Classroom Teachers: Maggie Dorsey (1st), Laurie Low (2nd), Teresa Johnson (3rd), Stacey Falk (4th), Emily Conner (5th/6th), Daniel Quade (PK/K), and Naomi Weaver (Pk/K)
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Special Education Teacher: Elizabeth Schrader
Virtual Charter School Teachers: Stephanie Aleman, and Tracy Wheatley
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Spanish Artist in Residence: Lindy McLaren
Music/Violin Artist in Residence: Chris Kokesh Booth
Practical Arts Teacher/Handwork Teacher: Rue Martini
PK/K Teachers Assistant: Jeremy albright and Lindsey Jenkins
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School Coordinator/Movement Artist in Residence: Chamomile Nusz,
Office Assistants: Laura Brown and Brigid Ferkett
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Curriculum Developer: Dr. Mary Barr Goral
Maggie Dorsey (1st Grade Teacher) has been teaching at the Tomorrow River Community Charter School since its opening in 2013. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Alverno College in Early Childhood/Elementary Education with supports in English/Language Arts and Music. Prior to working in Amherst, Maggie was a kindergarten teacher in Portland, Oregon for 3 years, and worked in the Beaverton School District as well as the Fairview School District teaching 3rd grade. Along with teaching, Maggie worked for Morrison Child and Family Services conducting parenting classes for parents of various backgrounds and needs.
Maggie discovered Waldorf Education while in college and was struck by the importance of the arts in the curriculum. She studied and observed in Waldorf classrooms while still attending college and continued to use her learned skills and musical passion in her classrooms. She has attended classes through the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute, Kentahten Institute for Waldorf Instruction, and is receiving her certification through Transformational Teaching. She has also been a member of the school’s governance board since 2015.
Daniel Quade (Early Childhood): Dan is an enthusiastic and capable person with a passion for helping young children grow. In May of 2009 he graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point (UWSP) with a degree in Exceptional Education. After completing my training he spent two years working at Mead Elementary, a charter school serving a high-poverty area in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. he was the IEP Case Manager for 12 students identified as EBD whom he supported in achieving their academic, social, and behavioral goals.
While in montana he was fortunate enough to work at a high quality early childcare center as a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher. His 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 he has always been interested in alternative educational methods, and believes in a humanistic and child-centered approach to pedagogy. He has worked to “unschool” his self and those around him in order to facilitate what he feel is a more natural learning process. he enjoys spending time experiencing the natural world through exploration, gardening, and play. he has seen first-hand the power and importance outdoor environmental experiences have in the lives of young people. Through Waldorf he hopes to more fully respect and honor the lives of the children he teaches.
Naomi Miller (Early Childhood Teacher) has been teaching PreK/Kindergarten at the Tomorrow River Community Charter School since 2014. She graduated with her Master’s Degree in Education from Mount Mary University, along with her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Great Lakes Waldorf Institute in 2017. She previously taught 4K in the Stevens Point Area School District and 3 Year Old Preschool classes in the area. Shey graduated from UW Oshkosh with her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education – Pre-K through 6th grade in 2008. She had previously taken dance classes since she was 4 years old and went to UW Milwaukee as a Dance Major in 2001. She enjoys the early years of education because children are so full of wonder, imagination and enthusiasm.
She grew up in the Amherst area and have always had a love for the arts and nature. She has been a vegetarian for her entire life and has also been vegan for 12 years in the past. She loves animals and has always had pets such as horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, dogs and fish. She has 5 cats who live with her now; Needy, Zoey, Zephyr, Cosmo and Gizmo, and 2 goldfish; Zebula and Skittle. She enjoys outdoor activities like swimming, hiking and riding her bike. She also loves singing, reading, listening to music, knitting and crocheting. She married her husband Nathaniel in 2016 and welcomed their son Elijah to the world in 2017, these two guys are the loves of her life.
She has learned a lot about child development in her years as a teacher and is proud to be a part of the Tomorrow River School District. It is amazing to have the support and understanding from the district for the charter school and she is excited to continue to be a part of TRSD & TRCCS and to have the opportunity to learn and grow with it!
Stacey Falk (4th Grade Teacher) has been teaching at TRCCS since 2015. She has always wanted to be a teacher and takes great pleasure in guiding children in their construction of knowledge. She worked for New London Head Start for eight and a half years before leaving to finish her bachelor degree. During her time at Head Start she worked with families and children, creating a true partnership in education. She graduated from UW Oshkosh in 2009 and has taught 4K in Seymour and Plover before returning to Head Start as their Classroom Manager and 4K teacher in Waupaca. Stacey has attended many trainings on special education, emotional development, and challenging behaviors.
