High School Faculty

At Sacramento Waldorf High School, education always takes place within the context of relationship, whether it is in the classroom, in the lab, on the playing field, on the working farm, in the studio, on stage, or in any of our many campus venues. The smaller size of our school allows students to develop meaningful relationships with both peers and teachers.  Young people are challenged to consider the ethical components of their studies in life and in our school community.


Alison Davis
Joined SWS 2021

High School Humanities Teacher
Alison Davis

Ms. Davis began teaching in Waldorf schools because, coming out of academia, she wanted to teach in a setting that promoted deep relationality, where people know, see, and value each other in as many ways as possible. She believes that children come into this world with their own unique mission and considers it her job to help them discover and live out that mission.

Ms. Davis received her Waldorf teaching certificate from Rudolf Steiner College in 2017. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas, graduate degrees from University of Notre Dame and Stanford University, and is currently working toward an EdD in Waldorf pedagogy at Antioch University. She is a certified group exercise, yoga, and meditation instructor.

A resident of Bannister Road in Fair Oaks, Ms. Davis launched a food justice program at her previous school through community organizing, is a published poet and scholar, and has run 17 marathons and 2 ultramarathons. She has lived on three continents and appreciates having had the chance, she says, “to experience the intimacy of the everyday in settings that are very different from where I was born in Detroit. As a queer person, I also know how important it is to showcase all the different ways that love can manifest in this world and treat them all with reverence and respect.”


Joined SWS 2017

Humanities
Andrew May

What Andrew loves most about teaching is how organically learning grows and develops throughout life when guided with intention and meaning. A Humanities teacher in grades 9-12, Andrew enjoys teaching at a Waldorf school because he is able to continuously learn and grow through his work with students and colleagues. “Early in my life, I realized how amazingly transformative and exciting it can be to help someone learn something they did not previously know. To this day, that feeling remains central in my work to help others become who they are meant to be.”

Andrew holds a BA and single-subject teaching credential in English Education from California State University, Sacramento and an MEd from Antioch University New England with a focus on transdisciplinary healing education and pedagogy.

He obtained a Waldorf High School Teaching Certificate from Rudolf Steiner College. As a student teacher at a Waldorf-methods high school, Andrew fell in love with Waldorf education and decided to become a Waldorf teacher.

Before joining Sacramento Waldorf School, Andrew taught Humanities at Waldorf School of the Peninsula in the Bay Area. In addition to teaching high school, he has taught English as a Foreign Language to adults in Busan, South Korea.

A Citrus Heights resident, Andrew lives with his family and enjoys reading, writing, cooking, hiking, and being run ragged by his young children.

Contact Andrew: (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 1996

Humanities
Andrew Sullivan

A 1986 graduate of Sacramento Waldorf School, Andrew holds a BA in English and Anthropology from University of Notre Dame and an MA in English from California State University, Sacramento. He completed coursework at Rudolf Steiner College.

Andrew teaches humanities and has coached soccer at Sacramento Waldorf School. Besides teaching, he counts poetry, epistemology, interventionist art, and making tortilla soup as major interests. In 2004, Poet’s Corner Press published his first chapbook of poems, Islands of Earshot. In 2006, he founded the Waste And Vice Elimination Squad, a rapid response garbage mitigation collective or community service club at Sacramento Waldorf School.

Contact Andrew: (916) 961-3900


Winds and Jazz Band Teacher Ann DiPasquale
Joined SWS 2017

Lower School Winds & High School Jazz
Ann F. DiPasquale

Ann is committed to helping students reach their fullest potential. She aspires to deliver the integrated, holistic pedagogy designed by Rudolf Steiner and intends to model an inquisitive nature, extol the exploring of learning, and share the journey of striving.

She holds a BS in Music Ed from Indiana University of PA and a MEd from Kent State University, where she was a Sinfonia Scholar. She has Credentials in Music, Reading Specialist K-12, ESL and has been a member of the American Federation of Musicians since 1975.

A Fair Oaks resident, Ann was inspired to become a teacher by the joy of learning and the fun that learning can take. Her parents and her siblings inspired her to teach, but her students keep her in the classroom.

