Matthew is the Movement Arts Instructor at RWS. His teaching pedagogy draws from his experience with dance, physical theatre, martial arts, and mind-body work. In his artistic work he desires to establish a base for original and organic expression. He has choreographed concert dance, theater productions, site-specific works, dance on camera, and continues an ongoing practice in Capoeira Angola, Contact Improvisation, and internal martial arts. Matthew co-founded Agua Dulce Dance Theater with choreographer and dance artist Alicia Díaz. He taught, performed, and choreographed with the world-renowned dance company Pilobolus. Matthew served as Assistant Professor of Dance at Hope College (MI) for 2 years and at the University of Richmond for 6 years. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Movement Pedagogy from the Graduate Theater Program at VCU.
Roberto has been active in Waldorf Education since 1981 as a class teacher, high school teacher, adult educator, author, and lecturer. Roberto received his Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University, which he attended as a John Jay Scholar, and his Master of Arts from the University of Cambridge, England, which he attended as a Kellett Fellow.
After working as a violin-maker, Roberto taught for 10 years at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City, which he had attended as a child. He then moved to Hadley, MA, where he worked for 18 years, first as a class teacher for grades 1-8, and then as the founding teacher of Hartsbrook High School. In 2009, Roberto moved to Richmond, where he resumed class teaching at RWS.
Roberto has worked as a pedagogical consultant and has lectured and offered workshops internationally. He co-directed the part-time teacher training at the Sunbridge Institute, NY and served as the Director of the Waldorf Research Institute. Roberto was a member of the Pedagogical Section Council for 10 years, and helped with the restructuring of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.
Roberto’s written works include 18 plays for children and collections of pedagogical stories and verses. In addition to numerous articles on Waldorf Education, he edited and introduced three books: Rhythms of Learning; Teaching Language Arts in the Waldorf School; and Establishing a Circle of Collaborative Spiritual Leadership. Early in his career, Roberto became interested in science teaching, and he wrote Physics is Fun!, which was recently re-issued as Physics the Waldorf Way. Roberto’s latest book, Thy Will Be Done: The Task of the College of Teachers in Waldorf Schools, addresses the challenge of Waldorf school governance.
“A Waldorf classroom is a microcosm of the world. What better place to work through the conflicts that arise whenever individuals need to work together? What better place to become oneself and to learn to become a member of a community!”
Loretta initiated our Strings program in 2003, continuing in later years to develop our formal music classes. She enjoys facilitating the personal growth of each child through their innate musical being, singing, playing instruments, and dancing. She supports students, parents, and colleagues alike in experiencing their own inner musician and sharing community through music.
Loretta holds a Master of Music Therapy from Temple University (PA). She has pursued continuing education throughout her time at RWS, attending conferences and training with renowned Waldorf music educators from both sides of the Atlantic. As a professional violinist, she has played in orchestras throughout the country and abroad, and is former concertmaster of the Petersburg (VA) Symphony. She has found great joy singing in performing choirs, reaching back to her childhood. Her two sons have been blessed by a K-8 education at RWS.
“My greatest delight is witnessing the joy of music move and grow within the children. The beauty and depth of the music honors them and allows them to experience themselves as whole and unique individuals, while supporting them as they find common ground among their peers and community. What a wonderful way to journey in this world!”
Rae joined RWS in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art. As an artist, Rae enjoys creating a Waldorf classroom that is warm, beautiful, and encourages creative play. She has worked as a substitute in the Grades, in Aftercare, and Summergarden before choosing to focus on Early Childhood. Rae has apprenticed with Deborah Boes, participated in the school’s Waldorf study group, and studied Early Childhood education at the Sunbridge Institute.
Rachel began coordinating the high school placement for 8th graders at RWS in 2016. Her background is in college admissions and, as any parent who has gone through the placement process in the Richmond area knows, they are somewhat similar! She enjoys helping families understand their options and how to best navigate a sometimes complex system. Rachel loves seeing Waldorf graduates shine in their new settings. Along with serving as the school registrar, Rachel is also helping to coordinate the school accreditation process.
We all have values or core beliefs that are important to us, that define who we are and how we engage with the world around us. As human beings, we seek friends, leaders, jobs, and lifestyles that speak to our value system. As parents, we strive to instill strong values in our children, so that they too can grow up with a sense of purpose.
When the first Waldorf School opened a century ago, its founders sought to inspire peace, goodness, and humanity in the younger generation of a country that was bitterly divided and almost destroyed by war and suffering. Waldorf education still aspires to instill strong values in children who will grow into adults who can make a positive impact in the world.
Richmond Waldorf School’s values live in the hearts and minds of our faculty, staff, and community.
We believe that…
- Students thrive when exposed to a hands-on, integrated curriculum that is developmentally appropriate and grounded in artistic and practical work.
- Students must develop intellectual curiosity, social sensitivity, and physical stamina in order to meet their full potentials.
- Students who are exposed to world cultures through story and sensory experience will become thoughtful, clear-thinking adults who understand and take an interest in the world and its people.
- Schools must have a safe, inclusive learning environment where the interests and strengths of all students are honored and encouraged.
- Schools should awaken social responsibility, service to community, and stewardship of the earth.
- Open, clear, and direct communication is critical for maintaining a supportive and productive educational community.
- Effective teachers are committed to building long-term relationships with students, while demonstrating enthusiasm and honest striving in the world.
