Kelly has enjoyed working in education for 24 years, as a teacher and more recently as the Pedagogical Chair at the Davis Waldorf School in Davis, CA. She completed her undergraduate work in Elementary and Special Education at SUNY Geneseo, followed by a Master’s degree as a Reading Specialist at Nazareth College. Soon after her daughter was born, she discovered Waldorf Education, and based on her strong interest in honoring the individual and educating the whole child, pursued the Waldorf Grades Teacher Training Program along with the Waldorf Transdisciplinary Therapeutic Education Program in California. She completed two cycles of teaching Grades 1-5 at Shining Mountain Waldorf School in Boulder, CO, as well as teaching at other Waldorf schools. Additionally, Kelly has been an Adjunct Faculty member at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA for 9 years where she trains teachers in the summers. She also has a daughter who received the gift of a Waldorf Education in grades K-12 and will be a junior in college in the fall. When not teaching, Kelly enjoys hiking, international travel, cooking, and writing (see her second set of readers for children recently published!). Kelly is happy to be returning to Colorado and joining the faculty at Mountain Phoenix.
Kim received her B.A. in Psychology, Colorado Teaching Certificate for Elementary Education and M.A. in Bilingual & Multicultural Education from the University of Colorado in Boulder. The first five years of her teaching career began in Denver Public Schools working as a second and third grade classroom teacher. In search of adventure and Spanish, she moved to Costa Rica and taught fifth grade at the American International School for two years. While living abroad she traveled to places like Argentina, Cuba, Spain, Bulgaria, Italy and Germany, took University Spanish courses and lived for extended periods of time in Mexico. Kim has been teaching since the year 2000, and has worked with all age levels from preschool to adult. Excited to be back in Colorado near her family, she is thrilled to be a part of the Mountain Phoenix Community, where the whole child is truly valued and nurtured. She was drawn to Waldorf education because she believes school should be a joyful, healthy experience. Kim also enjoys hiking, camping, yoga, swimming and travel.
Classroom Assistant to Ms. Cardona
Aztechan has lived in quite a few states before coming to Colorado: Virginia, Arizona, California, and Florida to name a few. Her life before moving to the mountains consisted of raising daughters, traveling with her husband, indulging her passion for Flamenco and studying Aromatherapy, Botany, Herbalism and Plant Medicine, Wildcrafting, Massage Therapy, Anatomy, Physiology and Metalsmithing. Aztechan holds several teaching certificates in the Healing Arts and taught at a number of Institutes and Centers across the country.
Aztechan, her husband, and their three daughters have been with Mountain Phoenix Community School from the very beginning of the Denver years. They have put their hearts and souls into everything from scraping and painting buildings, moving heavy furniture, planting flowers, raising funds, volunteering, babysitting, and more! Aztechan started out as a substitute teacher and has now been a Teacher’s Assistant for the past two years. She is currently assisting Kim Cardona’s 1st grade class. Aztechan enjoys dancing, hiking, traveling, photography, the Farm-to-Table food concept, raising chickens and bees, and spending as much time with her family as possible!
Cristina has thirty-eight years of experience working in both public and Waldorf education. Her Master’s Degree in Education specializes in Curriculum Development, Reading Instruction and Children’s Literature. She is a graduate of the Remedial Education teacher-training course at Rudolf Steiner College. She taught public elementary school in New York and California, as well as teacher education and adult literacy classes. S
he maintains an extensive private library of classic children’s literature, and books on Waldorf Education. She was a cofounder of the Waldorf School of Orange County, now thriving in Costa Mesa, CA. Cristina was a class teacher at the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School in Newtown CT, and at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School in Niwot, CO.
Cristina loves singing, flower gardening, nature, dogs, cooking, children’s books, studying Anthroposophy, and talking to people about Waldorf Education.
Jessamyn has worked in schools and has been teaching for 8 years. She considers herself a lifelong learner who thrives in an atmosphere that constantly provides learning opportunities. After receiving her Bachelors degree from Tufts University in Boston, she moved to Colorado to pursue teaching and a Masters in Educational Psychology at the University of Colorado.
