BS in Biological Conservation, CSU Sacramento, 1980; Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College 1997; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Single Subject, Science, CSU Chico, 1999. After graduating from CSU Sacramento, Susan worked as a Wildlife Biologist for the Bureau of Land Management. After leaving that career, she devoted herself to her family and helped to launch and maintain a family plant nursery business. In 1989, while looking into educational options for her children, she learned about Waldorf Education and researched opening a Kindergarten in Chico. Since that option was not feasible at the time, she began homeschooling her children in the Waldorf method. Both her children, Elicia and Reid, have acquired higher degrees and are pursuing their careers. In 2001 her dream of starting a Kindergarten with a creative and enlivening form of education became a reality. As a founding member and the first teacher, Susan helped Blue Oak open its doors to the first Waldorf Kindergarten in Chico. Susan has been teaching Kindergarten at Blue Oak since its inception. She has enjoyed traveling in Europe and Mexico, and has continued her passion for environmental protection and conservation. She loves hiking, gardening, yoga, music, sewing, and her little dog, Riley. (Joined BOCS 2001)
Bilingual BA in French and German, University of Alberta, Canada 1992; California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, CSU Chico 2001; Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College 2015. Upon earning a degree Cheryl spent her days teaching English in Japan and traveling throughout India, Thailand and California. In California she met her husband, Michael, and here they settled and eventually grew into a family of five. Her children, Emma and Quinn are Blue Oak alumni, and Margareta is a Blue Oak Student. While in the credential program, Cheryl discovered the wisdom of Waldorf education, and has been committed to this movement since. She came to Blue Oak in 2003 as a substitute teacher, Kindergarten Aide, After-school care provider, and dedicated parent, and soon after took her own Kindergarten class. In the Kindergarten, Cheryl is passionate about preserving the magic and wonder of childhood, and strives to bring love, warmth, beauty and joy to her children and the program. Cheryl enjoys spending time in nature and her rose garden, camping, yoga, singing, and visiting family in Canada and Costa Rica. (Joined BOCS 2003)
BA Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Governors University (WGU) 2016; California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, WGU 2016. Sheila has a lifelong love of nature, music, dance, languages, and arts. She has traveled in Europe, Asia, Mexico, and Central America, taught English in Nepal, and worked for 20 years in the nonprofit sector. She first fell in love with Waldorf Education in the eighties, and has completed many Waldorf courses in Chico, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, and the Bay Area since 2007. During her six years working as a Kindergarten Aide at Blue Oak, her wonderful colleagues inspired her to become a teacher herself. She taught Kindergarten for three years, and now, as a Grades Teacher, Sheila strives to create a joyful, loving, and inclusive learning community, where every child feels seen, and keeps their sense of wonder and love of learning. She lives in Chico with her son Jay, a college student and happy Blue Oak alumnus, and their cat, Juniper. (Joined BOCS 2008)
BA in English Education, BA in Linguistics, TESOL Certification, CSU Chico 2009; California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, CSU Chico 2010; Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College 2015; Masters in Education, Rudolf Steiner College, 2016. Ms. Jennifer discovered Waldorf education while working at a summer camp in college where the redwoods meet the ocean. After studying abroad in a medieval hilltown in Italy, and student teaching here at Blue Oak School, she taught her first class for 6 years- from 3rd grade to 8th grade graduation in 2016. She taught her second class for 5 years - from 1st to 5th grade. Ms. Jennifer began her third journey through the grades with the rising 1st grade in 2021. She has a special love for the Humanities, fostering magic/beauty, and helping children heal. She enjoys choir, athletics, hardcover books, architectural design, and traveling. Ms. Jennifer’s son Adrien is in Ms. Sheila’s class and loves to play football, rugby, and the violin. (Joined BOCS 2010)
Kate received a BA in Liberal Studies with an Art Concentration at Cal State Northridge, and later went on to receive a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Cal State Channel Islands, and a Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma from Rudolf Steiner College. Before settling into her career as a classroom teacher, Kate taught Environmental Education in the Outdoor School setting for eight years, and taught at a play-based preschool for four years. Kate has completed a full trip through the grades with her first class and is currently in her first year with her second class. Kate is a mother to Odin, who will be entering TK at Blue Oak next year. She loves to sing, play with her dogs, ride her bike, and eat happy vegan goodness! She is also obsessed with plants! (Joined BOCS 2011)
