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Faculty & Staff
Glenda Ding is our Mandarin instructor. A native of Lanzhou, in northwest China, Ms. Ding was a college professor for 10 years and taught foreign languages at a global education organization in Beijing for eight years. She holds a BA in literature and a master’s in economics.
Miguel teaches Orchestra at UPWS. He is an experienced violinist and offers private lessons to students individually and in groups. He has a B.A. in Music from Boston College and M.M. in Violin Performance from Roosevelt University. Miguel is a graduate of the Washington Waldorf School.
Ingrid is a native of Colombia with a B.A. degree in Business Administration with majors in Marketing and Advertising. Before moving to the US, she worked for several non-profits in Colombia. She was an early childhood assistant at the Chicago Waldorf School, and she has been a parent there for the last six years. Ingrid graduated from the Arcturus Waldorf teacher training program in Chicago, where she has served as the office administrator for the last four years. Ingrid is excited to complete her Handwork training at the Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, California next Spring.
Caroline Hermes, teacher in the Educational Support program, provides individual and small group instruction to students across all grades primarily in math and language arts curriculum. She often substitutes for lead classroom teachers and is a recess chaperone. Caroline is currently earning a Masters in Education at DePaul University. She has a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from Indiana University, Bloomington. Before coming to Urban Prairie, Caroline led trips for students in outdoor education and experiential learning. She was a Wilderness First Responder and completed an Outdoor Educator Course in Alaska, through NOLS: (National Outdoor Leadership School). She has also created community outreach opportunities, prevention programing, and service learning environments for middle school and high school youth.
Special Subjects Teacher
Ashley Ingold has many roles at UPWS. She chaperones recess and field trips, substitutes in special subjects classes, organizes and leads aftercare and summer camp, teaches art classes, and is part of the administrative support team. She has a BS degree in Art Education from SIUC and is enrolling in Acturus.
Lead teacher Angela Kiefer received her Waldorf training at the Great Lakes Teacher Training program, Milwaukee, WI. Prior to joining Urban Prairie, Ms. Kiefer taught the kindergarten summer program at Singing Winds Waldorf School in Riverside, IL. She is a former improv comedienne and an accomplished horsewoman. Ms. Kiefer holds a B.A. in French and theatre from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and has completed coursework for her M.A. in education, Mount Mary College.
Games and Movement Teacher
Adriana is the movement teacher and math tutor at UPWS. She is a Chicago Waldorf School graduate and is currently enrolled at Arcturus. She was the Assistant Director of CWS Summer Camp and will be leading the UPWS camp program this summer.
Shabath Leidy is our handwork and woodwork teacher. She attended Chicago Waldorf School from early childhood through 12th grade. After attending college, she received her Waldorf training at the Arcturus teacher training Center. Ms. Leidy is formerly an assistant at City Garden Early Childhood Center.
Prior to being hired as Administrator, Peggy served as chair of the Urban Prairie Board Finance Committee and Treasurer. She joined UPWS with a wealth of expertise in administration and finance in the luxury hospitality and wellness industry. She has managed P&Ls for the last 15 years from $2M to $20M in revenue. She has local and international experience in the luxury spa business and has led key corporate initiatives using strategic planning and analytical skills. She has launched multiple new properties and collaborated with corporate leadership in marketing, human resources, design and construction, training, and finance. A grade 1 and 3 parent, she is committed to Waldorf education and is passionate about Urban Prairie.
Moriah Peterson began her Waldorf teaching journey at City of Lakes Waldorf School in Minneapolis as an aftercare teacher. She soon enrolled in Antioch University New England to complete her Masters in Waldorf Education. While she studied at Antioch, she also worked at The Hartsbrook School, a Waldorf school in Massachusetts. After completing her studies, she returned to work at City of Lakes for one year before joining the faculty at Urban Prairie as a class teacher.
Class Teacher and Faculty Chair
Class teacher and Faculty Chair Mathew Riendeau trained at Arcturus Waldorf teacher training program in Chicago. Before coming to Urban Prairie, Mat taught at Water’s Edge Waldorf School in Wauconda, IL. Prior to realizing his calling as a Waldorf teacher, he completed two tours of service with the United States Peace Corps. He taught English for two years in Sichuan Province, China, and spent two years working at a rural health clinic in Burkina Faso in West Africa. He holds a B.A. in Chinese from Middlebury College.
Class teacher Mary Spalding is a graduate of the Arcturus Waldorf teacher training program in Chicago. She has also completed the Association For A Healing Eduation’s (AHE) Educational Support Program. She taught lyre and painting at the Chicago Waldorf School, where she has been a longtime parent and also served for ten years on their Board of Trustees in a myriad of capacities. Prior to her involvement with Waldorf education, she spent many years working in an administrative capacity for Northview Biosciences, an independent contract testing laboratory. She received an M.F.A. in Radio, Film and Television from Northwestern University and a B.F.A. in Visual Art from the University of California, Irvine.
Sarah Vander Meulen
Sarah Vander Meulen graduated from UIC with a Bachelors degree in History. She has been an active member of the Urban Prairie community both as a former board member and a teacher at City Garden. After completion of her Waldorf teacher training at Arcturus, she joined the Urban Prairie faculty as a class teacher.
Special Subjects Teacher
Maggie Winn is a recess and aftercare instructor at UPWS as well as an assistant in the Parent-Child program. Maggie has a Bachelor of Social Work degree and previously worked with refugees resettled in Chicago.