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.
Early Childhood Faculty
Olga Malloy | Lead Kindergarten & Grades Music
Olga grew up in Ukraine, living in the center of a large industrial city. In the summer she loved strolling along the streets and parks of the city and playing with her younger sister. In winter, she loved ice skating and playing in the snow until dark. At all times she enjoyed taking music lessons. After high school, she studied and taught physics. She lived 9 years in Israel during which time she welcomed her first two sons. In 2000, she moved to the foothills of California where she experienced the healing qualities of nature, studied philosophy, arts, world literature, and flower arranging. During this time, Olga had her youngest son and became interested in human and child development. She also discovered the works of Rudolf Steiner. Deeply inspired by his view on education, she opened her home to and began a program for children ages 4 to 10 years old, enrolled in teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College and completed it in 2015. She loves puppetry and storytelling and still greatly enjoys music, singing, and flowers.
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.
Elena Eckland | Assistant Kindergarten
Elena grew up in Bishop California, exploring the backcountry 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.
Holly Fawcett | Assistant Pre-Kindergarten
Amy Kopald | 1st Grade / Pedagogical Chair
Ms. Kopald comes to us from the Santa Cruz Waldorf School in California where she taught kindergarten for 14 years and took a class from first through fifth grade. Witnessing the development of the Nevada Sage Waldorf School piqued her interest when she came to 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. Ms. Kopald 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 teach puppetry, doll making and storytelling to at the Centre for Creative Education in Cape Town, South Africa and in Kenya. Ms. Kopald is a mother of three, a grandmother and a wife. She will return to Santa Cruz, where her husband, Steve will await her, after service to our school.
Paola Jackson | 2nd/3rd Grade
Ms. Jackson 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, Ms. Jackson traveled with her family to Huaraz, Peru where 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.
Amy Barber | 4th/5th Grade / Grade School Chair
The deep meaning and purpose of Waldorf education drew Ms. Barber 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, Ms. Barber 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. Ms. Barber 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 and is working towards her Waldorf Certification.
Erica Burkett | Handwork
Ms. Burkett 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 attends teacher training courses at Rudolf Steiner College. She enjoys cooking, sewing, reading, camping, and hiking in her free time.
Myriam Leon | Spanish
Helma Mueller | German
Ms. Mueller earned an MA degree from the University of Heidelberg/Germany in Education and Anthropology. She is inspired by cultural diversity, healing arts and child development. She has taught creative dance to children in multiple schools in the Netherlands. Her interest in dance and the healing arts brought her to California where she obtained a certificate in Movement-based Expressive Arts Education and Therapy from Tamalpa Institute. Ms. Mueller has expressed, “to teach children in her native mother language brings her joy and inspiration.”
Justin Walker | Movement & Games
Mr. Walker was born and raised in Reno, Nevada, pursuing martial arts, hiking, fishing, camping and seeking out adventure along the way. After earning his black belt in Tae Kwon Do, he began to share his passion with others. Giving his all to see his students grow and succeed has been of the highest value to him, over the past 10 years. Continuously learning and expanding, he began to study Human Physiology and Movement. Taking to a deeper understanding of the mind-body connection and the potential we hold within. Mr. Walker is currently studying the positive impact movement has on child development. He believes the space for a child to thrive lies within play, creative imagination, time in nature, movement development and hands-on activities.