Kelly is originally from North Carolina, but has lived in California, Mexico, New Hampshire, and most recently, Maine. She earned her BA degree from the University of California at Berkeley in Peace and Conflict Studies, and MEd from Antioch New England with Waldorf certification in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.
She has worked with young children for many years, in indoor and outdoor programs.
Her husband David Barham is a Waldorf high school teacher, and their 3 children attended Waldorf schools through high school. She loves textiles, music, creeks, dogs, a good story; and continues to work for, and carry hope for, a more just and equitable future for all.
Teacher and Office Coordinator
Ray has lived in the DC Metro area for 15 years and grew up mostly in the southeast United States. After graduating from University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in Elementary Education, Ray stumbled upon the Waldorf School of Baltimore at a teacher job fair and immediately fell in love with Waldorf Education. Since that time, Ray attended Waldorf grades teacher training and annual WECAN conferences, taught kindergarten at Potomac Crescent Waldorf School, and operated a Lifeways-inspired home daycare in Northern Virginia. Ray earned a masters degree in Early Childhood education in 2021, and brings their academic and experiential expertise to our school. Ray has a child enrolled at Acorn Hill and one younger child at home. Ray’s hobbies include handwork, reading, editing, minimalism, tiny house living, and organizing.
Angeli was born in the Philippines, and grew up in Catonsville, MD and New York City. She studied Fine Arts at Goucher College and later graduated with a B.A. in Communications & Business Management. Shortly after, she left for the Big Apple to work for a large Wall Street law firm. Angeli spent about 15 years in Manhattan working in corporate, securities, and film finance, while volunteering for the Children of Bellevue, reading to hospitalized children, Reach Out & Read, and as a Child Advocate for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) in Manhattan and Brooklyn Family Courts. She returned home to Maryland/DC after 9/11, and became a member of the Junior League of Baltimore, continuing her dedication to community service.
Angeli got off to an early start caring for children in the 1970’s by helping with her mother’s home child care service. She was introduced to Acorn Hill by a WWS parent, whom she met at a nearby dog park where their puppies played together. She started as a substitute teacher at Acorn Hill in 2016, later becoming the 3 Day Nursery assistant teacher.
Outside of teaching, she is a licensed Realtor who helps manage her family’s properties. Angeli lives with her husband, a sports journalist, and her beautiful son, Sean, born in July 2019. Her family includes a cat named Einstein and two dogs, Fionnuala-Tula & Ellie.
Kate was born in the DC area. She traveled through Europe, settled in Ethiopia and traveled again in East Africa. When she returned to the States she finished her BA (science, painting, poetry and pottery), and received her MFA (in painting and new forms) from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. During her middle years she lived in an artist’s loft in Soho, in the country on Martha’s Vineyard, and at the foot of the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. She gardened, made art, designed theatre sets, and got involved in a household hazardous waste project. Kate discovered Waldorf education shortly after the birth of her daughter and is now a certified Waldorf Elementary Education and Therapeutic Education Teacher. Since 1996, she has loved working at Acorn Hill as a nursery and parent-child teacher. Kate has written articles for Waldorf publications and gives workshops and presentations at the annual Waldorf Kindergarten Conference and to our Acorn Hill community.
Liz Hagerman was born and raised in Montana spending a great deal of time outdoors at her family’s primitive fishing cabin and on horseback at her aunt and uncle’s ranch. Liz is a board certified dance/movement therapist and a licensed professional counselor in DC, where she works to support children and their families. Liz is a Waldorf Birth to Three specialist, teaching in the Sophia’s Hearth Waldorf Teacher Training Program, a Pikler® pedagogue with an interest in infant and child observation, and a RIE® intern. Working from the insights of both Rudolf Steiner and Emmi Pikler, Liz developed the Birth to Two Parenting program here at Acorn Hill, and now offers outdoor Parent Toddler classes with a weekly virtual parent component. She is on the Birth to Three advisory circle to the WECAN board (Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America), and is on the faculty of a two year Infant Observation program in Washington DC. She is the mother of two grown sons both of whom attended Acorn Hill and Washington Waldorf School, and in the summers with her husband, is a commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska.
