Nurturing Living Connections, Early Childhood through Grade 12

Faculty & Staff

Please click here to view our Board of Trustees.

Administrative Staff

Amy_FlaumAmy Flaum ~ Director of Admissions & Enrollment

Amy has worked at Hawthorne Valley for eleven years, previously in the Development Office. She also is the girls’ volleyball coach. Amy is a Hawthorne Valley School alum, and earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Springfield College. In her off time she enjoys children’s literature, gardening, and playing volleyball. Email Amy



Caroline_GeislerCaroline Geisler ~ Director of College Guidance, Administrative Chair & Director of Development

Caroline has previous development and board experience at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. Caroline earned a Barnard College Honors degree in English and a minor in Art History. She attended the NonProfit Learning Center which was sponsored by the Berkshire Taconic Foundation, and was class of 2005. She also attended the Annual Leadership Workshop Columbia County, class of 2006. Caroline attends the annual NYSAIS conference, for school leadership and development. Her previous work experience includes publishing for the New York Times and Hearst Communications. Email Caroline

Taylor Race ~ Development Associate & Athletic Director

Originally from Germantown, NY, Taylor attended Castleton State College where she played college basketball, attended the University at Albany where she received a Bachelor of the Arts, and attended the University at Cincinnati where she received a Master’s of Science degree. Taylor comes to us with experience in a variety of fields and with a passion for athletics- coaching numerous athletic teams including elementary, Junior Varsity and Varsity Women’s Basketball. Email Taylor

Laurie_SchmolzLaurie Schmolz ~ School Receptionist & Enrollment Associate

Laurie has worked in the school Main Office for five years. She is a life-long native of Columbia County who studied business administration at Columbia-Greene Community College. She previously worked for many years in local medical practices, most recently at MACONY Pediatrics in Great Barrington, and enjoys working with both children and parents. Laurie is a New York State licensed EMT  and has taken many associated training courses. Laurie enjoys walking, plants, and volunteering at Olana state historic site as a tourguide. She also keeps busy moonlighting for Carlucci-Simons Catering and Julie Gale’s At The Kitchen Table. Email Laurie


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John_CroninJohn Cronin ~ High School Chair

John received his certificate in Waldorf Teacher Training in 2004. John has a significant educational background, receiving a B.S. in Geography from Fitchburg State College, Master’s Coursework in Geology from Washington State University, Master’s in Education for Science and Math Education from the University of Lowell, and completed PhD coursework in Science and Math through the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. John has also had a wealth of teaching experience; at Fitchburg State College, Washington State University, Portsmouth High School, Assabet Valley, High Mowing Waldorf School, and Great Barrington Waldorf School. He did summer renewal work at the Nature Institute in 2008. John owned and operated Scott Lens Science for fifteen years and Wood Joinery for eight. His interests include astronomy, reading, nature, building boats, and studying Anthroposophy. Email John

Early Childhood Faculty

Andy Ward-webAndree T. Ward ~ Parent-Child Teacher

Andree has been a Waldorf Early Childhood educator at HVS since 1982, teaching Kindergarten, Nursery, and Parent-Child classes. Her other professional responsibilities include mentoring and evaluating Waldorf Early Childhood teachers and evaluating developing member schools for the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN).

Andree participates in the annual WECAN conferences in Spring Valley, NY, and has also attended several international conferences in Dornach, Switzerland. She has gained further professional development by attending conferences which focus on specific topics, such as puppetry and birth-to-three. She has attended Association of Waldorf Schools of North American (AWSNA) conferences as the delegate for HVS. She is a member of WECAN, the Anthroposophical Society, First Class, and Pedagogical Section. Andree is a core member of the Alkion Center since its inception and teaches in the two year Foundation Studies program and the annual Summer Intensive. She directs the courses in the Early Childhood Specialization of the Waldorf Teacher Training Program. Email Andree

Katie Demers 2Katie Demers ~ Peach Blossom Nursery Assistant & Grade One Playgroup Teacher

