Faculty & Staff
Cindy Sudan, Sunflower Garden Teacher and Director of Early Childhood Programs
Cindy was born near Austin, Texas and grew up as an Air Force dependent as the oldest of six children. She lived in Spain, Missouri, Massachusetts, California and Germany. Cindy taught at the Kauai Waldorf School, Kauai, Hawaii before joining Shepherd Valley Waldorf School in 1994 when the school was just one year old.
The work with the children and parents and the rhythm in the Kindergarten is what provides fulfillment and nourishment for Cindy. She thrives on seeing children unfold and develop into the special human beings that they are.
Jamie Little, Bluebell Garden Teacher
Jamie is a Colorado native and a Waldorf graduate. She is completing her masters in Waldorf Education at Antioch New England.
She has lived in many different states and was teaching 2nd grade in South Florida at a small Waldorf School before moving back to beautiful Colorado. When Jamie is not in the classroom she is in the kitchen or the garden. She loves to write, create art, sew, drink tea, and create new kinds of pie.
Nancy Gershman, First/Second Grade 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, Third 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, Fourth/Fifth 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, Sixth 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. Stan joined Shepherd Valley in 1994 when he took a combined Third and Fourth Grade class.
He has graduated two Eighth Grades – the first half in 1999 and the second half in 2000. When he began with the First Grade in the Fall of 2000, he was beginning his second cycle as a Waldorf class teacher.
Stan has served as a Waldorf school specialized consultant on teaching combined classes. His wife, Cindy Sudan, teaches Kindergarten at Shepherd Valley. He has two children who both graduated from Shepherd Valley.
Greer Galloway, Eighth Grade Teacher
•BA: International Relations at American University in Washington, DC (literature and public school education)
•Waldorf certificate and MEd at Antioch University New England
Greer is a Colorado native, raised in the Denver area. Greer has been involved in Waldorf education since 2000 as a founding faculty member and parent of Mancos Valley Independent School, a small Waldorf school initiative outside of Durango, Colorado. Serving as a class teacher, she also taught painting, handwork, and movement classes.
In 2009, Greer and her husband, Francis, moved to the Front Range so their three sons Rhys, Aidan and Eoin could attend Shepherd Valley where they feel blessed to be a part of the wonderful community. Greer is thrilled to be teaching again.
Greer has also built a career as a freelance editor and copywriter, and enjoys spending time with her family skiing, hiking, swimming, camping, backpacking and seeking out hot springs. In her spare time, she reads, writes, knits, sews and watches beautiful sunsets.
Cristina Geck, Eurythmy
Cristina was born and raised in New York City until her family returned to Germany. There, at the age of 20, she became deeply involved with a Camphill community. She stayed at this highly idealistic, Anthroposophical based school and biodynamic farm, closely living and working with ‘Children in Need of Special Care.
Here Cristina also discovered her love of Eurythmy. She had always felt very close to nature and it was fascinating to her that this art form allowed her to express the gestures of nature and cosmos through movement. She went on to study the artistic, pedagogical and therapeutic aspects of Eurythmy in Stuttgart, Bavaria and Switzerland.
Cristina taught for eight years of in a Waldorf School in Hamburg for children with a wide range of developmental challenges. She was part of a performing Eurythmy group and she initiated and directed a number of fairy tale productions, which were performed publicly. In the summer of 2000, Cristina was ready for new challenges.
Cristina came to Boulder to teach Eurythmy at Shepherd Valley. She immediately felt drawn to her new colleagues and the school community. With all the hiking and dancing opportunities that the area has to offer, Boulder seemed an ideal place to settle down.
Wayne Ruhl, Games
Wayne grew up in Trenton, New Jersey. In college he was a member of both the swimming and tennis teams.
Wayne became the Games and Sports teacher at the Waldorf School of Princeton. He attended the Spatial Dynamics workshops offered by Jaimen McMillan and felt an immediate connection to the Waldorf community and Anthroposophy. While teaching in Princeton, Wayne took graduate courses in English, Art, and Education to further his knowledge and to fully prepare for a career in teaching.
Wayne accepted a position at a large private boarding school in Boca Raton, Florida where he taught middle school English and coached soccer, basketball, and softball. During the summers, Wayne spent his time working at residential summer camps in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
Wayne has also coached at the college level at a NCAA D-II college in Ohio as the Head Swimming Coach. His recruiting and interest in hiking and snowboarding brought him to the Boulder area and he felt a longing to experience all the seasons in Colorado. This seemed like the perfect time in his life to return to Waldorf education. Wayne is single and in his free time he hopes to explore the Front Range, state parks and museums, and root hard for the Rockies and Avalanche.
Heidi Wong, Mandarin
Heidi has worked as a Chinese-English translator, taught ESL at various levels, and served for five years as Program Coordinator at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa National Foreign Language Resource Center, where she coordinated programs for second and foreign language educators.
Heidi has been involved with Waldorf schools as a mom since 1999. Her daughters first began their academic careers at the Honolulu Waldorf School (1999-2005) and then attended Shining Mountain Waldorf School from 2005-2009.