Marie-Christine was born and raised in the Loire Valley, France, lived in the countryside and was lucky to grow up with wonderful homegrown vegetables and fruit from her father’s garden. She studied in Orleans where she earned degrees in Tourism and English. She came to the United States in 1992 and met her soon-to-be husband, and they moved to Bethesda in 1995, after getting married in her hometown in France. Marie-Christine worked for the French Embassy and French mission to the OAS for several years, then opened and ran a French Antique furniture store in Kensington with her husband for 10 years. She loved the contact with customers and the smell of beeswax used to nourish the old furniture. When her first daughter was ready for school, Marie-Christine was introduced to Acorn Hill – it was love at first sight! Starting as a substitute teacher, Marie-Christine is now a certified Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher and an assistant teacher in the Five Day Nursery. Her daughters, Emma and Hannah are both attending the Washington Waldorf School. Marie-Christine loves camping and taking walks in the woods with her dog Loki, finding peace and inspiration in nature.
Finance & Program Coordinator
Jane was born and raised in Maryland and has lived in or near Silver Spring most of her life. She earned a BS degree from the University of Maryland, working for a Government contractor in Washington DC upon graduating. She soon sensed the need for a big life and career change, and joined the staff of a small health magazine as a Publisher’s Assistant, while also tutoring high school math part-time. Her favorite, most challenging and rewarding job followed – raising her three children. Her two daughters, Eva and Melia, and son, Nolan, all went to Acorn Hill many moons ago, and it was here at Acorn Hill that Jane’s deep interests in holistic health and spirituality dovetailed so beautifully with parenting. When her children began 1st grade, she home schooled them through 8th grade using Waldorf methods. Her recent interests include ongoing eurythmy classes with Cynthia Hoven, and a deep study of BioGeometry. She is currently taking the BioGeometry Foundations Training course to learn how to detect, measure and harmonize subtle energetics in the environment. Jane also loves long walks in the woods with her pup.
Rajni grew up in Lucknow, India where she earned a Masters of Anthropology and a Masters of Social Work. She started her career managing health programs in India for underserved rural populations. After moving to the U.S., she worked for several years teaching at a cooperative preschool in Silver Spring. When Rajni and her family moved back to India from 2014-2018, she worked with a non-profit in New Delhi where she trained teachers, organized programs for adolescent girls, and started a program to train young women from poor, urban areas in early child development. Rajni lives in Takoma Park with her husband and two sons, who attended the Acorn Hill summer program and parent-child program. She is drawn to the wholesomeness of the Waldorf philosophy of education and its emphasis on nature and imagination. Rajni enjoys yoga, painting, gardening, writing poetry, and acting in Hindi theater productions.
Mei-Lin was born in London, UK to Malaysian parents and spent her summers growing up in Penang. She attended Nottingham University in the UK and studied Architecture. It was at this time she met her partner Martin and moved to Washington DC. At this point an interest in using art as a modality for therapy began to surface, and Mei-Lin volunteered and worked in a DC arts infused charter school for two years. She then decided to pursue Montessori Training with the Maria Montessori Institute in London and gained her Primary (3-6) certificate in 2012 and her Post graduate diploma in Observation in 2013. Returning to the US she worked in Arlington, VA as the lead guide in a Montessori Primary program before she became pregnant with Elsie in 2016. During that time she met Liz Hagerman through a RIE Foundations course who introduced her to Acorn Hill. Blown away by the beauty and charm of Acorn Hill, Mei-Lin and Martin jumped at the chance to attend parent and infant classes, and they have not looked back since. Throughout her time with Liz, Mei-Lin began to develop a sense for both the Waldorf method and Piklerian developmental approach which to this day she continues to pursue. Mei-Lin has many interests, loves a good laugh and loves leisurely days spent outdoors in nature camping.