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Christy Field webChristy Field ~ Rose Kindergarten Teacher

Christy has been teaching since 1997.  She has experience as an art teacher, Spanish teacher, and as a lead early childhood teacher.  She has taught in various settings including public and private schools, museums, and in programs for migrant farmworkers.  Prior to moving to Hawthorne Valley in 2014, she founded and taught for five years in her home-based kindergarten, RiverNorth Kindergarten in Rochester, New York.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from SUNY Fredonia and a Masters in Science of Teaching from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her Waldorf training includes a degree in Waldorf Early Childhood Education from Sunbridge College, as well as Nurturing the Roots, a three-year advanced therapeutic course for Early Childhood Educators.  She annually attends Waldorf Early Childhood Conferences at the Association of North America.  She is New York State certified in Art Education and Spanish.  In her free time, Christy enjoys exploring the area’s natural and cultural attractions with family, gardening, and handwork. Email Christy

Janene webJanene Ping ~ Morning Star Kindergarten Teacher & Kindergarten Chair

Janene studied Humanities at San Francisco State University. Her Waldorf training includes a degree in Waldorf Early Childhood Education from Sunbridge College, attendance of yearly seminars at Rudolf Steiner Institute & attendance of yearly Waldorf Early Childhood Conferences at the Association of North America. She has taught Puppetry Arts at Antioch Center for Anthroposophy & Early Childhood and Puppetry Arts at Rudolf Steiner Institute. She is the Artistic Director at Magical Puppet Tree, attends summer seminars at Antioch’s Center for Anthroposophy Renewal Program & attended the Canadian Conference for Early Childhood Teachers. Her interests include travel in Europe and the Northwest, gardening, herbal studies, craft curriculum study, researching world cultural myths, exploring world mystery centers, fairytales and folktales & Anthroposophy. Email Janene

Dorothea Davis webDorothea Davis ~ Rose Kindergarten Assistant

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Kathleen Muller smallKathleen Mueller ~ Morning Star Kindergarten Assistant

Originally from Healdsburg, California Kathleen Mueller has lived in Harlemville for the last year and a half. Kathleen graduated from The Evergreen State College with a BA in  Agricultural Education. She started as an intern in the Farm’s Visiting Students Program where she was completing her undergraduate degree through an independent study contract. She is currently a second year student at the Alkion Center’s early childhood teacher training. Kathleen loves spending time outside in the woods, with her sister, hiking, swimming in the ocean, cooking, gardening, sewing, and crafting. Email Kathleen

Walli ZayWalli Zay ~ Peach Blossom Nursery Teacher, Kindergarten Playgroup Teacher, Aftercare Teacher & Summer Camp Coordinator

Walli has been with Hawthorne Valley School for more than a decade, teaching German and Kindergarten. Before that, she was a Kindergarten teacher in Munich and Freiburg. Walli completed the Foundation Year at the Alkion Center and also attended the Rudolf Steiner Institute for Language Instruction. She received a certificate for Social Studies and Family Care, a certificate for Home/Family Helper, and was trained at Fachschule fur Sozialpadogogik (South Germany) for Educator and Kindergarten teacher. Walli is interested in Anthroposophical Medicine, was trained in Switzerland for Rhythmical Massage Therapy, and cares for the sick in their homes. Email Walli

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Lower School Faculty

Meaghan McKenna webMeaghan McKenna ~ Grade Two Class Teacher

Meaghan holds a Bachelor’s degree in the Social Sciences from Harvard University where she graduated cum laude. She also holds a Master’s degree in Education from Antioch University. Meaghan has extensive experience teaching at the Early Childhood level. Her Waldorf teaching experience outside of Hawthorne Valley includes three years at Morning Meadow Waldorf School. Meaghan moved into teaching in the grades in 2013. When not teaching, she enjoys visiting the beach, handwork, poetry, drawing, yoga, meditation and spending time with her three children. Email Meaghan


