“The (Waldorf) school will have its own administration run on a republican basis and will not be administered from above. We must not lean back and rest securely on the orders of a headmaster; we must be a republic of teachers and kindle in ourselves the strength that will enable us to do what we have to do with full responsibility. Each one of you, as an individual, has to be fully responsible.”

— Rudolf Steiner

Maple Village Waldorf School is a self-administered, collaboratively led institution. Its leadership is divided into three governing bodies and one supportive body: the Board of Trustees, the Pedagogical Committee, Administration, and the Parent Village. Together these groups work collaboratively to support our unique and comprehensive Waldorf education and assume responsibility for the integrated, yet distinct, areas of school governance.

The Board holds the legal and fiduciary responsibilities of the school, the Pedagogical Committee holds the pedagogical aspects of the school, the Administration is responsible for the day-to-day running of the school and the Parent Village is a supportive body that serves as a voice for the parent community as well as communicating information from the governing bodies to the parent community.

Board of Trustees

Maple Village Waldorf School is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. As such, the school’s financial and legal matters are overseen by the Board of Trustees (BoT), who volunteer their time and expertise to make recommendations on budgets and finance, legal matters, fundraising and development, as well as strategic direction of the school. They ensure that the mission of the school is upheld and partners with the pedagogical and administrative leadership of the school in accomplishing the mission. This body has the long-term goals of the school at heart, and works to secure the school as an entity within the broader community and state. It is charged with the oversight of the internal structure and management of the school, and delegates day-to-day management of the school to the Dean of Education, who is hired by the Faculty and confirmed by the BOT, and Business Administrator, who is hired by the BoT and Pedagogical Committee. The members of the BoT are drawn from the school community as well as local residents and others with experience in Waldorf Education. It includes two members of the faculty/staff who act as liaisons. Ideally, trustees bring legal, development, financial, educational, architectural, and political expertise to the BoT and serve for a two year period. The path to BoT membership starts with expressing interest to the BoT President, or being invited by a Board member to contact the President. The potential member submits a  resume and letter of interest, then meets briefly with the Board to determine if this seems like a good match. If all parties agree, the potential member is invited to visit three successive regular Board meetings as an observer. At the end of three meetings, if all agree, the new member is invited to join the BoT. BoT meetings are held monthly, or more often as needed.

Meet our current members:

DARSHI BALASURIYA
President

Since her move to the U.S., Darshi has gained a lot more than a simple college education. In her personal life, she has met and married a wonderful man and has been blessed with a beautiful daughter—a middle school student at the Waldorf School of Orange County (WSOC).

Darshi attributes much of her intellectual and spiritual growth to being a mom. Through her daughter, Darshi was introduced to the wonders of Waldorf education, and the wisdom of Anthroposophy. She has completed the Waldorf Teacher Training Program offered at WSOC, and is looking forward to putting her Waldorf education and career experience to productive use to support the growth and expansion of the Maple Village School.

Elizabeth Seward, PhD
Vice President

Elizabeth has been in a Waldorf classroom (independent and public charter schools) since 1984 as a parent volunteer, handwork assistant, High School teacher, lead handwork teacher, class teacher, teacher educator and mentor, and evaluator.


She co-directed the Waldorf Institute of Southern California for three years, and opened the San Diego program. Elizabeth was instrumental in bringing the practices of Council, and of consensus decision–making to her school, and has served locally and nationally as a consensus facilitator. She is now delighted to be supporting Maple Village as a Board Member. Originally from England, Elizabeth earned her Master’s degree in Linguistics (second language learning, and medieval literature) from the University of Freiburg in Germany; a PhD in the Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education from Claremont Graduate University; and most recently an interdisciplinary M.A. in Spirituality and Education from Claremont School of Theology. Elizabeth shares her enthusiasm for Waldorf Education with parents of young children, home-schooling parents and graduate students. She established and co-directs annual conferences and retreats for Waldorf Handwork teachers, and for parents and homeschoolers. She has recently published a book Teaching Through Stories: Jane and Jeremy Learn to Knit, and an article in the RIWE Bulletin on School and Classroom Design. All three of her children are securely and happily finding their own individual paths, for which she credits Waldorf Education. All four grandsons attend Waldorf schools. She is delighted to see the very positive results of this education in her own family.

