Julie Courtney – Little Acorns Parent/Child Program

Julie enjoyed her formative years on a large farm in the Ozark Mountains of southwestern Missouri, where hay fields, ponds, woods, a creek, and a nearby river served as her playground.  She received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Indiana University in 1990. After completing the Waldorf Teacher Education program in Eugene, Oregon in 1998, Julie owned and operated Story Time Preschool, a home-based, Waldorf-inspired preschool. She studied music for three years with an emphasis in voice, composition, and choral conducting at Oregon State University. Connected to Corvallis Waldorf School since 1998, Julie has served as After School Care coordinator, choir and recorder teacher, long-term substitute teacher in kindergarten, 3rd and 6th grades, board member and chair, librarian, and a member of the College of Teachers. Writing music, performing, conducting, reading, hiking, backpacking, gardening, and spending time with her husband and two children are among her passions.

Donyu Catino – Sweet Peas Preschool

Photograph coming soon…

The discovery of Waldorf education from a friend in the mid 1970’s lead Donyu down a path of discovery, leading her to open a program with her husband in Petaluma, CA.  A graduate of Rudolf Steiner College in 1994, she later became a certified mentor, working with teachers from Lifeways, Waldorf teacher trainings, state run and mainstream preschools.  Donyu lives in Kings Valley with three generations of her family, where she knits and enjoys raising Shetland sheepdogs and livestock with her daughters.

Wendy Willard-150x150Wendy Willard – Chickadees Preschool (5-day)

Wendy has spent most of her life in the Willamette Valley. After graduating from Linfield College, she spent several years teaching middle school math. She then took a short break from teaching to spend time with her young children. It was during this time that she discovered her love of early childhood and Waldorf education. In 2010 she completed the Waldorf Teacher training in Eugene. She is the lead teacher for the Chickadees Preschool.  Outside of school, Wendy enjoys spending time gardening, quilting, cooking, and sharing adventures with her family.

Sonja Barclay – Bluebirds Preschool (3-day)

Sonja is a native Oregonian and a Waldorf alumnus. After spending two years working in a Waldorf preschool and a Camphill community for adults with disabilities, she stepped back into academics to continue her education. Naturally drawn to the helping professions, she embarked on her journey to nursing school but with the birth of her first child chose a new path. She founded and co-owned a community-minded top shop in Portland, Oregon for several years where she also taught practical and applied art classes to children and adults. 

With a deeply rooted enthusiasm for learning and working with children and families, Sonja attended a postpartum doula and LifeWays Early Childhood training in Portland, Oregon. She has worked with families as a nourishing whole foods chef and helping to create healthy family rhythms during the postpartum time.  

After moving to the Corvallis area in 2016, she opened a Waldorf inspired in-home preschool program. She is now happily working at the Corvallis Waldorf School where her children also attend. When she is not a school, she enjoys exploring rivers, swimming holes, and hikes with her family, cooking nourishing meals, working with natural fibers and dyes, sewing, knitting, gardening and continuing her education in nutrition and curative education.   

Anne Marie ColeAnne Marie Cole – Willow Wind Kindergarten

Anne Marie grew up just outside of Boston as the oldest child of professional classical musicians.  She played music and attended many ballets, operas, and concerts. After graduating from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1997 and having her daughter, she discovered Waldorf Education.  She then attended the teacher training program in Eugene, Oregon, and began working in the kindergarten at CWS in 2004.  Anne Marie now lives on a farm in Monroe with her family and an assortment of animals.  She continues to lead a culturally rich life: singing, playing the piano, gardening, spinning wool, working with clay, cooking, and deepening her spiritual practice.

John Nelson – First Grade

John Nelson received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Community Health from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. He then completed the Waldorf Teacher Education program in Eugene, Oregon.  In 2010, John and his family happily moved to Corvallis to join the faculty at the Waldorf School as a Class Teacher.  John graduated his first class in June of 2018 after leading them through the grades curriculum.  He is looking forward to the new journey with his current class of first graders.  When he is not at the school teaching his class, he enjoys bird watching, coaching basketball and eating popcorn. Go Beavs!

