Meet our Faculty & Staff

Swallowtail's faculty and staff are inspired, talented, and devoted educators with a firm belief in the sanctity of childhood. They are tireless advocates for an education that honors the natural world, the arts, and the strengthening of spirit that is possible through a curriculum working with the developmental stages of youth. Every adult called to work at Swallowtail has a unique story of their own; be they musician, athlete, artist, or healer— all bring the wisdom of their lives into the classroom. Swallowtail's strength resides with the people who shape her community.

Early Childhood Teachers

SACHA ETZEL
BUTTERFLY KINDERGARTEN TEACHER
EARLY CHILDHOOD CHAIR

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Sacha was introduced to Waldorf Education in 1989 by her sister. Her early years in Waldorf education were at her home in Canby, where she ran a Waldorf-inspired, Oregon Licensed Daycare serving infants-to-12-year-olds. She went on to get her 2-year Waldorf Teacher Certificate in Eugene. Over the last two decades, Sacha has taught Waldorf Kindergarten, Parent-Child classes, practicum students, mentored teachers, directed summer camps, taught Grades 1-8 Sunday school and raised 4 of her own amazing children. In addition to her deep roots in Waldorf Education, Sacha is also a professionally trained florist. She is married to the love of her life; together they enjoy traveling, sunrises and sunsets, gardening, cooking, baking, and being on their farm. 

Sacha holds a Bachelor's in Organizational Management and a Master's in Executive Leadership.

EDDIE ARELLANO
DRAGONFLY KINDERGARTEN CO-LEAD TEACHER

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Eddie grew up in a migrant family, spending harvest seasons in the San Joaquin Valley of California and the fall/winter seasons in Zacatecas, Mexico. Being raised in communal farmlands of rural Mexico and the vast agricultural valley of California, Eddie found a love and respect for Mother Earth, learning indigenous traditions on one side of the border and learning the importance of dignity for farm workers on the other. His experience in youth development began with working for the Boys and Girls Club of Fresno County as a Program Assistant. He worked his way up to become Unit Director of his own site. Recently he has worked in the nutrition education field but his interest in storytelling, art, music, and culture led him towards becoming a teacher. Eddie is currently enrolled in a 2-year Waldorf Teacher Certification program and is eager to learn and share his knowledge with our Swallowtail community.

Mr. Eddie will share lead teacher responsibilities in the Butterfly Kindergarten for the 2019-20 school year.

MOLLY WINSLOW HANSON
BUTTERFLY KINDERGARTEN ASSISTANT

Molly is a recent graduate of Green Mountain College where she majored in Sustainable and Resilient Community Building Through the Arts and received her Permaculture Design Certification. Throughout her youth Ms. Molly studied classical ballet, teaching dance to children staring when she was sixteen, and becoming a professional dancer for two years before attending college. She grew up on the beautiful coast of Northern California, where she was nourished by attending the Santa Cruz Waldorf School from kindergarten through eighth grade amongst the magnificent Redwood trees. Ms. Molly is a life-long lover of the arts, and especially enjoys playing cello, painting, drawing, writing, dancing, bookmaking, and singing. She is passionate about building communities that are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable by engaging with others in creative problem-solving and artistically enriching projects.

TRACI JO PARTIN
DRAGONFLY KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

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Traci came to Waldorf education in 2008 when she joined as an assistant to Ms. Evy’s Red Rose Kindergarten at the Waldorf School of Louisville, KY shortly after her mother’s passing. Not only did she find a lifelong friend and mentor, but during that time she became so inspired by the healing and transformative nature of the work that she moved to the west coast to complete the early childhood training at the Waldorf Teacher Education Eugene program.  Following her training she led an all outdoor forest kindergarten class for a number of years through Mother Earth School in Portland, Oregon. There she learned to work deeply with the rhythm of the seasons in the Pacific Northwest.  With her children she discovered the slow wonders of growth from leaf to trillium flower, the hatching of baby owls, the profound depth of winter (and mud)! and countless other teachers of the land…

Prior to becoming a teacher, Traci completed a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida. She has spent many years as a gardener both professionally and as her happiest hobby. Her ongoing relationship with the Oregon Biodynamic Group first brought her to Swallowtail, where she is thrilled to be joining the school farm together with the students!

