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High School and Middle School Counselor
Taliza Mizrahi holds an MA, LPCC in Somatic Counseling Psychology and specializes in serving Tweens, Teens, and Young Adults through a combination of Creative Arts Therapies, Group Work, and Youth and Young Adult Mentoring. Taliza has been working with SMWS students and families as a mentor, dance teacher/youth empowerment facilitator, and therapist since 2006, and has formally been working as the middle and high school counselor since 2016. Over the course of her career, Taliza has served in a variety of settings from on-campus mental health counselor for undergraduate and graduate students at Naropa University, Family Therapist and Behavior Coach for high-risk youth and families, Surfing the Creative International Rites of Passage Youth Leadership Director and Lead Therapist, Hip Hop dance teacher and youth empowerment facilitator, youth/young adult mentor through her Buddhist community, and as a private therapist, mentor and case manager for youth from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. As a child of an immigrant, Taliza grew up with a different language and culture in her home and has personally navigated a life of straddling cultures and grappling with a multicultural identity. She enjoys working with youth from all over the world, with multicultural backgrounds and with blended cultural families. Taliza grew up in the Washington, DC area. She studied at CU-Boulder, Naropa University and is a graduate of Soka University in Southern California. When she is not at the school, Taliza is dancing as much as she possibly can, enjoying live music and natural waters of any kind, laughing at every opportunity, snowboarding, camping, and adventuring with her husband and 3 small, busy, and hilarious little boys, usually outside somewhere beautiful!
Doug Felkley, Woodworking Doug was born on beautiful Catalina Island, in California. Leaving the island when Doug was still a young child, he and his family moved many times before finally settling in Boulder half way through seventh grade. Boulder was the perfect place for him to land, and Doug enjoys all that the Colorado outdoors has to offer. Climbing, cycling, skiing, kayaking, and mountain running have all been on the activity list at one time or another. Doug joined the staff of the City of Boulder gymnastics program in 1982, and after thirty-four years as a coach, coordinator, and supervisor he retired 2016 to pursue an education in furniture design, wood craftsmanship, and sculpture. Combining his love for working with children and his love for creating with wood, teaching woodworking at SMWS is the ideal fit. It is time for another new chapter in his life, combining two things that are very close to his heart: teaching and woodworking. Doug and his wife Jean met nine years ago while attending Bands on the Bricks on the Pearl Street Mall. Together they explore the art and music opportunities in Colorado every chance they get.
Cindy has been a long-time resident in the mountains of Colorado. She has been employed in the accounting field for over 30 years. Cindy currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Nederland Food Pantry. Cindy is married and her hobbies include chasing after her 4 grandchildren and riding motorcycles.
Ron grew up on the east coast originally hailing from New Jersey until the age of 15, when his family then relocated to south Florida. After completing both high school and college in Florida, receiving a B.A. in Communications from the University of Florida, Ron moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to continue his education, earning a doctorate from Life University Chiropractic School in 2000. Upon entering the medical industry, Ron quickly excelled as a natural marketer and showed a prowess for incorporating new and emerging digital marketing technologies. He soon realized that understanding these newer emerging technologies and digital marketing implementations was becoming a true passion. Now, with over 20 years experience in executive leadership marketing, ranging from small startups to multi-million dollar media giants, Ron brings the knowledge, experience and a comprehensive plan to deliver a sensible yet strategic growth roadmap to help share the Shining Mountain Waldorf School story with as many more people as possible in our ever growing community.
High School Receptionist and Administrative Assistant
Bridget Gallagher is our High School Receptionist/Administrative Assistant. She (wo) mans our front desk and constantly interfaces with students, parents and faculty striving daily to create joyful harmony and order in our high school’s daily rhythm. Born and raised in central New York State, Bridget earned a B.A. in English Writing Arts from SUNY Oswego. Her passions are art, literature, and theatre. She and her husband, Stephen Smith, have two Shining Mountain graduates, Rory (Class of 2004) and Patrick (Class of 2010). Rory graduated from Metro State University of Denver in May 2012 with a BFA in Printmaking and Patrick graduated from NYU in May 2014 with a BA in Music Business.
Sarah grew up in Berkeley, CA and has lived in many wonderful places but loves Colorado, and has lived here for the past 19 years. She is very excited to be a part of the Shining Mountain community and brings her 25 years of experience in the finance world with her. Sarah has worked in public accounting and has been the controller for a real estate development company, a general contractor, and the CFO for a public relations and marketing firm. Sarah was the controller for The Economics Institute here in Boulder that offered graduate school prep to students from developing countries. She has her Bachelor of Accountancy from The College of Santa Fe in NM where she also obtained her CPA license. Sarah is the mother of a very active 15-year-old son who is a x-country runner and an explorer at heart. She loves Colorado for its active lifestyle and enjoys running, biking, swimming, x-country skiing, snowshoeing and backpacking.
Facilities and Grounds Director
Paul grew up in England, spending the first ten years of his working life in a Civil/Structural Engineering office. He moved to the United States in 1996 and spent ten years in California before moving to Boulder in 2007. He brings a skill set which lends itself well to the facilities department, being well-versed in all levels of building construction and maintenance. Paul has a young daughter, Annabelle. He plays soccer in the local Boulder league and enjoys running in our beautiful state.
