Suncoast Waldorf School opened in 1998 in space rented from the Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater. In 2006 the school purchased a building and tree-shaded property at 1857 Curlew Road in Palm Harbor. Now two classroom buildings house Parent/Child Playgroups, a nursery, two kindergartens and grades one through five.
For seven years prior to 1998, parents and teachers held playgroups, public lectures, workshops and festivals, all to educate the public about the little known, at the time, Waldorf education. Suncoast Waldorf Association formed as a non-profit corporation which later received its tax exempt status.
Families from across the United States and from other countries now find their way to Suncoast Waldorf School in their desire to continue Waldorf education for their children which has begun elsewhere. More and more families in the Tampa Bay area are discovering Waldorf education through the school’s website and are recognizing that this is the education they want for their children.
Suncoast Waldorf School, like virtually all Waldorf schools, is self-administered. Teachers and staff meet weekly to make decisions concerning the social, administrative, and educational life of the school. A Board of Trustees assumes fiduciary, policy and legal responsibility for the school.
Vision and Mission
Vision: The vision of Suncoast Waldorf School is to renew civilization through the sphere of education.
Mission: Suncoast Waldorf School is a community of teachers, staff, parents, and friends who honor childhood and value each stage of human development. Our goal is to educate the whole child to meet the world with grace, integrity and initiative through a balanced and comprehensive academic, artistic and practical curriculum.5
Campus and Facilities
Suncoast Waldorf School’s campus is located on two live oak-shaded acres in Palm Harbor, FL. Our school’s main building houses the parent-child playgroup classes, mixed age kindergartens, grades one and two, administrative offices and our school store – The Gnome’s Nook. A second building on the property houses grades three through five.
Children in our Early Childhood center enjoy their own fenced play area while children in the grades play in our large and open ‘Meadow’ where they are free to explore, run, swing and tree climb.
Suncoast Waldorf School’s campus is centrally located in Pinellas County and is only minutes away from numerous parks, walking trails and some of the state’s most beautiful natural beaches, including Honeymoon Island State Park. Our community comes from throughout the county, St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs, and some parents travel even greater distances to enable their children to attend the school.
Faculty and Staff
2017 – 2018 School Year
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, Nursery Teacher (Fiddleheads)
(Bio coming soon!)
Angela Neff, Kindergarten Teacher (Morning Glory)
Angela 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 third year working at the Suncoast Waldorf School. She has attended many workshops and conferences regarding Waldorf education. Angela is currently completing her degree in early childhood education and will be starting her Waldorf early childhood training next summer. Angela likes to read, do volunteer work, and travel with her family during the summer.
Anita is originally from Ecuador in South America. After completing her B.S. in Agriculture she moved to California to learn more about Sustainable Agriculture. She worked as an Environmental Educator and Administrator in two well known nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area for 8 years. 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. Her son inspired her to pursue a career as a Waldorf Teacher. Currently she is enrolled in the Waldorf Teacher Certificate Program with Sophia Institute Online Courses. Last year, she spent the spring months completing her internship, volunteering at Suncoast Waldorf School, and assisting Ms. Connie in the Sunflower Kindergarten class. Anita looks forward to contributing to the school as her son moves through the grades. In her spare time Anita enjoys walks in nature as well as bike riding, swimming and yoga.
Wendy Barnes, First Grade Teacher
(Bio coming soon!)
Susan Brown, Second Grade Teacher
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
(Bio coming soon!)
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 has over 20 years of teaching experience and a deep knowledge of the Waldorf curriculum. Before joining the Suncoast Waldorf School, she taught at the Charlottesville Waldorf School in Virginia for 4 years. Prior to teaching at CWS, she taught elementary, middle, and high school classes in public and private settings, and has also worked in parent education and engagement. Monica has presented teacher trainings in Haiti and Ecuador, and has mentored fellow educators. 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, Shakespeare, and reading. 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 involved in the ministries of her church.
Saida Fisher – German
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.
Roberto López García, Grades Aftercare Teacher
(Bio coming soon!)
Erin Essig, Early Childhood Nap and Aftercare Teacher
(Bio coming soon!)
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.
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