Grades 1-8 Faculty

Our faculty lead by example, for each other and for our students.
Our faculty bring a wide variety of life experiences, academic successes, and perspectives that inform our explorations and strengthen the richness of our school culture. Some have participated in Maine Coast Waldorf School life as parents of MCWS students, others as parents of children from other Waldorf Schools.

  • Ananda Kaymen
    Ananda KaymenHandwork
    Ananda Kaymen

    Ananda Kaymen

    Handwork

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2014
    BA, Cultural Anthropology, Friends World Program, Long Island University; MA, Counseling Psychology, John F. Kennedy University Foundation Program, Maine College of Art Fibers/Clay, Haystack Mountain School of Arts and Crafts, Simplicity Parenting Group Leader Certification, Simplicity Parenting

    Ananda grew up on an organic farm in southern New Hampshire, where she attended both the Pine Hill and High Mowing Waldorf Schools. From a young age, Ananda felt a sense of responsibility to the world around her; to be of service to all beings. A brief devotion to the study of fine arts gave way to many years of travel, study and work in Latin America and New York City, where her focus was social justice and human rights. Ananda found her inclination for healing work when she moved to Northern California, becoming first a massage therapist and later a somatic psychotherapist. She moved to Maine in 2007, where she has been guiding individuals and groups in mindfulness and meditation practices. Woven throughout all of her life experiences has been the thread of creating beauty, crafting, and working with her hands.

  • Beatrice Perron Dahlen
    Beatrice Perron DahlenHandwork Teacher
    Beatrice Perron Dahlen

    Beatrice Perron Dahlen

    Handwork Teacher

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2016
    BFA, Sculpture, Massachusetts College of Art and Design; MEd, Integrated Learning, Antioch University

    Beatrice spent her childhood traveling with her military family. The places and people she encountered helped create a sense of awe of the natural world and a curiosity in people and their cultures. Her strongest memories are of learning to embroider and sew, habits that took root. She designs and writes knitting patterns and always has needles in hand. When she is not sewing, knitting or embroidering she can be found gardening, cooking and dabbling in other art forms.

  • Caitlin Pow
    Caitlin PowThird Grade Teacher
    Caitlin Pow

    Caitlin Pow

    Third Grade Teacher

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2014
    BA, Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Amherst; BA, Spanish, University of Massachusetts Amherst; MEd & Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Antioch University New England

    After bouncing around the world for a bit, Caitlin spent the latter half of her childhood in the beautiful Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. She attended UMass Amherst for her undergraduate degrees, studying Anthropology and Spanish, with a focus on community organizing, social justice and critical race theory. Upon returning after time spent living in South America, she was lucky enough to discover The Hartsbrook School in Hadley, MA, and was introduced to Waldorf education through assisting in the lower grades. After becoming intrigued by Waldorf pedagogy at work, Caitlin made her way up to New Hampshire to receive her M.Ed in Education and complete her Waldorf Teacher Training. When not with her students, Caitlin is an avid cook, soccer player and runner, and is enjoying exploring the cross country trails up and down the coast.

  • Christopher Chasse
    Christopher ChasseMusic
    Christopher Chasse

    Christopher Chasse

    Music

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2012
    BA, Music Education, University of Southern Maine; AA, Liberal Arts, Southern Maine Community College

    Christopher grew up in northern Maine and spent most of his child learning to play musical instruments, playing in the woods and working in the potato fields. It was around fourth grade that he began teaching, starting with his fellow classmates on recorder and later on saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, and later the bass and guitar. Christopher is also a local musician and performs in a variety of musical settings ranging widely from rock 'n roll to Bluegrass, from Vivaldi trumpet concertos to the Beatles. Chris's position at MCWS draws from his love for shaping and harmonizing young voices, arranging music, and performing all types of music.

  • David Beringer
    David BeringerEducational Support
    David Beringer

    David Beringer

    Educational Support

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1999
    BA, Literature, Thomas Edison College; MEd, Early Childhood Education, Antioch University New England; Certification, Waldorf Education, Antioch University New England, Certification, Transdisciplinary Therapeutic Education, Gradalis Institute, K- Level 4 Training, Awareness Through The Body, Antioch University New England, Fairy Tales and Social Change, Hampshire College,

    From sharing the archetypal power of Fairy Tales to helping students develop a deep connection with their physical and natural world, David has committed himself to fostering authentic, holistic human development. Years of political and social activism have convinced him of the world's deep need for empathy and imagination, and that positive social change becomes possible through an education based on the human being's full development. He lives in a straw-bale, solar-powered house that he built with help from many friends. David is passionate about many things, but math, making music with others, and getting as close to the natural world as possible are some of his current priorities.

