Early Childhood for 2014-15
NurseryVanessa has worked as an early childhood educator for the last 15 years. She holds a Master's degree in Education, as well as certifications in public school special education and Waldorf early childhood education. In addition to these trainings, she has studied at the Pikler Institute in Budapest, Hungary and Resources for Infant Educators (RIE) in Los Angeles, CA. Vanessa and her husband have three children who attend WIWS; she has found parenting the most humbling and inspiring path of learning.
was born and raised in the maritime Pacific Northwest. After receiving her B.A. in Psychology from Central Washington University in 1985, she enjoyed a brief hiatus in Tuscon, Arizona where where she married and continued her quest for a child-centered career. She gained useful experience working in home, daycare and preschool settings as well as co-creating summer programs for "at risk readers."
After then earning her Washington State teaching credentials from the University of Washington, she turned homeward to begin her own family. It was in her search for a school for her own children that Dyanne discovered Waldorf Education. She moved to Whidbey Island with her husband and children in 1995, and has taught at WIWS since 1997. Currently, Dyanne holds an M.S. Ed in Waldorf Early Childhood Education from Sunbridge College, NY. She serves as adjunct faculty for Sound Circle Center for Anthroposophy in Seattle and is actively involved in the regional Waldorf Early Childhood movement as a regional representative and mentor. Dyanne loves living on this beautiful Island with her family and friends where she enjoys gardening, cooking, singing and playing flute and marimba.
Grades 1-8 for 2015-16
Susan hails originally from a northern New Jersey suburb of New York City, She has known from childhood that she wanted to teach children and received her B.S. in Education, cum laude, from New York University.
A sabbatical of Goethean Studies with Dennis Klocek was followed by the gift of becoming class teacher for grades 1 - 8 at the Waldorf School of Santa Cruz. Another sabbatical in English Studies at the Goetheanum led to work at the East Bay Waldorf School, as Pedagogical Administrator and parent-child and nursery teacher. She was then called back to Santa Cruz to take a class from grades 3 - 5, and has now delightedly become a new resident of Whidbey Island, where, in addition to preparing for her class, she enjoys walking in nature, cooking, writing, gardening and watercolor painting.
Bio coming Soon!
6th GradeAshley was born and raised on a 100-acre homestead staked out by her grandparents. She spent her youth outdoors with her brother Conor and, later, sister Claire. Her immediate and extended family were commercial fishermen; she spent much of her youth and teenage years on salmon vessels and in salmon canneries.
After high school, Ashley travelled for two years throughout the East Coast, Europe and South America before attending college. She then earned her BA in English with an emphasis on writing from the University of Washington in 2000, minoring in journalism. She worked for awhile in the web industry, then worked with at-risk youth in Seattle while exploring the teaching profession. Realizing that her passion and skills were united and ignited in this work, Ashley returned to U.W. and earned her Master's Degree in Education in 2003. She worked in Bellevue and Seattle school districts, teaching English for four years.
After returning to Alaska for a couple of years, Ashley and her husband, Tony, had three children and settled on Whidbey Island, where they discovered our school. Ashley felt an immediate connection to this education of head, heart and hands. She first became an assistant in the Sunflower Kindergarten class, then a Grades substitute both here and in the local public school. Her love of teaching has expanded exponentially in the Waldorf setting.
Ashley brings strong classroom management and artistic skills to her work with this class, and loves bringing drama and play into the classroom. Her three children all attend WIWS.
Cormac was born and raised in a small medieval town in County Tipperary, Ireland. A lifelong traditional Irish musician (Irish tin whistle, black Irish flute, bodhran) and aspiring artist, his first five years of university were arts-driven. Cormac received his BA degree in graphic design and a Higher Diploma in graphic advertising at Limerick Institute of Technology in Limerick City, Ireland. But it was not long before he felt the generational pull towards teaching, and resolved to follow in his father’s, grandfather’s, and great-grandfather’s footsteps by becoming a teacher. Cormac completed a Masters in primary education at Hibernia College, Dublin, and taught for several years at Ballylooby National School, in rural Ireland.
Cormac has lived in the U.S. since 2007, and has been teaching American children ever since and on Whidbey since 2011, where he lives with his family on a 10-acre farm. Prior to joining our faculty, Cormac was a substitute teacher at several Catholic schools on the mainland and a classroom teacher at Wellington Day School. Though a relative newcomer to the Waldorf name, Rudolf Steiner’s methods and philosophies permeated Cormac’s teacher education in Ireland. He is now working on his Waldorf certification. Cormac also holds a Washington State Residency Teaching Certificate. He speaks conversant Irish Gaelic and loves painting, creative writing, examining rocks, and hunting for burls in the forest. His wife is an attorney and a graduate of Stanford Law School. Their daughter attends WIWS.
Chris Harshman comes to WIWS with over 23 years' experience with the Seattle Youth Symphony, as past conductor of the SYSO Symphonette Orchestra and current Program Director of the Marrowstone In the City summer camp. In addition, Chris is serving his 14th year as Band Director for the South Whidbey School District, where his ensembles have earned national recognition for their excellence. Chris remains active as a performing musician, as Principal Bassoon for Saratoga Orchestra, a founding member of Island Consort, and playing in the Mweya Marimba Band.
Brian began playing the violin at the age of five, and since then has put his fiddle to use playing in orchestras, string quartets, chamber ensembles, rock bands, improvisational groups, traditional Irish and Old-time fiddling sessions and more. Since moving to Whidbey Island in January of 2013, he has played with the Saratoga Orchestra, Island Consort and other musical ensembles. He also plays guitar and writes both songs and short instrumental pieces. he worked for several years in a New England violin shop outfitting teachers, school programs and students with instruments and acessories, introducing thousands of children to their first violin, viola or cello. He looks forward to joining the WIWS music program and helping our students in their musical education.
Movement & Games, Middle School Math
The birth of ther son, Luc, led her on a quest for an authentic, arts-based education which nurtures the soul--a.k.a. Waldorf Education! Karen studied Waldorf teaching at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training with Dorit Winter for two years, and completed her certification at Sound Circle Center in Seattle, WA.
She is the mother of two energetic children and is currently in Spacial Dynamics training, lead by Jaimen McMillan. Karen serves on the faculty of WIWS as the remedial tutor, specializing in reading and math. She appreciates the focused work of her students, the relaxed pace of the island, its natural beauty, and the warm and supportive community of this Waldorf school.
Extended Day Coordinator