Karen Hartman, Parent – Child Playgroup Facilitator
Karen received her Waldorf teacher training certification from Sunbridge College in 1994 after completing her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education from West Chester University. She taught kindergarten for two years at the Atlanta Waldorf School before moving to Pennsylvania. There, she began the first Parent-Toddler class at Golden Circle Kindergarten in Quakertown, which eventually became the River Valley Waldorf School.
After taking time away to raise her children, Karen resumed teaching the Parent-Toddler classes at River Valley. Her husband’s career brought the family to Florida where Karen leads the Suncoast Waldorf Parent-Toddler classes. Her three children attend the school.
Carolyn Friedman, Butterfly Kindergarten Teacher
Carolyn Friedman began her teaching career at the Acorn Hill School in 1971 as an assistant teacher, and also provided student transportation by driving the school bus for Washington Waldorf School. In 1975 Carolyn took a leave of absence to raise her last two children, during which time she attended Towson State University on a part time basis garnering Waldorf Educational Training credits.
Joining the Washington Waldorf School in 1979 on staff as a teacher. In 1984 Carolyn attended the Waldorf International Kindergarten Conference which was convened in Dornach, Switzerland, thereby further extending her Waldorf education.
1983/84 Carolyn took classes at the Rudolph Steiner Summer Institute at the Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
Her most recent training, a three year part time Waldorf Teacher Training at the Nova Institute, which she considers her most profound learning experience, was completed in 2008.
After more than thirty years teaching at the Washington Waldorf School, and with the knowledge that in Clearwater, Florida there existed a young Suncoast Waldorf School, she agreed to retire from the Washington Waldorf School and now, after two years, Carolyn is an integral part of that Suncoast Waldorf School.
Allison Midden, Butterfly Kindergarten Assistant
Allison was first introduced to Waldorf education in Seattle while working in the cooperative daycare at Bastyr University. She started her undergraduate work at Washington State University and is now completing her Masters degree in nutrition from the University of Bridgeport. When Allison and her children moved to Atlantic Beach, FL she discovered a Waldorf inspired preschool where her youngest son attended. She began working as an assistant and wanted to further her knowledge on Anthroposophy and Waldorf education. Allison began the Lifeways Early Childhood education program in Milwaukee and will complete the program this summer. She lives with her family in St. Petersburg and enjoys the beautiful weather and green spaces the area has to offer. Some of Allison’s hobbies include cooking, camping, hiking and traveling. Allison’s two children will be joining our Kindergarten and 2nd Grade.
Rita Lucia, Rosegarden Kindergarten Teacher
Rita graduated from the Waldorf Early Childhood Training at Sunbridge College in New York. She moved to Pinellas County and Suncoast Waldorf School in 2002 from Pennsylvania where she and her family lived and worked at the Camphill Community for Special Needs Adults for 22 years. Rita was born and raised in Germany and moved to the United States 25 years ago. Her interests include the study of Anthroposophy, puppetry, crafts and gardening.
D’Anne Dougherty, Nursery Kindergarten Teacher
D’Anne completed her Waldorf Early Childhood training at Sunbridge College in New York in 2000. She has eight years experience leading a mixed-age Kindergarten class. She helped to start the Richmond Waldorf School in Virginia, where she got most of her teaching experience. D’Anne relocated to Tarpon Springs in 2009. She has a daughter in the school going into the 2nd Grade in the Fall of 2012, and another daughter who will be joining the school the following year. She has spent several years away from the classroom, and is very excited to be returning.
Angela Neff, Nursery Teacher Assistant
Veronica Alday, First Grade Teacher
Veronica’s past teaching experience was with Special Needs students.She was introduced to the Suncoast Waldorf program by a family member, who has been involved with the school for many years. Veronica is working with the Early Childhood program in hopes of becoming a certified Waldorf teacher in the future. When not at school, she likes camping and hiking and taking road trips.
Kendall Potts, Second Grade Teacher
Dania Allen, Third / Forth Grade Teacher
Dania Allen experienced Waldorf education first hand, as she attended the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City, K-12th grade. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Manhattanville College, and finished her Waldorf teacher training at Sunbridge Institute outside New York city. Dania has a great appreciation for the arts and has taught art at two different schools before coming to Suncoast Waldorf School. She is the mother of Elijah, a kindergarten student.
Kristin Schmitt, Fifth / Sixth Grade Teacher
Kristin was born and raised in Dunedin, Florida. She attended “The Childrens Place” a school begun by Marilyn Stiles, her mother, and Barbara Bedingfield, a founder of Suncoast Waldorf through 8th grade. Kristin received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Bethany College. She received her Certification in Waldorf Teaching from Sunbridge College in New York.
