Faculty & Staff

Administrative Staff

Faculty Members

Faculty Members - Early Childhood

Faculty Members - Lower School

Faculty Members - Middle School

Special Subject Teachers - Kealahou Campus

High School Faculty

Administrative Staff

Kelly Brewer - Administrator

Kelly started her Waldorf career in 1980 and has been involved in Waldorf education as a teacher, administrator, consultant and parent over her lengthy career. Most recently Kelly was the Administrator of the Davis Waldorf School before becoming an independent consultant to other Waldorf schools. Kelly arrived in early May this year and It is a tremendous pleasure for the Board of Directors of Haleakala Waldorf School to announce the appointment of such an experienced, knowledgeable and distinguished Waldorf professional.



Paula, originally from Northern California, has lived in Hawai’i since 1997. She earned her B.A. in Communication from Mills College, CA. Her son Rolando graduated from HWS in 2015 and her son Liam is currently in second grade at HWS.



Teresa moved to Maui in 1979 and began her bookkeeping career at the famous Hasegawa General Store in 1982. She went on to complete her accounting studies at MCC and came to HWS in 2002, doing accounting and as the first non-volunteer Enrollment Coordinator. Teresa is an expert in accounting software programs, has completed many leadership training and organization workshops, and is also adept in woodworking. She designed and constructed the wooden desks for several of our classrooms. She was presented with the Haleakalā Waldorf School Volunteer of the Year Award in 2001. Her son Blake graduated in 2010 after having been enrolled at HWS since preschool.






Carrie holds a B.A. in communications and a M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology from University of Montana. She lives on Maui with her 3 children, Amala, Milo, and Nadira, who are all HWS students.  



Kathie holds a B.S. in Computer Science/Interdisciplinary Studies and brings 35 years of office, bookkeeping, and organizational experience to HWS. Born and raised in Rhode Island, she moved to Maui in 1993. On Maui, Kathie has worked in the fields of property management, janitorial services, and construction. She is a long time teacher and practitioner of Transcendental Meditation and her interests include reading, natural farming, hiking, camping and traveling.



Leslie Tucker grew up in Kailua on O’ahu and walked barefoot to elementary school. A graduate of Punahou, Leslie holds a B.A. in English Literature from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, teaching credentials at Chapman College, and an M.Ed. in Special Education from Seattle University. Before moving to Maui, Leslie was a teacher for both adults and children with disabilities in Seattle for 15 years. Her two daughters, Gita (class of 2014) and Maile (class of 2017), both attend HWS.



Dave has worked at several biodynamic and organic farms in Europe and North America, as well as working for small natural food companies, baking bread and selling produce at market.  He has experience working in a Waldorf kindergarten, and has also worked with children and adults with special needs. Here in Hawaii he does landscaping, property caretaking and gardening.



Jenn holds an Associates of Applied Science, Kennedy-King College, IL. She has completed the Lifeways Training, and furthers her understanding of Waldorf education with AWE classes. Her son Cyrus is in the Pueo Kindergarten & has been attending HWS in the Pulama class & I’iwi class since age 1.


Jessica holds a B.A. in History from the University of Hawaii. She is currently attending Antioch University, earning her M.Ed and Waldorf Teacher Training. Born and raised on Maui, Jessica recently returned to the island to raise her 3 children surrounded by family and immersed in Hawaiian culture.






Faculty Members




Faculty Members - Early Childhood


Kim came to Maui in August 2000 after teaching at Sacramento Waldorf School for eight years and Westside Waldorf School for five years. She completed her Waldorf Teacher Training at Rudolf Steiner College in 1977 and has since taught classes there. Kim obtained her Child Development Associate Credential in 2004. In addition to her extensive teaching experience, Kim offers a love of children, their parents, community life, and festivals.



Andrea began working in our Early Childhood Department in 2001. She holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Central Florida and Early Childhood Certification from University of Hawai’i, MCC campus. She and her family are deeply committed to HWS and Waldorf Education. Her daughter, Sabrina, graduated from HWS in 2011 and her husband, Dave, continues to serve the school on the Board of Directors. Andrea loves reading, painting, surfing, and walking her little dog Ziggy.


