Marin Waldorf School
 
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The relationship between the teacher and the child is a critical component to Waldorf Education.

A distinction of Waldorf teachers is their passion for individuality and commitment to nurturing individual student’s mind. With a heavy focus on the importance of hands-on experience for their students, rather than standardized testing, Waldorf teachers help their students to explore curricula through diverse activities, with plenty of room to customize lesson plans. The fluidity of this approach provides extensive engagement that leads to lifelong connections with the material taught, the teachers involved and the bigger questions at the heart of each subject.

 

EARLY CHILDHOOD

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Brenda Novick
Parent Child Program Teacher: Raised in a warm family environment, Brenda naturally found a deep connection to the Waldorf Early Childhood classroom. A mother of two, she grew up in New Mexico and studied Humanities at Dominican University of California before being introduced to Waldorf education. After teaching in traditional early childhood centers, Brenda went on to earn her teaching certificate from the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, Northern California Lifeways Early Childhood Training and is a certified Simplicity Parenting group leader. Brenda came to The Marin Waldorf School in 2013 to lead the Parent-Child program. Away from school, Brenda enjoys spending time with her family in nature, meditation, yoga, reading, cooking, and a variety of creative pursuits

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Leanne Tarantino
Buttercup Preschool Teacher: Leanne has been a teacher since 1991 and has a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, a Master's in Education with an emphasis on Early Childhood and a Waldorf Teaching Certificate. Her joy of teaching lies with the young child and their parents. She is the mother of three children and loves swimming, hiking, yoga and listening to live music.

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Fernanda Fuga
Buttercup Preschool Assistant Teacher: Fernanda earned her Waldorf teaching certificate, completing the three-year program in 2016.  She found her passion for Waldorf education when her children started preschool in the Buttercup classroom. Fernanda has been working as a substitute teacher in the early childhood at Marin Waldorf for the past three years and as a first grade substitute Spanish teacher. Fernanda grew up in São Paulo, Brazil where she earned a degree in Business and Languages. She is fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish. She enjoys crafting, trail running and going to the beach with her family. 

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Sarah Whitmore
Sunflower Preschool Teacher: Sarah grew up exploring the rich natural beauty of her hometown, Pacific Grove, CA. After high school she joined the American Field Service as an exchange student in South America. Her Waldorf teaching career began in Mexico and she has since taught a bilingual and Spanish language infused Waldorf Early Childhood curriculum. Sarah received her Waldorf Teacher Training at Rudolf Steiner College. She raised her children in Sebastopol, CA while teaching kindergarten for over a decade at Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm. Sarah has devoted her career to nurturing and bringing joy to young children. She enjoys spending time engaged in artistic activities, visiting with her daughters and hiking with her husband and beloved dog, Birdie.

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Megan Renshaw
Sunflower Preschool Assistant Teacher: Megan started working at Marin Waldorf School in 2017 and has two children who attend our school.  She is a student in the Bay Area Center For Waldorf Teacher Training program.

 

Jennifer McKinley
Hollyhock Kindergarten Assistant Teacher: Jennifer started working at Marin Waldorf School as an Assistant Teacher in our Parent Child Program with Teacher Brenda. She is a graduate of UC Davis and has completed the Lifeways Waldorf Early Childhood Program. She has two children and enjoys working at our school.

 
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Nicole Mathers
Hollyhock Kindergarten Teacher: Nicole has taught for the past two decades, and she began teaching in Waldorf Education at the Marin Waldorf School. During her teaching career she has taught at the Monadnock Waldorf School, the Berkeley Rose School, two public Schools in Richmond, CA and an International School in France. Nicole Mathers is a talented artist and classically trained singer, she paints and sings in her free time. She has lived abroad as well as in New England and speaks french. Nicole has two daughters and a son who attend MWS.

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Adriana Livingston
Morning Glory Kindergarten Teacher:  Adriana returns to MWS after taking time off to become a mother. She is looking forward to nurturing the children in her care. She is a MWS Alumni, has a Waldorf Teaching Certificate, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Oceanography from the United States Naval Academy. Adriana loves gardening, crafting, family time, and experiencing moments of synchronicity.