Teresa Johnson (3rd Grade Teacher) received her Bachelor’s Degree of Elementary Education in 1996 and her teaching license that same year. After teaching several grade levels (formal and non-formal) as well as multi-grade classrooms for many years she returned to school to work on a Masters Degree of Science Natural Resources in 2004. She began her Masters studies at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana until transferring to UW-Stevens Point where she received her Masters Degree of Science Natural Resources with Environmental Education Specialization in 2009. In 2015 she began coursework and training for Waldorf Teacher Certification through Transformation Teaching.
Throughout the years Ms. Teresa has completed additional training and coursework to be certified as an Instructor for WI Project Learning Tree Program Curriculum 4K-12th, WI Flying Wild Curriculum, and WI Master Naturalist Program. She has also received certification in WI K-12th Energy Education Curriculum Program, Aldo Leopold Project, and WI Project Wild & Aquatic curriculum K-12th.
Just for fun, Ms. Teresa is a certified Master Gardener and a trained WI DNR Carnivore Tracker. She is also a WI DNR Citizen Monitoring Frog and Toad surveyor during frog season. Ms. Teresa is so compassionate about the environment, children, and communities, that she has also taken time to be a grant reviewer for the Environmental Protection Agency, be a presenter for WI Association for Environmental Education conferences, 4-H group Leader, 4-H Plant and Soil County Fair Project Superintendent, and sit on a village board as an Elected Trustee.
Laurie Low (2nd Grade Teacher) Teaching began as a ‘calling’ when she was a child, and it’s barely skipped a beat since! She has education credits from UW Milwaukee, where her concentration was on the ‘at risk’ student population, and UW Stevens Point where she finished her licensure in K-8, with a focus on both the teaching of reading and gifted/talented education. When her children were young, she was a co-founder of River Valley School in Amherst. At this point, Waldorf education became a focal point for training. After River Valley closed she taught Middle School students in Rosholt WI for twenty years. She has also experienced teaching in remote aboriginal schools, where she was a research assistant on a project documenting Australian rock art.
She has been with TRCCS as a teacher, board member, and mentor since its inception in 2012. She began working towards her Waldorf teacher training certificate through Transformation Teaching during the summer of 2016.
Emily Conner (4th/5th Grade Teacher) has been teaching at Tomorrow River Community Charter School since 2014. She received her Wisconsin teaching licence in Elementary/Middle School Education (Grades 1-8) in 2005 from Carthage College. Emily has been working on her Waldorf Teaching Certificate through the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute in Milwaukee since 2014 and has one class left until completion.
Emily graduated from UW- Stevens Point 2001 with a B.S. in Geography with minors in Geology and Environmental Studies. She worked at River Bend Nature Center in Racine from 2001-2005. She worked with students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Elizabeth Schrader (Cross-Categorical and Response to Intervention (RtI) Teacher) has been teaching at the Tomorrow River Community Charter School since 2014. Earlier that year, she received her Masters of Special Education from UW-Madison and WI teaching license in special education. Prior to that, she worked in the Madison Metropolitan School District for 2-3 years as an educational aid, substitute teacher, and student teacher. Additionally, she worked alongside Dr. Aydin Bal in developing and implementing the Culturally Responsive Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports qualitative research project (CRPBIS).
Elizabeth was excited to begin her journey studying Waldorf Education in the spring of 2015, completing her Foundations Certificate from the Rudolf Steiner Centre-Toronto in the spring of 2017. She began the Healing Education and Remedial Therapy (HEART) training in the summer of 2017. Elizabeth has an undergraduate degree in music therapy (UW-Eau Claire, 2008), as well as her board certification in that field (MT-BC) and Neurologic Music Therapy fellowship (NMT).She continues to operate Legato Music Therapy Services, LLC, and practice music therapy over the summer with Adam’s Camp, a interdisciplinary therapy camp in Colorado.
In 2016, Elizabeth co-founded Disability Support International, a non-profit that supports organizations working with people with disabilities around the world. She has served on the board of directors since 2016 as the Chair.
Jessica Schmidt (TRCCS Special Education & Classroom Assistant) has been working at the Tomorrow River Community Charter School since 2016. She worked as a substitute teacher and parent volunteer starting in 2014.
