Yasmeen Osman - Kindergarten
Yasmeen was born in South Africa, where she had a strong experience of living in community and spending a lot of downtime outdoors, 'just playing', with a lot of freedom. She also internalized deeply the need to recognize the humanity in all people and to contribute to the creating a better world. She moved to Ottawa when she was 12 years old, and has been mostly rooted here since then.
Yasmeen has had the privilege of leading Kindergarten programs in a Waldorf setting for the past 23 years. With a university degree in biology and studies in child development and psychology, she then felt drawn to her long-standing interest in children and education. She was first inspired by the focus on beauty , reverence and and lively engagement of the children in the Waldorf approach. Her interest grew when her daughters attended Waldorf schools, and she completed the Waldorf Teacher Training at Sunbridge College in New York.
Learning and integrating her personal and professional experience continues to be a priority, with the children as treasured among her many teachers. "My task is to hold a space that celebrates the precious un-hurried nature of childhood. I feel honoured to be witness to the profound richness of the children's play and to be in the presence of their joy and wonder." Connecting with family and friends, long chats at the kitchen table, singing together, reading, being in Nature and long walks beside water are cherished activities.
Alan Krueger-Grade School Teacher & Mentor
We are delighted to announce that Mr. Alan Krueger has joined Polaris. Alan is a graduate of the University of Guelph and received his B. Ed at Western University. Before teaching in the Haldimand-Norfolk County School Board, Alan taught overseas in Germany, Lebanon and Thailand. Upon returning to Canada he embarked on a 19 year career as a Waldorf teacher at the Ottawa Waldorf School. Alan has also mentored Waldorf teachers in Ottawa, Kingston, Guelph and Toronto. He brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise to share not only with the students but with our teachers and staff as well.
Oana Nichifor - Grades School
She moved to Mexico in 2013, and has worked as an English teacher since. It was during a volunteering program at an indigenous high school in Mexico that she came across the Waldorf education, and so, started her Waldorf teacher training in Cuernavaca, Mexico in 2018. In 2019 she moved to Canada, graduating from the full-time Waldorf teacher training program at the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto the following year. She is interested in remedial teaching and psychology. She enjoys reading, painting and hiking.
Bozens Hrycyna - Grade School
She did not have any connection to the school, but grew up playing by the creek and the woods nearby, where she cultivated a love of plants and hands-on learning. Summers were spent on the shores of Lake Ontario and camping all over Canada with a scouting organization which immersed her in Ukrainian language and culture, in addition to the Ukrainian heritage school and church that were a part of her diaspora community upbringing.
She graduated from York University with an Honors Bachelor in the Arts, and a Bachelor of Education, with a focus in history and literature. For several years she travelled extensively and spent two years teaching English in Central-Eastern Europe. Upon returning to Canada, she settled in Toronto where she worked as a teacher for the Catholic school board. Her passion for the folk arts, farming and food led her to a host of community endeavours including starting Kosa Kolektiv, which evolved into Folk Camp, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to connecting people through traditional customs and crafts.
Frustrated with the mainstream educational system, she sought out Waldorf and completed the Foundations Studies in Anthroposophy at the Steiner Centre in Toronto in 2015. She moved to the Ottawa Valley in 2017 to live on the land in a communal setting and to continue deepening her relationship with traditional folkways. She was missing teaching and an educational community very much and is grateful to have found her way to Polaris.
Božena cherishes beauty and connection, she enjoys bringing people together in ways that are soul-nourishing. She loves folk singing, dancing, gardening, and all handcrafts, but especially embroidery and weaving.
Casey Hayes - Grade School
There were many interesting adult education courses on offer and he learned how interesting and unique Waldorf education was. He had just completed his B.A. in history and decided to plunge right in and signed up for the next teacher training class.
In his quest to become a Waldorf teacher he has journeyed from one end of the country to the other. Finding that each Waldorf school is unique and learning so much during his travels. The lessons he has taken from these experiences is not to be underestimated. He has been exposed to a number of schools and has navigated different Board and Faculty styles. At this point in his career, he is eager to find work with a school he can grow with and where he can lend his breadth of experience and knowledge.
His teaching philosophy is that anyone can learn anything if it is explained correctly. A teacher’s role is to remove hindrances so that learning can take place. The essence of education is the relationship between a caring, knowledgeable adult and a motivated, secure child.
Simon McMillan, Upper Years
Simon worked for 7 years as an informal educator and exhibit developer first at the London Regional Children's museum and then at Science North in Sudbury. Simon enjoys outdoor activities, particularly rock climbing and canoeing, and is also an accomplished choral singer. Simon is a founding member of Polaris, having been the chair of the board for the last two years. Over the last couple of years he has regularly taught the upper year students at Polaris and is eager to take on a larger role as a teacher at the school now.
Sylvie Richard - Eurythmy, Upper Grades
Sylvie teaches eurythmy to children from age 3 to adults in Ottawa at Polaris School and Centre and at École Publique Trille des Bois. She also is one of two Coordinators of the Upper Grades Program at Polaris School and Centre.
Sylvie is an active visual artist, member of the Visual Arts Section of the Anthroposophical Society of North America.
She has been involved in Waldorf Education since 1994, as a teacher, a therapist and a parent. She is the proud mother of four young men who benefited from a Waldorf Education.
She loves playing the piano, gardening and writing poetry.
Arie is an alumnus of the Hague Waldorf High School in Holland. He studied biology and linguistics in Montreal and, for many years, taught linguistics and literature in a junior college. Trained in Waldorf pedagogy in Dornach, he has gained experience at École Rudolf Steiner de Montréal as a class teacher and a high school teacher in Humanities for more than 20 years. He was the General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Canada. He currently lectures internationally. He is the founder of Editions Perceval.