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 Faculty
Lead Nursery Teacher
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 specialized in Early Childhood Education. Mari first came to Waldorf School at Moraine Farm as a kindergarten teacher. She later pursued her diploma in Artistic Eurythmy at the Camphill Eurythmy School in England and returned to Waldorf School at Moraine Farm to teach Eurythmy full time for several years.
Lead 3-Day Nursery Teacher
Stephanie Irvine was born and raised in New Zealand. She has a B.S. from Auckland University majoring in Physiology and Pharmacology. She has taken Foundation Studies and is currently taking courses at Sophia’s Hearth. Stephanie has been an assistant in nursery for many years and has also substituted in kindergarten and parent and child classes. She has two children who both attended Waldorf School at Moraine Farm. She lives in Salem with her husband and children.
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.
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.
Daisy Nursery Assistant
Jessica Hanscom has a B.F.A. from Montserrat College of Art and is currently pursuing an M.S. with a concentration in library services for children in the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College. Jessica has served as an assistant in the Sweet Pea and Goldenstar after-school programs, and has substituted in nursery and kindergarten classrooms at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm since 2014. In 2016, she completed the first year of Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy and the Arts. Jessica has worked as a nanny since her college days. She and her husband live in Manchester-by-the-Sea and have two children at the school.
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 and child and infant rooms at the Waldorf school in Hadley, MA where her son and daughter attended. Susan’s family joined the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm in 2010. She has been working in the kindergarten since 2013. Susan also has experience working in natural health and wellness and has a second degree in physical therapy. Susan has two children at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm.
Mara was born and raised in the Azores, Portugal. She is fluent in both Portuguese and Spanish. Mara has extensive experience as a musician, educator and entrepreneur. Mara teaches music in her own studio in Beverly, MA, while she is also continuing her music studies at Berklee College of Music. Most recently, Mara worked as a music and early education teacher at the Cuvilly Arts and Earth Center in Ipswich.
Lead Parent and Child Teacher
Bio coming soon
Parent and Child Assistant
Friederike (“Rike”) was born and raised in a historic village in Germany, first arriving in the Boston area as an Au Pair. She has been working with young children most of her adult life. Most recently Rike enrolled in the Sophia’s Hearth teacher education program to become a certified Early Childhood Waldorf Teacher. She has worked as an assistant in the Sweet Pea and Goldenstar after-school programs and substituted in the early childhood and grades. She and her husband live in Beverly and have two young children at the school.
Grade 1 – Grade 8 Faculty
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.
Sixth Grade Teacher
Signe was born and raised in Norway and received her Liberal Arts degree in Norway with a focus in Literature, History and Foreign Languages. Signe holds a Masters Degree from Antioch University New England and a diploma in remedial work from the Association for a Healing Education. Signe has extensive experience in Waldorf Education, both as an early childhood teacher and class teacher. Most recently, Signe was a class teacher at the Princeton Waldorf School. For twenty-five years, Signe also served as an adjunct faculty to the Antioch/Center for Anthroposophy Waldorf Teacher Training Program. Signe has two Waldorf educated daughters and three grandchildren, all currently in Waldorf schools.
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.
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.
Sixth and Seventh Grade Math Teacher
Maria Reiss has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and an M.ED. as a Math Specialist from Gordon College. She has taught all levels of math from 1st through 8th grade at private schools throughout the North Shore, either as a teacher or through private tutoring. Maria is an avid traveler and has lived in 2 provinces and 7 states. She currently resides in Danvers, MA where she has lived for the past 8 years. Maria has a desire to help others see the beauty of math in the world around them.
Science in Nature Coordinator
Coleen received her bachelor degree in History from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and has extensive training in science and natural history. Through her time at Boston University Sargent Center for Outdoor Education, Program directing for Blue Sky Meadow Science Institute in Big Bear City in California, 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 ongoing work in 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. This year Coleen has 2 periods weekly with each class where she brings hands-on experiential lessons that supplement and enhance the existing Waldorf curriculum.
Games and Movement Teacher
Alex graduated from Gordon College with a B.S. in Recreation Sports and Wellness and is currently getting a masters degree in Athletic Administration at Endicott College. Alex has coached and taught students at all levels from preschool to college. Before joining the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm, Alex taught at North Shore Christian School and was a basketball coach at St. John’s Prep. He also worked for the Beverly YMCA in the Afterschool and Sports programs. Alex is currently an assistant baseball coach at Gordon College.
First through Eighth Grade Instrumental Music Teacher
Ms. Marshunda Smith earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her time with the Oak Ridge High School Orchestra and her private cello studio made her realize that she wanted to work with kids. She attended the University of Southern Maine, receiving her Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting with a concentration in Music Education. In 2018, Marshunda will be the first female to conduct the North Shore Philharmonic in its 70 year history. She co-founded and conducts the No-Name Orchestra and holds a private music studio of violin, viola cello students in the North Shore area. Marshunda has been teaching music and other non-musical classes at Waldorf since 2014.
Cyber Civics Teacher
Dirk Tiede graduated with a B.F.A. in Commercial Art from Millikin University and has worked as a professional illustrator, independent comic book creator, web designer & developer, animator, video editor, musician, and lecturer throughout his career. He brings 25 years of experience with the internet as a media creator to the Cyber Civics program. He began teaching at the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm as a middle school elective instructor and substitute and is a certified Cyber Civics instructor.
Eighth Grade Language Arts Teacher
Amanda received her B.A. in English from Yale University and her MAT in Secondary English from Boston University. Before joining the Waldorf community, she taught English at Phillips Andover Academy and The Winsor School in Boston. A certified yoga instructor, Amanda loves to practice yoga, garden, travel and spend time with her family. She lives in Beverly with her husband and two daughters.
Lead Afternoon Teacher
Michael Mansur was a student at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm. Michael developed an interest in childhood education while working first as a substitute teacher in the early childhood classes. Michael then became a kindergarten class assistant at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm in 2016. Michael has studied Biodynamic Agriculture with Gunther Hauk at Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary and is currently studying for a degree in Education.
Sweet Pea Program Assistant
Christine Garcia-Akers graduated with a degree in Fine Art from F.I.T and has an Associates in English Literature from Catholic University of America. She worked as a Fine Artist and elementary art teacher in New York City for several years before traveling to Mexico to study the language and culture. Upon returning she settled in Gloucester and worked as a children’s and reference librarian at the Sawyer Free Library. Christine became intrigued with Waldorf education when her children joined the early childhood classes. She has studied with master teachers from the Toronto Waldorf School, the Kimberton Waldorf School and Sophia’s Hearth.
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.
Faculty Administrator and Middle School Math Teacher
Dianne received her Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting, from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and obtained a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Bentley University. Before becoming a Waldorf teacher in 2004, Dianne worked as an adjunct professor for Computer Information Systems at Pace University, a technical support engineer and group leader for Sybase, Inc. and a project manager supporting mainframe and database systems for General Electric Corporation. Dianne has been with Waldorf School at Moraine Farm since 2007, first as a class teacher and most recently as a middle school math subject teacher. She has also taught middle school math at another local private school. Dianne’s two sons graduated from Waldorf School at Moraine Farm. Her youngest is currently in high school and her eldest is majoring in molecular biology and biochemistry at UMASS Amherst.
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 Beverly with his wife and two daughters, both of whom are students at the school.
Admissions and Marketing Director
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.
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.