Michelle received her undergraduate degree in Education and English from the University of Rhode Island. She pursued her graduate degree in Environmental Education from Antioch University New England because she believes, as David Orr does, that “all education is environmental education. By what is included or excluded we teach students that they are part of or apart from the natural world.” Before coming to Oak Meadow, Michelle taught English at Northfield Mount Hermon, was a Learning Specialist in the Massachusetts public schools, and worked as a Program Director for The Massachusetts Audubon Society. Michelle lives in Dummerston, Vermont with her family. Her interests include slow food, travel, parenting, yoga, and the literary arts.
Apple’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Religious Studies from Yale University, as well as a Masters of Education and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Counseling Psychology for Educators, both from Lesley University. Apple has been an academic tutor in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a Sixth Grade teacher and Directing Teacher at Shady Hill School in Cambridge, and a Lead Instructor for Outward Bound. In addition to her teaching duties, Apple is the K-8 Program Director and Curriculum Director at Oak Meadow. She enjoys guiding students and families on their homeschooling journey, and is particularly interested in applying new educational technologies to enhance the experience of distance learning. Apple resides in Newfane, Vermont, with her family and enjoys knitting, quilting, and canoeing.
K-8 Teaching Faculty
Lesley received her Bachelor of Science in Education and her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Childhood Development from Boston University. She also completed additional graduate level work in Movement Education and Outdoor Education, and received her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Antioch New England Graduate School. After teaching in the public schools for many years, Lesley was a class teacher at Monadnock Waldorf School in Keene, New Hampshire. In addition to being a K- 8 teacher for Oak Meadow, Lesley also works as a Youth Librarian at the Keene Public Library. Being both a teacher and a children’s book librarian allows her to combine her love of children with her love of books. Lesley resides in Keene with her husband, and spends her free time visiting her children, knitting, hiking, biking, skiing, and, of course, reading.
Leslie graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Outdoor Education and a minor in General Science. She also received a Teaching Certificate through the School of Education for Grades K-8, and took graduate courses in Alternative Education at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California and at Antioch College in Keene, New Hampshire. In addition to her 24 years working as an Oak Meadow teacher, Leslie is the Founder, Director and Head Teacher of the “Little Tree Education” program, which offers educational activities to groups of home-schooled students. Her whole professional life has centered around guiding children toward the joy of discovery, and with homeschoolers, this enjoyment of learning extends to the entire family. Leslie currently resides in Bloomington, Indiana with her family and pets. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, canoeing and kayaking, writing songs and stories, sharing nature with children, and taking long walks in the woods with her three dogs.
Amy received a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management from the University of New Hampshire, followed by a Certificate in Yoga Therapy and a Masters Degree in Waldorf Elementary Education from Sunbridge College. Before coming to Oak Meadow, Amy taught at Monadnock Waldorf School for four years, carrying a class from grade one through grade four. Since then she has completed the Sophia’s Hearth Family Center Training Course which focuses on parent education in child development from birth through age three, and serves on the center’s Board of Directors. She enjoys seeing parents learn from their children as much as seeing children grow in their understanding of themselves and the world. Amy lives with her family in Keene, New Hampshire, and enjoys many nature-based activities, as well as traveling, singing, baking, and handwork.
Robin has a B.A. in Psychology from American University, and a Masters degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Connecticut. Robin has been a substitute teacher and guest lecturer for grades K-12 in the Nantucket Public Schools for over 10 years. Her favorite experience as an educator and parent was when she home schooled her son during their trip exploring the United States. Robin is a year round resident of Nantucket where her home doubles as a bed and breakfast. During her spare time she enjoys traveling, baking, reading, and volunteering in the community.
DeeDee holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Psychology, with an emphasis in Child Development, from the University of Redlands in California. She has also studied Waldorf education at the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California. After teaching for many years, DeeDee began work in the field of children’s book publishing, and has been a freelance children’s book editor for nearly 20 years. In addition to being a K–8 teacher for Oak Meadow, she is involved in developing new Oak Meadow curriculum, which lets her write and teach at the same time. An enthusiastic proponent of educational choice, she believes in allowing children to learn in the way that best suits each individual, and particularly enjoys using literature to bring academics alive. DeeDee lives with her two sons in Santa Cruz, California, where she enjoys reading, writing, and running along the coast.
Claudine holds an M.Ed from Antioch and a BS in Natural Resource Economics from the University of New Hampshire. She studied the Integrated Day curriculum and is Waldorf Certified. She has taught in an Outward Bound charter school as well as Waldorf schools around the country. After six years in the classroom, Claudine has become passionate about homeschooling. She has helped others educate their children in her "Pondside Classroom" for the past ten years. Claudine is an environmentalist, and worked at Earthwatch Institute which helps scientists around the world maintain their research projects. Claudine lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband while their two grown children roam the world.
Nicole graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Masters of Education. Over the years she has taught a spectrum of learners from first grade through the collegiate level. Nicole trained extensively in The Responsive Classroom approach, and has taught other teachers to use it in their classrooms. She has also worked as a mentor and evaluator for student teachers who are working towards their Master's degree in education. In addition to classroom teaching, Nicole taught dance to performing arts students and choreographed a school musical. She appreciates the unique way that Oak Meadow provides students with the opportunity to explore who they are as learners and to truly live their education. Nicole lives in Deerfield, Massachusetts, and enjoys knitting, sewing, reading, and spending time with her family.
David received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Classical Music from Oberlin College and a Master of Education from Manhattanville College. David worked as substitute teacher in the Bronxville Union Free School District for 5 years. Before that, he interned at the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks. In addition to teaching at Oak Meadow, David has an independent tutoring business in Westchester County, New York, where he works individually with students in math, history, writing and standardized test preparation. He believes learning is a lifelong process that takes place both inside and outside the classroom and that a teacher’s goal is to encourage and facilitate this process in every student. David sees homeschooling as a fascinating and effective way of developing independent, self-motivated learners. When he’s not teaching, David enjoys hiking, nature, music, art, playing cello, reading and spending time with friends and family.
Deborah Velto earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Science in Education, and worked in several public schools before moving to the Navajo Reservation to teach high school English for three years. She has also worked as a middle school Special Educator at a small rural Vermont school, and taught at a Waldorf-inspired homeschool program, where she became actively involved in the local homeschooling community. Deborah now homeschools her own children, and teaches small group writing and reading workshops for homeschoolers. She greatly enjoys supporting students as individual learners and encouraging them to utilize their unique strengths and passions as tools in their academic growth. Deborah lives in Southern Vermont with her husband and two children, and their beloved dog. Her family loves to be active and spends a lot of time outdoors exploring the natural world. She also enjoys reading, painting, learning to play the mandolin, and writing.