Center & Periphery

The Online Newsletter of the Center for Anthroposophy

Winter | 2022

In This Issue

Dateline Freeport, ME: Passing the Baton of Waldorf High School Teacher Training 
Dateline Wilton, NH: Preview of Renewal Courses for Summer 2022
Dateline Wilton, NH: Healing Children’s Trauma in a World of Need
Dateline Keene, NH: New Cycle of CfA’s Waldorf Leadership Development Course
Dateline Wilton, NH: “Explorations” Goes International
Dateline Wilton, NH: “Explorations” for High School Teachers, Too 
Dateline Punxsutawney, PA: The Significance of Groundhog Day for High Schools
Dateline Wilton, NH: Taking Orders for Our Alumni Conversation Café
From the Editor’s Notepad
Midway between winter solstice and spring equinox comes a potent period of gestation, during which time the earth begins to stir with intense yet still invisible growth. Likewise, at our Center for Anthroposophy, we are entering a season of immense yet still largely behind-the-scene activity in virtually all of our programs, which this year have grown to six with a seventh still to be seeded. In this issue of our thrice-yearly online newsletter, we preview changes in our established programs and sketch out some new ones about to be launched during the coming seasons.
–– Douglas Gerwin 
Executive Director

Dateline Freeport, ME: Passing the Baton of Waldorf High School Teacher Training 

CfA has chosen David Barham to assume the leadership of its Waldorf high school teacher education program starting next year, taking over from its founder, Douglas Gerwin. Here is a brief portrait of Douglas’ successor.
Known in some high school circles as “Cap’n Waldorf”, Douglas Gerwin has for the past quarter-century steered the helm of the Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program, a vehicle for training high school teachers that he launched in 1996 at the Center for Anthroposophy (CfA) and affiliated with the Waldorf program at Antioch University New England. During his time as founding leader of this specialized program, Douglas has welcomed aboard some 200 high school trainees from Waldorf schools across North America, as well as overseas from Latin and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.  On this continent alone, alumni of this program are currently teaching in 33 of the 40 extant North American Waldorf high schools, as well as in some two dozen other schools and institutes here and abroad.
Now, after 25 years on the bridge of this seasoned vessel, Douglas will begin to hand on the wheel to his successor, David Barham, who has been appointed Director of high school program starting in September 2022. Douglas will retain his other chief role at CfA as its Executive Director during a further year of transition.
David will be heading up the sole program in the English-speaking world that focuses specifically on the preparation of Waldorf high school teachers in their subject specializations. At present the program––affectionately nicknamed “WHiSTEP”––offers six such areas, each led by seasoned and practicing Waldorf high school teachers with decades of experience in their specific subjects:
  • Arts & art history [ Patrick Stolfo ]
  • Biology and earth science [ Michael Holdrege ]
  • English language and literature [ David Sloan ]
  • History and social studies [ Paul Gierlach ]
  • Mathematics [ Jamie York ]
  • Physics and chemistry [ Michael D’Aleo ]
In addition to Douglas Gerwin, the high school program includes long-standing faculty members who lead courses for all trainees, including Eurythmy [ Laura Radefeld ], Creative Speech [ Craig Giddens ], Music [ Meg Chittenden ], Spacial Dynamics [ Jan Lyndes ], and Painting [ Charles Andrade ], along with a wide circle of expert guest presenters and mentors.
For the past 30 years, David Barham has worked in four North American Waldorf schools, including one in Mexico, dividing his tenure equally between elementary school class teaching and high school humanities. For the past decade he has taught English and history at the Maine Coast Waldorf School in Freeport, ME, where he currently resides.
While teaching full time in schools, David has also served as College chair, high school faculty chair, trustee, and school delegate to the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). In the fall of 2021, he was appointed to AWSNA’s Leadership Council as Leader for the Northeast/Quebec region.
A graduate with a Master’s degree in Waldorf education from Antioch University New England, David is currently completing a CfA certificate program in Waldorf Leadership Development. His undergraduate degree at Tufts University was in English and Religion.
An ardent folk singer and guitar player, David formed an acoustical rock-n-roll band some years ago with the name “Almond Butters Band”, a five-person group that appears at local gigs. He also leads online seminars for AWSNA on reimagining the Waldorf high school humanities curriculum as well as workshops for elementary and high school teachers. David is married to Kelly, a Waldorf early childhood educator, and has had three children move through Waldorf education.
David came to anthroposophy first as a biodynamic farmer, then as a worker at a Camphill village before signing on as a class teacher, initially at Pine Hill Waldorf School and later at the Maine Coast Waldorf School. In between he also taught high school humanities at High Mowing School and, for the past 12 years, at Maine Coast.
In 2018, David used a half-year sabbatical to walk the entirety of the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain. “I knew I was ready for a new direction on my Waldorf vocational path, but could not clearly see the future,” he writes. “As I look back, I now see all of the changes that have led to this moment.”
As WHiSTEP Director, David will be teaching not only prospective and practicing high school teachers but also adults in other programs sponsored by CfA, while keeping his hand active in the Waldorf high school classroom. CfA is fortunate to be welcoming David Barham into its leadership circle and adding his expertise to the line-up of senior-level high school instructors who constitute the full crew of the WHiSTEP faculty.
David Barham


