Board of Directors
The Founding Board of Directors is an initiative group of parents and faculty who formed the new corporation, Eastside Community School. The intention of the initiative is to embody a three-fold structure, balancing cultures from the basis of the three-pillar model of Waldorf school governance.
Griffith Owen, President
Grif Owen is the President and one of the founding members of the ECS Board of Directors. Grif and his wife Sandie give their time and energy to the school because the contemporary Waldorf-inspired curriculum is in alignment with their observations of child development and they have been able to see the results in their 3rd grade son. Their motivation is for Grif’s mini-me to continue to be enriched by ECS and its superb faculty throughout his school years and to ensure the school’s continued innovative nature and sustainability for all children far into the future.
When Grif is not at the school greeting everyone at drop-off, fetching coffee for the Tuesday morning knitting bee, or helping improve some portion of the school, you might catch him as he swings by the eighth-grade room to sneak a taste of whatever country’s cuisine they are cooking and studying that day. Then he’s off to his other job as CEO and founder of CampusPoint Corporation which works with companies, in an ever-expanding list of geographies, as their on-campus college recruiting team.
Grif just kept going to school until he found what he wanted to do, so he has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University, a MS in Mechanical Engineering from University of Washington (UW), and an MBA from the UW’s Executive MBA program. He enjoys experiential education as well, visiting far-flung places from Antarctica to Vanuatu, flying real and model airplanes, scuba diving all over the world, and working their 20 acres east of Everett with his fleet of heavy equipment and other woodworking toys.
One thing we don’t know about Grif is why he inexplicably wears some form of orange shirt on Fridays.
Boris Bobrov, Vice President
Boris is an engineer, building electronic systems for Microsoft. His family experience at ECS inspired his interest in Waldorf-inspired education and moved him to volunteer to allow more kids to experience the magic of this school. He and his wife, Julia, are proud parents of three kids, all of whom enjoy a Waldorf-inspired education. Boris always tries to get the family out to enjoy the Pacific Northwest, skiing, sailing and biking around. The family has lived and traveled in quite a few places around the globe, but is always happy to come back home to the school—it’s an amazing community with wonderful teachers.
Anneliese Johnson, Secretary
Anneliese is one of the Board’s founding Directors and has been a part of this community since the fall of 2016. Having watched her daughter thrive first in Kindergarten and then in the ECS grades program, Anneliese has been impressed by the school faculty and approach to education, which she believes is unique among Waldorf or Waldorf-inspired schools. The integration of language and fine arts coupled with the rigorous quest for understanding and appreciation of the natural world and a child’s innate potential is what makes ECS so special and is what inspires Anneliese to serve the school.
When she is not practicing law at Inslee Best in Bellevue or working on behalf of ECS, Anneliese enjoys sailing with her husband and young daughter, gardening, practicing yoga and singing with Choral Arts Northwest.
Dan Holsclaw, Treasurer
Dan has been a member of the ECS community for one year and is the proud father of his daughter Cora who is in the Apple Blossom Kindergarten class. Dan has 25 years of finance experience evenly split between Fortune 500 Enterprises and small to medium-sized technology start-ups in the Seattle area. Dan is passionate about helping organizations of various sizes construct and develop their operating and financial platforms to support their core mission.
Andy has been a part of the ECS community for 6 years. He and his wife Elizabeth are the proud parents of William in grade four, and Leo in grade one. Andy has worked in the Entertainment industry for more than 20 years, with a focus on digital marketing. He worked for ten years at Nintendo of America, and is now Senior Director, Digital Marketing at The Pokémon Company International. Andy’s team is responsible for all consumer-facing marketing websites, social media, and email marketing. On the creative side, Andy is also an independent hip-hop artist contributing to projects such as Optimus Rhyme and Supercommuter.
“We were originally drawn to Waldorf-inspired education because of the unique approach to learning in its early childhood program. The focus on play and time outdoors has been a great fit for our boys. As we learned more about Waldorf-inspired education, we became convinced that it was the right choice for elementary school as well. I believe in the school’s practice of teaching kids to think and reason their way to solutions, rather than memorizing facts. The simple routine of students greeting their teacher each morning with an earnest handshake is just one example of a small thing that makes Waldorf-inspired education different in a wonderful way.”
Lisa O’Connell has been a board member at ECS since 2017 and believes in being in service to others. Her life experiences speak to this task. She has a Bachelors of Psychology from Bastyr University and uses what she learned to serve others, from engaging in end-of-life care to working with the mental health population. She currently works in the addiction field as a Chemical Dependency Counselor. Since having her son, Gabriel, Lisa has explored how to best serve children. This question has led her to Waldorf education, which Lisa believes is an education that best serves the child. Here are some of her thoughts regarding the Waldorf-inspired approach at ECS and why she fights for it.
It seems to me given the current educational system with common core, no child left behind, and standardized testing that a one-size-fits-all system manifests. But what happens if a child cannot fit into the system? Does the child fail the system or is the system failing the child? If a child needs to fit, is there something lost in the fitting?
At ECS we understand that children are not homogenized pegs to be fit into a board but unique creative expressions with their own perspectives, timing, capacities, and talents to offer the world. When each child’s uniqueness is invited into the classroom, children are allowed to flourish within the curriculum. The unique approach to education that the Waldorf-inspired philosophy embodies invites the fullness of each child and allows that fullness to thrive through the curriculum. Children shouldn’t be meant to fit or ‘die’ into an educational system but should flourish and become more of who they are, more of who they are meant to be, through it.
A Waldorf-inspired education at ECS engages the hands, head, and heart of a child. In other words the totality of the child. When the totality of the child is engaged in the educational process something transformative happens: the essence of the child is in a living relationship to the essence of whatever phenomena she/he is experiencing. Isn’t that what learning should be? Is that what true education is?
Children are our future. An ECS education allows the full potential of each child to live and to grow. Children who experience the totality of their being and the fullness of their own potential, become adults who contribute to the betterment of humanity. In my humble opinion, that is the role of education and that is why I serve on the board.