FACULTY & ADMINISTRATION
Our talented Faculty and Administration love to teach and hold a passion for Waldorf Education. There are roughly 2,000 Waldorf Kindergartens and preschools worldwide and about 170 Waldorf schools in the U.S. The diversity of our employees confirms the global appeal of Waldorf Education.
While our school is small, our employees bring a wealth of professional and cultural experience to PCWS. With backgrounds in education, marine biology and engineering, as well as the fine and performing arts, our employees share a passion for learning and creative collaboration.
For information about working at Potomac Crescent Waldorf School, please visit our Employment page.
Early Childhood Co-Chair, Handwork Teachers and Parent-Child Lead Teacher
Jennifer Scotti received a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University. While working for the State Department, she traveled extensively and lived in Uzbekistan for two years. She worked on Soviet nationalities and refugee immigration issues, and helped open embassies in Central Asia and countries of the former Soviet Union. Her children began at Potomac Crescent Waldorf School in the first year of the school’s opening, and started in the first year of the Parent-Child class. She received her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Nova Institute in Bethesda in 2011. She has been teaching handwork since Fall 2009 and has been the lead Parent-Child teacher since 2011.
Early Childhood Co-Chair, Parent-Child Assistant Teacher
Ildiko Gal was born in Transylvania and has a degree in engineering from the University of Brasov. For seven years, she managed all of the machinery in a beer factory in Romania. She speaks Hungarian, Romanian and English and moved to the U.S. 26 years ago. She started her Waldorf teacher training the following year and during her training she was a student teacher at Acorn Hill and Washington Waldorf School. Mrs. Gal was one of the first Early Childhood teachers at PCWS and has been at the school on and off for twelve years. Her son, who is now 18 years old, went through Kindergarten at PCWS and her youngest daughter went all the way through 3rd Grade at PCWS. She has seen the school grow and blossom. Aside from teaching, she loves gardening and hiking.
Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Yulia holds a BA in Management from Kaliningrad State University, an MA in History from Central European University and an MPA in Arts Management from the University of Illinois. Previously, Yulia worked as the Afternoon Program Assistant Teacher and the Extended Day Lead teacher for PCWS. In addition to teaching at PCWS, she is a movement therapist and Feldenkrais Method Instructor with advanced training from The Field Center for Children's Integrated Development in NYC. Yulia is currently enrolled in the Waldorf Teacher Training Program at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto.
Addison "Addie" Helmke
Mixed-Age Assistant Kindergarten & Afternoon Program Assistant Teacher
Addie comes to Waldorf teaching after years of experience at the Howard Gardner School, Alexandria VA, as Dean of Students, Director of Environmental Studies and Lead High School Science Teacher. She has a passion for the environment and outdoor activities and has worked as a naturalist and instructor of children and young people at the National Park Service, The Appalachian Mountain Club and many other environmental organizations. Addie has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies from Antioch University, New England and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies, from Dickinson College.
Grades Chair and First Grade Teacher
Adriana is originally from Bogota, Colombia. She holds a Master in Textiles from Universidad de los Andes. She first discovered Waldorf Education while looking for a school for her first child. She knew she wanted to find a school that was a departure from her own childhood education and became committed to finding an environment that created space for creative and artistic work and fostered innate curiosity and love for learning. She visited PCWS and immediately knew that Waldorf education was the right learning environment for her family. Both of her children began their education at PCWS and continued on to Washington Waldorf School. She began working at our school as a long-term substitute teacher in the Grades Program and then became the Spanish Teacher. She has completed her Waldorf teacher training at the Sophia Institute. In addition to her passion for Waldorf education, she has a passion for handwork such as knitting, embroidery, woodworking and painting. She and her family live in Lorton along with their horses, angora rabbits and Bernese Mountain Dog.
Second Grade Teacher
Simi comes to us from Primrose Hill Waldorf School in New York. She began her experience with Waldorf education in 2000 when her family became co-founding members of Riverbend Garden Waldorf Homeschool Cooperative based in Northern Virginia. Her family then relocated to Geneva, Switzerland where her children attended L'Ecole Rudolf Steiner de Geneve and she was very involved in the grades program for over 10 years. From Switzerland, she moved to Nairobi, Kenya and while living there she decided to pursue her Waldorf Teaching Certificate. When she returned to the U.S., she accepted a job as an Early Childhood Teacher's Assistant at Primrose Hill and worked as the Lead Teacher for the Afternoon Program. In addition to her work in Waldorf education, she has an extensive background in dance/ movement and Pilates and has taught in French and Russian. Simi holds a B.A. in Russian Language and Literature from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Fourth Grade Teacher
Russell Sage has worked with children, ages four to eighteen, in both academic subjects and athletics for over twelve years. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Anthropology and is currently pursuing a M.Ed in Special Education from Trinity University. Russell completed his Waldorf Teacher Training at the Nova Institute. Russell and his wife are raising four children in Washington, D.C. and are deeply committed to Waldorf Education. In his spare time, Russell enjoys cooking, camping, and playing his ukulele.
