Faculty & Staff
Ms. Daniela | School Administrator
Ms. Daniela’s childhood was sprinkled with Waldorf ideas from the very start. Her mother is a long-term educator and was employing many of the pedagogy’s principles in her classrooms and while at home. The ideals of thinking, willing and doing, along with a reverence towards the natural world, may have started Ms. Daniela on a personal journey of service. She obtained her degree in Environmental Social Science and Women’s Studies with the hope of one day making a difference in the lives of women and children in developing nations.
The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children presented itself when Ms. Daniela’s family relocated to Kansas City from St. Louis. Prior to this move, she was attending parent/ child classes at the Waldorf School of St. Louis with her eldest daughter. This educational model felt comfortable, natural, and ideal for her family. She found her new call to serve at City of Fountains when the school was in need of a new administrator. Ms. Daniela has been in this role since the fall of 2013 and is working towards a Waldorf Administrator’s certification. She now relishes in knowing that she is helping to make a difference in the world one child at a time
Lead Faculty & Assistants
Ms. Kari | Founder, Parent-Child Lead
Ms. Kari has been with City of Fountains School from the beginning as one of the co-founders and she will be leading the parent/child class for the 11th year. She was first introduced to Waldorf education while reading “You are Your Child’s First Teacher” by Rahima Baldwin when her eldest child was just a baby and has been studying the inspiring philosophy ever since. She is committed to sharing that philosophy and the beauty of Waldorf education with parents to enrich and promote balance in their family lives, while honoring childhood.
In recent years, Ms. Kari has turned her attention to the benefits of puppetry with young children and the educational and healing benefits of nature. She has furthered her professional development through the workshops she has taken with Juniper Tree School of Puppetry: The Therapeutic Value of Nursery Rhyme Story & Puppetry, Steiner’s 12 Worker Professions and their Soul Quality, and The Art and Joy of Outdoor Puppetry; as well as Brain Science and Child Development and Learning in Nature through Lifeways North America.
The knowledge gained from her course work has blended beautifully with the parent/child class becoming a mostly outdoor program, as nature provides so many of the key elements needed for healthy development. This summer she also participated in COF’s in-house training with Robyn Brown. She looks forward to working with this new component in the coming year as she continues learning more ways that help enrich and enliven parents’ experience with young children.
Ms. Kari and her husband, Brian, have three delightful daughters (Lilah, Prairie, & Robin) and live in Overland Park, Kansas. She strives to bring truth, beauty and harmony to her family and community. In her free time, Ms. Kari enjoys reading, spending time in her garden, and discovering the wonders of nature with her family.
Ms. Dory | Founder, Star Garden Kindergarten Lead
Miss Dory is one of the founding members of City of Fountains School and has been teaching our kindergarten for over ten years. She is committed to holding a space that honors the wonder, magic and importance of early childhood.
As a native of Kansas City she grew up deeply involved in community theater before becoming a homeschooling mother to four who are the heart of her home (Iris, Ella, Anastasia, and Adler). During these years she also assisted part time in a Montessori school and in a shelter for homeless youth. She became involved with and inspired by Waldorf education over twenty years ago when she and her eldest child were part of a Waldorf based preschool cooperative in southern Missouri. Deeply committed to her own growth and development through meditation and mindfulness practice, the Waldorf philosophy spoke to her heart.
Her understanding of Waldorf education has grown over time through numerous summer intensives, courses and workshops from Prairie Moon Waldorf School, Juniper Tree, Lifeways North America, Sound Circle, The Bay Area for Teacher Training, and the Center for Anthroposophy. Favorite areas of study include: diversity and inclusion, nurturing the lower senses, movement circles and journeys, protection stories, puppetry, singing and music, a loving approach to discipline and boundaries, curative education and eurythmy.
Miss Dory enjoys taking walks, spending time with her family, curling up with a good novel, and the calm, serenity of immersion in nature. She is inspired by authenticity, creativity and compassion. She feels honored to hold a homelike space in the kindergarten that supports each child in being happy, healthy, kind, and capable and nourishes their sacred individuality
Miss Meghan | Star Garden Kindergarten Assistant, Extra Care Teacher
Meghan Severance is a Kansas City native, with a degree from the University of Missouri- Kansas City in writing. For the past three years, she has worked with children of all ages, and earnestly strives to practice what she learns from them each day. She says, “I am constantly impressed by their cleverness, adaptability and self expression.”
