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Children's Garden

Vanessa Chang
Nursery and Seedlings Teacher, 2011
MA in Child Development from Tufts University (2006); Steiner/Waldorf Teaching Certification from Emerson College, UK; BA in Art History from Smith College. Before coming to WWS, Vanessa worked as an Aftercare teacher at Acorn Hill Waldorf Kindergarten and Nursery for three years, as well as a full-time daycare teacher in Virginia. Nessa has also worked in the DC public schools, a Tufts University lab school, and also in her own home-based childcare program, as well as leading a pre-Kindergarten class at River Song Waldorf School in Colorado. Vanessa is an alumna of the WWS, along with her two sisters. When she is not at school, Nessa enjoys cooking (mostly vegetarian food) and going on "adventures" with her son, who is also a Waldorf student! Other interests include practicing yoga, martial arts, and dance and enjoying time with family and friends.

Jody Grossman
Children's Garden Teacher, 2007
BA, French Studies, University of Santa Cruz, California Master's Degree Spiritual Psychology, University of Santa Monica, California; Foundation Year, Washington Waldorf School; Master's Degree Waldorf Early Childhood Education, Sunbridge College, New York. Continuing Education Course in Puppetry, Sunbridge College.

Born in Kansas, Jody is the oldest of a boisterous family of five children. Her father's medical training took the family to Panama, Hawaii, and Madrid, Spain, before settling in Northern California when she was in high school. She received a BA in French Studies at the University of Santa Cruz, California, and paid her way through college working on salmon and albacore fishing boats during the summers. After a year of studying in France, she lived in a 16th century stone farm house in Brittany with dirt floors and an out door well for drinking water. She worked in San Francisco as a bilingual tour guide before returning to school for a Master's Degree in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica, California. She and her husband moved to Washington, DC in 1989, for her husband's work with PeaceChild Foundation, a non-profit theater exchange program with the former Soviet Union. They have two children who attended Washington Waldorf school for many years. Jody taught at Potomac Crescent school in Arlington, Virginia, and received a Master's Degree in Waldorf Early Childhood Education, at Sunbridge College, New York. She loves handwork, plant-dyeing, raising silk worms, and taking long bicycle trips with her family.

Liz HagermanLiz Hagerman

Parent/Infant and Parent Toddler Teacher, 2012

Liz Hagerman MA, BC-DMT, is a board certified dance/movement therapist with a masters degree from Goucher College(1990).  She has studied motor development and the relationship of motor development to the development of sense of self. She has taken both level I and II Pikler courses in Budapest (2007, 2010), and Level III in the U.S. with Anna Tardos and Agnes Szanto (2012). Liz studied at Sophia's Hearth Family Center with Susan Weber and Jane Swain, and is a Mentor in their teacher training program. Working from the insights of both Rudolf Steiner and Emmi Pikler, Liz developed, in 2007, the Birth to Three Parenting program at Acorn Hill Waldorf Kindergarten and Nursery, where she has worked since 2001. Liz is a certified infant massage instructor. In addition to Acorn Hill and WWS, Liz teaches Parent Infant classes at the Potomac Crescent Waldorf School in Arlington, Virginia. Liz offers adult education  in the DC metro area on motor development --including supporting free, self initiated motor development . She is the mother of two sons both of whom attended Acorn Hill and WWS. In the summer, with her husband and sons, Liz works on her commercial salmon boat, the F/V Omar in Cook Inlet, Alaska. 

Wendy Jackson
Children's Garden Chair, Lead Aftercare and Extended Care Teacher, 2012

BA in Spanish from University of Maryland; Waldorf Teacher Training Certification from Nova Institute, Bethesda Maryland; Montessori Early Childhood Certification, Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies, Silver Spring, Maryland. Wendy got her start in early childhood education as a Montessori teacher for children age 3-6. She became interested in Waldorf Education when her own daughter began the parent child class at WWS, and enrolled in the Nova teacher training.  Wendy taught  first through third grade at the Potomac Crescent Waldorf School in Arlington, Virginia. Wendy enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, hiking, camping and spending time outdoors with her daughter Lucy, a fifth grade student at Washington Waldorf.

