Early Childhood Teachers
Christi Nordoff – Rainbow Room Lead Teacher
Christi has been an early childhood teacher since 1987. One of the founding teachers of Prairie Hill Waldorf School in Wisconsin, she started teaching at GBRSS in 1997, leading Parent-Child classes, founding our Nursery program in 2002 and teaching Kindergarten for many years. A Waldorf alumna, Christi trained as a Waldorf teacher at Emerson College, England, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Friends World College in New York. She is also a graduate of the London School of Eurythmy, and is a trained therapeutic eurythmist who uses eurythmy movement therapy to help children with developmental challenges.
Beth Oakley – Rose Room Lead Teacher
Eleana Peterson – Rose Room Assistant Teacher
Eleana Peterson earned her Bachelors degree in Liberal Arts and Forestry at the University of New Hampshire. After eight years of being a photojournalist for the oldest newspaper in NH, the Portsmouth Herald, she then completed her Masters in Waldorf Teacher Training at Sunbridge College. Having taught in the grades at two other Waldorf schools, Eleana has assisted here at the Steiner School for both Nursery and Kindergarten over the past 13 years. She has also been a member of the Jemms (the Steiner based Morris/Garland team) since 2007 which performs each year for our May Day celebration.
Ms. Peterson holds a Master certificate in Reiki healing arts and offers sessions for the whole family – including pets. An avid traveler, Eleana has been to faraway places like Egypt and China. This summer she camped out amongst the largest trees in the world at Sequoia National Park. email@example.com
Kirsten Hascup – Sun Room Lead Teacher
Kirsten Hascup, an early childhood teacher for twenty years, comes to the Berkshires from Ithaca, New York, where she has been lead teacher in a mixed age kindergarten and faculty chair at the Ithaca Waldorf School. Ms. Hascupholds a B.A. in Fine Arts from Cornell University and a Masters of Education from Antioch New England in Keene, New Hampshire, where she completed an additional two year certification in healing arts for classroom teachers with a concentration in painting and storytelling. She has led early childhood workshops at the annual Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN). Ms. Hascupis the winner of the Ernest L. Boyer Teacher Scholarship from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, “for the promise of exemplary contributions to the teaching profession.” Her appointment at the Steiner School is also a homecoming, as she spent a year working with longtime kindergarten teacher Michelle Kuziaat the Steiner School, to complete her Waldorf early childhood teacher training in 1999. Her daughter Isa will be in Third Grade this year. firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Brady Gadilauskas – Sun Room Assistant Teacher
Elizabeth Brady Gadilauskas earned her Bachelors degree from Smith College in Psychology with a concentration in cognition. Her previous experience in early childhood education includes assistant teaching at Sunnyside Early Childhood Center in Northampton, MA and Ramapo for Children in Rhinebeck, NY. email@example.com
Christianna Riley – Farm & Forest Lead Teacher
Christianna Riley is the lead teacher of the Farm and Forest kindergarten. She joined the Bershire Waldorf School last year as the lead teacher in the Sun Room. Most recently, she was lead Kindergarten teacher and co-founder at Primrose Hill School (Rhinebeck, NY), and prior to that a kindergarten assistant at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School (Ghent, NY). A world traveler, Waldorf Alum, and former public school teacher, Mrs. Riley and her husband have recently settled in Housatonic, MA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Drubel – Rainbow Room Assistant Teacher
Anna Drubel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Antioch University, Los Angeles, CA. Anna has devoted the last decade of her life to education as an educator and as an advocate. She began in the classroom as an intern with a non-profit pre-school for terminally ill family members. She later transitioned to politics with the focus of working for politicians with a strong passion for education. In 2010 she moved to Washington, D.C. and began working for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand where she was promoted to Office Manager. In 2013, Anna joined the Wendy Davis for Governor Campaign in Houston, Texas as Deputy Regional Finance Director. Following the campaign, she returned to the classroom as a Teacher’s Aide/Administrative Assistant for Austen Riggs Nursery School in Stockbridge, MA. She has been working at the Steiner School in the Early Childhood department since 2016 and is currently pursuing her Waldorf Certification. Anna loves the outdoors and did a 50-day Outward Bound Leadership Semester where she completed her Wilderness First Responder Certification. email@example.com
