Strong Leadership and Inspiring Vision
As a non-profit institution, Seattle Waldorf School is governed by a Board of Trustees. The trustees are volunteers; they include current parents, alumni parents, professional educators, community members and friends of the school. The primary role of the Board is to hold the school’s mission and future in trust. The Board provides strategic direction and fiscal oversight for the school, and the Head of School is the sole employee of the Board.
Sharlyn Turner, Chair
Sharlyn Turner is a Washington State native and graduate of Seattle Pacific University with a B.A. in Accounting. She is a licensed CPA and a partner with a local CPA firm, Peterson Sullivan LLP. She has over 20 years of public accounting experience working with closely held businesses, nonprofits, and publicly traded companies in a wide variety of industries. She serves as a technical resource for her clients in current financial reporting matters, relevant accounting standards, compliance, and internal control processes. Sharlyn brings this perspective to her work with SWS as Chair of the Board. She loves to travel with her family, enjoys being outdoors, and is a recreational triathlete, completing three to four half-marathons every year. Her daughter Helen is a student at the high school and has attended SWS since preschool.
Curtis Eckman, Vice Chair
After majoring in Biology at Seattle University, Curt Eckman spent the first 12 years of his career working as a carpenter in Seattle on residential projects, and in New York City building sets and props for Broadway and film and television productions. In 1999, he returned to Seattle to manage Dale Chihuly’s Ballard studio. Curt continued his work in the fine arts as the production manager for Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s “The Gates” project, which was displayed in Central Park in February of 2005. He returned to Seattle again and obtained a certificate in Construction Management from the University of Washington to resume working in the construction industry as the general manager and now owner of a group of construction businesses. He spends his free time with his son, a SWS seventh grader, and enjoys skiing, glacier climbing, reading, playing the bass guitar, and the company of family and friends.
Cathy Simon, Secretary
Cathy Simon grew up in Connecticut and attended the University of Vermont, studying Spanish and Chemistry. She moved to Seattle in 1989 with her boyfriend, now husband, Howard. After working in sales for Western Paper Company, she started her own business in 1992 designing a line of wax seals and other stationery products, distributing them worldwide. After 21 years in the industry, it is still exciting for her to be innovating new products and designs. Cathy and Howard have three children at SWS.
Mike Silva, Treasurer
Mike Silva is founder and chairman of KnuVu, a corporate development and strategy boutique focused on mobile and emerging technologies. Mike has held CFO roles in public and startup companies and leadership and trustee roles in non profit.
A native of Switzerland, Brigitte Bertschi attended the Rudolf Steiner School in Basel for her middle school and high school years. She graduated from the University of Early Childhood Education in Basel, and is the Founder and Head of Bertschi School, a Pre-K–5 elementary school on Capitol Hill. Brigitte has served in a variety of capacities for the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS), including serving on the NWAIS board 2002-2008. She has chaired a number of accreditation evaluation teams of independent schools in the Pacific Northwest, and presently serves on two small private school boards. Brigitte lives with her family on a houseboat in Seattle. She has traveled extensively throughout Central and South America, the Far East, and Europe. In her free time, Brigitte enjoys hiking, tennis, and swimming and the arts.
Eva Elliot is a Washington native who grew up in Gig Harbor. Before becoming a full-time mom she served as Director of Human Resources at Blue Nile. Eva values Seattle Waldorf School’s holistic vision of education engendering passionate and creative students, and the experiential curriculum as an essential foundation for her children’s development. Eva and her two children enjoy learning about the natural world, hiking, and exploring wild places, whether in their own back yard or places far-flung.
Thamis Estevez-Mendez was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. At age 6, she moved with her family to Pará, a state in the far north of Brazil, close to the Amazon Forest, where she lived for 5 years and experienced a fairly exotic childhood. Later she returned to Sao Paulo, where she studied Arts and Industrial Design and later received her B.A. in Social Communication, with an emphasis in Marketing and Advertising. In 1998 she moved to Paris, France where she studied French and European Civilization at Université Paris-Sorbonne and also Art History at the Louvre Museum School (Ecole du Louvre). During her time in Europe she became interested in gastronomy and wine and pursued professional wine studies with Wine and Spirit Education Trust of London, UK. Thamis worked in national and international companies for more than 10 years accumulating experience in retail, marketing, merchandising and business development. In 2005 she moved to Seattle with her husband where they found the right place to start their family. Waldorf education came pleasantly unplanned into their lives and became a valuable gift for their kids, in grade 4 and 2 at the Three Cedars campus.
