Our Faculty and Staff
Our Waldorf curriculum is delivered by a qualified faculty supported by a governance philosophy that recognizes that institutional life is dynamic and must respond to changing needs. Organizational systems such as peer mentoring, self-review, and engagement in pedagogical research have resulted in a faculty dedicated to the growth and development of their skills. A commitment to insight and evaluation actively informs decision-making of the Administration and Board of Trustees.
Early Childhood Faculty
Su Rubinoff – Early Childhood Class Teacher
BS Natural Resources, University of Rhode Island
MS Remedial Education, Sunbridge College
Waldorf Early Childhood Certificate, Sunbridge College
Su has been teaching at MWS since 1992.
Su has been working with children in many capacities for over 35 years, ranging from camp counselor and director, cooperative extension agent working with agriculture and 4H clubs, to Peace Corp volunteer in the Philippines doing animal care and teaching children of various ages. She has been to Africa twice to teach teachers about Waldorf Education. Su has many interests that she likes to bring into our curriculum including: being outside in nature and gardening, woodworking, cooking, crafts, singing, animals (she has chickens, bees, cats and dogs at home), yoga and more. Su is a Red Cross instructor and part of the disaster shelter team in South Kingstown. A true believer in peaceful resolutions, Su enjoys teaching a block in non-violence to the 8th grade class each year.
Su relates, “I am more passionate about Waldorf Education now then when I discovered it 32 years ago. It helps bring the balance that is essential for children of today. I love ‘planting the seeds’ with children in Early Childhood. I also enjoy working with parents and helping to share what I learned as a parent and what I know as an educator.”
BS Natural Resource Development and Education, University of Rhode Island
Attended Rudolf Steiner College summer workshops in MA and VT, WECAN Conferences, and international conferences held in NH.
Worked at MWS since 1999, is an Outward Bound Alumni, and Anthroposophical Society member.
Nancy notes, “Waldorf Education is compatible to my lifestyle and our family values. I read something out of Steiner’s lectures every day. Some days it may be a simple verse or re-reading a particular book that speaks to me. Working with children and being outdoors in nature has been a lifelong passion.”
Nancy has had goats in her life longer then her husband, to whom she has been married for 36 years! The goats share their riches of milk which she turns into cheese and soap. Two miniature donkeys joined their family four years ago. Nancy loves gardening, especially growing garlic, and has begun dabbling in biodynamic agricultural practices. She considers herself a devout homebody and loves spending time with her family, especially their grandchildren.
Jocelyn Auld – Early Childhood Assistant and Camp Director
BS Human Development, SUNY Empire State
Waldorf Early Childhood Certificate, Sunbridge College
Jane has been working at MWS since 2008.
Jane grew up, and experienced her ‘first’ career in Management and Human Resources while living in England, Scotland, and Australia. She first discovered Waldorf education in the U.S. when looking for a holistic educational program for her own 4 year old daughter. Jane immediately fell in love with the focus on protecting childhood and the care of the natural world, and volunteered and worked in several Waldorf schools in Colorado, California, and New Jersey. With this deeper experience, she began to fully appreciate the philosophy that stands behind Waldorf education, and joined the first foundation studies program at the Princeton Waldorf School in 2004. Jane began Waldorf teaching for all grades in a biodynamic gardening program, but ultimately found that her heart lies in Early Childhood.
Jane worked at MWS alongside Nancy St Vincent for 8 years in the Primrose Early Childhood classroom before becoming the afternoon teacher in the Morning Glory Early Childhood classroom. She was delighted to start the Acorns Outdoor Parent Child program here, and is now leading our Parent Child program which allows more children to enjoy our programs and explore our beautiful land.
She relates, “Having taken the ‘leap of faith’ with both my (adult) children, I am happy to talk to parents about how this education really succeeds. With its strong foundation in early years development, the arts, and movement, it is an “alive’ academic curriculum that nurtures human relationships.”
