Lower School Faculty

Starting in first grade, Waldorf students have a “class teacher” who will stay with them for multiple years. The core curriculum taught by the class teacher is supported by subject teachers. The core curriculum and the subject classes are aligned with the students’ development as they grow.

Joined SWS 2021

First Grade - Class of 2034
Ms. Moon

Inspired by her 5th grade teacher, who taught through art, Ms. Moon believes in holistic education and is passionate about bringing diverse perspectives to the classroom, where social healing and justice can be commonplace. She strives to meet the children of today where they are, remove obstacles that prevent learning, and provide rich opportunities for growth, allowing children to blossom and share their gifts with the world.

Ms. Moon has taught at both charter and private schools within the Marin Waldorf community, where she was deeply engaged over several years. She loves Waldorf education because it allows inspiration to move freely from student to teacher and back again. She finds that, through the ebb and flow of days together in the classroom and their growing relationship, the children often teach her what it means to truly be a human being in our times.

Having lived in diverse and more homogenous communities, Ms. Moon has a passion for socio-economic justice. Through her teaching, she strives to break down stereotypes in the classroom, celebrating the individuality of each student. She aims to collaborate with parents and colleagues to bring diverse perspectives to her work, and guide the children to stand up for what’s right.

Ms. Moon holds a Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training and a simultaneous degree from UC Berkeley: a BS in Conservation Resource Studies, focusing on Forestry, Ecosystem Management, and Natural History and a BA in English Literature. She is currently training to be a yoga instructor.

A resident of Citrus Heights, Ms. Moon lives with her partner, her two children, and her Chocolate Lab/Great Dane mix, Hazelnut. She consciously tries to do one act of service every day, was the first student to partner with teachers at a community college to form an Honors Society, has tutored adult ESL learners, and once worked at a wildlife hospital.


Class Teacher Julie Mulrooney
Joined SWS 2021

Second Grade – Class of 2033
Julie Mulrooney

Julie (she/her) has over fifteen years of experience teaching in Waldorf and private schools and strives to bring warmth to her classroom and hold space for each child and their unique abilities.

Julie loves working with children artistically and values the freedom to use nature, imagination, and storytelling as teaching tools within Waldorf pedagogy. She says, “I feel deeply connected to storytelling, the magic of being in the present moment; I appreciate how storytelling can teach many life lessons. Storytelling helps to build a strong and beautiful relationship with the natural world, promoting the care of our planet.”

Julie has a B.A. in Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Oregon and a Grades Teaching Certificate from Rudolf Steiner College. Additionally, she has Continuing Early Childhood credits from Los Rios Community College. Julie is a lifelong learner and is continuously developing her teaching methodology.

Julie lives with her husband, two children, and two cats: Clarabelle and Jingles. Julie’s two children attend The Sacramento Waldorf School. Julie and her family enjoy mountain biking, camping, and swimming in the ocean in their free time.

Contact Julie:  (916) 961-3900


Class Teacher Andrea Marrapodi
Joined SWS 2021

Third Grade – Class of 2032
Andrea Marrapodi

Andrea Marrapodi (she/her), immersed in Waldorf education for nearly two decades, has dedicated her life to teaching and studying Waldorf pedagogy. After the birth of her second child, she attended the Novalis Institute in Minneapolis, MN, to complete the Foundation Studies in Waldorf education. She continued her studies in Waldorf education by taking the Applied Arts training at Sunbridge Institute in Spring Valley, NY. Andrea holds a B.A. in Education and recently completed a three-year training through The Mulberry Center for Curative Education.

Andrea believes that the Waldorf model is revolutionary and aims to “genuinely see each child while ensuring they are welcomed into the classroom experience.” She asks, “What is equitable for everyone in the room?”

Andrea and her husband, Danny, have been married for eighteen years; they have two children who graduated from Waldorf schools. With love for travel, Andrea and her family recently moved to California from Pennsylvania.

