Early Childhood Teachers
Trice Atchison – Parent-Child Garden
Trice Atchison leads the Parent Child Garden sessions. Trice holds a full, birth-to-seven, early childhood teaching certificate from Sophia’s Hearth Family Center in Keene, NH, a leading training center recognized by the Waldorf Early Childhood Center of North America (WECAN) and renowned for its inspiring work with young children. Trice also holds a master’s degree in writing from Emerson College, Boston, a bachelor’s in philosophy and psychology from Wheaton College, Norton, MA, and completed a year-long certificate program in healing puppetry for children through Juniper Tree School of Puppetry Arts, Colorado. She co-edited A Warm and Gentle Welcome, a book of essays on caring for children during the first three years of life (WECAN publications), and is a certified Simplicity Parenting group leader. She has taught parent-child classes in Great Barrington, Connecticut and Vermont for more than 10 years. Trice also can be found singing jazz classics in and around the Berkshires.
Laura Lin – Rose Room Lead Teacher
Laura holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. Laura has taught programs for children since high school, including dance with Jacob’s Pillow and Mandarin Chinese at schools and libraries in the Berkshires. She completed her certificate in Waldorf Education at the Alkion Center, Harlemville, NY. Her two sons are in fifth grade and Early Childhood at GBRSS.
Kirsten Hascup – Robin’s Nest Lead Teacher
An early childhood teacher for twenty years, Ms. Hascup 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. Hascup holds 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. Hascup is 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 GBRSS is also a homecoming, as she spent a year working with longtime kindergarten teacher Michelle Kuzia at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School, to complete her Waldorf early childhood teacher training in 1999. Her daughter Isa will be in the Sun Room kindergarten this year.
Jo Valens – Sun Room Lead Teacher
Jo received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of the Pacific and began her teaching career that year at a small independent elementary school in Thetford, VT. She received her Waldorf Teacher certification from Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA, and–returning to New England–taught third and sixth grades in Lebanon, NH.
She was a founding member of the Upper Valley Waldorf School, and was the school’s original kindergarten teacher. In 1994, Jo and her family moved to Great Barrington to join GBRSS. Her son graduated from the school in 2000. Jo has taught in the Early Childhood programs since that time. She loves to garden and draw, and has illustrated three cookbooks for SteinerBooks, as well as the new WECAN publication Tell Me A Story, a collection of Waldorf Nursery and Kindergarten stories from teachers around the world.
Somer Serpe – Rainbow Room Lead Teacher
Somer trained as an artist and a teacher, earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Parsons School of Design and her Masters in Education at Sunbridge College (Chestnut Ridge, NY). Somer enjoys using puppets to tell stories to her class, frequently making the puppets herself. She is also a parent at the school, with one daughter in eighth grade and one daughter in the eleventh grade at the Waldorf high school in Stockbridge. Somer is an avid Morris dancer who performs at May Day celebrations at the school and throughout the community. She has taught in the Early Childhood at GBRSS since 2007.
Elizabeth Brady Gadilauskas – Rose Room Assistant Teacher
Elizabeth 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.
Josie Landback – Robin’s Nest Assistant
Josie Landback attended the University of Chicago, graduating with a BA in Humanities Studies, and received her Masters in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh, as well as a History of Art and Architecture Masters from the University of Pittsburgh. Josie was most recently at the St. Joseph’s School in Pittsfield, and prior to that, taught English in Shanghai, China. She has extensive experience in food service, bakeries, farms and kitchens, and been interested in Waldorf Education for some time. Josie is also a CPR-certified EMT, with a concentration in pediatric first aid.
Eleana Peterson – Sun Room Assistant Teacher
Eleana earned her Bachelors degree in Liberal Arts in Forestry at University of New Hampshire. She completed her Masters in Waldorf Teacher Training at Sunbridge College. She taught in the grades at two other Waldorf schools before joining the early childhood at GBRSS. She recently completed a certification in the Reiki Healing Arts.
Diane Prusha – Rainbow Room Assistant and Aftercare Lead Teacher
Diane completed her Bachelors degree at the University of Iowa in Theater. She has worked in the Early Childhood program for many years, and her daughter is a graduate of GBRSS. An actress, Diane is well known for her roles in Shakespeare and Company’s theatrical productions every summer, and has also worked in productions at CATA (Community Access To The Arts) in Great Barrington.
Tracy Fernbacher – First Grade
Class of 2025 teacher Tracy Fernbacher 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 GBRSS 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.
Renée Far – Second Grade
Renée earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Alfred University in NY, is a graduate of our GBRSS Teaching Apprenticeship Program, and has completed additional subject and grade specific trainings at Sunbridge College in NY. In our apprenticeship program she worked for two years completing her foundation studies in Waldorf Education, assisting and substituting in all grades including early childhood, and teaching classes in various grades, including an extended substitution in seventh grade. She has three children, a daughter who graduated from GBRSS in 2016 and is in ninth grade at the Berkshire Waldorf High School, a son in seventh grade, and a daughter in third grade.
