Faculty & Staff

Parent-child Classes

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Parent-Child Teacher
Bonnie Romanow

Bonnie is a consultant in the Early Childhood Mental Health Project and a Parent Educator with Parents Place, Marin. Bonnie has taken many courses and workshops in Waldorf , she has been an early childhood teacher, preschool director, and founding member of the Great Oaks School in the Chicago area. Upon moving to California, Bonnie taught parent-tot at Summerfield and Marin Waldorf schools. Her work with parents and their children under three years of age led her to the Touchpoints and RIE I training programs, all compatible with the Waldorf approach. Bonnie has served on the governing body of both the Chicago Waldorf School and the Great Oaks School, and as secretary for Preschool Council of Evanston. Currently she is a mentor in the LifeWays Program. Bonnie worked with at-risk teens for the Youth-At-Risk community program, as well as with birth parents and adoptive parents. Parent education and support has always been a part of her work. Bonnie has been with Berkeley Rose Waldorf School from the very first year the school started.

Early Childhood

P1030786Rosebud Nursery Lead Teacher
Vasilica Hall
A native of Romania, Vasilica received her eurythmy diploma from Akademie fur Eurythmische Kunst, in Dornach, Switzerland, followed by a post graduate diploma from the Eurythmy School Spring Valley. From 2001-2007 she taught eurythmy in grades 5-12 at Garden City Waldorf School, Long Island, NY. In the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, she teaches weekend eurythmy classes in all 3 years. For two years before joining the early childhood program, Vasilica was a substitute teacher for ages 2.9 to 6 at Berkeley Rose Waldorf School, and has completed her education in early childhood development courses. Vasilica is entering her sixth year with Berkeley Rose.

Rosebud Nursery Assistant Teacher
Monika Nenko
Monika was raised in Poland and came to the USA as an au-pair in her early twenties. From then on her life was set on a path of working with children. Before she decided to commit herself to Waldorf education she was pursuing academic studies in International Relations in the USA and UK.

Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 7.28.25 PMMarigold Nursery Lead Teacher
Angela Gifford

Angela is an early childhood education specialist with 30 years of professional experience, and a BA in Child Development. Following her graduation from California State University at Chico with a degree in Child Development, Angela worked as the head teacher for a Montessori-based preschool for 16 years in Redway, California.  Angela combines principles inspired by Waldorf and Montessori into her program.  Angela has worked for the Orinda School District as an assistant in the special education classroom, working primarily with autistic children, and as a master teacher for the Head Start program in Alameda, Calif. Angela is currently continuing her education in Waldorf teaching and is entering her fifth year with Berkeley Rose Waldorf School.


Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 12.48.48 PMButtercup Nursery Lead Teacher
Ursula Mathers
Ursula has led Parent-child classes at the Seven Hills Steiner School in Sheffield, UK and taught Waldorf kindergarten at the Aberdeen Waldorf School in Scotland and is an accomplished painter, book illustrator, and designer. She and her family have been living in Europe and will be moving to Berkeley this summer.

BRS Photo 1Buttercup Nursery Assistant Teacher
Nora Paholak
Nora Paholak grew up in a Camphill Community, on a biodynamic farm and garden in Upstate NY. She attended the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf school K-12th, graduating in 2010. After living in Germany for a year, Nora decided to move to Oakland to pursue school, new prospects, and adventure. She has worked with children for many years and has great appreciation for the Waldorf approach to early childhood development, as well as much affection for the greater community that is built through Waldorf education. Last Spring, Nora became a certified Postpartum Doula and is currently building her own practice in the East Bay and San Francisco. Nora attends Berkeley City College and will be transferring into U.C. Berkeley’s Social Welfare Department, with a focus on women’s health and reproductive rights.


Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 7.27.36 PMHollyhock Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Molly Collum
Molly Collum has taught in a number of Waldorf schools as well as settings inspired by Waldorf education. Her work is driven by a deep love for the children and the parents who entrust them to her. Molly completed her Waldorf Teacher Training through Rudolf Steiner College’s San Francisco program under the direction of Dorit Winter. She then went on to deepen her understanding of the developmental needs of young children by taking many therapeutic courses and workshops offered on the east coast and completing the Gradalis Early Childhood Therapeutic Training under the direction of Bonnie River and William Bento. Molly spent two years as a house parent and nursery/kindergarten teacher at Plowshare Farm. Plowshare is an Anthroposophical life-sharing community for special needs adults in rural New Hampshire. Upon her return to California, she opened a home-based nursery program in the foothills prior to her coming to Berkeley Rose Waldorf School in 2011.

