First Points of Contact
Council Chair & Eighth Grade
Main Lesson: Composition, grammar, spelling, literature, geometry, algebra, European geography, Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Discovery, physics, astronomy, inorganic chemistry, physiology. Class trip to Camp Glenbrook.
Subjects: Spanish, eurythmy, music (orchestra and chorus), woodworking, library, Cyber Civics, painting, physical education (games), handwork (dyeing and wool felting), farming and gardening. After school sports in soccer (fall), basketball (winter), lacrosse and baseball (spring).
Director of Admissions
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.
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, coach programs and organize managerial mentoring. She also spearheaded innovative workplace diversity initiatives. The birth of her two sons, now four and nine, inspired Ms. Taiga to earn her Waldorf grades teacher certification from the Alkion Center at Hawthorne Valley. She taught high school English there before joining the Steiner School in 2017. For the past two years, Ms. Taiga has served as an EC assistant teacher, as First Grade assistant teacher and as a lead teacher for the Summer@Steiner program. She enjoys bringing her love of cross-cultural music and singing into the classroom.
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.
Tracy Fernbacher, class of 2025 teacher, earned her Master of Education in Waldorf Elementary Education from Antioch University (Keene, NH). She also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Management from Pace University (New York, NY) and a vocational teacher’s license from the New York State Department of Education. Ms. Fernbacher brings broad Waldorf teaching experience to her new position, including teaching at every grade level. She completed the residency portion of her Master’s program at the Steiner School in 2011-12, and has since taught under the mentorship of a core group of master teachers. While at the school, she developed and taught Chinese language courses for students in kindergarten through second grade. Similarly, Ms. Fernbacher taught English and substituted for multiple grades at the first Waldorf elementary school in China, the Chengdu Waldorf School in Sichuan province, while attending the Chengdu Waldorf Teacher Training Institute in 2009-10. Prior to her teacher training, Ms. Fernbacher was one of the founding parents of the Brooklyn Waldorf School, where she organized the institutional structure, articulated the vision through mission and value statements, and was instrumental in implementing the school’s groundbreaking three-tier tuition model, helping to create a school population that reflects the diversity of its community.
Fifth Grade Teacher
Ms. Albert joins BWS as our 5th grade class teacher. Ms. Albert received both her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Masters of Arts in Teaching degrees from Tufts University, Boston, MA. After graduation, she accepted a teaching position at the Coolidge Corner School in Brookline, MA, where she taught art for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. During that time, she also worked at the Brookline Arts Center, teaching children of all ages. Most recently, Ms. Albert has worked as a substitute teacher in New Hampshire private and public elementary schools. Ms. Albert attended White Mountain Waldorf School from kindergarten through eighth grade.
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.
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 Steiner 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 6th Grade to the class of 2022.
Early Childhood Teachers
Star Room Nursery Lead Teacher
Star Room Nursery lead teacher Rebecca Ruof grew up in Germany, where she attended a Waldorf school from kindergarten through high school. She completed her Waldorf early childhood teacher training at Sophia’s Hearth and Sunbridge Institute. Before becoming an early childhood teacher, Ms. Rebecca taught various subjects at Waldorf schools in Chestnut Ridge, Budapest, and Baltimore. She taught in the Nursery at Green Meadow Waldorf School since 2006, and as an adjunct faculty member at Sunbridge Institute for Waldorf early childhood teacher education. Her elder son is a student at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, and her younger son attends Berkshire Waldorf High School.
Sun Room Assistant
Early Childhood Assistant
Pumpkin Patch Assistant
Rainbow Room Assistant
Rose Room Lead
Beth Oakley earned her degree from Bennington College in Literature and Early Childhood Education. She discovered Waldorf education while student teaching public school in southern Vermont—and soon after began her teacher training at Alkion Center at Hawthorne Valley, where she earned her certification in Early Childhood Ed. She assisted for two years at the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs in both the nursery program and the forest kindergarten before beginning her career as a lead teacher a GBRSS in 2012. During that time she started a successful summer program at the school for nursery-aged children and helped to bring the first chickens to the kindergarten playground! Beth moved away to Los Angeles with her husband in 2015 and now happily returns to Great Barrington and the Berkshire Waldorf School with the new addition of her son, Gabriel. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting, crosswords, running, reading, and rock climbing. She is also a former ballerina and loves dance of all kinds.
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.
Sun Room Lead
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.
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.
Pumpkin Patch Lead
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.
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.
David Rée joins Berkshire Waldorf School as our woodworking teacher. He received his Waldorf teacher training from Alkion Center (Ghent, NY), prior to which he earned a bachelor’s degree in music and environmental studies from Clark University in Worcester, MA. Mr. Rée joins BWS after six years in Camphill Village (Copake, NY), where, among many other jobs, he ran the woodshop. Mr. Rée is thrilled to be merging his joy in woodworking with his deep interest in children and education. He has two children in the school, in fourth and first grade.
We welcome Spanish teacher Nicole Campanale, a BWS alum who graduated with teacher Pamela Giles’ Class of 2001. Ms. Campanale received a BFA in Fiber Arts with a minor in Spanish from Temple University. Her love of Spanish began here, when Señora Nuñez recited poems and songs with her class in First Grade. Ms. Campanale has spent time in Spain gaining fluency in the language, as a teacher of Fiber Arts. Most recently, she served as an interpreter for Volunteers in Medicine in Great Barrington and a gardener for Crocus Hale in Lenox, MA.
Middle School Math Teacher
Former Interim Director for BWS, John Helmke returns this year as our Middle School math teacher, and will also teach Eighth Grade History and Geography. Mr. Helmke is a graduate of the Waldorf School of Garden City. He earned his B.A. in History from Gettysburg College, and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in History from Westfield State University. Mr. Helmke is also a BWS alumni parent, whose daughter is a member of the Class of 2014.
Dana Coleman and Jean Zay
Dana Coleman and Jean Zay spend their days in the heart of the school – its library. Together they work to match students with books they’ll love, inspiring children to become lifelong readers. Dana received her BA from Westminster College and her MSE from Fordham University in NYC. The majority of her post-graduate work took place at Columbia University’s Teachers College, as well as a recent Orton Gillingham training program through Green River Literacy. Dana taught in Scarsdale UFSD and at the Manhattan New School before moving to Great Barrington full-time and enrolling her children in BWS. Jean received her BA from Oberlin College and her Waldorf teacher training from the Rudolf Steiner School in NYC. She is one of the founding members of the school, and graduated her first class in 1983. She is an accomplished painter, and her artwork can be found hanging throughout the hallways. Dana and Jean have worked side by side in the library since 2014. During summer months, Jean can be found in her garden and Dana can be found running with her dog Artie.
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
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
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.
Admissions and Enrollment Coordinator
Director of Development
Director of Admissions
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.