Faculty

Early Childhood Teachers

Early Childhood Aftercare Supervisor - Michaela Heller

Michaela Heller, known to the children as Ms. Michaela, is the Little Aftercare Supervisor. She was born and raised in Southern California. She knew that when she had children, she wanted a different type of education for them-an education that would teach the whole child. In 2006 her desire to educate her son in this way brought her family to WSOC. In 2012, she completed the Foundation Studies program at WSOC. In 2014, she joined the Early Childhood Adult Education Program and graduated in 2016. Michaela joined the WSOC faculty in 2012 as a kindergarten assistant, and has been the Little Aftercare Supervisor since 2013.

Kindergarten - Terri Webster

Terri Webster teaches kindergarten. She was born and raised in Costa Mesa, California, where she attended Orange Coast College. In addition to completing a 2-Year Anthroposophical Studies Program, she completed her Early Childhood Teacher Training, and 3-Year Remedial Teacher Training, both at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California. Terri joined the WSOC faculty in 2000 as a kindergarten assistant and has been teaching her own class since 2004. "Ms Terri" especially enjoys handwork and taking her class on long walks. Her hobbies include cooking, traveling, and being in nature. She has a son and a daughter, both of whom attended WSOC.

Kindergarten - Arieta Bizaro

Arieta Bizaro teaches kindergarten. She began her Waldorf journey as a child. She was a student at Highland Hall, a Waldorf school in Los Angeles. When she had children of her own, she decided she was going to become a Waldorf teacher and enrolled in WISC San Diego, where she graduated in 2013. She has been with WSOC for six years, working in the Early Childhood department first as an assistant, then as a co-teacher, and now leading her own kindergarten class. Arieta has two children at WSOC, a daughter in Grade 6 and a son in Grade 4. If you ask her why she does this work, she'll say that she "wants to help save the world, even if it's one child at a time."

Play Group Director - Jenell Carlson

Jenell Carlson was born and raised in Southern California. She received a B.A. in Literature at San Diego State, and her Waldorf teacher training certificate through the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training. She completed the Consciousness Studies program at Rudolf Steiner College as well as the Spacial Dynamics™ program for movement instructors. She has recently become a certified Bothmer gymnast. Jenell has been teaching since 1999 in Waldorf schools throughout the state; as a kindergarten teacher, a movement instructor, and a junior high school teacher. She is currently a high school humanities teacher and the Play-Group director here at WSOC. Jenell loves surfing, sailing, backpacking and learning new things.

Pre-Kindergarten - Catherine Averett

Catherine Averett teaches pre-kindergarten. She grew up in Southern California, earning a BFA in Visual Communication Design from California State University, Long Beach. While in college, she taught English as a Second Language for three years to children in kindergarten through 3rd grade. After graduation, she worked as a Creative Director for a New York-based publishing company for twelve years. In 1994, through her father and family, she learned about Waldorf education and the work of Rudolf Steiner. Her own two children brought her to WSOC in 2002. She has undertaken training in Biodynamic gardening and graduated from the Waldorf Teacher Training program at Antioch University, New England. She joined the WSOC faculty in 2007.

Pre-Kindergarten - Barbara Cubanski

Barbara Cubanski teaches pre-kindergarten. She grew up in Chicago, Illinois, where she taught young children in a variety of settings. The birth of her son rekindled her love and interest in working with young children and she began assisting in the kindergarten at WSOC in 2000. She completed her teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College and joined the WSOC faculty in 2003. Her son attended playgroup through Grade 12 here, and is currently attending UC Davis. Barbara is passionate about the growth and development of young children and supporting their families on their Waldorf journey.


Grade School Faculty

Grade 1 - Matthew Troedson

Mr. Troedson received his AWSNA Grades Teacher certification from the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA and holds a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies with emphasis on multiple subject teaching from Brandman University. While at the Steiner College, he studied under many notable Waldorf teachers such as Astrid Schmitt-Stegmann, Brian Gray and Ted Mahle. Prior to joining WSOC in Fall 2018, Mr. Troedson served as a Grades teacher at Cedar Springs Waldorf school in Placerville, California.

