Darren Hansen - School Director
Darren Hansen is retired from the U.S. Air Force after 26 years of services as a leader, mentor and manager in aviation and education, mostly recently as Commander of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps’ Northwest Region. In this executive leadership capacity he oversaw the recruitment, admissions, administration, scholarship management and retention of 3,000 university students, as well as strategic planning, curriculum refinement and program compliance of 32 university Aerospace Studies Departments throughout the western United States.
During his tenure in the Air Force he garnered extensive leadership, administrative, managerial, budgetary and facilities management experience in numerous organizations of all sizes; several focused specifically on education. He holds a BA in Urban & Regional Planning from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, a MA in National Security & Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, RI as well as a year-long National Security Fellowship at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, MA.
Darren and Erin Hansen have two sons attending WSB in 6th grade and 4th grade. He took this position in reflection of his family’s commitment to the Waldorf educational philosophy, to the growth and success of WSB and in a desire to integrate into and enrich our community. “I am drawn to Waldorf education because of the way it unfolds to meet the child. The Curriculum makes the student the center of exploration, experience and discovery. It affords children the opportunity to maximize their self-actualization: building confidence and a clearer picture of who they are and where they exist in our world. In a day and age where the pressures of everyday life are so broad, they are empowered to make thoughtful and informed decisions for themselves and our greater community.”
Sarah Rucker - Admissions Director
Sarah Rucker discovered Waldorf Education while seeking a style of education that would suite her son and unfold in a more balanced and developmentally appropriate way. As a parent at her child's Waldorf school, Sarah became more and more involved first as a class parent, then coordinating outreach events, fundraisers and creating opportunities to educate the community on the beauty of a Waldorf Education. Sarah has been employed in Waldorf settings for years as everything from Office Manager to interim Administrator to Enrollment Director.
Mrs. Rucker grew up in Southern California enjoying a childhood full of adventures. Bicycling to the beach after school, spending significant time in tree houses, traveling with her family and being responsible for the menagerie of animals residing in her home are all fond memories. Sarah was relocated to the Bay Area with her family following high school, and attended a small junior college with small classes and incredible teachers. She transferred to Arizona State University, focusing on a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and Telecommunications. Sarah also studied abroad at Richmond College in London, England.
Sarah and her family's love of nature and outdoor recreation brought them to Central Oregon where she feels blessed to have found the Waldorf School of Bend and given the opportunity to serve as the school's Admissions Director.
Megan Pettibone – School Counselor
A winding and meandering road of adventure brought Megan to Bend and our Waldorf community. Megan spent many years as an Executive Assistant for profit, non-profit, and education related industries in Boston. She had always been interested in making a positive impact for children and in 2010 decided to earn her Masters in Education as a School Counselor at Salem State University. After spending two years with The Pathways Fund at New Profit, a Social Innovation Fund grantee that sought to strengthen the bridge between education and workforce development for Opportunity Youth, Mrs. Pettibone and her husband decided to pack up their belongings and leave the grind of commuter trains behind them. They spent three months traveling the United States with their sweet dog, Wally; having no particular destination in mind. Bend's vibrant community and unbelievable offerings of natural beauty were an immediate hook, and although they finished their road trip to Colorado, the Pettibones were sure they would be coming back west.
Megan spent a year at an innovative vocational high school north of Boston, which opened the door to a world of alternative education beyond public schools. Feeling that public education was not in full alignment with her instincts, she hoped to find an educational perspective that supported a more complete view of the child. Waldorf's holistic and spiritual approach spoke directly to Megan's sensibility; and since her house is already covered in fairies, gnomes, and mossy sticks, she was sure to find a happy home here at Waldorf School of Bend.
Since joining our staff in 2015, Megan has been a Lead Aftercare Teacher, Summer Camp Coordinator, and School Counselor. She is excited to integrate aspects of yoga and mindfulness from early childhood through Junior High and utilize fairy tale archetypes to encourage students to be the heroes and heroines of their own stories.
