Meet our Faculty

Meet the Faculty 

Pre-K and Kindergarten

Jessica Porto

Jessica Porto

Lead Kindergarten

I grew up in Nebraska as the youngest of three girls, playing outside in all kinds of weather, both in the deep snow drifts of our long cold winters, and in the hot, steamy summer sun.  When I visited Oregon as a teenager, I dreamed of living in this stunning landscape, where the mountains and ocean were both at my fingertips.
I began my journey as a teacher while working with children in conventional settings, but I found myself craving an educational model which honored the individuality and spirit of each child.  When I was finally able to move to Oregon after college, I stumbled upon Waldorf Education at Swallowtail School, a small school near Portland.  I immediately fell in love with the community and the beautiful and engaging way they met the children.  It was clear that this was the path I had been looking for, and I quickly immersed myself in learning everything I could about Anthroposophy and it’s perspective on child development and education.  For the last seventeen years, I have been part of the Swallowtail community as a parent, a lead and assistant teacher in both the early grades and early childhood, as well as providing a Waldorf inspired nursery program in our home for the families and faculty members of the school. My husband, Kris, is also a Waldorf teacher, and held a grades class from first through sixth grade at Swallowtail.  We have two wonderful children, Kassidy and Aurelia.  Kassidy will be joining the seventh grade next year, and Aurelia will be in second grade.
After so many years in the Portland area, my family and I are ready for a new adventure.  We feel so honored to be invited to join your community and to live in beautiful Bend.
Stephanie Perez

Stephanie Perez

Kindergarten Assistant

Stephanie was born and raised in the mountains of Durango, Colorado. It was there that a deep-rooted respect for nature, creativity, and an unconventional approach to learning was instilled and inspired for life. After relocating to Bend and starting a family, Stephanie has collectively spent over 15 years in Oregon. Stephanie discovered Waldorf when seeking fulfilling and enriching education options for her two children. An immediate personal connection was formed with the unique teaching approach of Waldorf and the whole family fell in love with the school community.  Stephanie is currently deepening her knowledge and passion of teaching, child development and Anthroposophy at the Micha-el Institute. She is grateful to be working within a community where each day is an inspiring and enriching experience of consciousness where children are nurtured on their individual journeys in a wholesome environment. Outside of work some of her passions are gardening through revegetation, zero-waste sustainability, natural bee-keeping, cooking and art.  

Tess Vining

Tess Vining

Lead Pre-Kindergarten and Parent Toddler

A native Californian from Santa Cruz and Mammoth Lakes, Tess earned a degree in Sociology and Business from Loyola Marymount University.  She began working in the public school system, realizing her interest in mentorship and a desire for deeper pedagogical work.  She moved to Jackson, Wyoming and led a preschool class before becoming a mother and finding Waldorf education for her son.  Renewed and inspired by Waldorf- which she’d experienced in her own childhood, Tess completed a two-year intensive teacher training at Waldorf Teacher Education Eugene with a focus on Early Childhood.  Living in Corvallis, Oregon, Tess became Director of Early Childhood at CWS, then visited the Waldorf School of Bend in 2016 and fell in love with the community.
  
Starting as a Substitute and Assistant at WSB, Tess became Lead Teacher of the Huckleberry Preschool and Parent-Toddler classes.  Being part of a school community with heart and laughter has been a dream, and in a greater community where the mountains, rivers, lush valleys and beaches are all close by has been the inspiration for her work in the classroom every day.  As a lifelong student of Anthroposophy, Tess continues to deepen her understanding of child development through the interwoven capacities of intellectual, spiritual, physical and sentient layers of our being.  Tess believes that the magic of childhood can last a lifetime with a balance of curiosity and altruism, as lightness and grounding.  When not teaching Tess is playing in the mountains and waters across the PNW with family and friends.
Alex McAleer

Alex McAleer

Pre-Kindergarten Assistant

Bio Coming Soon!