Grade 2 - Beka Castro

Ms Beka was born in Anchorage, Alaska, where as a child she volunteered at a Waldorf-inspired preschool. As a young adult, she taught music and theater in the public school system in California, and worked briefly in the entertainment production industry. Beka completed her Waldorf teacher training in 2007 through Waldorf Institute of Southern California. She joined the staff of WSOC in 2005, teaching pre-kindergarten for three years before becoming a class teacher.After graduating her eighth grade class in 2016, Ms. Beka took a sabbatical year and is now teaching the class of 2029.

Grade 3 - Holly Peterson

Holly Peterson Richards (Miss Peterson) is the class teacher for the Class of 2028, and has been teaching at WSOC since 1997. She holds a MA in Human Development with a focus on Leadership in Education from Pacific Oaks College and earned her BA in Human Development at CSUF. Holly completed her certification of Waldorf EC Teacher Training at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, and did Grades teacher training through the Adult Education Program at WSOC. Holly also teaches college courses in child and human development at CSUF and Saddleback College.

Grade 4 - Julia Bartles Emahiser

Julia Bartles Emahiser came to Waldorf education following a 20+ year career as a professional cellist (based in Nashville, Tennessee), and as a 34-year student of Anthroposophy. In 2011 Julia began her Waldorf Certificate studies at Antioch University (New England). Prior to that she took on a 7th Grade class at Linden Waldorf School (Nashville) which she graduated the following year. Ms. Emahiser earned a Waldorf Certificate specialization in Transdisciplinary Education, completed in 2015. In California, before accepting the first-grade class teacher position with the Waldorf School of Orange County, Julia taught in the Opus program of the San Diego Youth Symphony as a Community Artist Teacher. This program is modeled on the famous social-gesture, El Sistema music program, founded in Venezuela by Jose Antonio Abreu and championed by Gustav Dudamel. Ms. Bartles Emahiser graduated high school from the Waldorfschule Uhlandshoehe, in Stuttgart, Germany. She received a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Indiana University and Master of Music in Cello Performance from Ohio University. She has studied with master teachers Fritz Magg, Janos Starker and Michael Haber, and performed in master classes for world-renowned cellists Paul Tortelier, Bernard Greenhouse and Laszlo Varga. After her studies Ms. Bartles Emahiser went on to become a member of the Cascade String Quartet of Great Falls, Montana, the Memphis Symphony, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra and attended summer residencies including the Montana Chamber Orchestra, Red Lodge Music Festival, and the Manchester Music Festival of Manchester, Vermont. She also performed as a winter resident with the anthroposophically inspired Schloss Weikersheim Chamber Music festival. As a Nashville freelance professional, Julia performed with the multi-platinum recording group the “Nashville String Machine,” recording for Nashville luminaries such as George Strait and Winona Judd, and top-selling Sony video game “The Last of Us.” She was first call for the Nashville Broadway series productions, including Lion King, Pippin and Mary Poppins. She appeared in live and broadcast performances with FUN., Amy Grant/Vince Gill, Lady Antebellum and Trey Anastasio. Ms. Emahiser taught for the Governor School for the Arts of Tennessee, was principal of the Middle Tennessee Symphony during her years as a faculty member at Middle Tennessee State University and maintained a private cello studio for 20 years. She was born in New York City where she attended the Rudolf Steiner School before her family moved to Stuttgart, Germany. Her mother, Martha Bartles, who had accompanied eurythmy at that school, became the pianist for the Eurythmeum, the international performance eurythmy troupe of Stuttgart. Her father, Alfred H. Bartles, a jazz pianist, composer, music theorist and cello pedagogue taught music theory there as well. Julia continued her schooling at the Waldorfschule Uhlandshoehe, Stuttgart, the site of the original Waldorf school, started in 1919. Ms. Emahiser has been a Waldorf parent since her children were the age of three. Her son Nathan will graduate WSOC in 2019. Her daughter, Irene is in the 2021 graduating class of WSOC. Having joined the Anthroposophical Society many years ago, Julia is also a First Class member of the School of Spiritual Science.

