Aaberg, Lynn
Seventh Grade Class Teacher
Lower School Chair


Lynn Aaberg has been a class teacher at Honolulu Waldorf School since 2001. She has degrees in botany and biology from University of California, Riverside and UCLA, and her Waldorf Teacher Certification from Sunbridge College. Lynn was introduced to Waldorf education while exploring schools for her children, who attended Waldorf Schools in Oregon and California before moving to Honolulu to attend HWS. Her three grown children live on three continents, most likely influenced by their experience in Waldorf Schools, all of which develop students' capacities to become independent human beings! Lynn enjoys the sunrise every morning with her husband, who makes the finest cup of mocha java to be found on the island. When not involved with school activities, Lynn serves as CSO of a small company specializing in custom-made wooden surfboards. 

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AbiNader, Mary Jo
EIGHth Grade Class Teacher

Mary Jo AbiNader hails from Portland Oregon, where she promoted her first Waldorf class from first through eighth grade at Cedarwood Waldorf School. Prior to her Waldorf training at Rudolf Steiner College, Mary Jo taught the theater arts, directed plays, and worked with teachers in public schools on how to use music, art, and drama in the classroom - for a total of 18 years in Washington, D.C. and Portland. Her daughter lives and works in the Bay Area, having been bolstered by her strong education in Waldorf K-12. Mary Jo is enjoying being a part of the Honolulu Waldorf School Community. 


Altwies, Frances

Frances was born and raised, then married and raised three children in Mo-town, Michigan. Ill-armed with a degree in art education, she taught in public schools for a number of years then vowed never to set foot in a classroom again. But when her husband stumbled across the Detroit Waldorf School, France broke her vow. After Gerald completed his training, Frances took her Waldorf training part time as she chauffeured her children to and from Waldorf and was active in the school PTO. She slipped back into the classroom after working first in the school kitchen, then in the accounting office, and in specialty subjects. Ultimately she had the joyful experience of being a class teacher. In 1987 she followed her husband to Honolulu and continued to class teach. After almost 40 years with Waldorf, she continues to learn more about this remarkable education. 

Bergmann-Ruzicka, Petra
Early Childhood Aide

Petra was born and raised in Germany, lived and worked in Sri Lanka, and came to the United States in 1997. While on a snowboarding vacation in Switzerland, Petra met her husband, Jarda Ruzicka, a retired professor and chemist. She received her Waldorf teacher training in Germany with a focus on Special Education, then moved to Seattle, where she and her family lived for 10 years. Her two children attended the Seattle Waldorf School, while Petra worked in a German language school. The family grew tired of the cold, and moved to Hawaii in search of warmer weather. In 2006 she sought out the Honolulu Waldorf School for her children, who transitioned smoothly into first and eighth grade. Petra worked as an aide in the HWS Kindergarten, while teaching German language in the middle grades and the high school. Petra continues to offer her abundant energy as a Kindergarten aide and as an avid parent volunteer with HWS's Annual Fund campaign. Her hobbies include hiking, jogging, snowboarding, and yoga, for which she will begin teacher training this school year. 

Bettis, Holli
Early Childhood Teacher, Koa Class

Holli Bettis just joined HWS this year as a part of our EC team. Before living here she taught Kindergarten at Bright Water School in Seattle, Wa, taught at Whatcom Hills Waldorf school in the Kindergarten, Preschool, and Aftercare programs in Bellingham, Wa, and ran her own Waldorf home preschool for 3-5 year olds called Dandelion Kindercottage. She studied at West Coast Institute for Anthroposophical Studies in Vancouver, BC where she completed her Waldorf teacher training program. She completed a BA in Early Childhood Education at Ashford University. Before becoming a Waldorf teacher Holli worked as a nurse for seven years in Washington state as well as a Midwives assistant, postpartum doula and labor doula. She deeply enjoys working with young children and nurturing their senses through songs, stories, and circles. Waldorf education has been the golden thread of her life for the past 14 years. She is a single mom to three lovely daughters who all attend HWS. She has been visiting the Hawaiian islands for years and is very happy to have landed here. In her spare time she enjoys running, hiking, yoga, knitting, doll making, cooking, swimming, snorkeling, and learning to surf with her daughters. 


