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Faculty

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

Faculty

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

Ken Smith has strong and substantive international experience as a Waldorf educator, educational program developer, and artist. He is dedicated to the anthroposophical principles underlying Waldorf education, to the strengthening of Waldorf education, and to the importance of integrated learning in educating the whole human being. Ken began his working life in New Zealand, training in horticulture and landscape design. Then, following a period of world travel, he attended the Foundation Year at Emerson College in England in 1988-1989. This started him on a path of artistic training, and he graduated from the Visual Arts and Sculpture Course with the Waldorf Pedagogical component at Emerson College in 1993. After teaching in Waldorf schools in England, he returned to Emerson College to be Course Leader of the Visual Arts and Sculpture Course for 8 years, until 2007. Since then he has been active internationally teaching at Waldorf schools, adult education programs, and conferences in Europe, North America, New Zealand and Asia. In the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, he teaches numerous courses in the weekend program, and Art History and Sculpture in the summer.

Kristine Arrigona Deason grew up in France and Germany. She has an M.A. in French Studies, an M.A. in Literature, and a California High School Teaching Credential. She taught literature and composition at the university level, then worked as a technical writer and programmer for ten years before returning to teaching in both public and private schools. She received her Waldorf teaching certificate from the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2004 and was a class teacher at the Marin Waldorf School, taking two classes from grades 1-8. In the teacher training, Kristine teaches The Kingdom of Childhood, The Child’s Journey through the Grades, Chalkboard Drawing, and Study of Man. She also oversees practicum preparations for students in the second year and directs the choir.

Diane David received her B.A. in Dramatic Art from U.C. Davis and completed her kindergarten training at the San Francisco Waldorf Teacher Training of Rudolf Steiner College under Dorit Winter. Diane, herself a mother of 6 children and grandmother of 14, is a retired kindergarten teacher from the San Francisco Waldorf School. She is now the Early Childhood Director and carrying faculty member for the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training. She is a Northern California co-representative and Teacher Education Committee member of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN), a founding member of the Magic Lantern Marionette Theatre, and mentors and evaluates teachers and early childhood programs throughout Northern California. At BACWTT, she teaches The First Three Years, Pedagogical Studies and Practicum Preparation classes in the early childhood track.

Jeff Loubet graduated from Clark University with a B.A. in philosophy in 1975 and completed teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College in 1992. Jeff has been a class teacher at the East Bay Waldorf School for 24 years. He taught grades 1 – 8 twice and grades 1 – 6 before retiring in 2017. Jeff teaches Study of Man and Grades Practicum Preparation for BACWTT and Storytelling and the Imagination for Sound Circle.

Renate Lundberg received a BA in nursing school and, after working as a nurse for 10 years, she attended the Dr. Hauschka massage and external medicine courses, including the medicinal bath therapy. After that, Renate did the eurythmy training in The Netherlands including the pedagogical trimester. Since graduating in 1986, she has been teaching in schools in Holland, British Columbia and the USA .

In addition to BACWTT, she has taught in teacher training programs in Vancouver, BC, and Minneapolis. She is retired from fulltime teaching at the Summerfield Waldorf School, where she taught for 10 years (grades 7-12). She is now teaching some blocks at the Marin Waldorf School, Kindergarten – 8th grade.

Carol Adee grew up in a musical and nature-loving family in California and Oregon. She taught Music and Orchestra at Marin Waldorf School for 14 years, graduating from BACWTT in 2009.  She currently teaches at Dominican University and Enriching Lives through Music, as well as a number of Waldorf programs and her private studio of flute, cello and composition students. Her interest in Waldorf education started with her children’s enrollment at Marin Waldorf and was nurtured by many hours as a parent volunteer. At BACWTT, Carol teaches First Year Music and Recorder, introducing students to musicality through singing, dancing and an array of pedagogical instruments she made in workshops with Manfred Bleffert. She holds a M.M. from Yale School of Music and a B.M. from Chapman University, and has performed and recorded with professional orchestras, chamber groups and as a flute soloist throughout the Bay Area.

