Hillary Burdette

Athletic Director •
Movement and Games Teacher, Grades 3-12

Hillary Burdette received her Waldorf Elementary Teacher certification from the Sunbridge Institute in 2013. During the 2013-14 academic year, Hillary served as the substitute teacher for Grades 1-8, the high school history teacher, the assistant coach for the middle school cross-country team, and the head coach for the high school girls’ basketball team.

Hillary is also a pediatrician. She did her pediatric training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Before becoming a Waldorf teacher, she was an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Hillary attended Emory University where she played soccer and basketball and ran track. She grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Christina Beck

Eurythmy Teacher •

Christina Beck was born in Mississippi.  She attended Emerson College, England and began Eurythmy training, which she completed in Stuttgart Germany.  During that time she learned German, joined the Anthroposophical Society, and later made her first experiences as a teacher and a performer with the Stuttgart Stage Group.  She returned to the States where, after a few years of freelance work, she joined the faculty at the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda Maryland. There she found a home to work and grow for twenty one years.  In 2005 she joined the core faculty of The School of Eurythmy in Spring Valley NY.  She has a great love of teaching and of poetry, music, and the story. She works with the question of how to fit Eurythmy into the context of a festival, a play, and how to serve a soul need or pedagogical goal.  She is married with two step children.


Stephen Beck

Grade 1 Teacher •

Stephen Beck grew up in Virginia where he received a BA in English at George Mason University. He secretly wanted to be a farmer or a singer/songwriter. At a small farm school in West Virginia, where he was asked to teach a combined 1st and 2nd grade class, he began to learn about Biodynamic Agriculture and Waldorf Education. He pursued his interest in Steiner's work in the Center for Anthroposophy's Foundation Studies in Washington, DC in 1998 and then attended Antioch University in 1999, where he received Waldorf Elementary Teacher certification.

Mr. Beck joined EWS in June of 2000 as a newly-trained first grade teacher and parent of a kindergarten daughter. During his time at the school he has taken a class from first through eighth grade, served on the EWS College of Teachers and EWS Board, taught Middle and High School Practical Arts, taught a year in fourth grade, and initiated and taught the EWS High School String Band, where the students kindly let him join in on mandolin and guitar.

Mr. Beck enjoys playing music, fixing up his house, and walking the dog with his magical Kindergarten Assistant wife Miss Natasha. HIs two step-children attend EWS and his daughter attended from 2000-2010.

Ingeborg Boesch

Pedagogical Chair and German Mentor

Born and raised in Marbach, Germany, Frau Boesch’s deep understanding of Waldorf education began when she herself was a student in the original Waldorf school, founded in 1919 in Stuttgart. Later she graduated from the University of Munich, then did her Waldorf Teacher Training at Emerson College in England, where she met her husband, Eric. They taught at the Edinburgh Waldorf School then moved to Chapel Hill in 1998 to teach at EWS. Over her career, she has been a teacher of German and Handwork, a teacher-trainer and mentor to schools in the UK and US, and a Class Teacher, having taken a class from grade 1 through 8. Frau Boesch just retired in Spring 2012 but continues to mentor EWS German teachers and teaches Middle School students after school.

Robyne Borhanian

Grade 4 Teacher •

Robyne Borhanian began working at the Emerson Waldorf School eleven years ago and during this time was awakened to her love for teaching. At this time she began her Waldorf teacher training at Antioch New England Graduate School in New Hampshire. Her two oldest children attended the school, and their positive experiences increased Robyne's commitment to Waldorf education. Robyne completed her Master's in Education at Antioch and her Waldorf teaching credentials for both Early Childhood and Elementary education in 2010. Her oldest two children have gone on to attend college and her youngest two now attend the Emerson Waldorf School. Robyne is particularly interested in ensuring that the learning and behavioral needs of all children are embraced and nurtured through a strong connection between teacher and child.

Jason Child

Music Director •

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.

Viorica Comaniciu

6th Grade Teacher •

Ms. Comaniciu joined the EWS faculty in 2009, bringing 15 years of Waldorf teaching experience with her. She earned her Teaching Diploma (Literature and Linguistics) in 1983-87 and her post grad Teacher Certification in 1990 in Brasov, Romania. After 7 years teaching at public school, she received her Diploma in Waldorf Education in Bucharest, Romania in 1992 where she taught grades 1-5 in the newly-founded Waldorf School. In March 1997 Viorica won the green card lottery and immigrated to the United States with her husband and their two-year-old son.  A few months later a second son was born. Finding joy in working with very young children inspired Viorica to enroll in the Early Childhood Teacher Training at Sunbridge College, NY in 2000-2002 and to work in Pre-Kindergartens and Kindergartens in various places. In 2001 she took over a Pre-School group at the River Valley Waldorf School, then a Kindergarten group, and then a 1st grade class which she taught through 5th grade.

