Lisa Stafford, Kindergarten Teacher
Lisa Stratford was born the middle child of 3, flanked by brothers and raised outside of Denver, Colorado. Some of her favorite earliest memories include golden aspens, towering snowy peaks, fields of blue columbines and cozy nights huddled close to a crackling woodstove. The semi-rural community she grew up in provided opportunities for raising pigs and turkeys, planting and caring for a huge garden, and winter ice-skating and summer tubing on the nearby irrigation ponds and ditches.
In 1992, a dear friend convinced her to take the summer off to head north to Alaska in the hopes of making their fortunes working in a salmon cannery. Two weeks in Alaska were enough to convince Lisa to head back to Denver, pack all her belongings (including an avocado plant and a frisky ferret named Thor) into a Volkswagen van and transplant to Alaska for good.
Lisa began her formal journey in teaching in 1993 and many of her early teaching experiences found her in forests and along the beaches, with children in tow, exploring, discovering and marveling at the mysteries they found along the way. From the Alaska State Parks Junior Ranger program, to Lead Naturalist at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies to environmental intern at the Campbell Creek Science Center, Lisa found great joy in sharing discoveries of the natural world with children of all ages, from preschoolers to retirees.
Following the granting of her BA in Biological Sciences, emphasis in Botany and the births of their two daughters, Lisa and husband Peter moved to Northern Idaho. The family spent 8 gloriously sun filled years there and only in 2010 finally moved back to Alaska. While in Idaho Lisa had the opportunity to earn her K-8 Elementary Teaching Certificate, to further her botanical knowledge and work experience, and to enjoy the magic white sand beaches of Idaho Rivers.
Lisa is grateful for the opportunity to deepen her understanding of the Waldorf approach to teaching and since 2012, has been honored to be the Kindergarten teacher in at Winterberry Charter School. Her journey toward deepening her understanding of Waldorf Early Childhood Education is in its infancy; all she sees and learns is new and exciting and she has recently embarked on a formal course of study in this realm with the West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy.
Lisa’s days are full of the golden sunshine of children’s smiling faces, they teach her how to be present in the moment and how to view the world through eyes filled with joy.