Seventh Grade Class Teacher & Lower School Chair
Lynn Aaberg has been a class teacher at Honolulu Waldorf School since 2001. She has degrees in botany and biology from University of California, Riverside and UCLA, and her Waldorf Teacher Certification from Sunbridge College. Lynn was introduced to Waldorf education while exploring schools for her children, who attended Waldorf Schools in Oregon and California before moving to Honolulu to attend HWS. Her three grown children live on three continents, most likely influenced by their experience in Waldorf Schools, all of which develop students' capacities to become independent human beings! Lynn enjoys the sunrise every morning with her husband, who makes the finest cup of mocha java to be found on the island. When not involved with school activities, Lynn serves as CSO of a small company specializing in custom-made wooden surfboards.
AbiNader, Mary Jo
Eighth Grade Class Teacher
Mary Jo AbiNader hails from Portland Oregon, where she promoted her first Waldorf class from first through eighth grade at Cedarwood Waldorf School. Prior to her Waldorf training at Rudolf Steiner College, Mary Jo taught the theater arts, directed plays, and worked with teachers in public schools on how to use music, art, and drama in the classroom - for a total of 18 years in Washington, D.C. and Portland. Her daughter lives and works in the Portland area, having been bolstered by her strong education in Waldorf K-12. Mary Jo is enjoying being a part of the Honolulu Waldorf School Community. She is very proud of her eighth grade students.
Frances was born and raised, then married and raised three children in Mo-town, Michigan. Ill-armed with a degree in art education, she taught in public schools for a number of years then vowed never to set foot in a classroom again. But when her husband stumbled across the Detroit Waldorf School, France broke her vow. After Gerald completed his training, Frances took her Waldorf training part time as she chauffeured her children to and from Waldorf and was active in the school PTO. She slipped back into the classroom after working first in the school kitchen, then in the accounting office, and in specialty subjects. Ultimately she had the joyful experience of being a class teacher. In 1987 she followed her husband to Honolulu and continued to class teach. After almost 40 years with Waldorf, she continues to learn more about this remarkable education.
Early Childhood Aide
Petra was born and raised in Germany, lived and worked in Sri Lanka, and came to the United States in 1997. While on a snowboarding vacation in Switzerland, Petra met her husband, Jarda Ruzicka, a retired professor and chemist. She received her Waldorf teacher training in Germany with a focus on Special Education, then moved to Seattle, where she and her family lived for 10 years. Her two children attended the Seattle Waldorf School, while Petra worked in a German language school. The family grew tired of the cold, and moved to Hawaii in search of warmer weather. In 2006 she sought out the Honolulu Waldorf School for her children, who transitioned smoothly into first and eighth grade. Petra worked as an aide in the HWS Kindergarten, while teaching German language in the middle grades and the high school. Petra continues to offer her abundant energy as a Kindergarten aide and as an avid parent volunteer with HWS's Annual Fund campaign. Her hobbies include hiking, jogging, snowboarding, and yoga, for which she will begin teacher training this school year.
American Sign Language Teacher (Makai Campus)
Sherylynn is originally from San Diego, California but in August of 2010, she left her home town to follow her dream of living in the Hawaii. Since then, she has truly found her soul rooted deep within this island paradise. Sherylynn was born hearing but became deaf when she was two years old, due to a high fever caused by a severe ear infection. She didn't learn how to speak until she was 4 years old when she was enrolled into the deaf program at Lafayette Elementary School in San Diego. There she took speech therapy two to three times a week greatly improving her speech and comprehension of the English language. ASL, also known as American Sign Language, was Sherylynn's first language. Growing up, she continued communicating in ASL with the deaf community as well as speaking English to her hearing family. She admits she is very proud to be living her life being a deaf human! In 2011, Sherylynn started a small business teaching and tutoring ASL which lead to her awesome opportunity to work at Honolulu Waldorf School as an American Sign Language Teacher. Her passion has always been to build a bridge between the hearing and the deaf communities. Her ability to connect and communicate to the hearing and the deaf communities gives her a unique access and perspective to both worlds. Sherylynn has a tremendous passion to teach and loves helping her students learn and understand what is like to be a deaf person or being in a deaf community; which they soon learn, is a completely different world. Lastly, Sherylynn's favorite things to do in life are learning music and signing songs, snorkeling, shell hunting, making new friends with beautiful humans and animals, cooking, fitness, yoga, and last but certainly not least, teaching American Sign Language and seeing her students grow.
