Faculty & Staff
Parent and Child Teacher
Judi has been with HWS for over 15 years. During this time she has taught Parent and Child classes and worked in the afternoon program with Kindergarten, Grade One and Grade Two students.
Judi graduated from the University of Windsor with combined honours in Religious Studies and Psychology, a Master’s degree in Religious Studies, as well as a B.A. in Education. She completed her teacher training in early childhood education at the Waldorf Teacher Developmental Association in Detroit, Michigan in 2003.
Working with parents and their very young children is Judi’s passion. She is in awe of the love and devotion to parenting she has witnessed in the parents in this community. With her dedication to living simply, Judi believes “less” is almost always “more”, especially for the parents of very young children! Her two children are proud graduates of HWS.
Afra joined our school in 2015, bringing direct experience from the Toronto Waldorf School as a teacher in their nursery and after school programs, and as the Parent and Child program assistant. Afra’s experience with Waldorf education began in her native China where she began her teacher training.
At the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto, Afra finished the Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy and Professional Development for Waldorf Early Childhood Educators. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in E-Business and a Master’s degree in Science and Engineering Management from South China University of Technology, and a diploma in International Trade.
Afra has a deep interest in Anthroposophy, nutrition and alternative healing. She loves nature, outdoor activities, and travelling to new areas in different countries.
Melina first came to Halton Waldorf School in 2014 as a parent when her son attended the preschool. She immediately fell in love with the atmosphere around the school’s community and this year she will be assisting in the kindergarten.
Melina completed her Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy in 2006 and graduated from the Waldorf Teacher Education Program at the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto in 2007. Since then, she has worked primarily as a Kindergarten, Preschool and Parent/Tot assistant teacher at the Calgary Waldorf School, Waldorf Academy and Toronto Waldorf School. Melina holds a Teaching Certificate from her native country Argentina and she is also a Registered Early Childhood Educator (George Brown College Toronto).
She enjoys knitting, reading, woodworking, camping and one of her favorite activities is just observing her children’s glow and expansion while spending time outdoors with them.
Preschool Assistant and Aftercare Teacher
Mayumi became a member of the HWS faculty in 2018 in her role as a Preschool assistant and after school teacher. Her teaching experience includes working with young children for 10 years in the day care, kindergarten and elementary environments since she was in Japan.
Mayumi has a diploma in Early Childhood Education from Sheridan College in Oakville. She is also a registered Early Childhood Educator and is currently in the third year of her B.A. Political Science at University of Toronto.
Mayumi worked as a day care teacher in Oakville for 2 years and as an Instructor at a private college in Toronto, in the Early Childhood Assistant program for 1 year. In addition, she worked at a Halton public high school in Oakville as an assistant teacher at the learning resource room for 4 years.
Mayumi enjoys tennis, yoga and zumba dance. She likes beautiful Canadian nature.
Aniko (“Ani”) Gereb
Lead Kindergarten Teacher
In 2004 Ani moved from Transylvania to Canada with her husband and three children. She started working at the Halton Waldorf School in September 2007 as a kindergarten assistant in the morning and an afternoon lead teacher. Working in these roles for seven years has given her deep insights and experience with young children. Starting in 2010 she was entrusted to oversee all kindergarten afternoon programs as a program coordinator.
Ani holds a Bachelor’s degree and Masters degree in Applied Science (Industrial Engineering) from the Transylvania University of Brasov, Romania, where she also completed psychology and pedagogy courses. In 2012, she completed the Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy at the Rudolf Steiner Center in Toronto and went on to complete her Early Childhood Education teacher training, graduating in March 2014. She first encountered Waldorf education in 1995 when her firstborn child attended a Waldorf kindergarten in Europe, and since then her family has carried on this spirit.
What makes Ani special is the deep interest, love and connection she feels for young children. She is devoted to her family, the culinary arts, camping, being outdoors, hiking, canoeing, and taking long and peaceful walks.
Jennifer began the role of Kindergarten Assistant in 2015 although she has been part of our school community since 2001 as a parent, kindergarten and aftercare supply teacher, board member, events co-chair, summer camp coordinator and receptionist.
