Established in 1997, the Waldorf School of Bend offers a holistic, developmentally appropriate education to children from preschool through 8th grade in beautiful Bend, Oregon.
We are passionate about providing a unique learning environment for our students that will allow them to thrive and flourish in today’s ever-changing world. We help our students grow into socially conscientious, independent thinkers who care about humanity and the natural environment, and who have the skills of resilience, flexibility, and strength of character. Our future depends on educating children who can adapt to these changing times.
By integrating the arts with academics, we provide a joyful curriculum that is rich in hands-on, experiential learning. Our youngest students are warmly nurtured and supported by caring teachers and a research-supported play-based learning environment, so that they can grow up to become confident, secure and capable. Whether performing a theater monologue, conducting a chemistry experiment, or knitting a hat, our older grades students are exposed to a variety of learning modalities that allows each child to discover their gifts and passion.
Welcome to the Waldorf School of Bend – a place to grow, thrive, and find purpose.
Meet the Faculty
The remarkable teachers at WSB are dedicated, creative, experienced, and joyful! Their unified goal is to nourish the genuine love of learning within each child. Our classroom faculty stay with their students for several years, which creates a deep and meaningful teacher-student relationship. The faculty of WSB hold advanced training in childhood education and the Waldorf approach. Our teachers also play an important role in our school’s governance. Learn more about each of our classroom and specialty faculty!
Nursery Co-Lead Teacher - "Petunias"
Ryan Kimball grew up in the beautiful town of Hood River, Oregon where she formed a deep love for the outdoors and all the sports that go along with being outside.
She attended the University of Oregon where she knew she wanted to work with children. While in college, Ryan got the opportunity to study abroad in Northern Spain, which sparked her passion for traveling. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
After college she hoped on a one way flight to Kathmandu, Nepal, where she lived in an orphanage. She taught the children English, helped with homework, and learned the Nepali culture. She then continued to travel the world from the Philippines to Nicaragua to Morocco.
Between her travels, she found her old love for skiing, which resulted in pursuing a life of moving to a new ski town every winter, eventually landing her Bend. In her free time, you can find her out in the backcountry either skiing, mountain biking, paddle boarding, backpacking or playing with her two pups. She is very excited to start this new chapter working with children integrating everything she learned from her worldly travels and outdoor experience into the classroom.
Nursery Co-Lead Teacher - "Petunias"
PreK Lead Teacher - "Snow Berries"
Alicia was raised in the Sierra Foothills of California, where she attended Sierra Waldorf School from kindergarten through eighth grade. From the minute Alicia entered the Waldorf community, it became clear that she had indeed found her true home and family. During her time at Waldorf Alicia fell in love with nature, music, and fine art, and the seeds were planted for her to grow and blossom into a creative, nature loving designer and teacher.
Alicia holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz with a focus on printmaking, photography, and Spanish language. She studied Spanish language in Spain for 6 months at the University of Alcala de Henares near Madrid. While studying art, Alicia also worked as a preschool teacher’s assistant at the on campus family childcare center as well as nannied for several families in the Santa Cruz area. After graduating from UCSC, Alicia spent a month backpacking through the high Sierras studying Nature Philosophy and Ecopsychology through the Sierra Institute’s California Wilderness program.
Alicia moved to San Francisco in 2010 to further her creative career at the California College of the Arts, where she received a BFA in graphic design after three years of rigorous training. In parallel to her design training, Alicia continued to develop her experience in the field of childcare. She nannied in several San Francisco households as well as worked in a Waldorf preschool in San Francisco.
Alicia moved to Bend 2 years ago and has worked for a local children’s adventure outdoor camp as well as one of the Bend Waldorf School’s aftercare lead teachers, and kindergarten teacher’s assistant. She was recently accepted into the West Coast Institute’s Early Childcare Waldorf Teacher Training Program in British Columbia and is so excited to take her teaching experience to a new level.
PreK Lead Teacher - "Juniper Berries"
Growing up in a farming family, in the mountains of Salzburg, Austria, I was fortunate to attend Kindergarten through 12th grade at the Salzburg Waldorf School.
My Waldorf experience certainly laid the foundation for my love of kids, nature, animals and the arts. I told my teacher in 5th grade that I was going to be a teacher when I grew up and decided after 12th grade to go study at Paedagogische Akademie Salzburg to become a teacher.
