Office & Administration

Administrative Director - Cheryl LeBlanc

Cheryl came to Desert Star School from a managerial background, with more than twenty years experience in business environments. She joined the School's administrative staff in 2009 and served in a variety of administrative and business roles since that time, helping to shape the operational aspects of the school in its younger years. Through her two children enrolled at Desert Star, Cheryl has connected to the pedagogy and classroom culture of the school across all grades K-8. As Administrator, Cheryl holds the role of principal and spokesperson for the school's operations and relationships. She holds a BA degree in Accounting and Business Management from Northeastern University.

Curriculum Administrator - Dru Smith-Crain
Administrative Support - Janis Williams
Registrar/Receptionist - Victoria Latunski


2018 - 2019 Faculty

Kindergarten - Donna Sturgis
After graduating from college with a major in fine arts and a minor in education Donna began her teaching career as a handwork teacher in Green Meadow Waldorf School.  She and her husband then spent four years in London, England where two of their three children were born.  Returning to the United States the family settled in Kimberton, PA where Donna worked at Kimberton Waldorf School as a handwork teacher, a kindergarten assistant and as a kindergarten lead teacher.  She also ran a waldorf home day care for 12 years.  After 30 years in Kimberton Donna and family (husband, 2 daughters and 2 grandsons) have relocated to Sedona to join the joyful faculty of Desert Star.  Donna enjoys hiking, reading, handwork and spending time with family.

First Grade - Frank Plucker
Frank grew up in Winslow, Arizona and also spent time in Tucson and Prescott before leaving the State to attend school at The Evergreen State College in Olympia WA. After completing his bachelor's degree he moved to California where he spent many years pursuing a career in Biodynamic gardening and landscape maintenance. Frank became involved in Waldorf Education as his two older children attended a Waldorf charter school in Northern California. He volunteered in many ways at the school both in and out of the classroom. This experience inspired him to obtain a Master's Degree in child and adolescent development and he soon found himself teaching in a Waldorf kindergarten. He then completed California State teacher training through CalState TEACH at the University of Fresno. Frank was excited to return to his home state to work at Desert Star Community School where he has taught 1st through 4th grade.  Frank currently lives close to the school with his wife and family and recently added the title of grandfather.


Second Grade - Armida Cervantez
Born in California, with strong roots in Arizona; Ms. Cervantez came to Arizona with an eager heart. Ms. Cervantez joined Desert Star Community School in the Spring of 2017 and fell in love with teaching again. She has worked in Waldorf classrooms as an assistant and lead teacher. She has experienced two journeys through the grades with her older children, and strongly believes that every family deserves this rich soulful education. She has served as a festival representative,  class parent and as a board member at her children’s Waldorf methods charter school in Northern California. She is the mother of three beautiful children and married to a wonderful, supportive husband. She has a B.S. in Child Development and Waldorf training from Rudolf Steiner College and the Micha-el Institute.

Third Grade - Casey Kealey
Coming soon.

Fourth Grade - Kristine Mattson
Coming soon.


Fifth Grade - Ajay Singh
Coming soon.


Sixth Grade - Ellyn Hilliard
Ellyn is a graduate of the Communications and Design Programs at the University of California at Davis.  She also studied Holistic Nutrition at Clayton College of Natural Health and earned a doctorate in Cancer Nutrition.  Ellyn attended Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA and has taught and administered in Waldorf schools in both California and Colorado.  Since then, she and her husband Denny intended to retire to Sedona, but soon found a Desert Star class waiting in the wings.  Her love of teaching spans from the Waldorf grades to cooking, quilting and costume making. Ellyn is a hiker and outdoor enthusiast who loves reading and movie going.  Ellyn has two grown children who attended Waldorf schools from kindergarten through high school.

Seventh Grade - Joseph Giulietti
Joseph grew up in Connecticut and attended the University of Connecticut where he earned a Masters of Arts in Education.  He taught elementary school in Connecticut for five years before moving to Europe.  He taught elementary grades at International Schools in Hungary and The Netherlands for another five years.  He returned to Connecticut to teach elementary and middle school before joining us here in 2013 at Desert Star Community School.  Joseph is happy to be a member of this community currently lives in Cornville with his wife and two children.


Eighth Grade - Dru Smith-Crain
Dru Smith-Crain completed her Waldorf Teacher Training at Rudolf Steiner College in 2009, and earned her BA in Environmental Studies in Sustainability at Prescott College, Prescott AZ. She holds a Master’s of Education in Administrative Leadership (MEd) and is currently in the Thesis Year for a MA in Environmental Studies focused on Goethean Science from Prescott College.

Mrs. Crain is currently in her twelfth year of teaching Waldorf Education. Currently she is teaching a first grade class at Desert Marigold School (DMS) in Phoenix, AZ, doing so after graduating an eighth grade class last year.  She taught grades six through eight. At DMS, Mrs. Crain serves as a member of the Education Council, and has served three years on the Board of Directors.

Mrs. Crain returned to Desert Marigold after having carried a class through first and second grade at Desert Star Community School.  At Desert Star, Mrs. Crain was a member of the Leadership Council and served as Faculty Chair her second year. Prior to her time in Cornville, Mrs. Crain had been a class teacher at DMS where she carried a class from fourth through grade eight, and also one year with a first grade.

Mrs. Crain was initially drawn to Waldorf Education through her interest in biodynamic farming. She loves spending time in the unique Sonoran Desert environment that surrounds Phoenix studying the biotic relationships between the flora and fauna. She is particularly excited about the opportunity to help students and colleagues develop of a sense of place, by practicing Goethean Observation as an inner path of self-development based on outer encounters with nature.

Mrs. Crain enjoys trail running, hiking, camping, fishing and spending time out in nature with her partner, Mike and son Kai.


Specialty Teachers

Handwork/Art- Karen Boehm
Woodworking/Upper Grade Games-Tom Cadigan
Spanish-Mary Goodwin
Lower Grade Games- Rhonda Bierman
Intervention Specialist- Barbara Lasinski
Intervention Specialist- Danette McAfee
Support Teacher- Linden Sturgis

 

Support Staff

Kindergarten Assistant- Connie Calhoon & Shelly Kidwell
First Grade Assistant- Sarina Kelley & Laura Pruitt
Handwork Assistant- Suzanne Lovejoy

Student Support Services- Kelly Cadigan
Bus Driver- David McCullough
Bus Driver- Hiro Yabuuchi