New Beginnings at Shining Mountain Waldorf School: Welcoming Lauren Smith as School Director

Shaping the Future of Education with a Passion for Waldorf Pedagogy


Boulder, CO, Sept. 7, 2023 — Shining Mountain Waldorf School, one of only two preK-12 Waldorf schools in Colorado, welcomes Lauren Smith as the new School Director. Ms. Smith joins the Boulder community as Shining Mountain celebrates its 40th anniversary with the addition of a new high school currently under construction and opening in February 2024. She also helped start a Waldorf school in Palm Beach County, Florida, before enrolling in the Waldorf Teacher graduate program at Antioch New England. There, as Ms. Smith studied the Waldorf method, an enduring question began to burn brightly, “How can we make it possible for more children to learn in this transformative way?”

Ms. Smith cultivated and witnessed the blossoming of her students for 16 years as she taught two eight-year cycles at the Waldorf School of Lexington (WSL), Massachusetts. As a Class Teacher for two cohorts of students, Ms. Smith carries an intimate knowledge of how the Waldorf method works.

“It is a rare and powerful thing for an adolescent to grow up being truly known and nurtured by adults who are not their parents,” she said. “I’ve seen how these significant teacher/student relationships, in combination with a curriculum which opens the world in an active way, can develop a strong sense of self in the child. The students leave the school with an understanding of their own preferred learning style and remarkable confidence to try new things and find their purpose in life.” 

Along the way, Ms. Smith led faculty, committee, and administrative work, including Professional Development, Diversity, Governance Design, and the establishment of a 50th Anniversary Fund. She also served as the faculty officer on The Board of Directors for WSL. Her work culminated as Interim School Director at WSL for the past two years, during which time she led the school into a period of growth in both enrollment and staffing. Under her leadership, the school reinvigorated community life post-Covid, re-imagined on-campus admissions events, expanded programs, and fostered a more diverse student body.  

Ms. Smith’s next challenge circles back to the question that continues to drive her: How do we make it possible for more children to learn in this transformative way?

“I’ve known Shining Mountain Waldorf’s School’s reputation from afar and I am excited to be here in Boulder. As parents and educators, we know how important it is to develop our children as whole human beings — to be critical thinkers, to exercise their emotional intelligence, and express themselves in meaningful ways. Our daily work is to prepare them for a brighter, bolder future.” 

About Shining Mountain Waldorf School: Shining Mountain Waldorf School is an independent pre-K through grade 12 independent school located in North Boulder. We are an accredited member of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America and the Association of Colorado Independent Schools. Shining Mountain’s purpose is to unleash the capacities of young people to imagine and create a better world. Our mission is to cultivate intellectually curious students who have a strong sense of self, compassion for others, and the tenacity to live to their fullest human potential. Admissions:

About Waldorf Education: Based on the education philosophy initiated by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf education is a culturally rich, age-appropriate curriculum that educates the body, mind and spirit of the child. 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 new impulses into society. Since the founding of the first school, Waldorf education has become a global independent school movement with more than 1,000 schools worldwide in over 60 countries.



Shining Mountain Waldorf School

Lauren Smith, School Director,

Christie Acton, Marketing Director,

999 Violet Avenue, Boulder, Colorado 80304


- Sarah Gillis, SMWS Class of 2012 and Sr. Space Operations Engineer at SpaceX

“I feel like one of the really important things that you get out of a Waldorf education is curiosity—curiosity to go and learn and explore what’s out there in the world. I fell into engineering and a path that I don’t think I would have anticipated, but having an arts background where you’re bringing creativity and imagination into problem-solving, there’s a really incredible synergy between those.”

- Sarah Gillis, SMWS Class of 2012 and Sr. Space Operations Engineer at SpaceX

Shining Mountain Waldorf School Unveils New High School Campus in North Boulder: Grand Opening Event Friday, May 10, 2024