Specialty Teachers

Kristen ArantKristen Arant
West African Drumming, 2014

Kristen started drumming some 15 years ago. She studied drumming in Ghana and has led adults and children in multiple ensembles and classes around the region. She founded the Young Women's Drumming Empowerment Project and is the recipient of eight grants and award from the DC Arts Commission. She also has a BA degree in oboe performance.

Geoff Baker

Middle School English, 2015

Nevin Bender

Director of Music, 1988
BA, French, Piano Performance, Eastern Mennonite University; MM, Piano Performance, Catholic University of America; Waldorf Music Teacher Training, Sunbridge College; Werbeck Singing Certificate, Sebastopol, California. Originally from Vermont, Nevin has lived in the DC area for over 25 years. Among his previous professions, he has been a freelance pianist and accompanist, an organist at a Lutheran Church, and a singer in the Washington Opera chorus. Before becoming a music teacher, he spent many years in the eurythmy room as an accompanist. His interests include ballroom dancing, tennis, and skiing. Nevin has three children.

Barbara Buchman
Lower School Handwork, 1987
BA in Humanities from Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio, MEd in Special Education University of Pittsburgh, Applied Arts Certificate Sunbridge College, Teacher Training Certificate, NOVA Institute Silver Spring, Maryland, Foundation Studies Certificate Center for Anthroposophy, Trustees Council, College of Teachers, AWSNA Delegate. Originally from Pittsburgh, Barbara has lived in the Washington, DC area for over 30 years. She first came to WWS looking for Waldorf education for her two sons (who graduated from WWS High School in 1998, 2001). Her employment as the front office receptionist began 5 years after becoming a parent at the school. Shortly after joining the staff she was asked to teach knitting and crochet in addition to her office duties to students in grades 1, 2 and 3. Upon the completion of her handwork training at Sunbridge College, Barbara became the full-time handwork teacher and has now taught at the school for more than 25 years. She has also taught adults for the NOVA Institute Teacher Training, and the Center for Anthroposophy, and has given a workshop at the AWSNA teachers conference. Her hobbies include knitting, reading fiction, and listening to folk music.

Grace Chris

Lower School Coordinator, and Music Teacher in Grades 1 and 2, 2014

BS in Music Education, University of Vermont. Grace was previously a music teacher at the Orchard Valley Waldorf School in Vermont from 2011-2014.

Tove Elfstrom

Woodwork, 1985
Pedagogical studies, University of Gothenburg; Municipal recreation management, Karlskoga Ledarinstitute; USA: MEd., University of Georgia, Athens; Waldorf Teacher Training, Rudolf Steiner Institute; Waldorf Teacher Certification, State of Maryland teacher certification. Tove hails from Sweden where he received the equivalent of a BA in municipal recreation management. He continued his studies in the US after two summers of camp counseling in New Jersey with physically handicapped children and disadvantaged youth from Brooklyn, Bronx, and Newark. Tove received a MEd. from University of Georgia where he focused on wilderness management and the philosophy of work and leisure in a resource-restrained society. His Waldorf education certification is from the State of Maryland after studies at the Rudolf Steiner Institute. He teaches grades 4–11 in woodworking and offers a blacksmithing elective in the High School. Outside of WWS, he teaches at the Swedish School for Children on Saturdays in Falls Church, where he is also the principal. All three of his children attended and graduated from the WWS.

Christian Gardiner

Movement Education, Games, 2011

After attending Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School from kindergarten through 12th grade, Christian Gardiner attended St. Bonaventure University where he played men’s volleyball and division 1 baseball. Before teaching at the Washington Waldorf School, Christian completed a biodynamic farming apprenticeship and worked as an organic farmer and a stone mason. While continuing his own athletic pursuits, Christian coached basketball, baseball and volleyball at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School in New York, and later coached both middle school and varsity baseball for the Orcas Island Public School District in Washington State. Christian considers his study of movement to be life-long and continues his education by attending on-going educational workshops with institutions such as the Spatial Dynamics Institute and the National Outdoor Leadership School.

Corinna Gittel
Eurythmy Teacher, 2002
Eurythmy Diploma, Stuttgart, Germany; Graduate Course with Novalis Eurythmy. Corinna was born and grew up in Augsburg, Germany, where she attended and graduated from the Freie Waldorfschule Augsburg. After graduating from the Eurythmeum Stuttgart in 1996, she joined the post-graduate course in pedagogical and artistic eurythmy at WWS, led by Christina Beck. What was intended to be a one-year stay in the US has turned into 19 years and counting. By the time she was in the 8th grade, Corinna knew that she was going to be a eurythmist, much to the puzzlement of all her classmates. Movement and dance of all forms are Corinna's passions.

Tammy GompperTammy Gompper
Library Assistant, 2014

BA in Studio Art, University of Virginia; MA in Art History, Ohio University; MLS Texas Woman's University. Tammy has previous experience as an Archivist at Dumbarton Oaks; an Aquisitions Assistant at the DAR Geneology Library; and as an Art History Teacher at Trinity High School. She also served on the Board of the Potomac Crescent Waldorf School where her daughter attended.