Dateline Wilton, NH: Preview of Renewal Courses for 2022

Karen Atkinson, Coordinator of CfA’s annual Renewal Courses, previews the coming summer of week-long professional development courses imbued with active engagement in the arts and anthroposophy.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Recently, I ventured out on a frosty afternoon for a glorious hike. The trail, lined with birch trees against a backdrop of hemlocks lightly coated with snow, exuded a mystical forest atmosphere. The temperature was quite nippy, the terrain bumpy, even icy in spots. Blustery winds seemed to add insult to injury on this frigid day, threatening to cut my hike short and send me scurrying indoors to warmth and safety.
Undaunted, I decided to persevere. After all, the trail was leading to a magnificent waterfall, frozen into sparkling crystal forms that only Mother Nature could create. As I took in this wintery scene, I was instantly renewed by its natural beauty.
In retrospect, this cold and difficult sojourn seemed akin to the challenging school year that teachers, leaders, trustees, and parents are experiencing across the continent and beyond. Each day is strewn with obstacles as school personnel exert themselves to the limit in order to serve and support their students through the ever-changing landscapes and rocky terrains of Covid-19.
It surely has been difficult at times, yet the elation arising from the beauty of an inspiring hike is complemented by thoughts of our Renewal community and how wonderful it will be to experience the joyful renewal of learning together this summer!
As I think more about summertime, I am filled with excitement at the prospect of welcoming accomplished instructors, guest presenters, and lecturers as our Renewal faculty for this coming summer. I imagine that all the teachers, artists, and thinkers who join us for summer courses have been going through their own challenges, and thus together we will find some well-deserved seasonal warmth and Renewal together!
Summer 2022 Renewal Courses are open to independent and public Waldorf teachers and administrators, as well as parents, trustees, artists, and thinkers seeking to enrich and deepen their lives through anthroposophy. There is something for everyone over the course of two weeks. I certainly hope to see you there!
The first week of Renewal, sounding the overall theme of “Inspirations”, will take place from June 26th-July 1st. These courses include Preparing for Each of the Grades, 1-8, respectively, along with Waldorf Leadership Development, Curative Education, and Gender in the Light of Social Understanding and Soul Development in Waldorf Education. Brief lectures by Christof Wiechert at the start of each day’s “Town Hall” are not to be missed! All of the courses offered during this first week will be live and interactive, taking place virtually, so you can tune in each day from wherever you are!
“Return to Community” is the theme for the second week of Renewal, which will take place in person, from July 3rd-July 8th, on the beautiful campus of High Mowing School in Wilton, NH. “Return to Community” courses will include nine vibrant choices for artists, thinkers, teachers, and all those interested in professional development experiences infused with anthroposophy.
Registration is now open. I look forward to seeing you this summer either over the virtual waves of the internet or live in New Hampshire! Please browse through our website for details of each course listed on the poster below:
With heartfelt warmth and joy,
Karen Atkinson, Renewal Program Coordinator