B.S in Zoology from Humboldt State University; Currently enrolled in National University's Master of Education program, pursuing a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Substitute teaching since 2013 in multiple locations in Northern California; teacher's aide in 2019; substitute teacher from 2019-2020. My son began attending Blue Oak in 2016 in Susan Whittlesey's kindergarten class; my daughter is now in her second year with Susan as well. I have had the pleasure of acting as the class parent representative for my children's class here and there, and have also worked as a teacher's aide and emergency substitute for Blue Oak. Katie has a special love for science, and loves learning about animals big and small. Among the few simple things closest to Katie's heart are her family, her garden, and her pets. She loves to go on adventures with her family and discover new plants and animals. Her two children are in kindergarten and 4th grade. (Joined BOCS 2020)
Sarah earned her B.S. Health Science, Health Education in 1999 from CSU, Chico. Upon graduating she did volunteer work which took her all around the globe, from Honduras to Israel. From 2003-2008 she worked at Tri Counties bank in the loan department. Seeking a more creative and fulfilling career, Sarah decided to go back to school for her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, which she earned in 2009 from CSU, Chico. She spent half of her student teaching in Dublin, Ireland as part of an exchange program. Sarah was hired as a Kindergarten teacher at Blue Oak School in 2009, when the school expanded to the East Avenue location. Kindergarten was a magical place where she spent her first three years as an educator. Sarah took a first grade class in the 2012-2013 school year, graduating her first class in 2020. In that time, she entered the Rudolf Steiner Hybrid Program, and earned her Waldorf Teaching Certificate for Grades teachers. Sarah enjoys mountain biking, being with friends and family, and self-development as a practice. (Joined BOCS 2009)
BA in English, CSU Chico 2007; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Simpson University 2009. Brittany first learned about Waldorf education through a presentation during her teaching credential program. She instantly felt it was her calling to be a Waldorf teacher and dreamed of one day having her own class in a Waldorf school. During Brittany’s first year at Blue Oak, she was a 4th grade long-term sub. She then looped down and has taught her current class since the 1st grade. Brittany is a mother to Bennett (6), Fallyn (3), and Winter (1). She has always had a strong connection with animals and has two rescue dogs and one rescue cat at home. Brittany enjoys poetry, crystals, thrifting, decorating, looking at the stars, visiting the ocean, and camping with her husband and children. (Joined BOCS 2013)
Brianna received her BA in music and her multiple-subject credential from CSU Chico. (Go Wildcats!) She later received her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Rudolf Steiner College. She has been a teacher at Blue Oak for 12 years and was the first teacher to carry a class from 1st-8th grade. After graduating her class, she spent two years serving two of her main loves; reading and music. She formed Blue Oak’s first instrumental band program and was at the helm of our Reading Discovery program and ELA intervention. She dove into a new class last year for 7th grade and will proudly promote them in June as 8th graders. When not teaching Brianna relishes all things outdoors, particularly skiing, backpacking and running. She also enjoys playing trombone in a few ensembles and occasionally indulging her fashionista impulses. (Joined BOCS 2008)
BA in Liberal Studies, Humboldt State University 1991; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, CSU Fresno 2011; Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College 2015; Masters in Education, Rudolf Steiner College, 2015. Kari began her career at Blue Oak as a volunteer in her daughter’s Kindergarten class. She loved Waldorf education so much that she went back to school to receive her teaching credential. In the beginning, she was a Kindergarten aide and then she took her first class from 1st-6th grade. In 2017, she looped back down to 3rd grade class. Kari’s daughter graduated from Blue Oak in 2015 and her son is in middle school. Her husband has been a substitute teacher at Blue Oak for since 2016. Kari loves learning about the Waldorf pedagogy and how to bring it to the students in rich, meaningful ways. She also enjoys spending time with her family, studying flowers, glass bead making, hiking, and swimming. (Joined BOCS 2009)
BS in Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis 2007; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, CSU Fresno 2010; Waldorf Teacher Education Diploma, Rudolf Steiner College 2015. Allyson met her first two Waldorf classes while teaching at Shady Creek Outdoor School. Little did she know, after meeting those two classes, that they would become the very first classes she would teach at Blue Oak. Allyson has taught two 8th grade classes: looped with a class from 6th-8th grade, and joined her current class in 1st grade. Allyson, or Ally, is a self-proclaimed nature nerd who loves bird watching, the northern California coast, lichen, and visiting national parks. She also loves knitting, mountain-biking, and visiting the Saturday Farmer’s Market. Her fur-babies are Murphy the Dog and Pete the Cat. (Joined BOCS 2010)
Chairun earned a BS in mathematics from California State University at Chico (2012) and holds a single subject teaching credential. It is his sixth year at Blue Oak. He has continued his education through training at Chico St. His hobbies and interests include painting, music, film, sports and of course, mathematics.