Cindy Martin
Assistant Children's Garden Teacher, 2011

BA, Bowdoin College; English major, French minor, Institute of European Studies; Junior year abroad in Paris, France. MLS, Long Island University; Library Science with concentration in Children’s Literature, Licensed as a Public Librarian

Cindy went to Green Meadow Waldorf School in Spring Valley, New York. She attended from Kindergarten through 10th grade. Her children have been at WWS for 11 years, both started in the Children’s Garden. Cindy worked as a children’s librarian for 18 years for the DC Public Library. She worked at the Palisades, Cleveland Park and Georgetown Branch Libraries. She also spent 8 years downtown at the main library, MLK Library. She loves to spend any extra time in the Adirondacks at her cabin on a lake with no electricity. She’s been going there every summer for 45 years.

 

Meg Royce
Parent Child and Substitute CG Teacher, 2012

MPH Maternal Child Health from University of California,Berkeley; OB/GYN NP from University of Colorado,Denver; BSN Nursing from University of Florida.

Meg has dedicated her life to women’s health and education. For over thirty years she worked as a GYN Nurse Practitioner.The past several years she also worked as a school nurse and last year as a Hospice nurse. Meg now is focusing her energy on Waldorf early child development and education. She first became involved in Waldorf education in 1996 when she enrolled her oldest son into the parent-child class at Acorn Hill. Over the next sixteen years she experienced and participated in the unique Waldorf approach to teaching and learning as both of her children attended Acorn Hill and WWS through the eighth grade. Meg knows firsthand how the Waldorf education gave her family the foundation and knowledge to raise their children to grow into thoughtful, healthy teens and adults. Meg loves the water; swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking with family and friends. She also enjoys reading, gardening, jogging, and hiking.

Jennifer Saloma
Children's Garden Teacher, 1988
AB, History, Ohio University; 60 Hour Course, Day Care Training; Continuing Education Coursework, Workshops, and Conferences

Jennifer became interested in Waldorf education when her children were at Acorn Hill.  She worked as an assistant there for 5 years and was inspired by her colleagues to become a kindergarten teacher. She came to the Waldorf School in 1988 as a co-teacher in the Children’s Garden.  She especially likes teaching in a full school where one has the opportunity to see the children grow, not just for a few years but, in many cases, throughout their school years, and beyond. 

Jennifer lives in the house where her late husband and she raised her son and two daughters (all WWS graduates).  It is the same neighborhood where she grew up and later served on the Takoma Park City Council for two terms.  She loves working in her garden, reading and her book club, bird watching and being outdoors.  Jennifer also loves working at the WWS, navigating her  way through two unusual but welcome situations: serving on the same faculty as her son, Taisto, and working past what was once thought of as retirement age!  She thinks with the deep gratitude of the parents, past and present, who give WWS their support and trust, send their children, often at great sacrifice, and make it possible for the faculty to do the work they love.

Chrissie Sant
Parent-Child Teacher, 2007
BA, Dickinson College (International Studies) 1992, MA Wake Forest University (History) 2000. Waldorf early childhood coursework at Sophia's Hearth Early Childhood Center, the Rudolf Steiner Institute, and Lifeways Early Childhood Program.

Chrissie made her way to Waldorf education when her children were very young. She is a parent of two current WWS students (classes of 2019 and 2022.) Along with home-making and teaching, she has served on a variety of non-profit boards including the WWS Trustees Council since 2007. Her other interests include bird watching and exploring outdoors, piano, yoga and playing a variety of sports.

Colleen Taliaferro
Children's Garden Teacher, 1997
BS, Early Childhood Education, University of Maryland; Waldorf Kindergarten Teacher Training, Acorn Hill Waldorf Nursery and Kindergarten

Colleen recieved her degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maryland in 1984.  She then worked as an assistant teacher at Acorn Hill Waldorf Nursery and Kindergarten while completing her Waldorf Teacher Training.  She was a stay-at-home mom while her children were young.  Her three sons graduated from WWS in 2008 and 2009. Her oldest son and daughter in-law live in Wyoming and her twin sons are at Sterling College in Vermont.  Colleen and her husband enjoy time together gardening, biking and canoeing and camping. She also enjoys handwork and is learning to spin. Her parents were two of the founders of WWS in 1969.