Waldorf Leadership Development Faculty
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Karen Atkinson, M.Ed.
Long-time Waldorf class teacher, former AWSNA Leader for the Mid-Atlantic Region, Program Director of Renewal Courses, and Coordinator of Administrative Leadership Program and Mentoring Services at the Center for Anthroposophy. Provides pedagogical leadership support for faculty chairs, pedagogical administrators, professional development coordinators, and school mentors.
David Barham, M.Ed.
Director of CfA’s Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program (WHiSTEP) as of 2022, David has worked in four North American Waldorf schools, including one in Mexico, both as class and high school teacher. Before joining CfA, he taught humanities at the Maine Coast Waldorf School in Freeport, ME, for more than a decade. 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 recently completed 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 came to anthroposophy first as a biodynamic farmer, then as a worker at a Camphill village before signing on as a class teacher.
Caleb Buckley, Ed.D.
Executive Director of Golden Valley Charter Schools in Northern California. Doctor of Education degree from UC Davis and Waldorf Teaching Certificate in HS History from the Center for Anthroposophy.
Carla Beebe Comey, M.Ed.
Antioch University faculty. Served as a Waldorf teacher, pedagogical eurythmist, mentor, and pedagogical administrator for twenty-six years prior to joining the Waldorf Teacher Education Program at Antioch.
Sasha Caufield, a professional fundraiser with more than 20 years experience, has been an enthusiastic parent volunteer at the Waldorf School of Louisville since her daughter, now a fifth grader, enrolled in kindergarten. With an MA in Public History, focusing on museum methodology and non-profit management, Sasha has worked in numerous areas of non-profit development, including large scale capital campaigns, annual giving campaigns, donor and foundation cultivation, wealth screening and prospect research, grant writing, live and silent auctions, event planning, public speaking, and social media donor drives. As Board Chair of the school, she helped lead a successful transition that included the sale of the school’s campus and a move to a new, larger campus. She currently works in digital media.
Valerie brings a keen understanding of the responsibilities of trustees and the very important role effective boards can play in the success of an organization.
As an independent consultant she works with many Waldorf school boards to bring about a more effective leadership circle. She led a monthly webinar series for AWSNA on a wide range of board topics including the board’s response to COVID. She has spoken at various conferences on strategic planning, good governance and collaboration in Waldorf schools.
Valerie served as a trustee and Chair of the Board for the Chicago Waldorf School (2011- 2017). She currently serves as a trustee and Chair of the Board for the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA).
She has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a BA in International Studies from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She and her husband have 3 children, and when not in Chicago, she spends as much time as possible in Vermont biking, hiking and skiing in the Green Mountains.
Administrator, Center for Anthroposophy, community activist and former Waldorf parent.
Development Director of the Maine Coast Waldorf School, has extensive experience with capital campaigns, fundraising, annual giving and event planning, and a deep appreciation for the power of philanthropy.
Karine Munk Finser, M.Ed.
Director of Kairos Institute at the Center for Anthroposophy. Director of Transdisciplinary Studies of Healing Education, Antioch University New England. Art therapist and painter.
Born on the Baltic island of Bornholm, Denmark, Karine Munk Finser later lived in Belgium, France, Switzerland, and England before finding her home in the United States. She is an art therapist with a diploma from the Medical Section, Goetheanum. Karine was the founding director of CfA’s Renewal Courses for 21 years while serving as a faculty member at Antioch University New England. In 2014, she launched Antioch’s Transdisciplinary Studies in Healing Education program (TSHE), and in 2022 inaugurated CfA’s Kairos Institute.
Board Director of Amalgamated Bank, founder of RSF Social Finance, an organization focused on developing and implementing innovative social finance, serving humanity for a just and equitable future. Founding member of New Resource Bank. An active member of several boards, Mark is also an independent investment trustee for several families around the U.S. and abroad.
Torin Finser, Ph.D.
Director of Building Bridges and Waldorf Leadership Development programs, founding trustee of CfA, Director of Waldorf Programs at Antioch University New England, post doctoral certification in Management Development, Harvard, author of 14 books, including Organizational Integrity and Leadership Development.
Cathie Foote, M.A., M.S.W.
Long-time (now retired) school administrator and board executive at the Calgary Waldorf School; active in administrative mentoring for many years; now in third 3-year term as AWSNA Leader for the Texas-Mexico-Canadian-Southwest-Rockies Region; previous long-term professional career as social worker and researcher in pediatric hospitals, grief counseling, and family mediation, as well as university teaching in social work and grief counseling.
Douglas Gerwin, Ph.D.
