Early Childhood Teachers
Kristin Carroll – Early Childhood Teacher (Buttercup Room)
With over fifteen years of experience in Early Childhood and Special Education programs, Kristin joined WSSL in 2009. She has completed Fundamentals of the Waldorf Kindergarten at Rudolph Steiner College in Sacramento, California, and Foundation Studies with the St. Louis cluster. Kristin enjoys gardening, knitting, art, biking, and yoga.
Valorie Helt – Early Childhood Assistant (Buttercup Room)
Valorie began teaching parent-child classes at The Waldorf School of St. Louis in 2011. She graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Political Science and earned a teaching certification in secondary Mathematics from Harris Stowe State College. After teaching four years of high school math in the St. Louis Public Schools, Valorie chose to stay home with her children and be a Waldorf-inspired homeschooler for many years.
Michiyo Kishi – Early Childhood Teacher (Daffodil Room / Parent Child)
Michiyo has a BA in Socio Linguistics (a.k.a. English) from Kobe College. She moved from Japan to St. Louis in 2000 and joined Waldorf School of St. Louis in 2004. She has assisted and led each of the Early Childhood programs, including Parent-Child Classes, Morning Garden, and Kindergarten. Currently working as a Lifeways mentor, Michiyo has completed Lifeways Early Childhood training as well as Foundation Studies.
Kelly Riney Feary – Early Childhood Teacher (Sunflower Room) / Faculty Chair
Kelly graduated in 1996 from Loras College with a BA in Early Childhood Education. Since graduating, Kelly has lived in California, Alaska, and Illinois while working in many fields of Early Childhood. She is a graduate of the Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Education and Waldorf Teacher Training Program in Chicago, and ran a Waldorf-inspired early childhood program in Rockford, Illinois for five years. For fun, Kelly enjoys camping, canoeing, baking and gardening.
Laura Wiley – Early Childhood Assistant (Daffodil Room)
Laura graduated from Rutgers University with a BS in Ecology Evolution & Natural Resources. She encountered Waldorf education in New Jersey at the Princeton Waldorf School where she spent time in the Early Childhood program and attended lectures. Laura is also a seasonal instructor at the St. Louis Zoo.
Erin Winkles – Early Childhood Assistant (Sunflower Room)
After relocating from Steelville, Missouri, Erin joined the Waldorf School of St. Louis community. Erin graduated from Lindenwood University in 2001 with a degree in Human Services Agency Management and Environmental Science. Erin is a Doula and has a background in community building.
Vivian Melody – Grade 1 Teacher
Vivian holds a B.A. in Journalism from Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL (2006) and is completing the Waldorf Grades Teacher Certification through Great Lakes Waldorf Institute and Masters of Arts in Education from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, WI (2015). She has volunteered and assisted in a variety of alternative and Waldorf educational settings since 2006. In 2013, Vivian co-founded The Wild Wonder Project, a youth-oriented nature immersion program in central Missouri, and is passionate about restoring nature literacy to childhood. She enjoys reading, exploring nature, and artistic expressions of many kinds.
Daniela Sales – Grade 2 Teacher
Grade 2 Teacher – Daniela joined the WSSL faculty in August 2011, but has been an WSSL parent since 2008 (Andre, Grade 4). Daniela’s passion for teaching and Waldorf education led her to begin the Masters Grades Waldorf Certification program at Rudolf Steiner College in California last summer (expecting to complete it in 2014), and to complete the full two-year Foundation Studies program with the Waldorf School of St. Louis cluster. Daniela has served as a Holistic Lifestyle Teacher and holds a PhD in Traditional Naturopathy and a Bachelor’s in Business Marketing.
Donna Valleroy – Grade 3 Teacher
Ms. Valleroy has been working with elementary-age children for more than 20 years. She has taught remedial classes for grades one through six, as well as fourth grade. As Gifted Facilitator of the Washington School District, she taught children in grades one through six. For the past ten years, she has enjoyed being a favored substitute teacher in the Rockwood School District. Donna brings a passion for curriculum development, and a desire to meet the individual interests of each child in her classroom. She lives near Eureka with her husband and two teen-age daughters. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, as well as certification in Elementary Education and Gifted Education.
Joachim Faust – Grade 4 Teacher
Mr. Joachim Faust is a Ph.D. linguist with 30 years of experience working with, and teaching linguistics, language and culture to college students and professionals. He will make the transition to The Waldorf School of St. Louis in August, 2014, coming from 12 years as a lecturer at Washington University where he fulfilled a passion for teaching language and culture to increase students’ level of linguistics and global awareness. He is proficient in approximately 12 languages and is a native of Germany. He completed his Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures University at the University of Kansas in 1998.