Dave Alsop has a B.A. in Psychology from California State University at Sacramento. In 1974, upon completion of the Waldorf Teacher Training program at Emerson College in England, he began his Waldorf career as a class teacher at the Sacramento Waldorf School. In 1988 he became Development Director of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). Shortly thereafter, in 1990, Dave became the Chairman of AWSNA, and he served in that capacity for eleven years. In 2002, he joined the Rudolf Steiner Foundation as its Director of Community Relations and Business Development. He joined the staff at San Francisco Waldorf School in May of 2004 as Development Director and was named Head of Administration in 2008. In 2021 Dave and his wife Marianne celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary – they have two grown children and 5 grandchildren. He was deeply inspired at Emerson College to take up social and organizational issues. Dave teaches the Threefold Nature of Social Life.

Tom Bickley grew up in Houston, sojourned in Washington, DC (studying music, religion, and library and information science) and came to California as a composer in residence at Mills College. He is on the library faculty at CSU East Bay, and has taught for the San Francisco Early Music Society. He plays with Gusty Winds May Exist, Three Trapped Tigers, and directs the Cornelius Cardew Choir. His work is available on CD at Quarterstick and Metatron Press and via https://tigergarage.org. Tom teaches the advanced recorder class at BACWTT.

Robyn Brown is the author of ” A Practical Guide to Curative Education: The Ladder of the Seven Life Processes.” After teaching  a class from Kindergarten through to eighth grade, Robyn decided to apprentice in Curative Education with Sunny Baldwin at the Somerset School in Colfax, CA.  In 2003 she founded Mulberry Classroom. This program began in San Francisco and next year will be in Sebastopol CA, with a new name; “Poppy Hill.” Robyn continues to be involved as a mentor in all of these initiatives.  In addition to her own Curative Education Teacher Training program, last year  Robyn also began a new program; “Practical Applications of Anthroposophical Education” meant to be a support to teachers to better understand the roots of  Steiner’s pedagogy so that they can feel secure in understanding  the foundation of the work  and the curriculum. She also teaches in several Waldorf Teacher training programs as well as the AHE program. Additionally she offers mentoring for teachers, and parents. She lives in Gold Beach Oregon with her wife, two horses and two dogs.

Douglas Gerwin

Douglas Gerwin, Ph.D., has taught history, literature, German, music, and life science at college and Waldorf high school levels for nearly 40 years. As Executive Director of the Center for Anthroposophy (CfA), he divides his time between adult education and teaching adolescents, as well as mentoring Waldorf schools across North America.

Himself a Waldorf graduate, Douglas is the founder of CfA’s Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program, as well as the first Executive Director of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education. He is author and editor of ten books on Waldorf education, as well as numerous articles on education and anthroposophy. His most recent publication is a co-authored survey of Waldorf alumni entitled Into the World: How Waldorf Graduates Fare After High School (2020).

At present, Douglas resides on the outskirts of Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife Connie, a Waldorf high school teacher of mathematics.

Karen Gierlach attended Waldorf schools in Germany and England. She received her B.A. from London University as well as Waldorf teacher training at Emerson College in England. Once her two children were old enough, she spent over 20 years teaching German and working in administration in U.S. Waldorf schools. Always inspired by the process of human becoming, she studied all she could about human biography and started attending and assisting in biography workshops many years ago. She facilitates workshops for Waldorf schools, for anthroposophical groups, and for the general public, both in the U.S. and overseas. She presents an overview of the Lifecycles to the 2nd year students in the training, engaging them in artistic, interactive exercises to help strengthen their self-awareness, as well as deepen their appreciation for how other people and events shape their lives. Karen serves on the Board of the Center for Biography and Social Art.

