Tamarack Waldorf School

Our Faculty

Our faculty sings out with students at the Festival of Courage.

Early Childhood Teachers

Rose Wessel

Joy of Learning, Playgroup Leader

Early Childhood

‘I began teaching as a third grade public school teacher and was introduced to Waldorf in 1978. What distinguishes this education to me is the slower pace for the children and the imaginative play that is so essential in the early developmental years.’

In May of 2011, Mrs. Wessel retired from teaching Tamarack’s Butterfly Garden since 1996. The school is grateful that she has decided to continue on in the role of playgroup leader. Mrs. Wessel grew up in Merrill, Wisconsin. In her free time she enjoys walking and reading.

Education: Mrs. Wessel has been a Waldorf teacher for over 25 years. She has attended numerous Waldorf training workshops, conferences, and classes and attended a teachers college as an undergraduate.


Teacher, Rainbow Garden



‘In today’s climate of competitive academics, even in kindergartens and preschools, we are at ever increasing risk of losing those things that make childhood precious. Waldorf education nurtures and protects childhood, and in this way prepares children to become successful, well-adjusted adults.’

Mrs. Danneil grew up in Northbrook, Illinois. In her free time she enjoys singing, reading, baking, and caring for her pets. She currently is participating in Nurturing the Roots, a three year advanced therapeutic course for Waldorf early childhood educators, and she has also been accepted into The School of Uncovering the Voice.

Education: Waldorf Teacher Certification, Great Lakes Waldorf Institute; M.A. Education, Mount Mary College; Master of Library and Information Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; B.S. Information Resources, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Diploma, Interlochen Arts Academy (Interlochen, MI).

Lisa Desmond

Assistant, Rainbow Garden

Alicia Rhyner

Assistant, Rainbow Garden

Early Childhood

Kindergarten Teachers


Teacher, Flower Garden



‘I love the imaginative and gentle approach to child development in the kindergarten. This approach is what sets the tone for a child’s success at Tamarack.’

Ms. Flores grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In her free time she enjoys sewing, hiking and camping.

Education: West Coast Institute for studies in Anthroposophy (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada). B.A. in Elementary Education with support in Early Childhood, Alverno College.

Melissa Hansen

Assistant, Flower Garden



Teacher, Sunshine Garden



‘I feel that Waldorf education is an oasis in our fast-paced, consumer culture. The young child observes, interacts with, and respects the surrounding world and other people; experiences the family-like feeling of the kindergarten; and learns fundamental skills that help foster a life-long love of learning.’

Ms. Zamzow grew up in the Milwaukee area. In her spare time she enjoys singing, knitting, and spending time with her family in the outdoors.

Education: B.S., Sociology, Carroll University (Waukesha). Currently pursuing Waldorf Teacher Certification through Great Lakes Waldorf Institute.

Emily Breffle

Assistant, Sunshine Garden


Jane Danner-Sustar DANNER_JANE

Teacher, Firefly Garden



“What I find most wondrous about Waldorf education is this little glimpse into the future that I see reflected in the children’s eyes. These children, their parents, this school and this community are all striving to do and be something different in the world – different from what we see all around us.”

Ms. Danner-Sustar was raised in Milwaukee and is a parent of six Tamarack Waldorf alumni. She enjoys sewing, cooking, biking and family time. Ms. Sustar has worked as a caregiver and cook at LifeWays Childhood Center for eight years.

Education: B.A., Theater Arts, Marquette University. Waldorf Teacher Certification, Great Lakes Waldorf Institute. LifeWays training certificate. Pursuing Early Childhood certification, GLWI.

Danielle Williams-Szydel

Assistant, Firefly Garden

Grades Teachers


Teacher, First Grade


‘Waldorf education looks at each child as a whole human being, not just a mind waiting to be filled with information. It appreciates that we are all uniquely different and strives to teach toward these differences, in effect serving each child holistically. Waldorf Education makes so much sense to me, and it is truly a joy and an honor to stand before the children each day to witness and be a part of their joy and growth.’

Mrs. Reyes grew up in Watertown, WI, and now resides in Milwaukee. Mrs. Reyes enjoys hiking with her dog, Elvira, camping, crafts, knitting and sewing.

Education: B.A. from Marquette University, College of Communications; Waldorf Teaching Certification from Great Lakes Teacher Training Institute.

Amy Lynn Marks MARKS_AMY

Teacher, Second Grade


‘I look at each child as an individual with gifts to offer and share. In Waldorf education, students are respected as unique people with their own destiny and biography. I feel passionately about teaching through the arts and observing the growth, development, and evolution of the human being, as my students travel through the grades.’

