About WSB

2024-2025 School Year
092717_2-681×1024-1

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

Crystal Nelson

Crystal Nelson

Pre-Kindergarten (3 Day) Lead Teacher

 

Crystal grew up in Northern California while spending her summers in North Dakota on her grandparents farm with her brothers and cousins. In high school she was a part of Future Farmers of America (FFA) where she learned leadership skills as well as held many farm animal projects.  After high school Crystal attended Chico State University where she received her degree in child development. Since then she’s worked in early childhood programs for 10 years. After Crystal’s second son was born she became a stay at home mother, caring for both young children at home until they found this Waldorf School of Bend. 

With much love and compassion she found myself on the “What is Waldorf” journey that many of you may be on. After much personal research and gentle hands guiding her in the right direction she found herself continuing her teacher journey. She is currently enrolled in Waldorf teacher training to grow herself to be the whole teacher that your children need. 

 

Janie Malcom

Janie Malcom

Pre-K (3-day) Assistant Teacher

Janie grew up on a ranch in Santa Cruz, CA where she spent most of her younger years exploring nature. Janie attended Mountain School Elementary, a school that helped foster her appreciation of the arts and love of nature. Always being a helper to younger cousins, She developed a passion for working with young children. While attending college at CSU Monterey Bay, she took a job as a Nanny and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies with a Minor in Child Development. After graduating college she moved to Bend with her husband and three Labs. Janie has worked at different Childcare centers over the years and recently as a Teacher in an Infant/Toddler Program at Bend High. Janie now has a 10 year old son that shares the same passion of loving and living in nature. In her spare time Janie enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, camping, watching her son play in soccer games and spending time with family.

Rachel Hammond

Rachel Hammond

Pre-Kindergarten (5 Day) Lead Teacher

Rachel grew up in California fully enjoying all the magic it has to offer. Her weekends were spent at the ocean, in the mountains among our giant redwoods, and camping under the stars. She also participated in many sports from childhood through college, her most favored being waterpolo and dance. After graduating highschool Rachel decided to attend her local JC for a few years so she could try as many new majors as possible to gratify her love of learning. She studied human anatomy and physiology, theater, marine biology, history and psychology. She is truly interested in all learning, however,  Rachel truly found her passion when she studied child development and educational philosophy. She took a deep dive into education while going to school and started working at preschools part time. Rachel transferred to Saint Mary’s College of California to finish her degree and received a beautiful and rigorous education at one of the best teacher programs in the nation. During this time at Saint Mary’s, Rachel “student taught” in a public second grade classroom during COVID (half virtual, half in person). Double majoring in “Multiple Subject Teacher Education” and “Justice, Community, and Leadership” finishing with a degree and teacher credential. 
Upon graduation Rachel and her highschool sweetheart moved to Oregon to experience the pacific northwest. In Oregon, Rachel stumbled into the warm arms of Waldorf education. While she learned about this educational practice in college, experiencing it for the first time was a shock to the system. The first time she came to The Waldorf School of Bend she felt at home and a strong sense of belonging. Since then Rachel has completely fallen in love with Waldorf education and can’t see herself teaching any other way. 
 
 
 
 
 
Erin Bliss

Erin Bliss

Pre-Kindergarten (5 Day) Sub Lead Teacher

Bio Coming soon!
Cecilia Pellouchoud

Cecilia Pellouchoud

Mixed Age Kinder Assistant 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!

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 animals and horses which got her outside in 4-H club. 

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.

Taryn Ringseth

Taryn Ringseth

Pre-K (5-day) 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. 

 
 
 
 
 

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.

 
Casey Duffy

Casey Duffy

2nd Grade Teacher

 

Hi, my name is Casey Jane Duffy. I grew up on Wappo and Miwok land in Northern California. The redwood, oak trees and ocean served as an ample playground for me as a child. My parents, through their life example as career educators of special needs children and adults, instilled a love of social work within me. From the age of five I partook in Taekwondo, which taught me dedication, discipline, and perseverance. Living in such an abundant agricultural valley, I was introduced to Biodynamic farming as a young adult and fell in love with Steiner’s teachings. 

After graduating high school, and attending a local community college, I worked as a farmer, birth doula, elder caregiver, and eventually gave birth to a daughter of my own, Sophia. We moved to Mount Shasta in 2014 and befriended an elder Waldorf teacher who gave me valuable insights into the Waldorf pedagogy. 

In 2015, we moved to Portland, Oregon where I became a preschool teacher and continued to educate myself and take classes on Waldorf pedagogy. 

In 2020 my family and I welcomed my son Orson, and in 2022 we relocated to Bend. We were so thankful to find Ms. Jessica through a friend’s recommendation, and eventually found our way to Waldorf School of Bend. In the fall of 2023 we enrolled my son in the early education program at Waldorf School of Bend, and I began teaching second grade! 

In my spare time outside of school I enjoy spending time with my children and partner Nick, hiking, cooking and baking, singing, dancing, making herbal medicines, gardening, and taking on many other creative endeavors. 

I am grateful to live in beautiful Bend, Oregon on the lands of the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Northern Paiute people, and to be a member of the fantastic faculty here at Waldorf School of Bend!

Julia Mattson

Julia Mattson

3rd 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

4th-5th Grade Teacher

 

 
Bio coming soon!

Junior High

Kris Porto

Kris Porto

6th/7th/8th Grade Teacher

Bio coming soon!

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.

