Aurilia McNamara, Administrator
After serving as our Office Manager for seven years, Aurilia stepped into the role of Administrator in March 2017. She knows all the teachers, children, and parents and is the point person for everyone. With her graciousness and even-keeled temperament, she is ideally suited to be our Administrator – a calm presence in the eye of the storm. Her intimate familiarity with the day-to-day operations of the school make her able to field all that comes through, including helping kids, parents, and teachers with their different needs and juggling all the logistic pieces that keep the school running smoothly every day. In addition to working in the office for the past many years, Aurilia has taught Eurythmy in classes 1-6 and accompanied the Middle School Choir on the piano. Aurilia has a son in 6th grade and two older sons at AHS. Her middle son graduated from the school in June 2017 and her oldest graduated from the school in June 2015.
Cynthia Bower, Bookkeeper/Business Manager
Cynthia puts in extra long days at school and does it all! When the children are on campus, she is in the classroom as a class assistant and as the school’s handwork teacher. Before school and after school she does office work. In fact she has been a staple of the office staff longer than any other staff person, serving on the Board of the Siskiyou Initiative, then as the school’s first office manager, and since 2011 as our bookkeeper. Most recently she has added responsibilities as part-time business manager. Her responsibilities include tracking tuition payments and school expenses and handling all paperwork related to background checks, insurance, school security, banking transactions, etc. As one of the school’s founding teachers Cynthia is not only the school’s institutional memory, but also wherever we are shorthanded, classroom or office, Cynthia can step right in and keep the flow going. Her two grown children, Terran and Raina, both graduated from the school.
Katie LaCroix, Director of Development
Katie has been our Director of Development since September 2011. She loves being in the office and working with parent volunteers to create events throughout the year. Katie came with expertise in event planning, community development, and fundraising from chairing many benefit auctions at Madrona Waldorf School on Bainbridge Island and working at auctions in Seattle before her family moved to Ashland in 2010. Katie grew up in the suburbs of Seattle and received her B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington. Before getting involved in development work, Katie worked in the high-tech industry and in all aspects of running small businesses, from accounting to sales. She has daughters in grades 4th and 8th and her son graduated from the school in 2015.
Kristin Beers, Office Manager
Kristin officially joined our office team in 2016, after contributing untold hours of volunteer work before that to the school’s auction and other minor and major projects on campus. Kristin grew up in the suburbs of Sacramento, CA (driving past the mysterious Rudolf Steiner College!). She received a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UC Irvine before taking a career turn into education. After teaching seventh grade Science and World History for three years, she and her husband Matthew left California to raise a family in Ashland. She got her Masters degree in Education at Southern Oregon University, and upon finding Waldorf education at the Siskiyou School, is excited to throw herself into learning a whole new way of helping students, and families, learn and grow. She has made a huge contribution to the smooth operations of the school, lending a competent and helpful hand to the entire staff, and is usually in the office ensuring that someone is there to answer the phone or attend to a band-aid request. Kristin has two boys, James in 4th grade and Luke in 2nd.
After graduating his 8th grade class in June (he was their class teacher from 1st through 8th!), Ben is moving into an administrative role at the school. Ben will be in and out of the office, offering support to the Administrative team in a variety of ways and acting as the on call substitute teacher. Ben joined the Siskiyou School staff as the first grade teacher of the Cedar Class in September 2009. He had recently moved to Ashland from the island of Kauai where he was a class teacher and a beloved member of the Kauai Waldorf school community for eight years. Ben started his teaching career in the public schools after receiving his BA from Colorado State University and his teaching license in Denver in the mid 90s. After discovering Waldorf education while visiting Kauai, he underwent three years of professional development, mentorship, and training to become versed in Waldorf methodology and pedagogy. In addition to teaching, Ben is also a performing songwriter and musician on various instruments, including ukulele, banjo, guitar and piano. He teaches ukulele to many of our students at the Siskiyou School. His other passions include hockey, tennis, his beloved dog, Makai, and his wife, Mia.