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.


CLASS TEACHERS


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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.


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Melisca Klisanin, Nursery Assistant

Melisca grew up in a Waldorf inspired home environment. As a young child, she lived on a cattle farm helping her grandfather with his herd, then gardening and canning with her grandmother. Her hometown is Cocoa Beach, Florida where she grew-up surfing, protecting sea turtle nests, and replanting the beach with native plants to help quell erosion. She studied art and education at the University of Houston and SUNY, and has taught both children and college students. Melisca is a language arts specialist, certified in the Orton-Gillingham Method, and is inspired by witnessing the children and adults with dyslexia that she has worked with, thrive. She is thrilled to have started Waldorf Training at Alkion Center, Hawthorne Valley Farm. Her passions include worldwide travel, researching indigenous cultures, creating mixed media art, gardening and watching the night sky.


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Caitlynn Sinagra, Kindergarten Teacher

Caitlynn graduated with a BFA from Sage College of Albany. She has been working for several years in Early Childhood education including operating a Waldorf inspired home daycare. Caitlynn is interested in ecovillages, permaculture and loves hiking and traveling. She lives in Kingston, NY with her two children and is grateful to be living and working in the bountiful Hudson Valley.


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Carrie Simon, Kindergarten Assistant


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Sara Sweningsen, First 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.


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Morgan Brunketurner, Second Grade Teacher


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Christine Good, Third/Fourth Grades 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.


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Arn Krugman, Fifth 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, bobcats, trees, and wildflowers.  He also loves music, skating, surfing, skiing, snorkeling, biking, mountains, kayaking and the world of color.


SUBJECT TEACHERS


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Gabriel Dresdale, Cello & String Ensemble


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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.


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Juliet Kingsley, Farm and Garden

Juliet Kingsley studied humanities at Simon’s Rock College and child psychology at Marymount Manhattan College. She is the founder and was the director of Woodstock Children’s Farm providing farm and garden education to school aged children. Juliet grew up on a sheep and textile farm in the pastoral Berkshires and is both a farmer and homesteader. She lives in a rural part of Kingston where she shares her home with her husband, four daughters, dogs and cats and raises dairy goats along with many other feathered friends.


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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.


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Eiren Graver, Handwork

A Waldorf school graduate, Eiren has a BA in Liberal Arts from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and received her Waldorf teacher training at Emerson College in England in 2001. As well as teaching in Waldorf schools over the past decade and a half, she ran an organic café in a Camphill Village and worked on several biodynamic farms. She enjoys writing, painting, gardening, and creating with food.


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Charlotte Gibbons, Handwork

Charlotte is a Columbia County based artist, working in fiber arts, dance, martial arts and gardening. She has a BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase. As well as teaching handwork at the Primrose Hill School, she teaches movement and martial arts to children and adults around the Hudson Valley.


STAFF


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Jennifer Nelson, Director

Jennifer received her BA in English and Psychology from Villanova University and her MAT from the University of Southern California. Since 2010 she has served as a teacher, school administrator and educational consultant in charter and private schools throughout the five boroughs in NYC. She has worked in and with schools transitioning from lower grade to upper grade education, specifically building supportive structures for middle school aged students. Jennifer brings a background in school fundraising and development. She loves being part of a school community, and seeing teachers thrive alongside their students.


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Maryann Larson, Administrative Coordinator


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Eiren Graver, Administrative Support

A Waldorf school graduate, Eiren has a BA in Liberal Arts from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and received her Waldorf teacher training at Emerson College in England in 2001. As well as teaching in Waldorf schools over the past decade and a half, she ran an organic café in a Camphill Village and worked on several biodynamic farms. She enjoys writing, painting, gardening, and creating with food.


BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Peter Orr, Chair
Kevin Curry, Treasurer
Jonathan Cohen
Lilah Friedland
Patrice Maynard
Jennifer Nelson
With representation by the College of Teachers


SCHOOL FOUNDERS

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.