- Amy KesslerAdmissions Assistant
Admissions AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2016BS, Biology,Tufts University; MEd, Elementary Ed, Lesley University
Amy grew up outside of Boston. While her school days immersed her in city life, it was her time spent at her family's rustic island cottage with no electricity or running water that shaped her love of nature and longing for a more rural life. After more than a decade of teaching both outdoor education and in the classroom, Amy, her husband, and two children moved to Maine so that their children could attend MCWS. Much of her spare time is spent growing, preserving and cooking the food from their small farm. Amy also enjoys spending time with her family, walking her dog on the trails behind her house, camping, and baking healthy-ish treats.
- Ananda KaymenHandwork
HandworkJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2014BA, 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.
- Ann ColtmanHigh School German and Humanities
High School German and HumanitiesJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2016BA, Liberal Arts Honors, University of Texas; MA, ESL, University of Texas; Waldorf High School Teaching Certificate, Humanities, Center for Anthroposophy, Wilton, NH
Ann grew up in Johannesburg (South Africa), Lusaka (Zambia), Lawrence (Kansas) and Austin (Texas). Chance took her to Germany for twenty years where she fell in love with the countryside, music, dances and language and lived in a big old house in a tiny village in the Franconian meadows of Northern Bavaria. There she taught ESL and English and Humanities at a local high school and raised three children who attended the Freie Waldorfschule in Erlangen before immigrating to the USA to graduate from the Austin Waldorf School where Ann taught German and Humanities. She is a rusty musician playing piano, cello and Hackbrett and loves folk dancing, gardening, reading, and doing genealogy.
- Ashley Zuorski2nd Grade Assistant
2nd Grade AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2018BA, Environmental Studies, Eckerd College. MEd, Waldorf and State Certification, Antioch University New England (in progress)
Ashley grew up in southern New Hampshire and the lakes region of Maine, where she cultivated a close relationship to the forest and the waters. This relationship influenced her studies at Eckerd College, where she studied Environmental Studies, with minors in Geology and Visual Art. Among these interests, she enjoyed relating to children and spent most of her 20's working for non-profits teaching environmental education, building children's gardens, and leading sailing expeditions. Her seasonal opportunities have allowed her to explore all around the United States and beyond by car, plane, sailboat, or bicycle. Waldorf education finally found her while living in North Carolina where she became inspired by an education that combines many of her interests and which she can now give back. In her free time she continues to ride her bike, hike, swim, as well as paint, cook and savor anything with chocolate.
- Barbara GuffinFinance Director
Finance DirectorJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2004BA, Economics/Accounting, Rutgers University; MBA, Finance, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Waldorf Teaching Certificate, New England Waldorf Teacher Training
Barbara joined the school as a parent in 1987 when her oldest daughter was three years old. Since then she has been a volunteer, substitute teacher, class coordinator, member of the Finance Committee, Early Childhood Assistant, Extended Day teacher, and Accreditation Coordinator. Since 2012, she has served as the Finance Director. Barbara is an avid biker and also enjoys hiking, gardening and playing the ukelele.
- Brian KesslerCaretaker
CaretakerJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2016BS, Parks and Recreation Management, Lake Superior State University; Associate Degree, Natural Resources Technology, LSSU Journeyman Electrician in Maine and New Hampshire
Brian, his wife Amy, and their two children, Grace and Noah, moved to Maine in 2011. What brought them here was their commitment to giving their children a Waldorf education all the way through high school. Before joining MCWS, Brian spent 16 years as an electrician in New Hampshire. His most interesting job, however, was raising baby cranes while wearing a crane costume. Brian's hobby, or if you ask his family, life consuming passion, is beekeeping. He started with two hives but was soon “hooked” and now has over 30. He also enjoys gardening, camping and spending time outdoors with his family (and bees).
- Caitlin PowFifth Grade Teacher
Fifth Grade TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2014BA, 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.
- Carolyn HarrisonKindergarten Teacher
Kindergarten TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2018
- Cerridwen AkerSecond Grade Teacher
Second Grade TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2017BFA Goddard College, Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Antioch University New England
Cerridwen was raised on a homestead in coastal Blue Hill, Maine where she attended The Bay School (the Waldorf school) from Early Childhood through Grade 8. When Cerridwen was in third grade she remembers her class teacher asking the students what they might want to be when they grew up. Her answer was a teacher.
