OUR FACULTY

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Trisha Lambert

Primrose Preschool and Roots and Shoots Teacher

I was born in southern California, when children went out the door on a summer's morning and rushed home for lunch only so that we could have energy to continue playing till dinner time.
I have very strong memories of playing and playing outdoors for hours on end. We roamed the canyon and rode our bikes without a single concern.
 
When I moved to northern California for college, I studied Botany. I have always loved plants and that love continues. Being in the garden with children is one of my greatest joys still .
 
When my own son was ready for school I was excited for him to go to the local public school like I did. One day I drove into the parking lot of the Davis Waldorf School and was amazed that a school could offer so much richness and beauty entwined in the education. The early childhood classrooms were warm and cozy. And there were trees to climb and so much to explore.
 
I always laugh and say my sons left kindergarten but I stayed. 
 
I've been able to have some great adventures as a Waldorf teacher, I' ve been a kindergarten teacher, a preschool teacher, and had a home program. I have taught at the Waldorf School in Davis, Highland Hall in Northridge, Live Oak Waldorf School and the Lakota Waldorf School in Kyle, SD. I have experienced working in a public Waldorf School and Waldorf inspired programs.
 
Last spring, after visiting the Waldorf School of Mendocino County, I thought I can see myself here with these wonderful children and families.
 
So here I am! I am very excited to be here and have glorious adventures in the garden with the beautiful children here.

Vanessa French Preschool Teacher

VANESSA FRENCH

Rosebud Preschool Teacher

I’ve had the privilege of growing up here in beautiful Mendocino County. When I was young, my older brother had the pleasure of attending WSMC for a brief time. I still remember the smell of lavender and beeswax, and the feelings of love, and warmth. I was not so lucky and went to public school here in the Ukiah Valley. I knew before I even had my own child I wanted him to go to this school.  I began working at WSMC in 2008, as a specialty teacher and aftercare coordinator.  I had studied and planned to open an in-home childcare program in Redwood Valley, however the universe had something else in store. Over the years, I have been lucky enough to be the aftercare coordinator, to teach games, movement, clay sculpture, beeswax, creative play and rest & story. I have assisted in the kindergarten and nursery classrooms, as well as leading Rosebud and plenty of subbing over the many years.  Last year I completed my Waldorf teacher training for Early Childhood at The West Coast Institute for anthroposophy in British Colombia. It was an amazing program and experience that further inspired my deep love for my work as a Waldorf teacher. In my free time, I enjoy going on adventures with family, discovering new things, organic gardening, making art, cooking and baking, connecting with friends, family and nature, as well as learning new things and continuing my studies.

Amy Stocker Kindergarten Teacher

AMY STOCKER

Red Rose Kindergarten Teacher

I grew up in Mendocino County.  After obtaining a BA in Liberal Studies  at California State University, Chico, I followed my dream of teaching  children by obtaining a California State Teaching Credential in 2005.   The magic and brilliance of Waldorf Education was first introduced to me  when I was a student in a Waldorf Kindergarten.  After teaching in  various preschools in California, Arizona, and Oregon, I made my way  back home to The Waldorf School of Mendocino County (WSMC).  In 2007, I began teaching at WSMC as a kindergarten teacher while simultaneously  completing my Waldorf teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair  Oaks, California.  After taking six years away from WSMC to be at home  with my two young daughters, I rejoined the WSMC Faculty in 2015 and have had the pleasure of teaching my small friends in the Early Childhood Program.  

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Kelly Austin

Grade 1 Teacher

I began my teaching journey at this school by taking up the 4th grade class in 1997 while concurrently taking the Waldorf Teacher Training at the Center for Educational Renewal. This class graduated from 8th grade in 2001; at the same time, I graduated from my teacher training program.  I then began an eight year journey with my next class.  I stayed in the upper grades and graduated two 8th grade classes (2011 and 2012).  I began again with a new 1st grade in 2012.  In our 4th grade year, we were joined by the 3rd grade class, when WSMC switched to a combined grades model.  We moved together through the grades and graduated in 2020 and 2021. 
Outside of school I spend every moment possible with my husband, my three children, and my five grandchildren.  I enjoy reading, knitting, drawing, puzzles, gardening, hiking, and birding.