Early Childhood Teacher, Koa Class
Holli Bettis just joined HWS this year as a part of our EC team. Before living here she taught Kindergarten at Bright Water School in Seattle, Wa, taught at Whatcom Hills Waldorf school in the Kindergarten, Preschool, and Aftercare programs in Bellingham, Wa, and ran her own Waldorf home preschool for 3-5 year olds called Dandelion Kindercottage. She studied at West Coast Institute for Anthroposophical Studies in Vancouver, BC where she completed her Waldorf teacher training program. She completed a BA in Early Childhood Education at Ashford University. Before becoming a Waldorf teacher Holli worked as a nurse for seven years in Washington state as well as a Midwives assistant, postpartum doula and labor doula. She deeply enjoys working with young children and nurturing their senses through songs, stories, and circles. Waldorf education has been the golden thread of her life for the past 14 years. She is a single mom to three lovely daughters who all attend HWS. She has been visiting the Hawaiian islands for years and is very happy to have landed here. In her spare time she enjoys running, hiking, yoga, knitting, doll making, cooking, swimming, snorkeling, and learning to surf with her daughters.
Third Grade Class Teacher
Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Donna moved to Honolulu in 1980, attended Brigham Young University graduated from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa with a BA in Political Science. She found the Honolulu Waldorf School while searching for a good education for her two children. She was so taken by the Waldorf philosophy that she pursued a Waldorf teaching certificate and other teaching degrees. She holds certificates as a Paralegal, a Hawai'i State DOE Substitute Teacher, a Kula Makua Teacher Training Graduate, and as a Kindergarten and Class Teacher. Outside the classroom, Donna enjoys swimming, gardening, and hiking.
Dela Cruz, Meilani
Student Support & Outreach Coordinator (Niu Mauka Campus)
Meilani's graduate studies in education included formal training in a variety of research-based reading and writing programs. As a reading specialist and instructional coach, she has facilitated countless professional development workshops to support teachers' language arts instruction, and has enthusiastically taught hundreds of children. Her mission is to support children in becoming confident and passionate life-long learners!
Applied Arts Teacher
Phil's love of the practical arts and the land and his zest for life has been with him since his formative years. This love took him on decade-long journeys throughout the mainland U.S. and Hawai‘i to apprentice with master craftsmen and cultural creatives. Phil's work with Waldorf education, in tandem with biodynamic and organic agriculture, traces back to the '70s. He continues his studies in group dynamics and human development (anthroposophy) while teaching earth arts at our high school and nurturing hope for our youth and the world they will help heal.
Physical Education and Movement Teacher & Athletic Director
Jana Fraser is a longtime member of the Honolulu Waldorf School ‘ohana, having attended the school from Kindergarten through Grade 8. An avid athlete who loves surfing, softball, and volleyball, she holds a Master's degree in Sports Administration, and degrees in education and exercise/wellness. She has taught physical education and has coached students at Olomana School, Kailua High School, Kalani High School and Punahou, where she also implemented weight training and nutrition plans for high school athletes. Jana concurrently teaches the science of nutrition at the University of Phoenix, while balancing family life with her husband and their two young sons. Jana and her husband also run a non-profit called CHAMP (Comprehensive Health and Academic Mentoring Program) that, through athletics, provides services primarily to the youth of Waimanalo.
Freitas, Edward Kepa
Kepa was born and raised on the east side of Oahu and is a graduate of Saint Louis School. He joined the Honolulu Waldorf ‘ohana after concluding a twenty-plus year career with the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Parks and Recreation, where he managed the overall maintenance and recreational operations for several high-profile locations such as Kapi‘olani Regional Park. The transition from the City and County position to managing the physical and logistical needs of both campuses was a natural and easy one for him to make. From Monday through Friday you'll typically find him on the Niu campus, maintaining the hedges, gardens, trees, and lawn, addressing plumbing issues, or beautifying the grounds. Kepa views both campuses' physical needs with an eye for increasing efficiency. In his spare time Kepa enjoys any ocean activity and spending time with his family: his wife, Lindsey, an HWS 8th Grade graduate, daughter Kiley (Grade 5), and son Kainalu (Grade 2). Kepa's current short-term goal is to learn how to throw the javelin so he can win the challenge brought forth by the Physical Education classes in which the loser pulls weeds!