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Peggy Rock
Morning Glory Kindergarten Teacher: A longtime master Kindergarten teacher with over 28 years of Waldorf experience, Peggy Rock worked at Marin Waldorf from 1992 to 2003. She moved to the Greenwood school in 2003 where she was a foundational contributor to their Kindergarten program. Peggy has trained Kindergarten teachers through the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, is trained in puppetry, and is a trained vocalist, singing throughout the Bay Area with an elite choral ensemble.

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Lisa O’Callaghan
Lead Kindergarten Aftercare Teacher: Lisa has had the pleasure of working with young children since her son was in a Waldorf-Inspired Preschool, many years ago. Since then she has taught as an assistant and aftercare teacher in local Waldorf-Inspired schools. Lisa has been working at Marin Waldorf since 2013.  She has studied the Waldorf curriculum with several teachers, including attending a Lifeways seminar and a Simplicity Parenting training. In addition to having Early Childhood Education units, she has a degree from UC Davis with a major in Psychology and a minor in Education. she finds great joy in gardening, dancing, singing and nature and is always delighted to see how the children express their own joy in these very same things!

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Rod DeRienzo
Grades Aftercare Teacher & After School Program Coordinator: Rod is a Marin Waldorf parent and has a Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Bay Area Center For Waldorf Teacher Training. He has a BA in Medieval History from the University of Chicago and six Early Childhood Education credits from Saddleback College. Mr DeRienzo enjoyed two years as the Assistant Kindergarten Aftercare Teacher and supported the Grades Aftercare before taking a few years to raise his son. He is a storyteller, Eagle Scout, mediocre singer, and can be found with the children beneath the oaks.

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Annia Clarte
Early Childhood Lead Aftercare Teacher: Annia has being involved in education for 25 years. She found the Waldorf school community in Donarch, Switzerland, in 2012. With great enthusiasm, she completed her Waldorf Teacher Training in San Francisco in 2016. She holds a Master in Arts of Education with a focus on Foreign Language and Curative Movement from Rudolf Steiner College. She also has a BA in Art and Literature and a Music Teaching Certificate. During her Waldorf teaching experience, she has worked at 3 northern California Waldorf schools: San Francisco Waldorf School, Berkeley Rose and Golden Bridges. Annia is a mother of a wonderful son who is bilingual and has already fulfilled one of his kindergarten dreams of being a firefighter. She joined our school in 2018 and through her quiet strength and warm presence immediately became a vital member of our faculty.


 

GRADES 1 - 4

 
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Gail Weger
1st Grade Teacher: Gail began her work in Waldorf Education through a home preschool she created out of a need in her children’s community. She went on to take her first class at the Live Oak Waldorf School from first through fifth grade, and her second class from first through eighth grade graduation. She has been a mentor and teacher of teachers since 2001, both in the Midwest and through Rudolf Steiner College. She has been at  Marin Waldorf School since 2014. She holds a BFA in Printmaking and Art History. Gail is a practicing artist, foodie and swimmer, and gardens when she is not off exploring the natural wonders of California. She has three grown Waldorf-educated daughters and a wonderful husband, Mathias.

Melinda Martin
2nd Grade Teacher: Born and raised in California, Melinda has lived in Marin since she was five years old. She began teaching children at the age of twelve when she found her first babysitting job, and has continued ever since! Initially a Child Development major, she switched to Environmental Studies after learning about the plight of the Earth in a biology class. She received her Bachelor degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on education, and began to teach children of all ages the wonders of the natural world. After the birth of her daughter and son (graduates of MWS), Melinda discovered her passion for Waldorf Education. She is a graduate of the BACWTT. When not at school, she enjoys animals, walking in the hills, gardening, playing games with her family, reading and spending time with friends.

