Debbie Laurin Sweet Peas Parent/Child Coordinator/Teacher
Debbie is the Sunflower Kindergarten Teacher as well as the Sweet Peas Parent/Child teacher and has been employed with the Nelson Waldorf School since 1998. Debbie has lived in the Kootenays since 1992, moving with her family from Southern Ontario. She assisted in the nursery at the Halton Waldorf school. Just prior to the move, Debbie attended the summer intensive at the Steiner Institute in Waterville, Maine, thus beginning her journey in Waldorf education and Anthroposophy. In 2006, Debbie completed her M.Ed. in Waldorf Education through Antioch University in Keene, N.H. As well, Debbie has completed a two-year diploma in Early Childhood education and is a licensed B.C. early childhood educator. She participated in a two year Pre- and Peri-natal psychology training program on bonding and attachment in early childhood. Debbie traveled to Los Angeles to complete Level I of the Resources for Infant Educators (RIE) training based on the work of Magda Gerber. In the past, she has worked with special-needs children in both Waldorf and public school settings. Her interest in working with families of young children has led her to take up the Parent & Child Program along with the Kindergarten. She is a dedicated yoga practitioner, is curious about life, and loves to read, cook, garden, and learn.
Erica MacLennan Daycare Lead Teacher
Erica was born the first of three girls just outside Montreal, Que. At the age of six she moved to California to spend five years at the seaside, at Disneyland, and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Then it was back to Montreal for a year before heading again to the west, spending her teenage years in the suburbs of Vancouver. After high school, Erica began to read Steiner's works, and left university where she was studying Computer Science, to work in a Waldorf Preschool. She then went for her teacher training in Gloucester, England with a scholarship from the International Steiner Kindergarten Association. Upon returning to Canada, Erica completed her ECE Certification and began teaching in a Waldorf preschool/kindergarten. She moved to Nelson in 1991 to teach at the Nelson Waldorf School. She then had a couple of boys of her own, whilst teaching part-time and doing some mentoring work as well as administration. She is glad to be back in Nelson working with our school again.
Maria Seeger Kindergarten Teacher
Maria was born in Coventry, England, the youngest of three children. When she finished high school, she spent a year in Germany working in a Camphill village for adults with disabilities. It was here that she first encountered Anthroposophy and Waldorf education. Maria majored in German at London University, and as a part of that course she spent a year teaching English in Vienna, Austria. After graduating from university, Maria spent three years in Camphill Village Botton in North Yorkshire, where she ran the coffee bar, and later also worked in the weavery. During this time she developed an interest in Waldorf education, and in 1985 she moved to Stuttgart, Germany to do her teacher training. The following year, she emigrated with her husband, Andreas, and their young son to Canada, to work in Camphill in Ontario. In 1993, Andreas, Maria and family moved to Nelson, so that their now three children could attend the Nelson Waldorf School. Since then, Maria has taken the Classroom and Community Support Worker programme at Selkirk college, following which she worked as a support worker for adults with special needs for three years. She also took the level 1 RIE course in Los Angeles in 2006. Maria has worked in the Kindergarten at the NWS since 2000, and her work there as well as her position as Sweet Pea (parent and child) teacher allow her to nurture an on-going interest in the healthy development of the young child.
Shauna McKeating Kindergarten Teacher
Shauna was born in Montreal, Quebec and grew up on the West Island. She attended university in Ontario and graduated from the University of Windsor with a B.A. in Psychology followed by a B.Ed. in Primary-Junior Education. Upon completion of her university studies, Shauna promptly set off for the west coast of James Bay where she taught Grade One in a Cree community. By 1992, she had landed in the West Kootenays near Kaslo's Lofstedt Farm where her brother introduced her to anthroposophy and Waldorf education. While she kept working in the public school system, she never lost her interest in Waldorf education and studied this approach on her own. She eventually moved her teaching into independent education and not-for-profit organizations, and subsequently became a licensed B.C. early childhood educator. Her work as a teacher has included people of all ages, from newborn babies to seniors, but her greatest love has always been kindergarten. Shauna joined the Nelson Waldorf School in the Bluebell Kindergarten in the fall of 2011 and knew without a doubt that Waldorf Kindergarten is where she was meant to be. She seized the opportunity to finally begin her formal early years Waldorf educator training with the West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy and is thoroughly enjoying her studies. She and her partner Mark have three boys, two horses, three ducks, three dogs and a cat and live on a busy farm in Thrums.