The Cincinnati Waldorf School’s faculty is a diverse, educated group of people dedicated to providing a rich Waldorf experience in the classroom. CWS experiences very high retention within our faculty and we are proud of the men and women educating our children.


The CWS Administrative Faculty is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to strive to develop and implement dynamic and lasting systems which make visible the necessary processes to sustain the school and its mission.

Karen Crick
Enrollment Director/Admin Chair
513/541-0220 ext. 103

Libby Rupp
Business Manager
513/541-0220 ext. 201

Soni Kastner
Finance Manager
513/541-0220, ext. 209

Naimah Bilal
Development Director
513/541-0220, ext. 202

Myles Zernik-Traxler
Communications Coordinator
513/541-0220, ext. 200

Jen Bryant
Office Coordinator

Andy Balzhizer
Facilities Manager
513/541-0220, ext. 216

Jess Prussia
High School Coordinator
513/541-0220 ext. 208

Tracy Hendricks
Kitchen Coordinator
513/541-0220, ext. 214

Young children are filled with wonder. They see beauty and purpose in everything. They are curious about all that comes to meet them. Preschool and Kindergarten teachers create a beautiful environment and rhythm in which this natural curiosity and wonder can be fostered. Children learn about life first by seeing and then by imitating what they see. Therefore, great care is taken to surround them with as many life-filled experiences as possible. In a warm, homelike atmosphere, the child’s inherent abilities can unfold through painting, storytelling, music, poetry, handcrafts, walks, baking and free play. Waldorf education consciously builds a strong foundation during these years for the later intellectual growth of the child. Imaginative play in the early childhood years transforms into free, creative thinking and decision-making in young adulthood.

Kyle Arthur \ Parent & Child Classes

Carmy Malora \ Woodland Preschool Teacher

Nicholas Haar \ Woodland Preschool Assistant

Bari Mairose \ Sweet Pea Preschool Teacher

Bari Venn Mairose found herself in a Parent and Child Class at CWS in 2003 with her daughter, Anna, after reading an article in Mothering Magazine entitled, Find Your Tribe. She fell in love with Waldorf Education and the Cincinnati Waldorf School Community. In 2009, she became a Kindergarten Assistant and after several years in this role, she began her journey to become a Certified Waldorf Teacher in 2014. She became a Lead Teacher in 2015. Bari spent a year studying at Great Lakes Waldorf Institute in Milwaukee and then transferred to Sophia’s Hearth Teacher Training in Keene, NH. She has completed her Birth to Three, Waldorf Early Childhood Certification and will begin Birth to Seven Certification, this summer, 2018. In addition, Bari has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Science in Design from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning. Bari serves on the Festivals Committee and the Educational Support Committee and is the EC representative for the upcoming AWSNA re-certification. In her free time, Bari enjoys Hot Yoga, taking walks with her daughter and singing and playing her Ukulele.

Susie MacDonell \ Sweet Pea Preschool Assistant

Susie graduated in 1992 with a BS from Xavier University here in Cincinnati.  After working for a number of years as a Montessori teacher, parenthood brought her to CWS in 2006.  Once her children were well established in the grades program Susie began substituting at CWS in 2014 and was hired to be Ms. Bari’s Preschool assistant in 2015.  Susie is presently serving in Ms. Kyle’s stead for the Parent and Child Nature program, NatureTots.

Chris Sekely \ Oak Tree Kindergarten Teacher

Colleen St. John \ Rose Blossom Kindergarten Teacher 

Barbara Schuchter \ After-Care Teacher

Barbara Schuchter has been working with children for 18 joyful years. She has had the privilege of working with children and their families in the city, on farmland, in home, and in the classroom. After many wonderful years leading an Extended Day school classroom at Seven Hills, she joined the Cincinnati Waldorf school in 2015 to lead a burgeoning After Care program. Upon beginning Waldorf Foundation Studies, and attending several workshops around the country, she has decided to pursue her full Waldorf teaching certification. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and is a classically trained painter. She enjoys teaching arts and crafts at an educational farm in the summertime. She also loves doing her own home rehab, live music, and new adventures.

