Kindergarten Teacher & Administrator
Shanah was born and raised in Oklahoma. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Oklahoma in 2003. Following graduation, she was a nanny for two children. At this point, she determined working with children and their parents was her true vocation, and she decided to continue her education with the LifeWays human development course in Wisconsin. The LifeWays course taught Shanah how to consciously care for children ages birth-six years old. Coursework included instruction and practice in storytelling, puppet making, singing, gardening, health & safety, and child development. More recently, Shanah participated in the Midwest Regional Waldorf Teacher Training in Lawrence, Kansas, which prepared teachers to apply the Waldorf pedagogy in Grades 1-8.
Rose Rock School began (2007) as the Purple House at the home of Shanah and her husband George. In 2011, the Purple House was changed from a sole proprietorship into a non-profit organization, and Rose Rock School was formally born. Rose Rock School found it’s new home at 1515 W. Main Street in 2014. Since the school’s inception, community interest has continued to grow, and Shanah’s commitment to quality childcare and education has continued to deepen.
Shanah enjoys her work with children and their families. She particularly likes the process of forming a cohesive bridge between the child’s home and school. She loves discovering each child’s uniqueness and working with the child to flourish and grow to their greatest potential. Shanah’s chosen vocation infuses her days with purpose and meaning. She strives to maintain a family-oriented, naturalistic environment for children, where they can relax, explore, play, and thrive.
Kindergarten Teacher and Faculty-in-Residence
Acacia grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri, Kansas City in 2003 with a BA in Art Education. Over the next ten years, she married and began a family. She taught K-12 art in the North Kansas City public schools. Staying home with her first son, she worked as a nanny and a muralist, and taught yoga to adults and children.
In 2010, shortly after her second son was born, Acacia discovered Waldorf education and LifeWays. She appreciates the components of a LifeWays daily rhythm that are often lost in modern society such as a slow pace, large amounts of unstructured outdoor play, consistent relationships and storytelling. She appreciates the pedagogical focus upon deep and careful observation paired with strong knowledge of child development for tools of conscious care giving.
Acacia spent the following years putting LifeWays into practice at home. She studied Waldorf through reading and local training opportunities including an intensive course on Anthroposophy (the philosophical foundation of Waldorf) and storytelling workshops. From 2011 to 2013, she joined an eager group of parents to co-create City of Fountains, Kansas City’s primary Waldorf initiative and cooperative school. There she served on the Board of Directors and taught in the kindergarten and grades programs.
In 2013, when the opportunity arose to join Rose Rock, Acacia eagerly leaped at the chance to continue pioneering a “new” form of education in the Midwest. Currently, she shares the school house with her husband and three sons as Rose Rock’s Faculty-in-Residence. She strives to help bring Rose Rock’s children the very components of LifeWays that originally inspired the journey to her chosen vocation. In 2016, Acacia completed the LifeWays Early Childhood Certification in Austin, Texas.
Abbie was born in Texas. She spent several years of her childhood there before moving to Oklahoma City with her family when she was 12 years old and considers it her home. Her nurturing spirit and love for children was developed early in life, possibly from being the youngest in her family, and led to the desire to build her career in that direction.
After graduating with her Associate’s Degree in Child Development, Abbie moved to Austin, TX and became a nanny for a family who followed the philosophy of Waldorf Education and LifeWays. She fell in love with the philosophy and began furthering her education through books, workshops, and interaction with the local Waldorf community. She wanted her work with children to go beyond simply “watching” a child during the day, and to significantly support and nurture the family as a whole. Her efforts eventually led to a position at Blossom Family Center, a LifeWays-based family center. Her training in child development, as well as love for working with children in a natural, home-based environment deepened during her time at Blossom and she knew she had found her line of work.
Life eventually brought her back to Oklahoma and, then, to Rose Rock School. Shortly after becoming a teacher at Rose Rock, Abbie welcomed her sweet son Ellis into the world. She has been with Rose Rock for almost three years now and has the blessing of bringing Ellis to Rose Rock with her. She is thrilled to continue her journey with children and families, and to grow with our community. She is looking forward to continuing her education when she begins her LifeWays Early Childhood Certification August 2017 in Boulder, Colorado.
Rachel was born and raised in Oklahoma City, and moved to Norman in 2001 to attend the University of Oklahoma. Soon after the birth of her first child she began providing childcare for a small group of children in her home. She earned a Master’s degree in Journalism in 2008, but as she found working with young children truly enjoyable and fulfilling, she chose to continue in this line of work. She admired many of the principles of LifeWays and incorporated them into her daily life with children. She believes that children thrive in the presence of consistent rhythms, a warm and friendly home-like environment, and time to connect with the natural world. She also appreciates the sense of community that Waldorf and LifeWays education fosters among parents and children alike.
In 2014 she was honored to begin working with Rose Rock as a teaching assistant. She has continued to deepen her knowledge and understanding of LifeWays and child development, completing an online training course in 2015 and hoping to further her formal and informal education. She is grateful to be a part of the Rose Rock community and looks forward to the coming years!
Alicia Collins grew up on military bases in Virginia and North Carolina. She attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and in 2001 received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in filmmaking. From there, she moved to New York City where she took on work as a veterinary technician, a dog walker, a receptionist, an assistant editor on several reality TV shows, and a media coordinator at Lifetime Television. Around 2005, as a budding passion for cooking and food grew, she took full advantage of the city’s amazing farmers’ markets, fish mongers, gourmet shops, and culinary supply stores. She and her, then, boyfriend Brian Nisbett began hosting huge, elaborate dinner parties as Alicia learned more and more.
In 2008, Alicia and Brian were married, and they sailed out of New York harbor on their boat to travel throughout the Caribbean together with their dog. As they slowly made their way down island, Alicia enjoyed the challenge of cooking with new fruits and vegetables, and learned to prepare all manner of ocean creatures as she and Brian trolled and dived for their dinners.
In 2010, their son James was born in the US Virgin Islands, and Alicia’s journey as a mother began. Researching the many different preschool methods, the Waldorf/LifeWays philosophy struck a chord, and Alicia believed it to be that which would best nurture her son’s spirit. So when the family moved to Norman, Oklahoma in 2012, Alicia was delighted to find a LifeWays school called Rose Rock, and immediately set about getting involved! In the spring of 2015, she joyfully joined the staff as chef. In August of 2015, she and Brian welcomed another son, Benjamin, into their family.
Alicia is honored to play a role in nourishing the students of Rose Rock through her cooking. She takes great pleasure in knowing that the seasonal, organic meals she serves helps keep them strong, growing and happy. Alicia does her best to make sure every meal is brimming with love and health!