Meet Our Lower Grades Teachers

Alexa Krakauskas, Current 1st Grade Teacher

Alexa is known for her ability to lovingly shape and form her classes and provide engaging learning experiences that keep students enthusiastic throughout their lower grades experience. Her therapeutic education background and interest in differentiated learning support her work with individual students and the class. You will find Alexa and her class outdoors each morning — singing, passing beanbags, and folk dancing, regardless of the weather. Alexa has completed a 1st- 4th-grade teaching loop and will welcome a new group of first graders for the 2023-2024 school year. Her return to first grade will be the third time nurturing, shaping, and teaching a first-grade class.

In addition to teaching in grade school, Alexa’s tenure at DWS includes three years of teaching high school science. She utilizes her doctorate in veterinary medicine from Cornell University to instill a passion for the biological sciences and a genuine love of animals. This high school experience helps to inform her of where the students are as they begin first grade and where they are eventually headed as they mature and move toward graduation from DWS in twelfth grade.

Before joining the DWS community, Alexa was part of the faculty and being a parent at the Waldorf School of Philadelphia and Mountain Phoenix Community School. Alexa holds a Waldorf teaching certificate in Elementary Education from Sunbridge Institute.

Alexa is a mother of four children. Three of her children currently attend DWS, and her oldest graduated from DWS. In her spare time, Alexa enjoys being in the mountains with her family, taking long hikes with her two dogs, puttering around with her chickens, and gardening.

Magally Luna, Current 2nd Grade Teacher

Through love, laughter, and enthusiasm, Magally strives to instill a lifelong love of learning in her students. She began teaching Spanish at The Denver Waldorf School (DWS) in 2001 before becoming a class teacher for Grades 1-8. As a native Spanish speaker, Magally loves bringing stories, songs, and dances of the Spanish-speaking and Indigenous Peoples to her students and community through story, song, and dance.

Magally has been part of the Waldorf Spanish Teachers Association for many years. She co-chairs the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America’s (AWSNA) BIPOC Affinity Group. She is working closely with AWSNA to increase the lens of diversity in the Waldorf curriculum in North America. She is also helping to develop programs to support teachers of color in Waldorf schools. Additionally, Magally collaborated with the Longmont Conflict Center and Denver Conflict Center to bring Restorative Practices to DWS.

With a BFA in Dance in Indo-Afro-American culture from the University of Colorado in Boulder, CU Boulder, Magally explores cultures and anthroposophy to enrich her work in the classroom and DWS’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Committee. Outside of the classroom, Magally sings with her Salsa band and performs in theatrical productions, giving a voice to stories that include those of Spanish-speaking and Indigenous peoples of America.

Dawn Archer, Current 3rd Grade Teacher

Dawn is passionate about bringing the children a relevant and current Waldorf education. As a class teacher for Grades 1-4, Dawn strives to help the children have all the tools necessary to be confident in their ability to create a beautiful future for humanity. She aims to inspire the children to have love for themselves, each other, and the earth. Dawn’s two sons graduated from The Denver Waldorf School and started in preschool.

Before becoming a class teacher, Dawn was the Enrichment Director at The Denver Waldorf School. She has studied Anthroposophy for decades and brings a deep relationship with the spiritual world. She is a lifelong learner and loves movement. Recently, in 2019, Dawn completed a two-year program at Red Rocks Community College and received her Director of Early Childhood Certificate. She will complete her Waldorf teacher training in July of 2024 through Gradalis.

Originally trained as a nutritionist, Dawn is passionate about nutrition and how it affects our bodies and learning ability. In her spare time, she enjoys making art, paddle boarding, going to hot springs, spending time in nature while camping and hiking, cooking, parachute jumping, teaching and playing Mah Jongg, and playing in whatever way she can. Dawn mostly loves empowering people to be their best authentic selves through compassion, love, and honest intimacy.

Jessie Cartwright, Current 4th Grade Teacher

Jessie brings her love of education to life through her experiences, love of nature, excitement in trying new things, and delight in cooking, crafting, and creating with her heart and hands. Jessie strives to work with integrity and authenticity to meet today’s students, offering them all the highest level of Waldorf education.

Jessie has successfully cycled two classes from first to eighth grade and is taking her current class through eighth after which she intends to join the upper grades loop. Before becoming a class teacher, Jessie led movement and games in the lower grades. In addition to her responsibilities as a class teacher, Jessie holds a participatory role, serving on both the Leadership Team and The Professional Development Committee. Jessie is a Denver Waldorf School graduate with two children at DWS.

Jessie holds a BA in Sociology, History, and Art from Fort Lewis College. She has a Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Antioch New England Graduate School. Outside of the classroom, Jessie loves to garden, travel, and swim in the ocean!