Subject Teachers

Geri Shonka – HandworkGeriShonkasmall

Education: Novalis Institute 2002 Biography Course, University of Wisconsin – Stout 1986-1989, Degree Bachelor of Fine Arts, Fachhochschule Hildesheim, Germany 1988-1989 Graphic Design International Exchange

Professional Experience: Geri Thompson Shonka Design 1993 – Present, Carleton College 1993-2004, Girl Scout Council of Greater Minneapolis, 1980-1993, University of Minnesota 1989-1990, University of Wisconsin-Stout, 1986-1988, American Institute of Graphic Artist (AIGA) Board Member 1994-1996 Co-chair, Design Explorers Committee, Assisting in the development of a national art program for disadvantaged children, Co-chair Design Camp Conference




leriLerie Alstad Van Ells – Physical Education

Education: Ten-year study in Spatial Dynamics for Physical Education in Waldorf Schools with Jaimen McMillan.

Professional Experience: Physical Education Teacher at Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School since 1982. Physical Education teacher at Youth Initiative High School for 15 years.   PRWS Teachers Aid in 1981.   Adult Educator in Spatial Dynamics.

I am ultimately drawn to Waldorf teaching because I believe in keeping alive the spirit that lives in childhood. To observe children in freedom of thought, movement and deed, gives the example of what is so precious to keep alive as the child moves into adulthood. My goal in teaching has been to create for every child an inner joy in movement and physical education.

I love to bicycle, swim, rollerblade, hike, cross-country ski, snow shoe, ice skate, carve icons on wood and garden.



Monika Sutherland – Music Teacher

Education: B.A. Music, Indiana University; M.A. Music, Northwestern University; Waldorf Music Teacher Training at Sunbridge College; In depth study with master Waldorf music teachers from around the world including Par Ahlbom, Manfred Bleffert, Fabian Lochner, Jana Hawley, Elisabeth Kokenbacker, and Eleanor Winship.

Professional Experience: Professional cellist with years of experience in chamber music, orchestral and solo performance;  Member of music faculty, Goucher College; Director Strings Program, Four Winds Waldorf School.

I am grateful for the opportunity to teach an instrument that I love in a school that values music so highly and amongst a staff that is so supportive and dedicated. In my class I hope to give the students a sense of how music can be fun, joyful and a satisfying part of daily life, as both a means of expressing individuality and as a way to work together in a group and community.




Kate Bergan – Spanish Teacher,  Classes 1-8

Education: B.A. in Spanish, History, History of Culture, University of WI-Madison; Certificate of Environmental Studies, UW-Madison; semester abroad at Spanish American Institute of International Education, Seville, Spain; training courses in “World Languages for Grades 1, 2 & 3and “World Languages for Grades 4, 5, & 6,” June 2012 & 2013 at the Center for Anthroposophy, Wilton, NH.

Professional Experience: Substitute Spanish teacher, Youth Initiative High School, Viroqua, WI; Spanish teacher, Padua Franciscan High School, Cleveland, OH; junior high and high school English and Spanish teacher, Atlanta, MO school district; ESL/SSL teacher in grades 1-8, InterAmerican School, Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic.




Joshua EcklundEurythmy Teacher

Education:  Graduate of the American Eurythmy School, California, 2 years eurythmy training at West Midlands Eurythmy School, Stourbridge, UK and Graduate of Youth Initiative High School, Viroqua.

Professional Experience: Eurythmy Teacher for kindergarten through eighth grade and co-teacher for Gardening at Highland Hall Waldorf School, Teacher of eurythmy for kindergarten through eighth grade at Three Rivers Waldorf School.




Davina HemmerEurythmy Teacher

Education:  Master of Arts from Freie Hochschule, Eurythemeum Stuttgart, Germany. Lifelong experience of Waldorf education and anthroposophical lifestyle through parents, school and study of Waldorf education. Personal studies of education, social and organizational skills.

Professional Experience:  Eurythmy Teacher at Hiberniaschule in Herne Germany. Member of Thoreau College core team.




Erica Hill Pfeiffer – Garden Program CoordinatorEricaHP Headshot

Education: Bachelor of Science Natural Resources (major: horticulture) and Certificate of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999.  Master of Arts Curriculum and Instruction, University of Colorado at Denver, 2006.  Currently holds a Wisconsin Department of Instruction certification for secondary science teaching and a Wisconsin Master Naturalist certification.

Professional Experience:  College of Lake County, IL, Horticulture Instructor, 2011-2012; Prairie Crossing Learning Farm at Liberty Prairie Foundation, Farm Educator & Program Director, 2008-2012; YMCA of Greater Seattle – Alternative High School Program, Science Teacher, 2006-2008; Denver Botanic Gardens, Horticulturist, 2001-2005; Americorps National Civilian Community Corps, 1999-2000.