Contact Andrea:  (916) 961-3900


Laura Boram
Joined SWS 2022

Fourth Grade Teacher – Class of 2031
Laura Boram

Mrs. Boram served as a Class Teacher at the Whidbey Island Waldorf School and a block teacher at Seattle Waldorf School. In her teaching, she strives to create a welcoming container for young minds to learn, move together, and grow, and a place where children know that they are honored and included. Mrs. Boram believes that the relevance of Waldorf education in our time is rooted in the fact that it protects children in the early stages of their development.

Working in a Forest Kindergarten with an exceptional teacher inspired Mrs. Boram to pursue teaching. She says, “In Waldorf education, I found a special place for my children and that inspired me to learn more. I wanted to be a part of a movement that focuses on inviting children into the wonders of this beautiful world. I found a home for raising my children in a way that inspired them to love the world and think for themselves. In this unique education, the potential exists for the child to develop, through love, beauty, and truth, into an adult that can fully engage in the world.”

Mrs. Boram has trained in Theater of the Oppressed work with the Mandala Center for the Arts, participated in the Transforming Racism group on Whidbey Island for over a year, and took the Restorative Practices training sponsored by Real Actions Create Equity (R.A.C.E.), led by the International Institute for Restorative Practice. She served as the Chair of the Social Inclusion Group brought to Whidbey Island Waldorf School by Kim John Payne with co-chair Diana Sandoval. Mrs. Boram is currently part of a cohort of about 30 people studying Compassionate Communication and Integral Theory. She has participated in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) silent retreats with the Northwest Vipassana Center, lasting 10 days each.

Mrs. Boram received her Waldorf certification from Sound Circle Teacher Training and an Art of Teaching certificate from Rudolf Steiner College. She holds a BA in Theatre/Communication from California State University, Fullerton.

A resident for most of her adult life in a multi-generational house in a cohousing community with a consensus-based decision-making process, Mrs. Boram says she has “learned to stay in my own lane and on the advisory board of my adult children’s lives. I endeavor to stay curious and open to others.”


Karin Kick

Grade Four Practice Lesson Teacher
Karin Kick

Bio Coming Soon


Joined SWS 2021

Fifth Grade – Class of 2030
Anastasia Sinclair

During her career as an educator, Anastasia has worked with Grades 1-12 at the Waldorf School of the Peninsula (WSP) in Mountain View, CA, where she taught middle and high school earth science and coordinated the gardening program. Anastasia also taught upper grades morning lesson blocks in science, humanities, and practical arts at several Bay Area Waldorf schools. She worked as a naturalist with K-12 student groups with the YMCA Point Bonita in Sausalito, CA, teaching natural sciences, sustainability principles, community building, and local history. Most recently, she was a class teacher at Camellia Waldorf School in Sacramento. 

Anastasia is interested in environmental education, curriculum development, sustainable agriculture, practical arts, and community outreach. Her teaching philosophy centers on developing capacities for independent thinking. Her goals are to inspire a sense of responsibility toward the community and make earth stewardship and science engaging, inspiring, authentic, and fun. In her teaching, she works to supplement the rich Waldorf curriculum with diverse biographies and perspectives.

Anastasia holds a bachelor’s degree in Integrative Studies and Environmental Design from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s degree in Education from Rudolf Steiner College.

A Waldorf alum who attended Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm through Twelfth Grade, Anastasia grew up in Sonoma County, CA. In her free time, Anastasia hikes and camps with her husband and her Labrador retriever around their home in El Dorado Hills and the High Sierra Mountains.


Joined SWS 2022

Fifth Grade Practice Lesson Teacher – Class of 2030
Christina Maynard

Christina Maynard has many years of classroom teaching experience. Most recently, she was the classroom teacher at a local Waldorf-inspired charter school, taking a class through fourth and fifth grade. Mrs. Maynard teaches at a Waldorf school because she appreciates the care that goes into creating an educational environment that is respectful of the whole child. She believes that Waldorf education’s relevance for the 21st century lies in part in its appeal to students. Because the Waldorf approach inspires free and independent thinking, as well as fostering moral judgment, students are naturally inspired towards self-discovery and the process of learning is deeply meaningful.