Dateline Wilton, NH: Healing Children’s Trauma in a World of Need

Karine Munk Finser, Director of CfA’s recently-formed Kairos Institute, reports on the forthcoming launch of a new training program in “Emergency Pedagogy” led by Bernd Ruf.
Dear Friends,
The Center for Anthroposophy is launching a new program this summer: the Kairos Institute, dedicated to developing pathways for training in artistic therapies.
We are delighted that Bernd Ruf, founder of the Parzival Schule in Southern Germany, will help us launch Kairos during the week of 3-8 July 2022 with the first module in his course on Emergency Pedagogy. During a five-day course Bernd will lead morning sessions on trauma and the dangers of the various stages of PTSD. This course is for school leaders, care group leaders, and educators who seek to bring more understanding and healing approaches to our schools. It is also for those who wish to become art therapists and those who wish to enrich their empathetic practices. Afternoons will be devoted to introducing therapies designed to address physical and psychological trauma in children and adolescents. The day will end with conversations with Bernd Ruf.
Author of Educating Traumatized Children, Bernd Ruf is the founder of the worldwide Emergency Pedagogy crisis intervention center, based in Karlsruhe, Germany. Skilled teams are sent out to help traumatized children in places of the strife of war, or ecological disasters.
The Emergency Pedagogy center is located on the campus of the Parzival Centrum, where over 700 children––aged infant to twenty––attend a large Waldorf school that includes a wealth of artistic therapies, including animal therapy on a small farm in the heart of the school grounds. These therapies serve children who have suffered the effects of trauma and PTSD, including those with emotional-social developmental challenges, refugee children who have experienced the loss of their homeland, and adolescents who have experienced incarceration. These children are integrated into the classes of the Waldorf school, which has developed conscious structures to address the various needs in their student body.
We have much to learn from Bernd Ruf, who will provide an overview of trauma and the different stages of PTSD and how to recognize and address these stages, from the initial shock to the challenges of the more settled PTSD. Ines Kindchen will serve as Bernd’s translator. Afternoons will be dedicated to how we can address active trauma or PTSD with artistic therapies. Participants, who will choose one hands-on artistic therapy that addresses and heals trauma, will work with the same class throughout the week for optimum learning. Choices include:
*          From Soul Paralysis to Inner Movement through Painting Therapy (Karine Munk Finser)
*          Rediscovering the Self after Trauma: Engaging Movement for Healing and Harmonization (Connie Helms)
*          Circus Arts with Clowning and Puppetry (Laura Geilen)
*          Animal Therapy (Dionna Waterson from Amazing Grace Animal Sanctuary and others)
*          Addressing Trauma in the Early Years though Music, Stories, the Mood of the Fifth (Juliane Weeks and Monica Amstutz)
*          Clay Therapy (faculty tba)
*          The Healing Art of Speech (Debbie Spitulnik)
*          Therapeutic Eurythmy: Addressing Anxiety and Trauma (Maria Ver Eecke and Carsten Callesen)
 For more information and to register, please visit our website:
I hope to see many of you this summer!
With warmest wishes,
Karine Munk Finser
Director, Kairos Institute

Dateline Keene, NH: New Cycle of CfA’s Waldorf Leadership Development Course

Karen Atkinson, Coordinator or CfA’s course for Waldorf leaders and administrators, previews the next round of this popular program.

