Faculty & Staff

Our teachers are something special

They consider teaching to be an art form and take their job very seriously. In addition to bringing the curriculum in a variety of ways, they also know that how they comport themselves is an important part of your child’s education. They are a daily model for your child of how to be an adult and are dedicated to understanding your child and bringing out the best in him or her.

We are fortunate to have an incredibly talented and dedicated group of teachers and staff to guide your child’s education. Many of our teachers are Waldorf-trained.

Faculty Statement of Core Values

Receive the children in reverence; educate them in love; let them go forth in freedom.”
— Rudolf Steiner

Early Childhood Teachers

Loveleen Dhillon

Preschool Director and Apple Blossom PreK Lead Teacher

Loveleen (she/her) holds a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology with a focus on Child, Family, and Community. She has 20 years of experience working with young children. Loveleen also worked with mental health programs, and has 10 years of experience as a Case Manager for children with special needs. Loveleen completed her Waldorf Teacher Training at Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training.

It is Loveleen’s daughter Ananda, that brought her to WCCS 8 years ago as she and her husband John searched for a preschool for their daughter. They first saw the beauty of the campus on their daily walks as a family and then fell in love with the beauty of the education as they learned about the holistic view of the human being innate in Waldorf philosophy. Ananda has flourished at the school and enters 6th grade this year.

Loveleen looks forward to all that is to come in the work of the preschool and lives of the children and families at the school.

Amy Schuchman

Apple Blossom Assistant (Wednesday-Friday)

Amy is honored to be joining this inspired community of people. She found Waldorf education when searching for a preschool for her daughter who is about to turn seven years old. Through witnessing the beauty of raising a young child and with the inspiration of Waldorf education, she decided to study to become a teacher. While her daughter was in school, Amy studied early childhood development at Merritt College in Oakland, CA. After her studies at Merritt College, she began working as a Kindergarten Assistant Teacher at Berkeley Rose Waldorf School and studying at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training. She just completed her first year of Waldorf Teacher Training and is looking forward to completing the training in the next two years. In her past life, Amy completed Sivananda Yoga teacher training at the Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, CA, studied permaculture and organic farming, and became a licensed Esthetician. She is passionate about social justice and environmental issues, and hopes to be an agent of positive change. In her spare time, Amy is usually with her family taking nature hikes, doing Yoga, reading, drawing, painting, sewing, cooking or cleaning. She and her family are looking forward to joining the Wildcat Canyon Community!

Joanna Meinl

Apple Blossom Assistant (Monday-Tuesday)

Joanna (she/her) is a mama, dance maker, arts educator, crafter and nature lover. She has a BA in Dance and Anthropology, has taught dance to children and adults for over twenty years and just recently received her Associate Teachers certificate. She’s been part of the community since her daughter was in preschool in the Apple Blossom class of 2018 and is so excited to be joining the Early Childhood education team.

Candace Ellis

Daisy PreK Teacher

Candace has enjoyed working with young children and their families for nearly 20 years. She graduated from the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2016 and has taught both Kindergarten and Preschool in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings while holding administrative roles in Early Childhood programs as well.

As a teacher, Candace strives to create and foster a learning environment which is beautiful, inspiring and natural for the growing child. She has observed how deeply young children absorb, imitate, and then embody everything they encounter in their surroundings. She believes that providing a solid foundation of warmth, kindness, rhythm, and form allows for the children in the classroom to feel secure, ready to participate and to learn.

Candace is passionate about protecting what she believes to be the “sacred seed of childhood.” In her own words, “Allowing a child to take in the world at their own pace while filled with wonder, ignites the process of their intellect to naturally unfold, as the petals of a flower will open at will to the warm and inviting rays of the sun. Such an awakening of the imagination and the inspired understanding which follows, is the greatest gift of childhood.” Outside of the classroom, Candace enjoys spending time in nature, wildcrafting, up-cycling, gardening and learning about compassionate leadership.