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Rhian David
3rd Grade Teacher: Rhian joined Marin Waldorf School in 2017. She was born and raised in San Francisco and attended San Francisco Waldorf School from Kindergarten through High School. After receiving her BA in Organizational Behavior Leadership from University of San Francisco, she pursued teaching positions at the San Francisco Waldorf School, Mulberry Classroom, Sunny Hills Services and the Greenwood School. Growing up,  Rhian spent her summers in Wales, which has influenced her passion for traveling. She is an avid trail runner and ocean swimmer.

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Dena Malon
4th Grade Teacher: Dena is originally from New York City, where she most recently taught at the Rudolf Steiner School for eleven years. While still in Atlanta, she taught for ten years at the Waldorf School of Atlanta. A new resident of California, she moved here in August 2018 to join her husband Thom Schaefer, the Education Director at Credo, a Waldorf charter high school in Sonoma County. She also began teaching a lovely group of eager, energetic first graders at the Greenwood School. We are happy that she is joining our school for the 2019/2020 school year.

 

 

GRADES 5 - 8 

 
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Adam Stopeck
5th Grade Teacher:
Adam has over twenty years of experience as a Waldorf class teacher, including ten years at the Sunrise Waldorf School in Duncan, BC and five years at the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork, Carbondale, CO. He has taught all the grades, from grade one through grade 12, including grades 1-6 three times. Most recently, Adam has been teaching at Credo High School as a PE teacher, while actively engaged in private, Waldorf based tutoring in Sebastopol, Ca.

Adam is married and has three children ages nineteen, eighteen, and seventeen. Adam has a love for class plays, movement, outdoor activities and coaching sports.

Mia Terziev
6th Grade Teacher:  A West Marin native, Mia Terziev first met Waldorf Education when her son entered kindergarten in 2005. She served in many capacities at the Lagunitas Waldorf-Inspired school for ten years; chairing administrative and parent councils, leading parent involvement and coordinating enrollment.  Mia holds a BA in French and completed her teacher training with the Bay Area Center For Waldorf Teacher Training. She has enjoyed working at Marin Waldorf School since 2014. Mia enjoys hiking, singing, woodworking and anything to do with crafting.

Kristine Arrigona Deason
7th Grade Teacher: Kristine has been at Marin Waldorf since 2001, first as a parent and then as a class teacher, taking a class from First through Eighth Grade. She was born in Paris, France and grew up in Europe, earning a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Brussels in French Studies, before returning to the U.S. to earn a second M.A. in English. She taught at the university level for several years, and then worked in the tech industry as a technical writer and programmer for ten years before returning to education, earning a California teaching credential and a Waldorf teaching certificate. She speaks several foreign languages, is learning to play the cello, and enjoys gardening, travel and the outdoors. Kristine also teaches adults for the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training and co-chairs the Teacher Education Delegates Circle (TEDC), a group charged by AWSNA to oversee the practice of Waldorf adult education in North America.

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Rising Percey
8th Grade Teacher: Rising comes from three generations of educators in her family. Her first job was assisting in her mother's in-home daycare. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in English literature and a minor in creative writing. After college she ran an adult literacy center in Honolulu, HI. She later returned to the bay area to teach literature and writing to middle and high school students at SAT prep centers throughout the Bay Area. Rising was drawn to Waldorf Education as it reflects her core values: a strong sense of community, personal responsibility, and spirituality. She is a graduate of the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training and has been working for several years in Waldorf Schools. Rising enjoys spending time outdoors, or being with her family and friends.


 

SUBJECT TEACHERS

 
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Donni O'Ryan (on Sabbatical Leave)
Games and Movement Teacher: Donni has been teaching in Waldorf schools since 1994. Having completed Waldorf teacher training and the 5 year Spacial Dynamics course, she spent 12 years at the East Bay Waldorf School. She began consulting schools, in the US and abroad, helping them to establish a full movement curriculum. She has also taught at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training (BACWTT) to expose student teachers to the anthroposophical approach to healthy movement for Waldorf students. Currently, Donni is the coordinator of the Global Games for Class 6 students. She previously hosted the Pentathlon, for Class 5 students, for 15 years. Since joining Marin Waldorf School in 2006, she has taught Games, Gym, Environmental Education and was the Class 8 teacher for the class that graduated in 2008. Her passions include oak trees and native plants, her role as a hike leader on Mt. Tam, and her grandson.