  • Ezra Smith
    Ezra SmithMiddle School Math Teacher
    Ezra Smith

    Ezra Smith

    Middle School Math Teacher

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2016
    BA, Physics, Earlham College; MAT, Math and Physics, Earlham College

    Ezra grew up at the Himalayan Institute, a yoga ashram in Northeastern Pennsylvania in the company of people dedicated to spiritual striving. This inspired him to focus his life on learning and improvement. He relishes designing authentic learning experiences for his students. Ezra is from a Quaker background and welcomes challenging questions. He loves most things, specifically math, science, woodworking, and wildcrafting.

  • Heidi Drexel
    Heidi DrexelEducational Support Teacher for Math
    Heidi Drexel

    Heidi Drexel

    Educational Support Teacher for Math

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2013
    BA, Painting and Drawing, Warren Wilson College; MEd in Waldorf Education, Sunbridge Institute

    Heidi grew up in northern New England and spent most of her childhood playing outdoors.  She was a Waldorf elementary teacher for seven years, in New Hampshire and California, before the birth of her first child. At MCWS, she is happy to be able to combine her love of teaching with her passion for art and nature. In her spare time, Heidi writes, gardens and sings.

  • Ida Dyment
    Ida DymentFifth Grade Teacher
    Ida Dyment

    Ida Dyment

    Fifth Grade Teacher

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2012
    BA, Nutritional Anthropology, Hampshire College; MEd, Waldorf, and Elementary Education Certificate, Antioch University New England

    While growing up in New Hampshire in a house her father built, Ida was homeschooled by a Waldorf Teacher, her mother. This afforded a great deal of time for delving deeply into the fine arts, handcrafts, music, and dance. After completing her high school education at a private, college-prep school in New Hampshire, Ida went on to a self-designed undergraduate major in Nutritional Anthropology. After receiving her MEd and completing her final internship in the south, she happily returned to her New England roots and moved to Maine. Ida has extensive experience in classical and world music, and has an abiding interest in the natural world and cooking.

  • Jane Palizay
    Jane PalizayAcademic Support Teacher for Literacy
    Jane Palizay

    Jane Palizay

    Academic Support Teacher for Literacy

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2015
    BA, Sociology, Gordon College; Graduate courses in reading, University of Southern Maine; Wilson Language System Introductory Training, Visualizing and Verbalizing Training Workshop

    After graduating from college, Jane earned a teaching certification for grades K-8 and enjoyed 10 years of classroom teaching in both private and public schools. She became a stay-at-home mom after the arrival of twin sons. During that time, Jane authored a phonics and spelling workbook and started a private tutoring business. Because many of her students struggled with reading, she pursued specialized training which allowed her to target specific reading skill deficits. Over the past 17 years, Jane has worked with nearly 100 students assessing reading difficulties and providing individualized instruction. She also has experience working as a Literacy Strategist, designing and providing instruction for students and teachers while employed by the South Portland School Department. Jane and her family live in Brunswick.

  • Jill Fox
    Jill FoxSixth Grade Teacher
    Jill Fox

    Jill Fox

    Sixth Grade Teacher

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1994
    BA, History, Carleton College; MEd, Antioch University New England; Spacial Dynamics® Institute - Level I

    Jill grew up in a family that loved traveling and hiking. A year spent in Switzerland, just before college, brought fluency in French and her first experiences working on organic farms. Her work as a naturalist exploring the redwood forests with children led her to Waldorf education. Long stretches in the wilderness—canoe trips in Labrador and the Boundary Waters, backpacking trips in the Wind Rivers and Cascades—as well as travel in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Central America continue to give her perspective and inspire her love of teaching. When she is home, she spends as much time as she can outdoors.