Katie Seraphin

Daisy Assistant

Katie found her passion for working with children after coaching gymnastics as a high school student. Following that spark, she has worked as a preschool teacher in in-home care settings as well as in Reggio based child development centers across the Bay Area and in Austin, Texas. In 2020, Katie earned a bachelors in Human Development with a concentration in Early Childhood Development from California State East Bay.

In 2022, after becoming a parent, Katie felt called to join a school community that centers the education of the whole child, celebrates a global perspective, and promotes a deep connection and responsibility to the earth. Wildcat Canyon Community school answered that call. Katie is honored to join this community and to embrace the Waldorf path. In her free time, Katie loves to spend time with her family, dance, do yoga, garden, and practice the piano.

Jessica Hicks

Preschool Afternoon Teacher

Jessica (she/her) is an alumna of East Bay Waldorf School, the previous incarnation of Wildcat Canyon Community School. She also studied abroad in Berlin, and graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in sociology. Jessica has enjoyed working with children for more than twenty years, with a particular passion for connecting children with the outdoors and with animals.

Jessica has dreamed for a long time about becoming a Waldorf teacher, passing on what she received in her own education as well as re-envisioning the curriculum for the twenty-first century. She hopes to join a teacher training and eventually become a grades teacher. In her spare time Jessica plays the cello and enjoys swimming.

Natalie Studer

Fern Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Natalie Studer, our Fern Kindergarten teacher, was born and raised in Davis, and still finds well-managed agricultural land to be one of her favorite landscapes.  Before teaching, she was a researcher in public health nutrition, mainly focusing on the evaluation of programs and policies in school food environments in the US. Natalie ultimately realized that she would prefer to feed children yummy, nourishing food rather than generate statistics on their eating habits, and this, plus the arrival of her son, began the push toward Kindergarten teaching. She graduated from BACWTT in 2012 and has made her home in Fern ever since.  In the wee hours of the morning, you can find her lifting heavy, awkward objects for sport. Natalie lives in Berkeley with her husband, 16 year-old son (graduate of the school), and two cats.

Arelly Sanchez-Shackett

Fern Assistant/Tuesday Lead Teacher

Arelly is a fresh graduate of the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, starting her Waldorf teacher path in the Early Childhood realm, where she feels great inspiration and respect for the work of the EC teachers. She was born and raised in Mexico City where she completed her bachelor’s degree in engineering. She then moved to the Netherlands and completed a graduate degree in Cultural Anthropology, and later a degree in Social Work–the field where she worked until she moved to the US in 2012. Arelly and her husband have a 5-year-old son who is part of the Fern Kindergarten Class at WCCS.

Arelly is looking forward to being one of the many people supporting the emerging WCCS, especially supporting the renewed Waldorf inspiration that is just sprouting at the school.

Chimay Posavec - Wildcat Canyon Community School

Chimay Posavec

Poppy Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Chimay was born and raised in the artist town of Woodstock, NY. She spent years traveling, living and learning in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Chimay completed her BA in International Cultural Studies from SUNY Empire State College. Wanting to integrate many aspects of her life, Chimay took the path to become a Waldorf teacher, completing her training at Rudolf Steiner College. She worked at San Francisco Waldorf School, Potomac Crescent Waldorf School and Golden Bridges School fulfilling the roles of Aftercare Director, Preschool teacher, Parent-Child teacher, Games and Movement instructor, Art, and Kindergarten teacher. Chimay is committed to the work of integrating anti-bias and anti-racist pedagogy into her teaching. Chimay lives in Oakland and spends her free time making art, reading, and adventuring in nature.

Janeil Champoy Sumampong Lim

Poppy Assistant

Champoy (they/them/he/him/she/her/siya) is a queer interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker and educator. ​Born and raised in the highlands of Bukidnon, a landlocked province in the island of Mindanao, they have an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from the University Of San Carlos in the island of Cebu, and an MFA in Art Practice from UC Berkeley. They have been the recipient of the Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prize For Excellence In Creative Practice, the Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Award, a Nancy Sayavong Materials Grant, the East Bay Fund for Individuals in the Arts, and a graduate fellow at The Headlands Center For The Arts.