Ted Enderlein is a second-generation Seattle native and holds a B.S. in Aeronautical Science from Central Washington University. He juggles his time as a father of two at SWS while working as a contract pilot in the Puget Sound area. Prior to his flying career, Ted worked as an outdoor instructor for Pacific Crest Outward Bound School and Lakeside School.
Missi Goss grew up in Seattle, attended Lakeside School and graduated cum laude from Williams College, Massachusetts with a B.A. in history and art history. She is one of the founders of Madrona School, a Pre-K–8 Waldorf school on Bainbridge Island. Missi serves as Head of School, after filling a variety of roles at Madrona School, including Administrator, Chair of the Board and Enrollment Coordinator. Along with her passion for Waldorf education, Missi brings her experience as Program Director for the Work Skills Training Program for the Student Conservation Association and as leader for high school wilderness trail crews in Washington and Wyoming. Her three Waldorf-educated daughters are now a Bates College graduate, a senior at Whitman College, and a tenth grader at Bainbridge Island High School.
Andy and his family moved from Boston to Kirkland in 2002 when he accepted a job at Microsoft; he now works at Amazon in the Cloud Computing division. In his free time Andy is an avid skier, steelhead fisherman, and occasional writer. A product of some pretty traditional east coast education, Andy was first introduced to Waldorf education when his oldest daughter moved from public school to Three Cedars Waldorf School for sixth grade. He was immediately won over by the impact that the environment and the learning approach had on her self confidence. Wanting to give back, Andy joined the TC Board with the intention of furthering the cause of this kind of education in the Northwest. He is pleased to continue as a Board member after the schools’ merger to help growing this incredible SWS resource in whatever small ways he can.
Fred Ingham has master’s degrees in both business and mental health counseling. He has spent most of his professional life in the technology industry, in a range of marketing and finance roles, prior to pursuing a second career focused on his interest in human development. He appreciates that the Waldorf approach is fully aligned with the latest research on children’s neurological, social, emotional, and cognitive development. A Seattle native, Fred is also currently on the board of Nurturing Pathways, an early childhood education program. Fred is the father of a student at the SWS grade school.
Bio to come soon.
Neil McCarthy holds a M.A. in Applied Behavioral Science from Bastyr University. In 2003, he founded McCarthy Consulting with a mission to help corporate leaders realize their full leadership potential, overcome adversity and organizational conflict, and achieve demanding business goals. The focus of his work has been to aid leaders and teams in translating theories of individual, team, and organizational performance into practical and applicable actions that deliver results – like more effective collaboration, increased productivity and stronger strategic alignments. Neil lives near the SWS grade school with his wife and two children, and he loves being able to walk them to school. In addition to outdoor activities, he is passionate about golf, woodworking and music.
Mark Perry, a Seattle native, initially studied drama at the University of Washington. A travel break in Europe turned into a four-year stay including a year studying at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. Mark eventually returned to the UW to earn post-baccalaureate teaching certifications in English and History. He had the privilege and joy of taking two wonderful grade school classes through their eight years at the Seattle Waldorf School. Mark has one stepson, Adam, who motivates him to work out and swim. He enjoys hearing from alumni, traveling and imagining trips with his wife, Linda.
Bio coming soon.
Steve studied at Stanford and Yale, earning a B.A. and a J.D. He is currently a partner at the Seattle law firm of Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson P.S., where he advises clients on a range of land use and real estate matters relating to residential, commercial, and industrial development projects. He is a member of the Seattle Audubon Society, the Wedgwood Community Council, and Wedgwood Presbyterian Church. In his time off he enjoys reading, swimming, piano and strolling the beaches and trails of Magnuson Park and Matthews Beach with his family. He has been particularly drawn to the school’s commitment to immersing children in the beauty and wonder of nature, and his son is a grade schooler at SWS.
Norm Smith is a Seattle native with a B.A. from the University of Puget Sound and an M.B.A. from Seattle University. He owns Hazel Point Company, a construction company, and QNorthwest, a technology firm. Norm was previously on the Board of Trustees of the Agros Foundation, a development organization operating in Central and South America. In his free time he plays squash and tennis, and is an avid skier, runner, and golfer. All of his three children attended SWS.
George Trifonov is a Three Cedars parent of four, with a student in grade 7, 5 and 2, and a little one at home. His family has been a part of Waldorf education for the past nine years since his eldest son joined Waldorf inspired childcare. Originally from Moscow, Russia, George relocated to the United states 11 years ago and has been working for Microsoft at the Redmond campus since 2006 as a software engineer. In his spare time he enjoys gardening, hiking, and fishing. George is excited to be part of the Board in support of Waldorf education.