Diane Prusha – Farm & Forest Assistant Teacher and Aftercare Lead Teacher
Diane Prusha completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater at the University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA). She has worked in the Steiner Early Childhood program for many years, and is the lead teacher for the Steiner aftercare program for early childhood through fourth grade students. Ms. Prusha is well known for her roles in Shakespeare & Company’s theatrical productions every summer, including “Roman Fever” and “The Fullness of Life,” based on the stories of Edith Wharton, for which she was nominated Best Actress by the Berkshire Theatre Critics in 2017. Ms. Prusha is also a volunteer with CATA (Community Access To The Arts) in Great Barrington, and her daughter Rory is a Steiner graduate. firstname.lastname@example.org
Somer Serpe – Parent-Child Garden Teacher
Somer Serpe trained as an artist and as a teacher, earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Parsons School of Design and her Masters in Waldorf Early Childhood Education at Sunbridge College. She currently teaches Kindergarten at the Steiner School where she has taught Nursery and Kindergarten since 2005. Somer is a northeastern regional rep for WECAN and serves as a mentor for teachers and inspirational coach for parents. In the classroom Somer enjoys puppetry, singing, gardening and creating healing stories for children and parents. email@example.com
Anna Taiga – First Grade
Anna Taiga grew up near Moscow, Russia, and went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Human Resources from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For over a decade, she worked for a large global company, traveling internationally to facilitate leadership seminars, coach programs and organize managerial mentoring. She also spearheaded innovative workplace diversity initiatives. The birth of her two sons, now four and nine, inspired Ms. Taiga to earn her Waldorf grades teacher certification from the Alkion Center at Hawthorne Valley. She taught high school English there before joining the Steiner School in 2017. For the past two years, Ms. Taiga has served as an EC assistant teacher, as First Grade assistant teacher and as a lead teacher for the Summer@Steiner program. She enjoys bringing her love of cross-cultural music and singing into the classroom. firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria Cartier – Second Grade
Victoria Cartier grew up in the Berkshires and attended the Steiner School from kindergarten through eighth grade. An experienced Waldorf teacher, she had already successfully completed an eight-year cycle at the Emerson Waldorf School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina when she joined the Steiner School faculty to lead the Class of 2018 from third through sixth grade. While teaching at Emerson Waldorf School, Ms. Cartier was not only a class teacher, but served as an art teacher in the 12th grade, taught recorder class to 6th, 7th and 8th grades and coached cross country running and tennis. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Arts in Waldorf Education from Antioch New England. Ms. Cartier’s mother, Virginia Flynn, is a Waldorf class teacher and teacher mentor who taught at Steiner in the early years of our school. Her brother, Evan Palazzo, also a Steiner alum, is already a parent at the school. email@example.com
Tracy Fernbacher – Third Grade
Tracy Fernbacher, class of 2025 teacher, earned her Master of Education in Waldorf Elementary Education from Antioch University (Keene, NH). She also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Management from Pace University (New York, NY) and a vocational teacher’s license from the New York State Department of Education. Ms. Fernbacher brings broad Waldorf teaching experience to her new position, including teaching at every grade level. She completed the residency portion of her Master’s program at the Steiner School in 2011-12, and has since taught under the mentorship of a core group of master teachers. While at the school, she developed and taught Chinese language courses for students in kindergarten through second grade. Similarly, Ms. Fernbacher taught English and substituted for multiple grades at the first Waldorf elementary school in China, the Chengdu Waldorf School in Sichuan province, while attending the Chengdu Waldorf Teacher Training Institute in 2009-10. Prior to her teacher training, Ms. Fernbacher was one of the founding parents of the Brooklyn Waldorf School, where she organized the institutional structure, articulated the vision through mission and value statements, and was instrumental in implementing the school’s groundbreaking three-tier tuition model, helping to create a school population that reflects the diversity of its community. firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Ludvigsen – Fourth Grade
