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.
Committee lists, contacts, mandates and meeting times are shown in the table on the parent portal of our BigSIS database.
We hope to hear from you!
PMWS Board of Trustees 2018-19
Eric Weslander 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.
Anna Paradis, (Vice President) 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.
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.
Kevin Fullerton joined the Board in 2018 and currently serves as the Fundraising Chair. He currently works as a program coordinator in Experiential Education at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy.
The Fullerton family stumbled upon Waldorf education in 2012 and quickly recognized the benefits of the curriculum. The school provides compassionate and individualized education through century old curriculum. It is a school in which all students are honored and all teachers are cherished.
Bret Schacht serves as the faculty liaison. Since 2006, Bret has enjoyed teaching the grades students at PMWS. He was inspired by the spiritual world-view and vision of Rudolf Steiner he found in researching biodynamics while working on an organic CSA. All that he wished to learn he found in the Waldorf school curriculum, created out of Steiner’s philosophical principles. One principle states that teachers are to form the curriculum from observing the children in front of us. He found a proclivity and immense joy for this teaching English in South Korea. Upon return to the United States, he earned his Master's in Education and Waldorf Teaching Certificate. Again, he struck out overseas to teach at an internship in Christchurch Waldorf School in New Zealand. This rich experience at a fully developed lower and high school helped him step into a grades position at White Mountain Waldorf School in New Hampshire and then his current position at Prairie Moon Waldorf School.
Bill Ayers currently works as Director of asset management for a private enterprise focusing on mainly financial, real property, and commodity investment management, with a strong focus on crypto currencies and blockchain technologies.
Previously, for over a decade, Bill focused on building businesses and marketing for online businesses. He worked mainly with social media and other web 2.0 media resources to build communities and create ongoing conversations with the community in order to track and raise ROI, with a strong focus on business planning including strategy and tactics based on goals of the enterprise.
He is also in the final steps of becoming certified as an Earthship Academy Graduate.
Bill and his family moved from San Francisco in 2016 to be near family living in Kansas and chose Lawrence as home specifically to send their two boys to Prairie Moon.
Joan Richardson (Parent Association/Volunteer Assistant to the Administrator) joined the board in 2019. In 2010, she, her husband and two daughters came to Prairie Moon and the Waldorf education by way of family members, including nephews that are alums.
It was the Winterlight Faire that captured her heart and created a shift in the family’s best laid plans, resulting in relocating from Kansas City to Lawrence.
Joany commutes to Mission, Kansas to do the work she loves as a cosmetologist at her own salon. She has been a stylist since 1999 and has owned her small business since 2006. Her love of all things organized works well for the business as well as the work of the Board of Trustees. Joining the board was a big step, but it comes by way of many days spent in the classroom with her daughters, volunteering at festivals, being a class representative in addition to the initial talks and later creation of the Parent Association. Joany is proud of where Prairie Moon is today and looks forward to doing the work to see the school have continued success.
Jeff Kennedy joined the Board in 2009, and serves as the school's Accountant/Bookkeeper.
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.
Shannon Gorres (Interim Director of Administration) grew up in rural Minnesota, spent years migrating south and landed in Lawrence in 2006.
Over the last two decades, Shannon has supported children and families as
a social worker, community organizer, and minister. In addition to a Masters
in Latin American Studies (2008) and a Masters of Divinity (2014), Shannon
is certified to teach yoga, interpret Spanish/English, and lead Dances of Universal Peace. She also enjoys sharing techniques of Non-Violent Communication. Her family resides and gardens in North Lawrence.
Shannon was the Office Administrator for ECM at KU during its capital campaign, and has recently has been providing spiritual counseling at Children's Mercy Hospital. Her favorite skills include empathic listening, strategic brainstorming for resolutions beyond typical possibilities, and empowering people to become their highest selves. Since her teenage work
as a puppeteer, she looks forward to returning to the Waldorf realm of magic and mystery, through her spiritual and administrative leadership.