Kim D'Angelo

Spanish Teacher, Grades 1-8 •

Kim DAngelo grew up in Montana and graduated from Montana State University with a BA in Modern Languages. She studied in Ecuador, where she served as principal flautist with the Cuenca City Symphony, and has also spent time living in Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, and Guatemala. She and her Peruvian husband spent over 10 years in Florida, where she taught Spanish for 6 years in public high school and also private music lessons. During this time, Kim rediscovered Waldorf education from a parent's perspective, and was one of the founding parents of a Waldorf initiative in St. Petersburg, Florida.  She began Waldorf teacher education training, completing a spring course in 1999. Kim has completed foundation studies and foreign language workshops. In December 2005 the D'Angelos moved to North Carolina to be part of the EWS community. Her son graduated in the class of 2013, and her daughter is in the grade school. Kim has taught Spanish in 1st-8th since fall of 2006, including 3 years in the high school, where she developed a high school Spanish curriculum that connects and builds upon what is learned in the lower school, meets state standards, and follows Waldorf pedagogy. Last summer she had an amazing trip with students to build houses in Guatemala and put their Spanish skills to use, and hopes to take many more in the future!

Derek Kratzer

Strings Ensemble Teacher •

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.

Carol Kubik

Handwork Teacher •

Ms. Kubik is our Handwork teacher for grades 1-8. She was born in Florida, and attended the University of Florida, studying Humanities and Art. She then worked in a retail establishment and taught handicapped children for a few years, until she had her own children and discovered Waldorf Education. She did her Waldorf teacher training at Sunbridge College in Spring Valley New York, studying child development as she was experiencing the development of her own children. She did Waldorf Handwork training with Greta Frolich, and Early Childhood Training, also in Spring Valley. She joined the faculty of EWS in 1988 as the Handwork teacher, and taught EWS’s very first graduating class. Ms. Kubik took a break from teaching for a few years when she had her third child (but continued mentoring the Handwork program), and then picked up full time teaching again as her daughter entered school. Her three children are all alumnae of EWS. Ms. Kubik was instrumental in starting our Children’s Woodland Shop, many years ago, on the deck of the current Kindergarten. She was also our 1st delegate to AWSNA, the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.

Suzanne Mays

Lyre Teacher

The Emerson Waldorf School has been a large part of my life and my husband's  since 1983, when we had first discussions with Barbara Shell, Eve Olive, and Olga Wierbicki  to create the school. Our daughter and son attended the Emerson Waldorf School. Crystal was in Barbara Shell's combined 2nd/3rd grade class in September 1984.  Zephyr started in Alwyn Moss' kindergarten that year and the following year in grade 1 with Keith Hill. Our son's class – led by Ben Bingham for the last two years of middle school – was the first 8th grade to graduate from Emerson Waldorf School.  My professional work is as a certified music practitioner ( bringing live, prescriptive-therapeutic music to the bedside for those who are ill or at the end of life. The instrument I use is a large 49-string lyre. At the Emerson Waldorf School my lyre has been heard every December at the annual Spiral of Light.  This school year of 2012-2013 begins my seventh year assisting Jason Child, the school's Music Director, with the lyre program for grades 1-4.

Kristin McGee

Biodynamic Farming Assistant •

Kristin McGee has had her hands in the earth since 1999 when she headed out to Perry-winkle Farm in Chatham County to learn a little about growing vegetables.  She took that knowledge to the Peace Corps where she was an agriculture volunteer in Kenya, training women's groups on sustainable farming practices and working with children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS.  Upon returning to the U.S in 2003, Kristin kept farming at an organic family farm while also pursuing her Masters of Social Work at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  It was starting a family that brought her and her husband back to North Carolina.  Kristin is thrilled to be a part of the Emerson farm.  When she is not at the farm, Kristin can be found near the EWS Kindergarten with her daughter, in Morning Garden with her son, or at home working with her hands.

