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Faculty Biographies

Revised 2013

Francine Adams, Remedial Education
Francine obtained her B.S. at Western Oregon State University. She received her diploma in Waldorf Education from Emerson College in England, and a eurythmy diploma from Das Eurythmeum, Stuttgart, Germany. Francine also took course work to complete her training in pedagogical and therapeutic eurythmy. From 1983 to1993 Francine taught eurythmy and high-school History at the Kimberton Waldorf School in Pennsylvania. In 1993, she came to Portland Waldorf School where she has worked in a variety of roles including class teacher, eurythmist, college chairperson, and high-school history teacher as well as her current position.

Corey Averill, Music - Instrumental, Grades 3-12
Corey was the first high school freshman to win the Oregon State Solo Contest on cello and has studied with such teachers as Stephanie McDougal, Hamilton Cheifetz, and Yo Yo Ma. He played in the National Honors Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He received a bachelors degree in music from PSU in 1993 and taught cello at Clark College in Vancouver, WA from 1991 to 2006.   He plays in a variety of orchestras, including Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theater, and the Eugene Symphony, and also formed his own music business, Duo con Brio, in 1989. Corey has worked at PWS since 1998, teaching strings, band, orchestra, bell choir, and 11th-grade music history.

Michelle Averill, Music-Choir and Instrumental
Michelle attended PSU on a full four-year scholarship, and received a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance. She has performed in such works as Saint-Saens' Christmas Oratoria, Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Faure's Requiem. Prior to teaching at PWS, she was assistant choir director in her church, and taught voice privately. Michelle began teaching at PWS in 1999 and currently teaches choir to Grades 5-12 as well as third grade general music and grades 6-8 band.

Virginia Berg, Class Teacher, Class of 2023
Virginia earned a B.A. in German from the University of Oregon and a Waldorf teaching certificate from Waldorf Teacher Education, Eugene, OR. She began teaching  the class of 2004 in 1991 and completed the Spatial Dynamics training during that same period. She then worked part-time for many years at PWS as a humanities teacher, grades evaluator,  interim College Chair, and administrative support. She also participated in the Sound Circle mentors' colloquium. 

Nina Churchill, Class Teacher, Class of 2020
Nina received her B.A. in Fine Arts from WSU, Summa Cum Laude, in 1982.  She went on to get her M.S. in Communications Design from Pratt Institute with honors in 1985 and also holds a certificate in Garden Design from UC Berkeley.  Nina worked professionally in graphic design, creating identity systems for large corporations.  She then worked as a pre-school assistant at the Marin Waldorf School. She finished her Waldorf teacher training in 2005 and taught in the high and middle school and assisted in the handwork program.

Jim Conlon, Class Teacher, Class of 2024
Jim has been involved in Waldorf education for 25 years including completing two cycles of eight years as a class teacher.  He studied secondary school science education (Biology) at the University of Vermont and Pomology at Cornell University.  He received his Waldorf teacher training at the Waldorf Institute in Detroit, Michigan and studied biodynamic agriculture at Emerson College in England. He also completed the Spatial Dynamics training in 1994. He taught at the Hawthorne Valley School from 1986 to 2004, taking one class through eight years and then teaching movement/PE for grades 2-12 and Geography and Astronomy main lessons in the High School. He has now taken a class through the grades at PWS and is on his second cycle.  

Lesley Cox, Early Childhood & Grades 1-2 Eurythmy, Therapeutic Eurythmy
Mrs. Cox has a B.S. in Language Arts and Education from Oregon State University, and a 5th-year extended diploma in Education as well as diplomas in Waldorf Education, Eurythmy, and Therapeutic Eurythmy.  Lesley has been a public middle & high school teacher, the General Secretary/Administrator for the Teacher Training course at Emerson College in Sussex, England, and Handwork as well as Eurythmy teacher at PWS.  Since 1985, she also has completed an extensive therapeutic training.

Michael Cromie, Physical Education Director, Movement, grades 2-8
Michael graduated from Wayne State University with a B.S. in recreation and parks service. He worked for 10 years in the Detroit Recreation Department and later became a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and worked with a variety of special-needs populations. Michael began the PWS Physical Education Program in February 1989 and has completed a five-year training course in Spatial Dynamics and Bothmer Gymnastics

Charles Forster, Grades Aftercare Director
Charles has acted as director and primary provider for the aftercare program at PWS since 1991. His educational background includes more than eight years of self-directed college curriculum focusing on fine arts and crafts, education, psychology, religion, and landscape architecture. He earned a B.F.A. from California College of Arts and Craft and has taken summer training and workshops on Waldorf pedagogy at Rudolf Steiner College. He taught for numerous years in private art schools before coming to PWS. He is also a licensed therapeutic masseur, a nationally recognized artist and craftsman.

