our teachers

I G G Y   K E U C H E N I U S
began her life-long investigations into Waldorf pedagogy in the Netherlands, where she first studied the ideas of Rudolf Steiner in college. She subsequently worked in a Steiner home for children who were unable to live at home. After Iggy moved to New York City in 1986, she created a playgroup inspired by Waldorf teaching methods in her home, and went on to send all of her three sons to the Rudolf Steiner School. While her children were young she continued to work in diverse early childhood educational settings, both in New York City and in Miami—including work as a substitute Early Childhood Teacher's Assistant at the Rudolf Steiner School.

In 2007 she enrolled at Sunbridge College, studying for a master's degree in Waldorf-Remedial Education (called the 'Extra Lesson'). While studying at Sunbridge she began working at the Brooklyn Waldorf School, first as a Early Childhood Assistant, later as the Educational Support Teacher, and also helped develop their Educational Support Program. Additionally, in 2012 she was licensed in INPP, a reflex integration program which supports the healthy development of children.

Iggy is happy for the opportunity to continue with the Wooden Button as our lead teacher. She is excited to work with very young children and looks forward to playing and moving with them in the coming year.

J U L I A  S T A W I S K I
joined The Wooden Button family in 2015 when her then three-year-old daughter, Ameena, began the Waldorf-inspired home school led by Ms. Iggy. Julia noticed right away the uniquely warm, nurturing, and creative environment fostered by Ms. Iggy, starting with welcoming each child (and occasionally the parents, too!) with "sunshine oil" upon arrival. That year Julia sometimes assisted with the children during outdoor play. During that time she developed an appreciation for the Waldorf principles of imagination, rhythm, self-movement and self-confidence. Last year Julia had the pleasure of helping Ms. Iggy host the forest program for children ages three to five in Ft. Tryon park.

Before teaming up with Ms. Iggy, Julia taught elementary school for nine years: fifth, third and second grades and kindergarten. She received her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from City College in 2005 and later completed her certificate in Early Reading Intervention from Fordham University.

What Julia loved most about teaching kindergarten was the curiosity and creativity the four- and five-year-olds showed toward learning. She was so happy to start working with young children again.

In addition to teaching early childhood education, Julia is also looking forward to teaching MELT and MELTed yoga starting later this month. She just recently received her yoga certification through MindBodySoul Yoga and completed training in the MELT method. When she is not teaching, Julia loves to make pottery and spend time gardening, baking, or going on adventures with her family.

P A O L A  D A V I S

has a lifelong passion for teaching that stems from her own childhood experience and the simple observation that although a child may not remember the name or the face of a teacher, their inner self never forgets the positive impact of that relationship. She graduated with a degree in Special Education from the Metropolitan University of Educational Sciences in her native Chile and subsequently received a post-graduate certificate in Language and Speech Disorders from The University of San Andrés. Over the following seven years, she worked in the classroom as a special educator and for a pioneering program that provided public schools with SEITs.

As Paola has encountered new challenges as an educator, she’s sought to continue her pedagogical development through additional study. In 2007, she enrolled at the University of Ramón Llull in Barcelona, Spain, earning a postgraduate certificate in Psychomotricity. Shortly thereafter she moved with her husband to the United States and gained additional professional experience that has included working in early childhood education as a classroom teacher, working with adolescents with autism and other disabilities, working in impoverished communities as an itinerant teacher, and teaching Spanish to young children in a language-immersion program. In 2018, she cofounded and taught a literacy group for indigenous Mexican women within her son’s school community. This rewarding experience further increased her resolve and refined her focus, and contributed to her decision to again return to school; she is currently completing her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Hunter College.

Although her studies familiarized her with Waldorf methodology, it wasn’t until she enrolled her son in The Wooden Button that she fully recognized the appropriateness of a teaching model that respects a child's strengths and developmental needs. Furthermore, working at The Wooden Button has increased her appreciation of imagination, curiosity, rhythm, self-movement, and self-confidence and the benefits they provide to young children.

E M I L Y  C H A M B E R L I N
originally from northern Virginia, is an NYC-based educator, choreographer, professional dancer, and entrepreneur. From a young age, the Rudolf Steiner philosophy had an influence on Emily’s development. She attended a Waldorf pre-K and kindergarten at The Acorn Hill and 1st grade at The Washington Waldorf School in Maryland. Emily attributes much of her creativity, self confidence, homemaking skills, appreciation for nature, deep empathy, ability to make connections with others and to connect with her inner child to her early Waldorf education. 

After receiving her BFA at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Emily was selected as a William R. Kenan, Jr. Fellow at Lincoln Center Education where she gained valuable tools to become a Teaching Artist and grow as a professional performer. As an NYC Teaching Artist she has taught dance in afterschool programs on the Lower East Side and Brooklyn. Last year she taught yoga, music, dance and rhythm as part of the universal pre-K system in the Bronx. Emily teaches karate to students age 2 to 75 at Harmony by Karate on the Upper West Side. Last year, with her boyfriend, she created and launched her own baby-and-me exercise and bonding program called Heart to Harmony.

Emily admires the beautiful, safe, homelike learning environment Ms. Iggy creates at The Wooden Button that meets the children where they are and allows them to develop and grow into their wonderful unique selves. Emily feels that a Waldorf education is a gift for a child's early development, as it was for hers, and she is so excited to give back to The Wooden Button families, children, and Ms. Iggy this year!

When Emily is not teaching she loves traveling, taking dance class, choreographing with her dance company—The Chamberlin Collective, attending young adult Catholic events, performing, and spending time with her boyfriend and friends.

T A R A  M O N A G H A N
is a native New Yorker. She attended the Rudolf Steiner School grades 1-8, and currently holds both a BFA and MFA in Fine Art. After the birth of her daughter, Tara left her career in the commercial photo industry to devote herself to motherhood and pursue her interest in Early Childhood Education. She has taught for six years in both public and private Schools with four years experience in Waldorf education. Tara is currently on track to receive an M. Ed. and Early Childhood Certification from Sunbridge Institute. 

Tara lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her family, a sprightly 8-month-old puppy and two big-personality Guinea Pigs. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family baking, cooking, making pasta, exploring cultural activities and trips along the Northern Atlantic Coast.

Tara is dedicated to Early Childhood development and Waldorf Education.