Ms. Kim Wishon
Founder, Early Childhood Director, Grades Five & Six Teacher
Kim Wishon teaches our combined 5th and 6th grade class. She has a B.A. in Spanish and Special Education from the University of Oregon and has a Waldorf teacher certificate from the Rudolf Steiner College. Over the past 18 years Kim has worked as a Waldorf teacher in a preschool, teaching 1st and 2nd grade Spanish, class teaching 5th-8th grade, as well as combined grades classes. She founded Wishing Well School in 2008, which started as a small preschool program out of her home.
Mr. Anders Johnson
Grades Three & Four Teacher
Anders Johnson graduated from California Lutheran University with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Biology and is currently working on his Masters of Education, with an emphasis on Resilient and Sustainable Communities. He grew up in Morro Bay, very close to nature, with a love for studying the science of living things. He has traveled through South Africa, working on small-scale farms, inspiring his interest in permaculture.
Mr. Johnson lives in Los Osos, putting what he has learned into practice — cultivating the land, employing sustainable building techniques, and raising animals. In his free time, he makes time to surf, camp, and fish. Anders was a Junior Lifeguards instructor in Morro Bay for five consecutive summers, where he learned how to connect with young people and have a positive impact. His experience teaching at Wishing Well School has deepened and inspired his natural interest in educating and working with children.
Ms. Shea St. John
Grades One & Two Teacher
Shea Saint John is a certified Waldorf teacher (K-8). She spent two years training at The Alkion Center in the Hawthorne Valley, NY, and completed her studies with The Waldorf Institute of Southern California. Additionally, she has a degree in Early Childhood Education and spent years as a lead preschool teacher. She was raised in Los Osos and returns after twenty years. Living in Upstate New York, she was enlivened by biodynamic beekeeping and continues to teach workshops and share her enthusiasm for bees. She is passionate about Curative Education and feels this is critical information for our modern time. Shea loves spending time with her five children (ages 4-24), and one son- in- law, traveling, camping, and being outdoors. She also enjoys many practical arts: woodworking, stained glass, basketry, canning, and baking.
Ms. Wendy Patterson
Early Childhood Lead Kindergarten Teacher
Wendy was born in England where she lived for 29 years. There, she earned her BSc (Hons) in Environmental Town Planning. After extensive world travel, she settled in the United States with her husband Matt and their son Jadon. Wendy completed her Waldorf Early Childhood Certificate from the West Coast Institute, Vancouver, CA.
She has been working in Waldorf Early Childhood classrooms for seven years. Many of these years she spent fulfilling various roles and bringing a range of capacities to the Kindergarten. Most recently, Wendy led the Parent/Child Class at the Haleakala Waldorf School, Maui, HI. She has also spent time working with Kim John Payne’s Simplicity Parenting model and she enjoys her ongoing study of positive styles of discipline.
Ms. Lauren Wheeler
Early Childhood Lead Preschool Teacher
Lauren is the lead preschool teacher at Wishing Well School. Raised on the Central Coast, Lauren holds a deep love for the ocean and all things outdoors. After finding a meaningful connection to Wishing Well School for her own children, she became inspired by the daily inner workings of Waldorf Education.
With the spirit and experience of an artist and musician, she is excited to share her love for beauty, song, and nature with all. She currently holds a teaching certificate for Early Childhood Education and is passionate about learning and developing as a teacher through Waldorf pedagogy. She believes in nurturing the child’s whole spirit and is excited and honored to be apart of the children’s growth and learning here at Wishing Well.
Ms. Damy Lorgé
Early Childhood Assistant & Aftercare Teacher
Damyone Yvette Lorgé is our sweet Aftercare teacher for the Early Childhood students. She has been working with preschool- to kindergarten-age children for almost half her life. She is educated in Early Childhood classes, which includes studies in Montessori and Waldorf methods. Ms. Damy enjoys working with children, finding an ease that often is lost in the adult realm of interaction and relations. She has lived on the Central Coast for most of her life and comes from a musical and artistic family, where everyone has more than one talent. Her two favorite hobbies are jewelry making and sewing.
