Alex, an Evanston native, comes to CWS after 12 years living in Northern California. He brings his rich experiences as a Spacial Dynamics graduate, work with children in therapeutic settings, psychology degree, and over 15 years in tennis, professionally coaching and teaching with USPTA certification. While working as a movement teacher at Waldorf schools for 9 years, he has coached many after school sports, organized outdoor education tournaments, and created/directed an after school sports and circus program. He mentors movement educators and teachers nationally.
Kris retuns to the Chicago area after 12 years in Northern California where she received Waldorf Grades and Remedial teaching certifications at Rudolf Steiner College (RSC) and an MA in Psychology (Depth) at Sonoma State University. She is an instructor in the Remedial/Extra Lesson (EL) program at RSC, mentors teachers and speaks at conferences around the US about Educational Support. She’s also been an Ed Support/EL teacher for the past 9 years in private and public charter Waldorf Schools. Kris is a member of the Anthroposophical Society in America.
Jutta Johanne Distler
A native of Denmark, Jutta has lived in Chicago since 1989 where she has earned her living as a professional musician touring in Europe, Canada, and across America playing violin, mandolin and guitar. She began teaching folk dance at the Chicago Waldorf School with her husband in 2005 and has been the speech instructor for Arcturus since 2008. She holds a Creative Speech degree from the Goetheannum’s Schule fur Sprachgestaltung und Schauspiel, Dornach, Switzerland.
Elizabeth has been teaching and mentoring in Waldorf schools since 2002. She helped to pioneer the grade school program at DaVinci Waldorf School (formerly Water’s Edge Waldorf School) in the northwest suburbs, where she is currently the music program director. After graduating from Sunbridge College, Elizabeth continued with intensive study under the tutelage of Par Ahlbom and Manfred Bleffert, and she is currently one of the very few instrument builders of this method in the country. Elizabeth is a proud mother of four, and when she finds some spare time she likes to spend it cooking, knitting or sewing.
Luke manages the administrative functions of the Chicago Waldorf School. He holds a BA in Art History from Davidson College, an MA Ed. from Antioch University and an Ed.D (pending dissertation) from the University of Toledo. His Waldorf experience includes teaching stints at Pine Hill Waldorf School in New Hampshire, Ashwood Waldorf School in Maine and Cape Ann Waldorf School in Massachusetts, where he served as Executive Committee Chair, College of Teachers Chair, Faculty Chair, Pedagogical Chair, Evaluation Committee Chair and as a member of the Board of Trustees. In addition to his work with Waldorf education, Luke’s career included teaching in the Sylvania Schools public school district in Ohio. Luke is a die-hard Red Sox fan.
A resident of Vienna, Austria for 14 years, he initially taught biology at the Rudolf Steiner School before co-founding the Institute for Goethe Studies, where he served as a full-time faculty member. After returning to the USA, Michael helped found the high school of the Chicago Waldorf School, where he currently teaches biology and economics. Michael is also on the faculty of the Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program in Wilton, NH and a board member of the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, Wisconsin. Michael is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, attended Emerson College in Sussex, England and did his teacher training at the Seminar for Waldorf Pedagogy in Stuttgart, Germany.
Jim received a degree in Applied Math and Physics from the University of Michigan, and was later granted a graduate fellowship at Wayne State University. While in Grad school, Jim wrote a thesis on the electrical and thermal properties of a particular conductive glass, which now has application in modern computer memory chips. It was also during this time that Jim was first introduced to Waldorf education through a lab associate. After completion of his PhD, he worked in the electronics industry for a number of years and later completed his Waldorf teacher training while in Southern California, where he began to teach part-time at the local Waldorf High School. Jim is now full-time with the Chicago Waldorf School and enjoys working with colleagues to strengthen an already well-integrated high school program to further meet the educational needs of 21st century adolescents, especially in regard to their relationship to science and technology.
Andrei received his MFA from the Moscow Art Theater School. He has been working in theater industry since 1980, starting initially at the Moscow Art Theater, worked with Kabuky and Comédie-Française. In 1996-97 he went through one year of full time Waldorf Teachers Training in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Andrei has given a number of presentations on Anthroposophic topics at the Rudolf Steiner Branch; lectures, workshops and group studies for the festival of the year seasons. His work in Waldorf initiatives includes two years teaching of the 11th Grade Stone Carving block at the Chicago Waldorf School (2008-09) as well as teaching the Woodworking class to Foundation Year students of the Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Teachers Training Program in Chicago.
Elisabeth was born in Austria, and was fortunate to join the Waldorf School in Stuttgart, Germany for the last 5 years of her primary education. She graduated from the Academy of Music in Vienna in 1979. She did her Waldorf teacher training in Stuttgart, and has taught in Waldorf schools and training institutions in Austria and the US since then. In 2002 she went to China to teach English at a public high school in Shanxi, and also to travel. After she returned from China she opened her own Waldorf Kindergarten in Hyde Park, Chicago. She now visits China twice a year for extended periods to help mentor and teach a dynamic and growing population of Waldorf teachers there.
Nancy began studying theater at Illinois State University and then made a dramatic switch to chemistry.She currently serves as an Arcturus Core Member She was a research assistant in the chemical industry for several years. From 1990 she studied watercolor painting, training under various artists in the Chicago area. Developing programs and teaching at a parent cooperative school led her to Arcturus, where she received her Waldorf teacher training. Nancy took a class from first through eighth grade and is currently in 2nd grade with her second group of children. She has mentored several grade school teachers and is the proud parent of two Chicago Waldorf School graduates. Nancy currently serves as an Arcturus Core Member.