Kate Hammond is a Waldorf is a Waldorf alumna and has a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Applied Linguistics. She studied Bothmer Gymnastics in England in 1995. While class teaching at the Calgary Waldorf School, she also completed her movement training with the Spacial Dynamics Institute in 1999. She graduated from Emerson College with a certificate in Waldorf Teacher Training specializing in Early Childhood Education, and has taught kindergarten, preschool, parent and child classes, and infants. She has also taught adult literacy, parent classes, children with special needs and movement workshops. She has had a lifelong interest in adult education and has enjoyed living in many anthroposophical communities all over the world. She carries the Roots and Shoots Birth to Three program at Summerfield Waldorf School in Northern California and is the intrigued mother of two teenage boys.

Maria Helland-hansen

Maria Helland-Hansen, born in Norway, received her eurythmy diploma in Sweden in 1985 and has been active as a eurythmist since then. After completing her therapeutic eurythmy training in Dornach, Switzerland in 1993, she moved to San Francisco and became a therapeutic eurythmist and eurythmy teacher at the San Francisco Waldorf School. She also has a private practice and is co-director of the Therapeutic Eurythmy training of North America (TETNA). At the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, she introduces therapeutic Eurythmy, constitutional polarities and ways of working with and understanding the child.

Dr. Carmen Herring is an osteopathic and anthroposophic physician specializing in integrative medicine and childhood development, and has been in private practice in Albany, CA since 2006. She completed her medical training at Touro University, College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2003 and then went on to complete a 3-year residency at St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City. Encouraged by a medical student while in residency to study anthroposophic medicine, Dr. Hering visited the Threefold Community in Spring Valley and attended a physician conference there. Once in private practice, she went on to complete a 5-year training program in anthroposophic medicine and became certified to practice AM in 2012. Dr. Hering has taught at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she continues to serve as adjunct faculty. She mentors pre-med students, trains medical students and residents in her office, serves on the PAAM and ACAM boards for anthroposophic medicine and is faculty for the annual International Physician Medical Training (IPMT) program and the Clinical Mentoring Program for anthroposophic medicine in the US.

Deborah Krikorian completed the San Francisco Waldorf Teacher Training under the direction of Dorit Winter in 1996, and has been a class teacher ever since. She took a class from first through eighth grade at the East Bay Waldorf School and two classes fifth through eighth grade at the San Francisco Waldorf School. She is now with the sixth grade at the Marin Waldorf School. She has degrees in Music from UC Berkelely and an MBA in Finance at Cal State Hayward. Deborah has taught curriculum studies, Man as Symphony of the Creative Word and Kingdom of Childhood, alumni courses and summer workshops and will work with students regarding their practicum experience.

Patrick Marooney met Waldorf Education in 1974 through two Waldorf teachers who had a puppet theatre collapse on them mid-show. He trained full time for two years at Rudolf Steiner College, then took a class through the 8 grades at Eugene Waldorf School, 1984 – 1992. He was the woodworking teacher at EWS for 23 years and also taught core courses with Waldorf Teacher Education Eugene for 25 years. He has been with BACWTT since 1997 teaching sciences, form drawing, geometry and is a visiting teacher and mentor in a number of Waldorf schools.

Andrea Oey, violinist, is a native New Yorker with degrees from the Juilliard School, Oberlin College and Conservatory, and the Mannes College of Music. She is a new resident of El Sobrante and is excited to join the East Bay Waldorf School as Orchestra Teacher! Before moving to the Bay Area, she was a violinist for six years with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Since her arrival, Andrea has enjoyed performing with various orchestras and symphonies around the Bay Area including Sacramento Philharmonic, Berkeley Symphony, Symphony Napa Valley, and the Cabrillo Music Festival. Besides performing, she is a dedicated teacher and coach, and has held positions at the Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley and the Musically Minded Academy in Oakland. In her free time, Andrea loves cooking, swimming, and building marble runs with her 3-year-old son.

She teaches recorder at BACWTT.

Carla Schaareman grew up in the Netherlands. She received her BA/MA in fine arts from the Willem de Kooning Academy in the Netherlands in 1990, after having studied at several other art institutions, including The Royal Academy in Den Haag and De Vrije Academie in Den Haag. Until 1998, she worked in her own studio on commissions and developing her own work. In the summer of 1998, she and her family moved to California.