They are currently guided and moved by traditional ways of relating to material specifically in carving paddles and dreaming sea vessels in support of Indigenous and First Nations elders and tribes in uplifting “the long story.” Navigating from a perspective of the queer Filipinx imaginary, they are bridging these worlds to reflect the desires of the present so that collective possibilities can emerge from all of our relations.

They are also serving as an art educator for youth in the Bay Area uplifting pedagogy that connects ancestral skills with environmental awareness rooted in indigenous knowledge systems embodied in forms of expression and collaborations with community as a conduit of what came before. They are also co-creator at The School For The Ecocene and a parent to Lidagat Luna.

Amanda Maran

Kindergarten Aftercare/Acting Afternoon Preschool Director

Amanda was born and raised in Southern California by parents and a community entrenched in the entertainment industry.  The first chance she could, she fled that world for the slower and calmer pace of Northern California with its exquisite natural environments and down to earth people. While up here, she has created homes in Sonora, Santa Cruz, Sunnyvale and finally Oakland.

Amanda has worked with young children in both a teaching and an administrative capacity for the past 23 years.  It is her calling and brings a deep sense of joy and fulfillment to her life.  She has a BA in Early Childhood Education in addition to certifications and trainings in RIE, The Reggio Approach, Anji Play, and Mindful Leadership.

Amanda found the Wildcat Canyon Community when looking for a school for her daughter that suited their educational needs.  The blend of outdoor and indoor education, focus on the arts, holding of the whole child and the loving community of teachers and families resonate profoundly with her family’s identity.  Amanda is excited to join the staff of amazing educators at WCCS and to deepen her connections within the community.

Amanda lives in the Oakland Hills with her 10yo daughter, husband and partner of 25 years, and their two dogs and cat.  Some of Amanda’s interests include crafting and crochet, reading, meditation and being with the Ocean.

Shabana Shahbaz

Preschool Aftercare Teacher

Shabana has been part of the East Bay Waldorf School community since 2008 as a parent, volunteer, faculty member and Chai maker!

Born in Stoke-on-Trent,  England to Pakistani parents, Shabana is the older of two siblings. At age 5 she moved back to native Pakistan where she grew up in her mother’s family home in Bahawalpur, amidst a large, loving and boisterous family with many cousins. There she studied math and English literature at Islamia University. She  moved to the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband in 1993. They became part of a thriving Pakistani and Indian community where she quickly became the English teacher and babysitter for the neighborhood’s many young children, while raising her own three sons and helping her husband run his printing business.  She regularly sought numerous volunteer opportunities and leadership roles that nourished her love of children and teaching. She is multilingual in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, and English and immensely enjoys immersing herself in the diverse stories and backgrounds of the people she encounters everyday. Teaching and learning are a continual source of joy and contentment for her.

Shabana was introduced to and became utterly enchanted with Waldorf Education in 2008 while attending a talk by Nancy Jewel Poer, a co-founder of the Rudolf Steiner College, and Lauren Hickman, the former Director of Early Childhood Education at RSC. Since then, she has dedicated herself to Waldorf Education, volunteering countless hours and working as a Kindergarten and Grades Aftercare Assistant and substitute. Shabana completed her Waldorf Teacher Training and earned her Early Childhood Diploma through Rudolf Steiner College in 2015.

In 2016, Shabana was delighted to accept the position as the Lead Preschool Aftercare Teacher at WCCS. Two of her sons attended the school over the past decade.

Grades Teachers

Jessica Russell

1st Grade Teacher

Jessica Russell is a class of 2022 graduate from the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training. She has been an active parent volunteer on campus since joining our school community with her daughter in 2017. Jessica is a California native, raised in Shasta county, and she earned her Bachelors degree in Psychology at Cal State University East Bay. As a registered and active tribal member of the Cherokee Nation, she is passionate about bringing awareness to underrepresented indigenous peoples. When not teaching, you can find Jessica working as a production manager for many of the local Bay Area music venues. Jessica has been assisting during the past year in various grades, and now WCCS is thrilled to welcome her full-time as our rising fourth grade teacher.

Allison Ferry

1st Grade Assistant

Allison Ferry (she/her) has a deep connection to this land and a unique perspective as an EBWS/Wildcat Canyon alumna.

Allison grew up immersed in nature, born and raised in the East Bay, and spending summers near the Klamath river swimming, climbing, and foraging. She was in the SF girls chorus from a young age, and had many other musical ventures. She still likes to write and sing.

Allison worked with houseplants and interior decor for 6 years and taught classes about indoor plant care and design to all age groups.

Allison has always studied holistic and herbal healing. She graduated from the Roots Of Herbalism Program at CSHS. Since then she has been working in a lab making herbal extracts, and doing herbal consultations. She truly believes that we are not separate from our earth, and actively cultivating connection is so healing for all.

Allison is excited to re-emerge into this beautiful community.

Alvin Lopez

2nd Grade Teacher

Alvin Lopez was born in Hayward and raised in the Bay Area. After attending Salesian High School, he found himself part of the UC Berkeley Honors Program where he earned his degree in Art Practice (Fine Art) with a focus in Ceramics, working under Bay Area Funk Artist, Richard Shaw. Before deciding to dive back into their Masters Program to pursue a career in Art/Art Education, Alvin wanted to explore his other giftings out in the world and landed a job working for Lucasfilm. Working directly with George Lucas and Rick McCallum, Alvin witnessed the beauty of storytelling infused with the technologies of the digital age.

Alvin is passionate about merging the youth-based mentorship pedagogy that was instilled to him at Salesian with the critical thought, empowered-changemaker voice he found at UC Berkeley. His values lay in being part of a diverse, community-based program that is rooted heavily in storytelling, art and music, and experiential learning.

Alvin and his family are honored to have been a part of this community since 2011. He started out as volunteer parent, class parent, class chaperone, volunteer school photographer, and later was hired to be on staff helping to further develop our school website, social media, marketing, enrollment and admissions. Recently, Alvin Co-Led enrichment classes on photography, journalism and soccer for the 4th grade. Alvin is also part of Wildcat Canyon Community School’s Restart Council and Circle of Trustees.

Jenny Lucero

3rd Grade Teacher

Jenny (she/her) graduated from Highland Hall Waldorf School, and is the daughter of a Waldorf Class Teacher. She is grateful for her Waldorf education, was a very joyful student, and has a deep love of learning. Jenny began studying Waldorf philosophy at Rudolph Steiner College when she was twenty-one. After traveling the West Coast and having many adventures, she joined a teacher training. Most recently she has taken a class from first through third grade in the Mt. Shasta area. Her favorite aspects of teaching include art, storytelling, movement, music, and socio-emotional development.

Jenny will be relocating to El Sobrante with her husband of eighteen years and their three children, the youngest of whom will be joining the Second Grade class at WCCS.

Melanie Hatch

4th Grade Teacher

Melanie Hatch was born and raised in the Mojave Desert in Southern California and spent the majority of her adult life in Huntington Beach before moving to the Bay Area in 2006. Melanie was led to Waldorf education through her oldest daughter and subsequently has been in Waldorf and Waldorf-inspired classrooms since 1998 as a parent volunteer, handwork assistant, High School weaving instructor, handwork teacher, and mentor. She has taught handwork throughout the grades since 2006 at East Bay Waldorf School. 

She has worked with Live-Education as a teacher, consultant, lecturer and presenter, working with homeschoolers, charter schools, developing schools and private alike for more than ten years. Melanie has co-created The Wonder and Wisdom of Handwork Conference series and winter conferences in Southern and Northern California. She has been a Mentor and Teacher at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento where she previously completed her Waldorf Teacher Training and received her Waldorf Handwork Teaching Certificate. 