Veronica Horowitz – Third Grade
A GBRSS graduate, Veronica 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 in Boston, MA. She is a graduate of our GBRSS Teacher Apprenticeship Program and has completed additional training courses for the grades at the Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, NH. Veronica began her teaching career as an intern in the Early Childhood program. She spent the following year working as an assistant in the Nursery program before joining the Teacher Apprenticeship Program. During her teacher training, Ms. Horowitz interned in the first and third grades, and also worked as an assistant in Handwork classes. She took the first grade full time for several months while the class teacher was absent on leave. During her apprenticeship, Ms. Horowitz was also in charge of the afternoon program for the First Grade.
Pamela Giles – Fourth Grade
Pamela attended Colby College, and received her Bachelors degree from Empire State College, S.U.N.Y. Albany. A Waldorf alumna, she is a graduate of the Rudolf Steiner School, NYC and completed her apprenticeship at GBRSS. A GBRSS faculty member for over 25 years, Pamela is currently teaching her fourth class.
David French – Fifth Grade
David French joins Steiner in 2017 to take the class of 2021 through the last four years of their journey. Mr. French graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Oregon, where he specialized in children and families. Mr. French brings twelve years of Waldorf teaching experience to his new position, including a full cycle of teaching at the Eugene Waldorf School in Oregon.
Jennifer Green – Sixth Grade
Ms. 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.
Julie Ludvigsen – Seventh Grade
Julie 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 4th grade at the Rainbow Mountain Children’s School, also in Asheville, and 4th, 6th and 8th 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.
Mark Eurich – Eighth Grade
Mark received his Bachelors in Education from Central Michigan University, majoring in Special Education, and taught nine years in public and Montessori schools. He received his Masters in Waldorf Education from Antioch New England Graduate School. His first class at GBRSS graduated in 1997. In 2015, his third class graduated. Mark is back to teach the class of 2018 for their final two years.
Lynn Arches – Middle School Math and Science
A Waldorf educator for 18 years, Lynn teaches, mentors and evaluates Middle School students, grades 6-8, 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 vounteers 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.
Jean Zay – Volunteer Librarian
Jean received her Bachelors degree from Oberlin College and her Waldorf teacher training from the Rudolf Steiner School, NYC. She is one of the founding members of GBRSS, and graduated her first class in 1983. During her time as a class teacher, Jean wrote many plays for her students, and those plays are still performed by GBRSS grades students today. She is an accomplished painter, and her artwork can be found hanging throughout the school.
Warren Palmer – Athletics Director
Warren Palmer, Athletic Coordinator, after excelling in sports in high school, attended Eckerd College in St. Peterberg, FL, and received a BA in International Relations and Political Science. After graduating, Mr. Palmer headed west, working in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, including medical sales and refereeing soccer. Mr. Palmer eventually returned to his boyhood home, the Berkshires, where he had attended elementary and middle school at GBRSS and completed his Waldorf education at Hawthorne Valley School.
Elmer Orobio – Woodwork and Clay Modeling
Elmer 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 GBRSS
Memrie Kelly – Eurythmy Accompanist
Cindy Konrad – Interim Handwork Teacher
Cindy Konrad joins us as handwork teacher in fall 2017, during Mrs. Palmer’s sabbatical year. Ms. Konrad’s personal and professional experience combines her passion for the outdoors, nature, creating and teaching. Ms. Konrad received her Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Environmental Science from the State University of New York Maritime College and her Master of Science degree in science education with a concentration in biology for grades 7-12 from the City College of the City University of New York. She has completed her Waldorf Practical Arts Training at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, and has most recently taught handwork to children and adults at Left Coast Art Studio, and served as handwork and garden teacher and kindergarten/grades assistant at the Wishing Well School, a Waldorf-inspired school in Los Osos, California. We are delighted to welcome Ms. Konrad, her husband, John, son Jack, who will be joining the 5th grade, and daughter Eleanor, going into 4th grade.
Eileen Markland – Music Director
Eileen 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.
Hadley Milliken – Biodynamic Farming and Gardening
Hadley holds a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. She received her agricultural training from the Hanover County Master Gardening Program in Hanover, Virginia, and is certified in Biodynamic Farming by the Pfeiffer Center in Chestnut Ridge, NY. Hadley 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.
Patti Regan – Eurythmy, Chorus and Recorder
Patti Regan teaches Eurythmy to all the grades and the kindergarten classes. Patti was a music teacher at Green Meadow and recently finished her Eurythmy certificate at Spring Valley.
Maria Wolff – Spanish
Maria 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.