Faculty and Staff
Our faculty is made up of people who love what they teach, bringing passion and thought-provoking questions to all subjects. One of the distinctive features of our program is that we bring in specialists for some of our main lessons and track classes. In order to maintain a consistently high standard of education, we have a combination of resident and visiting faculty. We are committed to academic excellence that engenders true interest in the pursuit of knowledge.
Laurel Fisher – Co-Director/Founder, Artistic Director
Laurel co-founded Tara out of a life-long passion for the arts and a vivid memory of what the arts can mean for the adolescent. She began singing and acting at the age of four, and in high school created a kind of conservatory for herself, studying outside of school with master teachers in acting and music. Laurel has directed over one hundred Tara productions including musical theatre, drama, and choral music concerts since Tara was founded in 1994. She combines inspired direction with enlivened dramatic instruction to produce semi-professional level performances that enable students to find hidden potential that often translates to many areas of their lives. In addition to her 30 years of teaching experience, Laurel brings to Tara a wide range of professional musical experience both as a performer and as a teacher. Her musicianship and interests cover such diverse musical forms as opera, folk, rock ’n’ roll, musicals and classical choral music. Laurel received her higher education from both the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University. As well as being Tara’s artistic director, Laurel teaches Shakespeare and literature and is an instructor for the New York and Europe cultural history trips. Outside of school, Laurel loves spending time with her nine grandchildren.
Gregory Fisher – Co-Director/Founder, Administrator
Greg brings to Tara his rich background as a musician and professional actor. He first encountered Waldorf education as a parent, and he is excited by the combination of drama, music and a meaningful approach to education that is offered at Tara. Greg managed and was on the board of KGNU Community Radio in Boulder, administered a successful record company, and served a five-year term on the Boulder Arts Commission. He has a B.A. in Communications from Johnston College, University of Redlands, CA. In addition to being Tara’s administrator, Greg has taught literature and set and lighting design/construction at Tara over the last twenty years. He is also an instructor on the New York and Europe cultural history trips. Greg is a devoted grandfather to his eight grandchildren; his favorite hobbies are organic gardening, carpentry and beekeeping.
Elizabeth Barricklow – Co-Director/Founder
Betsy, a Waldorf graduate herself, taught kindergarten and took a class from first through eighth grade at Highland Hall Waldorf School in California. Subsequently, she taught high school for fourteen years before co-founding Tara. She has always recognized the enlivening and transformational effects of music and drama on young people. Betsy received her college education in literature and music at California State University Northridge, and her Waldorf training at Emerson College in England. In addition to her many responsibilities as a co-director of Tara, Betsy teaches Comedy and Tragedy, History through Drama, Communications and Russian Literature and is an instructor on the New York and Europe cultural history trips. Betsy is also Tara’s college counselor.
Michael D’Aleo – Science Department Mentor, Astronomy, Physics
Michael D’Aleo lectures nationally and internationally on the topics of science, education and environmental issues. He is a founding member and director of research at the Saratoga Experiential Natural Science Institute (SENSRI) in Keene Valley, New York. He cofounded the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs where he taught physical science and astronomy. Michael is also an instructor of Waldorf school physical science teachers at The Center for Anthroposophy in New Hampshire as well as a guest teacher at various teacher training institutions and Waldorf schools. Michael graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University and holds a Master's Degree in Education from Sunbridge College. In addition to mentoring Tara's science department, Michael is teaching astronomy to the seniors.
Dr. George Russell – Zoology
George visits Tara each year to teach the senior block in zoology. An alumnus of Princeton (A.B. in Biology) and Harvard (Ph.D. in Biology), George has a wealth of teaching experience, first at Princeton and then at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY, where he is Professor Emeritus of Biology. He served for many years as an advisor to the science faculty at the Garden City Waldorf School and as a member and Chair of the Board of Trustees of that school. George has worked diligently over the years to develop a living approach to the study of biology and has written extensively on the subject of humane treatment of animals in science teaching. He is Senior Editor of Orion magazine, which has won many awards and was once cited by the Boston Globe as “the leading environmental magazine in the country.” George has also been very active in the field of substance abuse and helped to form The American Council for Drug Education. George has taught every class that has graduated from Tara since the first class graduated in 2001.
