Linda Santelices


Linda Santelices is the Director of Research Operations for the Asthma, Allergy, and Autoimmunity Institute of the Allegheny Health Network, an affiliate of Highmark which includes 7 hospitals that serve western Pennsylvania. Linda’s background is in bioengineering and she is an alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh, where she received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Of Chilean decent and originally from New England, Linda has been a resident of Pittsburgh since 1997 and a member of the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh community since 2010. Linda is delighted by the effect that the Waldorf philosophy has had on her children and her own lifestyle, and is deeply committed and grateful for the opportunity to serve the school and its community.

In her spare time, Linda enjoys running a small photography studio, Pure Photography, playing with her two Welsh Terriers, cooking, gardening, traveling, and most of all, spending quiet (and not-so-quiet) time at home with her two children and husband.

Molly Mehling

Board Secretary

Dr. Molly Mehling grew up on the banks of the Ohio River 60 miles downstream from Pittsburgh, PA. As child of the Appalachian hills, she witnessed both the natural beauty of the region and the struggle for transformation beyond its industrial identity. Mehling is now an aquatic and landscape ecologist working at local and regional scales to use well-designed, community-engaged research and digital and analog arts-based media projects to improve our understanding of and relationship with our intertwined land and water systems.

Mehling completed a Ph.D. in Ecology with ecotoxicologist Dr. James Oris at Miami University’s Department of Zoology. She also worked with ecologists Drs. Tom Crist and M.H.H Stevens, limnologists Drs. Maria Gonzalez and Mike Vanni, and geographer Dr. William Renwick. She also holds a Masters of Environmental Sciences from the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at Miami University, and a B.S. in Environmental Biology from the University of Mount Union.

Dr. Mehling studies how communities are affected by, interact with, and shape landscapes. She is a biologist, community and landscape ecologist, ecotoxicologist, sustainability scientist, photographer and learning experience designer focused on conducting and communicating science in ways that lead to useful knowledge, but also cause learning, create community, and ultimately lead to more resilient and sustainable social, economic and ecological systems.

Mehling’s work is focused on the perception, science, and management of biodiversity across landscapes and on the condition of our water resources (streams, wetlands, lakes, reservoirs, and coastal communities) with particular concern for issues that have implications for children’s environmental health. Using a transdisciplinary, sustainability science approach Dr. Mehling integrates academic research, informal and formal education, practical application, and engaged communities. Past research has addressed the role of stream productivity on methyl mercury bioaccumulation, the effects of atrazine on stream biota, and the assessment of risk perception of environmental contaminants.

Russ Sabo

Board Treasurer

Russ Sabo is Partner, President and Strategy Lead at Bessemer Alliance, a consulting firm that designs human-centered strategies, products and solutions to help companies innovate and thrive in current and evolving markets. Russ has over 25 years of experience in new business creation. He designs human-centered strategies, products and solutions to help companies innovate and thrive in current and evolving markets. He and his wife, Marie Richmond, have five daughters and reside just outside Pittsburgh. Russ and Marie are quick to point out that Waldorf education has been the best educational experience they have ever found for their children. This experience has drawn them into a deep commitment to the institution.

Josh Aderholt

Board Member

Josh Aderholt is the Director of Financial Analysis for Century Equities, where he provides analysis for the company’s hospitality and real estate syndication projects. Josh also leads select hotel development projects in the Western Pennsylvania area. Prior to joining Century Equities, Josh designed and implemented systems linking teacher and administrator performance to compensation at Pittsburgh Public Schools, as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Empowering Effective Teachers program.

Josh grew up in Wheeling, WV, and holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, with a focus in Finance and Marketing, and a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Studies from the University of Virginia. Josh has lived in Pittsburgh since 1999, interrupted by two years living in Warsaw, Poland, and another two years in Lviv, Ukraine, where he served in the MBA Enterprise Corps (currently known as MBAs Without Borders), providing consulting services as part of a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project.

Josh lives in Lawrenceville with his wife and two children, and enjoys using his bike to get around town, gardening, and coaching youth soccer and hockey.

