Dedicated & Experienced

Whistler Waldorf School’s faculty consists of all teachers employed at the school and is responsible for delivering the Waldorf curriculum to the students. Our Administration Team works together to support the Faculty of Teachers, Board of Trustees, and Parent Council and ensures the smooth functioning of daily operations of the school, including admissions, implementation of BC Ministry of Education policies, enrollment, facility management, community relations, and marketing.

Quick links:

ADMINISTRATION  |  HIGH SCHOOL  |  GRADE SCHOOL  |  SPECIAL SUBJECT STUDENT SUPPORT |  EARLY YEARS  & BOARD OF TRUSTEES

(Revised December 2021)

Administration

Rubeena Sandhu

Head of School

As British Columbia Sub-regional Representative of AWSNA since 2018, current Head of School of Whistler Waldorf School, and previous co-founder of Okanagan Waldorf School,  Rubeena is committed to fostering social renewal, educational quality, and Waldorf principles within the Waldorf Education movement and beyond. She is hopeful about the future and passionate about “helping the helpers”. She is dedicated to serving the people of our future: children, youth and young adults. Currently completing a Masters in Counselling Psychology, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Grades teaching certificate from the West Coast Institute of Anthroposophy, Rubeena has been a Waldorf educator, administrator and board member for the last 14 years. Her skill sets and interests have led her into governance work, teacher education, and helping Waldorf schools integrate provincial standards and requirements in practical, collaborative, and innovative ways. Rubeena is the proud parent of her son, a WWS graduate, and her daughter who is currently in Gr. 9 at the Whistler Waldorf School.

Jennifer Dodds

Director of Advancement

Ms. Dodds serves as our Director of Advancement. She has a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Masters of Arts Education. She has over ten years of non-profit administrative experience and extensive experience working in the education sector. Jen has been involved with Waldorf education since 2006 and currently has three daughters enrolled in the school. In addition to being a Waldorf parent, she is also a certified Simplicity Parenting Coach.

Jen’s door is always open and she warmly welcomes ideas on how we can further deepen our collective understanding of Waldorf education and child development through Parent Enrichment offerings and how we can cultivate increased community connection.

Brian Gohlke

Director of Business and Finance

Mr. Gohlke joined WWS in 2015 as the Grade 7 teacher. Brian was a class teacher at the Vancouver Waldorf School since 2007, taking a class from Grade 2 – 7 and then another class for Grade 7 and 8.

Brian has a BA in Economics and International Business and a Diploma in Rudolf Steiner Education, having completed his Waldorf teacher training in New Zealand in 2006. Previous to his work as a Waldorf teacher, Brian worked as a class teacher for eight years at a school in Taiwan.

Ali Blancher

Director of Education; HS Math & Science

Ms. Blancher’s education includes Bachelor degrees in Geography and Environmental Sciences from Queen’s University, and a Bachelor of Education from UBC. She is currently completing her Waldorf high school teacher training in math, Life Sciences, and Physical Sciences at the Centre for Anthroposophy in New Hampshire.

Ali moved to Whistler in 2005, and worked as a teaching assistant in Whistler and Pemberton for two years. She first joined Whistler Waldorf in 2009 as a teaching assistant in the Early Years program and fell in love with the school. She was therefore thrilled to return as a science, math and resource teacher in 2011 after completing her Bachelor of Education. Ali gained extensive experience with adolescents over past ten years directing leadership programs, coaching field hockey and softball, and working at the Pemberton Secondary School. She loves the Whistler life with all of its outdoor activities and athletic opportunities.

Maeve Bellmore

School Receptionist

Maeve Bellmore, born in Dublin, Ireland. Island hopped to London, UK, then again some (many) years later after finishing her Art degree, landed in Whistler in 2006.  For the past thirteen years Maeve have been working in the hospitality and retail industry, nine years of which were managing a children’s retail store, enjoying the high paced life of sales and customer service. In her spare time she loves traveling, embracing the great outdoors and lakeside chilling. Maeve is also an artist, having had many exhibits in town, and is currently writing & illustrating children’s stories, inspired by her young daughter Areli.

