Greetings and welcome to Prairie Moon Waldorf School from the Board of Trustees!
We hope that you take time to explore our website and see all the wonderful things Prairie Moon, and Waldorf education, have to offer children, families, faculty, staff and our whole community.
As the Board of Trustees, we serve in one realm of the threefold governance structure in Waldorf schools. Our primary job is to ensure the financial and legal health of the organization. This includes budgeting and financial management, creating organizational structure and policies, managing business contracts, and ensuring that the school remains in good standing with governmental and professional organizations. It also includes the broader work of long-term and strategic planning for the school, assuring that we are consistently anticipating and improving appropriately to meet the needs of our growing student body.
The board welcomes parent interest and attendance at meetings. We can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Specifically, we are able to receive your questions and suggestions regarding the areas in which the board works and direct any other comments or concerns to appropriate faculty, administrative staff, or committee chairs.
We hope to hear from you!
PMWS Board of Trustees 2016-17
Jennifer Ananda, JD, MSW (President) Jennifer is the Legal Assistance for Victims Project Attorney at the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence where she serves the civil legal needs of victims of sexual and domestic violence throughout the state of Kansas. Prior to working at the coalition, Jennifer was in private practice doing family law, immigration, and some criminal defense work. Jennifer has been a resident of Lawrence since 1999, when she attended KU for her BA in film and English. She graduated with a law degree and master’s degree in social work in 2010. Since moving to Lawrence, Jennifer has served on several boards, including the Kansas NOW board and the Community Mercantile Co+op board.
Outside of her paid and unpaid work, Jennifer enjoys knitting and crafting, reading, and discourse. To Jennifer, there is no art more beautiful than the economy of motion. She plans to eventually open a brick and mortar store that specializes in Waldorf-themed materials and items in Lawrence called The Mulberry Tree. She came to Waldorf education through a desire to provide her children with a path that allows them to become the people they desire to be. Waldorf education focuses on the whole child, providing ample opportunities for children to grow through head, heart and hands. There is a confidence and peace that emanates from the children in a Waldorf school that Jennifer believes is the core of a changed society.
Molly Mackinnon (Vice President) Molly is the middle school teacher for the current combined 7th/8th grade class. She serves as faculty liaison to the Board and chairs the Middle School committee.
Molly's two younger sons, Jasper and Cormac, attend Prairie Moon while her son Henry attends Free State High School in Lawrence and her daughter Ruby, Evergreen College in Olympia, WA. Raised in Boulder, Colorado, during its heyday in the 1970s, Molly adopted a voracious consumption of the world, learning multiple languages and obscure facts about Tuareg social constructs, along with the acquisition of diverse degrees, such as a Master's in Polish Literature. These serve her excellently as a Waldorf teacher. She lives in the country outside of Lawrence with her husband, Jason, and their children.
Jeff Kennedy (Treasurer) Jeff joined the Board in 2009. As the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees, Jeff chairs the Finance Committee.
What brings Jeff to PMWS is the emphasis on imagination for the pre-school and kindergarten classes and the comprehensiveness of the curriculum for the grade school students. His daughter, Zana, has been attending Prairie Moon since she was one year old starting with parent child classes, and is currently a member of the school's third grade class. He attended the first summer teacher preparation hosted by Prairie Moon in 2012. He visits other Waldorf schools around the country when on vacation, if possible, in order to visualize what’s to come for Prairie Moon. His professional work is as an Accounting Specialist for the World Company.
Megan Corcoran (Secretary of the Board and Admissions Director) A faculty member of PMWS since 2007, Megan serves on the Board as the school's Outreach Committee chairperson.