EMILY ARMSTRONG
DRAGONFLY KINDERGARTEN ASSISTANT

Emily Armstrong grew up travelling the world as a military child, forging a passion for culture and a zest for exploring. She is the eldest child of many kin and neighborhood children; and was the go-to babysitter for a tight-knit community deep in the pine forests of the Florida Ranger camp, a special place where no one locked their doors and all the children were free range. In 2011, after heaps of travel and moving every few years, she settled in Oregon with her husband. Emily has 15 years of experience in customer service; having worked as a barista/supervisor at Starbucks and a research deputy at Netflix.

Emily was first introduced to Waldorf at 16 when she volunteered at her sister’s Bee’s Knees preschool class in Canberra, Australia. Since experiencing the beauty of learning and growing with the seasons, it has been her dream to educate children in an artistic, outdoor, play-based environment. Most recently, through Parent-Child classes and enrollment at the school, her two children have been guiding lights towards her becoming a support teacher at Swallowtail.

Emily holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in History from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

KRISTEN ARRASTIA
CATERPILLAR PRESCHOOL TEACHER

Kristen grew up in New England and is an adventurer at heart, a seeker of truth. She found herself searching for a philosophy that aligned with herself and found it in Anthroposophy, the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. She also found this truth on the West Coast and has stayed ever since. She met her husband there and they now have two beautiful children.

Kristen is a graduate of a 3-year Waldorf Teacher Training, from The Waldorf Institute of Southern California. She is also a graduate of a 1-year teacher training, from LifeWays, that focuses on children ages 0-3 years.

Her passion for the past 11 years has been working with the littlest among us and has been teaching out of a home-based Waldorf School in the San Diego area that serves children from age 0-5 years.

She strives to live a rhythmical life with her family, allowing time for her to be in movement and to meditate. She loves to swim, run, bike, and have a yoga practice in her life.

SHANNON HALLBERG
CATERPILLAR PRESCHOOL ASSISTANT

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Shannon Hallberg brings to the children a deep love of movement and play supported by years of exploration and study in developmental movement patterns through the practice of Body-Mind Centering and Bartenieff Fundamentals. 

She has been engaged in movement research and embodied practices for the last 30 years. Her love of movement begins with the study of contemporary dance growing to include somatic movement education and massage therapy. Shannon holds a BFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She is Certified as a Laban Movement Analyst through the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies and is an Oregon licensed Massage Therapist. Shannon is in her third year of training as a Somatic Movement Educator with the School of Body-Mind Centering.

Mostly, she loves nurturing young students in their work of learning about themselves and the world - striving to create the most loving and supportive space for the development of whole and authentic beings. 

Grades Teachers

At Swallowtail Waldorf School & Farm, the Grades teachers traditionally stay with their students for their entire journey from Grade 1 through Grade 8.

DANIEL MOLLOY
GRADE 1

Born in London to Irish parents, Daniel moved to New England shortly before his six birthday and grew up steeped in outdoor play, soccer, and travel to family and friends back in Europe. After particularly enjoying the academic and communal pursuits of high school, where he delved deeply into theater arts, Daniel backpacked around the world and eventually settled in the Netherlands for his B.A. in Anthropology.

Following university, Daniel lived and worked in intentional communities across France, England, and the US before eventually finding in Waldorf education his true path and calling. Since then, Daniel has worked and trained in both early childhood classrooms and the elementary grades in order to prepare himself most fully for his dream: shepherding a first grade class through their eight-year journey. Completing his Waldorf teacher training at the Alkion Center in Ghent, New York, Daniel is delighted to have found his place at Swallowtail and can’t wait to begin in September with such a special group of children, families, and colleagues. He has moved across the country with his beloved partner, who is a Waldorf graduate herself.

Beyond teaching, Daniel greatly enjoys meditating, biking, animals, storytelling, humor, dancing, cooking, and the many simple joys of home life.

