First Points of Contact
Second Grade Teacher
Safina Alessandra grew up in Switzerland where she had the privilege of being part of the vibrant Waldorf Community in Zurich. Her deep wish to understand the developing child led her to work, study and teach at Camphill Schools, a residential Waldorf school for children with disabilities in Chester County PA, for 14 years. There, her two sons attended and graduated from the Kimberton Waldorf School. Ms. Alessandra has spent the last 10 years widening her understanding of and experience in education first through working as a Kindergarten assistant, then through taking various roles within the Visiting Students Program at Hawthorne Valley Farm, and lastly through completing her BS in Early Childhood and Childhood Education at SUNY New Paltz. After receiving her NYS teacher certification, and prior to taking her current position at Berkshire Waldorf School, Ms. Alessandra taught math and language arts to elementary and middle school students as a private tutor and was part of a team of teachers supporting a student with autism.
Third Grade Teacher
Anna Taiga grew up near Moscow, Russia, and went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Human Resources from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For over a decade, she worked for a large global company, traveling internationally to facilitate leadership seminars and organizing managerial mentoring and coaching programs. She also spearheaded innovative workplace diversity initiatives. In searching for a spiritually rooted education for her children many years ago Ms. Taiga encountered anthroposophy and Waldorf education. She earned her Waldorf grades teacher certification from the Alkion Center at Hawthorne Valley. She taught high school English there before joining the Berkshire Waldorf School in 2017. Prior to her role as a class teacher Ms. Taiga served as a kindergarten assistant teacher, as a first grade assistant teacher and as a lead teacher for the Summer@BWS program. She enjoys bringing her love of cross-cultural music and singing into the classroom.
Fourth Grade Teacher
Victoria Cartier grew up in the Berkshires and attended the Steiner School from kindergarten through eighth grade. An experienced Waldorf teacher, she had already successfully completed an eight-year cycle at the Emerson Waldorf School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina when she joined the Steiner School faculty to lead the Class of 2018 from third through sixth grade. While teaching at Emerson Waldorf School, Ms. Cartier was not only a class teacher, but served as an art teacher in the 12th grade, taught recorder class to 6th, 7th and 8th grades and coached cross country running and tennis. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Arts in Waldorf Education from Antioch New England. Ms. Cartier’s mother, Virginia Flynn, is a Waldorf class teacher and teacher mentor who taught at Steiner in the early years of our school. Her brother, Evan Palazzo, also a Steiner alum, is already a parent at the school.
Seventh Grade Teacher
Jennifer Green earned her Master of Education degree from Bank Street School of Education (New York, NY). She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the State University of New York (Plattsburgh, NY). Ms. Green brings sixteen years of teaching experience to her new position, including teaching at every grade level.
Prior to teaching at Berkshire Country Day School, Ms. Green collaborated with a team of educators, board members and parents to plan and implement the opening of the Gateway Middle School in New York, where she taught core academic subjects including math, English, writing and history to children ages 7-15 with learning differences. She brings a broad cultural emphasis to her teaching, having developed a cross-curricular Spanish language and culture program, and created the middle school ceramics program, with a focus on sculpture and hand-building, glazing and kiln firing. While at the school, Ms. Green served as teacher support for new staff of the Gateway School of Mumbai, India, for which she organized and led professional development workshops for new teachers. Additionally, Ms. Green has worked individually with students to meet their educational needs and goals in English, math, writing, history, science and Spanish, and helped students prepare for high school entrance exams, create organizational systems and transition into high school.
Eighth Grade Teacher
Mark Eurich An experienced Waldorf class teacher, Mr. Eurich received his Bachelor of Arts in Education from Central Michigan University, majoring in Special Education, and taught for nine years in public and Montessori schools. He received his Master of Arts in Waldorf Education from Antioch New England. His first class at BWS graduated in 1997, his third in 2013. Mark took the Class of 2018 for the last two years of their journey, and is currently teaching the Class of 2022.
Early Childhood Teachers
Sun Room Lead Teacher
Kirsten Hascup, an early childhood teacher for twenty years, comes to the Berkshires from Ithaca, New York, where she has been lead teacher in a mixed age kindergarten and faculty chair at the Ithaca Waldorf School. Ms. Hascupholds a B.A. in Fine Arts from Cornell University and a Masters of Education from Antioch New England in Keene, New Hampshire, where she completed an additional two year certification in healing arts for classroom teachers with a concentration in painting and storytelling. She has led early childhood workshops at the annual Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN). Ms. Hascupis the winner of the Ernest L. Boyer Teacher Scholarship from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, “for the promise of exemplary contributions to the teaching profession.” Her appointment at the Steiner School is also a homecoming, as she spent a year working with longtime kindergarten teacher Michelle Kuziaat the Steiner School, to complete her Waldorf early childhood teacher training in 1999. Her daughter Isa will be in Second Grade this year.
