Faculty & Staff
Cindy Sudan, Sunflower Lead Teacher and Early Childhood Chair
Cindy was born near Austin, Texas and grew up as an Air Force dependent as the oldest of six children. Growing up, she lived in Spain, Missouri, Massachusetts, California and Germany where she graduated high school. Before joining Shepherd Valley Waldorf School in 1994, Cindy taught at the Kauai Waldorf School in Hawaii.
During her years at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School, Cindy has served as Chair for the College of Teachers and Early Childhood Faculty. She has been a representative on the Board of Trustees and a member of numerous committees. She loves working with young children and finds enjoyment in seeing them blossom and acquire the skills for their journey into the grades.
Cindy and Stan Sudan have two creative adult children who both attended Shepherd Valley Waldorf School and a local Waldorf High School.
Cindy’s interests include puppetry and crafts, hiking (she walked a 500 mile pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela across northern Spain in 2005), gardening, photography and genealogy.
Laura Kohlhaas, Sunflower Assistant Teacher
Jamie Little, Bluebell Lead Teacher
Jamie was raised in the foothills of Colorado and spent her summers on the sandy beaches and red wood forests of California. She grew up in a family of artistes, educators and cooks. Her childhood was filled with laughter, art, and adventures out of doors. She and her older sister both attended Waldorf schools growing up.
Previously Jamie worked in Public Schools, Waldorf Charter School and was joyful to return to Waldorf Education. She has traveled all over the United States, spent time in the U.K. and took a cooking class in Tuscany the summer after high school. She and her husband happily settled back in Colorado to be near their families and have been working on restoring a little farmhouse.
Annie Boyarkaro, Bluebell Assistant Teacher
Annie grew up in Colorado, and after living in Vermont for five years, returned home in 2015 to be closer to her growing family. Annie discovered Waldorf education while she was studying early childhood education and child development. Her initial exploration of Waldorf education developed into her thesis, which focused on the importance of play in child development. It also became a lifelong interest, transforming her understanding of young children, and of education itself.
She began teaching at a small Waldorf Nursery and Kindergarten in Southern Vermont, first as an assistant and aftercare teacher, and then as a lead Kindergarten teacher in her final year. After her initial experiences teaching young children in Head Start programs and public schools, she was deeply impressed by the respect given to children – not only in the reverent way they were spoken to and treated, but also in the great effort made to honor the whole child in their individual growth, within an environment that encourages self-initated learning.
After six years within Waldorf Early Childhood education, she continues to cherish the foundational ideals of protecting an unhurried childhood full of imagination and wonder, providing the young child the freedom to play and to learn actively, to explore the natural world and nourish the senses, and to be nurtured in a loving space that feels like a home. As she continues the calling as a Waldorf early educator, she appreciates the emphasis on continual self-development, the consideration of a teacher’s own inner work. In the endeavor to be worthy of imitation, she has found a wonderful incentive for personal growth. She strives to model through her presence as a teacher, and bring her best to the children and to her work each day. Annie enjoys writing, photography, and traveling.
Lisa Lombardi, Marigold Lead Teacher
Kimeri Lowell, Marigold Assistant Teacher
Heidi Burke, Lavender Lead Teacher
Heidi Burke and her twin brother were born in the United States five years after their parents and grandparents emigrated from Argentina, South America. Seeking a better life near Milwaukee, they cultivated the land, grew their own food, sewed and knitted clothing, started a shoe business in the home (grandfather was a cobbler) and took care of animals all while raising children. Heidi grew up experiencing the world as safe and good, where she was given the freedom to be a child while observing and participating in activities around the home and farm, and where there were daily opportunities for uninterrupted play in the neighborhood, garden, and out in nature. It is this rich cultural setting that instilled in Heidi a life long passion to work with children and to provide them with some of these same experiences.