Cerridwen has had the opportunity to live, work, and teach in many diverse places—from the Florida Keys to the Pacific Northwest. Before returning to Maine two years ago, she lived and worked on an organic farm and artist residency in coastal Georgia.
Cerridwen is currently completing her Masters of Education with a thesis focusing on Compassionate Communication and Restorative Justice in the classroom.
- Chloe DowleyKindergarten Assistant
Kindergarten AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2016BA, Education & Sociology, Swarthmore College
Chloe is a recent transplant to Freeport from the rural coast of Maine, where she spent a decade raising two children, farming, gardening, organizing mothers' support groups, coaching youth sports, volunteering at local schools and non-profits, and teaching Spanish and English to individuals of all ages. She is delighted to be joining a community working together to nourish and nurture children. Chloe enjoys practicing yoga, walking the neighborhood dogs, cycling, running, gardening, playing with her family, and travel, especially to Spanish-speaking countries.
- Christopher ChasseMusic
MusicJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2012BA, 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.
- Christopher LeeHigh School Math and Physics
High School Math and PhysicsJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2016BS, Natural and Applied Sciences with Highest Honors, University of Southern Maine, High School Teaching Certification, State of Maine. Certificate in Outdoor Leadership, Associations for Experiential Education.
Growing up, Chris attended a small progressive school in Melbourne, Australia. Similar to Waldorf in its philosophical approach to childhood development, Preshil provided the foundation for Chris’ student-centered, experiential education philosophy. Chris went on to spend 16 years teaching in outdoor education. There he facilitated experiences that provided opportunities for reflection, critical analysis, and synthesis. It became clear to Chris that students needed more than a short immersion program; they needed these principles to be woven into their daily lives. In the classroom, Chris brings his passion for teaching to bear over the course of a year and in the context of a greater community and progression of experiences. Chris’ objective is to assist students to become engaged, informed, and conscientious members of society.
- David BarhamHigh School Humanities
High School HumanitiesJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2008BA, English & Religion, Tufts University; MEd, Waldorf Teacher Certification, NH State Teacher Certification, Antioch University New England
David discovered the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy through work as a Biodynamic farmer in California. His desire was to change the world and he felt that first Biodynamic agriculture and later life in Camphill Village and in Waldorf Education was the way to marry his professional, political and spiritual life. David loves to sing and play music as well as being outdoors, reading fantastic books and spending as much time as possible with his family. He still believes in the power of Waldorf education to change the world!
- David BeringerEducational Support Director
Educational Support DirectorJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1999BA, 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.
- David EichlerPedagogical Director
Pedagogical DirectorJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2017BA, Psychology & Human Development, MA, Human Development and Family Life, University of Kansas; MAT, Special Education, Pittsburg State University; Education Support Program Certificate, Extra Lesson, Association for a Healing Education
David and his wife, Monika, moved their family from Kansas to Maine in 2016 so their daughters could attend Maine Coast Waldorf School. Co-founding a Waldorf school in Kansas in 2001 was David’s introduction into Waldorf education. He was an active member of the Board of Trustees and faculty during his time involved with that school, Prairie Moon Waldorf School. David has worked as a Behavior Analyst for the last 30 years, the last 20 of which he provided technical assistance to public and private schools across Kansas at the levels of the individual student, classroom, building , district, and state. David has been an amateur magician for many decades and, when he is not at school, is likely exploring the beauty of Maine.
- David SloanHigh School Humanities
High School HumanitiesJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2006BA, Harvard College; MFA, University of Southern Maine; Waldorf Teacher Training, Emerson College
David taught at Green Meadow Waldorf School (NY) for 25 years before joining MCWS in 2006 as a founding high school teacher. He also helped to launch the Shining Mt. Waldorf High School in Boulder, Colorado. He has authored three books: Stages of Imagination—Working Dramatically with Adolescents, Life Lessons—Reaching Teenagers through Literature, and a poetry collection entitled, The Irresistible In-Between, as well as several articles for Renewal magazine. David is a faculty member of the Center for Anthroposophy, teaching humanities in the Waldorf high school teacher training summer program. He is also enjoying life's latest delight: grandfatherhood!
