Cynthia founded LifeWays North America in 2001. Co-author of the book Home Away From Home: LifeWays Care of Children and Families, Cynthia has lectured and presented internationally, directs trainings and seminars across the United States, and is an Adjunct Faculty member at Rudolf Steiner College in California. She served fourteen years on the board of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, is a member of the National Association for Family Child Care and a supporter of the Alliance for Childhood. A former Waldorf Kindergarten teacher, Cynthia received her Waldorf teaching certificate at Emerson College in Sussex, England. A mother and grandmother, Cynthia’s passion is the preservation of the playful spirit of childhood and helping to create home-like environments that provide the comfort, security and activities found in a healthy home.
Meet Our Board
Kerry has always found great joy being with young children and their families. She helped her community in a small mountain town sprout a country play garden and grades cooperative in Colorado. There, she worked with the preschool and kindergarten aged children both as an assistant and as a lead teacher. She completed her LifeWays training at Rudolf Steiner College and her Waldorf teacher training at the Center for Educational Renewal. In 2008, Kerry moved to Sebastopol, California and opened a play garden in her home that is a LifeWays Representative site.
Kerry loves getting to know each child and family in her community as they offer many treasures to our world. One of her heart’s desires is creating supportive communities for parents of young children, particularly for new moms. She lives in a very old farmhouse with her partner Michael, her baby boy, an old sweet dog and the bees. Her greatest accomplishment has been the birth of her son, Francis Finch, in June of 2012.
Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie is the mother of two boys and has been working with children and families for the past twenty-two years, first as a homebirth midwife, then as a Waldorf early childhood educator. She majored in Women’s Studies and Philosophy in college where a spark was lit for the sacred in the everyday, the divine feminine and the importance of rhythm and ritual. Lisa has served in nearly every realm of Waldorf early childhood education: as a parent child group leader, mixed age kindergarten teacher, aftercare teacher and in the home with a mixed age nursery program.
For years Lisa felt like a pioneer in the realm of Waldorf early childhood, striving to bridge the gap of understanding of practical life with the young child between birth and the age of three. When she learned of LifeWays North America, she was filled with gratitude and excitement for the beautiful articulation of the needs of the young child, particularly the focus on the importance of and continuity of relationship, and the practical support offered for the early years of childhood.
Lisa is the editor of the online magazine, The Wonder of Childhood, a free online monthly magazine devoted to parenting and Waldorf education. She offers a monthly program based in the rhythm of the year, which may be found, on her blog Celebrate the Rhythm of Life. Lisa is drawn to the sacred in the everyday, particularly around connection and nourishment through food and relationship, with the natural world, and with each other. She lives in Vermont with her family and flock of hens.
Marianne is the Director of the California Coast LifeWays Early Childhood Training. She has been involved in Waldorf education for nearly 40 years as a mother, early childhood teacher and facilitator of Waldorf parenting groups. She holds a B.A. in English and attended Emerson College in England, a center for Waldorf teacher training. Much of Marianne’s focus and interest has been on all things early childhood. She was a co-founder of The Ark (Fair Oaks, CA) in 1977, one of the first Waldorf toy stores in North America. The growing interest in Waldorf education in this country led her to become the first Managing Editor of Renewal, A Journal for Waldorf Education. For 15 years Marianne developed and led parent support groups in the Sacramento, CA area and for the past 7 years she has taught in the San Francisco Waldorf School Parenting program. She is also the Administrator of the Online Waldorf Library www.waldorflibrary.org , a website for Waldorf educational resources. She and her husband, Dave, have two Waldorf educated grown children and one adorable granddaughter.
When her own children were young, Mary had a LifeWays home program with such a long waiting list that she decided a LifeWays center was necessary. In 2002, she opened LifeWays Early Childhood Center in Milwaukee where she still works alongside a wonderful staff of caregivers.
Mary has a business degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a student in the very first LifeWays training. She is a consultant for LifeWays North America, serves on the board, directs the Wisconsin LifeWays Training, and in 2010 co-authored Home Away From Home: LifeWays Care of Children and Families with Cynthia Aldinger.
Mary’s favorite thing about LifeWays is seeing both children and their caregivers thrive in a home-like environment that truly values and respects them.
Rahima is internationally known as the author of You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, based on the indications of Rudolf Steiner for early childhood (birth to age six). The book will come out in a new US edition in 2012 and has been translated into Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Thai and Hebrew. Rahima has worked extensively as a midwife, Waldorf early childhood educator and director of Informed Family Life. She is a founding board member of LifeWays North America and is also the co-founder and director of Rainbow Bridge LifeWays Program for 1-5 year olds, a LifeWays Representative Center in Boulder, Colorado. Rahima offers lectures and conferences throughout the country on alternatives in birth, parenting, education and conscious aging in addition to maintaining the website www.waldorfinthehome.org. She and her husband, Agaf Dancy, have raised four adult children and are delighted to have their first grandchild!
Rosario Villasana, M.A., is Faculty at City College of San Francisco at the Mission Campus Child Development Center, Adjunct Professor at San Francisco State University and Early Childhood Consultant. She is Community Programs Coordinator for Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA and directs the LifeWays en Español caregiver training program focusing on development of curriculum materials in Spanish and community programs and outreach. Rosario is a member of the Board of Directors of LifeWays NorthAmerica and President of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Childhood. She has conducted training and staff development in Rudolf Steiner based education in China and Mexico as well as throughout the United States. Rosario is the happy mother of two Waldorf graduates; a son, Eduardo and daughter, Lucia.
A frequent and sought after presenter at the most respected professional conferences, notably NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), the World Forum and the AERA (American Educational Research Association) as well as universities and colleges in the US, she has travelled internationally presenting in China, Greece, Mexico and Russia. Her primary focus is the Birth to 7 year old child and focus areas include; the Program for Infant/Toddler Caregivers, Rudolf Steiner Pedagogy, The Impact of Media on the Young Child, Environments for Children, Dance and Movement Education, Sensory Integration and Brain Development, and Resource Development for Spanish Trainers.
“I am particularly interested in children in the Birth to 7 age range as this is a critical stage setting the basis for healthy development, relationships and quality of life. During this period critical human foundations are formed and nourished. When warmth, curiosity and creativity are encouraged a child grows joyfully and fully.”
Sarah received a master’s degree in Waldorf early childhood education from Sunbridge College in Spring Valley, NY in 1999. She taught Parent/Child, Nursery and Kindergarten classes at Ashwood Waldorf School in Rockport, ME over a period of 10 years, and is the author of Nourishing Children and Families, a guide for teachers and leaders of Waldorf parent/child playgroups. She is also author of the blog Moon Child. In 2009, Sarah became the new owner of Bella Luna Toys, which has been offering natural, Waldorf-inspired toys online since 2002. She makes her home on the coast of Maine with her husband and two teenage boys (both Waldorf grads). She is passionate about traditional music and learning to play the fiddle.