Cassie Hields

Business Manager

Cassie joined WWS in 2020 after moving to Canada from Northern England.  After graduating, Cassie began her career in Private business administration and accounting. She comes to Waldorf with extensive experience in the Business, Financial and Administrative industry and is thrilled to be working in the Education sector for a thriving Non-Profit Organization. Originally from the UK, Cassie’s passion for mountain living lead her to spending some time in the European Alpes before relocating to Whistler. She has settled in to the Whistler Lifestyle with ease and so when away from her desk of spreadsheets and numbers, you can catch Cassie on the mountain. In her spare time she enjoys downhill mountain biking, ski touring, or an early morning paddleboard at the lakes with a coffee in hand. Cassie resonates with the Waldorf philosophy of learning and is grateful to be part of the team.

Shelby Jenkins

Community Development & EY Admissions Manager

Coming soon…

Cristiana Spooner

Communications Manager

Cristiana Spooner has been the Communications Manager for WWS since May of 2019. She has over 25 years of experience working in communications design, public relations & online marketing in Whistler, with a Visual Design Arts and Film degree. When not at WWS, Cristiana is busy running her own communications and design company, as well as imparting her experience to post-secondary students at Whistler Adventure School’s Media & Marketing program as a Videography and Photography Instructor. When not designing Cristiana can be found gathering inspiration from skiing, running and biking around Whistler with her border collie Chinook.

Ms. Ellen Maclean

Ellen Zelikovitz

High School Chair; Math & Science

On Maternity Leave for 2021/22

Mrs. Zelikovitz is part of our High School Science and Math teacher team as well as coordinating the High School’s curriculum as High School Chair. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, and a Bachelor of Education with a focus on Environmental science, Biology and experiential education.

Ellen also recently completed her Masters in Education and Waldorf High School Teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College, Sacramento.

Rachel Colvin

Interim High School Chair for 2021/22; HS Arts

Mrs. Colvin, our High School Arts Teacher will act as the Interim High School Chair during Mrs. Zelikovitz’s maternity leave. Mrs. Colvin is in her second year with us at Whistler Waldorf School, having come from Sophia Mundi Steiner School in Melbourne, Australia. She holds a double-bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and in History. She is currently undertaking her Master’s Degree in Waldorf Education through the Center for Anthroposophy and Antioch University. She is excited to help support the school in this role.

Amy Wells

Interim Lower School Chair; Grade 7 Teacher

Ms. Wells will be the Lower School Chair starting in January 2022, as well as teaching Grade 7 for the remainder of the school year.

Gabriel Alden-Hull

Early Years Chair & EY Licensing Manager

Gabriel Alden-Hull joined WWS in the 2020. Waldorf Education is the big tent where Gabriel’s wide range of curiosity and practice has found a home. She received her BFA in music composition at SFU and went on to work in non-profit arts administration, where she discovered her interest in organizational life and human collaboration. Gabriel became a part of the Waldorf movement in 2007 as a parent at Squamish Waldorf School, and later served there as board member, administrator, and music teacher learning her subject teaching certificate in music. She studied Waldorf school administration through Leading with Spirit, and attended Waldorf intensives in teaching music through the Grades. She went on to serve as Principal of Squamish Waldorf School. Outside of school, Gabriel enjoys exploration in the wilderness, music, writing, philosophy, the arts, literature, handcrafts, cooking, and time with family and friends.

Harriet Haines

Educational Administrator; High School Career Life Coordinator & Academic Advisor

Beginning life in the UK, Harriet completed a BSc in Sport & Exercise Science and a PGCert in Professional Studies in Education (Primary PE Specialist). During her studies, she also competed in figure skating, achieving a silver medal in the Artistic category at the British Adult Championships, 2014. After working as a Year 4 Class Teacher in London, she went on to teach PE & Performing Arts across North Yorkshire for students aged 4-11.