- Deeda BurgessPublic Relations Coordinator
Public Relations CoordinatorJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1994BA, History, Salisbury University; MA, Waldorf Education, University of Detroit Mercy; Waldorf Teacher Training Certificate, Waldorf Institute of the University of Detroit Mercy, Foundation Year, Anthroposophical Studies, Rudolf Steiner College
When Deeda learned about Waldorf education from her childhood friend in 1972, she felt the first inklings of her life's path. After working as a Waldorf class teacher in Texas, she moved to Maine with her husband, Jack, in 1986 and joined the Board of Directors of Merriconeag Waldorf School. Since that time Deeda has worked as a kindergarten assistant, in both the development and admissions offices, and most recently as Public Relations Coordinator. Deeda has served the school as faculty chair, college chair, and is a member of the Teacher Development Committee. She was a parent in the school for 21 consecutive years!
- Ellen McCann LabbeHigh School Life Sciences
Ellen McCann Labbe
High School Life SciencesJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2012BSc, Environmental Science, University of Guelph; MS, Biology, University of Southern Maine; Currently enrolled in Waldorf High School Teacher Training Program, Center for Anthroposophy
Ellen has been an active explorer of the living world since childhood. Working with others to understand the intrinsic connection between human beings and their environment inspires her work as both an experiential educator and ecologist. Her favorite fieldwork has included mountain meteorology, coastal wetland ecology, and most recently her thesis research on the population genetics of alewife in Maine rivers. Ellen is an avid naturalist, citizen scientist and homesteader. You can find her outdoors in all seasons with her husband and sons.
- Emily KuruczEC Afternoon Assistant
EC Afternoon AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2017
Emily attended Pine Hill Waldorf school as a kindergartner, this experience left strong memories and a lasting impression. When her twins were born she knew that Maine Coast Waldorf School was the right place for them. Her joy in life comes from traditional homemaking, raising her family, preparing meals, keeping the fire warm and the garden growing. She has pursued these pleasures by attending Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston and The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.
- Ezra SmithWoodworking, Physics
Woodworking, PhysicsJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2016BA, 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.
- Hanna GrahamFamily Programs Teacher
Family Programs TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2018BS, Health Services and Holistic Health, USM; Lifeways of North America Certificate; Foundation Studies, Center for Anthroposophy (MCWS)
Hanna came to Waldorf education in kindergarten and happily lived the life of a "Waldorphan" from that point on. She has always enjoyed children but it was her Gap year in Scotland living in a Camp Hill community where she realized she loved helping and caring for all ages. Before her own children came along, Hanna worked as an assistant in the kindergarten at Maine Coast and is delighted to be back working alongside such talented teachers. Hanna loves spending time with her family, working a garden or five, her husband's good food and being outside.
- Heather WoodsEducational Support
Educational SupportJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2017BA, Comparative Poetics, Kenyon College; MFA, Writing, University of San Francisco; MFA, Teaching/ Poetry, San Francisco State University.
Since 2000, Heather has relished serving at both public and independent schools, teaching students from kindergarten through college, specializing in writing and literature. During these varied experiences, Heather developed insightful skills in resource and twice-gifted learning. Through her private tutoring company and her work at STARS, Heather offers students compassionate one-on-one guidance toward reaching their highest potential. Heather participates in the wider community through her literary endeavors; she interned on _The Kenyon Review_ and founded _Persimmons_ literary journal, and currently serves as editor at Kelsey Street Press. A lifelong poet, Heather was ecstatic when her first poetry book, _Light Bearing_, was published; a new book is forthcoming soon. Embracing holistic education with lyrical spirit, Heather is utterly delighted to join the MCWS community!
- Ida DymentSeventh Grade Teacher
Seventh Grade TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2012BA, 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 PalizayAcademic Support Teacher for Literacy
Academic Support Teacher for LiteracyJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2015BA, 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.
- Jeff ComeauMiddle School Assistant
Middle School AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2018
Jeff has spent most of his career in the field of Civil Engineering. During this time he served as a technology instructor. His natural teaching ability led him into education as a full time substitute teacher at MSAD51. His curiosity, dependability, friendliness and passion earned him being a most requested substitute. His approach is to be organic, kind and non-reactive. He provides direction and re-direction as needed with respect and empathy being of utmost importance. Jeff builds relationships with students and helps them to enjoy learning and be mindful of how their thoughts affect their world. He and his wife play musical instruments and sing in their home studio, capture photography, paint, and nature watch on their deck. Jeff is the chef in his household cooking local, organic and sustainable ingredients.