Pumpkin Patch Lead Teacher
Christianna Riley joins the Steiner School as lead teacher in the Pumpkin Patch kindergarten. Most recently, she was lead Kindergarten teacher and a co-founder at Primrose Hill Waldorf School (Rhinebeck, NY), and prior to that, a kindergarten assistant at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School (Ghent, NY). A world traveler and former public school teacher, Mrs. Riley and her husband have recently settled in Housatonic, MA.
Rainbow Room Lead Teacher
New Sun Room kindergarten assistant Charlotte Hoppe is a Hudson Valley native and a graduate of Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School and SUNY Potsdam, where she studied Community Health and Nutrition. During the past year she worked as a kindergarten teacher and founding member of Cambodia’s first Waldorf-inspired early childhood program, and prior to that at Footprints International School as a 2nd grade teacher. Ms. Charlotte loves gardening, storytelling and handcrafts, and is so happy to join the beautiful Berkshire Waldorf School and welcoming faculty.
Rainbow Room Assistant
Rose Room Assistant
Eleana Peterson earned her Bachelors degree in Liberal Arts and Forestry at the University of New Hampshire. After eight years of being a photojournalist for the oldest newspaper in NH, the Portsmouth Herald, she then completed her Masters in Waldorf Teacher Training at Sunbridge College. Having taught in the grades at two other Waldorf schools, Eleana has assisted here at the Steiner School for both Nursery and Kindergarten over the past 13 years. She has also been a member of the Jemms (the Steiner based Morris/Garland team) since 2007 which performs each year for our May Day celebration.
Ms. Peterson holds a Master certificate in Reiki healing arts and offers sessions for the whole family – including pets. An avid traveler, Eleana has been to faraway places like Egypt and China. This summer she camped out amongst the largest trees in the world at Sequoia National Park.
Somer Serpe trained as an artist and as a teacher, earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Parsons School of Design and her Masters in Waldorf Early Childhood Education at Sunbridge College. She currently teaches Kindergarten at the Steiner School where she has taught Nursery and Kindergarten since 2005. Somer is a northeastern regional rep for WECAN and serves as a mentor for teachers and inspirational coach for parents. In the classroom Somer enjoys puppetry, singing, gardening and creating healing stories for children and parents.
Games and 8th grade English teacher Kevin Crowley comes to us most recently from the Bambujaya Bilingual School, a Waldorf-inspired school in Cambodia, where he was a speciality and ESL teacher in the grade school. Before that, Mr. Crowley spent two years as a lead teacher for Grade 3 at the Footprints International School. He is a graduate of the Academe of the Oaks (Waldorf School of Atlanta) and Oglethorpe University, where he majored in International Studies.
Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Teacher
Hadley Milliken holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA). She received her agricultural training from the Hanover County Master Gardening Program (Hanover, VA), and is certified in Biodynamic Farming by the Pfeiffer Center (Chestnut Ridge, NY). Ms. Milliken has over eight years of experience working at various small farms and habitat preservation organizations. She is the owner and head landscaper at Small Farms Rising, an edible landscaping company that utilizes biodynamics to design and maintain landscapes of heirloom vegetables, flowers, medicinal herbs, and children’s learning gardens. She has been known as “Farmer Hadley” to Steiner students since 2014, and with their help has built a kitchen garden, pollinator garden, herb and tea garden, dye garden and stands of raspberries, garlic and the “three sisters” – corn, beans and squash – in the holistic outdoor classroom that provides what she calls “a complete seed to fork experience.”
Eurythmy, Chorus and Recorder Teacher
Patti Regan teaches eurythmy in grades Kindergarten through Eight. She also conducts the middle school chorus.
Before joining GBRSS in 2014, Patti taught music at Green Meadow Waldorf School. She is also on the summer faculty of Sunbridge Institute has been teaching adult education classes there for over 15 years.
In addition to her educational background, Patti also brings over a decade of corporate experience from her work as a copy writer and technical writer at J. Walter Thompson Company and Ernst & Young LLP.
In her free time she enjoys singing in the Cantilena Chamber Choir in Lenox MA and pursuing a new hobby of mathematics. She also teaches workshops for adult educators at Sunbridge Institute.
Patti holds a Bachelor’s in music performance from Lawrence Conservatory, a M.Ed. in Instructional Design from Loyola University Chicago, a Waldorf Music Educator Certificate from Sunbridge Institute and Performance and Pedagogical Diplomas from The School of Eurythmy Spring Valley.
Director of Enrollment
Renée earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Alfred University in NY, is a graduate of our GBRSS Teaching Apprenticeship Program, and has completed additional subject and grade specific trainings at Sunbridge College in NY. In our apprenticeship program she worked for two years completing her foundation studies in Waldorf Education, assisting and substituting in all grades including early childhood, and teaching classes in various grades, including an extended substitution in seventh grade. She has three children, a daughter who graduated from GBRSS in 2016 and is in ninth grade at the Berkshire Waldorf High School, a son in seventh grade, and a daughter in third grade.