Teachers

                                          

Kim Atkinson

Kim Atkinson

Mr. Atkinson, Credo’s World Percussions teacher, has been an energetic presence on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene since the 1970′s. His initial studies in Nigerian, Ghanaian and Congolese drumming lead him to Brazilian shamanism, Caribbean music, American jazz, folk and popular music. He has performed with master musicians and dancers since the 1980′s and is respected as an inspiring performer and gifted teacher who brings psychological, spiritual and scientific insights to his presentations. Mr. Atkinson’s most recent recording is a CD of original, traditional and innovative arrangements for Brazilian Bateria.

                                          

Alysson Baker

Alysson Baker

Ms. Baker, Credo architecture, art and social sustainability teacher, earned her BA in Architecture from Yale University, her teaching credential from Cal State, and a Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Center for Educational Renewal. Prior to teaching at Credo, Ms. Baker taught middle school at Live Oak Charter School and at Stone Bridge School. She served as a member of the Credo development team for three years. Ms. Baker is the owner of Baker Pre-Construction Company, an estimating consulting firm providing construction cost information to some of the Bay Area's leading architects and builders.  She has served on the Sebastopol Charter School Board of Directors for over ten years. She is also the mother of two Waldorf students. 

                                          

Emily Bliquez

Ms. Bliquez, Credo English teacher, has a teaching credential from Sonoma State University, a MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College, a BA from Connecticut College and a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to her work as an editor for Tin House literary magazine, Ms. Bliquez has taught English in Istanbul, Turkey and at various community colleges in the Pacific Northwest and the Bay Area. She is the mother of two Waldorf students.

                                          

Mikko Bojarsky, MS

Mr. Bojarsky, Credo Math and Science teacher, is a longtime Waldorf math and science teacher who comes to us from Haelakala Waldorf High School in Maui. He previously spent twelve years teaching math and physics at Natomas Charter School, seven years teaching math and science at the Sacramento Waldorf High School and six years at Highland Hall Waldorf High School in Los Angeles. Mr. Bojarsky has a BS in Chemistry, and MS in Geoscience, a Waldorf teaching certificate from Emerson College in England and single subject teaching credentials in math and physics. 

                                          

Maria Bragonier

Maria Bragonier, MA

Ms. Bragonier, Credo English, Theater and Social Sustainability teacher, holds a BA in English and Theater, an MS in Educational Administration, and is currently working on an MA in Human Development. She also holds California single subject and administrative credentials. She has taught at both public and private high schools in the past. Ms. Bragonier earned her Waldorf teaching certificate at the Center for Educational Renewal. She is the mother of two Waldorf students.  Ms. B. serves as class guide for the Class of 2018.

                                          

Laura Bussey

Ms. Bussey, Credo's college counselor, was born in Massachusetts but came to California to attend U.C. Berkeley, where she graduated with a degree in English. She has worked as a school librarian for many years and as a college counselor in private practice for six years. She was inspired to initiate her career in counseling when her eldest child applied to colleges. Ms. Bussey will complete her College Counseling certificate from UCLA in December 2016.

                                          

Brendan Clarke, MA

Mr. Clarke, English and Personal Sustainability teacher and cohort guide for the ninth grade Orange Cohort, earned his BA in Political Science and Hispanic Literature and Culture from McGill University in Toronto and his MA from Dominican University in Chicago. He studied at the Regenerative Design Institute and completed a three–year training at Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education.  Mr. Clarke earned his teaching credential through Teach for America and was a bilingual fifth grade teacher in Chicago.  He is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor, has a Level III Wildlife Tracking and Trailing Certification and is a certified Wilderness First Responder.

                                          

Brian Eberly, MS

Mr. Eberly, Credo Geometry teacher, earned his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of West Virginia and his California teaching credential from Sonoma State University. He has taught Physics and Engineering at Roseland University Prep and returns to Credo, where he has taught Number Theory in the past. In the private sector, Mr. Eberly has worked in alternative energy as a biofuel engineer. He is the father of a Waldorf kindergartner.

Debbie Elam, MA

Ms. Elam, Credo math teacher, earned her BA in philosophy and her math credential at the University of California, Riverside, and an MFA in Creative Writing at Chapman University, where she was named Outstanding MFA Student of the Year. Ms. Elam has studied in the Waldorf High School Program at Rudolf Steiner College and taught math previously at Casa Grande High School for sixteen years. She has served on the Board of Directors of Live Oak Charter School and is the mother of two Waldorf students. She serves as a cohort guide for the class of 2021.