- Jeffrey O’BrienHigh School Math and Physical Sciences, HS Faculty Chair
High School Math and Physical Sciences, HS Faculty ChairJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2007BA, Mathematics, Colby Colleg;, M.Ed, Antioch University New England; Waldorf High School Teacher Certification, Center for Anthroposophy
Jeff grew up six miles south of Freeport in Yarmouth. Jeff has been teaching high school math and science since 1987. He is a founding faculty member of MCWS's high school and has been teaching math and phenomenological science since its inception. Prior to that he taught at North Yarmouth Academy, The Academy at Charlemont, Northfield Mount Hermon School, and The White Mountain School. He also plays bass and sings in an adult "garage band". At one time he was a fly fishing guide in Montana.
- Jennifer McLeod-MarenghiEarly Childhood Afternoon Assistant
Early Childhood Afternoon AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2014BA, Musical Theatre, University of Southern Maine
Jennifer served as an assistant in the nursery for four years. She first came to MCWS after working with mixed ages at the Peaks Island Children's Workshop, both as a teacher and as a lifeguard. Jennifer has a background in educational entertainment, working with local organizations such as PORTopera and Portland Symphony Orchestra with their educational outreach.
- Jennifer MelilloEarly Childhood Assistant
Early Childhood AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2018BA, Theatre & Sociology, University of Notre Dame
At university Jennifer studied Theatre and Sociology - the art and the science of humans interacting with one another. Upon graduation, a passion for sustainable agriculture led her to farms from Washington to Delaware. Fueled by an interest in how humans relate to the earth and their food, Jennifer has spent the past few years on organic farms, managing farmers markets around NYC, and most recently working with children at Brooklyn Forest school and Hawthorne Valley Farm. These latter experiences introduced her to the beauty of Waldorf early-childhood education, and the vital importance of nourishing the whole child through strong relationships and nature-based play. In addition to communing with nature, Jennifer enjoys connecting with her community through contra dancing.
- Jenny FitzpatrickEC Afternoon Assistant
EC Afternoon AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School inBA, English w/ Education Certification, SUNY Geneseo; Waldorf training, WISC; Foundation Studies, Center for Anthroposophy
Jenny grew up in Upstate NY and Southern VT. After college, she headed to Los Angeles, CA where she began cultivating some life passions including Waldorf Education. After spending six years in international live-event TV and another six as a birth/postpartum doula and massage therapist, she started her own family and began working in the early childhood at Westside Waldorf in Santa Monica. Her family moved to Maine in 2006 and now both her daughters are MCWS alumni. As nurturing children and feeding people have been life-long themes for Jenny, she feels well-suited for her position at the school.
- Jessica GouldEC Afternoon Assistant
EC Afternoon AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2017BA, Journalism, St. Michael's College; MA, Elementary Education, USM
Jessica Gould grew up in Freeport but stayed in Vermont for several years after graduating from college. Through volunteer work she realized her true passion was working with children and moved back to Maine in 2010 to pursue her education degree. She comes to Maine Coast Waldorf after several years working as an elementary school librarian. When she is not in the classroom you can find her spending time with her family and working in her garden.
- Jessica MooreKindergarten Teacher, College Chair
Kindergarten Teacher, College ChairJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2010BA, Humanities, New England College; MH, Master Herbalist, Australasian College of Health Sciences; Waldorf Early Childhood Teaching Certification, Sunbridge Institute, Foundation Studies, Center for Anthroposophy
Since 2007, Jess has been teaching both Early Childhood and Handwork in Waldorf Classrooms. Originally at Seacoast Waldorf School, (formerly Tidewater Waldorf School, Eliot, ME), in 2010 Jess, her husband and daughter moved up to Freeport to join Maine Coast Waldorf School, where Jess has taught in Early Childhood and First Grade. She possesses a rich artistic background with an affinity for the fiber arts.
- Jill FoxEighth Grade Teacher
Eighth Grade TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1994BA, 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.