Heidi recently came to Boulder with her family from a beautiful and rich farming community in Viroqua, Wisconsin where for ten years she was lead teacher in a mixed-age Waldorf Kindergarten (3-6 years old) that emphasized outdoor play, offered an all organic hot lunch program, and daily movement. Her kindergarten was modeled after the insights of Helle Heckman, founder of Nokken in Copenhagen, Denmark where children ages 1–6 spend a good part of their day outside and playing in the forest. Prior to her Waldorf experience, Heidi taught for ten years in public school kindergartens in Milwaukee’s inner city as well as in rural Door County, Wisconsin. She earned a B.A. in Early Childhood/Exceptional Educational Needs from Cardinal Stritch College and completed a Waldorf training at Sophia’s Hearth Training Center in Keene, New Hampshire, known internationally as the only professional development course program of its kind for early childhood professionals. She enjoys hiking, biking, cooking, yoga, gardening and having spent many years along the shores of Lake Michigan, any opportunity to be near or in water!
Tatyana Hope, Lavender Assistant Teacher
Tatyana was born and raised in Russia, in a small industrial town Perm. She moved to Colorado seventeen years ago to go to college. With degrees from both the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design and the Metropolitan State College of Denver, Tatyana combines her background in education with her native culture and the love for art in her work with children. For the last four years Tatyana taught Russian at Denver Waldorf School where she discovered her passion for Early Childhood Approach to Waldorf Education. In addition to her passion for teaching, Tatyana is an artist and illustrator who dreams of publishing a children’s book one day. She lives near Boulder with her husband and two children.
Natalie Martin, Early Childhood Licensing Director
Born and raised in Wyoming, moved to Colorado in 1983. Her greatest accomplishment has been to raise 3 wonderful sons, and has been blessed with the most beautiful granddaughter. Natalie has been in early childhood for over 18 years, she taught pre-kindergarten for many years in the Colorado Preschool Program. She received her Director certificate from the state of Colorado in 2005, and has had the opportunity to be a part of opening 3 different schools all with different educational curriculums and philosophies.
She was drawn to Boulder Valley Waldorf for yet another life learning experience and strongly agrees are youngest learners learn through play. In her spare time she likes to golf, hike, home improvements, scrapbook, bake, but treasures time spent with family and friends.Natalie is very excited to be a part of such a warm and welcoming community at Boulder Valley Waldorf School.
Adley Vanderhyden, First Grade Teacher
Amanda Easton, Second Grade Teacher
Amanda is a Colorado native and has been working with children for the last twenty years. She has six children of her own, two of them adopted from Liberia, West Africa. She found Waldorf through the homeschooling community. While raising her children she volunteered for several organizations including Colorado Youth at Risk, Court Appointed Special Advocates and Lutheran Family Services. She has spent several summers taking youth groups on international service trips, teaching nature camps, road trips with her children and attending meditation retreats. Her last several years were spent teaching in Denver Public Schools and a small private alternative school. She is passionate about yoga, dancing, reading, natural remedies, conscious parenting, cycling, meditation, cooking for her family and being outdoors.
Nancy Gruskay, Third and Fourth Grade (Dragonfly) Teacher
Nancy, the youngest of three children, was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Her father was a pediatrician and her mother was a kindergarten teacher. From an early age, Nancy knew that she wanted to be a teacher and by the age of 10, she was teaching younger children how to swim.
Nancy spent her junior year in Israel, living on a kibbutz and working with the kindergarten. After college, Nancy moved to Boulder and began teaching at Alaya Preschool. It was there that Nancy had her first introduction to Waldorf Education. Nancy became the kindergarten assistant at the newly formed Lake Champlain Waldorf School. In the late spring of that year, Nancy became the Fourth Grade teacher at Shining Mountain. Nancy taught at Shining Mountain over a twenty-five year period. She taught Hebrew, Math and English in the Middle School, Remedial lessons, Games and a block in the high school. Nancy also spent several years teaching English, History, Art History and Embryology at Tara
Nancy’s many interests include spending time with her family, a love of the ocean, gardening, hiking, singing and movement. She is so happy to bring her passions and love of Waldorf Education to Shepherd Valley .