Julie Ludvigsen comes to us from the Azalea Mountain School in Asheville, North Carolina, where she was a first and second grade teacher. Prior to that, she taught fourth grade at the Rainbow Mountain Children’s School, also in Asheville, and fourth, sixth and eighth grades at the Novato Charter School in Novato, California. Julie earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Western Illinois University and completed her Masters of Arts from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. She has completed classwork in Waldorf training from the Center of Anthroposophy, the Rudolf Steiner College, the Sunbridge Institute, and the Micha-el Institute in Portland, Oregon. email@example.com
Veronica Banach – Fifth Grade
Veronica Banach holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art and Design with a concentration in Fiber Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (Boston, MA). In addition to being a Steiner alum, she is a graduate of the Steiner School Teacher Apprenticeship Program and has completed additional training courses for the Grades at the Center for Anthroposophy (Wilton, NH). Veronica began her teaching career as an intern in the Steiner Early Childhood program, followed by a year as an early childhood assistant teacher before completing the two-year Teacher Apprenticeship Program, during which she interned in many classes across the grade school. In her spare time, Veronica enjoys knitting and crafting for her Etsy shop, Every Daisy Creations, traveling and Berkshire walks with her beagle/rottie pup, Jasper. firstname.lastname@example.org
Safina Allesandra – Substitute Fifth Grade Teacher
Safina Alessandra grew up in Switzerland where she had the privilege of being part of the vibrant Waldorf Community in Zurich. Her deep wish to understand the developing child led her to work, study and teach at Camphill Schools, a residential Waldorf school for children with disabilities in Chester County PA, for 14 years. There her two sons attended and graduated from the Kimberton Waldorf School.
Ms. Alessandra has spent the last 10 years widening her understanding of and experience in education first thru working as a Kindergarten assistant, then thru taking various roles within the Visiting Students Program at Hawthorne Valley Farm, and lastly through completing her BS in Early Childhood and Childhood Education at SUNY New Paltz. After receiving her NYS teacher certification, and prior to taking her current position at Berkshire Waldorf, Ms. Alessandra taught math and language arts to elementary and middle school students as a private tutor and was part of a team of teachers supporting a student with autism.
Ms. Alessandra’s interests are as encompassing as the Waldorf curriculum; she particularly enjoys singing and has been part of various ensembles including Voca Luna and Boston Harmony over the course of the past decade. Some of her other favorite activities are hiking, knitting, reading and gardening, ideally in the company of her husband and her puppy. She is looking forward to teaching the 5th grade and sharing her love for learning with them while their class teacher Ms. Banach is on maternity leave. email@example.com
Mark Eurich – Sixth Grade
Mark Eurich An experienced Waldorf class teacher, Mr. Eurich received his Bachelor of Arts in Education from Central Michigan University, majoring in Special Education, and taught for nine years in public and Montessori schools. He received his Master of Arts in Waldorf Education from Antioch New England. His first class at Steiner graduated in 1997, his third in 2013. Mark took the Class of 2018 for the last two years of their journey, and is currently teaching 6th Grade to the class of 2022. firstname.lastname@example.org
Krista Palmer – Seventh Grade
Krista Palmer earned her Bachelors degree in Physical Education from Wittenberg University (Springfield, OH) and is certified in Spacial Dynamics by the Spacial Dynamics Institute in Mechanicville, NY. Mrs. Palmer also holds a Waldorf handwork certification from Sunbridge College in Chestnut Ridge, NY. Mrs. Palmer is a graduate of the Garden City Waldorf School (Garden City, NY) and her three children are Steiner alums. An experienced leader and teacher in our school, famous for many camping, hiking and canoeing excursions as well as stories around the campfire, this year Mrs. Palmer is the Seventh Grade Class Teacher and handwork teacher for grades first – eight. email@example.com
Jennifer Green – Eighth Grade
Jennifer Green earned her Master of Education degree from Bank Street School of Education (New York, NY). She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the State University of New York (Plattsburgh, NY). Ms. Green brings sixteen years of teaching experience to her new position, including teaching at every grade level.