8aa2a7a9-1540-4880-88a5-bc3a4dcb015dSunflower Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Ruth Alden
Ruth considers it a great honor to be in the presence of children, and treasures memories of her own childhood, much of which was spent playing in mossy forests, and flowering fields.  Ruth completed her Waldorf teacher certification through the Rudolf Steiner College, San Francisco Program.  After focusing on studying the grades curriculum during the three-year training, her heart aligned with the realm of Early Childhood.  For two years Ruth worked at the Marin Waldorf School as Assistant Kindergarten Teacher.  This is her third year teaching at Berkeley Rose.  Ruth studied at Cornell University, and graduated from Naropa University, in Boulder, Colorado, receiving a B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in art therapy.  She studied traditional crafts at the John C. Campbell Folk School in western North Carolina and also studies herbal medicine.  Ruth has completed additional Waldorf Teacher Training in both Kindergarten, and Preschool training programs.

Cedar Campus Afternoon Program Lead Teachers

Hollan Whitham, Nursery
Hollan was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and received her BA with an emphasis in early childhood education and development from The Evergreen State College. ‘Twas there that she became interested in Waldorf education after befriending many a Waldorf graduate. In 2012 Hollan moved to the Bay Area and began nannying beautiful twins who are still very close to her heart. Two years later, she felt called to join the Waldorf teacher training at BACWTT. Hollan is elated to be returning to Berkeley Rose, this year as the nursery after school teacher.

Stephanie Kahan, Kindergarten
Bio coming soon!


(growing a grade a year up to eighth grade)

img_4841.110x0Class One Teacher
Gloria Leon
Gloria comes to us from the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda, Maryland, where she has just completed her second round of teaching grades 1-8. In addition to being class teacher, she also served as the Middle School Art teacher at Washington Waldorf for the last 10 years, as well as teaching adults and Waldorf teachers-to-be in art and physics. Gloria received her Waldorf teacher training at the Eugene Waldorf School and also trained at the Rudolf Steiner Institute and completed the SENSRI Physics Teacher Training for the upper grades. She holds a BA in Psychology and Painting from the Parsons School of Design and the New School, and additional BAs from the University of Kentucky.

Erika HorvathClass Two Teacher
Erika Horvath
Erika completed her Waldorf certification at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in July 2015. She graduated from Mills College in 1998 and became a California credentialed teacher in 2004. As an Oakland native, Erika remained close to home teaching in Oakland public and private schools before becoming a mother. She then transitioned to a mentoring role in the school district. She has also worked privately with students K-12 in need of additional academic support for the past seven years. Erika has lived in Zurich, Switzerland, where she studied German language and culture. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, knitting and crafting of any kind. Erika has been working at Berkeley Rose for since 2013.

Andrea R. Vander PluymClass Three Teacher
Andrea R. Vander Pluym

Andrea received her Waldorf teacher certification at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1994 with a B.A. in English literature and a concentration in creative writing, short fiction. Andrea’s teaching experience includes teaching fine arts/crafts, special education, and afternoon programs in several Los Angeles institutions (preschool through sixth grade), and volunteer assisting and teaching kindergarten through grade five at three Bay Area Waldorf schools (San Francisco, Marin, and Berkeley Rose). She is also a seasoned writer and editor, with over 20 years of experience in print and online media. Andrea is the author of three published books for young adults, including Respect, which was recognized in a White House ceremony and brought to President Obama’s oldest daughter’s school. As the co-founder of Berkeley Rose, Andrea has been with the school since its beginning in 2009.

Dan, Gr 4 TeacherClass Four Teacher
Dan Perry
Dan, who received his Waldorf teacher training certificate at Edinburgh Steiner School, Scotland, has taken a class through all eight grades at Waldorf School of the Peninsula (2002-2010). He has also taught fourth grade twice in a Waldorf setting, and a third time in the wider private school setting. Dan’s latest teaching position was at a Jewish private school in San Francisco, while running a private Waldorf-inspired Hebrew school on Saturdays. He has a strong musical background, and his interests include storytelling and organic baking, all in which he was actively involved while living in three different continents. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel, Dan also lived 12 years in Scotland and chose to make California his home in the last 14 years.

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Grades Specialty Teachers

Eurythmy Teacher
Vasilica Hall
Please see bio above in Rosebud Nursery.

Masumi, Music TeacherMusic Teacher
Masumi Hayashi-Smith                                            
Masumi Maei Hayashi-Smith graduated from Brown University where she spent three years as a board member of the student opera production company and directed a fully orchestrated production of Cristoph Willibald Gluck’s “Orpheo ed Euridice.” After college, she took a break from classical music doing education research in Sri Lanka on a Fulbright grant, and living in Bali. Upon re-entry to the United States, she began the Kodály Masters program at Holy Names University. Masumi teaches classes for 4-5 year olds at Vivace Youth Chorus in San Jose, teaches private voice and musicianship lessons at her home, and sings in the choir for St. Lukes Episcopal Church in Los Gatos. This is Masumi‘s second year with Berkeley Rose.

