Front: Barbara Bedingfield, Amanda Tipton, Blanca Rossano, Kelly Ford, Mario Erazo, Jennifer Stubbs, Connie Manson, Monica Daniels, Anita Rodriguez, Carolyn Friedman, Angela Neff, Ashley Bodley, Maria Case, Ana Leiva
Back: Liesil Stein, Kendall Potts, Michelle Stolz, Heather Forsythe, Wendy Barnes, Susan Brown, Mei Tschang, Saida Fisher
Connie Manson, Merrily We Meet – Parent Child Program and Grades Music Teacher
Connie Manson co-teaches one of our mixed age kindergartens as well as teaches music to the first and second grades. Ms. Manson has taught Waldorf kindergarten, nursery, and parent-child programs for over 21 years. Most recently, Connie has served as parent child/nursery teacher and Grades music teacher for Waldorf Sarasota. Ms. Manson holds a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and a MSEd in Waldorf Early Childhood Education from Sunbridge College. She is a masterful puppeteer and presents magical puppetry outreach programming in the greater community and parent/teacher puppetry workshops across the nation. In the summers, she teaches Introduction to Waldorf Early Childhood at Sunbridge Institute.
Kendall Potts, Kindergarten Teacher (Periwinkle)
Mrs. Potts began her SWS journey in 2002. Serving in various positions including kindergarten assistant, lead teacher, and Director of Early Childhood before stepping into the grades in 2011 to lead a class from first through third grade. Mrs. Potts graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in Early Childhood Education and has previously taught kindergarten, second and third grades in a public magnet school. Additionally, she is a Certified Simplicity Parenting Facilitator. Kendall is the proud mother of three lovely young ladies: Drew (10), Ryann (16), and Delaney (18), all of whom attend or have attended Suncoast Waldorf School.
Ashley Bodley moved to Alaska from her childhood state of Virginia in 1993. While studying psychology at the university in Anchorage, Ms. Bodley discovered Waldorf education. Anthroposophy offered such depth into subjects for which she is so very passionate; education and human development. In 1997 she pioneered the after school program at the Anchorage Waldorf School. Over the course of 20 years she has directed summer camps, led parent/child classes, assisted in kindergarten classrooms, owned and operated Waldorf Inspired in home programs, served families as private nanny, and taught nursery classes. Ashley’s career led her to California where she completed Early Childhood Teacher Training at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks in 2009 . She enjoyed many years in Hawaii where her two beautiful children were born. She and her family moved back to Alaska, where her son was able to attend kindergarten and she eagerly participated as a parent as well as faculty member at the Anchorage Waldorf school. Ashley and her family are delighted to be a part of the Suncoast Waldorf School community.
Mrs. Neff was born and raised in England. While living in Miami she met her husband Rob.
They have two teenage children who have attended Waldorf schools since they were three
years old. Angela’s experiences with her own children’s time in Waldorf schools inspired her
to become passionately involved in Waldorf education. Angela volunteered in the Honolulu
school Nursery Class. She was then an assistant in the kindergarten at the Linden Waldorf
School in Nashville, Tennessee for five years. This will be Angela’s fourth year working at the
Suncoast Waldorf School. She has attended many workshops and conferences regarding
Waldorf education. She holds a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood education, and Waldorf
certification from Sunbridge College in New York. Angela is currently enrolled in a Three
Year Advanced Therapeutic Course for Early Childhood Educators.
Angela likes to read, walk, and travel with her family during the summer.
