Faculty and Staff

AllAdministrationEarly ChildhoodElementary SchoolHigh SchoolLeadershipMiddle SchoolSubject TeachersSupports and Services
Pedagogical Chair

Virginia McWilliam

Admin Chair

Lindsay Hunter

Enrollment Director

Leslie Evans

Business Manager

Diane LaBarge

Development Director

Anne Griffin

Land Stewardship Director

Nicki Robb

School Nurse

Laurie Zacek

Operations

Leslie Ritchie-Dunham

Coord&Teacher

Rosemary McNaughton

Music

Melanie Whitney

Student Support

Elyce Perico

Student Support

Tyler Young

Class Teacher

Amber Rounds

Class Teacher

Maggie Testa

Class Teacher

Heather Damon

Class Teacher

Laura Quayle

Class Teacher

Brian Jacques

Class Teacher

Anna Rainville

Department Chair

Jan Baudendistel

Math

Jessica Stark

English, College Advisor

Liz Bedell

Math

Sage Campbell

Humanities

Thomas Heineman

Art/ Architecture

Naomi Henderson

Humanities

Ethan Myers

Earth Science

Peter Sniffen

Science

Charles (“Chip”) Weems

Science

Alexander Workman

Class Teacher

Christa Joy Andersen

Cricket Teacher

Michelle Brooks

Class Teacher

Anna Romer

Class Teacher

Valerie Poplawski

Class Teacher

Chris Shaw

Spanish

Lea Chiara

Health & Wellness

Jac Sinclair

English

Jen Curtis

Mentor

Catherine Hopkins

German

Bettina Jungen

Cricket Teacher

Mao Mao Liebert

Athletics

Amanda McNamara

Practical Arts

Katharine Payne

Spanish

Maria Sparrow

Extended Day

Rami Baglio

Nurse

Ashley Brooks

Extended Day Director

Shane Kerr

Teaching Assistant

Catherine Linberg

Class Teacher

Angela Leclerc

Teaching Assistant

Nathalie Lewis

Teaching Assistant

Heron Wakerobin

Teaching Assistant

Jamie Rochon

Teaching Assistant

Kayoko Sugahara Rodriguez

Teaching Assistant

Sady Sullivan

Land Stewardship Assistant Director

Paule Sustick

Teaching Assistant

Ashlee Wactor

Maintenance Coordinator

Ed Mann

HS Admin Coordinator

Jessica Schmid

Office Manager

Vesna Vasovic

Business Office Assistant

Mary Wallace

Enrollment Assistant

Krista Wathne

Music

Lily Sexton

Pedagogical Chair

Virginia McWilliam

Virginia worked for many years as an elementary school teacher at the Cape Ann Waldorf School in Beverly, Massachusetts, where she also held the positions of Faculty Chair and College Chair and worked extensively with educational support and professional development.

She came to Hartsbrook in 2008, as a class teacher, and then, after promoting her eighth grade class, she stepped into leadership of the Hartsbrook High School.  In 2017 Virginia took on a schoolwide leadership role as Pedagogical Chair. serving in a co-leadership role with Frances Cameron.

Virginia is devoted to Hartsbrook’s vision and community and loves the exciting job of working with 21st-century  educators.  Virginia also loves when chemistry experiments lead to an occasional lab clearing explosion!

Tel:413-586-1908 ex.112

Roles:Pedagogical Chair, Middle School Chemistry, Faculty Conference, Board

Education:Nottingham University joint degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry, Masters of Education with a Waldorf certificate from Antioch New England in Keene, New Hampshire

Admin Chair

Lindsay Hunter

A non-profit leader, Lindsay has spent the last 9 years working for Outward Bound in North Carolina. She has recently moved to the Pioneer Valley with her wife Liv and their son, Harrison. They relocated to this area for Hartsbrook and the Northampton community, and Harrison is enrolled in our Hartsbrook Early Childhood Program. The intentional pedological approach, the beautiful 54 acre campus and farm animals, the commitment to inclusivity, accomplished teachers, and amazing reviews from alumni and parents, are just a few reasons why Lindsay and her family chose Hartsbrook.

Lindsay has worked and overseen areas including: development and fundraising, student recruitment, sales and admissions, scholarship and need-based assistance programs, as well as database management.

Lindsay’s responsibilities included oversight and allocation of over $16M in scholarship resources, with high levels of donor contact and parent community engagement. This work allowed Lindsay to not only create opportunities for greater accessibility and greater diversity in the NC Outward Bound School courses, but also to follow up with refining the courses so they were more inclusive of the population participating.

Lindsay is passionate about the outdoors and goes hiking with her family regularly. They enjoy exploring places and experiencing new things along with their two family dogs; Zuzu and Gus. 

Tel:413-586-1908 ex.102

Roles:Administrative Chair

Education:Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, minor in Creative Writing

Enrollment Director

Leslie Evans

Prior to coming to Hartsbrook, Leslie worked as the Country Product Manager for EF Education and as the Program Director for Scandinavian Seminar where she created programs focused on preserving traditional skills and sending American students to an array of folk schools in Scandinavia.  During her time at Scandinavian Seminar Leslie was the council representative for the North2North program at the University the Arctic.  The most rewarding part of this work was meeting and learning about people from many different places and backgrounds.

Leslie has two children (both hartsbrook’ers) and lives in Montague with her family, two cats and a dog.  Leslie cannot knit or play ultimate Frisbee but enjoys showing new families the wonder, creativity, and joy that lives in our students, faculty and staff.  Leslie particularly loves helping new families feel welcome in our community.

Tel:413-586-1908 ex. 116

Role:Enrollment Director

Education:Leslie has a BA from Boston University and Graduate work in education at Lesley University.

Business Manager

Diane LaBarge

Diane greets everyone with a smile. She manages the business matters of the school and supports parents with all aspects of the financial process. Everyone appreciates Diane’s clear thinking and organization skills. Before coming to Hartsbrook ten years ago, she worked in an accounting firm. Now she enjoys working in a more lively environment and spends her free time with her three children and ten grandchildren.

