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.

Leadership Council

Faculty and Staff

Faculty Mentors

   

   

  

  

  

  

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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.

  

© 2020 Tara Performing Arts High School   |   Web design by Starke Design Studio

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 35 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 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 learning that is offered at Tara. 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; he is currently an advisor for the New York and Europe cultural history trips, which he led for many years. 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, travel 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-Founder and co-director of Tara, Betsy teaches Comedy and Tragedy, Child Development and Russian Literature; she also is a chaperone on some of the Tara trips. Lately, with the formation of the Leadership Council, she is focusing some of her energy on faculty mentoring to ensure that Tara’s core vision that can continue into perpetuity.

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 visited Tara each year to teach the senior block in zoology from 2001 to 2017.

A Waldorf graduate herself, Anne taught at Tara for thirteen years and continues to provide mentorship to faculty. 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. As Tara’s graphic designer, she is responsible for the school’s visual presence in print, advertising and on the web.

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.

Keir earned a B.A. in History with a minor in English from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. This is his seventeenth year teaching high school mathematics; he has previously also taught English, history and special education. Keir enjoys spending time with his family, hiking and exploring. At Tara this year he is teaching Algebra I, Geometry and Precalculus in addition to his duties as the Honor Code Advisor and member of the leadership council.

Sky is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, where she danced competitively from the age of 3 and later taught dance with the Dance Dynamics Company. She continued to dance with the Boston College Dance Ensemble and community organizations. In 2014, she joined the Blue Moon Dance Company out of Boulder, Colorado. After receiving a degree in Astrophysics from CU Boulder, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Whenever she is not dancing, Sky is busy pursuing a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from CU Boulder.

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, environmental 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 directs two productions per year, leads many of the Tara travel experiences, and teaches 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. 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.

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 Tara’s mathematics department, and this semester she is teaching Advanced Algebra I to the ninth grade.

Greer has been involved in Waldorf education since 2001. Shortly after she began her Waldorf teaching career, she helped to found a small start-up initiative in southwest Colorado, as both parent and faculty. She remained there until 2009, moved to the Font Range, and then led a class fourth through eighth grade at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School before beginning to work at Tara in 2015. Greer earned a B.A. in International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C. where she also studied literature and education. She completed her Waldorf Teaching Certificate at Antioch University, New England, after working closely with independent mentors for many years. As Tara's Administrative Manager, Greer is helping the school's founders and the new generation of leaders and teachers to make the Tara program strong and sustainable far into the future. She teaches, works with individual faculty as well as students and parents, is a class sponsor and a member of the Leadership Council; she is also the school representative to the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America. Greer and her partner, Francis, love to dance, backpack, play in the snow, and seek out hot springs. All three of their children attended Tara.

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 32nd 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. A lifelong student of literature and social history, Pamela brings that passion to dressing some of Tara’s annual productions. She also teaches History through Art to the ninth graders. As outreach coordinator, she helps to curate Tara’s image online and in print, and as alumni liaison, she is working to maintain and strengthen Tara's relationship with former students. Her daughter graduated from Tara in 2011.

Information coming soon!

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. In her spare time, Courtney loves to be outdoors, running, biking, and climbing.

For a long time, Robert visited Boulder twice each year to teach chemistry at Tara. A trained Waldorf science teacher, research scientist on the cutting edge of many scientific theories and co-founder of the Emerson Waldorf School in North Carolina, Robert holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Certificate in Waldorf High School Science Education from Antioch New England Graduate School. He worked for many years as a software engineer at IBM and is a recipient of IBM’s Corporate Quality Award for innovative work in software development. This year, Robert is mentoring his former student at Tara, Keats Dormont, to teach Waldorf chemistry in his inimitable style!

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 15 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; she also shares her talents costuming and painting sets for some productions. One of her children graduated from Tara in 2015.

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. Cathlin teaches art at Tara.

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 reading, hiking, knitting and 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.

Ileana became acquainted with Waldorf Education when she enrolled her ninth-grade daughter in Tara many years ago. She is equally talented in art, including sculpture and iconography (her work can be seen in Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church in Boulder) and Romanian dance.

Keats earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from CU Boulder and has completed multiple leadership and communication programs through Landmark Worldwide. As part of his commitment to the multifaceted wellbeing of the individual all the way out to our biosphere, he recently started a company that implements sustainable solutions for local and global ecological and economic challenges. This is Keats’s first year on staff after nearly a decade of continuous involvement as an alumnus. He teaches physics, chemistry, and movement in addition to directing the 9th grade play and managing Tara’s facilities.

Angela graduated summa cum laude from C.U. Boulder with a degree in English and a degree in Spanish. She moved to Madrid after college, where she translated company websites and business communications and taught English then served as the Social Media and Communications Manager at IE University. She is thrilled to be a part of Tara's faculty and loves sharing both the beauty of the Spanish language and its vibrant culture with students.

Francis moved from upstate New York to Colorado in 1997. He has worked in the construction industry across the nation for 30 years. From contracting buildings to creating custom log trim and cabinetry for multi-million-dollar homes, Francis brings a wide range of experience to teaching History through Architecture this year. Francis is father to three Tara students and has provided support to the school and the Nomad Playhouse in many roles for many years. He enjoys snowboarding and swing dancing.

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 postdoctoral 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 eleventh grade Algebra II and twelfth grade Calculus at Tara.

Natalie is a Tara graduate, opera singer, cellist and craft artist. She completed the Foundation Year of Waldorf teacher training at Emerson College, she holds B.S. and M.A. degrees in Music Performance from Adelphi University and CU Boulder. She has studied and performed roles at home and abroad, and she also worked as a teacher’s assistant at Waldorf schools in New York and Colorado. At Tara, she assists with choir and festivals; she also runs the enrollment and registrar office. In her free time, she crochets large mandala blankets, to the delight of her cat, Pip.