The Orchard Valley administrative staff members manage the daily running of the school so that students can learn, teachers can teach, and parents, and BOT members can rely on a well-functioning school. Areas of responsibility include: recruiting and admitting new students, handling tuition and fees, facility management, raising money and building community awareness, addressing concerns, and carrying out the administrative policies and decisions made by the Faculty and Board of Trustees.
Karen has worked in the field of education for more than 20 years. Starting out as a teacher in the Peace Corps, she became fascinated with the process of learning a foreign language. She pursued a PhD in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Maryland, and went on to research how languages are learned and represented in the brain. After a decade of this work, Karen and her family moved to Vermont, where she began teaching in the linguistics department at the University of Vermont. Karen discovered Waldorf education through a parent-child class she took when her oldest daughter was 4 months old, over 10 years ago. She has been involved in Waldorf Schools ever since, and came to Orchard Valley in 2012. She is excited to take on this new role serving the school in the administrative office. Karen finds calm while walking in the woods, hanging out in the barn with her goats, and baking with chocolate. In the late night hours, she enjoys writing her reflections on parenting and racial sensitivity issues.
Director of Operations
Born and raised in Central Vermont, Kathy attended Trinity College and UVM, majoring in biology and business administration. She’s worked in a range of educational settings, and also ran a childcare center in her home while raising her daughter. Kathy came to OVWS in July 2004 through her daughter, Mary Kathryn (OVWS class of 2008), working first as a part-time office secretary then moving into full-time work as the Office Manager. She was later named Administrative Coordinator in 2010, and as Director of Operations in 2015. Kathy also manages her husband’s electrical contracting business. Kathy enjoys listening to and creating music, gardening, home renovation projects, and spending time in the natural world hiking, skiing, swimming, canoeing, and camping. During solo time, she can often be found reading a good book.
Cathy and her family came to Orchard Valley in 2011 to participate in the Morning Garden program. Her son is now enrolled in the grades and Cathy has been working for the school since 2012. Cathy’s work has evolved to include print and online pieces as well as marketing for a growing number of OVWS programs and events. Cathy has a B.S. in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University and an M.S. in Environmental Communications from Antioch. She has worked as a marketing communications manager, magazine editor, and environmental educator, and maintains a freelance writing and editing business. Cathy is excited to be part of the OVWS administrative team in this dynamic point in the school’s history. She enjoys many seasonal sports, travel, and playing games and reading with her boy.
Director of Enrollment and Outreach
From a young age, Cathie knew she wanted to be a teacher. She never strayed from this goal, remaining in her beloved Green Mountains for teacher training and the start of her career. Cathie first taught 3rd and 4th grade at the Orange Center School and then entered the Peace Corps, serving in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where she met her husband, Ken. Upon returning to the states, Cathie continued teaching public school 4th and 5th grade in Hartland and Quechee, until the birth of her first child, Hannah. Her family moved to the Adirondacks where their second child, Audrey, was born. It was through a parent/child playgroup that Cathie was introduced to Waldorf Education. She appreciated the beauty, love of nature, and the view of the whole child that are the cornerstones of Waldorf pedagogy. From here Cathie entered trainings and became a first grade teacher at Northern Lights School in Wilmington, NY. The discovery of OVWS called Cathie and her family back to Vermont in 2007 when she joined the faculty as a first grade teacher.