Faculty & Staff
Cindy Sudan, Sunflower Garden Teacher and Director of Early Childhood Programs
Cindy was born near Austin, Texas and grew up as an Air Force dependent as the oldest of six children. Growing up, she lived in Spain, Missouri, Massachusetts, California and Germany where she graduated high school. Before joining Shepherd Valley Waldorf School in 1994, Cindy taught at the Kauai Waldorf School in Hawaii.
During her years at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School, Cindy has served as Chair for the College of Teachers and Early Childhood Faculty. She has been a representative on the Board of Trustees and a member of numerous committees. She loves working with young children and finds enjoyment in seeing them blossom and acquire the skills for their journey into the grades.
Cindy and Stan Sudan have two creative adult children who both attended Shepherd Valley Waldorf School and a local Waldorf High School.
Cindy’s interests include puppetry and crafts, hiking (she walked a 500 mile pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela across northern Spain in 2005), gardening, photography and genealogy.
Marie Nicoletti, Sunflower Garden Assistant Teacher
Marie grew up in the French Alps and spent her school years in France and her summers in Italy. She moved to Paris after college to attend fashion school. In Paris, Marie worked for Yohji Yamamoto, where she was the product manager for the Italian market, until moving to Boulder in 1990. Marie also studied cooking beginning at the age of 8 and supported herself as a private chef during her college years. Marie is the founder of The Language of Food, a culinary and cultural program that teaches children French cooking and French language. Marie’s goal is to pass down to new generations everything she’s learned since she was little when life skills naturally held a big part on the map of education.
Marie feels blessed to be a part of the Shepherd Valley Waldorf School team, and enjoys her time working in the Sunflower Garden and being surrounded by such beautiful energy. Marie is the mother of two wonderful children: Lola, 10, and Lee, 20. Some of her interests include reading (cookbooks from specific regions and eras, literature, and philosophical and practical texts on the healthy nurturing of children), writing, taking photographs, teaching arts and crafts, and cooking.
Jamie Little, Bluebell Garden Teacher
Jamie is a Colorado native and a Waldorf graduate. She is completing her masters in Waldorf Education at Antioch New England.
She has lived in many different states and was teaching 2nd grade in South Florida at a small Waldorf School before moving back to beautiful Colorado. When Jamie is not in the classroom she is in the kitchen or the garden. She loves to write, create art, sew, drink tea, and create new kinds of pie.
Nancy Gershman, First and Second Grade Teacher
Nancy, the youngest of three children, was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Her father was a pediatrician and her mother was a kindergarten teacher. From an early age, Nancy knew that she wanted to be a teacher and by the age of 10, she was teaching younger children how to swim.
Nancy spent her junior year in Israel, living on a kibbutz and working with the kindergarten. After college, Nancy moved to Boulder and began teaching at Alaya Preschool. It was there that Nancy had her first introduction to Waldorf Education. Nancy became the kindergarten assistant at the newly formed Lake Champlain Waldorf School. In the late spring of that year, Nancy became the Fourth Grade teacher at Shining Mountain. Nancy taught at Shining Mountain over a twenty-five year period. She taught Hebrew, Math and English in the Middle School, Remedial lessons, Games and a block in the high school. Nancy also spent several years teaching English, History, Art History and Embryology at Tara
Nancy’s many interests include spending time with her family, a love of the ocean, gardening, hiking, singing and movement. She is so happy to bring her passions and love of Waldorf Education to Shepherd Valley .
Adrienne Chapman, Third Grade Teacher
Adrienne Chapman has been teaching in Waldorf Schools for over twenty-six years. She taught at the Detroit Waldorf School where she took a class from grades 2-8, and another class from grades 1-8 and for five years as a Middle School class teacher and subject teacher in art and math. She spent the next six years as a class teacher at Shepherd Valley. Adrienne also served on the faculty of the Waldorf Institute of the Great Lakes, offering prospective Waldorf teachers classes in art, anthroposophy, human development and the Waldorf curriculum. In addition, Adrienne has considerable experience in faculty administration: she served as Faculty Chairperson and College Chairperson at Detroit Waldorf School and at Shepherd Valley for a total of ten years. Adrienne is thrilled to be working with Second Grade this year.
