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Suncoast Waldorf

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.

History

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 web site 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.

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

Yarrow Ries, Merrily We Meet Playgroup Teacher

DSC_4604Yarrow Ries is an early childhood educator, founding member of the Suncoast Waldorf School and past president of the Greater Tampa Bay Anthroposophical Society. She completed a Biodynamic internship at Quail Hill Farm, in Amagansett New York, and has taught Waldorf Kindergarten at Suncoast and the Alcott School in Tampa FL. Yarrow is an artist in residence with VSA of Florida, a certified Yoga instructor, and Brain Gym Practitioner. She has owned her own business, Lifeways Design Therapeutic Art and Movement, since 2002. Her passions as a fiber artist include felting, spinning and weaving. She lives in Gulfport FL with her son Max.

Kendall Potts, Kindergarten Teacher

Connie Mason, Kindergarten Teacher and Grades Music Teacher

Connie Manson will co-teach one of our mixed age kindergartens as well as teaching music to the first and second grades.  Ms. Mason has taught Waldorf kindergarten, nursery, and parent-child programs for over 21 years. Most recently, Connie has served as nursery teacher and parent-child class facilitator for Waldorf Sarasota. Ms. Manson holds a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and a MS from Sunbridge College. She is a masterful puppeteer and presents parent and teacher puppetry workshops across the nation. In the summers, she teaches Introduction to Waldorf Early Childhood at Sunbridge Institute.

Ellen McRobert, Kindergarten Teacher

 

Angela Neff, Kindergarten Teacher

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.

Allison Hill, First Grade Teacher

Allison Hill comes from St. Louis, MO. She lived in Louisiana for several years, and has been living in Safety Harbor since 2007. She has had several years of experience private tutoring and substitute teaching children of all ages throughout Pinellas County, including at the Suncoast Waldorf School. She has worked with refugee children with Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services. She completed the Pathways Educators program at SPC for English/Language Arts. Allison received her bachelor’s degree in Theater from Northwestern State University of Louisiana, and is currently working toward her Master’s degree in Waldorf Grades Education through Antioch University NE. She has one wonderful daughter in the 4th grade attending the school.

Liesil Stein, Second 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.

Veronica Alday, Third Grade Teacher

Veronica is presently enrolled in the Waldorf teacher training program at the Sunbridge Institute in Spring Valley, New York. Her 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 worked as a kindergarten assistant in the school’s Rose Kindergarten for two years before embarking on her class teacher training. When not at school she likes camping, hiking and taking road trips.

Peter Chin, Forth Grade Teacher

Peter Chin will teach the 4th grade class.  Mr. Chin’s Waldorf teaching experience spans more than 28 years.  He has graduated several Waldorf grades classes and served as the educational support teacher at Santa Barbara Waldorf School. Peter attended of the University of Miami earning both a BA in Secondary Education and English Literature and a MA in Education. Additionally, he is graduate of the AHE Waldorf Resource Teacher Training program. Peter comes to us after nine years as a grades teacher at Waldorf Sarasota. He is also a gifted musician and fencer.

Liudmila Self, Fifth Grade Teacher

Liudmila comes to us from the Alabama Waldorf School in Birmingham, Alabama, where for three years she taught grades one, seven/eight, and fourth. She is originally from Bucharest, Romania where she studied and received her bachelor’s degree in Russian and English Literature. Following a career in television, she moved to London, United Kingdom, where she received her master’s degree in Audio Visual from London Guildhall University. She also received her post-graduate teaching certificate from Institute of Education, University of London before teaching film and media at City of Westminster College. She has also taught film production at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Liudmila has completed Waldorf teacher training courses at Sunbridge Institute in New York and at the Steiner College in Sacramento. Liudmila speaks Russian and Romanian as a native speaker as well as fluent English. She is a documentary filmmaker and has interests in environmental concerns, marine wildlife, and ice skating (she was trained for the Romanian National Figure Skating team as a child).

Blanca Rosanno, Spanish 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 Libertdores in Colombia, and a Bachelors in Psychology from University of South Florida. Blanca have been working with the Suncoast Waldorf School for 2 ½ years. She has 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.

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.

Linda Pointer, Music Teacher

Linda Pointer has been involved with teaching music in many forms for her entire working career, as a classroom teacher from early elementary through college, as a music supervisor with Indianapolis Public Schools, and as a private studio teacher. She received the Bachelor of Music Education from Mississippi State University, and the Master and Doctor of Music from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. With her colleague, art teacher Pat Bolanos, Dr. Pointer planned a curriculum based on Waldorf teachings which was accepted as the foundation for a charter school in Indianapolis. Currently she teaches Humanities and studio piano at St. Petersburg College and continues her private organ and piano studio as well as Eurhythmy accompanying at Suncoast Waldorf school.
Married to Ferdinand Pointer, a piano technician and harpsichord builder, they have two children and three grandchildren. The Pointers love to travel and garden and play with their two cats, Millie and Steinway.

Richard Alday, Administrator

Kelly Ford, Assistant Administrator and Director for Early Childhood

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.

Barbara Bedingfield, 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 currently works with enrollment and development and teaches music to the grades children. She serves as President of the Board of Trustees. 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.