Moe Anderson — Junior High Director
Moe Anderson says, “I believe our task as educators is to allow for the natural unfolding of each child’s unique abilities.” As the teacher for WSB’s 7th and 8th grade students, Mrs. Anderson brings a signature passion and enthusiasm to the junior high curriculum. From algebra to statistics and probability, chemistry to astronomy, literature to fine and performing arts, and beyond—she creates rigorous, experiential learning both in and outside of her classroom.
Mrs. Anderson has been teaching Waldorf curriculum for more than 13 years. She is a Facilitator at the Micha-el Institute for the Teacher Training External Grades Program. Her credentials include a Bachelor of Science, SUNY@ Potsdam, NY; a Master’s in Education, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA; and a Teaching Certificate for Grades 1-12, Micha-el Institute, Portland, OR. She is also a Professor of Ceramics, Fine Arts and Communication Department, Central Oregon Community College.
Mrs. Anderson is also a nationally awarded, honored and recognized visual and ceramic artist. She and her family moved to Bend in 2004 in search of a community that supported a Waldorf grades program for their two young sons. She says, “My husband’s natural curiosity and love of the outdoors were nurtured and supported through his educational experiences at the Sacramento Waldorf School, where he is an Alumnus. We wanted this same opportunity for our two boys; we have found it here at the Waldorf School of Bend.”
William Sweigert - Grades 7/8 Science and Math
Meghan Allsopp - Grade 6
Meghan Allsopp is a lifelong learner. From a young age, the outdoors was her favorite classroom wherever her family moved and travelled. She learned to be adaptive and very curious, handling new experiences with patient ease. College brought her to the University of Vermont where she majored in Studio Art and Psychology. There she volunteered for the Outdoor Program and Student Life; teaching canoeing, rock climbing, backpacking and other wilderness skills as well as hosting cultural and art-based events for the community. Her love of farming and gardening took her to teach at school gardens, farms, and a therapeutic horticultural program for adolescents and young adults in Hawaii.
Thom Routt – Grade 5
Thom Routt says, “I believe that when the spark of interest is ignited, the wildfire of learning can burn unsuppressed.” And it is no surprise that he uses this bright metaphor—in the summer months, the much-adored Mr. Routt is also a helicopter rappeler wildland firefighter for the US Forest Service.
Mr. Routt has 12 years of teaching experience, including more than eight years in Waldorf classrooms. He completed the elementary grades teacher training at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, Sausalito, CA. He also completed the Level I Spatial Dynamics training at the Spatial Dynamics Institute, Mechanicville, NY. Mr. Routt is currently pursuing the Level ll Movement Therapy certification from the Spacial Dynamics Institute.
As a five-year Bend resident, Mr. Routt has fallen in love with the supportive community and is a recreational enthusiast –he takes advantage of mountain biking and cycling, skiing, trail running, river floating, rock climbing, motorcycling and adventure racing. He also enjoys playing guitar, acro yoga and seeing live music.
Tammy Betzko - Grade 4
Ms. Betzko has a Master's of Science in Waldorf Education from Sunbridge College, a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development from Pennsylvania State University and a Certification in Biodynamic Agriculture from the Pfeiffer Center. Her teaching experience ranges from teaching 2nd, 4th and 5th grades, holding a Lead EC Teacher position and as a Farm Educator from grades 1-5. She is the proud mama to Ukiah in our 3rd grade.
Lesley Myers - Grade 3
Lesley Myers, a native Oregonian, received a BA in Sociology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Willamette University, located in Salem, Oregon. Mrs. Myers began her teaching career as a 2nd grade teacher in Monmouth, Oregon. From there, she furthered her teaching career as a Special Education Language Arts teacher and reading teacher at Mililani High School, on the island of Oahu.
After living in the islands, she and her husband hiked 1,300 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail before settling down in Bend, Oregon. Mrs. Myers is an avid outdoorswoman who shares her love of surfing, skiing, rafting, and backpacking with her husband and two children.