Matthew Goebel
\ After-Care Assistant Teacher

Matt Graduated from UC with a degree in…Matt has been working with children for almost 20 years. He worked with his previous school for 17 years, 10 of which was spent leading and building their aftercare program. He joined the Cincinnati Waldorf School in 2015. He enjoys teaching the children about music, cooking, geology, and gardening. In his free time, he enjoys time with his wife, working on their home and garden. He also loves motorcycles and hiking.


Whitney Maloney \ After-Care Assistant Teacher


April Mann \ Grade One

April Mann studied Fine Art at Indiana University and has a Master of Design degree from the University of Cincinnati. She finished her Waldorf teaching certification from the Association for Healing Education and chairs the Educational Support Committee. When April is not teaching, she is writing original fairytales for her podcast, April Eight Songs & Stories.

Lori Kran \ Grade Two

Lori Ann Kran, Ph.D., has been teaching at CWS since 1995. She attended SUNY Binghamton for her BA and MA and received her Ph.D. in American History from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. After completing her Waldorf teacher certification in 2001, Lori took her first grade school class. She began her third class teaching cycle for grades 1-8 in Fall of 2017. Lori has served in many leadership roles throughout her tenure at CWS. She is currently our school’s first delegate for the AWSNA Southeast region and a member of the Pedagogical Section of the Anthroposophical Society. Lori enjoys playing banjo, practicing yoga, being outdoors, and, most recently, studying Spanish.

Vivian Melody \ Grade Three

Vivian Melody holds a B.A. in Journalism from Southeastern University and a Master of Arts in Education from Mount Mary University, as well as a Waldorf Grades Teacher Certification through Great Lakes Waldorf Institute. Prior to moving to Cincinnati, Ms. Melody was a lead teacher at The Waldorf School of St. Louis and had volunteered and assisted in a variety of alternative and Waldorf childcare settings since 2002. Through her passion for restoring nature literacy to childhood, in 2013 she co-founded The Wild Wonder Project, a youth-oriented nature immersion program in central Missouri, and continues to bring nature camps and programming to the Cincinnati area. She began teaching at Cincinnati Waldorf School in 2015 as an 8th-grade block teacher and upper grades math teacher and became the lead teacher for the Class of 2024 in 2016. In addition to teaching the Class of 2024, Ms. Melody currently serves on the Outdoor Spaces and Social Health committees. She lives in Enright Ridge Urban Eco-village with her children, Ethan and Verity, and her cats, Cinderella and Hanz.

Jodi Harris \ Grade Four

Jodi Harris holds a BA from Brown University. She taught in the New York City public schools for four years before moving to Cincinnati. She began at CWS teaching Parents & Tots in 1996. She then moved on to teach middle school grades for many years, including Math and Games. Jodi has held many leadership positions during her time at CWS, including Faculty Chair, Grade School Department Chair and College Chair, and has served on the CWS Board of Trustees. She is currently the CWS Grade School Department Chair.


Connie Davis \ Grade Five

Connie Davis graduated from the University of the South in 1985 with a BA in English Literature. She joined CWS in 2003 as a Class Teacher. She received her Waldorf Teacher Certification from Antioch University in 2008. In the past, she has held the positions of CWS Faculty Chair and CWS Grades Chair. She is currently the CWS College Chair and a returning CWS Board Member.

Kate Reidel \ Grade Six

Kate Reidel received a Bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology from Vermont College and a Master’s of Education from Mount Mary University. She completed her Waldorf teacher training at Great Lakes Waldorf Institute in Wisconsin in 2015. Kate began her journey with CWS in 2012 and is currently the lead teacher for the class of 2021.

Sonya Warren \ Grade Seven

Sonya Schewe-Warren has been teaching at CWS since 2006. She attended Warren Wilson College and received her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Anthropology. She then received her Master of Education degree and Waldorf teaching certificate from Antioch University.  She took her first class at CWS from 1st grade to 8th grade, then followed with her current class starting in 4th grade. Sonya has served on the CWS Leadership Team as faculty chair in the past, and currently holds the position of Faculty Chair.