Role:Business Manager

Development Director

Anne Griffin

Originally from New Hampshire, Anne attended both Pine Hill and Monadnock Waldorf schools. She spent many summers at Camp Glen Brook and credits her love of crickets, lake swimming, and starry nights to her time there. Anne has called Western Massachusetts home for nearly 20 years and has two children at the Hartsbrook School – early childhood and second grade. Anne comes to Hartsbrook as the Director of Development after 15 years in higher education enrollment management where most recently she was the director of graduate admissions at Springfield College.

Tel::413-586-1908 x129

Email::agriffin@hartsbrook.org

Role::Director of Development

Education::Bachelor's of Science in Art Therapy, Master's of Education in Psychology - School Counseling.

Land Stewardship Director

Nicki Robb

A co-founder of Brookfield Community Farm in Amherst, Mass. NIcki has been involved in bio-dynamic agriculture and farm-based education developing an agricultural arts curriculum for students throughout all grades and abilities. She developed and administered the School-To-Farm Program at Hampshire College for 15 years. Her eldest son James was in the first class at Hartsbrook and younger son Daniel following close behind, graduating in the classes of 1993 and 1996 respectively.

Tel:413-586-1908 ex.119

Roles:Land Stewardship Program Director, High School Sustainability, Agricultural Arts Grades 2-8, Faculty Conference Member

Education:Nicki received her Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Massachusetts and received a degree in Curative Education from the Camphill Rudolf Steiner Schools in Aberdeen, Scotland.

School Nurse

Laurie Zacek

Laurie has enjoyed working with the Hartsbrook community and caring for students for the last 5 years! Her work experience includes working in the Mercy Hospital ICU, CCU and Pulmonary Care units before coming to work at Hartsbrook.  Time flies and it seems impossible that all her five children who went to school here have graduated! She is so happy to continue to be part of this community and to be able to work with and take care of all of your children!

tel:413-584-1908 ext 124

Role:School Nurse

Operations

Leslie Ritchie-Dunham

Leslie came to Hartsbrook in 2010 as a Waldorf parent with her children in middle and high school, via Waldorf schools in Wilton, New Hampshire and Austin, Texas. Both are Hartsbrook graduates now in their twenties. She subsequently served on the board for six years, where she focused on the community-wide strategic renewal process and board trusteeship. She now brings her background in architectural design, general contracting and process organization to serve in the care of the body and operations of this beautiful school!

Role:Operations Manager

Education:M.Arch (Masters in Architecture), University of Houston. BA Economics, UT Austin

Coord&Teacher

Rosemary McNaughton

Rosemary’s longstanding interest in science education dates back even as far as her college application essay about being a volunteer aquarium docent and wanting to share her love of science and the natural world with others.  In graduate school she focused on astronomy outreach and education, and taught physics and astrophysics at the University of Toronto, Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pennsylvania), Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst prior to joining the Hartsbrook faculty in 2010. In Waldorf teaching she found resonance with her wish to share the wonder and excitement of science and the beauty and joy of mathematics by cultivating enthusiasm and agency rather than deadening a subject with bare facts and memorization of pre-conceived models.  A love of all things orderly, including spreadsheets, and an eye for detail have led her to take on responsibility as the administrative coordinator for the high school.

Rosemary also enjoys yoga, wild fermentation, and occasionally making use of her operatic training as a mezzo-soprano.  She lives in a co-housing community in Florence with her husband and two children, who attend Hartsbrook in the classes of 2023 and 2025. Rosemary is committed to the continued growth and evolution of the high school.

 

 

 

Roles:High School Physics, High School Math, Grade 11 Class Advisor, HIgh School Leadership Team, Faculty Conference Member

Education:Rosemary holds an MSc in Astronomy from the University of Toronto, and an SB in Physics as well as an SB in Humanities and Science with focuses on Music and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences from MIT.  She completed Waldorf Foundation Studies and High School Teacher Education at the Center for Anthroposophy.

Music

Melanie Whitney

Music has always been a driving force in Melanie’s life. She began conducting choirs as a high school student. Since then, she has maintained a private voice studio and has taught music in public and private school classrooms.  She has experience working with children, Pre-K to Grade 12,  as a choral director, voice specialist, general music teacher, and music theory instructor.

Melanie served as the Head of the Music Department, director of festivals, Grades 1-5 music teacher, and member of the Teacher Leadership Committee at a Waldorf-methods Charter School in Fogelsville, PA. Contributing to an educational system she believes in is extremely important to her. Melanie is a constant seeker of knowledge and enjoys learning from her students and colleagues.

Roles:Music, Grades 1-5, Recorder Grades 8-12, High School a cappella

Education:Melanie holds a BM in Music Education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a certificate of Waldorf Music Education from the Sunbridge Institute in Chestnut Ridge, NY.

Student Support

Elyce Perico

Elyce loves to play!  Starting with music, she was a professional flutist and Suzuki teacher in Miami, FL before her daughter, Kiara Ana, was born.  Discovering Waldorf education led to a change in career that has provided life-enhancing opportunities, including an ever-deepening passion to learn about the connection between early development, movement and learning. She loves to play outside and inside, in movement and collaborative music.  The joy of working with children and families for over 30 years continues to be a constant source of inspiration and discovery, and Elyce is grateful to have this opportunity to keep growing and learning in this wonderful Hartsbrook community.

Roles:Student Support Coordinator, EC-Grade 6, Faculty Conference Member

Education:BM, MAEd, TTE, Certified Orton-Gillingham Reading instructor, Certified Handle Screener, co-director AHE Educational Support teacher training

Student Support

Tyler Young

Tyler comes to us from Portland, Oregon where he has been a school counselor for 5 years. He grew up on Nantucket Island and is happy to be back in his home state of Massachusetts. Tyler recently moved to the valley to settle down with his family and is also joining the community as a parent of a 1st grader. Tyler brings a youthful passion and energy to his work and loves to engage creatively with his students. Tyler has a broad background in eco-educational and sustainable regenerative industries and found that working with kids is where real sustainable change and healing can occur. He is dedicated to supporting students through the challenges of the 21st century and is excited to be a part of the Hartsbrook Community!

