About Us » Faculty and Administration

Faculty and Administration

 
Kevin
Kevin McDuff - Head of School 
 
 

A long time Waldorf parent, Kevin's family began their journey  in 1988 when he first enrolled his daughter in Kindergarten at Highland Hall Waldorf School in California By the time his son was to enroll in Preschool (ten years later), Waldorf education was a priority for his family.

In 2010, Kevin applied for the Business Administrator's position at our school. Kevin could see the need for direction and leadership at SWS and has served our school as a trusted servant ever since. His varied background in journalism, legal services, and computer technologies has made him an invaluable asset to our administrative team. The combination of learning about Anthroposophy and Waldorf education, as well as the experience of having two children in Waldorf Schools for so many years, gives Kevin the experience and perspective to support our parents, staff, and faculty in the best possible way. 

 

Rachel

Rachel CameronEducation Director  

rcameron@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Rachel has been involved in Waldorf Education for 20 years and has over 10 years of experience teaching in Waldorf classrooms. She took a class from grades one through eight at Sunrise. Rachel has a degree in English Literature, and she completed her Waldorf teacher training along with a Masters of Education Degree at Antioch University in New England. She is now the Education Director at Sunrise Waldorf School.

 

 

 

 

 

Image of a star

Lisa Stacey - Office Manager

officemanager@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

 
 
 
 
Photo of receptionist

Linda Dirksengale - Reception 

mail@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Bio coming soon...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
image of a star

Lisa Dodd - Sun Child Preschool Lead

ldodd@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Lisa grew up in the rainforests of the mainland.  In 2001 she moved to the gulf islands to build a hobby farm and raise her family.  In 2012 she arrived at Sunrise as a parent and now remains as the preschool teacher.  Lisa completed her Waldorf Early Childhood training at the West Coast Institute for Anthroposophy as well as holds a diploma in Early Childhood, Special Needs and Infant and Toddler Education.  She has been working with children from ages 0 to 18 and their families for over 20 years in a variety of settings.  In her free time Lisa enjoys nature walks, singing in a choir, growing flowers, writing, and playing games with family and friends.

 

 

Marti Smith - Sun Child Preschool Assistant  
 
Bio coming soon...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dorota

Dorota Ignaszewska - Bright Angel Kindergarten

brightangel@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Born in Poland Dorota grew to love all forms of artistic expression and creativity. After finishing her studies of philosophy in Lublin she spent two years in Cambridge, England. In Canada she worked as a kindergarten teacher in Yellowknife. After a year of studies at the Waldorf Institute in Spring Valley, Dorota came to Vancouver Island where she worked as a biodynamic farmer, toymaker of Fairywood Toys, Celtic harp performer and substitute teacher at Sunrise Waldorf School. While raising her daughter in the Cowichan Valley, Dorota took the Waldorf teacher training with the West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy. She was the first kindergarten teacher at Alta Lake School in Whistler, completed her degree in Education at the University of Victoria and then taught at the Whistler Waldorf School.

 

 

 

Photo of Kindergarten teacher

Andrea Maskel - Bright Angel Kindergarten Assistant

Andrea has worked with children for 20 years. She attended Northern College in Ontario to obtain the Child and Youth Worker Diploma which enabled her to work with kids with social, emotional, behavioural challenges. Since moving to BC, Andrea has ran her own Waldorf inspired daycare for years, to be at home with her children. She then found Sunrise Waldorf and immediately moved with her 2 boys to the Cowichan Valley.  Andrea’s sons have been attending for almost 6 years at the school.  She and her family enjoy the outdoors, camping, the weather, the long growing season, the arts, and the wonderful community here. Andrea is so looking forward to another magical year.

