“When what we introduce into the children’s world of ideas and feelings is in line with the direction of the developmental forces of a given stage of life, we strengthen the entire developing person in a way that remains a source of strength throughout that person’s life.”

—Rudolf Steiner

Our Early Childhood program is an extension of the family experience, providing an intermediary step between home and formal schooling for your child.  The goal is to provide a warm, calm, secure, and aesthetic environment in which the imagination and creativity of the child will flourish.


Our Parent Participation Preschool provides a unique opportunity to share in your child’s experience and develop a more knowledgeable approach…

…to your child’s education. Through interaction with experienced teachers as well as other resources, parents receive instruction and guidance to increase their knowledge and skills related to the children and the flow of the classroom. Thus, parents grow in their own abilities to be educators both at home and at school, and the community experience provides a healthy social example for your child. 

Who can participate in the classroom? A parent, legal guardian, stepparent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or adult sibling. Having consistency helps the children feel comfort and gain age-appropriate thriving.


The quality of Waldorf schools’ physical environment in early childhood is integral to its goals for the children. The feeling of warmth and…

…security is largely created by using natural materials like wood, cotton, and wool in the construction of the decor and toys. In this living-room-like environment are placed toys, which the children can use in open-play to imitate and transform the activities that belong to everyday adult life. There may be a wooden scale and baskets for children to pretend they are grocery shopping; a pile of timber stands ready to be constructed into a playhouse, a boat, or a train; a rocking horse invites a child to become a rider; homemade dolls lie in wooden cradles for children to create a pretend family and play house. The effect of this beautiful arrangement of decorations and toys is the feeling of stepping out of the business and clutter of modern life into a sanctuary where the children may breathe easily, relax, and play according to the impulses of their hearts. The children become more respectful of one another, move with greater self-assurance and grace, and are much more open in their creative self-expression. This kind of growth, this kind of unfolding of the imagination and creativity through free play, art, drama, music, oral recitation and dance are essential to our time.

Structured group activities consist of singing, reciting poems, and doing body movements. These activities are an engaging and fun way to lay a foundation for academics by developing memory and concentration. A love of reading begins with wondrous and adventurous storytelling by the teacher with story puppets. Arts and crafts consist of watercolor painting with the three primary colors to impart a true appreciation of the nature of color. Sculpting with beeswax, drawing with beeswax crayons and helping with baking prepare for nimble fingers that are ready for writing. Participating in cleaning, organizing, cooking, and gardening imparts critical skills for the real world. The 3 R’s in Waldorf education are reverence, repetition and rhythm.

Early Childhood Faculty:

Mele McCabe
Poppy Preschool Lead


Mele earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Cal State University of Long Beach.

Prior to that, she taught high school English in Tonga for six years and taught Tongan language to Peace Corps volunteers for three years. After three years working as assistant preschool teacher at Maple Village, she is now in her fourth year as the lead teacher of the Poppy Preschool class. She has three children and enjoys watching them grow. Her hobbies are reading, landscaping her home, having tea with her friends and neighbors, listening to music, and walking.

Victoria Seaborn
Poppy Preschool Substitute Lead


Victoria Seaborn has over 35 years of professional contribution in education. Most of her professional focus has been with Parent…

…Participation Programs at state, county, and individual school levels. She has held the roles of Teacher (with Maple Village Waldorf School), and Director/Teacher, Delegate, Treasurer, President, and Outreach and Resource with California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools. Additionally she received a prestigious Director/Teacher award from CCPPNS.org for her many years of contributions. In 2013 she started her journey with Waldorf Education Training and working with Maple Village Waldorf School. She has Graduated from the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, San Diego, and Waldorf Practical Arts Teacher Training, Northridge, CA. Victoria also holds a BA of Psychology from California State University Northridge. In July 2020 Victoria took a pause from bigger school settings. She focused on sharing “Peace, Adventure, Arts, Movement” (PAAM). PAAM is an organization she founded over 35 years ago and continues to develop and facilitate for herself and with various groups. This year, January-June 2023, she has rejoined Maple Village Waldorf School to support the Poppy preschool class.

Kathy Striegal 
Poppy Preschool Assistant Teacher

Bio coming soon.

Angie Perez
 Lavender Preschool Lead Teacher

Angie was born, raised, and educated in Colombia. She earned her BA degree in Social Work. While in college, Angie gained experience…

 …working with kids with behavioral challenges. Currently, she is working toward her Waldorf teacher certification. In her free time she enjoys cooking, a passion discovered while living in Italy for many years. She also likes reading, feeling the wind in her face while she rides her bike, traveling and learning more about different cultures. She also enjoys singing to her cat. By living in different countries she became trilingual, she is fluent in Spanish, Italian and English… and basic Portuguese. Angie started her career at Waldorf as a little after care assistant and playgroup-bridge assistant/lead teacher at Waldorf School Orange County. She fell in love with the Waldorf education the second she first observed a kindergarten class, and knew that being a teacher here was a job with purpose, and a role that would bring her joy every day. Angie has a smile and warm attitude whenever she goes. Lately, she is interested in the art of storytelling and therapeutically approaches for children with sensorial and social challenges. She now lives in Long Beach where she enjoys its diversity and sense of community.

