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Early Childhood Teachers

Meet our Faculty

Within these biographies are represented the strength of the human spirit as evidenced by the dedication, integrity, and perseverance embodied in our faculty, staff, and board members. Also represented is a love for humanity, with all its diverse cultures and perspectives, and a respect for each individual’s stage of development. Additionally, there lives a reverence for our planet, its biodiversity, and life-sustaining gifts. We invite you to meet us here and we look forward to meeting you soon.

Kate Meehan

Kate Meehan

Parent-Tot Teacher

“This reverent, mindful, artistic, nature-based, holistic educational approach weaves together so many elements and values that are important to me!”

Kate Meehan

Kate Meehan

Parent-Tot Teacher

Why I work at AWS

My Mom found out about Waldorf education when I was a teenager, and her immediate response was “if I only knew, that’s where you would have gone!” Ever since then, a seed was planted.

I was intrigued by this reverent, mindful, artistic, nature-based, holistic educational approach that weaved together so many elements and values that were important to me as a young person, and continue to inform my life as an adult. As I began to study early childhood education, I knew the only route for me was Waldorf.

What I find most special about AWS

The wonderful community! My daughter, Juniper, and I attended a spring Outdoor Parent and Toddler program with Ms. Sarah. We were thrilled to meet and share in community with Ms. Sarah and our dear classmates - who we now call friends. It’s been delightful and affirming to learn of additional small world connections the more we ‘land’ in the community as well.

My life outside of AWS

My partner Thomas and I have a joyous and spirited daughter, Juniper. We love to spend time outdoors hiking and exploring in the woods, going on neighborhood ‘gnomey’ walks (many of the homes in our neighborhood have garden gnomes that Juniper has been fascinated with since she was a wee babe), growing a vegetable garden, and thrifting/antiquing.

Education & Training

  • Honours Diploma in Peace and Justice Studies, Selkirk College
  • BA in Gender and Women’s Studies, York University
  • 1st year of 2 year Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Training, Rudolf Steiner Centre Canada
  • Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner Centre Canada -
  • Honours Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education, Selkirk College
  • Theatre School Certificate, Toronto Player’s Academy Conservatory
Janelle Anderson

Janelle Anderson

Willow Wood Pre-K Lead Teacher

I love to take care of young children in a home-like setting that nurtures all their senses in a safe and developmentally appropriate way.

Janelle Anderson

Janelle Anderson

Willow Wood Pre-K Lead Teacher

Why I work at AWS

Back in 1999, I took a weekend course on Waldorf philosophy and it made sense to me. I teach at a Waldorf school because I love to take care of young children in a home-like setting that nurtures all their senses in a safe and developmentally appropriate way.

What I find most special about AWS

I think the wooded campus and the caring community is most special about AWS.

My life outside of AWS

I have a husband and three children, Isla, Kalista, and Kenyon (all students at AWS). We live in South Wales up on a wooded hill, where we have 2 cats, a turtle and many chickens. We are a family that loves to go on local adventures like: hike new locations, ski, snowshoe, and swim. But, we also enjoy our home days when we stay in our pajamas all day and play board games!

Education & Training

  • Multiple Waldorf education courses and workshops through Sunbridge Institute, Sophia's Hearth, and LifeWays.
  • BS in Early Childhood Development with a minor in Family Studies, Humboldt State University.

Nadine Merrick

Nadine Merrick

Willow Wood Pre-K Assistant

“AWS provides children with the space and resources to delve into their imagination, creativity and natural curiosity.”

Nadine Merrick

Nadine Merrick

Willow Wood Pre-K Assistant

Why I work at AWS

AWS provides children with the space and resources to delve into their imagination, creativity and natural curiosity. I enjoy being a part of the children’s growth process and helping them develop their physical, cognitive and social abilities. This not only provides a strong foundation for academic learning but also helps them see value in themselves and what they have to offer to society as they grow.

What I find most special about AWS

AWS offers a campus and curriculum like no other. The children can say they hiked through a wooded forest to picnic near a bubbling creek where they eat bread that they baked the day before. The children are involved in a wide variety of everyday activities guided by loving and caring faculty.

My life outside of AWS

I live with my husband and two boys in beautiful East Aurora. I love to travel, eat good food and go for long hikes. In the summer, I travel to California where I am from and in the winter, my family and I love to snowboard.

Education & Training

  • Outdoor Education training, Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools
  • BA in Communications, Syracuse University
Sarah Franklin

Sarah Franklin

Oakwood Pre-K / Kindergarten Lead Teacher

“Waldorf education honors the unfolding individuality of every child.”

Sarah Franklin

Sarah Franklin

Oakwood Pre-K / Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Why I work at AWS

Waldorf education honors the unfolding individuality of every child by providing a rich curriculum that fortifies students on their path of development and graduates young people who are prepared to take their lives in their own hands with courage, clarity, and enthusiasm.

