Preschool/Kindergarden Teacher | Ms. Gwyn Schmidtberger
I have finally landed and work with the children, parents and faculty I am meant to be with.
Waldorf education is something that whispers and waits for the person to hear. My journey started in 2000. While living in NYC a colleague exposed me to the education. Once I had moved to Germany in 2003, I continued to befriend those involved in this kind of schooling. While in Germany, I realized that Prairie Moon was just being born around 2005. I knew that if I ever did end up back in Kansas, I would be a part of that school.
I am an educator and have taught in a variety of ways.
I am wholeheartedly dedicated to Prairie Moon and my love for Waldorf education is unwavering. I am so blessed to work in a school that is committed to Anthroposophy while I look forward to every in-service, actually every weekly faculty meeting as well, for our book study, artistic activity, song and fellowship. I see our school, the only one in Kansas, as the pioneering front for bringing an education of abundance and dedication to the whole child to the heart of our nation—where love for education exists but can be greatly transformed in the now.
Preschool/ Kindergarten Teacher | Ms. Julie Voss
Ms. Julie was born and raised in a small Kansas town where her early days included running through the prairie grasses, looking for turtles, and playing outside “until the street lights came on.”
After obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from the University of Kansas she lived in various states before returning to Lawrence so her two boys could attend Prairie Moon Waldorf School. She has studied Waldorf education for over 10 years since attending her first parent/child program and has been an active parent at Prairie Moon for the past six years, volunteering and supporting the school in many roles. Ms. Julie is currently enrolled at Sunbridge Institute and will graduate in 2018 with her Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Certification.
She lives in North Lawrence with her husband, and two boys who have attended Prairie Moon for the past six years, and four dogs.
1st Grade Teacher | Ms. Christen Napier
Christen's bio to come.
2nd/3rd Grade Teacher | Mr. Ireneo DeLeon
Ireneo De Leon started teaching after he had graduated from University of San Carlos, Cebu City, in the Philippines where he took up his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 1998. He took up his Master’s Degree in Psychology the following year as he worked at a private school for boys. Realizing that he needed to professionalize his teaching career, he studied education and got his license as a teacher in 2003. He has had experiences as an educator both in the academe and administration for different private schools, including serving as a principal for a number of years, until he discovered Waldorf education in 2006. It was not until 2011 when his relationship to Waldorf education had become deeper when he enrolled his daughter in a Waldorf Kindergarten school in the Philippines. Since then, he started reading and studying what Waldorf can offer to the different families in his home city. To further understand the application of its philosophy, Ireneo underwent training in Gamot Cogon Institute, a center for Waldorf education studies in the Philippines.
Ireneo is currently taking his Masters in Education major in Waldorf Education at Antioch University New England in New Hampshire.
“The greatest thing that I have realized in teaching children is that it is a great privilege to be chosen by my students to guide and nurture them in this world. This privilege is accompanied by a great responsibility to carry on a noble duty, a duty to guide children to discover themselves with freedom. This reminds me to carry with a deep sense of reverence for each child I face.”
4th Grade Teacher | Ms. Holly Hangauer
Holly Hangauer joined Prairie Moon Waldorf School in 2013. She thoroughly enjoys blending her love of arts, handwork, music, the natural world and children in her teaching. True delight comes her way when the children enjoy a lesson she brings them. A graduate of the University of Kansas, Holly has a Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies and has completed two years of the Midwest Regional Waldorf Teacher Preparation Course. When she's not lesson planning, she loves to rearrange and paint her house, create jewelry, sew and knit, hike, and take her two adorable children on long walks.
5th/6th Grade Teacher | Mr. Bret Schacht
Since 2006, Bret Schacht has enjoyed teaching the grades students at PMWS. He was inspired by the spiritual world-view and vision of Rudolf Steiner he found in researching biodynamics while working on an organic CSA. All that he wished to learn he found in the Waldorf school curriculum, created out of Steiner’s philosophical principles. One principle states that teachers are to form the curriculum from observing the children in front of us. He found a proclivity and immense joy for this teaching English in South Korea. Upon return to the United States, he earned his Master's in Education and Waldorf Teaching Certificate. Again, he struck out overseas to teach at an internship in Christchurch Waldorf School in New Zealand. This rich experience at a fully developed lower and high school helped him step into a grades position at White Mountain Waldorf School in New Hampshire and then his current position at Prairie Moon Waldorf School.
7th/8th Grade Teacher | Ms. Molly Mackinnon
Molly is the middle school teacher for the current combined 6th/7th grade class and teaches French to all grades students. She serves as faculty liason to the Board and chairs the Middle School committee. Her two younger sons, Jasper and Cormac, attend Prairie Moon while her son Henry attends Free State High School in Lawrence and her daughter Ruby, Evergreen College in Olympia, WA. Raised in Boulder, Colorado, during its heydey in the 1970s, Molly adopted a voracious consumption of the world, learning multiple languages and obscure facts about Tuareg social constructs, along with the acquisition of diverse degrees, such as a Master's in Polish Literature. These serve her excellently as a Waldorf teacher. She lives in the country outside of Lawrence with her husband, Jason, and their children.
Grades Handwork Teacher | Ms. Raven Harper
A member of PMWS since 2010, Ms. Harper enjoys teaching and learning from the children as she guides them to use their hands to create beautiful work. She received her Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Textile Design from The University of Kansas and completed Prairie Moon Teacher Preparation with Robin Bacchus in the summers of 2012–2014. She enjoys doing all handwork media and taking walks with her husband and dog.
"Prairie Moon Waldorf School is a welcoming, rich community where loving, beautiful families come to grow, learn and share. In the years that I have been teaching here I have grown so much in my inner life and I've seen amazing growth in all the children that I have taught. We as teachers really care and really love; we see a need and we want meet it. I am so thankful that I found this place."
Grades Woodwork Teacher | Mr. Brian Langham
Grades Movement Teacher and Admissions Director | Ms. Megan Corcoran
A faculty member of PMWS since 2007, Megan Corcoran appreciates Waldorf Education for its beauty, richness, child-centered approach and for the compassionate commitment from the faculty, board and parent communities. Megan grew up in Iowa City, Iowa, and as an undergraduate studied Psychology and Women's Studies at Luther College in Northeast Iowa, spending junior year abroad, at the University of Nottingham in England. After working in social services with children and families in Oregon and in Iowa, she taught English for one year in Daegu, South Korea. Megan earned a dual master's degree in Counseling Psychology and Dance/Movement Therapy from Antioch University in Keene, New Hampshire. She completed four years of the five-year Waldorf Movement Teacher Training, in New York, with Jaimen McMillian at the Spacial Dynamics Institute and attended portions of the Midwest Waldorf Teacher Preparation Course at PMWS. Megan enjoys the outdoors, time with family and friends, practicing yoga, traveling, and being with her two children who happily attend PMWS. Megan also serves Prairie Moon as Admissions Director.