new position remotely as Registrar.

Lee Griffith

Class Teacher Grade 6

As an accomplished cellist and music teacher, Lee has broadened his teaching capacities to become a Waldorf middle school class teacher. After completing his music degree at the prestigious University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music, Lee discovered his love of teaching extended beyond cello lessons, and that he was inspired by the art of teaching encompassed in the rich array of subject matter brought through the grades 6-8 journey. Waldorf philosophy and pedagogy, specifically the picture of child development, aligns with his approach to being an educator. Lee has been a class teacher in the grades and a cello teacher at the Cincinnati Waldorf School. He looks forward to continuing his Waldorf teacher certification for the grades school cycle. Lee enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, meaningful conversations, thrifting, rock climbing, teaching private cello lessons and, of course, performing.

Mike Terborg

Athletic & Auxiliary Programming Director

Mike Terborg first served as the SMWS Athletic Program Director from 2006 to 2010 while also coaching the High School Boys Basketball Team. In 2010, Mike moved to Seattle with his wife where he began his career as a Strength Coach and Injury Rehabilitation Specialist, and since 2018, has also been writing educational content for health, fitness, and wellness companies. During his time at Shining Mountain, Mike led an athletic program that fostered a healthy balance of physical, social, emotional, and psychological development. During his first tenure, Mike also served as the 5280 League President for two years, was three-time 5280 League Coach of the Year, and received recognition from the Positive Coaching Alliance for his dedication to teaching life lessons through participation in school sports. While program director, SMWS was also awarded the 5280 League Sportsmanship Award for the 2009-2010 school year. Mike has a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He lives in Gunbarrel with his wife and three children. 

Soni Albright

Admissions Director

Soni Albright has spent the last 10 years working in Waldorf School Admissions, previously at East Bay Waldorf School in Northern California, and currently at City of Lakes Waldorf School in Minneapolis, MN. She has all the while, also been in the classroom, as a Cyber Civics teacher for 6-8th graders. Before that, she spent a decade in a variety of school settings (Public, Montessori, Charter, etc.) as a classroom teacher, and has taught a wide variety of subjects such as visual arts, study skills, social studies, and language arts.