Waldorf Institute of Southern California 

WISC Student Biographies, Los Angeles Campus Following are biographical sketches and resumés of WISC Los Angeles students who are working toward graduation this year.

This page may be especially helpful to Waldorf schools looking for qualified potential teachers to hire in the near future.
For inquiries, e-mail: office@waldorfteaching.org

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Daley Ackerman Daley Ackerman: My Waldorf journey began in first grade at Highland Hall in Northridge, CA, and in 2011, I started down my teaching path. I began, and continue to work, with a national youth outreach nonprofit, Turning the Wheel, which brings movement, music, art and creative play to kids from transitional kindergarten to high school.

Joining WISC brought me back home to Highland Hall, to reignite and expand my knowledge of education. I look forward to stepping into a classroom where I can stand beside children as they grow and discover themselves and the world around them. I am excited to be part of an education system that values the inspiration and strengths of the teachers and the students.

daley.ackerman@turningthewheel.org   |   818-472-2632

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Frank Aleph Agrama Frank Aleph Agrama: With my B.A. in film from Emerson College in Boston, and an early childhood education certificate from UCLA Extension, I became a teacher’s aide for Kindergarten and 5th grade at Wonderland Elementary, and a pre-school teacher at Lookout Mountain School.

A slowly winding journey, hopping between art making and childhood education, led me to the gates of a garden, Raphael Garden, a biodynamic farm, at Rudolf Steiner College. Something grace-filled in this living garden, the way the roses blossomed, dew glistening morning light, green leaves lying open-handed and smiling, made curiosity and trust jump into my heart. Then I could realize what my dear friend Dottie had been telling me for years, as I frequented her anthroposophically inspired cafe in Hollywood, Elderberries 3Fold Café, a place made of healing wishes for Humanity: "You might be interested in Waldorf." Waldorf and Anthroposophy meet my idealism and ask it to strengthen into reality. I work at Elderberries 3Fold Cafe with Dottie and a team of young people, creating spaces for creativity and social transformation. I am grateful for the pure intentions at WISC, nourishing to my soul.

After graduating from WISC this year I would like my journey to include being an early childhood, grades or high school teacher. I am also very interested in woodworking, social processes, eurythmy, study groups and working through ThreeFolding.

falephagrama@gmail.com   |   323-445-9615

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Lana Buss Lana Buss: Teaching and working in the theatre arts for over fifteen years at the university and professional level, I currently am employed at Moorpark College. I have an MFA from Arizona State University and a BFA in theatre from the University of South Dakota, and have taught courses and workshops in Acting, Movement and Voice, Shakespeare, Directing, Production and Improvisation.

My theatre background, especially the skills I have learned from teaching Improvisation, bring wonderful gifts that I am excited to share. I love teaching from a circle and creating a fun and playful space to learn and grow from. Bringing a spirit of collaboration, discipline and focus to my work as a teacher, I am a “yes” person who enjoys problem solving, and is always open to challenge. Personally, I enjoy walking, painting, singing, road trips with my family, camping, and making delicious food to share with family and friends.

I was born in a doorway in North Bay, Ontario; my father catching me, while my Filipino mother came to terms with her first Canadian winter. Growing up in an Air Force family, we moved many times, going through many doorways. The birth of my two lovely and lively forces of nature, Henry and Willa, led me to discover Waldorf education and Rudolf Steiner. As a mother and a teacher I have experienced so many benefits from my Waldorf teacher education. After being awakened to anthroposophy, I feel I have finally arrived and am eager to become a part of the Waldorf teaching community and begin my journey as a Waldorf Grades or High School Humanities teacher.

lanabuss@gmail.com   |   323-823-1373

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Katie Eckl Katie Eckl: At four, I remember the sunlight streaming in through my bedroom window while I sat on my little wooden chair, dolls and stuffed animals arranged in a semi-circle before me, and I told them stories. Their attention was unwavering while I recounted every detail. We were all there, in the story, soaking up every word.

It was around that time, I suppose, that I just knew I would be doing that when I grew up. That it was who I am. Later, I could put a name to it. Teacher! I would be a teacher in early childhood or the grades.

I ended up at University of Kansas, where I got my B.S.Ed. and half of my Masters which was required to get my teaching certificate.

For several years, I taught in Kansas and Chicago Public Schools before I defected and began a search for a more effective educational system. It was when my first born was a toddler that I stumbled upon Waldorf. After researching and trying it, and other educational systems, it was clear that Waldorf most deeply resonated with me, and now, my children. I started teacher training at WISC LA in 2015 and am looking forward to graduating this coming spring.

Currently, both of the boys are thriving at The City School, in 1st and 6th grade. And I’m thrilled and honored to be following a class from 3rd to 4th grade at the same school.

kmeckl@mac.com   |   323-630-2251

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Rebecca Hendel Rebecca Hendel: My Waldorf journey began in the second grade at Summerfield Waldorf School, where I continued until graduating in 1992 as a pioneer high school student. After High School I traveled to Europe, and spent some time studying the Performing Arts at the Urdang Academy in London, England. Later I moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, and attended UH, where I studied Special Education with an emphasis on learning differences, especially Deafness. My education continued with a focus on ASL-English interpretation and linguistics. After college I worked for several years teaching Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students in a mainstream (public school) setting, where part of my responsibilities included interpreting. In addition to my extensive work with the Deaf, I have spent over 25 years teaching Dance and Movement. I am also the mother of two young adult children.

