danelys vAlcarcel
Pre-school & Kindergarten LEAD

Danelys is a Cuban-born artist, a student of Theosophy, Anthroposophy, and Hindu philosophy. Currently working as Pre-School and Kindergarten teacher at Four Winds and as an assistant librarian, facilitator and researcher for the Theosophical Society in America, she is also a Montessori and Krishnamurti teacher. Her service oriented career widens her heart further to working with seniors, homeless and mentoring young adults and prisoners. In her spear time she teaches pentatonic flute, lyre and therapeutic art. Children, nature and God are her greatest sources of strength and inspiration. Trained as a Early Childhood Waldorf teacher at Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Education Program, Danelys has dedicated the past fourteen years of her life to researching the field of spiritual education; significant impulse that led her to discover the magnificent glory of Waldorf pedagogy.  

Carlene Mogavero    Pre-school & Kindergarten LEAD

Carlene is a founding parent of Four Winds Waldorf School and has 18 years of classroom experience, 12 as lead kindergarten teacher. She completed her training at the West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy in Vancouver, Canada. Inspired by nature and the delight of seasonal festivals, she brings joy and creativity to her storytelling and movement work with her class. Her two children, now adults, are Waldorf graduates.


Linda Spadlowski

Bio coming soon!



Anna’s involvement with Four Winds began when her children started their Waldorf journey in the pre-school program and continued as they made their way through the grades.  For six years, Anna provided private childcare for Four Winds’ families then joined our staff as office coordinator then afternoon and after-school care provider.  Since 2009, she has been an assistant teacher in our pre-school and kindergarten programs.  Anna is a graduate of Illinois Benedictine College with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.  Her current position provides a refreshing change in focus after working in the tech field for twelve years.


Nancy Williams

Nancy J. Williams, formerly Della is a German native that relocated to Chicago in the 90’s. She has played the violin since she was a child becoming the youngest member of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra in history. In addition to teaching violin she taught at the University of Chicago and used to be a classroom teacher at different Waldorf schools. We are happy to have Nancy as a 1st Grade teacher this year.



Liz is a master teacher in Waldorf Education and now in her fourth cycle of teaching 1st through 8th grade. She has a passion for teaching which includes training others to become Waldorf teachers, consultant work, and mentoring. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a sense of humor to Four Winds.



Bianca graduated from Millikin University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance.  She has a combined Master of Arts in Education and Waldorf Teacher Training through a collaboration with Mount Mary University and the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute. Bianca is passionate about children and teaching and is grateful that being at Four Winds allows her to be with her own two children every day and to explore the world creatively, artistically, and spiritually.


Karen Hays
4th Grade

Karen is a co-founder of Four Winds Waldorf School and has taught pre-school, choir, recorder, and music for many years. She earned her teaching certificate from Elmhurst College concentrating on Chemistry and Earth Sciences. She received a Therapeutic Early Childhood certificate from Gradalis Institute and completed her Waldorf teacher training at Sunbridge Institute. She joined the grades faculty in 2013 and brings a love of nature, music, and the sciences to the classroom.


Barbara DuRocher      5th grade

Barbara DuRocher has been involved in Waldorf education for over 23 years and there's no end in sight!  She has worked as a faculty member, administrator, board member and parent at both Four Winds and Da Vinci Waldorf Schools, and was a founding parent at Four Winds in 1994. Barbara has taught in early childhood and grade school classes, and really loves teaching upper grades math in particular, and singing (and playing ukulele!) with her students. With a Masters degree in Public Administration, Barbara worked in university administration for eight years before finding her way to Waldorf education.  Barbara completed her Waldorf Teaching Certification at the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute in Milwaukee, and has also attended many other Waldorf teacher training. 