.
Photo of kindergarten teacher

Mima Djordjevic - Shining Star Kindergarten

mima@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Miss Mima was born in Yugoslavia to parents who were both elementary school teachers. She graduated from the Belgrade University of Economics, and was employed at the City planning Institute. She soon realized her heart was in working with children, so she entered a part time teacher training program. In 1989, she moved to Vancouver and worked as a nanny, in a children’s group home, and as a family services support worker. Ten years later she moved to the Cowichan Valley. In her search for the right education for her children she attended a parent education series and recognized a deep kinship with the strivings and philosophy of Waldorf education. Miss Mima enrolled her children at SWS and completed the Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Training with the West Coast Institute. Miss Mima worked in the preschool for three years, before moving to Shining Star Kindergarten in 2007. She feels fortunate to have found her life calling where every day her encounters with children, parents and colleagues bring new joys and opportunities for growth.

Photo of Teacher

Cheechum Ananda Soby- Shining Star Kindergarten Assistant

Born in High River in 1974, Cheechum was popped into a potato crate crib on the front seat of a VW van as her family left Alberta and heeded the call to Northern BC.She was home schooled by her parents who both held education degrees but were reticent towards careers in standard institutions. Subsequently, their employment journeys led the family on many adventures ranging from Northern Saskatchewan reservations where her father did Anthropology and her mother learned local traditional First Nation handwork, to tree planting camps in the beautiful lakes districts, to summer long alpine meadow mineral exploration contracts.In the off seasons, they built their quaint and soulful home with logs hauled by Pal the Palomino.  

The rhythm of the days and seasons guided her growth. Connection to nature, music, art and literature, engagement in thoughtful dialogue, vigorous physical labor and deep rest served as the foundation of who she is today.

Prior to accepting her fortunate position beside Miss Mima, she was employed for 4 years at the Calgary Waldorf School.

She has two great kids and a husband with a fine mustache. She loves tea and shortbread served in fine china, has a sheepish fondness for old music, loves making things with her hands, is extremely interested in natural health, birth and child raring, and can sharpen a mean chainsaw.

She's honoured to be so warmly welcomed into the community, slipping into the work that has previously been held by the beloved Miss Angela, and hopes to carry that work with tender care.

Photo of grade school teacher

Amber Halls - Class 1

ahalls@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Largely homeschooled, Amber first experienced the gift of Waldorf education when her mother volunteered for a year at the Camphill Community in Barrie Ontario. That year she attended the Huronia Waldorf School and lived into the immersive world of rich experiences that slowly ignited her love of learning. She was so inspired that, at age 11, she committed to becoming a Waldorf teacher herself. She completed her secondary education in the Cowichan Valley and went on to study Bowen Therapy and Anthroposophy. She then attended courses at Emerson College in England and completed her foundation studies and Waldorf teacher training at the Steiner Centre in Toronto, Ontario. 

Amber was then privileged to guide a split class from grade 4/5 through 6/7 for three years at the Mulberry Waldorf School in Kingston Ontario. Deciding that she wanted to settle permanently on Vancouver Island, Amber moved back and is thrilled to have been offered the opportunity to be part of the amazing Sunrise School community. She deeply believes that the job of an educator is to observe and remove the obstacles that impede children from becoming their best selves.

 

Rose Stacey - Grade 1 Assistant

Bio coming soon...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
photo of grade school teacher

Anna McAndrew - Class 2

amcandrew@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Ms. McAndrew grew up amongst different cultures in England, France and India. At sixteen she attended the United World College of India and later went on to study Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art. She completed a bachelors and master's degree in Education at Goldsmiths University of London, which is where she discovered Waldorf Education. She is currently completing her Waldorf Teacher training at the West Coast Institute. Prior to working at Sunrise she taught music to visually impaired and special needs students in London. In her spare time she likes to ride her bicycle and write songs. She has also released a music album which she occasionally performs.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Michaela Lohsen - Class 3

mlohsen@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Ms. Lohsen has a university degree in education and teaching from the University of Osnabreuck, Germany, and was a public school teacher in Germany before moving to Canada. She started her Waldorf teacher training with the West Coast Institute in 2017, and she has experience with Waldorf methods and curriculum after five years of homeschooling her own children, as well as several years teaching at Sunrise as a substitute teacher.

