|Faculty and Staff|
|Faculty and Staff|
Dominica Lord-Wood has been an academic administrator and craftswoman for many years. She grew up in New England, living as a craftswoman in Vermont before moving to Northern California. Those years strengthened her deep and abiding love of nature and the earth.
While in Northern California, she obtained a master's degree in social/cultural anthropology at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Her studies led to a fascination with the relationship between women, culture, ecospirituality and traditional arts. While in this program, Dominica traveled to Scotland and visited Findhorn, which made a great impression upon her. As part of her master's thesis research, she continued to pursue her interest in Celtic culture, by spending three months in Cape Breton.
Dominica then returned to New England, working at Maine College of Art for several years, while earning her Ph.D. in Transformative Learning from CIIS. Subsequently she accepted the position of Academic Department Coordinator for the Physics & Astronomy Department at Bowdoin College, a private, liberal arts college.
Dominica is very glad to be serving as school coordinator for Sunfield Farm/Waldorf School. It is a great opportunity to work within a vibrant community of happy children and creative, talented adults. She is grateful to be able to do this in such a beautiful, rural setting.
Dana Nixon Cairns
Dana was born and raised a “Hoosier”, in Indiana. She graduated from Manchester College in North Manchester, IN with a degree in Biology, focusing on environmental studies. She used this focus in her career in public policy and environmental activism. Her defining work at the Hoosier Environmental Council in Indianapolis, IN, was leading the organizations’ membership acquisition and fundraising team.
Her passion for the earth drove her to leave political activism and turn to a more direct approach for healing the planet: sustainable agriculture. She acquired a certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems in 2006. After apprenticing to learn to farm with draught horses in 2007, she started her own farm business at Old Tarboo Farm in Quilcene in 2008. She now lives with her husband, Al, on the other side of Quilcene, where they enjoy applying permaculture practices on their 20-acre property.
She is thrilled to be combining her two professional experiences together at Sunfield Farm and Waldorf School. Her practical knowledge about farming, natural resources protection, fundraising, and education will guide her work, continuing to build the financial support network of the school.
Ben Falge grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where he spent his childhood fishing, hiking, camping, and playing on the beach. He received a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Business Management, specializing in Finance and Accounting from Menlo College in the heart of Silicon Valley. After studying French in high school and spending the summer in Paris when he was 19, Ben decided to continue with his French studies, completing a minor in French during college.
After living in Japan for three years, Ben returned to the U.S. in 1999, bringing back a love for Japanese language and culture, as well as an online business selling Japanese arts and crafts. Ben continues to run this business today, and has simultaneously been active as a bookkeeper for ten years, crunching numbers for clients in fields varying from construction to retail clothing to medicinal herbs.
Ben moved to Port Townsend in 2007 with his wife Lysa, who grew up in the town, and their three children Noah, Aidan, and Charlotte. The family loves the outdoors, spending time hiking, biking, fishing, sailing, and camping. Ben and his family find the natural beauty and rural nature of the Olympic Peninsula irresistible and breathe a collective sigh of relief as they cross the Hood Canal Bridge on their journeys back home.
Farm Manager/Farmer Educator
Nicole Witham is our new farmer, starting March 4. Look for her biographical information soon.
Michele Meyering grew up on the Olympic Peninsula before moving to Seattle where she finished her schooling. In Seattle, she started her career, beginning as a file clerk and eventually working as an executive assistant for a large nonprofit education association. Most recently, Michele was employed as the office manager of a locally-owned timber frame company. She joins Sunfield bringing a wealth of administrative knowledge and experience along with an appreciation for hard work and determination. She is the mother of two small boys and loves to experience the world through their eyes. What Michele enjoys most about Sunfield is the potential for all to grow, and to create and share their journeys through community.
Beth Ann O’Dell
Beth Ann O’Dell was born and raised in Seattle. She is a trained Waldorf teacher and attended college at Oglala Lakota College in South Dakota. She has been working with children and families in Waldorf schools, public schools, Indian schools, and the Head Start program for more than twenty years. She is the mother of four children, three of whom are now grown, and the grandmother of one. Beth Ann has lived on the tiny island of Palau in Micronesia and on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Her travels have helped her develop a deep respect and honoring of people from very diverse cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds. She has a passion for youth, fiber arts, animals, and living on the land in close contact with nature.
Ruth Mandelbaum-Pope was raised in Seattle, Washington, where she spent as much time as possible gardening, hiking, and camping with her family. She received her bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College and her Washington State teaching certificate from Pacific Oaks College. The teaching program at Pacific Oaks emphasized development and practicum from early childhood through eighth grade. After teaching in Washington for three years, Ruth moved to Alaska and acquired an Alaska teaching certification. In Alaska, she taught special education in an Eskimo village while running the village’s pre-school program; she lived north of the Arctic Circle for five years.