Contact Ann: (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2000

Math and Science
Christine Gruhn

Christine believes students come with a desire to learn and engage with the material, and they are a joy to teach. She loves teaching from the phenomena, which awakens and nurtures curiosity, while the curriculum strengthens developing intellects and social consciousness. She says, “Waldorf students are not afraid to care. Young adults are far more capable than they give themselves credit for. They deserve to be challenged by teachers who care about them as individuals, and who are passionate about their subjects.”

Currently, Christine teaches algebra 2, biology, speech and debate, and healthy cooking in the high school. She holds a BS in Botany from University of California, Davis, an MS in Plant Pathology from University of Georgia, and a PhD in Mycology from Virginia Tech. She completed coursework at Rudolf Steiner College.

Previously, Christine taught two classes grades six through eight at Davis Waldorf School. She also taught at the University of the Pacific and at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, where she designed and taught the college’s first service learning course in the sciences and did research on soil fungi in organic farms.

A Davis resident, Christine enjoys identifying mushrooms, hiking and backpacking with her pediatrician-husband and two Waldorf-educated sons, raising chickens, organic gardening, vegetarian cooking and canning, and learning to play the fiddle. She is excited to be adviser to the Sacramento Waldorf School chapter of the National Forensics League, a speech and debate society.

Contact Christine: (916) 961-3900


Dean Stark, Director of Athletics, Sacramento Waldorf School
Joined SWS 1984

Movement, Physical Education, and Athletics Director
Dean Stark

Dean Stark is our school Athletic Director. Since joining SWS in 1984, Dean has helped build the sports program into a successful and important part of school life. As a basketball coach, he has amassed 17 championships over his 35 years. His 652 victories in Varsity Boys Basketball are the second most all time in California Interscholastic Federation Sac-Joaquin Section history, and just seven shy of the all-time mark. In addition to receiving numerous ‘Coach of the Year’ awards in both baseball and basketball, Dean was selected as the 2017 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and overall State Model Coach Award Winner. He was also the recipient of the 2016-17 California State Boys Basketball Coach of the Year. Dean led our baseball program to 8 league titles over his 15-year tenure. Dean is the author of Uncommon – Inside My Coaching Career At Sacramento Waldorf, and  A Waldorf Approach to Coaching Team Sports, and he produced a video High School Basketball: The Seven Defensive Principles of Building a Championship Team. 

Contact Dean: (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2021

Percussion & Ukulele Teacher
Dominic Garcia

Contact Dominic: (916) 961-3900


Whyt Pugh, Sacramento Waldorf School Teacher
Joined SWS 2016

Humanities
Dr. Whyt Pugh

Contact Dr. Pugh: (916) 961-3900


Sacramento Waldorf School Humanities Teacher - Dunja Popovic
Joined SWS 2012

Humanities
Dunja Popovic

Dunja loves helping students discover who they are and what is precious and important to them in this world. She chooses to teach in a Waldorf school because she wants to educate the whole human being and believes the study of humanities should not be about gaining particular skills but, rather, about exploring our values and what it means to be human.

With a B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Russian Literature from Princeton University, Dunja obtained her Waldorf High School Teaching Certificate and Foundations in Anthroposophy and the Arts from Rudolf Steiner College. Before becoming a Waldorf teacher, she worked as an academic researcher and taught language and literature at the college level. Outside of school, she loves to explore the world's spiritual traditions and to engage in meditation.

A Carmichael resident, Dunja is married to faculty member Jacob Hosler; their two daughters attend Sacramento Waldorf School. Dunja’s interests include foreign languages, travel, knitting, and pondering.

Contact Dunja: (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2022

High School Science, Ceramics, and Computer Science
Elizabeth Martin

An alum of Sacramento Waldorf School, Ms. Martin loves having the opportunity to get to know students and teach in a resource-rich environment, surrounded by nature. She appreciates the sense of community and gratitude for life at the school. Ms. Martin is glad for the opportunity to share her joy for the natural world with students, and aims to inspire them to stay curious about our living world.  She knows that students are innately curious about the world around them and believes that everyone can learn if given the tools to succeed. She sees her job as tapping into students’ curiosity and giving it direction. Ms. Martin’s passion for Waldorf education stems in part from the Waldorf school focus on interpersonal connection and nurturing the whole child, which mitigates the social isolation that comes from increased use of technology.        

