Faculty and Staff

Jan Lopez

Faculty: 
Nursery Teacher
Related programs: 

Heidi Anne Porter

Faculty: 
Kindergarten Teacher
Related programs: 

Heidi has been with Waldorf School of New Orleans since 2002. After participating in several meetings and events designed to promote Waldorf education in New Orleans, she was honored and delighted to be offered the task of creating the school’s kindergarten, which began welcoming children in August of 2003. Heidi received her Waldorf Teacher Training from Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, California.

Before becoming a Waldorf teacher, Heidi taught in Westchester, New York, and for seven years in Orleans Parish Public Schools, teaching children with special needs. She was awarded several grants to support her innovative work in the classroom with language development and young children. After becoming a mother, Heidi left the classroom for a few years. She ran a small childcare program in her home for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. She also created and taught a dance class for toddlers and their parents.

Heidi’s son attended Waldorf School of New Orleans for nine years. Heidi believes that her job as a Waldorf kindergarten teacher offers her the perfect opportunity to indulge in her love of storytelling, child development, sewing, gardening, singing, dancing, community building, and working with parents.

Sarah Clark

Faculty: 
1st Grade Teacher

Sarah Clark hails from the West Coast, growing up in Nevada and California. After college in the Los Angeles area, Sarah made her way east. She traveled internationally and lived in New York City before finding New Orleans in 2003. It was in NYC that Sarah began formally teaching. Around the time of Hurricane Katrina, Sarah and the Waldorf School of New Orleans met. In 2005, Sarah became the First Grade Assistant to the class teacher and took on a Second/Third Grade class in the fall of 2006. She completed her Waldorf teacher training through the Rudolf Steiner College and the Alkion Center. Sarah has been a Waldorf class teacher at both WSNO and the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf school in upstate New York. She most recently worked at the Louisiana Children’s Museum as a program director. There she directed and facilitated a children’s literacy program held throughout the school year. Sarah also trained and managed the teaching staff  for the various educational programs provided by the museum. Sarah is thrilled to be back in the classroom and teaching full time again. First Grade is one of her favorites, and she is so happy to be welcomed back by the (growing) WSNO community and surrounded by such sweet and imaginative first graders each morning. Some of Sarah’s favorite things include painting, drawing, sewing, cooking, crafting, reading, and dogs! 

Jill Contento

Faculty: 
2nd and 3rd Grade Teacher
Board: 
Faculty Representative

Jill has been an educator since 1995. Her degree is in art education, and she has always been an active artist. Dunnellon Elementary School in Dunnellon, Florida, was her home from 1997 to 2009, where she enjoyed the action-packed life of a public school art teacher.

Jill moved to New Orleans because she loves music and art, and she finds New Orleans the most interesting place she has ever lived. Jill joined the Waldorf School of New Orleans in 2010 as the seventh-grade art teacher, the assistant in the nursery, and the summer-camp director. She appreciates the feeling of reverence for education that is apparent in Waldorf education.

In 2011, Jill became the first-grade teacher for a tiny class of students, and she taught a combined first/second grade class in 2012. Her Waldorf teacher education at the Sunbridge Institute has been amazing and instrumental in her first years as a Waldorf teacher, helping her to reach as a teacher, artist, and human. Being a Waldorf teacher has allowed Jill to teach music, art, poetry, literature, mathematics, science, games, in a beautiful, creative way. She feels that the true joy in teaching and learning has returned to her soul. Jill continues to pursue her own education, particularly in anthroposophy, to further her effectiveness as a Waldorf teacher.

Rebecca Nelson

Faculty: 
4th and 5th Grade Teacher and 6th Grade Main Lesson Teacher

Rebecca was born and raised in Virginia. After graduating from the College of William and Mary with a true passion for archaeology, Rebecca was accepted into the graduate program in Mayan Studies at Tulane University. She went to Mexico to work with the Projecto Archaeológico de Chichén Itzá, then spent six months in Belize running a field crew for the Xunantunich Archaeological Project, later backpacking in the rainforest of southern Belize, where she excavated a series of Mayan tombs.

As much as she loved the fieldwork and teaching, the realities of academic life were not what she had envisioned for herself. In 2003, Rebecca began work in the kindergarten of the Waldorf School of New Orleans. Eventually, she was employed as a classroom assistant for the combined fourth, fifth, and sixth grade class. Rebecca loved every minute of her time there, feeling that she had finally found what she was meant to do with her life.

In 2007, Rebecca received her Master's in Waldorf  Elementary Education from the Sunbridge Institute in New York. She spent three happy years as a class teacher at Green Meadow Waldorf School in Spring Valley, New York. Rebecca and her husband Nick felt tied to New Orleans, however. In 2010, not only did she get a chance to once again rejoin the Waldorf School of New Orleans, she found herself the class teacher of some of the very same children who she had first met in Miss Heidi’s kindergarten. Rebecca began teaching her new combined sixth and seventh grade class that August, and she and her husband joyfully welcomed their daughter Victoria Grace into their lives the following October. Rebecca feels truly blessed to be on this incredible journey of discovery. 