Cadelinia, Donna
Third Grade Class Teacher

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Donna moved to Honolulu in 1980, attended Brigham Young University graduated from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa with a BA in Political Science. She found the Honolulu Waldorf School while searching for a good education for her two children. She was so taken by the Waldorf philosophy that she pursued a Waldorf teaching certificate and other teaching degrees. She holds certificates as a Paralegal, a Hawai'i State DOE Substitute Teacher, a Kula Makua Teacher Training Graduate, and as a Kindergarten and Class Teacher. Outside the classroom, Donna enjoys swimming, gardening, and hiking. 


Dwyer, Catherine
High School Coordinator



Dwyer, Phil
Applied Arts Teacher

Phil's love of the practical arts and the land and his zest for life has been with him since his formative years. This love took him on decade-long journeys throughout the mainland U.S. and Hawai_i to apprentice with master craftsmen and cultural creatives. His move to Hawai‘i in 1990 led to his creating a successful computer networking company, but his love for the Earth called him away from the virtual world into the real one. He founded a farm-school in Kealakekua, Hawai‘i, where he guided apprentices in rural living, biodynamic farming, and community supported agriculture (CSA). The farm hosted daily Waldorf school classes and summer farm-school camps. Phil's work with Waldorf education traces back to the '70s while he was studying biodynamic and organic practices. He continues his studies in group dynamics and human development (anthroposophy) while teaching Earth Arts at our High School, and nurturing hope for our youth and the world they will help heal. 


Fraser, Jana
Physical Education and Movement Teacher,
Athletic Director


Jana Fraser is a longtime member of the Honolulu Waldorf School ‘ohana, having attended the school from Kindergarten through Grade 8. An avid athlete who loves surfing, softball, and volleyball, she holds a Master's degree in Sports Administration, and degrees in education and exercise/wellness. She has taught physical education and has coached students at Olomana School, Kailua High School, Kalani High School and Punahou, where she also implemented weight training and nutrition plans for high school athletes. Jana concurrently teaches the science of nutrition at the University of Phoenix, while balancing family life with her husband and their two young sons. Jana and her husband also run a non-profit called CHAMP (Comprehensive Health and Academic Mentoring Program) that, through athletics, provides services primarily to the youth of Waimanalo. 

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Freitas, Edward Kepa
Facilities Manager

Kepa was born and raised on the east side of Oahu and is a graduate of Saint Louis School. He joined the Honolulu Waldorf ‘ohana after concluding a twenty-plus year career with the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Parks and Recreation, where he managed the overall maintenance and recreational operations for several high-profile locations such as Kapi‘olani Regional Park. The transition from the City and County position to managing the physical and logistical needs of both campuses was a natural and easy one for him to make. From Monday through Friday you'll typically find him on the Niu campus, maintaining the hedges, gardens, trees, and lawn, addressing plumbing issues, or beautifying the grounds. Kepa views both campuses' physical needs with an eye for increasing efficiency. In his spare time Kepa enjoys any ocean activity and spending time with his family: his wife, Lindsey, an HWS 8th Grade graduate, daughter Kiley (Grade 5), and son Kainalu (Grade 2). Kepa's current short-term goal is to learn how to throw the javelin so he can win the challenge brought forth by the Physical Education classes in which the loser pulls weeds! 


