Diversity, EQUITY and Inclusivity Aspiration Statement

Approved by the Governance Council and Board of Trustees June 2018

“The process of becoming culturally responsive to all our students is essential to the continued growth of Waldorf Education in North America and around the world. It is the moral responsibility as human beings and as educators to meet the needs of all our students.” – Vicki Larson, Green Meadow Waldorf School

At Shining Mountain Waldorf School we commit to creating and sustaining an equitable, diverse, inclusive learning community. We are taking up this work with inspired commitment and intention.

Shining Mountain Waldorf School adheres to the philosophy of education and pedagogical indications initiated by Rudolf Steiner in 1919 out of a response in part to the First World War and the rise of industrialism and materialism. Steiner’s goal was to establish an education with a culturally rich, age-appropriate curriculum that would educate the body, mind and spirit of children. Steiner intended Waldorf education to focus not only on what knowledge must be acquired to enter society, but also to awaken capacities in children that would bring renewed impulses into society: love, awe, devotion, compassion, and trust. These are the qualities consciously cultivated at Shining Mountain Waldorf School from early childhood through adolescence. We believe that a lifelong love of learning and a curiosity to ask deep questions are vital to this process. Our graduates leave school having developed independent thinking, warmth of feeling, and a strength of will that propels them toward moral courage and social responsibility.

At Shining Mountain Waldorf School we strive to create equitable opportunities for underrepresented populations. We will accomplish this by having equal access to and participation in educational programs, professional development, and community resource networks. These programs and networks provide resources to help close the demographic disparities in education and leadership roles in all spheres of institutional functioning.

We define diversity as the range of human differences that can be engaged in the service of learning: personality, language, learning styles, life experiences, race, ethnicity, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual identity, country of origin, ability status, cultural, political, religious, military or other affiliations.

We experience inclusion as the act of creating a community that honors and recognizes the worth and dignity of all people. An inclusive community promotes and sustains a sense of belonging; it values and practices respect for the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of its members. The Shining Mountain Waldorf School community strives to embrace differences and offer respect in words and actions for all people.

A diversity of human experiences and viewpoints in our learning community enriches the educational experience of all members of the community, and requires that we grow and stretch ourselves as individuals. We aspire to create and support equity, diversity, and inclusivity as we honor and serve the dignity of the human being, using the insights of Anthroposophy. We must expect and seek change and transformation. We are taking up this work in the following ways:

Creating space for all individuals and groups to express themselves in the community and through the curriculum:

  • Accurately placing who we are in the world setting by illuminating biases and dismantling unconscious prejudices and stereotypes as we evolve our community
  • Serving as allies for any community member or group in need
  • Studying inclusivity within the pedagogy through curriculum review and providing alternative resources for teachers when needed
  • Engaging and connecting with the greater Boulder community
  • Encouraging new paths of accessibility to Waldorf education

 

In order to address and achieve these ideals, we are committed to implementing:

  • Ongoing training and education opportunities for the entire community, including curriculum for high school and middle school students
  • Building community partnerships through outreach and events
  • Reviewing and updating all school committee charters, policies, and marketing materials for inclusivity
  • Researching the community’s experience of equity, diversity and inclusivity
  • Developing leadership that is inclusive, reflective and supportive of the diverse needs of our greater community

 

Shining Mountain Waldorf School promises to families who join our community and become stewards of our school, that their children through their education will grow up to lead meaningful lives, serving the world in truth, beauty and goodness.

Marian Munkvold-Saunders
Interim High School Administrator

Marian was born and raised in Norway, before moving to Houston, Texas in 1998. After graduating high school there, she attended EM Strasbourg Business School in Strasbourg, France, and the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas where she received a BBA and MBA in Finance. After college she moved to Carlsbad, California where she continued working in the business and investment field. Once she became a mom, she and her husband moved to Santa Barbara, California where she stayed home full time, raising two children. In 2010 their young family returned to Texas and settled in Austin. At this time she discovered Waldorf education. Both children have attended Austin Waldorf School since kindergarten, and Marian was actively involved in the parent volunteer community there. In 2017 she joined the administrative staff at the Austin Waldorf School where she worked as Administrative Support and then Office Manager. She and her family are thrilled to call Boulder their new home and to become part of the Shining Mountain Waldorf School community. Marian loves to read, cook, do handwork, travel, and spend time outside with her family skiing, biking, and hiking.

