Jessica Heffernan Ziegler
Jessica has been the executive director of Sunbridge Institute since 2008. Her professional focus on leadership skills, governance issues, and personnel development are utilized both in her executive director role and in her work as co-instructor of Sunbridge’s “Collaborative Leadership” course and related workshops; she also teaches Waldorf school administration in Sunbridge’s Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Education program and previously taught in Sunbridge College’s Administration and Biography programs. Jessica is a partner in MIRA Companions for Development, an international consulting group, and works as an executive coach and organizational development consultant for Waldorf administrators and teachers and other professionals in diverse institutions and schools in both the US and Germany. She served as the first administrator and as a board member at a Waldorf school she co-founded in Everswinkel, Germany, and has sat on many other boards, including her current role as trustee of the Otto Specht School in Chestnut Ridge, NY. Jessica holds a BS in business management and did her biography training with Karl-Heinz Finke and her executive coach training with SECA International.
The parent of a son and a daughter, both of whom went through Waldorf schools and graduated from Green Meadow Waldorf School, Jessica’s deep belief that education can improve the world—and that Waldorf schools offer the most inspired and meaningful approach to education—is the prime motivation behind her work at Sunbridge. When she is not in her office, she creates her elixir to daily life by spending time near, or on, the water.
Director of Education and Organizational Culture
Meggan joined Sunbridge’s administrative team in 2021. A member of Alma Partners, and a specialist in diversity, equity, and inclusion, she is also a trained Waldorf early childhood educator and currently sits on the WECAN IDEA committee. Meggan’s teaching experience includes most recently serving as lead toddler teacher at City of Lakes Waldorf School and, from 2009-2020, serving on the faculty of the Brooklyn Waldorf School, where she led parent-and-child and kindergarten classes and was active on the Faculty Council. Prior to joining BWS, she taught kindergarten at the Olympia Waldorf School and parent-and-child and nursery classes at the New Amsterdam School. Meggan, who originally hails from the Pacific Northwest, earned her undergraduate degree in health sciences from The Evergreen State College and her certificate in Waldorf early childhood education from Sunbridge. A certified yoga teacher and practitioner who fills her cup by being in nature and/or on her bicycle, she is also an avid reader and self-described nerd.
Admissions and Summer Coordinator
Sunbridge welcomed Barbara to its administrative team in 2019. In her role of admissions and summer coordinator, Barbara utilizes organizational skills she honed during a 30-year administrative career working for a distinguished global law firm whose early clients included Thomas Edison, James Joyce, Winston Churchill, and the Wright brothers. Her experience at the firm included serving as a real estate project manager and, most recently, a paralegal manager, managing workflow and establishing procedures and protocols for a team of 25 paralegals working across several domestic and international offices. Barbara first came to know the Threefold Community as a Nature Place Day Camp parent. In her free time, she enjoys domestic and international travel, skiing, hiking, and spending time with her family. She holds a BA in sociology from CUNY’s Brooklyn College.
Director of Finance
Liz became Sunbridge’s finance director in 2018. Her business background includes working as an operations associate–with a focus in accounting and client services–at Goldman Sachs from 2007-12 and, more recently, assisting in operations at Threefold Educational Center. She is also a small business owner and wellness coach. Liz graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Ulster with an AS in business administration and cum laude from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business with a BBA in finance. She is an Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher and the mother of a young son.
Director of Communications and Outreach
Ivy has been directing Sunbridge’s outreach efforts, including communications, marketing, design, and development, since 2011. Previously, she was the director of outreach and alumni relations at Green Meadow Waldorf School and, before that, the administrative director of Sunbridge College’s Barfield School master’s program. Her background in non-profit administration also includes serving as an admissions officer at Columbia Law School, publications coordinator at the Detroit Grand Opera Association, and public relations assistant at NYC’s Museum of Contemporary Crafts, as well as sitting on various independent school boards. Ivy, who holds a degree in art history from Kirkland (Hamilton) College, came to Waldorf Education as a parent and is now a proud Waldorf alumni parent and grandparent. A poet and book artist, she loves the creative aspects of her position and is delighted to have the opportunity to promote the mission of Sunbridge Institute.
Data and Operations Manager
Tamara joined the Sunbridge staff as registrar in 2014 and became data & operations manager in 2020. Previously, she had a long career in advertising graphics, including business ownership, and before that, worked many years in accounting for non-profit organizations and colleges. She holds a BS in business administration. Tamara’s two children are students at Green Meadow Waldorf School, and her hobbies include sewing, holistic healing, and reading. She is a strong Waldorf enthusiast and is thrilled to serve the Sunbridge community.
Joining our team in 2020 as both registrar and our data management assistant, David is a seasoned tech industry professional, with extensive experience in IT sales, client services, management, development, and strategic planning. He is also a Waldorf alumni parent and a longtime Threefold community member who leads Tai Chi classes at the Rudolf Steiner Fellowship Community and coaches high school boys basketball at Green Meadow Waldorf School, the school his three grown sons attended. David’s wife, Marissa, is a teacher at the Otto Specht School. David holds a bachelor of science degree in computer applications and information systems from the NYU Stern School of Business.