Andrew Sansone-Andrew Sansone ~ Grade Three Class Teacher, Lower School Co-Chair

Andrew is the Grade Three Class Teacher. He holds two B.A. degrees, both from the University of Vermont, one for European Studies and one for German Language. Andrew received his Waldorf Teacher Training certificate from Eugene Waldorf in Oregon in 1999. He is a member of the Anthroposophical Society. At Hawthorne Valley Andrew taught 2 middle school cycles before beginning with his current class in grade 1. Prior to Hawthorne Valley School, he taught German at the Corvallis Waldorf School in Oregon and grade 1 through 8 at the Rudolf Steiner School in Massachusetts. Andrew’s interests and hobbies include tennis, squash, meditation, camping, music, and carpentry. Email Andrew


Karin AlmquistKarin Almquist ~ Grade Four Class Teacher, Lower School Co-Chair

Karin is a 2013 graduate of the Hawthorne Valley Alkion Center’s Teacher Training Program. She holds a B.A. in History from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters of International Affairs from the University of Washington, and Master of Arts and Master of Philosophy degrees from Columbia University. Her teaching experience ranges from kindergarten to the university level, including teaching English at the Seattle Refugee Resettlement Program and at the Tele Gymnazium and Tele Grammar School in the Czech Republic. Prior to coming to Hawthorne Valley School, Karin taught at Mountain Laurel Waldorf School in New Paltz. Email Karin

Mike Haley Michael Haley ~ Grade Five Class Teacher

Mike graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in Geography before completing the Eugene Waldorf Teacher Training in Oregon. Mike taught grades one through eight at Whatcom Hills Waldorf School in Bellingham, Washington.  He has attended summer intensives at Rudolf Steiner College, The Michael Institute, and Sunbridge College. Mike worked in Peru as a teacher and mentor for the Semillas de Vida school. His hobbies include woodworking and playing old time music. Email Michael


Kelly WeimerKelly Weimer ~ Grade Six Class Teacher

Kelly holds a B.A. degree from Evergreen State College with a major in Art History and Curatorial Studies. She received her Waldorf Teacher training from Rudolf Steiner College in California and Emerson College in England. Kelly has also completed course work at the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology, the Steiner Waldorf Dyslexia Association, and Johansen Sound Therapy. Prior to Hawthorne Valley School, she worked as a first, second, and fifth grade assistant at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City. Email Kelly


Kevin_KilbKevin Kilb ~ Grade Seven Class Teacher

Kevin has been the class teacher for Grades One through Eight in the past, and worked in Germany as an English teacher. Kevin attended a full time training with Eugene Schwartz and Norman Davidson at Sunbridge College and received his Waldorf Teaching Certificate in 2000. He earned a B.A. from Boston College with a Management major and Accounting minor. He’s currently enrolled at SUNY Columbia-Greene Community College for further studies. Kevin’s professional experience includes working at Camphill Triform and teaching painting in Germany. He has gained professional development through the Center for Anthroposophy, two short sessions about crafts-based education and middle school arts. Kevin has lived abroad in Germany and traveled to Paris, Alsace, Norway, and Dornach. He is interested in local anthroposophical initiatives, enjoys reading about sensory integration (Waldorf/mainstream) and extra lesson work, as well as making costumes.Email Kevin

 Larry Glatt ~ Orchestra, Chorus & Music Teacher, Grade 8 AdvisorLarry_Glatt






Stu Summer

Stuart Summer ~ EARTH Program Teacher

Stuart has a B.A. in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic. He has a Waldorf teacher’s training certificate from the Alkion Center. He has twenty years of experience teaching in the lower school at Hawthorne Valley. Prior to this he taught the Waldorf Curriculum at Eurythmy Spring Valley and Second Grade curriculum at the Sunbridge Institute. He has a certificate in Advanced Waldorf Seminar from Sound Circle, attends the AWSNA annual conferences, is involved with the responsive classroom level one, was in a study group on Rudolf Steiner’s Education For Special Needs and most recently was in a research group on land-based education. His interests include speech courses, canoeing, hiking, professional reading and travel to Germany. Email Stuart

