Ms. Siiri - LEAD Kindergarten Teacher
Siiri Cusomato's life started in the arms of the most wonderful parents. They shared with her their love of life, gardening, nature, storytelling, elves, fairies and gnomes, and music (just to name a few).
When she was old enough, she went to Montana State University and graduated with a Biology degree. She then decided she’d rather step into her most favorite (and hardest) role ever - Mother, Wife and Homemaker. It wasn’t long before she knew she needed a little help. And she soon stumbled upon a beautiful waldorf, garden school - World Family School. The teacher and founder, Carol Dietrich, became Siiri’s mentor in waldorf early childhood education, and lifelong, soul friend. When her children were too old to attend World Family School, Siiri moved to Sandpoint, Idaho to put her children in a waldorf school and work as an assistant in the First Grade. She only stayed a year, missing her home and family in Montana.
Once back in Bozeman, she continued learning from Carol and supporting small programs at World Family School. When it was ready to re-open for a full kindergarten in the Fall of 2016, she found her courage to teach. (And seeing how she still had baskets of acorn caps, wool, felt and dollmaking supplies - despite the fact that her boys were 15 and 18 - it seemed an obvious choice). In the summer of 2017, she began her Waldorf Early Childhood Educator Training at the West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy.
She is grateful and happy to be continuing the work Carol began over 40 years ago, to be working with and learning from her colleagues Ms. Olga and Ms. Gloria (who she first met over ten years ago at World Family School), and to be practicing her stories and circles in front of her husband and teenage sons.
Ms. Rachel - Assistant Kindergarten teacher
Rachel Olsen’s love of childhood began at a very young age. She spent most of her early childhood experience doing art in a Montessori school, feeling immersed in a world of her own design. When she was a little bit older, she decided to get her training in this method, and has found immense joy in serving the Montessori community in Bozeman these past five years. She finds purpose in seeing children discover their own interests, and providing them with the tools they need to explore their gifts wholeheartedly. Rachel’s greatest joy is in building meaningful connections with the children in her care and seeing their beings unfold within this nurturing context. She has a passion for attachment theory and has taken several courses under the Neufeld Institute on the subject.
While working as a teacher, one day a student asked, “Ms. Rachel, why are you always singing?” Rachel explained, “It makes me happy!” She loves seeing happiness spread to children with her sharing of song and dance, and helping them find their own voice in whatever it is that they pursue. She believes that the human being is the greatest instrument of change and of expression, and if we can keep alive and nourish this inner potential from a young age, it a rich foundation for one’s life purpose. She hopes to help the children find their purpose with daily interaction with the larger world (and sometimes the hidden world), and nature, knowing that understanding its perfection leads us to ours.
Rachel recently attended an intensive on puppetry and movement in Waldorf education with the West Coast Institute, and looks forward to sharing these gifts with the community this year.