FACULTY AND STAFF

Sunrise Waldorf School is proud to have a staff of teachers that are passionate about making a difference in students’ lives through tireless dedication to education. Get to know each of our team members below.

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RACHEL CAMERON

Acting Principal and Education Director

Rachel has been involved in Waldorf Education for 20 years and has over 10 years of experience teaching in Waldorf classrooms. She took a class from grades one through eight at Sunrise. Rachel has a degree in English Literature, and she completed her Waldorf teacher training along with a Masters of Education Degree at Antioch University in New England. She is now the Education Director at Sunrise Waldorf School.

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LINDA YOUNG

Acting Administrator

Linda's passion for learning and reading can be traced back to her pre-professional days. She joined the education sector in 2002 working in a variety of roles from education management, to being an adult educator.  Outside of the office, Linda is an avid reader and boater and lovesspending time floating around reading on the Saanich Inlet. Linda is also a serial entrepreneur and has owned a bookstore, a catering company and currently operates a few book & tea subscription businesses online.

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JOY TRAPNELL

Director of Finance

Joy was BC born and raised, and in her early years, lived and travelled in various parts of the country pursuing careers in music and fitness. She settled on a career in finance and honed her skills in the Okanagan Valley. Years of holidaying on the Gulf Islands planted the seed of love for the ocean, and she and her husband moved to the Cowichan Valley in 2013.  Joy loves the energy and spirit of Sunrise Waldorf School and is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the admin team. She has two grown children, and a beautiful granddaughter. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, gardening, and music.

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KATHERINE LAMPSON

Admissions and Communication Director

Katherine attended Waldorf schools in Scotland from pre-school to grade 12 and went on to gain a BA hons in Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art. She came to Canada in 2005 and has been part of Sunrise Waldorf School since 2016 when her daughter started attending preschool here. She is committed to her role in bringing Waldorf education to all those who seek a more meaningful, integrated and gentle approach to preparing children for today’s world.

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KATHLEEN MILNER

Administrative Assistant/Receptionist

A writer of fiction, Kathleen is currently working on her next two books. Her children are grown and living on their own. One married, one engaged and one thinking about it. For the past ten years Kathleen's father has lived with her. He will be 92 in May. Her work background includes, bookkeeping, general office jobs and her latest two were as a medical office manager. Kathleen enjoyed the patients, the doctors, and helping in the surgery.

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SHAYLYNN CUMMINGS

Sunchild Preschool Teacher

Ms. Shaylynn was born and raised here in the Cowichan Valley and attended Sunrise for Kindergarten which was extremely enriching. She recently completed Early Childhood Education Certification at Vancouver Island University and is currently working on her first year of my Waldorf training with West Coast Institute. Her goal is to be able to expand my knowledge and practice in Waldorf education while providing loving, comforting, and quality care to the children at Sunrise. She is passionate about working alongside the new generation as they truly are our future. She believes that we, as adults, need to be worthy of imitation because the quality of care which we provide defines the tone of our environment and relationships.

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MARTI SMITH

Sunchild Preschool Teacher

Ms. Marti was inspired to pursue Waldorf Early Childhood Training with the West Coast Institute in 2018. This is now Ms. Marti’s 3rd year working as a preschool teacher at Sunrise. She is grateful for the joy of being with young children, the chance to connect with their families, and the opportunity to be part of an ever-evolving community.
Marti's first experience with Waldorf education began with her son in the Calgary Waldorf Parent and Child Program.
Marti's education includes Child and Youth Counseling, a BA from the University of Calgary with studies in creative writing, and training in Ayurvedic post partum care for women. She has also worked as a magazine writer, and is currently a singer/songwriter and plays banjo in a folk duo with her husband. In her free time, she's likely in the kitchen making soup, or hiking forest trails with family and friends.