Grade 5 - Yvette Fabian

Yvette first learned of Waldorf education after having her own children. In 2007 she became a founding member of a Waldorf inspired school, Maple Village School, in Long Beach, CA. Yvette holds a BA in Speech Communications from Chapman University and completed her Waldorf Teacher training at WSOC in 2013. Yvette has worked as an assistant in both early childhood and grades. She is currently the teacher for the class of 2026. Her two children also attend WSOC, one in the class 2022 and one in the class 2025.

Grade 6 - Lorri Valenzuela-Mier

Lorri holds a BA in research psychology from the University of Colorado, and pursued this area of study in a masters program at California State University, Long Beach. She is a graduate of WSOC's Adult Education and is the teacher for the class of 2025. Lorri and her wife are the parents of three children. Their two oldest are former WSOC students and their youngest is a member of the class of 2028.

Grade 7 - Christiane Unutzer Bohr

Christiane Unutzer Bohr was born and reared in Germany, closely connected to nature and the four seasons. She holds a B.A. in arts and crafts from Iowa State University and an M.F.A. in textiles from California State University, Long Beach. She taught in the arts department at Cal State Long Beach and elementary schools in the Long Beach Unified School District. "Miss Christiane," as she is known to the children, has three children that are Waldorf graduates. Christiane has been teaching since 1996, first as the handwork teacher and then becoming a class teacher in 2003. She is currently the class teacher for WSOC's Class of 2024.

Grade 8 - Brooke Natzke

Brooke Natzke first learned about Waldorf education in 1997 and became involved with an Arizona Waldorf charter school in 2002 after having her own children. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Arizona State University and moved to Northridge, California in 2006 to pursue her Waldorf teacher training. Brooke completed both her Waldorf Teaching Certificate with the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, and her California teaching credential with California State University, Northridge in May 2011. Her two daughters attend WSOC, one in the Class of 2019 and one in the Class of 2021.


Grade School Specialty Teachers

Art - Joy Hill

“Miss Joy,” as she is called by the students, teaches the after school art program. She also works with children using art therapeutically and is part of Care Group. Joy taught art for 15 years in the Middle School and now teaches black and white drawing for the Foundation Studies. At eleven years old, she knew she wanted to be an artist. At sixteen she led a Saturday art group at the local California School for the Deaf and knew she would also share her love of art as a teacher. Joy completed her undergraduate degree at UCLA, her MA in art education at New York University, and her MFA at Cal State Long Beach. She taught art in a public high school on the east coast and later became registered as an art therapist (ATR). While living abroad for many years, she taught art K-12 in the Frankfurt International School. Before the birth of her daughter, she discovered Waldorf Education and began attending workshops and studying Rudolf Steiner. After she returned to the States in 1988, her daughter joined the first Kindergarten of the fledgling Waldorf School of Orange County. All the while Joy has woven together her own painting and teaching, and continues to deepen her understanding of Rudolf Steiner’s work.

Big Aftercare Supervisor, Grades 1-8 - Elizabeth Jarvis

Elizabeth Jarvis (aka Ms. E) worked at three Waldorf schools before arriving at WSOC in 2017. She has a degree in liberal arts from Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO. She began teaching at a public school in Hawaii before she had children. After attending a parents' night with her husband at Cedar Springs Waldorf School in Placerville, CA, in 2001, they both decided it was the perfect place for their two children. She graduated from teacher training at the Micha-el Institute in Portland 2008, and appreciates all she has learned from going to workshops and conferences. While she enjoys teaching, she has a special love of Aftercare, believing that those students in the after school program deserve quality care from someone that deeply knows and understands Waldorf education.