Gisele is a trained Orff Schulwerk music teacher with skills from classical voice to playing pentatonic instruments. For more than a decade, she worked with families teaching music and movement to children from birth to five years. She then received her teaching certificate in Early Childhood Education and a B.A. in Waldorf Education from Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA. In 2006, she came to HWS from the Westside Waldorf School in Santa Monica where she implemented and taught a nursery program. She continues to teach pedagogical music for the young child to Waldorf teachers as she has done for Rudolf Steiner College. Gisele also holds a RIE Foundations Certificate, Los Angeles RIE Center, Advanced Permaculture Educator Certificate, IPEC, Portland, OR and a Simplicity Parenting Group Leader Certificate. Gisele brings an immense love of Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education to our community.


Leslie was born and grew up in Puerto Rico, and has been in Hawai’i since 1992. She holds a B.A. in Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Early Childhood Certification from University of Hawaii. She is currently working towards completing Early Childhood Waldorf Teacher Training. Leslie’s two sons Justin (class of 2017) and Connor (class of 2015) attend HWS. Leslie is a wonderful dancer and is known as one of the most optimistic members of our faculty.




Shelley has been in Hawai’i since 1988 and has been part of the Haleakala Waldorf School community both as a parent and as a teacher in the kindergartens and preschool since 1998. She holds a B.A. and Waldorf teacher certificationas well as LifeWays Early Childhood Certification. She is a licensed massage therapist, a Reiki practitioner and a trained Doulah. Her youngest daughter Ezrella (aka Winnie), currently attends the Nene Kindergarden and daughter Nani graduated with the class of 2007.


Julie holds a B.F.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Julie has been a Waldorf Educator since 1999 and has taught at HWS in the Early Childhood Department since 2002. She has done advanced training in remedial education and with Nurturing the Roots in Denver CO. She also serves on our College of Teachers. Julie is the mother of one daughter, RubyVal. She lives on a farm in Keokea and has a great love for animals and the natural world. She has done intense study into the Sufi Tradition and is passionate about integrating spirituality into her life and work. She has traveled around the world twice - once in each direction!


Jenny received her Bachelor degree from Miami University in Ohio and has also studied at UH Maui in the Early Childhood department. She is currently working on her Waldorf Early Childhood credential at the Michael Institute in Portland, Oregon. She enjoys gardening, hiking and hula. Jenny’s two children Kyle (class of 2012) and Nora (class of 2018) are HWS students.




Faculty Members - Lower School


Aria Thomases - GRADE 1 TEACHER, CLASS OF 2025

Aria has a Bacelor of Arts in Environmental Design with a Minor in Environmental Studies from Carnegie Mellon; an M.Ed in Elementary Education, NH State Certification and Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Antioch University of New England Graduate School. Ms. Thomases has an extensive background in the visual and performing arts. She owned and operated a mountaineering guide service in Wrangell-St Elias National Park, Alaska. Aria is a dedicated student of yoga and a motivated triathlete. Her extensive and rich life experiences on top of the finest professional education prepare her well to meet our students and their families.




Jemma Della Croce - GRADE 2 TEACHER, CLASS OF 2024

Mrs. Della Croce led a class from first through eighth grade here at HWS (graduating class of 2010), taught first grade at the Honolulu Waldorf School, and worked as the HWS educational support teacher. Jemma holds a degree in Theatre Arts and infuses her teaching with enthusiasm and a love of learning. She obtained her Waldorf teaching certificate through the Kula Makua program at the Honolulu Waldorf School in 2002. Jemma and her husband Peter, a musician and Waldorf teacher, are the proud parents of son, Brendan who is an HWS student (class of 2031).






Arne Kaiser - GRADE 3 TEACHER, CLASS OF 2023

Arne was introduced to Waldorf as a child, and is an alumni of Steinerskolen I Bergen, Norway, and the Geert Groote School in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Arne worked at the Zonnehuizen Veldheim in Zeist, The Netherlands, an Anthroposophical institute for youth psychiatry. While in Zeist he obtained his Bachelors of Education at the Waldorf teacher training at HS Helicon before starting work at the Geert Groote School in Amsterdam. After taking two classes through from 5th and 6th grades, he moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, where he worked for 13 years at the local Waldorf charter school, Pine Forest. Arne has taught all grades from 1st to 8th, and has consulted and advised Waldorf schools nationally and internationally. He came to HWS in the summer of 2015 to teach the first grade, with his wife Berber, who is currently teaching 7th grade.