Mrs. Maynard’s teaching philosophy is rooted in the idea that every child learns best in a joyful, stimulating, and caring environment where each child is seen, heard, respected, and understood. Her inspiration for becoming a teacher was the joy and satisfaction she found while teaching art to middle-school students as an undergraduate in college. While in college for teacher training as well as school psychology, Mrs. Maynard furthered her education with classes specifically addressing the topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, and she brings this foundation with her into planning and teaching lessons.

Mrs. Maynard has pursued Waldorf Foundations training through the Sacramento Waldorf School and Waldorf teacher training through Antioch University New England. At California State University, Sacramento, she obtained a teaching credential and also completed coursework in School Psychology. As an undergraduate student, she completed a BFA in Studio Art from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Mrs. Maynard lives in Fair Oaks with her two children and various pets including Rocky, Rosie, Sunny, Goldie, and Lavender (the chickens), Chloe the cat, and Griffin and Apollo, the cockatiels. Her goals and aspirations are to become less busy and find the joy in everyday moments, as well as spend more time in nature, with her family, and traveling to new places.


Class Teacher Vanessa Bravo
Joined SWS 2019

Sixth Grade – Class of 2029
Vanessa Bravo

Vanessa has been a Waldorf Class Teacher for the last 10 years. She loves working with children, and was inspired to become a teacher through her love for learning, social renewal, and self development.

She holds a BS in Biology from University of Colorado, Boulder, a Waldorf Teacher Certificate, and an Extra Lesson Ed Support Certificate. She is committed to education, teaching, and furthering her personal growth through education.

Contact Vanessa: (916) 961-3900


Class Teacher Hema Srikant
Joined SWS 2016

Seventh Grade – Class of 2028
Hema Srikant

Hema believes that learning best happens when there is love to learn and know more. She enjoys exploring ways to bring a subject to life in the classroom and appreciates being in the joyful presence of children. Her own children inspired her to become a teacher.

With a BS in Zoology and an MBA in Information Systems and Management, both from Chennai University in India, Hema completed Foundation Studies  at the Toronto Steiner Center, Consciousness Studies at Rudolf Steiner College, and Waldorf Teacher Education Certificate from Rudolf Steiner College.

A Fair Oaks resident, Hema grew up in coastal India in two of the most culturally diverse melting pots of the subcontinent.  After earning her degrees, she embarked on a career with global corporations in marketing & business development before moving to North America. Here, her teaching work commenced amidst a group of children with special needs.

Over the last decade, Hema has immersed herself in Waldorf education through teaching at Waldorf Schools in Toronto and Calgary, along with studies in anthroposophy and education in Toronto and Fair Oaks. Among the few simple things closest to Hema’s heart are her family, music, and meditation.

Contact Hema: (916) 961-3900


Eighth Grade - Class of 2027
Luisa Burgess

Contact Luisa: (916) 961-3900



 

Subject Teachers

 


Joined SWS 2021

Second Grade Assistant Teacher
Leena Beddawi

Leena Beddawi (she/her) was first introduced to Waldorf education when her eldest sister came home from school regaling her family with beautiful stories from the festivals: May Day, Medieval Festival, and Winter Faire. Leena saw her sister become confident in her individuality, connect socially with her peers, and hone her artistic skills. When Leena joined Sacramento Waldorf School, she recognized how the learning environment cultivated and prioritized imagination, growth, and community.

Growing up with a younger sister with special needs, Leena learned about the importance of respecting differences and became passionate about social justice. Leena is the happiest learning from the people in her community; she aims to grow as a person and an educator.

Leena studied Literature, Culture, and Language at the University of California, Merced, and is continuing her education at Cosumnes River College, with plans to earn her teaching credential at Sacramento State.

Contact Leena: (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2019

Lower School Movement Teacher
Megan Cheatham

Megan teaches movement to students in grades 1-8. She teaches at a Waldorf school because she desires to be a part of the type of education that she finds most thoroughly meets the needs of the young people in our community. Teaching has been a lifelong calling, inspired by her grandmother and developer early in life when she played school with her sister.

With a BS Kinesiology from San Jose State University and a Master of Physical Therapy from University of California, San Francisco, Megan has also completed her 200-hour Yoga Alliance Certified yoga teacher training. She also holds certifications in various fitness formats including cross training, TRX suspension training, and barre.

