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Madelief Becherer

Madelief Becherer

Madelief Becherer

Administrative Director

Madelief was raised in a home steeped in the traditions of Anthroposophy, where her family immersed themselves in Waldorf education, biodynamic farming, and many other aspects of Steiner’s teachings. Madelief attended the Great Barrington Rudolph Steiner School in Massachusetts, and she and her family have been a part of Orchard Valley Waldorf School since 2008. During this time, Madelief has served on Parent Council and as chair of the ATA (Accessible-to-all) Committee, along with other countless roles that do not have a formal name or committee. Most recently, Madelief has served as Vice-Chair on the OVWS Board of Trustees. She has two daughters who attend OVWS and are completing 1st grade and 7th grade, and another daughter who will be completing 10th grade at Lake Champlain Waldorf School.  

Michelle Gullage

Michelle Gullage

Michelle Gullage

Farm & Forest Kindergarten

Michelle worked in Adventure Education and Wilderness Therapy for twelve years before stumbling upon Waldorf Education while looking for a school for her oldest child.

Now with over a decade of experience serving as an Assistant and Lead Teacher in Waldorf Kindergarten, Michelle is so happy to have found OVWS—a place where her love of the outdoors and Waldorf Education meet. She looks forward to the many years of adventures with her students, all the while assisting them in finding the goodness in themselves and in the world around them.

In her spare time, Michelle loves to drink coffee, listen to bluegrass, and disappear into the forest on bike and foot. She has two children, who attend OVWS, a husband and an entire menagerie of animals who live on a mountaintop just a few miles from school.


Lindsey Benton

Lindsey Benton

Lindsey Benton

Faculty, Grades

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.

Libby Case

Libby Case

Libby Case

Faculty, Grades

Teaching has always been the career of choice for Libby. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Ed. and spent ten years directing and teaching for Lesley College in an Environmental Ed. BA and MS program. 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 MA. In 2000, the family settled in Vermont and in 2001, Libby became the lead Kindergarten teacher for the Montpelier Child’s Garden. The next few years were spent administering and teaching, adding a nursery program, and helping facilitate the creation of the Orchard Valley Waldorf School in 2004. In 2010, after 14 years of early childhood education, Libby began her career as a class teacher teaching 1st graders who became OVWS’s graduating class of 2018.

Cathie Ely

Cathie Ely

Cathie Ely

Director of Enrollment and Outreach

Cathie joined the administrative team in 2017 after being a class teacher in the grades building for ten years. She also brings eleven years of experience teaching in Vermont’s public schools to her role as the Enrollment and Outreach Director. In this position, Cathie is passionate about helping families discover and experience the wonder and beauty of Waldorf education. She lives in Barre Town with her husband, Ken, and two daughters, Hannah and Audrey. Both graduated from Orchard Valley and continued their education at Lake Champlain Waldorf High School in Shelburne. With her family and friends, Cathie finds peace and joy paddling in the quiet Adirondack and Vermont waterways as well as hiking and biking in the Green Mountains. 

Georgeanne Baker

Georgeanne Baker

Georgeanne Baker

Educational Support Teacher

Georgeanne grew up in Waterbury, VT with her parents and three sisters, and credits her grandmother for her creativity and teaching prowess. Each weekend there was always a surprise waiting, such as a sewing, knitting, crocheting, crafting, or cooking lesson, while her father worked the family farm. She loves to sew, record family history with picture and word, paint, and handwork. Georgeanne attended Trinity College and received a bachelors in Elementary Education with a minor in History. She then attended the University of Vermont, receiving her masters in Curriculum Development. She currently holds her license in elementary (K-6) and early education. She lives in Waterbury with her husband Don and her daughter Cecilia a student at UVM majoring in international business. She is honored to be a member of the OVWS community.
 

Dana Cudney

Dana Cudney

Dana Cudney

Faculty, Grades

After initially pursuing music and creative writing in college, Dana completed a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Mathematics and worked for ten years in the computer field. She was inspired to become a teacher by her mother and grandmother, both educators who began teaching in mid-life. While her children were young, she completed a Master’s in Education at Virginia Tech and taught a variety of subjects in public and private schools. Her children led her to Waldorf education which tied together many threads in her life, personally and professionally, and she completed the Waldorf teacher training at Antioch NE in 2005. She has been teaching in Waldorf schools since 2002, including teaching in kindergarten at Upper Valley Waldorf School, teaching combined grades classes at Wellspring Waldorf School, and most recently taking a class from first through fourth grade at Lake Champlain Waldorf School. Dana has lived in Vermont for 18 years and has two children, both now in their twenties. She enjoys contra dancing, biking, and hiking. At home she enjoys campfires in the backyard, sing-a-longs, gardening and cooking.

