Strouse Campbell

High School Math & Life Sciences Teacher, Middle School Boys Basketball Coach • scampbell@emersonwaldorf.org

Strouse Campbell teaches Earth and Life Sciences, subjects that have captivated his interest since his youth in the bayous of Gulf Breeze, FL.  After completing the International Baccalaureate high school program, he received his B.S. in Environmental Sciences and a Certificate in Documentary Studies from Duke University in 2007.  Since then, he has worked with many students of all ages in various areas of academic inquiry.  He resides in Durham along the Eno River, where he tends to his flock and forest.

Jason Child

Music Director • jchild@emersonwaldorf.org

Jason Child has been the Director of Music at Emerson Waldorf School since 2005. He became a full-time school music teacher in 1994 while living in Philadelphia and working in inner city public schools. Before coming to EWS, he taught in both public and independent schools, while also maintaining a private music studio, which means he has worked with children from age six months through 12th grade. Mr. Child grew up in Virginia, has a BA in Music from Earlham College, a Master’s in Music Education from Florida State University, and has done Foundation Studies coursework through the Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, New Hampshire. He has also been a professional singer and plays the guitar and the trombone. At EWS, Mr. Child teaches Grade School Music classes, Chorus to grades 5-12, and Band to grades 6-12. He also serves on the Leadership Council of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America and is Vice President of the Association of Waldorf Music Educators. Mr. Child’s four children attend EWS.


Kyle Duppstadt

Drumming Instructor

Kyle Duppstadt is a drummer/percussionist currently teaching in the Triangle area and performing throughout the state. He has studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts music conservatory and Berklee College of Music. In 2011, Kyle traveled to Recife, Brazil seeking out traditional rhythms and more “organic” music. Mr. Duppstadt's vision is to continue to grow and evolve in Percussion Performance with an emphasis on Jazz and Afro-influenced drumming.

Maria Jose Fitzgerald

Spanish & Math Teacher, High School • mfitzgerald@emersonwaldorf.org

Maria was born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The oldest of six, she was the first to move to the United States in 1997 to attend the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, where she studied Ecology.  She quickly realized her passion was teaching and pursued further studies in education at Duke University, where she earned her Master's degree.  Since studying at UGA and Duke, Maria has taught and tutored Middle School Mathematics and Science in both a public and private school setting for 7 years.  Before moving to North Carolina in 2009, Maria taught in New York City and Miami, Florida.  In search of a slower pace of life (and more space!), Maria and her husband left the big city and moved to the Triangle. Before joining the Emerson Waldorf School, Maria worked on several national education research projects at a small research firm in Chapel Hill, and she began her Waldorf foundation studies. She cannot wait to get back into the classroom and continue her studies in Waldorf Education.  Maria's eldest daughter will also be starting her journey at EWS this fall!  Maria lives in Durham with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two amazing dogs.


Laura Guinan

Art Teacher, High School • lguinan@emersonwaldorf.org

Laura Guinan came to EWS as a parent wanting meaningful education for her children. This interest blossomed into the study of Anthroposophy and a desire to integrate her life as an artist and educator with its ideals. With 20 years of classroom experience behind her, Ms. Guinan began teaching art in the Emerson Waldorf High School in 2008. In 2011, she completed her Waldorf High School Teacher Training through The Center for Anthroposophy and continues to seek opportunities to inspire her art and teaching. 

Laura grew up in Texas, where she obtained a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas. Her love of art, culture, and travel has led her throughout most of the United States, much of Europe, Mexico, and Canada. After meeting her husband, a Texan living in Italy, she earned her MS in Art Education at The Pennsylvania State University, and then settled down for 8 years in Wyoming, where she made and taught art. While there, she won a Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship, as well as an Ucross Foundation Residency. Laura and her husband left the West for Chapel Hill in 2001.  They are currently happily raising their two children, Luci and Nico, and a bunch of chickens.

Kathleen Jackson

College Guidance Counselor • ext. 25 • kjackson@emersonwaldorf.org

Kathleen Jackson came to EWS in 2008 as College Counselor for the High School. She grew up in the Washington, DC area with a passion for ballet and French, and graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in French and Anthropology. Subsequent graduate study at the University of South Florida led to a Master of Education degree in Library and Information Science, followed by eleven years’ work in the libraries of Rice and Duke Universities. As an administrator in the Duke Libraries, Ms Jackson also received intensive training in organizational development. She left library work to stay home with her two young sons, and her family home-schooled from 1996 to 2007. During those years she freelanced in management consulting and worked seasonally as a reader for Duke University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She is passionate about contra dancing, Quebecois culture and language, and running.

Mary Kirchoff

Athletic Director • ext. 25 • mkirchoff@emersonwaldorf.org

Mary Dee Kirchoff has been affiliated with Emerson Waldorf School as a parent and volunteer since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from the University of Vermont, and a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of New England. She has been a licensed Physical Therapist for the past twenty years and has been involved in coaching athletes since the mid 1970s, including field hockey, soccer, basketball, tennis, and racquetball. She has experience teaching physical education in private and public schools, has coached Emerson Waldorf High School girls’ basketball, and has coached the U.S. Racquetball Team. Her recent book, Finding the Answer, chronicles her outer and inner path toward success as an athlete, winning many titles including the 1984 World Racquetball Championship. She joined the EWS Faculty in 2010 as our Physical Education Teacher and teaches grades 3-12.


