Board

Joe Astick

Joe Astick

Joe Astick

Chair [email Joe]

I believe that schools play one of the most important roles in our society. Strong schools strengthen our communities and our humanity.  As director of an alternative high school, I am passionate about building strong, small learning communities in Central Vermont. My wife and I choose to send our two children, ages 7 and 10, to OVWS because it reflects our personal values, in acknowledging a child’s spirit and personal growth, and supporting the whole child. I hope to give back to OVWS through my professional experience in legal, financial, policy, and strategic planning decisions that impact small schools in rural Vermont.

Brian Doyle

Brian Doyle

Brian Doyle

Treasurer [email Brian]

My wife and I moved to Montpelier in 2015 with our three young children who are now 8, 4, and 2 years old. I am an eye surgeon in private practice in Montpelier.  Prior to our move, we lived in Hanover, NH and Philadelphia most recently. Our children attended the Upper Valley Waldorf School and the Philadelphia Waldorf School, and in our search for a place to settle down, finding a town in close proximity to a Waldorf School was a top priority. The Waldorf educational philosophy resonates with us both, and we have seen our kids thrive in this educational system. In joining the Board, I hope to help the school to grow, thrive, and continue to offer such an amazing education to our children.  

Rhonda Prensky

Rhonda Prensky

Rhonda Prensky

Secretary (email Rhonda)

When my son was about 18 months old, I saw a handmade sign inviting parents of young ones to a play group where children could bake bread, engage with handmade playthings, shape beeswax, and play with natural toys in a gentle play space. That was the beginning of our Waldorf experience, which eventually evolved into the creation of a Waldorf-inspired Early Education program in New York. A move to Vermont, motivated almost entirely by an education at Orchard Valley Waldorf School for my son and daughter, brought us to Central Vermont almost six years ago. My partner, Ken, and I live in Montpelier and proudly send our three children to Orchard Valley Waldorf School where they get to experience an education that nurtures their heads, hands and hearts. I can see the value of this education for our children at each developmental stage and I am grateful to have the opportunity to educate my children in this very thoughtful way.  

Erica Hare

Erica Hare

Erica Hare

Erica Hare lives with her wife and two grade-school children in Berlin, VT where they keep horses, chickens, and two unruly dogs. She joins the board after serving in several capacities through the 8 years her family has been connected to Orchard Valley, including service on the finance committee, development committee, and parent council. Erica works as the Chief Financial Officer at the Institute of Professional Practice and enjoys cooking, singing, and gardening in her spare time. She is endlessly grateful to the dedicated teachers at Orchard Valley and keeps their work at the forefront of her mind in her board work.

Andy Hatch

Andy Hatch

Andy Hatch

As the father of six, I have experienced several different school situations for my children: the public school system, home schooling, private boarding school, and Waldorf education. Three of my oldest sons attended the Green Mountain Waldorf School, and my two youngest children currently are enrolled in OVWS. The philosophy behind Waldorf education creates the environment in which my children thrive, and meshes with my own Anthroposophical beliefs. As residents of Heartbeet Lifesharing, a Camphill community, my wife Sara and I feel that supporting OVWS and serving on the board is essential to strengthening the ties between these sister communities, as well as growing and maintaining this local developmentally based Waldorf opportunity for years to come.   

Johanna Polsenberg

Johanna Polsenberg

Johanna Polsenberg

My family’s decision to move from Washington, D.C. to Vermont was significantly influenced by OVWS. Our two sons started in the 3rd and 5th grades in 2017, and they already love OVWS! I have been thrilled to see the creativity, especially in writing, music and art, that has emerged from them already! The boys are half-Australian, and we all lived from 2011-13 in Gabon, Africa, so travel and global cultures have always been, and remain, very important to all of us. However, our move to Vermont was very much about living intentionally in place, and the way the OVWS community has embraced us has deeply fertilized our young roots here! I chose to be a Trustee to make a long-term commitment to this community.

Anna Rankin

Anna Rankin

Anna Rankin

I moved to Vermont in the early 2000s with my husband Nick, eventually settling on a small farm in Central Vermont. Before taking time off to focus on raising our children, I worked as a preschool teacher and mentor to teachers in training and as a special educator. Despite my years working in various schools, it was not until we decided to send our oldest child, now a second grader, to kindergarten at the Child’s Garden that I fully understood the power and magic of Waldorf education. The dedication, passion and fierce intellectual and heart work the teachers bring to their daily interactions with children and families is unmeasured and awe-inspiring. The children are known, challenged and supported; it is these deep relationships with teachers that are at the heart of teaching and learning. For me, joining the board is one way to give back to this wonderful community and to help work toward a healthy, vibrant and sustainable future at Orchard Valley.