Roles:Student Support Coordinator, Grades 6-12

Education:Undergraduate: University of Oregon, Graduate School: Lewis and Clark College  M.Ed 

Class Teacher

Amber Rounds

Amber is fully immersed in the Waldorf experience, having attended the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda, MD through 12th grade. But it wasn’t until her first stint at Hartsbrook that she finally appreciated the superlative that her Washington Waldorf classmates gave her in senior year: “most likely to find Hogwarts.”

Amber moved to Western MA to study at Smith College, majoring in History and minoring in Spanish. She then worked in a variety of educational contexts. After reconnecting with her former Waldorf teacher, Amber discovered Hartsbrook, where she assisted throughout the Elementary School and taught recorder. Amber earned a Waldorf Certificate and MEd from the Waldorf Teacher Education Program at Antioch University New England. Her master’s thesis has since been published in the Journal for Star Wisdom.

 Amber has spent the past two years exploring Waldorf pedagogy outside of a school setting, most recently applying Waldorf practices as a homeschool teacher for a group of five children. These independent teaching experiences have helped her more fully appreciate the strong community at Hartsbrook and the value of the Waldorf curriculum. When not teaching, Amber enjoys gardening and making music. 

Role:Elementary Class Teacher

Class Teacher

Maggie Testa

Maggie Testa comes to Hartsbrook with over two decades of teaching experience. She is a graduate of Penn State University with a B.S. in Elem. Education. Maggie first visited a Waldorf school when her children were very young and it was love at first sight!. For the next decade, she  homeschooled her three children embracing the Waldorf curriculum and its integration of academic, artistic and practical work. Over the years,  Maggie has been an outdoor educator, founded and led a nature-based preschool program and directed summer camp programs. Most recently, she shepherded her first class through 5th grade at a Waldorf methods Charter School. Now, with her own children grown, Maggie is thrilled to be joining the Hartsbrook faculty and looks forward to exploring her new home, the Pioneer Valley with her husband, John and their goldador, Chester!

 

 

 

 

Role:Class Teacher

Education:Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Elementary and Kindergarten Education

Class Teacher

Heather Damon

A native of Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts, Heather began her undergraduate studies at Prescott College in Arizona in 1996 with a desire to learn how to create community. She studied sustainable community development, exposing her to the ideals of both Waldorf education and biodynamic farming. Heather came to the Hartsbrook School in 2002 to discover what Waldorf education was all about, and she never left! In 2006, she completed her Waldorf Certificate and Masters Degree work at Antioch New England Graduate School. Since 2007 Heather has been a class teacher at the Hartsbrook School, shepherding students through their elementary years with her own love for learning and being on the land. Heather lives by the Deerfield River in Shelburne Falls.

Roles:Elementary Class Teacher, Faculty Conference Member

Education:Prescott College, BA with an interest in sustainable community development Biodynamic farming.

Class Teacher

Laura Quayle

Laura learned about Waldorf education while working on a farm in France and began teaching Spanish at the Desert Marigold School right after her graduation from college. She went on to become a class teacher at Cape Ann Waldorf School for seven years, until the birth of her daughter. As a class teacher, Laura loves deepening her relationship with children and families through the grades and the excitement of bringing a new curriculum each year. She takes joy in the breadth and variety of the curriculum–and particularly loves to see her students come together in song and movement. Laura began teaching at Hartsbrook in 2018 and lives in Amherst with her husband and daughter. Laura loves to dance, bike, play fiddle, and spend time in the woods.

Role:Class Teacher

Education:Laura received her BA in Government from Dartmouth College and completed her M.Ed.and Waldorf Teacher Training at Antioch University.

Class Teacher

Brian Jacques

After living in the UK for 23 years, Brian returned to the US to be an elementary class teacher. Brian was a co-founding class teacher of the St. Michael Steiner School in London, and then co-founded the high school in 2012, where he taught English. He was also a tutor and co-director of the London Waldorf Teacher Training Seminar. During his time in England, Brian learned blacksmithing and taught several high school classes this skill.

Roles:Class Teacher, Blacksmithing, Faculty Conference Member

Education:BA

Class Teacher

Anna Rainville

Anna is a class teacher and is happy to be part of the Hartsbrook School community. As a Waldorf alum, Anna brings with her a strong connection to the curriculum and philosophies that guide Waldorf education, while also maintaining a critical eye for where growth is needed within the Waldorf school movement.
What Anna loves most about Waldorf education is the focus on the whole child (feeling, thinking, and willing) and the developmental approach to learning. What Anna loves most about being a Waldorf teacher is the connection built with a class over time. She also loves the curriculum, plays, field trips, storytelling, and music and thinks that Waldorf kindergarten classrooms are the most magical places in the world.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in child development from Mills College, Anna worked in early childhood education in various positions, but always working with the philosophies of Waldorf education. After receiving her master’s degree in education and her Waldorf teaching certificate from Antioch University, Anna stepped into the role of Waldorf class teacher. Since then, she has taught 5th through 8th grade.
Originally from Northern California, Anna previously lived in New England for five years and is eager to return. When she is not teaching, Anna enjoys taking walks with her dog, camping, reading, swimming, playing cribbage, coaching basketball, and spending time with family and friends.

Role:Class Teacher

Education:BA Mills College, MS Ed Antioch University, Waldorf Teacher Certification Antioch University

Department Chair

Jan Baudendistel

Jan began her teaching career right out of college, first as a public school teacher in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and then at the Frankfurt International School in Oberursel, Germany.  Following her Waldorf training in Stuttgart in the mid-eighties, she returned to the United States to become one of Hartsbrook’s first class teachers.  She has led four classes from first through eighth grades and is now the Elementary School Department Chair.  Jan is married to James Pewtherer, also a long-time Waldorf teacher, and has five step children who were Waldorf students from Kindergarten through grade twelve.