Upon arrival to Canada, Harriet became acquainted with Canadian schools as an Education Assistant in Banff, AB before her love for the mountains and lakes of BC brought her to Squamish. Here she spent three years broadening her experience at an Outdoor Environmental & Indigenous Cultural Education Centre. This involved teaching Outdoor Environmental Education programs (Grades 1-12), providing mentorship for high school students, and coordinating the program administration.

Harriet is excited to draw on these experiences as she provides administrative support for the High School and guidance for students with Exchange, Fundraising and Post-Secondary Planning. Outside of work, she enjoys playing music (violin, guitar, ukulele) and various activities (yoga, skiing, cold-water swimming).

High School Faculty

Ms. Charlotte Jacklein

Charlotte Jacklein

Outdoor Education &  Humanities

Ms. Jacklein joined the Whistler Waldorf School faculty in 2015 as a high school humanities and outdoor education teacher. Prior to coming to Whistler, Charlotte taught in both public and independent schools, most recently at the Halton Waldorf School in Ontario as a class teacher. She has an Honours BA from University of Waterloo in English with a Minor in Peace and Conflict Studies, a Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University in English and OE3 (Outdoor Experiential Environmental Education), and a Masters of Education and Waldorf teacher training from Antioch University New England.

A Waldorf graduate herself, Charlotte is grateful that this remarkable opportunity gave her a strong foundation and inspired a deep commitment to lifelong learning. In addition to her classroom teaching, Charlotte worked as a wilderness guide and outdoor instructor in Canada and internationally. Charlotte is a member of Pemberton Search and Rescue, plays viola with the Sea to Sky String Orchestra, and can often be found outside and/or curled up with a book.

Mr. Stephen Maskell

Stephen Maskell

Math & Science

Mr. Maskell grew up in Wales and while studying at Cardiff High School he took part in an engineering competition which sparked his want to pursue a career in a technical field. Upon graduation, he went on to study Aerospace Engineering at University of Hertfordshire with an exchange year at West Virginia University in the United States. During university, Steve continued volunteering with Scouts and participating in outdoor activities. It became apparent that working with children and youth was the direction he wanted to take.

The next few years were spent working with young people and combining his love for the outdoors by managing a Scout Campsite and working in the outdoor education sector. During this time, Mr. Maskell completed a Graduate Apprenticeship in Outdoor Education. There was something missing though; that technical, analytical side wanted to be aired and so he worked at the Ministry of Defence before completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Steve then moved to Whistler and after working in the adult education sector at Blackcomb Aviation, he has now returned to what he loves, teaching mathematics to awesome adults of the future.

Mr. Wes Feagan

Wes Feagan

French & English

Mr. Feagan joined Whistler Waldorf School in 2013, working in student support as a classroom assistant. He brings over 15 years of experience and training working in special needs education and in children’s recreation. He completed a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Victoria, and post grad studies in Australia in group facilitation, HR and education. Although Wes was born and grew up in Toronto, he is drawn to the mountains of BC and loves his life in Whistler.  Along with his wife and two children, Wes takes full advantage of the beautiful outdoor environment in Whistler through running, mountain biking, skiing, as well as playing and coaching soccer.

