FolkSoul Farm Staff

Providing youth with the tools to discover the fire burning in their hearts and the skills and knowledge to manifest their unique paths in this world.

Emma Schauer

head of school & Wondergarden LEAD Teacher

Emma is the lead teacher and head of curriculum development for  the FolkSoul Farm Early Education Cooperative program. She holds a BA in Fine Arts and is a Certified Early Childhood Waldorf Teacher through the Waldorf Teacher Education Program in Eugene Oregon . Ms Emma began teaching in a  Waldorf Early Childhood progam in 2012  and has been working with children on the farm in 2016. Ms Emma spent her childhood on a farm in Wisconsin and has a deep connection with nature, animals and the spiritual realm. She has a passion for Anthroposophy and a deep love for children. Ms. Emma lives in the school farmhouse with her husband Zach and her three children.

Sophie Heyerdahl

Wondergarden Teacher (on leave)

Sophie received her Early Childhood Waldorf teacher training and certificate from Sunbridge Institute in Chestnut Ridge NY and has taught in Waldorf Early Childhood programs in Vermont, New York and Oregon. Children have always been Sophie’s biggest passion, closely followed by a deep love of the great outdoors. Having grown up on a farm on the coast of Maine, she feels right at home in the garden and with the livestock and truly feels that these are invaluable skills to be teaching the children of today. At FolkSoul Farm, Sophie has found the perfect meeting of all that she loves and feels so lucky to be bringing this education to the young people in her care. She, her partner Russ, and two children feel so lucky to be part of this beautiful community.

Josclyn Shipman

Wondergarden Teacher

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Miss Josclyn is proud to call herself a ‘5th generation’ Oregonian. She remembers making a promise to herself at a young age while climbing one of her favorite trees, to always remain a child at heart. Spending time with children is one of her favorite ways to stay true to this promise.

Josclyn found Waldorf Education while exploring career paths in college, where she graduated with a degree in Fine Art from the University of Oregon. She couldn't help but feel deeply drawn to an education that honors children as unique individuals- body, soul, & spirit. After moving to Maui and volunteering in the gardening program at the Haleakala Waldorf School, Josclyn decided to dive deep into studying the philosophy behind Waldorf Schools. She eventually found her way back to Eugene where she completed her Early Childhood Teacher Training.

Josclyn went on to joining Swallowtail Waldorf School and Farm, just outside Portland, where she worked closely with her mentor in a collaborative curriculum model. She spent four years there teaching as a lead mixed-age kindergarten teacher and leading an outdoor early childhood program. Her experience at Swallowtail, with it's wonderful community and colleagues, shaped her into the teacher she is today.After her time at Swallowtail School, she returned back to her beloved island of Maui to teach Kindergarten at Haleakala Waldorf School. After the birth of her daughter, Oregon called her back to be with family, and she is extremely blessed and happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest! Miss Josclyn loves to be creative- arts and crafts, cooking, and celebrating the festivals are some of her favorite activities, as well as spending time with her family.

matt dusek

3rd grade Teacher

Finding Folksoul Farm has truly been a coming home for Matt who has dreamed of this educational setting since leaving his childhood farm in northern Illinois. Waldorf education found him in 2003 at the Siskiyou School in Ashland, Oregon. He began his teaching career as a games teacher and class assistant and was delighted by the encouragement of many experienced teachers. He went on to receive his Waldorf Teaching Certificate and complete the Masters program in Waldorf education through Antioch University of Keene, New Hampshire. It has been his life's work to help children into themselves by breathing life into the archetypes that are woven throughout the stories and imagery of this curriculum. Matt comes to Folksoul Farm after having walked with a class at Madrone Trail Public Charter School from first through sixth grade. Loving children has always been easy for Matt, but it was with this group of remarkable students that Matt came to joyfully surrender to, and patiently trust, the soulfulness of Waldorf education.

Ruth Cohen

Grades LAnguage Teacher

Ruth was born in Puerto Rico, and grew up all over the world as a military child. She attended university in the US, volunteering internationally every summer and left to teach in South Korea after receiving her Masters in Education. She has since then lived in Colorado and later Israel for 12.5 years. She has taught in the classroom for 11 years and also worked professionally in musical theater. She is a mother to 4 daughters and enjoys learning languages, traveling and discovering new cultures, long hikes in nature, and swing dancing.

Alexandra Downing

Kitchen Manager

Alexandra Downing is a passionate Protector of the Earth and of all of Her children. Alexandra was born in Oregon & moved away when she was a young child. With one parent in Washington State and the other in Arizona, she alternated years between the two. Through her experience of travelling between the luscious green Forest, and the mighty hot Desert, and all in between; she found a sense of Family stretching across the land, and Home being found in the Earth beneath her feet.     Moving every year taught her a lot about herself and how she related to the world around her, in all of it's beautiful diverse forms. When she was 15 years old, she returned to Southern Oregon and began caring for her little sister in a time of family crisis. When she witnessed her sister's public school failing her, she took matters into her own hands. She dove deep into studying child development, psychology, nutrition, and sustainability. She was deeply moved and inspired to be a protector of not only her sister, but all children living in these times of great change. In her experience, she found that the foundation of a thriving human experience is staying connected and in service to Nature and all beings here on Earth.     After helping to raise her sister, she was fully initiated into Motherhood by giving birth to a radiant  little girl named Ezareya. While exploring different education avenues, Alexandra found Waldorf Education which sang the song that her heart had been singing for so many years, and she knew she had found her calling. She began studying Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education, and providing Waldorf-Inspired childcare in Ashland in 2014. Since then, Alexandra has facilitated many Forest Camps locally. She also worked at a lovely local Waldorf Pre-school called The Little Earth Keepers in Ashland last year where she met many of the families who are now at Folk Soul Farm School. She feels deeply honored to be a part of the Folk Soul Farm Family, and feels that there is a revolution happening here at this school & on this land that will indeed change the world.

Russ Causley

Facilities director and working teacher

Joining FolkSoul Farm this year in a multi-faceted role, Russ acts as a part-time farm and maintenance worker as well as an afternoon Stewardship teacher for the grades students. He maintains a strong belief in the development of the self through physical work and outdoor play, and strives to foster in children an appreciation for the maintenance of the land and the tools we use to work it. Russ received his Masters in Teaching in June 2019, but has worked as a science teacher or outdoor educator for the last 6 years. He spent his childhood summers in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, and loves all of the natural splendor the West Coast has to offer.

When he is not at FolkSoul, he works as the upper school science teacher at Willow Wind Community Learning Center in Ashland, goes on hikes with his partner Ms. Sophie, their son Eli, and their dog Jinga, and pursues his hobbies of carving and woodworking.

joanne gunter

head of administration