My return to California in 2003 was the impetus that began my move into becoming a Waldorf teacher. Destiny took over when one accidental turn led me to the campus of Highland Hall, where the Waldorf Institute of Southern California shares the space. I took this as a sign and decided to return to Steiner, and his approach to child development and education! I am happy to be working at The City School and continuing with my class as they move to grade 3. This year I also look forward to completing the teacher education program at WISC.

abukah74@gmail.com   |   808-371-1856

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Camille Hines-Parker Camille Hines-Parker: I grew up surrounded by nature in New York with a family of woodworkers. My childhood was filled with the smell of freshly carved wood, apple trees, and a love for movement. My limbs found peace in rhythmical activities like baton twirling, tap dancing and gymnastics. When I was 12 my family moved to Texas where I discovered Rhythmic Gymnastics. I became an Elite Rhythmic gymnast and trained at the Olympic Training Centers in Marquette, Michigan and Colorado Springs, Colorado. At the age of 16 I retired my ribbon, hoop, ball, clubs, and rope. Theatre was my new passion and consumed my teen years. Soon after I attended The Juilliard School and St. Edward's University for further studies of acting and writing. I enjoyed a career as an actor, but eventually I returned to my roots of movement and studied yoga at The Nosara Yoga Institute in Nosara, Costa Rica.

In 2007 my husband and I started a family in Los Angeles. We were obsessed with finding a gentler way to raise our child. After the birth of our second son, our remarkable midwife suggested Waldorf education as a path to educating the whole child. We fell in love with Waldorf pedagogy and the unfolding of the curriculum. I am amazed by all the miracles Waldorf education has sprinkled into my family’s life and our community. Entering my third year of WISC, I am astonished by how quickly the time has flown by.

Our family's journey has taken us on a path of Waldorf Schools and Waldorf homeschooling. With tremendous support from our Waldorf homeschooling community, we created Threefold Village, an Enrichment Service for Waldorf Homeschoolers located in Sunland, CA.

camille@threefoldvillage.com   |   818-749-0915

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Danielle Laquer Danielle Laquer: The beaches of South Florida provided me with a nurturing childhood. I received my first degree in Art Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and then promptly began exploring the world and myself through a decade of travel. My journey eventually lead me to a Waldorf School one town over from where I was living in Guatemala. It was very exciting to find a school whose philosophy aligned so succinctly with the values and perspectives I had cultivated. Inspired by Steiner’s work and a desire to commune with nature, I then spent six months on a Biodynamic farm in Kentucky. Straight from the farm I returned to Los Angeles and began the WISC program where I’ve thoroughly enjoyed focusing on the fascinating world of Early Childhood. It has been a privilege to stand before the children in a mixed age home school program and as an assistant in both the Pre-K and Kindergarten at The City School.

Steiner's view of the human experience and Waldorf's intention to educate and nurture every part of that human experience, keeps me joyfully inspired. After completing the program, I plan to once again explore, this time with the intention of finding home and living in community. I hope to collect more teaching experience and eventually synthesize it into a model with more flexibility and accessibility to all children and I very much look forward to this next exciting chapter.

daniellelaquer@gmail.com   |   213-595-9217

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Janna Stauffer Janna Stauffer: Being a northern girl at heart — born and raised in northern Illinois — the past three years in Los Angeles have been full of new things, like eternal sunshine, the ocean, and eating outside in December. My journey here was a long and unexpected one. As a child I was homeschooled from the time I can remember all the way through high school. After high school I earned my Bachelor’s degree in music from Northern Illinois University as a flute performance major. From there I went on to earn a Master’s degree in Historical Performance (playing Baroque Flute) from Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My pursuit of music led to a hopeful move to Houston, Texas. Houston was the birthplace of my interest in Waldorf Education, though I had resisted the suggestion of becoming a teacher for a lot of years. After two years in Houston, which contained a lot of auditioning and managing a Starbucks, I was offered a job in Los Angeles as a manager of a small recording studio in Northridge, California.

Two years ago my own Waldorf education began when the path of life led me right to WISC’s front door. I am very interested in being a class teacher. The idea of taking a class from 1st-8th grade is one of the things that first attracted me to Waldorf Education, though my love for Middle School students often makes me wonder if maybe I should find a school that loops 6th 8th grade.

Currently I assist the 6th grade class at The Pasadena Waldorf School, my second year assisting there. I also direct the children’s ministry at Story City Church in Burbank. In my free time, I love to bake, read, practice my flute, and be outside whenever I can. My goals in life are always to live to the fullest, love well, laugh as much as I can, go on every possible adventure, and never stop learning.

sniklefritz22@gmail.com   |   815-505-3126

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