Ms. Lindsay Garner
Early Childhood Assistant & After Care Teacher
Maestra Karina was born and raised in Peru. She studied Tourism and “Traducción e interpretación de idiomas romances” at the Universidad Nacional de San Agustín. She earned a B.A. in Modern Languages and Literature from California Polytechnic State University. Classical Music and Visual Arts have been part of her upbringing since childhood as she enjoys singing, playing her Native American flutes, the guitar and the Paraguayan harp.
She is a passionate language teacher with a deep connection to Anthroposophy and Waldorf education. She recently graduated from the Anthroposophical Therapeutic Speech Formation program in Spain. Fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, Catalan and Portuguese, she loves to share her her multicultural upbringing and traveling adventures through storytelling and music. She is continuously inspired by children, leading her teaching approach with altruism, enjoyment, and love. Living life with gratitude and reciprocity brings wholeness and creativity to her life. She finds fulfillment in nurturing her herbs and organic vegetable garden with passions for cooking from the heart and exploring the world.
Games & Woodworking Teacher
A native of Los Osos, Shane graduated from California Polytechnic University with a degree in Kinesiology. He has spent the last several years teaching high school chemistry and physics in Northern California. He is excited to be back on the Central Coast with the goal of inspiring local kids to begin a life filled with movement and adventure.
Dr. Valerie A. Berg-Johansen
Strings & Music Teacher
An Oregon native, Valerie grew up in a family devoted to violin pedagogy. After studying with her father extensively for several years, she became a student of Kathryn Lucktenberg prior to her undergraduate studies with her. She graduated the University of Oregon with her bachelor’s degree in violin performance in 2010, earning her master’s degree in violin performance at Southern Methodist University. Following a Graduate Teaching Fellow position with Eugene Symphony and the University of Oregon, she returned to Oregon to complete her doctorate in violin performance and violin and viola pedagogy.
Valerie currently resides in San Luis Obispo with her husband, and enjoys her free time now that she has some after completing school! She has taught at Wishing Well since the fall of 2018, teaches a full private studio at home, performs often with local symphonies, and serves on the board of Symphony of the Vines. Her ultimate passion is to create accessible string music education for all children.
Born and raised in northern California, amid a large vegetable garden, orchard, and animals, Julia roamed the nearby hills and creek. Her hands were always busy: planting seeds, picking fruit, processing harvests, climbing trees, building forts, tending her goats, and creating art with anything and everything. After extensive solo travel through South America, including a period of time living and working with children in Peru, Julia graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in International Relations. Following University, Julia worked for the International Rescue Committee, creating an after-school garden program for refugee teens in inner-city San Diego. She then went on to found Seeds of Wonder, a nature program in which she led children in outdoor experiential learning.
After meeting her husband Will, the two spent a number of months preparing for and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada (they even sewed their own tent, sleeping bag and gear-sacks!), followed by more world adventures. They then returned to California to pursue higher education and start their family. Julia’s handwork skills have been developed from quite a young age, learning to knit before she could write; working with natural fibers has always been a part of her creative expression. Julia’s range of creative projects are always practical or wearable, weaving in creativity that celebrates, honors, and reflects the simplicity of nature and the cycle of the seasons. Reverence, joy, and gratitude are stitched into each of her creations.
Dr. Hilary Soldati
A New Hampshire native, Hilary first moved to the Central Coast nearly 20 years ago. Her career life has meandered through many chapters, beginning with studies in Cello Performance at New York University. Prior to finishing her undergraduate degree, Hilary spent time traversing the US on four wheels, managing a youth hostel, volunteering with hospice, and starting a family. She completed both her Bachelor’s and her Doctoral Degree in Resource Economics at UC Berkeley. Hilary lectures for the Economics Department at California Polytechnic University.
Hilary and her husband, an alum from the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, are thankful to have been able to educate their three children in various Waldorf programs, from Lexington, MA, to the Bay Area to the Central Coast. Grateful for the opportunities to support the schools they have attended, Hilary has been actively engaged in each school community, whether as a Class Parent, a volunteer coordinator, office personnel, or as a Board member. Enthusiastic and passionate about the gifts that Waldorf education has to offer the child, the family, and the greater community, Hilary is thrilled and honored to be part of helping Wishing Well School continue to grow and thrive.