Godwise, Hillary
High School Math Teacher

Hillary Godwise was born and raised in Indiana where she was very active in academics, athletics, and various clubs including being a performer with the Peru Amateur Circus. She attended Indiana University, where she played volleyball, swam competitively, and earned a degree in Mathematics Education and Computer Technology while also attending classes in marine biology, chemistry, and physics for fun. She holds a degree in special education and a master's degree in Athletic Administration from Ohio University. Her keen interest in kinesiology, exercise physiology, and underwater diving prompted her to work as a rescue diver. In 2002 Hillary returned to Indiana to teach and coach volleyball at Butler University. She continued her love of diving and marine life and worked with marine mammals at the Indianapolis Zoo. She has coached young women from 4th grade to NCAA Division I level and believes that girls need more role models in order to become strong, smart, kind, gentle, confident, and independent women. Her other interests include cooking, gardening, exercising, and being a wife and mother. Hillary has also boxed professionally and proudly defeated Olympic ice skater Tonya Harding in a boxing match. 


Godwise, Jason
High School Science Teacher

Jason Godwise hails from Indiana and is truly a "Renaissance Man." Jason's passion for the arts, academics, and athletics were evident in high school, having been president of the art and poetry clubs, captain of the football and wrestling teams, and in working in the school library. In college he wrestled, played football, and majored in Biology, Geology and Psychology while serving as president of Jujitsu, spelunking, and weight lifting clubs. As a school teacher Jason coached wrestling, football, track and started poetry, science, and ecology clubs. In 1995 Jason was awarded the Autobahn Award as Outstanding Science Teacher; in 2003 he won the $10,000 Lilly award for Teaching Excellence. He is experienced in the martial arts and has fought in bare knuckle matches around the world including the UFC, Vale Tudo of Brazil, and Japan. Jason has traveled extensively studying the forest ecology of America, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, and Poland. Licensed to teach Math, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, Biology, English, Social Studies, Business, Vocational Technology, Health, Physical Education, and Special Education, Jason is also a licensed high school librarian. He believes people have potential they aren't even aware of and, with guidance, they can become amazing beings. 


Golis-Yamamoto, Angie
Director of Development

For over twenty years, Angie has made lasting contributions towards the success of non-profit organizations by applying innovation, focus, and hard work to develop fundraising programs, build the capacity of volunteers and staff, and create systems that result in higher revenue and strong, long-term relationships. Angie has worked at Maryknoll School, the University of Hawai‘i Foundation-Cancer Research Center of Hawai‘i, Damien Memorial High School, and Academy of the Pacific as well as Easter Seals, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu, and Friends of the Hawai‘i State Art Museum. Angie was born and raised on Maui, attended St. Joseph Elementary School, Maui High School, then moved to Oahu to attend the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and Speech, and received her professional diploma in speech education. Angie "walks for miles" for exercise and runs a cookie basket business as a hobby to relieve stress from fundraising. 


Himoto, Jacob
Ballroom Dance Instructor

Since 2011, Jacob has been the ballroom dance instructor at the Honolulu Waldorf High School. Jacob trained and danced at 24-7 Dance Force for ten years. In addition to teaching jazz dance at other schools, he is a hip-hop instructor at 24-hour Fitness Center and X-Factor Dance Studio. He is also a ballroom dance teacher at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Honolulu. For the past three years he has danced with Hawaii Ballet Theatre's production of "The Nutcracker." 


Jaimes, Silvia
Spanish Language Teacher,Grades 1-12

Born in El Salvador, Silvia Jaimes moved to Los Angeles with her family as a little girl. She found what she was looking for in Waldorf Education–an education that nurtured children's bodies, hearts, and spirits. Silvia developed and intructed the Spanish language program at Santa Cruz Waldorf School for nine years before heeding the call in 2008 to come to Hawai‘i to grow HWS's fledgling Spanish program. Silvia loves sharing her culture and language with the children in the Lower School. She also enjoys dancing salsa and has found a place in the local culture by learning to dance hula and all that goes with it. 


James, Van
High School Visual Arts Teacher

Van James has a BFA in Drawing and Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and is a graduate of Emerson College in England, and the Goetheanum School of Painting in Switzerland. He teaches painting, drawing, the History of Art, and the History of Architecture at Honolulu Waldorf High School and also for the Kula Makua Waldorf Teacher Training program in Honolulu. He is an advocate for the arts in education and a regular guest instructor at training programs in California, New Zealand, and Asia. He is the chair of the Anthroposophical Society in Hawai'i, editor of Pacifica Journal, and author of several books on art and archaeology, including the award-winning Ancient Sites of O'ahu. His paintings and drawings are in numerous private collections, and his graphic designs can be found on book covers and brochures worldwide. 