Anne Starke – Humanities, Graphic Designer
A Waldorf graduate herself, Anne has taught at Tara for ten years. Anne sang in the Eugene Opera Chorus for five seasons, and she has a B.A. in Music from California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, California. She also earned an A.S. in Graphic Design from Lane Community College, Eugene, Oregon, and a B.A. in Art from the University of Oregon, Eugene. Anne received her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Waldorf Teacher Education Program in Eugene, Oregon. Though she recently moved back to Oregon, she returns several times a year to teach History through Art, History through Music I and Parsival. As Tara’s graphic designer, she is responsible for the school’s visual presence in print, advertising and on the web.
Leonore Russell – Art, Waldorf Education Mentor
Leonore has supported our work here at Tara with her extensive knowledge of Waldorf education for many years. After a long and rich career as chair of the high school and teacher of eurythmy and literature at the Garden City Waldorf School, Leonore began to mentor Waldorf teachers in the United States. She also created a program implementing “Eurythmy in the Workplace,” which has benefited groups in business, healthcare, education, and social work as well as Waldorf teachers, parents and boards of trustees. With her husband George, she founded and continues to run the Foundation Studies program, which is offered for credit at Adelphi University. In addition to all of this, Leonore is an accomplished artist, a painter able to capture the essence of her subjects with a depth of insight into color, movement and composition.
Elizabeth Moran – Choreography
Elizabeth has been Tara’s dance choreographer since the school opened in 1994. Elizabeth has a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre with an emphasis in dance from Avila University in Kansas City, MO, and an M.F.A. in Dance with an emphasis in education administration from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has taught at the University of Colorado, Boulder and was Director of Dance and Professor of Musical Theatre at the University of Northern Colorado. She also acted as Director of Dance at Kansas State University. Elizabeth is a practicing attorney at a law firm in Kansas City, Missouri. She returns to Tara five times each year to teach the dance choreography for the all-school musical. Students eagerly anticipate her visits and appreciate the level of professionalism and creativity she brings to their work together. She has only been able to attend performances of three of the productions that she has worked on, and each time, as she made her surprise before-show visit to the students back stage, a whoop of excitement was heard throughout the theater. We are so appreciative of her ongoing dedication to Tara.
Scott K. Leslie – Fight Choreography
Scott received his B.F.A. in Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He always loved the martial arts, and when he found he could merge combat and acting, it was a dream come true. Scott is currently a standing member of the Society of American Fight Directors, certified in many different styles of theatrical combat. Scott has had the pleasure of working as both an actor and a combat instructor with Opera Colorado and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and his work can also be seen in local award-winning film. Although Scott recently moved to L.A. to pursue his career, he returns periodically to teach and to choreograph at Tara.
Alison McCormack – Mathematics
Alison earned a B.A. in Mathematics and an M.A. in Mathematics and Statistics from Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri. She has nineteen years of teaching experience, sixteen of which have been at Tara. Her students believe she may be the best math teacher in the world. Alison is chair of the Tara’s mathematics department, and this year she is teaching Algebra II, Advanced Geometry and Calculus.
Keir Hyatt - Mathematics
Keir earned a B.A. in History with a minor in English from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. This is his twelfth year teaching high school mathematics; he has previously also taught English, history, and special education. Keir enjoys spending time with his wife and son, hiking and playing ultimate Frisbee. He teaches Algebra I, Geometry and Pre-Calculus at Tara.
Dr. Betsy Kabrick – Mathematics, Science, Special Accommodations Director
Helping students “get it” is a huge joy for Betsy; as a child she used to make up math problems for neighbor kids to do! She earned a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and did post-doctoral research for the Women in Science and Engineering Project. Betsy taught high school math, chemistry, and physics at Shining Mountain Waldorf School for several years. Currently, she loves working as a private tutor in math and science, and she also offers intuitive massage therapy in her private practice. Some of her other passions include dancing at the Avalon Ballroom, singing with the Boulder County Threshold Singers, hiking along creeks, and spending time with her two teenagers.
