Faculty & Staff

Parent-Child

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.

Parent-Child Teacher
Christina Vlinder
Christina’s philosophy is inspired by the work of infant specialist Magda Gerber, who created the Educaring® Approach and founded Resources for Infant Educarers®, better known as RIE®. Christina became a RIE® Associate and joined the RIE® Alliance in 2017. She has been studying Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach since 2011, and she has worked as a caregiver for babies and young children since 1999. Christina is a founding member of the Bay Area Infant Toddler Network of RIE® students and professionals. She teaches Respectful Caregiving parent infant classes for infants and toddlers in the San Francisco Bay Area, and she also offers consulting, workshops, and nanny training. Christina uses her knowledge of the Educaring® Approach, and many years of experience working with children, to offer support that nurtures parents and infants alike.


Early Childhood

Rosebud Lead Teacher
Jahlia Osha
Jahlia is a graduate of the Early Childhood Waldorf Teacher Training at Steiner House, London. She has experience assisting in Waldorf Parent-Child, Preschool, and Kindergarten settings. Jahlia holds a BA from Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges in California and a Masters Degree from the London School of Economics. She is a child of two long-time Waldorf teachers, a Waldorf graduate (K-12 Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm in Sonoma County). She lived in England for 11 years and is a mother of two children. Prior to Waldorf teaching she worked in documentary film and charitable giving.

Rosebud Assistant Teacher
Mary Katherine Patterson
Mary Katherine taught high school English and Dance for several years. Her interest in Waldorf education led her to work in Summer camps; as well as, taking courses in Lifeways Waldorf-inspired early childhood practices. She has a B.A. in Humanities from Arizona State University and holds a M.A. in Social Services Administration from University of Illinois. She previously sat on the board of a developing Waldorf school and was involved with Washington Waldorf School where her children attended before joining Berkeley Rose. In addition to teaching and performing dance, she has a passion for integrated movement including yoga and Pilates.

Marigold 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.

Marigold 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.

 

Buttercup Nursery Lead Teacher
Theresa Catlin
Theresa has been involved with Waldorf education for 35 years as a parent and a teacher. She has been a class teacher (grades 1-5) in Milwaukee, WI and in Los Angeles, as well as a lead and assistant Kindergarten teacher. She has received her Waldorf teaching certification, public school certification (K-8) and Masters in Education. Theresa has been working as a Parent-Child teacher at Berkeley Rose for the past two years and is well-known to the children through these classes, assisting in Rosebud and observing in Buttercup.

Buttercup Nursery Assistant Teacher
Lynda Dijoua
Lynda came to the United States from Algeria in 2015. She’s been working with young children since 2007 and speaks fluent French and Spanish. She comes to us with an Associate teaching certificate and is currently studying Child Development. She is married with a daughter, Leana, who is 2 years old. Lynda enjoys cooking, dancing and traveling.

Nursery After School Lead Teacher
Bio & pic to come!

Sunflower 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 before joining the faculty at Berkeley Rose in 2013. 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.

Sunflower Kindergarten Assistant Teacher
Daniel Gorsten Schunemann
Daniel has experience as a preschool and Kindergarten assistant and has worked as a substitute grades teacher and with children on the autism spectrum. He attended Waldorf schools himself and was an intern for several years at a Camphill community in Germany working with the adult special needs community. He taught ESL in Sao Paulo, Brazil and is fluent in four languages including German, Portuguese, and Spanish. In addition, he has worked as a professional bread baker specializing in slow fermentation processes and handcrafted/artisan methods.

 

Grades 1-5 (growing a grade a year up to grade 8)


Class One Teacher
Tracy Petroski
Tracy has been with Berkeley Rose since 2015, starting as the Games teacher, Afternoon Program teacher, and go-to substitute while she completed her teacher training. Recently, she was the Steiner scholar which has allowed her to apprentice and observe in all the classes at our school and in other Waldorf schools in the area. All the children in the school know her. The rising first-graders at both campuses have a twinkle in their eye toward her when she passes. We are truly blessed to have her lead  the class of 2025 over the rainbow bridge and into the grades.

Erika HorvathClass Three 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 since 2013.

Class Four 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.

Class Five 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
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. After serving as a substitute teacher for ages 2.9 to 6 at Berkeley Rose Waldorf School for two years, she joined the Early Childhood program and led the Rosebud Nursery for four years. Vasilica is entering her seventh year with Berkeley Rose.


Music 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.


Movement & Games / Grades After School
Vanessa Faryan

Vanessa is a lifelong Waldorf student, Spacial Dynamics movement educator, Permaculture designer and farmer, and Certified Massage Therapist. Her teaching experience ranges from early childhood to high school and includes drama, summer camp, and outdoor recreation. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Community Studies, she traveled the world, working outdoors with children in tropical, rural India and the Swiss Alps. Upon returning home to California, she began work at Summerfield Waldorf School as the grounds keeper. While on campus one day, tending the flower gardens, she was asked to substitute in the 7th grade. Immediately inspired to be a teacher, she began Waldorf teacher training at the Center for Educational Renewal. The same year, she embarked on the Spacial Dynamics movement training with Jaimen McMillan. To deepen her training in Waldorf she also worked at Mulberry Farm Curative Education Center in 2016. As the Movement & Games and After-School Teacher she aims to bring delight and discipline to the students at Berkeley Rose.


imageHandwork Teacher
Natalya Logunova
Natalya comes to us from the New York fashion and costume-making scene. 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 children’s 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.

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.

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Administration

Administrative Chair
Megan Coleman
Before joining our school as a parent in 2013, Megan worked as an Administrator helping to start Nevada Sage Waldorf School in Reno, NV.  Megan has recently graduated from the Bay Area Center for Teacher Training, and is currently in the Mulberry School Curative Education training program.

Administrative Assistant – Cedar Campus
Maya Amago
Maya has been a parent at Berkeley Rose since 2012.  She has been playing piano for our Eurythmy classes since 2016 and is now excited to be a part of the administrative team. She is a trained Waldorf grades teacher and studied at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA and Emerson College in England.  Maya loves teaching Zumba, singing, gardening, dancing, and hiking.

Office / Facilities / Information Manager
Sarah Hill
Sarah has a background in photography, documentary film, and architecture. She is currently studying to be a librarian and aims to transform the school’s nascent book collection into a thriving library. She has been a parent at Berkeley Rose since 2011 and working in the administration since 2013. Sarah loves to spend time at home with her family and especially reading aloud to her twin daughters.

Enrollment Coordinator
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.

Outreach Coordinator
Kim Knittel
Bio and photo coming soon!

Finance 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.