Jansen, Chris
Second Grade Class Teacher


Jansen, Vanessa
Farm to Table lunch program

Vanessa Jansen has been involved with Waldorf education since 1999 as a parent of three talented children, substituting and assisting in the classroom. She has taught in the Waldorf schools as crafts teacher, class teacher and music teacher. She received her Waldorf certification from Antioch University of New England and has a degree in Anthropology and Photography with concentrations in Geology and Art from the University of North Dakota. Her 30-year classical music experience included work with the Grand Forks Symphony, Minnetonka Symphony, and various chamber groups in Grand Forks, Minnesota, and Taos, New Mexico. Currently, her musical work is focused in the area of celtic fiddling, for cellists and singing with her family and her students. As a student of life cycles and development, Vanessa is also an experienced traditional midwife. These woven experiences have enhanced the experiences with the families and students in her life. 


Journeay, Judy
High School Science teacher,
Student Support & Outreach Coordinator
(Makai Campus)


Judy discovered Waldorf Education in 1999, when her daughter entered Kindergarten at the Malamalama Waldorf school on the Big Island of Hawaii. She brings together an organizational background in program management from the corporate world, the empathy of a parent whose child struggles with learning challenges, the experience of working one-on-one with challenged students as a private tutor, and the understanding of the Waldorf curriculum as a Honolulu Waldorf science teacher. She loves to dance hula, lose herself in a book, and figure out different ways to explain math problems. Judy holds a B.A. in Geology from the University of Hawaii, Hilo. 


Kaneshiro, Jennifer
Early Childhood Teacher, Kamani Class

Born in Vermont, Jennifer set out in search of adventure, self-discovery, and warmer weather at the age of nineteen. After travelling and practicing the art of Tai Chi, she settled in the Los Angeles area and began studying child development.

The creative, thought-provoking lessons of a memorable professor inspired Jennifer to seek out holistic education and led her to Waldorf education. She enrolled in a Teacher Training Program in Southern California and became an assistant teacher in a Waldorf kindergarten. She also earned a BA in Child Development.

Now with a husband and two young children, Jennifer and family decided to move to Hawai‘i, and became part of the HWS 'Ohana in 2005. During this time, Jennifer worked as a substitute and aide in the Early Childhood progam. She continued her studies in early childhood and graduated from the Kula Makua Waldorf teacher training program in 2008. In the fall of 2008, Jennifer became a lead kindergarten teacher. She is the grateful recipient of a life filled with creative endeavors, music, mountains, and the laughter of little children! 


Knuuti, Irene
Business Manager

We welcomed Irene Knuuti to the HWS ‘ohana in October 2012, just as she was searching for something new and challenging. She brings a wealth of expertise in fiscal management and forecasting in both the for profit and nonprofit sectors, most recently as Division Controller, Condominium and Timeshare Division for Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, and as Chief Fiscal Officer for Waianae Coast Community Mental Health Center, where she was responsible for its annual budget, and administered and provided fiscal management for the Center's three separate nonprofit organizations: a mental health service, a legal service, and a community economic development organization. Irene has worked as an accounting consultant, and was a part-time lecturer at the University of Hawai‘i, Leeward and Kapiolani Community Colleges. 