Glennys grew up in the Dominican Republic and moved to the U.S. in 2008. She worked as a translator/interpreter before having two kids. When her children were young, she worked in a Waldorf-inspired home daycare in Virginia, and later she and her family moved to Maryland so that they could attend the Washington Waldorf School. Now Glennys lives in Silver Spring and enjoys learning how to knit. She is happy to be working at Acorn Hill as an assistant teacher this year.
Eryn was born and raised in Maryland, and attended the Washington Waldorf School where her father was a first through eighth grade teacher. She went to college in Western North Carolina and designed a major studying education and social justice, completing a field study in a Waldorf social project in the favelas of Sao Paulo, Brazil. After graduating from college, she taught in a state-funded Waldorf-inspired preschool in Rhode Island, attended Free Columbia art school in NY with her future husband, and was a Waldorf kindergarten teacher at the Potomac Crescent Waldorf School in Northern Virginia, where she began each day outside with the kindergarteners and grew to love the changing of the seasons with the children. The births of her own children inspired a break from teaching to be home with them, and advocacy work spreading the message of the importance of play with the Alliance for Childhood. Eryn volunteers as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate and enjoys tennis, piano, and hiking.
Mariam Watson Mokhtarzada began her parenting journey in Acorn Hill’s first infant-child class. As her children grew at Acorn Hill, so too grew Mariam’s involvement in the parent community. She particularly enjoyed organizing the Silent Auction and credits her joy for fundraising to Acorn Hill. Mariam is passionate in helping organizations deliver on their mission and has served in leadership positions at for-profit and non-profit organizations and boards. After working for over a decade as Director of Human Resources at an internet start-up, Mariam co-founded and served as the first Executive Director of Next Wave Muslim Initiative, better known as NWMI. She currently serves as the Sunday School Principal of the Islamic School of Potomac. Mariam has a Bachelor’s in Nursing, Master’s Degree in Organization Development, and a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the University of Maryland Do Good Institute. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband, Zeki, and their three children.
As the daughter of a foreign service officer, Natasha grew up in Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Cairo and Maryland. She then attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada. After completing her BSc in Psychology, Natasha went on to work as a meditation and yoga program manager for both adults and teenagers. This led her to go back to school and complete her MA in Elementary Education at American University. She then taught various grades in the D.C. public school system. When her son was born, she discovered Acorn Hill and immediately fell in love with its holistic and nurturing environment. As another child came along and years went by, it became clear to her that Acorn Hill represented the perfect blend of her love for children and her beliefs in child rearing and education. She lives with her husband Dileep, her two grade school children who attend the Washington Waldorf School and her labradoodle, Milo.
Monica first came to Acorn Hill as a parent in 2010 in the Parent-Child program, and enjoyed the quiet and warm atmosphere and pedagogy of the school. Her children continued to attend Acorn Hill until 2016, while Monica became active in the Parent Circle, and joined as a substitute teacher. In September 2017, Monica was hired as the Administrative Assistant. Monica was born in Sweden and raised in Italy, Sweden and Switzerland, before completing her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania. After working in Washington, DC for a year, Monica moved to London for 13 years, where she took on various roles at a number of small businesses, ranging from a consultant at a management consulting firm, strategy consultant at a web development company, and as an account manager at a software firm specializing in the asset management sector. Since moving back to the Washington, DC area, Monica has stayed at home with her two children, until they began grade school, and has been actively involved in school and neighborhood community activities. Monica enjoys walking or biking to Acorn Hill from her nearby home.
Margro is excited to join Acorn Hill as an assistant teacher in the afternoons. In addition to working at Acorn Hill, Margro is a mom of two teenagers, and an associate educator at The Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center on weekends. Margro has “worn many hats” before coming to teach at Acorn Hill Waldorf Kindergarten & Nursery! In the past, Margro has been a preschool music educator, raptor rehab volunteer, park naturalist, belly dancer at the old Sahib restaurant in Olney & Memsahib in Rockville, and she studied baby monkeys at NICHD!
