Meet our Teachers
Holly Thompson graduated from UAB with degrees in Psychology and Biology with an emphasis in child development. Since 2003, Ms. Holly has worked in the Kindergarten and Nursery, and as faculty representative on the Hiring Committee and the Board of Trustees. She also currently serves as head of College of Teachers, and has two children in the Grades program.
John Huckestein has been teaching in AWS's Preschool program since 1995 when it was The Redmont School in the Waldorf Tradition. He earned his Early Childhood Waldorf Certification in 2014. Mr. Huck also leads the Early Morning Care for the Preschool. He is known for his jocular manner and storytelling ability.
Samantha Hall has been a parent at AWS since 2000. In 2001, she began leading the Morning Garden playgroup and joined the Nursery Team in January 2004. She has a particular interest in healing work and the curative effect of Waldorf Education. Ms. Samantha is the mother of three AWS alumni.
Erin Underwood is summa cum laude graduate of Birmingham-Southern College. She has served as Secretary, Vice-president, and President of the AWS Family Association. She also works in the Preschool Extended Care program. She is the mother of one alum and one daughter in the AWS Grades program.
Sadhna Udharam was born and raised in Suriname, South America. She received a bachelor's degree from the Teaching Institute in Suriname. Her love for teaching motivated her to begin at AWS in 2002. She has worked in Extended Care, Nursery and Kindergarten. Ms. Sadhna completed her Early Childhood Waldorf Certification program in the Summer of 2013.
Jennifer Kampsnider was a substitute teacher at AWS for 10 years before joining the Kindergarten staff. She earned a B.A. degree in Elementary Education and a Masters degree in Special Education, and taught in West Virginia public schools for 30 years. Five of Ms. Kampsnider’s grandchildren are AWS alumni.
Ben Knox worked as a substitute and Extended Care teacher at AWS before joining the Preschool faculty as a Nursery teacher in 2016. He now works in Kindergarten. Ben received a BA in History from UAB, as well as an NSF Fellowship for the UAB Anthropology Fieldschool in Fiji. He was also a goalkeeper for UAB men's soccer, and has worked as a camp counselor and soccer coach.
Andrea Holley is a certified caregiver through the Jefferson County Department of Human Resources and the "Kid and Kin" Association. Ms. Andrea worked as a substitute and Extended Care teacher at AWS before becoming a full-time Kindergarten teacher in 2008.
Michelle Fievet Lucas
Michelle Lucas holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from the UAB and a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from the UNC-Chapel Hill. Since 2002, she has worked in the Nursery, Kindergarten, and Grades programs at AWS. She completed her Waldorf Grades Certification training in 2012. She is the mother of two AWS alumni. Michelle is in the process of taking her second class through eight grades.
Lynda Powell holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.S. in Elementary Education, Early Childhood Certification. She completed her Waldorf Grades Certification at Rudolf Steiner College in 2009. She has taught at AWS since 1994, after more than a decade of teaching in public and other private schools. She has served as Kindergarten teacher, Reading Support instructor, and class teacher in the Grades program. She is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary organization for outstanding educators.
Crystal Gibb joined AWS in 2011 as a substitute teacher and Extended Care teacher. She quickly fell in love with the curriculum, finished her degree at UAB in Linguistics and Italian Studies, and was hired to be the 1st Grade teacher in 2012. Ms. Gibb completed her Waldorf teaching certification training in 2014.
Lewis "Luke" Lucas
Luke Lucas joined AWS in 2000, and has worked in the Nursery, Extended Care, and Summer Programs, and as an Elementary Music Teacher and Class teacher. He holds a B.A. in Music Performance, and has received Waldorf training for Music. A certified Waldorf Grades Teacher, he taught in the Grades program for 19 years, and is now Administrator-in-Training and Grades tutor.
Jodie Bradley has served on the AWS faculty as an Early Childhood Teacher, a Therapeutic Classroom teacher, and now as a certified Waldorf Grades teacher. She has two children; her son is an AWS alum and her daughter is currently enrolled in the Grades program.
Brianna Payne joined the AWS faculty in 2012 as an Extended Care teacher for the grades. She became the Movement/Games teacher in 2014, having received training from The Movement Academy Project. A former Crisis Center Counselor, Ms. Payne is unflappable and resourceful and is currently in Spacial Dynamics training.
Emily Hoppe joined the AWS faculty as a music teacher in 2013 and now teaches Music and Chorus. Ms. Hoppe is a graduate of Samford University’s Music and Theater Department and is Kodaly certified. She has worked as a music teacher and vocal coach, as well as a theater camp counselor at several area organizations, including Red Mountain Theater Company and Samford University. Ms. Hoppe is also a trained violinist and solo and ensemble vocalist.
Sarah Langford is a certified Waldorf Handwork Teacher, and specializes in knitting, quilting and hand-sewing. She also has a degree in Music Education from the University of Montevallo. A lifelong musician, she recently released her second album. She teaches Handwork for Grades 1-8 and also Middle School Music classes. She has two children at AWS.
Originally from Moscow, Russia, Ms. Meikson graduated from the Moscow Pedagogical University with a Master's degree in Children's Psychology and Elementary Education. She worked in Moscow for three years as an elementary school teacher, then for seven years as an instructor at the Moscow Teachers Institute. In 1992, Ms. Meikson moved to the USA with her husband, a Math professor at UAB. They have three children, the youngest of whom is an AWS alum currently at Yale University.
Ashley Dulaney graduated from Auburn University in 2001 with a degree in Elementary Education, and is Alabama-Certified to teach K-8. She worked in the AWS Nursery and Extended Care Programs before joining the Kindergarten team in the Fall of 2019. She enjoys working with all ages of AWS students of all ages and is the proud mother of one AWS alum and one daughter currently in the Grades program.
Alabama Waldorf School's founder is a former class teacher, mentor, and biggest supporter! Ms. Sheila started the school and worked tirelessly in the KG and Grades for 20 years. She now mentors in the Linden Waldorf School in Nashville, TN and the Anchorage Waldorf School in Alaska. Sheila is also an acclaimed Indian dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Her Natyananda school and company, founded in 1978 in Birmingham, presents Indian classical dance in the purest tradition, while seeking to use dance as a catalyst for cohesion among cultures and a medium for exploration between and within communities.
Kristen McArthur began working at AWS as an Extended Care Teacher in 2017, and became a full-time Preschool Teacher in 2019. She earned a Master's degree in Art History from UAB, and is currently in Waldorf teacher certification training. She has taught Art History at UAB and Jeff State College, and was also the Education Coordinator at Space One Eleven. Kristen has also worked as a nanny for Waldorf students, and currently has a child in the Nursery program at AWS.