Our community of devoted and accomplished faculty and staff members strives to create an environment of warmth, enthusiasm, and inspiration for our students each and every day.
Sweet Pea Lead Teacher
Megumi was born and grew up in Fukushima, Japan. She came to the United States in 1995 to study Anthroposophy and Waldorf education, graduating from Rudolf Steiner College in 1999. Since then, she has taught in both Japan and the U.S. In addition to being our Sweet Pea Nursery/Kindergarten teacher, she is also the mother of a son enrolled in Sanderling's middle school. She loves young children, singing and making things, and is a self-described bookworm—in both English and Japanese.
Marigold Lead Teacher
Anna grew up in a small valley in southern California where she spent most of her childhood near the woods, swimming in creeks and studying the natural world. Horseback riding, sailing, swimming and hiking are some of her favorite pastimes and currently she enjoys beekeeping. She sought Waldorf education when beginning the parenting journey with her son who is currently in fourth grade. After completing her Waldorf three year training and bachelors degree, she worked at the Waldorf School of San Diego for 2 years and then taught at an independent program which she operated for four years until she joined Sanderling Waldorf School in 2015. She loves storytelling, singing and puppetry. She lives with her son and her partner, Jason who is a Waldorf middle school teacher at a neighboring school. Anna's sister currently teaches fifth grade at a Waldorf school nearby as well and her mom attended a Waldorf kindergarten in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Anna brings great love and dedication to her work in the Nursery-Kindergarten.
Parent-Child Lead Teacher/ Poppy Class Lead Teacher
Jodi was born and raised in Nebraska in an active, athletic family. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Planning at the University of Vermont before making a move to the West Coast. She taught Environmental Education to children in the Santa Cruz mountains for five years, during which time she discovered Waldorf education. Jodi began her teacher training at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in Marin, CA while also working in the aftercare program and substitute-teaching at the Waldorf School of the Peninsula in Los Altos. Halfway through the training, an opportunity arose to study abroad in Australia, so Jodi spent the year learning, working, and traveling to Australian Waldorf schools before returning to California and relocating to San Diego in the summer of 2006. She worked as an assistant and substitute teacher at the Waldorf School of San Diego before joining our faculty in 2007. Jodi enjoys traveling, swimming, cycling, and running, and is often training for and racing in triathlons. She is the mother of two children, a son and a daughter.
Rose Assistant Teacher
Parent-Child Assistant Teacher &
Early Childhood Aftercare Director
Angelica was born in San Diego and was a student in the very first kindergarten class of the Waldorf School of San Diego. Her family then moved to New York where she attended elementary, middle, and high school at the Green Meadow Waldorf School. She worked and then traveled in Europe before moving back to the west coast. Her parents soon followed and have been involved with both Waldorf schools in San Diego County. Angelica is the mother of three (growing, lively, beautiful) boys who attend school at Sanderling. She enjoys singing, crocheting, cooking, being in nature, and watching the unfolding of each developing child.
Floater & Aftercare Assistant
Elementary & Middle School
Sarah grew up in New Hampshire and is a Waldorf graduate. She attended Pine Hill Waldorf School and High Mowing Waldorf School grades one through twelve. In 2001, Sarah earned a BA from Harvard Extension School, with a major in history. In 2006, she completed her Waldorf teacher training. Sarah has eight years of experience teaching at Waldorf inspired Charter Schools, including on year of serving as a remedial teacher. Sarah recently relocated from Sedona to Carlsbad to become the first grade teacher at Sanderling and she looks forward to a year of work, music, creativity, learning and fun with her first grade class.
Tammy relocated with her wife and dog to the United States from the United Kingdom. Tammy was born in Yeovil, Somerset, UK. She moved around a lot as a child and has lived in many places including London, Devon, Wales, Bristol, and Buffalo, NY. Tammy trained at the University of Plymouth UK and received a B.A. (honors) in Waldorf Education. She taught at both Exeter Steiner School and Bristol Steiner School before coming to Sanderling and joining her class as their first grade teacher in 2014. She loves art, music, nature and photography. Tammy is passionate about Waldorf Education and feels it is a great gift to journey from Grades 1–8 with her class in such a lovely school.
Marko graduated from Miami University with degrees in Creative Writing and English Literature, and enjoys bringing his creativity into his Waldorf classroom. He wrote and staged six class plays, and composed numerous verses and songs for his students. Prior to joining his class in 2013 as their first grade teacher, Marko taught at the Oakland Steiner School in Michigan, teaching every grade from first through eighth, with multiple years spent in the seventh and eighth grades. He also worked in various capacities at the Detroit Waldorf School and he earned his Waldorf teacher's certificate from the Waldorf Institute of the Great Lakes. Prior to his discovery of Waldorf education, Marko taught in both public and charter schools in the Detroit and Grosse Pointe School districts. He has a passion for learning and for guiding students of all ages through the process of learning.
