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Lower/Middle School Faculty

Mellie Mae Lonnemann, First Grade Teacher

BFA, Alfred University, concentration in ceramics and minor in dance 


Mellie Mae Lonnemann comes to us from the mountains of North Carolina, where she has spent four years as a resident artist and educator. She has taught at art centers, an eco-camp, and homeschool cooperatives. She spent the 2014-15 school year assisting at GMWS. 

Mellie grew up in an active family, with three brothers participating in sports, and her love for movement was rekindled through modern dance at university.

She also studied ceramics for two years in Italy and received a certificate of professionalism at the State Institute of Art in Faenza.

Mellie became interested in Waldorf® Education during her undergraduate studies, as she explored diverse teaching styles. After various teaching experiences, she began the Teacher Training Program at Sunbridge Institute in 2014. 


Heather Kono, Second Grade Teacher

BA, Theatre Arts, San Francisco State University, CA; Waldorf Teacher Training, Sunbridge Institute

After years of a theatrical career in NYC, Heather is joyfully entering her sixth year teaching in a Waldorf School. Before coming to Green Meadow, Heather spent a year at the Rudolf Steiner School in NYC with the Seventh, Fourth, and Third Grades and teaching in the aftercare program. Heather deeply values connecting with the students, discovering their individual gifts, and bringing them together through this rich curriculum. She lives with her husband and daughter in Nyack.

Winnie Jamieson, Third Grade Teacher

MA, Philosophy and Education, Columbia University Teacher's College; BA, Education & BA, Philosophy, Brooklyn College; NYS teaching license, Childhood Education, Grades 1-6; Waldorf Teacher Training, Sunbridge Institute.

The year her Class of 2025 students were born, Winnie went back to school to follow a calling into education. She soon became interested in exploring the foundations and goals of education through a philosophical lens. While seeking to answer the question “What kind of education helps to create a happy and healthy human being?”, Winnie discovered Waldorf® Education. She is happy to be part of the Green Meadow Waldorf School community. 


Judit Gilbert, Fourth Grade Teacher

Undergraduate study of theology, Theological University of Szeged (Hungary); certificate in Waldorf Education, Emerson College (UK); Eurythmy diploma, Eurythmy Spring Valley (New York); BA in Eurythmy Education, University College of Eurythmy (Oslo, Norway)

Judit has taught in elementary schools in Hungary, her birth country, and helped launch a Waldorf school in her home town. A trained eurythmist who has performed with the Eurythmy Spring Valley ensemble, she is also a craftswoman, specializing in felted wool pictures depicting fairy tales, using plant-dyed colors. She has been an assistant teacher at Green Meadow in the handwork department and First Grade.

She is married to Harlan Gilbert, a high-school math teacher at Green Meadow. Their two sons are middle- and high-school students at Green Meadow.


Ruth Olson, Fifth Grade Teacher

BA Psychology, McGill University Canada. ECE Montessori Teacher Certification, Canadian Montessori Academy. MEd., Waldorf Teacher Training, Antioch New England Graduate School.

Ruth began teaching very young, when she summoned up the smallest neighbors on her street, handed out the books and pencils, and her teaching career was off. Since then, Ruth has pursued her own love of learning through her undergraduate studies in Psychology at McGill and Simon Fraser Universities. She has received training as both a Montessori teacher and Waldorf educator. For Ruth, the main goal of teaching is to reflect the gifts each child innately carries, and to be joyful in her work. Waldorf education connects Ruth to what she loves best, including time in nature, making music, and being with children. Ruth lives with her husband, three children, two cats, and a big yellow dog in Chestnut Ridge.


William Minehart, Sixth Grade Teacher

BS, Environmental Studies, Bucknell University; MEd, Elementary Waldorf Education, Antioch University of New England.

As an adult, William often finds himself reflecting on the impact of having spent much of his youth in the woodlands of Pennsylvania. A lifelong love for birds and the outdoors led him to achieving his childhood dream of researching birds in the tropical rainforests of Australia and the Peruvian Amazon. While living in these places, he also began to explore ways to heal the ailing relationship between humanity and the rest of the natural world. In doing so, William discovered his passion for education through working with environmental non-profits in the mountains of Colorado and Washington, where he focused on creating positive experiences for youth in the wilderness. It was while working at one of these institutes that William met his wife, and started a family.

 After teaching high school science for four years in a public high school in New Jersey, where he was lucky enough to share a classroom with his wife, and assisting at GMWS throughout the 2014-15 school year, William is very excited to take a class at GMWS.

Elizabeth Hall, Seventh Grade Teacher

BA, Spanish Literature and English Literature, Minor in Art History, Earlham College; MA Ed., Antioch University; Waldorf Teacher Certification; Certificate in Curative Education (Camphill Special Schools)

Elizabeth has been a Waldorf class teacher for Grades 1-8 for several years. Prior to joining Green Meadow, she served as an elementary school chair and on the College of Teachers at the Baltimore Waldorf School. Elizabeth is a former summer camp director and holds a New Hampshire state teaching certificate for grades 1-6. She has been teaching at Green Meadow since 2006.


Shannon Baer, Eighth Grade Teacher

BA, Liberal Arts, Hampshire College; MS Earth and Planetary Science, University of New Mexico; Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education, Sunbridge Institute.

Shannon Baer is an alumna of Green Meadow and is thrilled to be back on her old stomping grounds. After graduating from GMWS, she went to Hampshire College, where she completed a BA with a concentration in Geology. For graduate school, she attended the University of New Mexico, where she obtained a MS in Earth and Planetary Science. She began her teaching career in a charter school in Central New Mexico, where she taught Third Grade. She moved to Arkansas to live and work on a farm as a cook, gardener, and teacher within the community. Then she returned to her family home in Rhode Island, where she became a mother, created a nature-based home daycare, and taught children's yoga. Finally, after years of dancing with the idea, she became a Waldorf Class Teacher.