Megan appreciates Waldorf Education for its beauty, richness, child-centered approach and for the compassionate commitment from the faculty, board and parent communities. Megan grew up in Iowa City, Iowa, and as an undergraduate studied Psychology and Women's Studies at Luther College in Northeast Iowa, spending junior year abroad, at the University of Nottingham in England. After working in social services with children and families in Oregon and in Iowa, she taught English for one year in Daegu, South Korea. Megan earned a dual master's degree in Counseling Psychology and Dance/Movement Therapy from Antioch University in Keene, New Hampshire. She completed four years of the five-year Waldorf Movement Teacher Training, in New York, with Jaimen McMillian at the Spacial Dynamics Institute and attended portions of the Midwest Waldorf Teacher Preparation Course at PMWS. Megan enjoys the outdoors, time with family and friends, practicing yoga, traveling, and being with her two children who happily attend PMWS.
Rick Mitchell has been involved with Waldorf education for thirty years. While his two sons attended the Waldorf School of Princeton (N.J.) he served on the Board of Trustees for six years (1986 - 1992), including a term on a three person committee that operated the school from 1990 to 1992 during a period of financial reformation. In that capacity, he headed the school’s long range planning committee. After moving to Kansas, he became the founding president (1993) of the Waldorf Association of Greater Kansas City which established the state’s and region’s first Waldorf education program in Gardner, Kansas. In July of 1997, he formed the Waldorf Association of Lawrence and became the founding president. That organization was re-formed in October, 2001, as what would become the parent organization of Prairie Moon Waldorf School with Rick among the original board members. Since that time, he has served on the WAL Board of Trustees continuously with the exception of one brief hiatus. He has served as president of the board for two three-year terms and currently is chair of the Planning & Policy Committee.
Rick is an artist/photographer, non-profit administrator, and former professor. He served on the faculties of Rutgers University (1974–1992), Baker University (1993–1996), and the University of Kansas (1996 and 2010–2011). From 1993 to 2009, he was Director of the Exhibition Program and Special Projects Director of the Lawrence Arts Center. While in New Jersey he was a founding board member of the Agricultural Museum of the State of New Jersey and served for two years as its Executive Director. He currently is president of Imagination & Place, Inc. www.imaginationandplace.org which operates the Imagination & Place Press.
As an artist, Rick has been supported in his interdisciplinary work with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, The National Science Foundation, The New Jersey Historical Commission, the Kansas Arts Commission and the Lawrence Arts Commission. Among his honers, he was awarded a Phoenix Award by the Lawrence Arts Commission (now Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission) in 2003 and again in 2016 as a member of The Committee on Imagination & Place.
Mark Aaron came to Waldorf education by way of his friends sharing the experiences of their children attending Waldorf from kindergarten through junior high and high school, and the desire to provide his children the educational opportunities that foster a lifelong love of learning. Mark grew up in Indiana and Arizona, is a graduate of Arizona State University, and has been a Lawrence resident since 2011.
Julie Denning was born in South Florida. She enjoyed years of surf, sand, and sun on both the Atlantic and Gulf sides of the peninsula. The call of the prairie brought her to Kansas in 1994, where she has remained since. In 2000 she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Kansas State University. Julie is self employed, operating her own landscaping business, since 2003.
Julie joined the Prairie Moon Board because she believes that PMWS can offer Lawrence and surrounding communities an incredible experience for students and families. Our growing Prairie Moon community receives benefits that reach far outside the classroom. Julie serves on the board as the New Parent Liaison and is also one of the SCRIP facilitators for the school.
Her daughter is enjoying middle school and is in her third year at Prairie Moon. The entire family is happily engrossed in Waldorf's inspiring educational curriculum. Between frequent travel stints, both short and long, Julie and her family enjoy reading, cooking, gardening, and home improvement projects.
Melissa Watson (Administrative Director) Melissa joined Prairie Moon as a parent in the Early Childhood program in 2007. In 2008 she joined the Board of Trustees as the Facilities and Environment Chairperson. In 2009 Melissa became the Administrator and began her training in administration in 2010. In 2012 she received her certificate in Waldorf school administration from Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, California. Melissa also has a Master's Degree in Fine Arts from Queen's College, City University of New York, and a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri.