- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.