Mrs. Marks grew up in Seattle, Washington. She is married with two young children at Tamarack. She enjoys family time in nature or museums, knitting, drawing, painting, writing, reading, hiking, and leading a poetry group.

She has taught at the Olympia and Portland Waldorf schools and at Tamarack for 11 years, graduating two 8th grades. She is currently in her 21st year of teaching at a Waldorf school.

Education: B.A. at the Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA); Teacher Education Program, the Evergreen State College & Western Washington University (Bellingham, WA), Waldorf Training with Master Teacher Bill Bryant.


Teacher, Third Grade


‘I was drawn to Waldorf education because of its deep consideration of the whole child, and also, because of the way in which the natural world is integrated, treasured and revered.’

Mrs. Hundt grew up in Rudolph, Wisconsin. She enjoys sports, camping and hiking, and travel. She graduated Tamarack’s Class of 2012 last June after 8 years with those students and in her second 8-year cycle of teaching.

Education: B.S. Education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Waldorf Teacher Training certification, Great Lakes Teacher Training; pursuing Masters in Education at Mount Mary College (Milwaukee).

Rosemarie McCormick MCCORMICK_ROSIE

Teacher, Fourth Grade


‘What makes a Waldorf education uniquely different for me is how the curriculum is geared toward a child’s development and how it embraces the wonder of childhood. It allows children to be children and fosters within them a life-long love of learning.’

Mrs. McCormick was born in Manchester, N.H., and raised on the east side of Milwaukee. This is her second cycle teaching students at Tamarack, having graduated the Class of 2011. In her free time she enjoys art, knitting, travel, organic gardening, writing, Celi & Contra dance and African dance, and is an avid dog lover.

Education: Masters degree in Elementary Education with a Waldorf Education emphasis, Mount Mary College (Milwaukee); Waldorf teacher training certification from the Great Lakes Teacher Training; B.A. in Elementary Education, Carthage College (Kenosha); previously a teacher in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic Schools and a Waldorf school Handwork Teacher. She has experience working with elderly populations as well. Mrs. McCormick is the parent of two grown children who were educated at a Waldorf school.


Teacher, Fifth Grade


‘I truly believe that Waldorf education and the communities that surround Waldorf schools are special. They are full of loving, hardworking people who work towards a world transformed. I feel extremely fortunate to be part of Tamarack, for there are many wonderful people who turn those noble ideas into reality.’

Mr. Boland is a Wisconsin native who is active in the Milwaukee theater community. He enjoys long form improv comedy, writing, gardening and cooking.

Education: B.A. Critical Theory in English Literature and Theater, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Certified Yoga for Kids Teacher. Mr. Boland is pursuing Waldorf Teacher Certification through Great Lakes Teacher Training.


Teacher, Sixth Grade


Mr. Price grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He is an active string bassist, performing and recording in the area. In his free time he also enjoys writing plays for adults and children, as well as running.

Education: Waldorf Teacher Training Certificate, WTDA (Ann Arbor, Michigan). In college, Mr. Price pursued both music and film studies. As one of the founding teachers of Tamarack in 1996, Mr. Price was the lead teacher of three Tamarack classes, graduating 8th graders in 2001, 2002, and 2009.

Michele Peterson

Teacher, Seventh Grade


‘It is a privilege and an awe-inspiring responsibility to accompany children through the 8-year passage from young childhood to young adulthood. Each year that I have worked in Waldorf Education has given me opportunities to experience the appropriateness and effectiveness of the Waldorf curriculum in promoting the healthy development of the human being.’

Ms. Peterson is a Wisconsin native and enjoys time with her family, reading, art, and history. She graduated the Tamarack class of 2006 and is in her second 8-year cycle of teaching at Tamarack.

Education: Waldorf Teacher certification, Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Teacher Education. Certified, Lifeways Early Childhood Program. Pursuing further coursework in Communications with a writing emphasis.


Teacher, Eighth Grade


‘When we can reach out with compassion to each student in our care, new learning and knowledge creation are the result. When a teacher begins to see the highest in the students instead of focusing on the problems and deficits, then something new, something living, arises in the classroom. I appreciate the opportunity that Waldorf Education gives me to work with children in a free and unhindered dance of creativity and joy!’

Mrs. Price, the mother of five children, grew up in rural Kansas and worked as a professional actress and director in Chicago for 10 years. She is passionately engaged in a study of student/teacher relationships and their impact on learning. She recently finished her doctorate degree and is the Director of Teacher Development and a core faculty member for Great Lakes Waldorf Institute. Mrs. Price is in her second 8-year cycle of teaching at Tamarack after graduating the class of 2007.