Jen Loui – Grade 5 Teacher
Jen is excited to begin her first year as a Waldorf Grades teacher beginning with The Waldorf School of St. Louis in August, 2014. Her life experience includes completing a BA at St. Louis University and 20 years of teaching a wide range of ages, from Grade Two through University. Her specialties include theatre, drumming, conflict resolution/non-violence, Native American spirituality and writing. Jen completed the Practical Applications Intensive at Rudolph Steiner College in Sacramento in June, 2014.
Carol Partlow Fyock – Grade 6 Teacher
Before moving to St. Louis, Carol taught Grades Three through Six in New Jersey. She received her Master’s degree in Education from Holy Family University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Through her experience in public school classrooms, she worked to incorporate a child-centered approach into a test-driven educational environment. Carol is thrilled to discover the Waldorf approach and enjoyed intensive training at Sunbridge College. Her interests include family, friends, painting, gardening for wildlife, personal and spiritual growth, and community service.
John Wilder – Grade 7 Teacher
John has nearly 20 years classroom teaching experience in private and public schools, including four years at WSSL as Shining Rivers Waldorf School. He graduated from Brown University and was trained as a teacher at Bank Street College of Education in New York City. He is fully certified by the State of Missouri to teach elementary education. He lives locally in Webster Groves with his wife Meg and has a grown daughter, a filmmaker, in New York City.
Steve Jent – Grade 8 Teacher
Steve is a 1981 graduate of Chicago State University (BS). He has been involved with Waldorf School of St. Louis since 1996 and started teaching woodworking in 2000. He has had training in special education, has completed Waldorf teacher training at Bellarmine University in Kentucky, and Foundation Studies through the Center for Anthroposophy. Steve’s been a mainframe computer programmer, semi-professional folk artist, and amateur musical instrument builder.
Specialty Subject Teachers
Gisela Baner – German
Gisela has been teaching German specialty classes at Waldorf School of St. Louis since 2008. Educated in Germany, her degree is in the German, French, and English languages. Gisela worked in France, Germany and Switzerland before settling in Missouri in 1998. She attended Foreign Language Waldorf training at the Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, New Hampshire.
Kathy Garrison – Violin / Orchestra
Kathy began violin instruction at Waldorf School of St. Louis in the fall of 2011. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Truman University. Kathy also trained with Susan Kempter, a well-known Suzuki pedagogue and published author at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and received lifetime Suzuki certification. She has been providing private and group instruction since 2005. Kathy is passionate about the experience of joy and accomplishment children can experience through music. She is excited to be part of the development of the Waldorf School of St. Louis’ orchestra.
Theresa Hitchcock – Handwork
Ms. Theresa joined the WSSL Faculty as the Handwork Specialty teacher in 2013. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) from the Kansas City Art Institute with a painting major and emphasis in woodworking and community art. Theresa became interested in Waldorf education when researching arts integrated education through an internship. You may have seen her work at the Missouri Botanical Gardens Treemendous Treehouse Competition as co-creator of the Nomad Nest, a structure made exclusively of recycled and salvaged materials. Ms. Theresa’s hobbies include home rehab, crafting, and urban homesteading.
Claudia Pico – Spanish
Claudia Pico graduated from Concordia University Chicago in 2002 from the secondary education department with a major in communication, emphasizing speech and theater, and a minor in Spanish. She has attended the Foreign Language Waldorf Training program in New Hampshire.
Stacia Valley – Extended Care Coordinator
With their family’s relocation to St. Louis in the spring of 2011, Stacia found the Waldorf School of St. Louis community. She was happy to continue the connection she found to Waldorf education in Colorado when she joined the WSSL faculty. Stacia and her husband, Dan, have energized the Extended Care program with their chickens, cob mixing, and baking – oh my! Stacia grew up in her family’s independent book store and operated her own paper and coffee shop for many years. She gets excited about books, stationery and art supplies!
Kerry Neal – Administrative Coordinator and Grades Assistant
Kerry Neal joined Waldorf School of St. Louis in 2006. Kerry has attended training at Waldorf without Walls, Rudolph Steiner College, and has completed Foundation Studies. She enjoys making paper crafts, knitting, kayaking, yoga, and children’s literature.
Dalbir Sahdev – Business Manager
Dalbir brings to the school more than 35 years of business and financial administrative experience from various industries. His career includes significant contributions to senior-level management positions in banking, management consulting, technology and manufacturing corporations. Dalbir brings a depth of experience including the areas of project management, industry best practices and bench marks, business process improvements, enterprise resource planning, systems development and implementation, change management, strategic planning and organizational development.