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DOROTA IGNASZEWSKA

Bright Angel Kindergarten

Born in Poland Dorota grew to love all forms of artistic expression and creativity. After finishing her studies of philosophy in Lublin she spent two years in Cambridge, England. In Canada she worked as a kindergarten teacher in Yellowknife. After a year of studies at the Waldorf Institute in Spring Valley, Dorota came to Vancouver Island where she worked as a biodynamic farmer, toymaker of Fairywood Toys, Celtic harp performer and substitute teacher at Sunrise Waldorf School. While raising her daughter in the Cowichan Valley, Dorota took the Waldorf teacher training with the West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy. She was the first kindergarten teacher at Alta Lake School in Whistler, completed her degree in Education at the University of Victoria and then taught at the Whistler Waldorf School.

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ANDREA MASKELL

Kindergarten Assistant

Andrea has worked with children for 20 years. She attended Northern College in Ontario to obtain the Child and Youth Worker Diploma which enabled her to work with kids with social, emotional, behavioural challenges. Since moving to BC, Andrea has ran her own Waldorf inspired daycare for years, to be at home with her children. She then found Sunrise Waldorf and immediately moved with her 2 boys to the Cowichan Valley.  Andrea’s sons have been attending for almost 6 years at the school.  She and her family enjoy the outdoors, camping, the weather, the long growing season, the arts, and the wonderful community here. Andrea is so looking forward to another magical year.

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MIMA DJORDJEVIC

Shining Star Kindergarten

Miss Mima was born in Yugoslavia to parents who were both elementary school teachers. She graduated from the Belgrade University of Economics, and was employed at the City planning Institute. She soon realized her heart was in working with children, so she entered a part time teacher training program. In 1989, she moved to Vancouver and worked as a nanny, in a children’s group home, and as a family services support worker. Ten years later she moved to the Cowichan Valley. In her search for the right education for her children she attended a parent education series and recognized a deep kinship with the strivings and philosophy of Waldorf education. Miss Mima enrolled her children at SWS and completed the Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Training with the West Coast Institute. Miss Mima worked in the preschool for three years, before moving to Shining Star Kindergarten in 2007. She feels fortunate to have found her life calling where every day her encounters with children, parents and colleagues bring new joys and opportunities for growth.

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LEAH BURLEY

Class 1

Leah and her family moved from Victoria to the Cowichan Valley in 2013. Her four children attend Sunrise, and the community has become a nourishing and important part of their lives. Leah is passionate about the arts and owns Warmland Dance, a highly regarded performing arts school in the Cowichan Valley. Leah holds a Master of Education in Leadership, has a background in human sciences, and is joyfully completing her third and final year of the Waldorf teacher training. Leah is thrilled to be taking on Class 1 at Sunrise Waldorf School.

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PEPPER COUELLE-STERLING

Class 2 co-teacher

Mme. Pepper, as fondly known to her students, graduated with degrees in Art and Art History from the University of Toronto and a Diploma of Studio Arts from Sheridan College. She has taught in the Independent school system for 18 years and is passionate about engaging her students through the joy of learning. Mme. Pepper is a former Waldorf parent and a current published author of middle school novels. Mentoring youth has always been a passion. She developed and directed Art Safari Camp, and has coached athletic teams in Canada, Belize and Tanzania. In her spare time, Mme. Pepper enjoys playing competitive tennis, art and keeping up with her grandchildren.

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KATIA RHEAULT

Class 2 lead teacher

Katia Rheault was born in the city of Quebec. The family then relocated to Mexico and she grew up in Mexico City where she attended a French public school up to Grade 12. She then studied a BA in Psychology, and taught French for 2 years at a private middle school.  She also pursued a Diploma in Translation and worked as a translator for 20 years, as well as co-founding an Ayurvedic centre.   In 2009, Ms. Rheault and her husband decided to emigrate to Canada and enrolled their son Esteban in the Parent and Toddler program at Sunrise upon arriving.  Ms. Rheault decided to study Waldorf pedagogy and completed her Master’s in Waldorf Education (Elementary school focus) at Antioch University New England in 2013. She began her career at Sunrise in September of that same year when she was offered the position of French teacher for the Grades school which she held for 5 years.  She has been working as a Grades substitute teacher for the past 3 years.  Since April 2020, she also works as a volunteer peer counsellor for Cowichan Family Life Association. 