What I find most special about AWS

AWS is a thriving community, founded by visionary people and carried into the future by committed, inspired, hardworking individuals. The campus is blessed to be adjacent to a beautiful park with a full auditorium and gymnasium.

My life outside of AWS

I live with my husband and three children on the ever exciting Cazenovia creek. We enjoy time spent exploring the natural world, reading, cooking, planting, knitting and making music together. I am also a children’s book illustrator.

https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/high-flight-christo...

Education & Training

  • Masters in Waldorf Education from Sunbridge College
  • BS in early childhood education from SUNY Geneseo
  • Green Meadow Waldorf School graduate
Tara Miller-Kuhn

Tara Miller-Kuhn

Oakwood Pre-K / Kindergarten Assistant Lunch Bunch Teacher

I love teaching kindness, compassion and a love of the outdoors!

Tara Miller-Kuhn

Tara Miller-Kuhn

Oakwood Pre-K / Kindergarten Assistant, Lunch Bunch Teacher

Why I work at AWS

I love the Waldorf School. I love teaching kindness, compassion and a love of the outdoors!

What I find most special about AWS

The most special thing about AWS is working with such great teachers and supportive families.

My life outside of AWS

I have lots of hobbies outside of AWS! I do a lot of reading, yoga, baking, hiking, biking, skiing, canoeing and more! I have a daughter and two sons and enjoy sharing these activities with them and my husband Jim.

Education & Training

  • Master’s Degree of Business Administration
  • Bachelor’s Degree of Humanities
  • Associate’s Degree of Liberal Arts
Jill Quinn

Jill Quinn

Ash Grove Pre-K / Kindergarten Lead Teacher

AWS is not only a place where children are educated, it is a community where lasting relationships are developed and fostered for a lifetime.

Jill Quinn

Jill Quinn

Ash Grove Pre-K / Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Why I work at AWS

I teach at AWS because I believe the developmentally-appropriate curriculum is healing for all children and it fosters a life-long love of learning and sense of wonder in our students.

What I find most special about AWS

AWS is not only a place where children are educated, it is a community where lasting relationships are developed and fostered for a lifetime.

My life outside of AWS

When I’m not teaching at AWS, I can be found enjoying the great outdoors or listening to music with my husband, daughter, son and dogs.

Education and Training

  • Waldorf Grade Teacher Certification from Sunbridge College
  • Bachelor of Science from Ithaca College
Megan Munson

Megan Munson

Ash Grove Pre-K / Kindergarten Assistant Lunch Bunch Teacher

Childhood should be a gentle exploration, full of play and wonder, where children have time to learn about themselves and their connection to the world around them.

Megan Munson

Megan Munson

Ash Grove Pre-K / Kindergarten Assistant, Lunch Bunch Teacher

Why I work at AWS

I teach at a Waldorf School because the curriculum embodies my core beliefs about childhood. Childhood should be a gentle exploration, full of play and wonder, where children have time to learn about themselves and their connection to the world around them.

What I find most special about AWS

I am continually amazed by the love and kindness that surrounds our community. From the way the teachers really, truly care about their students, to the way the parents are always willing to lend a helping hand.

My life outside of AWS

My husband, Phillip, and I have two sons, Perrin and William. Our family enjoys camping, biking, kayaking, sports and going for walks in the woods. I, personally, love knitting, sewing, and getting lost in the pages of a good book.

Education & Training

  • Master’s in Waldorf Early Childhood Education, Sunbridge College
  • BS in Elementary Education, SUNY Fredonia

Claire DeNies

Claire DeNies

Ash Grove Pre-K / Kindergarten Assistant Lunch Bunch Assistant

"I value Waldorf education's holistic approach, emphasis on experiential learning, cultivation of love and respect for nature, and nurturing of community; I'm passionate about creating that kind of environment for growth and learning."

Claire DeNies

Claire DeNies

Ash Grove Pre-K / Kindergarten Assistant, Lunch Bunch Assistant

Why I work at AWS

I value Waldorf education's holistic approach, emphasis on experiential learning, cultivation of love and respect for nature, and nurturing of community; I'm passionate about creating that kind of environment for growth and learning.

What I find most special about AWS

Having attended AWS from Kindergarten through 8th grade, I feel deeply connected with the community. This strong sense of community is one of the many things that is special about AWS.

My life outside of AWS

Among my many passions, I enjoy singing, connecting with nature, going on outdoor adventures, and engaging in mindfulness practices. I deeply value community and living a sustainable lifestyle in harmony with the earth.

Education & Training

  • BS in Health Promotion, Community Health; Integrative Health & Wellness Specialization, Daemen College
  • AS in Health & Wellness Promotion, Health Studies Concentration, Erie Community College
  • Aurora Waldorf School graduate, class of 2012