In her pursuit to find a school for her children that taught to the whole child, enriching the mind, body and spirit, Mrs. Myers discovered the Waldorf School of Bend. This holistic and developmentally appropriate approach to education inspired her to not only send her own children here, but to pursue a teaching career here as well. Mrs. Myers has completed her first year of Waldorf Grades teaching certification and is thrilled to teach our 2nd graders.
Laura Elmore – Grades 1/2
Laura Elmore says, “I feel so alive and inspired when teaching others. It is an ever-becoming process in which we as teachers are allowed to be free, in the moment, with the children. In this process, their intelligence is honored and appreciated.” Mrs. Elmore’s classroom and class excursions are full of life, curiosity, and daily—sometimes surprising!—gems of wisdom and discovery.
Mrs. Elmore’s Waldorf experience includes more than 15 years teaching in Waldorf environments, from early childhood to elementary grades. She holds a Teaching Certificate for Early Childhood and Elementary Grades, Micha-el Institute, Portland, OR.
Mrs. Elmore is also a Licensed Massage Therapist since 1998. She and her family moved to Bend in 2003 when they fell in love with the small community feel paired with its vibrant, bustling life full of family-friendly activities. She says, “I’ve always appreciated when children are allowed to be a part of the community. And, it’s inspiring to be surrounded by the great outdoors; hiking, biking, river play, all the things I love to do.”
Niki Rainwater – Kindergarten
Niki Rainwater says, “My son and daughter are both Waldorf school graduates that have had much academic success—which we attribute to kindergarten soup, geometric drawing, and knitting their own socks. They both will be happy to tell you that it all began with a fairy tale.” When the school halls are filled with the delicious aromas of baking bread and simmering soups, it is often thanks to the joyful efforts of Ms. Rainwater’s early childhood and kindergarten students!
Ms. Rainwater has been teaching Waldorf curriculum for more than 12 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a double Minor in Early Childhood Education and Home Economics, from California State University, Sacramento. For more than a decade, she has annually attended the February Conferences and Waldorf in the Home Conferences at Rudolph Steiner College. Additionally, she regularly attends workshops in compassionate communication, handwork, practical arts, puppetry and storytelling. Niki will complete her Masters and certification in Waldorf Early Childhood this summer.
Her family’s desire to live near the mountains brought them to Bend nine summers in a row. Following years of pondering the pros and cons of leaving the Bay Area to come to Bend, they made the leap and became permanent residents in 2013. Ms. Rainwater says, “My own children and all the students I've worked with inspire me on a daily basis.”
Rachel Caldwell – Pre-Kindergarten
Rachel Caldwell says, “I’m personally committed as both a teacher and a parent to our school. I love seeing my children anxious to go to school each morning. There is such a feeling of joyful learning every day.” Mrs. Caldwell’s Early Childhood classroom is truly a “magical kingdom,” where you will find the children thriving in the midst of beauty, peace, play, and purpose.
Mrs. Caldwell has more than six years of experience in Waldorf Early Childhood classrooms. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and Finance from North Carolina State University, and Mention Bien in Study of French Language, Institut de Francais, Ville Franche Sur Mer, France. Rachel has completed 3 of the 4 years of training for her Waldorf Early Childhood certification.
Along with her three children—all of whom attend WSB—and her husband, she moved to Bend in 2006 from Atlanta, Georgia, to be surrounded by nature and family. Mrs. Caldwell considers herself fortunate to have her parents and sister living in Bend, as well. They all love hiking, biking, skiing, and camping in beautiful Central Oregon.
Andrea Alford - Upper Grades Spanish Teacher
Andrea Alford grew up traveling and relocating frequently, which allowed her to see and experience many diverse parts of our vast country. Her family's travels took her as far as Liberia, West Africa. She developed an intense curiosity about the world and all of its peoples, including their languages, histories and ways of life. She also developed at a young age an understanding of the vastness of the world, a wonder at the frailty and beauty of humanity, a deep tenderness for the preciousness of life, and a desire to leave a trail of love and kindness behind her.
