The Official Website for The Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America

kids on play structure

Heart In Hand Preschool, Portland Oregon

color bar

About Us


The WECAN Board is composed of experienced early childhood educators from throughout North America. The Board has a four-day annual meeting each November and an additional meeting in the spring. Its various committees—Finance, Personnel, Board Committee, Conference Planning, Diversity Equity Inclusion and Access, Outreach and Public Policy, Membership, Teacher Education, Birth to Three and Publications—are active throughout the year in a number of ways.

Board members and other WECAN colleagues participate in our WECAN Working Groups to deepen aspects of our educational work and share the results through WECAN Books, the Gateways newsletter and through conferences and regional gatherings. The Board also acts as an organ of perception for the needs of the Waldorf early childhood movement and collaborates with AWSNA (the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America) the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education (APWE), and a number of other organizations with similar goals and ideals in service of childhood. Two board members act as WECAN representatives on the council of the International Association for Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE), based in Switzerland.

The current members of the Board are: Louise deForest, Heather Church, Keelah Helwig, Susan Howard, Ruth Ker, Laura Mason, Gabriela Nuñez Plata, Anjum Mir, and Magdalena Toran.

view bio

Louise deForest, Chairperson
Mill River, MA

view bio

Keelah Helwig, Secretary
Long Island, NY

view bio

Susan Howard
Amherst, MA

view bio

Ruth Ker, Treasurer
Duncan, BC

view bio

Laura Mason
Issaquah, WA

view bio

Anjum Mir, Vice-Chairperson
Los Angeles, CA

view bio

Gabriela Nuñez Plata
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

view bio

Regional Representatives

Experienced Waldorf educators in each region are invited by the Board to serve as WECAN Regional Representatives. On a volunteer basis, they help to assist organizations on their steps on the membership path, contact members to explore activities and issues of concern, facilitate collaboration within the region, act as a speaking partner to the AWSNA regional representative, and make recommendations to the WECAN Membership Committee regarding applications for membership and the evolving Membership Handbook.

View a list of regional representatives and staff contact information


WECAN Co-Director ~ Heather Church, Gores Landing, ONT
WECAN Co-Director ~ Susan Howard, Amherst, MA
Administrator ~ Melissa Lyons, Spring Valley, NY
Administrative Support ~ Mia Radysh, Shelburne Falls, MA
Communications Coordinator ~ Lara Radysh, Shelburne Falls, MA
Membership Coordinator ~ Laura Mason, Issaquah, WA
Teacher Education Coordinator ~ Ruth Ker, Duncan, BC

Publications Coordinator ~ Donna Miele, Spring Valley, NY
Gateways Editor ~ Nancy Blanning, Denver, CO
Gateways Managing Editor ~ Lory Widmer, Villeret, Switzerland
Shipping ~ Kate Barhydt, Spring Valley, NY

Coordinator ~ Magdalena Toran, Conway, MA

Co-Coordinator ~ Lynn Turner, Chestnut Ridge, MD
Co-Coordinator ~ Leslie Wetzonis-Woolverton, Silver Spring MD

Conference Administrator ~ Mia Radysh, Shelburne Falls, MA
Conference Committee ~ Heather Church, Susan Howard, Laura Mason, Magdalena Toran
Conference Team ~ Elia Gilbert, Melissa Lyons, Lara Radysh, Celia Riahi

boys in playhouse
Honeybirds Playschool, Brooklyn, NY

Join Us!

Individuals who wish to support and contribute to Waldorf early childhood education are invited to join WECAN. Schools, training centers, and home programs may also enter on the path of organizational membership.

Find A Program

teachers outside

Waldorf kindergartens and early childhood programs in North America: see if there is a program in your area.
Find a program >

Join the WECAN Community Hub

We have established a new WECAN Community Hub for engaging in conversation and sharing resources, with subgroups for Parent Child, Birth to Three, Home Programs, Early Childhood Teacher Educators, and WECAN Organizational Members.

We now have 1000 members and would like to invite you to join as well.

To subscribe, please write to

Subscribe to the WECAN Newsletter

Never miss an update!
Subscribe to the WECAN Newsletter today

Donate to WECAN

Support the healthy and sustainable development of Waldorf education in North America