Faculty and Staff

Whistler Waldorf School Faculty and Staff

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.

ADMINISTRATION  |  HIGH SCHOOL  |  GRADE SCHOOL  |  STUDENT SUPPORT |  EARLY YEARS

Administration

Rubeena Sandhu: Head of School

Rubeena Sandhu joined Whistler Waldorf School in 2015 as the Grade 6 class teacher. She led this class through to their high school years continuing as Guardian, facilitating healthy relationships in both student and parent work. Her expertise as a teacher at the Whistler Waldorf School spans both the lower school and high school, giving her first-hand experience of how our school values are implemented in the classroom. During this time as a teacher, Rubeena fostered countless relationships with students, parents and faculty. She took on leadership roles on the Board of Trustees, Student Support Executive Group and the High School Task Force. Supporting all areas of the school has fostered the healthy development of our students and program.

Prior to joining Whistler Waldorf, Rubeena was a founding parent and teacher at the Cedar Bridge School in Lumby, BC, a Waldorf-inspired farm and forest-based early childhood and grade school. Rubeena taught Grades 1 to 7 at the school before serving as the upper grades teacher. During this time Rubeena focused on community development, healthy growth and parent education. Cedar Bridge is currently a thriving Waldorf school in the interior of BC, serving many families and students in Waldorf pedagogy.

Rubeena holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Thompson Rivers University where she married her passion for creativity with practice. She holds a Waldorf Teachers Certificate from the West Coast Institute and continues to promote, and support, Waldorf education in BC serving as the BC Sub-Regional Representative for the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America. Rubeena has two wonderful children, one child in the lower school and one graduating from the high school this year, at Whistler Waldorf.

Maeve Bellmore: Reception

Mrs. Bellmore was born in Dublin, Ireland and island hopped to London, UK, then again some (many) years later after finishing my Art degree, landed in Whistler in 2006. “Captivated by the enchanting mountains and iridescent greenery whispering for me to stay, I found myself a good Canadian boy, got hitched on Whistler Mountain, and now growing roots (and baby Areli) in our beautiful idyllic mountain town.”

The past 13 years she has been working in the hospitality and retail industry. 9 years of which were managing a children’s retail store, enjoying the high paced life of sales and customer service.

In my spare time, Mrs. Bellmore loves to travel, embracing the great outdoors and lakeside chilling. She is also a talented and successful artist having had many exhibits previewed in Whistler, and is currently writing & illustrating children’s stories, inspired by her little exuberant muse Areli, who is now 15 months.

Jennifer Dodds: Director of Enrolment

Ms. Dodds serves as our Admissions Manager. 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. Her 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.

Maude Ash: Registrar & Admnistrative Asst.

Ms. Ash is the registrar for WWS, which consists of managing the physical and digital student records. You can contact Maude if you need any information regarding students files: personal information and contact details, course registration, issuing transcripts, and much more. She also works as the Administrative Assistant and works closely with the Head of School, the Admissions, HR Dept. and the Early Years Program.

Originally from Quebec, Maude moved to BC about 18 years ago to escape the harsh winter. She lived in the Okanagan for many years before our family decided to settle in Pemberton 6 years ago because it has the some of the most amazing opportunities for paragliding in Canada. She has a 4.5 year old son who enjoys keeping her busy. Maude completed a Specialized Education Diploma and an Early Childhood Education – Infant and toddler Diploma. She is currently enrolled in a bookkeeping/accounting course, and loves to travel, listen to music and knit hats for the BCCH NICU (Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit).

Cristiana Spooner: Communications Manager

Ms. Spooner joined Whistler Waldorf in 2019 as the Communications Manager.

Eva Bergersen: Finance Manager

Ms. Bergersen has been with the school for two years now and really enjoys working with a team that is passionate about lifelong learning, appreciation for the environment, and respectful, supportive relationships.

Eva has been living in whistler for over 15 years and enjoys being on her bike and in the mountains. How many places can you be skiing with in 15 minutes of your house?