Shannon brings to GMWS her enthusiasm for nature-based, hands-on science education, movement, and a deep love and appreciation for children. 

Middle School Faculty, LS Teaching Assistants, and Interns


Peter Alexanian, Gardening

Peter Alexanian works for the Pfeiffer Center and provides gardening classes to Green Meadow students.  He has worked at various organic and biodynamic farms and has been with the Pfeiffer Center since 2013. 

Prior to his venture into farming and gardening, he was a Waldorf class teacher in Michigan, where he he worked with his students from fourth through eighth grade.  He is currently leading the Neighbor to Neighbor program, where Green Meadow high school student volunteers, together with seventh and eighth grade students from the Chestnut Ridge Middle School, are able to meet, socialize, and participate in gardening, cooking, and play. 

Daniel Bieber, Second Grade Assistant

Daniel Bieber graduated from Green Meadow in 2003, and is honored to return this school year as the second grade class assistant!  Daniel also works at the Nature Place Day Camp, plays music, and likes to cook and garden.  He got married at the beginning of October.

Brigitte Bley-Swinston, Grades 8-12 Fine Art

Brigitte received her BA in Art Education in Berlin, Germany, and her MS Ed as a Waldorf teacher at Sunbridge College. She taught for two years at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan before coming to Sunbridge College as the resident art teacher for all programs. She taught at Sunbridge for 12 years while she continued her own artistic education at the Art Students League, The National Academy of Design, and the New York Botanical Garden. She frequently taught courses at the Rudolf Steiner Institute and is co-director of the Foundation Studies Program in Anthroposophy at the Brooklyn Waldorf School. Her daughter attended GMWS from Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Defne Caldwell, Middle-School and High-School English and Drama

BA, Literature, Boston University; MA, Teaching, Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Defne completed an independent Foundation Studies under Signe Schaefer at Sunbridge College and is a certified high-school English teacher.

Before joining the Green Meadow faculty full-time in 2006, Defne taught English and Humanities for six years at Ramapo Indian Hills High School in Franklin Lakes, NJ, and taught literature, college writing, and creative writing courses at Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ, for four years.

Defne is the High School Chair and English Department Chair. She teaches high-school English and Drama, and is the co-advisor to the Class of 2015. She serves on the Collegium, the Curriculum Development Committee, and the Social Health Committee. Her two daughters attend Green Meadow.  

Alix Christofides, Middle-School and High-School Humanities and Drama

BS, Art History/Design/Film, Empire State College, NY; MAT, English, Manhattanville College. Alix has taken various courses and trainings at Sunbridge College, Bard College, NYSAIS, and AWSNA, and is certified to teach art and English in New York and New Jersey.

Alix has taught English and reading in Grades 3-12 at GMWS. She also has the great privilege of teaching the high school Art History and Architecture blocks. Alix was a co-advisor for three classes. She has been teaching at Green Meadow since 1998, and is the parent of two GMWS alumni.

Anne Cohen, Fifth Grade Assistant

BA, Sociology,Stony Brook University; MSEd, Fordham University

Anne taught Kindergarten and Grades 4 & 5 for 10 years at P.S. 11 in New York City. She then taught Kindergarten, Reading, and a Gifted and Talented program for 10 years in the Clarkstown School District. She discovered Green Meadow and Waldorf® Education while researching alternative education for her children. She is truly excited to become part of the Green meadow teaching community. Both of Anne's children attend Green Meadow.

Bonnie Johnson, First Grade Assistant

BS, Resource Development, University of Rhode Island; MS, Education, Sunbridge College.

Bonnie became acquainted with anthroposophy and Waldorf Education while managing a natural foods co-op just out of college. She later assisted in the Kindergarten at the Meadowbrook Waldorf School in Rhode Island. It was years later, when her eldest child graduated from Green Meadow and her youngest was ready to enter our first grade, that Bonnie tired of living vicariously through her children's Waldorf® Education and enrolled in Sunbridge College, completing the Foundation Studies and teacher training programs. She has also been an afternoon Early Childhood teacher at Green Meadow. 

Lisa Krogh, Middle-School and High-School Mathematics and Computer Science

Lisa began her professional journey after achieving her Honors BMath (Computer Science) degree at the University of Waterloo. She designed and developed business computer systems for corporations (introducing new technology to adults) while living in Canada, Europe, and the US, eventually launching her own consulting practice.

While raising her 3 children, she entered the world of Early Childhood Development and attained her MSc in Education from Niagara University. She taught at Montessori, public, and private schools before beginning her journey into Waldorf Education. She is a graduate of Foundations of Anthroposophy, and the certificate for Waldorf High School Teaching, from the Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, NH.

Lisa began Waldorf teaching as the Third Grade class teacher at the Aurora Waldorf School in West Falls, NY, and most recently taught middle-school and high-school mathematics and life science for five years at the Emerson Waldorf School in Chapel Hill, NC.

Lisa joins Green Meadow to be part of strong and well-established faculty, and help grow the middle-school and high-school math and computer science offering. Her son Niels is completing high school in Europe while Sophia and Ana attend Green Meadow.

Angela Nusbaum, Middle-School English and International Student Coordinator

BA, St. John's College, Santa Fe, NM.

Angela has taught high-school English and history at the San Francisco and Chicago Waldorf schools. Previously, she worked with young adults at Job Corps, teaching math, and led interdisciplinary seminars for grades 6-12 in Anchorage, AK. She has two children at Green Meadow.

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