Angie Hendrix
Treasurer

Angie joined the MVWS Board as of August 2019. She has a background in education, with a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University. She taught middle schoolers for 4 years in Paramount & Culver City before utilizing her teaching skills in the corporate world.

…Angie has 20+ years of relationship management experience, and sales experience in financial services and corporate environments. Her strengths are effectively managing communication, navigating organizational efficiency, presenting to large groups, and connecting people. She currently works as a West Coast Client Director of a software company that provides accounting solutions to large financial institutions.

Angie was raised on a working farm in Indiana where she was intimately connected to the earth and the seasons. Home in Indiana fostered her love of the outdoors, animals, and sports. She excelled at academics and athletics in high school, and she continued to play basketball on scholarship in college. She even dabbled in sports broadcasting for 10 years at Loyola Marymount University after moving to Venice, California post-graduation. Ever the athlete, she next picked up field hockey and enjoyed it so much she went on to coach for the USA youth development program.

Long Beach has been home to Angie since 1998. She loves the sense of community one can feel while in our big city. She and her wife, Jo, were led to Waldorf when their daughter was 18 months old. Immediately they knew they had “found their people” when they connected at Maple Village. They began parent/tot classes, will now be entering her 2nd year kindergarten. The more Angie learns about Waldorf education the more she appreciates how it is aligned with her own ethos. She believes in the philosophy, the teachers, and what this school can offer our children. Angie volunteered for the Board because she is passionate about helping the school thrive and to ensure its long-term success. She also helps chair the school’s Fundraising Committee.

Angie also volunteers as the Director of the PFLAG Speakers Bureau, where she shares her own story and organizes educational panels for audiences across Orange County and Long Beach in support of LGTBQ education and equality. She enjoys traveling across the globe, hiking, learning, watching sports, studying self-awareness & personal development materials, and enjoying our fabulous southern California weather.

Kyle Taborski 
Secretary

Kyle has over 19 years of experience building web software for companies such as Adobe, KQED (Public Media for Northern California), American Public Media, and GE. He likes building systems and processes, with a focus on making things more efficient.

He has previously served on the board of Community Gathers, a local non-profit organization whose mission was to gather allies across political divides in Long Beach. He has a BS in Computer Science and a BA in History from UCSC. His daughter Cora began at Maple Village in 2017. He most enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, and fermenting bread, yogurt, kefir, jun tea, kombucha, fruits, and veggies.  

Paola Schouten
Faculty Liaison

Paola was born, raised and educated in the Netherlands. She was exposed to the Waldorf Festivals since childhood, which ignited her interest in Waldorf Education. After High School, she studied at the Vrije Pedagogische Academy (Steiner Teacher Training College) in Zeist,…

…where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. She then moved to the US and began her career as a Waldorf teacher in Pasadena.

Over the past 30 years she has contributed to the growth of many schools. She has carried two classes all the way through the grades and finished various classes through eighth grade.

Paola likes to travel, camp, hike, read and make jewelry. She plays guitar, writes songs and enjoys singing. She also has a great appreciation for nutrition and cooking.

Cori Amendt 
Faculty Liaison

Cori is a Multiple Subject Credentialed Teacher, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, with a minor in Child Development. She has studied Waldorf education at Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California. She enjoys spending time in nature with her family…

(hiking, biking, lounging), reading, writing, and travel. Learning is a lifelong enjoyment and pursuit for her, particularly in her journey to bilingualism of the Italian language. Her professional career began as a Counselor for young children in crisis. Eventually, this work led her to the classroom, where she felt she could be of bountiful service to the youth in her community. She has been in education for over a decade, in public, private and charter schools. After she met her husband, an Italian national, she went on to teach in Italy at Lycee Francias for 2 years, as the English Department Coordinator and Foreign Language Teacher across the grades (K-8). Upon returning to the US, she found what she considers her truest calling, that of a Waldorf teacher. Under esteemed mentorships, she took a class through grades 1-3 at Ocean Charter School in Culver City, as Lead Teacher. After two loving years’ home with her son, she is eager to return to the classroom to continue this meaningful work.

