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 - 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 2 - Holly Peterson

Holly Peterson Richards (Miss Peterson) is the Grade 1 teacher. She completed her certification of Waldorf EC Teacher Training at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento and has attended more than 25 conferences and workshops during her 20 years in Waldorf education. She earned her Bachelor degree in Human Development from California State University at Fullerton, and a Masters of Art degree in Human Development with a focus on Leadership in Education from Pacific Oaks College in 2013. She is certified as a Master EC Teacher and Director by the state of California. Her preparation for first grade has been long coming; she has attended two Waldorf first-grade intensives and will be attending the grades courses starting in September. Holly’s son attended WSOC kindergarten through eighth grade (prior to the addition of the high school). Holly also teaches college courses in child and human development at CSUF, Saddleback and previously at Fullerton College. Holly has been teaching since 1995 and loves working with the students, parents and her colleagues here at WSOC.

Grade 3 - Julia Bartles Emahiser

Julia Bartles Emahiser was born in New York City (Rudolf Steiner School) and raised in Stuttgart, Germany where she graduated from Freie Waldorfschule Uhlandshoehe. Julia received her formal musical training at Indiana University (BM) and Ohio University (MM), and Waldorf Training at Antioch University, New England. She worked as a performer and educator for over two decades, and began teaching in Waldorf education in 2010 (Linden Waldorf School, Nashville, Tennessee). Julia’s son and daughter are in the WSOC classes of 2019 and 2021, respectively.

Grade 4 - 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 5 - Lorri Valenzuela-Mier

Lorri holds a BA in Research Psychology and pursued this area of study in a Master program at California State University of Long Beach. Lorri also has two sons attending Waldorf in the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2018. She is a graduate of our own teacher training program here at WSOC and is the teacher for the Class of 2025.

Grade 6 - 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 7 - 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 8 - Andrea Hubert

Andrea was born in Austria and raised in Germany, where she earned a master’s degree in business management before moving to the United States in 1992. The search for a rich and meaningful education for her two sons brought her to the Waldorf School of Orange County. She was an involved parent for over 15 years while her boys attended Waldorf, all the way from Playgroup to graduating from WSOC High School in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Andrea worked in the early childhood department and handwork program, served as a Board member and on Parent Association leadership, and completed the Anthroposophical Foundation Studies in 2005/2006. Her deep appreciation for the gifts of a Waldorf education led her to re-enroll in the Adult Education program, from which she graduated in 2013.


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.

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.

Eurythmy - Elisabeth Beck

Elisabeth Beck teaches eurythmy in Pre-K through Grade 6. She was born and raised in Stuttgart, Germany. "Miss Elisabeth," as she is called by the students, attended the Waldorf School in Stuttgart and received her M.A. in Business Management and Motor Vehicle Science from Stuttgart University. After working in business for two years, Elisabeth completed her Waldorf teacher training in Mannheim and the eurythmy education program at the Eurythmeum Dornach in Switzerland. She was the eurythmist at the Michael Bauer Schule in Stuttgart for seven years, as well as the high school class sponsor there for four years. She also taught eurythmy for five years at the Waldorf School in Heilbronn. Elisabeth joined the faculty at WSOC in the fall of 2000.

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.

Japanese - Ririko Oshiro

Ririko Oshiro teaches Japanese in Grades 1-4. She was born and raised in Japan. She earned her BA in communications at Regis College in Massachusetts, and her MA in Asian American Study at San Francisco State University. She is currently in the teacher training program at Waldorf Institute of Southern California (WISC). She is a mother of two children who have both been attending Waldorf schools. Her Waldorf parenting experience led her develop a passion for teaching. She started out as a substitute assistant in the preschool and kindergarten at Maple Village Waldorf School in Long Beach, and is now transitioning into a new journey teaching Japanese language and culture. She believes that learning a foreign language enriches one's experiencing of the world and creates a multicultural awareness among people coming from diverse backgrounds. In her free time, she enjoys reading, sewing, crocheting and hiking.

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.

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.

Therapeutic Eurythmy - Truus Geraets

Truus Geraets teaches Special Eurythmy to individual children. She was born in Holland and was one of the founders of a Waldorf School in a black township in South Africa. Her background is in Special Education (Anthroposophical Seminar in Germany) as well as Eurythmy and Therapeutic Eurythmy for which she was trained at the Goetheanum in Switzerland. She has taught Eurythmy and Therapeutic Eurythmy in many Waldorf Schools throughout the United States.