Susan KimballSarah Kimball
Eurythmy Teacher, 2014

BA in Eurythmy, University College of Eurythmy, Norway; Arbisbic/Pedagogical Diploma, Eurythmy Spring Valley. Prior to coming to WWS, Sarah taught eurythmy at the Rudolf Steiner School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for four years.

Debi KolendarDebbi Kolender
Lower School Reading Tutor, 2005

BA, Special Education and Elementary Education, MA Special Education; EdS, Special Education, George Washington University. Training in Phonographix, Wilson Reading, and Read Naturally.

Russell Kramer
HS Folk Ensemble, Filmaking Elective, 2014

BS in Filmmaking. Russell began playing the guitar seriously in high school, and has since studied classical guitar, piano, drums, world music, and singing. He believes everyone has beautiful music within themselves, which simply needs to be expanded.

Ksenia Lake
Middle School Math, 2006

BS Mathematics, University of Maryland; MEd Secondary Mathematics, University of Maryland; MA Theology & Liturgical Music, St. Vladimir’s Seminary; Waldorf Teacher Training, NOVA.

Ksenia is an avid reader, speaks many languages, and appreciates children of all ages. She also enjoys singing and soccer. She attended Waldorf kindergarten at Acorn Hill as a five-year-old, and returned to her roots to teach middle school math at WWS in 2003.

Marcel MaicanMarcel Maican
Lower School and High School Jazz Band 2002
MM, Doctorate, Trombone and Conducting, Ciprian Porumbescu Conservatory, Bucharest

Christina Mollard (Yung-chin Hsieh)
Eurythmy Accompanist, 2014

BA in Piano Performance, Soochow University, Taiwan. Christina has been an accompanist in Montgomery County Schools for several years and served as choir director/organist at Fairhaven United Methodist Church. Her son attends the WWS Children's Garden.

Gabriele SchilzGabriele Schilz
German Teacher (G7-12), HS Book Arts Teacher, 2009
BA, History & German, University of Konstanz, Germany; MA, Social & Cultural Anthropology, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, California. When she specialized in teaching German as a foreign language during her undergraduate studies, she envisioned herself traveling around the world teaching German. Originally from Köln, Gabriele has lived in the Southwest of Germany, Boulder, Colorado, and San Francisco, California, before moving to DC. She has taught people of all ages, from preschool to adults, in subjects including German, calligraphy, and childbirth preparation, and throughout, has loved working with adolescents the most. Some of her favorite ways of engaging are: making things with paper or fibers, discussing anything, playing group games. And a few of her favorite things: books, goats, documentary films, home births, puppet shows, languages and alphabets, and the circus.

Susan WalshSusan Walsh
Librarian, Therapeutic Eurythmist, 2006
BA, German, Franklin and Marshall College; MLS, Library Science, Drexel University; Foundation Year, Sunbridge College; Artistic Eurythmy Training, Eurythmy Spring Valley; Pedagogical Eurythmy Training, Antioch New England Graduate School; Therapeutic Eurythmy Training, Peredur Centre for the Arts, East Grinstead, England. Member, Eurythmy Association of North America; Member, Association for Therapeutic Eurythmy in North America (ATHENA).

Originally from New Jersey, Susan grew up in Arlington, Virginia, and, after many years away, returned in 2006 to the D.C. area. As librarian, she worked at the Art Institute of Chicago Library, the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City, Sunbridge College Library, and several New York State public libraries. Her most unusual jobs during college were in a potato chip factory and at the Oktoberfest in Munich! Her interests include bookbinding, swimming, walking, and travel. Susan speaks German and has studied French, Latin, and Turkish.

Yoli ZamoraYoli Zamora
Spanish Teacher, 2010
BA, Universidad Surcolombiana (Colombia); English classes at Pasadena City College (California), English classes at Montgomery College, Certificate in Montessori for 3 to 6 years olds at IAMS (Maryland), 4 years experience as Montessori Teacher for 3 to 6 year olds, 1 year experience as Montessori Teacher for 3 year olds; second grade teaching experience at Rock Creek Forest (Chevy Chase) for the Spanish Immersion Program, more than 15 years teaching experience, Certification as Spanish Teacher at Santiago de Compostela University (Spain), Real Estate License (Maryland), Daycare license (Maryland).

Originally from Colombia and moved to the US in 1988. Her interests include dancing, making jewelry, gardening, reading, walking, and traveling with her son. Travels have taken her around the United States, Europe, China, Spain, France, Belgium, Japan, Austria, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Colombia, some islands like San Andres and Bahamas. Yoli speaks Spanish and English. And is the mother of 20 year old, who is a sophomore at the Catholic University. Yoli loves art and all kinds of music (especially for dancing).