Administration

Annie Warzecha

Annie Warzecha

Admissions Coordinator

 

Annie grew up between Boston, MA, and Prince Edward Island, Canada, spending afternoons swimming in the Atlantic ocean and her neighborhood pond, catching tadpoles, snapping turtles, and sunfish, cooking and baking with her parents, and staging plays and puppet shows with her friends. 

Annie attended Pitzer College in Claremont, CA where she earned her BA in Psychology with concentrated studies in creative writing and literature. Much of her education focused upon integrating topics in sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies within clinical settings. 

Since moving to Bend, OR in 2020, Annie has served Central Oregon’s population of individuals with developmental disabilities as a Behavior Specialist, counseling clients and their families with the goal of increasing independence and overall happiness in each life that she touches. 

In addition to her academic endeavors, Annie has been coaching competitive swimming professionally for nearly eight years, and she currently serves as the Head Swim Coach at Mountain View High School in Bend. 

When Annie is not in her office at WSB or at the pool, she enjoys cooking for her family, swimming in our many beautiful bodies of water here in Central Oregon, hiking with her dog, reading novels, and traveling to France, the Caribbean, Cambodia, Singapore, Costa Rica, and beyond!

Peter Woekel

Peter Woekel

Business and Operations Manager

 

Peter was born and raised outside Corvallis, Oregon, spending his childhood in nature wandering the forests and fields with his three older brothers. He spent much of High School with a Waldorf Inspired tutor before moving to British Columbia to study education and philosophy in university.

After graduation, Peter worked in university student development leading human services programs in areas of houselessness, incarceration, immigration and refugee support, and other areas of community need. During this time he began volunteering in childrens and youth bereavement at a local hospice, eventually moving back to Oregon to work full time in hospice mental health support.

Peter is currently enrolled in counselor education at the Canadian School of Existential Analysis in Vancouver, BC. Existential Analysis is a therapy developed from the work of Dr. Viktor Frankl. It aims to help people freely experience the world and make authentic decisions in pursuit of a fulfilling, empowering experience of life. Peter believes strongly in the value of mental wellness and aims to bring a person-centered approach to all aspects of his life.

In his free time, Peter loves to cook, hike, garden, and spend time with his nephews. Peter’s so happy to be at the Waldorf School of Bend and is excited to help create a learning environment where young minds and those who care for them can thrive.

Natalia Lyubimova

Natalia Lyubimova

School Registrar

Natalia grew up in southern Siberia and spent her childhood rock climbing in the majestic Sayan mountains, swimming in the mighty Yenisei, and reading English and French literature “in the original language”. 

She graduated from the Katanov State University with a master’s degree in education and taught college students English, French, and German. She had a keen interest in studying linguistics, psychology, and philosophy. She later worked as an English-Russian interpreter. 

Natalia moved with her family to the United States in 2011. She lived in Vermont and California before finally finding her home in Bend.

Natalia has been a Waldorf parent embracing the ideas of Waldorf education as a basis for her family rhythms and as an inspiration for several years of homeschooling. In her free time, Natalia likes to go on road trips, hike, hang out with friends, read, and write.

 

Board of Directors

John McCormick

John McCormick

President | Exec. Board Member

Bio Coming Soon!
Nicole Handley

Nicole Handley

Secretary | Exec. Board Member

Nicole Handley moved to Bend, Oregon from Acton, CA. She spent 22 years as one of
the Film industry’s leading animal trainers. After years of traveling the world from Sri
Lanka to Costa Rica Nicole had her daughter Hailey and knew it was time to slow the
pace and find a community to settle down in. Passionate about animals and the great
outdoors Bend was a natural fit. Growing up skiing the Oregon Mountains with her
hippy father Nicole always felt in her heart that Oregon was home. Nicole loves the
outdoors and most activities that take place there. Waldorf Education has been in
Nicole’s heart from the very moment she started the journey of learning “What is
Waldorf”. Nicole loves that Waldorf School of Bend is a tight knit community with
likeminded, caring and kind families that love the outdoors.
Jen Price

Jen Price

Treasurer | Exec. Board Member

Bio Coming Soon!
Michelle Gere

Michelle Gere

Board Member

Michelle was born and raised in Alaska and put down roots in Bend in 2018. Along with serving on the WSB Board, she volunteers at the school once a week supporting the early childhood program and has a child in first grade. She sees the value of a Waldorf education every day in her own daughter’s intellectual and spiritual development, playfulness and excitement about learning. When not at the school, Michelle hangs with her friends and family and works a day job. Her background in higher education administration and current work in project management informs her role on the Board — and also comes in handy when organizing playdates.
Kyle Nelson

Kyle Nelson

Board Member

Hello and welcome to our school community! I’m thrilled to be a part of this wonderful educational journey as a dedicated board member and the co-chair for our Parent Council group. Having grown up in the beautiful landscapes of Northern California and now residing in the vibrant community of Bend, Oregon since 2020, I deeply appreciate the value of a nurturing and enriching educational environment for our children. With a bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship from Chico State University and a rich professional background that includes owning businesses, involvement in funded start-ups, and a specialization in marketing, operations, photography, videography, organizational structure, and community/culture building, I am committed to contributing my expertise and passion to help cultivate a thriving, inclusive school atmosphere. As a parent with two children attending this school and being married to Mrs. Crystal, our beloved pre-k 3 day teacher, I understand the importance of fostering a supportive, engaging, and enriching educational experience for all our young learners. Additionally, I am in the process of launching a men’s coaching business aimed at empowering individuals to reach their fullest potential, fostering fulfillment, and creating a life of abundance. I look forward to collaborating with fellow board members, educators, parents, and students to ensure a bright future for our school community.