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AMBER HALLS

Class 3

Largely home-schooled, Amber first experienced the gift of Waldorf education when her mother volunteered for a year at the Camphill Community in Barrie Ontario. That year she attended the Huronia Waldorf School and lived into the immersive world of rich experiences that slowly ignited her love of learning. She was so inspired that, at age 11, she committed to becoming a Waldorf teacher herself. She completed her secondary education in the Cowichan Valley and went on to study Bowen Therapy and Anthroposophy. She then attended courses at Emerson College in England and completed her foundation studies and Waldorf teacher training at the Steiner Centre in Toronto, Ontario. 

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ANNA MCANDREW

Class 4

Ms. McAndrew grew up amongst different cultures in England, France and India. At sixteen she attended the United World College of India and later went on to study Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art. She completed a bachelors and master's degree in Education at Goldsmiths University of London, which is where she discovered Waldorf Education. She is currently completing her Waldorf Teacher training at the West Coast Institute. Prior to working at Sunrise she taught music to visually impaired and special needs students in London. In her spare time she likes to ride her bicycle and write songs. She has also released a music album which she occasionally performs.

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MICHAELA LOHSEN

Class 5

Ms. Lohsen has a university degree in education and teaching from the University of Osnabreuck, Germany, and was a public school teacher in Germany before moving to Canada. She started her Waldorf teacher training with the West Coast Institute in 2017, and she has experience with Waldorf methods and curriculum after five years of homeschooling her own children, as well as several years teaching at Sunrise as a substitute teacher.
When moving to the island 12 years ago, Michaela enrolled in the Parent and Child Program at Sunrise and was inspired by Anthroposophy. Over the past twelve years her interest in education has shifted from the conventional education method to a more in depth study of Anthroposophy and the Waldorf approach to teaching.

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HANS-PETER MOTHES

Class 6

Mr. Mothes completed his Waldorf Teacher Training in Germany, with additional training as a foreign language teacher in French and German. In addition, he holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Diploma from the College for Anthroposophic Pedagogy. He has taught at Waldorf Schools in the United States, taking a class to grade eight, as well as a specialty teacher.

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NAEEM DATOO

Class 7

Mr. Naeem Datoo enjoys living in the Cowichan Valley and teaching at Sunrise Waldorf School. He loves the natural beauty of the area. Before coming to Sunrise, Mr. Naeem was a teacher in Vancouver for many years. He also teaches yoga and meditation and enjoys studying Anthroposophy.

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JACQUELINE CHOUINARD

Class 8

Jacqueline began her education at the Vancouver Waldorf School. She attended Pre-school through Grade 5 there, and transitioned to public school in Grade 7. She is excited to be returning to the curriculum now. Jacqueline has a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology and Canadian Studies from the University of British Columbia, and has just returned from completing a teacher education course in the United Kingdom. She is currently training with the West Coast Institute, studying for her Waldorf Certification.

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LISA HITCH

Mentor

Lisa is grateful to be teaching and learning on traditional Hul’q’umi’num territory in the Quw’utsun Valley. She has been a teacher in many different environments since 1990, and has been a class teacher at Sunrise Waldorf School since 2010.  She holds a Bachelor of Education, a BFA in Theatre Performance, and attained her Waldorf Teacher Certification from the West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy. In 2018, she was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in STEM, and is currently the BC Regional Representative to the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America. She is on a sabbatical year from class teaching, but in addition to AWSNA work, continues to tutor students and mentor teachers. Originally from Victoria, Lisa began her Waldorf journey when her own children – now grown – started their schooling at Washington Waldorf School in Washington DC, and she has been on a continual learning path in this direction ever since. Lisa enjoys playing music with her family, planning her garden, hiking with her partner and dog, and learning more how to live in balance and harmony with our dear Earth.