Lesley Rubenstein

Faculty: 
6th Grade Teacher, Librarian and Library Teacher

Brian Dorsam

Faculty: 
Pre-K/Kindergarten Assistant Teacher
Related programs: 

Brian Fabry Dorsam received his Bachelor of Arts degree in theater from Bard College and is currently in pursuit of his Master of Arts degree in English from Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School of English. He began working at the Waldorf School of New Orleans in 2009 as the after-care coordinator, a substitute teacher, and student aid. He has taught in the kindergarten since 2010. Brian is a co-founder and Artistic Director of the New Orleans-based theater group, Skin Horse. When he gets a moment, he enjoys reading about astrophysics, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience. 

Raeyna Woodside

Faculty: 
Afterschool Care

Jennifer Jackson

Faculty: 
4th to 6th Grade Math Teacher

Ms. Jennifer Jackson is a native of New Orleans. For the past 10 years, she has worked with students below grade level along with students taking the high stakes test LEAP 21, the End-of-Course or Graduate Exit Exam, and ACT Prep. She taught remedial math courses as an adjunct instructor at Nunez Community College, and also taught seventh- and eighth-grade Algebra I and Geometry at McDonough No. 35 in a long-term substitute position. In 2011, she was the math teacher for the incoming seventh and eighth graders' Summer Enrichment Program at McDonough No. 35. In 2004, she started Math Simplicity Tutoring Service (for third- through twelfth-grade students, dyslexic students, and students with Asperger's syndrome) because of the many students who struggled in mathematics. Ms. Jackson has also worked as a programmer analyst and holds a degree in computer science and a Master’s Degree in information technology.  

In 2012-2013, Ms. Jackson taught Algebra I for the Waldorf School of New Orleans eighth-grade class. Currently, she is the sixth-grade math teacher at the Waldorf School of New Orleans.

Jan Zeiger

Faculty: 
Music teacher (voice and all instruments)

Jan is a flutist, singer, and music educator. She earned a Bachelor of Music Education at the Ohio State University, and a Master of Arts in woodwind performance through Antioch University. She has taught instrumental, vocal, and general music at all levels in Ohio, Florida, and greater New Orleans. "Ms. Z." loves musical theatre, playing all sorts of musical instruments, and working with the Waldorf School of New Orleans students. 

Lena Kolb

Faculty: 
Handwork Teacher
Contact info:

Lena Kolb has been the handwork teacher at the Waldorf School of New Orleans since 2010. She hails from Philadelphia, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in elementary and special education from Temple University. Lena has held a lifelong interest in handwork. She is skillful in knitting, sewing, quilting, embroidery, and other handwork activities.

Myra Rogers

Faculty: 
Resource Teacher

Ms. Rogers earned a B.A. in psychology from Louisiana State University  and an M.Ed. in Special Education from the Pennsylvania State University. She also has thirty hours of postgraduate work, earning her additional certifications.

Ms. Rogers' career in the classroom focused on work with elementary students with special needs who were classified as Learning Disabled or Autistic. As an Educational Diagnostician, she was a member of a team of professionals who determined whether a child/student required special services in the school setting. This diagnostic work spanned students from preschool to high school. Having worked in Pennsylvania and Texas, as well as Louisiana, Ms. Rogers was selected Teacher of the Year for Jefferson Parish and Region One in 1996. With twenty years experience in the classroom and ten years experience as an Educational Diagnostician, Ms. Rogers retired from the public school system in 2012.  

Through her work with special needs students, Ms. Rogers developed a particular interest in learning the root causes of, and studying related treatments for, students' learning difficulties. This lead to her certification as an Auditory Training Practitioner in 1993 and the beginning of her private practice called the Sound of Hope. This practice focuses on correcting the auditory factors that contribute to learning differences such as Dyslexia, Auditory Processing Disorder, and ADHD.

Soon after retiring, Ms. Rogers began working at the Waldorf School of New Orleans in the fall of 2012 as a Resource Teacher, providing support to teachers and students.

Cissy Rowley

Staff: 
Administrator
Contact info:

Cissy has served as the Administrator of the Waldorf School of New Orleans since 2010. She has a Master's degree in education from LSU and an Master of Arts degree in French from Middlebury College. Before becoming a school administrator, Cissy enjoyed a career as a French teacher. She brings a diverse knowledge of education, including public, independent, and international schools, to the Waldorf School, and enjoys working with the school community to help bring Waldorf education to New Orleans. 

Since joining the school, Cissy has had the opportunity to further her knowledge of Waldorf education through participation in regional conferences and summer intensives at Sunbridge Institute (Collaborative Leadership, 2011) and the Center for Anthroposophy (Foundation Studies, 2012). She also volunteered at the 2012 AWSNA Service Weekend on the Lakota Indian Reservation in South Dakota, an experience that she found enriching and humbling. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, volunteering, travel, and fitness.

Liz Lichtman

Staff: 
Office Manager

Besides working as the office manager at the Waldorf School, Liz helps run a community bike shop in the upper 9th ward (called RUBARB) in which people come to work on and learn about bikes, and kids participate in an earn-a-bike program, art projects, and field trips. Before her New Orleans life, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, got her Master's degree in International Education, and explored South America and Southeast Asia. She enjoys music, food, laughter, traveling by bike, and her favorite Sunday thing to do is attending second line parades. She admires people who grow their own food, build things, and have creative minds. She's grateful to have the opportunity to work with the Waldorf School!