Early Childhood Faculty

Amie Aylward

Amie Aylward

Chickadee Preschool Teacher

aaylward@seattlewaldorf.org

Amie’s journey into education started at Seattle Waldorf School, where she was a student from preschool through 8th grade, igniting a lifelong passion for nurturing young minds. With a BA in Psychology from Western Washington University and specialized Waldorf training from Emerson College in the UK, Amie brings a rich tapestry of knowledge to her teaching approach and over a decade of experience working with children.
As both an educator and a parent, Amie brings a unique blend of expertise and empathy to her work. Her insights as a parent amplify her understanding of the intricate balance between nurturing academic growth and emotional well-being. Her involvement in the school community extends beyond the classroom, as she actively contributes to shaping a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all.
Amie’s passions extend far beyond the educational sphere. She finds solace in the great outdoors, often exploring the Pacific Northwest with her two children in tow. An avid baker and skilled in knitting and other fiber arts, she revels in creative expression. These diverse interests enrich her life and her teaching, infusing her classroom with a vibrant and dynamic energy.

Heidi Dalton

Heidi Dalton

Chickadee Preschool Assistant Teacher

hdalton@seattlewaldorf.org

Heidi grew up mainly in California, but has lived in a number of cities across the country and abroad. After graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in Communication Studies and English Literature, she worked in marketing and public relations. Through her children, she discovered the magic of the Waldorf curriculum. Most recently, she worked as the parent-child program leader at a Waldorf kindergarten in Berlin, Germany. She moved to the Seattle area last summer with her husband and their three children. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, yoga, and making time for quiet ordinary moments.

Melinda Casey

Melinda Casey

Daffodil Preschool Teacher

mcasey@seattlewaldorf.org

Melinda is the mother to 3 amazing children. She discovered Waldorf education when her oldest was about to start preschool, and she learned City of Lakes Waldorf school in Minneapolis. Soon after, her son and daughter were enrolled. Years later, she worked at this school as an assistant teacher in their toddler program. She received a Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher certification through Sound Circle Center in 2022. She was a lead preschool teacher at Wasatch Waldof School for two years in Salt Lake City before joining SWS.

Adin Ring

Adin Ring

Daffodil Assistant Teacher

aring@seattlewaldorf.org

Adin is a recent college graduate from Los Angeles. He is excited to jump into Waldorf education and share his love of nature and the outdoors with students. He loves to explore, swim, play the bass, make music with friends, and learn new things about trees.

Yumiko Hirata

Yumiko Hirata

Daffodil Assistant Teacher

yhirata@seattlewaldorf.org

Yumiko joined our faculty as an Early Childhood Assistant teacher in 2021, after many years of running a small home-based Waldorf-inspired Preschool in Seattle. Her earliest childhood memories date back to when she was a shy 3~4 years old, enjoying imaginative play with dolls. After studying Curative Education at the Camphill School in Pennsylvania, she pursued the Early Childhood Teacher Training at Waldorf Institute in New York. Yumiko believes that play is fundamental to learning, discovery, and growth for young children. She believes the teacher’s responsibility in the younger years is to create and hold a beautiful environment (both indoors and outdoors) where healthy play amongst children can naturally unfold. She eagerly anticipates creating wonderful memories with the children in the Daffodil preschool. When she isn’t at school, she enjoys cooking and creating healthy fusion meal recipes.

Myriam Weimerskirch

Myriam Weimerskirch

Huckleberry Preschool Teacher

mweimerskirch@seattlewaldorf.org

Myriam joined the Seattle Waldorf School first as a parent in 2008. She began her teacher training at Sound Circle Center when her youngest child was in preschool and graduated three years later in 2017. In the past eight years, she has taught parent and child, preschool and kindergarten classes. Myriam is very fond of being in nature and spending time with her children. She loves hiking, singing, playing the piano, baking, and reading in French.

Madeline Lootens

Madeline Lootens

Huckleberry Preschool Assistant Teacher

mlootens@seattlewaldorf.org

Madeline Lootens joined our faculty as an Early Childhood Assistant Teacher in 2022, working in the Chickadee class. Madeline grew up in Everett, WA where she attended public school. She was a running start student, earning her associates degree while in high school. She went on to obtain a B.A. in Film and Video Production, where she was able to foster her love of storytelling and visual arts. Madeline worked as a freelancer for some time before taking a nanny job at the start of the pandemic. It was while nannying that Madeline discovered her love of teaching. Unable to shake the idea, Madeline began researching alternative forms of education, and soon discovered Waldorf. She felt as though she were reading something familiar and simultaneously novel. It was not long after that she enrolled in the Sound Circle Teacher Training program for early childhood education. In her spare time Madeline enjoys painting, videography and long walks with her dog Buster and her fiancé Ilya.