Mei Tschang, Kindergarten Assistant (Morning Glory Garden)
Mei Tschang is delighted to assist Mrs. Neff in nurturing our Morning Glory Garden Children. Mei was born and raised in Rochester, New York as a 1st generation Chinese-American. After graduating with a degree in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY in 1989, she lived in Boston, Massachusetts and Los Angeles, California before settling here in sunny Florida in 1997. She then decided to leave her career in the Food Industry to pursue her lifelong passion for health and wellness. She began practicing and teaching yoga, focusing mostly on physical fitness. In 2004 she met a dear friend who introduced her to Waldorf Education based upon the philosophy of Anthroposophy which honors human wisdom, freedom and love. She began to shift her yoga teaching to focus on healing tools such as simple breathing meditation to reveal inner peace and resilience, truly enriching daily life. Mei loves breathing and singing with the children, inviting their inner voices to shine. Her continual journey as a yoga mindfulness teacher inspires her to appreciate the presence of each child, honoring his or her special beauty, imagination and infinite gifts. She has 2 sons born in 1994 and 1997 and a daughter in our 1st grade. She sees how vital family and community guidance are in child development and is grateful for our wonderful Suncoast Waldorf School community. Ms. Mei considers it a great honor to educate head, hands and heart, and to encourage everyone’s spirit to dance. She loves dancing, singing, violin, meditation and studying anthroposophy and neuroscience. She enjoys learning new things slowly but surely, and most of all with a smile. She knows that our children will make a difference in our world, and her greatest intention is to: “Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, and send them forth in freedom.” -Rudolf Steiner, founder Waldorf Education
Ms. Anita is originally from Ecuador in South America. After completing her B.S. in Agriculture she moved to California to study Sustainable Agriculture. She worked as an Environmental Educator and Administrator in the San Francisco Bay Area from 2002 to 2010. Along the way, she met several people who introduced her to Waldorf education long before her son Mateo was born. She completed the Waldorf Teacher Education Foundation Studies Program at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, California in 2004. The birth of her son in 2009 inspired her to continue a career as a Waldorf Teacher. She then completed the Waldorf Teacher Certificate Program with Sophia Institute Online Courses. In 2015, she came to Suncoast Waldorf School, completed her internship, and assisted Ms. Connie Manson for a year in her kindergarten class. Last year was Ms. Anita’s first year as lead teacher of Sunflower Kindergarten, which she did with much delight. She looks forward to her second year leading Sunflower Garden. In her spare time Anita enjoys swimming, yoga, walks by the ocean and bike riding.
Susan is a Waldorf Alum, having attended the Chicago Waldorf School from Kindergarten through Grade 7. She holds a BA in Philosophy & English Literature from the University of Wisconsin and a Waldorf Teacher Certification from Rudolf Steiner College in CA. Susan worked as a Waldorf Grades teacher for 10 years and as a Waldorf Parent/Child & Early Childhood Teacher for 5 years. Susan loves cooking, drawing, painting, figure skating, identifying seashells and discussing dense philosophical and Anthroposophical texts.
Maria Case, Third Grade Teacher
Maria Case was inspired to enter the world of Waldorf education after visiting a friend at Emerson College in England. After attending there herself from 2000- 2002, she taught in California, Tennessee, and then Illinois. She has been class teacher and taught Specialty classes, as well as After Care. She loves best to write plays for her students. Her voice may sound familiar to you if you have heard the LMNOP cd by Howard Schraeger. She is totally delighted to be living in Florida, and plans to never leave.
Jen Stubbs, Educational Support Teacher
Jen Stubbs began teaching early childhood classes in 2005 and has been working with children of all ages ever since. After finishing an Honors BA in Anthropology at New College of Florida, she moved overseas and worked in private schools in China and New Zealand. Jen has a passion for working with children with special needs and focused on Curative Education and Extra Lesson work in her Waldorf teacher training. Upon finishing her training in 2013, she took a diverse teaching and care-work role at an Anthroposophical residential community and Waldorf school for children in need of special 24/7 care in Napier, New Zealand. Her professional training and certifications include Behavioral Management; Sign Language, PECS, and Makaton communication systems; and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Jen has also worked privately with children in need of remedial support and standardized test tutoring. After living abroad for seven years, she returned to her family home in 2015 and joined SWS. Jen enjoys hiking and camping in north Florida, is a committed Zen and yoga student, and is presently studying herbalism.
Liesil Stein, Fourth Grade Teacher
Liesil Stein graduated from Duquesne University in 2009 with degrees in Finance and Information Systems Management. After working in the finance world for two years, she finally found her calling to become a Waldorf Teacher. After finishing her Waldorf Graduate Diploma at Taruna College in New Zealand in 2012, she continued her training with a four month apprenticeship at the Kimberton Waldorf School in Pennsylvania. She loves being outdoors, playing and learning and having fun with family and friends.
Monica Daniels, Fifth Grade Teacher
Monica Daniels has over 25 years of experience in the field of education and a deep knowledge of the Waldorf curriculum. Before joining the Suncoast Waldorf School in 2016, she taught at the Charlottesville Waldorf School in Virginia for 4 years. Prior to finding Waldorf education, she taught elementary, middle, and high school classes in public and private settings. Besides her work in the classroom, she has developed curriculum and programming, and has worked in parent education and engagement. Monica enjoys presenting teacher trainings and mentoring fellow educators. Her work in teacher training includes presenting workshops in Haiti and Ecuador. She received her Bachelor’s in Science degree in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech and her Master’s Degree in Education from Georgia Southern University. Besides her love for learning, she enjoys hiking, nature, art, and travel. Also, she has a strong heart for service; she can be found working on Habitat for Humanity houses, doing interviews and essay reading for the Georgia Tech scholarship programs, and is also involved in the ministries of her church. Raising two beautiful children is her proudest accomplishment.