Ms. Jess attended UW-Stevens Point and earned a Bachelor’s degree in English. She also obtained her certified Nursing Assistant certification in 2009 and worked at St. Clare’s Hospital in Weston as a CNA. Ms. Jess cares deeply for kids and enjoys being part of a team of amazing individuals who work at TRCCS.
School Coordinator & Movement Teacher Chamomile Nusz: was one of four mothers who started the Tomorrow River Community Charter School (TRCCS) and has two boys who attend the school. She authored the TRCCS Charter Contract, DPI $350,000 Charter School Planning & Implementation grant, and the Tomorrow River Community Middle School (TRCMS) $700,000 DPI Charter School Grant. In 2017 she authored the Tomorrow River Virtual Charter School (TRVCS) Charter Contract, which was approved, and is in its second year of operation. She has served as the TRCCS School Coordinator since 2012. She has received multiple grants and certifications for TRCCS, including the Green and Healthy School’s highest ranking Sugar Maple Status and US Department of Education’s National Green Ribbon Schools Award in 2014.
Chamomile attended Evergreen University in Olympia Washington and then the University of Minnesota Twin Cities graduating in 1999 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Women Studies with a minor in Dance. She was the Executive Director of a Renewable Energy Cooperative and owner of a Dance Studio. She is also a certified yoga instructor, teaching weekly yoga classes and natural childbirth workshops. In 2015 she received her WI DPI Substitute License and in 2017 her WI DPI Charter School Teaching License.
In 2018 Chamomile received her Masters in Education from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point (UWSP). She has worked with UWSP and Transformational Teaching to develop the first Public University Waldorf Teacher Training Master’s program in the United States. She currently is an adjunct teacher for the program and working to complete her Waldorf Teacher Certification.
Chamomile serves as the Secretary and Treasurer for the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education, the membership organization for Public Waldorf Schools in the United States. She also chairs the Development Committee for the Alliance and supports the planning of the Alliance Annual National Conference. In addition she works with a team of Waldorf leaders who are developing a cooperative funding program for Waldorf Education through the Rudolf Steiner Foundation.
Laura Brown (Office Assistant) joined the TRCCS community as an excited parent in 2014, and shortly afterward was hired as Office Assistant. She serves many functions including reception, clerical support, record keeping, and providing first aid and individual support for students and teachers as needed.
Laura graduated from SPASH in 2000. She attended two years on a National Merit scholarship at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities before changing course to attend Massage School instead. She worked as a licensed massage therapist in Stevens Point until her first child was born. Becoming a parent opened her eyes to the wonders of working with children, and for 6 years she put her clerical skills to good use at the Boys and Girls Club of Portage County. She was thrilled to join the TRCCS team in its second year and is thankful everyday for the opportunity to be a part of such a caring educational community.
Brigid Ferkett (Office and Support Staff at TRCCS/TRVCS). She enjoys helping teachers and families do the things they want, and get them the information they need. She is in charge of organizing field trips, the lunch program and all the great volunteers. Please contact her with any questions at any time. She has also been a parent to three students at TRCCS since the beginning of the school in 2013, one in each grades 3 and 5 and one in 8th grade at Waupaca. She owns and operates a farm and market stand with vegetables and flowers in the summer alongside her husband and also raises sheep for meat and wool. Being outside is her favorite place, but she also loves to bake, and sew, and volunteer in her community.
Previously to this job, she has worked as a children’s librarian, a substitute teacher and as an environmental and outdoor educator at nature centers and zoos. She has a degree in Outdoor Education from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin.
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 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.
Chris Kokesh (Strings: Grades 4-5-6) began teaching at the Tomorrow River Community Charter School in 2015 as a Musician in Residence. She has been teaching violin, fiddle, guitar, ukulele and songwriting lessons and workshops since 2005, and co-founded the Zigzag Songwriting Camp in Mt. Hood, OR in 2011. In 2016 Chris attended the American Suzuki Institute at UW Stevens Point for Book 1 training.
Chris earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Pomona College (Claremont, CA) in 1996, and studied both at the School for Field Studies in Queensland, Australia and at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, CO. However in 1997 she left science to become a performing musician when she joined the all-woman quartet Misty River. The band toured extensively for 17 years throughout the United States and as far as Canada and China. In 2007 Chris also began touring with Jonathan Byrd of North Carolina, and in 2011 with LJ Booth of Scandinavia, WI.
