Faculty & Staff


Early Childhood Faculty


Margaret Myren, Parent-Child Teacher, Early Childhood Chair

Margaret is delighted to share the wonder of Waldorf Early Childhood with our newest parents. She continues to be greatly inspired by the beauty and wonder of the Waldorf Early Childhood learning and growing environment. Raising four boys over the last twenty plus years, she realizes how a calm atmosphere and predictable daily rhythm are foundations for a happy, safe, and nurturing home life. As Parent-Child teacher, Margaret delights in reliving—again and again—the awe and beauty of childhood through the children’s eyes! She draws from her years of experience, striving to learn, integrate, fail, and re-learn how to more fully live a reassuring Waldorf life with her boys, and from her numerous duties as a volunteer in nearly every aspect of the school over the past 15 years. Having earned bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and International Business, she happily left her international job to conscientiously raise her children. A certified yoga instructor, Margaret teaches yoga classes weekly and enjoys practicing the violin, which she plays and sings in a rock band with other Waldorf families.

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Sarah Canga, Apple Blossom Garden Teacher

Sarah has been practicing healing arts for over 15 years as a massage therapist, acupuncturist, herbalist, yoga teacher as well as an adjunct professor at College of Lake County, Oakton Community College, and National University of Health Sciences. She was first introduced to Waldorf education over 5 years ago and promptly joined the Parent-Child class at Da Vinci Waldorf School with her oldest child. The program helped transform family life in so many enriching ways—including turning the screens off, more family meals made together from scratch, and a deeper appreciation of nature. Sarah is honored to be teaching the Wonder Garden, where she gets to see even more the richness of Waldorf education manifested in the work of childhood and the growth of children every day.

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Sweta Jaganath, Wonder Garden Teacher

Sweta came to the United States from India to pursue her Masters in Pharmacy. In 2010, she enthusiastically found her way to Da Vinci Waldorf into a Parent Child class with her son, based on a friend’s recommendation. She was instantly drawn to the holistic education which Waldorf offers while preserving the spirit to learn in children. Her volunteer work as a teacher in summer camps brought out her passion for working with early childhood ages. Sweta is honored and pleased to serve the little ones in different ways, caring for their needs and enjoying watching them bloom.  In her spare time, she loves to oil paint, bake, spend time in nature and explore self-awareness work which supports healing and creativity.

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Monika Boguszewski, Apple Blossom Garden Assistant

Monika was born and raised in Poland. She graduated with Masters of Arts from Music Academy with dual degree as music and piano teacher and music therapist. From her early years she knew that she wanted to work as a teacher, as she always enjoyed sharing her knowledge and passion with others. When she grew up, her dream came true when she began facilitating piano lessons for multiple students as well as conducting rhythmic activities at early childhood education centers and preschools.

Monika has completed the first year of Rudolph Steiner school and has a strong desire to continue with this training program to gain additional skills and knowledge in the field of education and become an even more versatile teacher. Monika enjoys working with children of all ages, from little ones to teenagers. She feels it is fascinating to watch them grow and change over years, and enjoys contributing to the shaping of their young characters. This is Monika’s first year with Da Vinci Waldorf School and she is very excited to serve as Mr. Kevin’s assistant in the Apple Blossom Garden.

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Tuly Faden, Wonder Garden Assistant / Grades Farm & Garden Teacher / Grades Movement Teacher

Tuly was introduced to Waldorf education while she was pursuing her bachelor’s degree in biodynamic farming at Warmorderhof College in Holland. She was intrigued by it and upon coming to the U.S., she worked as an early childhood assistant for the Chicago Waldorf School from 1983-1985. Having an interest in finance, Tuly worked for nineteen years as a bookkeeper for a synagogue in Evanston. Tuly has experience in beekeeping, biodynamic farming and over six years of experience coaching. She started teaching movement and farming at Da Vinci Waldorf School in 2015. Tuly loves instilling in the children her passion for working with the earth and learning from it, and the relationship that comes from doing that work.