  • John Saccone
    John SacconeMovement Education
    John Saccone

    John Saccone

    Movement Education

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1995
    Spacial Dynamics® Institute - Level I, Spacial Dynamics® Institute - Movement Therapist, Spacial Dynamics® Institute - Level III Trainer Bothmer Gymnastics® - International Bothmer Certification Board

    John toured in Tony Montanaro's Celebration Theater Ensemble. He is a resident guest artist with the Portland Ballet Company and has performed for over 20 years as Drosselmeyer in the Nutcracker. He is a past host of the Portland Symphony Kinderkoncerts. He taught for many years at the Rudolf Steiner Institute, and presently is an instructor at the Spacial Dynamics® Institute. He is a founding boardmember of Seeds of Independence, where he continues to facilitate in their Jumpstart program for first-time youth offenders. He performs a duet show with his wife.

  • Kacie Breault
    Kacie BreaultFirst Grade Afternoon, Agricultural Arts
    Kacie Breault

    Kacie Breault

    First Grade Afternoon, Agricultural Arts

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2014
    AA, Resource Management, Sterling College; BA, Sustainable Agriculture, Sterling College; MEd, Waldorf Elementary Education, Antioch University New England

    Kacie loves growing food and community. She grew up in the North Quabbin area of Massachusetts where she became interested in agriculture at an early age. While in high school she joined a teen program at Seeds of Solidarity Farm and Education Center in Orange, Massachusetts, thus inspiring her journey to learn how to live a sustainable life. Her work in college lead to an interest in the "Farm to School" movement. After working on vegetable production farms in the Pioneer Valley of Mass, she decided to pursue a degree in education, merging her love of agriculture and work with children. When she is not in the garden, she can be found biking, crafting, cooking, and studying permaculture and biodynamic farming practices.

  • Katy Stetson
    Katy StetsonAccompanist
    Katy Stetson

    Katy Stetson

    Accompanist

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2006
    BA, Music, Amherst College

    Katy has been accompanying choirs in the greater Portland area for more than 20 years. She regularly works with several schools in the area, as well as many private choirs, ranging in age from elementary school through high school and beyond. Katy also teaches piano to students of all ages.

  • Kemal Lowenthal
    Kemal LowenthalWoodworking, Grades Faculty Chair
    Kemal Lowenthal

    Kemal Lowenthal

    Woodworking, Grades Faculty Chair

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2012
    BFA, Ceramics and Sculpture, Rochester Institute of Technology; MEd, Waldorf Education, Antioch University New England

    Kemal grew up in Chestnut Ridge, New York in two overlapping communities. From an early age he was exposed to many different languages, cultures and foods ranging from Argentinian and Algerian to Bosnian and Bangladeshi. The rich cultures and people coming together like a family created the importance of community in his life. Kemal enjoys woodworking, gardening, cooking (Middle Eastern and Far Eastern dishes), boxing, biking and reading. He is a Waldorf lifer, having gone through Waldorf Education from K-12.

  • Lynn Thurrell
    Lynn ThurrellEighth Grade Teacher
    Lynn Thurrell

    Lynn Thurrell

    Eighth Grade Teacher

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1991
    BS, Education, English, Keuka College; Waldorf Certificate, Antioch University New England

    When plucked suddenly from her complacent New England habitat in early adolescence and immersed in the warp and weft of life in South Africa, Lynn's eyes and interests were opened to a very different world perspective. Though primed for the adventure by her father's stories from annual sojourns to the Far East, experience proved the more immediate educator. After graduating from high school in Hong Kong, she once again became a mostly settled, slightly restless New Englander. It was on meeting Waldorf Education that she found a reflection of her early experiences in the exploration of the world's cultures as they unfold in the elementary curriculum. Besides her continuing fascination with indigenous peoples everywhere, she brings her love of the arts, a pleasure in the world of nature, and an enthusiasm for creating with her hands into her classroom.

  • Margaret Samuelson
    Margaret SamuelsonFourth Grade Teacher
    Margaret Samuelson

    Margaret Samuelson

    Fourth Grade Teacher

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2013
    BA, Classics, Bowdoin College; MEd, Antioch University New England

    Margaret found her way to Maine by way of Cincinnati, Ohio, to attend Bowdoin College. While there, she studied Latin and Greek, and met a great guy, upon graduation married him, and has been in New England ever since. She is still not so sure about the cold, cold winters, but she does love the Maine summers, and the gorgeous landscape of the Maine coastline. When she and her family spent a year abroad in Australia, she found her way to Waldorf education there as well, and it was in Melbourne, Australia that she began her studies to become a Waldorf teacher. She finished her M.Ed with a specialty in Waldorf Teaching when she returned to the United States. Margaret began with her current class in first grade in the Fall of 2013.

