WSSD 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

Maria Case

Grade 1 Teacher


Maria Case is coming to us from Florida and bringing over 14 years of experience as a Waldorf teacher. She’s worked with Grades students at Suncoast, Four Winds, Linden, and Summerfield Waldorf Schools, as well as public schools. Over her career, Her  Waldorf Teacher Training was fulfilled through Emerson and the Rudolf Steiner College and her teaching practicum at Stourbridge Waldorf School and Monterey Bay Charter. Ms Case has worked with a number of specialists and Master Waldorf Teachers further expanding her capabilities. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts from Lawrence University. 


Fun Fact: While in high school, Ms Case was a medal-holding State Storytelling Champion. If she could tell a good story in high school, imagine how she’ll hold an audience now!


Ms Case joins WSSD in 2019

Heather Eisenhardt

Grade 2 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 3 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.  

Deirdre Logue

Grade 4 Teacher


Deirdre Logue is coming to us from the Santa Fe Waldorf School and brings over 20 years of experience. She began her journey at Harriet Tubman Village Charter School in San Diego.

Deidre earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Notre Dame, graduated top of her class at SDSU with her Masters in Geology, and received her teaching credentials at Chapman University. Ms Logue also holds a California multiple subject credential. 


Ms Logue enjoys hiking, reading, artistic endeavors, gardening, travel and laughter.

Ms Logue joins WSSD in 2019.

Sherina Walker

Grade 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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.

Clare Knauss

Pedagogical Director


Clare has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Waldorf Education from Free University, Stuttgart, Germany. Along with a Diploma in Waldorf Special Education, Eurythmy Diploma, Curative Eurythmy Diploma and a Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology.


She's worked in many different Waldorf Schools all over the world. Including our neighbor; Sanderling Waldorf School as a Master Teacher and Mentor.

Subject Teachers

Amanda Womble

French Teacher


Madame Womble received her Diplôme d’Etudes Françaises from l’Université Paul Cézanne - Aix Marseille III. She is a certified Waldorf World Language teacher. She also completed Biodynamic Gardening Training at Rudolf Steiner College.


She holds 3 certifications in Aromatherapy, is a certified Master Herbalist, a certified Doula and is certified in applied nutrition.


Her passions are alternative health care, environmental wellness, social justice, and women’s health. Traveling and meeting people from lands far and near. She is a volunteer birth assistant for woman in need of support who have limited or no financial means.


Madame Womble joined WSSD in 2004

Lynne Ross

Middle School Math Teacher

Ms Ross has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Chapman University, Early Childhood Director credentials 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. 

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.

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 

Costume Mistress

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



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



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



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 3 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. 

Joaquin Chavez



Bio coming soon...

Sean Stussi



Bio coming soon

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.

Elyse Stussi



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.

Staff photos courtesy of Kel Casey Photography