Purchase Ticket

Common Ground: Finding Unity and Renewal through our Core Principles

This year’s virtual conference will offer opportunities for regeneration, colleagueship, and inspiration for everyone working in the unique field of Public Waldorf Education

January 15th 3 pm to 17th 1 pm, 2021 (Pacific Time)

Please join friends and colleagues for the 2021 Alliance Annual National Conference, an event at which teachers, administrators, and board members from Public Waldorf schools, independent Waldorf schools and new initiatives from across the nation gather together for renewal and unity. We will find colleagueship, connection, inspiration, new tools and insights to take back into our work for the second half of this most unusual school year. Through a combination of keynote presentations, discussion groups, and workshops, we will explore how the common ground of our Core Principles allow us to meet and understand the challenges and opportunities of our time, including the impact of virtual learning, questions of identity and inclusion, addressing individual learning needs, school community and structure, and, essentially, supporting the role and well-being of educators.

Sponsor: Mercurius

They are the leading provider of supplies to independent and public Waldorf schools from early childhood to high school, as well as teacher training programs. They have almost 30 years of experience.
They offer products for art and music instruction, classic school supplies, toys, and high-quality school furniture. Their art supplies range from painting, drawing, modelling, and handicrafts to movement. Their school supplies include blackboard chalk, penmanship and a broad range of blank and lined lesson books in many sizes and styles, and many other items.
Since their founding, they have developed an unmatched degree of knowledge and expertise. While they are proud of their history, they eagerly embrace the future, working every day with school customers to find ways to tailor offerings to the changing needs. They are so excited to support the Alliance and this conference as part of their work within the economic realm of Social threefolding.

Schedule (Pacific Time)

Friday: January 15th

  • 3:00-4:15:  Opening/Keynote I with Liz Beaven
  • 4:30-5:30:  Discussion Groups on Keynote I
  • 5:30-6:00:  Closing

Saturday: January 16th

  • 8:00-9:15:  Keynote II with Jeff Lough and Hellene Brodsky
  • 9:30-10:30: Discussion Groups on Keynote II
  • 10:45-12:15:  Workshop Session A
  • 12:15-1:30:  Break
  • 1:30-2:45: Keynote III with Betty Staley
  • 3:00-4:00: Discussion Groups on Keynote III
  • 4:00-5:00: Salon

Sunday: January 17th

  • 8:00-9:30:  Workshop Session B
  • 9:45-11:00:  Keynote IV with Karina Haedo
  • 11:15-12:15: Discussion Groups on Keynote IV
  • 12:15-1:00: Closing  

Four Keynote Lectures will address our seven Core Principles and discuss their importance for school development and their relevance in meeting the urgent needs of our time.

Discussion Groups to allow us to collaboratively explore the keynote themes, address questions, and examine relevance for our varied settings.

Workshops in five areas: Inner Development and Observation; Arts and Crafts; Movement; Identity, Diversity, and Inclusion and; Therapeutic Approaches. You will be able to attend two workshops. Each workshop will include zoom time and time off screens.

Networking and Connecting in open space Zoom gatherings. Connect with old friends, discuss shared joys and challenges, meet new friends.


Keynote I

Public Waldorf education is founded on a coherent image of the developing human being. Public Waldorf Schools foster a culture of healthy relationships. (Core Principles 1 and 4)

Our first and fourth principles provide a foundation for our common ground of teaching, learning, and schools. Join us and Liz Beaven, President of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education, to explore the origins and goals of Public Waldorf education, our task as educators in a time of intense change and disruption, and the sensitive, coherent image of the human being that breathes life and meaning into everything we do.

Liz Beaven, EdD, President of the Board of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education, has over thirty-five years of experience in Waldorf education as a class teacher, school administrator, adult educator, mentor, researcher, parent, and grandparent. Her experience spans independent, public, and higher education, pursuing her interest in the schools that children need.

Keynote II

An understanding of child development guides all aspects of the educational program, to the greatest extent possible within established legal mandates. (Core Principle 2)

Waldorf education is profoundly developmental; the map of human development provides guidance for everything we do. Hellene Brodsky and Jeff Lough will explore that map and will discuss how it supports our work during this extraordinary time—and where we see challenges and exceptions to “normal” development.

Hellene S. Brodsky, early childhood teacher, adult educator, Alliance Board member has over 25 years in Waldorf early childhood education and transitioning children to the grades. She has a background in Clinical and School Psychology. She currently teaches kindergarten at Journey School in Aliso Viejo, California.

Jeff Lough, Nationally Certified School Psychologist, Licensed Educational Psychologist in private practice, former special education teacher, former school principal, and Alliance Board Member. He has taught in the Department of Psychology graduate program at Humboldt State University and is now the Director of Special Education at Sebastopol Charter School in California.

Keynote II

School leadership is conducted through shared responsibilities within established legal structures. Public Waldorf schools cultivate a love of lifelong learning and self-knowledge. (Core Principles 6 and 7)

As Waldorf educators, we focus on the development of the child, creating a healthy community in the classroom, and offering a curriculum that meets the child at their age. However, we seldom put emphasis on adult relationships in faculty meetings and school structure. Giving clear mandates helps to smooth the working relationship, decision making, and evaluation of decisions. On a personal level, there are exercises we can do to work toward healthy thinking, feeling, and willing so that we model with each other what we practice with the children. Betty Staley will speak about the role of mandates and the importance of continuous self-development, and then she will offer two exercises to do in groups.

Betty Staley, teacher, mentor, author, adult educator, and Alliance Board member has over fifty years experience in Waldorf education. She was a pioneer of Public Waldorf education and her work continues to reflect a life-long commitment to access, quality, and innovation on behalf of students, teachers, and the future.

Keynote IV

Public Waldorf education exists to serve both the individual and society. Public Waldorf Schools work to increase diversity and access to all sectors of society. (Core Principles 3 and 5)

The Public Waldorf movement in the US began out of a desire to increase the availability of and access to public schools founded on the principles and gifts of Waldorf education. We have had uneven progress in achieving these goals and continue to learn about who we educate, what we must adapt, and where we must make compromises. This past year has highlighted the urgent need to address equity, access, diversity, and the role of education as an agent of change. Join Karina Haedo, who will explore this complex landscape from her unique experience as a student, teacher, administrator, and parent. She will look at the paradigms that have led us to this moment in time in Waldorf education, specifically in the United States, and look towards what steps we can take to bring us closer to our collective striving and core values.

Karina Haedo is a Waldorf Remedial Teacher, former classroom teacher, administrator and Alliance Board Member. She is also a Waldorf Alumna and parent of four Waldorf students. She is currently the Student Services Coordinator at Novato Charter School in Marin County, California.

View the Alliance Conference 2021 schedule & directory.

2020 Joint Conference Postponed until 2021

Dear Colleagues,

In light of the impact of COVID-19 on our schools and communities, the Conference Planning Committee has agreed to postpone the June 2020 WECAN, AWSNA, and Alliance joint conference and Waldorf100 celebration.

While we pause to honor this moment in time, we look with confidence to the future. This is a postponement, not a cancellation. The planning group will continue to meet with an eye toward Chicago, June 22-25, 2021 – 100 + 1 years and counting!

Please stay tuned, as we will be sharing more information and processing refunds in the coming weeks.

We look forward to carrying the enthusiasm, good will, and dedicated effort that has been devoted to this year’s conference into the future.

We wish good health to you and your community.

Liz Beaven
For the Conference Planning Committee


Please enjoy this short video trailer to the international film “Learn to Change the World”.