Richard Weis, M.A. - GRADE 4 TEACHER, CLASS OF 2022

Richard earned his Waldorf teaching certificate and a M. Ed. from Antioch New England Graduate School. He holds a B.A. in Psychology. Richard started at HWS in 2014 and is currently the second grade class teacher. He has 16 years of class teaching experience in Waldorf classrooms on the Big Island of Hawaii, Arizona and Colorado. He has two children who graduated from Waldorf schools and live in Colorado. Richard enjoys living with Aloha, teaching, surfing, yoga, volleyball, and graphic arts.

Sarah Nelson - GRADE 5 TEACHER, CLASS OF 2021

Sarah returns to HWS from Vancouver, BC where she recently took a class from first through sixth grade. She left Maui in 2007 after 9 years here at HWS teaching classes from Preschool through Grade Six. Sarah holds an M.A. in Education from Antioch New England Graduate School, a B.A. in Child/Adolescent Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, and a Waldorf Teacher Certification from the Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, NH. She has two daughters who have attended HWS, Pippin who graduated from the Vancouver Waldorf High School in 2011, and Sage who graduated from King Kekaulike High School last year. Sarah serves as College Chair and works with an assistant to help her with her strong and healthy fifth grade class.



Kim began working at HWS in 2004 in a variety of capacities. As well as serving as the third grade assistand, Kim currently provides year-round maintenance of our gardens, and is also an independent landscaping design and maintenance landscaper, she previously maintained all of the School landscaping. Kim and Russell have two daughters, Cassidy and Jesse

Faculty Members - Middle School

Ingrid Almquist - GRADE 6 TEACHER, CLASS OF 2020

Ingrid did her Waldorf Teacher Training at the London Waldorf Teaching Training Seminar. She holds an MA in Renaissance Drama from Kings College in London, a B.A. in Theater Arts/Mythology and Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Certificate in Directing from the East 15 Drama School in London. Ingrid comes to us from the Mountain Laurel Waldorf School in New York where she has taken a class from the 1st through the 8th grade. Her daughter Mirabai is in the Fifth Grade.


Berber Kaiser - GRADE 7 TEACHER, CLASS OF 2019

Berber Kaiser was born and raised in The Netherlands, a small country in Europe. She was introduced to Waldorf education when she entered the Waldorf School in Amsterdam as a child. Since then, she has never really left; graduating from Waldorf High school and then completing Waldorf Teacher Training. Berber also has a degree in Elementary Education/Waldorf Education, and a degree in Special Education. In her 20 years of teaching, she spent 4 years as the director of Special Education in Driebergen, The Netherlands and 4 years as a grades teacher in an institute for children with special needs in Zeist, The Netherlands. She was a grades teacher at Pine Forest School in Flagstaff, AZ for 12 years. When she is not teaching, she loves to ride horses, travel, read, work in the garden and go for long walks on the beach.


 Chelsey Placer - GRADE 8 TEACHER, CLASS OF 2018

Chelsey Placer has a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University with a concentration on Children, Youth, and Families. Her minor was in Spanish and Chelsey speaks conversational Spanish. Her Master of Arts Degree is in Contemplative Education earned from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado in 2008. She also completed her full Waldorf Teacher Training through Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California for First through Eighth grade. Chelsey spends her free time in the water on a SUP with her husband Javier and playing with thier beautiful daughter, Amelie.

Special Subject Teachers - Kealahou Campus


Maka’ala studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago, Santa Monica Institute for Art and Design, and with master painters in Hawai’i. She has had her paintings exhibited in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, and her work hangs in many private homes and public venues in Hawaii and internationally. She has studied Waldorf painting techniques with Iris Sullivan, Art Therapist, and Art Teacher trainer, as well as lazure painting with Gunther Weiss. She is also a certified Creativity Coach. As an artist she strives to continue to develop her own individual conversation and relationship with color, light, form and the evolution of the soul.



Shellie has been an elementary teacher for over 11 years in both public schools and Waldorf schools. She graduated from the University of Montana in Missoula, with a BA in social work and earned her teaching license in Colorado. After teaching in public schools for 5 years, running summer camps and after school programs, she went on to study Anthroposophy and graduate from the Waldorf Handwork Teacher certification program at the Rudolf Steiner College. She is an author and illustrator of children’s books. Her most recently published book is entitled, A Twisted Tangled Tale.