Rue Martini (Practical Arts Teacher) started teaching at Tomorrow River Community Charter School in September 2018. They had previously taught at TRCCS as an Artist in Residence in 2015 and as substitute teacher during the 2017/2018 school year. They have studied art, education and women’s studies at Portland Community College (PCC) and Portland State University (PSU) in Oregon. They hold a Video Production Certificate from PCC and a Certificate in Writing from the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC). Their education background includes teaching summer camp, after school, and evening classes to adults and grades K -12. Curriculum has included fiber arts, leather work, bookbinding, video production, animation, publishing, and travel studies. They use a feminist framework in developing curriculum and creating a safe learning space for students of all identities.
Over the years Rue has volunteered and worked for various organizations that lend to their passion for art, activism and teaching. In 2017 they managed Prior Day Farm, a non-profit cultivating art and sustainability. During this time they partnered with Project Grow, an organization providing art and farm opportunities to people with developmental disabilities. They have worked at the Independent Publishing Resource Center between 2010-2017 as a Letterpress Shop Steward, Bookbinding Steward and Community Outreach Facilitator. Rue was Chief of Staff/Volunteer Coordinator of the Experimental Film Fest PDX between 2010-2012. Their volunteer work started at the Albany Damien Center, an HIV/AIDS community space in Upstate New York, in 2006.
In 2017 Rue started Tomorrow River Homestead, a community lodging facility providing programming that nurtures community and identity through creative space. They offer artist residencies, open studio and workshops to enrich the community. Rue Martini is a practicing writer, artist and homesteader.
Ed Lemar (1st-3rd grade Music) started his musical career in the 6th grade when he learned alto saxophone for the school band. After graduating from The Evergreen State College in 2001 he started his career as a songwriter and traveling minstrel. Since then he has performed thousands of shows, written plays, musicals, starred in films, and co-founded the Wisconsin Roots Music Cooperative. He is passionate about Waldorf Education.
Ed’s wife, Angie Lemar, works for a non-profit that promotes recycling in Wisconsin. They have two daughters, Addelaide and Calliope. You will often find the family bicycling around Nelsonville, canoeing down the Tomorrow River, or wandering the midwest performing at music festivals.
Stephanie Alemán (4-7th Grades TRVCS) Stephanie has been working at the TRCCS as a substitute for the past 2 years. This past fall, she acted as a long-term substitute for the 6th grade class and has acted as the lead teacher substitute in all the grades at the Charter school while getting to know all the students and various aspects of Waldorf education that guide our curriculum. She’s very enthusiastic about taking on the virtual school assignment.
She earned a PhD. in Cultural Anthropology and Botany from UW-Madison and has been a university professor for over a decade. A few years ago, she applied for and received a major National Science Foundation research grant to do collaborative fieldwork in the northern Amazon rainforests in Guyana, South America. After two years, she returned to central Wisconsin and settled in Amherst with her two boys, who now attend Amherst High School.
She grew up in Wausau, attended UWMC and then UW Madison before doing long-term fieldwork for her dissertation. She taught at the university level and in continuing education and is now pursuing a 5th academic degree as a Master of Education in order to receive a full-time teaching license in Wisconsin for K-8 education. Her area of specialization as a public-school teacher is in Environmental Science and Education.
She recently developed a small business in collecting and preparing herbal remedies from local plant helpers and also offers workshops and classes in all aspects of botany, plant identification, medicinal uses, practical preparations, and the history of plant/human relationships in various cultures around the world. Her main hobby is botanizing far and wide in Wisconsin, being out of doors and learning more about plants and ecosystems, especially those of our state.
Tracy Wheatley (TRCCS RTI, and Pre-K – 3rd grade at TRVCS.) Tracy started with TRCCS this fall as a part time RtI/Intervention Teacher. she will continue to fulfill that role while taking on part of the virtual school. She is looking forward to bringing Waldorf curriculum to your child in a way that interests and excites them!
She grew up in Athens, Wisconsin and went to college at UW-Marathon County and UW-Eau Claire. After graduation, she substitute taught in the Eau Claire school district while waitressing at Randy’s Family Restaurant. In spring of this year, she took a three month job teaching outdoor education at the YMCA of the Rockies in Colorado. her experience with teaching in the outdoors led her to apply for a job at TRCCS. This summer, she taught summer school for the Wausau school district. she recently moved to Stevens Point and she is enjoying being close to my family and friends. she loves walking around Schmeeckle Reserve and if you have any hiking spot recommendations, let her know! she’s always been an avid reader and loves writing. She really enjoys making things and doing creative projects so she is looking forward to bringing that to the virtual classroom.
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.