Living Wisdom School teachers are experienced and trained in the Education for Life system. In addition to the regular classroom teachers, we have experienced specialists in the areas of yoga and meditation, music, drama, art, and language. Nature awareness, organic gardening and field trips also enrich the curriculum.
Natalia Morales-Wiedmaier, School Co-Director
Natalia Morales-Wiedmaier is a native of Spain and holds an MA in Spanish Philology. She has more than 15 years of experience teaching Spanish at all levels to all ages groups, from elementary school children to middle and high school students, as well as adults. She has been on the faculty of The Overlake School, a private NWAIS accredited school in the area for the past decade, and has also been a faculty member at the University of Washington. She also brings to LWS her experience as a founder and manager of her own language school. Natalia is a certified Ananda Yoga Instructor and attended Education for Life Intensive Program. Natalia loves creating community by embracing the various cultures of the students and their families that she works with. She is married and has a son, plus two dogs!
Nivritti Steenstra, School Co-Founder & Consulting Director
Nivritti Steenstra holds a BA in Biology and an MS in Education, as well as a Standard Washington State Teaching Certificate. She is certified in Environmental Education, and holds the Education for Life teaching certification. Nivritti brings 14 years of experience as an elementary school teacher and administrator in Kent and Lake Washington School Districts to her role at LWS, as well as an enthusiasm for nature!
Chandi Holliman, Pre-K/Kindergarten Teacher
Chandi is the Living Wisdom Preschool founder and has been a Pre-School teacher for 16 years. She holds holds the Education for Life teaching certification, Ananda Yoga and Meditation Teacher certification, and is also a Sharing Nature with Children Trainer. Her diverse background includes South Seattle Food & Hospitality Chef Certification.
Ashley Berg, Elementary Teacher, Grades 3-5
Ashley’s background includes a BA in Education & Art and she has a Standard Washington State Education Certificate certifying her to teach all Elementary subjects in grades K-8. She also holds a state endorsement in Art Education for grades K-12, as well as the Education for Life Provisional Certification. Ashley’s diverse experience includes teaching experience at a private school in Mexico, as well as experience in the Seattle Public School District. Passionate about sustainability, she was instrumental in helping LWS gain Level 1 King County Green School certification.
Heather Knouse, Elementary Teacher, Grades 1-2
Heather has two decades experience working with children from pre-school through elementary. She holds degrees in Education from both Antioch and Western Washington University. Heather enjoys all aspects of working with elementary students, and her skillful guidance infuses her students with the joy of learning. She often brings her guitar to school and the children love singing with her.
Madchen Sen, Middle School Teacher, Grades 6-8
Madchen taught at the Junior High and High School level in the Palm Springs CA Unifed School District for the last eight years prior to joining our staff. Although her specialties are math and language arts, she has taught all subjects. Her BA with an Environmental Studies focus is from California State at Chico. She is excited about helping to build a middle school program that is more balanced and expansive than is available in public schools. She enjoys taking the students out into the community whether to a museum, an overnight at an organic farm, or for community service. Madchen is the mother of five.
Jen Tal, Preschool
Jen Tal’s 15 years of early education experience comes from North Branch School, Randolph College, and Mary Baldwin University- among other places. She has also taught K-8 chorus, and K-12 P.E. Jen’s passions in the classroom include embracing individuality, guiding cooperation and collaboration, and nurturing the will to learn. Her classrooms are filled with music, art, stories, and exploration. She is excited to become a part of the Living Wisdom Community.
Some of our specialists share their curriculum overviews with parents during an Open House: Sabrina Carlin-French and Comparative Language; Dejah Leger- Music, Bhakti Ruggiero-Yoga; Bhima Breckenridge-Music; Buddy Wilson-Yoga, Meditation, Science Lab; Kathryn Carter- Drama.