Ms. Eva Bergersen

High School Faculty

Ellen Maclean: High School Math & Science Teacher; High School Chair

Ms. Maclean is working alongside Mr. Power and Ms. Blancher as part of our science and math team. She has a BSc in Biochemistry, a BEd with a focus on Environmental science, Biology and Experiential education and she recently completed her MA in Education and Waldorf High School Teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College, Sacramento.

Ms. Ellen Maclean
Ms. Emma Wardrop

Emma Wardrop: High School Humanities Teacher; Grade 11 & 12 Guardian

Ms. Wardrop joined Whistler Waldorf School’s High School Humanities Department in 2015. Emma moved to Whistler in 2014, being drawn to the beautiful natural landscapes and the spirit of adventure surrounding the mountains. She completed her undergraduate studies in English and History at Queen’s University, and then moved to New Zealand where she attained her Graduate Diploma in Teaching at the University of Otago. She gained teaching experience in New Zealand at International Baccalaureate and mainstream high schools. In 2017, Emma completed the Waldorf High School Teacher training program run through the Centre for Anthroposophy in New Hampshire.

Emma has always had a passion for teaching and working with youth, whether as a coach, camp counsellor, ESL teacher, or mentor for those in her community. She has coached high school soccer teams, and was a provincial level soccer player. She enjoys the curiosity and vigour with which teens approach the world about them, and is drawn to the Waldorf approach due to its focus on encouraging the discovery of truth and beauty. Emma has a deep love for literature and stories which nourish our understanding of life, and enjoys writing in her free time. She loves being able to ski, bike, explore and play in the mountains she now calls home and is thrilled to be working with the vibrant Whistler Waldorf School community.

Lucien Power: High School Math & Science Teacher; Grade 9 & 10 Co-Guardian

After graduating from Wynstones Steiner school in Gloucester, England, Mr. Power spent a year working for a geotechnical engineering company. This sparked his interest in engineering and he went on to study civil engineering at the University of Nottingham. During this time, Mr. Power also worked for an engineering company in London, England. He continued working in the engineering field after graduating until he decided that working with children and teenagers was his passion. After enrolling at the University of Gloucester and completing the Post Graduate Certificate of Education, Mr. Power spent a few years teaching in state (public) schools until 2009 when he moved to Vancouver to teach at the Vancouver Waldorf School. There he taught physics, chemistry and maths, and served as guardian to the graduating class. Lucien moved to Squamish with his partner in 2014 and is enjoying working with the students at Whistler Waldorf School!

Mr. Lucien Power
Mr. Stephen Maskell

Stephen Maskell: High School Math & Science Department; Grade 9 & 10 Co-Guardian

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.

Charlotte Jacklein: French, Music, Drama & Humanities Teacher; Grade 8 Guardian

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 has over a decade of experience working as a wilderness guide and outdoor instructor in Canada and internationally. Through her work with organizations such as Outward Bound and the YMCA, Charlotte has a wealth of experience working with children and youth in a wide range of settings from Australia to the Arctic. In her free time Charlotte loves exploring the great outdoors, playing with the Sea to Sky orchestra and growing tasty food with her Pemberton gardening collective.

Ms. Charlotte Jacklein

Matt Hazel: Math & Science Teacher

Mr. Hazel was a full time elementary school teacher in the UK for 6 years. In 2014, he made the decision to leave his teaching role in the UK and move out to Whistler, Canada. Here, he became a CSIA level 1 ski instructor as well as a level 1 IDP bike guide for Whistler Blackcomb.

After several years in Canada, Mr Hazel’s passion for both teaching and learning led him to founding ‘Hazel Tutoring’. Creating this programme has allowed him to take his love of outdoor, practical and project based learning and develop it further.

In 2019, Mr Hazel became a part of the Waldorf High School. He believes the school’s ethos lines up perfectly with his approach to both teaching and learning and is extremely excited to continue to develop his teaching here.