Claire Fong received her BFA in Fashion Design from a joint degree program between the University of San Francisco and the California College of Arts and Crafts in 2004. She also received her certification as a Waldorf Handwork Teacher from the Rudolf Steiner College in 2017.
Claire was originally introduced to Waldorf education when her significantly younger sister started kindergarten at Blue Oak in 2002. Over the years, her involvement with the school developed and became more significant. In 2006, she began working at the school as a substitute aid in kindergarten and assisting in the after school program. In 2011, she was hired as a first grade aid. In 2013, she became the librarian. At this time, she also began assisting in the upper grades handwork classes. In 2014, she began teaching handwork for all the grade level classes. At the beginning of the 2018/19 school year, in order to be a more present and balanced person, she transitioned into a part time position and now teaches the lower grades.
Previous to teaching, Claire was the costume designer for several theaters and the Chico Community Ballet. She is also a jewelry designer whose work has been sold locally, throughout the U.S. and internationally. In addition to her work, she is a long time volunteer with Safe Space, the winter homeless shelter. She enjoys being an active community member, planning parties, seeing live music, reading, doing yoga, snuggling her dogs, thrifting and making art out of whatever is at hand.
Claire believes that being able to skillfully use your hands in tandem with imagination, resourcefulness and ingenuity in order to create is essential for one’s fulfilment in life. She also believes that when people learn to make and repair their material belongings, they have a greater appreciation for what they have. These skills connect us to our resources, the environment and other people.
BS in Nutrition and Food Science with an emphasis in Nutritional Management, CSU Chico 2015; California Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential Program, CSU Chico 2018. Hunter’s admiration for her teachers throughout her educational history and Hunter’s love of life-long learning guided her decision of becoming a teacher. Hunter has 9 years experience in food service where she would proudly prepare, serve, and educate those around her in facilities including retirement homes, summer camp kitchens, school cafeterias, and the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion (CNAP). When Hunter is not at school, she is most likely camping, cooking, baking, coloring, sewing, golfing, pretending she’s a mermaid in local creeks, practicing lettering, going on neighborhood walks, reading, and spending time with her partner and best friend. (Joined BOCS 2019)
Nick earned his B.A. in Social Science with an emphasis in Child Development and Multicultural and Gender Studies as well as his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at CSU, Chico. He at first thought he would pursue a career in medicine, but when his daughter was born in 2008, he became completely enthralled by the process of children learning and growing. He set out to become a teacher and within two years had his B.A. and teaching credential. He began to substitute in the Chico Unified School District and was introduced to Blue Oak and Waldorf education while filling a long term substitute position in the Special Education classroom. He discovered the wonder of Waldorf education and has since earned his Waldorf Teaching Certification from Rudolf Steiner College. He took on a fourth grade class in 2012 and took them through eighth grade. He took on his current class last year in 5th grade and is delighted to be able to work with another amazing group of students. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, playing music, hiking, and playing basketball. (Joined BOCS 2012)
After taking all of the art related classes at her local community college, Sarah chose to seek knowledge in a less traditional way. With her love of learning new handwork skills driving her, she attended seminars, workshops and private classes, read stacks of books, found elders to learn from, and never allowed her hands to stop ‘making’. She furthers her education on her own in her spare time; sometimes failure is the best teacher. When Sarah is not working on her own projects, she is teaching others, be it volunteering in her childrens’ schools, teaching after school classes through CARD, or as of the 2018 school year, teaching handwork to the middle school grades at Blue Oak. Sarah believes that fostering a love and appreciation for handwork and other arts is just as important as mastering the skills needed to create. She also teaches social emotional skills and runs the PIP program at a local elementary school. Sarah is a mother to a 4th and 6th grader, and finds her own children to be her most challenging handwork students. She loves coffee, corny jokes, and inspiring others to be creative. (Joined BOCS 2018)
If you need assistance with or have any questions about the following topics, please reach out to the Executive Assistant: Meetings with the Executive Director, Substitutes, Facility Use and Fundraiser Forms, Request Forms / E-Slips (Faculty/Staff Only), Fire Drills, Field Trip Liaison, Keys (Faculty/Staff Only), Calendars, Website, Instagram, Facebook, Parent Square, Email / Google Support (Faculty/Staff Only), Volunteer Tracking, and Advertising.