Previously, Kristin worked for seven years as Christian Education Director at a local Episcopal Church. During that time she also worked as a substitute teacher at Suncoast Waldorf in the games classes and in the middle school.
Kristin has two children in the school and one who has graduated from eighth grade here. She enjoys the outdoors, music, and spending time with her family.
Ryan received his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Ball State University and Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Walden University. Ryan has attended Waldorf training at Rudolf Steiner Institute and will be attending Sunbridge College.
Ryan worked for 13 years in public school including teaching elementary and middle school grades. Ryan also worked two years as an elementary school Assistant Principal.
Ryan was born and raised in central Indiana and currently resides in Land O’Lakes. He has been married to his wife Rebecca for 17 years and has two sons, Josh and Zac, who attend Suncoast Waldorf. Ryan enjoys camping, hiking, sailing and spending time with his family.
Jules Fox, Eighth Grade Teacher
Jules Fox teaches the 8th grade class. Moving here from Hawaii where he was raised, Jules has set his roots in the United States, aiming to educate people about organic food, physical health and nutrition. After graduating from the Kula Makua program in Waldorf Education, he pursued his dreams of education and the future of the world through the youth at Suncoast Waldorf School, in Palm Harbor Florida. He is looking forward to a long and rewarding career in Waldorf Education. Jules is also a videographer and is highly skilled in parkour.
Michael Kian teaches German and this year will be the grades’ games teacher
Constantine Graham, Chorus Teacher
Constantine Graham will be teaching chorus to the 6th and 7th grade classes. He studied music with his father, Theodore Grame, and holds an Advanced Certificate in Piano from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in London. He is Artistic Director of the New Century Opera, Staff Pianist for Opera Tampa and Music Director of the Gilbert and Sullivan Players (Clearwater). In recent years he has served as stage and musical director for “Mefistofele,” “Die Entführung aus dem Serail,” “La serva padrona,” “Orfeo ed Euridice” , all four operas of Wagner’s “Ring Cycle,” “Hänsel und Gretel” and “Babes in Toyland.” His edition of the original Herbert/MacDonough text of “Babes in Toyland” has been recognized as the most authoritative version available today, and Mr. Grame is currently preparing the first printed orchestral score and parts from the original manuscripts. As music director he has directed “Tosca,” “HMS Pinafore,” Utopia, Limited,” and many other works. As piano accompanist he has accompanied such distinguished artists as Sherrill Milnes, Maria Zouves, Stella Zambalis, Carole Cook, and Enrico di Giuseppe. He has appeared as tenor soloist in such works as “Il barbiere di siviglia” and “The Mikado.” He is an accompanist/voice coach and serves on the faculty of the Marcia P. Hoffman Institute for the Performing Arts (Ruth Eckerd Hall). Mr. Grame’s own opera, “The Spoiler,” premiered in Tarpon Springs in 2004 and was revived there in 2008.
Roberta Stevenson, Violin Teacher
Roberta studied violin under former Suncoast Symphony Concertmaster Juliana Moss of the Moss Music Studio. She has played in the Pinellas Youth Symphony and the Bay Area Fiddle Association, and currently plays in the Suncoast Symphony (five years) and in Irish music sessions in the Bay Area. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biology Education from St. Petersburg College of Education, and holds a Florida Teacher’s License with certification in Biology and Middle School Mathematics. Roberta tutors math and science in addition to teaching violin. Besides violin she likes to read, identify birds and plants, make things out of discarded items, and study ballet/Irish dance.
Blanca Rosanno, Spanish Teacher
Judyth Pisani, Handwork and Eurythmy Teacher
Judyth Pisani began her Eurythmy studies in 1975 with Elizabeth Hunter. She continued her studies at Spring Valley, Dornach,Switzerland and Taos, New Mexico. She has taught eurythmy in Europe, Canada and the United States in Waldorf schools, in prisons, in colleges and in universities. Judyth has also worked with street children, actors and dancers. She continues to enrich her practice of the eurythmical art of movement. Judyth presently teaches eurythmy at Suncoast Waldorf School in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Richard Alday, Administrator
Kelly Ford, Assistant Administrator and Director for Early Childhood
Barbara Bedingfield, Director
Barbara Bedingfield graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood from Antioch University New England, where she took her Waldorf Class training. One of the founders of Suncoast Waldorf School, Barbara has taught kindergarten and grades one through four at our school. She has worked in the areas of enrollment, marketing, and development, and is presently serving as President of the Board of Trustees. Barbara has three children, two step-sons and eight grandchildren. She is a former Peace Corps Volunteer who served in West Africa. She loves to study and live by Anthroposophy and she loves singing, especially in the Unitarian Universalist Choir.