Conference Welcome Letter
February 1, 2019
As the Waldorf100 celebrations begin, we are excited to launch the anniversary at the 2019 conference which will be held at the Waldorf School of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. The theme, Responsible Innovation: A Collaborative Approach to Educational Freedom, is related to our 4th principle. It is a timely theme as we look forward to the next 100 years of Waldorf education.
AWSNA Shared Principle #4:
Waldorf schools support freedom in teaching within the context of the school’s shared agreements.
The educational program of each Waldorf school is founded on Rudolf Steiner’s insights about the growing child, informed by the teachers’ ongoing study of anthroposophy and their professional development in Waldorf education.
The faculty of the school works collaboratively and cooperatively to develop, refine, and periodically review the educational program. Individual teachers work creatively with curricular, pedagogical, and assessment components of the program out of freedom and in a way that serves their individual students, the class as a whole, and the school community. This work reflects and respects the shared educational understandings and agreements of the faculty.
Elan Leibner, our keynote speaker, brings a wealth of experience as a teacher, school leader, and researcher to this topic. He will inspire our discussions and ideas for the future. Elan received his teacher training at the Waldorf Institute in Spring Valley, NY (later Sunbridge College) under Norman Davidson. He was a class teacher at the Waldorf School of Princeton, NJ from 1990-2008, taking two classes through the complete eight-year cycle and bringing a third to graduation. He was a co-founder and pedagogical director of the school’s Foundation Studies Program, where his teaching duties have included Rudolf Steiner’s basic books. He then worked as the education course leader at Emerson College, UK for a year. Since 2010, he has been working as a consultant and adult educator in the US, including also chairing the Pedagogical Section Council since 2012 and editing the Research Bulletin for Waldorf Education. Elan lives in NJ.
Image and Theme for the four lectures (subject to change):
1. Vidar’s Triumph: useful leather and worn out shoes
2. Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow
3. The American Scholar
4. Local and Organic
Discussion groups and Artistic workshops will be led by our colleagues from across North America.
The Pedagogical Section meeting will be held Thursday (June 27) after the conference closing until 9:00 p.m. and Friday morning (June 28) until Noon. More detail about the meeting will be emailed to pedagogical section members.
Before and during the conference, there will be an interactive workshop offering:
Finding Our Voice: Articulating Waldorf Education in the 21st Century
John Bloom, General Secretary, Anthroposophical Society, United States and Vice President, Organizational Culture, RSF Social Finance
Beverly Amico, Executive Director, Advancement, AWSNA
Stephanie Rynas, Executive Director, Operations & Member Resources, AWSNA
Laura Scappaticci, Executive Director, Programs, Anthroposophical Society of America
More details, including schedule and pricing, are available here, and on the registration pages.
Conference and Delegates Meeting schedules will be available to participants as we get closer to conference week. The delegates meeting opens Saturday, June 22 with a pre-meeting dinner at 5:45 p.m. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. The conference opens Monday, June 24 with a pre-conference dinner at 5:45 p.m. The opening lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. The conference closes at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 27.
Housing options include a few hotels with rooms blocked for AWSNA conference participants, suggestions for other hotels in the area, and neighborhoods to search for AirBnb housing. It is important that you secure housing as soon as possible. Please note the reservation deadlines given by each hotel where we have secured hotel blocks.
Zero waste — Our goal in 2019 is to minimize waste at the conference venue. We began this process two years ago by eliminating the conference folders and using a name badge wallet that can hold one folded sheet of information, your name badge and your phone, if needed. This year, we will eliminate paper cups and ask you to bring your own water bottle and coffee/tea travel mug. There will be mugs and water bottles for sale at the conference venue. We will use compostable paper plates, napkins and utensils. You are encouraged and welcome to bring your own utensils, cloth napkins, and plates. Sinks will be available to wash items. In addition, we will eliminate the need for paper flyers by having a bulletin board available to post one flyer. The participant list with email addresses will be available during the conference to email information about regional events, trainings, and job postings.
Please read the general information from the Waldorf School of Philadelphia, paying close attention to air travel, car rentals, transportation and parking.
There is a special activity planned by the school on Tuesday evening, June 25. Information for this activity can be found on the conference registration site under the Workshops and Add-ons tab. You will be able to register when you register for the conference.
Finally, a conference fee discount is offered to member schools sending more than two people. The 3rd and additional participants will receive a 30% discount on the conference rate offered at the time of registration. Please contact Laura Posusta directly for instructions to register a group.
Many thanks to the Waldorf School of Philadelphia faculty and staff for graciously offering to host the 2019 conference. We look forward to visiting your school and your city. Special thanks to Patricia Cornelius and her school committee for the preliminary preparations.
Online registration is now open. Please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org with general conference questions and Laura Posusta email@example.com with registration questions and for assistance with group registrations.
For the conference planning committee
Beverly Amico, James Pewtherer, Melanie Reiser, Stephanie Rynas