Faculty

Early Childhood

Preschool/ Kindergarten Teacher | Ms. Maya Weil

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"The small moments of epiphany create excitement, joy, and understanding. One of these moments for me, is knowing the power to decide what is beautiful. Actively bringing my attention to that which I personally find beautiful is what has brought me to Prairie Moon Waldorf School.

"My journey started as a young child just like us all. I see, feel, and honor the small humans of the world as I honor my own inner child. We are blossoming in mind, body, and spirit, and all parts need nourishment to thrive as happy, healthy individuals and communities of any age. My values are rooted in the magic and intelligence of life. To me we are all expressions of the divine and deserve to feel this in the hearts and minds of the adults that surround us. I share the utmost respect and awe of small humans that surprise me with wonder spontaneously. I strive to create understanding, patience, and compassion around each child that the jewel in each may have an opportunity to shine; to view the child as intelligent and to give them a stream of unconditional love. This is my intention as a teacher and my spiritual work.

"I was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas. At a very young age, music, dance, teamwork, and the curiosities of other cultures were deeply instilled. Travel and the desire to experience the world took me as a teen through the British Isles, Germany, France, Italy, India, Bali, Hawaii, and much of the west coast of the United States. I studied at university for one year exploring dance, environmental geology, ceramics, biology, and political science. With too many passions I again took to find my beautiful, my purpose, my experience of the world. I studied Massage Therapy in San Francisco at the National Holistic Institute, and began to nanny small children. I did an Herbalist internship at the Herb Pharm in Williams Oregon. I experienced bringing a spiritual being into the world with my confidence that the Earth is my home and to trust. My son became my next chapter of schooling. What was most important to me was to be with him; to observe him. I made my practice to be present as much as I could. Parenthood is a massive learning process that is delivered, breathed, and lived differently by each child and parent anew. Igniting love, compassion, understanding, and joy are the balms of this time and continue as they, we, all change and grow.

"As in many great tales, the heart shows the traveler that what they were seeking was where it all began, at home. With new perspectives and many treasures of information I return to my birthplace to share and grow new roots and branches. Community, family, and genuine caring for a space, a bit of earth, is at the heart of all the beautiful places and people I have met no matter where we are on this incredible globe.

"Prairie Moon holds me in a community devoted to the values in my heart, and I hold Prairie Moon with my head, heart, and hands." 

 

Preschool/ Kindergarten Teacher | Ms. Hannah Grow

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Hannah came to us from Tulsa, OK, having lived in Tulsa for a decade, raising her young family. In 2012 a friend of hers introduced her to Lifeways and Waldorf education. From there, Hannah has slowly transitioned through from parent-child group participant, to parent-child group leader, to cleaning and subbing in the school, and then after being mentored and completing online training she stepped in as a full time caregiver/cook/program co-director. She held this position for a year-and-a-half. In 2017 Hannah found herself in Kansas and at Prairie Moon. 

"In my original schooling, I went to school to be a welder. I love working with my hands, making things, and being engaged in meaningful work. I have spent time traveling, and worked with food for many years. One of my biggest passions lies in the kitchen, where I a huge believer of practicing food as medicine. Nourishing Foods have always been valued by me, but since having children, I have found the importance of nutrition to be beyond personal preference. Cooking whole, holistic meals is a skill that I have come to have through years of trial and error as well as some training through restaurant work. This is a passion and skill that I eagerly pass on to my students and children. I am a mother first, and have been this so fully since 2009, so I find my place very comfortable in early childhood. Teaching young ones to enjoy and engage in the work of the home with joy is an art that I have worked on for many years in my own home. Crafting, story telling, and being outside are things that I hold dear in my own family, so working in a Waldorf EC center has translated and fulfilled so much for me as a mother and teacher.
I am so excited to get the chance to work with your families."

Preschool/ Kindergarten Teacher | Ms. Cecilia Harris

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“I began my journey in early childhood when I became an assistant at my son’s school during his first grade year. I realized that I loved the field and went to school to get my degree in Early Childhood Development. I have taught in many settings, four of the years spent at UMKC—Berkley Child and Family Development Center.

“Coming from many years in early childhood teaching, I am new to Waldorf Schools. I was drawn to Waldorf Early Childhood/Kindergardens, specifically Prairie Moon, by their practices of gentle rhythms, philosophy of giving children time, and basis of spirituality in humanity and nature. What I saw as simplifying their program to allow for a real presence with the children, resonated with me to be the most natural way to allow the children to grow. As I was researching Waldorf Education, I remember hearing a Waldorf educator state, ‘We have slowed down the pace so that we see no one is rushing.’ I knew, then, that the only way to really apply what I desired in Waldorf ways, was to be immersed within it. I am blessed to be a part of Prairie Moon and to have the opportunity to explore its essence!”

