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danelys vAlcarcel
Pre-school & Kindergarten teacher

Danelys is a Cuban-born artist, a student of Theosophy, Anthroposophy, and Hindu philosophy. Currently working as Pre-School and Kindergarten teacher at WSD and as an assistant librarian, facilitator and researcher for the Theosophical Society in America, she is also a Montessori and Krishnamurti teacher. Her service oriented career widens her heart further to working with seniors, homeless and mentoring young adults and prisoners. In her spear time she teaches pentatonic flute, lyre and therapeutic art. Children, nature and God are her greatest sources of strength and inspiration. Trained as a Early Childhood Waldorf teacher at Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Education Program, Danelys has dedicated the past fourteen years of her life to researching the field of spiritual education; significant impulse that led her to discover the magnificent glory of Waldorf pedagogy.  

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Carlene Mogavero    Pre-school & Kindergarten teacher

Carlene is a founding parent of the Waldorf School of DuPage and has 18 years of classroom experience, 12 as lead kindergarten teacher. She completed her training at the West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy in Vancouver, Canada. Inspired by nature and the delight of seasonal festivals, she brings joy and creativity to her storytelling and movement work with her class. Her two children, now adults, are Waldorf graduates.

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Laura Whitney
Pre-school & Kindergarten ASSISTANT

Laura Whitney has a rich background in Early Childhood Education. She has served as a teacher/director through out the past 25 years. Most recently, Laura trained as a forest kindergarten teacher at Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten in Vashon Island Washington with Erin Kenny. She is a lover of nature, poetry, story and song. Laura's favorite classroom is in nature where lessons unfold as you watch, listen and contemplate. A life long learner, Laura celebrates and seeks out new ways to wonder and grow with the children and teachers in her classroom. In her free time she enjoys time with family, gardening, reading and walks through the woods and prairie.

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sierra undine
parent-child teacher

Bio coming soon!

ANNA MORRIS
Pre-school & Kindergarten ASSISTANT

Anna’s involvement with WSD began when her children started their Waldorf journey in the pre-school program and continued as they made their way through the grades.  For six years, Anna provided private childcare for WSD families then joined our staff as office coordinator then afternoon and after-school care provider.  Since 2009, she has been an assistant teacher in our pre-school and kindergarten programs.  Anna is a graduate of Illinois Benedictine College with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.  Her current position provides a refreshing change in focus after working in the tech field for twelve years.

 

Brenna mclachlan
1st grade teacher

Brenna, a graduate of Arcturus Waldorf Teacher Training, started her journey as a teacher as an assistant in the pre-school program.  She has been teaching in the grade school since 2010.  A mother of five children, Brenna brings to the classroom a love of the outdoors and a passion for hands-on learning, math, and science.

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Nancy Williams
2nd GRADE teacher

Nancy J. Williams, formerly Della is a German native that relocated to Chicago in the 90’s. She has played the violin since she was a child becoming the youngest member of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra in history. In addition to teaching violin she taught at the University of Chicago and used to be a classroom teacher at different Waldorf schools. We are happy to have Nancy as a 1st Grade teacher this year.

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ELIZABETH GANTNER
3rd GRADE teacher

Liz is a master teacher in Waldorf Education and now in her fourth cycle of teaching 1st through 8th grade. She has a passion for teaching which includes training others to become Waldorf teachers, consultant work, and mentoring. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a sense of humor to WSD.

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BIANCA BEVARD
4th GRADE teacher

Bianca graduated from Millikin University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance.  She has a combined Master of Arts in Education and Waldorf Teacher Training through a collaboration with Mount Mary University and the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute. Bianca is passionate about children and teaching and is grateful that being at WSD allows her to be with her own two children every day and to explore the world creatively, artistically, and spiritually.

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Karen Hays
5th Grade teacher

Karen is a co-founder of Waldorf School of DuPage and has taught pre-school, choir, recorder, and music for many years. She earned her teaching certificate from Elmhurst College concentrating on Chemistry and Earth Sciences. She received a Therapeutic Early Childhood certificate from Gradalis Institute and completed her Waldorf teacher training at Sunbridge Institute. She joined the grades faculty in 2013 and brings a love of nature, music, and the sciences to the classroom.

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Barbara DuRocher      6th grade teacher

Barbara DuRocher has been involved in Waldorf education for over 25 years. She has worked as a faculty member, administrator, board member and parent at both WSD and Da Vinci Waldorf Schools, and was a founding parent at Four Winds Waldorf School (now WSD) in 1994. Barbara has taught in early childhood and grade school classes and loves teaching upper grades math in particular and singing (and playing ukulele!) with her students. With a Masters in Public Administration, Barbara worked in university administration for eight years before finding her way to Waldorf education. Barbara completed her Waldorf Teaching Certification at the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute and has also attended many other Waldorf teacher training programs. 

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BRENNA McLachlan
7/8th grade teacher

Brenna, a graduate of Arcturus Waldorf Teacher Training, started her journey as a teacher as an assistant in the pre-school program.  She has been teaching in the grade school since 2010.  A mother of five children, Brenna brings to the classroom a love of the outdoors and a passion for hands-on learning, math, and science.

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naomi studebaker
EDUCATIONAL & REMEDIAL SUPPORT

All of her adult life, Naomi has worked in the Steiner Education movement including early childhood and grades class teaching and educational support. Naomi’s Oak Park home kindergarten was the founding impulse for the WSD Grade School. Since 2012 she has enjoyed making numerous trips to support the growth of Waldorf education in China by participating in teacher training and mentoring. Naomi holds a BS and Master’s degree in Education, as well as specific training in several forms of sensory motor integration and is currently offering educational support.

