From our Administrator
Celebrating our 30th year, the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm continues to strive to instill in our students a strong sense of community, a true enthusiasm for learning, and a deep reverence for nature. Now entering our fifth year at Moraine Farm, our thriving Science in Nature Program takes full advantage of this amazing property. The Kindergarten curriculum has students outside exploring for the majority of their day, every day. We’ve expanded our campus to better accommodate our Early Childhood Program, added a Greenhouse to support more science and gardening learning experiences. There is much that has grown in our 30 years as a school and so much more to come.
Please scroll to view our faculty and staff below.
“I wanted to be in a place where students really loved their teachers and were excited to go to school every day and where they got something bigger out of their class time....”- Waldorf School at Moraine Farm Alumna -
Early Childhood – Grade 8 Faculty
Caroline Mercier studied Early Childhood Education at Pfeiffer University and discovered Waldorf Education when looking for a nursery school for her own daughter. Her career began at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm in 1995 as an assistant and aftercare provider followed by a position as a Kindergarten teacher followed by her current role as Nursery teacher. Ms. Mercier is currently attending the Sophia’s Hearth Level 1 Professional Development Course in Keene NH.
James has a B.A. in English from Oberlin College and recently entered a multi-year program of study to become a certified Waldorf Early Childhood teacher. James began volunteering in the early childhood program in 2005 when his first daughter enrolled and began assistant teaching in 2013. James’ prior career was as a daily environmental law reporter for Bloomberg BNA in Washington, DC. He still enjoys writing on occasion for the school Newsletter. James and his wife live in Byfield and have three children at the school.
Lead Kindergarten Teacher
Cristan Vineis graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Psychology. She received her Foundations Studies and Waldorf Teacher Training certificate from the Alkion Center at Hawthorne Valley in Ghent, NY, where she worked as an assistant for two years. Returning to her home town on Cape Cod in 2010, she started working at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod as a Parent Child teacher, early childhood assistant and extended day lead. She has 2 children, both enrolled at the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm. Cristan is also a certified birth doula.
Susan discovered Waldorf Education when she was getting her degree in Early Childhood Education from UMass in Amherst. She continued learning about Waldorf while she worked in the parent/child and infant rooms at the Waldorf school in Hadley, MA where her son and daughter attended. She has enjoyed working with mothers and their newborns in and out of the school setting. Susan has also worked in the health field and enjoys continuing to learn about natural medicine.
Michael Mansur is a graduate of Waldorf School at Moraine Farm. Michael developed an interest in childhood education while working as a substitute teacher in the Early Childhood classes. Michael has studied Biodynamic Agriculture with Gunther Hauk at Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary and is currently studying for a degree in Education.
Gretchen is an alumna from the Waldorf School of Lexington and has a B.A. in English from Gordon College. Gretchen has worked at United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Boston’s After School for All Partnership, and Boston & Beyond, convening out-of-school time programs and funders. She taught Kindergarten at the Waldorf-inspired Lynn Community Charter School. Gretchen has completed her first year of Foundation Studies and regularly attends workshops and lectures at Sophia’s Hearth, Sunbridge College and the Rudolf Steiner College in CA. Gretchen has two children in the grades at our school.
First Grade Teacher
Branigan holds a Master’s Degree in Waldorf Education from Antioch University New England, and a BA in Theatre Education from Emerson College. Her experience also includes teaching and directing with Boston Children’s Theatre, and founding the Prospects Out-of-School-Time Summer Theatre Program for grades five through eight. Most recently, Branigan was a Special Education teacher and Family Engagement Campus Leader at Prospect Hill Academy Charter School in Somerville, MA.
Second Grade Teacher
Maggie Smith grew up in Keene, NH, where she attended the Monadnock Waldorf School as a student. After receiving her B.A. in anthropology from Hampshire College, she earned her Master’s Degree in Waldorf Education from Antioch New England Graduate School. Maggie taught at the Meadowbrook Waldorf School in Rhode Island for one year as a substitute teacher before joining Waldorf School at Moraine Farm.
Third Grade Teacher
Ana holds a Master’s Degree in Waldorf and Progressive Public Education from Antioch University New England, and a BFA in Theatre from NYU’s Tisch School of Performing Arts. Ana’s experience also includes teaching ESL and drama in New York City Public Schools as an employee of the non-profit Cypress Hills Development Corporation. In addition, she taught in the Portland, OR school district and managed and directed a non-profit professional children’s theatre troupe.
Fourth Grade Teacher
Anita Warren has taught in Waldorf Schools since 1989, beginning at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School, then the Davis Waldorf School. Anita attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for her B.A. in Anthropology, then moved to California where she obtained both single subject (Social Studies) and multi-subject credentials at the University of California in Davis. Out west, Anita began her teaching experience as a cross-country and downhill ski instructor. After several years of teaching in public schools and running a homeschool program, she decided to become a Waldorf teacher. Anita is passionate about the value of using proper grammar. Most recently, Anita with her brother developed a grammar program for teachers and students. Their three workbooks, focusing on fourth through eighth-grade grammar, are now available worldwide.
