November 2018

Mary Katherine Cryderman 1959 - 2018


Thanks to Mary Milkovie, at the Detroit Waldorf School, Nov. 12, 2018

"Mary Cryderman had worked a the Detroit Waldorf School for several years wearing many hats. She worked in our after school program and then also as an assistant in our early childhood classes. She fell in love with our youngest children and was determined to be an Early Childhood lead teacher. She entered the training program in Toronto at the Rudolf Steiner Centre.   She was so very thankful to be part of the Toronto Waldorf Community. When she returned to the Detroit school she was also very grateful to be a trained Waldorf teacher. She  was the lead Early Childhood teacher for the Honeybee class. 

A little over a year ago Mary's health began to fail and it was discovered that she had a chronic, hereditary, liver disease. It became clear that she could not continue working and deal with all the health issues that were part of the condition. It was determined that she would  eventually need a liver transplant.  The last few months Mary was in and out of the hospital, in a lot of pain and discomfort as her body shutting down, too weak to recover.  She died Monday morning November 5th at University of Michigan Hospital, her family with her."

Mary Cryderman graduated in 2013 from the RSCT's full-time teacher education program. From her graduation:

Mary Cryderman was born August 14, 1959 in Detroit, Michigan. Her first exposure to Waldorf education was at Oakland Steiner School where her three children attended.

Mary’s most recent employment was at the Detroit Waldorf School. She was hired for a part-time position as the early childhood center’s aftercare teacher. The staff at Detroit Waldorf regarded Mary as a team worker with a natural ease with the children and the parents.

She fit in well with the community and was able to offer her skills where needed by assisting in the parent tot program and floating assistant for the two nursery
classrooms. The following year, Mary became a full-time assistant in the Shining Star Class.

This awakened her to strive for more; she started to ask questions seeking a deeper understanding of Waldorf education. The work at the early childhood center was clearly feeding her soul. This was when her colleagues suggested that she take the teacher training program.

Photo above: Mary (left) with the other graduates from the RSCT Teacher Education Class of 2013

Through the Distance Foundations in Anthroposophy course, Mary realized that the first step was to heal herself through the adult development work outlined by Steiner. This would be necessary to properly digest her studies and to be a teacher of integrity.

Mary developed a home daycare for DWS early childhood students for school breaks, holidays and summertime. The families were pleased with the program and relied on her program for quality childcare. This past summer Mary and a colleague held summer camp at DWS. They put together a six-week program for children ages three to seven.

Camp was a success and Mary felt she grew professionally and personally through the work further deepening her commitment to Waldorf education. Previously, Mary had studied American Sign Language at Oakland Community College. She had also attended early childhood workshops, by Margret Meyercourt, Anna Rainville, lazuring with Beth Krause, and mother and baby puppet-making with Suzanne Down.

Mary also had the privilege of studying with a Lakota medicine man and a professor whose life dedication was to teach parents how to look to themselves for behavioral changes rather than working directly to change the child’s behavior.

Photo above: Mary at her 2013 RSCT Teacher Education Graduation

Editor's note: We realize this post is missing any information about the last five years of Mary's life and the circumstances of her passing. We hope to add further details later, when they become available. But we wanted to get the notice of her Nov. 11th Celebration of Life out in time for people to be able to attend. It will take place at the Detroit Waldorf School.

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Waldorf Teacher Education, Waldorf Schools