During a visit to Sisters, OR in 2001, I met the father of our son and moved to Portland, OR in 2003. Since then I worked myself up from an assistant instructor to the Director of a horseback riding school, French Hill Farm, which combined my love for horses with kids and teaching. After 8 years at French Hill Farm, I started my own horseback riding school and led that for 10 successful years.
Becoming a mother had me start working for Kozy Kids enrichment center as a preschool teacher. Family brought me to Central OR in 2020 and since then I call Redmond my home.
That brings me to this beautiful place, the Bend Waldorf School, which feels like home already.
Kindergarten Co-Lead Teacher - "Kinder Gardners"
Cyndi grew up in the Midwest and Colorado, where she spent most of her young life exploring the world around her. From an early age, she loved being outside and she spent as much time as she could wandering through ravines and hiking in the mountains with her grandparents.
During high school and then in college, Cyndi worked in Early Child Care, first as an assistant and then as a lead teacher. After attending Colorado State University and graduating with both a B.A. and a B.S., Cyndi spent a year traveling through South America. She fell deeper in love with the mountains by spending weeks at a time in the backcountry. During this stint, she spent many months living out of her tent and volunteering on organic farms, eventually landing on a farm where they spoke about living soil and the farm as a living organism. Thus began her introduction to Biodynamic farming and the work of Rudolf Steiner.
After returning to the United States, Cyndi found a Biodynamic farm in Fort Collins, CO to trade time for vegetables. While working full time, she eventually went from a working farm member to a farm apprentice and eventually into co-management. During this time, she often had opportunities to utilize her early childhood experience with children who came to the farm for their farming block in Waldorf Schools. After her mentors began their transition into retirement, she landed a job as the Biodynamic Program Director at the Rudolf Steiner College (RSC), where she trained apprentices, taught Biodynamic classes, managed RSC’s Biodynamic farm production, and instructed neuro-diverse young adults in Animal Husbandry and farming.
In 2018, Biodynamic farming brought Cyndi to Central Oregon to work for a Herbal Supplement company specializing in organic and Biodynamic medicinal plants. Falling deeply in love with the Cascades and the culture of Central Oregon, she felt inspired to re-enliven her passion for teaching the next generation of stewards of the Earth.
In her free time she can be found consulting for farms wanting to convert to Biodynamics, driving giant tractors, gardening, camping, hiking, rock climbing and caring for animals. She loves Nature, Children, Animals and composting!
Kindergarten Co-Lead Teacher - "Kinder Gardners"
Rachel Henke grew up in the bay area of California. She moved to Bend with her significant other in the summer of 2021 after graduating college with honors.
Rachel received her BA in Justice, Community, and Leadership, along with her multiple subject teacher’s credential after completing the accelerated program at Saint Mary’s College of California. Rachel has a wide variety of teaching experience from Pre-K to sixth grade. She has worked individually with students to achieve personal goals, as well as planning and holding entire classrooms.
Nursery Assistant Teacher - "Petunias"
Nursery Assistant Teacher - "Petunias"
PreK Assistant Teacher - "Snow Berries"
April grew up in Fredericksburg, Virginia but has since lived in eight different states: UT, MD, IL, TX, CA, OH, AK & NM, She graduated with a B.A. in English and enjoyed teaching 10th grade Language Arts as well as tutoring in various college writing labs.
After her daughter was born, she shifted her teaching audience to her own family. She taught all of her children in a home-based, co-op preschool called Joy School which, like Waldorf, emphasized music, art, and story-telling rather than overt alphabet and number drills. While living in Germany from 2004-2007, she enrolled her older sons in Deutsch Schule and her younger ones in Kindergarten. The Waldorf principles she saw in practice at these schools deeply resonated with her own parenting style.
After a difficult recovery following an open-heart surgery in 2010, April discovered the many benefits of yoga and trained with master teachers in Dayton, Ohio to obtain her Yoga Teaching Certification. She channeled her love of teaching into helping others learn to educate their mind, body and spirit and opened her own yoga studio in 2015. She’s also served children with special needs as an elementary school substitute teacher.
In her spare time she enjoys hiking, dancing, reading and making new friends.
PreK Assistant Teacher - "Juniper Berries"
Katelynn was raised over the valley in Sherwood Oregon and has always been one to follow her passion to do anything that helps bring a smile to others.
PreK Assistant Teacher - "Juniper Berries"
Taryn was raised in beautiful Bend Oregon, where she knew from a very young age that she had a passion for education and a love for children.
She’s spent most of her professional life in the classroom and has also received her degree in psychology.