Ms. Martin spent many years in social services, working with adults with developmental disabilities with a focus on community integration. She then taught at the community college level and, seeing the structural barriers in higher education for minorities in the sciences, she strived to make her classes engaging and accessible for every student, to give all an equal footing. 

Ms. Martin holds an MS in Biology from Western Carolina University with focus on plant community ecology, a BS in Biology with an Art minor from Warren Wilson College, and has done additional postgraduate study in Paleoenvironmental Science and Landscape Ecology at the University of Georgia.

A resident of Fair Oaks, Ms. Martin has family in Sacramento and Carson City, NV. She currently lives with her mother, her dog, her cat, and a jungle of plants


Joined SWS 2019

Eurythmy Teacher
Isabela Guardia Ferragutti

Isabela teaches Eurythmy for grades 9-12. She appreciates Waldorf education for the way it educates the whole human being, engaging the willing, feeling, and thinking of the child harmoniously. “Educating a child in a Waldorf school becomes an exciting, inspiring, learning and growing journey for all who are involved. It becomes a living experience.”

A graduate of Instituto Eduardo Laredo in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Isabela attended the University of Dance in Caracas, Venezuela, West Midlands Eurythmy Training in Stourbridge, England, and earned a Eurythmy Diploma from Rudolf Steiner College. She also holds a Eurythmy Spring Valley/Post-Graduate Diploma and spent time learning at The University College of Eurythmy in Norway, emerging with a BA in Eurythmy and Educational Eurythmy in Oslo, Norway.

Isabela lives in Auburn with her spouse. She says, “When you love what you do, your teaching is infused with enthusiasm and warmth, the two keywords that I think are essential in the education of the child.”

Contact Isabela: (916) 961-3900


Isabelle Tabacot, High School Humanities Teacher
Joined SWS 2005

Humanities
Isabelle Tabacot

Isabelle believes in empowering students to think for themselves. She loves sharing her passion for history and the lively exchange of ideas that occurs in the classroom. She teaches 9th grade Revolutions, 10th grade U.S. History and Ancient History, 11th grade Rome and Middle Ages, and 12th grade Government.

With a BA in Education from Union Institute & University, Isabelle is completing graduate coursework in American History from Adams State University and holds a Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma from Rudolf Steiner College.

A Waldorf educator for more than 20 years, Isabelle graduated the class of 2018 from 8th grade. She teaches in various teacher education programs at Rudolf Steiner College, in the Bay Area, and in Montrèal.

A Fair Oaks resident, Isabelle is passionate about history and enjoys writing, running, and traveling – especially to Iceland. She appreciates how Waldorf education has provided her with the freedom to respond flexibly to the students she teaches and to innovate in the classroom.

Contact Isabelle:  (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2012

Math, Humanities, & Performing Arts
Jacob Hosler

Jacob teaches mathematics and music history in the high school, and is director of the high school orchestra. He also serves as chair of the high school Math Department, faculty advisor to the Student Council, and is one of the sponsors of the Class of 2026.

Prior to joining the SWS faculty in 2012, he earned a B.A. in Music History and Theory from Oberlin College, an M.A. in Musicology from UC Berkeley, and studied mathematics at Rutgers University.

In his free time, Jacob likes to watch old films, listen to music ranging from J. S. Bach to Thelonious Monk, build geometric models, and go for bike rides along the American River.

Contact Jacob: (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2018

Math, Science, Computer Skills, and Japanese
John Dreyer

John has been and continues to be an advocate for supplementary and continued education through the world of open online courses. His interests are broad and plenty, but his heart strongly gravitates toward math and science.  John also cultivates an active interest in world travel, cultures and languages, as he continues to refine his Japanese and Spanish language skills.

With a BS in Exercise Biology from University of California, Davis, John spends his free time playing basketball and baseball, long distance running, and pursuing art, hiking, and camping (with a special emphasis on America’s National Parks)  He moved to Sacramento with his lovely wife and is enjoying every minute of raising a puppy.

Contact John: (916) 961-3900


High School Teacher and IT Support John Petering
Joined SWS 2001

ELL and Yearbook
John Petering

John has taught in Waldorf high schools for more than 20 years, specializing in Visual Arts, Math, Science and Computer Science. He teaches in Waldorf schools to empower future generations of creative change-makers through spirit, heart, and hands. His teaching philosophy begins with “That’s a very good question; let’s find out.” He utilizes Waldorf’s deeply enriching curriculum to help students think creatively, value authentic feelings, and take initiative.