Joelle Miller

German Teacher, Grades 4-5 •

Joelle fell in love with the German language in the seventh grade and has been learning it enthusiastically ever since. Her first experience abroad was for a summer with the American Field Service (AFS) in Vienna, Austria, as a high school student. She went on to spend her junior year of college on academic exchange in Regensburg, Germany. After graduating from the University of Colorado, Joelle spent a year as an Au Pair in Berlin, Germany. Her experiences abroad have given her invaluable insights into German and Austrian culture, and the opportunity to hone her ability to speak the German language. Joelle earned a Master’s degree in German and Art History from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is currently pursuing Waldorf teacher training. She grew up in Oregon, but spent twenty-five years living in Colorado. She and her family moved to Chapel Hill in June of 2011. She loves North Carolina and is thrilled to have the chance to explore the East Coast and the South. Joelle has two daughters who attend the Emerson Waldorf School, and feels blessed to be a part of such a special community. 

Katja Moos

German Teacher, Grades 1-3•

Frau Moos is a native of Germany, where she spent the first 22 years of her life. She grew up near Frankfurt and later lived in Mannheim and Stuttgart during her college years. It was in Stuttgart where she first became interested in Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education. When she moved to the United States in 1991, it was to pursue graduate studies in Library and Information Science at The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. After a few years of working in her field in Virginia, she moved back to the Triangle in 1998, got married, and later, in 2007 and 2008, had two children.  She remained in her career until Spring 2010, but knew from the moment her girls were born that she and her husband wanted to enroll them at EWS when they were old enough to attend Nursery. While her oldest daughter was still completing Nursery and her youngest daughter was a baby, Katja realized she wanted to become more involved in the school and Waldorf Education.  She enrolled in Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy and The Arts and volunteered for a number of school events, most recently co-chairing the school’s Annual Gala Dinner and Auction in 2012. In her former career, Katja traveled worldwide, and she has taught in a classroom setting in the US and overseas. Katja completed the World Languages Renewal Course intensive in Waldorf Education through the Center for Anthroposophy in the Summer of 2012 and is teaching German in Grades 1 – 3.

Peter Moyers

Practical Arts Teacher •

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.

Mary Beth Mueller

Biodynamic Farming Instructor •

Mary Beth Mueller has wonderful memories of time spent on her grandfather's farm as a child, which led her to building the Gardening Coordinator position at Emerson Waldorf School. For the last 4 years she has been working with teachers and parents to both build a farm program and a beautiful farm space. She has an MA in Clinical Child Psychology from Southern Illinois University, has done Masters Degree work in Leisure and Environmental Education at Aurora University, has completed a Land Management series with the Biltmore School of Forestry, and has attended a number of workshops and lectures about Biodynamics, all of which feed her quest to build an excellent farming program.

Lauren Nyland

Educational Support Coordinator •

Lauren has a M.S. Ed in Waldorf Remedial Education from Sunbridge College and is trained in Extra Lesson. She recently completed the Body-Mind Centering Infant Developmental Movement Certification. She has taught Waldorf Parent-Child Classes at two Waldorf Schools. She is Montessori-certified to teach grades 1-3. She currently coordinates Educational Support and teaches Extra Lesson classes for student from Kindergarten to High School. She enjoys hearing the questions that teachers and parents bring and the conversations that follow as we collaboratively work to support the students.  Lauren has two sons – one in the grade school and one in the High School.

Shannon O’Connor

3rd Grade Teacher •

Ms. O’Connor graduated with a BA/BFA from Parsons School of Design in NYC, with a dual degree from Eugene Lang College through the New School of Social Research in Liberal Arts. Her love of art has taken her to study in Italy and France, and her love of music brought her to Ireland, Denmark, and all around America. She paints on anything from canvas to salvaged barn boards, to the downstairs walls in Duke Chapel. Ms. O’Connor visited this area when she was 21 for a conference on cultural diversity within the Waldorf movement and fell in love with the school. After moving here to work on the Haw River Festival, she found herself working at EWS within a year. She has worked in Kindergarten, her own Home Nursery, EWS After School, Summer Camps, and loves teaching High School Art as well.  She completed her Waldorf Teacher Training at Antioch, New Hampshire.