Monica Maldonado

Grade 6 Assistant

Monica Maldonado began their professional teaching career in 2014 after receiving a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from The Master’s University School of Music. Monica has experience in teaching music and art in one-on-one, small group, and public school settings, as well as one year of teaching music, art, and history in the elementary school setting as a student-teacher. Thanks to their teaching experiences, Monica strongly believes that every child can become a musician and artist and that all learners deserve a well-planned, differentiated arts education. They are very excited to be working at Shining Mountain and supporting their class in any way they can. Monica is also passionate about traveling, performing shows with their band and creating abstract mixed media artwork.

Ashley Marsico
Registrar

Ashley grew up in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois and has traveled to many different places all over the world including: Mexico, Portugal, France, UK, Morocco, Spain, and the British Overseas territory of Gibraltar. In 2014, after studying and living abroad for two years in Granada, Spain, she moved back to the city of Chicago where she met her fiance Tom. She first learned about Waldorf education from Tom as he attended the Chicago Waldorf School from PreK-8th grade. In an effort to learn more about this education, she attended a CWS holiday fair where she was immediately inspired, and in 2015 started Waldorf Teacher Training in Chicago. Ashley is a Fiber Artist and has been perfecting her craft since she started to crochet at 7 years old, so when learning that the Waldorf curriculum included crochet, she was hooked! Ashley brings over 7 years of teaching experience including a year as an Early Childhood and Handwork Assistant at CWS, as well as 4 years of administrative experience at CWS working as their High School Office Manager and Registrar & Database Manager. She is very excited to join SMWS and is grateful to take on this new position remotely as Registrar.

Lee Griffith

Class Teacher Grade 6

As an accomplished cellist and music teacher, Lee has broadened his teaching capacities to become a Waldorf middle school class teacher. After completing his music degree at the prestigious University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music, Lee discovered his love of teaching extended beyond cello lessons, and that he was inspired by the art of teaching encompassed in the rich array of subject matter brought through the grades 6-8 journey. Waldorf philosophy and pedagogy, specifically the picture of child development, aligns with his approach to being an educator. Lee has been a class teacher in the grades and a cello teacher at the Cincinnati Waldorf School. He looks forward to continuing his Waldorf teacher certification for the grades school cycle. Lee enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, meaningful conversations, thrifting, rock climbing, teaching private cello lessons and, of course, performing.

Mike Terborg

Athletic & Auxiliary Programming Director

Mike Terborg first served as the SMWS Athletic Program Director from 2006 to 2010 while also coaching the High School Boys Basketball Team. In 2010, Mike moved to Seattle with his wife where he began his career as a Strength Coach and Injury Rehabilitation Specialist, and since 2018, has also been writing educational content for health, fitness, and wellness companies. During his time at Shining Mountain, Mike led an athletic program that fostered a healthy balance of physical, social, emotional, and psychological development. During his first tenure, Mike also served as the 5280 League President for two years, was three-time 5280 League Coach of the Year, and received recognition from the Positive Coaching Alliance for his dedication to teaching life lessons through participation in school sports. While program director, SMWS was also awarded the 5280 League Sportsmanship Award for the 2009-2010 school year. Mike has a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He lives in Gunbarrel with his wife and three children. 

Soni Albright

Admissions Director

Soni Albright has spent the last 10 years working in Waldorf School Admissions, previously at East Bay Waldorf School in Northern California, and currently at City of Lakes Waldorf School in Minneapolis, MN. She has all the while, also been in the classroom, as a Cyber Civics teacher for 6-8th graders. Before that, she spent a decade in a variety of school settings (Public, Montessori, Charter, etc.) as a classroom teacher, and has taught a wide variety of subjects such as visual arts, study skills, social studies, and language arts.