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 email@example.com. 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 2017-18
Jeff Kennedy (Interim President) joined the Board in 2009, and serves as the school's Accountant.
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. Jeff also works as an Accounting Specialist for the World Company.
Eric Weslander (Vice President) is an attorney at Stevens & Brand LLP, a former journalist, and a proud parent of two PMWS alums. He is grateful for
the school’s talented and knowledgeable faculty and staff, and for the rich learning experiences his children had while attending Prairie Moon from
2010 through 2013.
Rick Mitchell (Treasurer) 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.
Julie Denning (Secretary) 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. Operating Greenthumb Landscaping, she is still finds job satisfaction after fifteen years of selfemployment.
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 is serving her third year on the board and is also one of the SCRIP facilitators for the school.
Her daughter is enjoying middle school and is in her fourth 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.
Megan Corcoran (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.
Jennifer Ananda, JD, MSW 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.
Anna Paradis, who joined the board in 2018, is an administrator in the School of Engineering Research & Graduate Programs unit at the University of Kansas. She moved to Lawrence in 2008 after completing her BA in Fine Art from Boise State University and later completed an MA in Museum Studies at KU in 2013. Prior to that, Anna served six years as a medic in the US Air Force, and was excited to return home to Kansas since leaving for the military in 1998. While in college in Idaho, she connected with the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and Waldorf Education and vowed to find a Waldorf School for her children. Finding only one school in Kansas, which happened to be in Lawrence, her children have attended Prairie Moon ever since (one currently in early childhood and one very recent alum of the middle school).
The most important part of Waldorf Education for Anna is the connection to nature and the sense of community. Being in nature and experiencing joy with others is what makes her children excited to go to school each day. Learning is inspired by this environment and the children know and love each other and especially their teachers. They are tenacious explorers of human nature and society and emit that force with thoughtful determination. It is hard for her to explain, but once you have experienced it, you will become a committed member of this wonderful community. Anna and her family enjoy traveling, playing outside, gardening and cooking and she can never get enough of this Kansas wind.
Ireneo De Leon, who serves as the faculty liaison, started teaching after he had graduated from University of San Carlos, Cebu City, in the Philippines where he took up his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 1998. He took up his Master’s Degree in Psychology the following year as he worked at a private school for boys. Realizing that he needed to professionalize his teaching career, he studied education and got his license as a teacher in 2003. He has had experiences as an educator both in the academe and administration for different private schools, including serving as a principal for a number of years, until he discovered Waldorf education in 2006. It was not until 2011 when his relationship to Waldorf education had become deeper when he enrolled his daughter in a Waldorf Kindergarten school in the Philippines. Since then, he started reading and studying what Waldorf can offer to the different families in his home city. To further understand the application of its philosophy, Ireneo underwent training in Gamot Cogon Institute, a center for Waldorf education studies in the Philippines.
Ireneo is currently finishing his Masters in Education with a certificate in Waldorf Education at Antioch University New England in New Hampshire.
“The greatest thing that I have realized in teaching children is that it is a great privilege to be chosen by my students to guide and nurture them in this world. This privilege is accompanied by a great responsibility to carry on a noble duty, a duty to guide children to discover themselves with freedom. This reminds me to carry with a deep sense of reverence for each child I face.”
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.