Care and Loyalty: SWS Board of Trustees Letter to the Community

On Saturday, February 2nd, 2020, the Sacramento Board of Trustees attended a regional Board of Trustees Conference held on campus in San Juan Hall. We were grateful to work with all the Northern California Waldorf School Board members, including representatives from the Westside Waldorf School, Pacific Palisades. It was both an interesting and educational experience that will have a continuing impact on our work in service to Sacramento Waldorf School. 

Our day was divided into two sessions: the morning session treated us to a lively discussion regarding Governance, and what this should look like in a Waldorf School. There was much to learn and consider, and many practical suggestions will be put into practice in the coming months. The afternoon session involved Leadership, Money and Power, and how a board must consider these challenges when leading a Waldorf school. 

The morning presentation on Governance was a very timely and precise “instruction manual” on how a board should operate. We learned that there are three key elements of Governance: responsibility, accountability and authority. Also, two essential roles of a board member were identified and discussed. These were Care and Loyalty. Care was defined by three attributes: come fully prepared, show up, and participate in making a decision. Loyalty was defined as making a decision and then presenting that decision with a single, unified voice. 

As board members, we must be conscious of three things that will drive all decisions we make. These are Anthroposophy, servant leadership, and collaboration. Members should also work to build trust through communication, interactions with faculty and the community, and the development of a set of values to guide our work. Another important recommendation we found interesting was the call for board members to begin the study of our school curriculum. We are looking forward to this study. 

As the afternoon continued, attendees learned about other responsibilities a board must hold. These were loosely weaved around the concept of Three Folding, an idea that asks us to focus on practical applications of meeting the future needs of our school and to make decisions through the lens of a ten-year horizon. As board members, we have a responsibility to our community as a whole with regard to the future of Sacramento Waldorf. 

Our board would like to thank our innovative and energizing speakers for the day, Ms. Valerie Colis, member of AWSNA, and Mr. John Bloom, the General Secretary and Vice President of Organization at Rudolf Steiner Foundation. We found them to be engaging, lively, and energetic over the hours in which they helped us. We look forward to implementing many strategies learned as we move into the future at Sacramento Waldorf. As board members, we are here to serve our community. Please do not hesitate to call on us if we may be of assistance. 


Beau Brown
Sacramento Waldorf Board of Trustees