Par Duncan, Golden Poppy Preschool
Par Duncan was born and raised in a small village in Punjab, India and grew up on a farm surrounded by life in all forms - plants, animals, and a large family. Food and traditions were everything. Mrs. Duncan was 14 years old when her family moved to Dublin, CA. Par, along with her husband and two sons, moved to Davis in 2004. Once in Davis, Mrs. Duncan and her husband looked for a holistic education for their sons and they came across Davis Waldorf School (DWS). Their oldest son started at DWS in kindergarten in 2005, and her younger son started preschool in 2006. Both of Mrs. Duncan’s boys graduated from DWS then completed high school and their Waldorf journeys at Sacramento Waldorf School (SWS). Mrs. Duncan instantly fell in love with Rudolph Steiner’s whole child Waldorf approach to learning. She dove into Waldorf education and anthroposophy and has worked in Early Childhood (EC) since 2013. Mrs. Duncan has previously volunteered and worked at DWS in multiple roles and has taught at SWS. She has been mentored by several experienced Waldorf EC teachers, including Teacher Mary and, for the past year, Teacher Jenny. Mrs. Duncan is currently enjoying her EC teacher training at the Seattle Sound Circle and will be finished in July 2022. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, reading, long walks, yoga, gardening, handwork, and listening to different types of music. Mrs. Duncan lives in Davis with her two sons, husband, and German Shepherd dog, Adi.
Mary Caridi, Lavender Preschool
Mary Caridi has 19 years of experience working in early childhood education in Waldorf and Waldorf-inspired settings. She earned a BS in Child Development from Northwestern University near Chicago, Illinois, where she is originally from. In 2003, Mary received her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks. In 2013 she completed the “Nurturing the Roots” professional deepening course in Therapeutic Approach to Waldorf Early Childhood Education in Denver. She has a grown son who attended DWS from kindergarten through 8th grade. Mary loves dancing, making music and singing with friends, hiking in nature and curling up with a good book
B.S. Child Development, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; Waldorf Early Childhood Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California.
Jennifer Mason, Buttercup Preschool
Bio to come.
Emily Lalande, Morning Glory Kindergarten
Emily Lalande has worked at DWS for three years, assisting in the kindergarten and preschool as well as working in our nap program and June Bug Aftercare. Emily also worked as a nanny with children 8 months-14 years old for more than six years and helped facilitate children/family events at her Meditation Center with children
4-9 years old for several years.
Emily completed her Waldorf Teacher Training with a focus in Early Childhood from the San Francisco branch of Rudolf Steiner College. She has attended many lectures and conferences on Early Childhood Education, Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy. Emily brings magic and joy into the kindergarten through her love of singing, nature and story telling.
B.A. Fine Art and Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz; Waldorf Early Childhood Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California.
Casey Powers, Climbing Rose Kindergarten
Casey Powers grew up in Davis and recently returned to her hometown after finishing up her studies in Washington. She has worked as an assistant kindergarten teacher at Davis Waldorf School and Olympia Waldorf School in the past. In her spare time, she loves watercolor painting, writing children's stories, practicing yoga, playing ukulele, gardening, and making puppets. She is currently enrolled in a Waldorf Early Childhood Education program at Sound Circle Center for Arts and Anthroposophy.
B.A. Education and Writing, The Evergreen State College
Karen Holt, 1st Grade, DWS Class of 2029
Karen Holt has been a classroom teacher for 20 years; 16 years at the Davis Waldorf School, and four years at Sacramento Waldorf School, focusing on the lower grades and teaching first through fifth grades. She has one daughter in college who attended Davis Waldorf School through 8th grade. In her spare time, Karen enjoys traveling, gardening, camping, and hiking.
B.A. in Elementary Education, Augsburg College, MN; MA in Human Development, Saint Mary’s University, MN; Waldorf Elementary School Teacher Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California; Remedial Education Training, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California.
Read Forrest, 2nd Grade, DWS Class of 2028
Bio to come.
Jessica Efstratis, 3rd Grade, DWS Class of 2027
Jessica Efstratis was born in the foothills of northern California and grew up in the Sacramento area next to the American River. She has a B.A. in Integral Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and her Waldorf Education Diploma from Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks. Jessica has also studied Environmental Science at San Francisco State and Fine Art at Chico State. She has worked as an environmental educator at Hidden Villa Ranch, the parent child teacher at Camellia Waldorf School, and she owned and operated the in-home preschool program, The Rainbow Bridge Preschool. She has three children and is happy to be both a teacher and proud parent in the Davis Waldorf community.
B.A. Integral Studies, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, California; Waldorf Early Childhood Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California.
Mollye Fryday, 4th Grade, DWS Class of 2026
Ms. Fryday received a Masters in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies from Stanford University. She received her Elementary Education, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Sacramento, and a Bachelors of Arts in Media Studies / Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley.
Masters in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies, Stanford University;
B.A. Media Studies / Mass Communications, University of California, Berkeley;
Elementary Education, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, California State University, Sacramento.
Adriana Perez, 5th Grade, DWS Class of 2025
Anne Carollo House, 6th Grade, DWS Class of 2024
Cindy Toy, 7th Grade, DWS Class of 2023
Cindy Toy is married and the mother of 3 boys . She notes that being a mother has been her greatest educational experience. Her family owns and operates an organic farm in the Little Applegate Valley near Ashland, Oregon. Every moment not spent teaching or traveling to basketball games with her son, Max, is spent gardening. During the summer, Ms. Toy holds environmental camps at the farm for children. Her additional interests include music, textile crafts, creative writing, cooking, Ultimate Frisbee, backpacking, Shakespeare, and especially Golden Retrievers.
Ms. Toy’s background is richly diverse and includes a B.A. in English Literature with teaching as an emphasis from UC Davis. In addition, she has her degree in nursing, is an RN, and worked at Sutter Davis Hospital in the Medical/Surgical department and at Sutter Davis Women's Health.
B.A. English Literature, University of California, Davis; Waldorf Elementary School Teacher Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California.
Karen Roos, 8th Grade, DWS Class of 2022
Karen Roos joined the Peace Corps and lived in Niger, West Africa after graduating from college, Upon her return to the United States, she began a successful 12-year technology marketing career in the Silicon Valley. As her sons began their schooling, Ms. Roos discovered Waldorf education, and knew that her dreams of teaching creatively and holistically would be fulfilled.
Ms. Roos’ teaching career began in 2006. She has taught at both Camellia Waldorf School and at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School. In Santa Cruz, she initiated the Poppy Mountain Waldorf Home School Program, serving as a teacher and enrichment director for elementary and middle school grades. Ms. Roos strives to build a connected community through warm enthusiasm and respect for each individual, and is dedicated to fostering a deep love of learning and living. Her talents and passions include storytelling, history, geometric and form drawing, creative writing, handwriting, and natural sciences.
B.S. Business Administration, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA; Waldorf Elementary School Teacher Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California .