A Fair Oaks resident, she is married and the mother of three children currently attending Sacramento Waldorf School. Megan believes movement education doesn’t just make participants good at specific physical activities, but it has the potential enrich lives. She creates developmentally appropriate movement experiences that help children grow and develop physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially. “My goal is to guide the children to find joy in movement and to empower them with the resilience and courage to share their own gifts with the world.”

Contact Megan: (916) 961-3900


Winds and Jazz Band Teacher Ann DiPasquale

Lower School Winds & High School Jazz Band Teacher
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


Choral Teacher Destiny Elazier
Joined SWS 2021

Middle School Choir Teacher
Destiny Elazier

Destiny Elazier (she/her) joins Sacramento Waldorf School as Middle School Choir Director. From Destiny’s first practicum, teaching felt like a natural fit. “I love being around students and watching them learn and grow, and I also love the fact that music can be so therapeutic; naturally a warm, welcoming space.”

At sixteen, Destiny led the adult choir at her church and remained in the position until graduation. She went on to attend Westminster Choir College, earning a Bachelor of Music Education and a New Jersey teaching credential. She is transferring her teaching certification to California and has begun the Sacramento Waldorf School Teacher Development Program.

Destiny says she wants to provide a safe space in her classroom where students can be themselves and don’t feel they have to hold themselves back in any way. Destiny was raised in a mixed family, racially and blended because of half-siblings. Her grandmother, “a proud Black woman,” helped define these differences as a mosaic – patterns making up a whole.

Destiny lives with her family and a dog who adopted them when it showed up on their doorstep.

Contact Destiny:  (916) 961-3900


Sacramento Waldorf School Handwork Teacher Nicole Fields
Joined SWS 1999

Sixth - Twelfth Grade Handwork Teacher
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


SWS Clay Arts Teacher Johnny Finn-Romero
Joined SWS 1999

Clay Arts Teacher
Johnny Finn-Romero

Johnny Finn-Romero (he/him) finds that the Waldorf curriculum and methods support the growth of the whole human being; the work with hands and body balancing with academics to develop the mind, spirit, and soul. Johnny’s pursuit of art and a connection to The Sacramento Waldorf School are intertwined. Johnny was influenced by his parents’ creativity in painting and other pursuits and earned a bachelor’s degree in Art through Sacramento State College.

Johnny took classes at Rudolf Steiner College and was one of the first to earn a Waldorf teaching certificate (with a high school specialty) focusing on woodwork and clay. He taught art in many different mediums for nineteen years before teaching at Meristem, a program dedicated to supporting young adults on the autism spectrum. When Johnny’s daughter began kindergarten at The Sacramento Waldorf School, he recalled leaving campus with tears in his eyes. “It was nothing like any schooling I’d been to – everything about it was beautiful.” Johnny returns to The Sacramento Waldorf School as the Lower School Clay Arts Teacher.

Johnny appreciates the emphasis on social and cultural development at The Sacramento Waldorf School, which mirror the values he learned from travel and activism. Johnny lives in Sacramento in a multi-generational household which includes his granddaughter, a kindergartener in Red Rose.

Contact Johnny:  (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

Middle School Math Teacher
Liberty Gawthorne

Liberty Gawthorne teaches out of a wish to truly see children, not just academically, but as whole people. In seeing them, she helps students find courage, inspiration, and motivation to discover themselves and the world around them. Mrs. Gawthorne teaches in a Waldorf School because she believes that teaching is about relationships, living the learning, and meeting the students where they are in their development and learning style. Her goals are to have an impact on students’ lives through thoughtfulness and love, and to change the world, one student at a time.

Mrs. Gawthorne holds an AA in Liberal Arts and Child Development from American River College. She has taught in diverse settings and classrooms for 15 years and completed more than 450 hours of college-level mathematical courses, focused on educating students with diverse learning needs from K-12. She will graduate in Spring 2023 with a pre-credential Bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, Sacramento.