Candor Plaza

After School & Summer Camp Director •

Candor received 12 years of Waldorf education as a student at Hawthorn Valley, then Pine Hill, and finally High Mowing Waldorf School. She has been a parent at EWS since 2005 with one daughter in the High School and another beginning Elementary! She has worked with children in rural community schools and camps, inner-city schools, South American village schools, and right here as an EWS summer camp counselor since 2008. Candor has also supported the Middle School classes with the development and facilitation of the Middle School Coming of Age Program since 2007. Additionally, she is a Birthing From Within Childbirth Mentor and Doula and a certified Life Coach specializing in Presence-Based Coaching. Candor is thrilled to bring together fun-filled art and nature-based After School & Summer Camp programs.  Summer Camps serve the EWS community, as well as the broader local community of children who look forward to their Waldorf summer experience all year long!

Fang Qian

Math Teacher, Grades 6 & 7 •

Fang Qian was born in China. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Application Technology at Tsinghua University in China in 2003. After 9 years of working as a software engineer, she came to the U.S. to study Waldorf Education in 2012. She completed the Grade School Teacher Training program in May 2014 at Rudolf Steiner College and joined EWS in August 2014. She loves math and loves to explore the beauty and joy in math with students.

Kris Ritz

7th Grade Teacher •

Miss Ritz joined the EWS faculty in 2008 after spending an inspiring year living in an anthroposophical life-sharing community, Plowshare Farm, where she assisted courageous adults with developmental disabilities who reside there with the various aspects of home life, as well as guiding workshop activities. Prior to that, Miss Ritz led a talented group of students from the first grade into the sixth grade at the Austin Waldorf School, where she was a member of the College of Teachers and served as grades faculty co-chair. Whether on the farm or in the classroom, she gratefully recognizes the many lessons the residents and students have taught or deepened within her, and how we all connect with compassion, respect, humor, and purposeful work. Born in upstate New York and living in a variety of places since, Miss Ritz graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. During her advertising career, she discovered Waldorf education. A new pathway unfolded for her, and she returned to school to receive Waldorf certification and a Masters in Education from the Antioch New England Graduate School. Miss Ritz also enjoys traveling (near or faraway), reading, running, and a challenging hike up a mountain.


Malina Stoychev

5th Grade Teacher •

Malina Stoychev joined our faculty in 2010, bringing 16 years of Waldorf teaching experience. Born in Bulgaria, Malina earned her B. A. in Elementary Teacher Education in Shumen (Bulgaria), added a B.A. in Curative (Waldorf) Education in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, and took part in a Mentoring Seminar, sponsored by AWSNA, 2006 through 2009. In the beginning of her teaching career, some 20 years ago, she taught ESL in Shumen, Bulgaria and was a class teacher (first through third grade) in a developing Waldorf School in her hometown. Later Malina moved with her family – first to Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, and then to Glenmoore, PA, where she worked as a house parent, art therapist, and educator at Camphill (Waldorf) Community, a group home for people in need of special care. In 2001, Malina took a first grade and led them on through fifth grade at the River Valley Waldorf School, PA, where she then worked for three years as Pedagogical Administrator and Subjects Teacher.

Benjamin Trueblood

2nd Grade Teacher •

Mr. Trueblood joined the EWS faculty in 2006 and taught that class from 2nd to their culminating 8th grade year; he begins a new class of students in 1st grade for another grades journey the fall of 2013. He was born in Chicago, attended the Chicago Waldorf School beginning in Kindergarten, and was a member of their first High School graduating class. He attended Warren Wilson College in Asheville for 2 years, where he studied “everything”, and then took a break to travel in India for 6 months. Returning to the States, he transferred to the University of Georgia and studied Anthropology, which included fieldwork in Budapest and Transylvania on the Roma people and the interaction between music and the cultural and political position of the Roma. Mr. Trueblood is also interested in experimental “Music Concrete” and just released a record album (Record Link ) and CD (CD Link).

Shannon Wiley

8th Grade Teacher •

Mr. Wiley was born in Berlin, Vermont and was educated at Scottsdale Community College, Scottsdale Vocational Technical Center, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, and Antioch New England Graduate School. He taught grades 1-5 at the Cape Cod Waldorf School, as well as 8th grade Anatomy and Physiology and also served on the College of Teachers as Faculty Chair. Mr Wiley has also been a Waldorf Kindergarten teacher, a substitute teacher at Pine Hill Waldorf School, a college Anatomy, Physiology and Nutrition teacher, a massage therapist, and an accounts manager. He is married with two children, both EWS alumni.