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Betsyann Gallagher
Gardening Teacher: Betsyann was drawn to Waldorf education while she was working on her California Teaching Credential. She enrolled in the Waldorf Teacher Training and graduated in 1994. That Fall she started working at Marin Waldorf School as a gardening and handwork teacher. She has also taught painting and sculpture. After teaching for eleven years, she apprenticed under a Biodynamic Gardener, studied Permaculture, Nature Awareness (while developing a landscaping business) gleaning greater skill in teaching about the natural world through gardening. She returned to Marin Waldorf in 2008 with a renewed energy and gratefulness. Gardening is taught to Second, Third and Fifth graders. Sixth, Seventh and Eighth graders get to experience the garden through an Environmental Education program on Fridays. We have a beautiful garden with a pond, pizza oven, fruit trees, flowers and many planter boxes where seasonal vegetables and herbs are tended. The garden is a delight for all.

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Manette Teitelbaum
Handwork Teacher: Manette grew up in Connecticut and went to college in the Midwest where she received a liberal arts degree from DePauw University. After traveling and living abroad for a while, she came to California where she attended Rudolf Steiner College. She completed the Teacher Training Program and took her first class as a grades teacher at the Marin Waldorf School in 1981. She taught handwork to a variety of classes for many of her early years as a teacher. More recently she taught in the kindergarten for three years, after which she began teaching the full handwork program in 2005.

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Has Pineda
Spanish Teacher for Grades 1-8: Has Pineda was born and raised in rural Colombia, where she received a Bachelor degree in Early childhood and Elementary Education, she also holds an Associate’s Degree in ECE from the College of Marin, there she also studied English. She graduated from LifeWays in 2015, and is currently in her third year of the Waldorf Teacher Trainnig. Has is a part of WSTA (Waldorf Spanish Teachers Association), where she recently participated in the first conference where more than 40 Waldorf Spanish teachers shared their wisdom and love for teaching a foreign language. Has has been working with children, primarily in Early childhood, for more than 10 years.

Anne Roemer Johnson
Mandarin Teacher for Grades 1-4:
Anne Johnson has been teaching since 2012 and has a Multiple Subject Teacher Credential. She previously taught Chinese at the Healdsburg School for four years. She graduated with honors from the University of Michigan's Chinese Studies program and has lived in China and Taiwan for a cumulative five years. She was first introduced to Rudolf Steiner by a college professor and went on to explore Steiner's philosophies while living on a kibbutz in Israel. In her spare time she enjoys the outdoors with her family, practices yoga and explores Gestalt Awareness Practice.

 

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Miranda Mallard
Grades 1-8 Music Teacher: Miranda Mallard is excited to be joining the Marin Waldorf family. She recently taught as the 2nd-8th grade general music and vocal teacher at Convent Elementary School in SF. She has also taught K-12 music at Maharishi School in Iowa, 4-5 band in the Dixie School District, various after school music and dance programs, and even music classes for babies! She loves to share her passion for music, from vocal to instrumental, performance to composition, and the many things in between. She holds performance degrees in voice and dance from the University of Iowa, and still performs frequently as a professional choral singer and with her indie classical band, Dagmar. Miranda also loves to do yoga, dance, and go adventuring with her son Eli.

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Juan Carlos Lancellotti
Eurythmy Teacher: Mr. Lancellotti was born in Santiago, Chile and has been living in the U.S. for 18 years. He graduated as a Eurythmists from the American Eurythmy School in the Mount Shasta area in 2013. He has studied Anthroposophy and practiced Eurythmy for 13 years.  In 2016 he went to Chengdu, China as a guest teacher to work with faculty, administration and students to help lay foundations on the art of Eurythmy and the Anthroposophical approach to Pedagogy. Currently he is also a student at Antioch University New England doing a program on Education and the Healing Arts. Mr. Lancellotti loves many activities like bicycling, playing music and surfing. 

