Marin Waldorf School

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.




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

Tarantino, Leanne.jpg

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.


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. 


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.


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.


Christie Bentley
Hollyhock Kindergarten Assistant Teacher: Christie has been working with children since she was in high school and is passionate about Waldorf education. This will be her second year working with the Kindergarten, and she is grateful and excited to be a part of the Marin Waldorf community. 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.

Walser, Hans.jpg

Hans Walser
Hollyhock Kindergarten Teacher: Hans attended the Kimberton Waldorf School in Pennsylvania and now holds his Waldorf Teacher Certificate from the Rudolf Steiner College.  Hans was the Kindergarten Teacher at the Waldorf School of the Peninsula for 8 years.  He and his wife have also run a series of outdoor programs for children, including surf camps, backpacking trips, and he attends class trips for Waldorf programs from 8th grade through high school.  He is also certified through the Kroaka Outdoor Wilderness Teacher Training Program.  He and his wife have relocated to the Sebastopol area, where Hans is also pursuing higher education. 

Livingston, Adriana.jpg

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.

McKinley, Jennifer.jpg

Jennifer McKinley
Morning Glory Assistant: 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.

O'Callaghan, Lisa.jpg

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!

Rod 2.jpg

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.

Renshaw, Megan.jpg

Megan Renshaw
Early Childhood Aftercare 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.

Brett, Nora.jpg

Nora Brett
Early Childhood Aftercare Assistant: Nora started working at Marin Waldorf School in 2016 and enjoys working in our Aftercare Program.  She loves nature and the outdoors.


GRADES 1 - 4

David, Rhian.jpg

Melinda Martin
1st 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.

Rhian David
2nd 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.

Mathers, Nicole.jpg

Nicole Mathers
3rd Grade 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.

Holscher, Kim.jpg

Kim Holscher
4th Grade Teacher: A native German, Kim first entered the US as an exchange student and returned for college studies in communication arts. A trip around the world encouraged her to earn a Master's degree in Whole Systems Design, but her life education began with the birth of her older son Patrick. His sensitivity led her to discover Waldorf education, while her younger son Julian's need for a preschool launched her career as a Waldorf educator. Kim taught grades 1-8 in three Seattle-area schools before moving here to join her tech entrepreneur sons.



GRADES 5 - 8 

Deason, Kristine.jpg

Mia Terziev
5th 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
6th 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 is the North American representative for grades education on the TEN (Teacher Education Network), a group charged by AWSNA to oversee the practice of Waldorf adult education.

Percey, Rising.jpg

Rising Percey
7th 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.


Gail Weger
8th 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.



O'Ryan, Donni.jpg

Donni O'Ryan
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.


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.

Teitelbaum, Manette.jpg

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.


Has Pineda
Spanish Teacher: 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.



Carol Adee
Grades 1-4 Music Teacher: Carol grew up in a family of six that worked together and sang together everyday. It wasn't until she started playing the flute at age 9 that she discovered that there was such a thing as playing music alone! She went to Chapman College in Orange County for her B.M., then the School of Music at Yale University for my M.M. Since joining the MWS faculty, she has completed the School for Uncovering the Voice with Christiaan Boele. She has attended The Singing Human Being Conference in Finland, the Waldorf Music Teachers' Conference at Sunbridge College and The Music Course with Manfred Bleffert and completed the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training course in 2009. She has been a professional flutist for many years, performing with orchestras, chamber music groups and as a soloist most recently with the new ECHO Chamber Orchestra. 

Lancellotti, Juan Carlos.jpg

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. 

Neale, Adam.jpg

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.

MEG M.jpg

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.


Carolyn Binford
Piano Accompanist: Carolyn has supported the Eurythmy and Choir programs at MWS for fifteen 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.

Matt Perry.jpg

Ilie Watterson
Middle School Math Teacher: Ilie began her journey as a teacher upon graduating from high school in a small Waldorf inspired preschool in her home community of Point Reyes Station.  After receiving her BA in Child Development from Humboldt State University she obtained her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential followed by her Master’s Degree from Dominican University.  She taught as a class and math teacher at Novato Charter School from 2003-2014 and then began her own Waldorf inspired preschool in her home while raising her young children.  Math has always been an integral part of her life as she grew up with a mother that loved the subject and filled her days with math games, conversations and contemplations. 


Matt Perry

8th Grade Math Teacher: Matt Perry is a freelance educator in Marin and beyond. He teaches 8th grade Math at Marin Waldorf; homeschools students in Math, English, and History; tutors in many subjects; and runs yearly intensive learning adventures in rural New Hampshire. He tries to bring his many passions (for learning, reading, math puzzles, and birds chief among them) to every moment in the classroom. He lives with his lovely wife and several old cats on a houseboat in Sausalito. He never ceases to be amazed with the poise and maturity of Marin Waldorf 8th graders and is thrilled to continue helping them transition to high school. 



Bennett, Steve.jpg

Steve Bennett
School Director: Steve moved from Australia and joined Marin Waldorf School in 2017.  His early training in the arts and teaching has allowed him to develop his creative skills into the organizational arena, where financial management and administrative creativity have allowed him to be of service to three Australian schools, the National Steiner Association and, since moving to the USA, Waldorf Education in North Carolina. He is a composer, bassist, playwright (20 children’s plays), astrologer and presently involved in creating 7 screenplays for television and feature film.  He combines a deep foundation in Steiner/Waldorf pedagogy with a collegial spirit, creativity and an excellent sense of finances and organizational structure.



Anderson, Dawn.jpg

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.

Valentine, Chantal.jpg

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.


Megan Neale
Pedigogical Support: 
Megan is the proud parent of two Marin Waldorf School graduates.  Her daughters graduated in 2012 and Megan started the Marin Independent High School later that year.  She was the Administrator of that school for four years and was brought onto the Administrative Team at Marin Waldorf School in 2017.  Megan's teaching background paired with her administrative expertise are assets to her current position.


Monterrosa, Melissa.jpg

Melissa Monterossa
Development & Communications Director: 
Melissa joined the Administrative Team in 2016.  She has 2 children at Marin Waldorf School and has been an active community member since 2011.  She was a teacher for many years before she switched roles to administration.  She loves connecting with parents, grandparents and our extended community.

Palace, Renee.jpg

Renee Palace
Registrar & Admissions Assistant: 
Renee joined Marin Waldorf School in 2017.  She came to Marin Waldorf with an extensive professional background in business administration, real estate and Human Resources. As the proud parent of a graduate of Woodland Star Charter School, Renee is very familiar with Waldorf Philosophy and school structure. She spent over 10 years as a parent, volunteer, Charter Council Member, class parent and Handwork teacher.  


Justine Highsmith
Justine comes to Marin Waldorf with a strong background in administration and arts education for non-profits and museums. She has worked as an art teacher and reading and writing tutor with grades K-12 for over a decade and is also an accomplished painter, folk harpist, and jazz pianist. Justine is currently pursuing her MS in Counseling Psychology at Dominican University of California with a focus on child and developmental psychopathology.