Margro has a Masters degree in Human Development from UMD, where she studied friendship, pro social behavior and parenting with Dr. Ken Rubin in the Friendship Lab. Additionally, she spent her 1st year at UMD working with Dr. Stephen Porgress studying stress response and “Vagal Tone” through heart rate variability patterns in children. She also worked on Dr. Porgess’ “Listening Project”, looking at how sounds that stimulate the inner ear muscle affect the social behavior of children with autism.
Minnesota is Margro’s home state. Her BA is in child development at UMN, where she worked with Dr. Megan Gunnar in the “stress” lab, collecting spit samples from parents & kids to learn about how we respond to stress. She also had the honor of working with Jane Goodall’s handwritten field notes while studying animal behavior at UMN under one of Jane’s former grad students, Dr. Anne Pusey.
Belinda is a Congolese American Third Culture Kid who was born in Washington, DC. She split her time between Maryland and Central Africa, where she attended French international schools. Upon graduating from high school, she went to Chapman University in southern California (with a year-long stint in London) where she graduated with a BA in English Literature. After graduation, she moved to Austria to work as an au pair for a year. This is where her love of working with young children developed. After a series of teaching jobs, she found herself at Acorn Hill. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to teach here.
In her free time Belinda loves spending time with her husband and their two cats, making visual art, baking, hiking and learning about plants.
Carol St. John
Carol was born and raised on a dairy farm in the Finger Lakes of Central NY. As a member of 4H from the age of eight she learned how to bake, cook, sew, knit, raise vegetables, show her Guernsey heifers at the county fair and at the NY State Fair. Little did she know then when she went off to college as an education major that all she learned on the farm prepared her to be a Waldorf Early Childhood teacher. After teaching a few years Carol received a permanent certification for K-12 when she completed her Master’s degree in Education at Long Island University.
Even now, Carol enjoys mixing Biodynamic Agriculture and Gardening along with her daily involvement with children. She created a school garden along with parents, teachers and children at Potomac Crescent Waldorf School in Alexandria, VA. The school garden won the Judge’s Choice award for Best School Garden in 2017 from Edible DC. Carol advises schools on how to get started with a school market garden where students sell the produce they have grown in their school garden at pick up time.
In between her 20 years teaching in the public school system on Long Island and her 10 years as a Waldorf teacher, Carol was self employed managing a family owned Honda dealership in Levittown, NY. It was during this time period that Carol worked as a Human Resource Department of one, and later became the General Manager. Carol has been a Waldorf Early Childhood teacher at Acorn Hill since 2004. She completed her Waldorf teacher training at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto Ontario. She also completed her training in Waldorf Therapeutic Early Childhood Education in 2013.
Becca was born in the Baltimore area, and spent her childhood growing and learning in Baltimore County, the mountains of New Jersey, and finally Carroll County – where she now resides with her husband, two cats, and turtle. Being an avid gardener she has begun weaving biodynamic gardening practices into her work at home, planting an abundance of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. In 2020 she earned her degree in Early Childhood Education, with an interest in the Waldorf pedagogy and the studies of Rudolf Steiner. Outside of this, Becca is a guitarist and enjoys being outdoors in nature, journaling, studying aromatherapy and herbs, and wishes to one day have her own small, sustainable farm.
Alice was born and raised in New Hampshire, and attended Champlain College in Vermont for Secondary Education with a specialization in English Literature and Child Psychology. She interned internationally as a middle school English teacher in Dublin Ireland, as well as domestically as a high school English teacher in Burlington Vermont. During college she filled her free time with early elementary children in after school programs for the YMCA. After graduating from college she taught outdoor education for The Pali Institute in southern California. From there she went on to direct elementary after school programs for the YMCA and run an all girls/gender nonconforming STEM camp in the summers. In her free time she is an avid skier and hiker, and strives to bring her love for the outdoors and winter weather into the classroom.