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Grades Class Teachers


Kevin Kane, 1st Grade Teacher

Kevin learned about Waldorf education when his daughter started preschool at the Chicago Waldorf School. He appreciated the emphasis on periods of free play as well as the reverence for the rhythm of the day for the children. He also loved how much time they received to just play outside, getting muddy and wet. After his family moved out of the city, they planned on continuing at Da Vinci Waldorf School. In 2017, when his daughter began in Sunflower Garden, Kevin started taking his son to Parent-Child classes. Over the next year and a half of Parent-Child classes, Kevin witnessed the simple beauty of the children making rolls together, playing with natural materials in the class, singing songs and rhymes with one another, and watching puppet plays from the teacher. Having earned his Bachelor’s Degree in English from Western Michigan University and his Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Columbia College Chicago, Kevin also appreciates the importance of stories and story-telling in the curriculum. He attends teacher training at the Waldorf Teacher Institute of Chicago. Kevin enjoys cooking, baking, and writing, but he especially loves watching his kids get muddy catching toads, running barefoot through the grass, and now taking care of their chickens.

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Chris Ecklund, 2nd & 3rd Grades Teacher

Chris’ love of teaching began in high school with a Saturday school program that offered lessons to middle school students taught by high schoolers. With a Bachelor’s degree in studio art and an Illinois teaching certificate a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in Waldorf, Chris has been an educator for more than ten years teaching art in both public and home school settings before finding her way to Waldorf education. While completing a Master’s degree at the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute in Milwaukee in conjunction with Mount Mary University, She has worked as the parent chair of the PTO, a board member, an early childhood faculty member, and a grade school substitute teacher at Da Vinci Waldorf School and art instructor at Tamarack Waldorf High School. Chris is passionate about offering opportunities for artistic expression to people of all ages, but especially enjoys working with children as they grow and develop. Her favorite activities include printmaking, sculpture, cooking, gardening, and sharing music with her family.

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Kristine Fiskum, 4th & 5th Grades Teacher

Kristine began her time with Da Vinci Waldorf school as a parent in 2001. Her interest in the school grew quickly and soon she worked in administration and served on the board. She began teaching math and substituting in various classes, and soon found her interest in teaching in full bloom. She completed her Waldorf training in Extra Lesson with the Association of a Healing Education in 2008. Kristine brings to her teaching ten years of experience as a photojournalist for the Chicago Tribune, The Associated Press, and other publications. She earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995. All this time looking through the lens has given her a keen ability to observe children play, move, and learn. Helping students overcome learning difficulties, and helping parents understand and support their children brings her tremendous joy. Photography remains a passion for Kristine, as well as writing, cooking, and other arts. She loves a good book, philosophical discussions, and a quiet walk in nature.

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Sarah DuRocher, 6, 7th & 8th Grades Teacher

Sarah’s journey with Waldorf education began when she was enrolled in the early childhood program at Four Winds Waldorf School as the school was founded, and she attended there throughout grade school. She has her bachelor’s degree in religious studies and political science from Augustana College, a master’s degree in education from Mount Mary University, and a certificate in Waldorf teaching from the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute. Sarah is very drawn to the enriching and artistic curriculum of Waldorf education, and is especially excited by the opportunities to explore history and culture. Sarah enjoys cooking, swimming, and spending time with her husband, Joel, and their two cats.