Greg Crowley

Board Member

Greg Crowley is President and CEO of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership, Pittsburgh, a non-profit organization devoted to building diverse, inclusive and thriving communities through leadership. Coro supports the formation of leadership to improve education, health, transportation, housing, and other regional quality of life assets. Greg provides leadership for the organization, raising awareness about Coro in the community, managing relationships with funders, providing guidance in the design of programs, and overseeing a staff of twelve full-time employees. Prior to his appointment as president, Greg served five years as vice president and two years as Coro’s director of research. Greg has been instrumental in helping to launch several successful, regional multi-year leadership initiatives, including collaborative neighborhood planning that involved 150 residents of the South Hilltop (2006-2007), engaging over 300 adult citizens and students to contribute to equity in educational achievement (2007-present), preparing over 60 emerging leaders to run for public office (2009-10), and engaging over 100 residents to plan for community leadership succession in the Hill District, Uptown and the Northside (2009-present).

Greg currently serves as vice president of the board of the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh, which seeks to develop in students a balance of intellectual achievement, spiritual growth, physical health and personal responsibility. Greg formerly served as co-director of the Program for Deliberative Democracy, a Carnegie Mellon-based applied research initiative to incorporate the informed voice of citizens into local policy and program decisions. In 2008 the program was awarded the League of Women Voters Good Government Award for its innovations in citizen engagement around issues ranging from climate change and health policy to public art and neighborhood revitalization. In 2010 the program worked in partnership with the Pittsburgh Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh, Institute of Politics to conduct the first-ever Deliberative Poll in Allegheny County devoted to gathering citizen opinion on local government improvement.

Greg has held research and teaching positions at Oberlin College, the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University. He is a frequent speaker, and author of The Politics of Place: Contentious Urban Redevelopment in Pittsburgh (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005) as well as numerous articles and reports on urban politics, deliberative democracy and civic engagement. Greg holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.A. from Teachers College Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.

Carrie Tongarm

Board Member

Carrie Tongarm is an energy attorney who represents clients in matters related to environmental regulation and policy. Originally from Northern Virginia, Carrie moved to NYC in 2002 and was involved in theater production as a professional stage manager for the Actors’ Equity Association. She was also the sales manager for one of the largest wine stores in Manhattan and holds an Advance Certificate in Wine and Spirits from the International Wine Center. Since moving to Pittsburgh in 2010, she has fallen madly in love with the city’s restaurants, cultural scene, and overall livability.

Her son, Milo, has been at the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh since 2011 and Carrie is honored to be a part of such a dynamic school community. In her spare time (what is that?), Carrie enjoys wine, food, festivals, music, music festivals, food festivals that involve music, and wine festivals involving food and music. “It is a curious fact that people are never so trivial as when they take themselves seriously.” – Oscar Wilde

Richard Piacentini

Board Member

Richard V. Piacentini is Executive Director of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, one of the oldest conservatories in North America, a position he has held since 1994. He has been instrumental in guiding the conservatory from public to private management and improving the Conservatory’s collections, educational programs, and overall services to the public. During his tenure, Phipps launched the most ambitious expansion project in its 117 year history. The 36.6 million dollar expansion features environmentally friendly designs, including the first LEED certified visitor center in a public garden, state-of-the-art energy-efficient Production Greenhouses; and an innovative 12,000-square-foot Tropical Forest Conservatory, the most energy efficient conservatory in the world. Under his leadership, Phipps is currently engaged in developing the Center for Sustainable Landscapes as a “Living Building”, which will exceed LEED Platinum and operate at zero net-energy and zero net-water.

Before Richard arrived in Pittsburgh, he was the Executive Director of the Leila Arboretum Society in Battle Creek, Michigan where he was responsible for the management of the 87-arce Arboretum. From 1984 to 1991, he was the Executive Director of the Rhododendron Species Foundation in Washington State. In 1989 he assisted in the development of the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection. Richard is a past-president and treasurer of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), the 500-member professional association of North America’s gardens and arboreta.