Jane’s interests include bringing Waldorf education to all children, woodland work and play, fairy tales and marionettes, gardening, felting and beach walking.
Trissa Luzzi – Early Childhood Assistant
Rebecca Moody – Early Childhood Assistant
Matisse Silva – Extended Day Teacher
BA in Liberal Studies, minor in Child Development, California State University, Monterey Bay
Matisse Silva was born in Salinas, California, grew up in Rhode Island and attended MWS during that time. Matisse has experience in the public school settings with service learning in college and is eager to experience the other side of learning as a teacher. The Waldorf curriculum fascinates Matisse and she is eager to explore this innovative approach to schooling more in depth. She shares, “This is my first year teaching at MWS and I could not be any more excited and eager to come back to my childhood school.” In her free time, Matisse enjoys swimming, writing, hiking, and teaching young children how to swim.
Elementary and Middle School Class Teachers
BA Anthropology, University of Chicago
MA, PhD Archaeology, University of California-Los Angeles
Waldorf Teacher Training Certificate, Sunbridge College
Teaching grades at MWS since 2004, previously had been Waldorf German Teacher and Kindergarten Assistant; Member, Board of Trustees; Current Faculty Chair
Interests include travel, foreign languages, camping and hiking, skiing, and cooking- not necessarily in that order!
Kristina shares, “I love working at MWS because it is such a multifaceted job with a profound sense of community and caring. I get to do great things all day long with great kids and great colleagues. From art and music and poetry, to science, math and writing- the curriculum nurtures the children who come here, as well as the teachers (and hopefully parents as well). It took me awhile to find it- but teaching at MWS is truly my vocation.”
BA Studio Art/Art History, Wheaton College
Foundation Studies, Rudolf Steiner College
MEd, Antioch University New England
Caitlin Costello grew up on the south shore of Massachusetts and attended Wheaton College. Before coming to Meadowbrook, Caitlin has worked at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod, Maine Coast Waldorf School and the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm. She took a few years off to be a co-worker at the Camphill Village in Copake, New York and to begin her family. Caitlin is excited to be a member of this vibrant school community and also excited to again be in southern New England putting down roots . Her interests include making art of all kinds, classical piano, hiking, adventures in vegetable gardening, fending off coyotes from chickens and exploring the great outdoors with family.
BA English, University of Vermont
Teacher Certification, University of North Carolina
M.Ed, Antioch University New England
Andrew Gilligan grew up in Littleton, Colorado. He returned to his family’s New England roots when he graduated from the University of Vermont. Then moving south to Asheville, North Carolina, he worked for four years at an independent school, the Rainbow Community School. During this time he studied Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education in a two-year Foundation Course through the Center for Anthroposophy – while embarking upon teacher certification at the University of North Carolina – and realized his teaching path lay within the Waldorf schools. At the age of 26, he moved to New Hampshire and earned a M.Ed. from Antioch University with certification in both Waldorf and public education. He joined Meadowbrook Waldorf School in 2013. He is a member of the Anthroposophical Society and the Avalon Initiative, a musician, an aspiring gardener, and a pretty good cook.
BA English Literature and Philosophy, Evergreen State College
MEd, Antioch University New England
Sara Gilligan grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and attended the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy. Sara completed her training at Antioch University New England earning a Master’s in Education with a Waldorf teaching certificate and a NH certificate in elementary education. She joined Meadowbrook as a class teacher in 2013.
Waldorf education connects Sara to what she loves best: a sense of community, the outdoors, the performing arts, and being with children. Sara’s interest in Waldorf Education was first piqued by the opportunity to teach the same children for many years. Since entering the classroom, Rudolf Steiner’s theory of education is a real source of inspiration for Sara. Most influential to her is his belief that the class teacher should model for her students being a life-long learner; a person with infinite interest in the world and its diversity. Sara appreciates the wisdom of the Waldorf tradition, and the freedom she has within her classroom to hone her craft and teach the children in her care.
