Robin is the lead teacher in the Buttercups half day preschool class. She moved to Colorado twelve years ago and went on to go to school at Naropa University. She graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a focus on visual arts and traditional eastern arts. Robin worked at Snow Lion School in Boulder for many years before moving to the Denver area. She is very excited to be a part of the Mountain Phoenix community. Robin loves to travel to far away places, and enjoys spending time hiking, camping, and doing yoga in her free time.
Lead Teacher, Preschool
“Auntie Joy” is the Lead Teacher in the Sweet Peas classroom. She says she is elated to embark on her third year ofteaching at MPCS, which she calls her home away from home! Aside from her teaching responsibilities, she is also a mother to two spirited boys (Aizik – (Grade 3) and Ember (Pre-K), a wife and a yoga instructor. She holds a BA in Outdoor Recreation and Leadership, a two-year degree in teaching and has completed the LifeWays of North America training, focusing on Stiener’s views of child development birth through age 7. Along with a few other inspired community members and friends in Grand Junction Colorado, she started a Waldorf Mixed Age Kindergarten called River Canyon. This past summer she was able to focus and deepen her yoga journey, while this fall she will begin her Masters in Waldorf Early Childhood Education.
Lead Teacher, Preschool
Michele Ford Kuntz (“Auntie Chele”) is the lead teacher of the full time Mountain Dandelions preschool classroom at Mountain Phoenix Community School. In 1999, Michele moved to Denver from Seattle, and after working in the corporate world for several years, realized her true calling in life to teach. After teaching various grades from Kindergarten through Third, in both public and private settings, Auntie Chele feels completely at home with the Waldorf Curriculum and in the Early Childhood Program at MPCS. Michele has an undergraduate degree in Theater from the University of Washington, as well as a Master’s in Curriculum and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado at Denver where she graduated top of her class and received the “Outstanding Graduate” award, as chosen by her professors. Michele is very excited to bring her passion for the arts to her teaching. In addition to being a teacher, Michele has two children who attend MPCS, a loving husband, and she enjoys reading, knitting, bike riding and travel.
Floater, Preschool and Kindergarten
Susan has been caring for children full time since 2007. She dove in to Waldorf methods the summer of 2011. During that school year she cared for teacher’s toddler children, as well as providing before care for grades students and private after care for ECE students. After two years successfully running her own licensed, mixed-age home preschool; she is thrilled to be back at Mountain Phoenix as the Early Childhood Float and ECE after school enrichment assistant.
She took her ECE courses through FRCC and is a photography major at Metro. Susan earned her LifeWays Early Childhood Certification in May of 2013 – a “Sister to Waldorf” program that focuses on birth to age 7. Since 2011 she has attended as many of the WECAN monthly continuing education classes that Nancy Blanning hosts as she is able (9 during the 2012-2013 school year) and is currently in the Foundations studies that MPCS is hosting. She has been blessed to observe classes at six other Waldorf schools in the area and is a voracious reader – hungry for more and more knowledge of child development and Waldorf pedagogy.
Susan adores getting to know all the children at MPCS. She especially loves to paint, felt wool, sing, garden and lazure. She loves to practice eurythmy, yoga and swim. She is enjoying volunteering in one of the 3rd grade handwork classes and working on becoming better friends with knitting and crochet. She is inspired by these rhythmic yet dynamic days.
Every day, she strives to take each moment as it comes, see the chance for meeting the children with spiritual reverence and remembering that THERE IS TIME! At first, Susan wanted Auntie Joy to substantiate that claim. Over time, she finds it more and more true, especially using slow, gentle movements to give a child warm nurturing moments in their day. “It’s so fun when they want me to sing a song again and again, because I know they’ve enjoyed it.” Susan loves to watch leaves fall with them, discover snow, stare at the sky or a ladybug, tell stories, and just look into light filled eyes.
Lead Teacher, Kindergarten
Laura has been involved in Waldorf Education for about 18 years, beginning at the Waldorf School of Orange County where she was a parent. In addition to initiating a biodynamic CSA, as well as gardening and eating organically at home, she also volunteered and contributed original artwork, performed puppetry and participated in acting, set decoration and painting, as well as costume making for class plays and eurythmy performances at the school. She sang in choral groups for festivals, contributed photography, watercolor paintings and graphic design for yearbooks, and participated in several committees, alongside teachers and fellow parents.