In addition to teaching textile/fiber arts, she has also been known to teach clay, iron age forging, woodworking and Sex Education working with the grades, teachers and homeschooling parent groups. All four of her beautiful children have graduated from this dear school, and they have the most delicious stories and memories of their childhood here. Watching them and other alumni as they venture out into the broader community and into adulthood has been a fantastic gift. Melanie is grateful for the connection, community, lifelong friendship, and love that is abundant in this setting. She is happiest when learning something new to make and sharing it with those she loves.

Elham Chishty

5th Grade Co-Teacher/Middle School Teacher

Teaching is Elham’s passion. She wishes to re-kindle students’ authentic voices, voices which may have been silenced or dimmed through conditioning. This is her feeling of purpose in the world: helping students to feel better about who they are, instilling confidence and trust in their hearts, empowering them to rise above the conditions of worth placed upon them by the world and to uncover their unique wisdom and beauty.

Our brains contain as many neural connections as stars in the Milky Way. Given the magnitude and complexity of the brain, how sad it is that many children in mainstream education become categorized based on their unique form of intelligence. Elham wishes to challenge the current model of education by providing instruction tailored to the multiple forms of brilliance that children bring to the world with them.

Elham earned a Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology, has been teaching for the past 14 years, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Art while completing her last year of Waldorf Teacher Training. In her free time, she plays with her two young daughters and tells them stories about magical places. She wishes to instill in them Rumi’s words: “Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.”

Grace Chen Leven

5th Grade Co-Teacher/Middle School Handwork & Science/3rd Grade Hebrew Studies

Grace grew up in Israel and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and a Masters degree in Science Education from Tel Aviv University. She researched the effects of mindfulness meditation on ADHD in the brain and took part in several educational research projects in the field. Grace also holds a teaching credential in High School Sciences. After becoming a mother, she discovered Waldorf education and along with sending her own children to a Waldorf school, she decided to also pursue Waldorf teacher training. Grace has been teaching different science subjects for the past 15 years such as: marine biology, biotechnology, and neuroscience. She thrives by combining sciences with mindfulness and handwork, at the high school level and in the past year at the middle school level in Berkeley Rose Waldorf School. Grace moved to Berkeley in 2018 with her husband and three children and loves sewing and creating, hiking and dance.

Sierra Reinertson

Grades Aftercare Teacher

Sierra was raised by an amazing mama and artist in the dry heat of Davis, CA. Sierra completed her BA in Sustainable Community Development from Prescott College in Arizona, where she developed her passions for supporting healthier community and environmental systems. After graduating, she spent 3 years working in the Environmental Restoration and Education field with the Presidio Trust, Point Blue STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed) program, and the Sonoma Ecology Center. During the pandemic, Sierra homeschooled her niece, Paloma, utilizing the East Bay Regional Park Ohlone Curriculum in combination with lessons from her Naturalist Studies program. When Paloma returned to school at Ms. Watanabe’s home, Sierra took on the role of Aftercare Teacher for the class during the Spring semester and fell in love with the work. Sierra is thrilled to be a part of WCCS as a Kindergarten Assistant Teacher, and is looking forward to much veggie-chopping, artmaking, and nature exploring with this magic community. In her spare time, you can find Sierra watching birds, salsa dancing, or water-coloring the changes of the seasons.

Middle School

Dina Watanabe

6th Grade Teacher/Middle School Science

Dina Watanabe is excited to continue her involvement with the Wildcat Canyon Community School community. As a graduate of the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, she has spent the last five years taking in the beauty of each classroom and most recently accompanying her son in learning how to change into his indoor shoes in the Daisy class. She is an experienced California credentialed teacher and earned her BS in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State. Her love for all children and awareness of their potential to become world citizens have taken Dina to teach abroad in both Ecuador and London. Besides, she has worked endlessly to support children and families across the Bay Area’s most vulnerable communities (Oakland’s Fruitvale district, Alum Rock in San Jose and East Palo Alto). Growing up in Hawaii instilled a love for diverse cultures, food, cooking, music and playing the ukulele. Her free time is filled with traveling the globe with her family, losing humbly to her kids at board games, and hosting dinners for friends and family. She is grateful to be able to share such a wonderful experience coming to school with her two children and is thankful to be part of Wildcat Canyon Community School!