Educational Resource Director
Elizabeth is thrilled to join the Shining Mountain Waldorf School Community as the new Educational Resource Director of the Lower School! For the last thirteen years, Elizabeth has worked as a special education teacher and literacy specialist in both public and private school settings, as well as in private practice. Elizabeth received a BA in Sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a teaching certificate from the Metropolitan State University of Denver, and a Masters degree in Education from CU Boulder. Additionally, Elizabeth has received extensive training in evidence-based math and literacy interventions, including the Orton-Gillingham approach, widely considered to be the most effective approach for students with dyslexia and other language based learning disabilities. Elizabeth has a passion for both teaching and learning. She believes that all children can learn, but that not everyone learns in the same way. With the right tools and instruction though, all kids can succeed! Elizabeth lives in Boulder with her husband and daughter. She enjoys skiing, hiking, and reading in her free time.
High School Humanities Teacher, College Counselor, and Alumni Relations Coordinator
An alumna of SMWS, Nita holds an MFA in Contemporary Performance and is a certified Independent Education Consultant. Nita will be expanding the high school College Advising program next fall, which she took up and developed anew this school year, as well as teaching theatre and humanities courses. We are delighted to have Nita return to Colorado from California and join the SMWHS faculty in these new capacities.
High School Spanish Teacher
Julie grew up spending lots of time outdoors in between Philadelphia and New Hampshire. She attended Skidmore College in upstate New York where she majored in Spanish literature and Latin American Studies. Living in Chile and traveling throughout South America during and after college solidified her zest for travel, different cultures, and the Spanish language. She is passionate about using a hands-on, interactive approach with her students. She most recently taught High School Spanish for four years at Sandia Preparatory School in Albuquerque, NM. She and her husband have two young sons who she is raising bilingually. She loves hiking, playing card and board games, skiing, fixing up their old house in Lyons, and spending time with her family. Julie is thrilled to be part the Shining Mountain community!
High School Administrator and High School Art and Architecture Teacher
Joan stepped in this year to be the Interim High School Administrator in addition to teaching art and architecture classes in the high school. She grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio and has lived in Colorado for 35 years. Joan has a B.S. from Miami University, Ohio in Housing and Interior Design and a five year Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Kent State University. In 1985, she studied architecture in Florence, Italy under ‘Super Studio Architects’. Joan has practiced and studied architecture in various forms during the past 35 years. She has taught in the high school since 2006. She completed her Waldorf Training in Art/Art History at the Center for Anthroposophy in NH, in 2013. She continues to develop as an artist by creating her own art in the mediums she teaches which include stone carving, clay sculpting, pottery, metalwork, stained glass and bookbinding.
Games/PE Teacher, MS Outdoor Education, Circus Troupe Co-Director
Craig wears multiple hats at Shining Mountain. Besides varied teaching responsibilities, he coordinates the Pentathlon, Medieval Games, Michaelmas Games and Field Day. He is a graduate of the Spatial Dynamics Institute and has taught for 25 years in CO and northern CA both as a class teacher and movement specialist. Born in OH, he moved to Boulder to attend CU, and completed his BA at Prescott College in AZ. He has spent many summers leading 4-season backcountry expeditions and class trips into the canyons, rivers, and mountains of the Southwest and the Sierras. Hobbies include hiking, kayaking and gardening.
Thyria joined the SMWS faculty in 1998. She received a diploma from the Boulder Eurythmy Program, directed by Helga Michaels and a Pedagogical Eurythmy Certificate sponsored through AWSNA. She is the proud parent of two adult children, Nyal and Kyra. Thyria’s other interests include: cooking, the farm to table movement, literature, and movement of all kinds including dance, volleyball and basketball.
Eurythmy Teacher, German Teacher
Cristina was born and raised in New York City until her family returned to Germany when she turned nine. At the age of twenty, she became deeply involved with the Camphill community of Brachenreuthe, Germany. She lived and trained at this Anthroposophical-based school and biodynamic farm, working with children in need of special care for six years. There, Cristina also discovered her love of eurythmy. Cristina studied therapeutic eurythmy for children with special needs with Ms. Susanne Mueller-Wiedemann and did her eurythmy training from 1989 to 1992 with the Eurythmieinitiative Stuttgart, directed by Ms. Helga Mattke. In the summer of 2000, Cristina came to Colorado to teach eurythmy at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School and Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten. She has held a BA in Eurythmy since 2013 and is currently in her second year of teaching at Shining Mountain Waldorf School . Cristina has been part of Sound Circle Eurythmy Ensemble and has been teaching in the pedagogical training of Eurythmy Spring Valley in Chestnut Ridge, New York.