Now as a mother of two, education has become even more personal and she understands just how important it is to lead with compassion, empathy, respect and understanding.
During Taryn’s free time, she enjoys being with her family, running, reading, snowboarding and photography.
EC Floater & Admin Support
Samantha Hensley was raised in rural Yamhill County. During her childhood she participated in extensive outdoor activities, giving her the opportunity to truly love and appreciate the outdoors. Throughout high school she won state awards for softball, practiced yoga and started her journey becoming an educator.
While attending Oregon State University she volunteered at numerous local elementary schools, helping build her experience as an early childhood educator. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State in Pre-Education, focusing on behavior science and sociology.
She recently relocated from Salem, Oregon to the Bend area. She is excited to discover what central Oregon has to offer. In her free time, you could find her outside with her dogs, hiking, fly fishing and camping.
During her four summers away from school she worked at Camp Akeela, a specialized social skills camp for children on the Autism Spectrum. There she fostered her love of working with children in holistic settings. After graduating, Danielle accepted a job working as an Aquatic Therapist which came to a halt due to the Covid pandemic. As one door closed another opened and she was gifted the opportunity to move to beautiful Bend, Oregon!
Here, Danielle has fallen in love with the environment and access to recreation. Over the course of the last two years she has been able to dive into all the wonders the PNW has to offer; climbing, mountain biking, skiing, mountaineering, kayaking, ice climbing, and the vibrant community. She recently got accepted into OSU to pursue a two year elementary teacher certification program where she can continue her love of teaching and working with children.
1st Grade Teacher
Miro Frankzerda grew up in Western Oregon, surrounded by lush forests and inspirational artists of all kinds.
After graduating with a B.A. in Biopsychology, he spent three years teaching around the world highlighted by contracts in Thailand and Ecuador. He has a calm and steady demeanor that is paired with a deep investment in the education of children.
Miro has a love of nature that he integrates into his educational approach. He recently worked with New Vision Wilderness Therapy, which is an incredibly rigorous program providing a physically and emotionally safe place for adolescents and young adults in the context of the outdoors.
2nd Grade Teacher
Mckenna Crosby is originally from Orange, California. Growing up, she traveled to a lot of national parks, mountain towns, and beaches with her family. Her favorite places growing up were Yosemite, Mammoth, and Zion. She also grew up going to the beach every weekend with her family, where her dad taught her to surf as soon as she was old enough to stand. She continued her love for the water by becoming a competitive swimmer and water polo player in high school.
She attended college at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, where she graduated with a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a certification in middle school English. She volunteered for after school programs, community outreach programs, and STEM programs. She worked with children of all ages, from second through eighth grade. While living in Flagstaff, she developed a passion for snowboarding and experiencing the city’s vibrant food scene.
After college she moved to Goodyear, Arizona and worked at The Odyssey Preparatory Academy as a second grade teacher. Her first two years of teaching were during the pandemic, and it helped her grow as an educator. The unique challenges of remote, blended, and in-person learning helped her learn to be a flexible and adaptable teacher.
She moved to Bend very recently and she is so excited to learn more about the town, all its best places to eat, and the best hiking spots in the area. She loves to paint, restore old furniture, watch old movies, and read. She is really look forward to working at Waldorf and getting to know the school and community!
3rd-5th Grade Teacher & Pedagogical Director
Growing up with an artist mother has given Laura Blake an appreciation of beauty and plants. She has been involved in education for her whole career and is a true lifelong learner who thoroughly enjoys teaching children and getting to know them and the special individuals that they are.
Laura received her B.S. in Elementary Education at Oregon State University in Corvalis and her Master’s degree at Pacific University in the Special Education and the Reading Specialist program. She taught general education in first and second grade for 16 years in Palmer, Alaska and taught for 6 years in Special Education in Elementary and Middle School in Oregon.
Her true love though is Waldorf Education, which she came involved with in 1992 in Alaska. She completed the Waldorf Teacher Education Eugene program, which led to teaching at Charter Waldorf schools with children in Grades 1 – 4 as a class teacher in California, then as a reading interventionist at Independent Waldorf Schools for 5 years in Oregon. Currently, she is serving as an educational director at a Waldorf charter school in Utah this year, but is excited about her upcoming move to Bend with her family. She has been married since college to Steve, an avid organic and bio-dynamic gardener as well as a beekeeper, and together they have one grown son.