BRENNA McLachlan
Middle school

Brenna, a graduate of Arcturus Waldorf Teacher Training, started her journey as a teacher as an assistant in the pre-school program.  She has been teaching in the grade school since 2010.  A mother of five children, Brenna brings to the classroom a love of the outdoors and a passion for hands-on learning, math, and science.


naomi studebaker

All of her adult life, Naomi has worked in the Steiner Education movement including early childhood and grades class teaching and educational support.  Naomi’s Oak Park home kindergarten was the founding impulse for the Four Winds Grade School. Since 2012 she has enjoyed making numerous trips to support the growth of Waldorf education in China by participating in teacher training and mentoring. Naomi holds a BS and Master’s degree in Education, as well as specific training in several forms of sensory motor integration and is currently offering educational support.


Beverly McGrath joined Four Winds as an Educational Support Teacher in September of 2012.  She has taught in both Waldorf and public school settings. Beverly completed Waldorf Teacher Training, Waldorf Extra Lesson Training and holds an Illinois State Teacher’s Certificate in Special Education and is a Learning Behavior Specialist.  She has also completed two full years of Anthroposophy Courses at Emerson College, UK and Southfield, MI and holds two Master’s Degrees.


ximena schumerth

Bio coming soon!








honna austin

Honna Austin joined our faculty in the spring of 2008 as our Orchestra Director at Four Winds. She received her Bachelors Degree from Northern Illinois University in Violin Performance and Painting. While at Northern, Honna studied under Mathias Tacke and Shmuel Ashkenasi from the world-renowned Vermeer Quartet. She went on to receive her Masters Degree in Fine Arts in Printmaking from Cornell University and her Teaching Certificate in Suzuki Pedagogy from Ithaca College under Stanford Reuning. Honna has played with many various orchestras throughout the Chicagoland area as well as toured internationally. She currently is a member of Fox Valley Orchestra. She holds a full studio of private students. 

Thea Olsen

Thea Olsen joined the Four Winds faculty in January of 1999 as a pre-school assistant after completing a degree in early childhood education. She started teaching handwork the following fall, and thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to share her love of handwork with the children. She also loves playing music, singing, and playing the hammered dulcimer both at school events and local venues. She is the mother of 3 children, 2 of whom are Four Winds’ students.

Shiho Kajiwara Accompanist

Shiho's involvement with Waldorf education began when her child started in the kindergarten program at The Waldorf School of Lexington, MA in 2002.  Since moving to Chicagoland in 2004, she has been accompanying the choir, orchestra and eurythmy at Four Winds school. She is also serving as an eurythmy accompanist at Urban Prairie Waldorf School in Chicago. She received a Bachelor of Music from Musashino Academia Musicae in Japan and enjoys working with a wide range of local singers and musicians.


altin naska              dance

Co-founder of the Southport Performing Arts Conservatory and director of Plainfield Dance Academy, Altin Naska is an internationally known, award-winning choreographer, dancer, and master teacher with over two decades of performing experience in Europe and the United States. He was a soloist with Istanbul State Opera and Ballet and Istanbul City Theater in Turkey, and also with the Tirana State Opera and Ballet in his native Albania. He graduated from the Albanian Academy of Ballet and studied choreography at the Tirana Institute of Arts. Altin is recognized for his fusion of ballet and modern techniques and groundbreaking collaborations with local and international artists including Dance Chicago and The Dutch National Ballet. He has taught master classes and workshops all over the world and the U.S. and teaches folk dance at Four Winds.

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amanda palmquist Games & after-school care

Amanda Palmquist has been involved with the Waldorf community her whole life. She attended Four Winds preschool through 8th grade and has been the Games teacher since 2015. Amanda ran cross country at Waubonsee Community College and graduated with an Associate’s degree. She played rugby at the University of Illinois at Chicago and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree. Amanda loves playing sports/games and is excited to convey that love to the children of Four Winds.


                      Angela palmquist                                                            teachers support & extended care

                                      Bio coming soon!

jocelyne roy        school administrator

Bio coming soon!

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Maya tubic                office & enrollment administrator

Bio coming soon!