Chris Butler – Second Grade

Chris grew up in Maryland as the middle of three girls in a family with a black labrador. Summers were spent at a cabin on the Susquehanna River and sailing on the Chesapeake Bay. She attended Washington College on the Maryland eastern shore and graduated with a BA, majoring in mathematics. Chris discovered Waldorf Education after the birth of her daughter and a first career in the computer industry. She completed the Waldorf Teacher Certification in Eugene in 2005, and was awarded a Masters in Teaching from Pacific University in 2010. Chris lives in Eugene with her daughter and a plethora of animals and plants. In her spare time she loves everything outdoors (hiking, camping, climbing, biking, skiing, gardening) and spending time on any beach with white sand and blue water.

Brentley HartmanBrentley Hartman – Third Grade

Brentley moved to Corvallis with his family in 1991 at age 9, from inner-city Dallas, TX. As a youth he participated in a number of organized sports, studied music, and connected to leadership and land stewardship as a Boy Scout. After graduating from Crescent Valley H.S. he attended University of Oregon receiving his Bachelors of Education in Special Education.  Prior to working in Waldorf Education, Brentley served as a crew leader for Northwest Youth Corps, building and maintaining trails with young people throughout the American West. Upon completion of his Waldorf Teacher Education in Eugene, he accepted a teaching position with a therapeutic educational program in association with Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School and Farm known as the E.A.R.T.H. (Education and Renewal Through Hands) program in Upstate New York.  After an incredible experience with E.A.R.T.H. he chose to return to his home town to be closer to his loved ones and continue his work.  When not in the classroom, he enjoys mountain biking, rock climbing, backpacking, playing music, and living simply.

AnaisAnaïs Alexander – Fourth Grade

Anaïs grew up in northern California, and attended Waldorf Schools through the 8th grade. She holds degrees in Integrated Human Development and Art History from San Francisco State University. For the last two decades she has worked as an educator, and during that time she has been a parent educator, a nutrition educator, educational consultant, and taught grades 1-8. She has taught in teacher training programs in the US, Mexico, and, as a Peace Corps Volunteer, in Southern Africa. Anaïs delights in leaning about other cultures and traditions, and weaves her tales of her adventures around the world in the stories that she tells her students. She looks forward to the day that she can travel to remote pockets of the planet with her two sons. Anaïs and her husband have lived in the Willamette Valley since 2001.

Jeff Parker-150x150Jeff Parker – Fifth Grade

Jeff has worked at the Corvallis Waldorf School since 2003, starting out as a 7th grade teacher.  He has taught grades 1 through 8.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Arizona and completed his Waldorf teacher training in Eugene.  What he loves most about the Corvallis Waldorf School is the feeling of community that comes from a group of parents and teachers who want to improve the lives and futures of our children.  In his spare time, Jeff enjoys making music and being active in the outdoors.  He lives in South Corvallis with his wife and two step-children.

Chris Highfield-150x150Chris Highfield – Sixth Grade

Chris Highfield has been a Class Teacher at the Corvallis Waldorf School since  2007. He received a BA degree in history/secondary education from Westminster College in Pennsylvania, a MS from the University of Oregon in geography, and is currently receiving mentoring from the Waldorf teacher training program in Eugene, OR. He spent ten years in various teaching positions in the public school system in different regions of the country before coming to CWS. Drawn to the strength of curriculum and emphasis upon art found at Waldorf schools, Chris truly appreciates the opportunity to learn and develop along with his students. On his time away from school, Chris enjoys various outdoor activities, running, gardening, playing music and spending time with his family.