Emma Davy

HS Science & Math 

Bio Coming soon…

Grade School Faculty

Olivia Hanna

Grade 1

Ms. Hanna joined Whistler Waldorf School in 2019 as a Substitute Briar Rose teacher. Prior to joining WWS, Ms. Hanna studied Eurhythmy in Switzerland, Germany and New York for almost 5 years, including going on tour and giving eurhythmy performances in Europe, USA and Canada. She taught eurhythmy in Grades 1–8 at Waldorf Academy in Toronto, where she was also formerly a class teacher for Grades 1 and 2 before beginning her eurhythmy training. She has been a Substitute Teacher at the Toronto Waldorf School in a range of subjects, spanning Early Years to Grade 8. Ms. Hanna has designed and led innovative Waldorf summer camp programs with a focus on movement and outdoor education together with arts and literature. She has been an active member of the Therapeutic Circle at Waldorf Academy and acted as a delegate to the Association of Waldorf School of North America. Ms. Hanna holds a B.A. in General Arts from the University of Guelph, Ontario and a Diploma in Rudolf Steiner Education from Taruna College, New Zealand. She also completed a 4-year Diploma in Eurhythmy from Eurythmeum CH, Switzerland and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Stage Eurhythmy from Eurhythmy Spring Valley, New York. She is an alumna of the Toronto Waldorf School. Ms. Hanna enjoys travel, hiking, camping and skiing.

Georgia Johnson

Grade 2 Co-teacher

Ms. Georgia Johnson is delighted to join the faculty at Whistler Waldorf School. She recently returned to BC after completing a Master’s Degree in Waldorf Education in Stuttgart, Germany. During her training, Ms. Johnson complete two practica teaching at the Whistler Waldorf School in Grades 1 and 3. Prior to her teaching career, Ms. Johnson completed a BFA in Theatre at New York University. Her passion for creativity, combined with her love of learning have found a natural synthesis in Waldorf Education.

Having grown up in Vancouver, BC and spending her childhood frequenting Whistler, Ms. Johnson is excited to return to this mountain community. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, gardening, cooking and playing music.

Eleanor West

Grade 2 Co-Teacher; French Teacher

Ms. West joined WWS this academic year and as well as teaching French also co-teaches Grade 2. Eleanor is originally from Luxembourg (where yes, we speak Luxembourgish, and are technically called ‘Luxembourgers’) through her family originate from Belgium and England. Eleanor has a degree in Sociology and a Masters in Child Education from King’s College London. Following her studies, Eleanor started her teaching career in a London Primary School teaching Kindergarten through to Grade 6. She specialized in and headed up the Math and French department as well as working in conjunction with a University as a teacher trainer. After a short career break travelling South America and landing in Canada, Eleanor decided Whistler was to become home and the classroom beckoned again.  When not teaching she enjoys skiing, biking and scouting for good cheese.

Mollianne Reynolds

Grade 3 & 4 Co-Teacher

Ms. Reynolds is caring, creative  and dedicated. She combines a firm hand with a sense of humour to make her an adored teacher and faculty member. Mollianne attended Waldorf schools in Vancouver, Germany and Toronto, and after a few years in the health and vitamin industry and at a bio-dynamic farm, she decided to become a Waldorf teacher herself. With a Bachelor’s degree in English under her belt already, she completed a 2-year Waldorf Teacher Training program at the world’s first Waldorf Teacher Training Institute in Stuttgart, Germany.

Mollianne joined Whistler Waldorf in 2004 as a class teacher for a Grade 6 to 7 before taking on a Grade 1 in 2006. After taking this class to Grade 6 and another class from 2-4, she most recently indulged her creative side, focussing on the handwork curriculum from grades 1-7. She looks forward to returning to class teaching with Grade One this year. In addition to exploring the fabric arts, Mollianne enjoys creating in chalk, watercolour, pencil and sometimes even music. When not at school, she can be found inventing children’s stories and cuddling with her two dogs in Pemberton.

Emmy Claire Johnson

Grade 3 &  4 Co-Teacher

Ms. Johnson grew up on the extremely remote Shetland Islands (Scotland), surrounded by knitting and folk music. Early in life she developed a passion for Sports and Education which lead to her gaining her Bachelors degree in Physical Education at the University of Edinburgh. After University she took some time to focus on family and spent these years coaching junior elite wakeboarding across the UK and officiating ski events across Europe. In 2017 she made the move from Europe to Canada and whistler immediately became home. In early 2021 she began work at the Whistler Waldorf school as an Educational assistant and soon enrolled in the West Coast Institute’s Grade School training course in order to broaden her knowledge of education. When she’s not at school you’re likely to find Ms. Johnson up the mountain, in her kitchen baking desserts, playing music or curled on the couch with her latest knitting/crochet project.

