Governance

The governance bodies at RWS include the Board of Trustees and the Faculty College. They hold the vision of the school, develop long-range plans to realize that vision, oversee the management of the school, and ensure that the school achieves its mission through its program, staffing, and facilities.  

The Board of Trustees has legal and fiduciary responsibility for the school. It sets policies for and oversees tuition, the operating budget, fundraising, financial aid and scholarships, school contracts, insurance, and the school facilities. The Board has ultimate responsibility for the financial state of Richmond Waldorf School. To reach a member of the Board, please email

The Faculty College, in conjunction with the Director of Education, has authority to make decisions on all pedagogical matters and in hiring, evaluating, and dismissing pedagogical personnel.  The Faculty College is responsible for the destiny of the school as expressed through its mission, program, staffing, and facilities. The Faculty College keeps a long-range view of the school and also works with daily educational issues. It strives to address these issues from a pedagogical perspective, keeping the children and the educational process as its highest priority. 

The Leadership Team serves as the executive arm of the Board and the Faculty, and it is overseen and accountable to those bodies. The Team includes the Director of Administration, the Director of Education, and the Faculty College Chair who work to ensure coordination and execution of tasks and communication among all realms of the school.

Board of Trustees 2021-2022 Members

Vyana Lafland, Chair:  Vyana has over 20 years of experience as an IT Professional, with expertise in strategic planning and leadership, as well as project, program and team/personnel management. In addition, she has taught professional etiquette classes, provided integration and language support to immigrants, and traveled to over 25 countries due to a passion for new experiences, people, and cultures. She holds a BA in Math and Psychology from the University of Maine.

Dr. Alyson WilliamsVice Chair: Alyson has spent over 20 years working in the education field in various roles, including teacher, professor, school administrator, researcher, non-profit executive, and consultant. Alyson has worked with all age groups from infants to graduate students, but most enjoys collaborating with individuals and organizations to make positive changes for children, families, and the professionals who work with them. In her current role at Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, she provides leadership and technical assistance to organizations collaborating on statewide educational change efforts. Alyson holds a postgraduate professional teaching license in early elementary education and has completed the education and examinations required to serve as a principal or superintendent in Virginia. Alyson has many years of experience serving on and reporting to non-profit boards, with a special interest in strategic planning and best practices in board governance. Alyson fell in love with Richmond Waldorf School when her niece (RWS Class of 2016) and two older nephews were students. Alyson has one child at RWS in the Early Childhood program, who will be a first grader in the fall of 2022. He proudly proclaims that he is the best finger-knitter and beeswax-modeler in the whole family.

Open, Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair

Kim Washburn, Secretary:  Kim has spent 20+ years as an IT professional working for corporations including Circuit City, Performance Food Group and Virginia Farm Bureau.  Her expertise is in Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence.  She has a Post-Baccalaureate degree in Information Systems and BA in History with minors in Philosophy and Religious studies from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Committees of the Board of Trustees

Sarah Van Dam, Advancement Committee Chair:  Sarah has worked as an Interior Designer and Project Manager for over 20 years in the corporate world. She is currently a Senior Designer working for MOI, a Knoll furniture dealership in Richmond. Sarah’s two children attended RWS from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade and graduated in 2016 and 2018. She was a volunteer, employee and served on the Board of Trustees while her children were at RWS. Volunteering is an important part of her life as she has served on the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School PTSA Board, the Rappahannock Animal Welfare League Board, and volunteered with the Richmond SPCA, Hands On Greater Richmond and the Make Space Mentor Program. Sarah holds two BFA degrees from VCU in Interior Design and Art Education.

William H. Wright, Jr., Audit Committee Chair:  William H. Wright Jr, before his recent retirement, was a commercial litigation attorney for 31 years with Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. His son Lincoln enrolled in RWS for kindergarten and graduated in 2017. After a stint on the Board’s Personnel Committee, Mr. Wright served as general counsel to the Board of Trustees from 2015-2020 on a pro bono basis. Since stepping down as general counsel, Mr. Wright has continued to assist current general counsel Michael Fee in providing legal support to the Board. In all, Mr. Wright has over a decade of volunteer service to RWS.