                                          

Vanessa Eyen, MA

Vanessa Eyen, MA MFCC,

Ms. Eyen, Credo counselor, earned her BA in Psychology and MA in Outdoor Recreation from Ohio University. After 10 years of teaching as an outdoor educator and wilderness guide, she earned her Masters in Community Counseling from Sonoma State University. She has worked as a counselor with West County Community Services, Support Our Students counseling clinic, and five local elementary schools. Her training as a vision quest guide with Rites of Passage, Inc. led to her guiding wilderness rites of passage programs for three local high schools. Prior to teaching at Credo, Ms. Eyen was a counselor at Summerfield Waldorf High School, and a vision quest guide with Earthways and Wilderness Reflections. She is a founder of The Earth Camp Collective and The Center for Nature Based Mentoring. Her son is a Waldorf student.

                                          

Yanping  Fang, MA

Ms. Fang, Credo Mandarin teacher, earned her BS in Engineering from Shandong University of Technology, Shandong, China; an MS in Engineering from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing, China; her Single Subject Credential in Mandarin from Patten University; and her Waldorf teaching certification and Eurythmy training from Rudolf Steiner College.  Ms. Fang has previously taught Mandarin at Marin Waldorf School, the Community School for Creative Education, Sacramento Waldorf School and the Sacramento Mandarin School.

                                          

Emma  Farais

Ms. Farais teaches Dance, History and Art. She earned her BA in History and her single subject social studies credential from Sonoma State and did her student teaching at St. Vincent's High School. She is a riding and dance instructor and enjoys performing, historical reenactments and making visual art. 

Forest Firestone

Ms. Firestone, Credo Personal Sustainability and Social Sustainability teacher and Class of 2021 Topaz Cohort Guide, earned her BA in Liberal Studies from Sonoma State and is earning an MA in counseling from the California Institute for Integral Studies. She studied Permaculture Certification at the Regenerative Design Institute; Wilderness Guide Training at the School of Lost Borders; and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. Ms Firestone has worked as a Wilderness Vision Fast Guide at Earthways; a ropes course facilitator at Four Winds; a farm manager and children’s environmental educator. She is the mother of one.

                                          

Brighid FitzGibbon

Ms. FitzGibbon, Credo English and Social Studies teacher, earned her BA in history form U.C. Santa Cruz, her teaching credentials from San Jose State University, her Waldorf Teacher Certification from the Center for Educational Renewal, and is currently completing her MA at Dominican University. She has taught high school English in Morgan Hill and Waldorf kindergarten at SunRidge Charter School. Ms. FitzGibbon is a cohort guide for the class of 2021 and is the mother of two Waldorf graduates.

                                          

Steve Ford

Steve Ford, Credo Spanish teacher, earned his BA in Economics from University of California, Santa Cruz and a Single Subject Credential in Spanish from the University of California, Irvine.  He earned a Certificate in Latin American Literatre and History from the Catholic University of Manizales, Columbia and a Spanish Mastery Certificate from La Escuela De Idiomas in Bilbao, Spain. He has extensive training in the TRPS comprehensible input method of language instruction. He has taught previosly at high schools in Southern California and locally at Berkeley and Rancho Cotati High Schools. He serves as cohort guide for the Class of 2018.

                                          

Kelly Gast

Ms. Gast teaches Chemistry, Climate Change, art and serves as a cohort guide, along with Mr. Guthman, for the tenth grade Lime Cohort. She earned her BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and her California Single Subject Teaching Credentials in Biology, Chemistry and Physical Science from Sonoma State University.  Ms. Gast also teaches reading at Sebastopol Charter School. She is the mother of four daughters, including a Credo graduate and a Credo student.