He holds a BS in Unified Science from Wayne State University; an MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Cincinnati; and a Diploma of Waldorf Education from Waldorf Institute of Mercy College. Before joining Sacramento Waldorf School, John taught at Detroit Waldorf School and Shining Mountain Waldorf High School, where he helped pioneer their high schools. He also was a guest faculty member at Rudolf Steiner College.

Earlier in his career, John worked in biotechnology and medical clinical research. He has actively helped develop the phenomena-based aspects of Waldorf science teaching and contributed to several Waldorf science books. Outside of work, John enjoys back-country exploration, particularly stream ecology and water quality, and flow-form (rhythmic water flow) studies. A Fair Oaks resident, he is married to fellow Sacramento Waldorf School staffer Betsy Petering and is the father of four Waldorf alumni; and grandfather to three Waldorf students and one who will attend in a few years.

Contact John: (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2004

Math and Performing Arts
Jonathan Winfield

Father of two Sacramento Waldorf School alumni, Jonathan performed all over England in some of the finest concert halls, as a member of Dulwich College Madrigal Group and choir. He has studied piano since the age of 9. After college at London University, where he earned a BS in Math and Philosophy, he became a professional pianist, working in many areas until musical theatre captured his attention in 1992.

Since then, he has served as Musical Director for more than 40 musicals. In 1999, Jonathan began working with school choirs. He is a member of the Performing Rights Society of Great Britain and his compositions have been featured on BBC Radio and in London’s West End.

He also holds a certification in counseling and was a volunteer counselor for a victim support organization in London. He is married to fellow faculty member, Sarah Winfield, and they live in Fair Oaks.

Contact Jonathan: (916) 961-3900


Josh Keaney

High School Counselor
Josh Keaney

Joshua Keaney (he, him, his) comes from a family of educators, coaches, and counselors. The most well-known of his relatives is Frank Keaney, who taught Chemistry and coached at the University of Rhode Island. Joshua has been a substitute teacher in CA, taught English internationally, and has provided clinical services at more than eight schools in CA, including the Wellness Centers of two high schools in the greater Sacramento area.. His goals as a student-centered counselor include helping Sacramento Waldorf School formalize campus services, including mental health support, and having the counseling office function as a "wellness center."

Joshua is new to Waldorf education and is interested in how its historical roots and the context from which Waldorf education emerged are relevant to the current struggles we face in our country. He appreciates Waldorf education's intentional emphasis on community, attachment, spirituality, and human development. He says, "I believe that Waldorf education is unique in its capacity to help students holistically become who they want to be, by providing a secure base to explore, heal, and grow. My teaching style is very similar to my leadership style: I teach and lead from behind and believe the journey is as important as the destination. I value curiosity and setting a trajectory collaboratively. I want to ensure that no one is left behind and everyone is safe, while supporting students in choosing their own path."

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice have been a theme in Joshua's life. His mother helped displaced Mien and Hmong peoples in the community where he grew up. He studied in the Middle East before Sept. 11, 2001, and returned to the region afterwards, investing several years in seeking to mitigate harm.  Joshua's wife's work as a civil rights attorney at the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), focusing on immigration and displaced communities, informs his perspective. As a licensed practitioner of the healing arts, much of his vocational work has centered on supporting young people and families from vulnerable communities, both domestically and internationally. At the personal and local level, he spent seven years as a minister at an Episcopal Church and has volunteered as a consultant with a local refugee resettlement agency.

Joshua is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in CA, holds a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pacific Oaks College, and obtained his BA in Religious Studies from Westmont College.  

Joshua's family of five and their dog, Eva, live in Fair Oaks. His three children attend public Waldorf school in the area. Joshua grew up in Redding, CA, and his wife, Melissa, grew up in Placerville. They moved from Southern California back to Northern California about five years ago to be closer to family.  


Joined SWS 2018

German
Marcella Livi

Teaching is not simply a profession to Marcella; it is an art. She loves that her profession is never static, and always evolving. She was drawn to Waldorf education out of a desire to find a connection between student and teacher, and a way to encourage the unique gifts of every student. “I love being in constant dialogue with my students as it sparks new ideas within us.”