High School Math Teacher
Hillary Godwise was born and raised in Indiana where she was very active in academics, athletics, and various clubs including being a performer with the Peru Amateur Circus. She attended Indiana University, where she played volleyball, swam competitively, and earned a degree in Mathematics Education and Computer Technology while also attending classes in marine biology, chemistry, and physics for fun. She holds a degree in special education and a master's degree in Athletic Administration from Ohio University. Her keen interest in kinesiology, exercise physiology, and underwater diving prompted her to work as a rescue diver. In 2002 Hillary returned to Indiana to teach and coach volleyball at Butler University. She continued her love of diving and marine life and worked with marine mammals at the Indianapolis Zoo. She has coached young women from 4th grade to NCAA Division I level and believes that girls need more role models in order to become strong, smart, kind, gentle, confident, and independent women. Her other interests include cooking, gardening, exercising, and being a wife and mother. Hillary has also boxed professionally and proudly defeated Olympic ice skater Tonya Harding in a boxing match.
High School Science Teacher
Jason Godwise hails from Indiana and is truly a "Renaissance Man." Jason's passion for the arts, academics, and athletics were evident in high school, having been president of the art and poetry clubs, captain of the football and wrestling teams, and in working in the school library. In college he wrestled, played football, and majored in Biology, Geology and Psychology while serving as president of Jujitsu, spelunking, and weight lifting clubs. As a school teacher Jason coached wrestling, football, track and started poetry, science, and ecology clubs. In 1995 Jason was awarded the Autobahn Award as Outstanding Science Teacher; in 2003 he won the $10,000 Lilly award for Teaching Excellence. He is experienced in the martial arts and has fought in bare knuckle matches around the world including the UFC, Vale Tudo of Brazil, and Japan. Jason has traveled extensively studying the forest ecology of America, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, and Poland. Licensed to teach Math, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, Biology, English, Social Studies, Business, Vocational Technology, Health, Physical Education, and Special Education, Jason is also a licensed high school librarian. He believes people have potential they aren't even aware of and, with guidance, they can become amazing beings.
Director of Development
For over twenty years, Angie has made lasting contributions towards the success of non-profit organizations by applying innovation, focus, and hard work to develop fundraising programs, build the capacity of volunteers and staff, and create systems that result in higher revenue and strong, long-term relationships. Angie has worked at Maryknoll School, the University of Hawai‘i Foundation-Cancer Research Center of Hawai‘i, Damien Memorial High School, and Academy of the Pacific as well as Easter Seals, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu, and Friends of the Hawai‘i State Art Museum. Angie was born and raised on Maui, attended St. Joseph Elementary School, Maui High School, then moved to Oahu to attend the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and Speech, and received her professional diploma in speech education. Angie "walks for miles" for exercise and runs a cookie basket business as a hobby to relieve stress from fundraising.
Ballroom Dance Instructor
Since 2011, Jacob has been the Ballroom Dance instructor at the Honolulu Waldorf High School. Jacob trained and danced at 24-7 Dance Force for ten years. Since 2012, he has been teaching Hip Hop and Jazz at X-Static Dance Studio. He is also a Ballroom Dance instructor at Arthur Murray Dance Center of Hawaii since 2006. He also been a featured dancer in Hawaii Ballet Theatre's production of "The Nutcracker" since 2005.
Spanish Language Teacher, Grades 1-12
Born in El Salvador, Silvia Jaimes moved to Los Angeles with her family as a little girl. She found what she was looking for in Waldorf Education–an education that nurtured children's bodies, hearts, and spirits. Silvia developed and instructed the Spanish language program at Santa Cruz Waldorf School for nine years before heeding the call in 2008 to come to Hawai‘i to grow HWS's fledgling Spanish program. Silvia loves sharing her culture and language with the children in the Lower School. She also enjoys dancing salsa and has found a place in the local culture by learning to dance hula and all that goes with it.
