"May wisdom shine through me, may love grow within me, may strength penetrate me, that in me may arise a helper of humankind, a servant of sacred things selfless and true." - Rudolf Steiner
2020 - 2021 Faculty
EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM
Kelsey Huguenin – Lead Guide, Early Childhood + Early Childhood Program Director
Kelsey is our Mixed-Age Kindergarten lead teacher. She joined our Riverwood community in 2016 when she enrolled her oldest daughter in the Chickadee Kindergarten. Kelsey worked as an in-home childcare provider in the past. In the beginning of her time with us, she served as a volunteer assistant in the Chickadee class for the second half of the school year as well as home-schooled her niece for a year and a half. Her niece is now a Riverwood graduate while both daughters currently attend Riverwood. Kelsey organized and led our first week-long Summer Nature Camp in August 2017 which has continued each summer. She has completed the online courses, Home as the Model - Life is the Curriculum, Observing Young Children, Discipline with Loving Awareness, and most recently Learning in Nature with LifeWays North America, Raising Anti-Racist White Children with the Center for the Study of White American Culture, as well as Rejuvenation for Early Childhood Teachers with Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training. In the fall of 2018, she attended a Therapeutic Puppetry Workshop with Juniper Tree Puppetry that was held in Spokane. Kelsey attended the two-year Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Training program through Sound Circle Center, a WECAN-recognized certified training institute. She graduated with her Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher certificate July of 2019. She is also a WaNPA (Washington Nature Preschool Association) member. Kelsey brings much passion for Waldorf education and a can-do attitude to Riverwood while understanding the important role she holds with the children. She relishes time outdoors with her family, enjoys handwork projects, gardening, and loves to read.
Lifehas Meaning - Early Childhood Assistant + Art Instructor + Handwork Specialty Instructor
Lifehas Meaning volunteered in our Early Childhood program throughout the last school year. This year, she looks forward to assisting Ms. Kelsey in the mornings and teaching art and handwork classes to our grades’ students in the afternoons. She has lived in Washington since 1974 and raised her family in northern Stevens County. As a homeschool mom, her approach was toward integrated learning, and she taught and learned from the natural world. Her family joined with other homeschool families for group play and learning activities sometimes based on Waldorf themes. She studied Waldorf education independently and would gladly have participated in the Waldorf experience for her child had the opportunity existed.
As a textile artist inspired by Gandhi, she learned to spin and weave clothing, and this continues to be her passion. She also loves knitting and has explored felting and crochet. Visual arts appeal to her, and she enjoys painting with watercolor, pastels, and acrylics. She appreciates the way the natural world teaches and communicates to us through patterns, color, and system design. She is currently learning and practicing the art of storytelling. She has studied stories and legends from cultures around the world searching for teaching tales to help children internalize the lessons for self-growth and ethical conduct. These days, many children learn from television and movie experiences. But our ancestors learned through legends, hero stories, and the magic of fairy tales. These stories existed long before Grimm and Anderson recorded their versions of folk tales. Through teaching tales, children have the potential to learn how to become the ‘hero in their own story’.
Life has Meaning holds bachelor’s degrees in Education and Environmental Studies. Curiosity continues to guide her path, and she considers herself a lifelong student. She is a grandmother and a great grandmother, and she values having her family close. Before she had grandchildren of her own, she treated all children as if they were her grandchildren.
Jeanette Maxson - First Grade Guide + Japanese Specialty Instructor + Community Life Coach
Jeanette discovered Waldorf education in 2018 as a result of her quest for a school that would support her children in finding love and truth within themselves. After involvement at the Windsong School in Spokane, she began a self-directed educational journey in Waldorf education. Jeanette was drawn to this style of education because of its focus on the development of the whole child and a pursuit of wholehearted living.
The heart of their family brought Jeanette, her husband, and two children back to her roots. They now live on her family's beautiful multi-generational property. They wholeheartedly jumped at the opportunity to join the Riverwood community, of which the children happily attend. Nature adventures are her family's favorite pastime. Her happy place is the ocean or really any body of water. She makes a pilgrimage to the pacific ocean at least once a year and in the summer months you might find her on Lake Roosevelt with a smile on her face and a stand up paddle board under her feet. She has continued her passion for Waldorf Education by completing Jamie York’s Grades 1-3 Art of Teaching Math, SunBridge Institute Approaching Grade One, and Robyn Brown’s Curative Education Course. She feels honored to accompany the children as they journey through the 1st grade.