Milana Norbut

Milana Norbut

Briar Rose Kindergarten Teacher

mnorbut@seattlewaldorf.org

Milana Norbut joined the SWS early childhood faculty as Briar Rose Kindergarten teacher in 2021. She brings to our school more than 10 years of teaching experience in Waldorf early childhood classrooms, and this year will be leading our ½ day preschool and providing education support to our earliest learners. She was part of a small group of teachers that started the first Waldorf-inspired school in Spokane, Washington, where she taught kindergarten for five years. When her family moved back to Seattle six years ago, she began working at Bright Water Waldorf School, first as a Parent and Child teacher and then as a kindergarten teacher. Milana received her Waldorf Early Childhood Certificate from Sound Circle Center. It is within the Waldorf kindergarten that her skills and heart feel most at home.

Peggy Chi Chu

Peggy Chi Chu

Briar Rose Assistant Teacher

pchu@seattlewaldorf.org

Peggy’s journey began at a young age when she relocated to California to pursue her education. Growing up in a big family, Peggy discovered her innate ability to connect with children and developed a patient and nurturing approach to childcare. Her passion led her to the California State University of Fullerton, where she earned her BA in child and adolescent development. After graduation, Peggy challenged herself by moving to Washington, DC to teach preschoolers at a global school. Now, with a desire to be closer to family, Peggy and her husband are excited to embark on a new adventure in Seattle. When she’s not teaching, Peggy enjoys caring for her plants and engaging in various craft projects.

Martha Swain

Martha Swain

Preschool Teacher

mswain@seattlewaldorf.org

A childhood full of imaginative play and unsupervised time in nature has made Martha an advocate for the paramount importance of play. After receiving a BA from Swarthmore College, she managed large volunteer programs at Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C. and at AIDS service organizations in Seattle. Martha received a Masters in Education and Waldorf teaching certificate from Antioch University in New England for a Master’s in Education. She has long lived a bi-coastal life, enjoying spending summers in Maine with her extended family.

Ruby Siewert

Ruby Siewert

Marigold Preschool Assistant Teacher

rsiewert@seattlewaldorf.org

Ruby recently graduated with a degree in psychology from Eugene Lang College at The New School with a focus on cognitive neuropsychology, neuropharmacology, and the impact of neurodivergence on learning. Ruby grew up in Seattle as well as Santa Cruz, California. She loves spending time outdoors and playing with her cat. She is an exuberant early childhood assistant.

Maya Darling

Maya Darling

Marigold Preschool Assistant Teacher

mdarling@seattlewaldorf.org

Maya Darling-Turner was first introduced to Waldorf education as a student at the Seattle Waldorf High school. She graduated from SWS in 2014 and went on to study dance at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. After completing her Certificate with honors she joined Spectrum Dance Theater as an apprentice in the company. While Maya’s love for dance grew, so did a curiosity in exploring the early life and development of children, especially having spent so much time with her younger brother Moses. Maya joined the Seattle Waldorf school in 2019 and is excited to continue as the Marigold Preschool Assistant Teacher in the afternoons at Kinderhaus.

Tim Bennett

Tim Bennett

Rosemary Kindergarten Teacher

tbennett@seattlewaldorf.org

Out in nature, the world slows down and we can begin to breathe into the rhythms and cycles of the year. Tim has been nurturing the imaginations and creativity of young children at the Seattle Waldorf School for many years. He is particularly interested in the healing powers of movement and free play in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Tim graduated with a BFA in Painting and Ceramics from the University of Washington. He also completed a Waldorf Movement training in Spatial Dynamics. Tim has given talks on Waldorf Education in China and throughout the USA.

Ellen Smith

Ellen Smith

Rosemary Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

esmith@seattlewaldorf.org

Ellen was born and raised in Seattle Washington. She went to Central Washington University, to pursue a degree in both elementary education and psychology, with a minor in family studies. Since the age of twelve, Ellen has been working with children. It has always been her dream to teach, and she has been doing so for the last six years at the Kinderhaus Campus. When Ellen discovered Waldorf schools and outdoor teaching, she knew it was the path for her. Learning and playing outside always gave her joy as a child, and now she gets to do so everyday.

Freya Bloomberg

Freya Bloomberg

Rosemary Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

fbloomberg@seattlewaldorf.org

Born in Lynnwood, Washington Freya grew up working around children her whole life at her local Boys and Girls Club, church, and various camps. She graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Early Childhood Education. Since working with various ages, she has come to believe that all children have potential and something magical about them as long as you support them, believe in them, and advocate for them. She enjoys the beaches and mountains of Washington. One fun fact about Freya is that she loves sharks and has even swum with them.