Meet our Teachers

Lower School Coordinator

Julie MacArthur

BA English, St. Lawrence University; MA English, Breadloaf School of English,Middlebury College; RSC Eurythmy Training. Julie has served as a teacher and curriculum director for grades 6 – 12; administrator at a start-up middle school; and trustee at a pre-K and Kindergarten International School of Peace. She was the recipient of an NEH grant to study American nature writers and is a trained facilitator for low and high ropes courses. Julie is a "mover," avid reader, cook, and mom and has been a parent at SWS since 2005. (Joined SWS in 2010)
Contact Julie: or (916) 860-2512

Class Teachers

Tammy Duncan - First Grade 2015-16

We are please to introduce Tammy Duncan as our First Grade teacher for the 2015/2016 school year. More biography to come!
Contact Tammy:





Marianne Gray - First Grade

BA in Studio Art (University of California, Santa Barbara); Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma (Rudolf Steiner College). The class that Marianne took from first grade through eighth grade graduated in 2013. Prior to that Mariaane was a class teacher at SWS for six years and the Middle School support teacher for five years. She teaches in the Summer Teacher Training Program at Rudolf Steiner College. She enjoys drawing, painting, clay modeling, gardening, reading, and astronomy. (Joined SWS 1987)
Contact Marianne: or (916) 860-2535 ext. 3568


Karen Holt - Second Grade

BA in Elementary Education (Augsburg College, MN); MA in Human Development (Saint Mary’s University, MN); Waldorf Teacher Education Certificate (Rudolf Steiner College); Remedial Education Training (Rudolf Steiner College). Karen taught for 15 years at the Davis Waldorf School focusing on the lower grades teaching first through fifth grades. She has one daughter who is in the upper grades. Karen enjoys traveling, gardening, camping, and hiking. (Joined SWS in 2013)
Contact Karen:



Denis Fitts - Third Grade

BA in Waldorf Education (Rudolf Steiner College, 1981); Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma (Rudolf Steiner College, 1981). Denis was the founding teacher at the Portland Waldorf School where he taught for eight years, beginning in 1982. Here at SWS, he has graduated two Lower School classes (1998 and 2006). He has instructed teachers in the presentation of the math curriculum in the Summer Teacher Education Program at Rudolf Steiner College for the past 16 years. His love of mathematics led him to deepen his studies, and in 2006, he joined the High School Math department. Denis also loves music, backpacking, slacklining, and rock climbing. He is the parent of three SWS graduates. (Joined SWS 1990)
Contact Denis: or (916) 860-2535 ext. 3552


Robin Immen - Fourth Grade

Robin began her career as a Waldorf teacher by taking a 6th grade at Cedar Springs Waldorf. After graduating her class, she spent the next 5 years as a lead teacher in the Kindergarten. She returned to class teaching when she took a class 1st through 3rd. During the next 4 years, Robin moved to Missouri to help care for her elderly father and get him moved to California. During those years in Missouri, she got her Master’s Degree in Education, her pilot’s license and went on a one year mission to Guyana, South America for Wings of Hope. In 2011, Robin returned to teaching, taking the first grade at Sacramento Waldorf School. She is passionate about Waldorf and the holistic way the children are educated through the arts of head, heart and hands. She currently lives on a small farm north of Sacramento with her father and the younger of her two daughters who does the farming. 
Contact Robin:

Jody Arthur - Fifth Grade

BA in English (University of California, Davis); California Teaching Credential, multiple subject and single subject, English (UC Davis): Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma (Rudolf Steiner College). Jody taught in the Tahoe/Truckee Unified School District from 1982 to 1999. She also taught at Golden Valley Charter School, a Waldorf  methods charter school for four years, taking a class from 1st grade through 4th grade before coming to SWS. She has four Waldorf-educated children. She likes to read, run, ski, hike and camp. (Joined SWS 2004)
Contact Jody: or (916) 860-2535 ext. 3572