Kojima, Mie
Early Childhood Assistant


High School Applied Arts & Woodworking Teacher

Lynn Weiler Liverton graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor's of Architecture degree in 1988. After practicing Architecture in Boston and Honolulu for 4 years, she attended UH and received her M.F.A.. Lynn began teaching at Waldorf in 1996 and teaches Grades 6,7 and 8 woodworking and Grades 9-12 in a variety of mediums. Lynn works as a professional artist in media ranging from monumental bronzes to small scale sculpture utilizing found objects. Her work can be found throughout the city of Honolulu and in private collections nationwide. "The discipline of architecture as a profession and the training I received while working as an architect has continuously served me in my approach to creating art. Gaining my Masters of Fine Arts honed my skills with various media and exposed me to many interesting aspects in the field of fine art. Working with students both inspires and exasperates me, keeping me on my toes and the students in my heart." 


DELA CRUZ, Meilani
Student Support & Outreach Coordinator (Niu mauka campus)

Meilani's graduate studies in education included formal training in a variety of research-based reading and writing programs. As a reading specialist and instructional coach, she has facilitated countless professional development workshops to support teachers' language arts instruction, and has enthusiastically taught hundreds of children. Her mission is to support children in becoming confident and passionate life-long learners! 


Mattson, Kristine
FOURTH Grade Class Teacher

Kristine Mattson is an experienced Waldorf teacher and parent. All three of her children received a Waldorf education, and she graduated an 8th grade class from the Davis Waldorf School in 2012. Kristine has a Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis in Human Development and completed her Waldorf Certificate at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California. Before becoming a teacher, Kristine worked 18 years as a Paramedic in the San Francisco Bay Area responding to 911 emergency calls. Her hobbies include fiddle playing, soccer (she played Varsity at UCD and coached/refereed in Youth leagues) and traveling abroad. Kristine recently wed her high school sweet-heart, Dr. Kevin McCauley who works in the field of Addiction Medicine. The family is excited to be living in Hawaii and becoming a part of the Honolulu Waldorf Community. 


Mckenna, Marguerite
Eurythmy Teacher

Marguerite was born in France but moved to Hawai‘i as an infant where she grew up in Waimanalo and was fortunate to attend the Honolulu Waldorf School from 1982-1992.

Marguerite studied theatre at the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City and later eurythmy at Rudolf Steiner College. She has performed with Märchenensemble, a professional eurythmy troupe from the Eurythmeum-Stuttgart, giving over 100 eurythmy performances in three languages throughout Germany, Switzerland, Italy, England, and Scotland. She later joined Sound Circle Eurythmy for four years performing eurythmy regularly in community festivals in Boulder and Denver and touring complete eurythmy programs throughout Colorado while serving as adjunct faculty at the Sound Circle Eurythmy training.

Marguerite has lectured, offered published academic papers, and given workshops on eurythmy in Mexico, India, and the United States. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Boston University and an M.A. in Spiritual Philosophy from Prescott College. She is currently pursuing a second M.A. in Eurythmy Therapy part-time from Alanus Hochschule in Germany, which she expects to complete in Spring, 2018.

Marguerite enjoys, among other things, singing, acting, hiking, backpacking, traveling, and writing. 


McCarthy, Joyce
Service Team Manager


Mehle, Alicia
Fifth Grade Class Teacher


Mohri, Machiko
Grades After Care Teacher, 
Early Childhood Aide


Machiko is the parent of an HWS high school student, and discovered Honolulu Waldorf School while seeking the best education for her son. In pursuit of her own educational development, Machiko earned a B.S. in Early Childhood Education, studied with the Kula Makua Waldorf teacher training program, and has worked as an Early Childhood assistant. As the Grades After Care teacher, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and talents with HWS students. Machiko also enjoys downloading new ideas. 


Nishimoto, Ikuko
Japanese Language Teacher, Grades 1-6

Ikuko Nishimoto was born in Kochi, Japan, and moved to England to further her studies in English and Art History. After working for two years at a Japanese news agency in London, Ikuko vacationed in Japan and met a University of Hawai'i student who would become her husband. They moved to Honolulu together and had a son. After two years as a Kahala Elementary School teacher , she became the Japanese language teacher at Honolulu Waldorf, where she has been sharing her talent and knowledge for over 27 years. A proud parent of a Waldorf graduate, her appreciation of the Waldorf pedagogy grew as she attended courses at Kula Makua and Rudolf Steiner College. Ikuko's goal is for her students to learn basic Japanese phrases to gain confidence in interacting with Japanese people in Hawai'i and Japan. An avid tennis player and cyclist, she recently spent ten days pedaling around France on a solo tour of the countryside. 