Rachel Caldwell

Rachel Caldwell

Lead Kindergarten

Raised in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Ms. Rachel has always loved being surrounded by nature.  In 2005, along with her Husband and two small children, they decided to move to Central Oregon where they could hike, swim, camp, ski and enjoy the beauty and offerings of Bend and the surrounding areas.  In 2008, they welcomed their youngest daughter into their family. Ms. Rachel was introduced into Waldorf Education when her oldest daughter was ready to begin Kindergarten. Ms. Rachel says “I dropped my daughter off for her first day of school with tears from both of us, when I returned to pick her up, she smiled up at me and asked when she would be coming back to school.” Thus, began a life long love for Waldorf Education. Ms. Rachel began by parent volunteering in her daughters Kindergarten class, then began to transition into the role of Kindergarten assistant (often while wearing her youngest daughter in a sling). Ms. Rachel says “I truly never wanted to leave the classroom and found myself ready to become a teacher and begin my Waldorf Training, and now one of my children has gone on to become a Waldorf Graduate, and I still enjoy having my younger two within our school”.

Ms. Rachel has more than 10 years of experience in Waldorf Early Childhood classrooms.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and Finance from North Carolina State University, and Mention Bien in Study of French Language, Institut de Francais, Ville Franche Sur Mer, France.  Ms. Rachel completed her Waldorf Early Childhood training in July of 2018.

Jessica Marden

Jessica Marden

Assistant Kindergarten

“My love for Waldorf education began when I saw my first Waldorf school. Once I saw the warmth that was created in each classroom, I knew right away that’s where I wanted my daughters to be. Now I’m truly honored to have had both my daughters attend WSB and to also work here.  I love working with Ms. Rachel in the Little Doves class. The laughter, love and warmth has created a wholesome environment for the children and has been life changing for me. ”

Ms. Jessica was born and raised in Alaska, moved to central Oregon in 2014 . She loves animals, hiking in the Cascades, spending time with her daughters and friends in her free time.

Niki Rainwater

Niki Rainwater

Lead Kindergarten

Niki Rainwater says, “My son and daughter are both Waldorf school graduates that have had much academic success—which we attribute to kindergarten soup, geometric drawing, and knitting their own socks. They both will be happy to tell you that it all began with a fairy tale.” When the school halls are filled with the delicious aromas of baking bread and simmering soups, it is often thanks to the joyful efforts of Ms. Rainwater’s early childhood and kindergarten students!

Ms. Rainwater has been teaching Waldorf curriculum for more than 12 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a double Minor in Early Childhood Education and Home Economics, from California State University, Sacramento. For more than a decade, she has annually attended the February Conferences and Waldorf in the Home Conferences at Rudolph Steiner College. Additionally, she regularly attends workshops in compassionate communication, handwork, practical arts, puppetry and storytelling. Niki graduated with honors from the Rudolf Steiner College Early Childhood Training in the summer of 2017.

Her family’s desire to live near the mountains brought them to Bend nine summers in a row. Following years of pondering the pros and cons of leaving the Bay Area to come to Bend, they made the leap and became permanent residents in 2013. Ms. Rainwater says, “My own children and all the students I’ve worked with inspire me on a daily basis.”

Jen Morgan

Jen Morgan

Assistant Kindergarten

Bio coming soon!

Lower Grades, Grades 1-6

Evan Ragland

Evan Ragland

Grade 1

Raised in Cascadia, Evan has always held a deep appreciation for learning and enjoys most finding connections through all subjects. As a teenager Evan discovered that teaching is an effective and fun way to learn when he took his first job as a water safety instructor.  Evan earned a bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington and later attended the Sunbridge Institute in New York where he completed the Waldorf Education Grades Teaching course.

For the last five years Evan has been teaching on the island of Hawai’i at Malamalama Waldorf School. During this time he was privilege to dance with Halau Hula Ka Makani Hali ‘Ala O Puna and also begin to work with a founding crew member of the Hokule’a and Polynesian Voyaging Society. Evan enjoys an active life that is centered in joy. Some of his many diversions include swimming, laughing, drinking tea, and spending time with family. He has found teaching in the Waldorf movement to be a humbling and an inspired path of learning.