Patricia Schneider-Graziosi - Sixth Grade

Literature and Humanities (Universidad Javeriana, a Franciscan University in Cali, Colombia); Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma (Waldorf Institute of Southern California and Centro Antroposofico in Morelos, Mexico). She devoted much of her young life to classical ballet training and was a Waldorf student herself. Patricia taught Spanish at the Waldorf School of Orange County from 1999 to 2004, and at the Sierra Waldorf School from 2004 to 2009 where she took a class from first through fifth grade. She is married and has two children. Patricia enjoys hikes, long walks, snowboarding, swimming, meaningful conversation, and her husband’s wonderful cooking. (Joined SWS 2009)
Contact Patricia: or (916) 860-2535 ext. 3546

Luisa Burgess - Seventh Grade

Luisa worked as an actor in television and theater in New Zealand, before leaving home to follow her song-line. She studied Naturopathy at the Australasian College of Natural Therapies and completed her Foundation Year at Sydney Rudolf Steiner College before moving to London. There she completed her Diploma in Waldorf Education and taught in kindergarten and grades. Another big move took her to Los Angeles. She has taught in Waldorf education since 2005. Theater, music, and her family help to appreciate the universal in human story and in the world. (Joined SWS 2013)
Contact Luisa:

Phil Bieringer-Drake - Eighth Grade

Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma (Taruna Center For Anthroposophical Adult Education, New Zealand). After completing his Waldorf teacher training in New Zealand in 1993, Phil traveled around the US and settled in Camphill Village Minnesota, fulfilling many roles there over a period of nine years. In 2000 he left CVM with his partner Jacquelyn, a Waldorf early-childhood teacher, to help pioneer Spring Hill Waldorf School in Excelsior, MN, near Minneapolis, where he took a class from first through fifth grade. Each year during this time he attended weekly intensives at Rudolf Steiner College. Phil spent the 2009-10 school year house-parenting and teaching at Camphill Special School, Beaver Run, near Philadelphia, before coming to Sacramento last summer. Phil and Jacque have two 3-year-old girls who are looking forward to attending Kindergarten next year. Phil enjoys reading, conversation, music, walks, hikes, and swimming with his family. (Joined SWS 2010)
Contact Phil: or (916) 860-2535 ext. 3543

Specialty Subjects


Marion Downey

Marion attended Pharmacy School in Germany. After coming to the United States, she completed Foundation Year and Goethean Studies Programs (Rudolf Steiner College); Eurythmy Diploma (Goetheanum, Dornach) and Therapeutic Eurythmy Diploma (Goetheanum, Dornach). During her training, she established the Kindergarten summer camp at the San Francisco Waldorf School and supervised it for seven years. She then started teaching Eurythmy at Cedar Springs Waldorf School and Live Oak Waldorf School before coming to SWS. Marion teaches eighth through twelfth grades. (Joined SWS 2001)
Contact Marion: or (916) 860-2535 ext. 3570

Miyoung Schoen

MA in Education (Touro University); Waldorf Teacher Education Certificate (Rudolf Steiner College); Eurythmy Diploma (Goetheanum, Dornach) and Therapeutic Eurythmy Diploma (Goetheanum, Dornach). Miyoung taught at Monadnock Waldorf School before coming to SWS. Miyoung teaches eurythmy in the Kindergarten through the seventh grade. She is married to Peter Schoen and has four children, two currently attend SWS. She enjoys gardening, singing, dancing, sewing and polishing copper rods. Most of all she loves to perform eurythmy. (Joined SWS 2012)
Contact Miyoung: or (916) 860-2535 ext. 3540


World Languages

Raquel Garcia

B.A. in Spanish and French (University of California, Davis); M.A. in Spanish (UCD); she will soon receive her PhD in Latin American Literature and Culture (UCD, Fall 2014). Her many years in academia have granted her opportunities to study and research abroad twice in Mexico City. As a second generation Mexican, she has a strong bicultural background and has taught Spanish language and culture for several years at the university and community college level in California. Raquel looks forward to teaching Spanish to adolescents at SWS! During her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family—all of whom are local to the Sacramento area. Raquel also loves to read, swim, dance and attend live musical, cultural and comedic performances. (Joined SWS 2014) Contact Raquel:

