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Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor

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Title: Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor  
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Subject: Ann Arbor, Michigan, Bryan Thao Worra, State Theatre (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
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Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor

The Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor is a private school located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It provides a Waldorf based education for students in grades preK - 12, and is one of three Waldorf Schools in the State of Michigan. The school is accredited by both the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS).


The Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor was opened on September 4, 1980 in a small building in Ann Arbor, Mich. It initially had 10 students, current enrollment exceeds 350. After moving to a leased facility in York Township, MI to meet the needs of the expanding student body, the school relocated back to Ann Arbor in 1986 when the purchase of the current Lower School campus was made. The High School was opened in fall 1997 in a leased facility, the Genesis Building on Packard Road. In 2001, a six-acre property located on Pontiac Trail was purchased for the growing High School. After extensive renovations to the building and site, the new campus opened for classes in the Fall of 2002.

Mission statement

"The Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor is committed to providing a comprehensive and balanced academic, artistic and practical experience for students in grades pre K through 12, consistent with the ideals and methods of Waldorf Education. Working together, our faulty, staff, Board and parents seek to create a community where childhood is honored and held in reverence. We strive to help our students develop initiative so they will have the fullest capacity to make meaningful contributions to society."[1]

Current administration

Board of trustees

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the legal and financial operation of the school. Its members include:

President Steve Coulter
Brian Vroom
Diane Black
Carolyn Hejkal
Shannon Fisher
John Schramm
Daryl Honor
Lon van Geloven
Brenda Slomovits
Jack Bernard
Diane Black
Robert Rajewski
Cynthia Wilson

College of Teachers

The College of Teachers is responsible for safeguarding the integrity of the pedagogy of the curriculum. It makes recommendations to the Board regarding the hiring and dismissal of teachers, evaluates new teachers, conducts peer review for experienced teachers, and has a hand in the future of the school. Its members include:

College Chair - Daryl Honor
Lower School Chair - Perla Schaeberle
High School Chair - Mary Emery

Administrative staff

The administrative staff is primarily responsible for the day-to-day operations of the school, and participates in the long term planning and development. Current administrative staff include:

All School Administration

PreK-12 Administrator - Sandra Greenstone
Finance Manager - Carolyn Raschke
Development Director - Katrina Klaphake
Outreach Director - Juliet Ballard
College Chair - Mary Emery
Receptionist - Betsy Emrich

Lower School Administration

LS Coordinator / Admissions Director - Peggy Wilson
Faculty Chair - Perla Schaeberle
Operations Director - Lenore Pacitto
Administrative Assistant - Julie Limp
Facilities Maintenance - Joseph Allen
Faculty/Administrative Assistant - Joann Constantinides

High School Administration

HS Coordinator - Sian Owen-Cruise
Registrar - Barbara Dumbrigue
HS Administrative Assistant - Kathy Musser
HS Office Manager - Roderica Casey
Faculty Chair - Gary Banks
Athletic Director - Katie Andrews
HS Facilities - Ted Dumbrigue

Newport campus (Pre-K - 8)

The lower school is located at 2775 Newport Rd, Ann Arbor, Mich. It is for students between kindergarten and 8th grade.


Name Grade
Margot Amrine First Grade
Nora Curtis Second Grade
Cynthia Wilson Third Grade
Calisa Tucker Fourth Grade
Claudia Browne Fifth Grade
Regine Shemroske Sixth Grade
Karen Sheridan Seventh Grade
Caroline Freitag Eighth Grade
Name Special Subject
Sudee Taormina Art
Janice Sanders Chamber Music
Cheryl VanDuzen Choral Music (all school)
Cheryl Piotrowski Educational Support
Sarah Kimball Eurythmy
Todd Freitag Games / Gym
Celia Larsen Gardening (Grades 4-6)
Margarete Walsh German
Cynthia Harrington Handwork
Janice Sanders Orchestra
Beth Gilford Recorder Teacher
Perla Schaeberle Spanish
Hsiu Hsiang Yang Violin
Ron Zang Woodworking (all school)

Pontiac Trail campus (9 - 12)

The High School is located at 2230 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, Mich. It is for students from 9th to 12th grade.

High School Teachers

The high School has numerous faculty and full-time staff, all specialists.[2]

Following is a list of the primary subject teachers (and electives), arts faculty and tertiary faculty.

Name Subject
Gary Banks Math & Chemistry
Mary Emery English & Drama
Geoff Robb Physics, Earth Science & Math
Elena Townsend-Efimova Fine Arts
Erica Choberka Gardening, Biology & Botany
Katie Andrews Mathematics
Name Special Subject
Robert Black Architecture
Nataliya Pryzant Art
Sian Owen-Cruise College Preparation
Alexander Perrin Computers
Katie Andrews Economics
Jacqueline Wright Flute
Jaqueline Nutting Strings / Violin
Julie Gruber
Elisabeth Hagen
Bettina Hoops
Margaret Wessel Walker
Kyle Neely Guitar
Judith Erb Life Sciences
Annemarie Hohman Life Skills / Civics
Alex Perrin Math
Melissa Ellsworth
Joanne Kelleher
Lupita Leguizamo
Gloria Mason
Magaly D. Nagpal
Lyndon Sorzano Steel Drums Coach
Ron Zang Woodworking (all school)
Heather Higdon Writing / Grammar


PreK-12 academics at the school are based on Waldorf a curriculum.[3]


The Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor does not give grades. Evaluations are made by the teachers, who decide whether to give credit and give comprehensive feedback on an individual students performance in her/his block or class. Grades are not given based on the belief that an arbitrary grade cannot fully evaluate a students performance, and does nothing to help them correct areas of difficulty.

