1st Grade, Cathie Ely
Cathie has an early childhood memory of declaring to her father that someday she would become a teacher. She never strayed from this goal, remaining in her beloved Green Mountains for teacher training and the start of her career. Cathie first taught third and fourth grade at the Orange Center School and then entered the Peace Corps, serving in Sierra Leone, West Africa. There she met her husband, Ken. Upon returning to the states, Cathie continued teaching public school fourth and fifth grade in Hartland and Quechee, Vermont until the birth of her first child, Hannah. Soon after her family moved to the Adirondacks where their second child, Audrey, was born. It was through a parent/child playgroup that Cathie was introduced to Waldorf Education. She appreciated the beauty, love of nature, and the view of the whole child that are the cornerstones of Waldorf pedagogy. From here Cathie entered trainings and became a first grade teacher at Northern Lights School in Wilmington, New York. The discovery of Orchard Valley Waldorf School called Cathie and her family back to Vermont in 2007 when she joined the faculty as a first grade teacher.
2nd Grade, Larry Cohen
Larry grew up on Long Island. Following his graduation from State University of NY in Binghamton with a Bachelors of Science, he traveled the country and settled in Seattle. Ten years later, having discovered Waldorf education, he attended Antioch New England Graduate School where he received a Masters of Education with a dual certification in Waldorf Education and Elementary licensure. He taught in a Waldorf-inspired preschool in Putney, Vermont and then returned to the West Coast to take a class from Kindergarten through grade 3 at the Olympia Waldorf School. While living in the Pacific Northwest and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Larry took some time off from teaching to develop another love, food production – with a micro-bakery and work as a chocolatier. He felt the call to return to teaching and is excited to be back in New England and Central Vermont.
3rd Grade, Libby Case
Teaching has always been the career of choice for Libby. She began teaching in her teens, both gymnastics and swimming for after school and summer programs. After college she led teens on educational summer biking and hiking trips. Her work on these trips inspired her to earn a master’s degree in Environmental Education. Following her graduation in May 1982, she spent the next ten years directing and teaching for Lesley College in an Environmental Education BA and MS program. This program took her back and forth across the country each year with her students to examine environmental issues and meet the people who were addressing them. It was during this time that she first was introduced to Waldorf Education and found its holistic approach to be a match to her ideals about education. When her own children were ready to begin school, Libby and her husband Ben chose a Waldorf school. After completing a Foundations Studies program, Libby began assisting in the Kindergarten and running a summer program for 4 – 8 year olds in Massachusetts. Ben’s job eventually brought the family to Vermont in 2000 and in 2001 Libby became the lead Kindergarten teacher for the Montpelier Waldorf Child’s Garden. The next few years were spent administering and teaching at the Child’s Garden, adding a nursery program to the established kindergarten and helping facilitate the creation of the Orchard Valley Waldorf School in 2004. In 2010, after 14 years of early childhood education, Libby turned her love of teaching in a new direction and gratefully began her career as a class teacher with the 1st graders who will become OVWS’s graduating class of 2018.
4th Grade, Lindsey Benton
Lindsey received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the State University of New York at Geneseo. After spending time traveling the country as an environmental educator, Mrs. Benton realized her life’s calling was to be a teacher. She was particularly attracted to Waldorf education for its artistic methods, developmentally minded curriculum, and philosophical foundations. This led her to earn her master’s degree in Waldorf education from Antioch University New England. Drawn by the vibe of central Vermont and the students she would be teaching, Mrs. Benton joined OVWS in April 2012.
5th Grade, Jen Nelson
Jen joined the OVWS faculty this fall as the fifth grade class teacher; her daughter, Quinn, is in Nancy Crowe’s 7th grade. Jen grew up in Ohio and Michigan and spent her childhood surrounded by music and a love for the outdoors. In many ways her childhood included many components of Waldorf education, although she only learned about Waldorf years later. She met her husband, Simon, in college and together they chose to move to Vermont where Jen enrolled at Antioch in 1994. She has been committed to and immersed in Waldorf Education ever since. Jen is excited to join OVWS and begin work with her lively, engaging fifth graders! n her free time Jen enjoys paddling, camping, music, hiking, reading, knitting, needle-felting, playing with her animals, gardening, running, skiing and spending time doing almost anything with her family and friends.
6th Grade, Jane Hill
Originally from Ontario, Canada, Jane has come to love Vermont and to call it home. She came to the area having chosen OVWS as the Waldorf school for her two children and, as they began their journey through the grades, so did Jane begin her journey as a Middle School grades teacher at OVWS. Jane graduated our first two eighth grade classes and also was our grades one through eighth movement teacher. Jane enjoys the beauty of the four seasons of Vermont, and knows there’s no better place to enjoy teaching outdoors than on our beautiful campus. She also finds it a pleasure to work with and get to know the children in all of the grades.
7th Grade, Nancy Crowe
Nancy has been a Waldorf teacher for more than 20 years and joined the OVWS faculty in 2005 as a skills teacher for the sixth grade. The following fall she began her third teaching cycle and has enthusiastically launched on the inspiring journey towards eighth grade. Prior to Waldorf teaching, Nancy was a freelance journalist, raising her daughters Katy and Colleen, and assisting with the founding of the Green Mountain Waldorf School in Wolcott, where she later taught. She especially enjoys the performing arts – storytelling, music, drama – and is delighted to share them with her class. Her class has climbed several Vermont peaks and she looks forward to more outdoor adventures. She lives part-time in Montpelier with friends and at her home in Jeffersonville with husband Tom, enjoying gardening, hiking and cross-country skiing.
8th Grade, Jacqueline Gabe
Jacqueline came to Waldorf Education with an interest in the arts and a joy in working with people. Prior to teaching at OVWS, which began for her in 2000 (Jacqueline was the founding teacher of the Three Rivers School), she ran an arts program for adults with special needs, a small modern dance company and taught various types of movement education. She received her Waldorf certificate in 2000. Jacqueline grew up in Ottawa, Canada where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. She moved to Vermont in 1992 to be with her husband. She lives in Barre and is grateful to be a part of OVWS.