Jaqui Eicher – Seventh Grade

Growing up just outside Albany, Oregon to a combination of farming and musical parents instilled in Jaqui a love for wild outdoor spaces and for music. She was fortunate to grow up along with her 4 siblings and an eclectic variety of pets. Jaqui has been a Middle School teacher in various public schools nestled in the Willamette Valley since she graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching from Oregon State University in 1999. Prior to that she received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Hesston College (Kansas) and Western Oregon University in The Arts–Music, Art, Theater. Before teaching in public schools, Jaqui taught music and theater to young children at the Conservatory for Music with her mother, Roma Jean Eicher. It was at the Conservatory for Music that she felt a pull toward Waldorf concepts of teaching music and she continues to be drawn toward the emphasis on art, music, and the variety of work for the hands in the Waldorf Curriculum. Outside of school, Jaqui enjoys painting pet portraits, making music and hiking Oregon’s outdoor wonderland with her trusty companion dog, Pearl.

Sarah Sarah MonroeMonroe – Eighth Grade

Sarah has lived in the area since moving to Corvallis in 1988 at the age of 11. She received her bachelors degree in German from Portland State University in 2000 and attended a graduate teacher education program at Oregon State. Sarah found her way to the Corvallis Waldorf School in 2003 where she has taught German to grades Pre-K through 8th grade, assisted in the Willow Wind Kindergarten, and served as the director of the Extended Day Program. Sarah received her Waldorf Teaching Certification in June of 2011 from the Waldorf Teacher Training in Eugene, Oregon. In the fall of 2011, she began the journey through the grades curriculum with a first grade class. Sarah enjoys being anywhere out in nature, seeking out live music, and spending time with her family. She lives in Corvallis with her husband and step-son.

Sally Starker – Grade 6-8 Spanish

Sally Starker was born and raised in Corvallis.  She spent time studying in both Ecuador and Spain after graduating from Corvallis High School.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and Spanish from the University of Portland in 2003.  In 2006 she completed a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State University.  She has been teaching since 2003.  In addition to teaching, Sally enjoys cooking, gardening, playing sports and spending time outdoors. Sally values spending time with friends and family. She is always looking for opportunities to learn and grow in all areas of her life.


Scott Smith – Grades 1-5 Spanish

Bio coming soon…

Shellece Millison – Handwork

Shellece Millison grew up enjoying the mountains and forests of the West. She graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies. Like so many, Shellece discovered Waldorf education through her children. She started as a parent volunteer washing dishes in her daughter’s Waldorf kindergarten in Arizona, then worked as a classroom assistant, handwork assistant, and finally lead handwork teacher. Shellece has been at CWS since 2008, and is currently completing the teacher training program at Steiner College in Sacramento. “I love getting to work with nearly every child in the school, and I have always enjoyed witnessing the healing and transformative processes that arise from working with the hands.” Aside from eagerly exploring her lifelong passion for all forms of art, craft, and handwork, Shellece enjoys dancing, singing, and playing in the forest with her husband and three children.

Erin Zaremba – Strings

Erin Zaremba grew up in a family of musicians on the central coast of California.  She began violin lessons at age 7 and she has practiced, performed, and taught on the instrument continuously throughout her life.  She served as the concertmaster of the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony and as the youngest member of the San Luis Obispo Symphony.  Making music with her dad (guitar/mandolin) and sister (cello) cultivated her appreciation for many genres outside the classical world and she spent several years performing and recording with an acoustic rock band in San Francisco. Erin holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of San Francisco, where she focused her work on the creative arts in elementary classrooms and spent time as a volunteer teacher in Belize. After graduating, she received a fellowship from USF to teach at the Tibetan Transit School in Dharamsala, India.  Before moving to the Northwest in 2012, Erin worked as a first grade teacher in San Francisco.  When not teaching or playing music, she loves to be outside with her family.

