Lower School Profiles

Grade 1

Xue Zhang - Grade 1 Class Teacher

Profile coming soon!

Tess Urbanski - Grade 1 Assistant

Profile coming soon!

Grade 2

Carolina Madeira Soares - Grade 2 Class Teacher, Circus Teacher - Lower School and High School

Carolina has a Bachelors and a Masters degrees in Social Communications from her home country, Brazil. In 2018, she graduated from the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto and completed a Spacial Dynamics core studies program.

Carolina has worked at TWS since 2018 as an Assistant Teacher, Movement and Games Teacher as well as High School Circus Teacher.

Before dedicating herself full-time to Waldorf Education, Carolina was touring the world performing as a trapeze artist.

 

Heather Lee - Grade 2 Assistant

Profile coming soon!

Grade 3

Michelle Patterson - Grade 3 Class Teacher

Michelle became deeply appreciative of Waldorf Education when she joined a Parent and Tot class with her first child.

Michelle completed her BA at Trent University, followed by her Montessori ECE certification and a Masters of Arts in Education soon after. She began her Waldorf training at RSCT in the summer of 2019.  Michelle brings with her a wealth of experience teaching both Montessori and Waldorf pedagogy over the last 20 years.

In 2005, Michelle and her husband travelled the world for a year and returned with a passion for both environmental issues and supporting families in need. Soon after, Michelle founded a community outreach program for families in need across the GTA.

Michelle loves to write, and has written 60 early childhood readers and two novels. In her spare time Michelle likes reading, baking and singing.

Grade 4

Nicole Levy - Grade 4 Class Teacher

Profile coming soon!

Grade 5

Michelle Frank - Grade 5 Class Teacher

Michelle has worked full-time at the Toronto Waldorf School since 2000 as well as being a member of the Therapeutic Circle since 1998. She pioneered counselling work in Waldorf schools. Michelle has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brock University in St.Catharines, Ontario, and Theraplay Therapist Certification from the Theraplay Institute in Chicago. Her son currently attends TWS and her daughters have both graduated from the school.

Grade 6

Warren Cohen - Grade 6 Class Teacher, Woodwork Teacher, Board Member

Warren has been the Codirector and Director of Waldorf Teacher Education of the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto. Warren has a background in both Physics and in Sculpture. His dedication to scientific inquiry and his love of creating art come together harmoniously in service of the development of others. Warren founded the Summer Festival of Arts and Education, which for the past seven summers has welcomed people from around the world to Toronto to be inspired by Waldorf pedagogy and the arts. His publications include Raising the Soul; practical exercises for personal development, Baking Bread with Children and Dragon Baked Bread.

Grade 7

Paula Rosa - Grade 7 Class Teacher

A graduate of University of Toronto, Paula completed her BA in History and Linguistics in 1984. She later added a Bachelor of Education in primary/ junior education from the University of Toronto, OISE in 1996.
Paula began her Waldorf teaching career at Waldorf Academy in 1996 as an assistant kindergarten teacher, eventually becoming a class teacher in January of 2001, and has since shepherded 4 classes through various grades. She graduated her first grade eight class in 2008, many of those students had been with her since kindergarten!
For many years Paula took an active coaching role in the middle school volleyball and basketball sports program and taught games and physical education lessons across the grades.
A life long learner, Paula has attended many Waldorf professional development courses and has attended the World Teachers Conference in Dornach  2 times. She is also a Waldorf teacher mentor and has been an AWSNA delegate.
Her two children are Waldorf graduates. In her spare time, Paula enojoys reading, canoeing, spending times with her family and travel.
 

Grade 8

Miki Higashine - Grade 8 Class Teacher

Miki grew up and taught English in Japan where she discovered anthroposophy. She later moved to BC, Canada, then to California where she attended  the Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento. Miki graduated from teacher training in 2002 and has taught Grades 1-8 at the Camelia and Live Oak Waldorf Schools in Northern California.

She enjoys reading, swimming and walking in nature.

Educational Support

Margaret Bleek - Educational Support - Lower School

Margaret has a B.A. from Smith College in Massachusetts, and an M.A. from Princeton University. She is a graduate of the Waldorf Teacher Education program at Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto, and of the applied arts program at Sunbridge Institute, NY. She has a remedial certificate from the Association for a Healing Education. Her two children are graduates of Toronto Waldorf School.

Resource Teacher

Erika Starzynski - Resource Teacher - Lower School

Erika has a Masters of Education from Antioch University, NE where she also completed her Waldorf teacher-training in 2006. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Literature from Soka University of America in Orange County, CA.

She did her student teaching at the Chicago Waldorf School and taught her first class at the Honolulu Waldorf School. She returned home to Toronto after being in the U.S. for almost 10 years where she was a class teacher at Waldorf Academy in downtown Toronto. After having her second son, she moved into mentoring new teachers and working Professional Development and Curriculum development. Erika is currently participating in the Healing Education and Remedial HEART program.

Kathryn Humphrey - Lower School Faculty Chair, Resource Teacher, IEP Support Teacher

Kathryn has been at the Toronto Waldorf School since since 1988 and has taken three classes through Grades 1 to 8, and one class from Grade 4 – 8. Prior to that she taught in Thailand and Ontario, teaching all ages from Kindergarten to adults. Kathryn is a graduate of the Waldorf Teacher Education program at the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto.

She has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University. Kathryn participated in the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) Pedagogical Advisors Colloquium. She has completed the Healing Education and Remedial Training (HEART), a program specializing in work with the extra lesson, and Remediation Plus™, specializing in literacy.  During her sabbatical years, she has worked in Waldorf Teacher Education programs in Peru, Thailand, and Toronto, and volunteered in a local public school.

