From our Executive Director
It is my pleasure to introduce you to the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm.
At Waldorf School at Moraine Farm our mission is to help students discover and develop their individual capacities so that they can fully engage in the world and contribute meaningfully to society. We aim to cultivate clarity of thinking, compassion and moral strength, and purposeful action in our students.
Founded in 1986, Waldorf School at Moraine Farm strives to instill in our students a strong sense of community, a true enthusiasm for learning, and a deep reverence for nature. Our location at Moraine Farm, in the north shore city of Beverly, MA, allows our thriving Science in Nature Program to take full advantage of this amazing property. The campus also lends itself perfectly to our Kindergarten curriculum, giving students the opportunity to be outside exploring and experiencing nature on a daily basis. Our Early Childhood Program benefits from our location with a recently expanded campus, adding a Greenhouse for our Early Childhood Program for expanded hands-on science and gardening learning experiences. There is much that has grown in our 30 years as a school and so much more to come.
I invite you to explore our website and schedule a visit to our campus. I’m confident that as you do you will find an age-appropriate curriculum in the humanities, math and science, music, visual and practical arts and movement, that allow every student to develop his or her unique gifts using a proven, holistic approach.
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
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.
First 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.
Second 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.
Fourth 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.
Fifth 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.
Eighth 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.
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.
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.
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.
Mark Graziano brings more than seventeen years of experience in the field of education administration, including eleven years as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer of the Pike School in Andover, MA. His work at the Pike School brings a wealth of experience in short- and long-term strategic planning, operations and donor engagement. Mark holds an MBA from Colorado State University, and a Bachelor’s in business with concentrations in finance and marketing from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Mark is scheduled to receive his Master of Education in administrative leadership from Louisiana State University in the fall of 2018. Mark joins the Waldorf community with his wife and six-year-old twins.
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.
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.
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.
Science in Nature Coordinator
Coleen received her bachelor degree in History from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Coleen has extensive knowledge of wildlife ecology, forest ecology and wetland ecology as well as training in science and natural history and animal training for educational presentations. Through her time at Boston University Sargent Center for Outdoor Education, Program directing for Blue Sky Meadow Science Institute in Los Angeles, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, Coleen’s expertise enlightens her hands-on inquiry-based science lessons here at Moraine Farm. Her most recent experience as outreach instructor for the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens and her yearly trips to Zimbabwe as a Workshop Facilitator and Curriculum Writer for the Children in Wilderness program, bring a dimension of insight and creativity to our Science in Nature programming.
Miriam Silva Preas
Admissions and Marketing Coordinator
Miriam Silva Preas received a bachelor’s 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.