Governance

 

LEADERSHIP & COLLABORATION

Portland Waldorf School is a self-governing independent school that works with a collaborative leadership model. The College of Teachers and Board of Trustees work in partnership to govern the school.

The College of Teachers is the group of faculty and staff members responsible for the spiritual and pedagogical life of the school. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the legal and financial health of the school. The College and Board work in partnership on long term and strategic planning.

The Interim Faculty Chair is currently mandated to make decisions as needed working directly with both College and Board. She is assisted by the Director of Administration.

The school’s governance and committee structure is currently under review and possible revision.

MEET THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Jeff Rice, President
Jeff and his wife, Robin Lieberman, are parents of two PWHS alumni: Sophia, a 2012 graduate, and Atticus, Class of 2015. Both were educated from preschool through Grade Eight at Cedarwood Waldorf School, where Jeff served on the Board for nearly fifteen years as Treasurer, President, and then Chair of the Board Development Committee. Jeff joined the PWS Board in early 2013 and served as Secretary in 2013-14, and became President in April 2014.  Jeff received a BS in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry from Yale University and his MD from Temple University before coming west to Oregon to complete training as a psychiatrist at OHSU. In his pri­vate practice he borrows from a number of disciplines and traditions in helping patients who can benefit from longer-term, psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Andrew Cohen, Treasurer
Andrew and his wife Lisa began their journey at PWS in 2006 with the Parent Child program, and their two sons, Ezra and Reuben, are now in the Lower School. Andrew is a full-time Instructor of Com­position, Literature and Creative Writing at Portland Community College (Sylvania), where he has taught for the last ten years. He has also taught literature and writing at Clackamas Community College, Pacific Uni­versity, and University of Portland, as well as through the Literary Arts program, Writers-in-the Schools. He grew up in New York City, received a BA in English from Tufts Univer­sity and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. Andrew joined the Board in the Spring of 2013 and serves on the Seismic, Governance, and Finance Committees.
Joe Carlisle
Joe Carlisle was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida but after graduating from college he came Portland State University to pursue graduate work in History. As part of his studies, Joe was awarded a fellowship at the Oregon Historical Society, which led to full-time employment, and  Joe quickly grew to love and appreciate Oregon. However in 1999, he accepted a position at the Missouri Historical Society, and in 2001, Joe moved to Birmingham, Alabama in order to be with his then-girlfriend/now-wife, Sharon, and to attend law school. Joe and Sharon started their family, and when their daughter Kate was two years old, they discovered the Alabama Waldorf School. They enrolled their daughter and later their son Sam. Joe’s love of Oregon, however, remained strong. So, in 2015, they moved back and enrolled their kids at PWS. Joe, a shareholder at the law firm Buckley Law, P.C., joined the Board with the goal of combining his enthusiasm for Waldorf education and his skills as a lawyer to help PWS continue to provide both a quality education and a quality community within which children and families can grow.
Nina Churchill
Nina Churchill grew up in Washington and comes from a family of artists, architects and designers, with art education being central to her family. Nina studied Fine Arts at WSU as a student in the Honors College, receiving her BA in Fine Arts, Summa Cum Laude. Upon graduation, she moved to New York where she earned a M.S. in Communications Design from Pratt Institute with honors. Following graduation, Nina stayed in New York, working professionally in art, graphic design and package design, where part of her work was creating identity systems for large corporations. Six years later, Nina and her husband moved to the Bay Area, where she continued to work in art and design and rekindled her lifelong interest in plants and the natural world. During these years, Nina’s two children were born and began their Waldorf educations. Nina began teaching at a Waldorf-inspired school in Marin County as a pre-school assistant. She received her teaching certification from the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training in 2005. That year, she and her family relocated to Portland, where she began teaching at our high school, first teaching main lesson in art history and growing to include main lessons in modern art history, architectural history, geology and orientation classes for students new to the high school. She has just completed an 8-year journey through the grades, and is taking another middle school class in addition to returning to her PWS roots in the High School. Nina enjoys creating art, being outdoors, gardening, sewing, reading, walking and especially spending time with her husband and two children.
Jeffrey Kaye

Jeffrey’s family started at PWS in 2016 with Penelope and Adeleine enrolled in the Lower School and his wife, Annagrace, working in the main office. Jeffrey works as Chief Technology Officer for Centerlogic, Inc. where he provides technology and information security solutions for over 200 small businesses. He has performed as percussionist, timpanist, composer, or conductor with groups as varied as Oregon Symphony, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Big Horn Brass, Portland Symphonic Choir, and Sheldon High School’s Theatre. He has produced music and arts festivals, officiated weddings, been an invited speaker for conferences and webinars, and acted as master of ceremonies. Jeffrey consults for many non-profit organizations and has served on the boards of many, including Baden-Powell Service Association, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and Bike Clark County. Jeffrey holds a Master of Science in Arts Management and a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance, both from University of Oregon.

