Waldorf Institute of Southern California 

WISC Student Biographies, Los Angeles Campus Following are biographical sketches and resumés of WISC Los Angeles students who are working toward graduation this year.

This page may be especially helpful to Waldorf schools looking for qualified potential teachers to hire in the near future.
For inquiries, e-mail: office@waldorfteaching.org

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Brooke Anderson Brooke Anderson: Born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley, I have already spent more than half of my life living in the Santa Barbara area. I obtained a BS in Geological Sciences from UCSB and was enrolled in a teaching credential program at Chapman University, with the intention of becoming a junior high or high school science teacher. After briefly working in a public school as a teaching assistant and then becoming acquainted with Waldorf education through my children, I realized that I could not happily teach in the public sector.

After I had become a mother, I was introduced to Waldorf education by another mother who encouraged me to enroll my two-year-old in the parent-toddler class. The sense of reverence, warmth, and deep connection to the natural world and its rhythms are what initially drew me in. I was blessed to be able to stay home with my two sons for three years, and then worked a couple of jobs for two years, including kindergarten assistant teacher at the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara, while beginning teacher education at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California. My two sons are now in fifth and second grade at the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara.

Currently in my last year of Waldorf teacher education, I have already begun the journey through the grades with my own first grade class at the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara! I feel grateful to have found such rich and meaningful work in teaching within the Waldorf movement, which will allow me to continually grow and learn and expand my creative capacities. When not working or studying, I enjoy playing with my two sons in the creeks and canyons around our home or on the beach, taking long walks, silently sitting in forests, dancing, creating beautiful things with a variety of materials and media, and reading.

brookelorraine@gmail.com   |   805-680-1491

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Laura Cabral My name is Laura Marina Cabral. I was born and raised in Mexico. I came to the United States 16 years ago and what was meant to be a quick visit turned out to be the beginning of the most exciting journey. Since I was a child I enjoyed taking care of younger children and dreamt about becoming a teacher. Today I am delighted to have two children of my own, a lovely 7-year-old boy and a joyful 18-month-old toddler girl.

I have over 13 years of experience guiding young children in different settings, but the most fulfilling have been the last five in a Waldorf setting. I hold a California teaching credential at a Site Supervisor level and will be completing a Bachelor Degree in Human Development with Specialization in Early Childhood in Fall 2016.

Currently, I work at Pasadena Waldorf School as a preschool teacher assistant and nap teacher. My interest in Waldorf education was awakened one day when I was walking by PWS with my son. When I found out that they were hiring a teacher assistant I did not hesitate to send my resume and was contacted and hired a couple days later.

I love working with young children because I am a very spiritual person and through young children I feel connected to the spiritual world. I also feel the instinct of protecting young children and supporting them in their incarnating process. In addition, I enjoy teaching and learning from children and I know the importance of being a good role model to them. I feel blessed to be a WISC student, not only for the opportunity to learn about Waldorf philosophy, but also to be able to connect with the WISC teachers and students. My goal for the future is to become a Waldorf Early Childhood Lead Teacher.

lauramarinac@sbcglogal.net   |   626-394-6110

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Anjani Madhure Anjani Madhure: Since February 2014, I have had the privilege of serving as the preschool lead teacher at the City School. I find great joy in working with the children and their families as they experience the beautiful, wonder-filled years of early childhood.

After graduating from the University of Southern California, and while earning my teaching credential, I began teaching in LAUSD [Los Angeles Unified School District]. First, I was a classroom teacher, primarily with first grade, and then I became a teacher advisor for the LAUSD Nutrition Network. After almost nine years with LAUSD, I took some time off from teaching when my eldest child was born.

When my son was just an infant, I discovered the teachings of Magda Gerber and RIE [Resources for Infant Educarers] which not only greatly influenced my parenting, but the way I thought about interacting with all children, treating them with respect and giving them the space and freedom to grow and thrive. Later, I was introduced to Waldorf education when my son and I joined a Parent-Toddler class at the Pasadena Waldorf School. Here I began to learn about Steiner’s view of child development, and over the last few years, and as I continue my education through WISC, I truly appreciate how the anthroposophical view of the developing human being addresses all aspects of the child - body, soul and spirit - and how Waldorf education strives to meet the child just where they are on that path of becoming a member of humanity.

anjanimadhure@yahoo.com   |   213-718-9625

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Robin Schulz Robin Schulz: As a teacher I strive to bring inspiration and beauty to every student! I want to light a fire for learning! And so naturally I fell in love with Waldorf . . . I graduated from USC with a BA in Psychology (GPA of 3.9)!

For the past 12 years, I have been working with children in the community, teaching private classes based on the principles of Waldorf education. These classes include: The Sacred Art of Writing, The Secret Life of Plants, Math Magic, and many versions of history through mythology. (In 2015, we were the first homeschooling group to be accepted in the Southern California Pentathlon!) I also help homeschooling families plan their yearly curriculum, and provide tutoring and support.

I now look forward to a chance to lead a class through eight years - to experience their growth, to inspire and to learn with them!

r.schulz@att.net   |   818-383-8903

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Danika Von Gesjen Danika Von Gesjen: I grew up in the Castro [district] of San Francisco but I lived in my imagination. My mom worked hard to send me, her dreamy kid, to the Waldorf School. At Waldorf school I flourished in the warm environment and my education was fulfilled in the rich stories. After high school I went onto the University of Michigan to study gritty poetry and pottery. Not too much time passed before I ended up in the film industry as a set decorator. This in turn brought me to Hollywood with the stars and bright lights.

When I became pregnant with my first child I came to the, "What do I do with my life now?" moment in my story. I wanted a career where I could still be creative but also be a part of my son’s life. In thinking about my son's future education and through a bit of serendipity I heard about WISC. When I joined I began an entirely new journey while lifting the curtains to what was behind my own education.

Every Saturday when I go to WISC I feel a deep relaxing breath, and fulfilled in my life’s projection. I feel part of something meaningful.

In the future I hope to become a class teacher, while also toying with ideas of incorporating Waldorf philosophy in a nature immersion camp. And this is where I must leave you with an ellipsis... as my past meets the present.

danikashanti@gmail.com   |   214-499-2380

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Brenan Yack Brenan Yack: I like to say that I’m not just a 3rd year, graduating WISC student, but that I’m a 15 year, forever Waldorf student. I am a Waldorf "Lifer" who attended Highland Hall Waldorf School for 12 years.

In December 2015, I graduated magna cum laude from California State University, Northridge, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies, with a minor in Religious Studies and a second minor in Theater. I graduated with the highest GPA of all the graduating Interdisciplinary Studies Fall 2015 students in my Liberal Studies program. CSUN was a wonderful experience for me, and there I realized that my Waldorf education inspired a deep love of learning and the constant pursuit of knowledge within me. As a post grad, I have been a volunteer teaching assistant for my favorite Religious Studies professor at CSUN. For the future, I am interested in attending graduate school to earn a Master's and/or PhD in Religious Studies.

Being a part of the WISC program has allowed me to gain insight and an even greater respect for the education I received at Highland Hall. It showed me why my teachers taught me everything they did, how they did it, and just how much my experience in a Waldorf school made me into the person I am today. Having a Waldorf education was, and is, the greatest gift my amazing parents have ever given me. A dream and goal of mine is to make Waldorf education accessible to as many children as possible, because I truly believe that every child deserves to be seen, understood, accepted, and educated to the very depths of their soul. Until then, I’m hopeful that I will teach, or assistant teach, in the grades or even in high school, with my shiny, new Waldorf certification.

brenansuzanne.yack@gmail.com   |   818-217-9716

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