When moving to the island 12 years ago, Michaela enrolled in the Parent and Child Program at Sunrise and was inspired by Anthroposophy. Over the past twelve years her interest in education has shifted from the conventional education method to a more in depth study of Anthroposophy and the Waldorf approach to teaching. 

 

 

Hans Peter Mothes - Class 4

hpmothes@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Mr. Mothes completed his Waldorf Teacher Training in Germany, with additional training as a foreign language teacher in French and German. In addition, he holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Diploma from the College for Anthroposophic Pedagogy. He has taught at Waldorf Schools in the United States, taking a class to grade eight, as well as a specialty teacher. He has opted to remain offline.

 

 

 

 

 

image of a star
 
 

Naeem Datoo - Class 5

ndatoo@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Bio coming soon...

 
 
 

photo of grade school teacher

Jacqueline Chouinard - Class 6

jchouinard@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Jacqueline began her education at the Vancouver Waldorf School. She attended Pre-school through Grade 5 there, and transitioned to public school in Grade 7. She is excited to be returning to the curriculum now. Jacqueline has a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology and Canadian Studies from the University of British Columbia, and has just returned from completing a teacher education course in the United Kingdom. She is currently training with the West Coast Institute, studying for her Waldorf Certification.


 

 

 

 

Lisa Hitch - Class 7

lhitch@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Ms. Hitch is pleased to be venturing into her tenth year at Sunrise Waldorf School and is delighted to be working with such a warm and supportive community. 

Ms. Hitch holds a Bachelors of Education in Elementary Education with specializations in French, ESL and drama and a BFA in Theatre Performance. She has also graduated from the West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy with her full Waldorf Teacher Certification. As well as teaching elementary school, she has taught high school in Europe, drama to all ages, French and ESL. Originally from Victoria, Ms. Hitch began her Waldorf journey when her own children began their schooling at Washington Waldorf School, and she has been on a continual learning path in this direction ever since. Ms. Hitch has two teenage sons, a partner and two dogs, and enjoys playing music with her family, and spending lots of time outdoors.

 

 

Caroline Alexander - Class 8

calexander@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Caroline Alexander holds a degree in Biochemical Nutrition from McGill University in Montreal, and a degree in Education from Vancouver Island University. Her specialties are Math, Science and French. Her passions, and heart follow all things of wonder and curiousity with a healthy dash of humor. She complements her formal education with training as a Behavioural Interventionist which she feels is just a fancy term for heart-whisperer. From former military, theatre, and an overall wild spectrum of life experiences, Mme. Alexander finds her joy in the classroom through showing her students their truest selves both academically and personally.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Photo of grade school French teacher

Pepper Couelle- Sterling -  French

french@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Mme. Pepper, as fondly known to her students, graduated with degrees in Art and Art History from the University of Toronto and a Diploma of Studio Arts from Sheridan College. She has taught in the Independent school system for 18 years and is passionate about engaging her students through the joy of learning. Mme. Pepper is a former Waldorf parent and a current published author of middle school novels. Mentoring youth has always been a passion. She developed and directed Art Safari Camp, and has coached athletic teams in Canada, Belize and Tanzania. In her spare time, Mme. Pepper enjoys playing competitive tennis, art and keeping up with her grandchildren."

Aurelia Bellavita - Handwork

handwork@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Mrs. Bellavita began knitting when she was six and grew up surrounded by beautiful things handmade by her mother and grandmother.

After graduating from the Vancouver Waldorf School, Mrs. Bellavita enrolled in the Capilano College Fine Arts Program, where she completed her diploma in Visual Arts in 1999. She discovered needle felting in 2001 and has studied weaving and spinning with local artists and natural plant dyeing with masters from all over the world.

