This quote comes from a lecture Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf Education, gave in September of 1906. Over 100 years later, this message continues to be relevant. Waldorf Education strives to teach children to understand one another, to develop empathy and tolerance for others as well as to be free thinkers. These skills are desperately needed in a world wrestling with intolerance and hatred. As the Rudolf Steiner School begins celebrating its 90th birthday and Waldorf Education it’s 100th birthday, our education is more valuable than ever.
As we close another academic year, my 17th at Steiner, I continue to marvel at our wonderful community. As Board Chair, I had the unique opportunity to work with all members of our community: faculty, administrators, parents, students, alum and alum parents. It has been an honor and a gift to be in conversation with so many individuals with many differing opinions and the same passion for Waldorf Education.
This year, the Board of Trustees focused on a number of specific initiatives:
- We reviewed the school’s cost structure in collaboration with the College of Teachers to streamline our work and identify inefficiencies without impacting program.
- The Finance Committee recommended adjusting our tuition structure for the Early Childhood program and offering a sibling discount for next year.
- We partnered with the College of Teachers to review our governance structure and renew how we work together and with the Administration.
- Search committees were formed to replace departing colleagues in administrative positions with exciting new hires which began this summer.
- We worked with the admissions team to streamline our Admissions process and better understand the needs of this office. Out of those conversations, a Director of Outreach position was created.
- In partnership with Admissions, we reviewed the impact of Universal Pre-K on our Early Childhood Program and other programs in the city.
- We looked at shifting demographics in the city and the impact of changing Millennial attitudes around private school education.
As we enter our school’s 90th year, we look forward to a bright future well equipped to meet the educational needs of children in a changing world.
Much that has been written about education over the last few years points to Waldorf Education as the answer to our country’s educational issues. We will continue to offer a first-rate education in line with our Waldorf values as we have since 1928. We are well positioned to take advantage of mainstream education recognizing the importance of age appropriate technology, teaching of critical thinking, art as a connection to academic work and the development of the whole child. We have emphasized the importance of play since our humble beginnings and continue to make play a cornerstone in our early childhood and elementary school.
With your support, we will continue to grow and expand our programs. We continue to believe that Waldorf Education and the Rudolf Steiner School are preparing our children for the future. To support our education, students and faculty, give generously to the Annual Fund. The more you give, the more we can make things happen together!
As of June 30, 2018, I will be stepping down as Board Chair. It has truly been an honor to serve our school. I will remain on the Board for the next two years and finish my term. I am pleased to welcome our new chair, Terri Adler. Terri has been an active volunteer in our community and worked tirelessly this year supporting the work of the Board. Terri co-founded Duval & Stachenfeld, LLP, a real estate boutique that largely represents their institutional clients. She is the incoming Managing Partner, a member of the Management Committee, and Chair of the 50-lawyer real estate department. Terri founded the women and diversity initiatives at the Firm and actively mentors and presents on retention of women in the workforce both at the Firm and in public forums. I hope you will all find an opportunity to meet and welcome Terri.
Many thanks to our Trustees for bringing their time, expertise and passion to our meetings and to all the committees on which they serve. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our departing Trustees for their many years of service to our school – Walter Alexander, Alison Cariarti, Claudia Mahler, Marina McGrew and Sam Sutton. Your wisdom will be missed. I would like to welcome our new Trustees for the 18-19 school year – Jane Byrne, Paul Graves and Ellen Jacobson. I look forward to working with another committed group of Trustees next year.
It has truly been my honor to serve our school. We have incredibly dedicated faculty, administrators, parents, alumni and alumni parents. I believe our community’s dedication is why our students graduate with the courage, flexibility and confidence to meet the future. I look forward to serving our community in a new capacity next year.
With warmest regards,
Stacey Kelly, P ’17, ’21 & ‘25
Rudolf Steiner School Board Chair