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.

Co-Directors

Visiting Faculty

Resident Faculty

   

   

   

Staff

  

  

  

  

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Location

Tara Performing Arts High School
4180 19th St
Boulder CO 80304

Contact 303-440-4510 office@tarahighschool.org



BACIS

  

Tara Performing Arts High School is committed to an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone; we extend the same rights and privileges to all prospective and current students. Tara does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, religion, disability, medical condition, marital status, citizenship status, military service status or other basis prohibited by law.

  

© 2018 Tara Performing Arts High School   |   Web design by Starkeconcepts

Laurel co-founded Tara out of a lifelong 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 33 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 and choral director, Laurel directs many of our productions, teaches Shakespeare and is an instructor for the New York and Europe cultural history trips. Outside of school, Laurel loves spending time with her ten grandchildren.

Greg, who first encountered Waldorf education as a parent, brings to Tara his rich background as a musician and professional actor. Greg was the General Manager of KGNU Community Radio in Boulder, was the Promotions Director and a producer for a successful record company and served a five-year term on the Boulder Arts Commission. He has a B.A. in Holistic Education from Johnston College, University of Redlands, CA. Greg taught literature and set and lighting design/construction at Tara for twenty years; in addition to his many duties as co-director of the school, he is also an instructor on the New York and Europe cultural history trips. A devoted grandfather to his ten grandchildren, Greg’s other favorite hobbies are organic gardening, carpentry and beekeeping.

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, Child Development and Russian Literature; she is also an instructor on the New York and Europe cultural history trips and Tara’s college counselor.

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 graduating class at Tara since 2001.

A Waldorf graduate herself, Anne has taught at Tara for eleven 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 will return to teach History through Art II this year. As Tara’s graphic designer, she is responsible for the school’s visual presence in print, advertising and on the web.

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 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 several 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 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.

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. This year, she is leaving New York and her teaching job at Brooklyn Forest School and starting anew in Kentucky. Wherever she wanders, she returns each fall to Tara to work with the seniors on their college application personal statement essays.

Alison earned a B.A. in Mathematics and an M.A. in Mathematics and Statistics from Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri. She has twenty-one years of teaching experience, eighteen 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 earned a B.A. in History with a minor in English from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. This is his fourteenth year teaching high school mathematics; he has previously also taught English, history and special education. Keir enjoys spending time with his wife and children, hiking and playing ultimate Frisbee. At Tara this year he is teaching Algebra I and Precalculus in addition to his duties as business manager and member of the leadership council.

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. This year she is teaching ninth grade physiology and all of the chemistry classes at Tara.

Bobak started his working career in Silicon Valley as a computer chip design engineer, a problem-solving activity at the forefront of technology, which he thoroughly enjoyed until he realized the effect of the products of his industry on society as a whole and specifically on young people. This realization motivated him to change his profession and to do what he believes can counter those adverse effects. Although he is now passionately focusing on teaching high school science, he feels that the intensive artistic training he received in eurythmy contributes much to his ability as a Waldorf teacher. Currently, he is teaching physics, projective geometry, geometry, algebra II and eurythmy at Tara. His daughter is currently an eleventh grader at Tara.

Kim earned her B.A. 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 enjoys combining her interests in education and the natural world when teaching geology, integrative studies, primitive skills and geography as well as chaperoning the Native American trip.

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 wilderness and service expeditions for high school students with Deer Hill Expeditions. At Tara, Catherine is directing the ninth grade commedia and twelfth grade play, chaperoning all of the trips and teaching Native American Traditions, History through Drama and Embryology in addition to being a member of the leadership council. She also brings her considerable expertise to managing and upgrading the Nomad Playhouse, realizing our vision for it as a vibrant center for the arts.

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 Waldorf High School teacher training at the Center for Anthroposophy in New Hampshire. Matt is Tara’s assistant choir director; he also teaches history, music theory, handbells, History through Art I, History through Music and Bible Literature. He has shared his talents as an accompanist in Tara’s Candlelight Festival and all-school musicals for many years; he became quite a hero when a wasp stung his finger during a performance and he continued to play without a single missed note.