Ruth has worked as a homeschool consultant and homeschooled her two children – kindergarten through first and fifth grades. Prior to arriving at Sunfield, Ruth taught first through third grades at the Aurora Waldorf School in Anchorage for three years; she is currently working towards a Waldorf Teaching Certification through Rudolf Steiner College in California. Ruth loves to play outside, tell stories, and dance. She and her husband, Mark, have a son, Raven, who attends Port Townsend High School, and a daughter, Ciel, who is a student at Sunfield Waldorf School.
Mary Anne Hinton
Born on the east coast and raised in the greater New York City metropolitan area, Mary Anne Hinton enjoyed the many cultural benefits of living close to New York City. She attended Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, where directing and playwriting were her greatest interests. After graduating with a B.A. in Theatre Arts, she pursued further development in these areas in Manhattan, where she lived and studied.
Love of nature and children called her to follow a different path, and she went to Sunbridge College for Waldorf teacher training, earning a Waldorf teaching certificate. Mary Anne's first work as a class teacher was in Santa Barbara, California, where she took a class from first through sixth grade. Migrating north, she later taught for seven years as a class teacher at Three Cedars Waldorf School in Bellevue, Washington.
Mary Anne's active interests include camping, white water rafting, and sailing. She also enjoys cooking, reading, and needle felting.
first/second-grade teacher; founding member
Helen Curry began her teaching career over thirty years ago in a fishing village in South Africa. Since then she has been involved in a wide spectrum of teaching experiences – from sail-training on schooners to teaching English as a second language in Venezuela. She is a certified Early Childhood Educator, holds a post-graduate degree from the University of Cape Town, and received her Drama Teacher’s diploma from Trinity College, London. She has been a Waldorf teacher for the past twenty years, running Tomten Farm Kindergarten and the Children’s Circle, her home-based Waldorf-inspired programs, and graduating two groups of students from part-time academic grade-school programs. In 2013 she graduated Sunfield's first class of Eight and Ninth graders.
Helen and her husband, Bill, have two daughters: Zorina, is a registered nurse, and Rosaletta, who is graduating from Ithaca College to pursue a career in theatre. Both girls grew up on the family’s small farm—riding horses, milking goats, tending to farm chores, and attending Helen’s home-based programs during their grade school years. When she is not mucking out the barn, Helen enjoys singing, music, and dance; she studied eurythmy for many years, which, she feels, embraces and elevates all the arts she loves. She is a member of the "poetic justice theatre ensemble" that serves the community by using Playback Theatre and having voices be heard through the Theatre of the Oppressed. Helen finds balance and renewal by hiking in the mountains in the summer, cross-country skiing in the winter, and walking on the beach in the evening.
Second-Grade Main Lesson teacher; Founding member
Isolde Perry was born and raised in Seattle and earned a BA in Anthropology from the University of Washington. She received Waldorf Teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College and also trained in Extra Lesson which is used to help educationally challenged children. She has taught in two Waldorf schools besides Sunfield: Whidbey Island Waldorf School and Malamalama on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Taking some time off from teaching, Isolde went to North Carolina and fulfilled a long held dream of singing on stage. She joined a trio of women, the Silvertones, and was the lead singer in a gospel group. During this “sabbatical,” she also spent a year in South Africa.
Returning to the Pacific Northwest she joined with Helen Curry and Michael Hamilton to begin the Waldorf school initiative that is now Sunfield. While Sunfield was in its infancy, Isolde taught art and craft classes to many children of Port Townsend and began working with a home school group which graduated from 8th grade in 2010. Since then, she has continued teaching in a publicly funded homeschool group and has been tutoring students and mentoring teachers at Sunfield. She has also been teaching specialty classes at Sunfield in handwork, form drawing, and painting.
Isolde loves to sing and dance and is learning to play the piano. She also is busy adding to her skills as an Extra Lesson teacher. She is excited to again be teaching Grade One and enthusiastically looking forward to applying Waldorf principles in the farm setting of Sunfield.
Monica Van Loon
Monica Van Loon, or Señora Monica, was born in Mexico City, Mexico, where she received her bachelor’s degree in human resources. At the age of twenty-three, she moved to Cancun, Quintana Roo, where her family continues to reside. Monica is married to Brian, and she is the mother of two boys, who attend Sunfield Waldorf School. Monica loves living in Port Ludlow, Washington, where her family can enjoy the outdoors: biking, hiking, swimming, and jumping in puddles.
Senora Monica has been teaching Spanish since 2005. She began by tutoring neighborhood children, joining the Sunfield faculty in 2006. From 2006-2008, she also taught at Foreign Language For Youth (FLY), a before- and after-school program which teaches Spanish in the public schools in Kitsap County; and from 2009-2011, She taught Spanish, Mexican Arts and Crafts, and Mexican Cooking classes at Olympic Peninsula Home Connection (OPHC), a home-school enrichment program. She is currently working toward a Masters in Education Arts at Seattle Pacific University.
Monica teaches because she loves the contact with the students and she wants to transmit her passion for her culture to others. Children’s joy is a great gift, and, as a teacher, she feels very fortunate to be able to guide their experiences and to be a part of their lives.