Northrop, Jonathan
High School Humanities Teacher


Otaka-Bryce, Yuka
First Grade Class Teacher

Yuka was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After finishing her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Davis in Human Development and Education, she continued on a path to find an education that aligned with all the components of her core beliefs and values. Her accrued experience in various teaching positions in Japan, Montessori schools, and group homes for emotionally challenged adolescents led her to Waldorf education. After earning her Waldorf Teaching Certificate, she continues to work on her Masters of Art from Rudolf Steiner College. She is excited to be part of such a warm HWS community and to be close to her mother, who resides in Waikiki. 


Ozaki-James, Bonnie
High School Faculty Chair

Originally from cold and dry northern California, where she attended Stanford University, Bonnie came to Hawai‘i in 1967 as a newlywed and completed her B.A. in Anthropology at UH. She joined Honolulu Waldorf School in 1972, working in the kindergarten for five years before becoming a subject teacher and then a class teacher, training on the job. She served as Administrative Director for 3.5 years. She has completed three 8-grade teaching cycles. During a brief hiatus from teaching, she was assistant editor of the Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology, published in 1984. She has three grown children (all HWS alums) and three grandchildren, two currently enrolled at HWS. She loves to read, hike, and travel with her husband, also an HWS teacher. 


Polack, Marcy
Lower School Faculty Chair

Marcy comes originally from Ohio. Her first teaching experiences were with the Peace Corps in the jungles of Liberia and in the islands of Palau. After a decade overseas, she relocated with her two small children to Stockton, California, where she taught in Catholic schools. Looking for a simpler way of life, she moved with her family to Flagstaff, Arizona, to enjoy the four seasons in an alpine climate.

In 1995, she helped to start Pine Forest School, a Waldorf-inspired Charter, where she worked for 19 years in various capacities, including teaching grades 3-8, graduating two eighth grades, teaching kindergarten, sitting on the Board of Directors, chairing the College of Teachers, and serving as Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

She is overjoyed to join the staff at HWS and to fulfill her dream to return to the peace and rhythm of island life, in Hawaii ‒ her favorite place on earth. She enjoys yoga, painting, pastels, needle felting, and sewing, and has recently finished writing and illustrating her first children's book, Lady Spring.


Provencher, Ernie
Niu Band Director, Grades 6-8

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Romero Demirbag, Jocelyn
Administrative Director

Jocelyn is a "Maui girl" and raised in the musical and performing arts. She found Haleakala Waldorf School in 1996 when searching for her daughter's preschool and within five months was hired as the music and Hawaiiana teacher there. Jocelyn became the Administrative Director of the school in 1997, and then Chair of School from 2001-2006, and 2008-2015. Over the years Jocelyn has run her own business, run Child and Family Service's Maui office, and run the Maui office for the Hawaii Community Foundation. Jocelyn's most recent accomplishment is obtaining her Ed.D. in Educational Professional Practice from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her interests include swimming, running, singing Hawaiian music, dancing hula, reading, cooking, and speaking Turkish. 


Rackley, Michael
High School Math Teacher

Michael recently moved to Oahu from California, where he had lived his entire life. He grew up in Modesto, then moved to San Diego in 1986 after his mother remarried. He attended CSU San Jose, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Advertising. In 1999, he moved to San Francisco, where he remained until his move to Honolulu. There were a few years when he temporarily located: a year in the Philippines (1985)and 18 months at CSU Long Beach (2007) to earn his Teaching Credential.

Michael also attended Saint Mary's College in Moraga, CA where he earned a master's degree in Teaching Leadership. He only taught at one other school, Castro Valley High School, which has about 3,000 students. He decided to leave the Bay Area behind to pursue a less hectic lifestyle. It was then that he found his new Waldorf family, which he is ecstatic to nurture throughout the coming years. 


