We are proud of our multi-talented and well-credentialed high school faculty. These uniquely gifted individuals and the work they do with our students make our high school program extraordinary.
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, and he played in the National Honors Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He received a bachelor's degree in music from PSU in 1993 and taught cello at Clark College in Vancouver, WA from 1991-2006. He plays in a variety of orchestras, including Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theater, and the Eugene Symphony and formed his own music business, Duo con Brio, in 1989. Since 1998 Corey has taught strings, band, orchestra, bell choir and 11th grade music history at PWHS.
Michelle Averill, Music-Choir and Instrumental
Michelle attended PSU on a full four-year scholarship, where she received a bachelor's of music in vocal performance. She has performed in such works as Saint-Saen's Christmas Oratoria, Bach's Christmas Oratorio, and 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.
Wade Cavin, High School Science
Wade received his B.A. in biological science from Northwestern University. He has worked as a research assistant in a physiology lab, an environmental consulting company, and at the University in New Mexico he worked on hazardous and radioactive wastes. For close to ten years he conducted radio-chemical testing at an environmental laboratory. Wade received a B.A. degree in Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico, and completed Waldorf Teacher Training in 2002 .
Randy Hicks, High School Science and Math
Randy received a PhD in chemistry from Michigan State University and taught at the college level for ten years (Reed, Wheaton College, Lewis & Clark, PSU) while conducting research in inorganic materials chemistry, designing materials to filter contaminants from water. Recently, Randy and his wife moved back to the Northwest. Randy is the first member of his working class family to attend college. His interest in effective classroom teaching has brought him to the Waldorf High School, where he hopes to inspire students in their science and math studies, while he participates fully in our educational community.
Sophie Kirscht, German, grades 9-12
Sophie was born in East Berlin, Germany, to parents who are both physicists. She grew up in the then-socialist German Democratic Republic. In 1989, at the age of 14, she witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In 1991 Sophie's father accepted a job in Salem, Oregon, where she finished high school. In 1993 she moved to Portland, and, after studying at PSU, worked as an interpreter and translator. In 2000 she taught German at the Berlitz Language School to adults and children, where she discovered that she greatly enjoy teaching. She came to PWS in 2002 to be an assistant in the Kindergarten. From 2004-2005 she taught German to Grades 1 to 12. Since 2005 she has been teaching German exclusively in the High School. She attended the HS German teacher training at the Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento. Sophie lives in Oregon City with her partner and two children.
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, performed as a mime and avant garde artist. He teaches for the Taoist Tai Chi Society. He is a graduate of the Center for Anthroposophy Waldorf High School Education. Jeffrey was one of the founders of the PWS high school.
Patricia Lynch, High School Fine Arts
Patricia attended Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore and later received her B.F.A. from Pacific Northwest College of Art. Patricia’s eldest daughter was in the first PWS kindergarten class in 1982. Patricia began her PWS career as a kindergarten assistant and then worked with Lesley Cox to develop the handwork program, which she ran for 7 years. She was the first full-time College Chair. She was instrumental in founding the High School and served as its coordinator for 7 years, while also developing the high school fine arts program. Patricia attended the Rudolf Steiner Institute as well as numerous teacher conferences and workshops focusing on pedagogy, anthroposophical painting, conflict resolution, and Waldorf high schools.
Julia McCarl, Eurythmy Pianist
Julia attended Willamette University for two years and then began singing professionally. She also attended Mt. Hood Community College and continues to play music as a solo performer and also with her Cajun group Bodacious.
James McCarter, PE and Athletic Director
James attended Syracuse University on an athletic scholarship (baseball), where he studied photojournalism. After twenty-two years as a photojournalist in the Navy Seals, he worked for seven years as PE teacher and Athletic Director at the Honolulu Waldorf High School before moving to Portland in 2010.
