“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:

Miriam Jones
Grade 1 – Redbud Trees
Teacher

Miriam Jones earned her B.A. in English at Bryn Mawr College and her M.F.A. in Puppetry and Integrated Media from CalArts.

She grew up in Jefferson City, Missouri. The child of two educators who started in the classroom and moved to state level positions, she was raised to believe education is central to improving society and is an instrument of change in people’s lives. These roots took hold early and deeply, and Miriam has always lived with learning, doing, and integrity at the center of her choices. Her adolescence was spent regularly volunteering and working with children, primarily introducing them to nature through Girl Scouts and the Missouri State Conservation Department. 

Miriam’s early career focused on providing disadvantaged and “at-risk” populations with quality, community-based instruction. She believes that teaching with the tools of theater and puppetry provides important points of connection and is transformative to group education. Her favorite year was spent at City Neighbors Charter School in Baltimore, a Reggio Emilia based school, where she fully immersed herself in progressive education, which opened the door to her learning about alternative pedagogies eventually leading her to Waldorf.

She has been a classroom assistant at Pasadena Waldorf School for the past two years and will receive her Waldorf certification in May 2021.

Miriam lives and adventures with her daughter and in the rare spare moment between Waldorf and parenting, she enjoys painting, crafting, bicycling, and gadding about the great outdoors.

 

Barbara (Bobbie) Gonzales
Grade 2 – 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 first grade and become a part of our Maple Village community.

Jewel Nicholson
Grade 3 – Laurel Trees
Teacher

Jewel Nicholson was born and raised in Long Beach, California. She has a BA in Studio Art with an emphasis in photography…

…and is currently enrolled at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, where she is on a journey to receive her Waldorf Teaching certification. For the past three years, she has served the Maple Village community with her wisdom, love, laughter, and dedication. She has worn many hats, and taken on various roles and is now excitedly taking on the position as the Second Grade Practice Lesson Co-Teacher. As with most of her life experiences, Jewel serendipitously fell into the Waldorf community. Jewel believes that living with a keen sense of self-awareness, and walking through the journey of life with an open heart and a sound mind has the potential to lead you to the most magical and soul-rewarding places. After traveling up and down the coast – living in an old hunting lodge at the top of a mountain in Darby, Montana for a stint, then making her way to the heart of the international district of Seattle, Washington – Jewel found that she was ready to return back to Long Beach to grow roots. She was hoping to water these roots by finding a way to make a living by following her passions, utilizing her natural born gifts, and refining her mind, heart, and hands through mental, soulful, and skillful expansion. As it was written in the soul of Jewel’s journey through this lifetime, she stumbled into the doors of Maple Village as if guided by cosmic wind. Three years later, its pedagogy speaks to her moral compass and wishes for educational reformation even more with the encroachment of her fourth year held warmly by the Maple Village community. Jewel looks forward to amplifying the love and support that we all wish to provide this year’s rising second graders as they walk through this human experience, as well as the future generations and keepers of our Earth.

Basil Hernandez
Grade 4 – Palm Trees

Basil Hernandez was part of the first graduating class at the Chicago Waldorf School and went on to get his BA in Biology…

…from California State University of Long Beach. He was an Emergency Medical Technician before realizing his destiny as a Waldorf teacher and completing his Waldorf Teacher Training at The Waldorf Institute of Southern California. Basil did his practicum at Maple Village, and he began his teaching at our school in the Kindergarten.

Paola Schouten
Grade 5 – Willow Trees

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.

Middle School Faculty:

Ania Kubik
Grade 6-8 – Shady Chaparral Trees

Ania Kubik is a Waldorf-trained class teacher whose specialties are arts and handwork, and whose special interest is in movement. She

holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and a Waldorf Completion Certificate from the Waldorf Institute of Southern California (WISC) in Northridge, California. Ania has taught grades one through five as a class teacher and grades one through eight as a handwork teacher at the Pasadena Waldorf School, and grades five through twelve as an art specialist at the Waldorf School of Orange County. In addition to class teaching the Shady Trees combined class at Maple Village, she also enjoys contributing to Waldorf teacher education in handwork, drawing, clay modeling and painting at WISC, and clay modeling in the adult education program at the Waldorf School of Orange County. Born and raised in Syracuse, New York, and a former resident of the state of Virginia, she lives in Arcadia with her husband, Bill, and her teenage daughter, Tierra. Ania enjoys sharing the richness of the Waldorf grades curriculum with her class families, self-governance of Maple Village Waldorf School with her colleagues, and participating in the community life of the school.