High School Visual Arts Teacher
Van James has a BFA in Drawing and Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and is a graduate of Emerson College in England (Art Dip.), and the Goetheanum School of Painting in Switzerland (Art Dip.). He teaches painting, drawing, the History of Art, and the History of Architecture at Honolulu Waldorf High School. He is a former board member of the Hawaii Alliance for Art Education and an international advocate for the arts in education teaching regularly as a guest instructor in training programs in the US, New Zealand, Australia and Asia. He is the chair of the Anthroposophical Society in Hawai'i, editor of Pacifica Journal, and author of several books on art and culture, including the award-winning Ancient Sites of O'ahu. His paintings and drawings are in numerous private collections, and his graphic designs can be found on book covers and brochures worldwide.
High School Science Teacher,
Student Support & Outreach Coordinator
Judy discovered Waldorf Education in 1999, when her daughter entered Kindergarten at the Malamalama Waldorf school on the Big Island of Hawaii. She brings together an organizational background in program management from the corporate world, the empathy of a parent whose child struggles with learning challenges, the experience of working one-on-one with challenged students as a private tutor, and the understanding of the Waldorf curriculum as a Honolulu Waldorf science teacher. She loves to dance hula, lose herself in a book, and figure out different ways to explain math problems. Judy holds a B.A. in Geology from the University of Hawaii, Hilo.
Early Childhood Teacher, Kamani Class
Born in Vermont, Jennifer set out in search of adventure, self-discovery, and warmer weather at the age of nineteen. After travelling and practicing the art of Tai Chi, she settled in the Los Angeles area and began studying child development.
The creative, thought-provoking lessons of a memorable professor inspired Jennifer to seek out holistic education and led her to Waldorf education. She enrolled in a Teacher Training Program in Southern California and became an assistant teacher in a Waldorf kindergarten. She also earned a BA in Child Development.
Now with a husband and two young children, Jennifer and family decided to move to Hawai‘i, and became part of the HWS 'Ohana in 2005. During this time, Jennifer worked as a substitute and aide in the Early Childhood progam. She continued her studies in early childhood and graduated from the Kula Makua Waldorf teacher training program in 2008. In the fall of 2008, Jennifer became a lead kindergarten teacher. She is the grateful recipient of a life filled with creative endeavors, music, mountains, and the laughter of little children!
We welcomed Irene Knuuti to the HWS ‘ohana in October 2012, just as she was searching for something new and challenging. She brings a wealth of expertise in fiscal management and forecasting in both the for profit and nonprofit sectors, most recently as Division Controller, Condominium and Timeshare Division for Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, and as Chief Fiscal Officer for Waianae Coast Community Mental Health Center, where she was responsible for its annual budget, and administered and provided fiscal management for the Center's three separate nonprofit organizations: a mental health service, a legal service, and a community economic development organization. Irene has worked as an accounting consultant, and was a part-time lecturer at the University of Hawai‘i, Leeward and Kapiolani Community Colleges.
Early Childhood Assistant
Mie Kojima was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. After graduating from college in Japan, she moved to Fairbanks, Alaska to get her M.A. in Community Development. She met her husband there and worked as a tour guide in Denali National Park. She and her daughter then moved back to Tokyo and lived there for three years. When the devastating earthquake hit Japan in March 2011, they came to Hawaii and found Honolulu Waldorf School. Her daughter started 3rd grade at HWS and soon after, Mie started to work as a substitute teacher in the EC program. Since 2012, Mie has been an assistant teacher in Milo class and enjoying cooking, singing, and doing Origami with the children. She also loves to surf and travel with her family.
High School Applied Arts & Woodworking Teacher
Lynn Weiler Liverton graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor's of Architecture degree in 1988. After practicing Architecture in Boston and Honolulu for 4 years, she attended UH and received her M.F.A.. Lynn began teaching at Waldorf in 1996 and teaches Grades 6,7 and 8 woodworking and Grades 9-12 in a variety of mediums. Lynn works as a professional artist in media ranging from monumental bronzes to small scale sculpture utilizing found objects. Her work can be found throughout the city of Honolulu and in private collections nationwide. "The discipline of architecture as a profession and the training I received while working as an architect has continuously served me in my approach to creating art. Gaining my Masters of Fine Arts honed my skills with various media and exposed me to many interesting aspects in the field of fine art. Working with students both inspires and exasperates me, keeping me on my toes and the students in my heart."