Saida Fisher – German
(Bio coming soon!)
Blanca Rosanno, Spanish and Handwork Teacher
Blanca Rosanno was born in Colombia, and came to the United States in November of 1990. Her native speaking language is Spanish. She has a degree in Administración Turística from Universidad Los Libertadores in Colombia, and a Bachelors in Psychology from University of South Florida. Blanca has been working with the Suncoast Waldorf School for 3 ½ years. She attended the Art of Teaching Spanish from Rudolf Steiner College in the summer of 2012, and the Subject Teacher Seminar, at Emerson Waldorf School, during the summer 2013. She loves children and enjoys nature, music, and crafts.
Andrea Marti, Eurythmy Teacher
(Bio coming soon!)
Mario Erazo, Games Teacher
(Bio coming soon!)
Jim Shallenberger, Violin Teacher
Violinist Jim Shallenberger was born, and spent most of his professional career, in the San Francisco Bay Area. He graduated with honors from UC Berkeley, received his Masters degree from University of Washington (Seattle), and after studies in England, returned to the San Francisco area. There he played professionally ( SF Symphony, Opera and Ballet Orchestras, Kronos String Quartet, studio and film recordings , etc. ) for thirty years. He recently moved to Florida to be near his son and granddaughter, and is delighted to be now teaching violin at the Suncoast Waldorf School.
Erin Essig-Matula, Early Childhood Nap and Aftercare Teacher
Erin Essig-Matula holds nap in the Periwinkle Garden mixed-age Kindergarten classroom. Ms.Essig also runs the Early Childhood Aftercare program. After graduating with her B.A. in German Studies at the University of South Florida in 2008 she received a Fulbright Grant as an English Teaching Assistantship to Germany. She spent two years at Helmholtz-Gymnasium, a college preparatory secondary school in Heidelberg, Germany. In addition to graduate coursework in Linguistics at the Universität of Mannheim, she taught English as a second language to adults and children of all grade levels. She has two small boys. She loves to dance and sing and spend time with her family.
Barbara Bedingfield, Founding Director
Barbara Bedingfield is Founding Director of Suncoast Waldorf School. She worked with the initiative for 7 years before the opening of the school in 1998 and served as the first kindergarten teacher. She took the first grade ready children from grade one to grade four after which she returned to the kindergarten for several years. Through the years she has worked in enrollment and development and has stepped in to teach the grades when needed. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the University of Florida and a Master’s in Early Childhood from Antioch University New England where she took her Waldorf training.
Amanda Tipton, Administrator
Amanda Tipton began her Waldorf journey in late 2009 when a friend – who happened to be a Waldorf alum – told her that the Charlottesville Waldorf School was hiring in the front office. Upon seeing for the first time the naturally beautiful campus, the warm and inviting classrooms, and joyful children playing outside, she knew this is what she had been looking for since student teaching in college. Since then, Amanda has served as school coordinator at the Charlottesville Waldorf School and worked with Waldorf initiatives in Ecuador. She has been the administrator of the Suncoast Waldorf School since the fall of 2015 and looks forward to many more years at this very special school.
Kelly Ford, Administrative Assistant and Early Childhood Director
Kelly embraced the Suncoast Waldorf community when her children joined the kindergarten and playgroup in 2006. Soon after, she began helping in the office, the school store, the kindergarten, and with handwork. Over the years, Kelly has held many roles including Festival Co-chair, Parent Handwork Coordinator, Parent Council Representative, and has served on the Board of Trustees. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, and Recreation from the University of West Florida, as well as an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She is a native Floridian and enjoys travel, camping, and the outdoors.
Ana Leiva, Admissions Director
(Bio coming soon!)
Broc Olejniczak, Office Coordinator
Broc Olejniczak has been a stay at home dad for the last 4 years. He first came to Waldorf when his wife Heather brought him down to a session of Windows into Waldorf at Suncoast Waldorf School. He was immediately sold out for Waldorf and in 2016 his family moved to Palm Harbor so his son Averic could attend kindergarten at SWS. Broc has happily been a member of the Waldorf community ever since. This year, his daughter Amelia is also attending in the nursery program.
Suncoast Waldorf School is a non-profit educational institution 501(c)3 that welcomes students of any religion, race, national or ethnic origin. Suncoast Waldorf School is affiliated with the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). · RSS Feed · Log in