She loves to help others succeed and have a better sense of their own worth. She sees helping children (and adults) learn more skills and more diverse ways of communicating as the best way forward, and so has become a huge proponent of what the Waldorf pedagogy offers.
She also emphasizes sustainable practice and planning in her personal life as much as possible.
She loves all animals, but especially her own dogs, Ladybug, Margot, and Marigold; and cat, Maddie. She enjoys reading magazines in bed while drinking coffee, watching movies, living slowly and singing in the car. It is very important to her to be playful and laugh as much as possible!
Ms. Acacia | Founder, Wind Rose Kindergarten Lead
Ms. Acacia has been an educator for almost twenty years, beginning her teaching profession with a B.A. in Art Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has taught in a variety of settings from homeschool to public school, to Waldorf and LifeWays, educating children from birth through high school. She was a founding member of City of Fountains and taught the first grades enrichment class before moving to Norman, Oklahoma in 2013.
In Oklahoma, Acacia participated in the expansion of the Rose Rock School where she and her family lived for seven years. As the faculty-in-residence, she was a lead early childhood teacher and worked intimately in the running of the school.
She received her LifeWays Early Childhood certificate in 2016 and later joined the LifeWays teaching staff in a training hosted at the school in 2018. She has studied anthroposophy (the foundation of Waldorf Education) for over a decade, and completed a variety of Waldorf teacher’s courses, workshops and intensives over the years. Her latest endeavor is completing a three-year curative education training from the Mulberry Center for Curative Education.
Upon returning to City of Fountains in 2020, she led a grades class for a year and Integrative Arts and Movements classes for two, before settling back into early childhood. She is currently the Director of Online Courses, Blog Coordinator, and member of the Board for LifeWays North America, a national early childhood educators training organization.
Outside of school, Acacia relishes in the art of homemaking in a multigenerational household. She loves challenges and all that makes us live life wide awake. She is frequently outdoors working in the garden, walking in her neighborhood, hiking or playing with her family, and appreciating all things magical. She is also a fiber artist, writer, avid reader and novice beekeeper.
Ms. Mishka | Wind Rose Kindergarten Assistant, Extra Care Teacher
Ms. Mishka was first introduced to Waldorf Education by a dear friend who invited her and her children to join Ms. Kari’s parent child class in 2019. Captivated by the warm and nourishing environment at City of Fountains, it didn’t take long for the desire to dig deeper to be ignited; and as she did, she was amazed to discover a world her soul craved deeply, yet previously did not know existed.
Mishka has spent many years in a variety of early childhood settings such as a Montessori early childhood program, a program in Uppsala Sweden, and in-home child care. She currently provides childcare during Shabbat services at Chabad on the Plaza, a local Jewish community. She is thrilled to begin a new chapter in her journey as an early childhood educator, and began this summer with COF’s in-house training with Robyn Brown of the Mulberry Center for Curative Education.
She lives with her husband, Jonny; her children, Isaac and Hazel, who will both be attending kindergarten at COF; and her pet (cat in a dog’s body) Chloe. Having spent much of her childhood in both the Great Lakes of Michigan, as well as a small farming village in the mountains of Lower Austria, she has a deep love and reverence for the natural world that has shaped her family values and how she wishes to spend time with her family. Otherwise, she can be found reading ( sometimes many books at once), needle felting, or attempting to knit socks. Growing up in a multicultural community in Vienna, Austria inspired her love of life stories and languages- she speaks German and some Swedish. She is constantly inspired by the wonder she sees in her own two children, as well as the many other lovely tiny humans she has been blessed to spend time with over the years.
Ms. Iris | Grade 1 Lead
Miss Iris’s first job was assisting in the kindergarten and parent toddler classes in the early days of City of Fountains. Since then she has worked as a Supplemental Instructor at Penn Valley Community College, obtained administrative experience as a property manager, and had the pleasure of nannying for several families during her time in Austin.
