Faculty & Staff
Lisa J. McCarthy
Dean of Education
Lisa J. Mc Carthy has been a Waldorf Educator for over 20 years. Although she loved being in the classroom, she is now extremely honored and excited to be in this role working with teachers, students, parents, administration, the Board and the community. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Kent at Canterbury England and a BA in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine. She taught at the Waldorf School of Orange County, starting as an Early Childhood Education teacher and then focusing on teaching English in Grades 3 – 8. Lisa then founded Maple Cottage Retreat (Waldorf-inspired parent/toddler class) and taught this program out of her home for six years before co-founding Maple Village Waldorf School. Her training includes Foundation Studies, EC and Grades curriculum, and many workshops through WSOC and WISC over the years. Lisa is passionate about parent education and continues to lead classes for MVWS families and the community. She also puts great importance on having strong connections with students and will stop everything to help a child through a hard day. Lisa loves to run, sing and write. She and her husband, Chip, live in Long Beach and raise their three boys in a Waldorf-inspired home where they grow food, create art and music, build, tell stories and dream.
Grade 1 Teacher
Peggy Reilly’s history begins overseas where she was born to parents serving the United States Foreign Service in Viet Nam, Thailand, and Morocco. Her family returned to the US permanently and from ages six to eighteen, she lived in the Washington, DC suburb of McLean, Virginia. She moved to Los Angeles to attend California Institute of the Arts where she received a BFA in Dance. It was in the final semesters there that she discovered a strength and ease with stage management. She parlayed those production management skills into employment in the interior design and film production industries here in LA.
In time she transitioned away from production work to raise three children, teaching dance part-time during her children’s early years of school. When her daughters and son completed high school, she went back to college earning a California Multiple Subject Credential from California State University Bakersfield. She found Waldorf education soon after completing her credentialing coursework, a discovery that brought her to Pasadena Waldorf School in Altadena, California where she took stewardship of the first-grade class in 2008.
In parallel, she completed her Waldorf teacher training and received a certificate from the Waldorf Institute of Southern California in 2010. She shepherded the class through graduation after eighth grade in 2016. She enjoyed a one year sabbatical following her service to PWS, which concluded in June 2017. Soon she connected with the founders of Threefold Village in Sunland, California and served that homeschooling community for one year as the Inspire Charter School teacher-facilitator and Waldorf main lesson teacher for a group of students in grades three, four, and five.
Her heart, mind, and hands were drawn back to the work of the Waldorf class teacher. Thankfully, she and Maple Village found each other at an important moment in their histories. She is so pleased to begin this journey with the first graders and their families, with her new and former colleagues, and with the greater community at Maple Village School.
Grade 2 Teacher
Born in Long Beach and raised in San Pedro, California, Katy always knew she wanted to be a teacher. She holds a BA degree in Liberal Studies and a California teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach. After accidentally stumbling upon Waldorf education, Katy began teaching at Ocean Charter School, and completed her Waldorf certification in 2015 at Rudolf Steiner College. She took a class from first through fifth grades, with the loving support and mentorship of Paola Schouten. Katy grew up in a very musical and artistic family, and in her free time, she enjoys traveling, camping, gardening, Polynesian dancing, and cooking.
Grade 3 Teacher
Born, raised and educated in the Netherlands, Paola was exposed to the Waldorf Festivals since childhood, which ignited her interest in Waldorf Education. After High School, she studied at the Vrije Pedagogische Academy (Steiner Teacher Training College) in Zeist, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. She then moved to the US and began her career as a Waldorf teacher in Pasadena.
Over the past 30 years she has contributed to the growth of many schools. She has carried two classes all the way through the grades and finished various classes through eighth grade.
Paola likes to travel, camp, hike, read and make jewelry. She plays guitar, writes songs and enjoys singing. She also has a great appreciation for nutrition and cooking.
Grade 4 Teacher
Basil Hernandez was part of the first graduating class at the Chicago Waldorf School and went on to get his BA in Biology from California State University of Long Beach. He was an Emergency Medical Technician before realizing his destiny as a Waldorf teacher and completing his Waldorf Teacher Training at The Waldorf Institute of Southern California. Basil did his practicum at Maple Village, and he began his teaching at our school in the Kindergarten.
Grade 5 Teacher
Kimberly L. Raine was born in Hollywood, CA and raised in Orange County. Kimberly began her teaching interest early on with babysitting at 9 years old and running her own craft camps at 12 years of age. She studied Early Childhood Education and graduated from Rudolf Steiner College. Kimberly taught at the Waldorf School of Orange County from 1995-2007 (where her two sons graduated). During those years she taught kindergarten and grades 1, 2 and 3. She then went on to teach kindergarten at Westside Waldorf School for 6 years. She developed and taught Parent-Child classes in Culver City for 2 years and help support the Waldorf initiative in Redondo Beach, Seeds of Joy Village. She also was brave enough to take the leap and start her joint business Red Rose Co. with Ms. Annette Parry, offering after school programs and seasonal camps to the wider communities. In her spare time Kimberly LOVES to read, paint and teach healing arts classes in her home.
Grades 6-8 Teacher
Ania Kubik is a Waldorf-trained class teacher whose specialties are arts and handwork, and whose special interest is in movement. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and a Waldorf Completion Certificate from the Waldorf Institute of Southern California (WISC) in Northridge, California. Ania has taught grades one through five as a class teacher and grades one through eight as a handwork teacher at the Pasadena Waldorf School, and grades five through twelve as an art specialist at the Waldorf School of Orange County. In addition to class teaching the Shady Trees combined class at Maple Village, she also enjoys contributing to Waldorf teacher education in handwork, drawing, clay modeling and painting at WISC, and clay modeling in the adult education program at the Waldorf School of Orange County. Born and raised in Syracuse, New York, and a former resident of the state of Virginia, she lives in Arcadia with her husband, Bill, and her teenage daughter, Tierra. Ania enjoys sharing the richness of the Waldorf grades curriculum with her class families, self-governance of Maple Village Waldorf School with her colleagues, and participating in the community life of the school.
Sunflower Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Charlotte Guest serves as Maple Village’s Sunflower Kindergarten teacher. She fell love with Waldorf education the moment she first stepped into a kindergarten class and knew this was her work she was meant to do. She chose to attend Emerson College, a Waldorf training center in England after high school, where she completed a year-long orientation program focused on anthroposophical studies. She then earned her B.A. in Early Childhood Education at Naropa University in Colorado, were she focused her studies in Waldorf Education. After teaching at a Waldorf inspired preschool, Charlotte and her husband relocated to her hometown of Encinitas, California, where she began working at the Sanderling Waldorf School. She served as a kindergarten assistant and director/lead teacher of both Sanderling’s aftercare program and summer camps for five years. This is her fifth year with Maple Village Waldorf School. When she is not teaching she enjoys spending time with friends and family, cooking, crafting, and exploring Long Beach.
Larkspur Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Kathleen Rinden has been a Waldorf kindergarten teacher for 20 years. It is her passion to bring Waldorf principle and values everywhere, not just in Waldorf settings. In 2016 she expanded her focus to include parent coaching, consulting, and home visits to support the creation of organized spaces for families and children as well as leading storytelling workshops for parents and teachers.
With her background in Child Development and Family and Child Therapy, she has the opportunity to work in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, family homes, counseling centers, and clinics. Lately, she has felt especially drawn to the art of storytelling and writing. She is delighted to be at Maple Village and to work with the Larkspur Class.