  • Marta Rackmales
    Marta RackmalesSeventh Grade Teacher
    Marta Rackmales

    Marta Rackmales

    Seventh Grade Teacher

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2009
    BA, Religion, Hamilton College; MEd, Elementary Education, Sunbridge College

    Marta grew up on Cape Cod where her family ran a fish market; she shared the work of filleting and preparing seafoods from an early age. It was on a hilltop in Avignon (following a semester in Stockholm) that she learned of Waldorf education from her travel-mate. She began teaching in Washington, D.C., where she met her husband and enjoyed 10 years of city life. They ventured up to Maine where Marta taught in the Bath Public Schools. Marta and Tom grew their family by adoption; experiencing their children's birth cultures of Kazakhstan and Ethiopia and raising these two wonderful children has broadened their world infinitely. Marta continues to love the ocean, her family, and her two sweet cats.

  • Michael Fenderson
    Michael FendersonFrench, College Chair
    Michael Fenderson

    Michael Fenderson

    French, College Chair

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1998
    BA, International Affairs/Political Science and French, University of Maine; MA, French Literature, University of Massachusetts

    A love of travel and adventures abroad, beginning with a high school exchange to Brazil led Michael to study and then teach both French and Spanish. He has enjoyed living and teaching in France and leading student trips to Central America and Quebec; experiences which have inspired a strong passion for world cultures that he brings to his students in stories, songs, and games. His favorite pastimes include spending time with family and friends, working outdoors building and landscaping, playing guitar, and singing songs late into the night.

  • Nancy Roderick
    Nancy RoderickClassroom Music, Strings, Chorus
    Nancy Roderick

    Nancy Roderick

    Classroom Music, Strings, Chorus

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2002
    BM, University of Miami School of Music

    Nancy is a violinist and teaches strings, classroom music and chorus.  She has served as principle violinist for the Maine State Ballet Orchestra and has performed with the Portland Symphony, the Bangor Symphony, the Maine Chamber Ensemble, the Portland Opera Repertory Theater Orchestra and the trio Musica Sorrella. Nancy has served as a conductor with the Brunswick Regional Youth Orchestra, the Southern Maine String Academy and at several District Festivals across the state. Nancy is the founder of the Coastal Youth Orchestra and conductor of CYO's Fiddleheads and Coastal String Ensembles. Nancy is well known for her enthusiasm and sensitivity in working with young string players and for her dedication to music education. In her free time she enjoys running and spending time skiing at Sugarloaf with her husband and two children, Alexandra and Christopher.

  • Oliver Kinzer
    Oliver Kinzer
German
    Oliver Kinzer

    Oliver Kinzer

    
German

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2005
    BA, German Philology, German as a foreign language, Philosophy University of Cologne, University of Salzburg, University of Vienna

    Oliver is a native of Germany who came to Maine in 2001. Since 1990, Oliver has been working with children and teenagers in various settings in Europe and the US. Through his many years of experience in arts, language, nature studies, athletics, social work, culinary arts, crafts, and music—as well as being a father—Oliver feels at home in creating exciting, inspiring, and versatile activities for children of all ages. Oliver has been the German teacher for Kindergarten through 8th grade at Maine Coast since 2005. His many tasks at the school have included teaching high school German, woodworking, cooking and coaching middle school cross-country.

  • Rebecca Brown
    Rebecca BrownFirst Grade Teacher
    Rebecca Brown

    Rebecca Brown

    First Grade Teacher

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2015
    BA, Double Major: Globalization Studies, Studio Art; MEd, Antioch University New England

    During high school in Weston, Connecticut, Rebecca found a home for herself in art and thrived in English. Service trips to Ecuador opened her eyes to another way of life and inspired her to major in Globalization Studies at Gettysburg College. She continued to cultivate her love for the arts by declaring Studio Arts along with Globalization Studies for a double major. While pursuing her academic studies at Gettysburg, Rebecca led rock climbing, kayaking and backpacking trips for students. Time in nature continues to play an integral part in her teaching.