                                          

Eddie Guthman, MA

Mr. Guthman directs Credo's American Music Program and teaches the History through Music block in eleventh grade. Along with Ms. Gast he serves as cohort guide for the tenth grade Lime Cohort. He is a lifelong musician who earned his BA in Music and his MA in Education and his teaching credential at Sonoma State University. He also studied at the Berklee School of Music program in Perugia, Italy. Mr. Guthman served on the faculty of Summerfield Waldorf School for five years, teaching Strings, Beginning Orchestra and American Music; and he has served as conductor for high school musicals. Mr. Guthman spent 17 years at the renowned Happy Valley School in Ojai, California, where he served as Music Director and Chair of the Fine Arts Department, and two years at the Waldorf school in Trento, Italy. He is a member of several performing ensembles, has composed music for television, recorded several albums and toured extensively. Mr. Guthman plays double bass, cello, guitar, mandolin, cittern, piano and violin. He is the father of two Waldorf graduates.

 

                                          

Bob Harrington

Robert  Harrington, MA

Robert Harrington has been teaching in Waldorf Schools since 2004. He
holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz and
a Master of Arts in International Affairs from Ohio University. Robert earned his
teaching credentials from Dominican University of California. Robert has studied
history abroad in Russia, Hungary, and the United Kingdom. He has also taught at
Bung Hatta University in Indonesia, Ohio University, and West Virginia University.
At Credo, Mr. Harrington designs and implements the history curriculum.

 

                                          

John HInkle

Mr. Hinkle teaches Eurythmy and directs the Credo Rose Eurythmy troupe and serves as a cohort guide for the tenth grade Plum Chort alongside Ms. Ramsden. Mr. Hinkle has been teaching Eurythmy for over ten years, and has a special affinity for teaching high school students. He did his Eurythmy training at the American Eurythmy School and completed his Waldorf High School Teacher Training at the Center for Anthroposophy. For four years, Mr. Hinkle was a faculty member at Hazel Wolf High School in Seattle, Washington, and he has taught Eurythmy in the Bay Area at Stone Bridge School, East Bay Waldorf School, Marin Waldorf School and Waldorf School of the Peninsula. Prior to his interest in Eurythmy, Mr. HInkle studied audio engineering at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He is a composer and musician, father of a Waldorf graduate and grandfather of two.

                                          

Paul  Lambrecht, M.Ed.

Mr. Lambrecht's Credo roles include: Movement Teacher, Adventure Learning co-coordinator, Social Sustainability co-coordinator and boys and girls basketball coach. He earned a BA magna cum laude in History and completed a Secondary Social Studies Credential from the University of Colorado, Boulder. After teaching in the classroom for two years he turned his attention to his current work in fields of experiential education, leadership studies, and adventure learning. In 2000, Mr. Lambrecht earned a MEd from Harvard University with emphases in school reform and experiential education. He is the Founding Director of Sebastopol-based non-profit, 1Revolution and a 2015-16 Fellow of the Leadership for a Sustainable Future Program. He is father of six children, including a Credo student.

                                          

Ben Lev, MA

Profe Lev, Credo Spanish teacher, has taught every grade from K – 12 and adults, including seven years as a bilingual kindergarten teacher, which prepared him to teach teens in a joyful and active way. He earned his Spanish teaching credential in 2007 and his MA degree in Spanish from the University of Salamanca, Spain in 2009. Profe teaches Spanish with stories using an engaging method called TPRS. Prior to joining Credo, he taught at Summerfield Waldorf High School, and concurrent with Credo he teaches at Santa Rosa Junior College. He lives in a co-housing neighborhood in Sebastopol with his family.

                                          

Richard Loheyde, PhD

Dr. Loheyde, Credo Orchestra teacher, presently serves as conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra, assistant conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony and on the faculty of Sonoma State University.

 Dr. Loheyde made his conducting debut with the Santa Rosa Symphony in 2006. He began his music studies as a violinist, with early training at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, and at the Tanglewood Music Center. He has been a violinist and violist with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Rosa Symphony. He has his undergraduate degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of Connecticut and his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.

 He is the father of two children.

 

                                          

Kelley  McNeal

Ms. McNeal, Credo Farming teacher and cohort guide, along with Dr. Shaw, for the eleventh grade Blue Cohort, earned her BA and teaching credential at California State Long Beach, and for years was owner/manager of an organic family farm in Sebastopol. She previously taught at Sebastopol Independent Charter School and previously taught at U.C. Irvine and in the Capistrano School District. Ms. McNeal organized and taught farm programs and nature awareness programs for K-12 students in Sonoma County schools. She is the mother of three adult children who were Waldorf students.