Mary Anne Hinton
6th & 7th Grade Co-Teacher
Born on the East Coast and raised in the greater New York metropolitan area, Mary Anne Hinton enjoyed the many cultural benefits of living close
to New York City. She attended Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, where directing and playwriting were her greatest interests. After graduating with a B.A. in Theater Arts, she pursued further development in these areas in Manhattan, where she lived and studied.
Love of nature and children called her to follow a different path, and she went to Sunbridge College for Waldorf teacher training, earning a Waldorf teaching certificate. Mary Anne’s first work as a class teacher was in Santa Barbara, California, where she took a class from first through sixth grade. Migrating north, she later taught for seven years as a class teacher at Three Cedars Waldorf School in Bellevue, Washington. Before coming to Bend, she spent six years enjoying a more nature-based class teaching experience at Sunfield Farm and Waldorf School in Port Hadlock, WA, where she learned about farming and caring for sheep.
Mary Anne’s active interests include traveling abroad, camping, shepherding, white water rafting, and paddle boarding. She also enjoys cooking, studying Anthroposophy, painting and needle felting.
6th & 7th Grade Co-Teacher & Outreach Coordinator
Nicole Blume grew up in Los Angeles, CA and graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in English Literature. She worked for several years in the Entertainment Industry, where she gained valuable experience in office administration and community outreach. Although Hollywood was exciting, she felt compelled to switch careers and become a Waldorf teacher instead.
She graduated with her multiple subjects teaching credential from Cal State University of Northridge in 2014, from the Waldorf Institute of Southern California teacher preparation program in 2016, and from the Waldorf Practical Arts Training program in 2018. Nicole took her first teaching job as a long-term substitute teacher at a Waldorf-inspired public charter school in Los Angeles, before becoming an apprentice teacher in the grades for four years at the Pasadena Waldorf School. She was fortunate to study under some of the most incredible mentor teachers at PWS before arriving at WSB to teach Woodworking and Practical Arts in 2019.
Nicole has also been a dedicated middle and high school math tutor for many, many years, and has a background in science, including working as astrophysics laboratory intern at UC Santa Barbara, where she analyzed images from the Hubble Space Telescope in search of stellar tidal disruptions as evidence of super massive black holes at the center of galaxies. Currently, she oversees the school’s community outreach efforts, website updates, and social media accounts as the WSB Outreach Coordinator, and plans to continue these duties while also co-teaching Grade 6/7 Math & Science alongside MaryAnne Hinton next school year.
Handwork, Practical Arts, Woodworking Teacher
Laura Holtsberg grew up in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina surrounded by lush forests and steeped in the rich culture of handcrafting.
Laura received her BA in English Literature from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with intensive studies in the Art and Theatre Arts Department and completed post graduate work at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC in the Art and Education Departments. She attended Penland School of Crafts in NC and held a studio assistantship in the Dye Workshop. She is currently pursuing her foundation year Waldorf Teacher Training through the Micha-el Institute. Mrs. Holtsberg has taught art and fiber craft classes to children and adults for many years and loves passing her skills along to her students. For the past 30 years she has been a production fiber artist presenting her art clothing line in wholesale and retail markets across the country.
When Laura was introduced to the Waldorf educational philosophy it resonated deeply within her. She and her daughter have followed a Waldorf inspired path by participating in a Parent and Toddler Program, outdoor Preschool and Kinder and the Grades Program at The Siskiyou School in Ashland, OR. Laura assisted in the Handwork Program at The Siskiyou School for 4½ years, was an Art instructor in the schools Middle School Art Program and held the Aftercare Program. She worked at Madrone Trail Public Charter Waldorf School as the Reading Interventionist.
The Holtsbergs moved to Bend in January of 2017 and joined the Waldorf School of Bend Community. Her daughter Lilly is in our Jr. High.
Susan Elizabeth Strauss
Storyteller & Eurythmy Teacher
Susan moved West from Virginia to teach high school English and Native Culture for The High Country School, a traveling, academic outdoor school. From this, she developed as a professional storyteller, learning to tell Native American Coyote Stories from many experiences with Native elders research in anthropological and linguistic texts. From a Nez Perce friend, Susan learned to speak a bit of Shahaptin, a Plateau Native language.
Today her performances included traditional stories from many cultures. Past venues for her performances, keynotes and workshops (The Passionate Fact: Storytelling Science) include: Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh, Australian botanical gardens, National Geographic Society, SF Jazz, the Oregon Symphony and the National Park Service.