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High School Faculty

Susan_AmbroseSusan Ambrose ~ High School Administrator, International Student Coordinator, English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher

Susan is the school’s ESL teacher and is currently developing the program to support the needs of its international students. Susan has had much experience in teaching English language to adults in the U.S. at a private English language school and in the English Language Institute at SUNY Westchester Community College. She has also had multiple experiences abroad and most recently taught English B at an International Baccalaureate high school. Susan has also been the head of the English Preparation Program at EF International Academy, Academic Coordinator at EF International Language Schools in Tarrytown, N.Y. and served as Materials Coordinator at the same school. She earned her undergraduate degree in Spanish Language and Culture from SUNY Purchase and moved on to her graduate studies for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Manhattanville College, she is pursuing a PhD for Teaching and Curriculum.  Susan has many extracurricular interests, including cooking, films, literature and traveling. Email Susan

David-AndersonDavid Anderson ~ 10th & 12th Grade Play Director

Mr. Anderson was an English Teacher at Weimar Waldorf School in Germany and has taught various courses in England and Ireland. He spent three years acting, writing, and teaching at Shakespeare Alive! in Massachussetts. In addition to directing plays at Hawthorne Valley, Mr. Anderson is a director, actor, and workshop leader at Walking the Dog Theater. His other significant interests include poetry, performing, and hiking. Email David



Simon FrishkoffSimon Frishkoff ~ Science & Music Teacher & Assistant Athletic Director

Simon is the high school’s Biology teacher, teaches some music classes in the lower school, assists the middle school Orchestra as well as the high school Orchestra, and is the Assistant Athletic Director. He completed the Waldorf Teacher Training course with a Science track at the Center for Anthroposophy in 2009. His prior education includes a B.A. in Theatre from Oberlin College and a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University. Simon has taught the sciences (primarily Biology) and math, physical education, and music at Hawthorne Valley School-in both the lower and high schools. Previously he taught at the Lake Champlain School and Burlington College. He was a naturopathic physician in Vermont for seven years. Simon’s interests include natural medicine, music, writing and performing. Email Simon

Abe Madey webAbe Madey ~ Math & Metalworking Teacher

Abe has a B.S. in Meteorology and Oceanography from SUNY Maritime and did Masters work in Atmospheric Sciences from SUNY Albany. He taught Meteorology at SUNY Albany and Sailing and Navigation at Sea the Education Association. He has studied at the Alkion Center and attended Bring Science to life- a professional development program at the Nature Institute. His interests include watercolor painting, computer layout and graphic design, baking and electronics. Email Abe


Eric Mueller webEric G. Müller ~ High School English & Drama Teacher

Eric was born in Durban, South Africa, and double majored in literature and history at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He attended Emerson College in Sussex, England, where he completed the Foundation Year, with emphasis on drama and creative writing. He studied Waldorf pedagogy at the Waldorf Institute in Witten-Annen, Germany, where he specialized in music education. Together with his family he moved to Oregon, where he became a class teacher at the Eugene Waldorf School, carrying a class through the eight year cycle. During this time he also taught German and music (orchestra, chorus, and individual classes). He was a co-founder of the Eugene Waldorf Teacher Training Program.

Currently he teaches English and Drama in the Hawthorne Valley High School. The blocks he teaches include Eschenbach’s Parzival, Goethe’s Faust, Homer’s The Odyssey, History through Music, and Comedy and Tragedy. He is a founding member of the Alkion Center and the director of the education department. Over the years he has served as both faculty and college (council) chair, and sat on numerous committees, such as the Teacher Development Committee, which holds a special interest for him. He has written two novels as well as a collection of poetry. To learn more about Eric’s work, please visit his website. Email Eric