Sunflower Kindergarten Assistant & Extended Care Teacher
Jewel Nicholson earned her Bachelor’s degree in studio art from California State University of Long Beach in 2013 and has held various administrative and managerial positions since then, while continuously working to grow as a conceptual artist. Her experience as a guide and educator started in her early teens when she began working as a pre-school teacher’s assistant at a nearby daycare. Over the past 10 years she has worked as a tutor as well as an after-school care provider. Her drive to unify her passionate, healing qualities as an artist with her strong, insightful gifts as a leader has culminated at Maple Village. Waldorf education inspires her in its goal to create environments wherein children are encouraged to follow their life’s journey and think for themselves with confidence. In turn, she believes her life’s journey is to connect with and engage in enlightening dialogue, particularly through creative processes. She is excited to be on her journey and welcomes what the future holds.
Larkspur Kindergarten Assistant & Extended Care Teacher
Before becoming the Larkspur assistant teacher, Lori Lochmiller had been our Parent/Toddler assistant for two years and had been substituting in our Preschool and Kindergarten classes. She has been volunteering in the Parent Village since 2012 when her daughters Maddy and Tessa began attending Maple Village. Lori recently completed Foundation Studies at the Waldorf School of Orange County and plans to continue with Waldorf Teacher Training. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at The University of Delaware and has worked as a School Nurse in an elementary school where she fell in love with teaching children. When Lori is not at school, she enjoys being out in nature, yoga, handwork, great works of fiction and dancing. She is honored to share her enthusiasm for Waldorf education with students from Preschool to Grade 8.
Sweet Pea Preschool Lead Teacher
After working as a Kindergarten assistant for several years, Victoria Seaborn became the Sweet Pea Preschool Lead Teacher at Maple Village. Victoria believes these hours with children are very special and offer an opportunity to hold space for the children while they grow their friendships, process the class happenings earlier in the day, and assist in their ideas having support. She is studying with Waldorf Institute of Southern California in San Diego as a 4th year student. Creative, Wellness Arts and Peace Education are a lifelong focus for Victoria, she is the Founder of Creative Energies Worldview. Experience and education with children before beginning Waldorf Education includes 25+ as a Director/Teacher and 6 of these years as a contributing City and State Board member in the Parent Participation School Movement. She studied Psychology and Child Development with CSU Northridge, including designing a special program with persons who require special learning assistance.
Poppy Preschool Lead Teacher
Mele McCabe earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Cal State University of Long Beach. Prior to that, she taught high school English in Tonga for six years and taught Tongan language to Peace Corps volunteers for three years. After three years working as assistant preschool teacher at Maple Village, she is now in her fourth year as the lead teacher of the Poppy Preschool class. She has three children and enjoys watching them grow. Her hobbies are reading, landscaping her home, having tea with her friends and neighbors, listening to music, and walking.
Sweet Pea & Poppy Class Preschool Assistant
Nicol Michael Kelley is passionate about providing learning experiences for the developing child. For many years Nicol has facilitated children’s areas at special community events and festivals. She is currently earning her Early Childhood Education units and is also enrolled in Teacher Training with the Waldorf Institute of Southern California. Additionally, Nicol is a certified Labor Doula and a trained level 2 Reiki practitioner. Assisting in the Preschool Classroom and leading Grades Aftercare has led her to discover more than just a life path, but truly a life calling, a call to action and a call to healing.
Games Teacher & Grades Extended Care
Ciana Lee has actively sought being part of educational and creative environments from the beginning. As the eldest of five, a dancer, an active musician, visual artist, writer and educator she seeks to engage and nurture others to express their freedom and confidence. Spending her high school summers as a camp counselor triggered her passion to guide children and peers to their greatest potential with a sense of fun and imagination. Throughout her education at Ventura Community College she volunteered as an art director with City Corps and facilitated community service engagement for troubled youth. While earning her degree in Art Education from California State University of Long Beach, she gained classroom experience with all ages of students in various Long Beach programs. Ciana is honored to be back at Maple Village Waldorf School for her fourth year.