Sandy Monzon

Contact Sandy:






Ina Sarradet

2nd Diploma in Law (Universität, Konstanz); course work at Rudolf Steiner College, including several classes on the art of teaching German. Ina practiced law in Germany; after becoming a mother, she and her family moved to the US and she began working with children in a volunteer capacity. (Joined SWS 1996)
Contact Ina: or (916) 860-2535 ext. 3560



Katie Passie

Contact Katie:






Stephen Payne

BS in Business Marketing (Central Connecticut State University). Stephen has ten years' experience in organic farming and five years' experience as a market garden business owner. He came to SWS in 2001 as our farmer and assistant gardening teacher. (Joined SWS 2001)
Contact Steve: or (916) 342-7416





Nicole R. Fields

BA in Liberal Studies California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma, High School (Rudolf Steiner College); SWS Class of '85. Nicole's two children attend SWS. She enjoys fiber arts, camping with her family, and playing with her children. (Joined SWS 1999)
Contact Nicole: or (916) 860-2535 ext. 3563





Johnny Finn-Romero

BA in Art Studio with a focus on three-dimensional art using ceramics, wood, and metal; Student Art Exhibit Certificate; Teacher Training Certificate from Rudolf Steiner College; Exceptional Achievement Certificate; Torrance Craftsmen Guild Scholarship recipient. Johnny has had shows locally and elsewhere in California, most recently with the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. Some of his work is on permanent display at American River College, Financial Aid Office. He came to SWS with twenty years of experience in studio creation and design. He has successfully taught elementary-age to adult students in a multitude of settings. Johnny teaches the fifth through twelfth grades at SWS. (Joined SWS 1999)
Contact Johnny: or (916) 860-2535 ext. 3565


Amy Alessandri

BS from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Spatial Dynamics and Kindergarten Associate Program graduate (Rudolf Steiner College); SWS Class of '86. Amy taught movement/games and kindergarten at the Cedar Springs Waldorf School, the Pasadena Waldorf School and movement classes for teacher trainees at RSC. Amy currently teaches movement at SWS for grades two through eight. (Joined SWS 2006)
Contact Amy: or (916) 860-2535 ext. 3585



Dean Stark

BA in Physical Education (Union Institute & University); AA in General Education (American River College); Certificate in Spatial Dynamics; Certified Personal Trainer; Certified Massage Therapist. Dean has received numerous Coach of the Year awards in baseball and basketball. He is the author of Coaching Team Sports in a Waldorf School and A Waldorf Approach to Coaching Team Sports. He also produced a video, High School Basketball: The Seven Defensive Principles of Building a Championship Team. Dean has won 507 basketball games as a SWS coach; this is more than any other Boys' Varsity Coach in the history of the C.I.F. Sac-Joaquin Section. (Joined SWS 1984)
Contact Dean: or (916) 860-2527.


Rebecca Du Four

BA in music (California State University, Stanislaus); California Single Subject Teaching Credential in music (California State University, Stanislaus). Rebecca taught band, orchestra, choir, and music appreciation in public schools for 10 years prior to joining SWS in 2013. ​She enjoys reading, attending musical performances, gardening, and spending time with her daughter.
Contact Rebecca:



Miriam Greenberg

BS in Special Education (University of Wisconsin); B Mus (University of Wisconsin); M Mus in performance (State University of New York, Binghamton); course work of Waldorf Teacher Training at Rudolf Steiner College. Miriam became a Registered Music Therapist at the University of Minnesota, subsequently working with the deaf and frail elderly. Her music pedagogical studies include Kodaly, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, and the Orff Schulwerk, with the acquisition of several levels training. Miriam was a music specialist in San Francisco for nine years and is going into her 31st year of piano teaching. She teaches music to grades two through six and is an accompanist for Eurythmy and ensembles. She currently enjoys performing and accompanying at the piano. (Joined SWS 1995)
Contact Miriam: or (916) 860-2535 ext. 3557