 

 

Roles:Department Chair, Faculty Conference Member

Education:Jan received her BA with honors in Philosophy from Dartmouth College.  She also received Elementary Teacher Certification while at Dartmouth and Waldorf teacher training at the Lehrerseminar in Stuttgart, Germany. 

Math

Jessica Stark

Jessica has always been fascinated by other people and cultures. After two years in China and Japan,  she gained a much broader perspective of the world but also a deeper appreciation of the commonalities we share in being human.  Working with students in Hiroshima was the decisive point when she realized she was a born teacher, and abandoned thoughts of law school.  When she saw the curriculum for Waldorf teacher training, she was hooked on its deep, rich, meaningful approach to learning and to life, which resonated with her spiritual striving and affirmed the vital importance of creativity and the arts.
Jessica is well along her second time of bringing a class through an eight-year teaching cycle.  Jessica has worn many other hats here at Hartsbrook: subject teacher, faculty spouse, admissions coordinator.   Most importantly,  she is a Hartsbrook parent, the mother of two Hartsbrook graduates who are now in their mid-twenties.
Jessica looks back at all the educators in her family, and it is no wonder that she finds herself in the classroom.  Yet it is this education, and this beautiful school, that spoke to her and awakened her love for teaching.

Roles:Class Teacher, Faculty Conference Member

Education:BA Chinese Studies from William Smith College, 1986, Graduate Studies at San Francisco State University  Graduate of the Waldorf Teacher Training Program at Rudolf Steiner College

English, College Advisor

Liz Bedell

Liz has worked in independent schools for over 25 years, wearing various hats. She has taught English all the way along, with some History and Latin thrown in, as well as played assorted administrative roles.  She loves teaching writing and literature, and creating space for students to discern and discover their own stories as they read and write.  Liz is also a writer, translator and editor, who is completing a novel set in post-World War I France.

Roles:High School English and Literature, College Advising, Grade 10 Class Advisor

Education:Liz Bedell holds an MFA in Fiction and Translation from Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MA in English Literature from Middlebury College, a CAS in Educational Administration and an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an AB in English from Harvard College.

Math

Sage Campbell

Sage is an experienced math teacher who came to Hartsbrook from the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School, where she taught 7th grade math, 8th grade math, and Algebra. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Hampshire College in 2015 with a Division III project focused on differentiated math instruction for adult students and English Language Learners, and taught math to adult learners. She worked as an Education and Career Advisor for students in HiSET and ESOL classes. Sage looks forward to her second year at Hartsbrook, and working with each student to find their home and interests in math.

When she is not at school, Sage can be found skating with Pioneer Valley Roller Derby, taking circus classes, and playing disc golf or Ultimate, and walking the dog!

Roles:High School Math, Middle School Math, Grade 9 Advisor

Education:Hampshire College, BA

Humanities

Thomas Heineman

Thomas has been teaching, in one capacity or another, for the last thirty years: teaching in traveling folk schools, Japanese elementary, middle and high schools and public schools. He has been with the Hartsbrook high school faculty from 2004. 

He first came to the Pioneer Valley in 1984 to help with the construction of the Leverett Peace Pagoda and has worked for human rights and civil liberties in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Korea, traveling extensively throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas. He has guided educational tours with high school students and young adults in Europe, Japan, Central America and the Caribbean. He and his family returned to the United States in 1999 after living in Japan for several years so that his two children could attend Hartsbrook. His son Casay, and daughter Nora are both graduates from Hartsbrook, class of 2011 and class of 2014 respectfully.

Roles:History, Government, Humanities, Grade 11 Class Advisor, Model UN Advisor, Faculty Conference Member

Education:Thomas received his BA in History with honors from the University of Massachusetts and did his high school teacher training at the Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, New Hampshire.

Art/ Architecture

Naomi Henderson

Naomi holds a BA with honors in Art History from Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. She is also a Waldorf graduate, having attended Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, New York from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She completed her Waldorf teacher training at the Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, New Hampshire.

Naomi is an artist who works in many different media, but focuses primarily on painting and collage. She has displayed her work in galleries across the Southeast.

Roles:High School Art, Middle School Art, High School Architecture, Grade 12 Class Advisor

Education:Connecticut College, BA

Humanities

Ethan Myers

Ethan discovered a love for teaching at Columbia University’s Biosphere 2 Center, where he studied western water policy and taught in an interdisciplinary program with the deserts and rivers of the Southwest as the classroom. He also worked as a river guide in Arizona and Utah, specializing in educational and adaptive trips for people with special needs.

Prior to becoming a Waldorf teacher, Ethan taught composition and literature at Clark University, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts, with special study of American literature, postcolonialsm, the environment, and English language acquisition. Ethan lives in Florence with his wife and two children; his oldest is in first grade at Hartsbrook this year.

Role:High School Humanities, Grade 11 Class Advisor

Education:Ethan holds a bachelor’s degree from Guilford College, where he studied geology and environmental studies, and a master’s in English and American Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Earth Science

Peter Sniffen

Peter earned a BA in Geology from Hamilton College and an MS in Hydrogeology from Portland State University in Oregon, where he studied Glaciology. He also attended the Teton Science School studying Natural History and outdoor education. His research and teaching have included work in Wyoming, Alaska, Oregon, Iceland, Antarctica, and Maine. He is deeply interested in the role scientific thinking plays in the modern world and passionate about sustainability and the environment. Peter lives in Bernardston with his wife and 2 young children. As a family, their passions are books, gardening, biking, dancing, and playing make-believe.

Prior to joining the Hartsbrook team, Peter taught high school field science and sustainability at the Maine Coast Semester program at the Chewonki Foundation on the coast of Maine.

Roles:Earth Science - Hydrology, Thermodynamics, Geology, Botany, Sustainability, Climatology, ACTS.

Education:BA in Geology from Hamilton College and an MS in Hydrogeology from Portland State University in Oregon, where he studied Glaciology

Science

Charles (“Chip”) Weems

A professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Chip conducts research in high performance computer architectures and parallel algorithms, and has written 28 introductory computer science texts.  He is a recipient of the University Distinguished Teaching Award and The Association for Computing Machinery has also recognized him as a Distinguished Educator.

At Hartsbrook Chip teaches Computer Science, Computer Skills, Astronomy, and Photography. He has previously taught Geology, Meteorology, Physics, Child Development, Calligraphy, and Stone Sculpture.  He spent two years in Waldorf Foundation Studies before becoming a founding member of the high school faculty. Since then he has pursued an extensive program of professional development in Waldorf Education, and is a member of the Pedagogical Section of the Anthroposophical Society. He has written extensively on computer science education in Waldorf schools, consults with other Waldorf schools on their technology curricula, and has led multiple focus group workshops at the AWSNA national conference. Having over 50 years of photography experience, including fine art master classes, he regularly contributes photographs to both the Hartsbrook bulletin and yearbook. His two children were students at Hartsbrook.

Roles:High School Computer Science, High School Astronomy, High School Photography

Education:Chip holds BS and MA degrees from Oregon State University, and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, all in Computer Science.

Science

Alexander Workman

Alex has a BA in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in teaching from Smith College. He is a graduate of the Kimberton Waldorf School and has worked as a research associate in cancer therapy and neurodevelopment at Penn Medical School and Smith College.

Before teaching at Hartsbrook, he student-taught at Greenfield High School. Alex completed the high school teacher training program through the Center for Anthroposophy. He enjoys playing soccer and the guitar. He lives in South Amherst with his wife (also a Waldorf graduate) and has three young children at Hartsbrook, one in Early Childhood, and twins in third grade.

Roles:High School Biology, High School Chemistry, High School Geology, Grade 10 Class Advisor, Faculty Conference Member

Education:Smith College, MA, University of Pennsylvania, BA

Class Teacher

Christa Joy Andersen

Christa spent her childhood surrounded by the forest in rural Western Massachusetts. Her love for the natural world took root in those formative early years–climbing trees, overturning fallen logs, and experiencing each season unfolding. Arriving in teaching from a long lineage of educators, Christa has taught in early childhood education for more than a decade and helped pioneer the forest learning program at Hatfield Elementary School.
She can’t think of a better way to spend one’s time than with children as they play, imagine, and delight in the natural world. Christa is the mother of three children. When she is not teaching, she loves spending time outdoors with her family, playing her guitar, writing songs, and baking muffins.

Roles:Forest Kindergarten Teacher

Education: B.A. at Oberlin College, M.Ed. at UC Berkeley in Developmental Teacher Educatio

Cricket Teacher

Michelle Brooks

Michelle has worked as an early childhood teacher for more than 20 years. She taught parent/child and nursery classes at Monadnock Waldorf School for 13 years and was the primary caregiver for infants at Sophia’s Hearth Family Center for two years. She holds a BA in Early Childhood Education from Anna Maria College and an MA in Education from Lesley College. She completed her Waldorf Teacher Training from Sunbridge College and has completed course work in the Birth to Three Specialization Program at Sophia’s Hearth. She joined the Hartsbrook School in 2017 and is grateful for the opportunity to work in such a thoughtful and intentional community. She presently lives in NH and feels blessed to have raised three beautiful children. She is nourished by time spent outdoors in her flower/vegetable garden and enjoys cooking, working with healing plants and creating floral arrangements.

Role:Cricket on the Hearth Teacher, Mentor

Education: BA in Early Childhood Education from Anna Maria College, MA in Education from Lesley College, Waldorf Teacher Training from Sunbridge College, and has completed course work in the Birth to Three Specialization Program at Sophia's Hearth.

Class Teacher

Anna Romer

Anna has been an educator for nearly two decades and has taught in both public schools and progressive independent schools. Anna is drawn to the Waldorf pedagogy for the space it holds for children to slow down and stay curious and playful as they develop into their unique and authentic selves. She is drawn to Hartsbrook for the service-oriented and inclusive community and the stewardship of the land. Anna holds a Masters in Education focused on early childhood education from Bank Street College and studied Literature and Gender Studies at Bard College as an undergraduate. Born in New York City, Anna spent her middle school and high school years in Sag Harbor, a small town on the East End of Long Island, where her parents have run an organic vegetable farm for the past 30 years. From this experience Anna has a deep appreciation for the land and the work of bringing food to the table. Anna and her family are avid hikers and bikers, and love camping and adventures in nature. Anna loves a good wilderness picnic, and her favorite cool weather hiking lunch is tacos kept warm in a lunchbox along with a thermos of mint tea.

 

Roles:Song Sparrow Kindergarten Class Teacher

Class Teacher

Valerie Poplawski

Valerie’s youthful idealism led her to pursue a BA in Social Administration and Politics at the University of Lancaster, England. After college she rekindled her love for the arts, particularly dance, music, literature and poetry. Whilst working in Bristol, England, Valerie was introduced to the work of Rudolf Steiner through its many practical applications – in Waldorf education, therapeutic education for children with disabilities, medicine, and commerce among others. She was at once intrigued and inspired for here was work that synthesized her idealism, artistry, her wish to be of service and her zeal to bring change and goodness to the world. Valerie completed a four year Eurythmy training at the Ringwood Botton Camphill Eurythmy School, followed by a pedagogical eurythmy training at Emerson College, in Sussex, England.

Valerie came to Hartsbrook in 1988 and taught Eurythmy in kindergarten and grades 1 – 8, and Handwork in grades 1 – 6. In 1993 she took some time away from teaching when her children were young, and in 1996 she co-founded our Cricket on the Hearth program. From there she began to teach Nursery and then Kindergarten, and in 2001 returned to full time work in the Early Childhood programs. Valerie feels blessed and deeply grateful to have spent most of her adult working life in this wonderful school community. To be in the presence of the youngest children in our school is to be surrounded with joy, laughter, love and sweetness – what a gift!