Education: Doctorate in Transformative Studies, California Institute of Integral Studies (San Francisco); MA, Barfield School of Sunbridge College (Spring Valley, New York); Waldorf Teaching Certificate, WTDA (Ann Arbor, Michigan); Master’s work in directing and B.F.A. Acting, Goodman School of Drama, DePaul University (Chicago).


Brian Gleichauf

Lead High School Teacher


“I love Waldorf education because it is taught on a human scale with the uplift of each and every human being at its core.  It is the only education I know that takes the risk of saying that the human being is itself is the source of wisdom, and trusts the human being to impart that wisdom if we as teachers are willing to listen.”

Brian has taught physics and math in middle and high school, mostly at Chicago Waldorf School for the past 10 years, with guest teaching at Vancouver and Detroit Waldorf Schools in addition.  He has served in a variety of leadership positions at Waldorf schools, including on the College of Teachers and board. Currently, he sits on Tamarack’s Leadership Group and is the high school representative on the Board. Brian lives in Milwaukee with his wife, Jennifer, a Presbyterian minister currently serving at an independent Congregationalist church; his daughter Evangeline; and their dog, Oliver. His hobbies and interests include long distance hiking, running and biking, theology, and sustainability projects like beekeeping, composting, and permaculture.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Michigan State University;  Master’s degree in Theology from McCormick Theological Seminary; Waldorf High School Teacher Training Certificate from the Center for Anthroposophy.

Kate Knuth

High School Pedagogical Planner


“The first Waldorf classroom I ever witnessed was brimming with warmth, beauty and human kindness. It was this that ‘got me.’ When I witnessed first graders demonstrating such love for one another, fifth graders so capable giving oral reports, seventh graders bravely reading meaningfully-crafted poems – all in front of twenty visiting strangers – I knew that something special was happening. When I looked under the hood a bit and realized that Waldorf Education strives to allow the awakening and emboldening in every human being of his or her purpose and direction in life, I was convinced that this was unlike anything I had ever known.”

Born and raised in Waukesha, Kate began her Waldorf teacher education at the Chicago Waldorf High School. Setting out on a seven year journey to Europe, she studied creative speech, continued her Waldorf teacher education, and taught English in Waldorf schools in Aesch, Switzerland and Berlin and Potsdam, Germany. At the end of that journey, Kate moved to the east coast with her young family, where she served as class teacher and librarian at Hawthorne Valley School, development assistant for the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and Administrator at Pine Hill Waldorf School. In 2012, Kate and her three boys returned home to Wisconsin, where the children enrolled at Tamarack and Kate soon became involved in the initiative to open Tamarack’s high school grades.

Kate’s interests include reading, writing, documentaries, hiking, biking and traveling with her three beautifully curious and energetic boys.

Education: BFA, California Institute of the Arts; Waldorf teacher education: Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Teacher Education Program, Rudolf Steiner Institute, Rudolf Steiner College, Seminare für Waldorfpädagogik Berlin and Mannheim (Germany); School for Speech and Drama at the Goetheanum.

Peter DeBoer



Peter is a currently a part time specialist at TWS, principally teaching science and applied arts in grades 5-9. Previously, Peter was a full-time natural science and gardening teacher at Sacramento Waldorf High School. It was during his time in California that Peter took up training in consensus-based decision making and facilitation from staff of Alpha Farm in Deadwood, Oregon. Peter is originally a native of southeastern Wisconsin and now lives with his wife and five children in Wauwatosa. Apart from work and family, Peter is an avid fisherman and gardener, and an occasional recreational writer.

Brad Mier
Mary Millikin
Sarah Olsen
Gwen Zupan

Grades Assistants

Meghan Wielebski

Applied Arts/Woodworking/Upper Grades Assistant

Alumni Teachers

Sondra Reyes

Teacher, Graduated the Class of 2014

Jodi Hundt

Teacher, Graduated the Class of 2012

Rosie McCormick

Teacher, Graduated the Class of 2011

Julie Drigot

Teacher, Graduated the Class of 2010

‘Relationships in Waldorf education between children and their teachers are deep and profound. This is also true of the relationship between parents and the classroom teacher. Waldorf education is my passion.’

Mrs. Drigot grew up in Moline, Illinois. In her free time, Mrs. Drigot is developing a farming program for Tamarack Waldorf School. Currently she raises chickens and sheep for fiber. Her interests are prairie restoration, gardening and cooking with children.

Education: Waldorf Training Certificate, Antioch New England Graduate School (Keene, N.H.). B.A. Elementary Education, Alverno College (Milwaukee).

