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Heidi Burke – Lavender Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Heidi Burke and her twin brother were born in the United States five years after their parents and grandparents emigrated from Argentina, South America. Seeking a better life near Milwaukee, they cultivated the land, grew their own food, sewed and knitted clothing, started a shoe business in the home (grandfather was a cobbler) and took care of animals all while raising children. Heidi grew up experiencing the world as safe and good, where she was given the freedom to be a child while observing and participating in activities around the home and farm, and where there were daily opportunities for uninterrupted play in the neighborhood, garden, and out in nature.  It is this rich cultural setting that instilled in Heidi a life long passion to work with children and to provide them with some of these same experiences.

Heidi recently came to Boulder with her family from a beautiful and rich farming community in Viroqua, Wisconsin where for ten years she was lead teacher in a mixed-age Waldorf Kindergarten (3-6 years old) that emphasized outdoor play, offered an all organic hot lunch program, and daily movement.  Her kindergarten was modeled after the insights of Helle Heckman, founder of Nokken in Copenhagen, Denmark where children ages 1–6 spend a good part of their day outside and playing in the forest.  Prior to her Waldorf experience, Heidi taught for ten years in public school kindergartens in Milwaukee’s inner city as well as in rural Door County, Wisconsin.  She earned a B.A. in Early Childhood/Exceptional Educational Needs from Cardinal Stritch College and completed a Waldorf training at Sophia’s Hearth Training Center in Keene, New Hampshire, known internationally as the only professional development course program of its kind for early childhood professionals. She enjoys hiking, biking, cooking, yoga, gardening and having spent many years along the shores of Lake Michigan, any opportunity to be near or in water!

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