- Allysun WestLower Grades Assistant
Lower Grades AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2018BFA, Maine College of ArtAlly West was born and raised in Maine and started knitting at age 8, but didn't hear about a Waldorf school until she was 18. Ally graduated from Maine College of Art in the spring of 2018 with a degree in Textiles and Fashion, and began working at Maine Coast as the handwork assistant in the winter of 2018. Since then, she has been the handwork assistant, handwork teacher and lower grades assistant. Since working at Maine Coast, Ally has developed a love of working with children and hopes to pursue further education in child development. In her spare time, Ally creates textile and garment designs, loves to swim, read and play dance dance revolution with her partner Alec.
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.
Eighth Grade TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2014BA, Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Amherst; BA, Spanish, University of Massachusetts Amherst; M.Ed & Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Antioch University New England
Caitlin grew up in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts. After completing her undergraduate degrees at UMass Amherst, where she studied anthropology and Spanish, she was lucky enough to be hired at a nearby Waldorf school as an assistant. Inspired by her work, she went on to complete a M.Ed and Waldorf teacher training through Antioch University in Keene, NH. When not with her students, Caitlin can be found gardening, knitting, sewing, and walking her dog.
Fifth Grade TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2017BFA Goddard College, M.Ed., Antioch University New England
Cerridwen was raised on a homestead in coastal Blue Hill, Maine where she attended a 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 spent many years traveling and working in education before returning to Maine to create a home and community. She finds peace by the ocean in any season, and lives in South Portland with her child, husband, dog, and chickens.
- Clare StansberrySecond Grade Teacher
Second Grade TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2021BA, Bowdoin College; Waldorf Grades Teacher Certificate, Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto
Clare has recently been teaching at the Sandpoint Waldorf School in Idaho where she took a class from first through fourth grade. Prior to that, she worked as an assistant at Maine Coast Waldorf School in our early childhood branch. She graduated with her Waldorf Grades Teacher Training from the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto. Clare earned her Bachelor degree from Bowdoin College.
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.
- Gwen WahlquistFirst Grade Teacher
First Grade TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2021BS, Evergreen State College; Waldorf Early Childhood Cert, Pleiades Initiative; MEd with Waldorf Grades Cert, Antioch University New England; Foundation Year, Emerson College UK
Gwen brings to Maine Coast Waldorf School experience teaching in both Waldorf early childhood and grades programs, most recently at the Wasatch Waldorf charter school in Utah. She completed her early childhood training from the Pleiades Initiative and both her Masters degree and Waldorf Grades certification from Antioch College New England.
Sixth Grade TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2013B.A. Painting and Drawing, Warren Wilson College; MEd & Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Sunbridge College; Educational Support Teacher Certification, Association for a Healing Education
Heidi has been teaching in Waldorf Schools since 2003. She has worked as a class teacher, math teacher and in the educational support program. When she's not teaching, Heidi writes fiction and spends time with her own children.
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.
Middle School Assistant, After School Program TeacherJoined 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.
Interim Coordinator of Music EducationJoined 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.
Third 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.
- Jill HymersLower School Counselor
Lower School CounselorJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2020
Building StewardJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1991Spacial 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.
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.
- Laura EmersonLower School Assistant
Lower School AssistantJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2020
- Lauren KerrFourth Grade Teacher
Fourth Grade TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2020
Lauren Kerr was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she was a student for six years at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. She studied elementary education at University, and in her early professional life worked in the public schools of Ann Arbor and Chicago. She attended the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California, and then took a class from first to eighth grade at the Bright Water Waldorf School in Seattle. After graduating her class, Lauren traveled internationally for a year, and then moved to Madrid, Spain, where she taught English at the Escuela Waldorf de Aravaca.
In addition to traveling, Lauren loves to hike, bike, and relax with a nice cup of tea and a good book. She has enjoyed exploring Maine and discovering the natural wonders of this beautiful state.
Middle School Support TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 1991BS, Education, English, Keuka College; MEd & Waldorf Teaching 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.
Seventh 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.
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.
Substitute TeacherJoined 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 were 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.
French Teacher, EC - Grade 8Joined 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.
Educational SupportJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2019BA, Business Administration, Flagler College
Molly’s experience working in business operations and investment banking was the catalyst that led her to education, a career that has brought meaning and passion to her life. As someone who struggled with ADHD as a child, she gravitated towards working with children with learning differences. Working at a school serving gifted and twice exceptional learners in Austin, Texas, she gained extensive experience helping her students understand their learning style, cope with their challenges, embrace their unique strengths, and find success. Molly is grateful that she can bring this passion to her work at Maine Coast and continue to help children on their path to self actualization.
Currently enrolled in a master’s program in Educational Psychology, Molly spends a lot of her free time learning about how she can best serve her students and loves to see how her studies infuse her work with fresh knowledge, solutions, and expertise from the field. When she is not at school or studying she enjoys cooking elaborate meals, doing anything outdoors, and spending time with her family.
German Teacher, EC - Grade 8Joined 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.
- Ross EmersonMovement Teacher G2-5
Movement Teacher G2-5Joined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2021B.A., Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz; M.S., Counseling Psychology, Alaska Pacific University
Ross grew up in Alaska where his connection to the outdoors was part of the rhythmic flow of the seasons. Ross first became aware and interested in how movement is related to learning after studying movement theater between his undergraduate and graduate studies, which eventually led to Spacial Dynamics and the study of human movement. Currently in his 4th year of Spacial Dynamics training. Current and past movement pursuits include swimming, rock climbing, bare back rodeo, long distance ocean kayaking, sailing, and bush flying.
Handwork TeacherJoined 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.
- Toben Cooney-CallnanGrades 1-5 After School Program Teacher
Grades 1-5 After School Program TeacherJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2022
Toben studied Elementary Education and English. Toben loves working with children and he is absolutely built for it. He is kind, compassionate and fun and is always coming up with creative and interesting ways to work with children. In addition to serving as an After Care Teacher for Maine Coast Waldorf School, Toben oversees the family programming at two local churches. Toben is an amateur poet and his most prized material possession is a signed copy of “Dog Songs” by Mary Oliver.
- Vanessa RomanoffGrades School Office Manager
Grades School Office ManagerJoined Maine Coast Waldorf School in 2022B.A. English Literature, University of New Hampshire; M.Ed, University of Southern Maine
Vanessa is Grades School Office Manager. She has spent the last ten years teaching in Maine classrooms and working as an educational program coordinator, and also has experience in public relations, event planning, and program development. She is a Maine native and after some time in New York and New Hampshire she returned to pursue her passion for community education. Vanessa holds a B.A. in English Literature from UNH, and a Master’s in Education from USM. Other interests are cooking, live music, and being outdoors year-round. She lives in Brunswick with her partner and their 3-year-old rescue pup.