Sixth Grade Class Teacher
Sarah Maika is a lifelong Waldorf participant and the daughter of a handwork teacher. She attended the Lake Champlain Waldorf School in Vermont all the way from preschool through 12th grade. Whenever Sarah was home from college, she would be asked to substitute and teach music classes and it became pretty clear to her that she was supposed to be a teacher! After graduating from Smith College, Sarah took on a combined fifth/sixth grade at the Wellspring Waldorf school in Vermont, but sadly, the school closed before she could graduate her class. In 2016 Sarah graduated an 8th grade after two wonderful years together at the Orchard Valley Waldorf School, also in Vermont. At Orchard Valley, Sarah also taught a combined 7/8 chorus and art classes in several grades. For the last year, she has been working on her master's degree and Waldorf certification from Antioch University, and is now an official Waldorf teacher! After a lifetime in Vermont, Sarah married a Hawaiian native and the two have recently moved to Honolulu. She spends her free time knitting, singing, painting, hiking with her husband, and hanging out with her big Hawaiian family.
Fourth Grade Class Teacher
Kristine Mattson is an experienced Waldorf teacher and parent. All three of her children received a Waldorf education, and she graduated an 8th grade class from the Davis Waldorf School in 2012. Kristine has a Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis in Human Development and completed her Waldorf Certificate at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California. Before becoming a teacher, Kristine worked 18 years as a Paramedic in the San Francisco Bay Area responding to 911 emergency calls. Her hobbies include fiddle playing, soccer (she played Varsity at UCD and coached/refereed in Youth leagues) and traveling abroad. Kristine recently wed her high school sweet-heart, Dr. Kevin McCauley who works in the field of Addiction Medicine. The family is excited to be living in Hawaii and becoming a part of the Honolulu Waldorf Community.
Marguerite was born in France but moved to Hawai‘i as an infant where she grew up in Waimanalo and was fortunate to attend the Honolulu Waldorf School from 1982-1992.
Marguerite studied theatre at the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City and later eurythmy at Rudolf Steiner College. She has performed with Märchenensemble, a professional eurythmy troupe from the Eurythmeum-Stuttgart, giving over 100 eurythmy performances in three languages throughout Germany, Switzerland, Italy, England, and Scotland. She later joined Sound Circle Eurythmy for four years performing eurythmy regularly in community festivals in Boulder and Denver and touring complete eurythmy programs throughout Colorado while serving as adjunct faculty at the Sound Circle Eurythmy training.
Marguerite has lectured, offered published academic papers, and given workshops on eurythmy in Mexico, India, and the United States. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Boston University and an M.A. in Spiritual Philosophy from Prescott College. She is currently pursuing a second M.A. in Eurythmy Therapy part-time from Alanus Hochschule in Germany, which she expects to complete in Spring, 2018.
Marguerite enjoys, among other things, singing, acting, hiking, backpacking, traveling, and writing.
Grades After Care Teacher & Early Childhood Aide
Machiko is a parent of an HWS Waldorf Alumnus, and discovered the Honolulu Waldorf School while seeking the best education for her son. In pursuit of her own educational development, Machiko earned a B.S. in Early Childhood Education, studied with the Kula Makua Waldorf teacher training program, and has worked as an Early Childhood assistant. As the Grades After Care teacher, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and talents with HWS students. Machiko also enjoys downloading new ideas.
Japanese Language Teacher, Grades 1-6
Ikuko Nishimoto was born in Kochi, Japan, and moved to England to further her studies in English and Art History. After working for two years at a Japanese news agency in London, Ikuko vacationed in Japan and met a University of Hawai'i student who would become her husband. They moved to Honolulu together and had a son. After two years as a Kahala Elementary School teacher , she became the Japanese language teacher at Honolulu Waldorf, where she has been sharing her talent and knowledge for over 27 years. A proud parent of a Waldorf graduate, her appreciation of the Waldorf pedagogy grew as she attended courses at Kula Makua and Rudolf Steiner College. Ikuko's goal is for her students to learn basic Japanese phrases to gain confidence in interacting with Japanese people in Hawai'i and Japan. An avid tennis player and cyclist, she recently spent ten days pedaling around France on a solo tour of the countryside.
