• Rick Salsa, President
  • Patricia Laverty-Rolf, Vice President
  • Carlo DiStefano, Treasurer
  • Heather Board, Secretary
  • Kassandra Murray, Faculty Representative
  • Melissa Unrah, Faculty Representative
  • Rose Powell, Faculty Representative
  • Allisa Bennett, Trustee at Large
  • Stephen Cipes, Trustee at Large

How is the Kelowna Waldorf School Governed?

The Kelowna Waldorf School adheres to the AWSNA Principles for Waldorf Schools:

  1. The image of the human being as a spiritual being informs every aspect of the school.Waldorf schools work actively with insights from Rudolf Steiner about the incarnating human being. One core insight is that the human being is a threefold being of body, soul, and spirit. Waldorf Education enlivens the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, artistic, and spiritual capacities of the human being as the individual moves through the phases of this life.
  2. Waldorf schools foster social renewal by cultivating human capacities in service to the individual and society.Waldorf schools foster development so that, throughout life, individuals are motivated to serve humanity with strength of will, depth of feeling, clarity of thought, and the ability to work with others. The educational program is designed to strengthen these fundamental human capacities in our students.
  3. Anthroposophical understanding of child development guides the educational program.Waldorf schools work with the gradual development of the human being from child to adult. This development follows an archetypal sequence of three seven-year phases. During this time, the soul and spirit progressively take hold of the physical body. Each child’s development is a unique expression of the human archetype. Each phase has characteristic physical, emotional, and intellectual dimensions.The educational program is developed out of this understanding. Core components of the educational program include the student-teacher relationship; the artistic approach; working from experience to concept; working from whole to parts; use of rhythm and repetition; and observation as the foundation for assessment. Each approach is tailored to meet the students in each phase of child development.Thus it is essential that teachers have formal preparation in Waldorf pedagogy or are engaged in such preparation.
  4. Waldorf schools support freedom in teaching within the context of the school’s shared agreements.The educational program of each Waldorf school is founded on Rudolf Steiner’s insights about the growing child, informed by the teachers’ ongoing study of anthroposophy and their professional development in Waldorf Education.The faculty of the school works collaboratively and cooperatively to develop, refine, and periodically review the educational program. Individual teachers work creatively with curricular, pedagogical, and assessment components of the program out of freedom and in a way that serves their individual students, the class as a whole, and the school community. This work reflects and respects the shared educational understandings and agreements of the faculty.
  1. The conscious development of human relationships fosters individual and community health.Enduring human relationships between students and their teachers and among the children themselves are at the heart of Waldorf Education. The teacher’s task is to work with the developing individuality of each student and with each class as a whole within the context of the entire school. These relationships gain in depth and stability when they are cultivated over multiple years.Healthy human relationships with and among parents and colleagues are essential to the well-being of the school. Members of the community are invited to join in developing meaningful, collaborative, transparent forms for working together. Each individual’s self-development is encouraged since it is key to the well-being of the whole.
  2. Spiritual development in support of professional growth is an ongoing activity for the faculty, staff, and board.Members of the faculty, staff, and board work in an ongoing way to cultivate their spiritual development with the help of anthroposophical and other study. Waldorf schools create opportunities for shared educational study, artistic activity, mentoring, and research to further this growth and development in service to the students.
  3. Collaboration and shared responsibility provide the foundations of school leadership and governance.Waldorf schools are self-administered. This work is strengthened by cultivating a shared anthroposophical understanding of social interaction. Faculty, staff, and the board share responsibility for guiding and leading the school in the following manner:
    1. The educational program is developed by the faculty under the guidance of the pedagogical leadership of the school.
    2. Administrative activities further the educational program.
    3. The board works strategically to enable legal and financial health in order to realize the mission and vision of the school.

    Governance of the school is structured and implemented in a manner that both cultivates collaboration and is effective.

The Three governing Spheres of the Kelowna Waldorf School

1. The Spiritual/Pedagogical Sphere

2. The Legal/Financial/Administrative Sphere

3. The Economic/Community Relations Sphere

The faculty works in accordance with the educational principles based on the research of human development by the Austrian scientist and thinker Rudolf Steiner.

The teachers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of the classrooms, for presenting the curriculum, the festivals, and for working directly with the children and parents. The class teachers and special subject teachers work together to create an integrated approach to the students’ learning.

The reward for working in this sphere is the satisfaction of having served a deep need of the current time and thereby having made a difference in the world that will have far-reaching effects.

Unique to the governance of Waldorf schools is the intention and practice of involving teachers not only in the classroom, but also in the administrative, organizational, financial, and developmental governance of the school. The PCG provides oversight to the school’s curriculum development, pedagogical policies, program administration, mentoring, professional development, and student admissions. It is the decision-making body in these areas.

The PCG must ask the Board of Trustees for input on decisions that impact the budget, such as adding, eliminating or changing programs.


The Waldorf School Association of Kelowna founded the Kelowna Waldorf School in 1982 and has the task to ensure that the school is maintained and operated in accordance with the laws of the Province of British Columbia.

The reward for those working in this sphere is the opportunity for considerable personal growth, deep friendships and also the satisfaction of having made a difference in the world.

The practice of incorporating parents as Trustees in Waldorf Schools, in non-pedagogical areas, has evolved as a legal and practical necessity in founding, funding, implementing, and governing a Waldorf School. Trustees have brought a considerable range of skills to the task of funding, building and operating Waldorf Schools. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the legal good standing and financial well-being of the school. This body has the long-term goals of the school at heart and works to secure the school as an entity within the legal and financial realm of the broader community. It may be composed of parents, teachers and members of the greater community.

Professional administrative staff bring support and oversight to a wide range of administrative and business matters. The Administration carries out the necessary day-to-day business activities of coordinating and operating the school. It carries out the decisions and standing policies of the Pedagogical Carrying Group and the Board of Trustees and strives to serve the needs of Faculty, parents, and students.

The three main administrative functions are Pedagogical Administration, Business Administration and Development Administration.

In a Waldorf school, the parents provide the economic basis for the wholesome development of the school. This includes an adequate number of children, much-needed volunteer work, and financial contributions.

The reward for this is an education that allows the children to fully develop their independent thinking, inner security and a love for life and the world.

Friends of the school are an integral part of the Waldorf community. Although they do not have children in the school they support the school through volunteer work and financial contributions.

The Development Carrying Group collaborates with all parents and friends of the Kelowna Waldorf School in creating community structures and events that assist in making our school a true community.

It strives to increase enrolment at KWS by encouraging Waldorf knowledge, appreciation and gratitude in parents and by creating and implementing an effective public relations and outreach program to expand the awareness of the Kelowna Waldorf School and Waldorf education in the greater Kelowna community.

It strives to make fundraising activities a consistent and successful exercise and to provide our contributors with a sense of joy and satisfaction regarding their participation in making Waldorf education accessible to an increasing number of children in the Kelowna area.