Prior to teaching at Berkshire Country Day School, Ms. Green collaborated with a team of educators, board members and parents to plan and implement the opening of the Gateway Middle School in New York, where she taught core academic subjects including math, English, writing and history to children ages 7-15 with learning differences. She brings a broad cultural emphasis to her teaching, having developed a cross-curricular Spanish language and culture program, and created the middle school ceramics program, with a focus on sculpture and hand-building, glazing and kiln firing. While at the school, Ms. Green served as teacher support for new staff of the Gateway School of Mumbai, India, for which she organized and led professional development workshops for new teachers. Additionally, Ms. Green has worked individually with students to meet their educational needs and goals in English, math, writing, history, science and Spanish, and helped students prepare for high school entrance exams, create organizational systems and transition into high school. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynn Arches – Middle School Math and Science Teacher, Chair of the Council of Teachers
Lynn Arches, a Waldorf educator for 18 years, teaches, mentors and evaluates Middle School students, grades six – eight, in chemistry, physics, earth science, biology and math. A seven-time honoree in Who’s Who Among American Teachers, Lynn’s research on the metabolic process of the female Denning polar bear and desalinization led to her collaboration with leading polar bear researchers. She attended Cal State Northridge, Cleveland Chiropractic School and the Center for Anthroposophy, and is the creator of math and science curricula currently in use by the University of California as standards for other schools to follow. Lynn volunteers for her own nonprofit, Women for H20, as well as the water and education project Sisters for Peace. Her three children are graduates of Highland Hall Waldorf School in Los Angeles. email@example.com
Dana Coleman and Jean Zay – Librarians
Dana Coleman and Jean Zay (L-R) spend their days in the heart of the school – the Steiner library. Together they work to match students with books they’ll love, inspiring children to become lifelong readers. Jean Zay received her Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH) and her Waldorf teacher training from the Rudolf Steiner School (New York, NY). She is a founding teacher of the Steiner School, graduating her first class (grades 1-8) in 1983. She is an accomplished painter, whose artwork can be found hanging throughout the school, and during her time as a class teacher wrote many plays for her students which are still performed by Steiner students today.
Dana Coleman received her Bachelor of Arts from Westminster College (Salt Lake City, UT) and her Masters of Science in Education from Fordham University (New York, NY). She spent her postgraduate summers at Columbia University’s Teachers College and is currently participating in an Associate Level Orton-Gillingham training through the Green River Literacy Center. Dana taught in the Scarsdale, NY school district and at the Manhattan New School before moving to Great Barrington full time to enroll her two children at Steiner. She and Mrs. Zay have worked side by side in the library since 2014. Mrs. Coleman also collaborates with classroom teachers to help them implement successful reading and spelling programs in their classrooms. In her spare time, she enjoys running with her dog, Artie. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sara Greene – Games Teacher
Sara Greene began her physical training at age 7 through athletics. She competed in swimming, track and field, field hockey and ultimate frisbee. After leaving university she travelled across Europe working as an apprentice on biodynamic and organic farms. She realized she was looking for a more creative outlet for her physicality and began to experiment with different forms of dance and physical theater. In Galway City, Ireland Sara found a vibrant street theater scene. She joined a little troupe of jugglers and acrobats calling themselves Circus Culture. Soon after, on a snowy April Fool’s day, Sara was hired as an assistant to the horse trainer on Big Apple Circus. She went on to tour here in the US and internationally for many years as an aerialist and a tent master. Along the way she has had some wonderful opportunities to share her passion for movement with the next generation. She has worked with everyone from tumbling tots to university theater students in workshops and as an artist-in-residence. Sara and her daughter crossed paths with Waldorf education in 2013 when she was hired to train and produce a middle school circus. They felt right at home in the Waldorf community. They are now happily splitting their time between school and circus work. Sara has enjoyed working with the middle and high school students in NH at High Mowing and Monadnock Waldorf School. She is looking forward to bringing movement and games to the grades here in the Berkshires. email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Memrie Kelly – Eurythmy Accompanist