Kate McGill, High School Secretary
Kate attended Reed College and her resume includes office work, radio broadcasting, community organizing, events coordination, blood donor recruitment, actuarial work, and corporate pension consulting. Prior to working in the high school, Kate worked at a host of volunteer positions at PWS: library, finance, and development, scrip committees and chaired Parent Council for three years.
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 Fisherman's 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.
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.
Phil (Buzz) Poleson, High School Math and Physics
Buzz has worked as a carpenter, martial arts instructor, touring juggler and billiards teacher at the professional level. He studied at the University of Oregon, UC Berkley' and PSU, where he completed his B.A. in 1988. For 12 years he taught math at Lincoln High School in Portland and also coordinated their Talented and Gifted (TAG) program. He completed three years of Waldorf High School Teacher Training in New Hampshire and was one of the founding high school teachers.
Katherine Pomeroy, Handwork 6-8, High School Applied Arts 9-12
Katherine studied fine arts at PSU with a concentration in drawing, weaving, and ceramics. Later, she continued at the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, where she studied weaving, textile surface design and natural dying. Katherine completed the three-year Waldorf Teacher Training Applied Arts program at Sunbridge College in 1998. She was a founding High School teacher.
Valerie Pufahl, Student Assistance and Wilderness Program Coordinator
Valerie brings extensive experience in working with adolescents and families as a Waldorf movement teacher, wilderness guide, homeschool educator, and summer camp instructor, supporting students through group social dynamics and individual behavioral and emotional challenges. At PWS, she has taught Physical Education, served as Athletic Director, and developed our Outdoor Programs, continuing to co-lead our Eleventh Grade backpacking trips through Spring 2012. As Student Assistance Coordinator, Valerie is responsible for coordinating support for students with learning challenges and other behavioral, social or emotional needs, and for organizing our Health and Wellness curriculum.
Sarah Rem, HS Eurythmy
Sarah is an alumna of the Santa Barbara Waldorf School and completed her Eurythmy training at Rudolf Steiner School in Sacramento. She taught Eurythmy at the Chicago Waldorf School and spent the last year performing with the Eurythmeum Fairytale Ensemble of Stuttgart, Germany, touring throughout Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the UK. Sarah is the High School Eurythmy teacher at PWS and is a co-sponsor of the Class of 2015
Fernando Rojas-Galvan, Spanish Grades 7-12
Fernando has extensive experience teaching Spanish on the college level as well as in middle and high schools. He has a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Portland, a secondary education degree from the College of Santa Fe and an MA in Spanish, Chicano Studies and SW History from University of New Mexico.
Tracy Trefethen, High School English
Tracy has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and has had her poetry and creative non-fiction work published in national literary magazines. She has been an Artist in Residence for the Arizona Commission on the Arts and a Writer in Residence for Oregon Literary Arts, Inc. She was also the recipient of a 2003 Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship for Creative Non-Fiction. Tracy has taught writing extensively at the high school and university level.
Jack Walsh, High School Ceramics
Jack brings 35 years of experience working with clay to PWHS where he teaches ceramics to grades 9-11. He founded an environmental art program at the high school in Homer, Alaska, and was honored by the Orion Society as a master teacher. Jack also received a Christa McCullough grant to start a program using indigenous, local material to fire pottery, and he built the first wood-fueled kiln in a high school in the US. His pieces are in private and public collections around the world, and he was the only potter from Oregon to have work selected for the International Wood-Fired Pottery Exhibition in 2004.
Christopher Zinn, High School Humanities
Christopher studied at Georgetown University and at New York University where he received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature. He taught Humanities and American Literature at Reed College, directed the college's American Studies program, and was Fulbright Senior lecturer in Turkey in 1993-94. In May 1997, he was appointed Executive Director of the Oregon Council for the Humanities, and continued in that position until 2006. He has also taught cultural history at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. Christopher has served on a number of non-profit boards, and lectures and writes frequently on American literature and culture. In 2007, he joined the Faculty of the PWHS where he teaches humanities and directs the college counseling program.
We have several additional music teachers that teach in our High School.