Strings Teacher / Violin and Viola, Orchestra Co-Director
Emily Anne Bowman lives, breathes and dreams in music. A dedicated educator, she keeps a regular schedule as Artistic Director of the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestra and conductor of the GBYO Philharmonic, as faculty with Boulder Suzuki Strings where she teaches violin, viola, fiddle and conducts the Senior Solo Orchestra, and as instrumental music teacher for grades 3-12 violin, viola and orchestra at Shining Mountain Waldorf School. Ms. Bowman has been recognized with the “Exemplary Teacher” award four times by the American Strings Teachers Association of Colorado. Ms. Bowman is an active performer. With music, she has traveled to Europe, South America, Central America, and throughout North America. She can be heard regularly performing with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. Ms. Bowman graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Viola Performance from the University of Colorado, receiving the Gabor Ormai Viola Award and the Outstanding Graduate Award from the College of Music. Ms. Bowman lives with her husband and two cats in beautiful Boulder where in addition to making music she delights in spending quality time with family and friends, eating and enjoying the outdoors.
Lower School Office Manager
Alanna grew up in California but moved to Boulder six years ago with her husband and daughter Odette. In Los Angeles, she had worked as a literary agent assistant and as a moderator for market research companies. She then travelled extensively and taught English as a Second Language in the Czech Republic and Spain before returning home to complete a Masters in Linguistics. Finding Waldorf changed her life and approach to parenting and education. She is thrilled to be a part of the community at Shining Mountain.
Spanish Teacher Grades 1-8
Joshua, who is also our school’s Social Media Director, became fluent in Spanish as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua where he worked with the Ministry of Education and was first dubbed, “don Josué.” He spent much of the next decade in Central America, working as a trip leader and guidebook writer. Joshua has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Brown University and has continued his teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College. Joshua has also worked as an Outward Bound wilderness instructor and is an accomplished travel writer. He has a monthly column in the Denver Post called “Around Colorado” and is the author of six books about travel. He has been a teacher at SMWS since 2007. Joshua’s wife, Sutay, a Registered Nurse and trained doula, teaches prenatal yoga and childbirth classes at Boulder Community Hospital. They have three daughters who attend Shining Mountain.
Lower Grades Handwork Teacher
Theresa is a native of Boulder who attended CU as a classical antiquities major. She began teaching handwork to grades 1-8 in September of 1988. Theresa and her husband, David Chappelle, have three children: Micah, Amalindé, and Beau; all three are SMWS alumni. Theresa will serve this year as the Governance Council chair, as a member of the College of Teachers, and on the Campus Planning Committee.
Class Teacher Grade 8
Michael attended Antioch New England Graduate School for Waldorf Education in 2003. After a successful program, he and his daughter, Zailen, traveled from the lush Northeast to the rugged Southwest to start his teaching career. He taught grades 4-8 and grade 1 in Taos, NM before moving to the SMWS community. He has a plethora of interests and his favorite thing to do is “wake up in the morning”.
Class Teacher Grade 7
Meg 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. She received her MSEd in Waldorf Education and began teaching at the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork in 2005, where she discovered her passion was teaching middle school. Meg joined the Middle School faculty at SMWS in 2013. She and her husband Jon Ray enjoy their many adventures with their sons, Solomon and Oliver. Meg loves hiking 14ers, backpacking, cross-country skiing, printmaking, painting, cooking, and reading.
Class Teacher Grade 5
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 cats. Sandra loves scuba diving, downhill skiing, hiking, dancing, and stargazing.
Class Teacher Grade 4
Caela began her elementary teaching career in the public schools after completing her Masters Degree in Elementary Education at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1994, prior her BA in English Literature from Barnard College/Columbia University in NYC. Caela spent 10 years teaching in the public schools in Boulder Valley and Adams County, Colorado. Seeking to enrich her teaching during this time Caela discovered Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education. After several years out of the classroom to raise her daughter, she began her Waldorf Teacher Training at Sunbridge Institute in Spring Valley, NY, graduating in 2017. In 2016, Caela took the third grade class at Shining Mountain through until fifth grade, and is currently with her second class. Caela lives in Boulder with her husband Eric, who works for Sherpa Mountain Adventures, and her daughter Lily, who attends High School at Shining Mountain.
Class Teacher Grade 3
Dorothea joined SMWS in 1994 as a Physical Education and German Teacher. After ten years of serving as a subject teacher, she completed class teacher training at Antioch University in 2004, and became a class teacher. She was raised in Germany and received her degree as a Physical Education Teacher in Stuttgart. While teaching in a public school, she discovered Waldorf Education and was trained in Bothmer Gymnastics, Spatial Dynamics and Rhythmical Massage. Dorothea helped to bring Spatial Dynamics Training to North America, with Jaimen McMillan as the director. She has taught in Waldorf Schools in New England and Germany. She has also worked as a member of a kibbutz in Israel, and with handicapped adults in Camphill communities. Dorothea and her husband have three daughters who graduated from SMWS, and their grandson now attends SMWS. Dorothea especially enjoys the arts, gardening, and the beautiful outdoors here in the Rockies.
