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Waldorf Middle Schools: Realizing our Potential–Practices, Approaches and Responsible Innovations

Friday, November 4, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - Saturday, November 5, 2016 @ 5:45 pm

Sunbridge Teachers Conference
with Keynote Speaker Betty Staley

Open to everyone interested in strengthening—and realizing the potential of—Waldorf middle school education and contributing to the conversation around this important topic. Teachers of all levels, including early grades and high school, as well as school administrators and pedagogical chairs, are welcome.

Come join keynote speaker and celebrated Waldorf educator and author Betty Staley in exploring the important topic of Waldorf middle school education. Through keynote addresses, facilitated round table discussions, artistic activity, and workshops on targeted academic subjects and social issues, we will take a look at the history, development, and needs of the early adolescent and the challenges faced in serving this age group today; examine current approaches and practices in Waldorf 6th, 7th, and 8th grade curriculum and pedagogy; and consider responsible innovations that can lead us toward realizing the potential of Waldorf middle school education.

In seeking answers to the question How do we meet the needs of today’s middle schoolers? this thought-provoking and practical conference will address such topics as:

  • The picture of early adolescence over the past 100 years
  • Steiner’s insights into adolescent development and what modern neuroscience has taught us
  • Radical changes that have occurred in the way children have developed, including the impact of changing parenting styles and the influences of technology and sexualization, and how these changes have affected life in the classroom
  • The challenge of meeting children’s needs at this vulnerable time
  • Ways Waldorf schools currently educate the middle school child
  • New approaches for middle school teaching and lesson preparation
  • Social considerations around the middle school years
  • Practical changes schools can make now, and innovations to consider

Participants will come away with fresh insight into this age group, new teaching methods and lesson plans that can be implemented immediately, and inspiration for future planning.


Friday, November 4
7-9:  Opening/Keynote Address I (Betty Staley), followed by Reception

Saturday, November 5

7:45:  Threefold Cafe opens for breakfast
8:45-9:  Singing (Jana Hawley)
9-10:30:  Keynote Address II (Betty Staley)
10:30-11:  Break
11-12:30:  Workshop Part I (Workshop Leaders)
12:30-1:30:  Lunch
1:30-3:15:  Workshop Part II (Workshop Leaders)
3:15-3:30:  Break
3:30-4:30:  Facilitated Round Table Conversations
4:35-5:45:  Closing Address/Sharing/Next Steps (Betty Staley)



In order to delve fully into the topic, each of our four workshops is divided into two parts. Conference participants will select one workshop and attend both parts. You will be asked to make your workshop selection on your registration form. As workshop space is limited, we recommend registering early to ensure receiving your first choice:


  • Rethinking Lessons in Middle School Humanities:
    New perspectives on teaching history and literature
    with Stephen Sagarin of Berkshire Waldorf High School and Sunbridge Institute
  • Approaching the Sciences:
    Engaging middle school students with the phenomena of the natural world
    with Lylli Anthon of Halton Waldorf School
  • Middle School Math:
    Developing and delivering a math curriculum that meets the early adolescent
    with Lisa Krogh of Green Meadow Waldorf School
  • Social Work in the Middle Grades:
    Exploring the challenges of early adolescence in our time

    with Elizabeth Hall of Green Meadow Waldorf School and Sunbridge Institute



Our facilitated round table discussions will take place on hot topics surrounding middle school education.  Topics may include:

Qualities and skills for middle school teaching • Middle school task force • Coming of age • Diversity • Transition to high school

Participants will select their choice of discussion topic while at the conference.



staleybettyBetty Staley (Keynote Speaker) has an international reputation as a Waldorf and adult educator, with over five decades experience of teaching at the kindergarten, elementary, high school, and teacher training levels. Betty is a founder of Sacramento Waldorf High School, where she taught history and literature for 19 years, and of Rudolf Steiner College, where her many roles include serving as Director of Foundation Studies, Director of the Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program, and Co-Director of the Public School Institute. She also helped found four other Waldorf high schools, negotiated the first public Waldorf school initiative in Milwaukee, and designed and directed the training for the first Waldorf–inspired public school in California. Betty has a particular interest in adolescent development and has authored several books on Waldorf Education, biographical studies, and educational thought, including Between Form and Freedom: Being a Teenager and Adolescence: The Sacred Passage. She earned her MA in education from St. Mary’s College of California and her BA in psychology from the City University of New York. We are very happy to welcome her to Sunbridge.


Steve P1590868 Stephen Sagarin (Workshop Leader: Rethinking Lessons in Middle School Humanities) is co-founder and faculty chair of the Berkshire Waldorf High School, where he teaches history, English, and math; he is also a core faculty member of Sunbridge’s Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education program, where he has been a faculty member since 2002 and in which he teaches humanities and the arts. Steve is 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. The author of The History of Waldorf Education in the United States: Past, Present and Future, Steve writes, lectures, mentors teachers, and consults with Waldorf schools on teaching and administration. He has taught history of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and human development at the City University of New York, and is the former 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.


