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. 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.
Annie Woodward, Sunflower Garden Assistant Teacher
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.
Charlotte Hansen, Bluebell Assistant Teacher
A few qualities which describe Charlotte are: connection, warmth, loyalty, play, creativity, inclusiveness, listening, and eagerness to learn and grow. Born and raised between the North and the Baltic Sea, and being a free spirit and a life long seeker, she traveled extensively, and has lived on 4 continents over the last four decades. Raising her family here in beautiful Boulder, she first got involved in Waldorf education as an active parent 25 years ago.
Professionally Charlotte has worn many hats, working with humans of all ages; from Hakomi therapist and hospice doula, to, in the last ten years, being an Early Childhood Educator. Sharing with young children is a gift to be present in each moment, to respond from an open, true heart, and, to hopefully evolve in the ‘art of loving’. What could be a greater daily practice?
Amanda Easton, First 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, Second and Third 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, Fourth 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, Fifth and Sixth 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, Seventh 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.