Hannah Bostrom: Math & Science Teacher

Ms. Bostrom grew up in Yorkshire in the UK, and completed a degree in Mathematics at Durham University. She trained as a High School Maths Teacher at Durham SCITT and then completed her first few years teaching in Gateshead. Having grown up skiing in the Alps, the draw of the mountains brought Ms. Bostrom to Whistler in 2015 to ski instruct. Over the the last 4 years she has been instructing both mainstream skiing and for the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program in the winter, and coaching mountain biking in the summer. She has also worked in Outdoor Education at Camp Summit in Squamish and has been tutoring and homeschooling alongside all of these. This year Ms. Bostrom has returned to classroom teaching with us at Whistler Waldorf School.

Ali Blancher: Math & Science Teacher;  Lower School Chair

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.

Grade School Faculty

Mollianne Reynolds: Grade 1 & Handwork 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.

Kristen Andreasen: Grade 2 Teacher

Ms. Andreasen began working at the Whistler Waldorf School in 2015 as a teaching assistant. She worked as a preschool and kindergarten classroom assistant. After working as an assistant for many years in various locations, she soon realized that working with children brought great joy to her life.

Ms. Andreasen attended the University of Waterloo and completed her undergraduate honours degree in Applied Health Sciences in 2007. Upon finishing her degree she moved out west to find many of her dreams come true in the magical corridor of the Sea to Sky. After working for WWS in 2015, she decided to move back to Ontario. She enrolled herself in the full-time teacher training at the Rudolf Steiner Centre. It was here that she discovered more about Waldorf Education and began her journey as a teacher. Ms. Andreasen taught at the Squamish Waldorf School as a Kindergarten teacher for one year prior to making her move back to Whistler Waldorf.

Ms. Andreasen loves the great outdoors, cooking, yoga and gardening. She has lived in Whistler with her husband and her lion-like cat for 11 years.

Rebecca Povall: Assistant Grade 2 Support

Ms. Povall grew up in the UK, graduating with an honours degree in psychology (BSc) from the University of Sheffield in 2012, with a focus on child development and neuroscience. After completing her studies, she found the mountains calling and moved to Whistler, working for Whistler Kids and spending some time as an assistant swim coach to the Whistler Sea Wolves.

In 2015 she made the move to Perth, Australia.  In Perth she completed a Graduate Diploma in Primary Education at Edith Cowan University, going on to work with grades 4-6 in a public school in the Perth suburbs.  She came back to Whistler in May, attending Waldorf training for Grade 2 over the summer.

In her spare time she loves to Paddleboard, swim, ski and travel to new places.

Nina Moore: Grade 3 Teacher

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 4 Teacher

Ms. Sheppard is a new recruit to Whistler having moved here with her family 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.

Joanna Berringer: Grade 5 Teacher

(Currently on Maternity Leave for 2019/20)

Ms. Berringer completed a Bachelor of Education degree at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota in 2007. During her university years, she spent a lot of time in canoes working as a canoe tripper for a YMCA program, as well as Outward Bound Canada. She has worked in many outdoor education programs in BC, as well as Ontario. In the winter of 2007, Joanna fled west to the coast mountains and has been living in Whistler ever since.

Joanna began working at the Whistler Waldorf School in 2012, after five years of teaching skiing for the Whistler Kids Ski School program. She guided a class of students from Grade 2 to 6, and has now returned to the school as the Grade 4 teacher. Joanna is passionate about young people and the outdoors and found the perfect fit in the Waldorf curriculum. She has completed training at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, California.

Anna Earl: Grade 5 Teacher

(For 2019/20 replacing Joanna Berringer on Maternity Leave)

Mrs. Earl completed a BA in War Studies in London, UK and her Teaching Diploma in Sydney, Australia. Having spent her whole life travelling and living in different countries, she has a passion for people, words and how the world works. She began her teaching career in adult education and has since taught may different subjects and specialities, notably History, ESL and Drama. She has recently arrived in Whistler for a new chapter in her life and is excited to join Whistler Waldorf School. Mrs Earl is currently undertaking her Waldorf Teacher Training.

