dre and crowAndrea Davey
Little Root Founder and Lead Teacher

What do you love about Little Root?
I love that we have fun! These first years are for play, joy and wonder. At Little Root we foster these aspects of early childhood.

Related Experience:
Little Root | Lead Teacher | 2014 to present
St Johns Swapnplay | Founder, Executive Director, Board Member | 2008 – 2015

Education and training:
LifeWays Early Childhood | Certification: April 2015
Medic First Aid Certified – PediatricPlus, CPR, AED, and First Aid for Children, Infants & Adults
National Registry Background Check | Verified

Who is someone you admire?
I just adore Mr Rogers. He exemplifies compassion and presence. Two primary characteristics needed in early childhood work. He sees the child as they are and steps into their world with them. He experiences the wonder, the joy and the deep feelings they share. I aspire to be like him in everything I do. To go gently and take care of those I am entrusted to care for.

What skills do you bring to Little Root?
As a mother of three, parenting for over 26 years I bring a heavy dose of perspective and grace. I have personal knowledge of what it is to be a parent in these times. I am a childhood trauma survivor and believe in the importance of supporting parents and developing in children healthy boundaries. I am also a Reiki level III Energy Practitioner who can offer Reiki to children when they need extra emotional support. I love gardening, singing, weaving oral stories and bringing felt puppets to life at Little Root.

LR RachelRachel Thomas 
Little Root Co-Teacher

What do you love about Little Root? I am in my second year at Little Root Play Garden and I love the magical blend of this school, with its outside nature based experience met with the beautiful and rich rhythm of the Waldorf education, presented with gentle guidance and song-led transitions. Little Root Play garden helps to inspire the children through connection to the Earth’s heartbeat, bringing healing and balance as a result of the children having access to play with dirt, help in the garden and enjoy hands-on waldorf crafts such as watercolor and helping to prepare bread and soup.  It is a perfect fit for Rachel who, as a child, wanted to be a singer and a park ranger.

Related Experience: Rachel is currently in her seventh year working as an early childhood Waldorf Teacher/ Assistant. Rachel had been a lead summer camp teacher at the Portland Waldorf School and an assistant to the Lilac kindergarten teacher at Portland Waldorf School during the 2019/ 2020 school year. In August 2019 she returned from Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she worked at Wee Spirit Waldorf Preschool. Prior to living in Santa Fe, Rachel was a Portlander and began her teaching career at the Hummingbird Waldorf Nursery School. Rachel has had the blessing to meet several amazing Waldorf teachers who have inspired her through their strength gained from life’s adversities and wisdom from experience. Rachel feels most at home in her heart experiencing the pedagogy of Waldorf Education and has given much of her life to this work.

Education and Training: Rachel participated in several continuing education Wecan Waldorf weekend trainings to assist in her knowledge with working with children. Rachel is a 2001 graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts and she spent 17 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist, working alongside chiropractors and acupuncturists. Most recently she has completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training course. Her experience in the healing arts helped her to acquire the attributes necessary to be nurturing and to retain a calm presence when working with children.

Who is someone that you admire? I have to say that I admire Rudolph Steiner for his dedication in guiding humanity to help raise children to develop into adults with bright souls, healthy bodies with the strength to carry out their true purpose for the benefit of all humanity and the planet.

What skills do you bring to Little Root? Rachel brings her love of singing, her compassionate heart, love of animals, children and nature to Little Root. Over the years working in Waldorf education she has learned the rhythm and craft of  Waldorf education from knitting to watercolor to striving in her own life to be an example worthy of mimicking.

Rachel has sung in several choirs including the Portland Symphonic Choir and the Bach Cantata Choir. Rachel enjoys taking care of her 7 year old son, backpacking, hiking, practicing yoga, gardening, watercolor painting and cooking.


Megan Mahaffy
Little Root Co-Teacher

What do you love/believe in about Little Root?
I love the warm, welcoming, home environment that Andrea has created at Little Root.
Each child is embraced and held in a loving community that meets them where they are
and supports their development. I truly believe in the LifeWays ethos that “life is the
curriculum,” and at Little Root, that is evident in every corner. From tending the garden
and caring for the chickens, bunnies and worms, to helping prepare the food for our
meals, the children participate in all aspects of daily life in their home away from home.
I love sharing in their joy at discovering new abilities and testing their limits. They learn
so much about themselves and each other through their daily outdoor experiences,
weekly hikes in Baltimore Woods, as well as during quieter indoor play.

Magnolia Blossom Preschool | Assistant Teacher
Little Root Playgarden | Substitute Assistant Teacher

Education and training:
LifeWays Early Childhood | Certification: June 2019
Portland State University | Pursuing B.A. in Arts and Letters, Minor in Elementary
Medic First Aid Certified | (all the same things Jen listed)
Food Handler | Certified
National Registry Background Check | Verified

Who is someone you admire?
I truly admire my mother. I can’t think of anyone I know who has worked harder to
achieve their dreams or has a bigger heart. She always says what she means, does what
she says she will do, and all with an empathy, thoughtfulness and consideration for
others that is humbling and inspiring. I have learned so much from her and will
continue to try to emulate those qualities she raised me with.

Skills I bring to Little Root:
I fell in love with Waldorf-inspired education when searching for a preschool for my
own two boys. The simplicity of the surroundings, natural materials of the toys, and
reverence for the seasons have brought my family much joy, and helped to instill a healthy rhythm to our home life and familial ethics. Part of what I bring to Little Root is
a special kind of empathy, born from my experience of being a preschool parent for
many years: I understand the need to know that your children are with adults who truly
care for them as individuals. You will find this value as bedrock at Little Root. I also
delight in sharing with the children my deep love of handwork, crafts, storytelling, and
puppetry. As my own little ones have grown into elementary school, I found myself not
wanting to be parted from the wonder and the journey of early childhood. I feel so lucky
to be able to support that journey with the children of Little Root.

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