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

Matthew Clement - INTERIM BUSINESS OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

It is with great pleasure that we announce Matthew Clement as our Interim Director of Business Operations. In this role, Matthew will report to the Board of Directors, overseeing the operational responsibilities of the school with the support of Faculty, Staff, and Committees of the Board.

Matthew holds a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and has worked at HWS since 2006. He helped to start the high school program in 2012 and was most recently acting as the High School Program Director and teaching at the high school level before taking on this interim role.

Carrie Fidance - COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

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

Paula Berdal - ENROLLMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR

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 sixth grade at HWS.

Melissa Koeneman - ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT/RECEPTIONIST

Melissa grew up in Portland, Oregon, and moved to Maui in 2012. She studied philosophy at Central Oregon Community, went to the University of Hawaii in Hilo, and is currently finishing a degree in Administrative Leadership at UH Maui. She has worked in schools in Michigan, Chicago, and Uganda, and recently discovered Waldorf education in 2016. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Peter, and her son, William, swimming, and surfing at the beach. She also loves to travel and bake.

Jennifer Hamayelian, RDH - ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT / HEALTH ROOM ATTENDANT

Jenn holds an Associate 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 fourth grade & has been attending HWS in the Pulama class & I’iwi class since age one.

Dave Luborsky - FACILITIES MANAGER

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 the market. He has experience working in a Waldorf kindergarten and has also worked with children and adults with special needs. Here in Hawai'i, he does landscaping, property caretaking, and gardening.

  Scott Sniffen - ATHLETIC DIRECTOR


Faculty Members - Early Childhood

Andrea Futch - I'IWI LEAD TEACHER

Andrea has resided on Maui for 32 years. Andrea has been a part of the HWS community since 1999, first as a parent and then as a beloved assistant in the preschool classrooms. Andrea’s training includes Adult Waldorf Education classes, certification in Early Childhood Studies at UH of Maui, complementing her bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Central Florida. In addition, Andrea also completed a year-long Lifeways program and served as Lead After Care teacher for 2 years at MOMI for 3-6 year olds. Andrea enjoys long walks with her husband Dave, and their two miniature rat terriers, Mama, and Sunny. Andrea’s daughter Sabrina attended HWS from preschool to 8th grade.

Maggie Alves - I'IWI ASSISTANTASSISTANT TEACHER

Maggie has resided on Maui since 2007. Maggie’s son, Cole attended both Honolulu and Haleakalā Waldorf schools. Maggie has worked in several areas of HWS, assisting in the Nēnē Kindergarten, Pūlama Bridge Preschool, and substitute teaching in the HWS Early Childhood classes. Maggie’s training includes AWE classes and ECD Training at The Micha-el Institute in Portland, OR. Maggie enjoys yoga, hiking, travel, flowers and photography. Maggie and husband Nick grow proteas on their Kula property and are beekeepers. 

Leslie Leclerc - 'APAPANE PRESCHOOL LEAD TEACHER

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 the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Early Childhood Certification from the University of Hawaii. She completed her Early Childhood Waldorf Teacher Training in 2019. Leslie’s two sons Justin and Connor both graduated from HWS. 

Grace Woods - 'APAPANE PRESCHOOL ASSISTANT TEACHER

Grace holds a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Hawaii and a minor in Early Childhood Education. She has been an Infant - toddler educator for Montessori schools for fifteen years. Much of her family lives in Kula, including her grandson who is a student at Haleakalā Waldorf School. Grace enjoys reading, volunteering for various causes, music, travel adventure, and learning about other cultures.

Julie Ybarra - NENE KINDERGARTEN LEAD TEACHER

Julie Ybarra has been a Waldorf Educator since the late 90’s. Since her first position at HWS in 1999, she has taught Parent/Child classes, preschool, and kindergarten in all four EC classrooms. Since her initial Waldorf Training from 1997-99 at Kula Makua in Honolulu, she has also completed specialized training in Outdoor Education at Rudolf Steiner College as well as a three-year course in assessment and therapeutic education with Nurturing the Roots in Denver, Colorado. Julie holds a BFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Julie lives with her 13-year-old daughter, Ruby, surrounded by the serenity of upcountry Maui and a small menagerie.

Hannah Jackson - NENE KINDERGARTEN ASSISTANT TEACHER

Hannah has been in education since 1997. She holds a B.S. in Special Education, MEd. in Elementary Education with Waldorf teacher certification, Waldorf remedial certification and is trained in both movement and listening therapies.  Hannah has taught as a class teacher and a remedial teacher in Waldorf Schools for 17 years.  She is returning from having lived in Bali this past year with her two boys, working at the Green School as their student support teacher.  In her spare time, Hannah loves to travel, go on outdoor adventures, play in the water, and paddle Hawaiian outrigger canoe.  