Choir Director - Rusty Vail

Rusty Vail is the Grades 4/5 and Grades 7/8 choir director, and works with the recorder groups in 5th, 6th and 8th grades. Born in Florida, she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Music (voice/piano)from Jacksonville University, followed by graduate study at the Indiana University School of Music. Rusty came to WSOC in 1992 in Playgroup, when her older daughter was three and her younger daughter was on the way, remaining the music coordinator until 2011. Both daughters went through Grade 8 at WSOC and during their time here, she also provided classroom music support for many different grades over the years, and later, was director of the Grades 4/5 and 7/8 choirs in 2010-11. Rusty also directed the community singing groups, Circle of Joy and later, the Festival Singers, providing choral music during the winter and spring festivals from 1996 to 2005. She is a graduate of the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, and The School ofUncovering the Voice (Werbeck) with Christiaan Boele, holding Foundational and Pedagogical certificates. Rusty returns to Orange County and WSOC after holding the full-time position of Music Director and Music Teacher at an LA-area Waldorf school for several years.

Drama Support - Giulia Vittori

Giulia Vittori is an Italian artist/scholar who grew up in northern Italy and moved to California to pursue her Ph.D. in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University in 2009. She directed, choreographed, and performed contemporary theatre works and created site-specific performances in both natural sites and museums, and taught improvisation workshops. Giulia has been familiar with Anthroposophy since she was a teenager thanks to her family. In Italy, she attended the first year of the triennial Waldorf teacher training, which inspired her to develop her current interdisciplinary work between the visual and the performing arts. Since 2018, she has taught at WSOC as a drama support teacher in various grades and in the high school. She is excited to share her expertise with this community. You can visit her website at giuliavit.wix.com/performing.

Eurythmy Accompanist - David Zedaker

David Zedaker is a eurythmy accompanist for high school and lower grades, and is an accomplished musician and talented performer who graduated from the Conservatory of Music at Chapman University with Bachelor degrees in Piano Performance and in Music Education. Mr. Zedaker also graduated with a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from California State University, Fullerton in 2014. David is a native Southern Californian, raised in San Diego, and enjoys working with both children and adults – whether it be teaching piano lessons, accompanying or performing in various ensembles, or simply enriching others’ lives with his passion for music.

Games Teacher - Brad Holm

Brad Holm is the games/movement teacher. Trained in both Waldorf foundation studies and Spacial Dynamics™ and an avid athlete since childhood, “Mr. Brad” delights in providing developmentally appropriate movement skills to grades 1-8. Brad discovered Waldorf education when he and his wife were researching school options for their then kindergarten-ready son. Mr. Brad is a native Southern Californian and a graduate from University of California San Diego. He is also father to two WSOC graduates (Jack, class of 2013 and Julia, class of 2015). In his free time he enjoys surfing, hiking and gardening.

Handwork - Angelika Meier

Angelika Meier, known to the children as Miss Angie, is in charge of the handwork program. Born in Manhattan, she was introduced to the art of handwork in 4th grade at a public school in Switzerland. She completed her undergraduate schooling in the United States, then returned to Switzerland to complete a degree in culinary servicing. After meeting her husband, she returned to the United States with him and started a family. She first volunteered in WSOC's playgroup, then in kindergarten and began assisting the handwork teacher in 1997. She later completed the foundation year of Waldorf teacher training.

Middle School Resource Teacher - Nicole Nathanson

Nicole Alise Nathanson is the middle school resource teacher for grades 5-8. Ms. Nathanson first learned about Waldorf education in 1997, when she included references to Rudolph Steiner and his education philosophy in her Master's Thesis at Pepperdine University. After touring Highland Hall and indulging in a couple of Saturday courses, she decided to become a Waldorf Teacher as soon as possible. She then joined The Help Group as a high school teacher to children with mild to moderate special needs, and was promoted to lead elementary school teacher grades K-5, educating students, training paraprofessionals, and collaborating with therapists and behavioral interventionists. Upon completion of her Ryan Act Special Education units, she pushed pause, welcomed motherhood and became a Waldorf parent of one son. As a Waldorf parent she substitute taught and volunteered in her son's kindergarten classroom, edited the school's accreditation document and held the role of classroom mother. After relocating to South Orange County from Los Angeles, Ms. Nathanson substituted in a variety of classrooms for grades K-12, with an emphasis on special needs. She holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Arizona in Tucson and an MA in Education from Pepperdine University in Culver City. Her teenage son Bridge carries the foundation of Waldorf Education into his present public school environment. Nicole has a passion for health, physical fitness, loves nature, enjoys cooking, listening to music, reading, a delicious cup of tea and a good dose of laughter!

