Lisa Rifflart | 1st Grade Teacher
Lisa Rifflart is passionate about serving the community through public education. She joined the Waldorf movement as a parent over twenty years ago. Since then, she has journeyed through the grades at Sebastopol Charter School, taught kindergarten at Monterey Bay Charter School, and worked in Waldorf Charter School administration. The magic and joy of working with children and parents has been a highlight in her life, and she is excited to be joining the Woodland Star faculty and community. In her free time, Lisa loves to spend time with her family. She and her husband enjoy hiking with their dog, Fergus, bicycling through the redwoods, spending time with their grandchildren, and relaxing under the stars. Lisa earned her Waldorf teaching certificate at the Center for Educational Renewal. She holds a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential and a Multiple Subjects CLAD Credential. She is trained in Kim John Payne’s Three Streams of Student Support and is a huge advocate of Simplicity Parenting. Lisa earned her undergraduate degree in French from Santa Clara University.
Brenna Cleary | 2nd Grade Teacher
Ms. Cleary recently moved to Sonoma County from Los Angeles. Before teaching at Woodland Star, she was a founding teacher at El Rio Community School, a Waldorf-inspired charter school in Los Angeles. Her experience is in using Waldorf methods in the public school setting, with experience and training in structured literacy. She loves the arts and likes to integrate music, singing, painting, drawing, and sculpting into her teaching. Outside the classroom, Ms. Cleary spends her time painting and birdwatching.
Megan Malkassian | 3rd Grade Teacher
Ms. Malkassian has held many roles at Woodland Star. She has primarily served as a teaching assistant while she was completing her course work to qualify her to teach in California public schools. Through Alliant University, she recently completed her Master’s in Education while simultaneously completing the course work to obtain her Multi-Subject Credential. She completed her Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology while working full time and parenting two young children. Prior to coming to Woodland Star, Ms. M spent many years working with preschool aged children and utilized her sociology experience working with severely traumatized youth at an intensive residential treatment and specialty mental health services center for mentally ill youth. Ms. Malkassian is English-Spanish bilingual. Outside of school, Ms. Malkassian enjoys reading, gardening, drawing, and handwork.
Katy Porter | 4th Grade Teacher
Ms. Porter is a proud San Francisco native who now resides in Sonoma with her kids and animals. She received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and is currently enrolled in a teacher credentialing program at Alliant University. Ms. Porter has 20 years of educational experience as a performing arts educator and program director at St. Cecilia School in San Francisco. For the last two years, she has been part of the Woodland Star Community as an assistant, tutor, and substitute teacher. To prepare for this coming year, Ms. Porter enrolled in a Waldorf course called, The Art of Teaching Third Grade. In her free time, she likes to read, hike, garden, and volunteer on a rescue farm.
Joan Baugh | 5th Grade Teacher
Joan has been teaching at Waldorf Schools for 24 years. She started her journey at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod in Cotuit, Massachusetts, and taught as a movement teacher and a classroom teacher. She also sat on the Board of Trustees and was a Faculty Chair. She then moved to Salt Lake City, Utah where she taught for 4 years at the Wasatch Charter Waldorf School as a class teacher, movement teacher, and one year as a special education teacher. She enjoys biking, hiking, and skiing as well as going back east to visit family and friends.
Antje Bojarsky | 6th Grade Teacher
Antje holds CA teaching credentials in Multiple Subjects, Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development, and single subject: Science. She completed her MSEd in Science Education at Lesley University with a STEM cognate in five subjects: biology, physics, geoscience, ecology, and engineering. Trained and devoted to the mission of Waldorf education for decades, Antje completed two class cycles and taught middle school loops, graduating from eighth grade four times. She was a member of the Master Teacher Mentor Group with Else Gottgens and has served as a class teacher, middle school specialist, and high school teacher. After graduating last year’s eighth grade at Woodland Star, she is happy to teach the wonderful fifth grade multicultural curriculum this year. Her special interest and educational research is in multicultural curriculum design, Restorative Justice program impact on student resilience, and gender equity in science education. When she’s not lesson-planning, she loves kayaking, playing with her three dogs, and chatting about education with her husband and daughter who are Waldorf high school science teachers.
Joelynn Lee | 7th Grade Teacher
After years of moving around the United States and Guam, Mrs. Lee has settled with her husband and children in Glen Ellen. She credits her previous travels with providing a wealth of life experience and opportunity to understand people with varying backgrounds. During that time, she owned and operated two family in-home childcare, working with infant through preschool-aged children, and volunteered for several nonprofit organizations. In 2012, Mrs. Lee returned to college with the intent to teach middle school while once again operating an in-home childcare/preschool. During that time, she also volunteered with Girl Scouts of Sonoma Valley, worked at Teen Services Sonoma, and volunteered at her children’s previous school’s PTO and Site Council. She graduated with her BA and MA in History from Sonoma State University and is currently in her third year as a Ph.D. student at UCSF’s History of Health Sciences. Her research centers on intellectual disability, specifically in children. Last year, Mrs. Lee’s son Ethan joined Woodland Star, and Mrs. Lee quickly became part of the community as a math tutor, substitute teacher, and parent volunteer. Mrs. Lee credits Woodland Star students, staff, and faculty for reminding her of how much she loves teaching and working with young people. To prepare for this coming year, Mrs. Lee has enrolled in a Waldorf course called The Art of Teaching with an emphasis on teaching the middle school curriculum. In the fall, she will enroll in SCOE’s teaching credential program. In her free time, she likes to read, swim, camp, cook, garden, and travel with her family.
Bill Kobabe | 8th Grade Teacher
Bill is a Waldorf-trained teacher who was a class teacher for seven years and spent many years before that teaching Woodwork and subbing for various local Waldorf schools. He completed his teaching credential program at California State University, Monterey bay. He is a veteran Waldorf parent who was active in his school community and served as president of the school board. Bill has been a member of the Institute for Public Waldorf Education since its inception and is committed to bringing Waldorf into the public realm. Bill’s enthusiasm for Waldorf education and love for children are palpable. A Sonoma State graduate in physics, Bill also trained for years as an electrical engineer.