Preschool and Kindergarten

Now enrolling for 2017-18 Preschool and Kindergarten, space limited. Contact us today to schedule a tour!

Play-based Curriculum

Your child is building the capacity for creative thinking, problem-solving and learning. Play is an essential part of this process. Whether inventing games of make-believe in the classroom or splashing in puddles at Fair Oaks Park, we engage your child’s senses and emotions. This gentle introduction lays the groundwork for learning in the grades.

Outdoor games develop the connections between brain and body. Handwork develops the focus and fine motor skills needed for reading and writing. Songs and folk stories grow vocabulary and strengthen memory.

Your child will enjoy:

  • Learning stories, poems and songs by heart
  • Helping prepare healthy snacks
  • Practicing good manners with their classmates
  • Exploring nature year-round
  • Plenty of time for creative free play
  • Creating art projects with natural materials
  • A schedule designed to create a gentle transition from home to school

Schedule A TourBack To Grades

Early Childhood Teachers


Preschool Teacher Anna Ridgeway

Anna Ridgeway

Preschool Teacher

Ms. Anna joined City of Lakes Waldorf School in 2000 and is the first City of Lakes Waldorf School alumna to join the faculty. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in child psychology from the University of Minnesota and a Waldorf early childhood teaching certificate from Micha-el Institute. She is proud to be a second generation Waldorf teacher.


Preschool Teacher Anette Safverblad

Anette Safverblad

Preschool Teacher

Ms. Anette joined City of Lakes Waldorf School in 2007. She was born in Sweden, and has a background in drama and theatre. She has worked as an artist in residence with Stages Theatre, Stepping Stone Theatre and The Arc Greater Twin Cities. She brings 20 years of teaching experience with children and adults to our school and is completing Waldorf early childhood teaching certification at Sunbridge Institute.


Kindergarten Teacher Jessi Lisell

Jessi Lisell

Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Jessi, a City of Lakes Waldorf graduate, rejoined the community as a faculty member in 2015. She has completed the Foundation Studies year of Waldorf Teacher Training at Arcturus, as well as coursework in pursuit of a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education through Mankato State University. She has over eight years of experience caring for children within Waldorf early childhood communities including Sweet Waters Home Daycare. Her son is also a student at City of Lakes Waldorf School.


Kindergarten Teacher Melissa McPartland

Melissa McPartland

Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Melissa joined City of Lakes Waldorf School in 2003. She has served as music teacher, kindergarten assistant, and lead preschool teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Saint Olaf College, a Master of Music from Boston University and a Waldorf early childhood teaching certificate from Rudolf Steiner College. Read more about Melissa’s adventures in Cambridge, England, her love of the clarinet and her respect for the brilliant simplicity of Waldorf education on our blog.


Kindergarten Teacher Elena Orsak

Elena Orsak

Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Elena joined City of Lakes Waldorf School in 2008. She studied early childhood education at Naropa University and earned her Waldorf early childhood teaching certificate at Rudolf Steiner College. Previously, she taught at Cambridge Steiner School and Minnesota Waldorf School, and created a Waldorf-inspired home preschool program. Ms. Elena serves on the faculty of Novalis Institute and is an integral member and facilitator at Rudolf Steiner Institute. She is proud to be a Waldorf graduate and second generation Waldorf teacher.


Kindergarten Assistant Julia Borger

Julia Borger

Kindergarten Assistant

Preschool Assistant Sue Ivers

Sue Ivers

Preschool Assistant

Ms. Sue joined City of Lakes Waldorf School in 2005 and has been caring for children since 1990. Her background in healthcare and her love of caring for others evolved to focus on children over the years. She has taught many after-school classes for children including bread baking and Red Cross babysitting courses. As a teacher, she likes how Waldorf education encourages the appreciation of nature, and imagination and play in children.



Cory Mahlke

Kindergarten Assistant

Kindergarten Assistant Louise Miller

Louise Miller

Kindergarten Assistant

Preschool Assistant Sarah Rose Miller

Sarah Rose Miller

Preschool Assistant

Ms. Sarah Rose joined our early childhood staff in 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Religious Studies from the University of Minnesota and has previous experience as a Childcare Assistant at Learning Tree Development Center and was a Volunteer Coworker at The Bridge Camphill Community in Ireland. She is a proud City of Lakes Waldorf School alum, and daughter of Waldorf educators.


Kindergarten Assistant Jenny Nelson

Jenny Nelson

Kindergarten Assistant

Ms. Jenny joined City of Lakes Waldorf School in 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College and a Master of Education from University of Texas at Austin. Her Waldorf teaching experience includes grades, early childhood and parent education. She ran the aftercare program at Austin Waldorf School, assisted in the Grade 3 classroom and developed a long running parent-toddler class for a Waldorf initiative kindergarten. She loves the magic and growth that happens in mixed age Waldorf kindergarten, even though glitter can be a bit sticky. Read Jenny’s interview on our blog!