If you need assistance with or have any questions about the following topics, please reach out to the Behavior Support Assistant: Level 3’s, Behavior Documentation, Nurtured Heart, General Education Level Behavior Plans, Crisis Intervention, and Social Groups.
If you need assistance with or have any questions about the following topics, please reach out to the Health Aide: First Aid, Playground emergency response, Student immunization, Intake and secure processing all medications for students, Field trip medication requirement questions, tracking & distribution, Monitor school-wide health issue, and Receiving/Shipment Check-in.
If you need assistance with or have any questions about the following topics, please reach out to the Attendance Clerk: Daily attendance, “Who’s In Who’s Out” daily staff report, Tardy slips, Parent / Student Messages, Communicates daily absences, Independent Study Packets, Receives classroom communications by phone, Receives children with notes, Receives mail and packages, Field Trip Drivers License and Insurance, Schedules Large and Small Conference Room, Supply Closet Key Check out (Faculty/Staff Only), Chalkboards, General Information, and Festival support.
If you need assistance with or have any questions about the following topics, please reach out to the Registrar: Aeries, Student Records, SPED File/Mail, SEIS Support, Student Registration, Kindergarten Lottery, Grades Lottery, Class rosters, School Tours, Parent Square, and Volunteer Tracking.
If you need assistance with or have any questions about the following topics, please reach out to the Business Office Assistant and HR Coordinator: Payroll, Health Benefits Liaison, Classroom account balances, Purchasing of materials & supplies for classroom activities, Vendors, Accounts Payable & Receivable, Worker’s Compensation , Professional development conference scheduling & lodging, Reimbursements, Fundraising cash box sign out & seed money, Supply closet stocking/inventory, Color Copy Request (Faculty/Staff Only), and Rest and Recovery Back-up as needed.
Joan has a Master's in Teaching, Special Education Credential and Bachelor's in Psychology. She began working in Education as a parent volunteer in her son's Special Education classroom in 2012 then began her professional career in Education in 2017 as a paraprofessional, Substitute teacher and then became an Education Specialist. Joan's hobbies include most forms of creativity ( drawing, painting, photography), being outdoors (camping and hiking) and reading. Among the few simple things closest to Joan's heart are learning and spending time with family and friends. Joan has two sons, 3rd and 9th grades that are her driving force behind her passion for ensuring all students have a positive and well rounded education. (Joined BOCS in 2022)
Ciaran Flanagan graduated with a BA in Philosophy from CSUC and is currently enrolled in the Chico State education specialist credential program. Prior to his time as an educator, Ciaran was a professional cook, host of an amateur cooking show, maker of knives, engineer of software, coach of fencing, mechanic of bikes, and employer of grammar tricks which make hobbies sound almost like jobs. After serving as an aide at PV High School, he began work on his specialist credential. Away from school, Ciaran is obsessed with sword fighting. He frequently travels to tournaments, and teaches twice a week from centuries-old fencing manuals. He also enjoys long bike rides and reading in sunbeams with his cats, Bert and Sunshine. (Joined BOCS 2022)
Anna's child attended the Maple Rose kindergarten with Teacher Cheryl & Teacher Sheila before flying away to the grades with Mrs. Madera's class. When her child was in 1st grade, Teacher Anna worked in the Lavender kindergarten with Barbara Roberts and often helped out in Mrs. Madera's class & with the new (bento box) lunch program with Amanda Bosschart. Anna also taught songs in Spanish to the kindergarten classes that she had learned while working at Mi Escuelita Maya. Anna left working at Blue Oak to return to university to complete the requirements for the graduate program to become a Speech & Language Therapist (or Speech & Language Pathologist/S.L.P.) She worked her first few years primarily with preschoolers with Paradise Unified School District. Then she worked with students of a variety of ages, preschool-high school, while at Glenn County Office of Education. She currently works at Blue Oak as well as at Sherwood Montessori. Anna loves riding her bicycle, hiking, swimming, singing & playing music. (Joined BOCS 2010. Rejoined BOCS 2022)