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Early Childhood Faculty

Starflower Nursery: ages 2 1/2 to 4 years


Rachel Nielsen (Lead Teacher) first came to The Denver Waldorf School as an intern in Morning Glory Kindergarten and then worked there as the Lead Assistant for two years. She has worked as a volunteer French teacher and substitute teacher at River Song Waldorf School. Rachel went to Waldorf nursery school herself and has always held that experience close to her heart, happily finding her way back as an adult. Rachel is Director Center Qualified in the state of Colorado and holds a bachelor of arts degree in French and Education from Colorado State University and a master’s of education in Early Childhood Waldorf Education from Antioch University New England. Miss Rachel can be reached at rachelnielsen@denverwaldorf.org or ext. 133.

Mary Ray Mary Ray (Lead Assistant) came to Starflower Nursery after serving as Nap Assistant in Morning Glory. Mary began working in an early childhood setting in 2001 and has led a Parent-Tot class in the past as well. She earned her bachelors degree in psychology from Brigham Young University and completed her Early Childhood teacher certification at Red Rocks Community College. Mary brings extensive experience from both volunteering and working in classrooms, but her greatest Waldorf training has come from raising her three children – each has attended DWS. Mary enjoys spending time with her family, exploring the outdoors, reading and traveling.

Morning Glory Preschool/Kindergarten Class: ages 3 1/2 to 6 years

Laurie_ClarkLaurie Clark (Lead Teacher) has been teaching Waldorf Preschool Kindergarten for 25 years. She attended the Teacher Training program at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, California, and she also has earned her associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She has also completed the East Coast Training in Remedial Work. She mentors Waldorf teachers around the country and teaches in various training courses for teachers. Ms. Laurie can be reached at laurieclark@denverwaldorf.org or ext. 166.

Lori Daniels (Lead Assistant) joined The Denver Waldorf School in 2015. Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood education administration, summa cum laude, from Ashford University and a Waldorf Early Childhood teaching certificate from the Micha-el Institute. You may contact Lori at loridaniels@denverwaldorf.org.

Larkspur Preschool/Kindergarten Class: ages 3 1/2 to 6 years

Jennifer Powell Palmer (Lead Teacher) Jennider Powell PalmerTaking the reigns from our loving and dedicated teacher, Alice Jordan, we are happy to announce that Ms. Jennifer Powell Palmer will be returning to The Denver Waldorf School this year as our school’s lead Kindergarten teacher in Larkspur. Jennifer brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in both child development and Waldorf education. She was the lead Kindergarten teacher at River Song Waldorf School in Fort Collins for many years before joining our community in 2009 and most recently held the lead teacher position at Starflower until 2014. We welcome Jennifer back as a colleague and teacher to our community. Ms. Jennifer can be reached at jenniferpowellpalmer@denverwaldorf.org or ext. 184.

Brooke Huffman (Lead Assistant) started working at The Denver Waldorf School in 2007, and has been an Aftercare Assistant, a Summer Camp Instructor and both the Nap Assistant and Lead Assistant in Larkspur. She graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a bachelor of science degree in Biology, and is currently participating in the Waldorf Teacher Training Program at Sound Circle Center for Arts and Anthroposophy in Seattle, WA. In her spare time, Brooke does handwork projects and creates natural soaps and lotions. Ms. Brooke can be reached at brookehuffman@denverwaldorf.org or ext. 153.

Woodrose Preschool/Kindergarten Class: ages 3 1/2 to 6 years

Krisztina van't VeerKrisztina van’t Veer (Lead Teacher) has been working in various Waldorf environments for the past 17 years. Raised in Hungary, she has lived, studied and worked in Germany, Scotland and the United States. She has a bachelor of arts degree in Social Work with an emphasis on people with disabilities which she completed in Germany, writing her thesis about Anthroposophy and Camphill communities. Ms. Krisztina also completed her Foundation Year with Rudolf Steiner College. She worked for four years in Camphill communities in Germany and Scotland, and as Lead Assistant at Parzival Shield Waldorf Kindergarten in Denver.  She has been working at DWS since 2004; first as a Substitute and Nap Assistant, later as the Lead Assistant in the Woodrose Kindergarten. She is currently enrolled in the Waldorf Teacher Training Program at Sound Circle Center for Arts and Anthroposophy. Krisztina speaks three languages and teaches German to children and adults. She has been a parent at DWS since 2004. Mrs. van’t Veer can be reached at krisztinavantveer@denverwaldorf.org or ext. 156.

tcyndiCyndi Ross-Smith (Woodrose Lead Assistant) has decades of Waldorf experience. She started working at the San Diego Waldorf School in 1990. She helped to develop the Aftercare Program for The Denver Waldorf School and she worked as an Aftercare staff member from 1997-2004, becoming the Director of The Denver Waldorf School Aftercare Program in 2004. Miss Cyndi has had two formal years of Early Childhood Education and years of on-the-job training, as she has worked with young children in some capacity since she was 19 years old. Miss Cyndi attends Nancy Blanning’s kindergarten studies throughout the year as well as other kindergarten workshops and Waldorf conferences. She loves baking, singing and crafting with the children. You may contact Miss Cyndi at ext. 173.
Passions: Walking, hiking, riding a Cruiser!
Mantra: “Live in the moment; the moment is all we have”
Favorite Quote: “What day is it?” “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh ~ A.A. Milne”
Other Occupation You’d Like to Try? Nursing

Megan Smith (Nap Assistant)
Megan Smith is the mother of five children. All five began their educational journeys in The Denver Waldorf School’s kindergarten and now three are graduates/alumni and two are in the high school. She has been a substitute teacher at the school on and off since 2002. Megan earned a bachelor of science in microbiology from Colorado State University and an associates degree as a veterinary technician. She completed the state’s requirements for an Early Childhood Teacher.