When her daughter was born, Diana Page Cohen began to envision a Waldorf school in Dutchess County. She began with a home playgroup and then joined forces with founding teachers Christianna and Kieran Riley and her entrepreneur husband Jonathan Cohen to form and build our school, which opened its doors in 2012. We are deeply grateful for the ways in which these four individuals combined their gifts and insights to build the unique and inspired school we are so proud to be part of today.
FACULTY AND STAFF
The faculty at Primrose Hill School are passionate, skilled educators trained to understand the physical, emotional, and spiritual life of children. Within this threefold vision inspired by the Waldorf pedagogy, teachers are able to respond fully to the students' individual needs at every stage of development. The faculty have an abiding commitment to nurturing the whole child, teaching reverence for all living things, and helping our students to become successful, socially responsible, and compassionate leaders of tomorrow.
Pema Cliett, Nursery Teacher
Pema was born in Woodstock, NY, and received her BA in International Relations and Political Science from SUNY New Paltz. She has her Waldorf Teacher Training Certificate from the Alkion Center, a certificate in Permaculture Design, and certificate in Herbal Healing. Pema has taught at Mountain Laurel Waldorf School in New Paltz and Mountaintop School in Woodstock, and worked with children in South America and India. Pema enjoys gardening and baking with young children and lives with her daughter in Rosendale, NY.
Stephanie Roberti, Nursery Assistant
Stephanie grew up in the Catskill Mountains and is a recent graduate from SUNY New Paltz, where she received a BA in B-6 Education with an English focus. While studying Education at New Paltz, Stephanie's desire to make a difference in the educational world led her to outdoor forest schools and now Waldorf education. Stephanie enjoys yoga, nature photography, and cooking vegan cuisine.
Emily Schmeichel, Nursery Assistant
Emily Schmeichel is a recent addition to Primrose Hill School and this is her first experience with Waldorf teaching. She is devoted to the pedagogy because it uses creative and progressive methods to work with children. Emily received her BFA from Alfred University and enjoys using art as a medium to work toward social growth. She loves building relationships, being an artist, and exploring the world around her.
Christianna Riley, Kindergarten Teacher
Christianna is the founding teacher at Primrose Hill School and is going into her fifth year leading the Kindergarten. She previously spent five years at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School in Ghent, as the Kindergarten assistant and first grade playgroup teacher. She has a B.A. in Religious Studies and Peace Education from Long Island University, and has completed the Waldorf Teacher Training at the Alkion Center. Christianna likes crafts, nature, and farming, as well as music, dancing, family, and friends.
Laura Selicaro, Kindergarten Assistant
Laura has a background in education and design of spaces for children, and has worked in educational and exhibit development positions in nine museums in the US and abroad, including the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and the Chicago Academy of Sciences. She has a Master's in Interdisciplinary Art Education from the University of Barcelona and has taught art to children in the Rhinebeck area. Laura loves hiking and spending time in nature, traveling, art, and inspiring children.
Kirstin Young, First Grade Teacher
Kirstin received her BS in Environmental Science from Ramapo College of NJ. She has a Waldorf teacher training certificate from Sunbridge College in Chestnut Ridge, NY. Kirstin has taught at Mountain Laurel Waldorf School and Green Meadow Waldorf School. She spent nine years working at The Fellowship, an intergenerational community centered around the care of elders. She is certified in Biodynamic farming, has experience with permaculture, and has been a farm/nature educator for the past 20 years. She loves to explore the natural areas in Dutchess and Columbia counties, travel with her son, and visit friends and family.
Christine Good, Second Grade Teacher
Christine Good received her Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from SUNY Morrisville and her BSEd in Health Education K-12 from from SUNY Cortland. She has a Waldorf teacher training certificate from Sunbridge College in Chestnut Ridge, NY, as well as a Master's in Waldorf Education. She spent four years as class teacher at the Waldorf School of Baltimore and served two years as a delegate to the Association of Waldorf Schools North America (AWSNA). Christine has a strong dedication to life-long learning and a deep love of children. She is excited about enriching the festival life at Primrose Hill School.