RICH AGUILO
GRADE 2

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Rich Grew up on Long Island, New York, where his enthusiasm for nature and the outdoors started to blossom. He became an ocean lifeguard for the state of New York at Jones Beach during high school and discovered his passion for surfing. After studying elementary education in college, he decided to move across the continental United States to the mountains in Santa Cruz, California to work on an organic, off the grid, farm. He lived on this farm for six months, caring for animals and working the land. After this experience, his connection with food and where it comes from came into full bloom, that he set off to become a Holistic Chef. He worked for Whole Foods, a French restaurant, and cooked for his CSL community in San Diego for many years before Waldorf education found him. He began his 3 year journey of Waldorf teacher training at Waldorf Institute of Southern California. During his time at WISC he had gotten married, had a son, been a Games teacher, and, most recently, taught first grade at a Waldorf charter school. Rich graduated in May 2018 and now lives in Forest Grove with his family.

ANAND MALIAKAL
GRADE 3

Anand attended public schools in Lexington, MA where he excelled in art and English classes. He had strong connections with nature as well, spending many days exploring the various wilderness areas near his hometown. As an adolescent he worked as a counselor in upstate Maine. There he developed a love and appreciation for the outdoors and recreational activities like sailing, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking. Helping to manage a supervise 10-15 campers was a formative experience and has led to his pursuit of teaching children as his vocation.

After High School he attended the University of Vermont in Burlington. It was there were he was able to balance his love of the outdoors with a solid liberal arts education. After graduating with a B.A. in English he moved back to Massachusetts and began working in various settings with children.  In 1993, he entered the Waldorf Teacher Training program at Antioch New England Graduate School and enrolled in the Integrated Day program as well and spent the next two years working and commuting to New Hampshire on the weekends to complete his Masters of Education. After completing 3 student teaching internships in New England, he moved to the West coast and took a job at the Olympia Waldorf School in 1995.  He had been on vacation that summer in the Pacific Northwest and fell in love with the region. 

Since then he has taken two classes through in Olympia, one through the eighth grade.  In the years since he has worked on Whidbey Island and Tacoma, WA taking classes in the 1st-3rd Waldorf schools and worked in a various public schools as a substitute teacher. He also is an avid singer and has participated in numerous local choirs in Olympia. He has always considered himself equal part artist and teacher as he works with children to develop their own unique gifts and capacities.

ERIN GILL
GRADE 4

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Erin was born and raised in the breathtaking Willamette Valley spending most of her time on the back of a horse or tending to the various animals on her family’s small farm. She graduated from Glencoe High School in Hillsboro and completed Culinary School in Portland. After a foray in the culinary world, Erin received her Bachelor of Arts in Social and Behavioral Studies followed by her Masters in Teaching, both from George Fox University. Erin then spent 5 years as a public school teacher. While teaching in public schools, Erin was experiencing Waldorf education as an auntie. When it came time to choose a kindergarten for her second child, Swallowtail became the clear choice. Erin feels extremely fortunate to have her son follow the same path as her nieces. As a public school teacher, Erin felt a deep desire to bring learning to her students in a more meaningful and relevant way. This yearning led her to pursue her Waldorf teacher training. She is now excited to begin her Waldorf teaching journey at Swallowtail.

CIERRA MARZULLO
GRADE 5

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Cierra is on her second journey through Waldorf Education. Her first journey was as a child, on the Island of Hawaii, where she grew up in the jungle. The sun powered her house, and the rain provided water. One of her childhood chores was to cut down the banana trees with a machete when the bananas began to ripen. She attended Malamalama Waldorf School, where she discovered a thirst for knowledge. Her class teacher was from Hungary, and she taught Cierra the value of hard work. Cierra has an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon and completed her Waldorf teacher training at the Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento. Her extra curricular activities included tree climbing and circus arts.

ANNETTE JOHNSON
GRADE 7 CO-TEACHER

Annette is originally from New Zealand. She has taught for 20 years, from Grades 1-12 in both public and private schools. Annette discovered Waldorf education through her own children’s educational experience and felt inspired to study the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and become a Waldorf teacher. Her experience as a Waldorf teacher has inspired her love of art and painting and the desire to experiment with different artistic techniques.

Annette holds a Bachelor's of Arts in Geography from Massey University in New Zealand, which is also where she received her Waldorf teacher training diploma.

