Paul Boak, Facilities Manager Paul grew up in England, spending the first ten years of his working life in a Civil/Standard Engineering office. He moved to the United States in 1996 and spent ten years in California before moving to Boulder in 2007. He brings a skill set which lends itself well to the facilities department, being well-versed in all levels of building construction and maintenance. Paul has a young daughter, Annabelle. He plays soccer in the local Boulder league and enjoys running in our beautiful state.
Eowyn Ciccone, College Counselor/Alumni Relations and High School Education Support Coordinator Eowyn joined Shining Mountain in January, 2010 as our College Counselor, Alumni Relations Director and High School Education Support Coordinator. She grew up surrounded by the beautiful Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, attended SUNY New Paltz, and earned a BA in Secondary Education English and a MEd in Curriculum and Supervision from UNC Charlotte. She has served as an educator and High School English teacher for 15 years. In addition to education, Eowyn’s interests include the healing arts, spiritual studies, meditation, and crafts. When she is not working with our high school students, Eowyn can be found outdoors, biking, hiking, boating, camping, cross country skiing, and connecting to nature.
Mary Eaton Fairfield, Admissions and Marketing Director Currently Shining Mountain’s Admissions and Marketing Director, Mary first joined the Shining Mountain staff in the Development Office as Fundraising and Outreach Coordinator in 2011. She previously held the school’s major fundraising and outreach events. Mary brings extensive business skills in marketing, public relations and account management, having worked in the advertising industry for many years. Mary received a BA in Theatre Arts (Performing Arts Emphasis) and Music Minor from San Francisco State University. She moved to Boulder five years ago and loves living in this beautiful mountain region. Mary enjoys yoga, singing, gardening, the outdoors and spending time with her daughter, Fiona, who is thriving at Shining Mountain.
Bridget Gallagher, High School Receptionist and Administrative Assistant Bridget Gallagher is our High School Receptionist/Administrative Assistant. She (wo)mans our front desk and constantly interfaces with students, parents and faculty striving daily to create joyful harmony and order in our high school’s daily rhythm. Born and raised in central New York state, Bridget earned a B.A. in English Writing Arts from SUNY Oswego. Her passions are art, literature, and theatre. She and her husband, Stephen Smith, have two stunning Shining Mountain graduates, Rory (Class of 2004) and Patrick (Class of 2010). Rory graduated from Metro State University of Denver in May 2012 with a BFA in Printmaking and Patrick is majoring in Music Business at NYU.
Mike Hawkes, Athletic Director A true Colorado Native, Mike Hawkes was born in Denver and grew up in Arvada where he attended Pomona High School. A former and current student at the University of Northern Colorado, Mike is working on a Sociology degree. Sports have always been part of Mike’s life and coaching became a passion as his two sons moved up through the competitive soccer ranks. This passion grew as he began coaching his younger sister’s basketball team and ultimately took the position as the Varsity Head Coach for the SMWS Girls’ program. Two years later Mike has taken his dream job within our community as Athletic Director where he plans to continue the great work of those preceding him.
Jeffrey Herring, Admissions and Accounting Assistant Jeff rejoined Shining Mountain in January 2011 and enjoys working with the parent community at SMWS. Jeff has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Resort Management from Colorado Mountain College. He is also an aviation enthusiast and is currently working on a bachelor’s degree in aviation technology with dreams of being a commercial airline pilot.
Laurie Ireland-Ashley, Business Director Laurie joined the wonderful Shining Mountain community of faculty and staff in March, 2012. Laurie is the daughter of a minister. As such, she spent her childhood living in many areas of the country from coast to coast. As a result, she learned to love working with people as much as she loves working with numbers. Numbers hold a power and magic for Laurie that is both her passion and her pleasure. Laurie brings with her varied experience in business and finance – from being the Finance Director for municipalities to running her own business. Laurie is delighted to be able to use her skill set for the benefit of the school her child attends.
Karen Kumar, Human Resources Manager
Karen joined Shining Mountain Waldorf School in August 2013. Born in Michigan, she has enjoyed living in the Boulder area for over 30 years. Like so many, she came to visit and decided to stay. Her business career has been in the financial sector, which lead to an opportunity to be a founding member of a bankcard processing company where she designed and implemented operational and human resources systems. A wife and mother of two teenage boys, Karen loves to spend time with her family, traveling, reading, skiing and hiking. Karen is thrilled to bring her experiences to SMWS and embraces the caring culture and talented community of SMWS.
Katie Larson, Middle and High School Counselor Katie Larson, Shining Mountain’s Middle School Counselor, holds an MA in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy with a concentration in Art Therapy. Katie was born and raised in Grand Junction and for her, the desert will always be home. She did her undergraduate work at CU Boulder in Psychology and Communication. After graduating in 2005, Katie moved to New York City, Taos, Seattle, Los Angeles, West Yellowstone, Burbank, and she is now thrilled to be back in Colorado. Katie studied Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy at the Phillips Graduate Institute in Southern California. She enjoys running, watercolor painting, star-gazing, and spending time with her awesome partner, Joe. Katie’s heroes include (but are not limited to), Georgia O’Keeffe, John Muir, Oliver Sacks, and Frida Kahlo.
Anita Li, Community Notes Editor, Database Manager, Online Forms Manager Anita is a yooper, born and raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She worked at Shining Mountain in 2000-2001, left to study at Naropa University, and returned to SMWS in 2006. She comes to the office each day knowing that her work supports a school that nurtures children on many levels, showing them that community is possible and that their gifts are welcome. Anita has a BA in Writing & Poetics from Naropa University and a strong interest in history, particularly the history of democracy.
Karen Ryerson, Lower Grades Office Receptionist/Secretary Karen has lived in Boulder since 1976. Her sons are Colorado natives. Karen, by contrast, was a military “brat” and has lived all over the US, as well as in England and Japan. She taught at junior high level many years ago. She enjoys hiking, biking, reading and gardening.
Christopher Sassano, Buildings and Grounds Director Christopher has been with SMWS since 1987. He has taught music, athletics, gardening and drumming over those years and is currently the Facilities Manager, a position he has also held since 1987. Christopher has completed the Foundation Year at the Rudolph Steiner College in Sacramento. He also has completed several years of University studies in music and in education. His wife was a class teacher at SMWS and took a class through the 1st-8th grade cycle. His daughter also went to SMWS.
Jane Zeender, Interim School Director Jane is in her fifth year at Shining Mountain Waldorf School, and spent three years in the Development Office, two as the Development Director, and the last year as the Admissions Director. She feels extremely blessed to serve Shining Mountain Waldorf School in this new capacity as Interim School Director. Jane grew up in Maryland and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University and a MBA in Marketing from The George Washington University. She has spent her career in various sales, sales management and marketing positions in Fortune 100 companies (Johnson and Johnson, Warner-Lambert), as well as being a marketing consultant for high tech, medical device and environmental start up organizations. Prior to moving to Boulder, she was an early parent at Potomac Crescent Waldorf School in Arlington, Virginia, where she served on the Board of Trustees for 3 years and was instrumental in helping them achieve Developing School Status with AWSNA. Her two children are enrolled in the lower and middle schools at Shining Mountain and are thriving. In her spare time, Jane loves to hike, mountain bike, read and cross country ski with her husband, Ryan, and children.