High School Humanities Teacher
Before moving to Hawaii in 2016, Jonathan worked at the Waldorf boarding school High Mowing in New Hampshire for eight years, wearing many hats: as a teacher, boys dorm parent, wellness counselor, and various other capacities. He is a Waldorf graduate, a trained Waldorf teacher, and holds a Master's degree in psychology. He also dabbles in writing, music (sitar), and other forms of creative exploration and expression. He is passionate about meditation, self-actualization, and hiking, and can often be found on one of the fabulous mountain ridges of Oahu, occasionally dragging his reluctant daughters with him. He is the father of Amara and Margot, both of whom attend the lower school.
Otaka Bryce, Yuka
First Grade Class Teacher
Yuka was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After finishing her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Davis in Human Development and Education, she continued on a path to find an education that aligned with all the components of her core beliefs and values. Her accrued experience in various teaching positions in Japan, Montessori schools, and group homes for emotionally challenged adolescents led her to Waldorf education. After earning her Waldorf Teaching Certificate, she continues to work on her Masters of Art from Rudolf Steiner College. She is excited to be part of such a warm HWS community and to be close to her mother, who resides in Waikiki.
High School Faculty Chair
Originally from cold and dry northern California, where she attended Stanford University, Bonnie came to Hawai‘i in 1967 as a newlywed and completed her B.A. in Anthropology at UH. She joined Honolulu Waldorf School in 1972, working in the kindergarten for five years before becoming a subject teacher and then a class teacher, training on the job. She served as Administrative Director for 3.5 years. She has completed three 8-grade teaching cycles. During a brief hiatus from teaching, she was assistant editor of the Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology, published in 1984. She has three grown children (all HWS alums) and three grandchildren, two currently enrolled at HWS. She loves to read, hike, and travel with her husband, also an HWS teacher.
Lower School Faculty Chair
Marcy comes originally from Ohio. Her first teaching experiences were with the Peace Corps in the jungles of Liberia and in the islands of Palau. After a decade overseas, she relocated with her two small children to Stockton, California, where she taught in Catholic schools. Looking for a simpler way of life, she moved with her family to Flagstaff, Arizona, to enjoy the four seasons in an alpine climate.
In 1995, she helped to start Pine Forest School, a Waldorf-inspired Charter, where she worked for 19 years in various capacities, including teaching grades 3-8, graduating two eighth grades, teaching kindergarten, sitting on the Board of Directors, chairing the College of Teachers, and serving as Director of Curriculum and Instruction.
She is overjoyed to join the staff at HWS and to fulfill her dream to return to the peace and rhythm of island life, in Hawaii ‒ her favorite place on earth. She enjoys yoga, painting, pastels, needle felting, and sewing, and has recently finished writing and illustrating her first children's book, Lady Spring.
Niu Band Director, Grades 6-8
Ernie Provencher is a versatile and accomplished bassist who has played as a freelance performer while living in Boston, N.Y.C., Helsinki, Santa Cruz, CA., Hong Kong, and Honolulu. Ernie has played for recordings, Broadway shows, and live appearances worldwide. He has written numerous compositions for modern dance and has been on the staff at the Theater Academy of Finland and the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts. In addition to performing, Ernie is active in music education in Honolulu including as the band teacher at Hanahau'oli School, a string teacher at Honolulu Waldorf School, a lecturer in Music in The Theater and Dance Dept. at U.H. Manoa, and in private students. Ernie has played with Michael Franks, Eartha Kitt, Joanne Brackeen, Curtis Fuller, Chico Freeman, George Gruntz, Mick Taylor, Dan Hartman, Georgie Fame, and many others. In Honolulu he has played with Jeff Peterson, Bill Tapia, Mihana Souza, Makana, Gabe Baltazar, Del Beazley, The Hot Club of Hulaville, Ginai and Pierre Grill, and the Balkan fusion band, Partners in Time.