 

Thea Olsen
Handwork teacher

Thea Olsen joined the WSD

faculty in January of 1999 as a pre-school assistant after completing a degree in early childhood education. She started teaching handwork the following fall, and thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to share her love of handwork with the children. She also loves playing music, singing, and playing the hammered dulcimer both at school events and local venues. She is the mother of 3 children, 2 of whom are WSD’s students.

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romina paiva
SPANISH teacher

A native of Argentina, Romina studied graphic design at the University of Buenos Aires. She has travelled and lived throughout Latin America presenting puppet and circus shows in schools while pursuing her craft of jewelry making. She has taught art to native communities in Ecuador, opened a vegan restaurant in the rain forest of Panama, and organized self-care retreats. Romina’s many artistic skills and nurturing energy enliven and compliment her Spanish language instruction.  

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honna austin
orchestra teacher

Honna Austin joined our faculty in the spring of 2008 as our Orchestra Director at WSD. She received her Bachelors Degree from Northern Illinois University in Violin Performance and Painting. While at Northern, Honna studied under Mathias Tacke and Shmuel Ashkenasi from the world-renowned Vermeer Quartet. She went on to receive her Masters Degree in Fine Arts in Printmaking from Cornell University and her Teaching Certificate in Suzuki Pedagogy from Ithaca College under Stanford Reuning. Honna has played with many various orchestras throughout the Chicagoland area as well as toured internationally. She currently is a member of Fox Valley Orchestra. She holds a full studio of private students. 

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TANIA BROWN
SPANISH teacher

Photo and bio coming soon!


Shiho Kajiwara RECORDER teacher & Accompanist

Shiho's involvement with Waldorf education began when her child started in the kindergarten program at The Waldorf School of Lexington, MA in 2002.  Since moving to Chicagoland in 2004, she has been accompanying the choir, orchestra and eurythmy at WSD. She is also serving as an eurythmy accompanist at Urban Prairie Waldorf School in Chicago. She received a Bachelor of Music from Musashino Academia Musicae in Japan and enjoys working with a wide range of local singers and musicians.

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altin naska              dance teacher

Co-founder of the Southport Performing Arts Conservatory and director of Plainfield Dance Academy, Altin Naska is an internationally known, award-winning choreographer, dancer, and master teacher with over two decades of performing experience in Europe and the United States. He was a soloist with Istanbul State Opera and Ballet and Istanbul City Theater in Turkey, and also with the Tirana State Opera and Ballet in his native Albania. He graduated from the Albanian Academy of Ballet and studied choreography at the Tirana Institute of Arts. Altin is recognized for his fusion of ballet and modern techniques and groundbreaking collaborations with local and international artists including Dance Chicago and The Dutch National Ballet. He has taught master classes and workshops all over the world and the U.S. and teaches folk dance at WSD.

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amanda palmquist movement education & after-school care

Amanda Palmquist has been involved with the Waldorf community her whole life. She attended WSD preschool through 8th grade and has been the Games teacher since 2015. Amanda ran cross country at Waubonsee Community College and graduated with an Associate’s degree. She played rugby at the University of Illinois at Chicago and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree. Amanda loves playing sports/games and is excited to convey that love to the children of WSD.

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Angela palmquist            EXTENDED CARE TEACHER & FACULTY SUPPORT

Angela Palmquist is a graduate of the Rudolf Steiner Schule in Basel, Switzerland. A trained nurse with 10 years experience in the medical field, Angela joined our preschool program in 2003 as a kindergarten assistant and now provides afternoon childcare and faculty support in the grades. Angela completed her Waldorf teacher training at Arcturus in Chicago in 2008, is trained in Spacial Dynamics and prepares our 5th graders for their pentathlon. Angela is also an accomplished watercolor artist.

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JOCELYNE ROY
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR

Jocelyne graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communications from Concordia University in Montreal. She and a partner had a financial planning business advising families on suitable investment vehicles and retirement planning. Jocelyne and her 2 children joined the school in 2004 and her involvement in the school has included serving as Parent Council Chair and Board President. She has been the school administrator since 2012.

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sara robbins
yoga teacher

Sara is a certified yoga teacher with experience teaching in studios. Her yoga practice began in high school and continues to be her reliable path inward. Sara is a former public school teacher, whose own journey towards health and healing lead her to begin her studies of alternative healing modalities. Sara is a licensed massage therapist, trained in several modalities including Reiki and Thai Massage. She is currently expanding her knowledge and practice in the healing arts as a student of Polarity Therapy. Meditation and prayer play a prominent role both in her work and her everyday growth.

 
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Maya tubic
ADMISSIONS DIRECTOR & MARKETING COORDINATOR

Maya joined our school in 2014 as a parent and transitioned into Office/Accounts/HR coordinator role in 2016. Her role was expended to Admissions and Marketing in 2017. Maya worked in the corporate world for 20 years before finding Waldorf education which made her change her career fully. With a B.A. degree in Behavioral Sciences, she is currently working on her Waldorf Administrator Certification from the Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Education Program in Chicago. She is an outgoing person who loves psychology, traveling, cycling and spending time outdoors with her son Luca and their dog Kirby, both Waldorf School of DuPage students.

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CHEYENNE JOHNSON
ACCOUNTS & HR COORDINATOR

Bio coming soon!