Francesca Delfin Preponis
Me & My Baby Teacher, Parent/Toddler Lead Teacher & Chorus Teacher
Francesca Delfin Preponis began her journey with Waldorf education when her first child, Elias, was one year old. Through her experiences at MVWS she has become passionate about handwork. Along with her partner, Kari Rahni, Francesca makes and sells needle felted art pieces with their business, Mirth Designs. Francesca is a musician by trade, holding Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees both in music. She owns and developed DoReWee Music, offering Waldorf-inspired music classes to young children. Passionate about beauty in all its forms, Francesca loves to sing, dance, loves making things with her hands and being surrounded by nature. She has two children at MVWS: Elias, now in 3rd grade, and Sophia in Kindergarten. Francesca feels honored to lead the middle school students in chorus lessons as well as teaching the four MVWS Parent/Toddler classes.
Parent/Toddler Assistant Teacher & Morning Care Teacher
Freshly graduated from California State University Long Beach with a Liberal Studies major and emphasis in Early Childhood Education Alyssa Bishop is so excited to further her growth as an educator with Maple Village. Alyssa received a 200 Hour Yoga Certification through Long Beach School of Yoga in 2015. Since then she has been sharing her practice with a wide range of students. Alyssa offers a free kids yoga class every last Saturday of the month alongside the adult Free Yoga on the Beach hosted daily in Long Beach. She has led an inclusive yoga class with the Friendship Foundation since 2016. Through this experience she fell in love with guiding students with disabilities into deeper connections to their mind, body and spirit. Alyssa is fascinated with the cyclical aspects of gardening and bases her practice off the cycles of the moon. Planting seeds from food at the new moon and watching life appear. She loves sharing about DIY composting methods as it heals the soil, but also cultivates a lifestyle of returning all that is used back to the earth. Alyssa is drawn to the circle and connects with it as she dances with hoops or when she plays the sound bowl and frame drum. Believer in learning as a lifestyle Alyssa is ready for the infinite growth she will receive learning from her mentors, peers and students.
Iris was born and raised in Argentina. In 1968 she became a school teacher and in 1974 she completed her studies as a professor of Piano and Theory. In 1985 she discovered the Waldorf philosophy and began teaching Spanish at Highland Hall Waldorf school and throughout the Los Angeles County. After doing that for seven years, Iris returned to Argentina and opened a children’s program that focused on music and arts and crafts as well as teaching music at several schools. In 2001 she returned to California and to the Waldorf schools and has since been engaged in using music to teach Spanish to children and adults in various settings, from private classes to public and private schools in Orange County. Iris enjoys reading, crafting and knitting and her passions are her 3 grandchildren.
Games Mentor & Middle School Athletic Events
Annette Parry hails from Northern England, born and raised in the village of Salford, Manchester. She was the youngest of four children. As a child, Annette loved to play sports. She swam and played footy (soccer) and field hockey professionally. Annette was in the Royal Navy for fourteen years as a driver and often having most the royal family for passengers, she also worked in the intelligence department. She came to the U.S. through her coaching and started her own coaching company, Soccer2day. Annette stumbled upon Waldorf Education after a neighbor insisted she was a Waldorf teacher. She has taught Games & Movement at two Waldorf schools, the Waldorf School of Orange County and Westside Waldorf School for more than fifteen years, and furthered her education in Spacial Dynamics & Bothmer Gymnastic with other various Waldorf courses. She is a leader within the Southern California Movement Teachers, evaluating, mentoring and hosting the Pentathlon, Medieval and Track & Field middle school events. Annette has a healthy, playful approach to movement, helping the child become more confident whilst seeking an enthusiasm to learn, play and move more.
Anna Adkisson is a freelance violinist and has had an active private teaching studio in Long Beach for over 30 years. She has a music degree from California State University Long Beach and has played in several orchestras including Pacific Symphony, Asian American Symphony and Glendale Symphony. Anna has been fortunate to play on several movie soundtracks and with many celebrities. She joined Maple Village Waldorf School four years ago and loves teaching here.