Orchestra Assistant - Agnieszka Borzuchowski

Agnieszka was born in Warsaw, Poland and has been playing the violin for 23 years. She was trained in Classical violin and is finishing her Master’s Degree in Violin Performance at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, where she held the position of Principle 2nd Violin and Concertmaster. She has been part of the Young People's Symphony Youth Orchestra, Berkeley Youth Orchestra, Oakland Youth Orchestra and the University Symphony Orchestra at California State University Long Beach. She has traveled with orchestras and played all over the world including Italy, Poland, Greece, China, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and South Korea. Agnieszka teaches violin to people of all ages, at schools and privately, and is the co-founder, conductor, and concertmaster of the Long Beach Chamber Music Group. She performs with the La Mirada Symphony, Plaza String Quartet, contemporary violin with the Vicious Kinids, and Celtic violin with Craic in the Stone. At WSOC, Agnieszka assists Debora Wondercheck with all Strings classes. She helps children with their posture does in class demonstrations, and also works with children-one on-one with reading music and extra help with their instruments. Additionally, she substitute teaches all classes for Mrs. Wondercheck in her absence.

Spanish (Grades 5-8) - Sandra Blanco

Sandra Blanco teaches Spanish in grades 5-8. Senora Blanco is from Mexico City and earned her B.A. in business administration with an emphasis in marketing and human resources from CETYS University, Mexicali, B.C. After graduating from college, Sandra guided young entrepreneurs on their path to developing their own companies. Before joining the faculty at WSOC, she taught at Saddleback Valley Unified School District in the Spanish Immersion and English as a Second Language Programs for twelve years as a teacher's assistant. Since 2002, Sandra has taught Spanish in grades 1-8 at WSOC. She is currently enrolled the in Waldorf high school teaching education program at Rudolf Steiner College of Fair Oaks, Sacramento, specializing in Spanish. Sandra's two daughters graduated from WSOC and are pursuing degrees in pre-med and civil engineering.

Spanish Grades 1-4 - Elle Esparza

Señorita Esparza splashed onto the Pacific shores of Orange County from a Spanish island in the Mediterranean where she taught at a trilingual Waldorf school. Her favorite hue is turquoise. She delights in collecting songs, poetry, and games in her conch shell and sharing them with other children. Among her adventures, she has also taught French and Russian through the university level.

Strings - Debora Wondercheck

Debora Wondercheck (MS) currently serves as Director of Music at the Waldorf School of Orange County (unanimously superior rated orchestra of So. Cal. Band & Orchestra Association) and is also the Executive Director of the Arts & Learning Conservatory. She is the founding conductor of the Bellagio Strings Youth Orchestra of Dana Point and is recognized as an accomplished Master teacher of string pedagogy, having taught and trained instructors at Vanguard University, Irvine Unified School District, and Newport Mesa Unified District. Debora is a recent winner of the Outstanding Arts Organization Award from Arts Orange County for the creation of effective arts and education programs to youth. Earlier in 2014, Debora was presented the Distinguished Woman of Substance Award of Orange County. In 2012, Debora received the Links Incorporated Woman of Service Award, for Exemplary Community Service to youth for her After School Music Programs to youth in Orange County and San Bernadino County. Debora has also received the Teacher of Excellence Award from the Newport Mesa Unified District. Debora embraces the Orange County community with participation on various arts commissions like the Cultural Arts Committee for the city of Costa Mesa, the Arts Alliance of California, and the Orange County Music and Arts Administrator Association. Debora always counts it a complete privilege to serve children, their families, and our Waldorf community with inspiring teaching techniques that develop confidence and creativity …for life.