Sara is a cyclist, former front-woman of an all-girl band, and an amateur historian. She lives with her husband, Andrew, and a small frisky dog in Charlestown.
BM in Music with an Outside Field (Math), Mathematics minor, Ithaca College
Karin grew up in Cape Elizabeth, ME and attended Ithaca College in New York. Karin has taught our Extended Day program which provides care for enrolled children after our school day ends and is currently a long-term substitute teacher. Karin has more than three years experience working with children ages 3-18 in both private and public settings including camps, elementary and high schools. She relates she is extremely interested in the Waldorf philosophy and is very excited to be joining the Meadowbrook community! In her spare time, Karin enjoys hiking, reading, and trying new crafts.
BA, History and Anthropology, University of Rhode Island
Waldorf Teacher Certification, Sunbridge College
Biodynamic Farming/Gardening Certification, Pfeiffer Center
Teaching at Meadowbrook since 2000
Heather was drawn to Waldorf Education in 1995 when her daughter was just entering nursery school and Heather was taking classes towards a Master’s degree in Education. The nurturing Waldorf-inspired nursery school was an immediate fit for their family. Over the next few years, Heather learned about Waldorf Education as both a parent and a teacher; that learning has continued ever since.
Heather recalls, “Initially, I was drawn to the ideals of protecting and preserving childhood that I encountered in Waldorf kindergarten. Later, I became inspired by the rigorous academic content that enables students to deeply experience subject matter in various ways. I wish all children could experience a Waldorf Education.”
Committed to living in a sustainable manner, Heather loves that Waldorf students are able to experience the wonders of nature through science and stories, geometry and geography. Both of Heather’s children graduated from MWS and are currently in college.
In her spare time, Heather enjoys yoga, reading, and gardening. A member of her neighborhood CSA since 2000, Heather loves cooking with local, organic foods and baking with chocolate. Happily, she has a class that loves cooking and eating almost as much as she does.
BA Public Relations, San Jose State University
MEd, Antioch University New England
Diana Tesni was “born and raised in San Jose,” in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. She received her BA in Public Relations from San Jose State University and spent many years living in San Francisco, where she worked in both corporate office management and as a doula/childbirth educator/yoga instructor for the homebirth community. She discovered Waldorf Education following the birth of her daughter and subsequently enrolled in Rudolf Steiner College. Following the birth of two additional daughters and a cross-country move to New England, she received her MEd from Antioch New England Graduate School in 2011. She has been a Waldorf class teacher since 2008, teaching at Tidewater School (now Seacoast Waldorf) in Eliot, Maine and Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, New York. She has been at Meadowbrook since 2013, and lives in West Kingston with her family. Diana loves reading, writing, singing, dancing, and the beautiful New England coast. She still does yoga when she can find the time.
Diana relays that, “Experiencing first-hand how Waldorf Education enabled our own three children to reach their potential inspires me to share this remarkable curriculum with others.”
AA Liberal Arts, Community College of Rhode Island
BA Elementary Education, Rhode Island College
Waldorf Teacher Training, Antioch New England and Sunbridge College
Member, Board of Trustees
Patricia Wolf Goldman grew up in a large family in Cranston, Rhode Island. After high school, she traveled before earning her degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis on English and Writing. Tricia studied Waldorf Education at Antioch University and Sunbridge College and did her student teaching at Meadowbrook. She had a family, and joined Meadowbrook as a Parent-Child Educator in 1999. Tricia then taught for four years in Early Childhood before taking her first First Grade class at Meadowbrook. She graduated her 8th Grade in 2012 and began teaching her current class in First Grade in the fall of 2012. Currently,Tricia is deeply engaged in her Fourth Grade class, Norse Mythology, her family, the art of language, and is fascinated by octopuses.
