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Meet Kristine Fiskum of Da Vinci Waldorf School in Wauconda

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristine Fiskum.

Kristine, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Before children of our own came, our friend’s young children captured our attention. Their immersion in play, engagement with each other and toys, and most remarkable their presence in posture and speech were unique. We found that not only were they raised by wonderful parents, but they were attending a Waldorf school. This impression stayed with me and many years later we found ourselves searching for a Waldorf school for our own children. The small school was full of life and love of learning, and grounded in the idea of preserving childhood.

I became involved in the school on administrative and board levels, and then trained to enter the classroom. This training was a true transformation of my thoughts about education’s role in life. The now 100-year approach to learning remains steadfast in its foundation that every child learns best through imagination, play and movement, real experience, and repetition and rhythm. These elements are fueled by the enthusiasm and interest of the teachers leading the way.

Da Vinci Waldorf School has embraced the Waldorf curriculum and offers children in Lake, McHenry, and Cook counties an opportunity to learn in a way currently uncommon to mainstream education. The school believes that a nurtured childhood builds capacities that will bloom into incredible achievement and purpose in life. I have seen it time and again in my 14 years with the school.

I continue to support Da Vinci because it is serious about education. This school is not about avoiding the world through stories and imagination. Quite the opposite-it is about preparing children for the future full of new ideas, positive attitudes, and skills to meet what is yet unknown. The rigorous academic curriculum begins early on, yet is balanced with a rich artistic and physically engaged framework. I am proud that our teachers have confidence in their knowledge of child development, and are devoted to the inspiration of Waldorf education which leads to a successful school.

Da Vinci Waldorf School is committed to community.

Has it been a smooth road?
What do they say, if it’s not hard it’s not worth the effort? While I can confidently say that the good outweighs the bad, the road has not always been smooth.

Enrollment and money are the interlocked and constant issues that plant boulders in the road. Getting the word out in a concise way in our culture of sound bytes has been challenging. Luckily, we have teamed with a turn-around management company that has set our course with a strategic plan.

We were so happy to purchase and move in to our current building in 2004. Growth and future plans have us struggling with the next steps. How does a small school take the leap into new construction and the great unknown?

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a first grade teacher, and I also work with some students with learning differences.

I have a group of wonderful young ones ready to officially start school in just a few weeks. I am very excited about seeing the plans I have come alive.

We are a Waldorf school serving children and parents from age one through eighth grade. A Waldorf school is unique in that it was founded nearly 100 years ago based on the guidance of Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian-born philosopher-thinker. His understanding and teaching about the nature of humans and their relationship to the world led to the development of the Waldorf curriculum. Aligned with current psychological, medical and developmental research, he promoted hands-on learning, acquisition of skill through imitation, and consistent schedules that offer inward and outward experiences.

I am proud of our graduates and all the children who have had the gift of this education.

I believe they see the world with more interest and possibilities than they might have otherwise.

I am also proud of parents who went out on a limb and allowed their children to be children.

Waldorf education can’t survive without parent participation and support. The bridge between home and school is always under construction yet such a helpful structure.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
The Chicago area offers opportunities in nature and an exploration of the seasons. The forest preserves and parks close to the school make outdoor learning, hiking, and flora and fauna observation accessible.

Also, it seems that Midwesterners and particularly Chicagoans are grassroots and enterprising by nature. I don’t know if it’s the generations of hard work or the long cold winters, but people around here know that keeping something good requires their love and labor, and starting something good requires even more of the same.


  • Preschool Tuition 2-day $2760 + fees
  • Preschool Tuition 3-day $4030 + fees
  • Preschool Tuition 4-day $4980 + fees
  • Preschool/Kindergarten Tuition 5-day $6130 + fees
  • Grades Tuition $9950 + fees

Contact Info:

  • Address: 150 W. Bonner Rd.,
    Wauconda, IL 60084
  • Website:
  • Phone: 847 526-1372
  • Email:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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