Susan McDonnell

Susan McDonnell

Grade 1 Assistant

Susan was born in raised in Denver, Colorado. Mrs. McDonnell attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she received a double degree in Studio Arts, and Mathematics. After college Susan moved to California, where she worked for a small progressive school, that focused on working with children on the spectrum or struggling with severe ADD/ADHD. Susan was also was a private tutor for children of all ages, from new readers to high school students. She then moved to Bend in 2015, and continued to tutor, as well as nannying for a family. Mrs. McDonnell has always loved working with children, and feels so honored to be a part of the Waldorf community! 

Meghan Allsopp

Meghan Allsopp

Grade 2

Meghan Allsopp is a lifelong learner. From a young age, the outdoors was her favorite classroom wherever her family moved and travelled. She learned to be adaptive and very curious, handling new experiences with patient ease. College brought her to the University of Vermont where she majored in Studio Art and Psychology. There she volunteered for the Outdoor Program and Student Life; teaching canoeing, rock climbing, backpacking and other wilderness skills as well as hosting cultural and art-based events for the community. Her love of farming and gardening took her to teach at school gardens, farms, and a therapeutic horticultural program for adolescents and young adults in Hawaii.

Education can be a healthy and healing element in children’s lives. Waldorf Education appealed to Meghan’s love of integrating the experiential, artistic, and ensouled quality that teachers in a Waldorf School strive to cultivate. This led Meghan to the Eugene Waldorf Teacher Training program, from which she graduated with a certificate in teaching Grades 1-8 in 2015.
Miss Allsopp loves Bend with its energetic sunny disposition, enjoys hiking, canoeing the Mackenzie river, gardening, and cooking elaborate meals with friends and family.
Laura Elmore

Laura Elmore

Grade 3

Laura Elmore says, “I feel so alive and inspired when teaching others. It is an ever-becoming process in which we as teachers are allowed to be free, in the moment, with the children. In this process, their intelligence is honored and appreciated.” Mrs. Elmore’s classroom and class excursions are full of life, curiosity, and daily—sometimes surprising!—gems of wisdom and discovery.

Mrs. Elmore’s Waldorf experience includes more than 15 years teaching in Waldorf environments, from early childhood to elementary grades. She holds a Teaching Certificate for Early Childhood and Elementary Grades, Micha-el Institute, Portland, OR.

Mrs. Elmore is also a Licensed Massage Therapist since 1998. She and her family moved to Bend in 2003 when they fell in love with the small community feel paired with its vibrant, bustling life full of family-friendly activities. She says, “I’ve always appreciated when children are allowed to be a part of the community. And, it’s inspiring to be surrounded by the great outdoors; hiking, biking, river play, all the things I love to do.”

Mary Ann Hinton

Mary Ann Hinton

Grade 4

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 play writing 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. Mary
Anne’s spent the last 6 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.

Lesley Myers

Lesley Myers

Grade 5

Lesley Myers, a native Oregonian, received a BA in Sociology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Willamette University, located in Salem, Oregon. Ms. Myers began her teaching career as a 2nd grade teacher in Monmouth, Oregon. From there, she furthered her teaching career as a Special Education Language Arts teacher and reading teacher at Mililani High School, on the island of Oahu.

After living in the islands, she  hiked 1,300 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail before settling down in Bend, Oregon. Ms. Myers is an avid outdoorswoman who shares her love of surfing, skiing, rafting, and backpacking with her two children.

In her pursuit to find a school for her children that taught to the whole child, enriching the mind, body and spirit, Ms. Myers discovered the Waldorf School of Bend. This holistic and developmentally appropriate approach to education inspired her to not only send her own children here, but to pursue a teaching career here as well. Ms. Myers has completed her second year of Waldorf Grades teaching certification and is thrilled to teach our grades students.

Kris Porto

Kris Porto

Grade 6

Bio coming soon!

Junior High, Grades 7-8

Moe Anderson

Moe Anderson

Grade 7/8 & Junior High Director

Moe Anderson says, “I believe our task as educators is to allow for the natural unfolding of each child’s unique abilities.” As the teacher for WSB’s 7th and 8th grade students, Mrs. Anderson brings a signature passion and enthusiasm to the junior high curriculum. From algebra to statistics and probability, chemistry to astronomy, literature to fine and performing arts, and beyond—she creates rigorous, experiential learning both in and outside of her classroom.

