Heather Power has been an educator for over 15 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from Boston University, and a Master of Education from Antioch New England University with Waldorf Education specialization. She has held teaching positions at Monadnock Waldorf School, Cobb Meadow School, and was the director of a home-based Waldorf-inspired program called Summer Song School. Heather has a deep understanding and love of Waldorf education which she has developed by living into the philosophy both professionally and personally. She raised two children who attended Waldorf schools in New Hampshire where she and her family resided until 5 years ago, when they moved to sunny North Carolina.
Following her move to NC, Heather became involved with the effort to launch the Raleigh Oak Charter School, where she worked alongside Jamie Kelly as a lead kindergarten teacher, and as a mentor in the art of Waldorf principles of education to her fellow educators.
Heather joined The Unity School in it first year as Faculty Mentor, Chair of the College of Teachers, and to provide curriculum support. In this role, her many years of experience enhances the strengths of our grades and kindergarten teachers. She has a magnificent talent for the arts, such as puppetry, handwork, and watercolor painting-other ways she provides support to our teachers. Heather is the lead teacher in the Bluebird class and is the handwork teacher for 2nd grade. She also heads the festivals committee, is a member of the Executive Council and the Board of Directors.
We appreciate the depth and breadth of Heather's experience in Waldorf education and her exceptional leadership.
Jamie Kelly holds a Master of Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she concentrated her research on Waldorf Education. She began her teaching journey as a preschool teacher at Christ Church in downtown Raleigh. After learning about Waldorf education, she left to become the lead teacher of Sun Star Farm's transitional kindergarten, a Waldorf-inspired preschool program in Apex, NC. While there, her growing passion for Waldorf education led her to serve on the founding board of directors of the Raleigh Oak Charter School, demonstrating vision and leadership as one of her many talents. Following her board tenure, Jamie become one of four lead kindergarten teachers at Raleigh Oak Charter School, where she worked to integrate Waldorf-inspired methods of teaching into public education.
Jamie is a passionate, dedicated teacher who brings joy to her class children, works collaboratively with their families, and altogether embodies the spirit of Waldorf principles. Jamie plans to continue her studies working towards a certification in Waldorf Education over the next several years.
We are pleased to have Jamie nurturing the children in our Early Childhood program as the lead teacher in the Hummingbird class. She brings an abundance of talent and immense love of educating young children in the Waldorf-inspired tradition to our mixed age kindergarten class.
Bridget Leibold holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Women’s Studies from SUNY Geneseo. She also holds an Associates Degree in Nursing and has been a Registered Nurse for over 18 years, specializing in medical cardiology and home health. Most recently, she held the position of Clinical Coordinator for the Office of Patient Experience, and managed the patient care complaints for the Mission Health System in Asheville, NC. Prior to beginning her nursing career, Bridget worked in various pre-schools and after school programs. She worked for The Charlton School for Girls in Burnt Hills, NY as a youth care worker in their residential treatment and special education program. Bridget learned of Waldorf Education through a friend who is a trained Waldorf teacher. Upon the birth of her own child, Bridget began a self guided exploration while her daughter attended a Waldorf preschool. Due to Covid-19 and school closures, Bridget homeschooled for one year using the Earthschooling online, Waldorf kindergarten curriculum, deepening her understanding and appreciation for Waldorf education in Early Childhood. Bridget currently holds the position of Early Childhood Teaching Assistant and brings a deep understanding of the Waldorf early childhood curriculum to her work in the classroom. Bridget is also the chair of our Parent Circle, volunteers with our school committees, and is a member of our Board of Directors. Bridget enjoys domestic and international travel. She served two years with the Peace Corps as a high school teacher in Malawi, Africa. She is self taught in needle felting and fiber arts, plays the violin, and enjoys hiking and camping with her family.