Marcella teaches German in grades 9 through 12. She holds a BA in Philosophy, an MA and PhD in German Language and Literature with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory and special interest in Feminist Theory, all from the University of California, Davis. She has taught German and French at various Universities and Community Colleges. Marcella was born in Italy, and is a native German and Italian speaker from a small town called Northeim (near Göttingen) in Lower Saxony, Germany.

She lives in Sacramento with her husband. Marcella likes to travel and enjoys all sorts of outdoor activities including running and hiking. She is also a certified yoga teacher, and practices whenever possible.

Contact Marcella: (916) 961-3900


Megan Sullivan, Sacramento Waldorf School Social Emotional Learning & Health
Joined SWS 2006

Social Emotional Learning and Health
Megan Sullivan

Megan has taught in Waldorf schools for more than 20 years, in grades K-12 as a Class Teacher and as a specialist in Australia and the United States. She also has administration experience in a start-up Waldorf High School, and extensive experience as a guest teacher, presenter, and lecturer in the field of Sex Education and Social Emotional Learning. The Waldorf approach to the whole child and its depth of understanding of human development grounds her in her work.

Megan completed Waldorf Teacher Training at Chrysalis School for Rudolf Steiner Education in Australia. She also completed coursework at Rudolf Steiner College and has a BS in Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco. Megan began her Waldorf teaching career in 1994 at Casuarina Steiner School in Australia.

A Sacramento resident, Megan is married to fellow faculty member Andrew Sullivan and they have two daughters who attended Sacramento Waldorf School. She loves to read, take walks, garden, and visit Australia.

“I have the great privilege of teaching students from 6th grade to 12th grade. During these years, I see tremendous growth and change,” Megan says. “The child who sits in front of me in 6th grade will unfold as they move toward young adulthood. Every child that sits in my classroom deserves my utmost respect. I do not yet know who they will become. As an adult, they will more likely be more intelligent, more courageous, more brilliant than me.”

Contact Megan: (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2011

Humanities
Melissa Hiatt

Melissa’s career began as an exhibition designer for museums in California and New Mexico and evolved into curatorial writing for art catalogues and books. She has been published as an art writer and critic in magazines and newspapers.

She found Waldorf education at the Santa Fe Waldorf School, where she and her eldest daughter (who graduated from Sacramento Waldorf School in 2015) attended a parent-child class. When her family moved to Denver, they purchased a house two blocks from the magic that was Denver Waldorf School, and she was hired as a substitute teacher. Melissa was a class teacher at Davis Waldorf School, before coming to Sacramento Waldorf School in 2011.

With a BS in Environmental Design and Comparative Literature from University of California, Davis, Melissa immersed in Foundation Studies at Rudolf Steiner College. Her love for the ocean and cypress trees is mitigated slightly by the giant oaks that surround her house near the American River. She enjoys laughing out loud, cooking, and eating.

Contact Melissa: (916) 961-3900


Michelle Gallardo

High School Art and Middle School Woodworking Teacher
Michelle Gallardo

Michelle Gallardo was born into a family of renowned artists in Guatemala, surrounded by beautiful art and given the freedom to play with art materials and ideas. Her creativity and imagination were always encouraged.

Her work as an art teacher for High School students began with creating a space for students to enjoy art and feel safe and seen. Michelle's goal is to create opportunities for students to give voice to their struggles and invite them to shine their light. She says, "As artists, we not only develop our technique but also learn to observe. Through that process, we open ourselves to colors, shapes, gestures, and qualities and thus realize we are connected to the whole world. We suddenly see beauty and harmony around us. I believe each person has the whole universe inside them and art is one way to discover that, as an inner process. Art is also a perfect way to express our voices and connect to others and the world."

Michelle studied Political Science in University but ultimately chose dance as her path. She opened a dance academy, where she developed a program to coach students through an alchemical creative dance process that included inner work, choreography, costume design, and dance technique, culminating in a final presentation. She later worked at the Waldorf School of Guatemala, where she taught movement class for several years before being invited to develop and teach an Arts program for the entire high school, from eighth to twelfth grades. Michelle is deeply identified with Waldorf education and loves studying Anthroposophy.