Children not only learn to speak Spanish in her classes, but they also have the opportunity to experience another culture through her movements, beliefs and experiences. She believes the world needs citizens who are honest and moral, who care about their health, who love nature, who not only respect differences, but also tolerate and celebrate them. She believes that we should approach the education of our children in a holistic way, including music, the arts, food, and fun.
Swallow’s Nest Kindergarten teacher
One of three children, Monica Boucher spent her childhood in the Seattle area. She first became interested in Waldorf education while attending Western Washington University and Fairhaven College. After graduating from the Eugene Waldorf Teacher Training program in 2000, she taught in several early childhood programs in the Seattle area, including Three Cedars School, Bright Water School, and Seattle Waldorf School. In 2002, prior to teaching at Bright Water School, Monica had lived for a brief time in Port Townsend, working as a kindergarten assistant at Wild Roses Kindergarten. In 2008, winds of change came and brought her full circle: With her husband, Ghee, and their two young children, Monica moved back to Port Townsend. It brings her great joy to be part of the Sunfield community.
Sunflower Kindergarten teacher
Koshalla Flockoi grew up on Orcas Island, in the Pacific Northwest, in an artistically supportive community. As a little girl Koshalla had the great fortune to attend a Waldorf school, and this experience created lasting impressions. She remembers how the light filtered through the cedar boughs and the way the shadows danced and fluttered on the table. She remembers the feeling of the rectangular crayons, solid and thick, helping her find the counting gnomes still hidden on sheets of rough white paper. She even remembers the taste of the hard beeswax and how terribly long it seemed to take in her small hands to soften. At Dolphin Bay Waldorf School, Koshalla learned to love gardening, baking, knitting, reading and writing, and established a deep relationship with music.
After graduating from high school, Koshalla chose to live and work on an organic farm, sharing chores, cooking, and the care of twins – all the aspects of community living. Working part time, Koshalla managed to save enough money to travel the world. Upon returning, Seattle became her new home and for the next few years, she studied acting, vocal jazz, music theory, and conducting, and fell in love with life as an artist.
Koshalla is a certified Waldorf educator and finished her training at the Sound Circle Center in Seattle. She learned all aspects of working in a Waldorf kindergarten during her three years at The Fremont Community School in Seattle. In those years, Koshalla worked as a teacher’s assistant, co-taught, led class on her own, managed administrative work, and ran the summer programs. Koshalla and her husband, Hans, surf the cold Northwest water and share a garden and chickens.
In Koshalla’s heart, to be a Waldorf teacher is to summon up all of the gifts and passions the Creator has so lovingly shared with her and integrate them in a whole and balanced way. She knows how it feels to be a child surrounded by the warm, serene strength of the Waldorf community and wholeheartedly is grateful for the opportunity to help create that environment at Sunfield Waldorf School.
Sunflower Kindergarten assistant
photo coming soon
Karli Elliott was born in Seattle and raised in Everett, Washington, with a younger sister. She very much appreciates her amazing and supportive parents, and is inspired by their lasting marriage (since 1976).
She moved to Seattle after graduating from Everett High School in 1994, and attended Shoreline Community College, where she received her AA in 1998. She then transferred to Edmonds Community College where she earned a Certificate of Horticulture in 2000.
Karli married Eric Elliott in 2000 and the couple moved back to Everett raise a family.
Karli worked at Swanson's Nursery and at a private garden for a total of 10 years. She became very interested in Biodynamic farming and gardening and knew that she wanted to learn more. After practicing biodynamics in her own garden, and needing to make a big lifestyle change, the family decided to move to Port Townsend. Sunfield seemed like a natural choice. In September 2009, Karli and Eric’s two children started at Sunfield. It has been such a blessing to be a part of the Sunfield family, relates Karli.
Karli has spent quite a bit of time working on the farm or substituting in the Kindergarten classrooms, and is happy to have moved into the assistant position.
In her spare time Karli enjoys camping and hiking and spending time with her family. Canning and fermenting and food preservation have become some of her favorite pastimes.
Buttercup Teacher (pre-K)
photo coming soon
Molly grew up in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. With three siblings, a father in education and a mother running a home-based childcare program, children constantly surrounded her. After getting a biology degree from Santa Clara University, she spent some time hiking around the hills of Carmel Valley, studying Western Bluebirds. However, she missed spending time with children, so she moved to Arcata, California to get her teaching credential from Humboldt State University. Molly spent the next three years in the rural hills of Humboldt county, teaching at a small, private school. This is where she was first introduced to Waldorf education and integrated it into the curriculum as she journeyed with her students from kindergarten through second grade. When her son was born, Molly and her husband Aaron began to search for where they would put their roots down. They ended up in the Port Townsend area in 2007 and immediately became involved with Sunfield. Molly has had various teaching roles at Sunfield, including kindergarten assistant, lead kindergarten teacher, afternoon first grade teacher and Buttercup (parent-toddler) teacher. She is happy to be spending cherished time with the “littlest ones” and sharing the time with her 2-year-old daughter who is a wonderful assistant.
Aside from teaching, Molly spends her time working on her family’s homestead, collecting driftwood, mountain biking, hiking, doing crafts and reading to her children.