Heidi is immensely enjoying teaching Mandarin at Shepherd Valley and is grateful to be included in this wonderful community!
Brightin Schlumpf, Violin
Brightin was born in Seattle, WA to loving and creative parents who chose her name due to the stunning brightness of the morning in June when she was born. Brightin spent her first 10 years on Vashon Island, in Puget Sound, during which time she was exposed to diverse styles of education, peaking her interest to later be involved with Shepherd Valley Waldorf School. On Vashon, Brightin started Suzuki Violin studies at the age of 6. She asked her mother if she could start violin after observing her peers play and longing to be able to join them in their music making.
Following high school, Brightin attended Cornell University, initially planning to pursue medicine, but soon realizing her calling was in music. Thus, she graduated cum laude as a music major. Brightin also ran Division I cross-country/track at Cornell her freshman year, but soon realized she needed to focus more on her academics and violin in order to be successful. She continues to run and has since completed four marathons. Brightin moved to Boston following her graduation from Cornell, where she completed her first MM in violin/viola performance at the Longy School of Music. At CU Boulder she completed a second MM in viola performance as the graduate teaching assistant to Erika Eckert, and was lucky enough to work with Erika and Geri Walther of the Takacs Quartet.
Brightin is delighted by her position at Shepherd Valley as she gets to work with wonderful children and to enlighten them on the power of music as a tool for communication, an opportunity to develop discipline, and a way to bring beauty to someone else’s life through playing.
Joanna Lynden, Choir
Joanna is a composer, choral director, pianist, organist, church musician, and music educator who has lived in Boulder since 1987. Under her 13-year artistic and musical direction, the renowned women’s a cappella vocal group, IRIS, performed extensively in the Denver metro area, toured the Southwest, and recorded three albums of mostly original music. Joanna’s career has included teaching music in the Boulder Valley School District, directing church music programs, playing in jazz, chamber, and folk ensembles, accompanying soloists, choirs, and musical theater, teaching private piano lessons, and winning several arts grants for her multi-media productions. Choirs around the country have performed some of Joanna’s choral compositions.
In addition to teaching music, Joanna has also taught outdoor education to young children at the Wild Bear School of Nature Discovery in Nederland, and elementary science classes at the ScienceWorks Hands on Museum summer camps in Ashland, Oregon.
Joanna has two sons, her pride and joy, both of whom are professional musicians in the area. She has always been an avid gardener, outdoor enthusiast, and Keeper of the Earth, and in 2011 she completed a year-long certification in herbal medicine.
Joanna is pleased to be a member of the teaching team at Shepherd Valley Waldorf, and strives to develop the choral program into a vibrant and integral part of the school, contemporary yet steeped in the traditions of the ages. She is passionate about facilitating children to experience the joy of singing together in ensemble.
Iris Kelly Candea, Afterschool and Summercamp Director
Iris Kelly Candea, joined Shepherd Valley 2006 from Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten, where she spent six years as the Aftercare Director. Iris worked a year at River Song Waldorf School.
Iris apprenticed with a Master craft teacher and brought a mediation training program to the upper grades and teachers. She worked the aftercare program for the elementary and kindergarten students, and assisted and taught in the kindergarten at Haleakala Waldorf School.
Iris has spent more than sixteen years in the classroom with children. While in Colorado Springs, she was a docent, teaching programs for school children with the Forest Service where she nourished and shared her love of environmental education.
She facilitated an art and nature based Rite of Passage program for families for fourteen years in New Mexico and Colorado. Iris brings an appreciation for parenting, as the mother of two boys.
Ruth Godberfforde, Outreach and Admissions Coordinator
Ruth Godberfforde was born in Australia and moved to Hong Kong when she was eight years old. Eight years later Ruth moved to the UK. Her exploration of the natural world led her to study the upper atmosphere at the South Pole in Antarctica;
Ruth moved to Boulder and welcomed her fantastic daughter Alexandra. A love of learning, children’s curiosity and the desire to play led Ruth to teaching. She worked as a First Grade Teacher at an Arts Integrated Magnet School in Colorado where she was integral in the marketing and outreach of this new school. Ruth discovered Waldorf Education through her daughter and has never looked back! She worked as an Assistant Early Childhood Teacher at Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten.
Ruth joined the Shepherd Valley community as our Outreach and Admissions Coordinator in 2013 and is excited to help new families discover the gem of our school here.
Matthew Mavromatis, Business Manager
Matthew was born in Montreal and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Immediately upon graduation, he married his soul-mate Wendy, honeymooned backpacking in Europe and then moved to Atlanta. Within a year his daughter Marlee was born. In 2001, after managing several corporate restaurants, Matt moved back to South Florida to own and operate Marlee’s Diner. Four years later, Stefen was welcomed into the family.
Matt and Wendy have been visiting friends in Boulder since meeting at Florida State and have always had the urge to move. However that commitment did not come until those friends moved to Niwot and their path was realized. Their family decided to sell the restaurant against all odds and make the move. As fate would have it, things fell into place despite many obstacles and they have not looked back. They have enjoyed the friendly people, the four seasons and all the great country to explore.