Our Faculty

Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, and send them forth in freedom.
— Rudolf Steiner



Mrs. Cowen is our Pedagogical Director. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Eastern Illinois University and a Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Education Program. Before joining City Garden in 2008, Mrs. Cowen taught at the Chicago Waldorf School in the grades.  She lives in Chicago with her husband of over twenty years, Tadd, and their two, daughters, Cecilia and Dixie. She enjoys gardening, cooking, going for walks, and a good book.




Ms. Franzese is one of our Lead Teachers and serves as our Festival Coordinator. She holds a Waldorf Early Childhood Teaching Certificate from the Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Education Program. Before becoming a lead teacher, Paula was a teacher for the Parent/Child program, an assistant, and an aftercare teacher. She loves to incorporate her many family traditions into her classroom, especially when centered around good food. When not teaching, Paula enjoys mushroom foraging, beekeeping, and wine-making with her family.




Mrs. Harris is one of our Lead Teachers. Her children were among the first children to attend City Garden Waldorf School. She has a BA in Business and Economics from Wheaton college and a Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Sophia Institute. Susan homeschooled her four children: Claire, Sam, Luella, and Richie and taught Sunday School while pursuing her Waldorf teacher training.  She enjoys spending time with family and friends and is active in her church.




Ms. Hellesoy is the Executive Director of City Garden and a Lead Teacher. Prior to founding City Garden, Jone taught at the Chicago Waldorf School for more than 20 years, educated adult students at the Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Education Program, and mentored many teachers along the way. At CWS, she served on the College of Teachers, the Board of Directors, and in a leadership capacity on numerous committees. Born in Norway, Ms. Hellesoy herself was educated in the Waldorf tradition. She enjoys gardening and reading works by Rudolf Steiner.




Mrs. Joslin is our Administrative and Aftercare Director. She has been involved in City Garden since her children first enrolled. Gina holds a BA in English from the University of St. Thomas and and MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago. Ms. Joslin likes to go camping with her husband Ben and daughters Giulia and Amelia.




Ms. Muskovin is one of our assistant teachers, She attended the Chicago Waldorf school from kindergarten through 12th grade. She went on to receive a BA in anthropology at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. While at City Garden, Naomi will be attending The Erikson Institute to receive her Masters in Early Childhood Education with concentrations in bilingual/ESL and special education. She is excited to return to Chicago and to a Waldorf classroom!




Mr. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Administration from the University of Kentucky and is currently working on his Master of Arts in Education with a Waldorf Emphasis from Great Lakes Waldorf Institute at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, WI.  His journey into Waldorf education began as an assistant in a Waldorf elementary school and as a City Garden parent. He is excited for the opportunity to learn, grow and have fun as a classroom assistant at City Garden.  Mr. Taylor loves to spend time with his family, being outside in nature, reading, cooking and creating art, including photography, clay, and drawing.




Ms. Weidner is one of our Aftercare Teachers. She learned about Waldorf education after moving to Chicago to pursue her MA in Child Development With a concentration in Administration at Erikson Institute. Chelsea has a  BA in Psychology and she worked previously as an aftercare teacher in a Waldorf elementary school. Chelsea is looking forward to working at City Garden and learning and experiencing more from the staff and children.