Carol has been a teacher at the Chicago Waldorf School for the past 20 years. She graduated from National Louis University in 1972 with a degree in education and English. Carol taught for several years in both public and private schools and for ten years was a lecturer on the art of storytelling. She found Waldorf education while searching for a school for her own children. She also spent her first three years at the Chicago Waldorf School as an Early Childhood lead teacher; then she took a class from first through eighth grade and is currently in 7th grade with her second group of children. Carol is a graduate of the Arcturus Waldorf Teacher Training Program where she currently teaches courses on storytelling and language arts. She have been an outside evaluator, consultant and mentor to several Waldorf schools, including Te Ra Waldorf School in New Zealand. In her tenure at CWS Carol have served as the grade school chair, Teacher Development Committee representative, AWSNA delegate, mentor and Chair of the College of Teachers.
John was born in England and educated in Canada and the United States. He has taught in Waldorf Schools since 1982, most of these as a teacher of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes at the Detroit and Chicago Waldorf Schools. He is now in his 9th year of teaching at the CWS. For 4 years at CWS he supported the middle grade class teachers (mentoring teachers, and teaching blocks and math tracks), and also taught high school history. In that capacity he has devoted considerable time researching the scientific revolution of our epoch as both symptom and agent of change on the evolution of consciousness. He is currently the teacher of the 8th grade at CWS. Over the years he has also taught many workshops and teacher education courses in the middle grade sciences and math/geometry. He has also written many class plays, a number of them about major scientific figures. His most ambitious works include musicals about the life and work of Johannes Kepler, entitled The Music of the Spheres (published and still available by AWSNA Press), and Archimedes.
Cynthia received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s of Waldorf Education from Mercy College of Detroit. She taught for many years at the Detroit Waldorf School where she took a class from grades one to eight. During this time she completed her training with the Association for a Healing Education and was a colleague of its founder, Mary Jo Oresti. Upon moving to Chicago she took a class from grades five to eight at the Chicago Waldorf School. She is currently an educational support teacher and teaches some middle school math and main lesson blocks.
Frances was born and educated in England. She graduated from Christ Church College Canterbury, Kent with a Dip. Ed and received her Waldorf Certification at Emerson College in Forest Row where she focused on sculpture, painting and drawing. She is one of the founding members of the Chicago Waldorf School where she has taken two classes one through eight and has also been a subject teacher in the arts. She is currently a high school teacher and class advisor focusing on the sculptural arts and metalwork. Frances is a member of the College of Teachers of CWS, has worked in teacher development, served as college chair and as a member of the Board of Trustees. Frances has taught in various Anthroposophical trainings adult trainings in North America. She is a member of the Pedagogical Section Council America of North America and a representative on the Leadership Council of AWSNA and she currently serves as an Arcturus Core Member.
Ingrid is a native of Colombia with a B.A. degree in Business Administration with majors in Marketing and Advertising. Before moving to the US, she worked for several non-profits in Colombia. She was an early childhood assistant at the Chicago Waldorf School, and she has been a parent there for the last six years. Ingrid graduated from the Arcturus Waldorf teacher training program in Chicago, where she has served as the office administrator for the last five years. Ingrid also completed her Handwork training at the Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, California. Ingrid also teaches handwork at the Arcturus Program.
EARLY CHILDHOOD FACULTY
Christine Culbert completed her Waldorf Teacher Training and B.A. through the Waldorf Institute of Mercy College of Detroit in 1978. Her journey as a class teacher began at Esperanza School in Chicago where she had the great fortune to teach in a curative educational setting under the leadership of Dr. Traute Page. She was a class teacher at Esperanza and also worked closely with the music program and helped to develop the Early Intervention Center serving the needs of children from birth to three years of age. Christine also completed a BSN from Northwestern University which led her to a ten year period working as a nurse in maternal child health settings in postpartum and labor and delivery. After the birth of her two children, her life path led her once again into Waldorf Education where she helped to further develop the Parent-Child Program at the Chicago Waldorf School. She also taught as a lead teacher in the Bluebells classroom until 2013. She is a member of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America and the Alliance for Childhood. She is currently enjoying opportunities for mentoring. Christine enjoys handcrafting toys for young children, and playing the lyre, piano and recorder whenever possible.
Susan grew up in Detroit, Michigan and Rock Island, Illinois. She received a BS in Chemistry and JD (Jurist Doctorate) from the University of Illinois. Susan also attended the Art Institute of Chicago. After discovering Waldorf education, Susan completed her teacher training at the Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Education Program and began teaching in the Early Childhood program at Chicago Waldorf School. In the past she has split her teaching duties between Early Childhood and the Parent-Child program. In addition to her teaching at Chicago Waldorf School, Susan taught Hebrew for 6 years and plays clarinet with the 100% Kosher Ham It Up Band at her synagogue, as well as with clarinet group the Licorice Sticks. She also conducts trainings on the art of puppetry.
Nancy has a long history of excellence with the Chicago Waldorf School including 6 years as an assistant with the Parent-Child program, primary teacher for the inaugural year of the Nursery progra, 6 years as an assistant in the Kindergarten program and 5 years and counting as a lead teacher in the Kindergarten program. A graduate of the Arcturus Teacher Training Program, Nancy also attended SIU and received an AssoMaryciate Degree in Fine Arts and Graphics from the American Academy of Art in Chicago. Nancy and her husband, Al, have four children, all of whom attended the Chicago Waldorf School. She enjoys doing anything with her family, working with children and their families, learning more about Anthroposophy, painting, gardening, and, of course, laughter.