Kate Camilletti

Kate Camilletti

Kate Camilletti

Handwork Teacher and Lower Grades Woodworking Teacher

Kate grew up in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle, mostly following her older siblings into the woods. As the youngest child she learned early to pay attention, observe how things are done, then do. Perhaps the same can be said of Kate's introduction to teaching. At first, she assisted Sue Cheyenne, Orchard Valley's original Handwork Teacher. Later, Kate also assisted Meg Scherbatskoy with Handwork, Heinz Rathmann with Woodwork, and Jessica Rubin with Earthcrafts. After nearly ten years of assisting she began the Applied Arts Training at the Fiber Craft Studio in Chestnut Ridge, NY, finishing in March 2017. 

Kate holds a BA in Archaeology from Boston University, working in the field following graduation in 1991. After traveling the lower 48 states in a small camper with Paul Betz, they settled in Central Vermont in 1995. Kate built a pottery studio and made functional stoneware while gaining vegetable farming experience on the crews of local farms. She helped Paul establish a small farm operation on an old hill farm in Woodbury. Their two children have grown up attending OV and the Montpelier Farmers Market.

Kelly Davis

Kelly Davis

Kelly Davis

On the Land Teacher

Kelly grew up in Pomfret, Vermont and earned a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont. She has spent time living and working with children, growing food, and exploring wild places in Washington, Patagonia, the Virgin Islands and across the Northeast. She has a passion for the fusion between agriculture and wilderness and in the connection between humans and their environment. Kelly is excited to dig in to her role at Orchard Valley through immersing students in their surroundings with creativity, games, exploration, nurture, and wonder. When not teaching, Kelly can be found traveling the landscape on skis, bike, canoe, or foot, working in the garden, or knitting.

Magali Harper

Magali Harper

Magali Harper

French Teacher

Magali is from Quebec City, and moved to Montpelier in 2012. She received a BA in Elementary Education in 2008 and is a certified K-6 teacher. French is her native language, having been born and raised in Quebec. Her experience teaching French was in schools where French was a 2nd, 3rd or 4th language for the students and the entire curriculum was taught in French. Magali loves working with her students at Orchard Valley Waldorf School!

Katie Trautz

Katie Trautz

Katie Trautz

Strings and Middle School Choir Teacher

Katie Trautz (www.katietrautz.com) is a native Vermont fiddler who has toured nationally and internationally sharing traditional music and original folk songs. Katie plays fiddle, guitar and banjo crossing genres with her numerous ensembles. She has studied with some of the greatest fiddle players in the US including Dirk Powell, Pete Sutherland, David Greely and Bruce Molsky. Katie has released a number of albums in the past seven years with her various bands (Mayfly, Wooden Dinosaur, Kick em Jenny, and more). Katie is the co-founder of the non-profit folk music school ‘Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture’ based in Montpelier, VT. Following her 8-year directorship at the Summit School, she became the Executive Director of Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph, VT. Following the release of her book 'American Harmony Singing: Kid Songs' in the fall of 2016, she decided to return to teaching fiddle lessons from her home in Vermont, while raising her new baby son.

Lottie Maker

Lottie Maker

Lottie Maker

Faculty, Grades

Lottie received her B.A. in Elementary Education from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina, where she taught second and third grade at an arts-based charter school. Since returning to Vermont in 2011, she has worked at a small, independent school in Montpelier.

Lottie grew up in central Vermont exploring the woods with her three brothers. Drawing inspiration from the Waldorf lifestyle, her artist mother infused the home environment with a creative spirit. Stories and song were a part of daily life. Participating in festivals at the Green Mountain Waldorf School with her family, Lottie marveled at the thoughtfulness and care expressed in the beauty and simplicity of the Waldorf classrooms. The artwork, the natural materials, and the handcrafts all evoked a sense of wonder and curiosity in her young mind. This contact with the school left a lasting impression and served as an inspiration to learn more about Waldorf education in the years since. Lottie is looking forward to pursuing Waldorf training while teaching at Orchard Valley.

When not in the classroom, Lottie loves to dig in the garden, sing in harmony, and walk in the woods with her husband and three children.

Peggy Roche

Peggy Roche

Peggy Roche

Apple Tree Kindergarten

Peggy has been in a Waldorf Early Childhood classroom since 2003. Having initially been drawn to the beauty of the Waldorf Early Childhood classroom and the artistic, soulful quality of Waldorf education, Peggy especially enjoys the laughter and joy of sharing snack time together and creating handwork with little ones. She studied fiber arts in college, earning a Master of Fine Arts, and has always believed in the gift of creating beauty for our world. Peggy has traveled extensively in West Africa, Asia and Europe. She taught preschool in South Korea and there her love of the small child was born. She and her husband Moss enjoy camping, reading, and going out to eat with their daughter, Maeve and their son, Rowan.