Class Teacher Grade 2
Sarah Guneratne’s passion for Waldorf Education began at The Children’s Garden, a Waldorf Kindergarten in Ashland, OR, where she served as Assistant Teacher for two years. As her interest deepened, she became a Class Assistant and yoga teacher at The Siskiyou School, a Waldorf elementary school. Sarah has continued to serve in that role for the last three years. Her experience as an assistant inspired her to pursue Waldorf Teacher training and she will graduate in 2020 from Antioch University, NH. Sarah holds a Masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture from the World Medicine Institute in Honolulu as well as a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Colorado State University. She enjoys spending time with her family, hikes with her dog, playing the guitar, yoga, cooking and creating art. Sarah returns to Colorado to join the Shining Mountain Waldorf School as the First Grade Class Teacher. She is excited to root back in Colorado with her partner, Garrett, and daughter, Rhea, close to family and surrounded by the endless scenic beauty.
Red Rose Kindergarten Assistant
Joe Koller has been involved with Waldorf pre-schools and kindergartens since the turn of the century—first as a parent, and later as an assistant. “Papa Joe” has been an assistant to his wife Cherie Flandrick in the Shining Mountain kindergarten since 2008. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and became a Colorado certified Early Childhood Teacher in 2011. He also has numerous years of restaurant and baking experience and especially enjoys sharing his cooking and baking skills with the children.
Red Rose Kindergarten Teacher
Chérie grew up on the Mississippi river in Minneapolis, MN, in a big family. In 1983, she received her B.A. in Sociology and Spanish, and in 1988, her M.A. in Counseling Psychology. For many years she worked as a Psychologist until she fell in love with her oldest daughter’s Waldorf preschool and decided to become a Waldorf Kindergarten teacher. Chérie attended Rudolph Steiner College in California and graduated in 2003. With much love and delight she has taught in Waldorf schools in Minnesota, California, Ireland and Colorado. Chérie has been the Red Rose teacher since 2007. She has 3 daughters that have attended Waldorf schools since preschool.
Mary Beth has been teaching in one capacity or another since 1982 and feels very blessed to have found her calling in life. She was born in Queens, NY, and spent most of her life on the South Shore of Long Island. Mary Beth graduated from SUNY Stony Brook with a BA in Early Childhood Education and has her Waldorf Early Childhood Teaching Certificate from Sunbridge College. She met her husband Walter in high school. They have three wonderful children. Jason, Amy, Colin, Aidan, Sloan and Taylor live in Pennsylvania, Ali graduated from SMWS in 2004 and Zachary in 2010. They both live locally. Mary Beth loves all sorts of handwork and has a small Waldorf toy business, Beth’s Babies and Things.
Bluebell Prekindergarten Teacher
Human Resources Director
Karen joined Shining Mountain Waldorf School in August 2013. Born in Michigan, she has enjoyed living in the Boulder area for over 30 years. Like so many, she came to visit and decided to stay. Her business career has been in the financial sector, which lead to an opportunity to be a founding member of a bankcard processing company where she designed and implemented operational and human resources systems. A wife and mother of two teenage boys, Karen loves to spend time with her family, traveling, reading, skiing and hiking. Karen is thrilled to bring her experiences to SMWS and embraces the caring culture and talented community of SMWS.
Lower School Administrator
Anne holds a BA in Anthropology from Rutgers University and pursued postgraduate studies in Psychology at New York University. She worked for many years in the psychology field with both adolescents and adults as a counselor. After her children were born she was a Waldorf homeschooler, a childbirth educator, a La Leche League leader, and served on the Board of a Holistic parents group. Anne grew up on the beaches and forests of the East coast and came to Colorado in 2007 so her oldest child could join the second grade class at Shining Mountain. For many years she was very involved in the parent life of the school, and joined the administrative staff as the Lower School Coordinator in 2014. Currently she is completing the Center for Anthroposophy’s Waldorf Leadership and Administration training and has recently begun work on her Masters in Education Administration with Regis University. Back East she was always looking for her Waldorf community and has found it in Shining Mountain. In her free time she loves to hike, run, swim and knit, usually with her beloved Great Dane.
Facilities and Grounds Assistant
Enrique is a California native born in San Diego. He is married and has two boys ages 12 and 19. Enrique moved to Colorado in 2017 and enjoys the mountains and nature. Hiking has become one of his favorite activities, as well as fishing—no success so far, but it’s a peaceful pastime to be with my family. Even just a simple picnic on the weekends is meaningful to Enrique. He has been working in maintenance at different locations and is now very grateful to be here at Shining Mountain Waldorf School.
High School Math Teacher
Peter Hornbein is a third-generation, Colorado native. His family all lives in the Boulder area including his kids and grandkids. He is a self-described, life-long learner, having earned an M.S.Ed. in Math Education and a Ph.D. in Education and Human Development with an emphasis in Urban Education from the University of Colorado, Denver while in his 60s. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a B.A. in Mathematics from San Jose State University. Before teaching, Peter was in a graduate program in Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, which he left to assume a position as Director of Strategic Market Planning for Pacific Bell. Peter has been teaching both Math and Special Education for 32 years both in Colorado and California. His research is varied, ranging from work in covariational reasoning and methodologies for teaching the function, to the enactment of whiteness through language in peer-reviewed articles appearing in high-impact journals. He has also conducted work in Women and Gender Studies focusing on gendered urban spaces as well as queered urban spaces and has explored the racialized nature of the enactment of masculinity in gay men. Other work includes explorations in mixed-orientation marriages, executive function, and issues revolving around social justice and neurodiverse students. Outside of school, Peter enjoys painting (oils) and recently took up the Ukulele.