Joined SWS 2022

High School Drama
Nancy Irene Kelly

Ms. Kelly’s teaching philosophy centers on recognizing the unique abilities of each student: to see and hear them deeply, help them develop empathy and a strong moral compass, and experience the joys of the creative process. She chooses to teach at a Waldorf School because she appreciates working in an environment that encourages the development of the whole person and values the arts, and out of her understanding that it is critically important in this historical moment to maintain an embodied connection with each other and the physical world, as our society seems to be losing these connections. She is excited to maintain and continue to develop an engaging, lively, and meaningful drama program at Sacramento Waldorf School.

As a child, Ms. Kelly’s parents and educators taught her about the various civil rights movements; she was inspired by the idea of the arc of history bending toward justice. As an educator in New York City colleges and public schools, she worked primarily with students of color and immigrant students. 

Ms. Kelly holds an MFA in Theater from Sarah Lawrence College, an MS in Education, TESOL, from City College at the City University of New York, a Graduate Certificate in Theater from UC Santa Cruz, and a BA in International Development Studies and Dramatic Art/Dance from UC Berkeley. A professional production of one of her plays was produced in NYC.

Ms. Kelly lives in Sacramento with her daughter, having recently relocated back to California after almost 20 years in New York City. 


Sacramento Waldorf School Handwork Teacher Nicole Fields
Joined SWS 1999

High School Art
Nicole Fields

Nicole Fields teaches Handwork and Practical Arts to Sixth-Twelfth Grades. She serves as Pedagogical Chair and as the representative of the College of Teachers on the Board of Trustees.

Ms. Fields teaches at a Waldorf school because she believes deeply that the curriculum meets the developmental and educational needs of the growing child and adolescent. She holds a teaching philosophy that leads her to address the child who stands before her and see what is asking to be called forth. This information inspires Nicole to offer appropriate challenges and accommodations to make the learning path as interesting and accessible as possible.

She holds a BA in Liberal Studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a Waldorf High School Teacher Education Diploma and a Waldorf Handwork Teaching Certificate, both from Rudolf Steiner College. She also received Birth and Postpartum Doula training from DONA International.

The Citrus Heights-based mother of two Sacramento Waldorf School graduates, Nicole says her only prenuptial agreement with her husband was that their children attend a Waldorf school! She enjoys fiber arts and camping with her family. She was inspired by her own Waldorf education as well as some of her teachers and her mother, who was also a Waldorf teacher.

Contact Nicole: (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2021

High School Math and 8th Grade Algebra 
Nicole Harlow

Ms. Harlow works to foster a love of learning in students and create a connection between traditional Waldorf practices and contemporary math and science curriculum and theory. Her experience educating students from diverse settings and experiences includes working with children with learning differences, different physical abilities, and students from a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Ms. Harlow believes that all students should have the support they need to achieve success in their learning environment, and that in order to succeed, students need to feel seen, heard, and supported.

Ms. Harlow teaches at Sacramento Waldorf School out of appreciation for the fact that all subjects, even those as seemingly fixed as math, stem from nature. She enjoys helping students find connections between their education and the natural world. Her approach is hands-on and experiential and she loves the feeling of family and community that is fostered at Sacramento Waldorf School. She believes that, with the influence of the internet and media in today's society, having a space where students can truly connect with each other is essential for healthy development and growth.   

Ms. Harlow holds a BA in Liberal Studies for Education with a Minor in Kinesiology/Physical Education from Sacramento State University as well as an AA in Social and Behavioral Studies from Folsom Lake College, and is currently completing degrees in Mathematics, Physical Science, and Economics from American River College. In 2021, she participated in a NASA Scholar Program, learning from NASA engineers and scientists and, as project manager, leading her team to victory.  

A Sacramento native and now a resident of Mather, Ms. Harlow recently married her husband on a beach in Maui. They have twin 4-year-old boys, as well as six cats, a bearded dragon, and fish.  


Joined SWS 2020

Physics
Nina Vice

Nina’s passion for teaching stems from her love of learning new things, and that passion is continuously strengthened by inspiring others to learn. She enjoys challenging her students to discover the world around them through phenomena-based interactions. She believes that curiosity about the world is an important tool for fostering learning not only in science, but also outside of the science classroom.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of the Pacific and a Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential in the subject of Physics from California State University, Sacramento. She has an extreme passion for the sciences and math and is excited to share that passion with others.