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Grades Subjects

Elizabeth English, Music Teacher / Orchestra Teacher / Faculty Chair / 8th Grade Handwork Teacher

Elizabeth’s life has revolved around the arts, and Waldorf teaching seemed a natural fit for her. Elizabeth has extensive training and experience in dance, flute, voice, piano, acting and the culinary arts. She also has had a lifelong interest in fashion design, with decades of experience in pattern making and as a seamstress, which led to developing both a costume business and her own clothing line. Elizabeth was introduced to Waldorf education by a dear friend who founded Da Vinci (as Water’s Edge School), and was immediately drawn to it. She began teaching music and handwork in 2003, and soon found herself taking a grade school class. Elizabeth completed her Waldorf grade school teacher certification at Sunbridge College in Spring Valley, NY. While there she furthered her knowledge in anthroposophic music, studying instrument making under Manfred Bleffert and flute/recorder training under Pär Ahlbom, creator of Choroi Flutes. Elizabeth has taught music and orchestra for many years, and has also been a class teacher and taught handwork at Da Vinci. She has taught music to adult students at the Waldorf Teacher Institute (formerly Arcturus) in Chicago since 2012, and mentors other Waldorf schools in music and general curriculum. Elizabeth’s passion is in working with children and adults alike and in bringing new music to the world. In her spare time, one may find Elizabeth occasionally cooking a special menu at a local café, singing in a choir, acting or building an instrument.

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Nicole Griffith, Assistant Teacher / Grades Handwork Teacher

Nicole was a volunteer at first, then was hired to serve as an assistant in the early childhood program in 2004. Soon after, she took on the Handwork teaching position as well, and attended an intensive practical arts training at the West Coast Institute on Vancouver Island, Canada. Having formerly earned a BA in German Language and Literature from the University of Illinois, Nicole’s most cherished educational experiences came while earning a certificate in the Practical Arts at the Fiber Craft Studio in Chestnut Ridge, New York. She completed her training in 2015. Nicole’s experiences with the children and the dedication of a small but determined community make her feel part of something truly special at Da Vinci Waldorf School. Nicole finds balance and enjoyment tending her home and the native gardens around it. Nature has long been a source of replenishment and inspiration for her, which she brings to the classroom through story, color in a skein of plant-dyed yarn, and the circle of the seasons. She is continually grateful for the gift of spending time in the presence of the children. Her favorite moment: when a child first sees that his hands can create something beautiful, useful and new.

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Jutta Distler and Terran Doehrer, Folk Dancing Instructors

Since 1990 musicians / dancers Jutta Distler and Terran Doehrer have, as a couple, been teaching music and folkdance at schools and universities and performing internationally as Jutta & the Hi-Dukes ™ as well as being dance instructors for Chicago’s Arcturus Waldorf Teacher Training Program (2010-present) where Jutta also teaches Speech Formation (2008-present). They have also presented dance workshops for the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute. A Danish-national, Jutta attended the Waldorf School in Aarhus, Denmark for twelve years. She graduated with a degree in Speech Formation from the Schule für Sprachgestaltung und Schauspiel am Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland (1984-1989). Chicago native Terran began his performance career as a member of the original and now world-renown Chicago Children’s Choir directed by Christopher Moore, singing at Canada’s Expo67 and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under guest conductor Seiji Ozawa. Terran studied Film and Music at the University of Illinois, Circle (1970-1975) and has performed professionally since 1980 when he formed his first band, the legendary and award-winning world music group, the Balkan Rhythm Band ™. He performed as a guest artist with internationally-known Macedonian Gypsy singer, Esma Redzhepova, and also founded Chicagoland’s first revival Klezmer band, the Ensemble M’chaiya ™, officially recognized on its twentieth anniversary by Mayor Daley for its contribution to Chicago’s culture. Distler and Doehrer have also taught dance in the Special Needs community for over 20 years and were twice invited to participate in a week-long conference of service providers for the Special Needs community in Bucharest, Romania. Jutta plays violin, mandolin, baglama, and guitar. Terran plays Bulgarian flute, percussion, ocarina, and guitar. Their band’s latest CD was released by the Roots / Blues record label, Earwig Music Company. Their now-adult daughter grew up on the road with them. She performs with the band on drums, guitar, and vocals.