Gregory Locker – Science
For over a decade, Gregory has gained experience in a variety of educational environments including experiential education, managing organic farms and teaching at several schools in Colorado. Gregory has an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Montana and a M.A. in Secondary Science Education from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Additionally, Gregory is devoted rock climber and certified guide who has traveled as far afield as Australia to seek out rich experiences in the vertical world, experiences that very much inspire his life as an educator. Gregory is teaching chemistry, physics and cell biology at Tara.
Kim Williams – Science
Kim earned her Bachelor of Arts in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education from Brevard College in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. She served as a teaching assistant on two “Voice of the Rivers” expeditions, a source-to-sea interdisciplinary study of a river in which two college classes are conducted. She is excited to combine her interests in education and the natural world when teaching geology and geography as well as chaperoning the Native American trip.
Catherine Barricklow – Nomad Playhouse Production Manager, Commedia and 10th Grade Play Director, Humanities, Science, Communications
Catherine is a Tara graduate, director, production manager and outdoor educator. She holds a degree in theater with a concentration in directing and stage management from Otterbein University, and she worked in stage management and production management at the Public Theater in New York City from 2008 - 2013. She served as associate director and co-author of the 2011 world premiere of Unnatural Acts, which received Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Director. Catherine is guest director in the drama department of Brevard College in North Carolina and spends her summers leading month-long wilderness and service expeditions for high school students with Deer Hill Expeditions. At Tara, Catherine is directing the ninth grade commedia and tenth grade play, chaperoning the New York trip, and teaching Native American Traditions, History through Drama, Embryology and practical theatre. She is also bringing her considerable expertise to managing and upgrading the Nomad Playhouse, realizing our vision for it as a vibrant center for the arts.
Julie Moinicken – Civics
Julie brings over thirty years of teaching experience, including twelve years in Waldorf education, to her work with students at Tara. She recently took a class from first to eighth grade at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School. Julie has a B.A. in Education from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota and completed her Waldorf Teacher Training at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California. Currently, she is a graduate student in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at Naropa. Julie does rock climbing, practices yoga, plays flute and piano, gardens and writes poetry. Additionally, she enjoys spending time with her two adult sons, one of whom is a Tara graduate.
Matthew Witherow – History, Music, Assistant Choir Conductor
Matt received no music instruction until he attended the University of Louisiana where he was awarded the Clara Freiburg Scholarship and the Florence Allbritton Award and was Outstanding Senior within the Division of Music. He obtained his master’s degree in music from the University of Colorado. Matt currently performs as both a collaborative and a solo artist and has played for several Waldorf organizations. Last summer, Matt completed the second year of Waldorf High School teacher training at the Center for Anthroposophy in New Hampshire. Matt is Tara’s assistant choir director, and he teaches history, music theory, handbells and History through Music II. He has shared his talents as an accompanist in Tara’s Candlelight Festival and all-school musicals for several years; he became quite a hero when a wasp stung his finger during a performance of Guys and Dolls and he continued to play without a single missed note.
Adam Agee – English
Adam is a Waldorf graduate and has a B.A. in Visual Art and Design from Rhode Island School of Design. He has taught a variety of subjects at Tara in the past and currently teaches Transcendentalism to the senior class.
Greer Galloway – English, Administrative Specialist
Greer has been involved with Waldorf education for sixteen years. She was a founding parent and faculty member of a start-up initiative in southwest Colorado, and she recently led a class fourth through eighth grade at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School. Greer has a B.A. in International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C. where she also studied literature and public education. She completed her Waldorf Teaching Certificate at Antioch University, New England, and she is currently working on her Master of Education degree. Greer is teaching literature, writing and grammar to the eleventh and twelfth grades this year. In the office, Greer contributes to the smooth running of the school, from the daily schedule to State Historical Fund grant applications. Greer loves to dance, backpack, knit, ski, and seek out hot springs. Two of her three sons are current Tara students.
