Grades Faculty | 2018-19

Grades 1-7

Amy Barber

6th/7th 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 received her Waldorf Teacher Certification in 2017.


Paola Jackson

4th/5th Grade

Ms. Jackson attended and graduated from the Waldorf School of Cali, Colombia (Colegio Luis Horacio Gomez) grades through high school program, located in the town where she was raised. Before coming to the United States, she studied Plastic Arts at the Conservatory of Arts (Cali, Colombia). Over five annual summer sessions, she attended the Center for Anthroposophy in (Cuernavaca, México) where she earned her Waldorf teaching certificate in 2017. She began her Waldorf teaching experience at a combined grades school abroad (Huaraz, Perú), and has taught Spanish (Mariposa, California). Through her adult life, Paola has put into practice everything she learned in school, from house building to sewing, love for the outdoors, to gardening and raising animals, traveling and being a mother of two daughters. Paola attributes her love of learning and love of humanity to her Waldorf education and is therefore passionate about being a Waldorf grades teacher.


Amy Kopald

2nd/3rd Grade

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.


Elli Hierman

1st Grade

Ms. Hierman grew up in the Chicago area, the third of four children and the only girl. After she received a Multi-Subject Credential and Master of Arts in Teaching degree in 1986, she taught 2nd and 3rd grades for seven years in a Chicago suburb before moving to Ananda Village in Nevada City, California, where she taught a 3rd/4th-grade class. Ms. Hierman took a break from teaching to stay home with her two children until her younger daughter entered first grade. During this time she co-founded Sierra Madres and Padres, a local parenting organization. She also hosted an in-home Waldorf pre-school and volunteered in her children’s kindergarten and lower grades classes. Ms. Hierman was a founding member of Nevada City Co-Housing, and she and her family eventually lived in that beautiful multi-generational community for a few years. Soon after receiving her California teaching credential, she joined her daughters at Yuba River Charter School, the oldest public Waldorf school in the country, where she became an Assistant Teacher. She happily worked there in grades 1-3 for eleven years and derived great joy from all the children she had the pleasure to know and watch grow up.

In addition to teaching, she is dedicated to her meditation practice and takes to heart the following quote by Rudolf Steiner: “…And let us seek the awakening from within ourselves every morning and every evening.”

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