Joanna grew up outside of Chicago, Illinois, playing the piano, roaming the remnants of tall grass prairie, and wandering the vast forest preserves. She began accompanying choirs in 8th grade and has supported choral groups, ensembles, and vocalists ever since. Joanna is a composer/arranger with a Bachelor’s in Music Education from the University of Colorado, and as an organist has served many congregations in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and even Switzerland. She directed the local women’s a cappella group, IRIS, for thirteen years, and her choral compositions have been performed by high school choirs and various ensembles across the country. Joanna loves a wide variety of musical styles and is proud to have two sons living in Boulder who also play professionally: Aaron on violin and Otis on electric bass. Joanna has accompanied eurythmy and choir classes at several of the Waldorf Schools in the area for the last decade, and she is very excited and honored to again be contributing to the musical life of Shining Mountain.
Pam grew up in Pueblo, Colorado. She graduated from Denver University with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a minor in French. Pam studied in Paris, France at the Ecole Normale de Musique for two years and stayed in Paris for 20 years before moving back to Boulder with her family in 1998. She teaches piano privately, as well as at a local music school. She has been an accompanist at Shining Mountain Waldorf School since 2007.
Lower School Games Teacher
In addition to teaching part-time Games & Movement in the lower grades at Shining Mountain Waldorf School, Megan is the founding director of Re-Embody Somatics, a health and wellness business that supports emotional empowerment following traumatic stress and anxiety. Megan earned her dual master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and Dance/Movement Therapy in 2007, from Antioch University in New Hampshire. During that same time, she studied Waldorf Movement Education at the Spacial Dynamics Institute in upstate New York. Additionally, Megan is a Somatic Experiencing Trauma Practitioner and a certified Health and Wellness Coach. From 2007-2021, Megan was the first through eighth grade Games and Movement Teacher at Prairie Moon Waldorf School in Lawrence, Kansas. In the summer of 2021, she and her family delightfully moved to Boulder, CO to join the wonderful school community at Shining Mountain! Megan enjoys time with her family and friends: swimming, hiking, hiking, soaking in the hot springs and dancing!
Kenna was born and raised in a small coastal town in Maine. After high school they relocated to Asheville, North Carolina to attend Warren Wilson College for Social Work. In the last year of their undergrad degree they interned for a nonprofit organization facilitating horticultural therapy lessons for children who experienced disabilities. After college Kenna moved to Colorado to explore alternative forms of therapy. Kenna continued working with children who experienced disabilities as a Registered Behavioral Technician. They also have experience nannying, assisting teachers in classrooms with children in grades K-8, and co-leading a 4H gardeners club for elementary aged children.
Bluebell Prekindergarten Assistant
Liz grew up in northern Wisconsin and went to college for Biology, massage therapy and energy work. She’s experienced in massage therapies for ten years and also recently worked with infants at a little learning center. She wants to become an art teacher in the near future and loves kids, animals, rocks, art, hiking, biking and singing bowl meditations. She is excited to start this new adventure learning and growing with the children at Shining Mountain Waldorf School .
White Dove Kindergarten Assistant
Rachael is looking forward to being an assistant teacher in the White Dover Kindergarten class! She grew up in New Hampshire and went to college at the University of New Hampshire. Rachael received her degree in 2020 with a Bachelor’s in Outdoor Education and Psychology. She moved to Boulder this past May to work at an adventure camp with elementary aged children. She is very passionate about learning and growing in the outdoors and so excited to continue that philosophy at Shining Mountain Waldorf School. When Rachael is not working, she loves spending time rock climbing and relaxing outside.
Rainbow Garden Teacher
Mary Alice grew up on a beautiful farm in the blue, slow rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont. Her childhood memory stew is steeped in moss, turtle shell, horse mane, and pond water. She is drawn to the Waldorf world because of the reverence for nature, story, magic, and beauty. Mary Alice has lived in Boulder for over 25 years. She is a graduate of both Naropa University and the University of Colorado. At Naropa, she studied Painting and Environmental Ethics. At the University of Colorado/Denver, she acquired a Master of Landscape Architecture. Mary Alice worked for the city of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks as their Sign & Graphics Specialist for many years. She also completed Early Childhood Montessori training at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. She is passionate about protecting the beautiful world of childhood. A few things Mary Alice loves (in no particular order): making art, Watercolors/ Encaustic /Mixed-Media, teaching piano to children, running, salt water, plane tickets, and rescue Chihuahuas! Most importantly, Mary Alice and her partner, Mark, are very proud parents of Margaux. Margaux is a sparkling, fun loving, 13 year old girl in Mr. Janzen’s 8th grade class here at Shining Mountain.