As a homeschooling parent of her three children, whom she raised to be inclusive in all situations, Mrs. Gawthorne prioritized open communication, active discussion, information-seeking, and information-sharing.  She used diverse learning resources, and always endeavored to consider different perspectives and multiple viewpoints, teaching her children to do the same.

A resident of Rocklin, Mrs. Gawthorne is married with three children. One of her sons attends Cal Poly Humboldt, another attends Sierra College, and her daughter is a new student at the Sacramento Waldorf High School. The family loves to backpack, and recently hiked the John Muir Trail.


Class Teacher Marianne Gray
Joined SWS 1987

Lower School Teacher
Marianne Gray

Marianne has been a grades teacher and middle school support teacher for many years, while also teaching in the Summer Teacher Training Program at Rudolf Steiner College. With a BA in Studio Art from University of California, Santa Barbara and a Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma from Rudolf Steiner College, Marianne enjoys drawing, painting, clay modeling, gardening, reading, and astronomy. Her two children are Sacramento Waldorf School alumni.

Contact Marianne: (916) 961-3900


Lower School Strings Teachers Giorgi Khokhobashvili
Joined SWS 2017

Lower School Strings Teacher
Giorgi Khokhobashvili

From the age of 7, Giorgi studied violin, piano performance, and music theory in his home country of Georgia. Ready to apply to Tbilisi State Conservatoire, he decided to travel to the United States as an exchange student. In 2005, he moved to California and played as a member of local orchestras and theater companies. At the same time, he started giving private music lessons.

Giorgi’s students have won competitions in classical and fiddle music. He also teaches strings at Cedar Springs Waldorf School, while also giving private lessons and performing with various local bands and musicians. Married to Krissi for a decade, he works from a teaching philosophy that concentrates on development of imagination and ear training. Giorgi is passionate about sharing his experiences of being a working musician and a teacher. He believes music should be a therapeutic and positive force in school and in society.

Contact Giorgi: (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2022

First Grade Assistant Teacher
Genevie Lau

Contact Genevie:  (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2010

Lower School Eurythmy Teacher
Julie MacArthur

Julie has served as a teacher and curriculum director for grades 6–12, administrator at a start-up middle school, and trustee at a pre-K and Kindergarten International School of Peace. Currently, she teaches Eurythmy for students in Kindergarten through grade 8 and Language Arts to seventh-graders.

With a BA in English from St. Lawrence University, an MA in English from Breadloaf School of English at Middlebury College and Eurythmy Training from Rudolf Steiner College, Julie was the recipient of an NEH grant to study American nature writers and is a trained facilitator for low and high ropes courses. She is a “mover,” an avid reader, a cook, and a mom, and her daughter is a Sacramento Waldorf School alumna.

“Teaching eurythmy and the beauty of sound, spoken or musical, gives me hope for the future,” says Julie. “Helping all people connect to their limbs and their inner heart-thinking assists in creating a world where individuals and communities make thoughtful decisions because they are connected to their own inner strength.”

A Fair Oaks resident, she has one daughter and lots of nieces, nephews and godchildren. Julie follows a teaching philosophy that encourages preparing with thoughtfulness, welcoming joy, and trusting in the pedagogy of love. She has taught in many private schools and saw children exhausted from homework far too early. She changed how she brought material and recognized how two of her godchildren in another state were thriving in a Waldorf school. That inspired her to delve into the “how” and “why” of Waldorf education, and she has never looked back.

Contact Julie: (916) 961-3900


Middle School Support Teacher Ari Magruder
Joined SWS 2005

Lower School Support Coordinator
Ari Magruder

Ari teaches in a Waldorf school because she believes the Waldorf curriculum is dynamic, engaging and developmentally-based. She keeps Aristotle’s quote close to her heart while teaching, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” She hopes to engender enthusiasm for learning by engaging the minds and hearts of her students.

A Sacramento resident, Ari holds a BA in French Literature and Art History and Education from California State University, Northridge. She earned a Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Waldorf Institute of Southern California.

Prior to joining Sacramento Waldorf School, Ari was a class teacher at Cedar Springs Waldorf School for ten years prior. She began her journey here in 2005 as Lower School Support Teacher. Ari teaches middle school math and science, and she contributes in the teacher education department at Rudolf Steiner College.