Angela Brooks: Grade 6 Teacher

Ms. Brooks comes to Whistler Waldorf with her family from Southern Ontario, having taught grades kindergarten to grade 6 for 13 years with the public system. She holds an undergraduate degree in child development from York University in Toronto as well as a Master’s in Education, specializing in motivation in the classroom, from Niagara University in New York State. Ange was so inspired by the Waldorf philosophy she decided to continue her teaching studies part-time at the Rudolf Steiner Institute in Toronto.
In their spare time, Ange and her family enjoy everything sporty in particular skiing, riding horses, volleyball and playing soccer.

Brian Gohlke: Grade 7 Teacher; 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. He 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.

Special Subject Faculty

Ms. Romy Grayson

Romy Grayson: Practical Arts & Handwork Teacher

Ms. Grayson joined Whistler Waldorf in November 2016. She has worked as a certified Carpenter in the Whistler area for the past 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.

Marie-Christine Dionne: French, Handwork & Movement/Outdoor Rec. Teacher

Madame Dionne joined the Whistler Waldorf School in 2016, teaching French in the lower school and high school. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Education and a Certificate in Second Language Teaching from Concordia University. Marie-Christine also spent a semester in Geneva where she taught a Grade 2 class. She is thrilled to be given the opportunity to expand the French program at Whistler Waldorf by bringing a part of her culture and her love for languages. Marie-Christine visited BC many times before officially making it her home in 2016. The mountains and outdoor lifestyle brought her here, and when she is not teaching, she enjoys climbing, hiking, snowboarding and travelling.

Ms. Dionne
Mr. Wes Feagan

Wes Feagan: French Teacher & Movement/Outdoor Rec.

Mr. Feagan joined Whistler Waldorf School in 2013, working in student support as a classroom assistant. He brings 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.

Katherine Fawcett: Lower School Music Teacher

Ms. Fawcett has been teaching music for over 28 years. She began as a piano teacher, and moved into violin and voice at the Whistler Waldorf School approximately 8 years ago. 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 Orchestra.

Ms. Katherine Fawcett

Joshua Suhrheinrich: High School Music Teacher

Mr. Suhrheinrich has taught guitar, music theory and improvisation for over twenty years. He has performed professionally throughout Canada and the US, was awarded first place at the 2011 Roland National Loop Competition in Vancouver, BC and performed as a finalist at the 2012 Roland World Loop Competition in Frankfurt, Germany. Josh performed frequently in Whistler from 2005 to 2013 before relocating to Seattle and is now excited to return to this vibrant community and share his knowledge and passion for music.

Mr. Suhrheinrich studied and performed Jazz while earning a degree in Religious Studies at Indiana University. He then earned a Master’s degree in Jazz Performance from Northern Illinois University, where he was awarded a scholarship from the Liberace Foundation and was a member of the esteemed NIU Jazz Ensemble and NIU Jazztet. Josh served as guitar faculty at the Shell Lake Jazz Camp in Wisconsin as well as the NIU Jazz Camp in DeKalb, Illinois. He developed his own workshops and camps in Bloomington, Indiana as well as in Whistler and Pemberton, BC. In addition to teaching at Waldorf, Mr. Suhrheinrich also currently teaches guitar at Dusty Strings Music School in Seattle and performs along the west coast.

Yuko Iwanaga: Strings Teacher

Ms. Iwanaga has been supporting the High School strings since September. Yuko studied the Suzuki Method in Japan and completed a post graduate No 4. After completing 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 13 years in 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.

Bronwyn Preece: Drama

Ms. Preece is delighted to be joining the Whistler Waldorf School Community as the High School Drama teacher this year.  Bronwyn is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores ecological/social/political themes.  She has performed and facilitated workshops internationally.  She comes to Waldorf with a PhD in Performance and a MA and BFA in Applied Theatre.  She is a published poet and author, with two children’s books: Gulf Islands Alphabet (2012) and Off-the-Grid Kid (2015), amongst her multiple publications.  Bronwyn is a mother, an avid hiker (frequently spotted sporting a heavy pack!), and this year will be continuing to learn how to ski!

