Home

High School

Laurent Andre
Middle School, High School Spanish, 2000
License of Natural Science, Biology, University Orsee, Paris Sud, MITCM, Acupuncture, ESL, San Francisco

Laurent is a French and Spanish native.  He studied Biology at Orsay University in France.  In addition to his teaching, he is a certified reflexologist, and licensed acupuncturist.  Laurent enjoys clowning workshops, Aikido and the outdoors. He first came to the US to run the NYC marathon with his mother, followed by a visit that lasted more than the planned two weeks.

 

Barbara Bancroft
Art Dept Chair., HS Studio Arts, Art History, History of Architecture, 7th & 8th grade studio art, 1997
BA, Fine Arts, University of Maryland; MFA, Painting and Drawing, Pratt Institute; Foundation Year & Artistic Year, Rudolf Steiner College, 4 years Illuminism Workshop in Anthroposhical Painting, Certificate (with Leszeck Forczek)

Of the many opportunities Barb has chased down in her life, fine art and Waldorf Education have so far stuck the longest. Born in New Jersey, she wandered off to pursue various majors in various colleges and various other things, until finally being introduced to Anthroposophy as a twenty-one-year old by her childhood babysitter’s father, Martin Keimling. She put an ad in the Village Voice, found a driver to split the gas and pointed her Volvo 122S to California, where she promptly lost her dog in Lake Tahoe near the ski-cabin of her husband-to-be. John found the dog and his future wife a few weeks later, and lent his live-in laundry truck to Barb for a roof over her head while she renovated the old goat barn she’d call home for the next two years while studying at the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks.

Barb did end up finishing college and went on to teach art at the Garden City Waldorf School for four years before moving to Brooklyn to get her MFA from Pratt. She and John got married, renovated the old Hyattsville Victorian they still call home and had a couple kids, who are now off to college. Barb has taught art at many area colleges as an adjunct instructor, and directed the Visual Arts Program at Strathmore Hall for several years before becoming curator of the Maryland Collection at UMD University College. She’s chaired the Art Dept. at Washington Waldorf since 1999 (what!?) when her children began attending school here. Two years ago Barb built another barn where she currently maintains an active mural and fiber arts studio.

Cullen Brownson

High School Mathematics, 2014

BA in Mathematics and Education, Bowdoin College. Cullen has taught middle school and high school mathematics in Maine as part of his undergraduate coursework. He has also taught high school math in a summer program at Brown University and worked as a camp counselor in Michigan. He grew i[ om Ohio and spent many summers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan exploring nature and adventuring with his family. He enjoys sports, the culinary arts, and delving into an engrossing book. He is excited to be exploring the DC area with his wife Sara, and is thrilled to be part of the WWS community.

Susan Elfstrom  
HS Biology, Chemistry, Geology, 1995
BA, Religious Studies and Biology, Vanderbilt University; Science Teaching focus year, Georgia State University; MEd, Environmental Education specialization, University of Georgia

Susan's abiding interest in biology-sorts-of things started early. Growing up with acres to roam, a father who was a small town doctor, and an aunt who was a CDC bacteriologist, she found everything botanical, anatomical, and microbiological fascinating. She has spent a few years and many vacations in rural Sweden and is sort-of-fluent in Swedish, if you don't count spelling. In Sweden she first met Waldorf education and considers herself profoundly lucky to be teaching in a dynamic Waldorf high school. When she isn't grading papers, washing test tubes or planning class trips, she enjoys gardening, hiking, canoeing, having her 3 grown children home.

Frank Hall
HS English, History, 1984
BA, English Education, North Carolina State University; MA, English Language and Literature, North Carolina State University; Diploma, Waldorf Education, Waldorf Institute of Mercy College of Detroit

Frank is an amateur magician. His special magic act is making milk vanish in a large vase. He also does magic with decks of cards, but no fortune telling. Frank is an amateur astronomer, with naked eye as well as telescope and believes strongly that the four moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn are must sees.  He writes poetry of different styles and contents, including haiku and sonnets. Some of Franks poems have been read at special school events over the years. Finally, tennis is his sport of choice-- the ball usually finds its way into the court.

Valerie LeBlanc
HS Chair, HS English, Library, 1995
BA, English Literature, history minor; Certified teacher for grades 7–12 in English and social studies, Michigan State University; Additional graduate work in English Literature, SUNY, Cortland; Certification in Waldorf Remedial Training, Association for Healing Education






Taisto Saloma

Athletic Director, HS Humanities, 2003
BA History, Guilford College, concentration in sports studies

After graduating from Guilford College in 1998, Taisto became a professional golfer. He worked at Indian Spring CC and Columbia CC as a teaching professional and he played professionally for four years. Taisto left the golf world in 2002 to pursue a career in high school teaching and coaching. He became the varsity basketball coach for WWS for both the boys and girls in the 2002-2003 season. Taisto began teaching America History at WWS in 2003, along with become the school’s Athletic Director. His interests include politics, sports, exercise and animals, particularly dogs. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Abby, and his friends.

Gary Skowronski
HS Math, Chemistry, and Technology, 2011

B.S. Chemistry and Chemical Physics, Michigan State University M.S. Organic Chemistry, Central Michigan University Additional graduate work in Organic Chemistry, University of Maryland

Gary has had a passion for the sciences from an early age, always wanting to know how nature works. He fondly remembers the cheap microscope he received as a present one year, and how it ignited his innate curiosity. He spent his formative years in Michigan and moved to Maryland in 2008, where he was surprised to learn that many people do not know how to change oil or bait a hook. When not contemplating the latest findings in the scientific communities, he can likely be found playing Scrabble, ice hockey, or Nintendo, or hacking away at the next great American novel.

Max Urmey
HS Physics and Math, 2012

BA Physics, Amherst College; Waldorf Teacher Training in progress, Center for Anthroposophy.

Max has always been interested in the human mind, and the importance of education. In college, physics interested Max as humanity's most comprehensive attempt to understand reality. After graduating, he lived in Spain for a year to learn Spanish and teach English, working with nursery school children. Upon his return he continued both newfound passions, language and teaching: he taught the laboratory sections of the introductory physics classes at Amherst College, and took linguistics and foreign language classes. Having learned a language through immersion has deeply influenced his views on how people learn. He began his Waldorf Teacher Training program in 2012, and found deep parallels between this educational philosophy and his own personal experience learning and teaching.

Max enjoys the outdoors, travelling, running, biking, hiking, climbing and spending time with his friends, as well working with his hands, from cooking to drawing and painting; from growing plants to carpentry. In addition to physics and math, he also enjoys the field of linguistics.

See Also

Specialty Teachers