When she moved back to Kansas City from Texas she felt drawn to work at the school again and started out in the Administrative office, although quickly found herself filling in as a substitute in many classrooms and programs. To prepare for her first lead teaching experience, Iris completed an Essential Waldorf grades course, as well as COF’s in-house training with Robyn Brown this summer.
She has always loved working with children and it was this experience of working with the children at the school that led her to want to teach. Getting to see each child’s unique perspective and personality unfold is something that inspires her and she is honored to be part of an organization that facilitates this kind of creativity and learning.
As a child Iris was homeschooled and exposed to Waldorf inspired education at an early age. This experience has given her an appreciation for art, nature, independence, and community. In her free time Iris enjoys visiting the Nelson, going for walks, watercolor painting, and reading.
Ms. Layla | Grade 2 Lead
Ms. Layla has worked with children and families throughout her career. After graduating with a Bachelor Degree in Education from the University of Kansas, she completed a year of Americorp Service at a community center/ alternative high school in the Denver Metro. This led to her interest in children’s mental health. Layla returned to Kansas to complete her Masters in Clinical Social Work degree while working at the Johnson County Mental Health Center children’s program. She continued working with families in a therapeutic supervised visitation setting and later teaching at a play based early childhood program.
While her two daughters were young, Layla was a stay-at-home mom and enjoyed creating learning opportunities through play, stories and outdoor time. When she began to search for a grade school for her own children to thrive, she discovered City of Fountains. Layla appreciates Waldorf Education for its developmentally appropriate, arts-integrated curriculum. She also appreciates how it allows daily interaction with the natural world and honors childhood, while still creating deep learning experiences. To best bring Waldorf Education to her students, she has attended Waldorf summer teacher trainings at The Center for Anthroposophy and The Mulberry Center for Curative Education. She is excited to continue to deepen the teaching relationships with her rising second grade class as well as welcome new students to the class family.
Ms. Susanne | Grade 3 Lead, Lower Grades Enrichment, Middle School P.E.
Susanne Gaardboe Buhler was born part Viking (Denmark), part medicine woman (America). She has been lucky enough to have lived in many different countries, which has gifted her with the knowledge of speaking multiple languages fluently, as well as a passion for and experience
with learning from and understanding the various cultures, people and natural lands that make up this beautiful planet. With a great desire to consistently walk as close to Mother Earth as possible, she has spent years as a student of the medicine way, as well as of the Eastern traditions of both yoga and martial arts.
She achieved her Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Cultural Encounters at Roskilde University Center in Denmark, where she then also went on to study for a Master’s degree in Health Promotion. She has taught all ages from 2 yrs old to 83 yrs old in a variety of settings and subjects, from preschool, to elementary, middle, and high school, to language immersion schools, to universities and adult evening schools, to a dojo, to seminars and courses and ceremonies. She has also spent years in social work as a case manager, care coordinator and interpreter for different non- profits that she has also helped manage and run.
Susanne was first introduced to Rudolf Steiner’s view on education and life years ago in Denmark at her son’s preschool. She was immediately fascinated by the deep resonance his teachings created within her being, and has studied and to the best of her abilities applied his wisdom to her own life and to her children’s. She loves the profound, conscious connections the Waldorf way shares with nature, art, movement, music, and spirit.
Her greatest loves and teachers are her two precious children, both of whom attend COF. Exploring all of life with them and seeking to touch and know and grow that seed and spark of light, love, and humanity in them and in herself continues to be her greatest adventure. She is excited to share this dance of life with the children and community of COFS as we journey together this coming school year. She is grateful for the honor.
Ms. Kristen | Grades 4/5 Lead, Middle Grades Enrichment
Ms. Kristen Bowlin joined COFS as a mother in the parent toddler program, and as the Upper Grades Enrichment Teacher in 2015. She quickly advanced into a Lead Grades Teacher position, and carried three grades classes that first school year! She has carried a class from 1st-5th, and is currently carrying her second class.
