Portland Waldorf School is a self-governing, private school that works under a collaborative leadership model. The College of Teachers and the Board of Trustees are the two primary bodies that oversee the governance of the school.

The College is the body of faculty members which has agreed to take on the leadership of the pedagogical and spiritual life of the school. The Board is responsible for the legal and financial health of the school, and strategic planning. Each body designates an individual to ensure that their respective policies are implemented. The Faculty Chair works on behalf of the College while the Administrative Chair works on behalf of the Board. These two Chairs serve the school together in a dual-leadership model.

While the College and the Board provide broad oversight and school leadership, smaller Committees conduct the daily business operations of the school. These committees work collaboratively to accomplish their mandated tasks, and report to the Faculty and Administrative Chairs. Committees are comprised of faculty, staff, and parent volunteer members, and facilitate functions such as Finance, Teacher Search, Curriculum, and Campus Grounds.

The Stewardship Group is a team of faculty that serves to make daily school decisions and acts in a consultative manner to the Faculty and Administrative Chairs. The group addresses issues and makes decisions that do not fall within the broad purview of the Board and College or within the specific mandates of any other Committee. Stewardship reports to both the College and the Board through the two Chairs.


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.

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.

Kim Ybarra

Please join us in welcoming Kim to the Board of Trustees! More information coming soon…

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.

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.