Faculty & Staff

OUR FACULTY STRIVES to work and study together artfully, out of the indications of Rudolf Steiner. We share beliefs that guide us in our work: a willingness to grow and develop, both individually and as a school; to work mindfully; to teach creatively and with love; and to nurture a supportive and active community.

Early Childhood Faculty

Early-Childhood: Jen Corning

Jen grew up in Wisconsin before moving to Maine in 2013. After completing a Lifeways Early-Childhood Certification, she worked for two years at Ashwood as a kindergarten assistant. She recently completed her Waldorf Early-Childhood Teacher Certification.

Early-Childhood: Morgan Wade

Morgan grew up in Virginia. She attended Waldorf teacher training programs in Seattle and Vancouver where she received her Waldorf Early-Childhood Teaching Certificate. She has been active in early-childhood classrooms for more than five years, most recently as the lead teacher at a Waldorf-inspired farm preschool.

Grade School Faculty

Class One: Elizabeth Doshi

doshiwebElizabeth has experience teaching in Waldorf schools from New England to Singapore. She earned a master’s degree in Waldorf education at Antioch University. Elizabeth says: “The story of my Waldorf teaching journey covers many states and continents! Each school bestowed upon me the many gifts that only loving parents, children, and colleagues can give. The community of a Waldorf school can be very supportive and protective, and it can also be a wonderful challenge. I have experienced these things and much more. Traveling around the states and living overseas has allowed me to experience an immense diversity of people and work environments. I am grateful for these opportunities and believe they have made me a richer person and teacher.”

Class Two-Three: Michelle Buczacz

Michelle completed her Waldorf teacher training at Antioch University, New England. Prior to that adventure, a native Mainer, she received her bachelor’s degree in theater at the University of Southern Maine. In the rare event that she finds herself with free time, Michelle enjoys watching her daughter’s grow and learn. She also enjoys reading, painting, felting, and being social.

Class Four-Five: Robert Kaczor

Robert studied at Green Mountain Valley School and Mohawk Valley Community College. During his undergraduate work in elementary education, he realized he wanted to teach in a different environment with a different philosophy. While he was describing his ideas about education to a friend, she told him he was describing Waldorf education. He looked into it and his excitement was renewed! Robert went on to Antioch New England where he received his Waldorf teaching certificate. His internship was at Pine Hill Waldorf School. Robert joined the Ashwood faculty in 2005.

Class Six-Seven: Jeremy Clough

Jeremy earned a B.A. in psychology with a Spanish minor, and considered becoming a teacher. After a friend with children at a Waldorf school mentioned that his values might fit well with Waldorf education, Jeremy applied to Antioch New England Graduate School in the Waldorf education program. After an internship and substitute teaching at the Lake Champlain Waldorf School, Jeremy came to Ashwood in 2006. He graduated his class of eighth grade students in 2011.
Jeremy’s other interests are hiking, canoeing, skiing, cycling, traveling, reading, gardening, and whitewater rafting.

Specialty Teachers

Strings Teacher: Sophie Davis

Sophie holds a B.M. in violin performance and a B.A. in environmental studies from Oberlin College and Conservatory. She has been a featured performer on the National Public Radio program, “From the Top”. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Symphony Hall, the Monte Music Festival in India, and with the Jordan National Orchestra (JOrchestra) in Amman, Jordan. In 2017, she was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Research Grant to spend nine months in Samoa where she explored the ways in which the arts can raise awareness of climate change. In addition to pursuing research, Sophie taught and performed with the National Orchestra of Samoa. Recent awards include:  the Louis and Annette Kaufman Prize in Violin (2017) and the Pi Kappa Lambda Prize for Musicianship (2017).

Movement Teacher: Rose Swan

rose swanRose joins our faculty with a background in environmental education for children. She was the service learning coordinator and a teacher at Tanglewood 4-H Camp, and the special projects coordinator for Trekkers. Rose is participating in a five-year Spacial Dynamics training, a program of study that provides a strong foundation for approaching the Waldorf movement curriculum.

French Teacher: Sarah Trapani

Sarah was a class teacher at Ashwood from 1992-1995, when she taught what became our first graduating class. She studied French in high school, and continued at Bates College. She then went on to live and study in Montpelier, France, in order to advance her fluency. There she took classes (all in French) in grammar, conversation, history, and theatre.

Sarah has taught French and theatre at a boarding school in Western Massachusetts, and most recently, at the Appleton Village School. She lives in Rockport, along with her husband Carl. Sarah’s children are Ben, who attended Ashwood up through the fourth grade, and Emma, who graduated in 2013.

