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 for AWSNA, for which she is also an active committee member and workshop presenter, as well as for 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 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; she is also currently a member of AWSNA’s Reimagining Teacher Preparation Project Prototype Group. A poet and book artist who enjoys walking and hiking along beaches and mountains with her husband and their hound, 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 and 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.
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.
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.
Meggan Gill ’10
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. She is also an active committee member and workshop presenter for AWSNA and WECAN, and, along with Dr. Linda Williams, led a workshop at the 2023 World Teachers’ Conference. 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.
Chris joined our finance office in fall of 2022. Bringing with him 25 years of experience working as an accountant in a number of businesses in New York and Connecticut, Chris was attracted to Sunbridge as a workplace in which he could apply his extensive accounting and computer skills to a role within a mission-based group setting. He holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from SUNY Binghamton.
Summer, Admissions and Finance Assistant
Jessica joined the Sunbridge team in winter 2023 to assist with admissions and summer programming. Bringing over 20 years of human resource experience to her Sunbridge role, including extensive experience working with team members in various roles, developing and implementing processes and upholding organizational culture and policies, Jessica will also be helping our program students through the financial aid process and assisting Sunbridge staffers in various areas of HR. A newcomer to the Waldorf movement, Jessica is excited by the introduction to this pedagogy her Sunbridge position has afforded her. When not at work, she loves spending time with her family (especially outdoors), as well as entertaining and cooking.
Sunbridge Board of Trustees
Christopher Sargente ’23
Chris joined the Sunbridge Board in 2023. For 32 years prior, he was a practicing litigation attorney in New York and New Jersey. Chris’ dormant interest in teaching was piqued when one of his three daughters, Lauren, began as a junior at Green Meadow Waldorf School (graduating in 2019). Following this glimpse into Waldorf pedagogy and the Threefold community, Chris himself enrolled in Sunbridge’s Elementary Teacher Education program (graduating in 2023). A resident of Ridgewood, NJ, he is also a board member of the Ridgewood Arts Foundation and stage manager for Ridgewood High School Jamboree. Chris received his bachelor of arts degree in finance from Pace University in 1985 and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School in 1990. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, skiing, playing platform tennis, and relaxing at a lake house in Green Pond, NJ, with family and friends.
Lisa Miccio ’06
Lisa, who provides mentoring and professional development to early childhood educators, including as lead instructor of Sunbridge’s “Introduction to Waldorf Early Childhood Education” Summer Series course, joined the Sunbridge Board in 2013. In 2023 she founded The Berry Basket playgroups and family programs in Warwick, NY, where she serves as director and parent & child playgroup teacher. From 2022-23 Lisa served Acorn Waldorf School as the Neighboring Tree Project Specialist, overseeing a grant-funded AWS initiative that aimed to create community partnerships with local early childhood educators, schools, and centers. She taught kindergarten at The Waldorf School of Garden City, where she chaired the DEIJ committee, from 2017-2022, and for a dozen years prior was on the faculty of Green Meadow Waldorf School, where she taught in and served as a co-chair of the early childhood section, directed the early childhood admissions and family programs, and was a member of the Collegium, the Collegium Committee, and the Board of Trustees. Lisa’s teaching experience also includes teaching and mentoring in the Kathmandu (Nepal) Waldorf Kindergarten. She 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.
Keelah Helwig ’09
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.
Winnie, who joined the Sunbridge Board in 2021, became co-director of Sunbridge’s Elementary Teacher Education program in spring 2022. 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.
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 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.
Linda became a Sunbridge Board trustee in 2022, but her association with our institution goes back several decades, having received a certificate from Sunbridge’s antecedent, the Waldorf Institute. A longtime faculty member of the Detroit Waldorf School, Linda first started her class teaching career there in 1987. In the years following, in addition to leading several DWS classes, she also taught at the Urban Waldorf School in Milwaukee, served as director of the Elementary teacher training program at the Waldorf Institute of Southeastern Michigan, and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in elementary literacy and urban education as professor of teacher education at Eastern Michigan University. The recipient of numerous teaching awards and fellowships. Linda is a frequent presenter and workshop leader, a consultant and mentor teacher for the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, as well as for several Waldorf schools, including on issues of diversity and inclusion, and a contributor to numerous books and publications. She earned her BA from Justin Morrill College at Michigan State University, her MA in Waldorf Education from Mercy College, and her doctorate in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy, with a cognate in Literacy, from Michigan State University.
Bern served Sunbridge as Board president from 2009-2023. 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.