Cynthian Knight holds a BA in Vocal Performance from Virginia Tech and an MM in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan. She comes to us from Meadowbrook Waldorf School in Rhode Island where she worked as the Chorus and Singing class teacher for the Grades program. In addition to teaching music within a Waldorf school, she has a vast musical background that ranges from professional performing to teaching a variety of musical topics to all ages of students and collaborating with additional music departments to present concerts. She enjoys teaching within the Waldorf education program because it allows her to combine her professional musical background and holistic approach to music with the spiritual awareness and developmental understanding that Waldorf education provides.
Games and Movement Teacher
Michael has a long history in Waldorf education. He received his Waldorf Teacher Training Certificate in 2008 and his Spacial Dynamics Certificate in 2009. Spacial Dynamics is the foundational study of movement therapy and movement education. It focuses on the developmental progression of age-appropriate games, group activities and exercises that introduce the pupil, student and adult to the changing dynamics between the body, the surrounding space and the world in which he/she moves. In addition to his extensive background in Waldorf education, Michael actively supports biodynamics and founded the Chesapeake Biodynamic Network. Michael holds a B.A. in History from the University of MD and has completed the State of MD Teacher Education Certification Coursework.
Early Bird and Grades Afternoon Program Teacher
Rebecca holds a Masters Degree in Water Resources from the University of Bergen in Bergen, Norway and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon. She is a PCWS parent and active member of the Parent Association. She enjoys participating in the Handwork Group and is a regular volunteer at school events.
Paul learned Spanish as an enthusiastic high-schooler in Arlington County, as an exchange student in Spain and studying Latin American and Spanish literature at Amherst College. Paul has kept up his Spanish throughout his life, speaking and learning with friends, using it in International Public Relations work and joining other lovers of the language at every opportunity. He has taken to heart the "mandate" of PCWS Spanish instruction, to "have fun," and hopes to pass on his love of the language to his Grades students through games, poems, stories, tongue-twisters and more.
Virgilio Joven holds a B.M. and a M.M. in violin performance from the Juilliard School. In addition to teaching at PCWS, he also teaches strings in the Alexandria City Public Schools and at the Levine School of Music. He loves the willingness and imagination of the students at PCWS due to their Waldorf education. A Tagalog speaker, he lives in Manassas with his wife, son, 3 border collies, a pomeranian, a shihtzu, and two African greys.
Director of Administration, Marketing and Communications
Prior to coming to PCWS, Paul worked for over 15 years managing and providing technical leadership to international development and public health programs for UNICEF and US-based NGOs. This work included a strong focus on community-based advocacy, communication campaigns and interventions and adolescent health and development. Paul has managed public relations campaigns for international and commercial clients and has taught English as a second language to children and adults in the US and Russia. Paul holds a BA from Hunter College of the City University of New York (C.U.N.Y.) and an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine/University of London.
Director of Finance
Claire Tran has a B.A. in German from Colby College and an MBA from American University, with a concentration on International Finance and Non-Profit Management. Prior to PCWS, she worked for various environmental and international development nonprofits in the DC area. She is drawn to Waldorf Education because it is play-based with structure and it looks at the whole child — not just academic development.
Director of Operations
John is a management professional with extensive experience in school and state and local government facility environments. He has worked on capital improvement projects and is deeply skilled at resolving facilities issues including repairs, renovations, and acquisition of new space using knowledge of current ADA, building trade and life safety codes. John has worked as a facilities director for almost 20 years, most recently serving as the Director of Facilities for Washington Waldorf School. Prior to his time at WWS he worked for the Arlington County Department of Human Services and also for The Key School in Annapolis, Maryland, where he was responsible for a campus of 14 buildings.
Director of Enrollment & Admissions
Prior to coming to PCWS, Jade was a United States Air Force Key Spouse volunteer who supported family and personal wellness of Air Force 55th Rescue Squadron families at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. Before that, Jade was a Senior Executive Assistant, supporting multiple physicians at the University of Arizona, Office of Senior VP for Health Sciences. Previously, Jade was a Client Services and Lobbyist Associate at Capital City Associates in Oklahoma City, OK, where she researched political campaigns, prepared recommendations for political action committee contributions and monitored and documented campaign contributions to ensure compliance under Oklahoma Ethics Commission rules. Jade was also a D-1 Collegiate Athlete on the University of OK softball team and was the former Set-t'ainte Princess of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.