EARLY CHILDHOOD FACULTY

Parent-Child Classes

Morning Garden Teacher
Nikki Shoneman

Nikki was introduced to Waldorf Education in 2003 when she was handed the book “Beyond the Rainbow Bridge” to read.  This opened the door to seeking more about Waldorf Education and Rudolf Steiner.  When her first child was ready for a nursery program in 2009 in Santa Cruz, CA, Waldorf School was the most natural fit and she watched her child thrive.

Nikki has a BA. In Fine Arts from UCSC with a focus in painting and drawing and was honored as a California Art Scholar. She is the founder and past director as well as art facilitator for MOVE (Making Our Voices Empowered), a non-profit art organization providing alternative education to at-risk youth in the Bay Area.  Also teaching natural science and history to 4-6th graders, backpacking in the wilderness with high school and college students teaching environmental studies.  She helped open Dobra West and created the food menu that she continues to update.  Nikki has a diverse education in Midwifery, Herbalism, Bodywork and most recently graduating from Lifeways an Early childhood education program based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner.

Now living in North Carolina with her husband and three children they enjoy hiking, swimming, cooking, gardening and making art together. Nikki continues to make art and teach art at a local therapeutic boarding school for high school teens and is excited to be teaching at Asheville Waldorf School as the Morning/Afternoon Garden Teacher.

Nursery

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Zoe Rothfuss
Lead Nursery Teacher

Zoe’s introduction to Waldorf Education began at the age of three and has always been an integral part of her family culture.  Since earning a B.Ed in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005, she has served young children and their families in a variety of settings. Zoe holds a diploma in Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Education from Sunbridge Institute.  She expects to complete training in Nurturing the Roots, a three-year advanced therapeutic course for Early Childhood Educators, in Summer of 2019.  From her home base in Madison County, Zoe enjoys spending time with her family working in the garden, hiking, dancing, baking, and is blessed to wake up to a birds’ dawn serenade every morning.

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Alice Redrick
Assistant Nursery Teacher

Alice was introduced to Waldorf Education in 1999, in the beautiful Napa Valley of northern California where she had the opportunity to work with a lovely teacher in her home-based kindergarten for two years. She moved to Alaska with her husband where she lived for eleven years and gave birth to four children. Once her eldest child became school aged their family became more involved with the Waldorf School in Anchorage. Alice assisted with the Parent-Tot, Aftercare and Kindergarten programs. She served as the Assistant Kindergarten Teacher for two years at Azalea Mountain. Alice feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work along side a variety of Waldorf Early Childhood teachers and holds them all close to her heart. Three of her four children currently attend Asheville Waldorf School. Her family enjoys exploring the outdoors through hiking, biking and camping.

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Elizabeth Hromada
Lead Nursery Teacher

Elizabeth was first introduced to the work of Rudolf Steiner in 2004 while working as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Brevard, NC. She felt a calling as she read about cooperative communities dedicated to service of the whole human being: mind, heart, and body. Elizabeth earned her B.S. at UNC-Asheville in Environmental Studies, and found the joy of sharing the wonders of nature with young children during an internship at the WNC Nature Center. In 2005 she relocated from WNC to Sedona, AZ, where she met her husband, Justin. Their daughter, Niya, was born at home in 2007, and Elizabeth soon discovered the riches of Waldorf education while she cared for infants and toddlers in her home.  From 2012 and until the end of the 2015/16 school year, Elizabeth has worked as assistant, co-teacher, and lead teacher at Red Earth Waldorf Kindergarten/Preschool (REWK) under the mentorship of REWK’s founder and early childhood teacher of 30+ years. Also, since 2012, Elizabeth has served as a founding board member for Running River School, a non-profit independent grades program rooted in Waldorf pedagogy. She will complete her Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Training in July 2016 at Rudolf Steiner College. Elizabeth is filled with gratitude to return to Asheville and join the Asheville Waldorf School community in the 2016/17 school year. It is a joy for her to share the wonders of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband and daughter, and to delight in some favorite pastimes: seeking rare wildflowers, hunting for waterfalls, singing with the rivers, and marveling at fireflies.