“It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.”
–– George William Curtis
In April 2021, CfA inaugurated a new low-residency program for Waldorf administrators and school leaders. This course was designed to help independent and public Waldorf school administrators, staff, trustees, and pedagogical leaders build skills, capacities, and understanding of their vital roles in Waldorf schools. Through a combination of virtual and in-person classes, participants engaged in seminars designed to cultivate the capacities needed for serving in leadership positions.
The current cohort of this inaugural group will conclude in April with an in-person long weekend, in Keene, NH. The culminating seminars and presentations have been designed to bring these steadfast leaders together to explore prevalent leadership topics and to engage in the social arts of painting, drawing, sculpture, and eurythmy. Over the course of this year-long program, participants have created a practical repertoire of resources to help support their work now and into the future.
Registration is now open for the next round of our Waldorf Leadership Development program, which will begin on Saturday 14 May 2022. A week-long virtual intensive will take place in late June led by its program director, Torin Finser. Bi-weekly virtual seminars will continue during the school year, along with two in-person long weekends during the fall and spring terms.
Serving as a leader in a Waldorf school takes both courage and skill. Developing the necessary capacities to steer through stormy seas requires a steadfast commitment to service and innovation –– as well as a calm and steady hand!
We warmly welcome you to join us as we prepare to set sail on our next journey. Please peruse our website for more information about the content and the carriers of this program:
With all good wishes,
Karen Atkinson, Coordinator
Waldorf Leadership Development Program
This course is open to ~
·       Newly hired school administrators and administrative staff in admissions, HR, business, development, marketing, and more
·       Experienced administrators seeking renewal and further professional development
·       Graduates of CfA’s “Explorations” program who wish to focus on Waldorf administration and leadership
·       Pedagogical leaders: school directors, faculty chairs, college chairs, section chairs, principals (public Waldorf), and committee chairs
·       Trustees seeking greater collaboration among school decision-making groups
·       Long-standing parents who wish to serve their school in present or future leadership roles

Dateline Wilton, NH: “Explorations” Goes International

As part of its offerings in foundational studies, CfA is expanding its online “Explorations” program to include participants from around the world. Bev Boyer, Coordinator of Explorations, reports on the next cohort of this popular program, starting in March 2022.

Registration is now open for our third round of Explorations Online.  This foundational course––conducted “live” to allow for active conversations––is designed to offer a meaningful and practical way for students to deepen their understanding of basic anthroposophy and the arts, while at the same time exploring contemporary issues in our schools and today’s society.
Classes begin with 30 minutes of artistic work (speech, eurythmy, music, or pastel drawing), followed by contemplative studies on current themes using anthroposophy as the method of inquiry.  An experienced faculty brings a great wealth of experience and wisdom – and heartfelt warmth.
With the online format, we are gratified that so many from diverse countries around the world have been able to take advantage of this offering.  International applicants are heartily welcomed and are eligible for large-scale scholarships, thanks to the creation of a special fund!  Classes meet on Saturdays and Sundays, every other weekend, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST (9:00–11:00 a.m. PST).  The first class will be held on 12 March  2022.
This course is primarily intended for parents, administrators, and new teachers in both public and independent Waldorf schools, as well as those teaching children at home.  Successful completion of the course satisfies prerequisite foundational studies for Waldorf teacher training.
Here is what some of the participants are saying about the current cycle of this popular program:
—        “Blessings to you and thank you so much for this wonderful program. It enriches my weeks and days and moments with an internal calm and strength I have never known.”
—        “Each week is truly a gift of true learning and I so appreciate how each weekend builds and layers from the previous weeks in such an intentional way… I am just so impressed by how these complex understandings have been made accessible to us as teachers in such a meaningful and thoughtful way.”

Dateline Wilton, NH: “Explorations” for High School Teachers, Too

In conjunction with the new cycle of CfA’s “Explorations” described above, a supplementary course in foundational studies custom designed for high school teachers has been added. Here is a brief description.

