First Grade | Second Grade | Third Grade | Fourth Grade | Fifth Grade
Michael Rohner brings extensive breadth and depth from his teacher training and instructional experience both internationally and in the United States.
While we know Michael for enthusiastically spearheading our Kindergarten class, his roots are in shepherding the educational development of elementary through middle school children. Prior to joining our staff, Michael trained in Austria as a remedial teacher and as a middle school teacher, with a focus on math and music. He taught Middle School students for eight years in both Austria and Liechtenstein.
After moving to the United States, Mr. Rohner continued his education to secure a CA State Multiple Subject Credential while furthering his Waldorf immersion, completing the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training program. In the same way that Mr. Rohner has always urged our students to grow and explore, he, too, has continually sought his own continued education. He has attended numerous courses and seminars focused on child development, as well as Waldorf pedagogy, movement, music, and storytelling. He also volunteers to enrich our children outside the classroom, including leading our middle school woodworking elective and teaching an Early Childhood science curriculum workshop.
Mr. Rohner approaches teaching both from his decades of experience as an educator and from his own experience as an NCS parent. In 2016, Mr. Rohner proudly watched his oldest daughter, a former student at our school, graduate pre-med from UC Berkeley. His younger daughter graduated from 8th grade in June of 2016, having attended NCS since Kindergarten.
Michael left the Kindergarten classroom several years ago to begin as a Grades Teacher. Michael’s education and experience, both professional and personal, will benefit not only the children and families in his class but also the school community at large. Last, but not least, his enthusiasm and excitement for this new beginning is contagious and inspiring.
Stacey Lisker initially started her career in education as a specialty teacher instructing kindergarten through fourth grade students in a variety of classes at Marquez Charter School in Los Angeles. She then became a kindergarten assistant at Ocean Charter School in Los Angeles (a Waldorf inspired charter school) in its inaugural year, and was promoted to Class Teacher the following year. She was with her students for a magical four years and received her Multiple Subject Credential, attended summer trainings at Rudolf Steiner College, and was an active member of AEOE (Association for Environmental Outdoor Education.) Stacey attended multiple workshops to further her professional development and provided both her students and faculty with support and inspiration for the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential to help all learners understand, appreciate and care for their environment. She then decided to devote her time to raising her children at home. She is pleased to return to the classroom and is grateful to have found her way to Novato Charter School.
In her words:
I am committed to this school because not only does it make greatness possible for others, it meets my needs for creativity, learning, contribution, and connection. I love working toward things that matter. I love to experiment with ideas that encourage a love of life and learning. My personal mission is to inspire lifelong learners, a love of reading, and wonder at the world around! I am committed to assisting and creating an environment that excites and paves the way for children to discover their talents. Learning can be meaningful, accessible, relevant, and memorable. It can also be a skill that can continue to diversify individuals in their journeys in life.
The most important thing in teaching for me is to make a connection, to be authentic. I want to excite children about learning, exploring, and celebrating the world around them. I strive to make observations and to carefully listen to their ideas, stories, and emotions. It is with joy that I coach them through trials and delight in their triumphs. It is my belief that creativity, joy, and discipline are an integral part of learning and can be achieved with patience and persistence.
I feel so fortunate to be given the opportunity to teach at Novato Charter School. The minute I stepped onto campus and met with the administration, faculty, and students, I felt like it was a warm, supportive environment and a community that rejoiced in being together.
Helen Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, a California Teaching Credential from Sonoma State University, and a Waldorf Teaching Certification from the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA. Before joining NCS, she taught first and second grade for five years in an inner city public school in San Francisco.
In her words:
“From a very early age, I always knew I’d be a teacher. This is my true calling. I love being around children. They have a deep connection with, and joy for life that I share.
When I worked in mainstream public schools, I realized the need to teach children in a way that inspires them and provides a well-rounded, balanced education so that they not only develop the academic skills they’ll need but know how to see beyond the material realm, how to collaborate. I can’t think of anything more important than raising human beings that have an inner guiding voice, and a true sense of who they are. Nothing is more crucial for the future of our planet and all living things.
Early on in my professional career at inner city schools, I became intrigued by the Waldorf educational methodology and resolved to apply these methods in the public school system. I thought of how wonderful it would be for children with lesser means to benefit from this amazing approach. To have a home away from home if you will…away from the despair by which they are sometimes surrounded.
When I first visited the Novato Charter School I immediately felt the tight bond and connections holding its community together, and the pride everyone showed in what the school was accomplishing. It is amazingly well grounded and organized, which is of great relief and gives me the confidence and stability I need to do my job.
We all have our place in the world. Teaching is where I belong.”
Ms. Fryday holds a Master’s Degree from Stanford University, a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Sacramento. Before joining NCS in 2015, she taught First and Second grades at a Department of Defense Elementary School in Yokosuka, Japan, and Fifth grade for three years in Concord, CA.
In her own words:
Almost every job I’ve held since high school has involved children and education, so it seemed natural that I become a teacher. I love guiding children in their academic and social journeys and helping them grow as people. My goal is to inspire children to be life long learners and to have students feel safe, secure, and confident to be themselves and to find their passions.
I believe education should be child-centered and focus on educating the whole child. This is what drew me to Novato Charter School. NCS stands apart from the mainstream public schools where I have taught by how engaged students, teachers, and families are, and by how in a given day, students engage in a multitude of academic, musical, artistic, and physical skills. I walked away from my first visit to NCS impressed and intrigued, and I look forward to being a part of the warm and supportive NCS Community.