Roosevelt, Benjamin
High School Humanities Teacher

Before joining the high school faculty at Honolulu Waldorf School, Ben Roosevelt taught for nine years at Academe of the Oaks in Decatur, Georgia, serving the school as Humanities Department Chair and as a member of the Leadership Group. A trained Waldorf teacher, Ben has been teaching since 2002. His core experiences as a teacher were at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, where he taught children in recovery from serious illnesses. Earlier in life, he worked on an organic flower farm in Tennessee and played in several rock 'n' roll bands. Ben has a B.A. in Religious Studies from Sewanee, an M.T.S. from Vanderbilt University, and an M.F.A. from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Ben is also a working professional artist who has exhibited across the United States and Europe, including reviews in the Village Voice, The Irish Times, and THE SEEN, Chicago's international online journal. His pieces appear in many public and private collections, and his projects have been supported by organizations such as the Arts Council of Ireland, the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center, and Hotel Maria Kapel, a public arts space in the Netherlands.


Rucci, Peter
High School Band & Orchestra Teacher

Peter Rucci is in his seventh year of teaching music at Honolulu Waldorf School. Among several college degrees, he holds a B.Ed. in Secondary Instrumental Music and a Master's degree in Music Composition. He has written hundreds of compositions and arrangements for band, choir, and symphony orchestra, to include two HIFF film scores. He is a professional musician very active in the local music scene. He is a Po‘okela Award-winning music director for Army Community Theater and Diamond Head Theater, the choir director for the Punahou Alumni Glee Club, arranger, organist, and percussionist for the Honolulu Stake Orchestra, and he plays keyboards and drums in four local rock bands. A retired USN fighter pilot, he currently works for the USAF as a cruise missile strike planner. 




Sen, Noel
IT Technician

Noel has worked as a part-time IT person at the Honolulu Waldorf School since January 2015. Despite repairing computers and doing some of that interweb stuff for a living, Noel is not a geek. Like many of our Waldorf students, Noel did not grow up with computers until after high school (they probably weren't invented yet, although he did develop a passion for problem-solving and figuring out when things all went wrong after he got married.

Noel has done "computer" work for several DOE and private schools, HMSA and the Sheraton hotels. He currently runs his own technology consulting company that does on-site repairs, networking,training, etc. for both small business and residential customers. Although his customers are primarily Mac users, he also has done Windows.


Seo, Mikiko
Early Childhood Assistant

Mikiko was born and raised in Saitama, Japan.  After graduation, she lived in Hokkaido and worked as an announcer for Hokkkaido Broadcasting Company then as a freelance announcer in Tokyo until she married and moved to Hawaii in 2002.

Mikiko later moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2014 and received her Waldorf Teaching degree and graduated in 2016.  She enjoys storytelling, surfing, and learning French.




Stack, Jessica
Handwork Teacher, Grades 1-8


Stark, Darel
String Teacher, Grades 3-8

Violinist Darel Stark has performed in over a dozen countries on three continents, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Also a violist, conductor and composer, he is one of Hawai‘i's most active solo and chamber music performers. He is concertmaster of the Bach Chamber Orchestra, teaches private violin and viola lessons, and coaches chamber music at Iolani School. With the Honolulu Symphony for sixteen years, he is associate principal violin of the new Hawai‘i Symphony. He can be heard on CBS Masterworks, Musica Baudino, Beauport Classical and SONY Classical. Born in New York City, he graduated from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and studied violin with Nicole DiCecco, Lazar Gosman and Berl Senofsky. At age eighteen he joined the Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra as its youngest member. His many accolades include prizes at international competitions in Italy and Switzerland.