Eileen Markland – Music Director
Eileen Markland brings with her a wide range of experiences in violin performance and teaching. She was appointed by the US Dept. of State as an “American Cultural Specialist” and traveled to Benin, and Cameroon, West Africa with Project Troubador, a non profit organization that builds cultural bridges through music and the arts. She later went on to perform at the UN Peace Summit in Switzerland and organized and led “Operation World Harmony”, a cross cultural music and education tour in Niamey, Niger. More recently she’s performed in Paris, Venice, Dublin, and throughout the northeastern US. She enjoys a very active local freelance performance and recording career. Eileen received her early formal training at The Crane School of Music and earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance at Ithaca College. Her Suzuki Teacher Training was at The Hartt School of Music and The Ithaca College Suzuki Institute. email@example.com
Hadley Milliken – Biodynamic Farming and Gardening
Hadley Milliken holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA). She received her agricultural training from the Hanover County Master Gardening Program (Hanover, VA), and is certified in Biodynamic Farming by the Pfeiffer Center (Chestnut Ridge, NY). Ms. Milliken has over eight years of experience working at various small farms and habitat preservation organizations. She is the owner and head landscaper at Small Farms Rising, an edible landscaping company that utilizes biodynamics to design and maintain landscapes of heirloom vegetables, flowers, medicinal herbs, and children’s learning gardens. She has been known as “Farmer Hadley” to Steiner students since 2014, and with their help has built a kitchen garden, pollinator garden, herb and tea garden, dye garden and stands of raspberries, garlic and the “three sisters” – corn, beans and squash – in the holistic outdoor classroom that provides what she calls “a complete seed to fork experience.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Soheireh Meier – Grades Assistant
Soheireh Meier returns to BWS as Assistant Teacher – Grade 1 and Reading Assistant – Grades 2& 3. In 2018/2019 she served as lead teacher in the Rose Room, one of our mixed age early childhood classrooms. She has worked for the past five years in Mary Louise Bedard’s Waldorf home kindergarten program (Ghent, NY). In addition, Ms. Meier taught Parent/Child classes at Hawthorne Valley School (HVS) and ran a Waldorf summer program out of her home. She completed her Waldorf teacher training in 2010 at Alkion (Ghent, NY), during which she assisted in the first grade at HVS. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in printmaking and Spanish from Bennington College (Bennington, VT), as well as an Associates Degree in Textile Surface Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, NY). She has two children of her own, who inspired her to become a Waldorf early childhood educator when they were only twinkles in her eyes. In addition, Ms. Meier enjoys handwork, gardening, cooking and singing. email@example.com
Elmer Orobio – Woodwork and Clay Modeling
Elmer Orobio received his law degree from Universidad Santiago de Cali and teacher training from the Rudolf Steiner Seminary, Sao Paulo. At the Cali Rudolf Steiner School he taught woodwork and clay modeling, and was Council Chair and a Board member. Elmer’s wife, Maria Wolff, is the school’s Spanish teacher. Both of their children are graduates of the Steiner School. firstname.lastname@example.org
Patti Regan – Eurythmy, Chorus and Recorder
Patti Regan teaches eurythmy in grades Kindergarten through Eight. She also conducts the middle school chorus.
Before joining GBRSS in 2014, Patti taught music at Green Meadow Waldorf School. She is also on the summer faculty of Sunbridge Institute has been teaching adult education classes there for over 15 years.
In addition to her educational background, Patti also brings over a decade of corporate experience from her work as a copy writer and technical writer at J. Walter Thompson Company and Ernst & Young LLP.
In her free time she enjoys singing in the Cantilena Chamber Choir in Lenox MA and pursuing a new hobby of mathematics. She also teaches workshops for adult educators at Sunbridge Institute.
Patti holds a Bachelor’s in music performance from Lawrence Conservatory, a M.Ed. in Instructional Design from Loyola University Chicago, a Waldorf Music Educator Certificate from Sunbridge Institute and Performance and Pedagogical Diplomas from The School of Eurythmy Spring Valley. email@example.com
Maria Wolff – Spanish
Maria Wolff holds a law degree from Universidad Santiago de Cali, and received her Waldorf teacher training at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. Before joining the GBRSS faculty, she was a language and class teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School in Cali, Colombia. Maria’s husband, Elmer Orobio, is the woodworking teacher at GBRSS. Both of their children have graduated from the school. firstname.lastname@example.org