Meet the Faculty
Nursery, Pre-K and Kindergarten
Nursery Lead Teacher
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.
Nursery Lead Teacher, Culinary Teacher
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.
Lead Pre-Kindergarten and Parent Toddler
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.
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.”
Lower Grades, Grades 1-6
Grade 1 and 2
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!
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
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
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.
Grade 6 and 7
Junior High, Grades 7-8
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.
Grade 7/8 & Junior High Director
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.”
Lower Grades Spanish
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!
Outreach Director, Woodworking, Practical Arts and Morning Care Teacher
Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Nicole Blume grew up with two younger siblings and a backyard sanctuary of ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs, and endangered tortoises. She began studying woodworking, ceramics, drawing, painting, and the sculptural arts in high school, while working part time as a babysitter, camp counselor, art assistant volunteer, and big sister mentor for children in low-income communities. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in English Literature in 2009, she returned to LA to work 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. She has worked at a variety of different Waldorf schools in various capacities, including as a long-term substitute teacher at Ocean Charter School, a summer early childhood assistant teacher at Highland Hall, a teaching assistant at the Pasadena Waldorf School, and now the Woodworking & Practical Arts teacher at the Waldorf School of Bend, in addition to overseeing the school’s community outreach efforts and social media accounts.
Ms. Blume is also a mother to wonderfully spirited little toddler and is expecting her second bundle of joy this summer 2020! She is so happy she relocated to beautiful Bend with her family.
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 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.
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.
Bio Coming Soon!
Taylor Blacklock moved from Crested Butte, Colorado to join the Bend community. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from Western State Colorado University And has spent her years since then teaching children of all ages. Prior to moving here she was a toddler teacher. She wanted to work with an older age group which is what she was searching for when she found the Waldorf School of Bend. Taylor has taught in a variety of setting and educational models and is so excited to learn as she joins the Waldorf School of Bend as the Director of Extended Care!
Taylor is also an amazing artist and is loving exploring Oregon with all it’s natural beauty.