Fifth Grade Teacher
Kevin Doering holds a degree in atmospheric science from Rutgers University and a J.D. in Environmental and International Law from Pace University School of Law in New York and the University of London, U.K.. Prior to teaching, Kevin enjoyed a diverse career in environmental protection and public health, working for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Kevin earned his middle school and elementary education licenses from the Upper Valley Educators Institute in Lebanon, NH in 2009. He previously worked at the Orchard Valley Waldorf School in Vermont. Since 2003, Kevin has written a weekly column on the weather.
Sixth Grade Teacher
Brian Macdonald is a graduate of UMass-Amherst. He received his teacher training at Hawthorne Valley School in Harlemville, NY. Brian is also trained in Spacial Dynamics. He taught physical education and high school English at Hawthorne Valley School. Mr. Macdonald has over thirty years of experience teaching in Waldorf schools. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member for teacher training at Antioch New England Graduate School in Wilton, NH. At Waldorf School at Moraine Farm, he has taken one class from first through eighth grade and is in the middle of his second cycle. In most recent years, as part of his professional development, Brian learned to read music and play soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorder. He now performs with the Aurora Ensemble Group at our school and in the community. Currently, two of his grandchildren attend Waldorf School at Moraine Farm.
Seventh Grade Teacher
Vanya Yoors studied Environmental Education with the Audubon Expedition Institute and spent a year studying Tibetan language and collecting Tibetan folk songs in Nepal under a program sponsored by the University of Wisconsin. He then received his B.A. in Waldorf Education from the Rudolf Steiner College and taught for four years at the Eugene Waldorf School in Oregon. Mr. Yoors came to Waldorf School at Moraine Farm in 1996, and has spent many years as a class teacher and as a Movement Teacher.
Eighth Grade Teacher
Rebecca Rugo holds a Ph.D. in cancer cell biology from Harvard University and previously worked as a research fellow at MIT. She brings a strong science background to her work as a Waldorf teacher. Rebecca has a dedicated, engaging and caring presence in the classroom. A native of New York, Rebecca is an alumna of the Green Meadow Waldorf School in NY. She has two children who graduated from Waldorf School at Moraine Farm.
Heather Collis-Puro received her B.A. in Political Science and English from the University of Richmond in 1990 and for 10 years was employed by the Fund for Public Interest Research as an organizer, recruiter and Citizen Outreach Director. Heather discovered the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm in 2000 when she began Parent and Child classes with her daughter and is now the handwork teacher in the grades. Ms. Collis-Puro learned to knit, sew and embroider at an early age and takes every opportunity to add to her repertoire of handwork.
Middle School Writing and Reading Workshop Teacher
Jenny Helmick holds a B.A. from Harvard University in Social Studies and an M.S. from Tufts University in Environmental Health/Urban and Environmental Policy. Jenny completed three sessions of the Waldorf High School Teacher Training (Life Sciences) and has been teaching English, math and main lessons at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm since 2000. Ms. Helmick is also part of an environmental consulting firm, where she specializes in science communication.
Marian Jamison Smith
Gym, Sports and Games Teacher
Marian studies at Salem State College with her emphasis on teaching and specifically teaching Physical Education. Marian also completed three years to coursework in Nutrition Science at University of Nevada in Reno. She is an avid cyclist and raced bikes professionally for several years.
Eighth Grade Math Co-Teacher, Seventh Grade Math Teacher, and Math Mentor
Dianne McGaunn holds a B.B.A. in Accounting and Business from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an M.S. in Computer Information Systems from Bentley University, and an M.Ed in Education from Sunbridge College. She brings a diverse set of experiences and a high level of focus and enthusiasm to her work as a teacher. Prior to becoming a Waldorf educator in 2004, Mrs. McGaunn had careers in public and private accounting and in the computer industry. Dianne has been a Waldorf class teacher for ten years and graduated her second class in the spring of 2015.
Kati Manning has taught German at the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm since 1988. She received her BA from Bowdoin College and continued post-graduate studies in elementary and high school education at Salem State University. Ms. Manning actively works on mentoring and training foreign language teachers in Waldorf schools across North America. She works with many of the local public schools as well as home-schooled students and adults.
As one of the school’s founding parents, Mr. Pulkkinen has a long history with the school and has been the head basketball coach for 18 years. He enjoys helping the students develop both the fundamentals and love for the sport. Seeing players improve on their individual and team skills while building self-confidence, is particularly rewarding. Karl has served on the Board and continues to serve on various committees, always giving generously of his time and expertise. Karl has two sons who graduated from Waldorf School at Moraine as well as a granddaughter who currently attends.