Homero Lopez: Fine Arts

Mr. López is originally from El Salvador. He loves to play drums and illustrate. He studied Fine Arts and obtained his degree in Graphic Design in 2009 at Dr. José Matías Delgado University in El Salvador. He taught Life Drawing and Creative Development courses to adults at the same University for three years. Soon after this he moved to Canada in 2012 and obtained a diploma in Classical Animation at the Vancouver Film School. After a few years working in the film industry he moved to the Sea to Sky corridor and began a new chapter in his professional life. He worked as a program leader at the Myrtle Phillip Community School, where his leading skills and child support capabilities where sharpened and used the opportunity to nurture children’s artistic and creative nature. He arrived at the Whistler Waldorf School in 2018 where he presently continues to work guiding children to develop their artistic and creative capabilities through countless techniques and assisting with students needs. He’s currently enrolled at the West Coast Institute where he is continuing his teacher training in Waldorf Education.

Student Support Department

Edrie Henderson: Special Education Assistant;  Student Support Manager; AEP/Exchange Coordinator

Ms. Henderson provides teaching support to our Grade School and High School students, as well as Advisor/Coordinator for AEP and Exchange 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 for the past 18 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: Special Education Assistant & SSEG/Student Support Chair

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.

Ms. Megan Hewitt

Janelle Le Clair: Educational Assistant

Ms. Leclair began her journey at the Whistler Waldorf school in September 2018 as the After-School Nature Club lead facilitator in collaboration with AWARE, Whistler’s environmental charity. She was invited to join the school as a Classroom Assistant and found herself getting to know many different classrooms and learning from observing many different teachers. She now works one-on-one with several students, and loves when she gets a chance to assist with cooking and science experiments in the grade school classes.

When Ms. Leclair is not at the Waldorf, she is running a budding Holistic Nutrition business where she facilitates kids healthy cooking classes in both English and French, hosts birthday baking parties, and helps families learn how to eat more plants to benefit their health, the planet, and the animals. She holds a diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition, a Responsible Adult certificate, and is a passionate life-long learner.

Ms. Leclair moved from Ontario to BC in 2006 and has lived in the Sea to Sky for 7 years. She loves to mountain bike, cook plant-based meals, and grow lots of veggies at her home in Brackendale.

Early Years

Mrs. Ute Grimm

Ute Grimm: Briar Rose Teacher

Mrs. Grimm moved with her family from Germany to Canada seven years ago. Being a Waldorf alumnus herself, she completed her Eurythmy training in Stuttgart and taught this subject 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.

Olivia Hanna: Briar Rose Teacher

Ms. Hanna joined Whistler Waldorf School in 2019 as a Substitute Lead Kindergarten teacher. Prior to joining WWS, Ms. Hanna studied Eurythmy in Switzerland, Germany and New York for almost 5 years, including going on tour and giving eurythmy performances in Europe, USA and Canada. She taught eurythmy 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 eurythmy 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 Eurythmy from Eurythmeum CH, Switzerland and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Stage Eurythmy from Eurythmy Spring Valley, New York. She is an alumna of the Toronto Waldorf School. Ms. Hanna enjoys travel, hiking and camping and is looking forward to skiing Whistler this winter!

Akiho Matsunaga: Early Childhood 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.

Orsa Horvath: Little Cedars Teacher

Ms. Orsa 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.

Ms. Orsa Horvath
Ms. Karina Pena

Karina Pena: Early Childhood Assistant

Ms. Pena has nearly 8 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. She has several years experience as a nanny, and also worked at Whistler Blackcomb. Originally from Peru, Karina moved to Whistler ten years ago.

Heather Mackenzie: Early Childhood Assistant

Ms. 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 and enjoying learning so much from the talented staff here in Whistler.