 

NANCY PEIRCE
GRADE 7 CO-TEACHER

Nancy began teaching in a very rural school district as she was raising her children on an isolated homestead in California. She discovered Waldorf education and moved to Portland in 1992 to become a class teacher at the Portland Waldorf School. Her children loved being in a city and in a house with electricity for the first time, while she fell in love with being a Waldorf class teacher. After graduating her third-eighth grade class from Portland Waldorf School in 2014, she was delighted to take on a middle school class here at Swallowtail.

Nancy holds a Bachelor's of Science in Microbiology and a Master's in Business Administration from Michigan State University. She received her public school teaching certification from Chico State University in California and her Waldorf Teacher Training from Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento.

KELLY MARQUIS
GRADE 8

Kelly is an avid world traveler who discovered Waldorf education while living in Ecuador (after already having lived in Spain, Costa Rica and Honduras). She was working on a permaculture installation and conservation reserve project when she met Waldorf graduates and was impressed with the way they flowed through the world with creativity and grace. Inspired, Kelly received her Waldorf training at the Micha-el Institute in Portland. Kelly is passionate about working the Farm campus into her curriculum whenever possible.

Kelly holds a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Sociology from Grinnell College in Iowa, and received her teacher training from the Micha-El Institute of Portland.

Specialty Teachers

MARCELA STEADHAM
SPANISH

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Marcela Steadham grew up in Santiago, Chile and in France. She spent a great deal of her childhood skiing the mountains of South America and windsurfing in the ocean.

Marcela was first introduced to Waldorf Education in 1992, when her children attended a school in Bellingham, WA. At that time, she became extremely interested in and began a deep study of Waldorf philosophy. Marcela began teaching language at her children's school and has taught ever since. Her background is in architecture and design, holding a Master's Degree in Architecture from the University of California, but she feels teaching is her true calling and passion.

SADIE LIFTON
HANDWORK

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Sadie is a local Waldorf graduate. She attended Portland Waldorf School from age 3 through high school and went on to study Fine Arts & Native American Studies at The Evergreen State College in Washington. Sadie received her Handwork training at the Fiber Crafts Studio at Threfold Educational Center in Spring Valley, New York.





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KRISTINE JOYCE LIJAUCO
MUSIC

Kristine Joyce Lijauco was the Middle School and High School choir teacher at Acacia Waldorf School, Philippines for five years before coming to the United States. There, she was also a Humanities block teacher for the Upper Grades. In 2018, she was the interim grade school music teacher for both San Francisco Waldorf School and Marin Waldorf School.

Kristine Joyce got her Waldorf Education training at the Asian Waldorf Teacher Training (2013 to 2018), and the 2013 Steiner Education Teacher Training in the Philippines, and at the 2015 International Asian Waldorf Teacher Training in Fujino, Japan. She graduated from the University of the Philippines Los Banos with a degree in BS Development Communication, Major in Educational Communication.

Kristine Joyce's love for music started when she was very young. She especially loved how her older sister would sing all day long, and how her parents and brothers sang, played the piano and the guitar, filling their house with beautiful music. She later on got accepted in one of the world's most awarded choirs, the Philippine Madrigal Singers where she trained under the baton of Sir Mark Anthony Carpio. She then became a mezzo soprano member, soloist, and former president of the UPLB Choral Ensemble. With the UPLB CE, she joined international choral competitions in Japan, China, Indonesia, and Singapore, bringing home Grand Prix wins, and other international recognition. Her love for music and passion for singing has led her to Waldorf education where she says inspires her to make a difference, one beautiful music at a time.

JORDAN KRISTON
GAMES


Administration & Staff

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KIM LE BAS
ADMINISTRATOR

Kim grew up on a farm in rural New Zealand. He attended Teacher's Training College, majoring in Physical Education/ Health, Sports Psychology, and Mathematics. During his 30 years as an educator, Kim has taught and consulted in public and private schools in New Zealand, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, China and Taiwan. In addition to Kim’s focus on education, he has extensive training in Spacial Dynamics®, with a focus on therapeutic movement.

Kim spent two decades teaching and in leadership positions in the local Waldorf community, at the Portland Waldorf School and Cedarwood Waldorf School. Kim has joined Swallowtail School after spending two years as Director of a Waldorf charter school in Hawaii.