- Johanna FlathHigh School Art
High School ArtJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2010BFA, Rhode Island School of Design
Johanna grew up on the island of Bermuda and had an active and creative childhood. She moved to Maine in 2001, along with her husband, to restore a 225 year old house, a place to live out their artistic ambitions. She has shared her joy of painting with children and adults for over a decade, teaching in many different private schools and institutions, both in Maine and Bermuda. She loves working with the high school students at Maine Coast Waldorf School, inspiring them to look deeper into the beauty of the natural world. She feels passionately that art-making is a vital skill of communication and self-expression for young people. She has two young children of her own and spends her time with her family cooking, playing, painting and in nature as much as possible.
- John ReinhartHigh School Humanities
High School HumanitiesJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2018BA, Social and Political Movements and Theories of Governance, Hampshire College; M.Ed, Waldorf Education Certificate, Antioch University New England
A Denver native, John joins Maine Coast after eleven years teaching at the Denver Waldorf High School, where he was also a student for 14 years. Through teaching, John rediscovered the joys of writing poetry. In poetic circles, John describes his teaching work as arson after Yeats’s sentiment that ‘education is not the filling of pail, but the lighting of a fire.’ This collaborative act of breaking down walls and building anew from the flames is what gets John fired up in the classroom. When not at school, John immerses himself in stories, music, tinkering, and exploring the outdoors with his family.
- John SacconeMovement Education
Movement EducationJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1995Spacial Dynamics® Institute - Level I Trainer, Spacial Dynamics® Institute - Movement Therapist, Spacial Dynamics® Institute - Level III Trainer, Certified Bothmer Gymnast
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.
- Julie YeoHigh School Art
High School ArtJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2016BA, studio Art, Connecticut College; AA, Classical Animation, Sheridan College of Applied Arts and Technology; MEd, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Colorado, Foundations Studies, Center for Anthroposophy
Throughout her life Julie has always been a maker. She is motivated most when using her hands to create, She has worked in many media including wood, clay, glass, metal, stone, painting, drawing Teaching has always allowed her to learn and share her enthusiasms. Julie will always seeks out the opportunity to make something over buying it. She finds her greatest inspiration spending time with her family in the outdoors actively engaging in every season. She also loves to cook and share meals with friends, xc ski, and pick blueberries. Julie considers Maine her home where she lives a busy life with her husband and their daughter in a house they built on a little farm they created.
- Kali ColesHigh School French
High School FrenchJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2018BA, Liberal Arts, University of Montana; BA, French, Portland State University; MA, French, University of Wisconsin-Madison
A native of Michigan, Kali spent most of her adult life bouncing across the country, and the Atlantic, in pursuit of adventure and unpasteurized cheese. An undergraduate fascination with French cinema quickly evolved into a life-long obsession with all things French. From teaching in the South of France, to gathering chestnuts in the Cevennes, to running the streets of Paris with a local running club, Kali has worked, traveled, and jogged extensively throughout France. Her love of the language is matched only by her passion for teaching, and she is thrilled to share this enthusiasm with her students.
Before moving to Maine, Kali was a French teacher at a boarding school in New Hampshire. She currently lives in Bath with her husband, son, and terrier.
- Karyn KurlandEducational Support
Educational SupportJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2014BA, French and Special Education, University of Vermont; MA, Special Education/Consulting Teacher, St. Michael's College
Karyn became acquainted with the MCWS community through her private tutoring practice, and grew to appreciate and admire the values inherent in the Waldorf approach to teaching and learning, as well as the high level of commitment MCWS teachers have to their students. She has been working part-time at the high school as a student support teacher since the fall of 2014. Prior to joining the faculty at MCWS, Karyn taught in a variety of public and private educational settings, worked as a consulting teacher/learning specialist, and lectured at educational conferences about the positive impact of collaborative planning teams on students with unique learning needs and on educational institutions as a whole. In addition to teaching at MCWS, Karyn co-owns a learning cooperative called STARS (Students Taking Action Reach Success) in Freeport.
- Katy StetsonAccompanist
AccompanistJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2006BA, 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.