Ari loves working with middle school students. Her two children attend Sacramento Waldorf School. The family enjoys spending time on the water, biking, camping, and working in their garden.

Contact Ari: (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2021

Second Grade Practice Lesson Teacher
Ashley Martinez

Ashley Martinez (she, hers) has been part of The Sacramento Waldorf School community as a parent for many years and last year, she served as Student Support Coordinator for the school. Ashley’s lifelong goal has been to work in education: she has taught and supported children in public and Waldorf schools, from kindergarten through middle school. Ashley appreciates how the Waldorf methodology meets the needs of the whole child. “It offers a well-rounded experience that roots [students] to their connections to humanity, nature, and the world around them in a way I haven’t seen at any other type of school,” she says. She appreciates watching children begin to express themselves, recognize and take pride in their learning, and develop empathy with their peers.

Ashley has a B.A. and teaching credential in Special Education, an Elementary Education credential, and a Waldorf teaching certificate from Antioch University.

Ashley is married to her high school sweetheart, Dan. They live in Folsom with their two children, both of whom attend Sacramento Waldorf School. They have two giant fluffy pets: a dog, Laveau, and a cat, Crowley.

Contact Ashley:  (916) 961-3900


Lower School Substitute Teacher, Lillian Olson
Joined SWS 2022

Lower School Practice Lesson and Substitute Teacher
Lillian Olson

Lillian Olson (she/her) graduated from SWS in 2016 and has returned as a Practice Lesson Teacher. Lilli thrived at the school as a student and now enjoys working with children and being involved in creating and planning curricula.   

Lillian has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound, where she majored in communications studies and minored in religious studies. Lilli lives in downtown Sacramento with two other SWS alum and enjoys cooking, playing ultimate frisbee, and being outdoors.  

Contact Lillian:  (916) 961-3900


Stephen Payne, Sacramento Waldorf School Gardening Teacher
Joined SWS 2001

Lower School and High School Gardening Teacher
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


Joined SWS 2021

Middle School English Language Arts Teacher
Scott Polisky

Scott Polisky (he/him/his) likes to create opportunities for students to slow down, observe, and reflect. He wants them to be able to experience the joy of intellectual discovery, develop an appreciation for details, and gain confidence to respond to the world in increasingly sophisticated ways. His classes help students to strengthen their literary, rhetorical, and thinking skills so that they may use language effectively and even elegantly in multiple contexts and genres.

As an undergrad, Scott studied Political Theory and Theater at UC Santa Cruz. He received an M.A. in Greek and Latin Literature from USC, and completed Ph.D. qualifying exams in Greek and Roman History at Johns Hopkins University. He has also attended two years of the Waldorf teacher training program at Sacramento Waldorf School.

Scott lived and taught for many years in Los Angeles, where he is also from originally. His experience includes teaching English to Japanese diplomats and hip-hop dancers; Korean designers and entrepreneurs; Egyptian and Iranian physicians; Italian and Mexican movie directors; and aspiring actors, make-up artists, and social-media marketers from all over the world. He taught for a number of years at UCLA Extension, where he helped international students prepare for undergraduate and graduate programs. He has taught Composition and Rhetoric at UC Davis, and most recently, tutored international students in the high school at Sacramento Waldorf School. His experience working with students from all over the world, and at all levels of proficiency, has taught him to be flexible in his teaching methods, attentive to cultural differences, and fully committed to an ethic of inclusion.

Some of Scott’s favorite teaching experiences involved Language Arts classes at a hagwon for 1.5 generation Korean-American middle schoolers, and a World History class for middle-school boys at a yeshiva. He feels that middle-school students are often the most fun to teach because they are simultaneously big kids and novice teenagers, and may fluctuate from one to the other during the course of a day. They ask great questions, and thankfully do not think they already know everything.

He appreciates that Waldorf pedagogy does not treat childhood as a race, and loves that the point is to educate not just the brain, but the whole human being, which is why he came to Sacramento Waldorf School first as a parent, and now as a teacher. In his free time he likes to read widely and explore the natural beauty of Northern California with his family.


