Smart, warm, hardworking teachers–given decent support and half a chance–change lives, nations, and human consciousness for the better.
Early Childhood and After School Faculty
♥ Kindergarten Lead Teacher – Barbara Lee BallBarbara is from the beautiful state of Maryland and has come to Tucson to enjoy all that the desert has to offer! She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies with certification in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maryland and has been involved with Waldorf education since 1987.
♥ Kindergarten Assistant – Stephanie Peterson
Stephanie hails from Chicago, Illinois. Her family moved to Tucson in 2013 to join our community here at Desert Sky. She has a Bachelor of Science received from Illinois Wesleyan University and has extensive experience with young children and the Waldorf way via Da Vinci Waldorf school in Illinois. Stephanie has a way with the young minds in kindergarten that encourages imagination and play while learning everything they need to know to prepare for their school career.
♥ Afterschool Art Teacher – Miriam Winer
Ms. Miriam (as the children call her) lives here in Tucson but has lived in New York, Rhode Island, and Missouri. She has extensive experience teaching children arts and crafts. She holds a Master’s in Art and Dual Certification in Early Childhood General and Special Education. She loves the weather out here in Arizona!
♥ Grade 1 Teacher – Anne Grant
Anne joins us here at Desert Sky this year as our Grade One Teacher! She is a native New Yorker and has been teaching since 2000 in both public and Waldorf school settings. She holds a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Mary Washington as well as her Waldorf teaching program certificate from The Sunbridge Institute. She has many hobbies some of which are knitting, crochet, and gardening.
♥ Grade 2 Teacher – Diane Crenshaw
Diane Crenshaw is a Tucson artist. She holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from University of Arizona College of Art as well as Associate Degrees in Liberal Arts and Commercial Art from Pima Community College and Art Center of Tucson. She’s an art instructor for Kidzart, a creative arts program, and has taught ceramics at Tucson Clay Co-op, Arts for All Inc, and City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department. She has been with Desert Sky Community School since 2011. Her passion for teaching shows through her caring manner with her students and she guides them on their educational path!
♥ Grade 3 Teacher – Kindra Perea
Ms. Perea was raised in the desert of Tucson as well as on the coast of California. After many years exploring the globe, she has made her way back to beautiful Tucson. Who can resist the smell of the creosote on a rainy summer’s day? She feels passionately about and thoroughly enjoys: cooking nutritious and delicious foods, embracing cultures, and playing with the earth. She has spent time teaching abroad in Guatemala and Costa Rica, and took classes in Germany, China, and Thailand. She has taught in many different classroom settings over the past seven year which includes working in public education, ESL instruction, and working for educational non-profits. Her love for teaching germinated abroad and sprouted in Denver, CO, where she taught for several years. Now in Tucson, working at Desert Sky, her love for the children, colleagues, and parents, gets to blossom more and more each day!
♥ Grade 4/5 Teacher – Emily Bowen
Ms. Bowen comes to Desert Sky mid-year and the students have welcome her warmly. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Arizona and is currently pursuing her Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Non-Fiction. Originally from Southern California, she enjoys the culture of Tucson and has also lived in Oregon. Ms. Bowen connects with her class in a caring way that encourages learning, open-mindedness, and kindness towards others.
Specialty Subject Faculty
♦ Circus Arts Teacher – Anna Meilman
Ms. Meilman has a Bachelor of Arts from Prescott College. She has served two terms with AmeriCorps, one with the National Civilian Community Corps and one with a state program in Tucson. Her passions outside of teaching include performing as a hoop dancer with Tucson’s Orbital Evolution for Cirque Roots Studio. She’s been teaching in our Hummingbird program since 2011, as well as substitute teaching in all grades and subjects, and began developing and teaching Circus Arts as a new subject course in 2012.
♦ Gardening Teacher – Jack Davidson
Jack Davidson is new to Desert Sky this year! He is an expert in bio-dynamics and has been gardening and farming in Tucson for several years. He has worked with children in summer camps over the years and looks forward to getting to know all our students at Desert Sky!
♦ Hearing Teacher – Christine Dye
Christine enjoys working with students to help them achieve their goals. She actively volunteers and mentors other teachers as well. She received her Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology & Elementary Education from State University of New York, and her M.E.D. in Deaf Education from Smith College in Massachusetts. She has been working with and teaching hearing impaired students for over 30 years.
♦ Occupational Therapist – Sara Weber
Sara Weber has over five years experience in physical disability, geriatric nursing, general medicine and pediatrics. She’s been an independent contractor for Prescott Pediatric OT as well as three Home Health Agencies and rehab providers in the Prescott area. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science from University of Wisconsin, Madison in Occupational Therapy.
♦ Spanish Teacher – Rafael Pivaral
Señor Pivaral hails all the way from Guatemala City! He earned his Bachelor’s from the Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala, with further studies at Pima Community College here in Tucson. He enjoys singing songs, playing games, and interacting with all the students here at Desert Sky in a way that teaches them the Spanish language. Rafael’s family is also from Guatemala and they have been living here in the United States for more than 30 years. In his off time he enjoys spending time with his three wonderful grandchildren.
♦ Speech Therapist – Susan Krantz
Susan has lived and worked in Tucson for several years. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Disorders and a Master’s of Science in Speech-Language Pathology; both from the University of Utah. Her rapport with the students is amazing, and the students she works with make great strides in their learning and education!
♦ Student Services Teacher – Kathi Lucey
Kathi Lucey holds degrees from Montana state University, University of Arizona and University of Phoenix. She’s been a consultant for the Arizona Department of Education. She’s also been an instructor for ESL students and special needs students in Marana, Sahuarita and Tucson. She is also an established professional musician, songwriter and performer.
♦ Woodworking Teacher – Diane Crenshaw
(Bio above- See Grade 2 Teacher)