< Back to Faculty & Staff Bios

Lower/Middle School Faculty


Daniel Bieber

FIRST GRADE TEACHER

BA, Bard College

Daniel graduated from Green Meadow in 2003. He has served as a Lower School assistant for the past two years. Daniel also works at The Nature Place Day Camp, is completing his Waldorf teacher training at Sunbridge Institute, plays music, and likes to cook and garden.  He got married in October 2015 and welcomed a daughter to his family in August 2016.


Teagan Blackburn

LS Assistant and Gardening Teacher

B.S. Experiential Education/Women's Studies/Organizational Development; Minor Spanish, Western College Program, Miami University, OH

Teagan found Waldorf Education 10 years ago through a family who was part of her Permaculture course.  Her background includes growing organic veggies for a CSA at a women's farm in Ohio, where she is from, studying and earning permaculture certificates in Spain (2001) and upstate NY (2007), managing farming project grants with the Northeast USA program office of Heifer International, and working with urban community and school gardens in Brooklyn with Greenthumb, the Red Hook Community Farm, and the Food Bank for NYC.  

She completed the Pfeiffer Center Biodynamics course in 2012 and the Sunbridge Forest and Farm Kindergarten course in 2013. Teagan most recently worked this summer as the Garden and Games Activity Leader for Nature Place Day Camp. 

Teagan F. Lopez-6097.jpg

Carissa F. Lopez-6131.jpg

Carissa Cottler

LS Reading Teacher

MS Literacy Education, The College of St. Rose; BS Childhood Education and BS Special Education, SUNY Geneseo; Certificates: Childhood Education, Students with Disabilities & Literacy Specialist.

Ever since Carissa was a child, she imagined becoming a teacher. She studied Education at SUNY Geneseo, where she became certified in Elementary Education and Special Education. She went on to pursue a Master's degree in Literacy Education at the College of St. Rose. In 2006, Carissa began her teaching career by taking a temporary position as a Special Education teacher at Irvington Middle School. From 2007-2010, Carissa taught elementary education and special education at PS 42 in Manhattan. In the fall of 2010, when her son was born, she chose to become a full-time mother.  Carissa began working with the Bronxville Rotary Club in 2014 as a reading specialist serving the Yonkers community. In that role, she currently leads a family literacy class series each fall, along with monthly family book clubs. 

In the fall of 2016, Carissa and her family joined the Green Meadow community when her oldest child began Kindergarten. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors with her husband and three children, reading, exercising, and cooking.


Wendy Guerra

LS Assistant

B.A of Arts Jersey City University, Certifications in Elementary K-5, Bilingual / Bicultural Education, Language Arts/ Literacy Specialization in Grades 5-8, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Oral and Writing Proficiency in Spanish/ English

Wendy has been serving as a public school teacher since 2005 with Jersey City and Perth Amboy schools. Working with children and families from Latin America has been a tremendously rewarding experience, which has strengthened her conviction toward a holistic approach to education and learning. Wendy has begun her studies for Elementary Teacher training with Sunbridge Institute, and will be joining the GMWS community as a Teacher Assistant for various grades. Wendy resides in Central NJ with her husband and four children. During their free time, Wendy and her family love learning about nutrition, taking care of their backyard chickens, and hiking.

 

Wendy F. Lopez-6147.jpg

Elizabeth Hall

SIXTH GRADE TEACHER

BA, Spanish Literature and English Literature, Minor in Art History, Earlham College; MA, Education, Antioch University; Waldorf Teacher Certification; Certificate in Curative Education (Camphill Special Schools); New Hampshire Teaching Certificate, Grades 1-6

Elizabeth has been working in the field of Waldorf Education for over 20 years.  She began her journey working with children with special needs in a residential Waldorf setting in 1992; worked as a tutor, substitute, and handwork assistant at the Monadnock Waldorf School in Keene, NH while she was working on her advanced degree; and then took her first class, a First Grade, at the Waldorf School of Baltimore, carrying the class through Eighth Grade. 

In 2006, she joined the faculty of the Green Meadow Waldorf School and also began teaching teachers at Sunbridge Institute.  She is currently with her fourth Eighth Grade class at GMWS, and is a core faculty member of the Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education program at Sunbridge. 