Adrienne recently married and lives outside of Lyons, Colorado. Adrienne loves to swim, bike, go on backpack trips into the mountains, paint, garden, read poetry and do eurythmy. Her son, Oliver Chapman, was a Waldorf student and currently lives in Los Angeles and makes puppets for animated movies. Adrienne is looking forward to bringing her love of farming, gardening and outdoor education into the curriculum and supporting our working with the farmers on our land. She has also been studying with Dr. Adam Blanning, Nancy Blanning and Laurie Clark in “Nurturing the Roots”. This is a three year advanced course to help Waldorf educators hone their observation skills as well as to bring therapeutic work to strengthen children in kindergarten and the early grades.
Martina Simunek-Suarez, Fourth and Fifth Grade Teacher
According to Martina, her life has been a little bit as Bohemian as her name sounds. She was born in a small town in Lower Austria. Her mother's family were World War II refugees from Serbia, and since they had been uprooted, they leaned even more on their German traditions, Catholic faith and conservative beliefs. Her father was from Bohemia where there was much more liberalism and much less religion. On top of that, her father had grown up in a steel town in one of the socialist strongholds of Austria. So Martina moved back and forth between these two worlds. One might think that she ended up all confused, but she really liked it.
When Martina entered the University of Graz, she continued with a good mix of interests: starting with English and Russian, then adding Geography and eventually ending up in the Vietnam War Literature Collection at CSU in Fort Collins. There she met Julian, and while continuing to travel and work in Europe and various parts of the U.S., they started a family. They and their two boys, Markus and Matthaeus, all love the mountains. They hike, camp, fish and ski. Martina loves to read and also enjoys painting, tiling, carpentry work, electrical work, plumbing, gardening, and a bunch of other fun hands-on things, preferably with power tools. Martina was first introduced to the Waldorf philosophy years ago by her cousin, who, just like Rudolf Steiner and Martina herself, grew up in a little town in Lower Austria. After a whirlwind year back in good old Europe, teaching at the Freie Waldorfschule Wien West, Martina is back with some new ideas!
Stan Sudan, Sixth Grade Teacher
Stan Sudan has been a Waldorf elementary class teacher since 1992, after receiving his Certification as a Waldorf Teacher from Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento California.
He and his family spent two years at the Kauai Waldorf School in Hawaii where he began teaching First Grade and subsequently taught in combined classes. Stan joined Shepherd Valley in 1994 when he took a combined Third and Fourth Grade class. He has graduated four Eighth Grades from combined classes at Shepherd Valley, the first two in1999 and 2000, and the second two in 2007 and 2008. He has served nationally as a combined class consultant to Waldorf schools, and is currently in his third cycle of grades teaching.
He has served as both College and Faculty Chairperson, as well as Finance Committee and Board Representative. His specialized focus during his teaching has been on remedial and therapeutic movement and child development. He studied with Nancy Blanning in the Nurturing the Roots course, served as chair of the remedial Care Group at Shepherd Valley, and holds a certification in Family and Systemic Constellation facilitation.
His wife, Cindy Sudan, teaches Kindergarten at Shepherd Valley. He has two children who both graduated from Shepherd Valley and from Waldorf High School. He gardens, loves to take walks in nature, and frequently can be found playing with his family cat. When not writing, he has been known to present workshops on chalkboard drawing, painting and shaded drawing to schools, colleagues and friends.
Greer Galloway, Eighth Grade Teacher
•BA: International Relations at American University in Washington, DC (literature and public school education)
•Waldorf certificate and MEd at Antioch University New England
Greer is a Colorado native, raised in the Denver area. Greer has been involved in Waldorf education since 2000 as a founding faculty member and parent of Mancos Valley Independent School, a small Waldorf school initiative outside of Durango, Colorado. Serving as a class teacher, she also taught painting, handwork, and movement classes.
In 2009, Greer and her husband, Francis, moved to the Front Range so their three sons Rhys, Aidan and Eoin could attend Shepherd Valley where they feel blessed to be a part of the wonderful community.
Greer has also built a career as a freelance editor and copywriter, and enjoys spending time with her family skiing, hiking, swimming, camping, backpacking and seeking out hot springs. In her spare time, she reads, writes, knits, sews and watches beautiful sunsets.
Cristina Geck, Eurythmy
Cristina was born and raised in New York City until her family returned to Germany. There, at the age of 20, she became deeply involved with a Camphill community. She stayed at this highly idealistic, Anthroposophical based school and biodynamic farm, closely living and working with ‘Children in Need of Special Care.
Here Cristina also discovered her love of Eurythmy. She had always felt very close to nature and it was fascinating to her that this art form allowed her to express the gestures of nature and cosmos through movement. She went on to study the artistic, pedagogical and therapeutic aspects of Eurythmy in Stuttgart, Bavaria and Switzerland.
