“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

Waldorf pedagogy leads students to engage with the curriculum on many levels. Lessons balance cognitive and emotional intelligence with physical activity where each assignment integrates academic work with fine and practical arts.

Grade 1

The first grader makes a great transition from the Early Childhood program to a more formal learning environment in grade school. Much learning takes place through activity and imitation. During this year, students will acquire the good habits of classroom life that will carry them through their eight [...]

Grade 2

The initial experiences of the 1st grade are deepened and enhanced in the 2nd grade. This time is used primarily for practicing and developing all the new skills from the previous year. To assist the children with their growing polarity, the second graders explore the landscape [...]

Grade 3

The Waldorf third grade curriculum marks the change to a more individualized presence in the children, as well as a new readiness for academics and a corresponding need to experience the work of the real world in a practical and meaningful way. Third graders are ripe [...]

Grade 4

While the third grade curriculum helped the child to reconnect to the world around them through practical studies and activities, the fourth grade curriculum helps the child orient themselves in space and time through a study of local geography. Fourth grade students possess the solid academic [...]

Grade 5

Fifth grade marks a pivotal point in the curriculum. While the students begin the year with studies of the mythologies of several ancient cultures, they transition away from mythology into history with the biography of Alexander the Great. They will wrestle with ethical question of his [...]

Grade 6

The curriculum of the sixth grade offers support and nourishment for the adolescent child in the midst of the changes and self-consciousness of puberty. Observation is emphasized as a balance to the natural pull of asserting one’s own judgment, opinion, preference and expectation of the world. [...]

Grade 7

The 7th graders enjoy an intensive study of the Renaissance, which brings all previous cultural achievements to a glorious flowering and ushers in a new age of wide scientific inquiry and exploration.  The students enthusiastically dive into this exploration and take this energy into their own [...]

Grade 8

The task of elementary education is to give children an understanding of humanity and the world in which they live, and to offer them knowledge so rich and warm as to engage their hearts and energy as well as their minds. Such an understanding is the [...]

Specialty Subjects

Waldorf Education weaves the arts, music and movement into the fabric of every student’s daily life. Waldorf’s rich and varied curriculum includes rigorous academic work as well as engaging artistic and practical experiences, all of which are appropriate to the age of each child. Beyond the [...]

Elementary School Faculty

Laura Childers
Grade 1 – Joshua Trees   Teacher

Laura Childers was born and raised in Southern California. As a 3rd generation Californian, she has been influenced by the myriad diverse cultures…

… that are present and vibrant in this region. As a young child, she was exposed to the arts; handwork, embroidery, cooking, music, and organic gardening, by her family. Her parents also often brought her and her brother plentiful opportunities to explore nature through camping within a few short hours from where she grew up. All of this fostered a love of and appreciation for other cultures, the natural world, storytelling, music, and working with the hands. Her three sons attended the Waldorf School of Orange County, so when she encountered the rich developmental curriculum, which aligned so much with her own philosophies, she felt at home. Inspired by Waldorf Education, pursued teaching which led her to teach a parent and child class for 2 years, subbing in the Kindergartens and attending the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, where she received her Waldorf certificate with a specialization in Early Childhood in 2006. She began teaching mixed-age Kindergartens at the Journey School for 5 years, followed by two small Waldorf preschool initiatives for 3 years, and then moved to Golden, Colorado in 2013, continuing to teach Kindergarten for 5 more years. While in Colorado, Laura began to continue to pursue educational opportunities for herself and earned a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Leadership & Advocacy at the University of Colorado, Denver. Laura has loved settling back into Southern California life, close to her family and friends, and her beloved mountains, deserts, and the glorious Pacific Ocean just a short car ride away, just like when she was a child. She is very excited to transition from Kindergarten to the grades at this point in her journey, as she would love to extend the work and scope of the Kindergarten curriculum and link her passion for artistic expression to academics.