Pat grew up in New England, in the middle of a clamor of five children. She studied physical geography, graphic art, and early childhood education in college, and obtained her Waldorf teaching diploma from Rudolf Steiner College. She has trained teachers internationally, in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and Lizdani, Latvia, and instructed in the summer training programs at Rudolf Steiner College, including a year long instruction of the public school teachers for the first public Waldorf magnet school in Sacramento. Pat has two grown children—Jesse, a graphic artist in San Diego, and Loriel—a botany scientist living in Arcata. Pat is delighted to be teaching at Sanderling. In her spare time she enjoys a good read and riding her bike around Oceanside, and is happy to be spending more time with her family in San Diego.
Brian grew up in Southern Maine, the youngest of three sons. He and his wife Jane Dudley-Ruel (also a Maine native) have been married more than 20 years and have a son, Travers, starting his third year at Skidmore College, NY, majoring in biochemistry. It was Travers who brought Brian to Waldorf education, as he and Jane searched for an education they thought was best for their child. Though they've been associated with several schools, Waldorf has been the one constant, and Brian has seen his son flourish. He brings that love of and confidence in Waldorf education, and 15 years of teaching experience, to Sanderling. (He previously taught in Waldorf schools in the Pacific Northwest, England, and, most recently, Upstate New York.) Prior to teaching, he worked in a variety of careers, including newspaper reporting, city government administration, and real estate. He has always loved travel and has lived on both coasts and abroad. Besides his love of teaching, Brian enjoys downhill skiing, kayaking/canoeing, swimming, and is a huge fan of professional football (Packers) and baseball (Red Sox).
Melissa Nilsen moved to Carlsbad from Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she was a substitute teacher, a board member and the Parent Council Chair at the Minnesota Waldorf School in St. Paul. She graduated from the College of St. Catherine in 2006 with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She is currently enrolled at the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she is earning her Master’s degree in Waldorf Education. Her two daughter are Sanderling students, and the school has quickly become their home. Melissa and her family could not be more thrilled to be here.
In 1996, Amy was the founding teacher of the Hummingbird Parent-Child class which later grew into Sanderling Waldorf School. (Her daughter was also part of the first class.) Amy completed her Foundation Year at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, followed by a four-year training in Eurythmy at Spring Valley, NY. She then completed her pedagogical Eurythmy Training at Emerson College in England. Amy has taught Eurythmy at Waldorf Schools in Santa Barbara, San Diego and at the Journey School, a charter Waldorf School in Aliso Viejo, CA. She has been teaching Eurythmy at Sanderling since 1999.
Annette (or "Frau Andranian", as she's known to students) lives in Cardiff with her husband, their three children, a dog, and five chickens. A native of Berlin, Germany, she has lived in Encinitas for ten years. She moved here after graduating from the Free University in Berlin, where she majored in Elementary Education and teaching English as a Foreign Language. Annette taught first grade at La Costa Meadows Elementary School before leaving teaching to start a family. In her free time, Annette loves to walk and play at the beach, explore with her children, and meet her friends over a cup of tea. She's thrilled to be teaching at Sanderling, especially since the Waldorf environment reminds her so much of her own school experience as a child. She is excited to share her native language and culture with her students.
Barbara is new to the Sanderling Waldorf team, teaching German to 1st and 2nd Grade. Born and raised in Berlin, close to where Annette Andranian grew up, she graduated from FU Berlin with a MA in education. She taught German in several Grade and language levels from Preschool up to Grade 6 in German Public Schools and International IB Schools. In 2009 curiosity made the family move to Northern California where she became a homeroom teacher for Grade 2 at the German American International School in Menlo Park. After relocating to Southern California, she had to wait for her green card to start teaching again. Only the youngest of Barbara’s and her husband Jörg’s four kids still live with them (if you don’t count the two cats they have). The others enjoy parts of their education in Denmark, Germany and Ruanda. In her free time Barbara takes woodworking courses at Palomar College and loves to go places with or without the motorcycle.
"Señora" Veronica joined our faculty in 2015.
Thea was born in an Indiana suburb of Chicago to two educators. Along with her three sisters, she attended the only K–6 Montessori school in the region. While she admired the philosophy of Maria Montessori, she became interested in the history of and philosophies of Rudolf Steiner, incorporating them into her parenting style and eventually enrolling her son at Sanderling. Growing up, Thea was happiest while exercising her body—through every discipline from dance and sports, to needlework and macrame. Now as an adult, she is grateful to have found two career paths perfectly suited to her life's pursuits. She has taught yoga, both in private and public settings, for more than 10 years, and she is thrilled to be Sanderling's games teacher. Thea and her partner Brian have three sons, who are all enthusiastic Sanderling students.
Amy is a strong advocate of community and local regeneration, which she feels deepens San Diego’s sense of regional and personal identity. She blogs at peoplespath.com and is the owner of Organic Hammer, a sustainable landscape design company and retail store offering workshops and supplies for the urban homesteader. Amy feels that children have an innate connection with nature, and that by encouraging this bond we can foster a sustainable future. In addition to being our gardening teacher, she is also a mother of two daughters who attend our grades program. She lives with her family in Encinitas.
Peter received his B.A. in Economics from Claremont McKenna College, and was a member of the first graduating class of the WISC San Diego program. He began working as a Waldorf class assistant in 2005. His son was part of the first Morning Glory Kindergarten glass at the Waldorf School of San Diego and is now in their eighth grade class. His stepdaughter is also in eighth grade, and his stepson is in the twelfth grade at Helix High School. He is also the proud father of a young daughter who is in Sunflower Kindergarten at WSSD. Peter’s other interests include Tai Chi Chuan and Chinese swordsmanship, and the study and play of competitive chess.
Cello, Violin & Viola
Joe began bass violin studies at the age of eleven, and started writing orchestral music in his early teens with Edwin Barker, Ran Blake, Miroslav Vitous and Hankus Netsky at the New England Conservatory of Music. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Arts in Music from UC San Diego. Widely acclaimed for his stylistic versatility, Joe maintained a stimulating and varied performance schedule as principal bass of the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, the Roger Wagner Chorale and the Irvine Camerata. He also played with the Hawaii Symphony and Honolulu Symphony and Opera Orchestras. Jazz has also figured prominently in Joe’s career. He has been honored several times for his solo and ensemble playing at the Monterey Jazz Festival and has performed with a variety of notables of Jazz and Blues. Joe has taught music at every level from elementary to college, and currently is an adjunct professor at San Diego City College in addition to teaching at Sanderling. He is also executive producer of “Second Fiddle”, a film by Oscar-winning director Cynthia Wade about the life and work of Carleen Hutchins.
Priscilla was raised in San Diego where her childhood days were filled with reading, creating, and exploring the natural surroundings. After earning a B.A. in Literature and Writing Studies, she worked for Poway Unified School District. She is a student in the teacher training program at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, and before becoming our handwork teacher, she was the Marigold classroom assistant in our Nursery/Kindergarten for several years. She has also worked for the Waldorf-inspired LifeWays center A Child’s Garden of Thyme. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and creating all types of handwork, especially knitting and doll-making.
Brian Wolff joined Sanderling Waldorf School as its Business Administrator in June, 2016. What attracted him to Waldorf was a truly child-centered approach to education that endeavors to work out of the spirit of the times. Brian has over thirty years of combined experience in nonprofit management – as an administrator at two Waldorf Schools, as Director of the Office of Vocational Training and Development at Harold Washington College and as Financial Administrator at Esperanza Community Services, a community based social service agency for persons with developmental disabilities. He has a Master of Science in Human Services Administration from Spertus College. Additionally, he has a M.A. in Interpersonal Communications from Governor’s State University and a B.A. in Business Administration from Drake University. He also became certified as a Therapeutic Eurythmist after completing trainings in London and Stuttgart. He enjoys hiking, camping and golf.
Shivani is a native of Great Britain, and before becoming our pedagogical administrator was the head teacher for three years of what is now our fifth grade class. She holds a Doctorate of Education in Teaching and Learning from the University of California, San Diego, and is a Master Waldorf teacher who spent 13 years working at the Harriet Tubman Village School, a charter school in San Diego. Shivani is fluent in Spanish and has a Bilingual Multiple Subject California Teaching Credential. She also works as an instructor at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California in areas including teacher preparation and Grade 1–8 curriculum design. Shivani assisted in the development of the National Writing Project, and was the runner-up for San Diego Unified School District Teacher of the Year in 2009–10. As pedagogical administrator, she facilitates communication between faculty and parents, offering support and guidance in both realms.
Kim joined our administration in 2010. She was born and raised in Southern California and has two children who are Sanderling students. She has a degree in Finance and worked in the financial industry for a number of years before taking time off to stay home with her children. At Sanderling, she manages tuition billing, budgeting, and payments, as well as human resources. Kim enjoys playing with her children, spending time at the beach, reading, and gardening.
Registrar & Scrip Coordinator
Patti is the mother of two boys in Sanderling's grade school and is a San Diego native who returned to the area after living in Boston for 10 years. She worked in software development for The MathWorks in Natick, MA and as a GPS engineer for SPAWAR in Pt. Loma. She graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Her interests include literature and libraries, playing in the hand bell choir and adventures in nature.