- Kelly Smith BarhamNursery Teacher, EC Faculty Chair
Kelly Smith Barham
Nursery Teacher, EC Faculty ChairJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2012BA, Peace and Conflict Studies, University of California Berkeley; AAS Fiber Arts, Crafts and Production, Haywood Community College; MEd, Early and Elementary Childhood Education, and Waldorf Certification, Antioch University New England
Born in North Carolina, Kelly inherited a love of fibers, children, and nature from her Scots-Irish grandparents who had their roots in the Appalachian mountains. Growing up during the turbulent times of the 1960s and 70s gave her flexibility of thinking, courage, creativity, and inspiration to constantly seek ways to make the world a better place for everyone. She has worked with young people in a variety of settings, from intense work on race relations and shelters for homeless youth, to kindergarten classrooms. She has finally found her favorite classroom to be the outdoors with our nursery children! She continues to weave in her "spare" time, and is currently studying homeopathic medicine as well.
- Kelly WelchHigh School Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics
High School Physics, Chemistry and MathematicsJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2018BS Preveterinary Science, University of New Hampshire, Durham, MS Plant and Soil Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Kelly comes to Maine Coast Waldorf School from 16 years teaching physics, chemistry, and agricultural science as a public educator. Passionate about making upper level content accessible and differentiated, Kelly's enthusiasm for STEM education naturally leads her to look for opportunities for her students beyond the walls of the classroom. Outside of school Kelly can be found tending her flock of heritage Jacob Sheep, hiking with her dogs, cross country skiing and crafting with her daughter.
- Laura WattersHigh School Counselor
High School CounselorJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2018BS, Secondary EnglishCommunications Education, Penn State University, MA, Counseling Psychology, Regis University
Laura was raised in a small steel town in Western Pennsylvania. Laura began her career in Colorado as a high school English teacher. During these early years of her career, Laura developed a strong sense of the potential, budding individuality, and creativity children experience during their adolescent years. Laura’s decision to pursue a career in the mental health field following two years of teaching and one year as an education director was spurred by her desire to go beyond academics and to address the holistic needs of the students and families she encountered. Laura came to Maine in 2015 and has worked as a home-based and residential-based clinician. Laura currently works with adults in private practice with a focus on parenting skills and guidance.
- Lisa MainellaGrade School Office Manager, MS Athletic Coordinator
Grade School Office Manager, MS Athletic CoordinatorJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2006BA, English, University of New Hampshire; MA, Early Childhood Education, Lesley College
Lisa grew up in New Hampshire surrounded by woods, apple trees and back country ski trails. She was a plant lover and an avid athlete, especially enjoying little league baseball, field hockey and spring track. An early fascination with travel and job earnings from work at a local florist took her to Indonesia, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Though studies in English Lit were deeply enriching, she wished she had paired that with a horticulture minor. A teaching degree—earned a year before the birth of her first son—has proven useful as a mother and to meet daily visitors to MCWS's grade school office, where she has spent the past 8 years. Lisa enjoys growing all sorts of things—especially raspberries—Nordic skiing, reading, traveling, knitting, quilting, baking, running and dark chocolate in a variety of forms!
- Lyn BairdAdmissions Director
Admissions DirectorJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1994BA, English and Philosophy, Wheaton College
Lyn’s childhood was full of family moves (12 different schools in 12 years) and many adventures in the US and abroad. A child of the 60s, she was active in economic and social justice causes and became the first director of the National Center for Service-Learning in Washington, DC. Her interest in experiential and socially conscious education led her to Waldorf, and she was quite invested in helping MCWS launch its grade school in 1992 (her first-born was in the first first grade). She served as Development Director when the School was establishing its permanent campus, and now, as Admissions Director, loves her role in expanding the Waldorf school community.
- Lynn ThurrellMiddle School Support Teacher
Middle School Support TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1991BS, 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.
- Lynn WetterhornNursery Teacher
Nursery TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2014BS, Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont; MEd, Antioch University New England; Waldorf Certification in Early Childhood
Lynn has worked in both Waldorf and non-Waldorf schools for the past 20 years where she taught Parent-Child Classes, Young Nursery, Nursery, Kindergarten and Handwork. She has also worked as a parent educator for families with young children. Her enthusiastic love of gardening and the outdoors permeates her work with children. She and her husband built and restored houses, raised sheep and chickens, and enjoyed outdoor activities while raising their two children in southwestern New Hampshire. They are happy to now be living near the ocean and are restoring yet another home. In her spare time, Lynn enjoys weaving, knitting, cooking, hiking, and kayaking.