Marta Capriles – Agriculture

Marta grew up in Northern Virginia and was homeschooled until college. The only child of activist parents, she got a hands-on education in local government, community organizing, and event production. Marta always felt an affinity for plants and became interested in organic agriculture as a career as a teenager. She attended Warren Wilson College in the mountains of Western North Carolina and received her degree in Sustainable Agriculture. Marta has worked on and apprenticed at farms in Virginia, North Carolina, California, Italy, France, and Thailand. After traveling, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she worked as a school gardener, received her elementary teaching certificate, and taught Kindergarten and 1st grade for a decade. Drawn to Waldorf education by wanting her own children to have a childhood full of wonder, community, and nature, Marta was thrilled to become the Agriculture Teacher at Corvallis Waldorf School in 2017. She lives in Corvallis with her parents and two young daughters.

Sarah Banzhaf – Sweet Peas Assistant

Sarah was introduced to Waldorf Education as a parent attending the Little Acorns program at CWS with her six month old son. Over the next several years, she began to do more research into the Waldorf method of education and became drawn to the philosophy around educating the whole child and inspiring life-long learning. Sarah has been an active member of the CWS community and parent council. She is looking forward to the important work of assisting with the children in the Sweet Peas. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the open road and hiking with her now five year old son and husband, and relaxing with a cup of tea and a book.

Meredith Weir – Chickadees Assistant

Meredith has been part of the CWS community since 2000.  She was born in the Philadelphia area, studied history in college, and spent three years in the Peace Corps in Niger, Africa.  She later received a BS in nursing at Columbia University in New York, and worked in maternal child health for several years as a labor and delivery nurse and as a homebirth midwife. Meredith was introduced to and fell in love with Waldorf education 26 years ago after the birth of her oldest daughter.  All eight of her children have been touched by Waldorf education.  Being part of the CWS community has nurtured her spiritual and family life.  Meredith is thrilled to be a Chickadee!

Marianne Freeman – Bluebirds Assistant

Photograph coming soon…

Marianne was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and has lived in the Willamette valley all her life.  She strongly identifies with the Pacific Northwest although she also loves nothing more than traveling to places very different from home. Marianne taught at CWS from 2009 through 2017 and after graduating her 8th grade class she decided to take some time off to travel and explore with her family. They spent time in Switzerland, Italy, Mexico and Japan together over the course of the year before settling back into gardening and hiking near home this summer.  She has now re-joined the school in the early childhood program and is very excited to be part of this wonderful organization once more. Marianne finds that one of the greatest appeals of Waldorf Education as an instructor is the chance to always be learning something new. She brings her love of the natural world, interest and curiosity to working with younger children in the Bluebirds preschool.

Lilly Parker – Morning Glory Assistant

Lily grew up in Corvallis and attended the Corvallis Waldorf School from 2nd through 6th grade as a student in Anais Alexander’s first class. She is passionate about early childhood education and has served children from Ghana to Guatemala to our hometown of Corvallis. Before returning to Waldorf as a Kindergarten Assistant in 2017, Lily worked as a nanny for several local families. She is excited to provide the same wonderful Waldorf experience that she enjoyed as a child to the next generation. Outside of the classroom, Lily enjoys yoga, cooking, camping, and dancing.

Elizabeth Hurley – Willow Wind Assistant

Photograph coming soon…

Ellie grew up just outside of San Francisco and was lucky to have spent lots of time outdoors in the beautiful Bay Area. She moved to Oregon for college, where she first fell in love with Waldorf education. She graduated from Oregon State with her BA in English and worked with students of all ages as a tutor. When she’s not in the Willow Winds classroom, she’s working on her fiction or hiking somewhere in the Willamette Valley.

 Administrative Staff

Melissa Montague-150x150Melissa Montague – Administrative Assistant

Melissa Montague grew up in the heart of Southern California, just outside of Los Angeles, where she developed a great passion for the performing arts. After traveling and moving from place to place throughout most of the West, she and her family decided to land in Corvallis and joined CWS in 2009. When she is away from the office, Melissa loves to explore the ways of wonder with mothering, creating, going on adventures, gardening, being in the woods, and continuing to frolic in her passion for dance.