Wind Ensemble - Edwin Lovo

Edwin Lovo teaches Performing Arts Wind Ensemble in the high school and middle school. Edwin Lovo is a music teacher who brings his love of brass instruments to WSOC students. He was born and raised in Orange County. He started playing the trumpet at age 14 and played in honor bands throughout high school. He is in the process of obtaining his degree in music performance and education from Cal State Fullerton, where he won the Rodger Vaugn award, a yearly award given to the best musician. He played in the top wind ensemble, brass ensemble, jazz band, and orchestra while in college. Edwin has performed in the La Mirada Community Orchestra and played trumpet in the Tournament of Roses parade for the past seven years. He has been featured on KTLA morning news on trumpet, and even unveiled the "Welcome to Orange County" sign off of the 5 Freeway with a trumpet fanfare for the OC Register. He began teaching at WSOC in 2013 and has taught privately for seven years. This year he is looking forward to bringing “a new musical flavor” to Waldorf with the introduction of a wind ensemble. His aim is to create a strong music program that will enable students to both enjoy themselves and develop lifelong musical skills.

Woodwork - Matan Tsufim

Matan Tsufim teaches woodwork in grades 5-7 and practical arts (copper work; carpentry, jewelry) in grades 8-12. He holds a BA in psychology and special education. Matan has worked as a teacher and caretaker in different Waldorf programs. Most recently, he taught special education at the Shaked Waldorf School in Israel. Matan’s personal connection with Waldorf education goes back almost two decades when he studied at the first Waldorf School of Israel. He then completed his foundation studies training at the Pennine Camphill Community in England. During his time as a Camphill co-worker, he was involved in the various craft activities and conducted class sessions in the woodwork, blacksmithing, and pottery workshops. He currently is working toward his master’s degree in Waldorf Education with a particular focus on the healing arts at Antioch University, New England. His son attends Miss Arietta’s kindergarten class.


High School Faculty

Arts - Francesco De Benedetto

Francesco De Benedetto teaches high school fine arts and 8th grade drawing, painting and sculpture. After growing up in Italy, surrounded by the beauty of its landscape and historically rich culture, he moved to California and completed a bachelor's in fine arts at Laguna College of Art and Design. In subsequent years working as a full time artist, he was commissioned to create portraits for art collectors, included in many juried shows and exhibits, and received a grant from the George and Helene Segal Foundation. While teaching art classes in 2008, he encountered Waldorf’s pedagogy and found it so fascinating that he moved to Sacramento to pursue his certificate in Waldorf education at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks. There he completed a one-year internship and practicum at the Sacramento Waldorf High School. He then taught for two years at the Green Meadow Waldorf School in New York. Besides reading books by Steiner and painting, he enjoys kayaking, and being out in nature with his wife and family.

Choir - Kathryn Pitts

Kathryn Pitts is a classically-trained professional soprano currently located in Tustin, CA. Her extensive choral experience has taken her to prestigious performance spaces and she has had the honor of performing with Pacific Symphony, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Musica Angelica, and Andrea Bocelli. She made her European debut in summer 2014 at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria as a member of the Opera Studio and was named a semi-finalist for both the Chicago Oratorio Award and The American Prize in Voice in 2014. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and K-12 Music Teaching Credential from California State University, Fullerton in 2012. She most recently served as the music coordinator at Journey School in Aliso Viejo and is excited to be joining the Waldorf High School faculty this fall.

Earth science and biology - Kim Eijpen

Kim Eijpen teaches earth science and biology in the high school. She is a native of Scotland and moved to California 10 years ago. Kim graduated with a B.S. in geography from the University of Glasgow and continued on to graduate studies at the University of Alberta, Canada and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Kim is passionate about geology and geography, and has has spent many years studying glaciers and glacial environments in High Arctic Canada, Iceland, Nepal, the Canadian Rockies, Scotland and Ireland. Kim first learned of Rudolf Steiner while studying for a diploma in Naturopathy in Scotland, and knew that it was an education route that she'd be interested in for her children. Her oldest child started playgroup in 2008 and she has been a parent at WSOC ever since. Kim graduated from the WSOC foundation studies program in 2016 and is currently participating in WSOC's grades training program. She most recently taught at Maple Village, a Waldorf school in Long Beach.