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ROSE POWELL

French

Madame Powell started learning French in high school and then perfected her knowledge of the language while living in France as an exchange student. This experience inspired her to learn about other cultures and languages (Spanish and German). Madame Powell holds a BA in French and Spanish (completed in Bordeaux, France) as well as a BA in Education from the province of Ontario. She began her professional career teaching French at a public middle school in Toronto, and then became a part of the Waldorf movement 15 years ago at the Kelowna Waldorf School where she was inspired by its spiritual perspective on child development and teaching. Madame Powell was both a parent and a French teacher at the KWS and, after completing her Waldorf Teacher Training from Antioch Unoiversity New England, she bacame a class teacher and took a Class from G2 to G5.

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LIV LUNDH

Handwork

Liv just moved to Lake Cowichan from Winnipeg and is happy to be joining the Sunrise community. She loves the environment that Sunrise Waldorf School inhabits, with the trees, mountains and water all around. 
She grew up in the west Kootenays and received her Diploma in Fibre Arts from the Kootenay School of the Arts in 2006.  She has worked in fashion and film, but her heart lies in handwork. She attended the Nelson Waldorf school as a child and always thought she might like to be the handwork teacher one day - and here she is!

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GEORGIA NEWSOME

Physical Education

Georgia graduated from Kings Langley Waldorf School, in the UK. She completed her training in Spatial Dynamics and Bothmer gymnastics in Germany in 1986. Georgia has taught at Waldorf schools in England, Germany, Canada and the USA, presented at teachers conferences and mentored new teachers. While teaching at the Ringwood Waldorf School in England Georgia also worked as the movement educator and physical therapist at their Camphill Community; setting up and teaching sports and activity programs for children and adults with learning disabilities. Georgia is also an instructor in sea kayaking and river/whitewater kayaking, and fencing.

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ALEXIS MORE

Strings and Faculty Chair

Born in Victoria to two music teacher parents, Mrs. More never knew if she was born with her love of music, or her immersion in it just grew on her. At a young age she asked to play the violin and has been on her journey with music and string instruments ever since. From her first day tutoring younger students in the school strings program she was hooked. There is nothing more enlivening and important to her than to see a child learn and thrive in music. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Uvic and has taught strings classes, orchestras and private lessons for over 19 years. Mrs. More is also a professional Viola player with the La Cafamore string quartet as well as various orchestras. Her previous time as the strings teacher at Sunrise Waldorf School was the highlight of her class teaching and after living in Nelson BC for 7 years decided to return to SWS. The energy and life at SWS is always an inspiration to her and she is thrilled to be a part of this community.

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SHANNON FAUGHNAN

Grades Teacher

Shannon and her family moved to the Cowichan Valley in 2017 so that her three children could attend The Sunrise Waldorf School. Being a part of the Sunrise Waldorf School and community has been an incredibly enriching experience for their whole family and they feel so grateful to be a part of it. Shannon holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of British Columbia, with a major in studio arts. She is in the process of receiving her Independent School Teaching Certificate. She has been inspired by Waldorf Education and anthroposophy since she first learned about it over twelve years ago. She deepened her knowledge and passion for the grade’s curriculum through the Teaching with Heart; Experiencing the Waldorf Approach Course two years ago and is eager to continue her own Waldorf Education Training. Shannon has worked in a supportive teaching role in art classrooms for children up to the age of 12. She is looking forward to meeting all the children and families that make up our community.

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SORINA SAAYMAN

Administrative coordinator

Sorina immigrated from South Africa to Canada with her husband and three children in 2006.  They called Fort McMurray, Alberta home for 15 years. She worked within the Public School Division in Fort McMurray as a school secretary until she and her husband made the journey to Vancouver Island in September 2021.  They love walking the trails and exploring everything that BC has to offer. She is excited to be part of the team at Sunrise Waldorf School.