Faculty

Faculty

Early Childhood

Tawni Griffen-Carmitchel
Lead Kindergarten Teacher

Born in Utah and growing up over the lands of California, Michigan and Colorado, Tawni is a lover of Nature and of all things Wild.  A dedicated student of life, she is a seeker of continual growth and personal development.  Tawni whole-heartedly believes in the essential need to honor childhood as an absolutely valid and pivotal time of life.  She was thrilled to stumble upon Singing Cedars amidst a Harvest Festival in the fall of 2014.  She soon began attending Family Nest with her beloved daughter, Lula Fox.  Desiring deeper connection with the Singing Cedars community and Waldorf philosophy, she began working as aftercare provider, transitioning next into assisting Eniko Reeder in the Kindergarten and in recent years has become the lead teacher of the Pre-K class.  She completed her LifeWay’s training in Boulder, Colorado in 2015. Tawni‘s highest goal is compassion and love for all and her inspiration and greatest teachers of this consistently remain the children she cares for.

Jill Weber
Lead Kindergarten Teacher

While studying anthropology in university, Jill became aware of Waldorf education, and after moving to the west coast, further explored ‘being human’ through the lens of Rudolf Steiner’s works and anthroposophy. She completed her Waldorf teacher training in Eugene, Oregon, in 2012, and has been teaching in outdoor kindergarten programs since then, first in Oregon, and then in southeast Iowa. She is inspired by a holistic approach to education, one which calls not only on students’ intellectual capacities for learning, but on their hearts and active bodies, as well. She appreciates the continual renewal of imagination, inner flexibility and warmth that come through working with young children, and is committed to helping build strong foundations through time in Nature, consistent rhythms and healthy sensory experiences.

Grades

Tammy Scott Haessler
Grades 3 and 4 Teacher

Tammy Haessler has worked as a caregiver in a variety of fields for 25 years. And though she is a mother to three children and currently teaches our early grades homeschool program, her interest in providing specialized and individual care came many years before she became a parent. 
She began her caregiving career assisting clients and teaching independent living skills at Hope Haven Group Home in Burlington, Iowa before moving onto being an in-home care provider through Hawkeye Health Services in Iowa City. She then became a teacher associate helping students with behavioral disorders at West Central Middle School in Biggsville, IL.

After her first child was born, she moved to an organic farm near Cantril, Iowa where her duties included designing and maintaining a four acre garden plot that provided CSAs to the local community as well as managing market stands at several farmer’s market locations. Her second child was born during these bountiful years.

When her children became school-aged, she choose to homeschool them. Inspired by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and Maria Montessori she integrated both Waldorf and Montessori methods into their school lessons, as well as began furthering her own education, and apprenticed as a midwife and doula.
Then in 2007, when Tammy moved from her rural locale to Fairfield, her caregiving took on new heights. Drawing upon her wonderful experience homeschooling her children, she began to offer childcare with a Waldorf focus, several years later even becoming the afternoon care provider for Singing Cedars while her third child attended the school.  Tammy joined our staff with the expansion of our Grades Program in 2018.

Martha Mullenneaux Sperry
Grades 1 & 2 Teacher

Martha Mullenneaux Sperry will be our first and second grade teacher beginning in August of 2020. Martha comes with extensive teaching experience in schools and homeschooling environments. Her love of nature, art, learning, growing, animals, and children drew her to waldorf education as the choice for her own children. 

True to the fundamentals of the waldorf classroom Martha creates an atmosphere where learning is integrated in the body, mind, and spirit. By accepting the diverse interests and aptitudes of each individual the love of self is instilled.

Agustín Griffin Harless
Grades Resource Teacher: Spanish, Music and Natural Crafts

After graduating from the University of California Santa Cruz with a degree in Philosophy, Agustin set out for Mexico vowing not to come back until he knew how to speak Spanish and how to grow food.  After a year of working on organic farms, he could communicate in Spanish, and had begun the lifelong pursuit of learning how to live with the land.  Since that time he has lived primarily as an agriculturalist, with a major focus on craft, music, and community.    

Living this land and craft based life put Agustin in close quarter with the Waldorf world. Over and over he found myself befriending biodynamic farmers, Waldorf teachers, homeopaths and eurythmists.  Which led to some years of self-study in the works of Rudolph Steiner and to serving as a specialist teacher at River Oak Waldorf Charter School in California.

Agustin is delighted to share his love of Spanish, Music and Natural Crafts with the Grades children at Singing Cedars this year.