In addition to teaching, she has found that nature provides innumerable opportunities for learning. She loves the outdoors, running, hiking, camping and skiing. She moved to Colorado after college where she could be surrounded by mountains, snow, and miles of running trails.
Christa was born and raised in the Northern New Mexico area. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education through Prescott College and holds a teaching license in Oregon. Christa completed her Waldorf Certification through Antioch University New England with an emphasis on Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Currently she is working on a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Teacher Leadership through Concordia University. She has experience teaching in both private and public Waldorf schools and is happy to bring Waldorf Education to all children. Christa loves photography, painting, gardening, handwork, African Dance classes, classical music, theatrical plays, and spending time with her son and her dog Jupiter. Her favorite aspect of being a Waldorf teacher is that every school day the teachers and the students are co-creating an inspiring and enriching learning experience together.
Michelle comes to Mountain Phoenix with twelve years teaching experience, ten of which are in Jeffco Public Schools as a teacher librarian, most recently at a bilingual school. Her path to Waldorf education has been a recent one, but she feels that many of her life experiences have been leading in this direction. She brings a love of storytelling, nature and music, which includes singing and playing the piano, guitar, electric bass, recorder, and pentatonic flute. Michelle is receiving her Waldorf Teaching Training at Rudolf Steiner College in California. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and her Master’s degree in Library Science from Syracuse University. She has her teaching license in New York and Colorado. Michelle is married and has two grown children. She enjoys doing yoga, reading, bicycling and gardening. She is excited to be joining Mountain Phoenix where she can combine her experience in public education with her love of Waldorf education.
Eric holds a B.A. degree from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, and an M.A. in Waldorf and Integrated Day education from Antioch New England Graduate School. His transformative experience at St. John’s convinced him of the value of a liberal arts education. He has worked to bring that sort of experience to children in a number of settings, including private and public Waldorf-methods schools. A strong believer in the lessons Nature has to teach, he is particularly happy to return to the mountain west.
Noa followed his Third grade class from last year into Fourth grade this year. When he visited East Bay Waldorf School at age eight, Noa observed to his mother that his “childhood would be longer here.” Waldorf education taught Noa to balance creative expression with physical work, analysis with imagination, and academic debate with good old-fashioned play.
Graduating from Wesleyan University, Noa began working with children at The Mosaic Project Outdoor School in 2005, where he helped fourth graders learn conflict resolution skills. Inspired by this powerful work, he went on to work with youth in several states and three countries before settling in Colorado to teach in Denver Public Schools. The depth of learning his students accomplish over time and the relationships he builds with students and their families make teaching worth every moment. When he’s not working in the classroom, Noa leads backcountry trips, cooks delicious vegetarian meals, and hones his accordion skills. He is also a certified Wilderness First Responder.
Rachel Riccio is an elementary education teacher that has taught in a variety of grade levels and content areas, ranging from pre-school to eighth Grade. She graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education from Susquehanna University in 2004, and began teaching at a Waldorf School in Minnesota later that fall, carrying her class from fourth through seventh grade. Her teaching experiences include both public and private school systems, as well as coaching Varsity Women’s Soccer and directing a middle school choir for several years.
She is originally from rural Upstate New York, but has recently moved from Connecticut’s shoreline to beautiful Colorado. While in Connecticut Rachel taught pre-school, kindergarten and second grade at Hamden Hall Country Day School, a private college-preparatory school where she received specialized training in the Haskins Literacy Initiative developed by Yale University. Rachel is thrilled to reconnect with Waldorf Education, and incorporate art, music and movement into her daily instruction. In her free time, Rachel enjoys painting, gardening, bicycling and Pilates.
Brice is a Colorado native, a rarity these days. He holds a bachelors degree in history from the University of Colorado at Denver. Brice is also an actor and director, having studied at Naropa University. He has only been a classroom teacher for two years, coming to Mountain Phoenix from the Temple Grandin School in Boulder, however, prior to teaching for TGS, Brice lead quests for Renaissance adventures, taught blacksmithing, drama, and martial arts. Brice loves spending time with his family, which is great because his two children are in 2nd and 4th grade at Mountain Phoenix.