Lower Grades (1-4)

Amy Morse – Class One Teacher

amyEducation: B.A. Fine Arts, U.W. Oshkosh; Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy and the Arts, Sofia Institute, Viroqua, WI; Fundamentals in Waldorf Education, Grades 1-3, Rudolf Steiner Institute, Fair Oaks, CA; Essential Grades Conferences with Eugene Schwartz, Grade 4-6, Pennsylvania and Colorado; The Art of Teaching Grade 7 Conference, Toronto Waldorf School in Canada;  ‘How to Bring Shakespeare to Adolescents’ Workshop, American Players Theatre, Spring Green, WI; TEFL training through Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational, Sanremo, Italy.

Professional Experience: Class Teacher, Grades 1-8 and 5-8, PRWS; Youth Initiative High School teacher%u2014Life Skills, Art History, Jam Band. Performance Artist: musician, actress and dancer; Teacher of dance and guitar lessons, Summer Camp English Tutor for three summers in Italy.

What a gift Waldorf education provides for the child to discover who he or she is at a gradual pace.  A teacher must learn the art of cultivating patience, respect, creativity, wisdom, gratitude and wonder within her as well as in the children as she grows with them year to year.  I strive to offer guidance as the children awaken to themselves and encourage them to express their gifts creatively, freely and gracefully.  I also seek to have open and honest relationships with the parents.  Learn, Love, Grow…and have fun while doing it all!

Jackie”s interests include being out in nature, especially hiking, camping, walking her dog, and most of all swimming!  She loves to be on other  “stages” besides teaching, especially dancing, acting and playing music.  She has had a passion for organic gardening since 1997 and loves to can and store vegetables.  Things that bring her peace are traveling and learning about different cultures, yoga, cooking, and laughter with her friends and family.

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Christina Hotchkiss – Class Two Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Theatre: Technical/Scenic Design and a Master’s in Education-Professional Development, both from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Professional Waldorf-specific training: Foundation Study at the Sophia Institute in Viroqua, WI; Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA for grade specific intensives; Waldorf teacher training certification, Great Lakes Waldorf Institute, Milwaukee, WI; numerous conferences offered in the midwest.

Professional Experience: In 2004 Christina began teaching full time at Three Rivers as the First Grade Teacher.  She graduated her first class in May of 2012. She has found that starting again with first graders is exciting and rewarding.  She is looking forward to the journey through the grades with this wonderful group of children.

Christina was first introduced to Waldorf education while studying at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  She began by substitute teaching in the Kindergartens, Grades, and Afterschool Care program at Three Rivers Waldorf School in La Crosse, WI.

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Betty Link – Class Three Teacher

Education: B.S. from UW-Madison in Speech and Language Pathology and Audiology, minor in French; Masters from UW-Milwaukee in Communication Disorders; Certificate of Studies at the Sorbonne, Paris and Universite de Reims, France; Waldorf Teacher Training certificate from UW-Milwaukee, 1992.

Professional Experience:  Twelve years experience as a speech therapist;  Waldorf teacher, Prairie Hill Waldorf School, Pewaukee, WI,  graduating two classes from grades one through eight  (Class of 2001 and  2010);  Attended many grade level intensives at various Waldorf Training Institutes, early AWSNA mentor training meetings and did mentoring and evaluation for our school; Representative to AWSNA for several years; Faculty chair, member on various committees and presenter on various topics at parent and teacher Waldorf conferences.

The term ”head, heart and hands” may seem like a cliche, but I am a great believer in the power of three-fold lessons that develop the thinking, feeling and willing capacities in the children. More so now than ever, our young people need to experience and celebrate all the goodness and beauty in the world, which will help them develop a foundational sense of self so they can then care for each other. I strive daily to nurture and sustain in myself a sense of awe, wonder and reverence for life’s gifts so I can model joy and passion for the young child.

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Ximena Puig – Classes Four and Five Co-Teacher

Education:  Grade 4 summer intensive with Eugene Swartz; 2nd and 3rd Grade Summer Intensives at Rudolf Steiner College, Sacramento, CA; M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH; B.A. in Spanish and Hispanic Studies at Earlham College, Richmond, IN;  Sculpture at El Instituto de Bellas Artes and Spanish at El Instituto de Idiomas, Sevilla, Spain;.

Professional Experience:  Third Grade Teacher”s Assistant, Chicago International Charter School, Chicago, IL; Kindergarten Assistant, Rosemary Kindergarten, Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School; Student Teacher in kindergarten and first grade, Oberlin City Schools, Oberlin, OH.

I feel so honored and delighted have returned to Pleasant Ridge as a teacher. It is with enthusiasm and trust that I step up to this challenge of teaching a combined class.  Through many different educational experiences I have come to see that who I am as a learner and as a teacher is deeply rooted in my formative experience as a student (in a combined class!) at Pleasant Ridge.  I am here to respect and cultivate the gifts that each child holds and to aid my students in their development as well-rounded, joyful, imaginative, thoughtful and kind individuals.

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Ronald Schirmer – Classes Four and Five Co-Teacher

Education:  B.A. Religious Studies, emphasis in Buddhism & Consciousness studies, University of California, Santa Barbara. Classic Animation, Santa Barbara City College, S.B. CA. Printmaking, Harold Washington College, Chicago IL. Waldorf Teacher Certificate, Arcturus Teacher Training, Chicago IL.

Professional: Early Childhood Assistant, Chicago Waldorf School.  Substitute Teacher, Chicago Public Schools.

Our heritage as human beings is vast and rich: our stories, traditions, skills, arts and crafts.  It has been a concern of mine that in modern times, with the rapid acceleration of our technology and consequent changing of our culture, we are forgetting and distancing ourselves from this heritage that we have earned over thousands of years.  Along with that, the brief and precious era of childhood is being compromised amidst this rush to keep up and stay ahead.  In Waldorf education, I have found a sanctuary for this time of childhood and this heritage of humankind.  By allowing time to learn handwork, to paint, sing and play music; to hear stories everyday and have multiple opportunities to move and play alongside academic learning; we are providing these children an experience that is comprehensive of what we as humans have gathered together in order to bring ourselves to where we are today.  I am grateful to have this opportunity to work with this curriculum and grow with my students.