Meet Our Faculty

Our faculty brings a rich background of experience and talent to Nevada Sage Waldorf School.  They nurture each child’s capacities for learning while bringing the Waldorf curriculum alive with creativity and deep caring.  Every day our faculty members work from their hearts to inspire the minds, hearts, and spirits of each child they serve.

We welcome you to read about our faculty, realizing the best way to get to know us is to connect in person. Schedule a visit to learn more about our school and about Waldorf education.

Nevada Sage Waldorf School Faculty
2015-16 School Year


Amy Barber | 3rd/4th Grade

The deep meaning and purpose of Waldorf education is what drew Ms. Amy to Nevada Sage Waldorf School.  Before joining our faculty in 2011, Amy’s academic studies spanned twelve years, which included graduate work, postdoctoral research, and teaching.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Zoology & Botany & Plant Pathology from Michigan State University (1997), and a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation Biology from the University of Nevada (2005).  As a child, Amy found her love of nature exploring the fields and natural areas around her home in Michigan; as an adult she has a deep fondness for the natural beauty of the Great Basin.  She enjoys hiking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her dogs, knitting, and handwork.  Amy has been an Assistant and Lead Kindergarten teacher at Nevada Sage Waldorf School, and was instrumental in starting our grade school.  She regularly attends courses and workshops at Rudolf Steiner College, including The Art of Teaching Second Grade, and has begun her Waldorf Certification.


Clare Brock | Assistant Pre-Kindergarten

Ms. Clare is a longtime supporter of Nevada Sage Waldorf School and Waldorf education.  Her involvement dates back to when the school was established when her grandchildren attended.  She has served as a volunteer, Aftercare Assistant Teacher (2008), Aftercare Lead Teacher (2009), and Nursery Lead Teacher (2012).  She has been attending conferences and workshops at Rudolf Steiner College since 2004, including The Art of Teaching Birth to Three Year Olds, Child Guidance: The Role of Discipline in the care of the Child, and Waldorf in the Home. She is currently attending the “Lifeways” Waldorf Early childhood training. Clare is a gift to our school community.


Erica Burkett | Handwork

Ms. Erica has a Botany degree, and has taught Science to middle school and high school students as well as college students in the US and in China as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  She has also taught sewing and quilting for many years.  As a parent, with a child attending Nevada Sage Waldorf School, she has been drawn to Waldorf Education and started her Teacher Training at Rudolf Steiner College this summer. She enjoys cooking, sewing, reading, camping, and hiking in her free time.


Elena Eckland | Assistant Kindergarten

Elena grew up in Bishop California, exploring the back-country of the Sierra Nevada Mountains as well as the rock-climbing and desert adventures the valley had to offer. She earned her degree in Biology from Gonzaga University (2011), and shortly after found an agricultural lifestyle on a 22-acre homestead in Oregon. There she found her passion for conservation coupled with her developing interest in farming and teaching. Elena has followed a path of outdoors education to work with a variety of organizations promoting hands-on exploration and learning. She loves working with children and is inspired by their curiosity and insight.


Patricia Fenkell | Lead Pre-Kindergarten


Paola Jackson | 1st/2nd Grade

Paola attended and graduated from the Waldorf school of Cali, Colombia where she is originally from. Before coming to the United States, she studied arts the Conservatory for Arts (Cali, Colombia). Paola has come full circle from Waldorf alumna to Waldorf teacher for she is an ardent believer of Waldorf pedagogy. Since 2011, she has attended the Center for Anthroposophy (Cuernavaca, Mexico) where she is pursuing her grades teacher certification.  In 2013, Paola traveled with her family to Huaraz, Peru were she taught at a Waldorf initiative (Semillas De Vida). Her favorite activities include: hiking, cooking, dancing, singing, painting, gardening and being a mother of two daughters ages 6 and 9.


Amy Kopald – Lead Pre-Kindergarten / Early Childhood Chair / Pedagogical Chair

Amy comes to us from the Santa Cruz Waldorf School in California where she taught kindergarten for 14 years and took a class from first to fifth grade. Witnessing the development of the Nevada Sage Waldorf School piqued her interest two years ago when she came on an accreditation visit. Upon meeting a warm, welcoming and dedicated community, Amy felt drawn to offer assistance with pedagogical mentorship as well as to bring her love for teaching young children. Amy’s talents include silk marionette puppetry, singing and movement games!

She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Connecticut and completed a teaching degree in Waldorf education in 1994. Amy fulfilled many roles at Santa Cruz Waldorf School including AWSNA delegate, Faculty Chair, Board of Trustee, Chair of Mentoring and Evaluation, Festivals and Fairs coordinator and served on numerous committees.

Her sabbatical travels in 2006, led her to teaching puppetry, doll making and storytelling to at the Centre for Creative Education in Cape Town, South Africa and in Kenya. Amy is a mother of three, a grandmother and a wife. She will return to Santa Cruz, where her husband, Steve will await her, after one year of service to our school.


Miryam Leon | Spanish & Kindergarten Aftercare


Olga Malloy | Lead Kindergarten & Grades Music


Helma Mueller | German


Jennifer Shipley | Lead Kindergarten

Jennifer is committed to living her life with wonder, reverence, and appreciation; this has led her to a passion and dedication to work as an early childhood educator. She has over 15 years experience working with children: leading kindergarten outdoor summer programs, teaching preschool as a lead teacher, volunteering with orphanages in Brazil, leading field trips at a children’s museum, and training primary school teachers for 18 months in East Africa. Jennifer has two bachelor’s degrees from University Nevada Reno, one in Human Development and Family Studies, and the other in Early Childhood Education. She is currently enrolled in the teacher training program at Rudolf Steiner College and is also pursuing her master’s degree in Waldorf Education. Jennifer finds pleasure in connecting with others, being in nature, and being involved with the Reno and Waldorf community.


Megan Yentzen | Grades Assistant & Grades Aftercare


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