Roles:Medowlark Kindergarten Class Teacher, Faculty Conference Member

Class Teacher

Chris Shaw

Chris came to Hartsbrook in 1995 when her eldest child was just four years old and she was studying environmental science at UMASS Amherst. Chris very quickly fell in love with the community and with Anthroposophy. She began working as an assistant in the kindergarten when her second child came to Hartsbrook school in 2000. In 2006, when her third and final child was just 9 months old, Chris earned her masters degree in Waldorf early childhood education., She joined the full faculty as a lead kindergarten teacher in 2016.

In her spare time, Chris enjoys wandering in the forest with her two dogs,  puttering in the garden, and caring for her unruly flock of free-range chickens.

Roles:Goldfinch Kindergarten Class Teacher

Education:Environmental science at UMASS Amherst, BS in Enviornmental Science and a MA in Waldorf Early Childhood Education.

Spanish

Lea Chiara

Lea’s love of Spanish began at a young age when her grandparents, both language teachers themselves, would sing to her in Spanish and teach her vocabulary. Her love of languages continued into her studies and led her to travel to Guatemala, where she lived and worked for two years at the Robert Muller LIFE International School and Atitlan Multicultural Academy. Her goal as a teacher is to bring the joy of the Spanish language to her students, and to share the beauty of Spanish-speaking cultures with them. Her hope is to inspire and empower her students to make cross-cultural connections through the powerful tool of communication. In her spare time, she loves to travel, sing, hike and practice yoga.

Roles:Spanish Grades 1-6

Education:BS, Skidmore College

Health & Wellness

Jac Sinclair

Jac Sinclair is a theater educator and poet teaching Health & Wellness and Drama with the High School and Drumming Ensemble with both the Middle and High School. Jac also supports student agency and leadership as the High School Student Affairs Coordinator. Jac came to Waldorf teaching after many years in the non-profit sector working with youth in theater and student leadership, supporting them in creating positive social change in their schools and communities. She has followed her vocation in sacred self-expression through a variety of arts, including acting, directing, stage combat, improvisational drumming, DJing dance parties, and writing poetry. When not teaching, Jac can be found with her wife and step-daughter rewilding the land around their home in Florence, writing poetry, playing with wild waters, leaning back with some trees and maybe a few other humans, or howling with the wind and coyotes.

Roles:High School Student Affairs Coordinator, Drama, Health and Wellness grades 6-12

English

Jen Curtis

Jen Curtis hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, where she taught for eight years, working in both public and private schools. What keeps her in the classroom is her love for developing supportive relationships with her students, and helping to foster in them an appreciation for literature, a confidence in their writing, and a greater awareness of themselves and their world. When she’s not teaching or building curriculum, Jen enjoys meditating, scouring the woods for mushrooms, reading for hours on end, and enjoying cup-upon-cup of oolong tea. She loves the Pioneer Valley, and loves all this beautiful area has to offer, especially in the winter!

Roles:Middle School English, High School English

Mentor

Catherine Hopkins

Catherine has been a long-time class teacher at Hartsbrook, having promoted her third class from 1st through 8th grade in 2014.  Catherine has served many roles at Hartsbrook including co-teaching the sustainability block in the high school, developing our teacher mentoring and review program, mentored elementary school teachers and is currently the Fifth Grade Class Teacher.

Catherine graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a BA in history and education and a M.Ed in counseling and community development. She taught in public schools and at an international school in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Russia. She has a certificate in graduate studies in Waldorf Education from Antioch University New England.

Catherine has enjoyed traveling with her husband and is dedicated to connecting young people to the land, whether canoeing the Connecticut or exploring our local food-scape.

Roles:Class Teacher, Sustainability Teacher

Education:University of Massachusetts, BA in history and education and a M.Ed in counseling and community development. She has a certificate in graduate studies in Waldorf Education from Antioch University New England.

German

Bettina Jungen

Knowing five languages, Bettina emphasizes the importance of language skills as a key to different cultures and ways of thinking. As an art and poetry enthusiast and former ballet dancer, Bettina often embeds language learning into a synthesis of the arts. Bettina has been teaching for many years starting by teaching German in Russia, and Russian and Art History in Switzerland. Locally Bettina has been the curator at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College.

Roles:Middle School German, High School German

Education:Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Zurich, Switzerland

Cricket Teacher

Mao Mao Liebert

After 10 years of a professional dance career in China, I moved to the United stated in 2006. In 2012, I completed my BA in anthropology at UMASS. When my son was 3 and a half years old, we have been searching early child program for him. After looking for many programs, I felt settled after we walked into the Hartsbrook kindergarten classroom. The soft pink salmon-colored walls, wooden table and chairs, bread making, apple cutting, and the heartwarming teachers made me and my son feel at home at once. Since that day, I have been drawn to Waldorf education. In this fast pace of the world today, the Hartsbrook Waldorf school has allowed children to be children and has fostered children’s creativity and interest of learning. I feel very lucky to be part of this amazing teacher’s team and to learn and grow with the children.
Outside the school, I love to spend time with my family, cooking, handcrafting, tending plants and gardens. Although dancing is not my usual routine anymore, movement is still very important to me. I love to go to yoga class, or dancing at home for fun. Also because of my Chinese background, I believe that the best way of healing is natural and preventative ways, such as using herbs and massage.

Both my children are happily attending at Hartsbrook.

Role:Cricket on the Hearth Teacher

Education:BA in Anthropology from UMASS

Athletics

Amanda McNamara

Amanda earned her B.S. in Sociology and Anthropology from Wells College in Aurora, NY and went on to complete the MSW program at Smith College. She has worn many hats over the years, including adolescent and family therapist, Wellness teacher, coach, and outdoor adventure leader. She is excited to learn and grow as she brings her passion for movement and wellness to the Hartsbrook Community. When she is not on campus, Amanda can often be found on an outdoor adventure with her family.

