Early Childhood Faculty
Sunbridge’s Waldorf Teacher Education faculty are experienced professionals and leaders in Waldorf Education and related fields. They include master Waldorf educators and mentors, accomplished artists and musicians, Waldorf school founders, published authors of books and articles on Waldorf Education, and sought-after speakers on Waldorf Education and related topics.
The following are our Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Education program faculty:
Program Co-Director: Child Development, Developmental Movement, Language Arts in Early Childhood, Anthroposophical Studies
A member of the Sunbridge faculty since 1994, Nancy assumed the title of Early Childhood co-director in 2015. Nancy has also been on the faculty of The Denver Waldorf School for the past 25 years, where her teaching experience includes 17 years as lead Kindergarten teacher. For the past 12 years, she has been the school’s Educational Support Teacher; she also travels to schools in the US and Canada to provide teacher mentoring and evaluation and conducts developmental observations. Nancy’s main focus is therapeutic education with a special emphasis on developmental movement as supporting young children’s physical incarnation and sensory development.
A longtime Board member of WECAN (the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, based in Chestnut Ridge, NY), Nancy is also a frequent keynote speaker at national and international early childhood conferences. Her writing credits include contributor to Gateways, contributor and collaborator to “You’re Not the Boss of Me” (WECAN publication), Editor of WECAN’s First Grade Readiness, Editor of WECAN Journal, regular columnist for Lilipoh, and co-author, with Laurie Clark, of Movement Journeys and Circle Adventures, a collection of original movement imaginations for the classroom. She holds a BA from the University of Colorado in English, with teaching credentials. She also earned a certificate as Extra Lesson provider and therapeutic educator from Gradalis Seminars, where she attended four-year anthroposophical therapeutic/remedial training in Extra Lesson and supplementary therapies and academic support strategies.
Leslie Burchell-Fox ’96
Program Co-Director: Completion Track Lead Advisor, Handwork and Crafts, Festivals, Anthroposophical Studies
Leslie has been a member of the Sunbridge early childhood program faculty since 2004 and assumed the title of co-director in 2015. Leslie is currently on leave from her position of lead kindergarten teacher at Green Meadow Waldorf School, where she has taught since 2002 and sits on the school’s Collegium and Teacher Development Committee. She previously taught kindergarten and nursery for six years at the Waldorf School of Baltimore.
Leslie is also a Lazure artist whose beautiful work graces our Upper Brookside classroom, and prior to becoming a Waldorf teacher was a professional fiber artist specializing in surface design and wearable art; she also spent several years as a speech pathologist. She holds a BS in Speech Pathology from Kent State University and an MSEd in Waldorf Education from Sunbridge College.
Child Development, Therapeutic Education
Laurie is lead kindergarten teacher at The Denver Waldorf School and mentors Waldorf teachers around the country. She has been teaching Waldorf kindergarten for 27 years and is Director Qualified in the state of Colorado. Laurie is co-author with Nancy Blanning of the book Movement Journeys and Circle Adventures: Movement Enrichment with a Therapeutic Emphasis for Early Childhood. She earned her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education, attended the Teacher Training program at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, California, and completed her remedial training with the Association for a Healing Education program.
Meggan Gill ’10
Contemporary Topics, Rhythmic Games and Music
Meggan is Sunbridge’s director of education and organizational culture. A specialist in diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a member of Alma Partners, 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 serving on the faculty of the Brooklyn Waldorf School from 2009 and 2020, where she led parent-and-child and kindergarten classes and was active on the Faculty Council; she is still an active member of that School’s Board of Trustees. Prior to joining BWS, she also taught parent-and-child and nursery classes at the New Amsterdam School. Meggan earned her undergraduate degree in health sciences from The Evergreen State College and her certificate in Waldorf early childhood education from Sunbridge.
Liz is a member of Sunbridge’s Elementary Teacher Education faculty; she is also sixth grade teacher at Green Meadow Waldorf School where she has been a class teacher since 2006 and is a member of the school’s Collegium and the Teacher Development Committee. Prior to joining the Green Meadow faculty, she was a class teacher and lower school chair at the Waldorf School of Baltimore. 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; NH certification 1-6; and a Certificate of Curative Education from Camphill Special Schools, Inc.
