Class Teachers


Helena Niiva
Grade 1

Ms. Niiva grew up in Finland and received a B.A. in elementary education from Jyvaskyla University with a specialty in music, speech, and special education. After teaching in Finland for several years, Ms. Niiva moved to Germany, where her interest in anthroposophy began. She started her career at WSL first as a German teacher, then as a chorus teacher, directing four musical productions at the school. Longing to return to the classroom, Ms. Niiva earned a master’s in Waldorf education at Antioch, where she had been on the faculty for a decade teaching music curriculum. She has graduated four classes at WSL.


Thaddeus Sipe
Grade 2

Mr. Sipe began his studies at Saint Lawrence University in the religion department, then earned a B.F.A. in graphic design from Sage College of Albany. He recently completed his Waldorf teacher training and certification at Antioch University New England and will begin working towards an M.Ed. at Antioch this fall. He worked as the first grade afternoon teacher and part-time lead teacher at the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs and has also coached high school volleyball. Mr. Sipe is a former Waldorf student, bringing a deep understanding of the pedagogy from multiple perspectives. He completed his K–12 education at the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School.


Tara DeNatale
Grade 3

After fifteen years as a body worker, Ms. DeNatale became interested in Waldorf education and was inspired to change her career. She earned an M.Ed. and her Waldorf teaching certification at Antioch University and began teaching kindergarten at WSL. The following year she began teaching a first grade class, which she graduated eight years later. She recently graduated her second class of students. Ms. DeNatale has served on the Board of Trustees at WSL and has held administrative positions as Elementary Chair, Professional Development Chair, and a member of the Governance Council during her tenure.


Elizabeth (Yon) Pellegrino
Grade 4

After earning a B.S. in sociology from Kenyon College, Ms. Pellegrino moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand, where she taught English for five years. She then completed a Steiner Teacher Certification program at Taruna College in New Zealand and earned an M.Ed. from Cambridge College in Cambridge, MA. During this time Ms. Pellegino worked at WSL as a teaching assistant in first and second grades. Ms. Pellegrino also taught at the Waldkindergarten program at Natick Community Farm.

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Regine Shemroske
Grade 5

Ms. Shemroske joined WSL from the Waldorf School of Ann Arbor, where she taught grades 5–7 and served as the school’s Pedagogical Chair. Ms. Shemroske’s extensive teaching experience also includes music and foreign language instruction at Pine Hill Waldorf School, as well as graduating two eighth grade classes at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. Ms. Shemroske earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from Pedagogical University in Ludwigsburg, Germany, and an M.Ed. from Tufts. She received her Waldorf teacher training at Antioch University and has completed the Educational Support Teacher Training Program.


Jeanette Voss
Grade 6

Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, Ms. Voss attended the Rudolf Steiner Schule in Hamburg-Nienstedten and the Waldorf/ Rudolf Steiner Hochschulkolleg in Stuttgart. She holds a master’s in translation from the University of Heidelberg. Ms. Voss completed her Waldorf high school teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College and joined WSL as a handwork teacher, a position she held for twelve years. She has since graduated two eighth grade classes and is taking a third class on the journey through the grades. Ms. Voss has also served as WSL’s AWSNA representative as well as on a number of joint AWSNA/NEASC accreditation teams.


Lauren Smith
Grade 7

After a career in advertising, Ms. Smith discovered Waldorf education. She received her Waldorf Teaching Certification from Antioch University and joined WSL as a class teacher in 2004. Following the graduation of the class of 2012, Ms. Smith took a sabbatical and helped to develop and teach a Waldorf-inspired afternoon arts program in a Malden public school through Cairn Hill, where she serves on the board. At WSL, Ms. Smith has served on the Board of Trustees, as Elementary Section Chair and Professional Development Chair, and on the Governance Council. Ms. Smith’s daughter graduated from WSL in 2009.


Liz Reading
Grade 8

Ms. Reading holds a B.A. in geology from Carleton College, an M.Ed. from Lesley College, and a Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Antioch University. Before becoming a Waldorf class teacher in 2012, Ms. Reading assisted in grades 1 and 2 and handwork for four years. Previously she taught fifth grade science at the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School and pursued a career in the healing arts.


Paula Van den Broek
On Sabbatical

Ms. Van den Broek received her B.A. in Waldorf Education from Hogeschool Helicon in Zeist, The Netherlands. She is now in her fifteenth year of teaching at WSL, where she started as a substitute teacher and substitution coordinator before co-teaching kindergarten and ultimately becoming a class teacher. Ms. Van den Broek has served on the Governance Council as the Elementary Chair and College Chair. Her work as an AWSNA delegate connects her to Waldorf schools across the country and abroad.