Wendy Abate has been a lead Kindergarten Teacher of the Bluebird class at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor for the past four years. She taught at the Detroit Waldorf School, assisted at the Kinderhouse, in the kin-dergarten classroom at the Oakland Steiner School and in the ﬁrst grade at the RSSAA before getting her ﬁrst lead position. She also worked for seven years as a nanny for a family in Birmingham, Michigan and at various summer camps. Wendy has her Early Childhood Development degree and her Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Certiﬁcation. She expanded her family last year with her ﬁrst child, a daughter named Apple. Her interests and hobbies include cooking, baking, running and felting however, spending time with her daughter and husband take top priority now.
Leila Alemi graduated from Tehran University as an Agriculture Engineer in 2006 and worked for 5 years in a nonproﬁt children's literature and education organization in Tehran, Iran. After learning about Waldorf education, she moved to United States to attend the Waldorf Teacher Training program at Antioch University, New England and graduated as a trained Waldorf Teacher in 2014. She is currently working as the Bluebird Kindergarten As-sistant at Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor.
Lesley Cizenti's work with and interaction with children is highly regarded in the Ann Arbor. She has taught early education and preschool art classes at Allen Creek Preschool, First Steps Washtenaw Ann Arbor, Art Around Ann Arbor and Rec/Ed camps. She has also worked as a dance and creative movement teacher for Arts in Motion Dance and Music Studio. "I feel a very strong connection to the world of the imagination and I have been privileged to have worked in the creative arts for many years", Lesley says. She has a degree from the Uni-versity of Michigan in Dance and Elementary Education and a M.A. from EMU in Creative Writing. She directed Blue Dragon Dance Theatre, a multi-age dance company that received grants to work in the Michigan schools. She also directed the professional dance company, Dance Focus which performed in all the Ann Arbor schools.
Rowena Conahan is a certiﬁed Montessori teacher with background as a homeschool parent and as an assis-tant in a Waldorf-based forest kindergarten. She has attended Tom Brown's Tracker School in New Jersey, Wil-derness Awareness School's Art of Mentoring and Kamana Naturalist Training program. She is also a founder of Nature Learning Community where she teaches nature connection and outdoors skills classes for people of all ages and consults with educators seeking to increase outdoors experience for their students.
Nealia Fil is the Kindergarten Teacher for the Redbird class at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. As a child she attended RSSAA for second through ﬁfth grade. Prior to leading the Redbirds, Nealia was the Blue-bird Assistant and substituted at the school. She has studied at the University of Michigan and Thomas More College and is continuing her education in Early Childhood Development. She received her Waldorf teaching certiﬁcate from the Waldorf Institute of Southeastern Michigan in December 2014. She interned at a Waldorf school in Germany and has years of experience caring for children and helping at summer camps. As one of seven children, Nealia enjoys spending time with her dear family and walking the beautiful trails through Ann Arbor's woods and along the river. She keeps busy with countless art, handwork, and woodworking projects.
Arianna Gaw is currently a senior at Eastern Michigan University where she is double majoring in Elementary Education and Language Arts. She is ﬁnding inspiration working in the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor Aftercare program. Her hobbies include drawing, painting, crafting, and reading. She loves children and is looking forward to all of the fun things she has planned for this summer's camp!
Khaled Houamed is a scientist, educator, and entrepreneur. He received his BSc (with honors) from the University of Aberdeen, and Ph.D., from the University of London. He held research and teaching faculty positions at the University of Washington, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, and Novo Nordisk A/S in Copenhagen. He is currently a managing partner (with Susan Thomas) at El Harissa Market Cafe, Ann Arbor. His pastimes include current affairs, cooking, and soccer.
Vanessa Gilbert has been a Waldorf parent for almost 20 years now and in that time she has home-schooled, taught Parent-Tot and Kindergarten classes and run Waldorf-inspired summer camps from her home. A photographer by trade, Vanessa also enjoys many other creative avenues such as doll making, ﬁber arts, writing and storytelling. She has four creative and lively children, half and full grown, and a newborn granddaughter.