Laura completed her Waldorf teacher training with a specialization in Early Childhood from the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, where her practical knowledge of the Waldorf curriculum was deepened by understandings of Steiner’s pedagogical indications for education from a teacher’s perspective. She loves to quote another class parent, who says the following of their family’s own experience, “Waldorf education is great for children, but it’s even a better education for parents!” Midway through her teacher training, she began teaching full-time at Journey school, one of the first Waldorf charter schools in Southern California, and taught a mixed age Kindergarten there for 5 years.
In addition to her Waldorf training, Laura has a BA in Organizational Management from Ashford University. She has worked in a mixed-age Nursery and taught Kindergarten at two Waldorf initiatives, working as pedagogical chair for the Board of Trustees for both schools. While taking a course for experienced Early Childhood teachers called “Nurturing the Roots”, she visited and fell in love with Colorado and learned about Mountain Phoenix! Miss Laura is thrilled to be here, and hopes to “nurture the roots” –helping Mountain Phoenix grow and thrive as the Waldorf impulse for education is realized in a public school setting.
Assistant to Ms. Laura, Kindergarten
With a Master’s Degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from New York University, and as a former Recreation Therapist, Kathy feels passionately about the importance of play in the development of the whole child.
A lover of the visual arts, Kathy also studied Art History in Florence, Italy, for a semester as part of her undergraduate work.
Waldorf education embraces the arts, the natural world, and movement in a media-free environment; all of which Kathy seeks out for her own children. Kathy recognizes that the rhythms and opportunities for imaginative play and creativity are the building blocks for our Preschool/Kindergarten children to develop as whole human beings.
In her free time, Kathy enjoys preparing healthy, organic meals for her family, and learning about health and environmental issues. Researching the benefits of play and nature in child development is a primary passion. Kathy has been a member of the Denver Holistic Moms Network for 5 years, and is an active member of “A Vegan Life” Colorado. She is active in two Waldorf study groups. ‘Ms. Peters’ is grateful to be given the gift of being a part of a child’s journey at MPCS, and her goal is to be worthy of imitation in a natural, loving, and creative environment.
Ms. Liz is excited to be the teacher of the Morning Glory AM Kindergarten class. In her pre-kid years she worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist, but more recently has spent the past two years as an assistant in the Kindergarten and loved it so much that she began the teacher training program at Rudolf Steiner College this past summer. Ms. Liz was introduced to the “magic” of Waldorf education through seeking to find a fitting pre-school program for one of her own children! She and her family landed at a Waldorf based home preschool and life since then has never been the same. Waldorf education inspired a renewed love of childhood, magic and learning!
Ms. Liz is also a MPCS parent – her four children all attend the school (5th, 3rd, 1st and Pre-K)! Their family has chickens, bees, and a new, much bigger than expected, puppy. Originally an Ohio buckeye, she is married to a Colorado native, but has previously lived in Albania, Texas, Mississippi, Scotland (her 2 boys were born there) and back in Ohio, before settling down in Denver 5 years ago! In her spare time, you can find her….wait, what’s spare time? Her most recent achievement: winning the Blue Ribbon at the Denver County Fair for her 9 grain bread (she mills the flour)! Lately, her (nighttime) dreams include crockpots and wool roving.
Ms. Andrea is thrilled to be the lead teacher in the Skylarks classroom. In 2005, Andrea completed her Masters in Elementary Education at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She then moved to Beulah, CO and taught at a small community school until her first child was born. She then taught in a pre-k class in Golden for two years. Last year, Ms. Andrea was an assistant in the Skylark classroom and fell in love with the class and the Waldorf method. It felt like coming home to her and she is overjoyed to lead the Skylarks.
Ms. Andrea also has two daughters who attend Mountain Phoenix. Isabel is in second grade and Hazel is in kindergarten. Andrea’s path to Mountain Phoenix was paved by her search for an education for her own children. She has personally experienced the effects of a Waldorf-inspired education and wholeheartedly believes in this method.
Andrea loves to hike, bike and do yoga. She also knits, gardens, and plays (a little) guitar. However, spending time with her husband, daughters, and her shaggy dog (Magpie) is her very favorite way to spend a day.