High School Math Teacher
This is Michael’s third year as a Waldorf teacher. Prior to his move to Honolulu, he taught at public school in California, where he had lived his entire life in various cities from San Diego to San Francisco. He earned his Bachelor's at CSU San Jose, his teaching credential at CSU Long Beach, and his Master's at Saint Mary’s College of California.
Romero Demirbag, Jocelyn
Jocelyn is a "Maui girl" and raised in the musical and performing arts. She found Haleakala Waldorf School in 1996 when searching for her daughter's preschool and within five months was hired as the music and Hawaiiana teacher there. Jocelyn became the Administrative Director of the school in 1997, and then Chair of School from 2001-2006, and 2008-2015. Over the years Jocelyn has run her own business, run Child and Family Service's Maui office, and run the Maui office for the Hawaii Community Foundation. Jocelyn's most recent accomplishment is obtaining her Ed.D. in Educational Professional Practice from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her interests include swimming, running, singing Hawaiian music, dancing hula, reading, cooking, and speaking Turkish.
High School Humanities Teacher
Before joining the high school faculty at Honolulu Waldorf School, Ben Roosevelt taught for nine years at Academe of the Oaks in Decatur, Georgia, serving the school as Humanities Department Chair and as a member of the Leadership Group. A trained Waldorf teacher, Ben has been teaching since 2002. His core experiences as a teacher were at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, where he taught children in recovery from serious illnesses. Earlier in life, he worked on an organic flower farm in Tennessee and played in several rock 'n' roll bands. Ben has a B.A. in Religious Studies from Sewanee, an M.T.S. from Vanderbilt University, and an M.F.A. from the National University of Ireland, Galway.
Ben is also a working professional artist who has exhibited across the United States and Europe, including reviews in the Village Voice, The Irish Times, and THE SEEN, Chicago's international online journal. His pieces appear in many public and private collections, and his projects have been supported by organizations such as the Arts Council of Ireland, the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center, and Hotel Maria Kapel, a public arts space in the Netherlands.
Noel has worked as a part-time IT person at the Honolulu Waldorf School since January 2015. Despite repairing computers and doing some of that interweb stuff for a living, Noel is not a geek. Like many of our Waldorf students, Noel did not grow up with computers until after high school (they probably weren't invented yet, although he did develop a passion for problem-solving and figuring out when things all went wrong after he got married.
Noel has done "computer" work for several DOE and private schools, HMSA and the Sheraton hotels. He currently runs his own technology consulting company that does on-site repairs, networking,training, etc. for both small business and residential customers. Although his customers are primarily Mac users, he also has done Windows.
Early Childhood Assistant
Mikiko was born and raised in Saitama, Japan. After graduation, she lived in Hokkaido and worked as an announcer for Hokkkaido Broadcasting Company then as a freelance announcer in Tokyo until she married and moved to Hawaii in 2002.
Mikiko later moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2014 and received her Waldorf Teaching degree and graduated in 2016. She enjoys storytelling, surfing, and learning French.
String Teacher, Grades 3-8
Violinist Darel Stark has performed in over a dozen countries on three continents, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Also a violist, conductor and composer, he is one of Hawai‘i's most active solo and chamber music performers. He is concertmaster of the Bach Chamber Orchestra, teaches private violin and viola lessons, and coaches chamber music at Iolani School. With the Honolulu Symphony for sixteen years, he is associate principal violin of the new Hawai‘i Symphony. He can be heard on CBS Masterworks, Musica Baudino, Beauport Classical and SONY Classical. Born in New York City, he graduated from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and studied violin with Nicole DiCecco, Lazar Gosman and Berl Senofsky. At age eighteen he joined the Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra as its youngest member. His many accolades include prizes at international competitions in Italy and Switzerland.
Early Childhood Assistant
Kaori is originally from Japan, and she has been living in Hawaii since 2001. She earned an AS degree in Early Childhood Education at HCC in 2006. After she worked at several childcare centers, she started working at HWS as a kindergarten assistant from 2010. She completed Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Training at Kula Makua in Honolulu in 2012.