Jeanette lived in Japan for a couple months as an exchange student. This revelatory experience set her on her path to attend Western Washington University with a focus in Linguistics, Japanese, and Psychology. She has since returned to Japan a couple of times to visit her host family and friends of which she has remained connected. She looks forward to teaching Japanese to our middle school students.
Jeanette is an Advanced Healing Arts Practitioner and Apprenticing Soul Coach. She assists individuals of all ages, including children and families, in connecting with their soul, consciousness, and the realization that they have chosen to be here on earth. Her passion for Waldorf education and experience as an Apprenticing Soul Coach provides a unique integration of Heart, Head, and Hands. She looks forward to helping the students, families, faculty, and community of Riverwood to grow in knowledge and in spirit!
Kristina Rhodes - Fourth & Fifth Grade Guide
Kristina joined RCS in the spring of 2021 when she and her husband, Dan, enrolled
their daughter in the 4th grade class. Equipped with a varied background in teaching
and education, she gladly accepted a volunteer position in the school as a teacher aide
and was grateful for the opportunity of Waldorf education for their daughter. As well,
her interest in becoming a teacher at the school ensued as she borrowed a stack of
books from the staff library and participated in Ms. Kelsey's in-house training offered the
following summer. Volunteering as a teacher assistant in Ms. Kelsey's Chickadee class
this school year has been the true blessing of knowledge and relatable experience. The
time spent there afforded Kristina with the foundations of Waldorf education through the
eyes of the children themselves.
From a family of teachers throughout Texas who cherished their teaching livelihoods,
she always felt at home in positions of helping others. She knew her path would follow
her relatives when she landed her first gig: teaching swim lessons as a teenager. That
simple yet important teaching job led to five years of Red Cross Instructor level courses
and positions. During college at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas,
Kristina taught Lifeguard, Water Safety, and CPR/First Aid Instructor courses. In
addition, she played on the Division 1 NCAA softball team with an athletic scholarship.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1996 and continued in the field of
lifesaving and teaching lifeguards in Austin, Texas for several years which provided her
with a lifetime of fun and an experience she will keep close to her soul.
In 2003, she was accepted into a graduate teaching certificate program at the University
of Houston in Clear Lake. She lived with her mom to help her through a rough time
while attending the graduate program of her dreams: Master’s program/teaching
certification - Middle School Language Arts and Reading. Always adventurous and
athletic, she became an avid surfer during this time as her mother's home was close to
the Texas beaches. Traveling to California, Puerto Rico, and Mexico for the endless
wave, she floated the idea of living a life as a surf bum, but started a family instead, in
California. Surfing took a back seat and so did just about everything, including teaching
at a school.
Being a parent of a special needs child took first priority in all thoughts and processes
for the next 10 years. As she dove into everything Autism related to get the proper
supports and services for her child, she and her husband became advocates for other
special needs families. Together they organized support groups and events to connect
the community. A weekly "Kids Open Mic Night" for special needs families at a local
café brought families together where they shared tears of joy while their children shined
on stage for their smiling families. When an assisted living "group home" of young
adults showed up to the event, the patio was filled with love and energy so thick that the
experience changed the life of every person there. People with disabilities have value.
They are here to teach us about the miracle of life, and the responsibility that we all
need to care for one another with compassion and love.
During this time, Kristina worked at the Oceanside Unified School District as a para
educator in the Behavior Intensive Department of Special Education Services. Attending
a Special Education Law Conference, she and Dan learned how to read and interpret
laws relating to education, discrimination, and civil rights. They used their new skills to
make positive changes for the community. Gaining confidence in presenting laws to
school districts and opening doors for special needs families in the district, Kristina was
appointed as one of four parent advisors representing Oceanside at the North
Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE). The duties of this position included
providing input for future budgets of valued programs and offering solutions to provide
fair and appropriate access of these programs to all students.