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 Grade 3, and Grades 5-8. He holds a B.A. in psychology and is a California-certified Education Specialist. 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. His son currently attends playgroup at WSOC.


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.

Eurythmy - Lilith Dupuis

Lilith Dupuis is the eurythmy teacher at WSOC for Grades 7-12. She grew up in Santa Cruz, CA and has always loved nature and meeting people. During her university training, a question arose from her depths: "Is it possible to have a new thought, or must we only reorganize other people’s ideas?" This question turned her life in a new direction, toward the work of Rudolf Steiner. Lilith received her BA from The California Institute of Integral Studies, and prior to attending eurythmy school, she served as an apprentice on several Biodynamic farms. She completed Spacial Dynamics™ training for movement educators as well as the Foundation Year and Goethean Studies at Rudolf Steiner College. Since graduating from The American Eurythmy School, Lilith has taught eurythmy to children and adults, taught first and second grade at the Waldorf School of Mendocino County and has travelled, performing eurythmy with groups in the U.S. and throughout Europe.

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 & History - Naqib Shifa

Naqib Shifa teaches humanities and history 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 first year of Adult Education studies at WSOC. He enjoys a myriad of sports and coaches Boys' Flag Football and Boys' Basketball. He joined the Waldorf faculty in 2013 and loves seeking and imparting a love of knowledge.

Humanities Lead Teacher - Robin Theiss

Robin Theiss is the lead humanities teacher at the Waldorf School of Orange County High School, and co-class sponsor for the Class of 2018. She was born and raised in Southern California. She received her B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies from the University of California, Riverside. After graduation, she was chosen as a student intern at Pendle Hill, a Quaker community in Pennsylvania. Here she studied Quaker life, the philosophy and active practice of non-violence and passive resistance, communication skills, and practical arts such as weaving, pottery, baking, and sewing. After her time at Pendle Hill, she was selected as a scholarship recipient to Claremont Graduate School to study in the master of arts program in the School of Theology. Before entering the Ph.D. program, she was presented with an opportunity to buy a local coffee house, Natalé Coffee. Wanting a break from academia, she purchased the coffee house and owned and operated it for 12 years, expanding to another location in Costa Mesa. Natalé Coffee became a community center, offering poetry evenings, political lectures, educational forums, and book discussions. She and her husband married during this time and had 2 children. Her children reaching school age coincided with her desire to return to academics; she found Waldorf education for both her children and herself. She enrolled in the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2001 and completed both the grades and high school training in 2004. Upon graduation, she was hired as the founding teacher at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School. She worked in that pioneering endeavor for 5 years, until she joined the Waldorf School of Orange County in 2009. She enjoys working with adolescents to help unveil their given capacities through rigorous study, deep contemplation, and a love of life in its myriad possibilities.

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 will be teaching high school math this Fall at WSOC, and will additionally be accompanying 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 - George Illes

Mr. Illes teaches calculus in the high school. Having grown up in the Middle East, Asia and Europe, it wasn't until college that he came to live in the US. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and worked in the environmental industry for 20 years. His professional engineering background encompasses core math courses, college algebra and trigonometry, analytic geometry and calculus. His interests include photography and art, the great outdoors, and global cultures. He loves travel, laughter, and music. His two daughters attended WSOC since kindergarten: Inessa graduated from WSOC high school in 2016 and Eva is currently in Grade 11.

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.

Science, Art - Jessica Bailey

Jessica Bailey teaches chemistry, PE and art in the high school, and is a co-sponsor of the class of 2017 with Jenell Carlson. She was born in New Hampshire, raised in Santa Cruz, and attended the Santa Cruz Waldorf School through grade 12 during the high school’s pioneer years. After receiving her B.S. in Biology from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina as well as a minor in Art, she went on to work in the medical field as an Allergy Specialist in the Pediatric setting. Recently, she was an assistant and a lead teacher at a Waldorf inspired all day Play-Group in the North Bay Area before joining WSOC. She will be starting her first year of Adult Education through WSOC this Fall. Her passions include participating in sports-related activities (especially basketball), running, continuing to expand her interests in the domain of science, and stepping into the unknown as an opportunity for exploration and growth.

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.