Martina MullerMartina Angela Müller ~ Arts Teacher

Always searching for the spiritual in art, Martina is a visual artist practicing in a number of different fields. Apart from numerous exhibits of her work in galleries and various area venues, she has been internationally published as a children’s book illustrator, and taught painting, drawing and sculpture at adult education centers and at the middle and high school level. The main body of her work is abstract painting, fueled by the ongoing question into the nature and expression of color. Born and raised in Germany she studied art at Emerson College in England, at Ruhruniversität Bochum and at the Institute for Waldorf Pedagogy in Witten Annen, Germany. In her mid-twenties she moved to Eugene Oregon, where she was artist in residence at the Lane County Council of the Arts, and cofounder of the Waldorf Teacher Education Program where she was head of the art department for several years. In upstate New York she was cofounder of Gallery 345, an experimental Arts Collective in Hudson, NY whose mission it was to engage the viewers in dialogue and activites. She is currently working as a freelance artist and teaches at the Alkion Center for Adult Education, of which she is a cofounder, and at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. She and her husband Eric Müller have three grown sons and live in Ghent, NY, where she maintains her art studio. Email Martina

Lawre Stone for webLawre Stone ~ Arts & Humanities Teacher

Lawre has been at Hawthorne Valley School since 2005. She currently teaches Art, History, and English. She organizes and facilitates the weekly High School Forum, runs the Social Action Group and Amnesty International activities, and assists the high school Chorus. Prior to Hawthorne Valley School she worked in the N.Y.C. Public School system, was the Education Director at the Noguchi Garden in Queens, N.Y., was the Annanberg Foundation Artist in Residence, and taught both Art and History at the Long Island City High School. In 2006 she received her certificate for Waldorf Teacher Training from the Alkion Center. Her other educational background includes a B.F.A. in Painting from the R.I. School of Design, a M.F.A. from Bard College in Painting, and she completed a New York State teaching license course at Hoftsra University. Lawre has pursued professional development by taking advanced bookbinding classes at the Center for Book Arts in N.Y.C. and has also taught a Bookbinding course to adults at the Alkion Center for Waldorf Teacher Training.  Lawre is on the Henriette Reiss Award Committee which is an art grant for a Hawthorne Valley Senior or graduate, is an advisor at Art/Omi International Workshop in Ghent, N.Y., is a member of the Columbia County Council for the Arts, and continues to exhibit her own artwork in a variety of exhibitions. Practicing fine arts and painting is an important interest for Lawre, her work has been exhibited extensively in N.Y.C. in both galleries and museums. Her artwork has appeared in major art journals such as The New Art Examiner, Art in America, Teme Celeste, and The New York Times. Email Lawre

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Special Subjects Faculty

 Jong_WonJong-Won Choi ~ Eurythmy Teacher

Jong-Won completed the Eurythmy Training Program at the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA, receiving a eurythmy diploma recognized by the Goetheanum. In addition to that, she completed TETNA (the Therapeutic Eurythmy Training in North America) in Copake, NY. She also completed the Foundation Year Program at the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA. She received her M.A. in Education and her B.A. from Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea. She is a member of the Anthroposophical Society in America, the Eurythmy Association of North America, and the Association for Therapeutic Eurythmy in North America. Her hobbies and interests include reading, handwork, cooking and baking. Email Jong-Won

Maria Jimena ConchaMaria Jimena Concha ~ Lower School Spanish Teacher

Jimena has extensive experience teaching Spanish in all grades. She taught at several private schools, including Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School in the early 2000s and Housatonic Valley Waldorf School. She also worked as a private tutor for both Spanish and English language learners. Jimena received a B.A in Modern Languages from the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, and has participated in education and language workshops at universities in Germany, Canada, and the United States.


