President: Bob Sisk
With a strong interest in social-emotional learning, I see Blue Mountain School as a crucible for developing better ideas about educating the whole child while providing an excellent foundation for its students to develop and foster an excitement about learning that will carry them throughout life. Through experiences having been a public school teacher, a family counselor in a juvenile court setting, founder and director of a residential treatment organization, administrator for two licensed special education schools, a board member for youth programs and alternative schools and consultant for various behavioral health agencies I have been reinforced in believing that we learn best through experiences if we are supported in examining them for our own meaning. I am excited to continue my development alongside the Blue Mountain School Community as we continue to create and refine our educational model in support of the students entrusted to us each day.
Vice President: Dr. Kristan Morrison
I am an associate professor of education at Radford University. I teach courses on the history, philosophies and economics of education, as well as a summer online course on alternative forms of education. My research interests lie in the area of school restructuring – to make them more democratic/self-directed, and focused on the whole child (mind, body, and spirit). My research on unconventional schools includes studies of the Albany Free School, the Blue Mountain School, the DSIL (unconventional school in Thailand), Montessori schools, Quaker schools, homeschooling/unschooling. I have blogged in the past for the Institute for Democratic Education in America as well as Cooperative Catalyst. The key reason I am serving on this board is because I would very much like to be on the “front line” of work to bring my visions for education to concrete reality. What I offer the board is dedication to the cause, in-depth knowledge of how other such schools are structured, curriculum-development knowledge, and my skills of organization and detail orientation.
Treasurer: Luke Staengl
Luke is a visionary pioneer in many fields of human endeavor – from learning to understand the human psyche, sociology, as well as practical solutions to some of the worlds pressing problems of resource conservation and environmental preservation. Because of his interest in a different approach to education he co-founded Blue Mountain School in the early 80s, and is a strong supporter, both morally and financially. He is keenly interested in seeing the school grow and blossom, and wants to see more diverse curricula, more classes for the older kids, and eventually an alternative high school with affiliations to the colleges and universities in the area, as well as apprenticeships with local farmers and industries. He founded an Intentional Community in the Blue Ridge Mountains (Anahata Bio-Community) and a revolutionary education center (Anahata Education Center) which focus on personal growth, interpersonal relationship, new ways of accessing and processing our unconscious contents, and understanding human behavior and motivation. Luke has been the driving force behind several high technology environmental companies since 1979, including PESCO, PESCO-BEAM, and VENDCO LLC. He also serves as Board Member and Vice President of Sustain Floyd Organization, which focuses on creating a sustainable resilient Floyd Community, through the development of local industries which will provide markets for local crops, and creating value added industries for local raw materials, resources and talent.
For over twenty years, I have taught in private and public schools, but mostly at Blue Mountain School. All four of my children have gone to Blue Mountain. I have also been involved with the BMS board as a teacher representative and helped with administrative responsibilities before the board was created. My motto is, "I want students to love learning so much that they are disappointed when summer vacation starts!"
Warren Lapine graduated in 1988 fromm the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where he majored in English and minored in Psychology. He counseled troubled teens for close to 10 years at the Amherst Shelter before founding his first business in 1994. That business was DNA Publications, Inc. which started out publishing one small press magazine and grew to publish nine national magazines including Weird Tales, the Whole Cat Journal, and The Official Magazine of the Rock Band KISS. In 2005 amid a major shift in the publishing world he closed DNA Publications and shifted his concentration from magazines to books with Wilder Publications, Inc. By 2008 Wilder Publications had became one of the largest POD publisher in America. Wilder Publications currently has more than 2,500 books in print. Warren Lapine has strong communications and managerial skills and a keen understanding of how businesses work.
Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Rick Parrish is a graduate of J.Sargeant Reynolds Community College and Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Horticulture and completed graduate-level studies in Landscape Architecture. Prior to university, he served in the United States Coast Guard and has worked in various construction, mechanical, industrial and landscaping positions. Rick has served on several nonprofit boards, including Luther Memorial Church, Blacksburg, Lutheran Student Ministry at Virginia Tech, Chrisitansburg Downtown Development Partnership, The Voluntary Action Center (President), Habitat for Humanity of The New River Valley (President), Floyd County Chamber of Commerce (President) and The Rotary Club of Floyd County (Secretary). Rick and his wife Nancy have lived in the New River Valley since 1987 and have resided in Floyd since 2008. Currently living in the Town of Floyd with Nancy, his daughter Jessi and grandchildren Tiamon and Norah, Rick is a Realtor with McCraw Real Estate & Auction Company and co-owner of Fancies & Follies Consignment Home Furnishings. Rick’s interests include gardening, music and spiritual development.
Stefi Schafer (non-voting)
Shelly Emmett (non-voting)
Governance Committee: Responsible for ensuring optimal board operations by reviewing and proposing changes in policies and procedures, planning for leadership succession, arranging financial audits, creating and maintaining evaluation policies, and evaluating the Board, the Trustees, and the Director.
Finance Committee: Responsible for financial oversight, setting tuition rates and staff salaries, reviewing scholarship applications, developing the annual budget, creating and maintaining financial policies, financial planning, and taxes.
Development Committee: Responsible for creating and maintaining development planning and policy, marketing and advertising the school, fundraising, grant development, and creating an endowment.
Facilities Committee: Responsible for oversight of current facility maintenance and planning for future facilities.
Community Committee: Responsible for increasing Blue Mountain School's web of influence, through marketing, public relations, and relationship building.
Curriculum and Accreditation Committee: Responsible for accreditation, curriculum development, oversight of programs, including special programs such as summer camp and Friday enrichment, evaluating staffing needs, providing relevant information to other committees as necessary, and reviewing teacher and staff evaluations.
Personnel Committee: Responsible for hiring and dismissing Directors, generating contracts, reviewing hiring and dismissal decisions made by the Directors, conducting Director evaluations and reviewing staff evaluations, and assisting with resources and planning for teacher development.
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