Mrs. Anderson has been teaching Waldorf curriculum for more than 13 years. She is a Facilitator at the Micha-el Institute for the Teacher Training External Grades Program. Her credentials include a Bachelor of Science, SUNY@ Potsdam, NY; a Master’s in Education, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA; and a Teaching Certificate for Grades 1-12, Micha-el Institute, Portland, OR. She is also a Professor of Ceramics, Fine Arts and Communication Department, Central Oregon Community College.

Mrs. Anderson is also a nationally awarded, honored and recognized visual and ceramic artist. She and her family moved to Bend in 2004 in search of a community that supported a Waldorf grades program for their two young sons. She says, “My husband’s natural curiosity and love of the outdoors were nurtured and supported through his educational experiences at the Sacramento Waldorf School, where he is an Alumnus. We wanted this same opportunity for our two boys; we have found it here at the Waldorf School of Bend.”

Thom Routt

Thom Routt

Grade 7/8

Mr Routt says, “I believe that when the spark of interest is ignited, the wildfire of learning can burn un-suppressed.”  As a former wildland firefighter, this metaphor has been a part of his recent past while living here in Oregon.

Mr. Routt has 15 years of teaching experience, including more than twelve years in Waldorf classrooms. He completed the elementary grades teacher training at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, Sausalito, CA. He also completed the Level I Spacial Dynamics® training at the Spacial Dynamics Institute and is concurrently pursuing the Level ll Movement Therapy and the Level III Movement Trainers certifications.  Thom also received an associate’s degree in engineering from Potomac State College, and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, where he studied geology-physics/mathematics.

As a nine year Bend resident, Mr. Routt surrounds himself with a supportive community and takes advantage of the wonderful outdoor activities that central Oregon has to offer–mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing, and dual-sport motorcycling . He also enjoys playing multiple musical instruments, practicing acro yoga and capoeira, and dancing to live music.

Subject Teachers

Carla Delfino

Carla Delfino

Lower Grades Spanish

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!

Silvi Galmozzi

Silvi Galmozzi

Upper Grades Spanish

Silvi was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the age of 19 Silvi moved to Miami, Florida and started a career in Human Resources which she enjoyed until 2016 when she moved to Bend. 
Since been in Central Oregon Silvi has taken advantage of her native tongue Spanish and found a new and exciting career path as a medical interpreter which led into teaching. 
When Silvi is not at our school she is teaching Spanish at COCC Continuing Education program as well as offering courses in nonverbal communications. 
In her free time, Silvi enjoys cooking, baking, and kayaking with her husband.
Nicole Blume

Nicole Blume

Woodworking, Practical Arts and Morning Care Teacher

Born and raised in Los Angeles, she grew up with her two younger siblings and a backyard sanctuary of ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs, and endangered tortoises, who taught her how to love the natural world and all its creatures. Hiking, camping, swimming, and kayaking in a nautical-themed Girl Scout troop filled her childhood, while she began woodworking, ceramics, drawing, painting, and the sculptural arts at her private, liberal arts high school. She loved working with young children and worked as a babysitter, camp counselor, art assistant volunteer at her temple, and a big sister mentor for children in low-income communities. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley in 2009 with a degree in English Literature and two study abroad experiences under her belt (a summer in Sienna, Italy, and a year at Durham University, England), she returned to Los Angeles to work for four years in the Entertainment Industry. Although Hollywood was exciting, she felt the call of her karmic destiny and followed her heart’s desire to become a Waldorf teacher. 

