Early Childhood Faculty

Starflower Nursery: ages 2 1/2 to 4 years


Jennifer Palmer (Lead Teacher) is a seasoned Waldorf teacher with years of experience at The Denver Waldorf School. Mrs. Palmer was a Lead Kindergarten Teacher and Lead Assistant at River Song Waldorf School. She holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Kent State University. She is Director Center qualified in the state of Colorado, and has her Waldorf teaching certification from Sunbridge Institute. She also trained through Sophia’s Hearth in Birth~Three and Lifeways Training for embracing the domestic arts in working with children birth to seven. You many contact Mrs. Palmer at jenniferpalmer@denverwaldorf.org.
Passions: Social activism for environmental health and sustainable practices to prepare the earth for future generations; supporting our struggling bee population by hosting a hive in her backyard; gardening, hiking, live music, dancing like a fool, road tripping, soaking in our amazing Colorado hot springs for renewal.
Favorite Quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi
Occupation You’d Like to Try Other than Teaching: Biodynamic farmer or realtor for people seeking unique properties designed or re-designed with environmental sustainability in mind.

Kimberly-RickardsKimberly Rickards (Lead Assistant) has been working in the kindergartens at DWS since 2011, and also worked at the Waldorf School in Anchorage, Alaska for two years as a kindergarten assistant. Kimberly holds bachelor’s degree in biology and has been a very successful field/wildlife biologist. She is now in a Master’s program in zoology through the Miami University in cooperation with Denver Zoo.

Buttercup Nursery


Rachel Ladasky (Lead Teacher) first came to The Denver Waldorf School as an intern in Morning Glory Kindergarten and then worked there as the Lead Assistant for two years. She has worked as a volunteer French teacher and substitute teacher at River Song Waldorf School. Rachel went to Waldorf nursery school herself and has always held that experience close to her heart, happily finding her way back as an adult. Rachel is Director Center Qualified in the state of Colorado and holds a BA in French and Education from Colorado State University and a M. Ed. in Early Childhood Waldorf Education from Antioch University New England. You may contact Miss Rachel at rachelladasky@denverwaldorf.org or ext. 133.Passions: Knitting, cooking, traveling, reading, live music, being in nature, time with friends and family
Favorite quote: “Do I make myself a blessing to everyone I meet?” ~ Brandi Carlile
Occupation You’d Like to Try? Museum curator, European tour guide or writer

Mary Ray Mary Ray (Lead Assistant) comes to Buttercup Nursery after serving as Nap Assistant in Morning Glory. Mary began working in an early childhood setting in 2001 and has led a Parent-Tot class in the past as well. She earned her bachelors degree in psychology from Brigham Young University, and completed her Early Childhood teacher certification at Red Rocks Community College. Mary brings extensive experience from both volunteering and working in classrooms, but her greatest Waldorf training has come from raising her 3 children as they receive their Waldorf education at DWS. Mary enjoys spending time with her family, exploring the outdoors, reading and traveling.

Morning Glory Preschool/Kindergarten Class: ages 3 1/2 to 6 years

Laurie_ClarkLaurie Clark (Lead Teacher) has been teaching Waldorf Preschool Kindergarten for 25 years. She attended the Teacher Training program at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, California, and she also has earned her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She has completed the East Coast Training in Remedial Work. She mentors Waldorf teachers around the country and teaches in various training courses for teachers. You may contact Mrs. Clark at laurieclark@denverwaldorf.org or ext. 166.

Britney GaillotBrittney Gaillot (Lead Assistant) graduated from The Denver Waldorf School in 2006. She went on to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder and graduated with a BA in Humanities with an emphasis in Political Science and Linguistics. She rowed crew as a member of the CU crew team. Brittney returned to The Denver Waldorf School in the spring of 2011 as assistant in the first grade class as well as the games teacher in grades one through three. She also assisted our reading specialist, Mary Spotts. Brittney continued onto the second grade as assistant the following year, and took over the class as the main teacher very successfully for half a year during the class teacher’s maternity leave. Brittney will begin her Waldorf Teaching Training at Antioch College in a part time program over the next 3 years. She can be reached at brittneygaillot@denverwaldorf.org.

