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 of Trustees and the Faculty College, and is overseen and accountable to these bodies. The Leadership 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 2023-2024 Members
Ashley Long, Board Chair
Ashley Long is a Designer and Project Manager with 18 years of experience in Architecture, Interior Design, and Planning. She began her career working on regional K-12 and higher educational design and joined an international firm developing master plans for federal projects nationally and abroad. She has designed and managed a number of award-winning projects for Virginia universities, and has broad experience collaborating on strategic planning, budgets, and programming for a variety of project types and sizes. After establishing her own business, she worked with select residential clients and currently manages renovations and operations for a portfolio of investment properties. Throughout her career she has consistently supported interdisciplinary teams, and values listening to understand and open communication. Ashley has a second grader and an early childhood student at RWS. Ashley holds a BFA in Interior Design from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Committees of the Board of Trustees
Marianne Kelliher, Vice Chair
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 is mother to Amalia, an RWS student, and wife to Antonio, the most interesting man in the world. When she isn’t traveling with her friends & family, chances are you’ll find Marianne talking about, reading about, or cooking food from all corners of the earth.
Brooke Anderson, Treasurer
Brooke is currently a Nurse Manager for Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System. Brooke is also a Registered Nurse and started her nursing career at VCU Health System Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit. Brooke has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Howard University and a Bachelor’s in Nursing from VCU. Brooke is currently enrolled in Masters in Business Administration with a finance concentration at Louisiana State University. Brooke’s professional journey has consisted of diverse roles and experiences over 20 years including private banking, financial analysis, business account manager, esthetics instructor, master esthetician, spa manager, operations manager, and nurse manager. Brooke’s two children have attended Richmond Waldorf school starting with the Sprouts program. Brooke resides in the city of Richmond and currently has a child in early childhood and a child in third grade.
Kadie Parsley, Secretary
Kadie has been an educator for 15 years, working in both public and private school systems, and currently works at The Steward School in Richmond, VA. Kadie has a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Longwood University. She resides in Richmond’s West End with her husband and two daughters.
Heather Simon, Chair of Strategic Planning Committee
Heather is a creative spirit with a business mindset. In 2008 she founded design agency, BigTree, and continues to grow and evolve its services based on the needs of clients. She works with business owners to analyze and strategize their marketing, and align the visual identity with their mission, vision, and values. BigTree was an integral partner in the rebranding of RWS in 2016.
Involvement in Waldorf education began in 2013 when Heather and her husband, Nate, enrolled their 2-year-old daughter in Sprouts at Richmond Waldorf School. As a parent of a now 6th grader, Heather remains active in the school and has attended many anthroposophical classes throughout the years to grow a deeper understanding of the Waldorf philosophy.
Leah Meekins, Trustee
For most of her career, Leah has worked in Medical Administration in various roles, learning many skills along the way. Although a tough decision, she recently took a hiatus to devote more time to her family and further her education. After graduating from J Sargeant Reynolds Community College in spring of 2023, she plans to continue her studies at the University of Richmond and study Communications.
Leah is a proud Richmond native and Former Waldorf parent. She joined the Waldorf community three years ago when her family was exploring their middle school options. Her family enjoyed their time at Richmond Waldorf School and Leah is grateful to be able to serve the Waldorf community in a different capacity.
Ron Volpicella, Chair of Committee on Trustees
Ron is an engineering manager at Veolia Water Technologies and Solutions with over 18 years of experience in engineering, research, development and manufacturing across a variety of industries, including aerospace, nuclear and energy. He currently leads a multi-disciplined international team of mechanical designers responsible for providing engineering solutions for clean water production challenges in service across the globe.
The Volpicella family has been part of the Richmond Waldorf School since 2018 with two children attending school in EC and 3rd grade.
Melissa Smallfield, Trustee
Melissa is currently a heart failure cardiologist at Virginia Commonwealth University Health where she has practiced since 2012. Melissa is an Associate Professor of medicine and the Director of the Advanced Heart Failure Fellowship Program. She has a BA in East Asian Studies from the College of William and Mary. Melissa obtained her MS and MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School. She did all her training in Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Heart Failure at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Melissa loves running, skiing and reading mysteries. Melissa’s two daughters joined Richmond Waldorf School in 2020 and are currently in sixth and eighth grade. Melissa was a class representative and member of the Parent’s Association for three years and then transitioned to the Board of Trustees in 2023.
2023-2024 Ex-Officio Members
Andrew Ross, Director of Administration
Brionna Nomi, Parents Association Moderator
Brionna is a labor organizer with nearly two decades experience advocating around education issues. Her career began in Richmond Public Schools where she taught Fourth Grade and Kindergarten and served as a K-5 Reading Specialist. After leaving the classroom, Brionna received her PhD from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Education in the Curriculum, Culture, and Change program. She then joined Legal Aid Justice Center as an Organizer where she led a statewide school funding campaign advocating for full and fair funding of Virginia’s public schools. Brionna and her husband, Michael, have a Second Grader, Maverick, at RWS.
Letitia Amey, Faculty College Chair
Faculty College 2022-2023 Members
Letitia Amey, Chair