Arn Krugman, Third Grade Teacher
Arn Krugman received a BA in government from Franklin & Marshall College and an MA in elementary education from the University of Hartford. He did his Waldorf training at Emerson College in England. He has taught in public and private schools, and he's done most of his Waldorf teaching in California and Massachusetts. Arn is passionate about natural history and is particularly interested in birds, turtles, frogs, snakes, trees, and wildflowers. He also loves music, skating, surfing, skiing, snorkeling, biking, mountains, kayaking and the world of color.
Sara Sweningson, Fourth Grade Teacher
Sara was educated from Kindergarten through 12th grade at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School in Ghent, NY. She studied political science at SUNY Albany and conflict resolution at Haifa University. She was the program assistant at Music in Common, educating communities through music, and has taught at the Jerusalem School in Israel, working to incorporate Waldorf principles into the curriculum. Sara received her Waldorf teacher training certificate from the Alkion Center. Sara enjoys gardening, cooking, farming, dancing, and exploring.
Takken Wish, Fifth Grade Teacher
Takken has 12 years teaching experience, including work in Turkey, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Poland. He has a Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Antioch University, as well as a BA in English from the University of Kentucky, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Oregon State. Though much of his experience has been teaching children, he's also taught at Orange County Community College and at the Orange County Jail. He loves writing, reading, traveling, and spending time with his wife and three daughters.
Kieran Riley, Farm Education Program
Kieran grew up in a Camphill Village, a community devoted to helping special needs adults as well as refugee children. After attending UMass Amherst, Kieran moved to New York to join the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT). He has worked on several Biodynamic farms, including Roxbury Farm and Camphill Village. He is skilled in carpentry and enjoys being outdoors.
Eiren Graver, Handwork & Gardening
See staff section for full bio.
Ling Kwan, Cello & String Ensemble
Rob Murphy, Violin, Viola & String Ensemble
Rob has been teaching in the Hudson Valley for 15 years. He has a BS from SUNY Fredonia, where he majored in audio engineering and music. He is currently the assistant concertmaster of the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra and performs with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, the Hudson Opera Theater Orchestra, and the chamber group Hudson Pro Musica. Rob lives in Lagrangeville with his wife and daughter.
Richard Ferrono, Movement
Richard Ferrono has owned and operated a gymnastics school for over 20 years. His areas of study have included Circus Arts (many disciplines), Parkour, and several martial arts. He is currently attending the Spacial Dynamics institute in New York. His passions include physical arts, playing music, and spending time with his family and friends.
Laetitia Berrier Saarbach, Eurythmy
A native of France, Laetitia earned her Master's in Film from University Paris VIII and her Waldorf Teacher Training from the Institut de Formation à la Pédagogie Steiner-Waldorf Didascali (Avignon, France). She then moved to NY state with her family and earned her Artistic and Pedagogical Eurythmy Degree at Eurythmy Spring Valley. Since then, she has taught in various places (including the Fellowship Community in Spring Valley, NY, where she also volunteered and worked) and schools (Housatonic Valley Waldorf School in Newtown, CT and the Brooklyn Waldorf School in NYC). She is very excited to bring Eurythmy to children and adults, and considers a class to be successful when both she and the students have had the occasion to laugh. She lives in Chestnut Ridge, NY, with her husband and two children, who attend Green Meadow Waldorf School. Aside from teaching, she is an opera addict and enjoys playing games with her children, hiking, swimming, and gardening.
Eiren Graver, Faculty Administrator, Handwork & Gardening
A Waldorf school graduate, Eiren has a BA in Liberal Arts from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and received her teacher training at Emerson College in England. As well as teaching in Waldorf schools, she has served as a choral section leader for several churches, run an organic café in a Camphill Village, and worked on a number of biodynamic farms. She enjoys writing, painting, gardening, and creating with food.
Danielle Sinclair, Administrative Coordinator
Danielle Sinclair has been connected with Waldorf education since 2000 as an educator, mother of three girls, and small-scale biodynamic-inspired homesteader. For the past several years, she has been involved with teaching Nutritional Therapy based on nutrient-dense whole foods, and helping out seasonally on a farm. She is dedicated to bringing children and other people into greater connection with community and the rhythm of the seasons and the Earth, and finds Waldorf education and its many permutations to be an ideal framework from which to work.
COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
Christine Good, Chair
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Peter Orr, Chair
Tricia Reed, Secretary