Lorena Oceguera Tamayo

7th Grade Teacher/Middle School Language Arts Teacher

Lorena has been a Waldorf educator since 1999 at various schools such as the Waldorf School of the Peninsula and the Honolulu Waldorf School, among others. She received her Waldorf teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College and has taught children from Early Childhood through 12th grade. She received her B.A. in Spanish and International Relations from Holy Names University and has done graduate work in education at USC. Before going into teaching she worked in the immigrant and refugee rights field with several organizations providing direct support and advocacy such as Amnesty International USA.

Most recently she worked with Fusion Academy San Francisco for the past six years, teaching middle school through high school students English Language Arts and history. She has been fascinated by language since birth due to growing up on the border between the U.S. and Mexico, fluent in two languages. She is excited to teach 6th grade Language Arts this year.

Subject Teachers

María del Mar Damany

Spanish Teacher

María del Mar Damany was born and raised in Argentina. Spanish is her mother tongue.  Her father worked for the Argentinean navy, so from an early age she became accustomed to fresh starts in new places and forging new friendships. In her early twenties she moved to the USA and earned a BS in Economics at Ohio University. She then settled down and married her college sweetheart. Udayan, her husband, is from India and they have four children. As they looked for a school for their first-born child, they discovered and embarked in the journey of Waldorf Education. Señora Damany has worked at Desert Marigold School (Phoenix, AZ), at Singing Stones School (Walnut Creek, CA) and at Berkeley Rose Waldorf School (Berkeley, CA).

Her experience as a Waldorf Teacher includes teaching Spanish from Preschool until 8thgrade, curative movement lessons in 1st through 6th grades and designing and carrying out enrichment programs for homeschoolers in Phoenix and in the Bay Area. Her Waldorf Pedagogy training includes completion of Foundations Studies in Anthroposophy (Rudolf Steiner College, Phoenix CLC), and three years of seminar workshops on Waldorf Remedial Therapy offered by Joan Treadaway (in Prescott, AZ). Señora Damany is thrilled to be a part of Wildcat Canyon Community School and participating in the joys and growing with challenges that lay ahead. In her spare time Sra. Damany enjoys sharing interests with her growing children, baking and singing, painting ceramic plates with henna designs, and since the beginning of the pandemic, learning the ukulele!

Amber Miller

Practical Arts Teacher

Amber Miller (Mrs. Amber) graduated with a BA from UC Santa Cruz. She went on to fulfill a childhood dream of becoming an art teacher after serving in AmeriCorps in the Fruitvale district of Oakland.  As a California credentialed teacher, Amber has been teaching art for a decade in the Bay Area (East Palo Alto, Oakland).  She moved to Hercules with her husband and just had a baby girl in March 2020.  Her interest in seeking a position teaching Art and making connections within this community led her to Wildcat Canyon Community School.  You can find her taking her daughter on walks every morning, trying out new recipes, making mixed media art projects and helping out friends and family whenever she can.

Marcus Wells

Games & Movement/Basketball Coach

Marcus was born and raised in San Francisco. He has experience working with kids of all ages in games and sports, mathematics and special education support.

Marcus believes the purpose of schools should be to replace existing social and economic institutions with new systems rooted in the lives of those exploited and oppressed by our current systems. Schools should empower children to see themselves as initiators of the needed social change.

Marcus strives to provide children with the freedom they need to pursue their passions, follow their natural curiosity and come up with creative solutions to problems.

Marcus also enjoys making music, playing basketball, exploring the outdoors and getting into lively debates.

Nicole DeCarion

Clay/Art Teacher

Nicole is a Bay Area native. She studied Painting and Drawing at California College of the Arts, graduating in 2001, and is passionate about art, specializing in watercolor painting and sculpture. Nicole has and has been involved with this community for many years as parent, teacher, and artist–you may notice many of her mosaic creations around campus. She graduated from the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2019, and is currently enrolled in the Art and Healing program at BACWTT to deepen her work with Anthroposophical art therapies. Nicole has directed Aftercare and assisted in Kindergarten, and last year she was on campus in many different roles, assisting and subbing in the Grades classes. This year she will join the new Middle School Team teaching art and geometric drawing, as well as assisting with other grades. Off campus she enjoys making art and spending time with her family and dog Buddy.