Carla completed the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2006. Her teaching experience includes 3 years of printmaking, veil painting, figure drawing and stone carving at East Bay Waldorf High School, and clay modeling at the Novato Charter School. Since February 2009, she has been teaching at the San Francisco Waldorf High School: 9th/10th grade drawing, 11th grade veil painting and 11th/12th grade electives in oil painting, cooking, advanced drawing and printmaking. Since 2015, she has been teaching painting and high school arts at BACWTT and wet-in-wet method watercolor painting at Lifeways and Rudolf Steiner College.

Jennifer Schmitt

Jennifer Schmitt, ND, is a board-licensed Naturopathic Doctor. She has an integrative pediatric and family practice in the East Bay of Northern California. She studied pre-med at St. Edward’s University in Austin and received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Marymount Manhattan College in New York. Dr. Schmitt received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle. Her medical school specialty training included: family medicine, normal maternity, advanced pediatrics, diabetes, autoimmune & cardiovascular care. She also trained in and specializes in Naturopathic Oncology with Mistletoe Therapy. She has completed the five-year post-graduate training in Anthroposophic medicine and is certified as an Anthroposophic Naturopathic Doctor. She works in Waldorf schools with classroom observation, parent education, and with the school’s faculty. Dr. Schmitt lectures and teaches at Waldorf schools and Waldorf teacher trainings in the United States. She is the current Vice-President on the board of the Society for Physicians of Anthroposophic Naturopathy (SPAN) and is on the faculty of the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training and Sound Circle Center for Waldorf Teacher training in Seattle. Dr. Schmitt is also a member of the California Naturopathic Doctors Association, as well as a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians, and the Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

Judith Thomas was one of the founding parents of the East Bay Waldorf School and a member of the faculty as a class teacher (1985-1993) and handwork teacher (1994-2007) in both the lower school and in the high school. She has been a weaver and fiber artist for many years and currently teaches Japanese-style fabric mending classes and weaving workshops in the Bay Area. She teaches the Waldorf Handwork Curriculum in the BACWTT 2nd Year class.

Liz Turkel Vose was born and raised in the Bay Area.  She is a teaching artist with over 20 years of experience working with children and adults in performing and transformative arts.  It was through her work teaching Michael Chekhov based drama in the inner-city public schools of Brooklyn and the Bronx that she was introduced to the ideas of Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy.  She went on to study at Emerson College in England and later served on the faculty there in the School of Storytelling.  She holds a BA from UC Berkeley, is a graduate of Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and completed her graduate work in Women’s Spirituality at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.  She has served on the faculty of many international arts organizations as well as running her own courses and camps for both adults and children. Liz currently co-carries the Foundation Studies course at BACWTT and works with the 2nd and 3rd year students in Biography and the art of Storytelling.   She lives in Sonoma County and is the mother of two young Waldorf students.  

Gail Weger began her work in Waldorf education in 1994 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 and third classes through graduation. She is currently teaching Third Grade at the Marin Waldorf School, where she has been for the last seven years.

Gail has been a mentor and teacher of teachers since 2001, in the Midwest, Bay Area, and through Rudolf Steiner College and BACWTT; and served as the Pedagogical Chair at the East Bay Waldorf School in 2013-14. Gail is a practicing artist and holds a BFA in Printmaking and Art History. She is, as well, an avid follower of biodynamic and permaculture practices, and explorer of the natural wonders of California. She has three grown Waldorf-educated daughters, a wonderful husband, Mathias, and is a grandmother of one — soon to be two –grandchildren.

Beth Weisburn has taught at Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm since 2001. She teaches a wide range of subjects in grades 7-12, including math, earth science and senior project. In 2008, she co-founded The Center for Contextual Studies, where she collaborates with colleagues to form research initiatives into teaching and learning. Her formal preparation for Waldorf teaching was with the Center for Educational Renewal (2002) and she completed the Mulberry Curative Course in 2017. She earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University (1995). At BACWTT, Beth works with the students in the art of teaching High School and the practice of Goethean Observation.

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