- Lynne W. EspyDevelopment Director
Lynne W. Espy
Development DirectorJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2009BA, Geology, Middlebury College; MFS, Master of Forest Science, Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; Certificate, Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy and the Arts, Center for Anthroposophy
Lynne loves working with volunteers and donors to make the school’s dreams become realities through their shared generosity and fundraising efforts. Lynne uses her data-driven approach, her sense of humor, and plenty of home-baked goods to facilitate the school's development work and sustain the community’s enthusiasm. In her spare time she enjoys baking, gardening, learning to play mandolin, hiking, and spending time with her husband and three adult children.
- Margaret SamuelsonSixth Grade Teacher
Sixth Grade TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2013BA, 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.
- Mark RuggieroBusiness Director
Business DirectorJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2018BA, Economics, Temple University. MHS, International Health (Health Systems Management track), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Mark has been a parent for four years at MCWS and recently finished a three-year term as a board member at the school. Previously, Mark worked as a program director at the University of New England, a strategic planning consultant in Philadelphia, and a division vice president at Easter Seals Eastern Pennsylvania, where he directed programs serving children with disabilities. Earlier in his career, Mark worked in construction management and also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala. Mark currently lives in Portland with his wife, Smita, and his two children, Nikhil (Gr. 3) and Amir (Gr.1). In his spare time, Mark enjoys downhill and cross-country mountain biking.
- Marta RackmalesMiddle School Math Teacher, Math Support, Grades 1-8 Faculty Co-Chair
Middle School Math Teacher, Math Support, Grades 1-8 Faculty Co-ChairJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2009BA, 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.
- Mary MartinEvents Coordinator
Events CoordinatorJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2013BA, Business, Columbia College; Teachers Certificate, Antioch University New England
I spent my childhood in a small town in the Southern Tier area of Upstate New York. After completing my Associates Degree in Business at S.U.N.Y. at Alfred I lived and worked in Syracuse, NY for the next 15 years. For the majority of those years I worked for Guardian Life Insurance Company and also completed my Bachelor's Degree by taking evening courses. I eventually obtained the revered position of Service and Sales which included selling employee benefits and servicing existing accounts throughout Upstate New York.
With the good fortune of meeting my potential husband who lived in Freeport, through mutual relatives in Syracuse, I moved to Maine when we married and have not looked back. Once my daughters where entrenched at MCWS I took over the position of managing the school store on a volunteer basis which increased my desire to understand Waldorf education. This led me to the Waldorf Foundations Study Course, After completing this course and with a fabulous opportunity to achieve a Waldorf Teachers Certificate at Antioch, by taking weekend classes,I obtained the Waldorf Teacher's Certificate after 2 years of study and internships. I jumped right into teaching main lesson classes and substituting at MCWS and began as the Events coordinator in 2013. This position draws on the many skills I've developed through chairing various non-profit initiatives as well as my understanding of the MCWS community.
Other than being extremely involved with my daughter's class activities, volunteering in the community and at school events,and working as an insurance consultant at my husband's company, I was a competitive runner. I have since taken up cross country skiing and enjoy the outdoors.
- Melissa GormleyBookkeeper
BookkeeperJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1996 as a parent, 2012 as an employeeBA, History, University of New Hampshire; MA, Marine Policy, University of Rhode Island.
- Melissa HoyBookkeeper
BookkeeperJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2012BS, Business Administration, Southern NH University
- Michael FendersonFrench
FrenchJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1998BA, 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.
- Michele BurkeyFirst Grade Teacher
First Grade TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2017BA, English (Poetry focus), Eastern Washington University; Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Antioch University; MEd candidate, Antioch University
Michele spent her childhood in the woods of Washington State where she enjoyed all four seasons to their fullest. When she started her family she home-schooled her children and farmed to market, enjoying the land she owned near Lake Roosevelt. Her passion for education, and an interest to discover what else the world could offer her children, led her to Waldorf Education where a bright spark was lit. She helped form a Waldorf School in Spokane, then moved to the Bellingham Waldorf School so her older children could finally attend school! After having a class in Colorado for three years, she fulfilled a lifelong dream and moved to Maine. She loves poetry, knitting, swimming and the morning mist.