Ririko Oshiro was born and raised in Okinawa, Japan. She earned her BA in communications at Regis College in Massachusetts, and her MA in Asian American Study at San Francisco State University. She is currently in the last year of the teacher training program at Waldorf Institute of Southern California (WISC). While being in the training, she taught Japanese Language to Grade 1 to 5 at Waldorf School of Orange County from 2016 to 2018. She joined Maple Village Waldorf School as a parent in 2010 when her son, Aaron, now a 7th grader, started going to the kindergarten here. A few years later, her daughter, Yui, a first grader, joined. Her study of anthroposophy led her develop a passion for working for children with the Waldorf curriculum. She is grateful and excited for the continuing journey to teach handwork here at MVWS!
Larry Tong was born in Hong Kong and raised in Los Angeles. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southern California. He then had a 28 year career in the aerospace industry designing and building structures for airplanes and satellites. He first learned about Waldorf Education when his son Aaron was enrolled in a Japanese Waldorf Preschool back in 2008. Since then he has learned to appreciate the richness of what Waldorf Education can provide to children. At that same time, he also discover the joy of woodworking, his first project was a set of wooden playstands for Aaron. Waldorf and woodworking seems go hand in hand and Larry used his love for both to design and build a set of “Movable Benches” for Aaron’s first grade class. Six years later, Larry continues to increase his knowledge of Waldorf Education and woodworking. Earlier this year, he completed a course in wood sculpting and joinery using hand tools. He also completed the hard craft portion of the Module 1 Waldorf Practical Arts Training. Larry is grateful for this opportunity to share his knowledge & passion for woodworking here at Maple Village.
Sebastien Dupuis grew up in St-Jerome, QC, Canada. He discovered Anthroposophy at age 19 through a philosophy teacher in college. While seeking other souls passionate for Rudolf Steiner’s work he established an anthroposophical youth group in Montreal and organized several youth conferences. After studying philosophy and psychology at University of Quebec in Montreal he moved to California to study Goethean science with Dennis Klocek and Biodynamic Agriculture at Rudolf Steiner College. He completed his eurythmy training in 2005 at The American Eurythmy School under the guidance of Karen and Michael McPherson. Since graduating, Sebastien has been working in community, Biodynamic gardening, teaching, and performing eurythmy.
Morning Care Teacher
Drew Wall is a local yoga teacher, activist and pastor. He’s here to learn about being human and help out.
Admissions & Enrollment Coordinator
Originally from Massachusetts, Alice Stevens moved out west in 2005 to attend Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. After graduating from Pitzer in 2009 with her B.A. in Media Studies, Alice learned about Waldorf education and was instantly drawn to it. She immediately jumped into Waldorf teacher training, enrolling at Sunbridge Institute in Spring Valley, NY in June 2010. After her first summer in teacher training, Alice moved to Olympia, WA to work as an aftercare teacher and substitute teacher at Olympia Waldorf School. Drawn by a desire to work at a small, pioneering Waldorf school, Alice then moved back down to southern California and in August 2011 began working at Maple Village Waldorf School as the Administrative Assistant. She completed her certificate in Waldorf Elementary Education at Sunbridge in July 2012, and then returned the following summer for a course in Collaborative Leadership. Alice loves working in administration and is now in her eighth year at Maple Village as Admissions & Enrollment Coordinator.
Communications & Outreach Coordinator
Kari Rahni was introduced to Waldorf education in 2010 when she joined a Waldorf inspired nursery play group with her first child. In 2011 she found Maple Village and started the Parent Toddler program. She is passionate about the Waldorf philosophy and approach to education and is particularly passionate about Maple Village Waldorf School. From the very beginning she felt the “heart” of this school and she has brought her various experience and skills to nearly every volunteer committee to help support that “heart”.
One of her biggest volunteer commitments has been Chair Person for the school’s annual Harvest Faire. Along with her team of committed parent volunteers and a marketing campaign that included marketing videos, print and social media ads, press releases, development of a dedicated microsite and community outreach, she exceeded the set goal of increased attendance and brought name recognition and potential families to the school.