She loves traveling, surfing, gardening and yoga. She just returned from Bali, Indonesia where she enjoyed learning its rich culture, after she lived there for a year in 2016. She enjoys continuing to learn Balinese gamelan music and Indonesian language.
Early Childhood Teacher, Milo Class
Cindy was born and raised in Honolulu and has childhood memories of sunshine, sand, salt water, waves, and volleyball games. She graduated from Punahou School, where she played varsity tennis. After studying fine art and art education at various mainland colleges (were she earned a BFA in Fine Arts and a BS in Art Education) she returned to Honolulu. She and her husband Florian Sydow later became founding members of Kahumana Farm and Community in Waianae. For seventeen years they lived and worked there to develop community life, raise three children, work with handicapped adults and farm. The first year that teacher training was offered at HWS was 1989 and Cindy and her three children moved into Honolulu to begin her teacher training and their Waldorf schooling. After assisting in the Kindergarten for a year, she was offered a Kindergarten class of her own. She has been teaching in the EC since and has attended many workshops and conferences on Kindergarten work, music, arts and Anthroposophy. She continues to enjoy swimming and learning to play various musical instruments.
Astrid is not only a parent of one wonderful Honolulu Waldorf School student and an alumnus; she is an Eighth grade graduate! Her family has supported and been involved with HWS for many years. After working with her husband in the family business, Astrid now assists faculty and staff in the lower school with all their administrative needs. She has a strong belief in Waldorf education, having experienced it first-hand, and is uniquely suited to welcome both students and parents to the school.
Wong, Kathryn Mahealani
Na Mea Hawai'i Teacher
Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Kathy Wong is constantly amazed to find herself working at the Honolulu Waldorf School even after her two children have graduated. Starting as a parent volunteer in the library, Kathy has worked at the front desk, AP, AR, Technology, Facilities, and as an 'ukulele teacher. Kathy teaches Hawai‘ian Studies to HWS Grades and High School students, and coordinates our annual May Day program. She is also a kumu hula with Nā Hanona o ka Hālau Hula Pā Ola Kapu.
Early Childhood Teacher, Kukui Class
Lee has been working as an early childhood educator for the past 24 years. She studied art at the University of Georgia for her BFA degree, and after completing her Waldorf teacher training at the Denver Waldorf School, she worked at the San Francisco Waldorf School, the Mountain School in Corte Madera, CA, and the Haleakala Waldorf School in Maui. For the last six years, Lee has been working overseas teaching children in Bali, the United Arab Emirates, and in India.
Her passion is exposing young children to the rich and imaginative language used in storytelling and puppetry, as a means for language acquisition. Born in Florida, Lee is an avid swimmer and beach comber. Even as a young girl, she dreamed of living in Hawaii, and this is her third time to live in the Hawaiian Islands! She enjoys traveling the world to snorkel the living coral reefs, yoga, walking, reading financial news letters, and clothing design with indigenous fabrics.
Lee is the lead teacher in the Kukui Nursery classroom.
Middle & High School Japanese Teacher
Margaret Yamashita was born and raised in Honolulu. She received a B.A. in Japanese Language from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and an M.A. (Applied Linguistics-TEFL) and Ph.D (Japanese Sociolinguistics) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She did her dissertation fieldwork in Tokyo. Margaret is the co-author of Nihongo, Vol I, II, a secondary Japanese language textbook. She developed the Linguistic Advantage elementary level Japanese curriculum offered in after school enrichment programs at different locations in Honolulu. She has experience teaching elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students in Hawai‘i and abroad, and most recently taught at Assets School for 10 years. Margaret has two sons, and enjoys cooking and gardening in her free time.
Early Childhood Assistant
Ulrike was born and raised in a remote corner of upper Austria. Growing up in a family hotel business. She completed a culinary and catering training, traveled for a year, returned to Austria and completed the eurythmy training in Vienna with further studies in Dornach, Switzerland and England. She met her husband and moved back to Vienna to raise their first son. The family moved to Hawai‘i in 1992 where their second son was born, and joined Kahumana Community. Ulrike spent 17 years there working in many capacities and home-schooling her children. She completed the curative eurythmy training in England and began working as a curative eurythmist. Since 2007, she has brought her varied experience to her work as assistant in the kindergarten and after school program at the HWS.