Robin’s Nest | Ms. Lisa Naudé

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Lisa grew up here in Kansas, and although her mother didn’t realize it at the time, she was raising Lisa in a way very similar to the philosophy of Waldorf. After graduating high school, Lisa moved to Costa Mesa, California where she did some life exploring. After a couple years, she decided to move back to Kansas to raise her family and to finish her degree.

“Shortly after having my son in 2012, I discovered Waldorf Education. My son and I participated in a parent/child class at City of Fountains, a Waldorf inspired school in Kansas City. During that time, I learned a lot about the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner and I did my best to raise my son in that light. In my heart I felt Prairie Moon was where we were meant to be, so my family made the move to Lawrence in 2015. After having my daughter in 2016, I wanted to deepen my knowledge in Waldorf Education even further. I took several online courses through Lifeways and I started an in home program watching young children. I am passionate about gardening, cooking, and caring for our Mother Earth. I try and incorporate these passions with the children under my care. I look forward to continuing my journey at Prairie Moon and I am honored to be the Robins Nest teacher for this coming school year.”

Preschool/Kindergarten Assistant Teacher | Ms. Molly Wenger

“When is later?” A child asked me this one day. These are the questions that form a foundation of the sense of time. Questions like these are what give us a sense of togetherness, with not only the community, but the earth under our feet. This is the beautiful feeling that I have dared to foster. 

I grew up at a First Amendment School in Bloomington, Indiana. The school also has, what I believe now to be, a Waldorf twist; teaching me skills such as knitting, baking and mediating. But something that really stuck with me over the years of being there was a memory I have. In the memory as a little child in the early childhood program I was about four years old. I was arguing with another child over a toy. Soon the teacher had called upon an older child, around age fourteen, to help mediate my argument over the toy. I don’t remember what happened after that but years later I remember being called upon to go down to the early childhood program and be the mediator for the young children. This memory has influenced my flow into adulthood and seeing people help one another as they grow. 

At the age of twelve I moved to Lawrence Kansas with my mom and two little brothers. Once here I finished middle and high schools at local public schools. By the time I graduated I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Children always fascinated me with their “spongy” ability to learn, and I loved to learn as well, so I decided to go into teaching. I started my freshman year of college 30 minutes from Lawrence at Ottawa University. After a semester there I decided it wasn’t for me. I moved back to Lawrence and got a job at a local childcare center as an assistant teacher while going to school at Johnson County Community College for Elementary Education. As time went on I became a KDHE-certified lead teacher in a classroom full of one year olds! It was truly amazing. But something seemed to be missing. Something I remembered from my school when I was young—a family, community feeling. I remembered feeling that same thing when I observed at Prairie Moon Waldorf School in 2016. 

Early July of 2018, in the market for a new teaching job I decided to put in my resume at Prairie Moon. They needed someone! I thought it was too good to be true. I remember being incredibly happy getting the phone call. Prairie Moon is a special family that holds such a beautiful nature of teaching and I am learning every day here. I cherish being a part of these children’s beginnings and love that this school can be a part of my beginning.

Preschool/Kindergarten Assistant Teacher |  Mr. Andrew Roberts

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Andrew was raised in Lawrence with a strong sense of community. His formative years taught him to value diversity, curiosity, and compassion. He and his brothers were encouraged to explore and pursue that which gave them joy.

He attended the University of Kansas, earning a degree in Environmental Studies. Upon graduating, he immersed himself in organic farming--working for and learning from a local organic farmer and subsequently growing his own vegetables and running a CSA.  When an opportunity came to move to Woodstock, New York, he jumped at the chance and spent the next eight years there.  He took on large gardening projects and continued to work with organic vegetables as a manager at a local health food store.  In Woodstock, Andrew started a family.  A friend sent a copy of You Are Your Child’s First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin and thus began his journey into the world of Waldorf education.  Andrew’s daughter Iona attended a Waldorf early childhood program in Woodstock.  It was during this time that he began to daydream about one day working with children in a Waldorf setting. 

Andrew moved with his partner and two young daughters back to the Midwest with the goal of returning to the land and farming.  He lives in the county and is currently raising lambs and is back in the garden.   He looks forward to fostering a safe and imaginative environment for children to experience the world while maintaining their sense of wonder.  Andrew approaches children holistically, striving to nourish all aspects of their temperaments and understanding their needs so that they may thrive.   

Grades

1st/2nd Grades and Italian World Language Teacher | Ms. Anna Talleur

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"I am the daughter of two visual artists. I grew up thinking that all adults spent their time creating beauty and harmony of colors and shapes and was surprised (and perhaps still am) that many adults do other things.

"When I was ten years old I moved with my mother to Italy, where I was placed in fifth grade in the local Italian public school. Although I spoke no Italian when I first got there, within weeks I understood, then spoke, then read, and finally wrote the language fluently. I completed school in Italy in the public school system.                 