Kari has a Fashion Design background and has worked for major companies as well as start-ups. She found working with new companies the most rewarding. By being involved in every aspect of designing and producing a line, building a brand and marketing it, she developed her entrepreneurial desire and skills.
After becoming a mother, however, her design interest shifted to baby needs. She designed and patented a baby carrier and started her first business, bibiJun. As she was introduced to Waldorf and its handwork, she was particularly drawn to needle felting, as it allowed her to reconnect with her artistic side. She teamed up with fellow parent, and now MVWS teacher, Francesca Preponis to created needle felted artwork and started her 2nd business, Mirth Designs.
Through her own businesses she has learned how to brand oneself to attract and keep the perfect customers. She is eager to use this knowledge and leverage her design background to create stunning social and branded graphics, webpages and printed materials and to create a plan that will bring our blossoming school into full bloom.
Pam Villano serves on the Board of Trustees and has served on many committees during her years at Maple Village. Originally from Tennessee, she was raised by a single mom and moved to the west coast when she was a young child. Here she learned to love being near the water, appreciate the great climate and met life long friends.
Pam attended California State University of Long Beach and earned a Bachelors of Art in Geography. She has an adult daughter who lives locally and a current second grade daughter at MVWS. Before becoming a stay at home mom, she spent nineteen and a half years with The Home Depot. Her experience in all aspects of a retail environment are extensive. Her job duties span from Assistant Store Manager at the highest grossing store in the company to many years in the Human Resources departments. She worked at more than ten different stores over her years of service with the company.
She currently runs the food bank at Emanuel Presbyterian Church, volunteering and helping other food banks and currently working with Rio Hondo College to set up a food bank for their students in need. She is also on the committee for Make a Difference Day, MADD, in Long Beach.
She lives close to the school and learned of it by driving to work and seeing all the children having a good time on the play yard. After inquiring and some research, she realized it was perfect for her young child. Pam and her daughter started with parent/toddler classes over six years ago and will continue to grow with Maple Village.
Front Office/Administrative Assistant
Meghan Wincor was born and raised in Silver Lake, CA. She spent her childhood in her mother’s children’s bookstore, working, reading, and daydreaming or volunteering at the preschool next door. She attended the LA County High School for the Arts, where she decided to paint her homework assignments onto her clothes so she wouldn’t have to carry canvases around campus. Her interests in wearable art, her father’s career as a psychopharmacologist, and her mother’s previous career as a psychiatric nurse eventually led her to the field of costume design. She received her BFA from CalArts and worked as a costume designer and wardrobe supervisor until she met her match in Long Beach and they started a family. Once their two sons were enrolled in school, Meghan eagerly began volunteering for school events and room parenting. She loves children, art, and organization so when a position at Maple Village in administration was posted, it was like applying for a dream job. She is truly honored to be both a parent and an employee at the beautiful school she and her family lovingly refer to as their second home.
Front Office/Administrative Assistant
Jo Hendrix began her Waldorf journey in the beginning of 2015 as a parent of a toddler who just happened to live close to Maple Village. She soon fell in love with the warmth and loveliness that is MVWS, and subsequently came to truly appreciate what the Waldorf teaching philosophy has to offer.
Since becoming a mother, Jo has loved working part time for Trader Joe’s, and previously enjoyed employment with REI, Long Beach Boot Camp, and the Capistrano Unified School District. Her Bachelors of Science was earned from the California State University at Fullerton in Kinesiology.
She has always loved learning with a sincere curiosity about life and how things work. She loves working with children, riding bikes, and being in nature – especially hiking with her wife, their daughter, and terrier pup.
Her daughter attends the early childhood program, and she feels so lucky to have unwittingly found such a gem in Long Beach to foster her daughter’s love of learning, creativity, and reverence for nature.