Organization & Leadership
Who We are
At the Waldorf School of San Diego, we believe that the process of how we work together is as important as what we learn in the life of a school community. Because our organization is not hierarchical, governance primarily depends on healthy interpersonal and intergroup relationships. We strive to promote healthy relationships, so it is essential to understand collectively, our mission, vision, values, and goals as a school community.
We intentionally embrace shared, collaborative governance not only because it is effective, but also because it helps people and communities to grow. We invite every member of our school community to join the conversation by reflecting on this document and offering any ideas, comments, or other responses that you wish to provide. Please be open to engaging in one of the avenues of volunteering (parent association, committees, subcommittees, and the like) that we have mapped out together.
The Leadership Council is comprised of the Administrator, Rachel Davis, a Board representative, Suzan Bramzon, and a Pedagogical representative, Elyse Stussi, and concerns itself with the day-to-day decision making needs of the school that require timely input from all spheres. The three governing entities assume distinct governance responsibilities and strive for consensus on major policy decisions. This system of shared governance supports the development of a strong and healthy community from which students learn and grow. The Leadership Council is also responsible for monitoring progress of the Strategic Plan work delegated to the various spheres of the school. Overall, the Leadership Council will work to continually improve school-wide governance.
The Pedagogical Group (PG) is a group of faculty and staff, which serves as the governing body of the school’s pedagogy. It concerns itself with pedagogical research and study as well as assuming responsibility for the pedagogical well-being of the school. They meet on a regular basis to ensure they are providing guidance to the faculty as a whole.
Meet the Board
Within the collaborative leadership model, the Board of Trustees is responsible for the legal and financial health of the school. This means that the Board is striving to be a visionary, forward-thinking leadership body, tasked with the ongoing work of creating a Strategic Plan, cultivating a culture of openness in our community, and deepening their collective understanding of Waldorf schools and pedagogy and of Board best practices.
Leadership Council Rep/EID Rep
Suzy Bramzon was born in Mexico City. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her law degree from the University of Southern California Law School. After practicing real estate law for ten years, Suzy now runs a family owned real estate development business.
Suzy’s son and daughter attend Grades and Early Childhood, respectively, at WSSD.
Trustee/ TA Liaison
Kate Vance has been a member of our Waldorf School community for the past 25 years. This is her third term as a Board member, having previously served a total of 14 years as, at different times, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Board member at large. She received her B.A. in business administration. She was our Business Administrator for 4 years and was instrumental to the capital campaign that culminated in our ability to purchase our original school site on Altadena.
She created our costume collection over 23 years that supports each of our grades in their individual plays as well as the variety of school productions that are a part of the fabric of our community. She has taught various classes in handwork throughout the grades and has currently taught a practical arts class in 10th grade in costume design and construction for the past 11 years.
Her greatest contribution to our school, however, is her daughter Amelia Vance. Amelia attended our school from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade (she graduated before we had a high school). She joined our high school faculty in 2017 as a math teacher.
Ms. Elkolli is the Vice President, Finance and Human Resources at Molecular Assemblies, Inc, a privately held biotechnology company pioneering fully enzymatically synthesized DNA to accelerate the production of long, pure and accurate DNA. She has over 20 years of experience in corporate finance in the biotechnology and life sciences sectors having served in senior level finance roles in both publicly traded and privately held companies. Ms. Elkolli began her career with more than seven years at Ernst & Young in their assurance services practice supporting life sciences and high tech companies including supporting her clients through annual audits, quarterly reviews, public offerings, acquisitions, and a corporate spin-off from a Fortune 500 company. Ms. Elkolli received her bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in Accounting from Western Connecticut State University. She is a certified public accountant with the State of California.
Leigh enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, relaxing at home, and reading with her son who attends WSSD.
Rachel brought her daughter to WSSD in 2012 after departing from their Waldorf Community in Tucson, AZ. When WSSD was in search of a new Administrator in 2016, Rachel very effectively stepped in on an interim basis. After months of working with WSSD’s Administrative Team, she made the decision to retire from 20 years with GEICO insurance where she served as a Manager and Director in various departments, to join WSSD.
She brings with her a long history of successful business management and strong team building skills. Rachel holds a BA from the University of Arizona, is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and a certified Neuro Linguistic Practitioner.
PG Rep/Faculty: Math
Ms. Vance has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Puget Sound. She received two Waldorf teaching certificates, the high school certificate from the Center for Anthroposophy and one from Antioch University, New England.
She spent four years living and teaching in Cairo, Egypt.
Ms. Vance joined the WSSD faculty in 2018.
Nancy Bjork is a hospitality sales and marketing career professional currently working for the San Diego Tourism Authority. She has spent the past decade partnering with both large attractions and small businesses in the San Diego hospitality sector to improve their visibility and increase market share. She started her career in northern New Mexico where she worked with coalitions of visitor bureaus and public-private marketing partnerships to increase visitation and spur economic growth through tourism.
Nancy is a full-time single mom whose three daughters have attended WSSD since early childhood. Her twins graduated from the high school and her youngest daughter is a senior. She is a passionate advocate for Waldorf education and the like-minded community it fosters. She spends her free time hanging out with her teen daughters and their (too many to be named!) pets as well as freelancing as a social media marketing and online sales coach.
Treasurer/Finance Committee Rep
Heather L. Corliss is a Professor of Public Health at San Diego State University. She received her BA in Botany and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
After college, Dr. Corliss worked in HIV research and women’s health in the San Francisco Bay Area before obtaining her Masters in Community Health Sciences and her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from UCLA.
She grew up in rural Minnesota on a farm where her family cared for other people’s horses. In her free time, Dr. Corliss enjoys hiking, practicing yoga, eating and cooking vegetarian/vegan food, and spending time with her wife, son (5th grade at WSSD), and their furry family members – Mahalo (cat), Bonnie (dog) and Disco Chick (bunny).
Faculty: Chemistry and Physics
She read about Waldorf education in a magazine when she was expecting her first child (in 2007) and was impressed by the beauty and teaching philosophy. She is grateful for this pedagogy for her children and the teachers, who have come into their lives. In 2016, she was honored to have an opportunity to be of service to WSSD by teaching sciences at the high school within this pedagogy. Over the years, she has also been on the WSSD board and committees to advance the school’s mission and values.
Sudha is a lifelong student of science, yoga, ayurveda, siddha healing medicine, advaita vedanta philosophy and anthroposophy. She loves to hike and is grateful for the sunshine and beautiful beaches that San Diego has blessed her with. While not hiking the canyons or the beaches with her husband or alone (with podcasts), you can find her in the kitchen trying out new recipes or perfecting old ones.
For the past 30 years, Evelyn’s professional and personal journey has been exciting and expansive. As banking executive, finance expert, author, diversity advocate and certified
business coach, she has supported individuals, small businesses and corporations in the pursuit of enlightened leadership, executive development, and effective communication styles.
Evelyn expanded her skills with certifications from the International Coaching Federation, receiving an Associate Certified Coach Certificate in 2021 followed by a Professional Certified Coach Certificate in 2022.
Some of her career highlights include:
Managing Director, Brookwood Financial Partners, LLC
Chairman and CEO, The First National Bank of Ipswich
Asset Recovery Specialist, Bank of Boston
Senior Specialized Lender, Transportation Division, Bank of Boston