Joseph was previously a Waldorf Class Teacher at HWS for sixteen years, taking two classes through 1st -8th grade. He is currently completing his training in Spacial Dynamics. Joseph is a Tang Soo Do Instructor, Theatre, Drama and Improvisational Theatre Workshop Teacher and has taught Dramatic Arts to improve Reading Test Scores through collaboration between MAPA and the DOE. Joseph holds a BA in Elementary Education. He enjoys Pina Colodas and getting caught in the rain, is into health food, and is into fine champagne.





Kim began working at HWS in 2004 in a variety of capacities. Kim currently provides year-round maintenance of our gardens, and is also an independent landscaping design and maintenance landscaper, Kim previously maintained all of the School landscaping. Kim and Russell have two daughters, Cassidy and Jesse.

Maka’ala Palmore - HAWAIIANA TEACHER

Makaʻala, (known as “Anake” by the children, which simply means “Aunty”) has been trained in the arts of hula by kumu hula Gordean Leilehua Bailey, of the Aunty Ma’iki Aiu Lake lineage for the past 20 years, and graduated through a traditional ‘uniki process and ceremony as a kumu hula in 2011. Anake has developed and directed the Hawaiiana program at HWS since 2004. She is the founder and kumu hula of Halau Hula Wehena o ke Ao. Her deepest commitment is to honor her kupuna (elders), and especially her beloved teacher in all that she does.




Hannah holds a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and a Minor in Psychology and German from Appalachian State University; a MEd. in Elementary Education and Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Antioch New England Graduate School; and a Waldorf Remedial Teaching Certificate from the Association of a Healing Education. She is also an Integrated Listening Systems Practitioner. Hannah has 17 years of teaching experience, and is the mother of 2 sons currently enrolled at HWS. This is her first year at HWS, and she has wholeheartedly flung herself into learning more about her new island home through hula, paddling and exploring Maui as much as possible.




Originally from South Africa, Paul holds a Business degree from the University of Capetown, an M.Ed. from UH Manoa, and has completed two years of Anthroposophical Studies at Emerson College in England. He helped start Three Rivers Waldorf School with Bonnie River, and was also one of the founding teachers at Shining Mountain Waldorf School. Most recently Paul has worked at MCC in the Educational Opportunity Center directing a federal college access program for disadvantaged local residents. Paul is married to Sharon Mielbrecht and has two sons, one of whom is the Eurythmy teacher at the Austin Waldorf School. Paul’s personal interests include gardening, hiking, music, birds, bocce, reading and CATS!





High School Faculty

Matthew Clement- High School Arts, Science, & Humanities Class of 2018 Sponsor

Matthew was a Waldorf student and graduated from the Boulder Waldorf School. He studied fine arts at Oberlin College and completed his BA in Fine Arts at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Matthew is also the former HWHS Coordinator, former HWS Facilities Manager, and current Design and Construction Consultant to the Board.





Virginia holds a BA from Ohio state university, a MA from IUPS university in Transformative Education, and a Therapeutic Education certificate from Gradalis instituite. She has worked at HWS since its early days. Virginia’s hobbies and special interests include education in the 21st century and Ecological lifestyles, Hiking, all ocean activities, Gardening, and Writing children’s stories.


Karla K Okazaki NBCC - College Counselor

Karla holds a B.A. from UCLA, and a M.Ed from University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She has worked as a college counselor on Maui for many years. Karla is the mother of 2 young children, Kana and Kinsley. Her hobbies include surfing, stand up paddling, yoga, traveling, staying active and spending time with family and friends.



Jackson Lathe - High School Mathematics and Science Department Chair Class of 2019 Sponsor

Jackson has a BS in Chemistry and Secondary Education from the University of Nevada. He is also a Waldorf graduate himself.




Kieran holds a BS in Education from the University of Central Florida. He moved to Maui in 2012 to teach windsurfing, and later started a small custom board company. He has a background in engineering, computer science, and fitness. Keiran teaches math, physics, and phydical education. He is the 12th grade class sponsor, basketball and surf coach, and athletic director.



Kelsey Sadler - High School English Teacher

Senior Sponsor BA English Literature, Santa Clara University Florence, Italy 2008, Syracuse University