Nina Moore

Grade 5

Ms. Moore joined the Whistler Waldorf School in 2010, working in the Early Years department as a Preschool teacher, Parent-Child program facilitator and Kindergarten teacher.

She completed her Waldorf Grade School Teaching Certificate in 2015, through studying at the West Coast Institute and the Rudolph Steiner Centre, Toronto, and took her first Grades class in 2017.

She has two children enrolled in the school.

Tracey Sheppard

Grade 6

Ms. Sheppard joined WWS in 2017.  Prior to this, she taught grades 4-7 as well as Health and Physical Education at an independent school on the east coast of Australia.  Tracey has a degree in Biology from the University of Victoria, a coaching diploma through the National Coaching Institute and a graduate diploma in teaching from Griffith University in Australia.  Since her return to Canada, Ms. Sheppard has also studied special education and is currently enrolled at the West Coast Institute where she is continuing her teacher training in Waldorf Education.

When Tracey is not in class, you will find her playing outside with her family, stretched out on the yoga mat, or hidden away with a good book.

Amy Wells

Grade 7

Ms. Wells has fond childhood memories growing up in Newfoundland and Labrador. Following her Bachelor of Science at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Amy moved to Toronto to study at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. The call of the ocean enticed her to travel west and she settled on Vancouver Island. Amy began a small Naturopathic Medical clinic and practiced for five years. When researching schooling options for their older son, Waldorf education also inspired Amy to begin her second career. She completed her Waldorf Teacher training with the West Coast Institute and joined Comox Valley Waldorf School in September 2012 as a Kindergarten Assistant and then Class One Teacher. She then guided them through the grades until they graduated in June 2020. Amy and her family have moved to Whistler to continue their journey in Waldorf Education.

Special Subject Faculty

Ms. Katherine Fawcett

Katherine Fawcett

Lower School Music

Ms. Fawcett has been teaching music for over 30 years. She began as a piano teacher, and moved into violin and voice at Whistler Waldorf School. Katherine has lived all over Canada, including Montreal, Yellowknife, Calgary and Canmore, and even spent several years in Japan where she taught English.

She and her husband currently live in Squamish with their children Jack  and Lilah. Katherine is also a yoga enthusiast, trail runner, skier, an award-winning writer and a member of the Sea to Sky Orchestra.

Yuko Iwanaga

Strings

Ms. Iwanaga supports the High School Music Dept. with her specialty in teaching various string instruments. Yuko studied the Suzuki Method in Japan and completed a post graduate degree in Music. After completing the Suzuki Method, she played in a String Orchestra and a quartet before coming to Canada for the mountains. She has been teaching violin privately for many years in the Sea to Sky corridor and created the Sea to Sky string orchestra to share her passion for music in ensembles.

In her free time, you can find her in the coast mountains and in the U.S. backcountry skiing, climbing and hiking. And if she doesn’t have a committed performance soon, she skateboards and mountain bikes. She lives with her husband and two cats in Squamish.

Matilda Mealiff

Physical Education & Outdoor Education Coordinator

Miss Mealiff is from Perth, Western Australia, and has always been an avid athlete since she was young, having competed in swimming, athletics, touch rugby, cross country, and netball, as well as nationally and internationally in gymnastics. With over 15 years coaching experience, Matilda has worked with the YMCA, Triathlon WA, and Gymnastics Australia facilitating sport programs in schools and mentoring classroom teachers. Miss Mealiff graduated from the University of Notre Dame in Perth with a Bachelor of Health and PE. Her first experience teaching in rural Australia with Gr.7-12 classes was both a challenging and incredible experience that ignited her teaching career.  Traveling to the UK, she then taught at an independent school in London, where one of her favorite memories was watching the Queen drive by as she was teaching rounders in Hyde Park. Having fallen in love with Whistler’s active lifestyle,  you will find Matilda playing sports, hiking, biking, skiing, or trail running. She is looking forward to growing the physical education and outdoor education programs at WWS.