Handwork Teacher: Donna WenckusDonna

Donna completed an A.A. in Graphic Design at Mount Ida College in Newton, MA. A friend introduced her to Waldorf education, and they both enrolled in Foundation Studies. Donna has been Ashwood’s handwork teacher since 2004. She received Applied Arts certification from Sunbridge Institute/Fiber Arts Studio, Threefold Educational Center in Spring Valley, NY. She wishes that all children had the opportunity to experience education the Waldorf way, and feels it is truly a privilege to be here and watch the children learn.

Donna’s enjoys art, painting, gardening, reading, any and all crafts, and the outdoors.

English & Chorus Teacher: Laura Purdom

Laura came to Ashwood in 2006 after careers in writing and graphic design. At Ashwood, Laura builds upon her lifelong love of theater, song, language and life’s big questions: she has been a class teacher, director of marketing & outreach, and a specialty teacher. She particularly delights in teaching and performing traditional music from around the world and in guiding student theatrical productions.

Laura has traveled in South Asia, North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East and published four travel guidebooks. She lived in Paris while pursuing theatrical studies and performed with improv comedy troupes in Boston and beyond. She has a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School. In her spare time, Laura enjoys thinking about what she might do if she had any spare time.

Woodworking Teacher: Darin Sumpter

Darin has worked with his hands all his life. Having grown up in Delaware farmland and participated as a youth in a variety of farming activities, he eventually attended a technical college to study agri-business technology. Darin’s woodworking skills were learned from his father. “My dad built our house, and as kids we had a hand in that.” After wrapping up a 23-year career in automotive restoration, Darin began restoring houses. He’s currently remodeling his own home in Owls Head, where he lives with his partner Nancy.

Administration Faculty

School Director: Jody Spanglet

When her daughter Lisa was eight years old, the family moved to Charlottesville, VA. As Jody began courses at UVA in sociology and philosophy of education, Lisa was enrolled in the local public school. Unhappy with Lisa’s experience, they explored other schools and discovered the Waldorf school. After a few phone calls and a visit, Lisa was enrolled. A month later Jody became the after-care teacher, and began attending a study group and considering her future profession.

Jody received a B.A in Sociology, SUNY Binghamton; M.S.Ed., Social Foundations of Education, University of Virginia; and pursued 20 years of coursework in Waldorf education and anthroposophical study at AWSNA-accredited institutions. She has been the school director since 2005, and previously was a Waldorf class teacher for grades 1–8, then for 5–8. Jody’s other interests are her grandchild, cooking, hiking, swimming, biking, gardening, baking, and travel.

Business Manager: Betty Wyman

Betty has an M.Sc. in Agricultural and Environmental Engineering degree, and a B.Sc. in Accounting and Finance with a CPA designation. Her children attended summer camp at Ashwood Waldorf School and the whole family fell in love with the school. She has been an Ashwood parent since 2009. After her role in the Parent-Community Council as both co-chair and chair, she happily joined the business office as business and operations manager. She was born in Hungary, and has traveled extensively around Europe. For 17 years, she has lived contently in Rockport, where the mountains meet the sea. If she is not busy taking care of her 2 children, running a fitness class, or working on her website, you can find her in the flower garden, hiking on the trails, paddle boarding, or kayaking on the lakes with her two sons.

Marketing & Outreach Director: Laura Purdom

See Laura’s biography under Specialty Teachers.

Administrative Assistant: Sarah Ewing

Sarah has a B.A in English from Earlham College. After college she spent a few years working in intentional communities in Maine, Vermont, and New Zealand before returning to settle in the midcoast. Before coming to Ashwood she worked at Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, where she held positions from machine operator to marketing director. In her free time she loves to work with wood, do almost anything outside, eat, play music, and spend time with her family.

Development Director: Julia Dodge

Julia is a Maine native, born in Portland and raised in Gorham. She earned a B.A. in History from Colby College and a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine, Orono. Her introduction to Waldorf education came via the persistence of a cousin with three children enrolled in a Waldorf school. Julia quickly sensed a unique and vital approach to educating children and decided to provide that for her own children. She firmly believes that more children with access to Waldorf education will do wonderful things for the world; thus, she is thrilled to direct the development team and excited to help secure as much funding for the school as possible. Julia has volunteered untold hours to Ashwood’s incredibly successful Serve-a-Thon fundraiser, while leading the effort for many other school fundraisers as well. Julia has been a class parent and has been active on the Ashwood Parent Community (APC). She is a warm and enthusiastic professional with a great deal of commitment to Ashwood.

Custodian: Darin Sumpter

See Darin’s biography under Specialty Teachers.