Victor Garza, Spanish, Grades 1-6
Maestro Victor studied Business Administration and worked in the movie industry for seven years as a Production Engineer. He then became a language teacher in Oaxaca, Mexico and has worked in many different settings: universities, language schools, art schools, and high schools. He has taught history, dance, art, and languages. He received his Waldorf Teacher Training Certificate in 2008 and has been teaching at PWS since 2004.

Jeffrey Levy, High School Humanities and Drama
Jeffrey is a playwright, educator and writer raised in Indiana. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Michigan and an M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego. For twenty years, he taught and managed three theatres at California State University, Northridge and was the Executive Director of the Teen-Age Drama Workshop. He has written over twenty plays and musicals and also performed as a mime and avant-garde artist. He teaches for the Taoist Tai Chi Society. He is a graduate of the Center for Anthroposphy  Waldorf High School Education was one of the founders of the PWS high school. 

Mariama Loos-Diallo, Handwork, Grades 1-5

Kelly O’Halogan, Pedagogical Chair
Kelly received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Oregon.  After several years working in business, she attended Emerson College in England where she completed her Waldorf foundation year studies.  She followed this up with the Waldorf teacher training program at Sunbridge College in New York. She has been a class teacher since 1994.   

Ute Luppertz, German, Grades 1-8

Ute has a M.A. in special education and German from the University of Cologne, with emphasis on German as a second language, theatre, and holistic learning.  She has many years' experience teaching and developing programs for children, adolescents, and adults learning German as a second language. She has been teaching Grades 1-8 German at PWS since 1995.

Carrie Mass, Eurythmy, Grades 3-8
Carrie attended a Waldorf school in California and completed the Eurythmy training in Spring Valley, NY, with an additional  year of artistic training. Carrie worked with the Austin Eurythmy Ensemble and taught for three years at the Live Oak Charter School and the Sebastopol Independent Charter. She began teaching grades eurythmy at PWS in fall 2008.

Julia McCarl, Eurythmy Pianist
Julia attended Willamette University for two years and then began singing professionally.  She also attended Mt. Hood Community College. She continues to play music as a solo performer and also with her Cajun group Bodacious.

Arehn McCarty

Tom Myers, Applied Arts, Woodworking, Grades 5-12
Tom worked as a commercial fisherman, was the vice president of the United Fishermen of Alaska, and was on the board of directors of the SE Alaska Fishermans' Co-op. He then became foreman of SE Alaska's largest shipyard until moving back to Portland in 1979 to open a custom woodworking shop. Tom has taught as a woodworking teacher at PWS since 1992. He completed the three-year applied arts course at Sunbridge College and has taken continuing Waldorf education classes through the Micha-el Institute, where he teaches adult woodworking and teacher training classes. He is a founding high school teacher.

Alynn Nelson, Class Teacher, Class of 2019
Alynn graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in Studio Art and Art History.  After college, Alynn moved to Salt Lake City, where, serving as an Ameri-Corps volunteer for a year, she worked with under-served women and teens as an educator and medical assistant for Planned Parenthood.  For four years Alynn was an art teacher for a Montessori-influenced preschool and kindergarten.  She then completed the three-year Waldorf teacher-training program at the Micha-el Institute, overlapping with coming to PWS in 2007.  

Amalia Parecki, Strings and Math
Amalia received a bachelor's degree in aeronautics at San Jose State University and worked for several years in the aerospace industry. She is now a teacher of music and math at PWS.

Nancy Peirce, Class Teacher, Class of 2018
Nancy went to college at Michigan State University and received an M.A. in International Marketing. She became a public school teacher in their small rural district of California, then took a third-grade class at PWS in 1992. She received her Waldorf teacher training through summer workshops while she was teaching. Nancy is now in her 19th year as a class teacher at PWS.

Kathleen Taylor, Class Teacher, Class of 2022
Kathleen graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in anthropology. After college she went to Mali with the Peace Corps for two years. For several years, she worked with an AmeriCorps program focused on education and the environment. Kathleen completed her Waldorf teacher training at the Micha-el Institute in 2002 and has already taken one class from grade 1 to 8.

Nancy Thompson, Class Teacher, Class of 2021
Nancy graduated from Washington and Jefferson College in PA with a B.A. in sociology.  She has been an actor, director, a stunt person, and movement teacher in the elementary grades. Nancy completed her Waldorf teacher training at the Micha-el Institute in 2007.  She picked up a 6th-grade class at PWS, and took them through 8th grade, then began again with a new grade 1.