Leland Rayner has a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies from the University of South Carolina and a Certificate in Waldorf Education from Antioch New England University. His interests in music began at a young age, learning first the viola, followed by the guitar and piano. His love of music ultimately brought him to the double bass and jazz improvisation He spent several years as a professional freelance musician in Charleston, South Carolina. While teaching music lessons under the same roof as a newly founded Waldorf-inspired initiative in Charleston, Leland struck up a friendship with the school's founder. He quickly realized that Waldorf Education spoke deeply to his own instincts as an educator. It was at this time that he committed not only to a path of serving children, but also to one of spiritual development. In 2018 he moved north to pursue his Waldorf teacher training, and Masters of Education at Antioch University in Keene, New Hampshire. It was upon completion of his Waldorf teacher certification program in the summer of 2019 that he was asked to step into a full time teaching position in a mixed 7th/8th grade classroom at the Monadnock Waldorf School in Keene. He loved teaching middle school and learned immensely through his work with this class as well as mentors and colleagues. He is excited to continue teaching in a new venture in North Carolina while finishing his M.Ed. Leland eagerly helped form this new Waldorf-inspired initiative in Raleigh, putting down roots close to his home town of Spartanburg, South Carolina. In his free time he enjoys running (and is currently training to complete his second marathon), hiking, playing his upright bass, reading and spending time with loved ones .
Leland is dedicated to Waldorf-inspired education. He has a steady and calming presence, whose mindfulness and clarity of action and word holds his class with a gentle strength.
Patricia Minick has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University with a minor in theater. Her interests in the arts have always been a part of her life. She began exploring through nature studies and theater at an early age which brought her to studying the theater arts and education. Patricia has a combined experience of 16 years of teaching. During this time she has had the opportunity to work with children from early childhood through sixth grade including working with students with special needs. These teaching experiences include working in a variety of academic settings in both public and private sectors spanning four states. Following these years, after her first daughter was born, Patricia began a self-study of Waldorf education and anthroposophy, working with Life Ways of North America studying the Waldorf approach to early childhood, attending Sun Star Farm School, hosting and leading a Waldorf-inspired home Play garden, attending Waldorf Homeschooling conferences, and collaborating and leading local events with the Triangle Waldorf Homeschooling Organization. Over this time she gained a wealth of experience while working with her mixed aged children in her home. Most recently, Patricia taught 2nd grade at Raleigh Oak Charter School. While Embarking on the study of Waldorf philosophy, Patricia found she was called 'home." The holistic approach Waldorf Education provides resonated fully with what she had always been seeking as an educator. This fit beautifully into her home life with her children and community. She is grateful to now have the opportunity to share, grow and teach as the first grade teacher at the Unity School. When not teaching, Patricia enjoys spending time with her children, family, and community, exploring art, reading, playing guitar, practicing yoga, running, hiking, and gardening. Patricia is dedicated to Waldorf Inspired education and is excited to embark on this journey with the first grade class of The Unity School.
FIRST GRADE, RISING (2022-2023)
Rachel Caldwell holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from North Carolina State University and a Certificate In Waldorf Early Childhood Education from the Micha-el Institute, Milwaukee Oregon. She also holds a Certificate in French Language Immersion from the Institute de Francais, VilleFranche Sur Mer, France. Rachel has over 14 years of Waldorf education experience and for the past seven years has held a mixed age Kindergarten class at the Waldorf School of Bend, Bend Oregon. While in Oregon, Rachel, her husband and her family were hands on in helping to grow and develop the school. Her three children all attended the Waldorf School from Pre Kindergarten through 6th and 8th grade. Raising her own children in a Waldorf Education has given Rachel unique insight into the curriculum and personal experience both as a parent and as an educator. While teaching she also served on the College of Teachers and Board of Directors as well as holding the role of Early Childhood Director. She is dedicated to a lifelong love of learning and to Waldorf Education. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys camping with her family, reading a good book, baking and cooking with her children and snuggling with her dogs and cats. Rachel is excited to begin her journey with the First Grade students and their families at The Unity School.