Shane Pugh, Sacramento Waldorf School Woodworking Teacher
Joined SWS 2018

Lower School Woodworking & High School Practical Arts Teacher
Shane Pugh

Contact Shane:  (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2022

First - Third Grade German Teacher
Miryam Rosello

Ms. Rosello teaches in a Waldorf school because she believes in educating the whole child, in each of the developmental stages of childhood. She believes that Waldorf pedagogy is more important than perhaps ever before, since being creative, integrating the arts with academics, and thinking outside of the box are not only what colleges and employers are looking for, but also because they are a recipe for living a balanced, less stressful life that can make the world a better place. Her aims are to help students acquire the German language in a playful, interactive way, anchoring lessons with music, art, and cultural components, and to ensure that the students are looking forward to their next lesson and learning to love the language as well as the culture. Ms. Rosello’s experience has shown her that having the freedom to be an independent thinker and being treated with respect at school enables students to engage confidently with society.

Being part of a mixed-race family and having Hispanic children has sharpened Ms. Rosello’s outlook on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, and she endeavors to teach and model these concepts in every lesson and with every action. Homeschooling her daughter with special needs gave her insights into different ways of learning, as did the college classes she took that helped her learn to teach to different learning styles. Differentiating her methods in the classroom has been key for her in reaching students with different backgrounds and interests and motivating all students to be successful. For years, Ms. Rosello has offered participation in language competitions and tutoring as a volunteer to ensure that interested children have access to German-language education.

Nominated for an “Outstanding German Educator Award” in 2022, Ms. Rosello’s middle-schoolers were top-10 finalists three consecutive times at the international Goethe language competition “Bundeliga Total” (competing with mostly high schools from across the Americas). Ms. Rosello is a native German speaker, born and raised in West Berlin. She graduated with a BA from the International Business School in Groningen, Netherlands, taught Business German at the college level in the Netherlands, and worked for several years at Golden Valley Charter Schools in CA.

A resident of Orangevale, Ms. Rosello lives with her husband, two sons and daughter, three dogs, three bunnies, a cat, and a hamster, who are all considered family.


Lower School Spanish Teacher Cecilia Sanchez
Joined SWS 2015

Lower School Spanish Teacher
Cecilia Sanchez

Señora Sanchez is well-known in the local Waldorf community. She worked as a childcare provider and taught Spanish at Camellia Waldorf School from 1997–2015. Earlier, she was a parent volunteer at Camellia Waldorf School from 1988 through 1996. She taught Spanish initially in the Kindergarten, and later became the Spanish teacher for the grades program.

Her training comes from Sawyer Business College and coursework at Rudolf Steiner College, including several classes on the art of teaching Spanish.

Contact Cecilia:  (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 1996

Lower School German Teacher
Ina Sarradet

Teaching at a Waldorf school reminds Ina of her happy childhood in Germany. She appreciates the well-rounded approach to education with a balance of academics, hands-on work, movement, music, and art, all leading to a goal of a happy and healthy childhood, and developing capabilities in the children to be responsible, caring, peaceful and resilient adults.

Ina teaches German in the Sacramento Waldorf Lower School, grades 1-8. It is her goal to support students in becoming well-educated citizens of the world with compassion and understanding for other people and other cultures. She has a law degree from Universität Konstanz in Germany and completed coursework at Rudolf Steiner College, including classes on the art of teaching German.

Earlier in her career, Ina practiced law in Germany; after becoming a mother, she and her family moved to the United States and she began working with children in a volunteer capacity. Leading Boy and Girl Scout troops inspired Ina to pursue a teaching career. She lives in Auburn with her husband; they are the proud parents of three grown children.

Contact Ina: (916) 961-3900


Joined SWS 2022

First - Fifth Grade Handwork Teacher
Khalehla Nicole Simms

Ms. Simms grew up being a teacher, always helping classmates with work or being useful in her church Nursery. She considered becoming a pediatrician but quickly realized that her purpose was to teach. She believes that Waldorf teaching brings beauty and health to children and strives to do everything from love to support children’s development. Ms. Simms is passionate about helping children who do not have families, and young mothers who do not have family support, to thrive in the world.