Cristina taught for eight years of in a Waldorf School in Hamburg for children with a wide range of developmental challenges. She was part of a performing Eurythmy group and she initiated and directed a number of fairy tale productions, which were performed publicly. In the summer of 2000, Cristina was ready for new challenges.
Cristina came to Boulder to teach Eurythmy at Shepherd Valley. She immediately felt drawn to her new colleagues and the school community. With all the hiking and dancing opportunities that the area has to offer, Boulder seemed an ideal place to settle down.
Katrina Pratt, Games and Physical Education Teacher
Growing up in the woods of New Hampshire, Katrina’s education was lovingly supplemented with the wisdom of trees, newts and the freedom to move and explore in nature. She began teaching early childhood with a focus in creative curriculum in 2005. She has broadened her experience with children to include storytelling through circus art and puppetry. While creating a collective experience through performance, she also brings the world of fairy tales and imagination into her games curriculum. She uses mythology with the honing of physical skill and expression as healing elements around trauma. She is currently studying with a movement mentor who specializes in spacial dynamics and elements of Bothmer gymnastics. She recently went to India and Bali to study theater traditions, yoga and Ayurveda. Before that she lived in Brooklyn, NY working with a circus as a puppeteer and aerialist.
In addition to being the games teacher at Shepherd Valley, Katrina is an educational therapist at the Sage Center in Boulder. She has been practicing massage therapy for ten years and incorporates her knowledge of the body and somatic processing into her work in education. She makes time for hiking, foraging for edible plants and mushrooms, climbing trees, and writing. She takes great pleasure in sharing meals with people, especially when it is coupled with a fancy game of dress-up. She loves to travel. Her most recent overseas adventure brought her to Tanzania where she summited Mount Kilimanjaro and camped with elephants.
Tra-Ling Tu, Mandarin Chinese
Tra-Ling Tu, born in a farming community in southern Taiwan, moved to the states when she was 19. For many years Tra-Ling was engaged in the world of business; in restaurants, real estate, and offshore manufacturing, until her daughter Sydney was born in 2000. As an immigrant, Tra-Ling thought she “knew” how best to prepare her child for life, by searching for a kindergarten with strong academic standards! Well, she didn't get very far before she encountered a very special kind of school, the parent-toddler class at Star Garden taught by long time Waldorf educator, Vicki Kirsch. Which eventually led to Rudolf Steiner College and a Waldorf Grades Teaching Certificate. Tra-Ling also spent a year in Eurythmy Training at Sound Circle Eurythmy.
Tra-Ling’s teaching experience includes Little Treasures Chinese School in Boulder as well as Star Garden in Boulder. She also teaches privately, a parent/toddler group and also to various age groups including adults. Upon request, Tra-Ling joined the team of World Language Educators at Rudolf Steiner College where she offered a week long Mandarin Chinese workshop at the summer World Language Conference for anyone that is interested in teaching Mandarin Chinese as a second language based on the developmental tages of children. Tra-Ling Laoshi, as her students call her, is excited about her return to the Mandarin program at Shepherd Valley after taking a year of sabbatical. She says, “ To learn about and to speak a foreign language not only builds a gateway into another culture, but more importantly, is an inner soul experience.
Brightin Schlumpf, Violin
Brightin was born in Seattle, WA to loving and creative parents who chose her name due to the stunning brightness of the morning in June when she was born. Brightin spent her first 10 years on Vashon Island, in Puget Sound, during which time she was exposed to diverse styles of education, peaking her interest to later be involved with Shepherd Valley Waldorf School. On Vashon, Brightin started Suzuki Violin studies at the age of 6. She asked her mother if she could start violin after observing her peers play and longing to be able to join them in their music making.
Following high school, Brightin attended Cornell University, initially planning to pursue medicine, but soon realizing her calling was in music. Thus, she graduated cum laude as a music major. Brightin also ran Division I cross-country/track at Cornell her freshman year, but soon realized she needed to focus more on her academics and violin in order to be successful. She continues to run and has since completed four marathons. Brightin moved to Boston following her graduation from Cornell, where she completed her first MM in violin/viola performance at the Longy School of Music. At CU Boulder she completed a second MM in viola performance as the graduate teaching assistant to Erika Eckert, and was lucky enough to work with Erika and Geri Walther of the Takacs Quartet.
Brightin is delighted by her position at Shepherd Valley as she gets to work with wonderful children and to enlighten them on the power of music as a tool for communication, an opportunity to develop discipline, and a way to bring beauty to someone else’s life through playing.