Kristen has always carried a passion for fine arts, teaching/education, sustainable agriculture, and sustainable living. Her passions have carried her from studying fine arts at KCAI; to working with Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms and earning a degree in Sustainable Agriculture; to working for non-profits such as Green Mountain Farm to School in VT, where she created curriculum and bountiful gardens with children in after-school programs.
Her first encounter with the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner occurred when she ran a homeschool program on a farm adjacent to a Waldorf school in NC. Knowledge gained from the teachers, parents, and the students of the school, and her own personal studies, inspired Kristen to implement some of Steiner’s core principles within her homeschool program.
Kristen has built up her knowledge and experience with Rudolf Steiner’s philosophies and Waldorf pedagogy over the years. She has received certificates of completion in a long list of Waldorf trainings from reputable schools and organizations such as the Center for Anthroposophy and Sunbridge Institute. Along with the focus on individual grades, her list includes studies in curative education, spatial dynamics, flute/music, compassionate communication, and a touch of Eurythmy.
Kristen is a passionate mother, educator, steward of the land and steward of future generations. She completely embraces the idea that all teachers are healers working in collaboration with parents and colleagues toward the common goal of creating beautiful masterpieces- free thinking individuals who can embrace themselves, their community, and the natural world in love, respect, and responsibility.
Mr. Josh | Grades 6/7 Lead
Mr. Josh started at City of Fountains as a Kindergarten assistant in 2021/2022, and spent time in many of the other classrooms as a specialty block teacher and substitute, including long-term substituting for Upper Grades Enrichment.
Josh has been a long time student of Anthroposophy. His interest in Steiner’s philosophies has led him to interesting opportunities in the fields of viticulture and agriculture (with attention on Biodynamics, a form of agriculture designed by Steiner). He is an avid reader and writer, and has a passionate interest in history and science. He is inspired daily to be involved with Waldorf teaching and to teach at City of Fountains, specifically, by the opportunity to be a resource and contributor to our little community and the students. He began his teacher training this summer with the completion of an Essential Waldorf grades course, as well as COF’s in-house training with Robyn Brown.
Josh lives with his wife, Lauren; baby daughter, Juniper; and dog, Grey. In between teaching and studies, he enjoys traveling and camping with his family, cooking and trying new recipes in the kitchen, working in his yard and garden, and a little bit of golf and skateboarding (when he can!). He is kind and easy-going, and looks forward to greeting everyone with a warm smile.
Ms. B | Grade 8 Lead
Brandi (who likes to be called Ms. B) has worked with children for over 30 years in a variety of settings. She received her Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling with a focus on Play Therapy at Texas State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Child Development at the University of North Texas. While working with children of all ages, Brandi found that she loved supporting parents and providing tools on how best to navigate relationships with their children and each other.
After moving to Kansas in 2009, she enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom for six years and homeschooled her youngest children for one year. When her husband received a job opportunity in Kansas City in 2012, she began exploring new schools in the area. She eventually stumbled upon City of Fountains School and fell in love with not only the philosophy but also the community of people. This inspired the idea of combining her love of teaching and working with children and parents, with her newfound love of Waldorf pedagogy.
Brandi joined City of Fountains in 2016 as the Upper Grades Enrichment teacher while her two youngest children attended. Teaching Enrichment quickly became a passion and she happily held that position for four years. In 2018, she applied for the 4th/5th-grade teaching position at COFS. She carried these same students since 2018 and just graduated her 8th-grade students in May 2022! Along the way, she has attended yearly professional development through the Center for Anthroposophy and Sunbridge Institute, and received on-going mentoring to further her own understanding and application of Waldorf Pedagogy. She is entering her 7th year teaching at City of Fountains and is thrilled to teach the rising 8th graders this year.
Brandi and her husband, Jeremy, have been married 18 years and have four children. They also have 2 dogs, Peanut and Bear, and a cat named Lucy. One thing you might not know about Ms. B is that she is passionate about reading, and hopes to provide many opportunities for her students to fall in love with books, authors, and stories from around the world.