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Adam Neale
Woodworking Teacher: Adam joined the MWS faculty in 2008 as the Woodworking teacher and helped develop the Outdoor Education program for the middle school grades. He has always had an interest in working with youth and the outdoors, teaching kayaking, fly fishing and snowboarding. He also trained as a finish carpenter and has enrolled in green woodworking workshops with The Ruskin Mill Educational Trust. He graduated from Rollins College with a BA in Environmental Studies.

 
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Meg Eldridge
Violin and Orchestra Teacher: Meg has taught at MWS since 2001, is a native of San Rafael, CA, and was a member of the Marin Youth Orchestra and the San Francisco Youth Orchestra in high school. She studied music performance and literature at the University of Michigan, the Manhattan School of Music, and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Meg currently performs with various symphonies and chamber orchestras in the Bay Area, including the Marin Symphony, the Santa Rosa Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, the Pacific Chamber Symphony, American Bach Soloists, the Carmel Bach Festival, and the Tamalpais Quartet, among others. Ms. Eldridge coaches chamber music and teaches privately at the Branson School, Marin Academy, San Rafael High School, and her private studio in San Rafael. She is an avid trail runner and backpacker, and has worked with Adam Neale in the Outdoor Education Program at Marin Waldorf, leading the middle school classes on extensive hikes through the hills and trails that surround the Lucas Valley campus.

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Carolyn Binford
Piano Accompanist: Carolyn has supported the Eurythmy and Choir programs at MWS for twenty years. She enjoys her role as ‘Ambassador of Music’, hoping to inspire students in their own musical studies. She delights in having students approach her for the names of the pieces she is playing for their classes. Additionally, she enjoys adding musical support for the upper grade plays, musicals and recitals. Mrs. Binford holds a Bachelor and Master degrees in Music Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Texas. She loves hiking, the beach and traveling with her family and dog.

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Amy Baxt
Social Ethics Teacher: Amy holds a BA is Social Change and Performing Arts from Hampshire College, an English teaching credential, and has recently completed a Master’s thesis focused on creating conversations about race and social equity within affluent classrooms. Prior to teaching Amy was a journalist for the documentary program FRONTLINE on public television. Amy is the mother of three children, and has been active in the Waldorf community holding leadership positions at The Novato Charter School and as a Simplicity Parenting coach. Next year Amy will be splitting her teaching time between Marin Waldorf School and Redwood High School.

Rebecca Vollmer
Educational Support Teacher:
Rebecca was raised in a German speaking household and had lived on three continents by the time she moved to Marin at age 9. She attended St. Mark's School (Mark Day School) from grades 3-8 and then attended San Rafael High School. Rebecca holds a BA degree in Art History from UCSC and an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Cabrillo College. She began working with children in college, and has also worked for Forbes Magazine in New York City, owned a health food store in Puerto Rico and a clothing store in Brooklyn. Rebecca decided upon Waldorf education after her son was born and began teacher training when he was 21 months old. Eager to begin working again with children, she became a substitute teacher and has been working at Marin Waldorf School since 2016. Rebecca enjoys exploring Marin by foot or canoe and gardening with her seven year old son and dog Clancy.

Christie Bentley
First Grade Assistant Teacher:
Christie has been working with children since she was in high school and is passionate about Waldorf education. Christie grew up near Philadelphia, spent her college years in Montreal, New York, and France, and has been calling California home for almost a decade. When not working with children or pursuing her Waldorf teaching credentials, she is typically at the ocean or the bay with her two dogs.


 

ADMINISTRATION

 
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Megan Neale
School Director: Megan brings to the School Director position a wealth of experience in both teaching and administration. Additionally, she has been an active member of the Marin Waldorf School community for the past 17 years, first as a parent, then as a teacher and an administrator. In that time, she also acted for five years as the Administrative Director of the Marin Independent High School located on our campus. Before becoming Marin Waldorf's School Director, Megan served as our Pedagogical Administrator. Megan graduated from UCSB with a BA in History and went on to complete her Masters in Education and a secondary teaching credential at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Megan completed her Waldorf Teacher training at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training. She currently serves on the BACWTT Board and is Co- Director of the Tinkuy Project with the Kusi Kawsay school in Peru.