Rachel Colvin

High School Arts

Rachel Colvin is from Australia with her husband, Mark, and their 3 kids (Kai,  Jackson and Summer), where she worked as a teacher, and Mark as a Chiropractor. Their children have grown up attending a Waldorf school. Returning to North America in 2021, their decision to move was prompted by the desire to be closer to their parents. Rachel began her teaching career in Arizona, having graduated with a double degree in Art: Fine Art, and History: International Studies, with a minor in Spanish, and has completed many trips volunteering in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Rachel loves the outdoors, is passionate about caring for the environment, loves cooking from scratch, all things art, sewing, movies, books and board games. She also has an innate desire to make the world a better place. Most recently she worked with Equality Australia to stand up for the dignity, value and rights of the LGBTQ community.

Ms. Romy Grayson

Romy Grayson

Practical Arts & Handwork

Ms. Grayson joined Whistler Waldorf in November 2016. She has worked as a certified Carpenter in the Whistler area for over 10 years and prior to that, was an Administrative Assistant and Event Manager for over 13 years.

Romy was born in Eastern Germany and grew up in Stuttgart. She decided to come to Whistler with her dog in 2006 on a Work and Travel Permit and never left. She is now Canadian and has her daughter attending the school.

Eleanor West

French

Bio coming soon…

Student Support Department

Melissa Smith

High School Student Support Chair & HS Science

Melissa and her two youngest children are so happy to join Whistler Waldorf School .  After 4 years living in Cairo, Egypt they feel particularly fortunate to be immersed in the lush biodiversity of Whistler and embraced by the school community. While originally from southern Ontario, this is not Melissa’s first time on Canada’s West Coast.  She completed her BSc in Biology at the University of Victoria.  Cairo also was not Melissa’s first time living abroad.  She spent 2.5 years in Ghana, West Africa with Voluntary Service Overseas.  Melissa is a lover of travel and the new experiences and relationships it affords.  She is committed to volunteerism and trying to make the world a better place, one person and smile at a time.

In addition to her BSc, Melissa holds a BEd in Int./Senior Science from Brock University and an MSc (thesis remaining) in Sustainable Development from the American University in Cairo.  She draws on a near decade of high school teaching, two decades of parenting, and a colourful collection of community, rock’n’roll, creative, and unexpected experiences and adventures to reach her students.  Ultimately, Melissa is a fan of humility, humanity, and humour.

Tracey Sheppard

Lower School Support Chair

Ms. Sheppard joined WWS in 2017.  Prior to this, she taught grades 4-7 as well as Health and Physical Education at an independent school on the east coast of Australia.  Tracey has a degree in Biology from the University of Victoria, a coaching diploma through the National Coaching Institute and a graduate diploma in teaching from Griffith University in Australia.  Since her return to Canada, Ms. Sheppard has also studied special education and is currently enrolled at the West Coast Institute where she is continuing her teacher training in Waldorf Education.

When Tracey is not in class, you will find her playing outside with her family, stretched out on the yoga mat, or hidden away with a good book.

Edrie Henderson

High School Student Support Manager

Ms. Henderson provides teaching support to our Grade School and High School students. She has a BSc from UBC in Physiological Psychology, a Diploma in Outdoor Recreation Management from Capilano College and a Diploma in Special Education for Teaching Assistants from Kwantlen. Edrie worked as a Wilderness Trip Leader for five years in the Whistler and Pemberton area taking at risk youth on extended wilderness canoe, backcountry skiing and backpacking trips. Ms. Henderson has also worked with youth in remote areas of Alberta and has worked over 20 years as an educational assistant and private tutor.