Ms. Tina | Grade 8 Math Assistant
Ms. Kelly | Middle School Handwork
Miss Kelly has a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Cal State Long Beach and has been a maker since she was very young. She joined City of Fountains School in 2019 as the upper grades handwork teacher. She is an an avid fiber artist and seamstress. “I love interacting with my students and sharing those moments when they ‘get it’. Helping them develop an appreciation for hand work is one of the highlights of my week.“
She is a retired homeschool mom of four boys, and when she’s not teaching, knitting or sewing, she and her husband are usually camping or hanging out with one or more of their 11 grandkids.
Ms. Autumn | Grades 1-3 Vocals & Flutes, Upper Grades Enrichment
Ms. Autumn’s background includes many lovely years in early childhood education at both Montessori and Waldorf-inspired schools. When her children were young, Autumn created a Waldorf-inspired kindergarten program out of her home and was blessed to have her own children in her classroom. She is now the proud mother of three teens: Noah, Haven, and Dragan.
Autumn has attended a Waldorf summer intensives and other workshops, most recently Waldorf Music Through Grades 1 & 2 coursework and COF’s in-house training with Robyn Brown. She has also taught children’s meditation, mindfulness, and yoga. Her work has been focused in more recent years as a shamanic practitioner and educator offering healing and support services for the whole spectrum of birth, life, and death. She teaches and shares music with creativity, reverence, imagination, and enthusiasm, and has a special love for folk music and communal medicine songs from many different traditions. She aims to teach children not only to sing and play instruments, but to cultivate creativity, confidence, and collaboration. She also hopes to instill the values of World Citizenship through exposure to the music, art, and movement of other cultures around the world.
Ms. Marcy | Grades 4-8 Vocals & Strings
Marcy is a musician, educator, photographer and mother. She began playing violin at the age of 5 and, though she grew up training classically, she was raised on the music of Woody Guthrie. In the summers, her parents would drive her to see Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger perform at folk festivals. These concerts informed the way she thinks about the role of song in oral storytelling. Now her true passion is American fiddle music— particularly music rooted in the old-time tradition, which is passed down aurally from person to person. Marcy plays a variety of stringed instruments, but these days finds herself reaching most for fiddle and banjo.
As an educator, Marcy has worked for over ten years with students ranging from age three through eighteen. She holds a degree in music education from Missouri State University, and a certificate in Suzuki violin pedagogy from the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute. A strong advocate of the Suzuki philosophy that any child can play, Marcy believes in nurturing the unique language of music in each child, and combines this tenet with her passion for passing down traditional music and getting it into the ears and hearts of young people.
Marcy and her family recently moved from Los Angeles, where she taught Orchestra in both public and Montessori schools, played with UCLA’s Old Time String Band, and also did some recording for film and television. She became enchanted by City of Fountains when she and her husband attended the parent-child program last year with their daughter Polly, who will be in kindergarten this year.
Ms. Cora | Grades 1- 8 Spanish
Ms. Cora was born in Mexico City and lived there until her early 30’s. In Mexico, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts, trained in international foods. While visiting Kansas City to care for her mother, she fell in love with Reid and stayed to marry him and build a life here. Cora has a a daughter, Ophelia, who attends City of Fountains; and two stepsons, Dagan and Aiden; as well as a house full of loved pets- three dogs and three cats!
Cora loves bringing her Mexican culture to the students of COF, including the food, dance, festivals and signs of affection and care. She says, “In my culture, we hug and kiss on the cheek when we say hello (men or women). Most of the time I greet with hugging, too. The warmth in this is how I am and, if I do it, it is because I feel safe to show who I really am.”
Since coming to COF, she has expanded her education with variety of workshops such as Human Qualities, Human Biography, Empathetic Communication, the Art of Teaching Spanish, and Ukulele in Spanish. She also completed our in-house training with Robyn Brown.
Cora is also certified as a Kundalini Yoga Level 2 instructor. Outside of school, she enjoys cooking, dancing, hiking, swimming, eating, skating, reading, talking, driving long distances, and spending time with the people I love- which includes MANY people!
Mr. Brian | Middle School Woodworking
Our middle school students learn woodworking under Mr. Brian’s expertise.