Tayva Singer

BS Music Theory, Minor in Business (University of Oregon); Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting (Biarritz, France); Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting (Graz, Austria); Suzuki Pedagogy Apprenticeship (Certified through Book 10). Tayva served as the Strings Teacher and Music Director for Cedarwood Waldorf School and Portland Village School in Portland, Oregon prior to joining SWS. Before she began teaching, Tayva had an eclectic musical background. She studied Koto and Taiko Drumming while living in Miyazaki, Japan. She performed regularly with the Pacific Rim Gamelan (Eugene, Oregon) and played electric violin and viola with two rock bands in Portland, Oregon. After she made her orchestral conducting debut at age 22 in France, she continued her European music education as a section violin and viola throughout much of France, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Tayva spends her free time with her husband and three young daughters; loves the mountains and Mexico's beaches; and is an avid longarm quilter.

Contact Tayva:

Jonathan Winfield

BS (Hons), Math and Philosophy (London University). As a member of both Dulwich College Madrigal Group and choir for seven years, Jonathan performed regularly all over England in some of the finest concert halls in the country. Jonathan has studied piano since he was nine years old. After college, he became a professional pianist, working in many areas until musical theatre captured his attention in 1992; he has been Musical Director for over 40 musicals since then. In 1999, Jonathan began working with school choirs. He is a member of the Performing Rights Society of Great Britain and his compositions have been featured on BBC Radio and London's West End. He also holds a certification in counseling and was a volunteer counselor for a victim support organization in London. (Joined SWS 2004)
Contact Jonathan: or (916) 860-2535 ext. 3580

Middle School Math and English

Elizabeth "Beth" Ghiorso

BA in History and American Literature (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo); California Teaching Credential in Social Studies and English Literature (Point Loma Nazarene College); California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Beth was a student at SWS until her family moved away after seventh grade. She taught in public elementary and middle schools for eight years before returning to SWS as a class teacher. She graduated her eighth grade class, (Class of 2008) in June 2004. (Joined SWS 1999) Contact Beth: or (916) 860-2523



Julie MacArthur

BA English, St. Lawrence University; MA English, Breadloaf School of English,Middlebury College; RSC Eurythmy Training. Julie has served as a teacher and curriculum director for grades 6 – 12; administrator at a start-up middle school; and trustee at a pre-K and Kindergarten International School of Peace. She was the recipient of an NEH grant to study American nature writers and is a trained facilitator for low and high ropes courses. Julie is a "mover," avid reader, cook and mom and has been a parent at SWS since 2005.
Contact Julie: or (916) 860-2512


Ari Magruder

BA in Art Education and French Literature (California State University, Northridge, 1993), Waldorf Teacher Education Certificate (Waldorf Institute of Southern California, 1995). Ari was a class teacher at Cedar Springs Waldorf School for ten years prior to joining SWS as the Lower School Support Teacher in 2005. Ari teaches at Rudolf Steiner College in the teacher education department, and she absolutely loves her work with middle school students. Ari's two children attend SWS and the family enjoys spending time on the water, biking, camping, and working in their extensive garden.
Contact Ari:


Doug Morkner-Brown


B.A. In Humanities, California State University, Chico. Diploma in Literary Studies, University of Wales, UK. Waldorf Teacher Training Certificate, Eugene OR. Doug began his teacher training in 1997 after several years teaching in both the public and homeschool communities. He carried a class from fourth grade through graduation at the Sierra Waldorf School and then took a class from first through graduation here at Sacramento Waldorf School. He has many interest including carpentry, cycling, painting, gardening, cooking, and most things practical and DIY. (Joined SWS in 2004)
Contact Doug


Jennifer Militzer-Kopperl

BA in Russian Studies (Grand Valley State University); Waldorf Education diploma (Rudolf Steiner College). She has worked with Remedial students since 1999, first as a clinician at Lindamood-Bell then as a private contractor at area Waldorf schools.
Contact Jennifer: