Faculty and Staff Photo
Jana Lombardo – Sunflower Kindergarten
Jana’s journey to become a teacher began when she was a young child, growing up in a small town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. As children, Jana and her siblings explored the enchanted back woods surrounding their cabin and later the streets of their small town. Intrigued by the curiosity and desire within children to learn, she was drawn towards teaching and was introduced to the Waldorf community as a young college student when she took a job in the aftercare at Yuba River Charter School. Fascinated by the school’s environment, curriculum, and community, she began her educator journey. Jana has since spent over 20 years working with and learning about children. She earned a BA in Human Development and a Multiple Subject CLAD with Emphasis in Early Childhood Credential from Sonoma State. She has attended classes at Rudolf Steiner College and the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training and taught in preschools, Kindergarten, public primary classrooms, has taken a class from 1st through 3rd grade, and substitute taught in all the grades. She finds her favorite place to be in the Kindergarten. She lives in Santa Rosa with her husband and two youngest daughters. She enjoys going on adventures in nature with her family.
Nico Rease – Rainbow Kindergarten
Nico is a proud mother and grandmother and has been working with children for the last 36 years. She is thrilled to be the Rainbow Waldorf Kindergarten teacher.
Nico weaves in a variety of valuable perspectives into her teaching from: her Masters in Consciousness, eco-therapist skills, her teaching credential certificate, her deep nature work from Regenerative Design and Nature Connection, along with her Waldorf teaching certificate. When not working, she can be found swimming in the fresh hot springs or salt waters, hiking up a steep mountain, playing with children at the local parks, needle felting, gathering with other sisters in ceremony, hugging the trees, also organizing another incredible rites of passage gathering through her program Wild Wisdom.
Jessica James – Sunflower Assistant
Bio to come.
Sheina Curtis – Rainbow Assistant
Sheina has been delighting in young children since her college days. While pursuing a Biology degree at Tufts University, she volunteered at a local preschool and discovered her passion for working with young children. Sheina was a preschool, TK and Kindergarten teacher in the Bay Area for more than fifteen years. She took a decade-long break from the classroom to raise her three daughters and has seen how a Waldorf education has benefited her own children. She is overjoyed that she can welcome young children into the Waldorf Kindergarten experience at Sebastopol Charter. At home, Sheina tends to more than 30 kinds of fruits and berries and 100 Pinot Noir vines. She loves birding, gardening, singing, making wine, and learning languages.
Juliana Langley – Grade 1
Photo & Bio to Come.
Emily Stock – Grade 2
Emily began her Waldorf journey with her children. She was a parent at Sebastopol Charter School for 16 years as her three children climbed the grades from kindergarten through 8th grade. Inspired by the developmental approach in the curriculum, she began working as a classroom aide and joined the staff at SCS as a member of the Response to Intervention team in 2020. After working in a supportive role in 1st and 2nd grade classrooms, After receiving her BA from Sonoma State University, she started her California Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, which she will have completed this year. She entered the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training this past summer and she looks forward to the continuation of this course study to deepen her Waldorf practice and knowledge . Emily is happy to join the faculty at Sebastopol Charter as a class teacher.
Andrew Ward – Grade 3
Mr. Ward started at Sebastopol Charter as the Games teacher and Athletic Director. Before that, he was a public school teacher for grades 4th and 6th in both San Francisco and Santa Rosa. A Sonoma County local, Andrew Ward was a Waldorf student at Willow Wood Waldorf School in Sebastopol (before it became SunRidge) 1st through 8th grade. After moving to San Francisco for college, where he went to SF State University and received his BA in history, he later attended University of the Pacific to complete his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Master’s degree in education. Currently, Mr. Ward is working towards completing his Waldorf Teacher certification through the Center for Educational Renewal at Summerfield Waldorf School. When he isn’t teaching in the classroom, Mr. Ward enjoys coaching the school’s middle school basketball teams and exploring the great outdoors in his personal time.
Autumn Rose Deason – Grade 4
Autumn Rose’s journey working with children began twenty-five years ago. In mainstream education, she has taught second, third, fifth, seventh, and eighth grade for over 10 years. After completing her Waldorf training at the Center For Educational Renewal at Summerfield School, she was an assistant in first grade at SICS. Since then she has been a grades teacher at Live Oak Charter School and SICS. Autumn Rose received her Multiple Subjects teaching credential from Humboldt State University, where also she received minors in history and English. Her passion for literacy led her to specialize in Reading education, and she has been a reading specialist in public and Waldorf Schools.
Autumn Rose brings joy, laughter, curiosity, hard work and love to her teaching. She especially enjoys teaching singing and drama to students. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Dustin, and their three children: Joshua, Isaac and Liliana. Gardening, reading, star gazing, hiking, taking road trips, traveling abroad, and playing with her cats and dog are some of Autumn Rose’s favorite pastimes.
Kathleen Austin – Grade 5
Originally from Virginia, Kathleen Austin moved to Sebastopol in 2015 to join the local public Waldorf community. Kathleen is passionate about integrating the artistic, hands-on experience of a Waldorf education with public academic standards. A former choral director, Kathleen taught middle school choir at SunRidge School and also at Sebastopol Independent Charter. Ms. Austin holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Westminster Choir College, a multiple subject teaching credential from Cal State and is currently finishing her masters degree in Waldorf education at Antioch University.
Jehanne Hale – Grade 6
Bio to Come.
Heather Carpenter – Grade 7
Heather Carpenter joined Sebastopol Charter School in 2013. She completed her Waldorf training at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2012 and earned her California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Dominican University in 2015. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from UC Berkeley, and is T.E.F.L certified. Prior to teaching, Heather has been a program developer (in nutrition research, as well speech and language development), a designer, a photographer, an artist and counselor. She loves to paint and draw, work in her garden, and wander off the beaten path with her son.
Shari Thierry – Grade 8
Shari joined the staff in the fall of 2012 to assist us both in the classroom and in the resource room at the main campus. A former handwork and class teacher at Highland Hall Waldorf School in Northridge, CA, Shari is Waldorf trained and has a great deal of experience in a variety of classroom settings. Ms. Thierry has a BA from Cal State Northridge in history and brings an incredible organizational sense from her background managing small businesses.
Lauren Ohlsen – Handwork Grades 1-5 and 8
Lauren Gold Ohlsen has been a teacher and an artist for as long as she can remember. She loves sharing her passion for handwork with children and how it creates balance between the head, heart, and hands which has endless benefits. Over the last 20+ years Lauren worked as an art teacher, an environmental educator, and taught Kindergarten-3rd grade as a classroom teacher in Sebastopol. She is also the co-creator/director of Solstice Yoga and Nature Camp which she started in Sebastopol in 2004. Lauren holds a BFA degree from the University of Arizona with an emphasis on fiber arts, painting and child development. She earned her California Multiple Subject CLAD Credential in 2005. Lauren and her husband own Permaculture Artisans and The Permaculture Skills Center. She lives with her husband and two children on their abundant permaculture homestead. Lauren loves to spend time with her family playing in their garden, walking on the beach, or just simply enjoying her handwork.
Kristen McLaughlin – Handwork Grades 6, 7
Kristen McLaughlin began working at the Sebastopol Charter School in 1997 as an assistant teacher in the kindergarten then moved on to teaching handwork grades 1-8. Prior to arriving at Sebastopol Charter she was a Waldorf preschool teacher. Kristen completed her Waldorf teacher training at the Center for Education Renewal. Her prior schooling was at Dominican College in San Rafael, studying nutrition and sports medicine, at Yale studying economics, and at Sarah Lawrence studying child psychology. Kristen loves to garden, bake, learn new fiber arts skills, hike, and go camping. Kristen has a life long love of learning and hopes that she passes this passion on to her students.
Tim Zieminski – Strings Grades 3-8
Tim Zieminski is an active violin teacher and performer, born and raised in Sonoma County. He holds a B.M. in Violin Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and maintains an active private violin studio. He frequently performs locally, with groups including Bellarosa String Quartet, Santa Rosa Symphony, and his Celtic band Rogues’ Regiment. When not teaching or performing, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife and children, being active in his church, and playing a variety of sports including ultimate frisbee and baseball.
Krista Rae – Physical Education Grades 1-8 , Athletic Director
Krista is from Sonoma County, and now resides in Sebastopol with her two children. She has been working in education and teaching for 14 years and loves teaching PE and Health. She holds single subject teaching credentials in Physical Education, Health Science, Foundational Science, and Psychology from Sonoma State, and a B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State. She is also a Certified Health Coach.
April McDonald – Math Grades 6,7,8
Ms. McDonald grew up and has lived all her life in the Bay Area. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Radio and Television with a minor in music. After spending time in the communications field, she married and began raising her two daughters.For many years she taught piano so that she could be home with her girls. Her passion for math grew out of her volunteer time in her daughters’ classes. She noticed how they struggled in math class and as she looked for ways to support them, she developed a strong desire to bring her teaching skills to the task. She returned to school at Sonoma State to get her credential and additionally to receive her master’s in education. She loves helping students develop their math skills. This will be her 10th year as a classroom teacher. In addition to a love of math, Ms. McDonald enjoys playing piano, ukulele, singing, gardening and reading. She also loves to play with her cat, Aslan.
Laura De Rojas – Spanish Grades 1-6
Originally from Cuba, Laura spent her adolescence and early adulthood living in the Los Angeles area, where she attended the University of Southern California (USC) and obtained a degree in Psychology and Spanish Literature. She later attended California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), successfully completing a teacher certification program. As a result, she has been educating elementary school children since 2007.
Teaching assignments have included 7 years teaching 4th grade in Culver City Unified School district (SoCal), 2 years teaching 5th grade at a Dual Immersion Spanish Language school in Napa Valley Unified School District, and most recently, instructing art to children of various ages at a Sonoma County nonprofit organization.
In 2015, she decided to relocate to Northern California with her family, a place she now is proud to call home. What she loves most about NorCal living is easy access to breathtaking nature. She often enjoys hiking with her husband and son discovering the various beautiful county and state parks throughout the region.
Laura continues to expand her horizons by now joining a team of dedicated teachers who understand, what is so well captured by Waldorf pedagogy, that nurturing the whole child is the best form of education. She is also pursuing a Landscape Design certificate at Santa Rosa Junior College fulfilling a deep desire to not only nurture children, but our plant world as well.
Kimberly Mintzer – Spanish Grades 7, 8
Kimberly earned her BA in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin, studied at the University of Madrid & Bordeaux, and earned her Bilingual Teaching Credential through CSUSB. She has taught in international, public, private and rural schools in the States as well as in Mexico and Ecuador. Kimberly brings her lifelong love of language, creative process, culture and co-collaboration to her learning communities.
Alysson Baker – Woodwork Grades 6,7,8
As a former Sebastopol Charter parent, board member, and “new” campus construction manager, Alysson is delighted to join the school as the woodworking teacher. With her degree in architecture from Yale University, Waldorf training from the Center for Educational Renewal, general contracting license, and multi- and single-subject state credentials, the middle-school woodworking program perfectly combines her love of making things and her love of education. With years of experience as a Waldorf class teacher and a Waldorf high school history teacher, Alysson brings pedagogical depth along with a full set of practical skills to her work in the wood shop. She notes “Woodworking strengthens our capacities for focus and patience, calls us into a hands-on relationship with the natural world and its astounding gifts, and puts purpose to each student’s innate creativity.”
Kim Hoch – AfterCare Coordinator
Kim has lived in Sebastopol since 1998 and is from Rochester, NY and Fremont, California. Graduating from Humboldt State University with BS in Natural Resource Science with minors in Political Science and Appropriate Technology. She also studied child development and environmental studies from Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz. Her now grown children attended and graduated from Sebastopol Charter School where they received a great education and are successful adults. A long standing member of our Sebastopol Community, she is well known in many Waldorf circles, working in every Waldorf school in the north Bay and taking school pictures with Sari Singerman for a decade. She has been an art teacher at the Reach School as well as interim Aftercare Coordinator at Sunridge Waldorf School before starting working at the Sebastopol Charter School in 2018. She is a dedicated caregiver, a jewelry artist, and avid nature enthusiast. Taking care of children navigating a changing world is a passion as she sees how important more than ever to have children experience calm, nurturing, stable aftercare. She has been incredibly lucky to be mentored by amazing teachers who are now retired in our community.
Ashley Schroth-Cary – Meal Program Coordinator
Ashley Schroth-Cary is a holistic nutritionist who studied at Bauman College and San Francisco State University. Her background is in emergency response, having worked as an EMT/firefighter and a ski patroller. However, she found her true calling as a nutritionist. She has spent the last eleven years helping build wellness programs in Sonoma County focusing on nutrition, exercise and stress management. In these programs she has done extensive work with 1:1 patient and client nutrition counseling, group workshops and cooking classes as well as individual and group exercise training.
Ashley is a 5 time certified personal trainer who has worked as a group fitness trainer as well as a personal trainer. She is also a sports nutrition specialist. She is passionate about helping people eat healthier, train better and stress less. When she isn’t working, she enjoys being with her 2 daughters, husband and dogs, usually doing something outdoors or figuring out a way to sneak away to Lake Tahoe. She has a passion for healthy cooking and loves to help others ignite their passion as well.
STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES FACULTY
Karen Erdman – Vice-Principal and Director of Student Support Services
Karen Erdman is formerly the Director of Special Education at Credo High School. Prior to that she was the special education teacher at Live Oak Charter School. Throughout her career, Karen has developed project based middle school programs, has been a Waldorf class teacher, public school teacher and an education specialist in both public and charter schools. Some of her teaching posts have included remote Alaska, inner city Oakland, and Richmond, Mt. Shasta, and Japan. She is passionate about supporting student needs with best practices from many sources, including Waldorf remedial education. Karen holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching and credentials in Life Coaching, and Blomberg’s Rhythmic Movement Training. Karen enjoys gardening, knitting, swimming, hiking and camping, week-long bike trips with her husband, watching a good documentary, sharing precious time with her mom, and traveling to Europe to see her family. She has a nephew, two adult step-children, and two grandchildren.
