School Governance

Rudolf Steiner envisioned a society organized as a threefold social organism. He proposed three domains of human social activity, which should be kept independent and autonomous: economic, legal, and cultural. Steiner gradually saw that this idea was not to be realized in society at large and asked that the Waldorf schools take it up. In the Emerson Waldorf School, therefore:

School Governance
  • The economic realm relates to how human needs are met. It is organized and carried out in the spirit of fraternity.

  • The legal realm is called the “rights” or “equality” domain. Its role is to establish and enforce policies to which each member of our community is equally accountable.

  • The cultural realm is about the cultivation and recognition of human capacities.


Board of Directors

The Board of Directors has ultimate legal and financial accountability for all activities at the school. The Board does not carry out specific work, but mandates these groups as follows:

  • The Board allows the Administration to be fully responsible for the legal realm. This mandate is given through the job description of the Director of Pedagogy and Administration.

  • College of Teachers is given responsibility for the cultural domain. Within the context of our school, this makes the College responsible for all things pedagogical.

  • Aspects of the economic sphere are shared by the Administration, College, and Board.

Click on a picture and hover over the image to learn about our board members.

 

College of Teachers

The focus of the College is pedagogical policy. Working with a model of shared discernment and consensus, the College of Teachers makes pedagogical decisions out of its shared study of the growing child. The College’s first and foremost responsibility is the spiritual wellbeing of the school, expressed through an oversight of curriculum development, pedagogical policy, program administration, faculty hiring and dismissal, professional development, and student admissions. The College will consult with the Board for input on decisions that impact the budget, such as adding, eliminating, or changing programs, and hiring and dismissal of faculty.

The College of Teachers has an obligation to make decisions in a way that is transparent to the Board of Directors; the Board does not make any pedagogical decisions except to approve any requests for increases in the pedagogical budget due to program expansion or other needs.

College meetings are the spiritual center for the school, and they allow teachers to study the important questions that arise in the interest of the evolving needs of the children and families in our school, such as pedagogy, programs, teaching, child development, educational leadership, and best practices.

The College of Teachers follows the consensus model of decision making. It makes decisions collaboratively, seeking to find unity among members. This model requires initiative of the members, as well as the courage to trust the wisdom of the group. The College is the leadership body in these areas but is not the implementation group. Implementation is done by a committee, a section, or an individual, each with a clear mandate from the College. The College of Teachers makes broad pedagogical decisions:

  • Ensuring the school operates in a moral way

  • Granting approval for changes in pedagogy or major programming changes

  • Managing professional development, including teacher evaluations and professional problem intervention

  • Employment of teachers

  • Analysis of school effectiveness

  • Oversight of the budget in the pedagogical area

College of Teachers

Responsibilities

Curriculum: Presenting the Waldorf curriculum, ensuring that the pedagogy is based on an understanding of Anthroposophy, making changes and/or expanding the curriculum, setting guidelines to ensure the curriculum complies with state law, fielding concerns and questions regarding pedagogy from teachers and parents and taking action if appropriate, making curriculum-related decisions for long range planning, evaluating pedagogical programs.

Faculty: Initiating the search for and hiring suitable, trained faculty in Board-approved positions, evaluating and mentoring faculty, establishing and carrying out professional development programs, dismissing faculty (with involvement of Board and Administration as necessary), establishing and maintaining professional conduct, ensuring that faculty studies the pedagogical and esoteric materials that form the philosophical and practical basis for Waldorf Education, encouraging meditative work by faculty, setting expectations for faculty participation in School committees, reporting to the faculty at weekly meetings.

Students: Participating in acceptance and dismissal of students, working with teachers and parents to ensure best results for each child.

School: Ensuring that school assemblies and festivals are conducted, overseeing the After Care, the After School programs, working with Board and Administration to create classrooms and campus spaces that support the curriculum and the mission of the School, participating in decisions relating to short- and long-range plans, preparing an annual school calendar for recommendation to Board and Administration, establishing and monitoring policies in areas other than financial, legal, and non-pedagogical aspects of administration.

Community: Overseeing parent education (with the Parent Organization’s Heads Committee), ensuring regular teacher-led parent meetings and parent-teacher conferences, selecting a College member as a representative to the Parent Organization, maintaining good working relationship with AWSNA through active participation and fulfillment of membership responsibilities.

Board of Directors: Selecting members of the College to serve as members of the Board, communicating promptly with Board when a possible legal issue arises, providing input to the Board and Administration on financial decisions (such as hiring and dismissal of faculty and staff as appropriate, budgeting for the operation of the School within budgetary limits set by the Finance Committee, prioritizing programs, teacher development, and other financial matters having a pedagogical aspect to them), responding promptly to needs brought by the Board or Administration, selecting College members to serve on committees with the Board and/or Administration.

Prerequisites for Membership

  • Have been a teacher at EWS for at least one year

  • Proven ability to work in a group

  • Ability to take up tasks

  • Is respected as a colleague and teacher.