- Nancy GoldbergMiddle School Assistant
Middle School AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2018B.A., English, Colby College; M.A., English, Boston College; M.S., Education, University of Southern Maine; Waldorf High School Certification, Center for Anthroposophy
A coin toss landed Nancy in Portland after graduate school, and she has called Maine home ever since. After teaching at the college level for five years, Nancy decided she wanted to teach adolescents and started teaching in public high schools. Nancy and her husband discovered Maine Coast Waldorf School when they were searching for a nursery program for their daughters seventeen years ago. Foundation Studies deepened Nancy’s understanding of Waldorf education and prepared her for Waldorf teacher training. Nancy has enjoyed working on high school plays, teaching the occasional humanities class and accompanying faculty on high school trips. In recent years, Nancy has discovered the effervescent energy of middle school students. Nancy’s indoor pastimes include reading novels and writing poetry, and her love for nature brings her outside for Nordic skiing, camping and hiking.
- Nancy RoderickClassroom Music, Strings, Chorus
Classroom Music, Strings, ChorusJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2002BM, 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 KinzerGerman
GermanJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2005BA, 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 ThyssenThird Grade Teacher
Third Grade TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2015BA, 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 WaddleGrade School Office Assistant
Grade School Office AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2016BA, 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.
- Rebecca WildesGrade One Assistant
Grade One AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2007 as a student & 2018 as an employee
As a former Maine Coast Waldorf School graduate, Rebecca is excited to give back to the community. Throughout the last 3 years, Rebecca has worked alongside children in public school special education classes. The children helped her realize her skills and passion for alternative education, and working with young people. When not in school, Rebecca enjoys kayaking, hiking, sledding, and playing with dogs. Rebecca is exuberant and eager to learn with students in the rising first grade class.
- Regine Routier WhittleseyHigh School French
Regine Routier Whittlesey
High School FrenchJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2007BA, Université de Nantes, France; MAT course work, University of Maine, Orono; Certificate, School for International Training Certificate, Foreign Service Institute
Régine, born and educated in Nantes, France, came to Maine as a teaching intern in the 1970s where she met her husband who became a diplomat. They embarked on an international life that took them to Iceland, Morocco, Switzerland, France and Bangladesh in addition to Washington, DC. While teaching for 35 years in International Schools and raising four bilingual, bicultural children, Régine did volunteer work in the slums of Morocco and Bangladesh, where she ran the UN Women's Association Welfare Program. She still helps Buddhist schools in Nepal and India, such as the Siddhartha School in Ladakh, India, where she started MWHS sponsoring of one of their students. It is no surprise that she established our International Exchange Program!
- Susan SonntagHigh School Office Manager, HS Athletic Director
High School Office Manager, HS Athletic DirectorJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2011BA, Computer Science, University of Buffalo
Susan has happily spent most of her life in the northeast, gradually making her way eastward from upstate New York to Maine. Following a corporate career in computer tech support, she began working her way into MCWS, managing the school store, volunteering in the classroom, serving as class parent, and assisting in the lower grades. These days you can find Susan at the high school, where she does a little bit of everything: office manager, registrar, athletics, transportation, and tech support. When she's away from school, Susan enjoys hiking, skiing, playing with her dog, and giving advice to her (grown) children.
- Suzie PeirsonFourth Grade Teacher, Grades 1-8 Faculty Co-Chair
Fourth Grade Teacher, Grades 1-8 Faculty Co-ChairJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2004BA, 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.
- Whitney BruceCollege Counselor
College CounselorJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2016BA, International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
Beginning with her experience as a college senior interviewing prospective first year students, Whitney has spent more than two decades working with students as they make the transition from high school to college. She has worked as a college admissions officer, a high school counselor, and an independent counselor. She visits several dozen colleges each year and is always amazed by the diversity of higher education opportunities available in the United States and abroad. Whitney currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Higher Education Consultants Association.
Our faculty spans a range of tenure, from new teachers, to experienced teachers, and our founding elders. We are always seeking dynamic, collaborative educators who are excited to enhance our community.
When there are not positions posted to join our community, we recommend considering the Waldorf Teacher Training Institutes for those who would like to learn more.
Maine Coast Waldorf School does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational programs, hiring, self-government, admissions, financial aid and all other school-related activities.
Employment Opportunities: Please click here for our current list of job openings.