She first discovered the joy of acquiring other languages in the 9th grade, when she began studying French, expecting to move to the Ivory Coast. Those plans changed, but her passion for language acquisition was just being kindled. After high school, she visited her father in Kenya, where she spent most of each day devouring grammar books on Swahili and sitting with locals around fire barrels learning as much Swahili as she could. From there she went to France as an exchange student, where she also took German and Chinese courses. The next year, she continued her study of German at OSU-Cascades and added Spanish to the mix. Sitting in Spanish class, with the most gifted language teacher she had yet experienced, who made learning so easy, Andrea began to see herself becoming a foreign language teacher one day.
Ms. Alford earned her B.A. from OSU in 2015, and her M.A.T. from George Fox in 2017. During the past year, she devoted herself to learning all she could about second language acquisition and teaching with comprehensible input. She is thrilled to bring her knowledge of comprehension-based teaching to the students at WSB, and to be learning about the Waldorf philosophy from her new colleagues. Andrea hopes to bring change to her field by educating more world language teachers about acquisition-based teaching, because she wants every student to discover how easy and thrilling it can be to learn a world language, and be enriched by it as much as she has.
Carla Delfino-Lower Grades Spanish Teacher
Carla Delfino was born in Buenos Aires, and grew up in Neuquen, Patagonia Argentina. She moved to the USA at 18 to study Marine Science and Biology at the University of Miami. She then moved to Alaska to work in the Marine Sciences department at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. After almost four years in Alaska, and a year of travel, Carla worked in Hawaii for Dolphin Quest as an educator, teaching kids about the fascinating ocean world. She also worked as a field biologist doing research at the base of Mauna Loa.
In 2007 Carla and her husband moved back to the mainland, to be closer to family, finally settling in Bend in 2008. Since moving to Bend, Carla has worked as an educator at the Sunriver Nature Center and at the Natural Areas Association. When their daughter Rowan was two, Carla decided to become a full-time mom. Carla began teaching Spanish to pre-school aged children in 2015, and began teaching Lower Grades Spanish at the Waldorf School of Bend in 2017. Carla has been enjoying teaching in the Waldorf philosophy and actively learning more about the methods involved.
When not teaching, Carla loves to spend time with her family, traveling, hiking, skiing, canoeing, rafting, practicing martial arts and reading!
Robert Neal - Movement Teacher
Bobby Neal received his Bachelor of Arts in History of Art and Visual Culture from the University of Santa Cruz California. During his studies there, he practiced visual art, but also became especially fascinated by Tai Chi Chuan and Yoga. When he was not in class, he practically lived at the PE and Rec department overlooking the Pacific Ocean. His passion for Tai Chi led him into the study of several other martial arts, including Fencing, Bagua, and Akido. Mr. Neal recently completed his first year in Waldorf Teacher training, and with his transition into Movement Education has begun a program for the study of Spatial Dynamics. Before teaching, Bobby worked as a Certified Massage Therapist.
In his free time, Mr. Neal eagerly pursues Acro Yoga, piano, and cello. For the children at WSB, Mr. Neal believes movement can be a path towards freedom. Like the brush to the artist or the instrument to the musician, he believes the body can act as a tool in liberating the entirety of the human being.
Cullen Treichler — Music
Cullen Treichler—known as “Cullie” to her students—says, “Teaching is my passion. It is a way of connecting with human beings in creative relationship. I believe the voice is an instrument that expresses the essence of the person.” Ms. Treichler has more than 17 years of dedicated voice study, bringing raw singing talent into an art and craft that inspires “life-giving expression” in her students. Each music lesson at WSB explores singing and rhythm through creative activities that involve some form of movement.
Ms. Treichler has lived in Central Oregon for 19 years. She loves the natural beauty, clean air, and friendly people who are equally grateful to live here. About teaching at WSB, Ms. Treichler says, “It is a joy to be in community with others who are so dedicated to creating the most wholesome and loving environment—for the purpose of offering an outstanding education that nourishes learning and the development of the whole person.”