Athletics:Movement and Games teacher grades 5-12, Athletics and Health and Wellness grades 6-12

Practical Arts

Katharine Payne

Katharine earned her degree in Music and German from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and then went on to complete her Waldorf teacher training at Emerson College in Forest Row, UK. She has taught as a class teacher at the Hartsbrook School, and handwork at the Hawthorne Valley School. When she is not in the shop at Hartsbrook, she can be found at home with her family in Ashfield in stewardship of a beautiful colonial farmstead.

Roles:Woodworking, Clay, Textiles

Education:Bates College, BA

Spanish

Maria Sparrow

Maria is joining Hartsbrook after her second season at Natural Roots Farm and was drawn to the school by its commitment to outdoor learning and the integration of arts in the curriculum. After studying Romance languages and visual art at Amherst College, she taught Spanish at the International Language Institute in Northampton and at Hampshire College. Her family spans the U.S. and Argentina; her interests in art and the Spanish language have also led her to travel to México, Cuba, Chile, and Perú. She is committed to language study as an opportunity for social justice.

Role:Spanish Teacher

Extended Day

Rami Baglio

Rami is an artist and educator who spent years studying classical drawing and painting in France, New York City, and Santa Fe, NM. She’s worked with adults and children of all ages, and she loves to share her love of learning and to work with the myriad of ways that different individuals learn.

Having returned to the Pioneer Valley in 2021, Rami is thrilled to be joining the Hartsbrook School and community. She is an alumna of the Aurora Waldorf School in East Aurora, New York, and an avid supporter of Waldorf education which has had a tremendous impact in shaping her as a person and providing her with the tools she needed to navigate the world with thoughtfulness, ingenuity, and an open heart and positive mind.

Role::Extended Day Assistant

Education::BA in Studio Art, Hampshire College, MFA in oil Painting, The New York Academy of Art

Nurse

Ashley Brooks

Ashley Brooks is a per diem nurse at Hartsbrook who loves working with children. She has worked at the Shriners Hospital and currently works at Baystate Children’s Hospital as a Pediatric Intensive Care nurse.She enjoys working with the Hartsbrook community with children outside of the hospital environment.

Role:Nurse

Extended Day Director

Shane Kerr

Shane was introduced to Waldorf education through a friend who is a Waldorf class teacher in Nashville, TN. He was intrigued by the emphasis on music, outdoor play, handwork, and all the other arts guided by spiritual nourishment.  Shane took a position assisting with 1st Grade at the Aurora Waldorf School in Western New York and then moved back to New England to work at The Hartsbrook School.

Working in the After School Program has been a joy to Shane, allowing him to develop strong relationships with the students. After assisting in games and movement classes and leading hundreds of hours of recess and after school program, Shane was excited to become the  Games and Movement teacher for the lower grades.  As many of our students and teachers know, Shane loves music and feels very blessed to be at a school that practically breathes music every hour of every day!  Listen for him humming in the halls or tooting a tin whistle outside!

Roles:Extended Day Director, Assistant Teacher - Elementary

Education:University of Vermont, BA in History and Geography

Teaching Assistant

Catherine Linberg

After three careers in California and Virginia (in theatre, publishing, and school libraries) Catherine made her way north to true seasons and the land of Emily Dickinson and Eric Carle in 2015. She has been a volunteer at both museums. Catherine especially adores how Hartsbrook is entwined with the plants and animals of the CT river valley and Waldorf education is an all-around source of beauty in her life.  Catherine helps lead the singing and prayers for three different worship services at local churches: Taize, choral evensong, and praise music.  Her two husky-mix dogs—mom and pup—keep her hopping at home.

Role:Song Sparrow Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

Education:Brown University, MA

Class Teacher

Angela Leclerc

Before moving to the Pioneer Valley Angela taught for seven years in a charter school in Queens, NY. In this highly multi-cultural environment, she found great fulfillment connecting with young people and their families. After taking time off to bring two children of her own into the world, she is pursuing her certification in Waldorf teaching. She has traded in the celebration of the city for the beauty of the rural countryside. In her spare moments, when she is not spending time with her husband and children, you can find her gardening or crafting.

Role:Class Teacher

Education:M.A. in Education and Literacy from Long Island University. 

Teaching Assistant

Nathalie Lewis

Nathalie’s love of children, nature, and creative expression brought her to The Hartsbrook School.  She has been teaching young children for seventeen years and has worked in a variety of program curriculums but ultimately found that Waldorf pedagogy resonates with her the most as it allows for holistic and unhurried development of the individual. In her spare time, Nathalie enjoys hiking, camping, gardening, yoga, and artwork.

Role:Song Sparrow Kindergarten Teaching Assistant

Teaching Assistant

Heron Wakerobin

Heron discovered The Hartsbrook School because they would drive by the campus every day and think “One day I will work at that beautiful school!” Eventually, they contacted Hartsbrook and began to volunteer in the agricultural program, and fell in love. Several years later, Heron earned their BS in Ecology and Experiential Education from UMass Amherst. They have worked in various outdoor education programs with children of all ages. Now, they are in their second year with the Goldfinch Kindergarten. Through the years Heron has discovered their passion for creating healthy, exploratory, spacious learning environments that could be an antidote to the stress of the modern world, for students and teachers alike.

Role:Goldfinch Kindergarten Teaching Assistant

Education:BS in Ecology and Experiential Education from UMass Amherst

Teaching Assistant

Jamie Rochon

Jamie is a licensed art educator (Pre-K – 12) and has been teaching art at various grade levels for over 10 years – with a particular passion for fiber arts! With her own children entering school age, Jamie developed a deep interest in finding an education system that focused on the human gifts of individual students and was drawn to Hartsbrook. Jamie obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies from Mount Holyoke College, post-baccalaureate in Art Education from Westfield State, and Master’s in Art Education from Boston University.

Role:Teaching Assistant. Elementary

Education:BA in Architectural Studies from Mount Holyoke College, post-baccalaureate in Art Education from Westfield State, MA in Art Education from Boston University.