Waldorf kindergarten teacher, Morgan Hincks

Morgan Hincks
Assistant Nursery Teacher

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Maria Allen
Lead Nursery Teacher

Maria met Waldorf education in 2006 at Winterberry Charter School in Alaska, working as Music Teacher.  When a class teacher had a baby, Maria “temporarily” took the class and wound up carrying them through 3 grades/years!  During this time, she became convinced that early childhood is the most essential part of education.  She went on to study Waldorf early childhood education at Taruna College in New Zealand and with LifeWays/Asheville.  Maria also holds a degree in Music Education from Converse College (Spartanburg, SC).  She has previously taught at Asheville Waldorf SChool in the Nursery, Morning Garden (Parent/Child class), and as Music Teacher.  In addition, she taught at Dandelion Hill mixed-age (developing WECAN) kindergarten and during the Rainbow Community School’s summer program for early childhood. She also has enjoyed teaching adults to sing with young children through LifeWays and through Rudolf Steiner College’s Community Learning Center in Anchorage, AK. With her dear husband, Butch, and their delightful daughters, Perry and Maisie, Maria enjoys homesteading in Barnardsville. Some of her favorite things are traveling, tandem biking, swimming, contra-dancing, and singing.

Sareen Rasband 
Nursery Assistant

Sareen Rasband began studying Waldorf Early Childhood Education in 2011 through Lifeways North America in Milwaukee. During that time she was a nanny for a 2nd-grade student, who attended the Four Winds Waldorf School outside of Chicago, IL. At Four Winds, she attended parent-child classes with her oldest child (age 1 at the time), substituted in the Kindergarten, and volunteered for festivals and events. Sareen later offered a Waldorf-inspired parent-child group out of her home, a lovely farm in Oswego, IL. She moved to Asheville to pursue her career in Waldorf education and began a small program which has grown and thrived at Earthhaven Ecovillage. From 2016-2018 Sareen was a proud parent at Asheville Waldorf School, as well as a member of the fundraising committee. Her daughters, Crystara and Livia, will both be attending Asheville Waldorf School in the fall. In her spare time, Sareen enjoys attending community dances, gardening, swimming in the sun with her daughters and eating delicious fruit!

Kindergarten

Waldorf kindergarten teacher, Ines Kinchen

Ines Kinchen 
Lead Kindergarten Teacher

Bio coming soon

Denise Kampouris  
Kindergarten Assistant

I am the mother and grandmother of an Asheville Waldorf School teacher and student, and because of this, I have been blessed to be a part of this beautiful community. I have been an assistant teacher with special needs children at the Cerebral Palsy center in Atlanta. I also assisted and led the children’s program at an ashram in upstate New York. I later homeschooled my 2 sons, and after a while assisted in our homeschool group. After doing some substitute teaching at Azalea Mountain School, I felt a strong desire to be here more. I’m so grateful that my dream came true and that I am part of the afternoon programs.

Penelope Johnson  
Kindergarten Lead Teachers

After completing a degree in Fine Arts in the late nineties, Penny moved to Japan for a bit of an adventure, and to teach English as a Foreign Language. Attracted to the long history of the country, she found herself drawn to the ultra-modernity nestled amongst ancient culture. The plan was to go for a year; twelve years later, she returned to Australia and completed her teaching degree. She then taught Japanese, art, kindergarten, and literacy/numeracy for ESL students and those with special needs, before finding herself drawn to Waldorf education, mainly out of a desire for her daughter’s well-being. For the past three and a half years, Penny has been studying Waldorf Education, and Teaching Kindergarten and the 1st/2nd grade in a Waldorf School in Darwin, Australia. Penny is passionate about play, and very concerned about the world in which we are living, one in which our children’s time is becoming more and more structured, with less and less time for just playing. She truly believes that Waldorf education is the way forward. Penny has visited Asheville a number of times over the past couple of years and fell in love with the artsy, friendly nature of the place. Her daughter will be in Mrs. Erb’s Third-grade class. Both Penny and her daughter are eagerly looking forward to this new adventure, to meeting everyone and becoming part of our community.

Lauren Kennedy 
Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Lauren has cared for children of many ages in various settings and roles since she became a big sister (and began her first job in high school). After receiving a B.S. in Psychology, she heard of Waldorf education through a friend who had assisted at Cedarwood Waldorf School in Portland, OR, and knew of her passion for education. Soon thereafter, Lauren nannied for a Kindergarten Teacher’s children at that school; this led her to grow increasingly interested in the approach.  She remembers having a profound feeling of being home when she first experienced a Waldorf early childhood classroom.  Eventually, she assisted in two different Kindergartens at Cedarwood, and then became involved with Kindle Hill Waldorf School community, when she lived in Australia. After moving to Asheville a couple years ago to be closer to family, she joined Asheville Waldorf School as a substitute, and assisted in the Afternoon Garden parent-child class. Recently, Lauren has also facilitated expressive arts classes for homeschooling groups and women’s workshops, and has been a house parent to teens at a transitional home. Lauren is enlivened when dancing, creating art in many mediums, observing creatures, improvising collaborative stories, and honoring her inner mermaid by spending entire days at the beach swimming and listening to the ocean’s song.

Nechoma Morgan 
Nursery Lead Teacher

Born into a family committed to Waldorf Education, Nechoma has been immersed in Waldorf modes of parenting and teaching from her earliest years. She first attended the Waldorf School of Lexington in parent-child classes and has stayed connected to this holistic philosophy ever since. She became an assistant in parent-child programs at the very same school, and in a Waldorf-inspired forest playgroup before moving to Asheville to support her longtime sweetheart, Lavender, in studying massage therapy. In Asheville. Nechoma co-led an aftercare program and taught biodynamic- and permaculture-inspired gardening to elementary school students before moving on to teach two and three-year-old children in the Asheville Jewish Community Center’s preschool. Starting in 2017 she became the Lead Afternoon Teacher at Asheville Waldorf School. Outside of her role as teacher, Nechoma is active in Jewish life in Asheville; she enjoys biodynamic gardening, fiber arts, DIY music, and both hiking and swimming with Lavender in our beautiful mountains and valleys.

Rest Nest (Extended Day Kindergarten)

Douglas Cavers  
Afternoon Teacher

Douglas attended the Rudolf Steiner School, Kings Langley, in southern England from Grade 2 to 12 graduating in 1988. He so loved his class teacher that he knew he would follow in her footsteps. He did not realize at the time how long it would take him to actually work in a Waldorf school.
After graduating from Coventry University with a BA in Politics and History in 1993, Douglas worked as a Teacher of English as Foreign Language in the Czech Republic. A country as different from England as he could get without leaving Europe.
After some years he returned to Waldorf on the US West coast by training for the grades, graduating from the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2008. While still in training, he worked at the Monkeyflower Waldorf preschool, El Cerrito as he wanted to learn how children developed into 1st graders, and later at the Sophia Project with young children of homeless families from San Francisco.  He also worked in a residential home for court-mandated youth.
From 2009 until 2015 with a year break he worked in various Camphill communities for developmentally disabled adults where he met his wife. Since then, he has been a stay-at-home father and wishes his daughter, now aged 5, to benefit from the Waldorf start he’d had as a child.physics, connecting with friends regarding matters of the heart and sharing delicious nourishing meals.

Tara Henteleff 
Afternoon Teacher

Tara has been working in early childhood education since 1997. After completing her BA in Environmental Studies at Naropa Univeristy in Colorado she moved to Northern California to complete a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Sonoma State University. While completing her MA she worked as a preschool teacher under the mentorship of an amazing educator, Franny Minervini-Zick. During this time she studied and completed numerous trainings in various educational philosophies including Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, and Montessori. During this time she also became a docent for school programs in the Laguna de la Santa Rosa and LandPaths. In addition she received a Program Director certificate through the SRJC. After deciding to move back east to be closer to family, Tara worked as a lead teacher for Hoya Kids Learning Center at Georgetown University. Once her first child was born Tara taught part time at Audubon Nature Preschool before her second child was born. After this she worked at a Reggio Emilia inspired summer camp, CASA, in Washington DC. Not a year after her third child was born Tara and her family relocated to Asheville. After spending two years as a parent representative and a substitute teacher Tara has happily joined the teaching family at Asheville Waldorf School as the Rest Nest Assistant. When not teaching Tara soaks up the beauty of living in the mountains with her family by hiking, swimming, exploring, learning, and creating.