Teachers and Community
Vikki Esplin - Grade School
With a degree in Applied Psychology and a masters in Education, Vikki has over 12 years of class teaching experience in international schools and UK public schools, Vikki has only recently delved into Waldorf Education and is keen on bridging her hands-on and integrated teaching approach with Waldorf pedagogy. She is thrilled to have found Waldorf Education and is excited about what this new journey will bring.
Passionate about outdoor learning, nature and wilderness, Vikki will also be leading the Friday Nature Connection program, exploring Ottawa in all its seasonal elements and natural beauty. Vikki is
Enrolled in the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada Forest School leaders program and has led expedition clubs, residential camping programs and ski trips.
A classically trained singer, Vikki enjoys bringing music, particularly choral singing into the classroom. Experienced at dealing with student well being, Vikki is skilled at using mindfulness techniques, emotion coaching and reflection with students. She also loves drama and storytelling. In her spare time, Vikki can be found running along the Ottawa canal, riding her bike in the arboretum, exploring galleries or exploring her passion for food and travel. Vikki is excited to be joining the Polaris community this fall.
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.
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.
Oana Nichifor - Grades school
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.
Yasmeen Osman - Kindergarten
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.
Sylvie Richard - Eurythmy, Upper Grades
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.