In the past year, Jennifer worked at the Westdale Children’s School as an educational support and class assistant. She also has experience as a grade one assistant, lead early childhood teacher, educational support worker and helping special needs children.
Jennifer completed the Introduction to Waldorf Early Childhood course at the Sunbridge Institute, has begun her Lifeways Waldorf Training and has diplomas in Liberal Arts and Early Childhood Education.
Jennifer brings her love of nature and her devotion to working with children and their families to the classroom.
Nature Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Shannon has been at our school since 2009, previously working in the afternoon program as well as the aftercare program. Shannon has spent most summers as a camp leader at HWS, the Westdale Children’s School and with YMCA Cambridge, giving her a unique perspective on the needs of the younger child.
Shannon holds a Bachelors of Science specializing in Zoology. She is also an Equine Canada certified English Riding Instructor having spent many years training both young riders and horses. In 2012 she completed Foundations in Anthroposophy at the Rudolph Steiner Centre and continued into the Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators Part Time program. Shannon is an avid knitter and crafter.
Nature Kindergarten Afternoon Assistant
Originally from Québec, Johanne has lived for many years in Mexico with her husband raising their 3 children in a Waldorf school.
Johanne has completed her Foundations Studies in 2018 and is starting her Waldorf teacher training.
She loves nature, traveling and spending time with her family. She enjoys painting, as well as music and reading.
Lead Kindergarten Teacher
Marion joined the Halton Waldorf School in August 2018. After falling in love with teaching Kindergarten in a public school, Marion is excited to have discovered Waldorf Education where she can feel at home teaching in a truly artistic and spiritual way. She is currently completing both her Foundations in Anthroposophy and Waldorf Early Childhood Education training part time with the Rudolf Steiner Center in Toronto.
Marion comes to Halton with many years of teaching experience both in Ontario and overseas. For a total of ten years, she taught at international private schools in United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Mongolia, Tanzania, and Guatemala. She received her Honours B.A. in Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo, and her B.Ed. and Ontario Teacher’s Certificate from the University of Ottawa.
Besides the love of Fine Arts, Marion’s interests and passions include practicing and instructing Taoist Tai Chi, gardening and learning about plants, singing and learning how to play the violin (and hopefully one day the cello!), and hiking and observing nature in the beautiful South Algonquin environment.
Caroline Mya Thida Cho Terzi
Kindergarten Assistant & Aftercare Teacher
Born in Myanmar and raised in Italy, Caroline had an inner knowing of wanting to become a teacher since childhood. After graduating from College, she worked with two families and their four children, then at various child care settings. For the past 15 years Caroline was employed by the Peel District School Board as an Educational Resource Facilitator and assisted students with many abilities.
Caroline has an interest in dance and has taught and performed cultural dances from Myanmar in numerous cities, including Brampton’s Carabram where she received awards for volunteerism and excellence.
After becoming a parent, Caroline began attending workshops and conferences at Toronto Waldorf School. Immersing herself in Foundations Studies in Anthroposophy at the Rudolf Steiner Centre, Caroline decided to pursue the vocation of Waldorf Early Childhood educator.
Caroline’s artistic interests include knitting, crocheting and wet felting as well as belly-dancing, yoga, Tai Chi, Spatial Dynamics and 5 Rhythms.
Kindergarten Assistant and Aftercare Teacher
Juan became a member of the HWS faculty in 2016 in her role as a kindergarten assistant and after school teacher.
Juan holds a B.A. in English from Guangdong Polytechnic Normal University in China. She has completed her Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy and Professional Development for Waldorf Early Childhood Educators at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto.
Nature and outdoor activities are strong interests of Juan’s. She also enjoys cooking, traveling, gardening and attending festivals.
Class Teacher - Grade 1
Alla joined HWS in 2016 as a grade one and two teacher in our optional afternoon program. A mother of three, she has been a part of our community since 2013 when she began participating in the Parent and Child Program. She fell in love with the school and Waldorf pedagogy and decided to proceed with studies in Anthroposophy and Waldorf teacher training.
Alla grew up in Riga, Latvia. She holds a master’s degree in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Greenwich and completed a course in Language Teaching at the University of Oxford. Working as a Russian and English teacher for over ten years, Alla’s passion for teaching has gradually shifted towards working with young children. She believes that early childhood is an extremely precious and important part of our life and is honoured to be a part of this process as both a mother and teacher.