Christopher McQuale, Building and Grounds Committee Chair: Christopher is a retired environmental engineer with 30 years of experience as a consultant to the Federal government (contract development and negotiation, expert witness, regulator), earning his degree in engineering and resource management from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). Both of his sons went from nursery school through eighth grade at the Charlottesville (Crossroads) Waldorf School, where he was board chair for five years. His sons went on after high school to graduate from Penn, and the University of Vermont, have successful careers, and fluency in French (though they started with German at CWS). In a previous life Christopher also studied cultural anthropology in Sumatra, and holistic health and nutrition through a Quaker college on Long Island.

Open, Board Recruitment and Development Committee Chair

Open, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair

Alistair Jones, Trustee: Alistair Jones has been a Licensed Acupuncturist specializing in Japanese acupuncture and Chinese herbs for 16 years. He has worked in family practice, a multi-disciplinary practice, and is now in private practice in Richmond. He earned a B.A. in Religious Studies from Reed College and a M.Ac.O.M. from the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin. All of his three children have attended Richmond Waldorf School and he currently has an eighth and fifth grader here.

Terry Wyllie, Trustee: Terry Wyllie has worked within the field of Architecture for more than thirty years in Japan and the United States with experience in commercial, Institutional, medical, and residential projects.  His expertise in this field has also included, marketing strategy, technology implementation, and graphic design.  He received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.  His son graduated from RWS in 2017 having begun in the Early Childhood pre-k program.  Terry served as class secretary for two years before joining the PA for two years, one as secretary.  He then continued as a member of the Board of Trustees, now serving the end of his third two-year term, with five and a half as Chair of the Building & Grounds committee.  In addition to being on the committee designated to find the new school back in 2016, he has provided extensive architectural design and project management pro bono work to RWS, including work with the new roof replacement, site plan work, security, RWS school as-built documentation, RWS designs for new signage, exterior structures, and the former school bathroom & security renovations.

2021-2022 Ex-Officio Members

Nancy Cross, Interim Director of Administration: Nancy Cross’ career was majorly Human Resources with Dominion Resources.  She was cross trained also in Strategic Planning, Process Improvement, Mergers and Acquisitions.  She was a frequent speaker at National Conferences and lead many Executive and Management trainings for other organizations.  She has been appointed to serve on VA State Government Councils.  She is a graduate of Ferrum College, Old Dominion University, BA-Sociology and master’s degree graduate from VCU.  She has a Level 1 Certification in Orton Gillingham Dyslexia Training.

Dawn Pollard, Member of Faculty College/Pedagogy: Dawn Pollard is a Class Teacher and Specialty Teacher in Latin and Greek. She has over 15 years experience in Early Childhood teaching. Dawn has a Master’s in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College and a Master’s in Education from Antioch University

Marianne Kelliher, Parents Association Moderator: For over twenty years, Marianne has specialized in creating engaging communications and event strategies that drive company culture, employee recognition and client appreciation. Marianne has worked in many industries including international development, at-risk youth program management, renewable energy & energy efficiency, and travel & hospitality. Her experience at Siemens Gamesa, U.S. Department of Energy, Hilton Worldwide, and Marriott International led her to working for herself under the moniker Bespoke Words. Marianne hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is a proud “lifer” of the Quaker educational system; she attended Friends’ Central School and received her BA in Spanish & Latin American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA in International Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She has worked and lived in the United Kingdom, Dominican Republic and several European countries; however Mexico truly captured her heart. She is mother to Amalia, an RWS student, and wife to Antonio, the most interesting man in the world. When she isn’t travelling with her friends & family, chances are you’ll find Marianne talking about, reading about, or cooking food from all corners of the earth.

Michael Fee, General Counsel: Michael is a corporate attorney, with experience in private practice and as in-house counsel for a Fortune 200 company. In addition, Mike has served for over 10 years in the United State Marine Corps in various leadership roles. Mike holds a BA in History from Fordham University and a JD from Vanderbilt Law School. Mike currently has two children enrolled at the Richmond Waldorf School.

Faculty College 2021-2022 Members

Dawn Pollard, ex officio member to the Board of Trustees

Letitia Amey

Sara Andrassy

Irina Baranova

Deborah Boes

Katie Bullington

Cathryn Bump

Susannah Meyer

College member bios are available on the Faculty & Administration page

Richmond Waldorf School