- Cooperation and collaboration between parents and teachers play a vital role in helping students meet their full potential.
- Strong schools rely on initiative and commitment from all members of the community.
- The human spirit has the power to invoke positive change in the world.
When the first Waldorf School opened in 1919, it pioneered a new way to educate children: one which could inspire humanity, peace, and goodness in an ever-changing and complex world. Over the last century, Waldorf Education has become the fastest growing education model across the world with more than 1,100 schools and 2,000 kindergartens in over 80 countries across the globe.
Waldorf100 arose from an international desire to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of Waldorf Education and to deepen our connection with one another through a series of projects. The festivities will culminate with an Anniversary Celebration on September 19, 2019.
One of Waldorf100’s projects is the World-Wide Postcard Exchange, where every Waldorf School around the world will send personalized postcards to every other Waldorf School by the end of 2019. These postcards, decorated by students, show the receiver something about the author’s country, school, or self. Richmond Waldorf School students have begun creating postcards and receiving them from schools across the US, Europe, Asia, and even New Zealand!
To display the network of schools, each Waldorf School will create a world map on which the cards will be visible, showing where each card came from. Our World Map has been painted in the gymnasium — stop in next time you are here to take a closer look.
Want to help us make this possible? Mailing 1,100 postcards across the world is expensive. If you would like to support us with a donation for postage, please get in touch with Pete Sokol.
Keep in touch with the Waldorf100 movement and all of the projects to celebrate the Centennial at https://www.waldorf-100.org/en/
The World Map in the RWS Gym will eventually display all the postcards we receive.
This April, Richmond Waldorf School celebrated the one-year anniversary of the purchase of our new building. With summer upon us, we are taking time to reflect, to dream, and to work. As we look back on how far we’ve come, we are inspired to dream about how far we have yet to go: to truly embody our mission as a school that provides an education that inspires peace and purpose.
Halfway through summer we can be proud of the progress we’re making: our first season of a full-fledged summer camp and early childhood program; a beautifully lazured rainbow hallway; a newly divided classroom; an inspiring Board-Faculty retreat. At every point we are encouraged by the vision and dedication of our faculty and volunteers.
On a larger scale, the Waldorf Education movement also continues to gain momentum and is actively celebrating the Centennial anniversary of Waldorf Education with ongoing projects to unite and connect the 1,100+ Waldorf Schools across the world. Stay tuned for later posts for how RWS is involved in Waldorf100 efforts.
There is much to share, so follow the blog this year for a closer look at the action and impact of Waldorf education, both here at home and across the world. We hope you will stay tuned for our journey. Until then….
Richmond Waldorf School is proud to welcome Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary to our campus on March 2 and 3 to lead our community and other interested individuals in exploring sustainable solutions to the Honeybee crisis.
The greater Richmond community has a wealth of clubs and resources for beekeepers, but the approach of the beekeepers at Spikenard Farm is unique. Gunther Hauk, the founder of the Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary, has been teaching at Waldorf Schools and working with bees for almost 40 years. He co-founded the Biodynamic Pfeiffer Center in Spring Valley, NY in 1996 and has taught at Waldorf schools in Germany and the US.
As Waldorf education celebrates 100 years in 2019, the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) has requested that Waldorf Schools celebrate next year’s important anniversary by creating gardens for pollinators and possibly having honeybees as part of our campuses. These events at RWS will help us join the nationwide Waldorf movement to support safe spaces for pollinators.
Spikenard Farm is a remarkable place which the fifth graders from RWS experienced during a fall trip there. The principles of Waldorf education, Anthroposophy, and biodynamics are at the heart of their work, and they are excited to bring their deep understanding of stewardship of the earth to the Richmond Waldorf community. The lecture and workshop are open to the public and will enhance everyone’s understanding of the honeybee while enriching our knowledge of Waldorf and Rudolf Steiner’s work.
Schedule of Events:
Friday, March 2, 7:00 – 9:00 – Lecture and Q&A led by Gunther Hauk and Alex Tuchman
$10 recommended donation
Saturday, March 3, 9:00 – 4:00 – Biodynamic Beekeeping Workshop
$45 – $60 sliding scale (payable in advance or the day of the event)
We hope you will join us. Anyone interested in participating in the lecture on March 2 or workshop on March 3 is encouraged to call Richmond Waldorf School at 804-377-8024.
Join us for Richmond Waldorf School’s Annual Spring Auction and Gala. Our festive evening celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with style while raising money to support the programming at Richmond Waldorf School. An Emerald Evening is open to the public and will be fun-filled party with:
• Music by E3Rocks
• Silent Auction
• Cash bar
Raffle – $10 per ticket
What: A five course gourmet dinner for 8, along with fine wines, poured and discussed by wine professional, Nancy Collie-Beard (WSET Level 3, Sommelier, VA, distributor for International Cellars, and Wine Whiz Kid writer).
Where: Right in the comfort of your own home!
When: Use before September 30, 2018 at a date mutually agreed upon by the winner and the chef, Deane Collie. Please allow 30 days lead time for planning and preparation.
Estimated value: over $1200
All proceeds from An Emerald Evening benefit Richmond Waldorf School, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Richmond Waldorf School provides a learning environment that promotes independent thinking, cultivates creativity, builds confidence, and develops practical skills. Our proven, holistic approach to education lays the foundation for a life full of meaning and purpose.