Music, Practical Arts, Movement, Agricultural Arts, and Foreign Language
BFA, Painting, minor in Theater, New Mexico State University
Certified substitute teacher (NM, CA, RI)
Further studies in California, England, and the Center For Creative Studies in Detroit.
Other Interests: Sailing, boatbuilding, vintage bicycles, and old cars, particularly Volvo station wagons.
Ben’s wife Diana Carlson introduced him to Waldorf Education 12 years ago. He was restoring antique sailboats and was really immersed in making each part by hand from the most appropriate piece of wood available. Nothing was stamped out at a factory, even the paint was local.
Ben sees the connection with a Waldorf Education, “It takes a lot of energy to do something more personal, more individualized. It’s hard to find a group of people who really believe this and are actually committed to making the effort.”
MS in Agricultural Engineering, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen/Germany
Taught Animal Nutrition Classes at Justus-Liebig University
Anne has taught at MWS since 2001.
Other Interests: Coaching and playing basketball. Assistant Head Coach of an AAU team winning the Div. 3 10th grade National Championship in July 2015. Played professional basketball for 10+ yrs on Division 1, 2 and 3 teams in Germany.
Anne was born in Wiesbaden, Germany. After moving to the United States, she taught German to children at the YMCA, before joining MWS in 2001. Her two daughters have attended MWS since nursery school. Anne enjoys sharing her German heritage and culture with her students and feels Waldorf Education encourages students to become world citizens.
Kelly Hanks – Agricultural Arts
Cynthian Knight – Chorus / Singing Teacher
BA Sports Management, SUNY Cortland
Steve grew up in upstate NY with his mom, grandparents, and younger siblings. He graduated from SUNY Cortland with a Sports Management degree and worked as part of a youth basketball organization. Teaching children and adults with special needs at sports camps was something that largely shaped his path.
Steve relates, “Teaching has always been something I have felt very strongly about, but it took me a little longer to get there. Moving to Rhode Island and becoming a part of the Meadowbrook community has been a true gift. I am very excited to be here.”
Ann Lewis – Handwork Teacher
BFA, University of Texas and graduate work in Textile Surface Design, University of Washington
Montessori Teacher Certificate, Primary Level, Northeast Montessori Institute
Ongoing Teacher Training in Handwork at Fibercraft Studio, Threefold Education Center
Tara McIntire – Handwork Teacher
BFA, Jewelry & Metalsmithing, Rhode Island School of Design
Tara joined the Meadowbrook Community in 2012 when her two children were in kindergarten and the parent-child program. She joined the parent handwork group and thought, “If I were to ever teach, THIS would be an awesome place to be a teacher!” Tara started volunteering in handwork classes shortly after, eventually becoming Handwork Assistant, and is now the Handwork Teacher for grades 5-8.
In her spare time, Tara enjoys working creatively in fiber crafts, woodworking, metalwork, and even blacksmithing. She also enjoys spending time with family, cooking, reading, gardening, playing piano, swimming, and being in and near the ocean.
William Ouimette attended the Hartford Conservatory of Music, studying recorder with John Kelsey, percussion with Tele Lesbines, and music theory with Howard Parsons. He further studied recorder at The Hartt College of Music with Gordon Smith. Bill completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Rhode Island, and further studied recorder performance of 18th century music with Bernard Krainis of the New York Recorder Guild in New York City. Mr Ouimette has performed recorder concerts in Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and with the San Diego Renaissance Fair in Tempe, AZ.
Etta Parsons – Handwork Assistant
Administration and Staff
BA Accounting, Bethany College, Bethany, WV
Experience in Public Accounting and Business Management
Jenn has been a parent in the community since 1997.
Jenn has served the school in many capacities (from weeding to long range planning) over the years and considers her involvement with MWS as a blessing in her life.
“We were looking for a preschool for our 3 year old with no intention of staying beyond early childhood. We discovered an incredible education for all of our children and ourselves, a community to share our lives with, and an appreciation for simple living. I consider it a privilege to be able to work collaboratively with our faculty and staff in support of the mission of MWS”.