Alla’s hobbies include martial arts, photography, knitting, crocheting and doll making.
Class Teacher - Grade 2
Stephanie arrived at the Halton Waldorf School as a child in kindergarten and remained a student at HWS through to the end of Grade 8. During her time here, Stephanie’s family was deeply involved with the vibrant school community.
After completing her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Theatre/Film and History at McMaster, Stephanie attended the University of Toronto, earning her Bachelors of Education for Grades 7-12. During teacher’s college, Stephanie’s heart drew her home to Waldorf. In 2010, while completing her Waldorf teacher training, Stephanie begin teaching Grade 1 at HWS.
Stephanie is also a handwork teacher, where she shares her love of knitting, crochet, and cross stitch. She has two sons and looks forward to watching them thrive as second generation Waldorf students.
Class Teacher - Grade 3
Suzanne joined our school in 2003. She inherited a grade one class in December of that year and, after eight incredible years, graduated her students successfully into high school.
Suzanne has an Honours B.A. in History and English literature from the University of Toronto and received her Waldorf Teacher training certificate from Sunbridge College in New York. She went on to complete her Masters degree in Waldorf Education. After teaching at the Toronto Waldorf School, Suzanne began a Waldorf initiative in New Orleans, Louisiana, before returning to Canada and joining us in Halton.
With her interest in travelling and experiencing new adventures, Suzanne brings an enthusiasm for the world and its people to her students. She has a deep commitment to Waldorf education and has witnessed its transformative power on her own daughter’s journey through the grades.
Class Teacher - Grade 4
Tim Brow has been teaching at Halton Waldof since 2011. Prior to this he taught a combined grade one-two class at a new Waldorf initiative in Aurora, Ontario. He studied English Literature and Holistic Forest Management at the University of British Columbia. Tim’s Waldorf training took place at the Rudolf Steiner Centres in Richmond Hill and Vermont.
Tim has a great love of nature. He lived for many years on one of the Gulf islands, homesteading and planting trees in northern and coastal B.C., and he also has extensive experience leading wilderness canoe trips with children. An accomplished carpenter, Tim has been making traditional marimbas and playing traditional marimba music from Zimbabwe for over twenty years. Over the past few years he has taught numerous students how to play this incomparable music, including a number of grade seven Halton Waldorf classes.
Tim enjoys participating in the many festivals and sporting events held at Halton Waldorf, Toronto Waldorf, and Waldorf Academy.
Class Teacher - Grade 5
Sian has been at the Halton Waldorf School since 1999. She has taught all the grades, although not yet in the order from one through to eight! She also worked an enjoyable year as the woodworking teacher.
Sian comes from England, where she took her B.Sc. in Geology and the Environment. She also has a B.Ed. She took her Waldorf teacher training at Wynstones Steiner School in Gloucestershire before coming to Canada in 1986.
A love of nature and the outdoors keeps Sian walking and biking around the Halton region. She has a love and interest in science and astronomy, as well as natural history. Summer reading is a much anticipated and valued pleasure.
Class Teacher - Grade 6
Maria recently completed her Bachelor of Education at Brock University. She has a BA in English Literature from York University. Maria completed the Foundations Studies in Anthroposophy in 2016 and is enrolled in the Waldorf Teacher Education program. Many of you may know Maria as she has been a parent for over eight years and she has worked in our aftercare programs and as a handwork teacher.
Class Teacher - Grade 7
Ryan has worked as a class teacher at Halton Waldorf since 2012, after first spending time with the school as a volunteer and a supply teacher. He graduated with a B.A. in Visual Arts in 2007 from Brock University and with a Bachelors degree in Education from Charles Sturt University, Australia, in 2009.
He is currently studying anthroposophy and Steiner education at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto. Ryan has experience in coordinating childrens’ events in various schools and camps in North America and takes a great interest in music and the visual arts.
Class Teacher - Grade 8
Susie Habermehl Chin joined the Halton Waldorf School in 2004 as our music teacher. In 2006 she became a class teacher.