Maggie Bahnson-150x150Maggie Bahnson – Enrollment and Volunteer Coordinator

Maggie Bahnson was born in Brooklyn, NY but spent her childhood playing in the lakes and forests of rural Wisconsin. After graduating from Reed College with a degree in Psychology, Maggie taught 2nd/3rd grade in a private school, earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Lewis and Clark College and then taught 1st grade in the Gresham Barlow School District. In 2007, Maggie and her family moved to Santa Barbara, where she worked for the University of California Education Abroad Program and served as the Campaign Coordinator for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Program. Maggie and her family happily moved to Corvallis in 2012 and found their home in the peaceful setting of Soap Creek Valley. When she is not at school, Maggie enjoys running the trails of the Mac Forest, hiking with her husband and two daughters and teaching yoga.

Tim Love-150x150Tim Love – Facilities Director

Tim has served in the field of facilities management and operations for over a decade. He joined the Corvallis Waldorf School community in 2014 to lead the SAGE building project through to completion and to oversee the maintenance and development of our 12-acre campus and 34,000 square feet of building space. Tim is a trained Waldorf teacher and an experienced Bio-Dynamic farmer, prep maker and beekeeper.  His past projects include over $3 million in renovations to the Seattle Waldorf School.

Karen Bailey – Pedagogical Director

Karen joins Corvallis Waldorf School having served as the School Director at Madrone Trail Public Charter School and as Interim Director of Education at Mountain Phoenix Community School in Wheat Ridge, CO. She taught as a Waldorf kindergarten teacher for fifteen years and founded a school in east Tennessee called The Schoolhouse where she both taught and was the administrator.  She raised her two children with deep inspiration from both Waldorf education and Anthroposophy, the philosophy that stands behind Waldorf education. Her daughter, Jenna, is now a librarian at Kenyon College in Ohio and her son, Ben, is in medical school in Tennessee.  Karen has been an artist and craft person since she was twelve years old and has a public art sculpture in Alexandria Virginia called “Three Eggs in Space.” She loves to donate her art work to support schools and children as she feels that healthy money is like healthy water, it needs to keep moving.  Her educational background includes two undergraduate degrees in philosophy and fine art, two Master’s degrees in philosophy and architecture, and a Certificate of Completion in Waldorf Administration from Antioch University. She received her Waldorf Early Childhood Certificate from Sunbridge College, and recently started both a Master’s in Waldorf Education and the Waldorf High School Teacher Certification program.

Diane MartinDiane Martin – Director of Business Operations

Diane grew up in the Willamette Valley and enjoys all this area has to offer – coasts, mountains, forests, rivers and lakes. She spent some formative years in Germany and Denmark but has always considered Oregon home. She discovered Waldorf education through her youngest daughter. She joined the staff at CWS in August of 2011 after spending seven years as a parent, board member and volunteer at the school. Diane studied nursing and has a BS in Clinical Nutrition and an MPH in Health Care Policy & Management. She has always been drawn to serve families and children. She and her husband have three daughters and two grandchildren and live in the country with a menagerie of horses, chickens, dogs and cat. In her leisure time she travels and always loves to come back home to Oregon.

Peter Zaremba-150x150Peter Zaremba – School Director

Peter Zaremba grew up on Long Island (NY) before earning a BA in Social Anthropology and serving as the captain of the Harvard University Men’s Lacrosse team in 2001. Since then, he has served as an educator in outdoor, public, private, and parochial settings.  Peter brings enthusiasm and broad experience, including further education (MA Organization and Leadership, University of San Francisco) and extensive travel abroad, to CWS.  He enjoys speaking with people about best practices in the field of education, and he is always seeking ways to benefit children by connecting them with our strong community. On evenings and weekends, Peter enjoys spending time with his wife and their two sons.