Tamarack Waldorf School

Our Staff


Jean Kacanek  KACANEK_JEAN


‘As school administrator, I am in contact with children in all the grades. What stands out, and what makes Waldorf education uniquely different to me, is how much the children love school. Children receiving a Waldorf education at Tamarack Waldorf School graduate with strong self esteem and academic confidence.’

Mrs. 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; BM of Music Education, University of Michigan; Diploma, Interlochen Arts Academy.



‘I like the attention that’s paid to each child as an individual. It doesn’t matter where they come from, they are each treated as special and unique.’

Ms. Erickson, a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, was the controller for a large corporation and had held various other accounting positions before she opened her own art gallery. While not at her gallery, she ensures that Tamarack’s finances are carefully tended. In her limited free time she is a devoted swimmer, avid reader, active member of the art community, and the proud mother of two adult daughters.

Education: B.S. Accounting and Finance, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Enrollment Coordinator

‘Waldorf education teaches the whole child and helps to create a well-rounded individual. I was initially drawn to Waldorf education through the kindergarten philosophy of allowing children the freedom to play and use their imagination and a philosophy that is tuned into the rhythms of the natural world.’

Mrs. Stokes grew up in the Niagara Falls area and also lived in New England for several years. In her free time she enjoys nature, being outdoors, bird watching, walking, and singing.

Education: B.S. Environmental Education, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.


Front Office Coordinator

‘Waldorf education awakens the child to the beauty of the world around him. It allows the child to engage all their senses and to breathe in each moment of learning whether it is a math problem, a Greek myth, a knitted project they have created, or a classmate with a different background than their own.’

Ms. Poulos grew up in Milwaukee and is a parent of a current Tamarack student and two alumni. In her free time she enjoys sewing, reading, planning parties, and time with her daughters.

Education: M.A. Architecture and Painting, Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan); B.S. Architectural Studies, University Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Assistant Administrator/Development Coordinator

‘The Waldorf way has a pace that is natural and relaxed, trusting in the child’s inner impulse towards learning.’

Ms. Gines was born in Quezon City, the Philippines, and grew up in Illinois. In her free time she enjoys movies, books, writing, crafts, and volleyball.

Education: Ph.D. in Religious Studies; B.A. in Journalism, Religion from the University of Iowa.


Development Specialist

Ms. Sorenson was raised in Green Bay and moved to Milwaukee in 2000 to attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her master’s degree had an emphasis on fund development and grant writing, and she was hired as Development Specialist at Tamarack in December 2012.

Education: M.S. in Nonprofit Management and Leadership; B.S. in Art History, History, and the Study of Comparative Religion.



‘The entire structure of Waldorf education is very dynamic to me. I love that it embraces so many different things so that there is something for every child to enjoy and be interested in.’

Lovie is a native of Milwaukee, WI. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, exercising, and spending time with her nieces and nephews.

Education: B.A. Psychology, Stanford University

James and Laura Ray

Custodial Services

‘The biggest thing for us is the rhythm at Tamarack. It’s really magical, but also structured.’

James is from the great north woods of Wisconsin and Laura is from south Milwaukee, and the couple’s Sunflower Cleaning Services has been keeping Tamarack tidy since 2002. Two of their three children are graduates of the school. In his free time, James drums in a Samba unit at the Conservatory of Music, pursues an interest in architecture (masonry), and makes chocolate. In her free time, Laura is pursuing a degree in dance and psychology.


High School Receptionist

‘I love Waldorf education! In my experience, Waldorf graduates have confidence in themselves,    are interested in the world and other people, and possess a life-long love of learning.’

In addition to working in the high school office, Lori Barian serves as Director of Administration for Great Lakes Waldorf Institute, the Waldorf teacher development center in Milwaukee. Lori has both a BS and an MA degree in English and a certificate in Waldorf education through Arcturus in Chicago, with additional training from LifeWays North America. Her professional work since 1988 has been primarily in nonprofit administration, development and public relations. Her two children, Austin and Hannah Woods, went through Tamarack from kindergarten through 8th grade.

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