Sorel Haruf – English
Sorel holds a B.A. in French with a minor in Global Studies from Nebraska Wesleyan University. Having told her parents long ago that she would never follow in their footsteps and become a teacher, she has just completed her 27th year as ... a teacher. She has taught nearly all ages of students, from early childhood to adults, in a variety of subjects. Motivated by a yearning to effect change at a deep level, Sorel has also branched out into training and working in various healing capacities. She is thrilled to share her love of literature with the students at Tara.
Giada Shaver – English
A Tara graduate and lifelong Waldorf student, Giada earned a B.A. cum laude from Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts in New York City, where she received the prestigious Bea Banu scholarship, held a fellowship and worked as a research assistant in performance studies. She has led school tours and taught in the teen programs at the Rubin Museum of Art and written archival entries and co-curated an event series at the Archive for Archetypal Symbolism. Though she lives in New York, where she recently became a lead teacher at Brooklyn Forest School, she returns each fall to Tara to work with the seniors on their college application personal statement and supplemental essays.
Pamela Shaver – English, History, Costumer, Editor
Pamela has a B.A. in Visual Design from the University of California at Berkeley. For nearly a decade, she lived in Italy, where she worked as a graphic designer, translator and baker, among other things; learning to speak English again upon her return to the U.S. led directly into her career as a writer and editor. A lifelong student of literature and social history – at age 14 she created her first costume and character as one of Queen Elizabeth’s ladies-in-waiting at the Bay Area Renaissance Faire – Pamela brings that passion to dressing most of Tara’s annual productions. She teaches writing to the tenth graders and assists seniors with the college application process, and this year she is also providing them with a whirlwind introduction to the monarchies of Britain and Austria as background for the Europe trip. As Tara’s chief editor, she helps to curate the school’s image and presence in print, advertising and on the web.
David Cooley – Spanish
David is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a degree in Religious Studies. He has worked as a professional chef for over 19 years, and in that time he has developed a love for the Spanish language as well as for the rich cultures that embody it. During the last few years, he has been transitioning out of the kitchen and into work focused on teaching Spanish and English, community outreach, and social justice. This shift in focus is ultimately the result of his many years spent side by side with predominantly Latino coworkers and his intense passion for crossing cultural boundaries. This year, David is teaching advanced Spanish in the twelfth grade.
Olga Correll – German
Olga grew up in Munich, Germany, and she lived and studied in the U.K. and Switzerland before moving to the U.S. She holds a dual master’s degree magna cum laude in Philosophy and Computational Linguistics from Université de Genève, and her thesis on statistical machine translation was co-supervised at M.I.T. Fluent in English, German and French, Olga has worked as a journalist, editor, tutor and literary agent with a focus on literature in translation. Her true love for teaching starts at home, where she raises her four children bilingually, mindfully living their cultural heritage each day.
Claudia Hendricks – Spanish
A native of Argentina, Claudia is passionate about Spanish language and culture. She holds a degree in Foreign Language Acquisition and Communication from Universidad Nacional de Rosario and has taught for 18 years both there and at CU Boulder. As a speech and language therapist, she has helped many students thrive in their language-learning experience. She has also directed and worked in many volunteer projects in Argentina, Mexico and Boulder County. She loves spending time with family and friends, cooking and learning new things.
Anna Poisson – German
Anna does not believe in fixed boundaries. Having grown up during the system change in Poland, Anna crossed her first border as soon as she graduated from high school and headed to Germany to study comparative literature and USA-Studies. Very soon she discovered that living in the West and speaking and thinking in a different language allowed her to better understand her Slavic heritage. After fifteen years working as a translator, in public relations for a museum, and as a newspaper-journalist and author of a book on shipbuilding, she followed her husband to Boulder to be near her teenage stepchildren. Here she translates her current foreign experience into writing and black & white photography. At Tara she is guided by the thought of Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world,” and she hopes to equip her students with the keys to every world they wish to enter.