Adrienne Chapman, Fifth Grade Teacher
Adrienne Chapman has been teaching in Waldorf Schools for over twenty-six years. She taught at the Detroit Waldorf School where she took a class from grades 2-8, and another class from grades 1-8 and for five years as a Middle School class teacher and subject teacher in art and math. She spent the next six years as a class teacher at Shepherd Valley. Adrienne also served on the faculty of the Waldorf Institute of the Great Lakes, offering prospective Waldorf teachers classes in art, anthroposophy, human development and the Waldorf curriculum. In addition, Adrienne has considerable experience in faculty administration: she served as Faculty Chairperson and College Chairperson at Detroit Waldorf School and at Shepherd Valley for a total of ten years. Adrienne is thrilled to be working with Second Grade this year.
Adrienne recently married and lives outside of Lyons, Colorado. Adrienne loves to swim, bike, go on backpack trips into the mountains, paint, garden, read poetry and do eurythmy. Her son, Oliver Chapman, was a Waldorf student and currently lives in Los Angeles and makes puppets for animated movies. Adrienne is looking forward to bringing her love of farming, gardening and outdoor education into the curriculum and supporting our working with the farmers on our land. She has also been studying with Dr. Adam Blanning, Nancy Blanning and Laurie Clark in “Nurturing the Roots”. This is a three year advanced course to help Waldorf educators hone their observation skills as well as to bring therapeutic work to strengthen children in kindergarten and the early grades.
Martina Simunek-Suarez, Sixth and Seventh Grade Teacher
According to Martina, her life has been a little bit as Bohemian as her name sounds. She was born in a small town in Lower Austria. Her mother's family were World War II refugees from Serbia, and since they had been uprooted, they leaned even more on their German traditions, Catholic faith and conservative beliefs. Her father was from Bohemia where there was much more liberalism and much less religion. On top of that, her father had grown up in a steel town in one of the socialist strongholds of Austria. So Martina moved back and forth between these two worlds. One might think that she ended up all confused, but she really liked it.
When Martina entered the University of Graz, she continued with a good mix of interests: starting with English and Russian, then adding Geography and eventually ending up in the Vietnam War Literature Collection at CSU in Fort Collins. There she met Julian, and while continuing to travel and work in Europe and various parts of the U.S., they started a family. They and their two boys, Markus and Matthaeus, all love the mountains. They hike, camp, fish and ski. Martina loves to read and also enjoys painting, tiling, carpentry work, electrical work, plumbing, gardening, and a bunch of other fun hands-on things, preferably with power tools. Martina was first introduced to the Waldorf philosophy years ago by her cousin, who, just like Rudolf Steiner and Martina herself, grew up in a little town in Lower Austria. After a whirlwind year back in good old Europe, teaching at the Freie Waldorfschule Wien West, Martina is back with some new ideas!
Stan Sudan, Eighth Grade Teacher
Stan Sudan has been a Waldorf elementary class teacher since 1992, after receiving his Certification as a Waldorf Teacher from Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento California.
He and his family spent two years at the Kauai Waldorf School in Hawaii where he began teaching First Grade and subsequently taught in combined classes. Stan joined Shepherd Valley in 1994 when he took a combined Third and Fourth Grade class. He has graduated four Eighth Grades from combined classes at Shepherd Valley, the first two in1999 and 2000, and the second two in 2007 and 2008. He has served nationally as a combined class consultant to Waldorf schools, and is currently in his third cycle of grades teaching.
He has served as both College and Faculty Chairperson, as well as Finance Committee and Board Representative. His specialized focus during his teaching has been on remedial and therapeutic movement and child development. He studied with Nancy Blanning in the Nurturing the Roots course, served as chair of the remedial Care Group at Shepherd Valley, and holds a certification in Family and Systemic Constellation facilitation.
His wife, Cindy Sudan, teaches Kindergarten at Shepherd Valley. He has two children who both graduated from Shepherd Valley and from Waldorf High School. He gardens, loves to take walks in nature, and frequently can be found playing with his family cat. When not writing, he has been known to present workshops on chalkboard drawing, painting and shaded drawing to schools, colleagues and friends.