Edrie grew up in Vancouver and now lives in Pemberton with her husband. She has a son and a daughter. Ms. Henderson is excited to be living where she used to work and is especially happy to be working at the Whistler Waldorf school.

Megan Hewitt

Lower School Student Support Manager

Ms. Hewitt provides learning support for our lower school as a classroom assistant. She earned her BA in Journalism from California State University, Chico in 1995 and completed her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in 1998. She taught grade school for seven years and loved the challenges, opportunities and learning it brought into her life.

Once in Whistler, which she has lovingly called home since 2005, she began work at the Whistler Youth Centre and LUNA (Late & Unique Nighttime Alternatives) designing programs for youth.  At this time she started a family with her husband, Lon. Her daughter Lola, and son Niko, both attend Whistler Waldorf. Living in the snow-covered mountains has been a childhood dream since riding ski lifts in California, Utah and Colorado on family ski trips. And although living in Whistler is her dream come true, she still loves to soak up the sun, ride the waves and spend time with family in California.

Early Years – EYC & Spruce Grove

Mrs. Ute Grimm

Ute Grimm

Early Years Centre Spring Creek Teacher

Mrs. Grimm moved with her family from Germany where being a Waldorf alumnus herself, she completed her Eurythmy training in Stuttgart and taught Euythmy for more than twenty years. Following this, she turned to her long time passion of helping children with special needs and completed a post graduate diploma for Waldorf Class Teachers, as well as a Certificate in Remedial Education. Mrs. Grimm worked as a full time Remedial Specialist at the Vancouver Waldorf School for five years, and then stepped into a class teacher position. Her deep understanding of anthroposophy, her remedial background, her rich experience in Eurythmy and, last but not least, raising four children has contributed to her success in teaching, remedial work and consulting with parents.

Ute has enjoyed continuing her teaching career at the Whistler Waldorf School as Eurythmy and Remedial teacher, as well as getting to know the Whistler Waldorf School community. Ute has been appointed as our school’s 1st Liaison to the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.

Heather Mackenzie

Early Years Centre Spring Creek Teacher

Mrs. MacKenzie is a teaching assistant providing student support and assistance with the Early Years program. Growing up in the highlands of Scotland, Heather fell in love with Whistler when on holiday almost 10 years ago, and made it her mission to one day call this place home. In March 2019, she moved to Pemberton with her husband and dog; they love the beauty, serenity and the incredible outdoor activities. In 2015 Heather graduated from Strathclyde University with a BSc in Prosthetics and Orthotics. She then went on to work in hospitals and specialist schools as an Orthotist for two years, before switching careers and working at a Camphill Community in rural Scotland.

Heather is currently doing an ECEA course as she is passionate about the Waldorf ethos.

Autumn Lancaster

Briar Rose Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Lancaster is thrilled to join the Early Years teaching team at WWS. Prior to coming to Whistler, she taught both Junior and Senior Kindergarten as well as Grade Three at Crofton House School in Vancouver. She has a BA from UBC with a major in visual arts and a BED from UBC with a focus on elementary arts-based education. During her elementary school years, Autumn had the opportunity to attend Sunrise Waldorf School  and a unique wilderness school in the West Kootenays. Prior to teaching, Ms. Lancaster lived in Calgary and gained ten years of experience in private childcare; including daycare, summer camps, tutoring and nannying. She also volunteered at the children’s art gallery and ran a photography darkroom and classes at Windsorhouse. When Ms. Lancaster is not teaching, she explores the outdoor wonders that Whistler has to provide, such as snowboarding, mountain biking and paddling with her son. Her passion for working with the early years as well as the arts support her in bringing a sense of wonder, curiosity and play into her classroom.