Ali Schneider

Math Teacher

Ali (she/her/hers) was born and raised in the SF Bay Area. She holds a Masters Degree in Education from Mills College. Over the past 20 plus years, she has worked in after school, as a 5th grade teacher, as a math coach for administrators and teachers, in curriculum development, as an Associate Professor of Education at Mills College, and most recently as a toddler music teacher.

Ali is enthusiastic about learning and teaching mathematics. She believes that mathematics is a conversation with the universe, a subject of connection, beauty and adventure.

In her youth Ali attended SF Waldorf School for two years of kindergarten. It was this experience that brought her back to Waldorf with her own children. She loves the heart of Waldorf education and finds herself deeply inspired by the focus on the spiritual growth of each child and the attunement to the rhythms of nature.

In her personal time, Ali enjoys home herbalism and ritual, singing, playing the Ukulele, dancing, yoga, gardening and being outdoors with her family. She currently has two children attending Wildcat Canyon Community School.

Rebecca Reed-Lun

Instrumental Music Teacher

A native of Davis, CA, Rebecca Reed-Lunn has a Bachelor of Music with High Distinction as well as a Performer Diploma from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Her teachers have included Alan de Veritch, Yuval Gotlibovich, and Lynne Richburg, and she has studied pedagogy with Mimi Zweig and Brenda Brenner of the Indiana University String Academy as well as Cathryn Lee of the Suzuki Music Studio of San Francisco. Before moving to the Bay Area her previous teaching positions have included viola professor and pre-college violin and viola instructor at Western Kentucky University, and Assistant to the Director at Suzuki Maui. She recently served as Orchestra Director of Harmony Project San Francisco, a tuition-free, El Sistema-modeled program. She is currently serving as the Suzuki Program Director and Chamber Orchestra Conductor at Crowden Music Center, as well as a Suzuki instructor for both Crowden and Holy Names University. Rebecca combines Suzuki with Paul Rolland methods and believes strongly in the Suzuki principle that every child can learn to play at a high level. She supplements Suzuki repertoire, and assigns post-Suzuki repertoire, according to the student’s technical and expressive needs as well as their musical interests.

Marcela Paz Moreno

Healing Movement & Music

Marcela (she/her) is a musician and composer, playing the violin, viola, voice, lyre and singing bowl. Marcela has trained in in curative education, body therapy, Reiki, anthroposophic singing therapy, and sound massage as taught by Peter Hess. She has many years of experience in the areas of therapy and instrumental pedagogy with children and adults.

She lives in California and devotes herself to private singing therapy sessions for children and adults. In addition, she is dedicated to the singing circle with sacred world music as a repertoire and sound meditations with violin, singing and lyre.

Natalie Palms

Aftercare Ceramics Teacher

Natalie Palms is a multidisciplinary artist, working primarily in textiles. She studied Art and Social Behavioral Studies in her hometown of Los Angeles before moving to Oakland. She received her BFA in 2015 in Individualized Studies, focusing on sculpture, ceramics, and textiles, at California College of the Arts. Upon graduating, she began teaching K-8th art in numerous schools throughout the Bay Area. Creating a classroom environment focused on social emotional and experiential learning, while sharing relevant culturally diverse artists is important to her. She has recently launched her own business creating accessories she hand dyes and prints, while curating and leading textile focused summer camps for children and workshops for adults throughout the Bay Area. Natalie enjoys cooking, music, the great outdoors, making art in her studio, and is currently training to be an Iyengar Yoga teacher.