Teaching Assistant

Kayoko Sugahara Rodriguez

Kayo moved from her native Tokyo to Massachusetts several years ago.  Of all of her professional experiences, she has enjoyed being with children the most, and so she feels fortunate to be in the Early Childhood program.  In Japan, she pursued her interest in Waldorf Education through study and working as an assistant in Eurythmy, watercolor and music classes.  She enjoys relaxing with her family and cat.

Role:Teaching Assistant Early Childhood

Teaching Assistant

Sady Sullivan

Sady Sullivan spent nearly two decades working as an oral historian in New York City and the interviews that she collected are archived at the Center for Brooklyn History and Columbia University. Inspired by the wisdom of so many elders’ life histories, as well as movements for prison abolition and disability justice, Sady realized she wanted to work with young people. She is incredibly grateful to begin this next journey at Hartsbrook and plans to pursue certification in Waldorf teaching. When not at school, Sady enjoys playing with her kiddo and their Newfoundland puppy and reading everything in the Emergent Strategy series.

Role:Teaching Assistant, Grades

Education:BA, Women’s and Gender Studies & Psychology, Wellesley College, MA, Cultural Reporting & Criticism, New York University 

Land Stewardship Assistant Director

Paule Sustick

Originally from northern Virginia, Paule moved to this area to attend Umass Amherst, where she earned a BA in Landscape Architecture.  After graduation, Paule worked in Springfield designing residential and commercial landscapes.  As the Land Stewardship Assistant Director, she enjoys working with students, animals and spending time on our land. Outside of school Paule enjoys yoga, gardening, hiking, swimming and spending a lot of outdoor time with her family. Paule has 3 children who all attend the Hartsbrook and her husband is an alum of the class of 19.

When Paule was a student she had a part-time job at Bruegger’s bagels where she had to wear a sandwich board that said: “ try our eggs”.  Perhaps the Hartsbrook chickens would like the same PR!

Role:Land Stewardship Assistant Director

Education:University of Massachusetts, BA

Teaching Assistant

Ashlee Wactor

Ashlee spent her childhood on the beach in Florida, learning from the ocean how to be brave but also respect nature’s rhythms and limits. She graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wa in 2006, where she studied education and art. She then moved to Berlin, Germany and was a Kindergarten teacher in a multilingual school. In 2009, her partner started grad school in Toronto, they moved there together and she obtained her Montessori teaching certificate. After her partner completed grad school and started work at Mount Holyoke, Ashlee said goodbye to her teaching position at Westside Montessori School as well as her role as captain in Toronto Roller Derby, and moved to the valley in 2016.  Ashlee enjoys working in all forms of education that value exploration, independence, and ignite the flame of a lifelong love of learning. Her hobbies include knitting, roller skating, gardening, weight lifting and cuddling her rescue dogs on the couch.

Role:Afternoon Kindergarten Assistant

Maintenance Coordinator

Ed Mann

Ed is a quiet presence at Hartsbrook, but his work has a substantial effect on everyone. He builds, fixes, and improves everything on campus, including, leaky sinks, clogged drainage pipes, broken thermostats, crooked chairs, and so much more. Ed is quite a celebrity in the Early Childhood classes and a chorus of “Hi Mr. Mann!” can be heard whenever he walks by the play yard. We are grateful to Ed who keeps Hartsbrook running smoothly for the last ten years.

HS Admin Coordinator

Jessica Schmid

Jessica graduated from Lesley University with a bachelors in counseling and specialization working with people with disabilities. After college, she spent several years in insurance where she worked with several employee committees for improved work environment and events planning. After her children enrolled in Hartsbrook, she found that this was truly where she felt joy.

Role:High School Administrative Coordinator, Registrar

Tel:413-586-1908 ex.107

emai:highschool@hartsbrook.org

Office Manager

Vesna Vasovic

Vesna’s office is the control center of the school, and like the kitchen at any party, people can often be found gathered there. While keeping up with conversation, Vesna always handles multiple tasks at one time such as, collecting forms, managing aftercare, selling Scrip, taking attendance, making copies and answering the ever-ringing phones. With her quick thinking and sharp memory, she keep families, teachers and staff on track. In her former life, Vesna studied Serbian language and literature with the Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade. Being far away from home and in search for a community for her young family, she came across The Hartsbrook School. It was a perfect fit for her two children who are now students at the school.

Roles:Office Manager

Tel:413-586-1908, ext.100

Business Office Assistant

Mary Wallace

Mary assists part-time in the business office. After years of working in the Amherst-Pelham school district, Mary enjoys the flexibility of semi-retirement. She is an avid gardener and generously shares her harvest with summertime staff.

Role:Business Office Assistant

Enrollment Assistant

Krista Wathne

Krista Wathne, Enrollment Assistant, feels lucky to work with our lovely Hartsbrook families, staff and faculty. She worked as a massage therapist in New Jersey and San Francisco before moving to the beautiful Pioneer Valley with her family. Years before, she was a student at Smith College and babysat for a boy who went to Hartsbrook. Now, her own boys are students here and she loves welcoming new families to the school.

Tel:413-586-1908 ex.116

Role:Enrollment Assistant

Music

Lily Sexton

Lily studied Suzuki violin beginning at age four and continued a classical music education in violin at the Westport Suzuki School and the Talent Education Suzuki School. While pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she shifted her focus to fiddling in the traditional Appalachian style. Since then, she has formed several bands in the Pioneer Valley, most notably progressive bluegrass group Mamma’s Marmalade. Outside of New England, her bands have toured the southern U.S., the Midwest, and Canada, and she has shared stages with traditional music greats such as Joe Newberry, Mike Compton, and Michael Daves. In her teaching, she strives to give each young musician a broad and varied introduction to the many traditions that involve the violin. She endeavors to make the learning and playing experience joyful, connected, introspective, and fulfilling.

Role:Strings Teacher, Grades and High School