John Price

Teacher, Graduated the Classes of 2009, 2002, 2001

Ann Burfeind

Teacher, Graduated the Class of 2008

‘Waldorf education strives to cultivate in each child a love of the world around them and a sense of preparedness for how they can contribute with their life’s work.’

Ms. Burfeind grew up on a farm in Minnesota. In her free time she enjoys caning chairs, handcrafts, and swimming in clear, cold, water. Ms. Burfeind is a priest in the Christian Community Church, based in the Chicago area.

Education: Masters in Waldorf Education, Antioch University (Antioch, NH), B.A. Winona State University (Winona, MN), Taruna College for Anthroposophical Adult Education in New Zealand.

Nancy Price

Teacher, Graduated the Class of 2007

Michele Peterson

Teacher, Graduated the Class of 2006

Amy Marks

Teacher, Graduated the Class of 2005, 2013

Karen Green

Teacher, Graduated the Class of 2004, 2003

Specialty Teachers

Laurie Asch

Violin Teacher


Teacher, Handwork


‘Handwork encourages children’s natural creativity. I was drawn to Waldorf education because it recognizes the value of handwork and is an important aspect of the curriculum.’

Mrs. Duncan enjoys handwork, a little sailing and a little skiing.

Education: Graduate of the Applied Arts Program, Sunbridge College (NY); B.A. History, Charter Oak College (Hartford, CT).


Teacher, Spanish

‘I was drawn to Waldorf education because of the diversity of the curriculum and by how much students are encouraged to use their imagination.’

Ms. Geiger grew up in Honduras and Guatemala. In her free time she likes to be with her children, read and shop. She also enjoys exercising, traveling and teaching.

Education : B.A. Education, Guatemala City.

Kelly Hofman

Upper Level Winds Teacher

Beret Isaacson

Circus Arts/Pentathlon Teacher


Learning Support Specialist


‘I was drawn to the holistic, soulful nature that Waldorf education takes in educating children and its strong musical, artistic and movement work.’

Mrs. Hunter has worked in Tamarack’s curative program since 1999. She has trained and been mentored in Waldorf Therapeutic Education and participates in ongoing study and classes in related topics.

Education: MSW and BSW, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Jean Kacanek


Woodwinds TeacherMrs. Kacanek grew up in Michigan. In her free time she enjoys family, travel, vegetable gardening, biking, reading, walking, and swimming.

Education : Master of Music, Music Performance from the University of Michigan; Bachelor of Music Education, University of Michigan; Diploma, Interlochen Arts Academy (Interlochen, MI).

Mechthilde Moser

German Teacher, Grades 1-5

Julio Pabon

Woodworking Teacher

Kristian Ring

Cello Teacher

Alissa Rhode

Eurythmy Pianist

Ms. Rhode has been teaching kids to sing and play the piano for over 20 years. For over 13 of those years, she has enjoyed working as a collaborating composer/accompanist in Eurythmy classrooms. As a professional music director, arranger, composer, conductor, pianist, and vocalist, she has had the pleasure of working with companies such as First Stage Children’s Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, and American Folklore Theatre. Ms. Rhode currently serves as Lead Music Director for the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee and has way too much fun performing around the region with The Rhode Sisters, a Feisty Folk Trio.

Education: M.A. in Liberal Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Center for 21st Century Studies; B.A. in Music Composition, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign; Eurythmy & Music study at Arcturus Waldorf training program (Chicago).

Angela Rogers

Aftercare Assistant

Mary Ruud

Eurythmy Teacher

Ms. Ruud has taught eurythmy for more than 25 years, including 12 years at Urban Waldorf School. She teaches in the Great Lakes Teacher Training program, Lifeways early childhood training, and the Waldorf program at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. She was born in La Crosse and has a daughter and three grandchildren.

Education: M.A. in Liberal Studies at Spring Valley Eurythmy School (Spring Valley, NY). She also has stage training from Nurnberg, Germany, and therapeutic training at the London School of Eurythmy in Peredur, England.

Sarah Schelble

Aftercare Teacher and Handwork Assistant

‘Coming back to Tamarack as an alum, and now a member of the staff, I’ve enjoyed remembering my time here as a student, but also seeing how much it has changed. I’m excited to be a part Tamarack once again and work in such an enriching and holistic environment’

Sarah enjoys spending time cooking all sorts of different dishes, knitting and crocheting, and doing many other different handworking projects.

Education: B.S. in Family Social Science, minor in Art, from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2012. Graduated from Tamarack in 2005 (Amy Marks’ first class).

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