Maggie Judd is the Aftercare Director at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. She has a Bachelor's of Science from Eastern Michigan University and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan. She has been working as a Clinical Social Worker, providing case management and crisis intervention services to adults for the past ten years. She is currently enrolled in the Waldorf Teacher Training program for Early Childhood Education.
Celia Larsen is in her 7th year as the Gardening and Outdoor Education teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor Lower School. She grew up mucking about in the mica-tinged creeks of Maryland, got a couple degrees in biology (Wake Forest University and the University of Michigan) and worked part-time for seven years at the Henry Ford Estate (Fairlane) helping restore the Jens Jensen landscape there. She volunteered in the Northville Public Schools, assisting in developing an "Alternative Outdoor Education Curriculum" which was never widely used and planting native plants wherever she was allowed. She has also volunteered for The Stewardship Network as a member of the conference planning committee since its inception eight years ago.
Delia Powell is the current Movement Teacher at Rudolf Steiner Lower School. She also coaches the grades 6-8 volleyball team. She has a Master's of Education and a Bachelor's of Science degree with a focus in physical education and kinesiology. She enjoys spending time with her ﬁve year old son and her husband. She also enjoys participating in outdoor and indoor sports and recreation. Her favorite sports are ice ﬁshing, golﬁng, jogging, bike riding, and swimming.
Perla Schaeberle was born and raised in Saltillo, Coahuilla, a city located in the northeastern part of Mexico. Her family loved to spend time traveling together, visiting relatives in other parts of the country and going to her Grandparents' ranch during Easter week. At the ranch, Perla would spend countless hours outdoors riding horses, collecting eggs, getting up very early to milk the cows, and playing Loteria (Bingo) once it became dark out. She ﬁ nds these to be her most cherished memories from childhood. She attended college at the Tecno-logico de Monterrey and obtained a Bachelor's Degree in accounting, worked for General Motors and traveled to South America as a GM Auditor. She has taught Spanish at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor for the past 15 years. Teaching children to speak Spanish means the world to her.
Caitie Shaughnessy has been a part of the RSSAA community since 2008. She has worked throughout the school in kindergarten, first grade, and in the high school as well. She stepped down from her role as Redbird kindergarten teacher with the birth of her fi rst child this past June and is excited to return to the kindergarten classroom for summer camp this summer! She is an alumna of Oakland Steiner School, in Rochester, MI and has her Waldorf teaching certifi cate from the Waldorf Institute of Southeastern Michigan. Caitie spent many happy summers as a camper and counselor at Upland Hills Farm Camp and Camp Glenbrook, and greatly looks forward to sharing the joys of summer camp with the children who join us at RSSAA!
Brent Schulte is in his second year of teaching Movement at the Rudolf Steiner High School. He is the Assistant Athletic Director for the high school, where he also coaches basketball and teaches American History. Through his work at the Steiner School, Brent has experienced working with children of all ages. Brent graduated in 2013 from the University of Kansas and moved to Ann Arbor two years ago with his wife, Erica.
Susan Thomas is an educator, artist, and entrepreneur. She has a B.Ed honors (with an Art concentration) from The University of Manchester, UK and an M.Ed from The University of Illinois at Chicago. Susan has taught grades from Nursery through 5th, in the UK, USA, and Denmark, as well as adult ESL, for over 30 years. Her training, and her interest, focuses on using art as a learning medium; in the UK, Susan was the teacher responsible for Art and Display at a large Elementary school in London. She is currently a managing partner in El Harissa Market Cafe, Ann Arbor. Her pastimes include gardening, baking, all the ﬁ ber arts and ﬁ xing things.
Margarete Walsh has been teaching German for grades 1-8 at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor for 20 years. Prior to teaching her ﬁrst language in the grades she was a lead RSSAA Early Childhood teacher. For the last two years Margarete has delighted in also teaching German in the Early Childhood program.
Margarete has three grown children. She is an avid cook, gardener and doll maker and loves to travel when her time permits.