Kristina and her family came to Northeast Washington five years ago to find peace and
quiet, to give their young daughter a better life, and to provide more space and calming
of the senses for their older son. She appreciates outdoor activities immensely,
exploring nature in all seasons, hiking/wandering through the woods, reading,
gardening, crafting, traveling, and being with her family.
Kris Grooms - Eighth Grade Guide
Kris began teaching at Riverwood as a substitute in 2018 and is now a full-time faculty member. She holds a B.S. in Architectural Studies and a Bachelor of Architecture, professional degree from Washington State University. She also attended the University of Nevada for one year and completed introductory music courses and learned the basic playing of instruments in the brass, woodwinds, reeds, and percussion categories. She has been playing piano since she was six years old, has taken 14 years of lessons, and has taught piano for two years. She designed and bid landscape construction for several years before beginning a nine-year homeschooling journey using Waldorf methods with her three children. In 2019, she completed a grades summer intensive at Sound Circle Center entitled Beyond Labels - Nurturing the Genius of Each Child and Building New Skills for Waldorf Teaching. In addition, she completed a Waldorf Sixth Grade Teacher Training Intensive. Both of Kris’s sons have graduated high school, and she lives with her husband and her youngest daughter who attends Riverwood, and their two cats, Louie and Marlin. Her hobbies include sewing, quilting, reading, landscape design, downhill skiing, boating, camping, hiking, and coaching soccer and basketball.
Marci Bravo - Yoga Specialty Instructor
Marci joined our faculty in 2016. She focuses on movement and mindfulness as tools to center, calm and resolve conflict. She completed her RYT-200 teaching certification at Harmony Yoga in Spokane in 2015 and has training in Prenatal Yoga from the Seattle Holistic Center as well. She has practiced various styles of yoga for more than ten years. She also completed a grades summer intensive at Sound Circle in 2019 entitled Beyond Labels - Nurturing the Genius of Each Child and Building New Skills for Waldorf Teaching. Marci has worked with children in the fields of education, childcare, and the CASA organization since 2008. She holds a M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Tulane University.
Stazya Richman – Music & Singing Specialty Instructor
Stazya has been on our faculty since 2011 and teaches singing and music to all grades. She is a conservatory trained vocalist with a B.F.A. from the State University of New York. In addition to singing at the Northwest Bach Festival for seven years, she has produced two CD’s, one a solo album of world music, and the other jazz music with her band Stazya and the Naturals. She is the vocal director for the Kettle Falls Woodland Theater and has also acted in several of the theater’s productions. She has been giving private lessons as a vocal instructor since 2004.
Photo coming soon
Mo Oliver - Violin Specialty Instructor
Mo joined our faculty in 2019, and with him he brings over 35 years of strings teaching experience to Riverwood. Mo studied the “Sukuki” Talent Education Method pedagogy and philosophy and earned his book-levels by attending SAA-approved Summer Institutes at various colleges including Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon; Western Washington University in Bellingham; and University of Montana in Missoula. His passion for music began when he received a ¾ violin for his eighth birthday, and it has never stopped. In 1983, he established studios in Chewelah, Colville, and Kettle Falls, as well as Grand Forks, B.C. There, he helped the Selkirk College start a music department where he taught from 1994 to 2000. With the late Alex Starr, a Cuban-born composer, Mo produced two CDs of original music, Midnight Cactus and Castanet, and performed at many venues throughout Washington and British Columbia between 1995 and 2004. Concurrently, he also played violin and viola in the Woodlands Orchestra in Kettle Falls and later served as its concertmaster. While living in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, he started the Celtic band Turning Tide which performed in Idaho, Washington, and Montana. With Turning Tide, Mo produced a CD, Ebb & Flo. From 2010 to 2015, Mo taught violin, viola, and guitar at Music Conservatory Sandpoint, during which he also performed as a violinist with the trio, “Triolet.” While living in Sandpoint, he was instrumental in designing the strings program at Sandpoint Waldorf School. Mo retired from MCS in 2015 to care for his mother. He currently teaches violin and guitar at Post Falls Music Academy. In addition to teaching violin and guitar, he instructs all levels of viola and ukulele students.