Faculty & Staff

Chandra Johnson, Cherry Blossom Preschool TeacherChandra Johnson
Cherry Blossom Preschool Teacher

Chandra grew up in Gig Harbor, where she spent her childhood years discovering the outdoors and secrets of nature. She discovered Waldorf education years ago while working at a naturopathic clinic and instantly knew she had found her path. This was the beginning of a beautiful journey that has brought her to where she is today. Her warmth, love, and inspiration from Waldorf education has introduced her to the possibilities of how we can embrace, grow, and enlighten each child. A loving compassion strengthens each child’s love for nature, others, and learning. She looks forward to new beginnings in us all each day.

Education: Waldorf Teacher Training Certificate from Sound Circle Teacher Training, Tacoma Community College Associates in Science and Arts

Professional Experience: Kindergarten/Preschool assistant and cook at Waldorf Fremont Community School, lead teacher at Summer Freedom Waldorf Preschool, Preschool assistant for Chickadees Waldorf Preschool. Tacoma Waldorf School Farm Camp lead teacher. Receptionist/assistant at naturopathic clinic.

SaraWeb1Sara Smith
Star Forest Kindergarten Teacher

Sara’s education includes a teaching certificate from the Eugene Teacher Training and BS from Evergreen State College. Her professional experiences include over 15 years as a  Kindergarten, Preschool, and Parent-Child Teacher. She is a card-carrying Journeyman Boilermaker,she can steer a sea-going vessel, and, in a pinch, she can officiate weddings and other auspicious events!

Sara’s relationship to Waldorf Education began on the first day of school in her daughter’s preschool class at the Tacoma Waldorf School. It was clear from that first moment. She had found the proper school for her daughter and her own true vocation. Several years later she entered into teacher training in Eugene, Oregon, where she experienced the most amazing education. Sara had a Bachelor of Science from an innovative institution; however, she had never experienced education that taught to her whole person. Her days were filled with art and music, stories and movement. She literally could not stop smiling for her entire training. She was challenged to the very core of her being, and held lovingly in her strengths and weaknesses. She began the real journey of becoming a human being.

In the kindergarten, Sara is touched again and again by the journey each child begins toward this endeavor. Our Kindergarten children are compassionately inspired to become themselves. The very best of themselves.

 

Anand Maliakal, Grade 1 TeacherAnand Maliakal
Grade 1/2 Teacher

Anand is a first generation Indian American from a mixed cultural heritage.  His childhood and early adulthood was spent in Massachusetts in the suburbs of Boston.  He attended public schools in Lexington, MA where he excelled in art and English classes.  He had strong connections with nature as well spending many days exploring the various wooded areas near his hometown.  One of his favorite places to spend time was at Walden Pond in Concord, MA.

After High School he attended the University of Vermont in Burlington.  It was there he was able to balance my love of the outdoors with a solid liberal arts education.  He majored in English and took several education courses to compliment his studies.  After graduating with a B.A. in English he moved back to Massachusetts and began working in various settings with children.

In 1993 he entered the Waldorf Teacher Training program at Antioch New England Graduate School. He enrolled in the Integrated Day program as well and spent the next two years working and commuting to New Hampshire on the weekends to complete his Masters of Education.

In addition to his love of outdoor recreation, he also enjoys painting and working with pastels in his spare time.  He also is an avid singer and has participated in numerous local choirs in Olympia. He has always considered himself equal part artist and teacher as he works with children to develop their own unique gifts and capacities.

 

Ariel Sortun
Grade 2 Main Lesson Teacher

Ariel lives on Vashon Island with her husband and two daughters.  For the first twelve years of her teaching career, she was as an early childhood educator. When her own children were ready for school, she found herself gravitating away from the intellectual programs where she had been teaching and toward the nurturing qualities that Waldorf programs offer. Ariel’s interest in Waldorf education began when her girls attended a Waldorf Charter School in the Los Angeles area.  After several years reading the work of Rudolf Steiner on her own, the timing was finally right for her to begin the three-year teacher training program at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA. Ariel truly loves being in the classroom and learning about the world along with the children. She am a passionate explorer of nature and an observer of birds.  Her favorite part of being a Waldorf teacher right now is the ability and privilege to be creative and artistic every day.

 

Stacy Evans-AgnewStacy Evans-Agnew
Grade 3/4 Class Teacher

Education: BA in theatre, speech, and psychology from University of North Carolina. Master’s in Teaching from Towson State University. Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Sound Circle Center Teacher Training.

Professional Experience: Edmonds School District – Five years second and third grade; Two years home-based Waldorf preschool; Two years Bright Water School Grades 4 and 5; Three Cedars Waldorf School Class Teacher Grades 1-4.

Ms. Evans grew up in Columbia, Maryland. She has fond memories of neighborhood parades, walking to school through the forest, and making friends with classmates who had a different skin color than her own. After graduating college, Stacy volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in Americus, Georgia where she worked on the paint crew and earned a food stipend of $25 a week. It was here that she lived the Habitat motto which was to be “simple and decent.” Finding a Waldorf preschool for her daughter changed the course of her life.