Waldorf education is uniquely positioned to bring healing and strength to young people and those who care for them. And yet, in order to be effective as agents of healing, Waldorf schools need to have effective Waldorf teachers. While the 40 Waldorf high schools in North America are holding remarkably steady despite a nationwide decline in the number of independent schools, the number of trained Waldorf high school teachers continues to dwindle.
And yet the need for trained teachers is great — even greater now, perhaps, than it was when the first Waldorf high school was launched a century ago, a year after the grades school opened in the fall of 1919 on the Uhlandshöhe bluff overlooking Stuttgart’s city center.
In light of this need, the Center for Anthroposophy is launching a new cycle of its “Explorations” program with specific emphasis on Waldorf high school education. This low-tuition online course offers essentially three elements during the forthcoming spring term:
*          Introductory workshops focusing on self-development, including practical work in the arts
*          Seminars introducing the major fields of high school specialization to all high school teachers, regardless of their own specialty
*          Subject-specific seminars in five academic areas:
            English—History—Life Sciences—Mathematics—Physical Sciences
The course will begin in mid-March, break for the summer, then continue in the fall and winter of 2022-23. Those teachers taking this course will be eligible to apply to CfA’s summertime Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program (WHiSTEP), which will be held in a new format––partly online and partly in person––during late June and July of 2022.

Dateline Punxsutawney, PA: The Significance of Groundhog Day for High Schools

For some, this day offers a clue each year as to the length of winter. But for applicants to the Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program, this date represents quite another landmark. Douglas Gerwin, Chair of this program, explains.

According to a medieval legend imported by German settlers to this town in Western Pennsylvania, the presence or absence of sunshine on February 2nd foretells the length of winter remaining. In the American version of this ritual, if the groundhog pops out of its hole and sees its shadow on this day, the remainder of winter will be long and cold; if it does not, winter is on its way out.  Though it may sound counter-intuitive, a sunny day on February 2nd means lingering cold, according to this tradition; a cloudy day presages an early spring. For the record, the day was sunny.
In the Christian calendar, the date is known as Candlemas, a lesser-known holiday celebrated 40 days after Christmas that marks the exact mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.
For high school teachers aspiring to work––or perhaps already working––in a Waldorf school, this date falls exactly one day after the formal deadline for applying to the Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program (WHiSTEP) sponsored each summer by the Center for Anthroposophy. This year will mark the 27th  cycle of this three-summers program, which offers specialized courses for teachers in Arts and Art History, English Language and Literature, History and Social Science, Life Sciences and Earth Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Studies, Physics and Chemistry.
This year the program is scheduled to start and end with one week of online classes, along with three intervening weeks of courses meeting in person on the campus of High Mowing School in Wilton, NH.  Candidates for this summer program––which runs from Sunday 26 June through Friday 29 July 2022––are invited to apply online at or contact the Center at (603) 654-2566. Detailed syllabi of these specialized courses for high school teachers are available on the CfA site.
Applications are received and processed during the months of February and March, regardless of the weather.

Dateline Wilton, NH: Taking Orders for Our Alumni Conversation Cafés

As part of its expanded activities, the Alumni Association for CfA and Antioch graduates is planning some new events for the coming months. Bev Boyer, liaison representative for this group, explains.

The leadership team of the Alumni Association for Antioch and CfA graduates continues to be excited by the possibilities inherent in this organization.  The creation of an online platform allowing alums to easily connect with one another remains a top priority for the near future.
In the meantime, the group is pleased to announce a series of three online gatherings during the upcoming months.  Called “Conversation Cafés”, these hour-long events will provide an opportunity for all alums from CfA and Antioch’s Waldorf teacher training program to connect as colleagues and friends.  These events are scheduled for Tuesday evenings – February 8th, March 8th, and April 5th,  at  8:00–9:00 p.m. EST (5:00–6:00 p.m. PST).
The theme of the first café will be “Memories”.  We are looking forward to sharing stories and reflecting on the times we experienced at Antioch and CfA.  What is your favorite memory or story?  Who or what inspired you during your time as a student?  What ideals drew you there?  We look forward to welcoming as many as possible as we look back at shared times together!
The Leadership Team of the Alumni Association,
Laura Beatty
Betsi McGuigan
Baruch Simon
Diana Tesni
Bev Boyer, liaison representative