About WSB

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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!

Early Childhood

Grace McHugh

Grace McHugh

Pre-Kindergarten (5 Day) Lead Teacher

 

Grace McHugh grew up on what one could call a “funny farm” of sorts located in a small rural town within the Midwest. This is where she would naturally find her love for animals, and the earth around her. From a young age, Grace was fascinated with travelling and seeing/experiencing anything she could find that felt new or different. Most importantly, she enjoyed meeting and creating connections with people from/of various locations, backgrounds, and cultures. She believes that the connections you make in this world, even if for only a short time, are one of the most crucial aspects of life. 

At age 14 her career in childcare would begin, when she began a “counselor in training” program at the summer camp she had previously attended as a child. This camp hosted children and staff from all ends of the earth, which only further progressed Grace’s love of creating connections with those around her. While working at this camp for the following 3 years, Grace would discover her passion for teaching children the ways of nature, kindness, and connection. Grace‘s love for nature and teaching would eventually lead her to working at more camps later on, coordinating programs such as: art, theatre, and music. Working at these camps would later inspire her to follow a longtime dream of facilitating her own symbiotic community within a classroom setting.  

After moving to the beautiful Washington state, Grace came across a local PreK-8 arts integrated school. It was there that her life as an educator within school systems would begin. While working as a teaching artist full time, Grace was attending school in the evenings and weekends. Later on when COVID came about, life brought her to find another teaching job within a local nonprofit organization in Bellingham, Wa. During her time there she worked as an ECEAP/Headstart teacher, which would lead her to countless opportunities including: working closely within highly diverse groups of children/families, exploring a vast amount of resources within several communities, and again furthering her passion for teaching. 

Life has now brought Grace to Bend, Oregon. And in finding Bend, she discovered… The Waldorf School of Bend!  It was an easy decision for her to pursue her next teaching adventure at WSB, as the unique learning style a Waldorf school provides is a direct reflection of the ideas she holds dearly within her classrooms. Grace is so excited to be a part of WSB, meet all of you, and begin a wonderful school year

Mary Beth Scanlon

Mary Beth Scanlon

Mixed Age Kinder Lead Teacher

 

Born and raised in suburban Detroit, Mary Beth discovered her love of children at a young age. As a teenager, she spent her summers either babysitting or as a day camp counselor. After high school, Mary Beth went on to attend Michigan State University where she majored in Elementary Education. She has experience teaching children from preschool through second grade. Mary Beth went on to earn a Masters degree in Curriculum and Teaching, also from Michigan State.

After a handful of years staying home to raise her own daughter and son, (now teenagers), Mary Beth decided to switch gears and follow another passion of hers, Yoga. She completed her Yoga Teacher Training in Malibu, California in 2010, and has been teaching Vinyasa Yoga for the past 10 years.

Writing is also a hobby of her’s and Mary Beth is in the process of writing a children’s book about yoga and mindfulness. The writing process has inspired her to get back into the classroom to work with little ones again.

Bend has been home for Mary Beth and her family for the past five years. She has fallen in love with the mountains and the close knit community. Mary Beth is thrilled to be working with the preK at Waldorf School, where her love of children, nature, mindfulness, and children’s literature all come together, in a very unique and special environment.

Maria Flores

Mixed Age Kinder Lead Teacher

Bio coming soon!

Cyndi Pointer

Cyndi Pointer

EC Program Director & Outdoor Kindergarten Lead Teacher

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!

Taryn Ringseth

Taryn Ringseth

EC Assistant Teacher

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. 

Maddi Reames

Maddi Reames

Outdoor Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

 

Born and raised in Oregon’s Rogue Valley, Maddi was always intertwined with the environment. From a young age she took a fascination with horses and begged her parents to buy her a horse,  although they lived in a suburban cul-de-sac. Her parents eventually agreed and she leased her horse a few miles down the road where she spent every minute outside of school caring for her horse and learning to ride. She pegs this as where her connection to nature began because she was spending so much time exploring the surrounding area on horseback.