Games Teacher
Tracy Petroski
Bio coming soon!

imageHandwork Teacher
Natalya Logunova
Natalya comes to us from the New York fashion and costume-making scenes. A Parsons School of Design grad, she worked at Ralph Lauren and Met Opera before launching De Plume, a high-end girls dress line in 2007. As her focus shifted to organically and fair-trade produced childrens wear, the mother of two girls discovered Steiner’s teachings. She is currently completing the Applied Arts program for Waldorf handwork teachers at the Fibercraft Studio, Sunbridge Institute, NY. As an avid sustainability advocate she plant-dyes yarns for our students and is pleased to offer Garment Upcycling and Handwork classes to all Berkeley Rose parenting adults.

Joy, Mandarin TeacherMandarin Language Teacher
Xia (Joy) Chen
Joy was raised and educated in China and is fluent in all aspects of Mandarin. She has been teaching Chinese privately for many years and is married with two wonderful, bilingual children. Joy likes to continuously learn and enjoys teaching many aspects of Chinese culture, such as stories, games, poetry, calligraphy, food, herbs, traditional medicine, acupressure, and music.

Spanish Language Teacher

cybele-dambrosio-photoViolin & Orchestra Teacher
Cybèle D’Ambrosio

A native of Berkeley, Cybèle studied violin with Anne Crowden, David Dalton and David Abel. She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in music performance from Brigham Young University and Mills College. While living in Italy for seven years, she taught violin and chamber music at the Accademia Musicale Mediterranea in Leporano. She now runs her own private teaching studio in North Berkeley, performs with local orchestral groups, and composes music for small ensembles. She recently collaborated with the Central Works Theater Company to compose, arrange and perform the musical score for their production of “The Yellow Wallpaper.” She currently serves as the Solo Competition Chair of the San Francisco section of the American String Teachers Association and was honored to receive their national Kudos award in May 2015. This is her third year teaching strings at Berkeley Rose.

Hillegass Campus Afternoon Program Lead Teachers

Joseph Barnard, Kindergarten

Joseph is originally from England, and this will be his 7th year living in California.  He is currently in the 2nd year of the BACWTT teacher training program at the El Sobrante Waldorf School.  He really enjoys the wonder and joy early childhood age children bring with them, and in particular feels an affinity for the challenges boys face growing up in the modern world.  He has a year of experience at Berkeley Rose and has also worked with children at a SEN (special educational needs) school in Marin.  He has worked on many different organic farms through the WWOOF program and adores permaculture and bio-dynamic land stewardship.  He is also a fully qualified Architect in the UK (BA, MA Arch) and has worked in the past with various architects dedicated to building intentional communities.

Tracy Petroski, Grades
Please see bio above in Specialty Teachers.

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Administrative Chair
Jeanne Coyne Song
Jeanne comes to us with over 20 years of leadership experience at local private schools. In addition to her tremendous administrative experience, Jeanne is dedicated to building community, as witnessed through her service on diversity committees at both Redwood Day and The Berkeley School, and her current involvement with homeless advocacy as a board member of Consider the Homeless. In Jeanne’s words: “I am curious and an avid learner (currently reading a book about tree grafting and another about land communes in the South). What I am most proud of is that I’m someone who lets compassion inform my work; this allows me to build community effectively, as everyone is seen and heard.” Jeanne is a UC Berkeley alumna, and she recently earned her MFA in Fine Arts. She is also a mother to her daughters Isabella, Sophia, Anabelle, Marissa, and Emily.

Outreach Coordinator
Sandra Dill


Hillegass Office Manager
Sarah Hill

Bio coming soon!




Enrollment Coordinator & Administrative Assistant
Karen Hunt
Karen comes to us from work as a stay-at-home parent and long-time volunteer within many charitable organizations in the United States and abroad.  She has always held an active role within her local community and has especially enjoyed leadership roles within each of the schools that her three children have attended, including the Waldorf School in Whistler, BC.  Karen has lived internationally in London, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines. In Manila, she worked with a Moving Specialist Company that worked exclusively with newly arriving expatriate families providing them with local tours and lectures of Filipino customs and culture. She holds a BS in Business Administration from Cal State Chico.  Karen loves being in nature, playing tennis and is learning to master the French language.

SONY DSCFinance Chair
Robert Schorlemmer
Robert Schorlemmer is the Treasurer and Director of Finance at Berkeley Rose. Robert studied physics and finance in Munich, Tokyo and Berkeley. He is also a Waldorf teacher training graduate (Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teaching Training). Robert worked as a CPA for Ernst & Young across the United States. With Black & Decker, he carried out audits in Europe and the Americas. He also served as a lecturer and foreign expert in China. In his spare time, Robert runs a small nonprofit that supports a village in Colombia, South America. Robert was born in Barcelona and grew up in Rome and Hamburg. He speaks seven languages.