Susie graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1992 with her Honours Bachelor of Business Administration. While she did work part-time in financial services and market research, Susie’s main focus in the subsequent years became raising her three sons; River, Jonah and Jackson whom all attended HWS. It was in searching for the right education for them that she found Waldorf Education and decided to teach. She completed her Masters in Education from Sunbridge College, in 2009.
Susie’s passions include playing music, working in theatre, and hiking in nature. After a year on sabbatical in 2014 during which she enjoyed working in neighbouring Waldorf schools as a mentor and substitute teacher, Susie returned to HWS in 2015 as the grade 5 class teacher.
Arpik moved to Canada with her family in 2009 from Armenia. Arpik holds a Master’s degree in French language and literature and has over 13 years of professional experience teaching French. She got her passion for French and teaching from her mother who was a university French professor.
Arpik fell in love with Waldorf in 2010 when her daughter joined nursery in Toronto Waldorf School. She started volunteering in Toronto Waldorf School in 2014 and completed the Antroposophy Foundation studies at the Rudolf Steiner centre in 2016.
Arpik loves nature and being outdoors, theatre, music and arts, enjoys crocheting, reading and cooking and of course most of all she loves spending time with her family.
German Teacher and Handwork Teacher
Birgit Fulda graduated from the College of Library Science in Berlin, Germany. She came to Canada in 1988 and started working for the Halton District School Board as a German language instructor. For 23 years she has enjoyed teaching German to children from kindergarten to grade eight as well as adult classes.
In 1999 Birgit began teaching the handwork curriculum at the Halton Waldorf School, educating children to create with needlework, knitting and crocheting. As a young child, Birgit learned to knit and to crochet and kept her passion for working with wool. It brings her great joy to inspire her students with new ideas for their lovely projects.
Birgit has been a member of the Oakville Association of knitting and crocheting for many years. She believes in life-long learning and has attended numerous seminars and workshops to study the Waldorf pedagogy.
Woodworking Teacher, Educational Support Teacher
Tara has been with the school in different capacities since 1995. She began as a class teacher and hers was the first class to graduate at the current location in June 2000. After taking some time at home with her children she returned to Halton Waldorf in 2007 as our Woodworking Teacher. She has also worked as an Educational Support Teacher since 2008. She is a class parent and has enjoyed being class rep for three years.
Tara has an Early Childhood Education Diploma from Sheridan College, an Honours B.A. in English Lit from Brock University, a Bachelor of Education from UWO, her Ontario Teacher’s Certificate with Special Education Level 1, and her HEART (Healing Education and Remedial Training) certificate from the Steiner Centre in Toronto.
She enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and canoeing and is very interested in gardening at home and school. With her passion and respect for our environment, she is the faculty representative for the Green Team and leads the student Waste Warriors team, which also involves overseeing the worm composting program. Locally she is involved with The Compassion Society and Food4Kids and often brings healthy and age-appropriate initiatives to the student body such as food drives and community fundraising.
Art Therapist and Art Teacher
Elizabeth joined the school in September 1999 after a career in England working as an art therapist with an anthroposophical doctor. At Halton Waldorf she teaches art therapy and art classes to children and adults and also teaches privately in Guelph.
Elizabeth attended Michael Hall Rudolf Steiner School, U.K. and graduated from Kent and Canterbury Teaching Hospital as a radiation therapist (MRSR/T). She lived and worked in Greece for 25 years, having trained as an art therapist at Tobias School of Art Therapy. Music is also a great love, and she has been a member of the Guelph Community Choir for five years.
In class teaching the art work revolves around the main lesson blocks and Elizabeth finds a constant source of inspiration in the superior quality of students’ creations. She cherishes the children in her care, creating a warm, friendly and trusting environment for them to explore their feelings.
Gregory Michael Csefko
Greg has been teaching at HWS since September of 2008. His love of movement, music, sports and games radiates throughout all of the subjects and classes that he has been fortunate to teach.
Greg holds a BFA in Music and Theatre from the University of Windsor and an MTP diploma from Sheridan College. He also strives to deepen his understanding and application of the Waldorf philosophy through attending pedagogical studies and workshops across the continent. With a professional background in theatre and music, Greg has been able to contribute in many of the class plays and school events throughout his years here.