Her next greatest hobby and love was photography and film making. Her grandpa always had his camcorder out when they went on National Park road trips, and she absolutely admired watching old videos of her family on the television. The nostalgic feeling that she got from watching memories on the television ignited a fire. This passion carried her into university, where she spent her bachelors at SOU, studying Emerging Media and Digital Arts. She had a desire to see more of the world, so she spent her junior year in Australia studying Sustainability and Environmental Action. This magical time was spent traveling all over the Eastern Coast of Australia and Tasmania, fostering and deepening her relationship to the earth. She blended her two loves of being outside and photography and designated her Independent Study thesis on how connection to nature breeds a sustainable future – through the avenue of photography and interviews of 7 different clients. 

From Australia, she got the travel bug and once graduated from SOU, she spent 6 weeks in Chile working at an eco-resort on a work/trade. When she returned back, she decided to move to Bend, Oregon because of the natural environment and spent 1.5 years there until the pandemic hit. She then moved back to Southern Oregon to teach Art at an Outdoor School for the last two years. She is looking forward to continuing her love for art and environment-based education as she joins WSB! Maddi also enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, hiking, road trips, and photography.

Lower Grades

Miro Frankzerda

Miro Frankzerda

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.

 
Julia Mattson

Julia Mattson

2nd Grade Teacher

 

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.

Jessica Porto

Jessica Porto

3rd-4th Grade Teacher

Bio coming soon!
Kris Porto

Kris Porto

5th-6th Grade Teacher

Bio coming soon!

Junior High

Nicole Blume

Nicole Blume

7th-8th Grade Teacher

Nicole Blume grew up in Los Angeles, CA, where she spent her teen years tutoring, babysitting, Girl Scouting, and working as a camp counselor and “Big Sister” mentor. A profound bibliophile, she graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in English Literature and a focus in Children’s Literature after studying abroad in Italy for a summer and England for a year.

After working in corporate America for four years, she decided to return to school to become a Waldorf teacher. 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. She has worked at several Waldorf schools over the years and is deeply passionate about Waldorf Education.

Nicole lives in Bend, OR with her partner and two young children. She enjoys reading, painting, gardening, crafting, and spending time in nature with her family.

Subject Teachers

Becky McGuire

Becky McGuire

Handwork Teacher

Ms. Becky was born and raised in the Bay Area, California, graduated from San Diego State University with a BS, Integrated Marketing Communications and studied abroad at Oxford University. After graduating, she returned to San Francisco and worked in sales, software implementation and built customer success programs at various technology companies.

Ms. Becky and her family moved to Bend 6 years ago and enjoy all of the natural beauty and opportunities for play that this town has to offer. She has served on the Bend International School Board and the Waldorf School of Bend Board. Ms. Becky is a member of the Bend International School Social Justice and Equity Committee.

She happily stumbled into the Waldorf education world by attending the parent tot class in Fall 2019. Ms. Becky quickly fell in love with the rhythm and feel of the Waldorf classroom and has spent the last 3 years soaking in as much of the richness of this education as she can through reading, attending the Feb 2021 WECAN conference, attending a Waldorf style velour doll making class, attending needle felting classes, and volunteering. She has also coordinated the WSB Heart Bomb event for the past 2 years. 

Ms. Becky is an avid reader, collector of children’s literature, puzzler, hiker, rock climber, and has a growing collection of indoor plants. She’s mama to WSB attendees Tyler (2nd grade) and Emily (kindergarten).

Susan Elizabeth Strauss

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

Carla Delfino

Spanish Teacher

 

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!

Robert Neal

Robert Neal

Games + Movement / Ukulele 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.

Justin LeBart

Justin LeBart

Clay + Ceramics Teacher

 

Justin LeBart is the Chief Clay Officer and Soul Proprietor of Journeyman Ceramics.  Life’s journey has lead him from Massachusetts, where he grew up and received his degree in Fine Arts Sculpture, all the way through Arizona and Belgium, where he apprenticed in clay and received his Masters of Education from NAU, to his current home of the last 15 years, beautiful Bend, Oregon. 

Mr. Justin believes through meaningful interactions with clay we can learn about ourselves, our community and the world at large. For over 10,000 years our ancestors have used clay for both utilitarian and expressive needs, Waldorf students will be part of this history and through play, critique, and creation of objects. Let’s be part of history!

Meet the Administration

Samantha Hensley

Samantha Hensley

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.