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Administration


Marianne Fieber, Administrator

Marianne has been working in Anthroposophical or Waldorf School environments for over 25 years. She has served as a grades teacher, adult educator, administrator and mentor. She has developed programs, designed events, presented at conferences and led an accreditation process. She has worked with numerous committees, boards and organizational leaders including the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). Life has presented her with many opportunities to engage in community co-creation, be it in classrooms, Waldorf communities, organizations, local villages, or with artistic projects.

She has been serving on the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America since 2007 and represents the region on the national General Council. Her commitment to this work is deep and allows her to live a life that is dedicated to building a future worthy of humanity.

Marianne’s background in the Performing Arts has laid the foundation for her life and work. She earned a BFA in Theater from the University of MN-Duluth. She performed on stage for decades in Chicago and internationally with touring productions. Her further training and experience in Waldorf School Administration and pedagogy have built upon this foundation. She earned an MS Ed in Waldorf Administration and Community Development from Sunbridge College, Spring Valley, NY, and her Waldorf Teaching Certification from Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Education Program in Chicago. She is delighted to be working with the Grades students in Speech and Drama this year.

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Courtney Slinko, Front Desk/Administrative Assistant

Courtney learned about Waldorf Education and the Da Vinci Waldorf School from a friend back in 2015 when she and her husband Rich were searching for a school for their 2 young children.  Courtney started out as a parent in Parent-Child with her youngest and her oldest was in preschool.  She is passionate about Da Vinci Waldorf School as she has been volunteering in many different capacities during the last 6 years as well as the PTO Festival Coordinator for the last 4 years.  Courtney’s leadership, time management and organizational skills have been demonstrated in many previous positions.  She is a 1997 graduate of Michigan State University where she received degrees in Nutritional Science and Dietetics and All-American honors as the setter and Captain of the 1995 National Semifinalist Women’s Volleyball Team.  Courtney played professional volleyball in the Netherlands and in the states as well as on our USA National Volleyball Team.  She was an assistant volleyball coach and recruiting coordinator at Marquette University.  She attended National Louis University and received a teaching degree for 6th-12th grade Chemistry/Biology/Physical Science and a Masters Degree in the Arts of Teaching.  Courtney taught Biology and Earth Science and coached volleyball at Cary-Grove High School from 2006-2013.  When she is not in the front office, you will find her in Rockford as the Elite Technical Director at VC United volleyball club.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, fishing at the cabin in Northern WI and taking on new challenges and adventures!

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Anita Zagraniczny, Business Manager

Anita supports the efforts to ensure financial success of the Da Vinci Waldorf School. She maintains smooth operations of daily accounting activities and aids the Treasurer and the Finance Committee in their task to oversee the financial health of our school. Anita’s professional background includes extensive experience in policy and financial management positions. With policy roles in governments of both the United States and Poland, and management experience gained from overseeing the financial and operational functions of a residential construction company, Anita brings to the Da Vinci Waldorf community a proficiency in business development and expertise in financial management. Anita holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago along with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and English from Northwestern University. In her free time, Anita enjoys spending time with her family, practicing yoga, studying cynology, and gardening. Anita feels honored to be a part of the Da Vinci Waldorf School and is excited to promote our inspiring and unique mission.

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Elisa Kraus, Enrollment / Administration / Marketing, Media & Web

Elisa came to Da Vinci Waldorf School in 2010 as a mom in the Parent-Child program. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and chemistry, worked in the medical software industry. Her professional background includes computer programming, systems analysis and design, systems documentation, database design and management, project management, and team management. Over the past several years her interests expanded to include website and graphic design, marketing, advertising, and social media management. She spent several years as a freelancer after moving from the work force to being a stay-at-home mom. She began assisting DVWS as a volunteer in 2010, then became a member of the administrative team in 2015, focusing primarily on marketing and expanding social media and Web presence. Elisa loves being a mom  and enjoys being a techie, photography, theater, cooking, writing, singing, nature, crafting, and learning new things.

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