Specialty

Agathe Polach - French Teacher - Lower School

Agathe has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. She has been teaching at the Toronto Waldorf School since 1992, and coordinates the “semaines françaises” — biannual week-long conferences for Waldorf French teachers. Her son is a TWS graduate.

Andrew Starzynski - Grade 12 Advisor, Math Teacher - Middle School and High School

Andrew was born to two Waldorf teachers and raised in Chicago, Illinois. After majoring in Mathematics and Philosophy and minoring in Computer Science for his undergraduate degree at Beloit College, Andrew went on to work in IT in Austin, Texas. He later completed a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics from the University of Houston and then went back to Chicago to teach high school mathematics. Three years later he was married and living in Honolulu, Hawaii this time teaching both middle and high school math and computer science.

In 2013, Andrew moved to Toronto where he taught middle school math at Waldorf Academy in downtown Toronto. Andrew, his partner Erika and their children joined TWS in 2017.

Ariel Massett - Grade 12 Advisor, Art Teacher - Lower School and High School

Profile to come

CoCo Verspoor - Eurythmy - Lower School

Profile coming soon!

Jonathan Snow - Eurythmy - Lower School

Jonathan is an alumnus of Toronto Waldorf School. He pursued eurythmy internationally, completing both artistic and pedagogical training in Stuttgart, Germany, obtaining the eurythmy teacher Bachelor of Arts in The Hague, Netherlands and participating in workshops in the USA. He is a certified Bothmer® gymnast, Spacial Dynamics® Level II therapist and Level III instructor. He has been a guest instructor in schools and adult training centres around the world. He continually explores various movement arts, from dancing to martial arts.

He also has a multidisciplinary Bachelor’s degree at the Université de Moncton, specializing in Philosophy, Arts and Social Sciences.

Karanvir Singh - Athletic Director - Lower School and High School

Profile coming soon!

Kathryn Humphrey - Lower School Faculty Chair, Resource Teacher, IEP Support Teacher

Kathryn has been at the Toronto Waldorf School since since 1988 and has taken three classes through Grades 1 to 8, and one class from Grade 4 – 8. Prior to that she taught in Thailand and Ontario, teaching all ages from Kindergarten to adults. Kathryn is a graduate of the Waldorf Teacher Education program at the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto.

She has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University. Kathryn participated in the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) Pedagogical Advisors Colloquium. She has completed the Healing Education and Remedial Training (HEART), a program specializing in work with the extra lesson, and Remediation Plus™, specializing in literacy.  During her sabbatical years, she has worked in Waldorf Teacher Education programs in Peru, Thailand, and Toronto, and volunteered in a local public school.

Keren Dorfman - School Counsellor – High School

Profile coming soon!

Lynn Featherstone - Music and Choir Teacher - Lower School and High School

Lynn was raised in Cambridge, Ontario, where she started piano lessons at age 6, beginning a life-long pursuit in musicianship – as a choral singer, soloist and conductor. At the University of Toronto she completed both her Bachelor of Music in Music Education in Voice Studies and her Masters in Music Education. Lynn is an alto with the Elmer Iseler Singers, a 20-voice fully professional choral ensemble that performs across North America, and for over a decade Lynn has been an alto soloist at Fairlawn Avenue United Church. Lynn was formerly Associate Conductor for the Bach Children’s Chorus, under conductor Linda Beaupré, as well as a music teacher at Crescent School in North Toronto.

Marc Funkenhauser - Orchestra - Lower School and High School

Marc earned his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Windsor, and his Master of Music Performance from the University of Toronto.  In addition to being a passionate music educator, Marc is an active freelance performer who works with an eclectic variety of artists, orchestras, and musical groups throughout Toronto and Ontario.  In his free time, Marc loves to cook, and play volleyball.

Mary-Lu Spinney - Gardening, Movement and Circus Teacher - Lower School and High School

After studying biology at the University of Western Ontario, Mary-lu moved to Toronto to complete a three year intensive training program in contemporary dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She then worked as a choreographer, director and performer for over ten years. In 2002 she completed her yoga teaching certification in Ashtanga yoga. In 2010 she completed her Foundations in Anthroposophy and in 2011 her Waldorf Teacher Training certification at the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto. Mary-lu enjoys the circus arts, growing her own food, and yoga. Her son currently attends TWS.

Polina Isakharova - Lower School Substitution

Profile coming soon!

Susan Digby - Grade 9 Advisor, Handwork, Clay and Pottery Teacher - Lower School and High School

Susan has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph, a Bachelor of Education from York University, and is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. She has taught part-time at the Toronto Waldorf School since 1991 and full-time since 2004.

Susan has four sons, all of whom are TWS graduates.

Warren Cohen - Grade 6 Class Teacher, Woodwork Teacher, Board Member

Warren has been the Codirector and Director of Waldorf Teacher Education of the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto. Warren has a background in both Physics and in Sculpture. His dedication to scientific inquiry and his love of creating art come together harmoniously in service of the development of others. Warren founded the Summer Festival of Arts and Education, which for the past seven summers has welcomed people from around the world to Toronto to be inspired by Waldorf pedagogy and the arts. His publications include Raising the Soul; practical exercises for personal development, Baking Bread with Children and Dragon Baked Bread.

Xie Jing - Games and Remedial Teacher - Lower School

Xie Jing grew up in China and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. She taught in the first Waldorf school in China for several years. After moving to Canada, she attended Carelton University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours, later moving to Toronto where she graduated from the teacher training program at the Rudolf Steiner Centre. She has been working at TWS since 2018, and her two children currently attend the school.

After Care

Gledis Naska - After Care Teacher

Profile to Come!

Eurythmy Pianists

Esther Chu - Eurythmy Pianist

Profile to Come!

Catherine Maguire - Eurythmy Pianist

Profile coming soon!