Candace-Christiansen-smCandace Christiansen ~ Science Teacher

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Kristen Daley webKristen Daley ~ Lower School Handwork Teacher

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Lisa Damian ~ EARTH Program Teacher

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Aleta Dellenbeck ~ High School Spanish Teacher

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Larry_GlattLarry Glatt ~ Orchestra, Chorus & Music Teacher

Larry has taught a number of courses at Hawthorne Valley School. Currently he is the Orchestra, Chorus and Music teacher for the lower and high school. He has instructed Music, Chorus, Orchestra, Games and more. He has played an integral role in the music portion of the school; directing the music for the school’s plays, organizing after school music teaching, organizing music for the high school coffee houses, Jazz band, and creating  Acapella groups as needed. He received his undergraduate degree in Music Performance from Queens College, a M.A. for Performance from the same school, an M.A. in Music Theory from Florida State University, and a PhD in Music Performance from Florida State University. Before Hawthorne Valley School, Larry taught at both the Halton School and the Alan Howard School. He spent ten years as Music and Choir Director at Shaa-ai Beth-el Synagogue where he was also a teacher.  Larry has been the Guitar and Music Appreciation Instructor at Illinois State University and has been conducting workshops at Westminster Choir College. He composed “Life: The Musical, not the Cereal” and enjoys performing classical guitar, singing, composing, cooking, and canoeing. Email Larry

Jennifer Kenyon ~ Language Arts & History Teacher

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Corrine KomendaCorinna Komenda ~ German & Handwork Teacher

Corinna is a high school German teacher and lower school Handwork teacher. She has considerable experience working with lower and middle school students; at Hawthorne Valley she’s taught Handwork to Grades Seven and Eight, and German to Grades One, Two, and Seven. Corinna has also worked at other Waldorf schools, in Great Barrington as a German teacher and in Belgium teaching English. She completed the Waldorf Teacher Training at the Alkion Center and did Social Therapy Training at Camphill Village in Copake. She is a Waldorf high school graduate, from the Rudpolph Steiner Schule Hamburg-Wandsbek in 1982. Corinna is the Board of Camphill Association of North America’s treasurer. Recently, she completed a renewal course at the Center of Anthroposophy for Teaching Foreign Languages in Grades One to Six. Corinna enjoys the arts such as singing, playing violin, viola, recorder and lyre. She also enjoys knitting, needlework, weaving, spinning, crocheting, leatherwork, gardening, and baking. She is interested in ecology and readings about forestry. Corinna looks forward to yearly travel to Germany and Austria. Email Corinna

Emily Kozakiewicz ~ EARTH Program Teacher and Gardener

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Brett LeFavreBrett LaFave ~ Middle & High School Math Teacher

Originally from Voorheesville, NY, Brett attended Arizona State University on a National Merit Scholarship and received his B.A. from Barrett Honors College. While there, Brett traveled to Tanzania with Students for International Change and helped to develop partnerships with local schools and community leaders promoting HIV education and women’s empowerment. Brett is completing the final few classes of his M.A.T. in Mathematics Education at SUNY Empire State College. He completed his Waldorf Foundation Studies at the Alkion Institute and the renewal course titled “Self Education through Intuitive Thinking and Artistic Perception,” based on Rudolph Steiner’s Philosophy of Freedom, at the Center for Anthroposophy. Brett strives to inspire students at Hawthorne Valley with his passion for problem solving. In his spare time, Brett can be found hiking the Adirondacks and riding his bike. Email Brett

KristinKristin Madey-Pilgrim ~ Lower School German Teacher

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Sheila MahutSheila Mahut ~ High School Practical Arts Teacher and Shop Steward

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Caroline O’Neill ~ Handwork Teacher

Caroline has taught all lower school grade levels, and also serves as manager for the school store Turose Craft & Gift Shop. She received her certification for Handwork at Sunbridge College and a Bachelor’s of Science in Urban and Environmental Planning from Worcester PolyTech. She has both attended and taught at Handwork conferences. Caroline’s hobbies include hiking, canoeing, traveling, craftwork and natural dyeing. Email Caroline

Mike_PewthererMichael Pewtherer ~ Practical Arts Teacher

Mike studied Adventure Education at Prescott College, Biology at SUNY Columbia-Greene and received a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Minor in Wilderness Education from SUNY Empire State. He has received Waldorf teacher training at Alkion Center. He taught the Naturalist Program at Hartsbrook. His is a director at Woodland Ways, a Wilderness First Responder and author. His interests include SCUBA and free diving, hunting & tracking. Email Michael