Alex is excited to join Shining Mountain Waldorf School this year as the Cello Teacher! Alex was born and raised in Boise, ID where he found a passion for music at a young age playing double bass in the school orchestra. Alex completed his undergraduate degree in Double Bass Performance at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. During these years, Alex discovered a secondary passion for the cello, and began to transfer all his knowledge from its close relative, the double bass. As a multi-instrumentalist, Alex enjoys the challenge of learning new instruments, composing, performing, and loves the confidence and creativity that music can bring to young students. Currently Alex is in his final year of his Master’s of Architecture Program at University of Colorado Denver, and hopes to use both his music and design knowledge in his teaching career. When not playing music or building models, Alex enjoys spending time in nature, fixing bikes, climbing, writing poetry, and sharing good food with friends and family.
Jennifer is thrilled to join the faculty at Shining Mountain as the new choir teacher. She earned her BA and MA in Music from Yale in 1990 and 1992 and has been teaching music ever since! Her experience includes early childhood music teacher, full-time general music teacher for K-6 students, musical director for community theater and spiritual center productions, and teaching piano to children and adults. In 2005 she left public school music teaching to become a Waldorf class teacher, earning her certification from Rudolf Steiner College in California and taking a class at Cedar Springs Waldorf School from first to fifth grade. Since then, in addition to her private piano studio, she has developed an energetic healing practice to help women manage stress and release old traumas and blocks. She is excited to create a new life in Boulder balancing Waldorf choir teaching, piano teaching, and her healing practice. Jennifer also loves hiking, swimming, biking, skiing and swing dancing with her husband, Jeff.
Rainbow Garden Teacher
Karen was born and raised in Boulder and attended Shining Mountain from 1st-12th grade. Her class was the first graduating class from the high school in 1996. Karen is grateful for the relationships fostered by Waldorf Education that have supported her throughout her life. After graduating from high school, while earning a BA in Art at Naropa University, she also studied in Vienna, Austria, apprenticing with master painter, Michael Fuchs, and Madrid, Spain. Karen’s love of Waldorf Education and small children led her to Sunbridge College, where she obtained a Master’s in Early Childhood Waldorf Education in 2004. Sunbridge College was founded by her daughter’s grandfather, Werner Glas. While earning her degree from Sunbridge, Karen was fortunate to assist and receive mentorship from several master teachers at Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten, Shining Mountain, and Blue Sky Kindergarten. Karen started a state-licensed Waldorf-Inspired home preschool that she ran for over 10 years in Gunnison, Colorado. In 2017, Karen moved back to Boulder so her daughters could attend Shining Mountain and be close to their grandparents. In her free time, Karen loves mountain biking, hiking, nordic skiing and dance. She recently created an artisan business called Honey Glow and enjoys crafting beautiful beeswax lanterns with pressed flowers.
Lower School Teacher Assistant
Originally from New York state, Rebecca moved out West to attend UC Santa Cruz, where she found a home by the sea and the redwoods. Following her love for the healing arts, she became a massage therapist and received an MA in Somatic Psychotherapy at Naropa University. For 20 years, Rebecca offered massage therapy and body-centered psychotherapy in private practice. After her daughter, Auria was born, Rebecca began learning about Waldorf education, and their family moved to Paonia, CO, where they helped pioneer North Fork School of Integrated Studies. Rebecca homeschooled her daughter for first grade, which sparked her interest in becoming a Waldorf teacher. In 2020, Rebecca enrolled in Gradalis Waldorf teacher training and she taught a homeschool pod in a little red barn in Golden, CO. She is thrilled to be on this integrative and creative path of working with children. Rebecca enjoys hiking in the mountains, cooking, knitting, playing the pennywhistle, and spending time with her husband and daughter.
High School Humanities Teacher
Liz graduated from Shining Mountain Waldorf School and promptly jetted off to Portland where she realized she wasn’t ready for college. Instead, she decided to run a martial arts school, and have some out of school experiences. She loved teaching and working with students daily, and realized her calling would be in teaching High Schoolers. Since she went to a Waldorf school, she felt that would be the best fit. After her Bachelor’s was finished, she enrolled in the Center for Anthroposophy’s High School Teacher Training. While that was in process, she was hired as a Humanities teacher at Portland Waldorf School, where she worked for two years. Unfortunately, like many institutions, PWS took a hit when Covid struck, and many lost their jobs, including Liz. Undaunted, Liz moved back to Boulder, where she began a Master’s program in Secondary Education for English, and is tutoring students in English, History, Research, Interviews, Organization, and Executive Functioning. Liz has a knack for understanding and working with students with Learning Differences, as well as the highly gifted that always end up rolling through Waldorf Schools. She has been called “the teen whisperer”. In her free time, she is reading, petting a cat, or working out.
High School Science and German Teacher
Purple Wilson attended Waldorf schools from K-12th grade, beginning in Kimberton, PA followed by schools in Trier Germany, Basel Switzerland, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. She studied fine art and German language at the University of Michigan, has further training in anthroposophical art therapy, and completed the high school teacher training in physics and art at the Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, NH in 2017. She has taught physics, astronomy, biology, and art as a traveling Waldorf teacher in California, Michigan, Wisconsin, Alaska, and Colorado. Purple was a manager and art therapist at the Rudolf Steiner Health Center in Michigan before deciding to teach Waldorf high school students. She lives in Golden with her husband, a physics researcher at NREL and professional slackliner, and her one year old son. She loves to sing and enjoys many outdoor activities.