Originally from New York, Richard received his master’s degree in botany from the University of Connecticut and an MBA in business administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island and is a licensed pharmacist in the District of Columbia.

Gabriel O’Donnell

Parent Association Representative to the Board

Gabriel O’Donnell is a Research Programmer at the CREATE Lab. His work focuses on interactive visual representations of big data that are used to promote evidence based decision making, public discourse, and environmental justice.

He and his family joined the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh in 2008 as part of the Morning Garden program. They have been profoundly moved by the warmth and intellectual nurturing on display at the school.

Anderson English

Parent Association Representative to the Board

Andy English has lived in the East End of Pittsburgh since 1996 and is the Chair of Photography for the campus and online programs at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. His fine art work has been exhibited nationally in galleries and museums and is included in numerous private collections. Originally from Summit, New Jersey, Andy received his BFA in photography from Ohio University and his MFA in photography from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Andy is also a Board member and the former Board Chair for Artist’s Image Resource in Pittsburgh’s Northside and is a staff member at East End Brewing Company. He, his wife, and their daughter love the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh, having been a part of the school and its community since 2007.

Jill Zihar

Early Childhood Faculty Chair

Miss Jill always knew that she wanted to be a teacher, and when she found Waldorf Education she believed herself lucky to have uncovered a secret gem. Jill grew up south of Pittsburgh in a family of teachers. She went to Allegheny College for her undergraduate work in Literature and Elementary Education. She then went on to receive her Masters in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. In 2002, she started working for the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh as the Aftercare Director. The following year she became one of the Kindergarten teachers and began her Waldorf Masters training at Sunbridge University. In 2007, she moved to Philadelphia and taught in a mixed-age Kindergarten at the Waldorf School of Philadelphia. In 2012, Jill and her family moved back to Pittsburgh and is now teaching one of the Kindergarten classes. Jill loves spending time with her family: her husband Adam, daughter Bailey, and son Tyler. She loves storytelling, going for walks, cooking, and eating.

Anne Clair Goodman

Grades Faculty Chair

Ms. Goodman has always known she would be a teacher. Working with children has always been a strong calling that has led her from “teaching” her younger sister during grade school to working in a therapeutic day camp in high school and teaching on the Navajo Reservation in college. Ms. Goodman joined the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh faculty as a grades teacher in 2000 after graduating from Oberlin College with a bachelor’s degree in history. She pursued Waldorf teacher training and earned her master’s in education from Antioch New England Graduate School in 2004. These experiences, coupled with attending Acorn Hill Waldorf Kindergarten and the Washington Waldorf School, both in Maryland, have led Ms. Goodman to fully appreciate the many gifts Waldorf education has to offer, including a strong connection to the arts and the imaginative and rigorous curriculum. After her last class graduated eighth grade in spring of 2014, Ms. Goodman took up her current position. In addition to her work at the school, Ms. Goodman enjoys listening to and creating music, walking, painting, bowling, kickball, and writing.

Kirsten Christopherson-

Head of School

Kirsten’s passion for Waldorf education was sparked when a parent whose child was under her care told her, “You should become a Waldorf teacher.”  As a result of that conversation, Kirsten visited the City of Lakes Waldorf School in Minneapolis, MN.   With her BA in International Communication and German, Kirsten enrolled at Antioch New England University and graduated in 1996 with her M.Ed. and a Concentration in Waldorf Education K-8.

Kirsten taught at the Waldorf School of Milwaukee and then at the country’s first Waldorf-inspired public school, the Urban Waldorf School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  In 2002, she began teaching at the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh.  She has served as faculty chair, mentor, Interim Administrator and Expansion Coordinator.  Kirsten has also been a mentor at Spring Garden Waldorf School in Copley, Ohio and the Portland Village School in Portland, Oregon.  As Administrator, Kirsten brings a strong commitment to Waldorf education and lifelong learning, a desire to cultivate mutually respectful relationships, and a love for the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh community.

Kirsten enjoys spending time with her husband and son, taking walks with their dog, visiting family and friends, reading and exploring the art of life.

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