Jordan Hammans \ Grade Eight

Jordan Hammans has been teaching at CWS since 2008. She began her Waldorf career as a kindergarten assistant, grade school assistant and beeswax modeling teacher before taking her first class in 2011. Jordan received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Xavier University and earned her Waldorf Certification and Master’s degree in Education from Antioch University, NE. She has served as Grade School Chair, College Chair and is currently serving on the Curriculum and Personnel committees. Jordan has two young boys and enjoys visual arts, cooking and spending time with her family.

Tori Manship / Grades Assistant

Tori Manship holds a BFA in Painting from Ohio University and graduated Cum Laude in 2010. She started working at CWS in January 2017 as a Grades Assistant. Currently, she also acts as the school’s librarian and holds the position of Recess Chair for the 2017-2018 school year.

Christine Connolly \ Grades Assistant

Christine Connolly studied human occupational studies and psychology at Xavier University. She is the primary grades assistant for second grade.

Sarah Hobbick \ Grades Assistant




Special Subject teachers are chosen not only for their expertise in specific areas but also for their ability to relate to the students and serve as adult role models. They serve with the class teachers to build the learning community for the students.

Connie Michael  \ Eurythmy Teacher

Constance (Connie) Michael has her BA from Windham College, VT, before gong to Stuttgart, Germany for 4 years to study Eurythmy. Subsequently she performed with the Spring Valley Group and worked as a Kindergarten Assistant for a short time at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City. She returned to Cincinnati where she taught Eurythmy to children and adults and became a founder of the Cincinnati Waldorf Grade School in 1987. Connie currently teaches CWS students from Preschool through Grade 8, in addition to various adult workshops, including Foundation Studies. She has completed courses and trainings in: Pedagogical Eurythmy (1995-1998), Collaborative Leadership (2003-05), Social Inclusion and The Contemporary Child (Kim John Payne ‘99), Biography courses (’91 Regina Kureck, ’05 Jean Yaeger), Foundation Studies (2012-16), Eurythmy Mentoring (2011-14), Rosicrucianism, 2015 Bastian Baan), The Incarnating Child (2014, Dr. Gloeckler), and several Therapeutic Eurythmy and Athena seminars. She has had the opportunity to perform Eurythmy at conferences with the Anthroposophical society and AWSNA. She has 3 grown children and likes to swim, read, spend time with her husband and friends, and go for walks in the woods. She is eager to see what is next on the horizon!

Adam Peterson \ Eurythmy Pianist / Vocal Music Teacher

Adam Petersen has been with CWS as the Eurythmy Pianist for Connie Michael since 2012, and as the Choral Music Teacher since 2015. Since 2016, he has completed the Foundation Studies coursework through the Center for Anthroposophy, the Waldorf Elementary Music Teacher Education coursework through Sunbridge Institute, and is currently enrolled in Sunbridge’s Waldorf Elementary Teacher Education program. Adam serves on the Festivals Committee and as a faculty advisor for the Student Council.
Adam attained a Bachelor’s of Music in Classical Piano Performance from Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music in 2011. Since that time he has been composing, recording and performing original music under the name A Delicate Motor. Adam also works as the Pianist and Accompanist for St. John’s Unitarian-Universalist Church, which is the earliest home of the Cincinnati Waldorf School, and also the site of Adam’s very first piano recital.