Kim Rector grew up in Austin, Texas where she met her husband Julian while attending Texas State University. After college, Kim held the position of Event Sales and Marketing Manager for a high end corporate restaurant chain for nearly a decade. Kim discovered Waldorf Education in 2009 with her oldest daughter’s enrollment at The Austin Waldorf School. Kim and her family moved to Boulder and joined the Shining Mountain Community in 2014. In the fall of that year, Kim accepted the Lower School Receptionist position. Kim was hired as Development Director in 2016, and has been a valued member of the SMWS Senior Leadership Team since then. Kim brings over two decades of experience planning events and managing special projects in the corporate and non-profit sectors. Kim completed her Foundations Studies in Anthroposophy, Spring of 2019.
Grateful to all of the teachers who cultivated her love of literature and appreciation for language, Angie hopes to foster that same enthusiasm for language arts in her students. She takes great pride and pleasure in guiding Shining Mountain’s future authors, scribes, translators, journalists, essayists, correspondents, dramatists, editors, and poets. Angie brings over 25 years of teaching experience in English and German to the classroom. In addition to Shining Mountain, she has taught at River Song Waldorf School, University of Colorado, Fairview High School, and Boulder High School. Angie has studied Waldorf education at the Center for Anthroposophy in New Hampshire and holds a BA in German and English, an MA in German, and an MA in Secondary English Education.
Zephyr moved to Boulder to attend Naropa University in 2011 and graduated with a degree in Contemplative Psychology and Eastern Arts. Before that time she had a career with the National Park Service as a firefighter, backcountry trail worker, volunteer coordinator, and llama packer. She worked in Yosemite, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, King’s Canyon, Redwood State Park and in the winters did two tours in Antarctica as a carpenter. Zephyr has also studied architecture and is passionate about working with her hands in many creative capacities and in bringing joy and playfulness into all of her pursuits. Even when living out of a backpack she always managed to have some kind of costume available. Currently she lives in Longmont on a small tree farm with her partner, their many furry and feathered companions, and an extensive workshop and costume collection.
Jason is an experienced high school educator and youth leadership guide and facilitator. He is currently the Director of the Men’s Leadership Alliance where he holds curriculum development and oversight, as well as develops teacher/course design. Jason holds a PhD in Human Development and a MA in Human and Organization Systems from Fielding Graduate University, a MA in Special Education: Emotional and Behavioral Disorders from University of North Colorado, and a BA in Creative Writing from Bethel University.
An exceptionally experienced university professor specializing in the disciplines of Computer Science, Mathematics, Cryptography, Distributed Systems, and Software Engineering, Fred also teaches math and science at the Cincinnati Waldorf High School. We look forward to Fred joining our high school faculty to teach advanced level math and science courses. Fred received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, and a BS and MS in mathematics Amherst and a MA in Mathematics form the State University of New York.
As previously announced to the school community, Lori will join us next school year as our new Pedagogical Director. She is coming to Shining Mountain from the Cincinnati Waldorf School, where she was a longtime class teacher and also taught US History in their high school program. Lori will be teaching US history at SMWHS as well as government, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Lori received her PhD in American History from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and earned a BA and MA in American History from the State University of New York.
Katherine has taught literature, composition, and gender studies at the college level since 1992. In 2012, she began leading summer workshops in storytelling, creative writing, and bookmaking for children. From that work, Katherine developed StoryCraft Boulder, a narrative arts studio that gives youth the tools with which to develop a twofold practice in mindfulness and creative thinking. Katherine holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and an MA in English from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Colorado College.
Jamie has specialized in Waldorf school administration since 2009, having served as Admissions & Marketing Director of the Waldorf School of Princeton as well as School Chair of Portland Waldorf School, among other roles. Born and raised on the East Coast, she began her working life in trade and academic publishing, public libraries, and the fiber arts community. Jamie holds degrees in communications/journalism and creative writing, as well as professional certificates in digital marketing, book editing, and Waldorf administration and leadership development. With a fervent love for language and people, Jamie has also served Waldorf Education on the continental stage, and has worked with AWSNA as a delegate, committee member, and Administrative Network coordinator for two different regions. She is currently exploring Waldorf high school teacher training through the Center for Anthroposophy.
Tyler is from a rural town called Capitan, New Mexico (home of Smokey Bear) and now resides in Jamestown, Colorado. He has been part of the Shining Mountain community since the spring of 2009, as a staff member, coach, and most recently a parent. Tyler believes that making a positive impact on young people’s lives through teaching and athletics is a gift to both give and receive. In addition to coaching sports and teaching at the high school level, he also coaches adults in large groups. Tyler has helped coach three state championship track and field teams and received the 1A Girls Coach of the Year Award in 2018. Tyler currently works at the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, where he joined the high school faculty as a math teacher in fall of 2018. He holds a BE in Survey Engineering from NMSU, is a level 1 USATF certified coach, and has received his Waldorf teacher training from the Center for Anthroposophy.
