EARLY CHILDHOOD FACULTY

Megan Gardner
Morning Garden Lead Teacher

Megan was first introduced to Waldorf education as a student in the 4th grade when her family moved to Vermont, and her future life in education was changed by her 3 years spent at the Green Mountain Waldorf School. In high school she experienced a semester at a Rudolf Steiner school in England. After completing a BA degree in Early Childhood education from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, Megan was accepted as the Assistant teacher and Lead Aftercare teacher for the Preschool class at the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork in Carbondale. There she spent two wonderful years teaching and becoming more awed and inspired by Waldorf education and the essence of Early Childhood. In 2014 she completed her LifeWays training in Boulder and the same year she and her husband Wesley welcomed their first son George Jasper. Megan created and led a Waldorf/LifeWays inspired home daycare for a year before she and her family packed up their home and moved to the Asheville area. Megan’s other interests include hiking, crafting, gardening, and spending time in nature.

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Zoe Rothfuss
Lead Kindergarten Teacher

Zoe’s introduction to Waldorf Education began at the age of three and has always been an integral part of her family culture.  Since earning a B.Ed in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005, she has served young children and their families in a variety of settings. Zoe holds a diploma in Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Education from Sunbridge Institute. From her home base in Madison County, Zoe enjoys spending time with her family working in the garden, hiking, dancing, baking, and is blessed to wake up to a birds’ dawn serenade every morning.

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Alice Redrick
Assistant Nursery Teacher

Alice was introduced to Waldorf Education in 1999, in the beautiful Napa Valley of northern California where she had the opportunity to work with a lovely teacher in her home-based kindergarten for two years. She moved to Alaska with her husband where she lived for eleven years and gave birth to four children. Once her eldest child became school aged their family became more involved with the Waldorf School in Anchorage. Alice assisted with the Parent-Tot, Aftercare and Kindergarten programs. She served as the Assistant Kindergarten Teacher for two years at Azalea Mountain. Alice feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work along side a variety of Waldorf Early Childhood teachers and holds them all close to her heart. Three of her four children currently attend Azalea Mountain School. Her family enjoys exploring the outdoors through hiking, biking and camping.

Donna Wright
Lead Nursery Teacher

Donna  Wright discovered Waldorf education in her travels around the U.S. in her twenties. She was awed by what she saw in at The Waldorf  school in Eugene Oregon, where she lived while studying to become a doula. Years later in her home  state of Kentucky, she began working as an assistant in the kindergarten at The Waldorf school of Louisville. The next year, she  took the lead position and went on to receive her early childhood degree from Sunbridge College. Donna loved her magical time with the children during her six years of teaching and pioneering the school.  The next year her son Jonah was born which really expanded her experience of childhood and the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner.  She brought this inspiration into her work of homeschooling her son. Donna has a degree in French and studied at The Alliance Francaise in Paris.  She loves French culture.  She also enjoys yoga, the healing arts, hiking, plein air painting with her son, and playing music and singing with her husband of 21 years, John Paul.  Donna and her family are excited to be moving to Asheville and becoming a part of the community at Azalea Mountain school.

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Alyssa Garland
Assistant Kindergarten Teacher

Alyssa grew up immersed in Waldorf Education as a student at the Monterey Bay Charter School in California.  She later worked as an Aftercare School Teacher at the Monterey Bay Charter School and a Preschool Teacher at the Jewish Community Center of Asheville.  This past year Alyssa was the pioneer teacher of the Aftercare program here at AMS.  During that time she was given many opportunities to sub in both the Kindergarten and Nursery, where her passion for Early Childhood grew.  She is thrilled to be working as the Assistant Kindergarten Teacher alongside such an amazing faculty.  Alyssa holds a BA in Cultural Education and Humanities and a Minor in Performing Arts from the Prescott College in Arizona.  Alyssa loves singing, playing music, gardening, hiking, and dancing.

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Elizabeth Hromada
Lead Kindergarten Teacher

Elizabeth was first introduced to the work of Rudolf Steiner in 2004 while working as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Brevard, NC. She felt a calling as she read about cooperative communities dedicated to service of the whole human being: mind, heart, and body. Elizabeth earned her B.S. at UNC-Asheville in Environmental Studies, and found the joy of sharing the wonders of nature with young children during an internship at the WNC Nature Center. In 2005 she relocated from WNC to Sedona, AZ, where she met her husband, Justin. Their daughter, Niya, was born at home in 2007, and Elizabeth soon discovered the riches of Waldorf education while she cared for infants and toddlers in her home.  From 2012 and until the end of the 2015/16 school year, Elizabeth has worked as assistant, co-teacher, and lead teacher at Red Earth Waldorf Kindergarten/Preschool (REWK) under the mentorship of REWK’s founder and early childhood teacher of 30+ years. Also, since 2012, Elizabeth has served as a founding board member for Running River School, a non-profit independent grades program rooted in Waldorf pedagogy. She will complete her Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Training in July 2016 at Rudolf Steiner College. Elizabeth is filled with gratitude to return to Asheville and join the Azalea Mountain School community in the 2016/17 school year. It is a joy for her to share the wonders of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband and daughter, and to delight in some favorite pastimes: seeking rare wildflowers, hunting for waterfalls, singing with the rivers, and marveling at fireflies.

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Maria Allen
Lead Nursery Teacher

Maria met Waldorf education in 2006 at Winterberry Charter School in Alaska, working as Music Teacher.  When a class teacher had a baby, Maria “temporarily” took the class and wound up carrying them through 3 grades/years!  During this time, she became convinced that early childhood is the  most essential part of education.  She went on to study Waldorf early childhood education at Taruna College in New Zealand and with LifeWays/Asheville.  Maria also holds a degree in Music Education from Converse College (Spartanburg, SC).  She has previously taught at Azalea Mountain in the Nursery, Morning Garden (Parent/Child class), and as Music Teacher (grades 1-4).  In addition, she taught at Dandelion Hill mixed-age kindergarten and during the Rainbow Mountain School’s summer program for early childhood. She also enjoys teaching adults to sing with young children through LifeWays and (previously) through Rudolf Steiner College’s Community Learning Center in Anchorage, AK. With her dear husband, Butch, and their delightful daughter, Perry Katherine, Maria enjoys homesteading in Barnardsville.  Her hobbies include gardening, traveling, tandem biking with her family, swimming, contra-dancing and singing.

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Amrita Prem
Assistant Kindergarten Teacher

Bio coming soon

Rachel Bernstein
Lead Nursery Teacher

Rachel was immersed in Waldorf education at an early age when she attended the Washington Waldorf School from second grade through eighth grade. Rachel has a BS in Early Childhood Education from Miami University in Ohio and received her teacher training at Taruna College in New Zealand. Rachel has lived and taught in Thailand for over 10 years. While in Thailand, she taught at an International School, with students, parents and colleagues from diverse countries and cultures; bringing with her a holistic approach to their lives and learning. She has worked as an assistant teacher in the Parent-Child class at Potomac Crescent Waldorf School in Alexandria Va. Rachel feels blessed to be joining the Azalea Mountain Waldorf School faculty at this time and to be contributing to such beautiful and nurturing work. When she is not at school, Rachel enjoys baking and going on “adventures” with her two young sons. Other interests include practicing Qi Gong, photography and enjoying time with family and friends.

Kim Maier
Assistant Nursery/Kindergarten Teacher

Bio coming soon