Himself a Waldorf graduate, Douglas Gerwin, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Center for Anthroposophy (CfA). He has taught history, literature, German, music, and life science at the university and Waldorf high school levels for over 40 years and helped prepare high school educators to teach these subjects for over a quarter-century. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the Waldorf Teacher Education Program at Antioch University New England.
In 1996, he founded CfA’s Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program (WHiSTEP), a graduate-level training specifically for high school teachers, which he chaired for 27 years. During that time, he also served as advisor or mentor to well over three-quarters of the Waldorf high schools in North America and helped train Waldorf teachers on four continents.
Editor of ten books and author of numerous articles on Waldorf education and anthroposophy, Dr. Gerwin is also Executive Director of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education (RIWE). A founding member of the Leadership Council in the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), he now sits on the Pedagogical Section Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America. In addition, for the past decade he was a member of the Hague Circle, an international leadership group of some 45 Waldorf teachers from around the world.
Seasoned professional in school administration specializing in program development, budget strategies, and long-term planning. She is the Administrative Network Coordinator for AWSNA in the Mid-Atlantic Region and the Business Manager for the New Amsterdam School in NYC.
Luke Goodwin, Ed.D.
The Lead Administrator at the Gathering Waters Chartered Public School in Keene, NH. He has been involved with Waldorf education for over 40 years. After graduating with a Masters of Education from Antioch University, New England, he served as a class teacher at the Ashwood Waldorf School in Rockport, Maine and the Cape Ann Waldorf School in Beverly, MA. After class teaching for 10 years he moved into Administration and has had the privilege to serve as the Administrative Director at the Chicago Waldorf School for the last 13 years. In addition to his school leadership work, Luke has served as a school mentor for the Waldorf Schools of the Great Lakes & Ontario region and taught administration and governance courses at the Waldorf Teachers Institute in Chicago. Luke lives with his wife Kate and three daughters, Josie, Willa and Lulu. In his free time, he enjoys coaching a Varsity baseball team and listening to his beloved Red Sox on WEEI.
Long-time Waldorf school administrator, founding member of the Administrators Network for the Association of Waldorf Schools (ANA), Waldorf school advisor, consultant, and facilitator.
Kim John Payne, M.Ed.
Independent and public school consultant, author, researcher, private and public school counselor for individuals and families. Founder of Simplicity Parenting.
Leonore Russell, M.A.
Founding Director of Crossroads Farm, a project of Nassau Land Trust, Director of the Winkler Center for Adult Learning, a consultant for Antioch University New England and for schools and businesses using eurythmy as a vehicle for self-awareness and transformation of both personal and organizational life. She brings a wealth of experience as a long-time faculty member and administrator for the Waldorf School of Garden City, NY.
Connie has been involved in Waldorf Education for 50 years – variously as teacher, parent, school administrator, trustee, and development director, first in her native Chicago and then at three Waldorf schools on (and beyond) the West Coast. As a long-standing member of AWSNA’s Coordinating Committee, she organized the Association’s annual teachers conference for two decades. A member of AWSNA’s Accreditation and Review Committee, she is currently the Pedagogical Administrator at the Portland Waldorf School, a post she will relinquish in July 2022.
Connie’s immediate family includes her husband, Daniel, as well as three adult children and five grandchildren, all of them Waldorf students.
Chiaki Uchiyama, M.Ed.
Born and raised in Yokohama, Japan. She taught Japanese language at Cedarwood Waldorf School for over 20 years. She has conducted annual Waldorf teacher conferences for Japanese teachers and anthroposophical as well as Waldorf pedagogical workshops over the past 11 years. She has served in various leadership roles at Cedarwood Waldorf School, prior to her current position as Pedagogical Director at the Portland Waldorf School. She graduated from Otsuma Women’s University in Tokyo, and earned a MEd. degree in Waldorf Education, Transdisciplinary Focus on Healing Education at Antioch University, NH. Although she misses the fun of teaching Japanese language to the children, she finds joyous satisfaction and fulfillment in supporting students, teachers, administration, parents and the whole school community.
Devona Stalnaker-Shofner, Ed. D.
An Associate Professor at Antioch University New England, and Associate Chair of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Department. She received her Doctor of Education in Counselor Education and Supervision from Argosy University-Atlanta. Her dissertation research focused on wellness in graduate students as they transition to counselors-in-training and during clinical practicum. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Georgia, as well as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Dr. Stalnaker-Shofner has been in professional practice as a counselor for twenty years, and her experience includes providing individual, group, and marriage and family counseling to clients presenting with treatment concerns such as depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and self-mutilation/injury, as well as substance use, addiction, and recovery.