She graduated in 2014  with her multiple subjects teaching credential from Cal State University of Northridge and student taught in two local LAUSD elementary schools, before beginning her study of Anthroposophy and Waldorf pedagogy through the Waldorf teacher education program at WISC (graduated 2016). She concurrently enrolled in the Waldorf Practical Arts Training program to deepen her artistic capacities and to prepare for a position as a specialty woodworking teacher (graduated 2018). After working as a long-term substitute teacher for a 5th grade class at a public, Waldorf-inspired charter school, and as a summer early childhood assistant teacher at Highland Hall, she apprenticed for four fantastic years as an assistant teacher in the grades at the Pasadena Waldorf School. She also became a mother to her sweet little girl, Sophia Rose Blume, who is the light of her life and an inspiration for all her work. 

After so many years living in the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, Nicole and her family are ready for a new adventure in Oregon, where they have always dreamed of living!

Laura Holtsberg

Laura Holtsberg

Handwork

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.

Brenna Warburton

Brenna Warburton

Movement/Games

Brenna is passionate about giving young people the skills they need to move efficiently and happily.  During her 16 years in Bend she has coached mountain biking, Nordic skiing and rock climbing for children and adults.
“I see endless benefits to teaching young people to enjoy movement. Movement is the base for creating lasting memories and strong friendships. The confidence that comes with having the skills to adventure on foot, on bikes, or on skis through the landscapes in our own backyards, throughout the seasons, will last a lifetime.”
Brenna and her husband Bill have two young children. They love to ski and ride bikes together and take lots of snack breaks.
Brenna is eager to learn more about the Waldorf philosophy and community. “As a parent and a teacher,  the Waldorf methods match my desire to create well-rounded, respectful young people.”
Susan Strauss

Susan Strauss

Eurythmy

Bio Coming Soon!
Ann Boyd

Ann Boyd

Theater Arts

As a young artist Ann taught various art programs through Urban Gateways in the Chicago public schools.  She went on to work as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago (CCC) where she was a full-time faculty member from 2011-2015.  Ann directed the movement program for the theatre department at CCC and together with designer Chelsea Warren, Ann developed CCC’s Theatre Foundation Course for all incoming students.  This in-depth experience of team teaching with an interdisciplinary approach reflects Ann’s passion for collaboration and the dialogue between the arts that is inherent to the craft of making theatre.

As a movement teacher for young actors, Ann focused on the development of students’ physical presence and freedom.  This work revealed to her the rich dialogue between our physical, mental and emotional lives.  This dialogue is at the heart of Ann’s teaching.  It has been her experience, and her observation, that our physical and creative growth offers us insight into who we are as people and how we can contribute and connect to the world around us.

Rudolph Steiner said that “The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility – are the very nerve of education.”  Students creating performances and theatre from their imaginations, a sense of truth and responsibility to their collaborative ensemble and to their audience, is the very embodiment of Steiner’s observation.

Amanda Adams

Amanda Adams

Gardening and Culinary

Bio Coming Soon!

Taylor Blacklock

Taylor Blacklock

Extended Care Director

Bio Coming Soon!

Alicia Greenleaf

Alicia Greenleaf

Extended Care Teacher

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. She also enjoyed helping out with the youngest children as she grew older, volunteering her time in the kindergarten. It was during her education at Waldorf that the seeds were planted for Alicia to grow and blossom into a creative, nature loving designer and teacher.

Alicia received her first bachelors 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 Universidad Alcalá de Henares near Madrid. After graduating from UCSC, Alicia spent a month backpacking through the high Sierras studying nature philosophy and ecopsychology with the Sierra Institute’s California Wilderness program. Alicia moved to San Francisco to further her creative career at the California College of the Arts where she received a BFA in graphic design. After working for four years full time at the Academy of Sciences as lead communications graphic designer, Alicia was ready to take a break from full time computer work and city life. She moved to Bend at the beginning of the summer and worked as an outdoor guide for RAD Camps, a Bend based summer adventure day camp. 

For the past 10 years Alicia has worked as both a graphic designer and as a caregiver to children of all ages. She has worked as a lifeguard, children’s snowboard instructor, summer (sleepover and day) camp counselor, family nanny, and Waldorf preschool teacher’s assistant. 

In her free time, Alicia sings and plays guitar, practices yoga, climbs, backpacks, and pursues creative projects.  Alicia is so excited to live in beautiful Bend and looks forward to growing and connecting with the Waldorf School of Bend community!