Ileana Barbu - Art
Ileana became acquainted with Waldorf Education when she enrolled her ninth grade daughter in Tara years ago. She holds an M.F.A. from the Fine Arts Institute “N. Grigorescu” in Bucharest. Her professional artwork (some of which can be seen in Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church in Boulder) includes sculpture and iconography, and she is equally passionate about Romanian dance.
John Ehrhart – Surveying
Registered land surveyor and owner of Ehrhart Land Surveying, John holds a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Creighton University and an M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology from Naropa University. John is co-founder of the Colorado Center for Restorative Practices and has been a restorative justice facilitator for 10 years. He is also a program instructor for the Prison Mindfulness Institute at both the Boulder County Jail and Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center. John is the author of Restorative Parenting: 7 Ways to Transform the Parent-Child Relationship. He is a singer-songwriter and enjoys being in the wilderness and philosophizing. Two of his four children have attended or are currently attending Tara.
Neal Ritter & Gelsomina Malferrari – Primitive Skills
Neal has been inspired by nature since childhood. After graduating from Tara, he spent his wandering years hitchhiking through many foreign countries and studying tracking and primitive skills at wilderness schools and gatherings around the U.S. He spends a great deal of time working on bow-making, tracking and primitive hunting, and this passion led him to co-found the Laughing Coyote Project, a non-profit where he continues to teach the skills of our ancestors.
Gelsey was born and raised in Boulder on a community farm. Coming from a bilingual family, she spent many summers in Italy. Gelsey earned her B.A. in Integrative Studies from Warren Wilson College, and her passion for art was nurtured throughout her Waldorf education, which influences her to this very day. Co-founder of the Laughing Coyote Project, Gelsey teaches basketry, fiber arts and plant-based earth-living skills.
Terryann Stillwell – Eurythmy, Props
Colleen Hansen – Events Manager, Office Assistant
Colleen earned a degree in physiology/cell biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and later attained a real estate broker’s license in Colorado. She has worked in computer technical support, hardware and software sales, commercial real estate brokering, full-time parenting, catering and landscaping and is a dedicated volunteer at Waldorf schools. She enjoys being in nature, running, bike-riding, swimming and playing in the kitchen and the yard.
Cooper Hansen – Nomad Playhouse Lead Technician
A recent Tara graduate, Cooper is involved in “all things tech” at the Nomad Playhouse – running lights and sound for renters, researching and installing tech upgrades, logging asset inventories – and assists the production manager/producer. He also attends to technical dilemmas at the Riverside campus. When not figuring out and playing with anything technological, Cooper pursues his interests in music, recording, learning programming languages, biking and working with electricity.
Thisha McBride – Office Manager
Thisha earned a bachelor’s degree in health education at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley. Longtime community members of the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork in Carbondale, she and her family moved to Boulder so that her daughter could attend Tara. She enjoys working in the office helping the faculty, staff, students, and parents.
Courtney Nicoletti – Enrollment Coordinator, Marketing, Fitness
Courtney holds a B.A. in Spanish and Fine Arts. She has spent significant time abroad, studying at Universidad Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rica, and traveling through Guatemala, Venezuela, London, France and, most recently, the southernmost countries of Africa. In 2015, Courtney returned to Tara after a year of living Zambia, where she taught IB and IGCSE Visual Art at the International School of Lusaka. Formerly Tara’s Spanish teacher, she is now our full-time enrollment coordinator, marketing director and student liaison. She felt that it was her job to spread the word about this wonderful school! She also shares her passion for fitness with the students in movement classes. In her spare time, Courtney loves to be outdoors, running, biking, and climbing.
Paula Saxon – Bookkeeper
Paula hails from a small town in Georgia. She owned a few small businesses with her husband in the South and, after moving to Colorado eight years ago, decided to get a degree to back all of her bookkeeping experience; she is currently pursuing an M.B.A. in Accounting at CU Boulder. Over the last five years she has been volunteering as the administrator, now the executive director, of the Longmont homeless shelter, Agape Family Services. She enjoys reading, camping, riding ATVs, and cooking.