Class Teacher Grade 6
Jeff grew up in Spokane, Washington, before graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. and a major in history. He spent nine years traveling the world and collecting sea stories as a Naval Flight Officer, before finding his true passion as a middle and high school teacher of history and band at a small school in Virginia. He eventually found Waldorf education at Cedar Springs Waldorf School in California, where he took several classes through eighth grade as a middle grades teacher. He loves to bring his passions for history, science, storytelling, music, dance and theater to children and teens as a Waldorf teacher. He has a Masters in history from the University of Richmond, a California teaching credential, and has completed the first year of his Waldorf teacher certification through the Center for Anthroposophy in New Hampshire. Jeff and his wife Jennifer love to participate in community theater, listen and dance to swing jazz, and ski, raft, hike and camp in the mountains.
Kristina comes to SMWS after working as an Assistant Teacher in the Early Childhood Department at the Washington Waldorf School, just outside Washington, D.C, for the last six years.
Kristina first discovered Waldorf Education ten years ago, after reading the back of a Hawthorne Valley yogurt container one morning. Since that time, she has made every effort to educate herself and her family about Waldorf philosophy and pedagogy. She completed her Waldorf Early Childhood Education training from the Toronto Rudolf Steiner Centre in Canada. Prior to that program she completed her Waldorf Teacher Preparation Certification from the NOVA Institute, completed Foundations Studies through the Center of Anthroposophy, and took several summer courses at the Sunbridge Institute in New York. Prior to her Waldorf Education, Kristina received a Master’s in Public Policy from George Mason University in Virginia and an undergraduate degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
Kristina loves nature and being outdoors, hiking, camping and travelling with family and friends. She has learned a lot while traveling in Eastern Europe, hiking in the Eastern United States and Central Asian mountains, and studying in India. Kristina has two boys who have been part of a Waldorf School community for the past ten years.
Whitney has always found joy through working with children. Understanding, appreciating, and supporting how individuals learn is a lifelong passion for her. She has worked as an educator in the Boulder area for the past 15 years, including at the Sister Carmen Community Center, Cure Organic Farm, and The Growe Foundation. Whitney earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from Western Washington University. She is a Clinical Herbalist and has a Master’s degree in Science focusing on Human Nutrition. Through teaching Nutrition to kids, Whitney knew that teaching was the path for her. From there she earned her Elementary Education Teacher’s License from CU and was recognized for being in the top of her class. Whitney went on to study the Orton-Gillingham approach extensively, finding gems in the different approaches from different organizations. Through this training, Whitney witnessed the remarkable impact that multi-sensory, direct, explicit instruction can have and how through this instruction, students’ brains can be activated in varying ways so that their learning and processing style is honored and attended to, whether the subject is literacy or math or beyond. As an Educational Resource Teacher, she aims to connect with the whole person and hold them and their learning in the highest regard. When she is not teaching, you will find her frolicking in her garden, playing the ukulele, sewing up a storm, reading about literacy, hugging her dogs and cats, smooching her daughters, and dreaming of their next adventure.
Class Teacher Grade 1
Bret Schacht received his Waldorf Certificate and Masters in Education from Antioch New England Graduate School in 2004. The last fifteen years of his Waldorf teaching career have been pioneering at Prairie Moon Waldorf School in Lawrence, Kansas as class teacher and faculty chair. Bret arrives to Boulder with his wife, Megan Corcoran, and their two children, Caden and Mia. The family loves the outdoors, hot springs, stories, good food, campfires and dancing. Bret trained in organic farming at Sunflower Fields CSA, in outdoor education at the Earth Skills Semester Program, and in movement education with Spacial Dynamics. He hopes to utilize and expand on these experiences as the First Grade Class Teacher at Shining Mountain Waldorf School in 2021.
Approached by the SMWS Board of Trustees in August 2019, Mary was honored to become the Interim School Director at that time. In May 2020, she was hired as the long term School Director. Mary first joined the SMWS staff in the Development Office as the Fundraising and Outreach Coordinator in 2011. She spent three years creating and managing the school’s major fundraising and outreach events in that position. In 2014, Mary stepped into the Interim Admission and Marketing Director role. She was hired as the permanent Admission and Marketing Director a year later. Mary’s experience in marketing, public relations, copywriting, and account management began at an advertising agency in San Francisco. She then continued her marketing career as a partner in a boutique creative agency in Oakland, California, until moving to Boulder in 2009. A primary consideration in moving to the Boulder area was a well-established Waldorf school where her daughter could receive the full arc of Waldorf curriculum through 12th grade. Mary received a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a Theatre and Performing Arts Emphasis and a Music Minor in vocal performance from San Francisco State University. She completed a two year course in Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy in 2017. Mary is currently engaged in the Waldorf Administration and Leadership Development Program and the Explorations of Anthroposophy with the Center for Anthroposophy. She has also trained through Sound Circle Center in their Leading with Spirit program, The Art of Administration.