Kimmerlee Bolstad - PUEO KINDERGARTEN LEAD TEACHER

Kimmerlee has been an early childhood educator for over 30 years, with 15 of those years being at Waldorf schools, both public and private. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a certificate in Anthroposophical Foundation Studies from the Center for Anthroposophy. She completed her Waldorf early childhood teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College in 2007. Kimmerlee comes to us from Mountain Oak School, a Waldorf inspired charter school in Prescott, Arizona. She is a certified yoga teacher and loves hiking, biking, live music, reading, and knitting.

Rochelle Coop - PUEO KINDERGARTEN ASSISTANT TEACHER

Rochelle has been working with children for over 20 years and was the owner and operator of Happy Hearts Childcare LLC, a Waldorf inspired childcare business since 2010. Her daughter, who has been enrolled at HWS since preschool, will be entering her 8th grade year. Rochelle studied and practiced the Non-Violent Communication Model of compassionate listening by Marshall Rosenberg, serving as a compassion mentor.  In her spare time, Rochelle loves dancing for exercise and enjoys nature to rejuvenate her soul.


Faculty Members - Lower School

Joseph Palmore - GRADE 1 CO-TEACHER

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. He has taught Dramatic Arts to improve Reading Test Scores through collaboration between MAPA and the DOE. Joseph holds a BA in Elementary Education.

Rainie Sunshine - GRADE 1 CO-TEACHER

Rainie received her BA from Fairhaven College, Western Washington University. She completed her Waldorf Teacher Training from West Coast Institute, in British Columbia, Canada. Rainie has been employed at HWS from 2012 – present, and in her spare time, she loves to garden, prepare healthy, delicious food and spend time in nature.

 

Ingrid Almquist - GRADE 2 TEACHER

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 Eighth Grade.

Katie Fransen - GRADE 3 TEACHER

Katie grew up in Prescott, Arizona, and discovered Waldorf Education when she serendipitously visited a Waldorf inspired charter school to complete some observation requirements for her teaching degree in college. She went on to student teach with a veteran Waldorf teacher in a public charter school in Prescott in 2000 and was hired to take the first grade the following year. Katie completed her Waldorf training and has been teaching Waldorf Education for 16 years. She taught for 7 years in Arizona and moved to Kona in 2008 to help found a Waldorf inspired charter school there, which she taught at for 8 years. Katie loves paddleboarding, rollerblading, and yoga.

Linda Jenkins - GRADE 4 TEACHER

Linda has been a Waldorf educator for 30 years, with 25 of those years at our dear Haleakalā Waldorf School! In fact, Linda was one of the first pioneering teachers at our school, teaching alongside such notables as Mary Christopher, the founder of our school. She has graduated three eighth grades from HWS; her last eighth-grade graduation was in 2015. Linda led two classes from first to eighth grade at our school. In addition to our school, she has taught at the Austin Waldorf School and the Marin Waldorf School. Linda received her B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Texas in Austin, along with her first teaching certificate. She graduated from Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, California, receiving her second teaching certificate in Waldorf Education. She received her third teaching certificate in 2015 by becoming certified by the Hawai'i Department of Education. Linda is married and her son and daughter-in-law live in Florida.

Jemma Della Croce - GRADE 5 TEACHER

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).


Faculty Members - Middle School

Arne Kaiser - GRADE 6 TEACHER

Arne was introduced to Waldorf as a child and is an alumnus 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 Bachelor 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 6th grade.

Berber Kaiser - GRADE 7 TEACHER

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.

Sarah Nelson - GRADE 8 TEACHER

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.


Special Subject Teachers - Kealahou Campus

Maka'ala Palmore - HAWAIIANA TEACHER, MIDDLE SCHOOL ART SPECIALIST,  FACULTY CHAIR

Maka'ala, (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.

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.

Shellie Smith - HANDWORK TEACHER

Shellie has been an elementary teacher for over 15 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.

Peter Koeneman - GARDENING AND PERCUSSION TEACHER

Peter is originally from Traverse City, Michigan. He attended school in Central Oregon and is now furthering his education at University of Hawaii. He is an avid gardener, loves to surf, hike, and spend time with his family. His wife, Melissa, and son, William, are also at HWS.

Joseph Palmore - MOVEMENT EDUCATION TEACHER & ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

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. He has taught Dramatic Arts to improve Reading Test Scores through collaboration between MAPA and the DOE. Joseph holds a BA in Elementary Education.

Paul Levinson - LANGUAGE ARTS, STUDY HALL, EDUCATION SUPPORT TEACHER

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 and Staff

Karen Orth - HIGH SCHOOL OFFICE MANAGER/REGISTRAR

Karen brings her local and international schools administrative skills to Haleakala Waldorf High School. She has worked in administration for the last 15 years on Maui and in Shanghai, China. She has a BA in Biology from California State University, Fullerton. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and swimming.