Derek Kratzer

Strings Ensemble Teacher • dkratzer@emersonwaldorf.org

Derek Kratzer earned his Master’s in Music Education from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied string pedagogy under Dr. Brenda Brenner.  While at IU, he taught extensively in the Fairview String Project and also assisted Mimi Zweig in the IU String Academy.  As a double bass player, he performed in Indiana University orchestras and concert bands, and spent several years as a member of a bluegrass band and of various jazz combos.  He has toured in the US and Ireland, and shared the stage with groups such as the Del McCoury Band, David Grisman Quintet, Rusted Root, and Hot Buttered Rum String Band.  His love of teaching began with private bass and guitar lessons, and was deepened through an Americorps term in which he mentored middle school students and led an after-school guitar club.  He loves spending time outdoors gardening, hiking, and running, and is excited to have the opportunity to be involved in Waldorf education.

Dan Moise

Physics/Chemistry, High School • dmoise@emersonwaldorf.org

Mr. Moise joined the Emerson Waldorf High School faculty in 2009. He teaches chemistry, physics, life science courses, computer science, science electives, and a practical arts course, coppersmithing.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Physics from the University of Bucharest, Romania. He completed his Waldorf Teacher Training in Bucharest in the class of Prof. Dr. Ernst Schubert. He studied three years at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, where he met Dr. Georg Unger, his mentor and inspiration in life.  There, he completed the Foundation Year in the class of Dr. Goelzer.. He was a pioneer Waldorf teacher in 1994 in Bucharest, teaching Physics and Biology in the middle school to the first Waldorf classes in Bucharest. He moved to the United States in 1998 when he married Carol Ann Williamson, a longtime eurythmist. He has studied and worked at “Beaver Run,” the Camphill school in Pennsylvania for children with special needs.  He has worked in pharmaceutical research in New Jersey, and he brings industry experience in toxicology and lab science. He has taught Chemistry and Physical Sciences in a public high school in Florida. Most recently he taught Chemistry, Climatology, and Math at the Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, New York. He speaks English, Romanian, German, and French, and is highly accomplished at the strategic board game ‘Go’. He likes to travel and meet new people.

Peter Moyers

Practical Arts Teacher • pmoyers@emersonwaldorf.org

Mr Moyers joined the Emerson Waldorf School faculty in 1992 as  a class teacher and took a class from grades 1-8. After a year’s sabbatical in Europe, he returned to EWS and continued class teaching in the middle school. In the fall of 2009, he became the Practical Arts teacher; he also teaches Circus Arts and helps direct many class plays. Mr. Moyers was born in England, spent his first three years in the Sudan, and the next ten years in Ireland. He then moved back to England and finished school and University there and in France. He did his Waldorf Teacher Training at Emerson College. Mr. Moyers has also worked as a carpenter and in a professional theater company.  He has been known to catch hummingbirds in his hand, and then release them when you least expect it! He is married with four children, all of whom have attended EWS.

Jessie Onuf-Rabius

Humanities Teacher & High School Chair, High School • jonuf-rabius@emersonwaldorf.org

Ms Onuf-Rabius was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in the Virginia countryside, where she was enchanted by rolling hills and beautiful changing seasons. In high school, she discovered one of her lifelong passions: theatre. She found that she preferred being behind the scenes as a director, stage manager, lighting crew, etc. Ms. Onuf-Rabius attended the New School for Social Education, earning three degrees, including an MA in Psychology and an MFA in Theater Direction. She went to Los Angeles after getting married in 1998, received her teaching credentials from Los Angeles Unified School District in Special Education, and taught in the district for seven and a half years. In 2004, Ms. Onuf-Rabius gave birth to fraternal twins, Nicky and Julia, and began searching for the kind of education she wanted for her children. She discovered Waldorf Education, and in January of 2006 joined the Waldorf Institute of Southern California. In January of 2007, Ms. Onuf-Rabius began a long-term substitution assignment at the Westside Waldorf School and did practice teaching there. She continued to teach at Westside, both as a class teacher and as middle school support teacher, from 2008-2010. In 2010, she joined our high school faculty as Humanities teacher.


Larissa Parson

Humanities Teacher, High School • lparson@emersonwaldorf.org

Ms. Parson grew up in Washington, DC. Her deep love of books and learning led her to attend St. John's College as an undergraduate; she also earned an MA in Classics at Cornell University. Ms. Parson spent eight years living in the San Francisco Bay Area, and taught at The College Preparatory School and The Urban School of San Francisco. She is especially interested in helping students develop their authentic voice as writers and sharing her enthusiasm for literature and grammar with them. After the birth of her twins Nick and Dash in 2011, her family decided to move to the East coast to be closer to the boys' grandparents. The move happily coincided with an opening at Emerson in 2013.

Therisa Pienaar

High School Coordinator • tpienaar@emersonwaldorf.org

Therisa Pienaar moved to North Carolina from South Africa in 2007. Her family fell in love with the Emerson Waldorf School, and her son joined the school in the second grade. Ms Pienaar immediately became involved in the community, taking on the responsibility of Treasurer for the Parent Organization and then moved into the Lower School office as an Assistant to the Finance Director. Therisa brings with her 12 years of experience as a teacher in both Independent and public schools in South Africa and also in Kenya. Because of the nature of her husband's job, the Pienaar family has moved around a lot, with the result that Therisa’s her teaching career ended up being very rich and varied. Her position as High School Coordinator draws on her love for working with children as well as her passion for Waldorf Education. 

Rob Rich

Math Teacher, Grade 8 and High School • rrich@emersonwaldorf.org

Rob Rich joined the EWS Faculty in 2003 and teaches math in the High School. He previously taught in the suburban Boston area and is in the process of completing his Waldorf High School teacher training at the Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, New Hampshire. Mr. Rich has a B.A. in anthropology from Dartmouth College and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University. He has nineteen years of professional engineering experience designing, manufacturing, and testing high precision electro-mechanical devices for spacecraft.  He is currently working with a local architect on the design of a passive solar greenhouse. In addition to his many other accomplishments, he has hitchhiked from Paris to the Arctic Circle.