Lower/ Middle School 

< Back to Faculty & Staff Bios


Jason Child

Lower School Chair/Music Teacher


Jason Child completed his master’s in music education in 1992, and has been teaching ever since. He began as music director at the Emerson Waldorf School in Chapel Hill, NC in 2005, and has taught 1st - 12th grade music, including choruses and bands. In 2017 his he was chosen by the faculty to be the lower school chair, and now teaches music only part time.

Jason is member of the Leadership Council of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), and is also involved in organizational development for Waldorf schools in the southeastern United States. He also is on the faculty of the Waldorf teacher training program at El Centro de Desarrollo Antrposófico in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and formerly taught in the Foundation Studies program with the Center for Anthroposophy (New Hampshire, USA). Jason does mentoring and evaluation of teachers throughout North America, has been the keynote speaker for the Seminario Waldorf de AWSNA, 2015-2017, and has presented numerous workshops for the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools, the Association for Waldorf Music Education, and more.

Jason’s is the father of four Waldorf students.


Malina Stoychev

Lower School 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.


Praveena Kanteti

Lower School Teacher


Praveena Kanteti studied Pharmacy in India, later moved to Michigan in 2000, and worked as a registered Pharmacist at Walgreens for almost 12 years. She loves working with children, so she started volunteering at her daughters' schools in 2010. Later in 2012, she had to move to India for her husband’s job, where she was introduced to Waldorf education for the first time and was intrigued by Steiner philosophy. Her passion towards helping children made her leave pharmacy and pursue remedial training. She worked with several children with learning difficulties as a private tutor for some time. Then she underwent Waldorf teacher training at Sloka teacher training college, India and started working as a teacher at Sloka Waldorf school, India. Since then she has been following her passion for Waldorf education and Anthroposophy. She is inspired by the beautifully complex picture of child development that informs the pedagogy in Waldorf schools, and continues to be in awe of the wisdom in Rudolf Steiner's curriculum.


Kris Ritz

Lower School Teacher


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. 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. 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.


Whitney MacDonald

Lower School Teacher


After receiving a Masters in Education and Waldorf certification at Antioch University in 1996, Mr. Macdonald came to North Carolina with his wife and two sons to join the faculty at Emerson and start his eight year journey through the grades. During that time, he began a training in Spacial Dynamics. In 2004, he became the first full time movement/PE teacher in the history of the school, a position he kept for six years. He also took on the role of athletic director and oversaw the development of our school’s athletic program. Mr Macdonald is excited to be back at Emerson to teach the class of 2027!


Viorica Comaniciu

Lower School 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 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. Ms. Comaniciu has just taken an EWS class from Grade 1-8.


Toni White

Lower School Assistant / Lower School Teacher in Training


Toni White was born and raised on a farm in Swansboro, N.C. with her parents and three sisters. She relocated to Durham, NC in 1999 to begin her college career. She received a BS and a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from North Carolina Central University in 2004. She also obtained her Master of Library Science Degree in 2010 with a concentration in Health Sciences. In addition, Toni has two children that will also become part of the EWS family. She fell in love with EWS and the warm, inviting atmosphere on her first interview. Toni prides herself on being kind and believes a simple smile can truly brighten a person’s day.

Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 5.08.23 PM.png

Benjamin Trueblood

Middle School Teacher


Mr. Trueblood joined the EWS faculty in 2006 and taught that class from 2nd to their culminating 8th grade year; he began 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. Mr. Trueblood is also interested in experimental “Music Concrete” and recently released a record album (Record Link ) and CD (CD Link).

2018-08-24 10.10.31.jpg

Andrew Hubbuch

Middle School Teacher


Andy earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 2004, while also working as a teacher’s assistant in a school for children with autism. Andy is currently taking coursework in the Masters in Waldorf Education program through Antioch University New England and has completed his first summer intensive along with seventh grade renewal courses. Andy has undergone extensive training in International Baccalaureate (IB) and gifted education. He holds teaching certificates in elementary education and middle school social studies while being endorsed in gifted education and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). Over his career, Andy has earned honors such as teacher of the year for his school, Duval County Elementary Mathematics Teacher of the Year, and top 5 finalist for the Duval County, Florida Teacher of the Year. Andy is the father of 3 beautiful children, 2 of which are attending Emerson Waldorf School.

Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 5.08.41 PM.png

Robyne Borhanian

Middle School 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 now have successful careers, one a programmer for Google, the other a freelance screenwriter and composer. Robyne's youngest two continue to 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.