Advancement and Finance Coordinator
Sunbridge’s newest staffer, as of October 2021, Peter is a recent graduate of SUNY Oneonta, where he earned his BS in business economics with a focus on computer information technology. While at Oneonta, Peter served as VP of professional development of his campus’s American Marketing Association, hosting weekly workshops and presentations and participating in fundraising events, and was also an All-State college wrestler. He spent his undergraduate summers at the Suffern (NY) Memorial Pool, where he served as head lifeguard and directed village-sponsored events. Peter is currently pursuing his MBA at Ramapo College.
Sunbridge Board of Trustees
Bern is the President of Sunbridge’s Board, a position he assumed in 2009. An environmental and real estate attorney, he holds degrees from Cornell University (BS in Natural Resource Management and AB in Government) and Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (MES in Environmental Studies), and a JD from New York University School of Law. Bern and his wife have three daughters, all of whom attended Green Meadow Waldorf School.
A managing partner at Panorama Consulting, Susan joined the Sunbridge Board in 2021. From 1998-2019, Susan served as administrator at the Waldorf School of Garden City. She has also served on more than a dozen Waldorf and independent school accreditation committees for AWSNA as well as for the New York State Association of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Independent Schools, and has mentored a number of Waldorf schools throughout the US. Prior to joining the WSGC, she was a vice president and financial operations principal for a broker-dealer subsidiary of Citigroup. Susan, who completed Garden City’s Foundation Studies program, graduated from Bucknell University with a BS in accounting and is also a licensed CPA.
Keelah, a mixed-age-kindergarten teacher and chair of the early childhood program at The Waldorf School of Garden City, became a trustee of the Sunbridge Board in 2019. Keelah’s Waldorf journey began in 1976 when her parents enrolled her at Garden City as a kindergartener; 30 years later, she returned to her alma mater as an early childhood faculty member. Keelah has also served as a WSGC Board trustee, College of Teachers chair and continuing member, and founding member (2008) and chair of its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. A member of Alma Partners, she is also a founding member (2018) of Sunbridge’s Diversity Fund Scholarship Committee, and in 2021 joined the Boards of WECAN and AWSNA. Keelah earned a BA in theatre from Spelman College and her master’s in early childhood education from Sunbridge College in 2009.
Lisa, who teaches Sunbridge’s “Introduction to Waldorf Early Childhood Education” Summer Series course, joined the Sunbridge Board in 2013. Since 2017, she has been a member of the early childhood faculty at The Waldorf School of Garden City, where she currently serves as a kindergarten teacher and co-chair of her school’s DEIJ Committee. Lisa has two-plus decades of experience as a Waldorf early childhood educator, first at New York’s Mountain Laurel Waldorf School and Dayspring Community School and then at Green Meadow Waldorf School, where as a member of the early childhood faculty for a dozen years she taught kindergarten and parent and child classes, served as a co-chair of the early childhood section and as the Director of Early Childhood Admissions and Family Programs, and sat on the Collegium, the Collegium Committee, and the Board of Trustees. While on sabbatical in 2016-17, she taught and mentored in the Kathmandu Waldorf Kindergarten in Nepal, and later brought Waldorf Education to public school kindergarten teachers in Florence, SC. Lisa holds a BA in English from the College of Charleston, an MS in elementary education from CW Post, Long Island University, and an MS in Waldorf Education from Sunbridge College. She is the mother of two Waldorf-educated sons.
Steve joined the Sunbridge Board in 2019. He is a core faculty member of Sunbridge’s Elementary Teacher Education program, for which he has been teaching since 2000, and co-founder and faculty chair at the Berkshire Waldorf High School, where he teaches history and art. He is also a former teacher and administrator at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School and the Waldorf School of Garden City, the high school from which he graduated. Steve, who authored The History of Waldorf Education in the United States: Past, Present and Future and who writes, lectures, mentors teachers, and consults with Waldorf schools worldwide on teaching and administration, also formerly taught history of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and human development at the City University of New York and served as editor of the Research Bulletin of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education. He has a PhD in history from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in art history, with a certificate of proficiency in fine art, from Princeton University.
Winnie, who joined the Sunbridge Board in 2021, teaches school governance in Sunbridge’s Elementary Teacher Education program. She is also on the faculty of Green Meadow Waldorf School, where in 2021 she completed taking her class of students from first through eighth grade and now currently teaches high school history. A former substitute teacher, Winnie initially became interested in exploring the foundations and goals of education through a philosophical lens, and discovered Waldorf Education while seeking to answer the question “What kind of education helps to create a happy and healthy human being?” She holds a double-major BA in philosophy and education from Brooklyn College, an MA in philosophy and education from Columbia University Teachers College, a NYS teaching license in grades 1-6 education, and her Waldorf teacher certification from Sunbridge.