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 has been involved with Waldorf education for seventeen 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. This year, Greer is teaching literature, writing and grammar, Parsival and college applications in addition to contributing in myriad ways to the smooth running of the school and serving as faculty liaison, AWSNA representative and member of the leadership council. Greer loves to dance, backpack, knit, ski, and seek out hot springs. One of her three sons is a Tara graduate; the other two are current Tara students.

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 29th 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.

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 college application supplementary essays; she also provides the twelfth graders with a whirlwind introduction to the monarchies of Britain and Austria as background for the Europe trip. Pamela is a member of the leadership council, and as Tara’s chief editor, she helps to curate the school’s image and presence in print, advertising and on the web.

David is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a degree in Religious Studies. He has worked as a professional chef for over 20 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 head of the World Language Department; he teaches advanced Spanish to all the grades.

Born in Germany to American parents, Ashley lived in Heidelberg for her first few years. She expanded her connection to the German language in high school and college studies, which included some amazing exchange programs in Bonn, Cologne and Munich. Ashley taught German at a foreign-language magnet school in Houston, Texas until her children were born; now that her kids are in their final years of high school, she is pursuing a master’s degree in applied linguistics with a focus on foreign language pedagogy. She loves martial arts, dance and movement of any sort. Ashley is teaching all the German classes at Tara this year.

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 in Zambia, where she taught IB and IGCSE Visual Art at the International School of Lusaka. This year, Courtney returns to teaching Spanish at Tara, the job she began here in 2007, in addition to her roles as enrollment coordinator and events coordinator. In her spare time, Courtney loves to be outdoors, running, biking, and climbing.

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 12 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. Three of his four children have attended or are currently attending Tara.

A designer, performer, experimenter, artist-enabler and live-show runner, Shevek is a Tara graduate, he is conservatory trained as an actor and he has 13 years of direct experience in production, having learned his trade as a journeyman. He began his professional journey in New York City where he worked for 7 years; in 2016 he became the Nomad Playhouse’s technical director. He teaches the technical theater elective to Tara students.

Terryann completed her Waldorf teacher training at Sunbridge College and received her eurythmy diploma from Sound Circle Eurythmy here in Boulder. At Tara, Terryann teaches Candlelight eurythmy and commedia movement; she also shares her talents costuming the ninth grade play and sometimes painting sets for our productions. One of her children graduated from Tara in 2015.

Marissa, who has worked in special education, academic support services and youth advocacy at schools in Nairobi, Denver and Kansas City, Missouri, is an important part of Tara's office staff and our educational accommodations coordinator. Marissa grew up in Kenya. She came to Colorado to attend Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she earned a B.S. in Human Services. Shortly afterward, she decided to become and teacher and joined Teach for America; she earned her M.A. in Education from the University of Missouri. Marissa and her husband have two young children, and she enjoys camping, biking, running and cooking.

Cathlin brings her background in fundraising and her technological know-how and administrative skills to Tara’s development, marketing and IT projects. She grew up outside of Washington, D.C. and has a degree in biology from the University of Victoria in Canada. She and her husband have moved all over North America, never staying in one place for long before they landed in the Boulder area, where they intend to remain. Cathlin really likes to be outside, hiking or gardening, but more than anything else, she loves to paint, mostly oils and acrylics.

Jan earned a B.S. in Education from Boston University and later went on to receive her Waldorf certificate from Sunbridge College. She has taught grades one through eight in Waldorf schools both in Colorado and California. One of her daughters graduated from Tara. Jan enjoys hiking, knitting, cooking and, as much as possible, spending time with her grandchildren.

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 nine 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 seven 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.

Skye is an editor and counselor (doing elder care), and she loves being part of educational communities. Skye loves reading novels, making collage art and taking dance classes. She is so happy to be working at Tara!