  • Works out of Anthroposophy and a deep understanding of the curriculum

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Membership on the College of Teachers in 2023-24 is as follows:

  • Robin Olson (Early Childhood teacher and College Co-Chair)   rolson@pdfbookspot.com

  • Ben Trueblood (Grade School teacher and College Co-Chair) btrublood@pdfbookspot.com

  • Viorica Comaniciu (Grade School teacher)  vcomaniciu@pdfbookspot.com

  • Patricia Cornell (Early Childhood teacher)  pcornell@pdfbookspot.com

  • Andrea Eichinger-Wiese (Early Childhood teacher)  aeichinger-wiese@pdfbookspot.com

  • Colleen Everhart (Director of Education)  ceverhart@pdfbookspot.com

  • Andrew Hubbuch (Grade School Teacher) ahubbuch@pdfbookspot.com

  • Adrienne Patrick (Handwork Teacher) apatrick@pdfbookspot.com

  • Catherine Reyes (High School Science teacher)  creyes@pdfbookspot.com

  • Kris Ritz (Grade School teacher)  kritz@pdfbookspot.com

  • Malina Stoychev (Grade School teacher)  mstoychev@pdfbookspot.com

  • Amy Sutherland (High School Humanities teacher)  asutherland@pdfbookspot.com

  • Kristin McGee (Farming Teacher & Farm Manager) kmcgee@pdfbookspot.com


Administration

Operations that do not directly relate to delivering the Waldorf curriculum are the responsibility of the Administration, in accordance with our threefold ordering of the school. This includes:

  • Writing up incidents of non-compliance with school policy

  • Maintaining school timetable and room/resource allocations

  • Calendar and planning and notification of upcoming events to responsible individuals

  • Handling leave requests

  • Maintaining substitution schedules and implementing substitution procedure; maintaining substitutes’ “pull files” with activities for emergency teacher absence

  • Accounting of teacher workloads and flexible scheduling requests

  • Coordinating orientation and ongoing check in with new teachers during the first year

  • Helping the community understand and follow our school policies (those for proposals, communication, photography, attendance, etc)

  • Coordinating databases and communications

Professional administrative staff brings support and oversight to a wide range of administrative and business matters. The Administration carries out the necessary day-to-day business activities of coordinating and operating an organization. The Director of Administration leads the Administration, carries out the decisions and standing policies of the Board and College of Teachers, and strives to serve the needs of the Faculty, parents, and students. Administrative functions operating under the leadership of the Director of Administration include the following: development, enrollment, student records, human resources, finance, marketing and public relations, legal and regulatory issues, and main office.

The Director of Education provides oversight and leadership to the life of the administration and faculty, together with the College of Teachers and Board of Directors, to the school as a whole. The Director of Education is an employee of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is responsible for hiring and evaluating the Director of Education.

Names and contact information for the Administrative Staff can be found HERE.


Other Governance Groups

Committees

The College of Teachers and Board of Directors are further linked through committees. Members of the College or Faculty serve on many committees. Both College and Board are empowered to create and mandate committees within the purview of their own authority and these groups may be ongoing or time limited.

Executive Committee

Made up of Board Officers, College Chair, and Director of Education, the Executive Committee meets on an as needed basis to facilitate communication across the broadest range of the school’s functioning.

Leadership Team

The Leadership Team is composed of the Director of Education, Administrator, College Chair, and section heads and coordinators. The LT guides and frames policies and practices to ensure smooth operations and communications. The LT’s fundamental responsibility is the practical wellbeing of the school, which requires proactive management of school business and rapid, effective response to any needs or concerns. It prepares and formulates items for the College to quicken some decision-making.

The Leadership Team is chartered by the College of Teachers and is authorized to:

  • Speak for the School in pedagogical matters

  • Supervise task processes and progress toward goals set by the College and/or Board

  • Act as the steward of student/parent relationships with the School resolve parent concerns in the pedagogical realm

  • Lead discipline management throughout all sections of the School

  • Supervise the mentoring and professional development of pedagogical staff

  • Supervise and evaluate the pedagogical staff; advise the College as to probationary and dismissal decisions

  • Supervise and evaluate the work of the Section Chairs

  • Delegate tasks

The Leadership Team is the first line for managing day-to-day faculty business. Business is funneled to this group from the faculty or from the community at large. The Leadership Team sends business items to sections or committees as appropriate, and tracks business items to ensure that they come onto the faculty meeting agenda for reporting. The group is empowered to make decisions and act within any existing policy. Larger policy questions are routed to the College of Teachers if related directly to pedagogy, or to the appropriate sphere if unrelated to pedagogy.

The Leadership Team implements the school’s strategic goals and policies, as defined by the College and the Board, in collaboration with the Director of Education. The Leadership Team is also authorized to make decisions and implement plans that help advance the mission of the school. The Leadership Team shall be reviewed annually by the College and the Board. All work implemented by the Leadership Team is to be informed by anthroposophy and Waldorf pedagogical insight so as to:

  • Ensure that the Faculty provides a high-quality Waldorf Education to the students.

  • Facilitate the College’s work in effectively carrying out its responsibilities to nurture the cultural and spiritual life of the School and develop pedagogical policy.

  • Develop an excellent Faculty in which every individual is supported so that s/he can maximize her/his potential.

  • Act as the primary steward of student and parent relationships with the School.

  • Ensure the retention of students.

  • Support outreach endeavors to enhance the School’s public image as a center of quality Waldorf Education.

  • Provide strategic pedagogical leadership by maintaining an awareness of and a consciousness for current and emerging pedagogical needs, and directing the school’s faculty to take effective and objective action.

Members of the Leadership Team in 2023-24:

  • Patricia Cornell (Early Childhood Chair)  pcornell@pdfbookspot.com

  • Colleen Everhart (Director of Education)  ceverhart@pdfbookspot.com

  • Michelle Fridman (Director of Administration) mfridman@pdfbookspot.com

  • Dana Nicholson (High School Coordinator) dnicholson@pdfbookspot.com

  • Robin Olson (College of Teachers Co-Chair)   rolson@pdfbookspot.com

  • Adrienne Patrick (Grade School Co-Chair) apatrick@pdfbookspot.com

  • Lennis Sample (Grade School Coordinator)  lsample@pdfbookspot.com

  • Malina Stoychev (Grade School Co-Chair)  mstoychev@pdfbookspot.com

  • Amy Sutherland (High School Co-Chair)  asutherland@pdfbookspot.com