Heather Madison

Admin Staff/Substitute Teacher

Heather was born and raised in Northern California surrounded by forests, lakes, and waterfalls. It was there that she developed a love for nature and a passion for education. She spent her early college days in Hawaii studying world religion and traveled as much as possible before returning to her love of science. Heather obtained a BS in Biology with an emphasis in teaching. After teaching science programs in Southern California, she relocated to the Bay Area and built a robust career in informal education. She became the Director of Education and Exhibits at The Children’s Creativity Museum and during her 8 years there she also worked on initiatives to expand opportunities for girls in STEAM. After the arrival of her second child, Heather moved to a career as an independent contractor designing educational programs and interactive playspaces. It was the search for a school for her two young children that led her to WCCS. When she’s not at school you can find her snowboarding, camping, traveling, gardening and raising three children.

Melylah Bottè Smith

Enrollment Director

Melylah (she/her) is a Black mixed-raced mama of three, who has dedicated the past 15 years supporting and empowering children, and their families, through yoga, homeschooling, and community involvement. It was during her quest to find a heart-centered, nurturing school for her oldest daughter that she found Waldorf education. Over the years, her family has been members of Waldorf and Waldorf-inspired communities in San Francisco, Tampa Bay, and the Boston area, which included two schools and two homeschool cooperative communities. Along her Waldorf journey, she has been Head of a Parent Community Association, a board member, the lead organizer of Holiday Faires, a parent-child teacher, and a Foundation Studies participant.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and was an Advertising Director in San Francisco until she gave birth to her oldest. Following her heart, she found herself studying and teaching yoga while joining the SF Waldorf School community with her toddler. Born and raised in NYC, Melylah’s family now resides on the ancestral land of the Chochenyo Ohlone (Oakland). Always a student, she keeps a curious mind and an open heart, enjoying nature, yoga, and community. She is honored to be joining the WCCS community as a fourth-grade parent and Director of Admissions. On the weekends you can find her sharing her love of yoga with those who are birthing our future.

Micha Tower - Wildcat Canyon Community School, El Sobrante

Micha Tower

Facilities Manager

Micha was born and raised in Pacific Grove, California. He grew up attending summer camps, playing soccer, and taking apart things around the house to see how they work. He knew at an early age that he always wanted to work outdoors with his hands.

Micha has worked in many different types of jobs, from hospitality in Carmel, California to animal handling in La Paz, Bolivia, and most recently ran an outdoor educational company in the East Bay. Starting first as an instructor in 2012, he later became the Site Supervisor, and eventually the Regional Director. He enjoyed being able to bring his passions for the outdoors and teaching youth together, as well as the opportunities to work outdoors and build many things like fences, benches, and planter boxes. Micha believes that children have the power to do anything with the right guidance. He is not only excited to become the new Facilities Manager, he is also looking forward to joining a community where children are  empowered to learn, grow, and find their passions.

Faculty Statement of Core Values

We, the Faculty of Wildcat Canyon Community School, state the following to be our core values and guiding principles.

  1. We embrace an anti-racist and antibias, living pedagogy and curriculum, through the deeper study of current values, past practices, and history.

  2. We dedicate ourselves to diversity, equity and inclusivity in our students, faculty, staff, and greater community, with a commitment to self work in social, racial, and land justice.

  3. We are committed to the seven principles for Waldorf Schools and the Statement of Equity and Racial Justice as outlined by AWSNA and the principles and mission of WECAN.

  4. We are committed to making our school financially accessible for any child who wishes to attend.

  5. We embrace outdoor education as a key component of our educational offering, as we are caretakers and stewards of the land.

  6. We are committed to maintaining a center for healthy, spiritual development in the midst of a twenty-first century world.

  7. In conjunction with the fostering of an inner spiritual development, we are committed to cultivating, in our students and in our community, the will to reach outwards into the world in order to effect good and meaningful change.

  8. We are committed to honoring every member of our community, recognizing that we all have differences and that when conflicts arise, we are committed to taking up restorative and healing work.

  9. We believe that any individual, in a role of leadership, or in any way representing the school shall act in such a way that their words and actions reflect these core values, as they represent the collective voice of the school.

  10. We believe that these core values should be alive in all realms of the school.


Wildcat Canyon Community School