Jana has been a faculty member of Sunbridge’s Elementary Teacher Education program since 2002 and its program director from 2009-22. Since 2006, Jana has been on the faculty of Green Meadow Waldorf School, where she has been a class teacher and lower school music teacher and a member of the Teacher Development Committee. She has been a visiting faculty member at several Waldorf teacher training institutes in the U.S. and abroad and spent 14 years on the faculty of the Whidbey Island Waldorf School, teaching music and main lessons. She has led workshops in movement, singing, and composition, and is a contributor to The Mood of the Fifth: A Musical Approach to Early Childhood, a WECAN publication. Jana earned her BFA in Music from Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA, and her MSEd in Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education from Sunbridge College.
Art of Speech
Jennifer is a singer, eurythmist, and speech artist. She currently teaches the art of speech (also known as “Speech Formation” or “Creative Speech”) in the Eurythmy Spring Valley School of Eurythmy and in part-time programs at Threefold Educational Foundation. She also performs with the Eurythmy Spring Valley Ensemble.
Kemal teaches woodwork and applied arts at Green Meadow Waldorf School, the school from which he graduated. Prior to coming to Green Meadow, he was on the faculty of the Maine Coast Waldorf School for five years, where he served as the elementary faculty chair and sat on the Leadership Committee and the College of Teachers. In addition to his current subjects, Kemal has also taught high school math, literature, art, 6th grade geology, 7th grade algebra, and drama. He holds a BFA in ceramics and sculpture, with a minor in art history, from the School for American Crafts, Rochester Institute of Technology, and an MEd in Waldorf elementary education from Antioch University of New England.
Melissa has been teaching at Sunbridge since 2011 and has worked as administrator of WECAN since 2000. Before the birth of her daughter, she taught eurythmy in Waldorf schools in Connecticut and New York. Melissa first encountered eurythmy as a student at the Waldorf Institute (Sunbridge’s predecessor), and she continues to marvel at what eurythmy reveals about life and the reality of being human. She is a 1997 graduate of Eurythmy Spring Valley.
Gardening, Esoteric Science
Mac has been the director of the Pfeiffer Center in Chestnut Ridge, NY, since 2007 and has farmed and gardened biodynamically for more than thirty years, working with the land on every scale from hand work to field-scale vegetables, tending an orchard to managing dairy cows. He was the resident farmer at the Fellowship Community’s Duryea Farm from 1997 until 2005, and a co-worker at the Camphill Village in Copake, NY, from 1972 to 1974, where he did therapeutic community work and also taught nature and games at the fledgling Waldorf school there.
As a co-worker in the Fellowship Community beginning in 1975, where he learned biodynamic methods directly from former co-workers of Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, Mac helped start the Third Grade farming block at Green Meadow Waldorf School, and taught that block for fifteen years; he also helped initiate the Pfeiffer Center’s public school outreach program, The Outdoor Lesson. Mac graduated from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania with a degree in psychology.
Charlie is a member of the faculty of The Denver Waldorf School. He has been teaching for a decade, including at the Boulder Valley Waldorf School and the Brooklyn Waldorf School. He holds an English degree from Lewis and Clark College, a master of education degree and Waldorf teacher certification from Antioch University and many trainings in movement, art, and meditation studies, including a 5-year training program in Spacial Dynamics. He is also certified in Bothmer Gymnastics, and has been teaching circus for more than 7 years.
Motria is Director and Founder of Acorn Waldorf School, a WECAN school located in Accord, NY. Her fourteen years of experience working with young children include nine years at the Mountain Laurel Waldorf School in New Paltz, NY, where she worked in the nursery and kindergarten and served as the Pedagogical Chair for three years. With a special interest in the art of puppetry, Motria has staged shows for conferences, festivals, and other community events. A graduate of Sunbridge’s Early Childhood Teacher Education program, she also completed a three-year Advanced Therapeutic Course for Early Childhood Educators in Denver, Colorado.
Lynn St. Pierre
Hand Gesture and Movement Games
Lynn is a Waldorf early childhood educator who first came to the singing and movement games of Wilma Ellersiek in a workshop offered by Kundry Willwerth at the 2008 WECAN East Coast conference. She went on to co-teach courses with Kundry and now continues this work worldwide.
Jessica Heffernan Ziegler
Professional and Social Aspects of Waldorf Early Childhood Education
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 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.