Lower School Faculty

Children learn best if they love their teacher. When children enter Grade 1 in the Waldorf School, they meet the person, who ideally, will teach them the core curriculum for the next eight years. The relationship between teacher and child is constantly evolving and deepening, and provides a continuity often lacking today. Mutual trust and confidence allows the development of an authority. In this way, parents and teachers can work together over long periods of time, orchestrating their efforts to meet the changing needs of the child.


Grades Teachers

Heather Eisenhardt

Grade 1 Teacher

 

Ms. Eisenhardt earned her Master of Arts in Geography at Eastern Michigan University.  She taught High School Economics at Highland Hall Waldorf School before moving to Westside Waldorf , where she has spent the last 8 years teaching in the lower grades.

 

Ms Eisenhardt joined WSSD in 2018

Bonnie Holden

Grade 2 Teacher

 

Ms Holden has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences and has her Waldorf Certificate from Rudolf Steiner College. 

 

Ms Holden enjoys spending time with her new Grandson.

 

Ms Holden joined WSSD in 1986.  

Adrienne Patrick

Grade 3 Teacher

 

Ms Patrick has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design and completed her teacher training at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California.

 

Adrienne was born and raised in upstate New York. She enjoys design and puppetry.

 

Ms Patrick joined WSSD in 2013

Sherina Walker

Grade 4 Teacher

 

Ms Walker has a Master of Arts degree in Reading and Language Arts along with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Multiple Subject and a Reading Specialist Credential. She also completed the WISC program

 

 

Ms Walker joined WSSD in 2004.


Jessica Cohen

Grade 5 Teacher

 

Ms  Cohen has Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from the State University of New York. She also has her  Waldorf Teacher Certification from Rudolf Steiner College.

 

She is a dual citizen of the United States and Israel. She enjoys performing stand up comedy. 

 

Ms Cohen joined WSSD in 2014.

Mary Carmichael

Grade 6 Teacher

 

Ms Carmichael has a Bachelor of Arts in Community Health Education from California State University, Chico. She attended the New England Waldorf Teacher Training Institute and completed her studies at Rudolf Steiner College. Mary has also completed the Remedial  Education Program through The Association for Healing Education

 

She has a strong commitment to her study of and work in anthroposophical medicine.

 

Ms Carmichael joined WSSD in 1996.

Veronica Connaughton

Grade 7 Teacher

 

Ms Connaughton has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of San Diego, California and a California Teaching Credential and Master of Arts Degree in Special Education from National University. She also graduated from the Waldorf Teacher Training program.

 

Ms Connaughton joined WSSD in 2008.

Elyse Stussi

Grade 8 Teacher

 

Ms Stussi has a Master of Arts degree in Education from George Washington University. She has her certification in Remedial Education from the Association for Healing Education in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She received her Waldorf teacher training both in Brazil and in Washington, DC, at the Nova Institute.

 

Ms Stussi joined WSSD in 2008.



Subject Teachers

Amanda Womble

French Teacher

 

Madame Womble  received her Diplome d’Etudes Françaises from the Institut d’Etudes Francaises pour Etudiants Etrangers.

She has completed two years of Waldorf Teacher Education. She also completed Biodynamic Gardening Training at Rudolf Steiner College.

 

Her passions are biodynamic gardening and vintage clothing. 

 

Madame Womble joined WSSD in 2004

Paula Perez Costas

Spanish Teacher

 

Ms Perez Costas has a Master of Arts Degree in Ecotourism from the Universidad de Leon.

 

She speaks five languages and her passions include: social entrepreneurship, leadership, teamwork, personal growth, balance, community & social interactions, education, social justice, environmental justice, cultural roots, dance, languages, music, traveling and the outdoors. 

 

Ms Perez Costos joined WSSD in 2016.

Johanna Laurelin

Eurythmy/Orchestra Teacher

Ms Laurelin is co-director of The Waldorf Institute of Southern California and attended  University in Hamburg.

 

She is a widely acclaimed eurythmist who performs with stage groups in Europe and the U.S. 

 

Ms Laurelin joined WSSD in 2005.

Raychell Budd

Eurythmy Assistant

 

Ms Budd is currently in her third year at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California. She attended the Navy School of Music.