Sydow, Cindy
Early Childhood Teacher, Milo Class

Cindy was born and raised in Honolulu and has childhood memories of sunshine, sand, salt water, waves, and volleyball games. She graduated from Punahou School, where she played varsity tennis. After studying fine art and art education at various mainland colleges, she returned to Honolulu, married Florian Sydow, and with him became a founding member of Kahumana Farm and Community in Waianae. For seventeen years they lived and worked there to develop community life, raise three children, work with the emotional and developmentally handicapped, and farm. The first year that teacher training was offered at HWS, Cindy and her three children moved into Honolulu to begin her teacher training and their Waldorf schooling. After assisting in the Kindergarten for a year, she was offered a Kindergarten class of her own. She has been teaching in the EC since and has attended many workshops and conferences on Kindergarten work, music, arts and Anthroposophy. She continues to enjoy swimming and learning to play various musical instruments. 


Tommasino, Astrid
Enrollment Coordinator

Astrid is not only a parent of two wonderful Honolulu Waldorf School students; she is an Eighth grade graduate! Her family has supported and been involved with HWS for many years. After working with her husband in the family business, Astrid now assists faculty and staff in the lower school with all their administrative needs. She has a strong belief in Waldorf education, having experienced it first-hand, and is uniquely suited to welcome both students and parents to the school.


Wong, Kathryn Mahealani
Na Mea Hawai'i Teacher

Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Kathy Wong is constantly amazed to find herself working at the Honolulu Waldorf School even after her two children have graduated. Starting as a parent volunteer in the library, Kathy has worked at the front desk, AP, AR, Technology, Facilities, and as an 'ukulele teacher. Kathy teaches Hawai‘ian Studies to HWS Grades and High School students, and coordinates our annual May Day program. She is also a kumu hula with Nā Hanona o ka Hālau Hula Pā Ola Kapu. 


Wood, Lee
Early Childhood Teacher, Kukui Class

Lee has been working as an early childhood educator for the past 24 years. She studied art at the University of Georgia for her BFA degree, and after completing her Waldorf teacher training at the Denver Waldorf School, she worked at the San Francisco Waldorf School, the Mountain School in Corte Madera, CA, and the Haleakala Waldorf School in Maui. For the last six years, Lee has been working overseas teaching children in Bali, the United Arab Emirates, and in India.

Her passion is exposing young children to the rich and imaginative language used in storytelling and puppetry, as a means for language acquisition. Born in Florida, Lee is an avid swimmer and beach comber. Even as a young girl, she dreamed of living in Hawaii, and this is her third time to live in the Hawaiian Islands! She enjoys traveling the world to snorkel the living coral reefs, yoga, walking, reading financial news letters, and clothing design with indigenous fabrics.

Lee is the lead teacher in the Kukui Nursery classroom. 


Yamashita, Margaret
Middle & High School Japanese Teacher

Margaret Yamashita was born and raised in Honolulu. She received a B.A. in Japanese Language from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and an M.A. (Applied Linguistics-TEFL) and Ph.D (Japanese Sociolinguistics) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She did her dissertation fieldwork in Tokyo. Margaret is the co-author of Nihongo, Vol I, II, a secondary Japanese language textbook. She developed the Linguistic Advantage elementary level Japanese curriculum offered in after school enrichment programs at different locations in Honolulu. She has experience teaching elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students in Hawai‘i and abroad, and most recently taught at Assets School for 10 years. Margaret has two sons, and enjoys cooking and gardening in her free time. 


Zuckerman, Ulrike
Early Childhood Assistant

Ulrike was born and raised in a remote corner of upper Austria. Growing up in a family hotel business. She completed a culinary and catering training, traveled for a year, returned to Austria and completed the eurythmy training in Vienna with further studies in Dornach, Switzerland and England. She met her husband and moved back to Vienna to raise their first son. The family moved to Hawai‘i in 1992 where their second son was born, and joined Kahumana Community. Ulrike spent 17 years there working in many capacities and home-schooling her children. She completed the curative eurythmy training in England and began working as a curative eurythmist. Since 2007, she has brought her varied experience to her work as assistant in the kindergarten and after school program at the HWS.