Classroom Teachers: Stacey Falk (2nd), Emily Conner (3rd/4th), Maggie Dorsey (4th/5th), Teresa Johnson (1st) Daniel Quade (PK/K), and Naomi Weaver (Pk/K)
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Special Education Teacher: Elizabeth Schrader
Spanish Artist in Residence: Lindy McLaren
Music/Violin Artist in Residence: Chris Kokesh Booth
Practical Arts Teacher/Handwork Teacher/Faculty Support: Kristy Stacy
PK/K Teachers Assistant: Jenny Prideaux and Laurie Low
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School Coordinator/Movement Artist in Residence: Chamomile Nusz,
Office Assistant: Laura Brown
Curriculum Developer: Dr. Mary Barr Goral
Grades Teacher Maggie Dorsey: Though I have worked with children since high school, my desire to seek a career in education was not discovered until my fourth year of college. I attended Alverno College initially for a degree in Music Therapy, but then a personal discovery led me to move into the education program, and I haven’t looked back.
I graduated from Alverno College with a degree in Elementary Education and supports in Music and English/Language Arts. After graduating, I moved to Portland, Oregon to enjoy its beauty and mild weather. I studied parts of the Waldorf approach while in school, and since then it has been my dream to work in an environment that appreciates and nurtures the incorporation of music and art into the curriculum. I had taught kindergarten while in Oregon, and was known as”that teacher who sings all day.” The students loved it, and they maintained focus and participation throughout my time with them. It was a great experience to see how much can be taught through song, and it continues to be one of my favorite teaching tools.
After getting married at my parents’ farm in Waupaca in 2012, I realized my heart was still here. My husband and I had thoughts of returning, but the final decision was made when my mother told me of this school’s opening. It was everything I dreamed of in a school–Waldorf inspired, in the beautiful natural setting, and with eager kids who seek knowledge and strive for confidence in every part of their beings. We moved back with our two dogs and two cats in June, 2013, eager to begin the new chapter in our life.
While not teaching, one can find me crocheting or needle felting, playing my flute, or up on my family’s land making trails and enjoying all four of Wisconsin’s seasons.
Early Childhood Teacher Daniel Quade: I am an enthusiastic and capable person with a passion for helping young children grow. In May of 2009 I graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point (UWSP) with a degree in Exceptional Education. After completing my training I spent two years working at Mead Elementary, a charter school serving a high-poverty area in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. I was the IEP Case Manager for 12 students identified as EBD whom I supported in achieving their academic, social, and behavioral goals.
More recently my partner and I returned to the area from a 10-month stay in Montana where she completed a dietetic internship. While there I was fortunate enough to work at a high quality early childcare center as a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher. My many other experiences with children include several years of employment at a NAEYC accredited early childcare center on the UWSP campus, an extensive coaching background, employment as a caregiver for a four-year old boy who is diagnosed with autism, and time spent as a live-in nanny for an infant and a four-year old.
Personally I have always been interested in alternative educational methods, and I believe in a humanistic and child-centered approach to pedagogy. I have worked to “unschool” myself and those around me in order to facilitate what I feel is a more natural learning process. I enjoy spending time experiencing the natural world through exploration, gardening, and play. I have seen first-hand the power and importance outdoor environmental experiences have in the lives of young people. Through Waldorf I hope to more fully respect and honor the lives of the children I teach.
Early Childhood Teacher Naomi Weaver: My name is Naomi Weaver and I am a 4K/Kindergarten teacher at the Tomorrow River Charter School. I am currently enrolled in the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute and am very excited to learn more about Waldorf Education. I have previously taught 4K in the Stevens Point Area School District, and 3 Year Old Preschool classes in Stevens Point. I graduated from UW Oshkosh with my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education – Pre-K through 6th grade in 2008. Before I decided to be a teacher I went to UW Milwaukee as a Dance Major and had taken dance classes since I was 4 years old. I enjoy the early years of education because children are full of wonder, imagination and enthusiasm.
I grew up in the Amherst area and have always had a love for the arts and nature. I have been a vegetarian for my entire life and have been vegan for 12 years too. I love animals and have always had pets such as horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, dogs and fish. I have 3 cats who live with me now; Needy, Zoey, and Zephyr. I also enjoy outdoor activities like swimming, hiking and riding my bike. I also love reading, listening to music and am currently learning how to knit. I am excited to be a part of TRCCS and to have the opportunity to learn and grow with it!
Grades Teacher Stacey Falk: I am the mother of five beautiful daughters, four handsome grandsons, one precious granddaughter, and a new grandchild due in November. I live in New London with my partner, David, my youngest daughter, and David’s four children. We also share our home with two dogs, two parakeets, seven rabbits, and many, many fish. We spend most of our free time doing family activities: board games, fishing, hiking, and exploring.
I have always wanted to be a teacher and I take great pleasure in guiding children in their construction of knowledge. I worked for New London Head Start for eight and a half years before leaving to finish my bachelor degree. I graduated from UW Oshkosh in 2009 and have taught 4K in Seymour and Plover before returning to Head Start two years ago as their Classroom Manager and 4K teacher in Waupaca. I am excited to be a part of this wonderful community of learners!
Grades Teacher Teresa Johnson: I have two children pursuing their own adventures in life, but I am not an “empty nester” in any sense. I share my daily life with my partner, two dogs, a cat, a snake, a turtle, a rabbit, and any other creature that ventures into the yard or our home in need of care.
I am passionate about teaching and developing a sense of wonder, curiosity, and love of nature within every child that I encounter. I was a
classroom teacher for many years after receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in Education, but realized that, although I love teaching, the traditional classroom was not where I wanted to teach. I decided to further my education, receiving a Master’s degree in Environmental Education at UWSP, and have been teaching in non-traditional settings ever since.
I believe that nature is a gift — a gift to be received graciously and
shared — and have shared this wonderful gift with thousands of children
over the years. I have seen a rekindling of their interest, excitement,
and desire to learn.
As classroom teacher, my perspective is that everyone is an individual, a
tree in a forest, but that we are also in unity — we learn, share, and
Music Artist in Residence Chris Kokesh Booth: Chris Kokesh is a newcomer to Wisconsin, but not to the national folk music scene. Before moving to the Scandinavia-Iola area in August of 2013, she called Portland, Oregon home for 17 years. There she performed solo as well as in several bands. Versed in bluegrass, country, old-time and folk traditions, her fiddle playing and harmonies have been heard multiple times on the stages of the Kerrville Folk Festival (TX) and the Sisters Folk Festival (OR) as well as on tours around the country with LJ Booth and with Jonathan Byrd of North Carolina in their duo The Barn Birds.
Chris was trained in classical violin (Suzuki method), so as a performer who has made the transition from classical to American folk styles, Chris has a unique perspective and talent for teaching students who want to play fiddle, accompany folk songs and learn to jam and improvise. The social and unscripted nature of jamming can be inspirational and fun, as well as a venue in which students learn to listen to each other and work together, skills that can be applied in many settings.
Teachers Assistant: I describe myself as ‘a teacher by nature as well as profession’ because even as a young girl I knew teaching was what I wanted to do.
I started my own family before acquiring a degree in education, and I felt at that time I wanted a school experience for my own children that was different than what the public school had to offer. In our small, rural community (Amherst, WI) a group of like-minded parents opened River Valley School, using the curriculum founded by Rudolf Steiner; Waldorf Education. When the school folded, I began my professional training in education at the UW Stevens Point.
I then taught Middle School for twenty years, two of which were on-leave for a project in Australia, where I was able to do some substitute teaching in remote aboriginal schools. My favorite courses in Rosholt were my 7th grade SS (Eastern Hemisphere) and my 8th grade Language classes. I also enjoyed teaching Math and Reading. For a period of time, I also served as the K-8 interim Gifted and Talented coordinator.
Last year I supported the Upper Grades with Waldorf mentoring, Long term sub for Ms. Maggie and the teachers assistant in Ms. Naomi’s room. During year one I served as the Upper Grades Classroom Teacher and the year previous on the TRCCS Governance board, as well as having attended conferences, DPI Charter School sessions, governance board retreats, TRCCS fund-raisers, and being involved in informational outreach. I find myself inspired, renewed, and in awe of the full-circle feeling that Waldorf education offers me at this point in my life and career.
School Coordinator & Movement Artist in Residence Chamomile Nusz: I have two boys who are 5 and 7 and I plan to take an active role in their education. I graduated from Amherst High School in 1995; I lived outside WI during and after college and came to greatly appreciate what an amazing community I came from. My husband and I moved back to WI in 2004 and are currently building a home south of Amherst. I received my bachelor degree from the University of Minnesota in Women Studies and DAnce and went onto head the formation of a renewable energy cooperative, the first of its’ kind in the US. I live my life with the belief that I can make a difference, and that the work I do each day needs to be moving us towards a better world. This belief in right livelihood has given me the chance to work with many great people, and affect change on an individual, community and global level.
When I was young my parents, Bob and Marguerite Ramlow, along with other community members, started River Valley, a private Waldorf School located in Amherst. I attended this school until the middle of 3rd grade when the school dissolved and I transferred into the Amherst Elementary School. The public school was incredibly supportive of River Valley and made my transition very smooth, The Charter School now has an equally wonderful relationship with the Amherst Public Schools. I feel this early Waldorf education helped form who I am today and I want to give my children the same opportunity. We hope by creating a charter school we have a better chance for success, being part of the public school system, which I strongly believe in, as well as being available to a broader economic demographic of students. My husband works in public education and we are committed to helping children and people grow through education. The first two years of TRCCS have been amazing and I look forward to the work that lies ahead.
Spanish Artist in Residence Lindy McLaren: I am very excited to be a part of the educational team at TRCCS! Ever since I was a girl, I have been interested in foreign cultures and languages. I learned that once you really know someone from another country, the world suddenly becomes a smaller, friendlier place. I studied the Spanish language in high school, and was awarded a Rotary International scholarship to be an outbound exchange student. My exchange student year took me to Argentina. It was a true immersion experience, as I was the only native English speaker in my host city. I became fluent in Spanish (and the lovely Argentine accent), and learned so much about another people and culture, and about myself as well. I went onto study at UWSP where I majored in Spanish.
After college, I focused on being a mother, and my love for learning continued as I was able to home-educate my children for 15 years. One of the things I loved about home-based learning was that it has a gentler manner, and I was able to encourage their natural curiosity, and dig deep into subjects of interest. I was also able to introduce my children and others to the Spanish language and culture by leading weekly classes for homeschool co-ops for 6 years. I want to to give the children the ability to relate with another language in their everyday lives, and to apply it in relevant ways an am excited to do this at TRCCS.
Practical Arts & Handwork Teacher and Faculty Support Kristy Stacy: When I learned of the Tomorrow River Community Charter School and its educational model I knew that I wanted my children to learn in the environment that the school will offer. I grew up in Iola, WI and remember trips to CWES and the connection that it gave me to nature. Connecting the Waldorf learning philosophy with environmental education will give my children the spirit and mindfulness that I truly desire them to have. (To be honest, I wish I was a kid again and I could attend!) As a mother of 3 young girls I have realized the impact that my decisions make on them. Being a parent is being a leader and a role-model. To me, it is the biggest responsibility that a person can have. I am excited to contribute my passion and knowledge to help the school evolve and succeed.
I have a BA degree in Communication of the Arts with an Environmental Design emphasis. I have completed my Art Education Teaching Certification and I am the Practical Arts and Handwork teacher here at TRCCS. I have lived in several communities throughout Wisconsin, including Madison and Green Bay. However, I have found myself back near my hometown and am eager for this new opportunity and adventure to experience with my family, friends and community.
Curriculum Developer Dr. Mary Barr Goral began her career in education over 30 years ago. After teaching in the public schools in Bloomington, IN for 11 years, she received both her masters and doctorate in curriculum studies and math education from Indiana University. Dr. Goral taught in higher education for 12 years and is currently an educational consultant. She is the educational director of Kentahten Institute for Waldorf Instruction, a regional teacher training in Louisville, KY and also oversees the Waldorf- inspired Project, a grant-funded program that supports public school teachers in the Louisville area who use methods inspired by Rudolf Steiner in their classrooms. Dr. Goral’s book, “Transformational Teaching: Waldorf-inspired Methods in the Public School”, tells the story of the teachers in Louisville who use these methods with their public school students. Dr. Goral has served on the board of Rudolf Steiner College and is currently a founding member of Green Meadows Charter School, a Waldorf-inspired initiative located in Bloomington, IN. She lives in Brown County, Indiana with her husband, children, and pets.