In addition, Elizabeth has been asked to speak at local and international conferences on Waldorf Education and child development.  Most recently, she was invited to Buenos Aires in September 2016 to meet with the Ministry of Education about the possibility of bringing Waldorf elements into their national early childhood education programs. 

Elizabeth loves the Green Meadow community and all that the region has to offer: from Anthony's Nose to the Metropolitan Opera, from Michaelmas to May Day.


Jana Hawley

LS Chair and LS Music (Grades 1-8)

BFA in Music, Cornish College of the Arts; MSEd in Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education, Sunbridge College

Jana taught music and served as a class teacher at the Whidbey Island Waldorf School from 1992-2006.  She then joined the GMWS faculty, where she has been a class teacher, and has taught music and singing, music history, and math.  She currently teaches music and singing in the Lower School, and serves as Chair of the Lower School and co-chair of the Festival Committee.  Jana has been teaching at Sunbridge Institute since 2002, and is currently the director of the Sunbridge Institute Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education Program.   

Jana began her professional life as a stage manager and member of a gamelan ensemble, and has brought this interest in both theater and multicultural music to her work.  She heads up the Rose Hall Stage Crew, and helps direct and produce middle school musicals and class plays.

Jana F. Lopez-6347.jpg

Winnie Jamieson

fIFTH 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. Winnie discovered Waldorf Education while seeking to answer the question “What kind of education helps to create a happy and healthy human being?” She is happy to be part of the Green Meadow Waldorf School community.


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. 

FPO_Photo.jpg

Heather Kono

FOURTH 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.


Mellie Mae Lonnemann

THIRd Grade Teacher

BFA, Alfred University, concentration in Ceramics and minor in Dance

Mellie came to us from the mountains of North Carolina, where she spent four years as a resident artist and educator. She has taught at art centers, an eco-camp, and homeschool cooperatives. 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, and then began the Teacher Training Program at Sunbridge Institute in 2014. She spent the 2014-15 school year assisting at GMWS. 


608A0530.gif

William Minehart

EIGHth GRADE TEACHER

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

William often finds himself reflecting on much of his youth in the woodlands of Pennsylvania. A lifelong love for birds and the outdoors led him to 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 relationship between humanity and the rest of the natural world. William discovered his passion for education through working in the mountains of Colorado and Washington, where he focused on creating positive experiences for youth in the wilderness. It was at one of these institutes that William met his wife and started a family.

William taught high school science for four years in a public high school in New Jersey and shared a classroom with his wife. He assisted at GMWS and took his current class in 2015-16.


Angela Nusbaum

Middle School English

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.    


Ruth Olson

sEVENth 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: time in nature, making music, and being with children. Ruth lives with her husband, children, two cats, and big yellow dog in Chestnut Ridge. Her eldest son graduated with the GMWS Class of 2017.


Carolyn Rich

LS Assistant

Early Childhood Teacher Certification, Sunbridge Institute; BA in Child Development, NC Central University (in progress)

Carolyn studied Theatre and Nonprofit Arts Marketing at Loyola University New Orleans, followed by teaching drama in several New Orleans elementary schools and after-school programs. Upon encountering Waldorf Education in 2012, she began working with the Waldorf School of New Orleans before relocating to Chapel Hill, NC in 2014 as a Kindergarten Assistant at Emerson Waldorf School. She completed her Sunbridge Early Childhood Teacher Training in 2016 and began a training in Speech Formation in Fall 2017.

 

Carolyn F. Lopez-6167.jpg

Suchitra Swift

SECOND grade teacher

BA, Sarah Lawrence College; MS, Education, Hunter College; Waldorf Certification, Sunbridge College

Suchi began teaching in the New York City public school system in 2002, and after eight years working across a variety of grades, decided to pursue Waldorf Education professionally.  She taught at New Amsterdam School, a Waldorf initiative in lower Manhattan, as well as The Brooklyn Waldorf School. Suchi has three young children and is thrilled to be part of the Green Meadow community. She enjoys crafting, cooking, and spending time near the water.