Katherine Biederman \  Strings Teacher

Katherine Biederman started playing violin in the New Jersey public school system in third grade, and attended the North Carolina School of the Arts for viola performance in high school and partway through college. During this time she played with regional orchestras such as the Winston-Salem Symphony and the Western Piedmont Symphony Orchestra. After changing her study to Elementary Education, she graduated from Wake Forest University. She taught Headstart in Baltimore, MD, and in the Cincinnati Public Schools before staying home with her two children. She joined the CWS community through Parents & Tots and became involved through chaperoning field trips, chairing Holiday Faire, gardening (really “landscape maintenance”), and serving on the Board of Trustees. After a change in the music program 9 years ago, she accepted the music teacher position teaching Grades 1-8 General Music and Strings, and has continued to develop and expand the music program with Adam Petersen. Her 2 sons graduated from Grade 8 at CWS and went on to St. Xavier High School. Her oldest son is a sophomore at Champlain College in Burlington, VT studying Game Design, and her younger son is a Junior at St Xavier. Besides enjoying making music with the CWS students, Katherine likes being outdoors, particularly bike touring and camping. She bikes around 6,000 miles a year, and her favorite trip to date was biking from Seattle, WA to Glacier National Park.

Alex Peterson \ Spanish Teacher

Alex Petersen has been teaching at CWS since 2012. He completed his degree in Spanish and Linguistics from Ohio University in Athens, OH in 2008 and 2010, respectively. Alex received his Waldorf Grade School Teacher Training in 2015 from Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA, and has been a member of the Waldorf Spanish Teacher’s Association since 2013. Alex has served on the CWS Leadership Team and is a member of the College of Teachers. He has run an after-school chess club for students since 2014. He enjoys traveling, music, movies, photography, biking, exploring, trying new foods, meeting new people, and learning new languages.

Emily Oudomsouk \ Handwork Teacher

Luke Schelly \ Practical Arts Teacher

Luke Schelly has been teaching at CWS since 2010. He studied Architecture at University of Cincinnati and received a professional degree of Bachelor of Architecture in 1988. He has 25 years of design and building experience in residential, entertainment and children’s play areas. Since 1992, Luke has served on the Board of Trustees as President, Treasurer, Leadership Council member, and has been active on the Facilities and Finance committees. His two children Rose and Ezra are CWS graduates. He enjoys traveling with his family (Lydia Kelley, Ezra and Rose), working on renovating an old farm property in Normandy, France and playing a good game of sand volleyball.

Lydia Kelley \ Practical Arts & Upper Grades Handwork Teacher

Lydia Kelley joined the Cincinnati Waldorf School as a subject teacher (Handwork, Music, Form Drawing) in 1991, when the grade school was located in Norwood. Her educational background is in Theater, Linguistics and Fine Arts, and she received her BFA in printmaking from the University of Cincinnati in 1989. Through her years at CWS, she has taken two classes (the first, a combined class through grade 4, the second, the first-eighth grade Class of 2016), has worked as administrative support, was lead teacher in Parents and Tots, and has served at different times in the role of Faculty and College chair, as well as on the Board of Trustees. Currently she teaches handwork in grades 7 and 8, and beeswax modeling in grades 1-4. She also teaches at Homeadow Song Farm (work and play program for home schoolers), and helps to manage the Hoffner Lodge in Northside. Lydia is the proud parent of two delightful teenagers who have grown through years of Waldorf education. Her hobbies include reading, cooking and learning guitar.

Joe Thomas \ Games Teacher

Joe Thomas is in his fourth year of teaching Games Classes at CWS and the fifth year working at the school. Joe has a long history of coaching, organizing and competing in team sports such as basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball and ultimate frisbee. He has also spent many hours volunteering with Special Olympics. Joe has completed Foundation Studies and specific Games class training.  Joe is also the Athletic Director at the school and adds a new athletic team every year. He has a daughter in the class of 2020 and a daughter in the class of 2021. In his free time, Joe loves to play games!!! He also enjoys hiking, Legos and spending time with his family.


Waldorf education recognizes that in the third seven years of a child’s life there needs to be a balance between the student’s academic needs and their longing to find their place in the world. Waldorf High School teachers must be passionate about the subjects they teach while understanding and working closely with adolescents. In High School, we offer a liberal arts education, consciously aimed to nurture and encourage adolescent ideals.
Teachers to be announced soon!

6743 Chestnut St
Cincinnati, OH 45227
(513) 541-0220

Enrollment Director/Admin Chair
513/541-0220 ext. 103

High School Coordinator
513/541-0220 ext. 208