 

Raychell enjoys everything handwork and a newfound love of Eurythmy.

 

Ms Budd joined WSSD in 2015.


Sara Gomes 

Games Teacher

 

Ms Gomes has a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from San Francisco State University. She is also in her final year studying Spacial Dynamics. 

 

Ms Gomes joined WSSD in 2004.

Joshua Smith

Games Assistant

 

Bio Coming Soon...

 

Lynzie Allyn

Handwork Teacher

 

Ms Allyn attended New York University and has her teaching credential from  the Waldorf Institute of Southern California.

 

Her personal hobbies include: Dancing, Urban Cycling, Fibre + Textile Arts, Cooking + Baking.

 

Ms Allyn joined WSSD in 2018.

Emilia Sumelius-Buescher 

Handwork Assistant

Ms Sumelius-Buescher was born in Finland. She attended Waldorf schools there as well as the U.S. She studied physical theater, ensemble creation and mask-making at the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theater.

 

She has taught children seasonal crafts, physical theater, and mask-making,

 

Ms Sumelius-Buescher joined WSSD in 2018.


Lyudmila Rocket

Music Teacher

 

Ms Rockett She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, her Master of Arts degree in Choir Management and has extensive training in Orff and Kodaly methods.

 

She was born and raised in the Southern region of Russia. She loves to learn and enrich her knowledge in music pedagogy and is an active member of the San Diego American Orff Schulwerk Association. 

 

Ms Rockett joined WSSD in 2008.

Bram Goldstein

Strings and High School Orchestra Ensemble

Mr Goldstein is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Hausmann Quartet. He studied at McGill University, and later as a graduate student at the Longy School of Music. 

 

Mr Goldstein enjoys spending time with his family as well as playing tennis and baking bread. 

 

Mr Goldstein joined WSSD in 2013.

Dr. Ariana Warren

Winds

 

Dr. Warren holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from UC San Diego, as well as Masters and Bachelors of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of the John's Hopkins University.

 

In addition to teaching, Dr. Warren is also the Executive Director of the Parlor Orchestra

 

Dr Warren joined WSSD in 2013.

Elizabeth Brown

Cello

 

Ms Brown earned both her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Cello Performance from the Eastman School of Music.

 

Elizabeth Brown, a native of San Diego, has recently moved back to southern California after serving as the principal cellist of the Orquesta Sinfonica Sinaloa de las Artes in Sinaloa, Mexico  the United States, and Mexico.  

 

Ms Brown joined WSSD in 2015.


Areli Perez

Gardening Teacher

 

 

Bio Coming soon...

 

Socorro Maldonado 

Grade 2 Assistant /

Gardening Assistant

 

Ms Soco has a Bachelor in Architecture for the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California and a Master Degree in Regional Planning for El Colegio de la Frontera Norte. She is currently training to become a Teacher at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California (WISC).

 

Ms. Soco can usually be found gardening, hanging out with her husband and their dog, reading, and always curious to learn new things. 

 

Ms. Soco has been assisting Main Lesson and Gardening at WSSD since 2017. 

Peter Hodges

Woodworking Teacher

 

Mr Hodges has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Claremont McKenna College. He is a member of the first graduating class of the WISC San Diego program. 

 

Mr Hodges other interests include Tai Chi Chuan and Chinese swordsmanship, and the study and play of competitive chess.

 

Mr Hodges joined WSSD in 2005.

Joaquin Chavez

Woodworking Asst.

 


Catherine Arena

Educational Support Teacher

 

Ms Arena has a Master of Arts Degree in Elementary Education.  She also received her diploma in Remedial Education from the Rudolf Steiner College.

 

Ms Arena joined WSSD in  2015.

Lynne Ross

Middle School Math Teacher

 

Ms Ross has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Chapman University, Early Childhood Director creditentials and also has a Waldorf Teacher Certificate from the Rudolf Steiner College. 

 

Ms Ross enjoys walking/ hiking, dancing, kayaking, knitting, travelling with friends and siblings, and Taco Tuesday.

 

Ms Ross joined  WSSD in 1984. 

Leata Griswold

Middle School Support

 

Bio Coming soon...

Melissa Mello

Costume Mistress

 

Bio Coming soon...



Staff photos courtesy of Kel Casey Photography