Teaching came as a natural evolution. She began teaching in the Handwork program at Sunrise Waldorf School in 2010. She graduated from the Applied Arts Teacher Training at the Fiber Craft Studio in New York; a four year program dedicated specifically to teaching Handwork in Waldorf Schools. 

 

Varuna McIntosh - Handwork Assistant 

Bio coming soon...

 

Georgia

Georgia Newsome - Physical Education

pe@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Georgia graduated from Kings Langley Waldorf School, in the UK. She completed her training in Spatial Dynamics and Bothmer gymnastics in Germany in 1986. Georgia has taught at Waldorf schools in England, Germany, Canada and the USA, presented at teachers conferences and mentored new teachers. While teaching at the Ringwood Waldorf School in England Georgia also worked as the movement educator and physical therapist at their Camphill Community; setting up and teaching sports and activity programs for children and adults with learning disabilities. Georgia is also an instructor in sea kayaking and river/whitewater kayaking, and fencing.

 

 

 

 

Alexis More - Strings

Born in Victoria to two music teacher parents, Mrs More never knew if she was born with her love of music, or her immersion in it just grew on her. At a young age she asked to play the violin and has been on her journey with music and string instruments ever since. From her first day tutoring younger students in the school strings program she was hooked. There is nothing more enlivening and important to her than to see a child learn and thrive in music. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Uvic and has taught strings classes, orchestras and private lessons for over 19 years. Mrs More is also a professional Viola player with the La Cafamore string quartet as well as various orchestras. Her previous time as the strings teacher at Sunrise Waldorf School was the highlight of her class teaching and after living in Nelson BC for 7 years decided to return to SWS. The energy and life at SWS is always an inspiration to her and she is thrilled to be a part of this community.   

Alexis is on maternity leave with her newborn daughter Cadence this year. We look forward to seeing her back on campus with Cadence soon.

 

Photo coming soon... Maria Wang - Strings
 

strings@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Maria (Yun-Hsuan) Wang, born and grew up in Taipei, Taiwan, began her musical training on the piano and later on the cello at age 13. After pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Music at West Virginia University, Maria moved to Victoria with her family and completed a Masters Music Degree in Cello Performance at The University of Victoria in 2014. Since then, she has been actively teaching at local music programs. She is currently the director and conductor of Sooke String Orchestra Program, the head teacher of the Harmony Project Sooke string program, and the instructor of her studio hosting more than 20 students. Maria is excited to join the Sunrise faculty to teaching the strings program this year while Mrs. Alexis More is on maternity leave.

 

Aside from teaching, Maria enjoys performing with a variety of chamber and orchestral ensembles, including Breakwater String Quartet and La Cafamore String Quartet. Maria is currently the director and conductor of the Juan de Fuca Community Orchestra and has appointed as the Principal Cellist of the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra since 2018.

 
 

Jason Pressman - Woodwork 

jpressman@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Bio coming soon...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of teacher

Wendalyn von Meyenfeldt - Eurythmy

 

eurythmy@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

 

Wendalyn has taught Eurythmy in several BC Waldorf Schools for many years.

Trained in England, Germany and the USA, she also teaches in Waldorf Training Programs and practices Therapeutic Eurythmy. Wendalyn lived for many years in Vancouver and moved to Salt Spring Island three years ago. This will be her third year, teaching at Sunrise Waldorf School. Favourite things to do include: travel, language-learning, and hanging out with her four-year old grand-daughter!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Director of Finance

bookkeeper@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chantey Dayal - Director of Admissions

admissions@sunrisewaldorfschool.org

Chantey grew up in Calgary surrounded by her East Indian and Armenian family and culture. After completing a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts at York University, she wandered the world with a back pack and landed in Vancouver where her two daughters were born. Chantey continues her work as a visual artist, and as a volunteer with NGO's in Ethiopia along side her love for Sunrise Waldorf School and Waldorf Education.