Kirsten SoggeKirsten Sogge
Seedlings Teacher

Kirsten has 21 years of experience playing and working directly with Nature in gardens and in life. She is a Eurythmist, with a diploma from the Rudolf Steiner Seminariet in Sweden; she is a teacher and mother of 2 teenagers; and she has a BS in Earth Science with a minor in Education from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Kirsten grew up in Alaska with an English gardener for a mother and an engineer for a father. She was a founding member of Duwamish Cohousing in Seattle, and trained in consensus facilitation. A resident in Olympia since 2006, Kirsten currently has a coaching and healing practice out of her house and studio, teaches Eurythmy to children ages 4 to 12 at Waldorf Schools around Puget Sound, and leads weekly Waldorf parent and child groups.

Kirsten helps people move toward balance in their lives. With powerful questions, a warm respectful presence, and gentle modalities such as movement, intuitive techniques, reiki, flower essences, and tapping, she helps you move through and release what blocks you from achieving your heart’s desire. All her work is done in conscious partnership with Nature.

Amanda HaydonAmanda Haydon
Aftercare Director

Growing up in Gig Harbor, Amanda spent the majority of her childhood outdoors playing with the neighborhood children. She and her friends could be found exploring the woods behind their homes or playing in their yards. One of her childhood friends includes Ms. Chandra, the Cherry Blossom Preschool Teacher. She has known her since she was 1 year old!

Ms. Chandra is the one who introduced Amanda to the Tacoma Waldorf School. This is Amanda’s second year working as an Assistant teacher for the Starlight Kindergarten class and she truly loves it! After being introduced to Waldorf Education, Amanda fell in love with the philosophy as well as the warm and nurturing environment that Waldorf Education provides to both the students and staff.

When she can she likes to spend her weekends outside whether it is snowboarding, working in the yard or even fly fishing. Amanda has been doing catch and release fly fishing for the past 4 years and has really come to enjoy the beauty of the places in which she fishes as well as the peacefulness of being on the water. Amanda also LOVES to travel. Any opportunity she has to take a trip, near or far, she does. Twice she has traveled to Europe with nothing more than a round trip plane ticket – everything in between was a day by day adventure!

Education:
Central Washington University, Bachelors of Arts – Psychology
Central Washington University, Bachelor of Arts – Sociology

Nori Kimura, Japanese Language TeacherNori Kimura
Japanese Language Teacher

Nori was born and raised in historical downtown Tokyo. He grew up in a house with three generations with Samurai lineage, in a wonderful tight-knit neighborhood. His family and neighbors provided him exposure to many cultural activities and the importance of community involvement. In middle school, with his peers, he taught many kids activities to elementary school children.
By his mother’s influence, in his teenage years he develop a curiosity about U.S. culture and its natural scenery.  When he was 21, he attended college on the east coast of the United States.  After his graduation, he came to Seattle.

Nori worked in the field of Interior Architecture for a decade, then decided to pursue his long time passion of illustration. He is now a local Tacoma artist who also makes greeting cards with his original illustrations. With a wonderful wife, he is a father of two kids, a son and a daughter.

Since 2009 he has been teaching Japanese to all ages, ranging from elementary school kids to adult. He also promotes community involvement in Tacoma by volunteering at the kids’ school, co-leading monthly work parties at a local park, and teaching beginning Karate at the YMCA.

IMG_4201Sandra Roulette
Handwork Teacher

Sandra has been teaching for 30 years in a variety of settings and ages. As a university student she took an active interest in Waldorf education and began her early childhood training already a mother of two. She created a state licensed preschool in her Seattle home in the eighties using Waldorf methods. After several years in early childhood she began to teach elementary school, and most recently she has taught a homeschool middle school group.

Sandra grew up in the northwest as the oldest of four children. Early interests included playing in the brambles, leading neighborhood parades, and exploring the nearby streams, sloughs, and wildlife. These unfettered hours of childhood matured into valuable strengths and wisdom over the years that she still relies upon. She has recently become a grandmother; a delight and joy that quickly expanded beyond her expectations. Her grown children both live in Seattle, where they grew up.

She holds a BA in Education from Antioch University Seattle, a Waldorf Early Childhood certificate from Rudolf Steiner College, and completed grades training with Sound Circle Teacher Training.

Staff Members

Melissa Turner, Office Manager

Melissa Turner
Office Manager

Melissa grew up in the Pacific Northwest spending half her childhood in rural Gig Harbor and the other half in rural Puyallup.  She has always spent much of her time outdoors.  After the birth of her only child, she found Parent Toddler classes with Ms. Maureen, who introduced her and her family to Waldorf Education.  She loved the philosophy and warmth and knew TWS was the perfect fit for their family.   After her daughter was entering into Kindergarten, Ms. Melissa started working in the school office.  She thoroughly enjoys watching the children blossom and grow, helping the families navigate and working with amazing faculty.

Education
Hawaii Pacific University & Chaminade University Hawaii, Associates of Science; University of Washington-Tacoma, BA, Marketing/Management

Professional Experience
US Navy ~ Cryptologist, 4.5 years; Frank Russell Company ~ Technical Analyst, Consulting Department, 5 years; Tacoma Waldorf School ~ Office Manager, March 2006 until present.

 

Chantal Hulet, Enrollment CoordinatorChantal Hulet
Enrollment Coordinator

Chantal was born and raised here in the South Puget Sound, with the water and woods being an important part of her life; they remain so this day.  Since graduating from Pacific Lutheran University, she started a business as a massage therapist and loves to travel, garden, and be out on the water and in the woods with her family.  Tacoma Waldorf came into her life after she and her husband found it a good fit for our first child.  Chantal enjoys her work as Enrollment Coordinator, introducing children and their families to our school to see if it is a good choice for them as well.