Freelance violinist Ruth Hoffman has performed with such diverse groups as The Montreal Symphony, Opera Hamilton, Les Misérables and Tafelmusik. She has recorded fiddle tunes and radio programs for CBC Halifax, early music CD’s in both Montreal and Toronto, and served as concertmaster for a variety of orchestras throughout the Golden Horseshoe.
Ruth earned B.Mus.Ed and M.Mus. degrees from U.S. institutions, has Suzuki training, and is experienced in helping students prepare for Royal Conservatory exams. She has a knack for explaining technical skills in a clear and fun way. Her favourite comment from students is: “It’s over already?? That was so fast!”
Sandra was born and raised in Barrie, Ontario and now lives in Dundas. She began cello in a middle school program after asking her mom if she could play a string instrument at school. Her mom replied, “Yes, as long as it’s the cello!” That was fine with Sandra because the cello was the only instrument she wanted to play!
Sandra’s former teachers include Alan Stellings (Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto) and Zdenek Konicek (McMaster University, Hamilton) with pivotal experiences coming from work with Ann Vallentyne, Michael Peebles (Hamilton) and Irene Sharp (San Fransisco). Sandra graduated with a Diploma of Music from Mohawk College in 1985.
Sandra’s professional career began at the Hamilton Suzuki School of Music, teaching cello beside Ann Vallentyne and developing a program of music for the very young. She has been a tenured member of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra in St. Catharines since 1989. Out of her involvement in the NSO came the creation of the Arabesque Trio with colleagues Gail Poulsen, violin and Andree Simard, viola. Summers are filled with making music for weddings at the many wineries around the Niagara Region!
In addition to the cello and teaching, Sandra loves her daughter, practicing yoga and meditation, and, walking with her husband and the family corgi!
Michael Chapitis has been providing therapeutic eurythmy to Halton Waldorf students since 1999. He works with kindergarten to grade eight students on a part time basis to three Waldorf schools: Halton, Trillium and the Waldorf Academy. Michael is one of four eurythmic therapists in Canada having completed the seven year Therapeutic Eurythmy Program.
His work addresses the application of eurythmy in areas of physical and emotional imbalance in learning. Michael received much of his mentoring and further training with renowned educator Marjorie Spock, who witnessed the birthing of eurythmy under Rudolf Steiner in the early 1900s and founded Waldorf Schools in North America. Michael also offers annual courses in Switzerland to eurythmists and physicians.
Siobhan joined the school in August 2013. Prior to this she worked at Waldorf Academy for the past three years as staffing manager. Other past work experiences includes: the Rudolf Steiner Centre registrar, TWS Alumni Association coordinator, Right to Play administrative assistant and Conflict Resolution Network project assistant. Siobhan is a graduate of the Toronto Waldorf School, which she attended from kindergarten through grade twelve. She received her Bachelor of Arts (joint honours) in Peace and Conflict studies and Religious Studies from the University of Waterloo. She has taken Master’s degree courses in leadership, research, and ethics at St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis and completed several courses in Human Resources Management. She is a member of the Human Resources Professional Association, The Anthroposophical Society, and a Board member of Camphill Communities Ontario.
Faculty Chair / Enrollment Coordinator
Lylli has been with the Halton Waldorf School since its first grade one class was established in Campbellville, 29 years ago. Her daughter Sarah was a student in this class, becoming the school’s first graduate in 1993. Lylli was a class teacher at HWS for 25 years and now holds the position of faculty chair/enrollment coordinator.
She grew up on a farm in the Barrie area as one of five children in a Polish immigrant family. A graduate from Queen’s University, holding a degree in Physical Geography, Lylli’s interests in teaching were always focused on math and the sciences. She is currently part of team of teachers who offer courses for Waldorf teachers throughout North America with the purpose of strengthening the teaching of the sciences.
Lylli sits on our school’s board of directors as well as the board of the Rudolf Steiner Center in Toronto.
Debbie moved to Canada from England in 1993 with her husband and 2 children. She ran a home day-care for 5 years while her own children were young. She was involved in her children’s school communities as a volunteer and a member of the Parent Association.