 

 

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Dawn Anderson
Finance & Operations Director:  Dawn brings extensive experience in the education field with specialization in operations and administration. Passionate about providing educational opportunities for youth, Dawn has directed college access and financial aid programs to promote educational equity; facilitated cultural exchanges for youth from around the globe and volunteered on the board of a national youth leadership development program. She has served as responsible officer to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and worked in the district office of the Cambridge Public Schools in Massachusetts. Dawn's professional experience also includes an internship in public service in London, England and teaching in Madrid, Spain for two years. Dawn completed her undergraduate degree at Boston University and holds a certificate in College Admissions and Career Planning from UC Berkeley. Dawn has traveled widely throughout Europe, Australasia, Southern Africa and the Americas. In her free time, Dawn enjoys running, swimming, sailing and tennis with her family.

 
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Chantal Valentine
Admissions Director:  Chantal was born and raised in San Rafael, and she started working at MWS in late 2011.  After graduating from Whitman College, she served for two years with AmeriCorps in San Jose, CA and Columbia, SC. Her 20+ year non-profit career prepared her for the fulfilling job as an Admissions Director at our school. Chantal and her husband Shane also wrote The Baby Cuisine Cookbook sold primarily in Whole Foods Markets and Shane continues their mission as a Chef Activist. You can find Chantal and her 3 children walking (or running) to school each morning with their wagon.

 
 
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Melissa Monterrosa
Development & Communications Director: 
Melissa brings over 12 years of teaching experience in education as a public classroom and resource teacher working in Oakland, San Francisco and Marin County (Dixie and Reed Union School Districts). After graduating from Cal Poly with a BA in Speech Communication and before obtaining her teaching credential that specializes in inner-city education, she explored her passion for post-film production working at Industrial Light and Magic for 5 years. Her work in production and education equips Melissa with the key skill sets to orchestrate Marin Waldorf’s major school events, fund development, and coordination of the tremendous volunteer effort demonstrated by our dynamic parent body. She believes wholeheartedly in the gifts of Waldorf education and its strong community.

 
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Suzanne Hudson
Pedagogical Coordinator: 
Suzanne Hudson joined the administrative team in 2019 as the Pedagogical Coordinator. Suzanne has, along with her husband Andy, raised two exceptional young people, both of whom spent their formative years at Marin Waldorf School. Suzanne was very active in both of her children’s classes, leading and attending school events, field trips and helping in the classroom. She worked in an official capacity as part of the administrative staff for a year.

Three years ago, Suzanne stepped in to revamp the Varsity Swimming program at San Rafael High School. During her time coaching, she was inspired by this young, diverse, inspiring group of students and decided to continue working in education. She is excited to be back supporting Waldorf Education and the amazing faculty, programs, and families at MWS.

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Robin Boynosky
Receptionist: 
Robin has worked in education for ten years, as both a classroom English teacher and administrator, in both public and private schools. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education and English from the University of Scranton, and a teaching credential. Robin’s interest in educational systems also led her to work as a user experience and learning experience designer, applying her skills in research and creative problem solving. As a mother and educator, she has always sought to learn about different education systems and found Waldorf education to be a uniquely healthy and inspirational path of learning. Robin loves having the opportunity to connect with MWS parents, students, faculty and community members each day as the receptionist.

Julie Meade
Registrar:
Julie joined the team at Marin Waldorf School as the interim receptionist in October 2018, just a month after her son also joined the school as a kindergartner. Deeply enriched and inspired by the school's vibrant community and educational mission, she was delighted to take a permanent role on the administrative team as registrar. Born in San Francisco and raised in Marin County, Julie spent the past 15 years in New York City, San Miguel de Allende, and Mexico City, working as a freelance writer, book author, and copy editor for publications including New York Magazine, Billboard, and The Guardian, in addition to writing several travel guidebooks for Moon Handbooks in Berkeley. She is a graduate of The Branson School, in Ross, and Stanford University, where she studied English and art. She speaks Spanish fluently.