Susan Slowick holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Boston University School for the Arts, where she received the Music Education Award. A student of Roman Totenberg and George Neikrug, she has performed with the Concert Opera Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of the Commonwealth, the Nashua Symphony, the Vermont Symphony, Symphony by the Sea, and the Cape Ann Symphony. Ms. Slowick has been a member of the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm music faculty since 1989.
Marshunda Smith is originally from Tennessee and comes from a family tradition of music. After obtaining her Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting and Music Education, she founded the No-Name Orchestra: an orchestra which gives musicians a chance to play a concerto with a full orchestra. Marshunda has a private music studio for violin, viola and cello instruction and is a founding member of Vermillion Strings of Greater Boston.
Mari Yamaguchi was born and educated in Japan and graduated from the Tokyo University of Music and Fine Arts. She received her Waldorf teacher training at Antioch New England Graduate School and began teaching Kindergarten at the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm. She later pursued her diploma in Artistic Eurythmy at the Camphill Eurythmy School in England. In 2005, Mari returned to Waldorf School at Moraine Farm and to teach Eurythmy full time.
Sabrina Babcock is a highly experienced educator who brings a great deal of energy and understanding into the school. Her history with Waldorf School at Moraine Farm extends over 20 years, and she has also taught in public elementary school classrooms. She received her B.S. from Sargent College, Boston University, her Massachusetts elementary education certification from UMass-North Dartmouth, and her Waldorf Certification from Antioch New England Graduate School.
Kristen Fehlhaber graduated from Stanford University and has a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Radcliffe Seminars. She has worked at a variety of non-profits in the fields of social services and financial services. She became interested in Waldorf Education some years ago when her son began Parent & Child classes at the school.
Jack Hogan brings more than twenty years of world-wide experience in the construction industry to the school. Prior to joining the school, Jack worked as a volunteer coordinator and site supervisor for Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston and as an energy advisor with a home energy solutions company. Jack was drawn to the school through his admiration for the Waldorf philosophy and how well it complements his family life. Jack was born and raised in Kilkenny, Ireland. He now lives in Marblehead with his wife and two daughters, both of whom are students at the school.
Erin grew up in Beverly and holds a degree in Sociology and African American Studies from the University of MA. She began her career as a social worker for The Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Boston followed by a managerial and analyst position at Electric Insurance Company. Erin enjoys communicating with parents and learning about their children during campus visits and Open Classroom Tours. When she’s not at work she enjoys hiking, being on the water, cooking, reading, and spending time with her large extended family. Erin has two children at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm.
Larissa holds a bachelor of science degree from Trinity College with a minor in art. She previously worked for New York ad agencies, DMB&B and BBDO in media planning and public relations. She worked as a Senior Account Executive at the Ad Agency at Fidelity Investments in Boston for several years before starting a high-end apparel business that was featured in Elle, Traditional Home Magazine, INStyle, Elle Japan, Animal Fair, Chronicle, and Boston Magazine. She has extensive experience in blog writing and social media marketing. She has two children at the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm. Larissa attended The Pike School and Northfield Mount Hermon.
Camp Director & Assistant to Administrator
Coleen grew up in Western Massachusetts and received a bachelor degree in History at the University of Massachusetts. Coleen spent the next decade in California, teaching in various environmental education settings, including at the Natural History of LA County and the Los Angeles Zoo. Her passion for the earth, the joy she finds in being creative and her gentle approach to education makes Waldorf School at Moraine Farm a great fit.
Miriam Silva Preas
Communications and Outreach Director
Miriam Silva Preas received a bachelors degree in Marketing and Information Technology from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. She worked in marketing and knowledge management for fourteen years with law firms, Wilmer Hale, Edwards Angell Palmer and Dodge, and Ropes and Gray. Miriam is bilingual, born and raised in Venezuela. Her professional background in marketing and interest to Waldorf education brought her to this position. Miriam has two children, both students at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm.
Jane Walsh started her fund-raising career unofficially at age 10, organizing a two-day outdoor carnival in her neighborhood for a Citizenship fund. She initially pursued a career in public service, but while attending an MBA program decided to use her fund-raising skills on behalf of many worthwhile non-profits and educational institutions in Massachusetts. Jane has worked steadily to help more than a dozen worthy non-profit organizations raise millions of dollars and recruit long term donors and trustees.
Susan White has worked in the field of Education for 40 years and has been involved with Waldorf School at Moraine Farm for 15 years as Administrator, teacher and parent. Ms. White is a gifted educator and a leader with vision for the school and its future. In addition to her role as Administrator, Ms. White also serves on the Board of Trustees, the College of Teachers, and the Management Team. She teaches at Sophia’s Hearth Family Center in New Hampshire, where she resides with her husband. Their daughter is an alumna of Waldorf School at Moraine Farm and High Mowing School – a Waldorf High School.