Jeff Lough – School Psychologist and School Counselor
Jeff Lough grew up Southern California. After teaching special education in the Los Angeles Unified School District he began his career as a school psychologist. Later Jeff became the co-creator and principal of Mariposa School of Global Education, a Waldorf-Inspired Public School in Agoura Hills, CA. Jeff relocated with his wife and 3 children to Humboldt county where he returned to school psychology and became a faculty member in the Department of Psychology Graduate Program at Humboldt State University. Jeff and his wife, Tracy, also ran Forest and Farm School, an outdoor early childhood education program on their rural homestead in Humboldt County, Ca. Currently Jeff serves as a board member on the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education and in 2019 Jeff began as the Student Support Services Director and School Psychologist at Sebastopol Independent Charter School. In his role, Jeff oversees the Response to Intervention Program (RTI), counseling services, and special education program. His enthusiasm for supporting the academic development and mental health of Sebastopol Charter Students is palpable!
Danielle Ing – Special Education Teacher
I have been a special education teacher for 6 years in special day classes and as a resource specialist in learning centers. My background includes recreation, outdoor education, arts education and team building. I live in Petaluma with my husband, two year-old son, and two dogs. I am passionate about social-emotional education because it is the foundation on which learning skills and life skills are built. I look forward to working with you and the SICS staff to equip our students to reach their fullest potentials and recognize their strengths and talents as valuable gifts in their learning communities.
Sophia Wiebe – Special Education Teacher
Sophia Wiebe decided she wanted to work with children at a young age. She loved teaching her sister the letters of the alphabet, along with other life lessons, such as how to build the perfect fort out of willow branches. After ten years of Waldorf education at the Sebastopol Charter School, Sophia went on to attend Santa Rosa Junior College, Cabrillo College, and ended with her B.A. in Liberal Studies from Sonoma State University. Throughout her studies, Sophia has valued her Waldorf education, and has always known that her future career would be influenced by it. Sophia loves to work with her hands in her free time, whether it is knitting gnomes and socks, or building bookshelves and tables out of scraps of wood found in the front yard.
Laurie Hartsook – Literacy Specialist
Laurie grew up in Texas, spent childhood summers in France, and returned to her birth state of California for college. She earned a B.A. in psychology and a multiple subjects teaching credential at UCSD. Her teaching career began in San Diego, but after a vacation to Hawaii, she ended up living, teaching and raising a family on the Big Island with her husband and two children. It was there that she discovered Waldorf education and taught at Malamalama Waldorf School for 8 years. With her family she relocated to Sonoma county in 2009 and completed her Waldorf certification. She was a Waldorf teacher for 16 years in grades K-7. Presently Laurie enjoys her new position supporting and engaging students in reading and writing. She is in the process of becoming certified in Orton Gillingham (a multisensory, structured literacy approach), and self publishing her second childrens’ book. She continues to dedicate her life to helping children build on their strengths and grow into new skills.
Michelle Lutz – Speech and Language
Michelle is passionate about working with children and their families to best support the whole child. She has been working with children for over a decade with a focus on independent learning within various environments. Her background translates seamlessly as a speech therapist assistant as Michelle has a natural ability to engage children in a fun and exciting way to meet their individual and changing needs. Additionally, Michelle is experienced in leading group social skills instruction using the Social Thinking Curriculum. Once children learn foundational social skills, Michelle helps to apply them in real-life scenarios to ensure the skills are generalized. She is a strong advocate of Thinking Maps to expand children’s language development, and experienced with articulation and expressive/receptive language and speech sound disorders.
Michelle currently holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Queensland, Australia, maintaining a 4.0 while earning her SLPA license from Pasadena City College’s highly acclaimed Speech Language Pathology program and is currently licensed to practice in the state of California. Michelle holds an Educational Specialist Award from PCC and Certificate of Recognition from the California state senate and state assembly.
Paige Kline – Special Education Assistant
Paige Kline is a Los Angeles native who found her way to the apple orchards of Sebastopol in 2021. After graduating college with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, she traveled to Israel to teach English to underprivileged children. She is trilingual and speaks, reads, and writes in English, Spanish and Hebrew. She is passionate about her work in Special Education, making a difference in students’ lives and fostering an environment of inclusivity and rainbows.