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.
Annie Willis – School Counselor
Annie Willis says, “I am enthusiastic about shepherding Waldorf Education into the 21st century and beyond – so future generations of children and families will have access to this universally brilliant education.” With her background in psychology and her passion for Waldorf education, Mrs. Willis brings a depth of knowledge, insight, and compassion to the WSB community.
Mrs. Willis holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University, Chico. She received her credential in Waldorf Collaborative Counseling from Antioch University, New England. All three of her children have attended Waldorf schools of various sorts from private to charter, in-home and farm school, as well as homeschooling—experiences that have helped deepen her understanding of Waldorf Education, learning styles, and educational philosophy.
Mrs. Willis grew up on an almond orchard in Northern California; lived in Hawaii with her husband and young children; and is an explorer at heart. Her family of five relocated to Bend from Eugene in 2011, drawn by the active lifestyle and sunshine. She’s happy to be part of the wonderful WSB community.
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.”
Laura Elmore – Grade 6
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.”
Meghan Allsopp - Grade 5
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.
Kelly St. Lawrence - Grade 4
Kelly St. Lawrence grew up in central Oregon, exploring the mountains and rivers surrounding this beautiful place. She has been inspired to teach since she was young, with a strong passion and care for children and their potential. She is beloved by her young students and their families—in the classroom and beyond, she brings a peaceful attentiveness and sparkling enthusiasm to the daily rhythms.
Kelly graduated Prescott College with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Justice Education, and a minor in Environmental Ethics. These values are a living part of how she is as a teacher and active community member, both in and out of the school. Prior to WSB, Kelly taught at a non-profit educational program (Urban Gardens) in Oakland, California, and taught gardening and permaculture blocks at the high school level. She is in her third year of Waldorf training at the Micha-el Institute in Portland, Oregon, on her way to completing her certification.
Mrs. St. Lawrence came to Waldorf education through a desire to be a part of a caring and creative school community; one that honors the natural rhythms of the earth, and the importance of tradition.
Caroline Hermes - Grade 3
A Chicago, Illinois native, Caroline Hermes, received a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from Indiana University, in Bloomington, IN. Hiking was an extra curricular hallmark of her college years as she led trips in the summers for middle and high school adolescences through Rocky Mountain National Park, in Estes Park, CO, at Cheley Camps.
Caroline's passion for education began at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, IL, where she had the opportunity to be a full-time assistant for a second grade class led by a master teacher. A year later she took on a position as a youth worker at the non-profit organization, CROYA: (Committee Representing Our Young Adults), in Lake Forest, IL. During her four years at CROYA, Caroline educated students, sixth through twelfth grades, in leadership development through service-learning programming.
Her enthusiasm for wide open spaces led her back to Colorado, where she instructed children at Telluride Ski School and Telluride Academy, leading adventures in outdoor education and experiential-learning. She has a Wilderness First Responder and attened an Outdoor Educator course in Alaska, through NOLS: (National Outdoor Leadership School).
Ms. Hermes discovered Waldorf education while completing her Masters in Education at DePaul University, in Chicago, IL. She has an Illinois teaching license in Elementary Education, grades K-9 and is endorsed in Middle School Social Sciences. During her postgraduate work, she created the beginning of the Educational Support program at Urban Prairie Waldorf School, in Chicago, IL. As the educational support teacher at UPWS, Caroline provided academic student interventions and plans for individuals and small groups, across all grades, in math and language arts curriculum.
After a decade of teaching in a variety of settings in both public and private elementary schools, Ms. Hermes is thrilled to have found this holistic education. She is currently learning more about Steiner’s foundational philosophies and is enjoying every minute of working with classes!
Lesley Myers - Grade 2
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.
Michaela Precourt - Grade 1
Michaela Precourt has been teaching at WSB since fall of 2015 as both an intern and as our Education Support Teacher. She has been able to seamlessly teach throughout all our grades (sometimes in the same day!), in virtually every subject and has also supported our teachers in their assessment process for various grades.
Ms. Precourt grew up in New England exploring the snow-capped mountains, rocky ledges and beautiful shorelines. Teaching has been part of her life, even at a young age, teaching swimming, life guarding, and various outdoor activities. Michaela graduated with honors from Prescott College with a Bachelor of Arts in Adventure Education, and a minor in Snow Science.
She has traveled all over the world leading various expeditions in the wilderness, including working for Outward Bound in Australia. While there she was introduced to Waldorf Education by taking groups of Waldorf 8th grade classes out on their end of year trips. Through this first glimpse of Waldorf education Michaela realized that this education philosophy supported and aligned with her goals in teaching about awareness of self, others, and nature. Ms. Precourt then took the plunge back into higher education to attend Antioch University in Keene, NH. She graduated with a Masters in Elementary Education and earned her Waldorf Teacher certification. In her eyes each child comes into this world with many gifts and it is about helping guide and instruct that child to their full individual potential.
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.
Hailee Newman - Spanish Teacher
Hailee Newman learned Spanish through extensive travel in Latin America as well as through the pursuit of her international environmental studies Bachelor’s degree. She interned for nearly a year on a biological reserve in coastal Ecuador, where she worked with Ecuadorian scientists doing research on birds, frogs, fungi, and medicinal plants.
Since returning to the United States, Miss Hailee has worked in a variety of research and educational fields, started her own herbal products company, and completed some post-baccalaureate work in preparation for obtaining her graduate degree in teaching. Miss Hailee is a passionate believer in the benefits of speaking multiple languages and is excited to introduce the language and tastes of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world to Waldorf students.
Martina Muller – German Language, Grades 1-4
Martina Muller brings not only playful, engaging German language lessons to WSB – she also regularly brings her cuddly rescue doggie, Sparky, who gets plenty of affection from his small human friends. Frau Muller loves Waldorf education “because it encourages the development of creativity, compassion, and character.”
Frau Muller was born and raised in Germany. She holds an International Waldorf Teaching License from Emerson College in Sussex, England, and a Master’s in Education from Portland State University. She has been teaching at WSB for more than 11 years – and has also taught public high school for 13 years, plus teaching assignments in India and England.
After 20 years living in Bend, Frau Muller still feels the “possibilities are endless” and she loves both the people and the great outdoors.
Thom Routt – Grades 7 and 8 Science and Advanced Math, Movement Teacher
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.
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.”
Sam Taylor - Strings
Sam is a violinist and guitarist with many years of teaching and performing experience in Europe and the US. His formal music education began at the San Francisco Conservatory and continued through some of the most prestigious school in Europe. Sam has been a conductor, concertmaster and chamber player in Europe, and most recently in Whitefish Montana. He is currently completing his Masters degree in violin performance at the University of Oregon with Kathryn Lucktenberg. Sam teaches violin to our 4th, 5th and 6th grade and guitar to our Junior High students.
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.