English - Kristen Kuczenski

Kristen Kuczenski was born in Connecticut and received her B.A. in English Literature from Trinity College. Before moving to the Deep South for graduate school, she taught creative writing and literature at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and also worked as the first mate on Mystic Seaport Museum’s schooner Brilliant, the nation’s oldest sail education program. Ms. Kuczenski completed the M.F.A. and M.A. programs in Creative Writing and Gender and Race Studies at the University of Alabama in 2016. She’s thrilled to be working with Waldorf students here in California and loves the ever-evolving play of poiesis in everything from writing to cooking to conversation.

Eurythmy, high school choir accompanist - Rebecca Lim

Rebecca Hee Jung Lim is a eurythmy and high school choir accompanist at WSOC. She received both her bachelor's and master’s degrees in music from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. She enjoys collaborating with other musicians. She collaborates with various instrumentalists in juries, studio classes and recitals. Rebecca also enjoys teaching piano lessons. She is an active member of Lakewood/Cerritos branch of the Music Teacher’s Association of California (MTAC).

Handwork - Christine Newell

Christine teaches handwork in Grades 7-10. She was born and raised in Robin Hood country, in Nottingham, England. She worked in the textile industry until emigrating to Toronto, Canada. In Canada, Christine started a business in sportswear clothing and worked with a local designer making his creations. When Christine moved to California in '98, she attended a three-year handwork training program at the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, Sacramento. Christine teaches Grade 7 doll making, Grade 8 machine sewing, Grade 9 Basketry and marionette making, and Grade 10 textile designs. She works weekly with our local parent community teaching the Waldorf handwork curriculum. In the summer, she coordinates and runs a children’s craft camp on campus. Christine has two grandchildren, a granddaughter who is a WSOC high school graduate and a grandson who is entering Grade 3.

Humanities - Jenell Carlson

Jenell Carlson was born and raised in Southern California. She received a B.A. in Literature at San Diego State, and her Waldorf teacher training certificate through the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training. She completed the Consciousness Studies program at Rudolf Steiner College as well as the Spacial Dynamics™ program for movement instructors. She has recently become a certified Bothmer gymnast. Jenell has been teaching since 1999 in Waldorf schools throughout the state; as a kindergarten teacher, a movement instructor, and a junior high school teacher. She is currently a high school humanities teacher and the Play-Group director here at WSOC. Jenell loves surfing, sailing, backpacking and learning new things.

Humanities & Sports - Naqib Shifa

Naqib Shifa teaches humanities and sports in the high school, and is co-class sponsor for the Class of 2018. He was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from UCLA in Geography/Environmental Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern and North African Studies. Since graduating he has worked professionally in the environmental industry, both in health sciences and consulting. He has also continued his education in Islamic Studies and History through taking several courses with Al-Maghrib Institute and the Islamic Institute of Orange County. He is currently in his fourth year of Adult Education studies at WSOC. He enjoys a myriad of sports and coaches Boys' Flag Football and Boys' Basketball and is Co-Athletic Director. He joined the Waldorf faculty in 2013 and loves seeking and imparting a love of knowledge.

Humanities, P. E. And Team Sports - Hugh Brennan

Hugh Brennan teaches high school humanities and coach middle school and high school sports. He has been involved with Waldorf Education since 2004. He started out as an aftercare assistant right here at the Waldorf School of Orange County. After focusing on his athletic goals at Golden West Community College he continued his education at Cal State Long Beach, where he obtained a B.A. in History and a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Social Science. He has completed the Foundation Studies Program and looks forward to continue his education in the Waldorf Teacher Training Program. In addition to being a humanities teacher in the high school, he has been a coach, games teacher and a class co-sponsor. He is excited to rejoin the staff of the Waldorf School of Orange County for the 2017-18 school year.