Lylli Anthon 2Lylli Anthon (Workshop Leader: Approaching the Sciences) is faculty chair and enrollment coordinator at Toronto’s Halton Waldorf School, where her 25 years as a class teacher include successfully taking six middle school classes through to eighth grade graduation. She sits on the Halton School Board as well as on the Board of Toronto’s Rudolf Steiner Centre which, three years ago, presented Lylli with an honorary certificate in their Professional Development for Waldorf Teachers program in recognition of her 30 years of dedication to Waldorf Education. With a strong interest in science, math, and the art of teaching, for the past decade Lylli has been presenting Teaching Sensible Science courses with Michael D’Aleo. She is particularly interested in the relationship between science and the development of independent cognition and thinking in middle school students, as well as in addressing the needs of students throughout the grades to help them meet the challenges of high school. Lylli holds a degree in physical geography from Canada’s Queen’s University.


Lisa Krogh (Workshop Leader: Middle School Math) is on the faculty of Green Meadow Waldorf School, where she teaches middle school and high school math and computer science. Lisa began Waldorf teaching as the third grade class teacher at the Aurora Waldorf School and taught middle school and high school mathematics and life science for five years at the Emerson Waldorf School. Before beginning her journey into Waldorf Education, she taught at Montessori, public, and private schools. While living in Canada, Europe, and the US, Lisa designed and developed business computer systems for corporations (introducing new technology to adults), eventually launching her own consulting practice. She completed foundation studies and Waldorf High School Teacher Teaching at the Center for Anthroposophy, and received an Honors BMath degree in computer science at the University of Waterloo and an MSc in education from Niagara University.


Liz Hall

Elizabeth Hall (Workshop Leader: Social Work in the Middle Grades) is currently the eighth grade class teacher at Green Meadow Waldorf School. This is the fourth eighth grade Liz has led at Green Meadow since joining their faculty as class teacher in 2006; she also serves on the school’s Collegium and Teacher Development Committee. A full-time class teacher since 1998, Liz has been involved with home schooling, tutoring, and working with children with special needs in Waldorf environments since 1992. Prior to joining Green Meadow, she was a class teacher and lower school chair at the Waldorf School of Baltimore. She also teaches humanities and science classes in Sunbridge’s Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education program. Liz holds a BA from Earlham College, where she double-majored in English and Spanish and minored in Art History; an MA in Education and Waldorf Certificate 1-8 from Antioch New England Graduate School; and a Certificate of Curative Education from Camphill Special Schools, Inc.


jana-summer-2016-nmk13370Jana Hawley (Singing) is Director of and faculty member in Sunbridge’s Elementary Teacher Education program and Elementary Music Teacher Education intensive; she also oversees our World Language Teacher Education intensive. Jana is currently on leave from Green Meadow Waldorf School, where she has been a member of the faculty since 2006, serving as a class teacher and lower school music teacher. Previously, she spent 14 years on the faculty of the Whidbey Island (WA) Waldorf School, teaching music and main lessons. Jana has been a visiting faculty member at several Waldorf teacher training institutes in the US as well as at institutes abroad, including China and Australia. She earned her BFA in Music from Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA, and her MSEd in Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education from Sunbridge College.


$235 Includes Saturday light breakfast, lunch, and snacks, and a $25 non-refundable registration fee

Discount Options (only one discount may be applied):
Sunbridge teacher education program students and graduates receive a discount off the conference price.
Sending schools receive a 5th registration free (plus cost of food) for every 4 paid registrations.

Please contact registrar Tamara Photiadis for the appropriate registration code : [email protected] / 845-425-0055 x16


Click HERE to register. Please be sure to indicate your first and second workshop choices.


Conference housing is available through the Threefold Educational Center. It is offered on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited, so we recommend securing your accommodations as soon as possible. Please click here to learn about local housing options managed by Threefold. Should you prefer to stay at a hotel, two nearby options are Quality Inn in Spring Valley (845-426-2000) and Candlewood Suites in Nanuet (845-371-4445); ask for their Sunbridge rates.


Contact us at [email protected] / 845-425-0055 x20.


Sunbridge Institute reserves the right to cancel any offering at any time. If Sunbridge cancels, all registrants will be notified and will receive a full refund. If the registrant cancels, he or she will receive a full refund less the non-refundable registration fee.  Sunbridge reserves the right to make faculty substitutions when necessary.



Friday, November 4, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
Saturday, November 5, 2016 @ 5:45 pm
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Sunbridge Institute
285 Hungry Hollow Road
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 United States


Friday, November 4, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
Saturday, November 5, 2016 @ 5:45 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:
, , ,


Sunbridge Institute
285 Hungry Hollow Road
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 United States