Lead Teacher: Beate Bruns
I grew up in Hamburg, Germany and always knew I‘d like to be involved in working with children/young adults and travel the world.
After graduating I organized the household of a family of five with three small children in England for a year but needed to do something without little ones in my twenties. Still, a five year long period in travelling the world while getting paid for it lead me back into the educational field.
Studying to become a teacher for public schools in Germany I had to take classes in Waldorf pedagogy, which impacted me until today. Friends who were Waldorf students impressed me with a different, more various skill set so while studying to become a public school teacher I stayed open and curious for the Waldorf path.
I passed my first and second state exam, did an internship in Singapore and became a certified teacher for primary and secondary schools in Germany. I worked as a lead teacher in grades 5-9, developed curricula and also did teacher training and workshops in various parts of Northern Germany and at the German School Indonesia.
The German maternity leave system allowed me to join my husband in Jakarta, Indonesia shortly after I gave birth to our first son. I thoroughly enjoyed living in Indonesia, connecting with locals and immersing myself into the Indonesian language and its rich vast culture. Two years later I found myself pregnant with our second son in Columbus, Ohio where my husband had an offer for a new exciting job. I wouldn‘t have stayed if it wasn‘t for the magical Juniper School and its warm and open community which instantly embraced us.
I‘m looking forward to officially joining the Juniper faculty this year. Offering families a glimpse into the world of Waldorf while providing a bridge for those children who enter the Juniper School once they are older is exciting and joyful so I cannot wait to connect with everyone.
Early Childhood (ages 3-6)
Lead Teacher: Nicole Graf
I am originally from Dayton, OH and attended school at Miami University for Early Childhood Education. I’ve taught preschool through third grade in Western Australia, California and Minnesota and earned a Masters degree in Education from University of Minnesota Duluth. I am delighted to be teaching the Early Childhood classes at The Juniper School. Ample outdoor time and the rhythms of the natural world influence our school day and school year. As a Certified Simplicity Parenting Coach, I’m delighted to offer parent/community classes at The Juniper School. I am committed and eager to formalize my relationship with Waldorf Education as I pursue my path to an early childhood credential. This personal journey of art, music, study and joy will influence each circle, story and enrich the school day for our youngest ones!
Early Childhood Assistant: Annie Russell
I was born and raised in Washington, D.C. and graduated Tulane University in 2016 with a B.A. in English. In the past two years, I have made Columbus my home. I work as an artist, a server, and a teaching assistant at The Juniper School. I am thrilled and humbled to be returning to the Juniper classroom for another year. In a day there exists celebrations, joyous milestones, and endless opportunities for love and kindness. It is a nourishing, peaceful place to experience early childhood. My goal in the classroom is to support my fellow teachers and empower my students in all that I do.
Early Childhood Assistant: Tiffany Jackson
I grew up in Pennsylvania and am happy to be in Columbus with my four children (But I can often be found driving back to Pittsburgh to visit family!) My professional background is in art and graphic design. I’ve also worked in a natural food coop and appreciate the balance and health that comes with eating fresh and local. I am humbled to be a part of this school. I look forward to watching the children learn and grow in this wonderful healthy and peaceful space.
Kindergarten (ages 5-6)
Lead Teacher: Zaryana Bezu
I was born and raised in the old and beautiful city of Kiev, Ukraine. I came to the U.S. in 1998 to study art at Columbus College of Art and design where I got my BFA majoring in illustration. My passion to work with children led me to teach art classes for many years and in 2010 I founded Children’s Art Program (CAP) an after school art classes for children ages 3-15 y.o. The Waldorf educational methods and approach always were my guide and inspiration to introduce art to young children.
For the last four years I have worked at the Juniper School and I have taken a number of classes at the Waldorf Institute of Southeastern Michigan. Knowing how important these early years of childhood are in the overall development of a chld gives me a great honor and delight to be able to be a part of this beautiful magic-filled time.
Working with young children, storytelling and puppetry, also, greatly influenced my work as an artist. You can see my artworks at: www.bezuart.com
Kindergarten Assistant / Afternoon Class Teacher: Jeny Kuss
I grew up among the pines in Alexandria, Ohio which inspired my magnetism toward nature and the outdoor world. I studied sociology and community studies at the University of Colorado before a multicultural study in Australia, completing my undergraduate work. I lived and had my first daughter in Oregon, enjoying the green moss and of the Pacific Northwest. There, I spent my working hours coordinating special needs international adoptions and free time on the mountain and enjoying the creativity that surrounds the area.
After moving back to Ohio, I found the Juniper School. There is a richness and depth here that truly cultivates kindness, compassion, imagination and critical thought. The Juniper School is a warm place filled with beautiful, teachers and community members whose passion and authenticity inspire me daily.
When I’m not spending time with my two girls, I can be found dreaming up travel adventures or in Alexandria, OH hosting weddings and events at my family’s historic barn.
Lead Teacher: Kate Curlis-West
I am from rural Wyandot County, Ohio and was raised on the family farm there. The early experiences of being in open, wide, natural spaces left an impression on me. I have been teaching for over 15 years: with Peace Corps Thailand, as a Special Education Teacher in the public schools of Chicago, Boulder and Columbus, and at the Juniper School. I hold a Master’s Degree in Special Education. I will be working closely with our mentor teacher, Christina Sears, and pursuing Waldorf credentials as we grow the Juniper School grades.
The children, wisdom streams and community at the Juniper School serve as an inspiration and a guide for me. To touch the world of a child’s imagination and heart in such a way that allows them to cultivate their own intelligence is an art and a practice. I feel honored to serve and learn alongside my colleagues, families and two daughters, Violet and Clementine. May countless children and families grow strong and kind through their time spent at the Juniper School!
Lead Teacher: Christina Sears
I am a native Californian and have recently moved to Ohio to be closer to my grandchild. As a happy conjunction I come at the time the Juniper School is expanding to add my years of experience with Waldorf education, first as a parent of 2 Waldorf grads and then as a certified Waldorf teacher having taught in private and public Waldorf schools. I bring with me California Teaching Credential with ECE emphasis and a Masters in Education through a joint program of Touro University and Rudolf Steiner College. My thesis was on the protection of play for children, now used to train potential Waldorf teachers. I love kindergarten, the magic moments of imagination and creative play. I also have a grades training and have taught grades 1, 2 and 3. For me seeing the children’s enthusiasm for learning is the reward for what I do. I am pleased to meet this thriving community and gather together our new lead class for an amazing adventure.
Grade School Specialist
Celia Kahle- Handwork
Handwork is a subject that is dearly loved by children in the Waldorf schools. The children spend months working on one project and learn skills such as knitting, embroidery, and hand spinning. However, Handwork does not simply teach these old crafts, but rather it teaches qualities such as determination, persistence, and patience. Children learn to take pride in their work and to develop self control as they spend time each week on their handwork. Furthermore, handwork develops hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and neural connectivity.
I have been a teacher for over fifteen years and have taught everything from knitting gnomes to foraging for ramps. I have a CA teaching credential and am a certified Waldorf Handwork teacher. I love to garden, read, and spend time in nature with my family.
Grade School Specialist
Roselyne Foley-Rabasse – French
I was born in Reims, France and studied liberal arts. I worked as a translator/interpreter when I moved to Columbus in 1995. I have found my calling in teaching French to children for the past 15 years. I have very much enjoyed teaching French in enrichment programs at various elementary schools in metro Columbus as well as private lessons/tutoring.
I am very excited to join Juniper school with its unique form of education combining body, mind, and spirit. I will introduce French through songs, stories and games to develop their cultural awareness.