Math - Daniel Pitts

Daniel teaches high school math and accompanies for eurythmy classes, class plays, and more. Daniel holds his B.M. and M.M. in Piano Performance from CSU, Fullerton. He excelled in math and music, and while in school, always enjoyed tutoring his classmates and peers. Daniel joined the staff of WSOC in 2009, accompanying eurythmy classes in the high school and lower grades. In 2012, he began teaching Algebra 1 with the 9th grade class, and providing additional individual instruction in Pre-Algebra, Algebra 2, and Geometry. Daniel also teaches piano, tutors math students, and sings with professional holiday carolers. He loves drawing, composing, science fiction, running, and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Math, Chemistry - Ingrid Feck

One of our founding high school teachers, Ingrid Feck has a long history with WSOC. She currently teaches chemistry and math. Prior to that, she taught at WSOC for eight years as a class teacher, followed by seven years in the high school as lead math and science teacher. Ms. Feck received her master’s degree in mathematics and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and computer science. Following the 2014-15 school year, she left the high school to focus on raising her young twins, who are now kindergarten students at WSOC.

Orchestra - Debora Wondercheck

Debora Wondercheck (MS) currently serves as Director of Music at the Waldorf School of Orange County (unanimously superior rated orchestra of So. Cal. Band & Orchestra Association) and is also the Executive Director of the Arts & Learning Conservatory. She is the founding conductor of the Bellagio Strings Youth Orchestra of Dana Point and is recognized as an accomplished Master teacher of string pedagogy, having taught and trained instructors at Vanguard University, Irvine Unified School District, and Newport Mesa Unified District. Debora is a recent winner of the Outstanding Arts Organization Award from Arts Orange County for the creation of effective arts and education programs to youth. Earlier in 2014, Debora was presented the Distinguished Woman of Substance Award of Orange County. In 2012, Debora received the Links Incorporated Woman of Service Award, for Exemplary Community Service to youth for her After School Music Programs to youth in Orange County and San Bernadino County. Debora has also received the Teacher of Excellence Award from the Newport Mesa Unified District. Debora embraces the Orange County community with participation on various arts commissions like the Cultural Arts Committee for the city of Costa Mesa, the Arts Alliance of California, and the Orange County Music and Arts Administrator Association. Debora always counts it a complete privilege to serve children, their families, and our Waldorf community with inspiring teaching techniques that develop confidence and creativity …for life.

Performing Arts - Wind Ensemble - Edwin Lovo

Edwin Lovo teaches Performing Arts Wind Ensemble in the high school and middle school. Edwin Lovo is a music teacher who brings his love of brass instruments to WSOC students. He was born and raised in Orange County. He started playing the trumpet at age 14 and played in honor bands throughout high school. He is in the process of obtaining his degree in music performance and education from Cal State Fullerton, where he won the Rodger Vaugn award, a yearly award given to the best musician. He played in the top wind ensemble, brass ensemble, jazz band, and orchestra while in college. Edwin has performed in the La Mirada Community Orchestra and played trumpet in the Tournament of Roses parade for the past seven years. He has been featured on KTLA morning news on trumpet, and even unveiled the "Welcome to Orange County" sign off of the 5 Freeway with a trumpet fanfare for the OC Register. He began teaching at WSOC in 2013 and has taught privately for seven years. This year he is looking forward to bringing “a new musical flavor” to Waldorf with the introduction of a wind ensemble. His aim is to create a strong music program that will enable students to both enjoy themselves and develop lifelong musical skills.

Spanish - Maria Reynolds

Maria Reynolds is the 9th-12th grade Spanish teacher at WSOC. She discovered her love for both teaching and the Spanish language at an early age. She was born and raised in Los Gatos in northern California, where she pursued her language studies through junior high and high school. She completed her B.A. in Spanish Literature and earned her California High School Spanish teaching credential at UC Irvine. During that time she spent her junior year abroad at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She earned her Master’s degree from Cal State Fullerton in Linguistics, during which time she worked on a language preservation project for the Native American Indian Paiute community in Bishop, California. Maria began her Waldorf journey in 2010, assisting and substitute teaching in the WSOC Early Childhood department. Before coming to WSOC, she taught high school Spanish for eight years, and spent two years teaching Spanish to adults at Coastline Community College. Maria has traveled extensively throughout many Spanish-speaking countries and brings her experiences and passion for the people, language and culture to her classroom.