 

Eloise Gelber
Grade 2 – Manzanita Trees
Teacher

Eloise Gelber is a graduate of the Pasadena Waldorf School and Highland Hall High School. She recently completed her teacher training…

…at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, is finishing her Waldorf Practical Arts Training and has a B.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. A part of the Waldorf community for more than 25 years, she is excited to make the best use of the opportunity our teachers have- to be part of forming the kind, fulfilling, creative, supportive learning environment that every child deserves. 
Between high school and entering teacher training Eloise spent most of her time working in a used book store. It was a little like being inside a novel and every day was an adventure in humanity. It was also a fabulous education in itself- from the daughters of Genghis Khan to the libraries of Timbuktu, the world is an endlessly fascinating place. Because there are few careers that allow one to explore so many interests- folktales and history, geometry and poetry, physics and gardening, painting and writing- she has never really doubted she would end up teaching.
In her spare time, Eloise enjoys reading, painting, travel, photography, and gardening. A Los Angeles native, she loves our seasons (which are real, even though without ice scrapers and antifreeze), and looks forward to sharing that love of place with her students.

 

Allison Stovall
Grade 3 – Redbud Trees
Teacher

Allison Stovall began her journey as a teacher began in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky in theater education.

In wanting to expand her craft, she pursued a Master’s degree in teaching in elementary education. Her friends encouraged her to look into Waldorf Education since her interest was in integrating the arts into teaching. When she attended a showcase for teacher training in Kentucky, she immediately recognized the value and importance of Waldorf Education. As she finished her Master’s program, she began attending Waldorf workshops that eventually led to a teacher training program. 

Although she integrated Waldorf Education into her public school classroom, she decided she wanted more freedom within the curriculum so she decided to fully commit to the work of a Waldorf class teacher. She found her first class of spirited children with a vibrant love of learning at the Brooklyn Waldorf School and took them from 1st – 5th grade. From imaginative stories from diverse backgrounds, to active math lessons involving thousands of acorns that were ultimately turned into pancakes, to class plays in three different languages, to constructing an igloo, she has cherished every year for different reasons. While she was sad to leave the Brooklyn Waldorf School after five years, she is ready for the next adventure and looks forward to getting to know and work with all the families of the Redbud class.

 

Barbara (Bobbie) Gonzales
Grade 4 – Sequoia Trees
Teacher

Bobbie Gonzales was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has a BA in Human Development with an emphasis on Child… 

…Development and has also received her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Waldorf Institute of Southern California. Bobbie has been teaching at the Pasadena Waldorf School for the past fifteen years, is bilingual in Spanish and English and has a true passion for Waldorf Education. She has four daughters, lives in Pico Rivera and loves to read and travel. Her Waldorf journey began nearly 20 years ago with the birth of her first daughter. Bobbie was raised in public schools, and while she enjoyed her school years and thrived academically, instinctually she knew something was missing. In an effort to ensure her children would receive a holistic education. She began to research different educational methods. She was thrilled to find Waldorf education, as this was exactly what she had envisioned. Her first experience with “Waldorf children” confirmed her beliefs. The education she had envisioned for her daughter soon became an education for herself. After many years of school with a focus in law and work experience in accounting, she was approached about the possibility of joining Pasadena Waldorf School under the tutelage of Master Teacher, Sam Glaze. Bobbie worked alongside him for grades 2, 3, and 4. While reading Renewal magazine, she chanced upon an article about the Waldorf School in Guanajuato, Mexico (Colegio Yeccan). The following year Bobbie moved to Mexico, enrolled her daughter at Colegio Yeccan and she became the foreign language teacher for grades 1-8. When circumstances beyond anyone’s control took the first grade teacher back to the States, Bobbie eagerly stepped into the role of interim first grade teacher. Her move to Mexico was always intended to be a one-year experience, and Bobbie returned to the Pasadena Waldorf School. After many years assisting, co-teaching and leading in grades 1 – 5, Bobbie is very excited to take her own class and become a part of our Maple Village community.

Cori Ament
Grade 5 – Laurel Trees   Teacher

Cori Amendt is a Multiple Subject Credentialed Teacher, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, with a minor in Child Development. 

