Board Member Bios

Craig Appel is the executive director of Hand in Hand Parenting, a global nonprofit providing tools and support for parents to connect with their children in a way that allows each child to thrive. Prior to Hand in Hand, Craig directed the partner relations at the Energy Foundation, the largest supporter of clean energy policy in the U.S. and China. Craig has a Masters degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelors degree in History from Michigan State University. He and his wife have four children at the San Francisco Waldorf School from middle school to early child parenting classes.

Joan Caldarera holds a BA in English from the University of Rochester, a MA in drama from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in educational leadership from U.C. Davis. Dr. Caldarera began at San Francisco Waldorf School teaching Kindergarten for four years then graduated her first class, which she took from the fifth grade, in June 1993, before leading a second class from first through fifth grades. Having chaired the high school planning committee, she joined the high school faculty in 1997, teaching and serving as High School Chair for five years. From there she moved to the Head of Administration position, which she held for four years. Her two eldest children graduated from SFWS in 1990 and 1994, while son Michael-Tobias was in the first SFWHS graduating class, and son Andreas graduated in 2009.

Danielle Dignan is a founding partner of DM Development, a San Francisco-based boutique real estate development and investment firm. Prior to her real estate endeavors, Danielle taught field courses in the mountains and on the coast for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), taught offshore sail training, and wrote professionally for sailing magazines. She is a USCG licensed captain and has a BA in history from the University of Rhode Island. Danielle lives in San Francisco with her husband and their two children, and is often found outside sailing, surfing or playing tennis. She is a member of the NOLS Advisory Council.

John Froley is a Certified Financial Planner(tm)professional and an Investment Consultant with First Republic Securities Co. in San Francisco. He is also a member of the San Francisco Financial Planning Association. John earned a Bachelor of Art's degree in English from University of California, Santa Barbara in 1990.

Elizabeth Halifax has a PhD from the University of California, San Francisco, a post graduate diploma in Business Studies from The Metropolitan University, London, a BA in Economic and Social History from the University of York, and is a Registered Nurse. She specializes in research related to gerontological nursing.

Ghita Harris-Newton
Ghita Harris-Newton is an attorney for Yahoo, where she works as Assistant General Counsel, Global Head of Legal Privacy, and founder and Chair of the Legal Department’s Pro Bono & Community Service Program. Ghita received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, magna cum laude, and her B.A. from James Madison University, summa cum laude. Ghita has 3 children currently attending the San Francisco Waldorf School. 

Gretchen Hillenbrand

Stacey Hubbard

John Jackson

Sami KudsiSecretary, has been a professor of speech communication at the City College of San Francisco since 1994. He has experience teaching small group communication, interpersonal communication, and public speaking. For 10 years, he served as a coach for the CCSF Speech and Debate Team. Since 2003, he has served as the Coordinator of the CCSF Honors Program. Mr. Kudsi also served on the CCSF Strategic Planning Committee and is certified as a DACUM curriculum development facilitator. Sami earned both his bachelors and masters degrees in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Elizabeth Rutherfurd is an organizational change consultant at Future State, helping organizations and people migrate through the change curve, resulting in the adoption of new strategies, new technologies and new ways of working. She works with teams to foster ideas and articulate the strategy that will help them achieve their goals.

Carina Trowbridge

Alison Sant, Vice President, is a co-founder and partner in the Studio for Urban Projects. Founded in 2006, the Studio for Urban Projects is an art and design practice that seeks to advance civic engagement and further public dialogue. Their inter-disciplinary and research-based projects aim to provoke change by re-framing perceptions of the city and physically transforming elements of the built environment. Engaging the broad themes of ecology and urbanism, their projects have taken the form of exhibitions, urban interventions, audio tours, interactive technologies and architectural environments. Through these projects they reflect upon the cultural dynamics that shape the urban landscape. The Studio for Urban Projects has been shown at Eyebeam, Berkeley Art Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, ZeroOne San Jose, and SPUR among other venues. Their public art has been commissioned by the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. Sant currently teaches classes at the California College of Art and has also taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and Mills College. She received her BFA from New York University in the Departments of Photography and Interactive Telecommunications and received her Masters in Design at the College of Environmental Design, University of California Berkeley. Sant has served as a curator and board member of Southern Exposure, member of the Art Program Oversight committee for the San Jose Airport, and board member of the Summit Foundation and the Seed Fund.

Sheila SchroederPresident, Sheila Schroeder, President, has been active in the securities industry for 25+ years. She is Director of Investor Relations at Mountain Lake Investment Management, an investment fund with a mission to protect and grow partnership capital.  She graduated from Indiana University with a BA in Political Science which included a year of study at Waseda University in Tokyo. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Jason Phillips and their twin children. She is an avid runner.

Moira Walsh served as the COO and Associate ED at Philanthropic Ventures Foundation (PVF) for 10 years, responsible for managing donor services, programs and foundation operations. Currently, Moira spearheads PVF’s Special Projects and has been on PVF’s Board of Directors since 2009.  Moira has an extensive background in both the legal and non-profit sectors. Before joining PVF, Moira was a partner in the law firm of Carr, McClellen, Ingersoll, Thompson & Horn PC, in San Francisco, where she practiced law for 12 years. Additionally, she has worked with, led and served on the board of numerous Bay Area nonprofit agencies and foundations, including the Thomas J. Long Foundation since 2010, San Francisco Court Appointed Special Advocates (SFCASA), Friends of Potrero Hill (since 2005) and is the co-chair of the Capital Campaign of the Sterne School in San Francisco.  Moira holds a BA from UC Santa Barbara, Magna Cum Laude, and a JD from George Washington University, National Law Center, Washington, D.C. A San Francisco native, Moira lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.

William WolcottTreasurer, works as a Vice President at JP Morgan Chase. Prior to joining the bank in 2010, he worked in institutional equity sales for Lazard, Montgomery, and J.P. Morgan Securities. From 1993-2001, he worked at Hambrecht & Quist where he was a Principal on the Equity Syndicate Desk that priced over a thousand Initial Public Offerings and Follow-On Offerings for growth companies within the Technology, Healthcare and Consumer verticals. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children and enjoys teaching them how to golf, hunt, and fish. He received his B.A. in Environmental Studies from Hobart & William Smith Colleges and attended The Cate School.

Mike Zatopa is an attorney in private practice representing parents of disabled children in obtaining appropriate special education, mental health, and other services from public school districts and social service agencies. Mike also represents non-profit corporations that provide special education, residential and mental health services to publicly funded children. Michael has a BA from the University of San Francisco, a JD from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Mike has also served as Board President of two non-profit child welfare agencies, and is on his second stint as member of the SFWS Board of Trustees.

Caleb Buckley, Administrative Director, Caleb Buckley has a doctorate in education from U.C. Davis and holds a certificate in Waldorf high school training. Caleb grew up in the Bay Area and attended the Marin Waldorf School, Redwood High School and later SF State. He was a founding teacher of the Austin Waldorf High School where he taught for 9 years. Most recently, he served as a charter school director for a decade in Nevada City, CA. Caleb has also done political consulting and worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange but he has always returned to bring his experiences back into Waldorf education.

Gerhard EngelsDirector of Finance and Strategic Planning, joined SFWS in 2008, bringing to the school more than 20 years of experience as a management consultant and financial analyst. His work history includes 7 years with Arthur Anderson and Accenture, as well as management consulting nationally and internationally. A few years ago he experienced a shift of values, causing him to change into the non-for-profit world.  He holds a M.S. in Mathematics from University Bonn in Germany. He has two boys currently enrolled at SFWS.