Rachel_KopfleRachel Kopfle (Kindergarten Nap Assistant)
Rachel holds a B.A. in Economics and French from Colorado College. Before making the decision to be a full time stay-at-home mom, Rachel worked in the Training Center at TIAA-CREF, a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing financial services to employees in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields. She began working as a Substitute Nap Assistant in the DWS Kindergartens in April of 2013 and has continued through this school year.
Rachel brings a calm, confident presence into the classroom, using creativity to enhance learning, and showing sincere interest in the well-being and growth of the students.
What career would you like to try other than teaching? A vintner in southern France
Passions: Reading, camping, hiking, cooking, spending quality time with my husband, son and dog
Favorite quote: “Peace is every step.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Larkspur Preschool/Kindergarten Class: ages 3 1/2 to 6 years

Alice JordanAlice Jordan (Lead Teacher) has been teaching Waldorf Preschool Kindergarten for over two decades. Alice has been an advocate for the protection of childhood all her adult life. She was a La Leche League leader for many years, and a volunteer at Urban Peak (a homeless shelter for teenagers). Raised in Australia and trained at Melbourne’s Tate Theatre Company, she traveled extensively until settling in Colorado. You may contact Ms. Jordan at alicejordan6@gmail.com or ext. 184.


Brooke Huffman (Nap Assistant) has been with Larkspur for many years and is a cherished member of the Larkspur team and the Aftercare team.

Woodrose Preschool/Kindergarten Class: ages 3 1/2 to 6 years

Krisztina van't VeerKrisztina van’t Veer (Lead Teacher) has been working in various Waldorf environments for the past 17 years. Raised in Hungary she has lived, studied and worked in Germany, Scotland and the United States. She has a BA in Social Work with an emphasis on people with disabilities which she completed in Germany, writing her thesis about Anthroposophy and Camphill communities. Ms. Krisztina has completed her Foundation Year with Rudolf Steiner College. She worked for four years in Camphill communities in Germany and Scotland, and as Lead Assistant at Parzival Shield Waldorf Kindergarten in Denver.  She has been working at DWS for eleven years; first as a substitute and nap assistant, later as the Lead Assistant in the Woodrose Kindergarten. She is currently enrolled in the Waldorf Teacher Training Program at Sound Circle Center for Arts and Anthroposophy. Krisztina speaks three languages and teaches German to children and adults. She has been a parent at DWS for 11 years. You may contact Mrs. van’t Veer at ext. 156.

tcyndiCyndi Ross-Smith (Woodrose Lead Assistant) has decades of Waldorf experience. She started working at the San Diego Waldorf School in 1990. She helped to develop the Aftercare Program for The Denver Waldorf School and she worked as an Aftercare staff member from 1997-2004, becoming the Director of The Denver Waldorf School Aftercare Program in 2004. Miss Cyndi has had two formal years of Early Childhood Education and years of on-the-job training, as she has worked with young children in some capacity since she was 19. Miss Cyndi attends Nancy Blanning’s kindergarten studies throughout the year as well as other Kindergarten workshops and Waldorf conferences. She loves baking, singing and crafting with the children. You may contact Miss Cyndi at ext. 173.
Passions: Walking, hiking, riding a Cruiser!
Mantra: “Live in the moment; the moment is all we have”
Favorite Quote: “What day is it?” “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh ~ A.A. Milne”
Other Occupation You’d Like to Try? Nursing

Megan Smith (Nap Assistant)
Megan Smith is the mother of 5 children. All five started in the Denver Waldorf kindergarten and now three are graduates/alumni and two are in the high school. She has been a substitute teacher at the school on and off for since 2002. Megan earned a BS in microbiology from Colorado State University and an Associates Degree as a veterinary technician. She has completed the state’s requirements for an Early Childhood Teacher.