She studied Waldorf education at Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California. She enjoys spending time in nature with her family (hiking, biking, lounging), reading, writing, and traveling. Learning is a lifelong enjoyment and pursuit for her, particularly in her journey to bilingualism in the Italian language. Her professional career began as a Counselor for young children in crisis. Eventually, this work led her to the classroom, where she felt she could be of bountiful service to the youth in her community. She has been in education for over a decade, in public, private and charter schools. After she met her husband, an Italian national, she went on to teach in Italy at Lycee Francias for 2 years, as the English Department Coordinator and Foreign Language Teacher across the grades (K-8). Upon returning to the US, she found what she considers her truest calling, that of a Waldorf teacher. Under esteemed mentorships, she took a class through grades 1-3 at Ocean Charter School in Culver City before coming to Maple Village as the Laurel Tree teacher three years ago. After taking time to be home with her children, she is eager to return to the Laurel class to continue this meaningful work. 

Cathrine Ji
Grade 5 – Laurel Trees
Support Teacher

Cathrine Ji was born in Seoul, South Korea, and came to the US at the age of 12 when she first learned English. She is the mother of four…

…children, two of whom have attended Maple Village Waldorf School. She has a BA in English with a Summa Cum Laude distinction from UC Irvine and holds a JD from UC Berkeley Law School. Before starting her path in Waldorf education, she taught high school students how to write and to read critically and imaginatively. She finished her Waldorf Teacher Education at Waldorf School of Orange County. She has a deep love of children and maintains ongoing relationships with the kids she has taught from early childhood through the grades. She was a 3rd grade lead teacher at The Hartsbrook Waldorf School in Hadley, Massachusetts and this past year expertly lead the Laurel Tree class. When she is not busy, Cathrine takes dance classes, travels, and writes fiction.

Nicole Soderman
Grades Floater/Assistant

Nicole Soderman comes from a long line of teachers and has worked in childcare almost her entire life. Nicole was a live-in nanny in college…

while studying Linguistics and ran a daycare for nearly eight years. Much of Nicole’s experience lies in working with children and adults with special needs. For the past seven years, Nicole has also been a birth worker and a massage therapist.

Nicole was drawn to Waldorf education because it is similar to the way in which she was raised, having been homeschooled in the Waldorf style and in a media-free home. 
This mother of four kids, two dogs, two cats, and a handful of chickens loves seeing the world through the lens of the child and finds they are constantly teaching her something new.
Nicole can often be found gardening, being out in nature, crafting, and baking. She looks forward to bringing her experiences to Maple Village and learning from all the experienced people by whom she will be surrounded.

Middle School Faculty

Helen Zadourian
Grade 6 – Palm Trees   Teacher

Mrs. Zadourian has a Master’s degree in English Language and Literature and a teaching diploma. She also has 20 years of…

…experience teaching in the private system in Lebanon where she taught elementary, middle, and high school for 10 years and worked another 10 years as a university instructor/coordinator teaching communication skills, business English and humanities courses. She also had the opportunity to teach history which she absolutely loved doing because she is just fascinated by it. She is proficient in four languages; Armenian, Arabic, French, and English. It is through her two daughters, aged 8 and 6, that the universe of Waldorf was revealed to her and she has been mesmerized ever since. Her children attended Waldorf Beirut where she also worked as a teacher training coordinator. Her whole perception of education widened with the spiritual aspects of child development as described by Steiner, and she found the perfect environment that would hold her children in love and reverence. It is now her desire and goal to put her 20 years of experience in the field of education in service of the Steiner/Waldorf philosophy in order to follow what she feels is now her purpose or higher calling in life for both her children and herself.

In her free time, she enjoys painting, reading, and meditating. She also happens to have a degree in Culinary Arts and she is a certified chef. She absolutely loves cooking and baking.

She is looking forward to an amazing year full of adventures with the 6th grade students and their families.

 

Paola Schouten
Grade 7/8 – Willow-Woods Trees Teacher

Paola Schouten was born, raised and educated in the Netherlands. She was exposed to the Waldorf Festivals since childhood…

…which ignited her interest in Waldorf Education. After High School, she studied at the Vrije Pedagogische Academy (Steiner Teacher Training College) in Zeist, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. She then moved to the US and began her career as a Waldorf teacher in Pasadena.Over the past 30 years she has contributed to the growth of many schools. She has carried two classes all the way through the grades and finished various classes through eighth grade. Paola likes to travel, camp, hike, read and make jewelry. She plays guitar, writes songs and enjoys singing. She also has a great appreciation for nutrition and cooking.