Jessica has been the executive director of Sunbridge Institute since 2008; previously, she taught collaboration and group dynamics in Sunbridge College’s Administration, Biography, and Elementary Teacher Education programs. Jessica has worked as an executive coach and organizational development consultant for Waldorf school administrators and teachers, as well as 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; is a partner in MIRA Companions for Development, an international consulting group; and sits on the boards of Manhattan’s Rudolf Steiner School and the Otto Specht School in Chestnut Ridge, NY. Jessica who holds a BS in Business Management, did her biography training with Karl-Heinz Finke and her executive coach training with SECA International. Her professional focus on leadership skills, governance issues, and personnel development are utilized in both her Executive Director position and in her work as co-instructor of Sunbridge’s “Collaborative Leadership” course and related workshops.
Jessica is a parent of a son and a daughter, both of whom went through Waldorf schools and graduated from Green Meadow Waldorf School. Her 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, Jessica creates her elixir to daily life by spending time near, or on, the water.
Anna joined Sunbridge Institute as director of education in 2012. Previously, she taught as a class teacher at Green Meadow Waldorf School for five years and served there as a mentor on the teacher development committee; she also worked with that school’s administrator on curriculum-related projects and offered teacher support. A student of anthroposophy for many years, Anna lectures about Waldorf Education throughout the country and is the lead instructor for Sunbridge’s “Waldorf Weekend” workshops. Prior to her work in Waldorf Education, Anna had a career in commercial real estate finance at JP Morgan Investment Management. She has a bachelor’s degree in geography from UC Berkeley and a master’s in elementary education from Sunbridge College. Anna and her husband are parents of two young daughters, both of whom are Waldorf school students.
Sunbridge welcomed Penelope to its administrative team in 2017. A songwriter and classically trained singer and pianist, Penelope cut her musical teeth in the many performances she participated in at Green Meadow Waldorf School, where she was a student from third through twelfth grade. Following her Green Meadow graduation, Penelope went on to further hone her musical prowess at Ithaca College, from which she earned a bachelor of music in vocal performance. Upon graduation, she developed outstanding interpersonal and customer service skills as an administrative support person for an Ithaca community arts partnership and as a senior sales associate and buyer for a popular consignment shop. When not in her Sunbridge office, Penelope provides private voice and piano instruction to children and adults, and performs in local venues. Penelope’s understanding of—and genuine appreciation for—Waldorf Education shines through in her conversations with prospective Sunbridge students, and we are very happy to have her represent our Institute.
Molly joined Sunbridge’s development department in 2018 and comes with years of professional experience in fundraising and in executive coaching. As development manager and special events logistics specialist for a non-profit foundation, Molly forged partnerships with grassroots organizations, volunteers, and large corporations and oversaw large-scale events and fundraising plans. As director of development and programming and director of client relations for a corporation providing international corporate consulting and private coaching, she developed and implemented strategic partnerships and marketing strategies and led corporate and private coaching sessions around the globe. She also successfully built her own private coaching practice. In addition to her work for Sunbridge, Molly is currently engaged in a yoga teacher training and a holistic health coaching program with a focus on food as medicine. She holds a BA in political science from Rutgers University and is a Waldorf parent who loves cooking, being in nature, and spending time with her nine-year-old.
Tamara joined the Sunbridge staff in 2014. 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 young 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, keeping meticulous records for our students and faculty.
The newest member of Sunbridge’s administrative team, Liz became finance director in spring 2018 following the retirement of longtime staffer Bette Shertzer. Liz’s 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 also has five years’ experience as 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. An Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, she and her husband welcomed their first child in November 2017, and we are very happy to welcome her to Sunbridge!
Ivy has been Sunbridge’s director of outreach since 2011, handling the Institute’s communications, publications, and marketing and design efforts. Previously, she was the administrative director for the Barfield School master’s program of Sunbridge College and director of outreach and alumni relations at Green Meadow Waldorf School. 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 many years ago and is now a proud Waldorf alumni grandparent. A writer 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.
Jennifer joined Sunbridge as administrative assistant in 2013. While providing support especially to the outreach, admissions, and development departments, she readily offers assistance to all aspects of Sunbridge’s operations, and we appreciate her expert juggling ability. A graduate of the Katharine Gibbs School, Jennifer was formerly an administrative assistant in the private banking division of JP Morgan Chase. A busy mother of four and a community volunteer, she values her time with family, friends, and pet beagles. Jen enjoys cooking, baking, and gardening and, in the future, would love to learn to play the guitar and to perfect her Spanish.
Hiromi joined the Sunbridge staff in 2017. She is curently Parent and Child teacher at Green Meadow Waldorf School and was previously a Nursery assistant teacher and afternoon care teacher at the Waldorf School of Garden City. In addition, she has taught dance, yoga, English, Japanese, calligraphy, abacus, and workshops on self-healing based on applied kinesiology, and has also worked at the United Nations. Born and raised in Japan, Hiromi holds a BA in Comparative Culture from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, and a certificate in Waldorf early childhood education from Sophia’s Hearth Family Center. Her daughter attends Green Meadow.
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 Sunbridge Board member since 2013, Betsy was until recently a class teacher at The Brooklyn Waldorf School and currently teaches Main Lessons at area Waldorf schools. She is a longtime Waldorf educator, with experience as an early childhood educator and an art teacher in addition to class teaching. Betsy’s long career includes teaching at the Waldorf School of Baltimore, the Charlottesville Waldorf School, and Camp Hill Special Schools. She served the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America as Leadership Council representative for the Atlantic/Southeast for seven years, and prior to that, served on AWSNA’s Eastern Regional Committee. Betsy did her teacher training studies under Werner Glas at the Waldorf Institute of Detroit.
A Sunbridge trustee since 2016, Niko joined the Austin Waldorf School in fall 2017 as Pedagogical Leader. Prior, he served two years as Pedagogical Administrator of the Waldorf School of Princeton where he had earlier shepherded a class through seventh and eighth grades. Before that, he taught at a charter school in New Mexico and at the Tacoma Waldorf School. A graduate of Green Meadow Waldorf School, Niko earned his BA at St. John’s College in Maryland and his MA at St. John’s College in New Mexico and did his Waldorf teacher training at Antioch New England; he also studied in Ireland, Japan and the Czech Republic.
Lisa, who teaches Sunbridge’s “Introduction to Waldorf Early Childhood Education” Summer Series course, joined the Sunbridge Board in 2013. She has two 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, Lisa taught and mentored in the Kathmandu Waldorf Kindergarten in Nepal and brought Waldorf Education to public school kindergarten teachers in Florence, SC. In summer 2017, she joined the early childhood faculty at The Waldorf School of Garden City as a kindergarten teacher. 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.
Linda, who joined the Sunbridge Board in 2018, has been a class teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan since 2006. Linda began her career in Waldorf teaching after entering the Steiner school as a parent; after several years of parent volunteering and anthroposophical studies, she enrolled in the full-time elementary teacher education program of Sunbridge College, where she earned her teaching certificate. Linda has shepherded one Steiner School class from first through eighth grades, taken another from sixth through eighth, and is currently happily engaged in teaching a lively band of third graders. She also sits on her school’s Board of Trustees and College of Teachers and chairs its Community Education Committee. Linda earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in the field of humanities from The Johns Hopkins University and master’s and doctorate degrees in German languages and literature from the University of Pennsylvania.