Christy Barron Grades Teacher

CHRISTY BARRON

Grade 2 & 3 Teacher

I started working with children in Early Childhood Education when I was a high schooler in Richmond, Virginia. Within months of declaring my major, I was the recipient of the Excellence In Early Childhood Award at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. Just prior to receiving my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education, I learned about Waldorf Education in a chance encounter with a Waldorf alumni. A requirement for graduating from Warren Wilson is the completion of 100 hours of community service. This instilled in me a deep love of service, and right after graduating, I began a year-long service as an Americorps member in Ukiah, California at FIRST5 Mendocino. When my year of service was completed, a position as Debra McCarthy’s assistant in Red Rose Kindergarten at the Waldorf School of Mendocino County became available. The first year I worked in Red Rose, I was also the Aftercare Provider for the Grades; the following year, I became the First Grade Teacher. After my class finished fourth grade, I worked within the Waldorf movement as the Enrollment Coordinator at Yuba River Charter School in Nevada City, and taught first grade at a Waldorf-methods school in Shenandoah, Virginia. I was delighted to return to WSMC last school year as the Red Rose Assistant and Grades Specialty Teacher. Now I am overjoyed to be teaching again at WSMC as the First Grade Teacher for the 2020-2021 school year. Since coming to WSMC in 2010, I was and still am an avid roller skater; when not at school, I am at a skatepark. I have a strong love of plants, stories, culture, and am passionate about social justice. I am currently completing my Waldorf teacher training at the West Coast Institute. 

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STARA THOMPSON

Grade 4 & 5 Teacher

I am so excited about joining your school community as the new class 3/4 teacher.  I am deeply moved by the warm welcome I have received by the staff, the families and the children here at WSMC. I realize we are in a time of change as our lives are requiring great flexibility and resilience. I feel, this school community is approaching these ever changing social needs with incredibly grace and that together our children will be well prepared to meet the challenges of the future  due to our shining examples as adults during this time. 

    

As an educator,  I have been assisting and teaching in various schools, primarily k-4 for the past 16 years, primarily in Sonoma County, Ca. I graduated from the Center for Educational Renewal at Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm in Santa Rosa in 2011. Upon graduating and deeply inspired by my new Waldorf education, I went abroad in search of an amazing school for both myself and my then 8 year old daughter. In the end our schools here in Northern California are the best and we decided to stay. Since then, I found a growing need  in our community for private tutoring and have focused most of my attention on curative education and support teaching in schools with large classes.  I really enjoy private tutoring and since Covid began I have been a private 3/4 class teacher with a small pod in Sebastopol. 
     

I have always loved the Mendocino Waldorf campus and was touched by the warm and kindness of the teachers and administration. I am looking forward to meeting all of you and building a relationship with you, your children and this school community in the years to come. 

Inge Schaefer Grades Teacher

INGE SCHAEFER

Grade 6 & 7 Teacher

It sometimes takes a seasoned tracker to find the start of a trace.  How did I find my way to Waldorf education?  Was it the long ago mention of the Steiner school just down the road from where I lived in Germany as an exchange student—“Oh, you have to sign your children up even before they are born!”  Or was it years later crisscrossing Sonoma County as a bike tour guide with a fellow guide, whose parents were both Waldorf teachers—“I helped make that sign at the entrance!”  Regardless, it was with the birth of my two sons that the path was clear beneath my feet.  It brought the need and desire to serve them as best I could in their development as whole human beings (a work that is still in progress no matter how time marches on). 

I have since embraced the philosophy of Steiner and taken on the work of understanding its relation to child development.  I home-schooled my sons using the Waldorf curriculum and worked with groups of home-schooled children to bring the curriculum to them.  To strengthen my understanding, I completed the teacher training program at the Center of Educational Renewal in Santa Rosa as well as a semester long study at the Goetheanum in Switzerland. Before then  I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Languages and Literature at Bard College, lived in Hungary and Indonesia, worked as an archaeologist for California State Parks, biked cross country, sang German songs with my Dad as he played accordion, and learned to knit from my expert mother. Within all these things are the stories that make us human and my wish is for students to seek their own stories through boundless curiosity and a freedom of thinking.