Yikuan Chen is a Mandarin Chinese teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. He has great passion and enthusiasm for introducing and incorporating Chinese language and culture as a valuable asset of world language studies for students in various age groups. He has started Chinese language classes for the Lower School (Pre-K to K-8) and is also an adjunct lecturer for Chinese culture at the High School.
Trained as a translator and overseas Chinese instructor, Chen has experiences in teaching Chinese language for non-Chinese speakers in various places in China, Nigeria and Egypt. He is working actively on seeking best strategies of learning Chinese for his students. He loves his students and fi nds experiences of working with children highly rewarding.
Lesley Criscenti's work with and interaction with children is highly regarded in the Ann Arbor area. 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 University 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.
Arianna Gaw is currently student teaching in Dexter, and will be graduating this April with a degree in Elementary Education. She has previoulsy worked for RSSAA as an Aftercare assistant and Summer Camp teacher. Her hobbies include drawing, kayaking, crafting, and reading. She is looking forward to all of the fun things she has planned for this summer's camp!
Singer-songwriter and pianist Anne Heaton has captured audience imaginations for over a decade with her songs that are, by turns "tender, barbed and spiritual" (Washington Post). She has been featured by the New York Times Music Podcast, played numerous times on NPR and shared the stage with artists such as Jewel, Sarah McLachlan and jazz drummer Max Roach. Anne teaches songwriting to high school students at Berklee College of Music and Interlochen Camp for the Arts and is the founder of Soul Songs School, an online songwriting and creativity course. Anne most enjoys making up songs with her 3 and 5 year old daughters who attend Early Childhood at Ruldolf Steiner.
Maria Mack grew up in a Waldorf inspired school in Costa Rica. Her liberal arts education in Studio Art and Music intensified her interest in creating an integrated environment for children. Her teaching career began with contributing to the development of a network of music schools around Costa Rica. Funded by the Ministry of Culture, the initiative aimed to motivate children and youth off the streets through the study of music. During the past four years Maria was the lead Grade 5 teacher at an international school in Costa Rica. She also performed and recorded with a young professional orchestra, while pursuing graduate studies in Literature at the University of Costa Rica and completing her certification as a yoga instructor. Maria moved to Ann Arbor in August 2015 and since moving has been the Chickadee assistant at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor.
Junko Meschievitz has been teaching Parent Child class and a Forest Parent Child class at Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. She is completing her Waldorf Early Childhood teacher training through Waldorf Southeastern of Michigan this summer. She has a bachelor degree of elementary/middle school/high school education from University of Hiroshima in Japan and also teaches at Japanese school of Detroit. She has three young children, two of which attend RSSAA and loves to spend time singing, crafting, cooking and playing outside with them.
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, who attends RSSAA, baby girl 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.
Sara Schropp spent the last school year assisting in the Purple Finch Kindergarten room, teaching sample Parent Child Classes and subbing in After Care. She is currently enrolled in the WISM Early Childhood Teacher Training program. She has years of experience working with young children as a volunteer and nanny. Sara is the proud mother of Nick, a Grade 4 student at RSSAA, and spends her free time singing, sewing and crafting.
Caitie Shaughnessy-Parrish 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 first 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 certificate 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!
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.