Marianne Rannenberg webMarianne Rannenberg ~ Reading Specialist

Marianne brings over 25 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings to her work at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. With a strong background in humanistic, student-centered education (Ecole d’Humanité, Switzerland) and early music and music education (Schola Cantorum, Musik Akademie, Basel, Switzerland), as well as a degree in developmental reading (MS, University at Albany; NY State certification K-12), she brings a creative, individualized approach to her work. Her long-standing involvement with Waldorf education since 1980, together with her strong interest in learning differences help her to integrate a holistic vision of each child with instruction that is carefully tailored to address specific needs. Ms. Rannenberg currently teaches both in her home in Harlemville and at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. Email Marianne

Leo_SanchezLeopoldo Sanchez ~ Lower School & High School Movement Teacher, Lower School Spanish Teacher

Leo has over twenty years of experience in teaching movement and physical education. He received a B.A. in public accounting from University Autonomous of Morelos State in Mexico and a diploma in Physical Education from Naruto University of Education. Leo also is certified in spacial dynamics from the Spacial Dynamics Institute Inc. Leo is fluent in Spanish, English, and Japanese, and has served as an instructor for the Greek Pentathlon at the All in Peace Festival in 2004 and 2006. Email Leo

Aria Watson ~ EARTH Program Intern

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Adjunct Faculty

FullSizeRender1Kara Desiderio ~ School Nurse

Kara serves as the school’s nurse.  Originally from Columbia County, she holds a B.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a B.S. in Nursing from New York University.  Kara has been a long time community healthcare advocate working for innovative harm reduction efforts in California and New York.  Most recently she led a statewide transgender health program in California and worked in the Emergency Room at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.  In addition to being a Registered Nurse, she is a certified sex educator, herbalist, and is passionate about school based healthcare. She strives to inspire young people to take care of their bodies and make healthy choices as they grow.  Kara loves traveling, swimming holes, and snuggling her tiny dog, Lionel.

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Cecilia Ellison-webCecelia Elinson ~ Early Childhood

Cecelia began teaching at Hawthorne Valley in 1987. In the past, she has served as a Cobbler’s Assistant, a dairy farmhand, and as  an organic garden assistant in Israel tending to orchards, beehives, and gardens. She studied Botany and Meteorology at Cabrillo Junior College, has received her Certification in Waldorf Education at Highland Hall and also studied the Classics at Wayne State University. Email Cecelia



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Claudia Knab-Vispo ~ High School

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Aldo Lavaggi ~ Lower School

Nancy Lundy ~ Music

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Kathleen Martino ~ Handwork Assistant

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Bonnie Nordoff ~ Piano Accompanist

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Sara Parrilli ~ Lower School Handwork Assistant, 1st Grade Assistant

Suter, HelenHelen Suter ~ High School Sculpture, Middle School Block Printing and Mosaic Teacher

Helen has lived in Switzerland, Peru, and South Africa, where she attended the German School and made her first acquaintance with Anthroposophy. She received a B.A. with honors in Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Arts. She went on to earn an Advanced Diploma and M.F.A. in Sculpture, both summa cum laude, while teaching History of Art Seminars and Foundation Year Sculpture at Michaelis.

Her work includes large-scale welded and assembled steel and mixed-media constructions, as well as textile and installation works. Her art has been exhibited internationally in over eighty gallery and museum shows, including the Cape Town Biennial, the Newark Museum and the Norman Rockwell Museum grounds.

She attended the Alkion Center at Hawthorne Valley and received a certificate in Foundation Studies. Taking up teaching in the Waldorf school environment and sharing her passion for art with her students, is a hugely rewarding and inspiring experience. Email Helen

Conrad Vispo ~ High School

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Susan Williams ~ 1st Grade Playgroup Teacher

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Elizabeth Young ~ School Therapist

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