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Special Subject Teachers & Support Staff

David Dunn
Woodworking Teacher

David came to The Denver Waldorf School as a full-time teacher in 2017 after having taught blacksmith classes at the school since 2010. He also worked with at-risk youth in the Denver area as a teacher and counselor at Denver Children’s Home for eight years and enjoyed being a wilderness counselor with Alternative Homes for youth for four years. David began blacksmithing on a whim back in 2002 and loves spending time in nature – bring on the skiing, biking, hiking and fly fishing.

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Sara Fierer
Strings Teacher

Sara has been teaching at The Denver Waldorf School since 2000 and shares her joy of music with high school orchestra as well as with students in our lower grades. She strives to inspire all her students to have a great time playing instruments. Away from DWS, Sara maintains a private studio and plays with her string trio as well as with the Boulder Philharmonic. Prior to moving to Colorado, Sara taught as an orchestra director for three years near New York City. Sara earned a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Oberlin along with a BA Arts from Oberlin in Environmental Studies. Additionally, Sara earned an MA in Cello Performance and completed coursework in music education from The University of Texas at Austin.



Mariko Murase

Mariko came to DWS in 2006 after having grown up in Nagoya, Japan. She arrived in Denver in 2000 to attend graduate school at the University of Denver, earning a master’s in Performance Piano. Her undergraduate degree comes from Nagoya University of Arts, also in Performance Piano, and with a minor in Vocal Performance. Prior to coming to Denver, Mariko studied abroad in Hungary at the Franz Liszt Music Academy as well as at the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Academy in Sydney, Australia. While in Denver, Mariko has worked with the DU Men’s Choir, Rocky Mountain Children’s Choir, the Arvada Center, and several area schools. As a music teacher, Mariko aspires to collaborate with children, helping them understand they can make things go from impossible to possible, without limitations. Outside of teaching, she loves everything  about nature adventures and go-karts.

Read more about Mariko in our blogpost


Mckenna Fuentes
Spanish Teacher
High School & 8th Grade

Mckenna joined DWS in August 2016 as our second High School Spanish Teacher and also teaches 6th grade math. Having attended The Denver Waldorf School from pre-K through eighth grade, Mckenna went on to graduate as valedictorian from Smoky Hill High School and later earned a degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado, Denver. She taught at Bruce Randolph Middle School before finding her way back to DWS. Her loves include taekwondo, volleyball and travel – she has studied abroad in the Dominican Republic and has visited Costa Rica multiple times. During the summer of 2016, Mckenna is spent time in Thailand working at the Elephant Refuge and Education Center.



Natalia Lopez-Gomez
Spanish Teacher

Originally from Spain, Natalia has an Elementary Education degree as well as training in teaching Spanish as a foreign language. She came to DWS in Fall 2020 with 12 years of teaching experience.



Deborah Wolf
Handwork Teacher

Deb has been teaching at DWS since 1990. She was born in New Orleans and moved to Colorado to attend Colorado College and the University of Denver School of Social Work, where she earned her Master’s degree. She taught in the DWS Preschool Kindergarten for three years and then studied class teaching at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, California. In 2005, she graduated her second 8th Grade class and has since held the Handwork program. Deb completed the Handwork Training at Sunbridge College in 2010.

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coachquinngirlsbballMichael Quinn
Athletic Director
Head High School Boys and Girls Basketball Coach

Michael joined DWS in August of 2003. His recreational history includes eight years as a Recreational Instructor in Youth Sports and Arts at Harvard Gulch Recreation Center in Denver. He taught children ranging in age from 5 to 14. He is a graduate of South High School and attended Metropolitan State College.

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Sarah Boyer
Student Support Coordinator

Sarah Boyer grew up near Rapid City, South Dakota and made her way to Iowa’s Grinnell College in for her undergraduate degree where she read lots of books and wrote lots about lots of books. After Grinnell, Sarah moved to western Massachusetts for her masters program in poetry and then to Denver for her PhD work in writing. She wrote HOWARD, a book of poems about learning to live with a chronic illness published by a small press in upstate New York (sunnyoutside). Teaching, writing and reading are all of her favorite things. Her partner is a farmer who runs a community supported agriculture program. They live in Lakewood with their three-year-old and a dog named Oyster who fancies herself royalty.

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Mary Spotts
Reading Specialist

Mary has been teaching at DWS since 1997. She earned her BA in Education from Rhode Island College, is certified in the F.A.S.T. remedial program from Denver Academy and has her reading and writing certification from the Cherry Creek school district. Wilson Barbara Wise, Language! and Orton Gillingham are among the many remedial reading courses she has completed. Mary regularly attends Reading in the Rockies, Courage to Risk and Colorado International Reading Association conferences to remain current in her field. She serves on the educational committee of the Rocky Mountain International Dyslexia Association. Mary is constantly amazed by the creativity and warmth of the students she teaches and feels a deep sense of gratitude for the parents that share their children with her.

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Nancy Blanning
Therapeutic Support

Nancy has been teaching in Waldorf settings since 1982. After 17 years in the Waldorf Preschool Kindergarten, she began to offer therapeutic support lessons for children in our school. Her education includes a BA degree from CU Boulder in English, with teaching credentials, and a four-year therapeutic education training. She also serves as a board member with the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN).

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Anamaria Leighton
Therapeutic Support

Anamaria offers therapeutic support lessons for children in our school. She has a Master of Science degree in Education from Sunbridge College in New York.

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Milandra Pfister
Reading Support



Jennifer Thompson – MA, LPC
School Counselor

Jennifer is a Licensed Professional Counselor who grew up in Goshen, Indiana, and attended Indiana University for her undergraduate degree in Sociology. After graduating from IU, Jennifer moved with her partner Chuck to Philadelphia where she received her MA in counseling psychology from Arcadia University. Jennifer worked as a school counselor in Brighton before turning her emphasis to individual therapy. Jennifer worked for People House in their affordable counseling program and then segued into working at Highlands Behavioral Health. Jennifer, missing being in schools, accepted the position of mental health counselor at The Denver Waldorf School. Jennifer lives with her partner and two children, Charley, and Amelia. Jennifer enjoys reading, hiking, playing music, and hanging out with her cat Cosmo.

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267-467-1772  cell

Stephanie Urban
Math Specialist and English Language Learning Teacher

Stephanie has a bachelor’s degree in geology from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and an MBA from the University of Denver. She worked in the oil business in Sonora, Mexico; Dallas and Littleton, Colorado before embarking on her teaching career. Her passion for teaching began in her son’s classroom with a Bernoulli Blower and the creation of sols. She has taught hands-on science with her company, Gray Matters Hands-On Science, for 20+ years. Stephanie joined DWS is January of 2017 to teach English Language Learners and began working with 3rd through 8th graders in September of 2019 as a Math Specialist. Outside of school hours, Stephanie enjoy swimming, especially outdoors, photography, writing, reading, traveling and dogs.

“I hope my students learn to ask questions, have fun with math, enjoy puns, laugh, reason, appreciate nature and fossils, and read wonderful literature. And I hope they ask me a few questions I don’t know the answers to.”

303-777-0531 x140  office
267-467-1772  cell