Although she learned to read late, she is the author of four books and six recordings. Her love of language lead her to Eurythmy training. She holds a B.A. cum laude and a Masters of English from the University of Virginia. She holds a Eurythmy diploma from Rudolf Steiner College after also studying at Eurythmy Spring Valley.
Carla Delfino was born in Buenos Aires, and grew up in Neuquen, Patagonia Argentina. She moved to the USA at 18 to study Marine Science and Biology at the University of Miami.
She then moved to Alaska to work in the Marine Sciences department at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. After almost four years in Alaska, and a year of travel, Carla worked in Hawaii for Dolphin Quest as an educator, teaching kids about the fascinating ocean world. She also worked as a field biologist doing research at the base of Mauna Loa.
In 2007, Carla and her husband moved back to the mainland, to be closer to family, finally settling in Bend in 2008. Since moving to Bend, Carla has worked as an educator at the Sunriver Nature Center and at the Natural Areas Association. When their daughter Rowan was two, Carla decided to become a full-time mom. Carla began teaching Spanish to pre-school aged children in 2015, and began teaching Lower Grades Spanish at the Waldorf School of Bend in 2017. Carla has been enjoying teaching in the Waldorf philosophy and actively learning more about the methods involved.
When not teaching, Carla loves to spend time with her family, traveling, hiking, skiing, canoeing, rafting, practicing martial arts and reading!
Games & Movement Teacher
During his years at UC Santa Cruz, where he received his bachelor’s in Art History, Robert met an old man who taught Tai Chi. He was quirky and funny, and Robert was fascinated by the way he moved. Before long, Robert was completely obsessed with the martial art, and started going to Tai Chi classes four times a week.
Since then, the practice has unfolded into all areas of his life. It continues to show him the great value of movement practices on physical, mental, and spiritual levels, and it informs within him a certain love for movement. As a teacher, he tries to remember his own childhood days in PE classes. He aims to have fun and experience games with the students from their own perspective, and he believes this brings a lot of energy to the class.
Meet the Administration
Interim School Director - firstname.lastname@example.org
Nate moved to Bend in 2007 after spending most of his life in Phoenix, Arizona. An interested and precocious child, Nate began his educational journey being homeschooled with his brother. From there he experienced almost every facet of the educational system including private school, public school, community college, private university, and state university. His passion for educational knowledge is only rivaled by his passion for people. His passions include the development and growth of individuals, organizational culture, and multiple team collaboration.
Nate adventures through life with his wife, two boys, and Bernedoodle. They enjoy foraging, outdoor exploration, and donating food to the community from their urban nano-farm. He is passionate about the holistic education of children and engages in this type of education with his own two boys. From trips to Glass Butte to Morel Hunting on the Metolious, he is always looking for ways to connect with people and nature.
Admissions / Development Director - email@example.com
Born and raised in Bend, Oregon, Maleea grew up spending much of her time outdoors. At 19 she decided to see the world and traveled to Uganda, Africa where she lived in cultural immersion, learning from local tribes and working alongside Ugandan led nonprofits to educate remote communities about HIV/AIDs. During that time, she connected with and began working for an international organization that was planning a conference for key worldwide leaders to discuss global non-profit strategies combating HIV/AIDs. Maleea spent years as an event planner for various organizations, but was eventually drawn back to Central Oregon.
The daughter of an entrepreneur, Maleea has spent much of her life in the family business where she learned all aspects of production, finance and marketing. She uses those skills as brand/market manager for her family business and most recently as Business Manager for WSB, where she has the opportunity to combine both her non-profit and business experience.
Maleea has been happily married to Mr. Nate for 9 years and has two young sons. She enjoys foraging for seasonal culinary and medicinal plants, practicing herbalism and maintaining a ⅓ acre urban nano farm from which she educates the community, and donates produce to those in need.
Business Manager- firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica has an extensive background in business and marketing and works hard to elevate the effectiveness of the organizations she works with.
She has a business degree from Northern Arizona University, has owned a small business, has worked as a consultant helping businesses develop strategic planning, and has served in areas of customer service, sales, marketing and campaign fundraising. Monica is especially passionate about working with nonprofits and businesses that are focused on bringing health and wellness to the community.
When she is not working on a business or marketing plans, Monica spends a lot of time outdoors with her husband and two children. They enjoy hiking, paddle boarding, camping, and exploring the beauty of Central Oregon. Monica also has a love of Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art, as well as other forms of movement and play!