Kimberly Mintzer

Ms. Mintzer, Credo Spanish teacher, earned her BA in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin, studied at the University of Madrid, and earned her teaching credential at the University of California, San Diego. She has taught at the International School of Brooklyn, the American School in Mexico City and Quito, and Spanish immersion at schools in Oregon. She is a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Nutritional Counselor and mother of two.

Spencer Nielsen, MS

Mr. Nielsen, Credo Personal Sustainability and Yoga teacher, earned his BS from the University of California, San Diego, and his MS in Integrative Eco-Social Design from Gaia University. He has also studied Ayurvedic Wellness, Herbology, Organic Farming, Permaculture and Ornithology. He has previously worked at the Sivananda Yoga Farm, Wilderness Reflections, Marin Academy, Stepping Stones Project, Regenerative Design Institute, Summerfield Waldorf High School, Braun High School, Greenwood School and Sierra Outdoor School.

                                          

Marika Ramsden

Marika Ramsden, MA

Ms. Ramsden, One Planet Living Director for Credo and cohort guide, along with Mr. Hinkle, for the tenth grade Lime Cohort, grew up in England and in California and is a K-12 Waldorf graduate. She earned an MA in Education for Sustainable Development from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Since then, she has trained to bring biomimicy and mindfulness into the classroom and co-founded Schools of Sustainability (SOS), an organization that toured the UK and California working with schools on sustainability projects. She is also the lead regional representative for One Planet Living Schools in California. 

                                          

Tiffany Roberts

Tiffany Roberts

Ms. Roberts, Credo Biology, Chemistry and Sculpture teacher, is also co-coordinator for Adventure Learning, Social Sustainability and developer of Credo's Fifth Year Program. Ms. Roberts has been teaching high school science since 1997 in mainstream public schools, in charter schools and at Summerfield Waldorf High School. She earned her BS in Biology with an emphasis in Education from San Diego State and her teaching credentials from Chapman University. She is currently earning her MS in Science Education from Montana State University. Ms. Roberts has taught biology, chemistry, earth science, environmental science, farming and PE, and she has coached softball and volleyball. She has studied biomimicry and has a particular interest in applying it to the high school curriculum. She has also designed and led student travel in other cultures and served for two years as Adventure Learning Manager on Credo’s Development Team. She is the mother of three boys, including two Credo students.

                                          

Thom Schaefer

Thom Schaefer, MA. Ed

Mr. Schaefer, Credo's Education Director and English teacher, previously served as Pedagogical Dean of Faculty at the Shining Mountain Waldorf School in Boulder, CO, where he also taught high school humanities and movement. He has a strong background in both teaching and administration in public and Waldorf schools, including over twenty-five years in Waldorf high school. Mr. Schaefer brings experience and expertise in designing and delivering professional development programs for teachers and administrators; developing curricular materials and programs; and coaching teachers and mentors. His degrees and credentials include a BA and teaching credential from the University of California at Santa Cruz, Waldorf Teacher Certification from Rudolf Steiner College, certification as a movement specialist in spacial dynamics, and an MEd in Waldorf Education from Touro University. Mr. Schaefer spent two years as Curriculum Consultant to Credo’s Development Team before becoming Credo’s Education Director in 2011. He is the father of three adult children, former Waldorf students.

                                          

Julian Shaw, PhD

Julian Shaw, PhD

Dr. Shaw, Credo Physics, Chemistry, Woodturning, Blacksmithing, Capacities and Social Sustainability teacher, grew up in England, where he earned his BS in Chemistry from the University of Exeter and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Bradford. He spent four years as a post-doctoral research fellow at King’s College, London, focusing on methods and applications of magnetic resonance, then moved to San Diego, where he worked as a physicist in private industry, developing magnetic methods and devices for the detection of contraband and explosives in concealed locations. In 1995, Dr. Shaw moved to Sebastopol to pursue his lifelong love of craft as a blacksmith and woodturner, and in 2004 he inaugurated the green woodworking program at Sebastopol Independent Charter School, where he taught for eight years. He began studying the work of Rudolf Steiner and has spent recent summers working at Rudolf Steiner College’s Craft Conference. Dr. Shaw earned his teaching credentials in Physics and Chemistry from Sonoma State University. Along with Ms. McNeal, he serves as guide for Blue Cohort of the class of 2019. He is the father of a Credo student.