    After college, while Rebecca was waiting to join the Peace Corps, she worked at an outdoor center in Vermont and it was there that she met her first Waldorf students. She was so impressed with the relationships between those students and their teachers that she began to research Waldorf education. After serving in the Peace Corps in Ecuador where she taught children, Rebecca attended Antioch University and received her MEd in Waldorf education. Fond memories of summers spent in Maine led her to Portland and Maine Coast Waldorf School.

  • Rebecca Waddle
    Rebecca WaddleGrade School Office Assistant
    Rebecca Waddle

    Rebecca Waddle

    Grade School Office Assistant

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2016
    BA, Psychology, The College of Wooster

    Rebecca comes to MCWS after 8 years as Telecom Billing Administrator for IDEXX Laboratories, where she managed the billing and usage reporting for over 3,200 voice & data circuits around the word, and over $5M in annual telecom expenses. Prior to that, she was chief cook and bottle washer for a small but integral wharf-side lobster shack on a tiny island community off the coast of Acadia where, among other things, she learned how to make a killer blueberry pie (just sayin’). In her twenties, Rebecca enjoyed several seasons as a licensed whitewater raft guide on the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers in Western Maine, where she also obtained Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification (advanced wilderness first aid, one step below EMT). In those off-seasons, she was a ski coach (and waitress) at Sugarloaf, USA in the Carrabassett Valley of Western Maine. Rebecca is thrilled to be a part of the important work being done here to nurture the child as a whole being, to instill empathy, character and determination necessary to share their gifts with the world.

  • Robert Thurrell
    Robert ThurrellWoodworking, Physics, Math
    Robert Thurrell

    Robert Thurrell

    Woodworking, Physics, Math

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1998
    BSc, Geology, Colgate University; MSc, Geochemistry, University of Rochester; Waldorf teacher training, Center for Anthroposophy

    Bob spent 5 years as a State Geologist in Connecticut after his undergraduate years and then taught math and sciences at two New England private schools. During these years he discovered his love for using antique woodworking tools and started his own company restoring historic structures. One of his many structures over twenty years was St. Bartholomew's Church  in Yarmouth. He was a founding member of the Timberframer's Guild of North America and is a past President of the Guild of Maine Woodworkers. He loves teaching at Maine Coast Waldorf School for it offers him an opportunity to teach in many of the areas that he is passionate about.

  • Sarah Yanni
    Sarah YanniDirector of Counseling
    Sarah Yanni

    Sarah Yanni

    Director of Counseling

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2014
    BA, English and Education, Mount Holyoke College; MA, Counseling Psychology, Lesley University

    Sarah grew up in southern New Hampshire and attended the Pine Hill and High Mowing Waldorf schools. As an undergraduate, she studied secondary education and completed the Teaching Certification Program at Mount Holyoke College. Sarah has worked in several independent schools and educational programs offering one-on-one support to middle and high school students with learning differences and psycho-emotional challenges. In addition to her work at MCWS, Sarah is a part-time clinician at the University of New England Counseling Services where she specializes in issues relating to adolescence and emerging adulthood. Sarah brings a compassionate, strengths-based approach to supporting students and their families through these rich and sometimes challenging years.

  • Suzie Peirson
    Suzie PeirsonSecond Grade Teacher
    Suzie Peirson

    Suzie Peirson

    Second Grade Teacher

    Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2004
    BA, Elementary Education, Ohio Wesleyan University; Waldorf Teacher Training, Antioch University New England

    Suzie is a native New Englander who knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a teacher.  During her first career, Suzie had a wide range of experience in the hospitality industry. She discovered a way to nurture her love of the outdoors by shifting from the sales department of the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston, to a management position supporting the back country huts for the Appalachian Mountain Club in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  Marriage and motherhood brought Suzie to Maine, where her family grew to four children and many pets. Suzie readily admits her current career direction was inspired by the experiences of her four children, all educated at Maine Coast Waldorf School, from the early childhood program onward. Her own Waldorf faculty experience includes time as a volunteer, full time handwork instructor and classroom teacher.  Suzie loves to knit, swim and spend time with her family.