"I promised to attend the University of Kansas for a year, I got married to my husband Massimo, had three babies who changed my whole world and have been my inspiring muses ever since, received a Bachelor’s Degree in Classical Languages and Classical Antiquities and a Master’s Degree in Classical Languages and I have not left Kansas yet. I unschooled my three children, taught Italian at K.U., and moved to a farm where my husband and I taught ourselves animal husbandry, gardening, canning and cheese-making.

"My fourth child came to us in 2010, amidst the fog of teen-aged angst and college applications of the prior three children, and changed the course of our lives again. It was Zoe who brought me to Prairie Moon, and thanks to her experience here I have fallen in love with this school, the people who gravitate towards it and the promise of renewal it bears with it.

 "I am currently training as a Waldorf teacher through the Scuola Waldorf Silvana Corrazza di Sagrado, in Friuli, Italy.

 

3rd/4th and 5th Grades and Filipino World Language Teacher | Mr. Ireneo DeLeon

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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 finishing his Masters in Education with a certificate 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.”

 

6th/7th/8th Grades Teacher | Mr. Bret Schacht

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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.


 

Grades Handwork and 1st Grade Assistant Teacher | Ms. Raven Harper

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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 Movement Teacher and Admissions Director | Ms. Megan Corcoran 

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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 MacMillan 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 Enrollment Coordinator.

 

Grades Mandarin World Language Teacher | Ms. Aichen Zhang 

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Known for the creative use of various forms of arts and physical activities in her class, Aichen Zhang has been working with Prairie Moon children on Mandarin since 2013. With a deep understanding of the importance of a positive learning environment for students to reach their full potential, Ms. Zhang strives to make her class welcoming, enjoyable, and stimulating. Over the years, she has built a genuine relationship with the students, and her Mandarin class has become one of their favorites.

Ms. Zhang graduated from Beijing University with a degree in Spanish and from University of International Business and Economics in China with a degree in international business. She came to the U.S. with her husband in 2001, and has lived in Alabama and Oklahoma before finding her current
home in Lawrence in 2006. She has two children, and they both have been such a wonderful blessing to her in many ways. Arts have always been at the very special place in Ms. Zhang’s life.
She has been a fervent musician since Kindergarten, was actively engaged in various school choirs and symphonies,
and performed in places such as Beijing Music Concert Hall. Ms. Zhang continues to study piano in her spare time,
and is devoted to integrating her love of music and other forms of arts into her Mandarin curriculum at Prairie Moon.

 

Grades Music Teacher | Ms. Holly Taylor

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Holly Taylor is a board-certified music therapist, and a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. She has worked with children and adults of various backgrounds and has worked in many different settings including schools, community centers, hospitals and mental health facilities. Whatever the setting, it is her goal to create opportunities for artistic souls to collaborate and express their jewels of wisdom into the world. Holly is also the music director for Unity of Lawrence, and a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist for Folk in the Flow, Star Sister Revival and The Soul Thread Legion. She has taught private piano and percussion lessons for several years and is excited to bring the healing essence of music into the Waldorf School setting. She is the mother of two boys, loves traveling, photography, and exploring the music of various cultures.

 

Grades Woodwork Teacher | Mr. Brian Langham 

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Brian was first introduced to Waldorf education when his daughter attended the Early Childhood program at Prairie Moon. It was here that he became the unofficial repairman of the wooden toys and fixtures in the classrooms. This experience reignited his passion for working with wood and revealed to him the joys of working with children.

In 2014, an opportunity to teach woodworking at Prairie Moon arose and Brian began his training as a Waldorf Practical Arts Teacher at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California at Highland Hall Waldorf School. He started teaching woodwork in the fall of 2015 and has continued his studies in Practical Arts training. Teaching Woodworking at Prairie Moon Waldorf School offers Brian of the opportunity to experience the beauty and challenge of wood from a child’s point of view.

Grades Strings Teacher | Ms. Evan Flynn

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Violinist Evan Flynn is an active chamber musician and private teacher in the Lawrence and Kansas City areas. She has performed extensively nationally and internationally, notably with the Illinois Symphony and the Eutiner Festspiele Orchester in assistant principal positions. While studying at the University of Kansas, Ms. Flynn won the Kansas MTNA chamber music competition as a member of the Wakarusa Trio. Ms. Flynn has received chamber music training from renowned artists including the Pacifica Quartet, Miami Quartet, Parker Quartet, Arianna Quartet, Jupiter Quartet, and Fry Street Quartet, Frank Almond, and Michael Stern among others. She has attended many festivals including Midwest Young Artists, Madeline Island Chamber Music, and UWMadison Summer Music. Ms. Flynn performs regularly with Violetta Strings, of which she is a founding member. Ms. Flynn holds Master of Music degrees in both Music Theory and Violin Performance from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her academic interests include synesthesia-based audio and visual arts, music and cognition, and post-tonal theory. Ms. Flynn was recently featured in the Bam France catalogue.