                                          

Matthew Smith, MA

Mr. Smith, Credo Science and Spanish teacher, earned his BA in Geology and Biology form Colby College, his MA in Teaching, Spanish and ESL from the School of International Training in Vermont, his teaching credentials from Western Washington University, and did graduate studies in Geoscience at San Francisco State University. Mr. Smith has served as a high school principal and program director, and has taught high school science, Spanish and ESL He coaches Gryphons soccer and is cohort guide for the Orange Cohort, Class of 2020. He is the father of two Waldorf students.

                                          

Margaret  Starr

Ms. Starr, Credo's choir teacher, is a graduate of Marin School of the Arts and Sonoma State University, where she graduated cum laude with a BA in classical voice. She is an opera singer and has performed in The Three Penny Opera, Les Miserables, and Beauty and the Beast. Ms. Starr also teaches private vocal instruction. She is a cohort guide for the class of 2020.

                                          

Jeremy Strawn, MA

Mr. Strawn, Credo Projective Geometry teacher, earned his BA from Humbolt State University and his MA from the California Institute for Integral Studies, where his focus of study was Projective Geometry. Prior to Credo, Mr. Strawn taught high school science and math at the Sacramento Waldorf School, the Waldorf School of Orange County and Highland Hall Waldorf School. He is a biodynamic farmer, birder and musician.

                                          

Chelsea True

Ms. True, Credo Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher, is the founder of Joyful Mind Project, a nonprofit organization bringing mindfulness education to the Bay Area. She has taught mindfulness at Sonoma State University, Summerfield Waldorf School, The Healdsburg School, Sebastopol Charter School, and Sonoma Academy. Ms. True completed a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies, investigating the many roots and disciplines within contemplative practice; has received MBSR-T (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens) certification with the organization Stressed Teens; and is a Mindful Schools Certified Instructor. Her secular work is informed by her personal practice in the Soto Zen lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. She is the Youth & Family Programs Coordinator forSan Francisco Zen Center and leads the Children’s Program at Stone Creek Zen Center. She has also been deeply influenced by the work of Zen teacher Tich Nhat Hahn and has received the Five Mindfulness Trainings. She is the mother of a Waldorf student.

 

                                          

Frank Vazquez

Mr. Vazquez, Special Education Teacher, earned his BA in English Literature and Rhetoric (Creative Writing Emphasis) from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and is currently completing his Special Education Mild/Moderate Credential from Sonoma State. He has taught in special education since 2005—at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, Elsie Allen High School and Kwana Academy in Santa Rosa. He is the father of a Waldorf student.

 

                                          

Dirk Wahanik, MA

Dirk Wahanik, MA

Mr. Wahanik, Credo Math teacher, earned his BS in Agricultural Engineering and his MS in Agricultural Engineering and Bioogical Engineering at Penn State, his teaching credential from the California Teacher Credentialing Comission and his Waldorf High School Certificate from Rudolf Steiner College. Before coming to Credo, Mr. Wahnik taught high school math for ten years at the Kimberton Waldorf School in Kimberton, Pennsylvania, worked for Apple Computers, and served in the Peace Corps in Honduras. He is the father of two Waldorf students, one at Credo. Mr. Wahanik, along with Ms. Bragonier, is class guide for the Class of 2021.

                                          

George Welp

George Welp

Mr. Welp teaches Printmaking, Color Theory, Media Arts and Coding and serves, with Ms. Roberts and guide for the eleventh grade Gold Cohort. He earned his BA in graphic design from the University of Arizona and has worked as a graphic designer and fine artist. He is also a carpenter and contractor, and he has trained in a Waldorf movement form called spacial dynamics. He has two children who are Waldorf graduates and a third child who is a current Waldorf student.

Regina Williams

Ms. Williams, Credo Personal Sustainability and Social Sustainability teacher and Class of 2021 Topaz Cohort Guide, earned her BS in Earth Systems Science and Policy at Cal State Monterey. She also studied Regenerative Design and Nature Awareness at the Regenerative Design Institute; Council Training at the Ojai Foundation, and Vision Fast Guide Training and Mirroring through the Four Shields Training at the School of Lost Borders. Ms. Williams has led wilderness rites of passage for teens at Wilderness Reflections; Rite of Passage at Stepping Stones Project; and Global Youth Peach Summit at the Amala Foundation. She is a biodynamic farmer.