Ms. Simms teaches in a Waldorf school out of her understanding that Waldorf education is especially important to the children in this century, since it grounds them in hands-on, experiential learning and the beauty of the world. In the classroom, she aims to connect school life to life in the larger community, offer projects from different cultures, and share stories from around the world about all the ways that people work with their hands.

Ms. Simms will graduate from Waldorf teacher training at Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2023, holds a BA from Bennett College for Women, and has completed Early Childhood courses at Cosumnes River College.

Ms. Simms lives in Elk Grove with four generations of family, from her grandmother to her daughter, on a two-acre property with lots of animals.


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

Middle School & High School Social Emotional Learning & Health Teacher
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 is completing 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 attend 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


Gabriela Utreras
Joined SWS 2020

Lower School Teacher
Gabriela Utreras

Gabriela Utreras (she/they) came to Waldorf education through Camphill, a worldwide network of anthroposophical communities dedicated to caring for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). While completing the Camphill Academy Curative Education program, they honed their leadership skills as a house parent, working directly with children, families, and therapeutic and educational teams.

They believe that every child comes into this world precisely as they should be. Gabriela says, “As the gardener seeks to balance the soil rather than alter the plant, my responsibility is to contribute towards an environment that will nurture each child to grow into their best self.” Gabriela recalls their fourth-grade teacher as an inspiration: Sr. Ortega delighted in children and took on the work of teaching and mentoring out of love and freedom. His example contributed to Gabriela’s moral foundation.

Gabriela believes that children learn best when they feel seen and secure, and that one needs to love the students and be true with them. Understanding that it is essential that an educational environment be conscious of and actively work against dismantling biases and uplifting marginalized voices, Gabriela says, “I’ve consistently seen that the Waldorf pedagogy helps develop a strong, lifelong relationship to the act of learning to create upright, empathetic world citizens. The modern world is complex. Waldorf pedagogy allows us to understand how the developing child processes their experiences. We can use our understanding of human development to provide children balance and bring them to a space of steadiness and security, which allows them to thrive in academic learning and personal development.”

As a child, Gabriela attended Cesar Chavez Elementary in Davis, CA, a Spanish immersion school, and spent two formative years at an international high school in Caracas, Venezuela. They have a B.A. in Special Education from Prescott College in Arizona and completed a four-year Curative Education training at The Camphill School in Pennsylvania, an AWSNA-accredited Waldorf school for children with developmental disabilities. This training covered the standard Waldorf curriculum as well as adaptations for various disabilities. They are currently working on a Master’s degree in Psychology and Human Services.

The daughter of an Ecuadorian immigrant and a sixth-generation Californian, Gabriela was raised in the Greater Sacramento area and grew up traveling Latin America, including living in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Colombia. Through travel and work, they have found their place in education, the LGBTQIA+ community, advocacy, and social justice. Growing up mixed Indigenous and queer, Gabriela has always wanted to understand the various intersections of the human experience. She says, “I hope to provide a safe space for every single one of my students, colleagues—anyone I encounter. I am passionate about housing access and economic stability; I work with local mutual aid efforts whenever I have time to provide direct support to those in my community.” Gabriela lives in Sacramento with her three sons and a hound dog named Moose, close to extended family who are very important to them.


Rachel Yamada, Sacramento Waldorf School Librarian
Joined SWS 2020

Library Clerk
Rachel Yamada

Rachel Yamada (she/her) joins The Sacramento Waldorf School as the Library Clerk. Before coming to SWS, Rachel worked for many years in bookstores, where she specialized in children’s literature. Rachel believes “a library collection should be a living, breathing organism, and it should expand, contract, and evolve.” Rachel is committed to removing outdated texts and adding new and relevant content.

Rachel has a B.A. in Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from San Jose State.

Rachel’s husband, Andrew May, teaches Humanities at The Sacramento Waldorf high school, and their two daughters are in kindergarten.

Contact Rachel:  (916) 961-3900