In addition to his role as administrator of Swallowtail, Kim will continue in his role as educational consultant and mentor, supporting educational programming, systems development and educational professionals in the Pacific Rim.

Kim is passionate about education, and helping individuals and groups feel more connected to themselves and the space in which they live.

He is very excited to be working at Swallowtail School and Farm during this phase of its development.

JESSICA FOSTER
ENROLLMENT & OUTREACH COORDINATOR

Jessica was born and raised in the farmland south of Hillsboro. Along with her brothers, she spent her childhood outdoors, free to discover the world by exploring the woods and fields as far as her horse could carry her. She completed a Bachelor’s of Arts at Kenyon College, in both Psychology and Spanish Cultural Studies. After graduating, she lived with her husband in Mexico to increase her fluency in Spanish and learn more about the culture and traditions of the area. Her passion for serving children and families, as well as striving for a more equitable and inclusive world, led her to work as a Head Start preschool teacher, a home visitor for new families, and a housing manager at Washington County. When her own children entered school, initially at a local cooperative preschool and then at Swallowtail, she felt a growing clarity of purpose, a desire to support the families in our communities through an education that truly allows children to realize their full potential.  

ANNA RUBY
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
OFFICE MANAGER

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Originally from Northwest Montana, Anna spent much of her childhood outdoors in all seasons: ice skating on frozen ponds in the winter and playing in the freshwater lakes in the summer (and attending lots of her brothers’ baseball games).

Anna holds a BA in Broadcast Journalism from The University of Montana. She worked as a television, print, and online journalist and freelance writer for 10 years before staying home with her daughters. She found Waldorf education through an outdoor preschool & kindergarten program in Beaverton.

Anna joined the Swallowtail administrative team in January 2015 as Office Manager. Her background in producing, writing, and video editing led to a natural transition into a role in Marketing, Communications, and Event Planning.

MARIANN HAGLAND
OFFICE ASSISTANT

Mariann grew up in the small, rural community of Yoder, Oregon – a great-great-grandchild of the first Yoders to settle there.  She enjoyed an idyllic childhood on the farm and learned very early to appreciate the importance and value of true community.

Mariann has a BA in German from Linfield College and has studied at universities in both Austria and Germany.  She returned from her years living abroad to teach preschool and kindergarten at the German American School of Portland and also spent 12 years working at Canby Public Library prior to becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom after the birth of her first child.

Now that both of her children are in the Grades, Mariann looks forward to again combining her loves of children, education, information and community support in her role as Office Assistant at Swallowtail.

EMILY SAXTON
GRANTS ADMINISTRATOR

Emily was born a third-generation Oregonian who grew up in Bellingham, Washington. Her childhood included a lot of family explorations to the coast and the islands by foot, ferry, and bike. She launched her first major fundraising campaign in seventh grade to transfer to a small private school. When she reached her goal (and persuaded her parents to make a generous ongoing contribution), it was a drastic and wonderful change from her previous educational institution.

Emily has a BA in History and an MA in Public Administration. Her enthusiasm for writing, community engagement, and school choice led her to positions in school fundraising. Before joining Swallowtail in 2016, she worked in fundraising at charter schools in Portland. In addition to working, she enjoys bike riding, reading, camping and exploration, gardening, and going on family adventures with her daughter and her wife.

NOAH MARQUIS
FARM STEWARD

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Noah (or "Farmer Noah", as the children know him) is Swallowtail's Farm Steward. He manages all aspects of the Farm property including animals, gardens, and the buildings.

Holding anthroposophical and agrarian based philosophies as a core value. He is currently working to restore the land Swallowtail is blessed to hold to a place where humans, nature, and croplands thrive. While engaging as many people as he can in that effort, mostly kids. Noah was first introduced to Biodynamics in 1999 while working on a Polytechnic farm in Chirstchurch, N.Z. His loves include, but are not limited to, the Marquis three, the smell of fresh morning air, and flowing water.

PETE PETERSON
FACILITIES MANAGER

Extended Care

Swallowtail Extended Care staff care for the children in the mornings and after school. They lead children in games, songs, snacks, free play and outdoor play.

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ALYSSA VANDERVELDEN
EXTENDED CARE LEAD

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CAITLIN VIREDAY
EXTENDED CARE ASSISTANT