Laura Holtsberg - Handwork Teacher
Photo and bio coming soon!
Kassie DeMarsh - Culinary/Gardening and Aftercare Teacher
Kassie DeMarsh grew up in Wisconsin and has always loved education and the wilderness. At a young age you would find her in a tree, building fairy houses, or playing teacher. As she has grown, much of this has stayed the same! Her love for the outdoors and learning has been with her throughout her life.
At the University of Oregon she studied Sociology (focus on children and families), Nonprofit Management, and Spanish, all while volunteering for education based nonprofits. Later she worked for AC Gilbert Children’s Museum in Salem. There she worked with local schools and community organizations to connect the entire community with the museums exciting, experiential learning. During this time she also started learning about biodynamic farming, permaculture and sustainable building.
Her interests in wilderness and sustainable living brought her to New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia. Although she had heard of Waldorf Education earlier in life, it was during her travels while living with Waldorf families that she saw the positive influence of a holistic Waldorf education. When she returned from her years abroad Kassie worked as the Education Director at an organic farm and education center. Here she worked with both public and Waldorf Schools closely while gardening, cooking and teaching about the food system.
Since at the Waldorf School of Bend, Kassie has lead the Aftercare program, worked as Kindergarten assistant, and taught the Garden/Culinary program. She loves being able to work with all the students at school. Whether planting seeds, baking bread, or building forts she cherishes an education and community that values these important life skills as means to enhance academics.
Ann Boyd - Theatre Arts Teacher
As a young artist Ann taught various art programs through Urban Gateways in the Chicago public schools. She went on to work as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago (CCC) where she was a full-time faculty member from 2011-2015. Ann directed the movement program for the theatre department at CCC and together with designer Chelsea Warren, Ann developed CCC’s Theatre Foundation Course for all incoming students. This in-depth experience of team teaching with an interdisciplinary approach reflects Ann’s passion for collaboration and the dialogue between the arts that is inherent to the craft of making theatre.
As a movement teacher for young actors, Ann focused on the development of students’ physical presence and freedom. This work revealed to her the rich dialogue between our physical, mental and emotional lives. This dialogue is at the heart of Ann’s teaching. It has been her experience, and her observation, that our physical and creative growth offers us insight into who we are as people and how we can contribute and connect to the world around us.
Rudolph Steiner said that “The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility - are the very nerve of education.” Students creating performances and theatre from their imaginations, a sense of truth and responsibility to their collaborative ensemble and to their audience, is the very embodiment of Steiner’s observation.
Tim Beck - Woodworking Teacher
Timothy Beck grew up in a beautiful little corner of southwestern Wisconsin as a member of a Waldorf community. Throughout the 1980s, the small town and tiny Waldorf School began to change and evolve, adapting to the changes in the world at large. The Waldorf community continued to grow and thrive becoming a key piece of the backbone of this small mid-western town.
Having attended Waldorf school through 8th grade, Mr. Beck went on to the local public high school and then the University of Madison, Wisconsin. "I believe my education growing up instilled a deep love of the process of learning. Once in college, I took a wide range of classes and was fascinated by almost every topic." From his love of travel and seeking of understanding, Mr. Beck ended up majoring in Political Science and Spanish Linguistics. However, something else had also taken hold of his passion for the outdoors on long trips to the Western United States.
During the summers, wild-land firefighting became the pathway through which the mountains and wild places could be explored. Working and living in National Forest in Arizona and Oregon slowly brought Tim to where he once again encountered Waldorf education. While cleaning chainsaws one summer day, Mr. Beck and 5th grade teacher Mr. Routt made the connection and shared interest in education an apprenticeship was formed.
During his free time, Tim has far more hobbies than time. From back-country camping or snowboarding to hockey, playing music to crocheting hats, reading books, world travel, building wooden things or going for a nice run, Mr. Beck is out there doing it right now! Mr. Beck will be returning for his fourth winter of teaching Woodworking to Grades 5 through 8, substitute teacher, and field trip specialist.