Karla K Okazaki NBCC - COLLEGE COUNSELOR

Karla holds a B.A. from UCLA and an M.Ed from the 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.

Kieran Devanney - HIGH SCHOOL PHYSICS AND MATHEMATICS TEACHER

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. Kieran teaches math, physics, and physical education. He is the basketball coach and athletic director.

Kelsey Sadler - HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER

Kelsey was born and raised on Maui and earned her BA in English Literature from Santa Clara University. After traveling and time on the West Coast, Kelsey moved back home for good. She started teaching writing and literature at the Kaluanui Campus in the winter of 2013, the inaugural year of the high school. Kelsey looks to experts who share the teachings of Hawaiian culture and world events. Inspired by the knowledge that she will always have more to learn, she strives to bring those teachings to her students. Kelsey values time in the water, in the garden, and with loved ones. 

 

Jackson Lathe - HIGH SCHOOL CHEMISTRY AND MATHEMATICS TEACHER

Jackson completed his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and secondary education from the University of Nevada, Reno. He joined HWS in 2015, and is also a Waldorf graduate. Jackson’s personal interests include social justice work for LGBTQI+ community and gardening.

Ryan Anderson - HIGH SCHOOL MATHEMATICS TEACHER

Ryan Anderson attended Mary Washington College and received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science. He was integral in the development of a community garden space and freshwater ecology in the greater college community. Ryan then traveled to Oakland, California where he received a Master of Liberal Arts degree from Naropa University. For his Master's Thesis, Ryan educated Waldorf Students and public students from West Oakland in drumming and rhythm work, attempting to bridge the cultural gap through a final performance. Ryan has been a teacher at HWS since 2004 serving as a class teacher, math and science specialist, and music specialty teacher. He enjoys cultural music, ecology in action, and beekeeping.

Chad Kistler – HIGH SCHOOL HISTORY TEACHER

Ariadna Vallcorba Belsa - HIGH SCHOOL SPANISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Ariadna Vallcorba Belsa is from Barcelona, Spain. She has a BA in Education Sciences (Pedagogia) from the University of Barcelona (UAB) and a BA in Audiovisual Communication from Open University of Catalunya. She enjoys traveling, hiking, Stand Up Paddle Board, and swimming. She loves gardening and cooking.

Marie-Laure Ditte - HIGH SCHOOL FRENCH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Marie-Laure is originally from Calais, France. She joined HWS in 2019 as the Highschool French Teacher. She holds a Master in Sciences and an MBA, as well as a Montessori  Teaching Certificate. She moved to Maui in 2008 and has spent the last 10 years teaching in various capacities and schools around the island. She enjoys surfing, gardening, baking, and spending time with her family. 

 

Tyler Lewis – HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC TEACHER

Tyler received his B.S. degree from the University of Oregon, with additional studies at Berklee College of Music. He has worked at HWS for the past 3 years. In his spare time, Tyler enjoys teaching, performance & music production.

 

Petra Bertilsson – HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY TEACHER

Petra grew up in Sweden and came to Hawai’i for college. She holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Zoology with an emphasis in marine ecology. She worked as a field researcher for many years and then taught college before finding the joy of teaching high school students at HWS. When Petra is not working or being with her family, you can find her paddling, practicing yoga or working with a variety of animal species. Petra has two teenage children that are both students at HWS.

Jennifer Valenzuela - HIGH SCHOOL ART TEACHER

Jennifer graduated with a BFA in studio painting and a BA in Liberal Studies from SFSU, after which went on to earn a multiple subject at SFSU and a single subject art credentials at UC Berkeley as well as earning her National Boards for Teaching. After locating to Maui in 2008 she taught art for many years at Lahainaluna High School, The MACC, and has most recently started an art school at her studio. 

Ali Hanna – HIGH SCHOOL HUMANITIES TEACHER

Ali, a Haleakalā Waldorf alum, earned her bachelor's degree in History and Journalism from The New School. She has since worked in publishing at the Museum of Modern Art and as an art research assistant with Sotheby's auction house. Ali brings with her a passion for history and storytelling, and a true delight to now return to her island home, and Waldorf. 

Alannah Andersen - HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA TEACHER

Alannah was born and raised on Maui. She received a BFA in dance from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. She began her teaching journey at Maui Academy of Performing Arts in 2013 and continues to provide dance education for the Maui community and beyond. Her choreographic works have received awards in dance competitions. Alannah’s most loved role in life is being a wife to her high school sweetheart and mother to their three-year-old son.