Debbie re-entered the workforce in Administrative roles and recently spent 6 years working at United Way which continued her interest in community work. She enjoys being part of her community and looks forward to building relationships with the children and families of HWS.
Emese joined Halton Waldorf School in July of 2016. She has a Bachelor of Economics degree in Accounting from the University Craiova in Romania.
Emese worked as an accountant for ten years before coming to Canada in 2004 with her husband and two children. In her first year in Canada she took English, business communication and accounting courses at Mohawk College in Hamilton. Emese has been working in full cycle accounting since 2005.
Being outdoors, taking long walks and admiring the beauty of nature and capturing these moments through photography are some of her favourite things. Theatre, interior design and visual arts are also of interest.
Emese is very excited to be a part of the HWS community and she is looking forward to making a positive contribution to the school.
Early Childhood Coordinator
Heather joined Halton Waldorf School in August 2017 as the Early Childhood Coordinator. She grew up on the shores of Lake Superior and in the great outdoors of Muskoka. Heather started her journey in Waldorf at the Hunonia Waldorf School as a parent and shortly after that began her work as a Kindergarten teacher twenty years ago.
After eleven years of teaching mixed aged kindergarten, at Huronia and Toronto Waldorf School, Heather left the classroom and co-created My Child Myself, a centre that offered parent learning, community building and a business selling organic woolens. Following that she went back to the Toronto Waldorf School as Pedagogical Chair supporting parents, teachers and community. Heather completed her Kindergarten training at Sunbridge Institute and Birth to Three Training at Sophia’s Heath.
In recent years Heather has studied Biography, New Adult Learning and Leadership to support her work with parents and teachers. Heather is also the Regional WECAN Representative for Ontario and Northern New York State as well as a Member of the WECAN board of directors.
High School Coordinator & Grade 9 Math Teacher
Lisa has an Honours Bachelor degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Waterloo. She earned a Masters of Science degree in Education from Niagara University. She completed Foundations Studies while teaching at the Aurora Waldorf School. She has a Waldorf High School teaching certificate from the Centre for Anthroposophy.
Over twenty years ago, Lisa left the world of software engineering to become an educator. For the last 12 years she has been involved in Waldorf education. She was a class teacher at the Aurora Waldorf School and then a middle school and high school mathematics teacher at the Emerson and Green Meadow Waldorf Schools.
Lisa has three children, all of whom have attended Waldorf Schools. She currently lives in the Niagara region with her husband and two of their three children. When she is not working with the High School Group at the Halton Waldorf School, Lisa enjoys being outdoors, knitting and of course eurythmy!
Promotions and Outreach Coordinator
Stephanie has been a stay at home mom for 12 years and is excited to be a part of another family here at the Halton Waldorf School. Her previous communications experience includes executing national marketing campaigns for brands such as Tim Hortons and FedEx. An alumni from Wilfrid Laurier University, Stephanie earned her Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a minor in Psychology in 1996.
While searching for a preschool for her son, Stephanie found a need for a resource to help parents understand the various learning approaches offered at local preschools. In 2013 she launched a website to address this need and provide an online tool for Oakville parents. Stephanie recently completed her first 5km race and climbed the CN Tower’s 1,776 steps in support of charity. She loves spending time with her wonderful family, walking their dog Rory and exploring cook books for new recipes.
2018/19 Maternity Leave
Beth is very excited to be a member of the faculty at HWS. She grew up in Aylmer, Quebec and was raised by an artistic family. She has studied drama, music and dance in a wide variety of styles. She started teaching when she was 13 years old, with many summers spent assisting at a summer dance and drama camp for children. Her Bachelor of Arts degree is from Simon Fraser University in B.C. where she studied Anthropology, Sociology & English Literature.
Upon graduation she set her sights on teaching and travelling and spent a year in South-Korea teaching English at a Hagwon (a private after-school tutoring institution). Over the course of her travels through Southeast Asia and New Zealand, Beth recognized that teaching was her vocation. Upon her return to Canada she knew she needed to find a classroom of her own. She completed her Waldorf Teacher Professional Development Certification at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto in 2013.
The child development theories developed by Rudolf Steiner inspire her in her ongoing work to live a holistic and authentic life. She is very grateful to have found this community and for the opportunity to contribute!