Cami Waner
Cameron (Cami) Waner was born in Augsburg, Germany and lived there until she was 12 when her mother moved to Portland, Oregon. She graduated from Sunset High School and the University of Oregon. She is the Marketing Coordinator for Collins (19 years at Collins and 28 years in the forest products sector). She lives with her partner, David Ratzlaff and their 16-year-old daughter, Benett, in Milwaukie, OR. Cami and her family joined the PWS community in 2004 when her daughter Benett joined the Trillium Kindergarten. Benett is now a member of the PWHS Class of 2018. Cami served on Parent Council for 5 years, was actively involved in class activities and fundraising in the lower grades, and currently serves on the Marketing Committee.
Christopher Zinn
Christopher and his wife Nathalia joined the PWS community in 1999 when their son Gabriel entered the First Grade. Gabriel graduated in 2011 and their son Sebastian in 2014. Christo­pher attended Georgetown University and New York University, where he received his Ph. D in English and American Literature. He taught Humanities and American litera­ture at Reed College, directed the college’s American Studies program, and was a Fulbright Senior lecturer in Turkey in 1993-94. He has also taught cultural histo­ry at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. He served as Executive Director of the Oregon Council for the Humanities from 1997 until 2006. In 2007, he joined the faculty of the PWHS where he teaches humanities and directs the College Counseling program. Christopher has served on a number of non-profit boards, and lectures and writes frequently on literature and culture. Christopher joined the Board in 2012.
Maya Muir, Vice President
Maya discovered Waldorf education in time for her son to join the First Grade at PWS; he graduated from PWHS in 2008. From 2003 to 2008, Maya served as the first full-time Enrollment Coordinator for PWS. Maya has a BA in Geography from Hunter College and a Masters in Environmental Education from NYU. Prior to her position at PWS, she worked as a free-lance journalist for regional and national publications, writing on education, the environment, medicine, and the arts. Maya joined the Board in the Summer of 2012, returned to the school as High School Enrollment Coordinator for the Spring of 2013, and has been Chair of the Board Stewardship Committee since spring of 2014.
Genevieve Angle, Secretary
Genevieve’s family joined the PWS community when her two daughters entered the kindergarten in the fall of 2011. She is a Waldorf “lifer,” having attended the Lexington Waldorf School in Massachusetts and the Waldorf School of Garden City in New York for Grades 1-12. She has an MS in Biological Sciences from The George Washington University and works as a scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, focusing on the protection of endangered species. She currently serves on the Finance Committee and the Tuition Adjustment Committee.
December Carson
December joined the PWS community in 2000 when her son Elijah joined the kindergarten. Elijah graduated from the Portland Waldorf High School in 2014. December, a native Portlander, graduated from Oregon State University in 1993 with a BS in Journalism and a minor in Photojournalism. She worked as the Community Development Coordinator at PWS from 2005-2011. She currently serves on the PWS Marketing Committee. She has over 20 years experience booking, managing and promoting local musical talent. December is currently the Marketing Coordinator for Portland’5 Centers for the Arts and the Artistic Director for Siren Nation.
Timothy Johansson
Tim began his PWS experience with his three children attending briefly in 2004-05 before returning to Salt Lake City, Utah. He and his family moved back again to Portland in 2013 and his son Bjorn attended PWS in 8th and 9th grade.  Tim has over 28 years in entrepreneurial experience and currently owns and operates Personal Care Products Manufacturer and Brand Development Company RainShadow Labs, along with skin care brands Numerology and 24Karite Gold. He was the Founder, Chairman and largest shareholder of a multi-state franchise development company; Founder of Internet Technology company Move Networks and Diib Analytics; Entrepreneur-In-Residence at vSpring Capital and Kickstart Seed Capital. He holds an MBA, and is a graduate of the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota and the Westminster-Gore School of Business.
Matt Malmsheimer
Matt was born in Minneapolis, lived briefly in San Diego and grew up in Pennsylvania. He graduated from N.Y.U. with a major in painting/studio art. After college, his love of fresh snow and steep mountains brought him West to Lake Tahoe, where he spent four years enjoying mountain life and getting to know his wife, Elizabeth (aka Ms. Webber to the PWS Class of 2026). He is currently a partner at the law firm of Haglund Kelley, LLP, where he practices primarily employment and labor law. Matt and Elizabeth have a son, Isaac, who is in Jim Conlon’s Class of 2024. They began their Waldorf adventure at Dena Lieberman’s preschool, We Gather Together, and started life at PWS under the loving watch of Ms. Regina in Trillium Kindergarten.
Kimberley Ybarra

Kimberley and her family joined the PWS community when her son entered Trillium Kindergarten in 2009. She discovered Waldorf education while traveling in Ireland and sharing time with two uncommonly engaging and confident teenagers, both Waldorf students. Kimberley grew up in the Boston area and moved to Portland in 1987. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Southern Methodist University in 1982, and her J.D. from San Diego School of Law in 1987. She has served as a public-sector lawyer since 1988, working for Clackamas County. Kimberley joined the Board of Trustees inspired by the opportunity to participate in preserving and growing the wellbeing of PWS.