Faculty

Mary Reeder, Lavender Preschool 
Mary Reeder (a.k.a. Mary Caridi-Gorga) 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.


 

Jenny Gannon, Golden Poppy Preschool
Jenny Gannon grew up in Sacramento in the '70s and '80s. Her father was a painter/sculptor and her mother and aunties were quilters.   When her boys were young, Jenny discovered Waldorf education, which was helpful to her as a parent, improved her family life and inspired her to become a Waldorf teacher.  She taught kindergarten at Camellia Waldorf School for eight years and preschool at BeeLoved Farm School in Shingle Springs, CA where she co-founded the Folkschool, a mixed-age kindergarten that focuses on farm-chores and folk-crafts.

Her stepdaughter attends Sacramento Waldorf School and her sons attended Camellia Waldorf School and Sacramento Waldorf High School and have graduated. Jenny is still engaged in the arts and continues to be inspired by Waldorf education as a parent and as a community member. She is delighted to be part of our Early Childhood Faculty and looks forward to many happy hours with your children.

B.F.A., Eastern Washington University; M.F.A., Sacramento State University; Waldorf Early Childhood Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California.                

                                                                       

Jennifer Slater, Climbing Rose Kindergarten 
While pursuing a degree in Social Science, Jennifer Slater found Waldorf Education through a classmate, a former DWS teacher, and originally worked alongside her in the preschool. The stars aligned in 2013 and Jennifer took her first kindergarten class at DWS shortly after receiving her Waldorf Early Childhood Education Diploma. She enjoys crafting, traveling, hiking and camping with her husband, Chris. She is a storyteller and shares many a story of her dog, Roo, and cat, Franny, much to the pleasure of the Climbing Rose kindergarten children.  

A.A. Social Science, Sacramento City College; B.A.Child Development, Sacramento State University; Waldorf Early Childhood Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California.




 

Emily Lalande, Morning Glory Kindergarten 
Bio to come

B.A. Fine Art and Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz; Waldorf Early Childhood Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California.

 

 




 

Jessica Efstratis, 1st grade, DWS Class of 2027
Jessica 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.
 


 

Meg Connell, 2nd grade, DWS Class of 2026
Meg was raised in Northern California and graduated from Santa Rosa High school.  She previously taught middle school English and Theater and most recently taught First and Second Grade at the Singing Stones Waldorf School in the Bay Area. Meg is currently in her last year of Waldorf teacher training at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training.  She enjoys people, the arts, being outdoors, cooking, exploring and spending time with her two sons and husband.

B.A. English with minor in Theater,University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Secondary Theater Teaching Credential; Secondary English Teaching Credential; K-12th Special Education Teaching Credential





 

Karen Holt, 3rd grade, DWS Class of 2025
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 high-school aged daughter. 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
 





 

Kathy Dean, 4th Grade, DWS Class of 2024
Kathy started off her professional career working for over ten years in administrative positions. After working at the Camellia Waldorf School as the registrar and receptionist, she realized that she had found an environment she loved being a part of. She decided to seek a greater challenge and develop a new career path as a Waldorf School Grade Teacher. She held her first classroom position as the First Grade Class Assistant at the San Francisco Waldorf School. She enjoys spending time in nature hiking and paddle boarding.

B.A. Sociology, California State University, San Diego, CA; Waldorf Elementary School Teacher Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California





 

Coleen Borrego, 5th Grade, DWS Class of 2023
Coleen Borrego majored in English and minored in Education at the University of California, Davis, and then continued on at UC Davis to earn her teaching credential.  She taught English at Will C. Wood High School in Vacaville for nine years.  While seeking a preschool for their eldest daughter, she and her husband came upon Waldorf education and Coleen felt as though heaven opened and the angels sang -- she had found the home of her heart.  After the birth of her second daughter, Coleen earned her Waldorf Teacher Training Certificate at Rudolf Steiner College.  In due time, both daughters enrolled at Davis Waldorf School and Coleen was ready to take up her first class.  She has taught at DWS since 2006, and loves every minute of her time with the children!

B.A. English, UC Davis, Davis, CA; California State Teaching Credential, UC Davis, Davis, CA, Waldorf Elementary School Teacher Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California



 

Karen Roos, 6th Grade, Class of 2022
After graduating from college, Ms. Roos joined the Peace Corps and lived in Niger, West Africa. 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          

                                               
 

Cindy Toy, 7th Grade, Class of 2021
Cindy 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

 

Steve Brannon, 8th Grade, Class of 2020
Steve Brannon began his teaching career in 2005. He has taught at White Mountain Waldorf School in Albany, New Hampshire; the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City, and at the Waldorf Homeschool Initiative in Ghent, New York. He has also worked in IT administration, web and graphic design, and non-profit fundraising. 

B.A., Goddard College, Plainfield, VT; advanced studies in visual arts, anthroposophy and teaching from Rudolf Steiner Institute, New York, and West Coast Institute, Vancouver B.C.