Esalen Emergency Closure Relief Fund

 Esalen to reopen July 28. Learn more tips about traveling to Big Sur.


Our Teachers

“Gazebo caretakers teach by taking care of, and taking care in, whatever they do."
— Janet Lederman, Founder

Gazebo teachers are respectful, creative, and caring. We bring the skills of listening, resourcefulness, and humor to our work. We aim to perceive the whole child and understand and respond to his/her developmental needs, while maintaining a healthy and safe learning environment for our whole Gazebo family.

As children make choices and learn during a wide variety of activities, we are passionate participants and guides. We also help children to further their knowledge through literacy, project work, first aid lessons, and the expressive arts.

Each Gazebo teacher contributes her/his own unique flavor, interests, and gifts to the group, and are encouraged to bring their whole selves into their work, modeling authenticity and human-ness. This diversity is a living example of one of Esalen’s founding premises: the true appreciation and allowance of differences.

Jessica Tamayo, Gazebo School Park Director

Jessica first came to Esalen to be a Gazebo intern, inspired by the unique philosophy and magical setting of the program. During the "un-learning" process that unfolded, her foundations as a Waldorf Early Childhood teacher were transformed as she was given the opportunity to tune in to the living moment and meet the child in his experience. Jessica is especially grateful for the way Janet Lederman (Gazebo founder) created a space where adults were encouraged to trust the child's process, allowing children to develop freely and fully through self-directed play and engagement with the earth and each other. Jessica deeply values the place that Gestalt Practice holds at Esalen, and continues to deepen her study and exploration of the work. She is passionate about sharing the Gazebo experience with students, educators, and families, and looks forward to creating opportunities for collaboration in the fields of early childhood education and human development.

Haley Seefeldt,Teacher

Haley was raised on a family ranch in Big Sur. She first came to Gazebo as a “Tree” in aspirations of becoming a Gazebo Teacher. It was love at first sight when she stepped over the hay bales and into the Park. She saw the respect and care that the teachers had for the children, as well as, the natural beauty of the School. It was not long after her visit in spring of 2014 that she became a teacher. She studied at Monterey Peninsula College and majored in Early Childhood Education. Her focus was and is respectful engagement with young children. She is very passionate about her work at the Gazebo and enjoys building and taking care of the land with the children.


Shayne Hodgkin, Teacher

Shayne believes education is a lifelong, continuous process and achieves its greatest meaning when it becomes cyclical. In that light, she gratefully embraces the opportunity to return the vast benefits of her own education to the next generation. Born and raised in Placerville, California, Shayne is grateful for the well-rounded educational experience of her early years as a Waldorf student that supported her curiosity of life. Out of a love for art and architecture, she earned a BA in Interior Architecture with an emphasis in Furniture Design from UC Davis in 2008. Shayne is a graduate of Rudolf Steiner College's Early Childhood Teacher Training, and has also studied and trained with the RIE Institute. She has taught in a variety of early childhood programs, including Farm and Forest-based kindergartens, and lived and worked in community at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center.  She looks forward to cultivating a healthy environment that stimulates and nourishes the young child's imagination, while inviting him to explore the natural world, and learn to care for the earth, for other beings, and for himself. 

Penny Vieregge, Health & Safety Consultant

Penny is Gazebo’s amazing, seasoned (87 years young this year!) first aide health and safety educator. She comes to Gazebo once a week to teach children their own confidence and competency in gathering knowledge and skills in mindful healthy habits, and first aid assistance for helping others and self. The Focus class also includes Kindergarten Prep skills as well as the basics of classroom behavior. She earned a BA from College of the Pacific, majoring in Speech and early education as a minor. She was the Red Cross Disaster Liaison for the Big Sur Area, Liaison Officer of the fire brigade, founder and Commander of the cliff rescue unit. She was Instructor/trainer for Red Cross CPR and First Aide teachers.

Photo credit, below: Kyle Evans


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