Nursery Program Teachers

Heidi Schwarzenbach is the Nursery Program Director and has been the Lead Teacher since 1999. Heidi was born and raised on the East Coast. She graduated in 1977 from Colgate University with a BA in English Literature and Biology. After working in textiles in New York City for five years, she was transferred to San Francisco. Heidi completed the San Francisco Extension Program of Rudolf Steiner College in 2001 and is also certified by the State of California. Heidi ran a Waldorf-inspired nursery in her home before coming to SFWS.  She is an avid cycler who enjoys ocean swimming, backpacking, and reading. She is a founding member of the Magic Lantern Traveling Marionette Theatre. Her twin sons attended SFWS from Kindergarten through 12th grade and currently attend college at the University of Puget Sound and at the University of Montana.

Allison Carroll is a Nursery Teacher, was Director of the SFWS Parent-Child Program for 3 years, and was Diane David's Assistant for 3 years. She also taught at a Waldorf-inspired preschool for 2 years. She is a graduate of the Rudolf Steiner College Early Childhood In-Service Program and has completed 15 ECE units. She graduated from UC San Diego with a BA in Medieval Studies, has a MS in Higher Education Administration from Colorado State University, and a M.Litt in Medieval History from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Allison was a Rotary Ambassador of Goodwill Scholar in Scotland and studied early Irish History at the National University of Ireland in Galway for one year. She worked in the field of international education in Boston before returning to her first love, working with children and their families. She is a member of RIE and WECAN.  She enjoys hiking, beachcombing, camping, and animal tracking. Allison's daughter attends SFWHS and her son attends SFWS.

Sachi Gowe is an Assistant Nursery Teacher who has also taught in our Parent-Child Program. She is a graduate of the San Francisco Extension Program of Rudolf Steiner College and holds a B.A. in English Literature from Kobe College. Sachi has completed 15 ECEs and taught at a Waldorf-inspired preschool for two years. Sachi was born and raised in Japan. After the birth of her twin sons, she discovered Waldorf Education and knew that this would be her path. During her free time she enjoys creating handmade puppets and performs puppet shows featuring stories from Japanese folklore. Her three sons attend SFWS.

Diane Aurelius is an Assistant Nursery Teacher who has been working in the field of early childhood education since 2001. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1983 with a BA in Liberal Arts and from The Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2004. Diane holds a Site Supervisor’s permit with the State of California. A passion for language and travel, Diane has lived and worked in Israel, and Holland, as well as visiting parts of Africa, Cuba, India, the Middle East, and Europe. Before working with children, Diane worked for 7 years as the house manager for The American Conservatory Theater and 5 years as an account executive in packaging design. She most recently served as Program Director for Urban Sprouts Day School and as a teacher at The Treehouse Nursery and Friends of Potrero Hill Nursery. A student of music, Diane enjoys singing and playing music with others. 

Juniper Ethersmith is the Aftercare Teacher and is a student at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training. She worked in Denver at Sunflower Hill, a Waldorf preschool and is a Denver Waldorf School alum and an active member of the alumni association. Her son is 2 years old. Her creative pursuits have included gallery curation, sculpture, and knitting socks.

Annette Hughes-White assists in our Nursery and leads our Cooking with Children and Exploring Together in Nature courses. She is a graduate of the Rudolf Steiner College early childhood teacher training program. Annette traveled the world extensively as a child, being educated in her early years in Africa and her high school years in the Fiji Islands. After completing a course at Bangor Technical College, she went on to work as a flight attendant, visiting parts of the world she had missed as a child. She has a great love of cooking as it relates to grounding family life in a hectic world and of being outdoors with children, nurturing their natural capacities to explore and play, and with parents, sharing special spots in nature here in our beautiful city of San Francisco. Annette has two children. Her son recently graduated from San Francisco Waldorf High School and attends UC Merced while her daughter continues at SFWH.


Susanna von Rombs assists in our Nursery and has taught and assisted in the SFWS Parent-Child Program for four years and leads both Observation and Work and Play classes with an emphasis on Handwork. She is a graduate of the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training and runs a small Waldorf-inspired nursery program in her home in Glen Park (Little Orchard). Susanna was born and raised in Munich, Germany and attended Ludwig Maximilian University, where she completed a bachelor's degree in Special Education. Before moving to the US, she worked in public relations with a start-up company and completed a goldsmith apprenticeship. Besides baking and knitting, she enjoys tending her small apple orchard in her yard and exploring together with her family in nature. Susanna's three sons attend SFWS, where she is an active parent volunteer.

Julie Sauton assists in our Nursery and also leads a Waldorf Nursery program in Fremont. She is a second-generation Waldorf alumni and a graduate of the residential Waldorf Teacher Training Program at Rudolf Steiner College. Julie earned her BA from Portland State University in Community Development where her work with nonprofit education programs proved instrumental in her decision to pursue teaching. Julie is proficient in French and trained in the fine arts. She enjoys singing and playing the flute, outdoor activities, cultural events, painting and drawing.

Katherine Delafkaran assists in our Nursery and at SFWS Grade School.  She is an accomplished musician and music teacher who works with many students at our grade school. Katherine graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.M. in Viola Performance and is a member of the SFWS Orchestra and Chamber Ensembles. She attended the Waldorf School of Orange County from K-8 and worked for two years with Jumpstart Americorps helping create and teach preschool curriculum. Katherine is in the midst of completing her Waldorf Teacher Training through Rudolf Steiner College. Katherine delights in working with children of all ages. She loves to sing and plays the viola, violin, piano and guitar.