Ms. Orsa Horvath

Orsa Horvath

Little Cedars Teacher

Ms. Horvath first joined the Whistler Waldorf  School in 2010 and was deeply moved by the peaceful setting offered to the children, as well as the ideas and philosophy behind Waldorf Education, which reminded her of her own childhood in Europe. Although she first completed a Business Degree at the Budapest Business School in Hungary, she had always felt a strong desire to work with children. Orsa moved to Canada in 1999 and worked for Whistler Blackcomb, coaching skiing for 14 years, working with children between 3-12 years of age.  She completed a TESOL Diploma at Vancouver Community College, and taught ESL in the summer months in Whistler. Orsa completed her Early Childhood Education certificate in June 2013 and has completed her Waldorf Early Years training in May 2015. She loves the active outdoor life in Whistler, which fits perfectly with the Waldorf Early Years curriculum of closely following the beautiful changes that take place in our surrounding natural environment.

Tracy Graham

Little Cedars Teacher

Tracy has been working on and off at WWS since 2003 and first discovered Waldorf education while working at a daycare in Nelson.  She immediately fell in love with the philosophy and the warm, nurturing classroom and when she initially stepped into the Nelson Waldorf Kindergarten, it felt like coming home. There was bread making, storytelling and lots of singing. A move to Ottawa the next year, Tracy worked as a Waldorf Early Years Assistant at Ottawa’s Parsival Waldorf School. When she returned the next year, she was excited to hear about Whistler’s Waldorf School.

A lifelong learner, Tracy has an ECE Teacher Certificate and Bachelor of Education. Over the years she has taught Kindergarten and Playschool, and now is the Lead ECE teacher at the Early Years Center. She loves working and playing in Whistler with her husband and daughter – skiing, hiking together and spending time camping. When Tracy is not outside, you will find her on a yoga mat or baking sweet treats for  family and friends.

Akiho Matsunaga

Early Years Assistant

Ms. Matsunaga has worked with young children over 25 years in Japan, Canada and Indonesia as a teacher and cultural exchange facilitator.  After completing ECE diploma and BA in Child and Youth Care at Malaspina University-College on Vancouver Island, she moved to Whistler in 2001, drawn to the beauty of the summer mountain’s nature.   Since then, Ms. Matsunaga has worked for daycares and preschools in Whistler and Pemberton as a teacher, HR assistant and supported child care workers.  She started substituting at Whistler Waldorf in 2012 and became an Assistant Preschool and Kindergarten teacher since September 2018.  Originally from Hiroshima, Japan, she obtained a BSc in Biology from Shimane University.  She lives in Whistler and enjoys family rock climbing, as well as growing vegetables at Community Garden during summer. Ms. Matsunaga has two children that attend Whistler Waldorf.

Ms. Karina Pena

Karina Pena

Early Years Assistant

Ms. Pena has nearly 15 years of experience as an assistant teacher and co-teacher in both the playschool and kindergarten classes at Whistler Waldorf. She completed her ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) certification in 2010, and continues to work towards her Waldorf Teacher Training – Early Childhood certification each summer.

Karina  has several years experience as a nanny, and also worked at Whistler Blackcomb. She is originally from Peru.

Lauren Tanner

Early Years Assistant

Ms. Tanner is an early childhood educator and teaching assistant who is delighted to be joining the WWS team. As someone who is passionate about bringing her love of the outdoors into the classroom, Ms. Tanner feels that WWS is the perfect next step for her. Ms. Tanner’s education includes a BA in psychology from the University of Victoria and an ECEA certificate from the Pacific Rim Institute. She has been working with children for over seven years, from private nannying to respite care to preschool teachings an early childhood educator at a nature-based preschool on Vancouver Island. Ms. Tanner is very excited to gain experience working with the Waldorf ethos and learning more about all it has to offer. So far, she has already been profoundly touched by the warm, nurturing, and serene environment offered by Waldorf education. When she is not teaching, Ms. Tanner can be found hiking, training for half marathons, camping, and learning to ski. She very much looks forward to getting to know the children and families that make up the WWS community.