She lives in Roseville with her husband, cat, and two Australian Shepherd puppies. Her hobbies include, hiking, mountain biking, and snowboarding.

Contact Nina: (916) 961-3900


Shane Pugh, Sacramento Waldorf School Woodworking Teacher
Joined SWS 2018

Lower School Woodworking & High School Block Printing, Metals, Blacksmithing, and Bone Carving
Shane Pugh

Contact Shane:  (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2019

Humanities
Simona Moti

Simona was inspired to become a teacher by the belief that education is one of the most important things humans can engage in, both as disciples and as mentors. She teaches American Literature, Architecture, Modern Novel, Parzival, Sacred Texts of the World, US History, and World Cultures – a range of classes that explore the diversity of human experience. She chooses to teach in a Waldorf school because she enjoys working in an educational environment that strives to meet the full potential and dignity of human beings.

She holds a BA in English, an MA in American Studies, both from the University of Timisoara, Romania, and a PhD in German Studies with an emphasis in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Irvine. Before joining Sacramento Waldorf School, she taught language and cultural studies at various universities in the U.S.

She lives in Fair Oaks with her husband and their daughter, a current Sacramento Waldorf School student. She enjoys traveling, skiing, and playing with dogs.

Contact Simona:  (916) 961-3900


Stephen Payne, Sacramento Waldorf School Gardening Teacher
Joined SWS 2001

Lower School & High School Gardening
Stephen Payne

Farmer Steve, as he is known, came to Sacramento Waldorf School in 2001 and runs the campus’ 3.5-acre working farm, including its gardening curriculum. With 10 years of experience in organic farming and five years of experience as a market garden business owner, Stephen holds a BS in Business Marketing from Central Connecticut State University.

Contact Steve: (916) 961-3900


Victor Gutierrez Cuellar Sacramento Waldorf High School Spanish Teacher
Joined SWS 2020

Spanish
Victor Gutierrez Cuellar

Victor was born and raised in Mexico, he is fluent in English and Spanish, and has a passion for world languages and cultures. Victor graduated from UC Davis, where he studied International Relations specializing in global environmental and human health and a focus in Latin America. He also studied oceanography and was a resident of the Bodega Marine Laboratory in Bodega Bay, CA where he researched global ocean acidification. After graduation, he worked with a nonprofit organization as an outdoor science teacher. He then worked at Aspire Public Schools as a TK-5 STEM teacher. With a passion for education and a love for learning, Victor is excited to join the Sacramento Waldorf High School as the new Spanish teacher.

Contact Victor at:  (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2020

High School Art Teacher
Visnja Popovic

Visnja Popovic (she/her) joins The Sacramento Waldorf School as a High School Arts Teacher. A former textile designer and business owner, Visnja has always felt the pull to share her love of art with children and young people. Visnja was drawn to Waldorf because of its attachment to nature and focus on the tactile experience. She appreciates that Waldorf pedagogy is holistic, humane, and focused on human development.  

As a first-generation immigrant from Serbia, Visnja knows how it feels to be an outsider. This experience informs her teaching philosophy, which focuses on equalizing the classroom and making sure students feel accepted in all their differences. Visnja loved her teacher as a child: in Serbia, like in Waldorf, children have the same teacher for several years. She felt a strong bond with this teacher, and their connection was meaningful. “My priority is to make the students feel accepted, respected, and comfortable in my classroom; the thing we are learning is second to establishing rapport with each individual as relevant and worthy.”  

Visnja has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textiles from Rhode Island School of Design and a master’s in Art Education from the Pratt Institute. She spent time in Ghana and South Africa studying printmaking and teaching. Before joining Sacramento Waldorf School, Visnja founded and ran The Textile Art Center in Brooklyn. The Textile Art Center is a school, studio, and gallery space where Visnja ran a summer camp, after-school program, and an artist residency program. Weaving, screen printing and natural dyeing were a focus.  

Visnja lives in Fair Oaks with her daughter, a third grader at The Sacramento Waldorf School. They share their home with various animals, including rabbits, parakeets, cats, dogs, and the occasional garden snake or pet slug.

Contact Visnja: (916) 961-3900