Jenn and her husband are the proud parents of three Meadowbrook alumni and two current students, and are happy to share their observations of how this education continues to support their children.
They live in Jamestown where Jenn enjoys being with her family, spending time outdoors, gardening, and Svaroopa yoga.
BA Psychology, Simmons College
MBA Marketing and Finance, University of Rhode Island
Educational Support/Waldorf Remedial Education Certificate, Sunbridge College
Certified intelligence and developmental test administrator, Simmons College
Lin spent the early part of her career in community mental health, including a special education school and a child development center, working with children and young adults who struggled with learning, emotional, social, and behavioral challenges. She first became acquainted with Waldorf Education during a college year abroad program living in Sweden and volunteering at a “Steiner School”. While later serving as a program manager helping adults to live independently in the community, Lin became inspired by the same Waldorf principles and developed small business initiatives to employ her clients. This experience led her to return to school for an MBA and move to the business sector for fifteen years as a Marketing Director.
Lin and her family have been a part of the Meadowbrook community for 22 years. She co-founded the first parent organization, chaired the Holiday Faire, and worked as the Administrator. For the past ten years, Lin has served as a remedial tutor, providing developmental and educational therapeutic support services to MWS children with learning challenges.
“This is the perfect job for me”, says Lin. “It combines my knowledge of child development, bahavioral health, and learning challenges with my administrative and program development skills — all within a caring, learning community that encourages personal growth. I love working collaboratively with parents and teachers as part of the Integrated Support Team to help children succeed in their journey at Meadowbrook.”
Lin enjoys international travel, reading, foreign languages, cooking, sailing, kayaking, and spending time with family and friends, including her young grandson.
BS Biology, University of Vermont
MS Nutritional Sciences, University of Vermont
Chris grew up in the Granite Capital of the World, Barre, Vermont. After graduating from the University of Vermont, she moved to Connecticut and spent 12 years as a bench biologist studying Osteoporosis and Muscle Frailty. She left corporate science after the birth of her eldest daughter. It was also through this daughter that she and her family discovered Meadowbrook Waldorf School. At Meadowbrook, her family discovered there was community of parents and teachers committed to honoring childhood while encouraging children to stretch academically, physically and socially. She is now Admissions Coordinator at Meadowbrook Waldorf School and spends her work life helping other families decide whether a Waldorf Education is right for them. She loves spending time with her daughters, and as an adult tries to incorporate some of the foundational ideas of the Waldorf Early Childhood curriculum into her daily life: spend time outdoors, have a rhythm to your days, explore the world with wonder, balance intellectual and creative activities, eat bread and share soup.
Andrew Palmer is the proud holder of an education money can’t buy: 30 years in the skilled trades where he started as a laborer and worked his way up to lead AP Construction and Andrew Palmer Carpentry. Andrew brings this vast and wide-ranging experience to facilities at MWS. Andrew’s three children have been enrolled in Meadowbrook Waldorf School since Early Childhood, with a two year break abroad in New Zealand. Andrew loves to garden and raise livestock with a goal of feeding his family year ’round with his hand-raised food. Andrew initially applied for this job because it would take him away from job sites, where he found he was spending too much time away from his family and missing birthday parties and other celebrations.
He found even more at MWS, “How surprised I was and how fortunate I am to watch the children move through their days at school. They encourage me, and I hope others, to do what I can to support the school.
Beth discovered Waldorf Education in 1987 while working as a registered nurse in her country of origin, the United Kingdom. She subsequently became a personal chef, working on ocean going yachts and at homes across America, before landing in Rhode Island. She joined the Meadowbrook community in 2006 and her two children are now in middle school. Beth began working at MWS as a handwork then kindergarten assistant, developing a strong interest in anthroposophy. She is passionate about community work and has a deep love of this community in particular. She is an active member of the MPA and the Adult Education committee.