Kimberly L. Raine 
Board Member

Kimberly was born in Hollywood, CA and raised in Orange County. She began her teaching interest early on with babysitting at 9 years old and running her own craft camps at 12 years of age. She studied Early Childhood Education and graduated from Rudolf Steiner College.

…Kimberly taught at the Waldorf School of Orange County from 1995-2007 (where her two sons graduated). During those years she taught kindergarten and grades 1, 2 and 3. She then went on to teach kindergarten at Westside Waldorf School for 6 years. She developed and taught Parent-Child classes in Culver City for 2 years and help support the Waldorf initiative in Redondo Beach, Seeds of Joy Village. She also was brave enough to take the leap and start her joint business Red Rose Co. with Ms. Annette Parry, offering after school programs and seasonal camps to the wider communities. In her spare time Kimberly LOVES to read, paint and teach healing arts classes in her home.

Lisa J. McCarthy
Non-voting Attendee

Lisa has been a Waldorf Educator for 25 years. Although she loved being in the classroom, she has found so much joy and fulfillment in her role as Dean for past six years, working with teachers, students, parents, administration, the Board and the community. 


She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Kent at Canterbury England and a BA in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine. She started her Waldorf journey as an Early Childhood Education teacher and then focused on teaching Language Arts in elementary and middle school. Lisa founded Maple Cottage Retreat (Waldorf-inspired parent/toddler class) and taught this program out of her home before co-founding Maple Village Waldorf School. Lisa continues to teach Language Arts to the middle school as well as reading with our elementary students. She is passionate about parent education and continues to lead classes for MVWS families and the community. She also puts great importance on having strong connections with students and will stop everything to help a child through a hard day. Dedicated to the environment, Lisa has been instrumental in several Long Beach schools (including MVWS) receiving the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon award. She loves to run, sing and write and has delighted in raising three boys in a home where they grow food, bake, create art and music, build, tell stories and dream.

Pam Villano
Non-voting Attendee

Pam has served on many committees during her years at Maple Village. Originally from Tennessee, she was raised by a single mom and moved to the west coast when she was a young child. Here she learned to love being near the water, appreciate the great climate and met life long friends.

… Pam attended California State University of Long Beach and earned a Bachelors of Art in Geography. She is a mother of two.  Before becoming a stay at home mom, she spent nineteen and a half years with The Home Depot. Her experience in all aspects of a retail environment are extensive. Her job duties span from Assistant Store Manager at the highest grossing store in the company, to many years in the Human Resources departments. She worked at more than ten different stores over her years of service with the company.
She currently runs the food bank at Emanuel Presbyterian Church, volunteering and helping other food banks and currently working with Rio Hondo College to set up a food bank for their students in need. She is also on the committee for Make a Difference Day, MADD, in Long Beach.
She lives close to the school and learned of it by driving to work and seeing all the children having a good time on the play yard. After inquiring and some research, she realized it was perfect for her young child.

Pedagogical Committee

The Pedagogical Committee is lead by our Dean of Education and is comprised of selected grades and early childhood teachers. The committee is responsible for the cultural realm of the school. It guides the pedagogy and actualizes the mission of the school through teaching, curriculum development, teacher selection, evaluation and mentoring, strategic planning, mission renewal and AWSNA accreditation. Along with other members of the faculty and staff, the members of the Committee are also involved with various committees throughout the school.

Administration

The Administration Team manages and develops resources in service to the school by implementing policies and plans, managing human resources and facilitating daily school operations. They also handle issues of policy, equality and relations with the state. Additionally, the Administration assures clear communication among all facets of the school community, making sure that the rights of the individual (parents, students, teachers) are balanced along with considerations related to matters of the state, accrediting bodies and the like.

Parent Village

Parent Village provides the leadership and volunteerism that make this school the amazing place it is. Whether it’s contributing around campus, appreciating our in-house and local community, showing hospitality to prospective families, ensuring safety, keeping us up-to-date with technology, supporting diversity, helping to fundraise or creating special events, Parent Village is a place for families to come together and support the school and each other.