Main Lesson Books

Instead of studying from traditional text books, students at RSSAA make "Main Lesson Books". (This is part of the normal Waldorf curriculum.) These books comprise the students original work to form their own handwritten text book, based on the material given in class. These books are renowned for their artistic quality and creative freedom.

The main lesson books are generally composed of comprehensive write ups of material presented orally by the teacher, as well as original research papers by students, stories, letters written by students between fictional characters of a given time period (this practice is used mainly in History classes. E.g., Roman citizen(s) discussing the assassination of Julius Caesar), and especially drawings. The students are encouraged to make their main lesson book as colorful and aesthetically pleasing as possible, as well as including comprehensive and informative write ups and extensive essays. Additional assignments include, reading material (Romeo and Juliet, The Iliad, To Kill A Mockingbird etc.), notes (from lectures), and artistic ventures not included in main lesson books, as well as specific projects.

College Placement

Students and alumni have been admitted to the University of Chicago, Curtis Institute of Music, MIT, University of Michigan, Boston University and Oberlin College, among many others.

Graduation Requirements

The graduation requirements for RSHSAA are higher than that of Michigan public schools. More credits, in addition to the ones required for graduation are available.
Rudolf Steiner High School Credits Required Michigan Public School Credits Required
English 4 English 4
Mathematics 3 Mathematics 3.5
Science 3 Science 3
History* 2 Social Studies (Including Civics and economics)* 3
Health and Movement 1.3 Health and Physical Education 1
Foreign Language 2 Foreign Language 0
Computers 0.5 On-line Learning Experience 1
Music/Art 2 Visual, Performing, Applied Arts 1
Other (Economics, Civics etc.) 7.2
Total Required for Graduation 25 Total Required for Graduation 16[1]

Note: "History" is given as the academic equivalent to "Social Studies", however in the public school system this includes economics and civics, however "history" at RSSAA refers only to history classes e.g. Ancient History etc.

High School Courses

The school requires every student to take four years of math (unless the student has completed algebra II by the end of 11th grade). plus special subject courses in math. There are science courses covering a wide array of sciences, from Astronomy to Biology (all required). In the humanities, courses range from the Bible as literature to history of Greece and the History of Music (all required).


RSSAA is a member of the Mid-Michigan Independent Athletic Association (MMIAA). The Lower School sports teams are known as the Steiner Stars. Starting in 6th grade, Co-ed Soccer and Girl's Volleyball are offered in the Fall, Boy's and Girl's Basketball are offered in the Winter and Co-ed Track is offered in the Spring.

Rudolf Steiner High School is a member of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and competes in the Mid-South Conference.[2] The High School offers Women's Volleyball, Co-ed Cross Country and Men's Soccer in the fall, Men's and Women's Basketball in the winter and Women's Soccer in the spring as Varsity Sports. The High School teams are known as the Steiner Storm.

Clubs and organizations

Science Club

In 2010, a science club was founded under the tutorship of biochemist Dr. Judith Erb.

Hiking Club

The Hiking Club was founded in the 2001-02 school year by then juniors Logan Willoughby and Adam Nemon with the help of faculty mentor Erica Choberka. Its trips have included day hikes through wilderness areas in Michigan, and week-long trips in the Appalachians.

Yearbook Committee

The yearbook committee is responsible for designing and budgeting for the High School's annual yearbook. In 2003 the yearbook was published in hardcover for the first time.

Drama Club

The Drama club puts on two annual performances with the help of a faculty mentor, Ms. Emery, who usually also acts as director and producer of the play. The Drama Club is one of the school's largest organizations, and attracts large crowds to their productions. In November 2008, the high school put on its first full-scale musical production, The Music Man, which sold out all performances. The current schedule calls for alternating between a musical and original dramatic (usually comedic) productions every other year. Additionally, each year the senior class puts on a production — a Shakespeare play — during the final week before graduation.

Community Service Club

The Community Service Club is a student initiated group dedicated to researching and performing community service in Ann Arbor and surrounding areas.

Model UN

The Model UN is a student group which participates in the Mid-American Model United Nation.

Notable alumni

Notable alumni of the school include:


General References


Specific References

  1. ^
  2. ^ "mid south conference". MHSAA, RSSAA. MHSAA. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Ciao, Bella!: Violinist Bella Hristova Performs for Quad City Arts". River Cities' Reader. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 

External links

  • Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor
  • Association of Waldorf Schools of North America

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