Mars Walker
 Lavender Preschool Assistant Teacher

Mars Walker, born in San Diego, California, has been a guide and nurturer of little folk for most of her life. After stepping into motherhood, Mars…

… found herself intuitively drawn to a gentler and more natural approach to parenting that centered on wellness and care, and she remains grateful to have found a school for her children that feels like an extension of their home. As a life-long learner and researcher, Mars immersed herself in Steiner’s philosophy and studied everything she could access on child development and parent education through books, articles, and practical applications. Mars’ innate gentle energy is something that cannot be taught and consistently provides warmth and comfort to the little ones in her care. Steadfast in dedication to her community as an organizer, birth worker, artist, and social justice parent, Mars is enrolled in the Foundation Studies program at WSOC as she continues her education. Outside of the classroom, when Mars is focused on self-care and restoration, you can find her reading and writing poetry in the early morning, taking care of her homestead (including her chickens) in Garden Grove, playing tennis, or antiquing with good friends. 

Charlotte Guest
Sunflower Kindergarten Teacher

Charlotte Guest will be returning to Maple Village this fall to teach as the Sunflower Kindergarten teacher. She fell in love with Waldorf….

 …education the moment she first stepped into a kindergarten classroom and knew this was the work she was meant to do. She chose to attend Emerson College, a Waldorf training center in England, after high school where she completed a year-long orientation program focused on anthroposophical studies. She then earned her B.A. in Early Childhood Education at Naropa University in Colorado, where she focused her studies on Waldorf Education. After teaching at a Waldorf inspired preschool, Charlotte and her husband relocated to her hometown of Encinitas, California, where she began working at the Sanderling Waldorf School. She worked as a kindergarten assistant and director/lead teacher of both Sanderling’s aftercare program and summer camps for five years. During this time, she had had her eye on Maple Village and when a lead Kindergarten position opened in the fall of 2012 she applied and was over the moon happy to be hired. Since that time she has had two children, completed her Waldorf certification, and has fallen more in love with Maple Village’s community. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family, creating obstacle courses and imaginative games and stories with her son, singing songs with her baby girl, reading books, tending the garden with her husband, talking with friends, spending time with her parents, relaxing at the beach and continuing to explore Long Beach.

Gehisa Avila
Sunflower Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

Gehisa Avila read about Waldorf Education prior to becoming a mother so when her firstborn was ready to start Parent/Toddler class, she…

…was ecstatic to have found Maple Village.
As her son went on to preschool and kindergarten, Gehisa began volunteering in his classes and attended workshops and talks to better learn about Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy.  She’s worked as EC Aftercare Lead and preschool assistant for the last three years at Maple Village. She is currently enrolled in Foundation Studies at WSOC to continue her education.

Germania (G) Ega
Sunflower Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

Germania (G )Egas was born, raised, and educated in Ecuador.  She has always loved children and went to college to study…

… child development. She is passionate about nature and everything about this beautiful planet we call earth. She treasures the ocean; that’s why she moved to this beautiful city, Long Beach. She loves people, has visited many countries and enjoys traveling and meeting different people. While her first language is Spanish, she also speaks English and Portuguese. G loves animals, is a vegetarian, enjoys sports and exercise, and says her family and friends (the family she chooses to have by her side) are the biggest gifts she has. She is a happy and positive person, inspired by her mother. She is looking forward to learning more about this beautiful Waldorf School, working with new colleagues, and meeting the families. 

Kathleen Rinden
Larkspur Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Kathleen has been a Waldorf kindergarten teacher for 20 years. It is her passion to bring Waldorf…

…It is her passion to bring Waldorf principles and values everywhere, not just in Waldorf settings. In 2016 she expanded her focus to include parent coaching, consulting, and home visits to support the creation of organized spaces for families and children as well as leading storytelling workshops for parents and teachers. With her background in Child Development and Family and Child Therapy, she has the opportunity to work in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, family homes, counseling centers, and clinics. Lately, she has felt especially drawn to the art of storytelling and writing. She is delighted to be at Maple Village and to work with the Larkspur Class.

Aurora Dismukes
Larkspur Kindergarten Assistant Teacher and Morning Care Assistant

Aurora Dismukes is ecstatic to be part of the Waldorf community again as a graduate of Monterey Bay Charter school in…

…Pacific Grove, California. In her Waldorf Education, Aurora built lasting bonds and lifelong friendships, including with her kindergarten teacher who continues to bring her so much inspiration. Aurora grew up in a small town in Monterey County and received her B.A. in Gender Studies from UC Berkeley. She is currently working on her Master’s in Elementary Education through the University of Phoenix. She aspires to one day be a Waldorf kindergarten teacher. Waldorf brought so much magic, joy, and love to Aurora’s childhood and she wishes to give back to the community, and experience that joy again. Over the past year, Aurora has worked in a variety of jobs in education. She has worked as a substitute teacher, a teacher’s aide, and a paraeducator. She completed six months working in a special education preschool classroom. Aurora moved to Long Beach one year ago with her cat, Pashenka, and enjoys going to the beach every day.