Jennifer Kimbel, Lead Teacher
Ms. Jen is a native of St. Louis and has lived in Columbia, MO since 1992. She discovered Garden Gate School while she and her husband, Karl, were looking for preschool options for her oldest daughter Mollie. Garden Gate was a perfect fit. She worked as an assistant beginning in 2015 and became the lead teacher of the 2-day class starting in the fall of 2016. She has been training with Deborah for four years and is participating in a Live Education (Waldorf-inspired) training conference based in Santa Cruz, California. She is the mother to two young children, Mollie and Alice, and many beloved dogs. When Jen is not working she can be found in her garden, hanging out with family, cooking, eating, or walking her dog.
Deborah Kallmann, Director
Deborah has owned and taught in Garden Gate School since 2007. As pedagogical director, she continues to train teachers and offer parent-workshops. She has taught preschool through grade 8 using teaching methods inspired by Waldorf education and many others. She was born in Zambia, Central Africa and has lived in various places both internationally and in the U.S. She received her Master’s degree in cultural anthropology and history at the University of Arizona; her focus was on education from a cross-cultural perspective. She has been an adjunct visiting lecturer at University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the University of Missouri’s Honors College. She participated in multiple parent-child classes at Waldorf schools from Rhode Island to England, has completed one year of Waldorf Foundation Studies at Shining Rivers Waldorf School. She has now taught children and trained teachers in pedagogy inspired by Waldorf education in mid-Missouri for 13 years.
Anita “Omi” Kallmann
Anita was born in South Africa, and for several years lived on a beautiful farm in the Northern Transvaal. She later moved to Zambia, Central Africa where she married Peter Kallmann and raised two children (one of which is Deborah). The Kallmann family moved to the US in the mid 1970s. Anita and her husband Peter settled in Columbia in 2006 to be near their grandchildren. She has been an assistant at Garden Gate for twelve years. Omi understands viscerally the value of this preschool – it is simply an old-fashioned “kindergarten”. Her two granddaughters, Hannah and Amalia, have both been involved in Garden Gate School and are now lively adolescents on to further adventures.
Opi has been working at Garden Gate since its inception. He is our in-house bookkeeper and has served as a German teacher and furniture-maker for many years. Opi’s stories about life in Africa are compelling accounts of a life well-thought-about and filled with adventures. Omi and Opi continue to nurture the heart of Garden Gate. They are GG’s Grandparents!
Mr. André is Garden Gate’s “in-house” potter, making all the lovely bowls, plates, and cups for our children. His “day-job” as a philosopher at Mizzou has provided much of the fuel to keep our little school afloat.