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
2014-15 School Year

Amy Barber | 2nd/3rd 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 | Early Childhood Teacher

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.  Clare is a gift to our school community.

Erica Burkett | Grades Assistant

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.

Halla Drake | 1st Grade

The Nevada Sage Waldorf School community welcomes Ms. Halla back.  She was previously a member of the faculty as an Assistant Early Childhood Teacher (2007), Aftercare Teacher (2008-2009), and Lead Summer Teacher (2010).  Now she rejoins the faculty as the 1st Grade Teacher.  Halla spent the summer of 2013 preparing to receive her 1st graders by attending The Art of Teaching First Grade at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training.  She is very excited about the school’s growth.  Halla received her Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education from the University of Nevada (2012).  She loves to care for animals with her menagerie of cats, a dog, a tortoise, and fish.  Halla likes hiking and being in nature, and loves to read.

Elena Eckland | Assistant Early Childhood Teacher

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 | Parent-Child Class Teacher

Martha Knox | Assistant Early Childhood Teacher

Ms. Martha grew up in a family of ten children in Northern Nevada and all over the western states. She was first introduced to Waldorf education in High school through her older sister and knew she wanted to explore this philosophy more in depth, this has finally materialized through her time here at Nevada Sage Waldorf School. When she is not at school she is with her family and friends exploring the great outdoors or dancing in the park along the river! She loves to travel and seeks to be a life long learner! She is currently working towards her BA in Behavioral and Family Studies through Ashford University and seeks to complete her Waldorf teacher training upon successful completion of her BA. Martha can be found in the Sunflower classroom or with the Wildflower aftercare.

Paula Leeder | Aftercare Teacher

Ms. Paula is enthusiastic to be back at Nevada Sage Waldorf School.  She served our school community as an Assistant Early Childhood Teacher from 2007-2010.  She has attended conferences at Rudolf Steiner College, including The Essentials of Waldorf Education, and is looking forward to deepening her studies of Waldorf pedagogy.  Previously she worked in the Washoe County School District.  Paula is adept at life skills crafts, seasonal and nature based art.  She is a good cook – and loves making soup!  Paula has two grown daughters.

Olga Malloy | Lead Early Childhood Teacher

Angela Mills | Assistant Early Childhood Teacher

Ms. Angela loves the outdoors and the rhythmical change of seasons in Reno.  She enjoys hiking, being at the ocean, and winter sports, especially skiing – her new found hobby.  She grew up in Florida, and is fluent in sign language, having two deaf parents.  She received an Associate Degree from Truckee Meadows Community College (2012), and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Special Education at University of Nevada.  She plans to continue her education and earn a Master’s degree in Deaf Education.  Angela has lived in Reno for three years, and joined the Nevada Sage Waldorf School Faculty in February 2013.

Jennifer Shipley | Lead Early Childhood Teacher

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.

Kristin Solberg | Spanish Teacher

Ms. Kristin loves working and playing with children.  She studied Spanish in Spain and Ecuador and has traveled extensively in Latin America.  She has taught Spanish in high school and community college, and now enjoys teaching younger students.  Ms. Kristin teaches Spanish at Nevada Sage Waldorf School to 1st & 2nd graders.  She attended a Waldorf Spanish Conference at Rudolf Steiner College in the summer of 2013 – The Art of Spanish Language Teaching: Teaching Spanish Through the Grades.

Ilian Willwerth | Faculty Mentor

Ms. Ilian is a Waldorf teacher, musician, and puppeteer. She has taught at all age levels – K through Grade 8 at Waldorf schools around the country.  As a child she attended Waldorf schools from early childhood through a portion of high school.  She has a particular interest in the hand gesture games of Wilma Ellersiek, and has led workshops about these games since 2000.  In music education, she has focused her attention on the ‘Mood of the Fifth’; she plays the diatonic and pentatonic flutes as well as saxophone. She speaks fluent German, writes children’s stories, enjoys handwork (especially knitting), as well as playing, singing and writing music.  In addition to developing, directing and performing puppet shows, she also trains new puppeteers in Waldorf classrooms.  Ilian loves working with both children and parents. She received her Waldorf Certification from Sunbridge Institute (1999), and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Suny Cortland (1988).