The Village School

Board of Directors

The Village School Board of Directors has ultimate legal and financial responsibility for the school. The Board is composed of teachers, parents, and community members. Primary Board responsibilities include maintaining the legal and financial security of the school, long-range planning and development, and creating and overseeing the implementation of policies and procedures of the school that are consistent with the school’s pedagogy, community vision, and its charter. The Board elects a President, Secretary, and Treasurer from among its members. All Board members are encouraged to participate in the major committees of the school. The Board meets monthly throughout the year; times and dates are posted on the Village Voice Newsletter. Meetings are open to the public and parents are welcome to attend.  Look for information about meeting schedules in the Village Voice. 

The Village School Board of Directors is actively recruiting volunteer members!​ The Board consists of the School’s administrators, teachers, parents, and community members.  It meets every 3rd Wednesday of the month, with some exceptions. The meetings usually take place at the School but refer to the Village Voice newsletter for the location of the meetings in case of change.  Meetings are open to the public.  Parents and community members are welcome to attend. 

If you or someone you know may be interested, please complete an application.  If you are not interested in becoming a member, but know of a family or community member who might be, please let them know we are recruiting by sharing this information. Click here for an application.

Mike Magee, President

Kay Cosby, Secretary

Charles Baker, Treasurer

Min Yi Su

Erik Swinney

Kathryn Riordan, Director

Bev Parish, Director

​Andy Peara, non-voting
Mission and Nondiscrimination Statement
The Village School Mission Statement
The mission of The Village School is to provide an education that fully integrates the arts with an academic curriculum, guided by observations of child development that promote the healthy growth of the whole human being – the head (thinking), the heart (feeling), and the hands (willing). Further, The Village School strives to create a community that honors truth, beauty, and goodness and encourages development of the inherent gifts of each school community member.

The Village School Non-Discrimination Policy
The Village School strongly supports diversity and the honoring of all people, beliefs, and cultures both locally and globally.  A core element of The Village School curriculum is to educate our students in the wide array of cultures and belief systems, both past and present, and to treat everyone's beliefs and culture with respect. As such, The Village School has a very strong non-discrimination policy and does not discriminate against employees or students based on mental or physical handicap or disability, race, color, gender, gender identity, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status, familial status, economic class, source of income, physical characteristics, or linguistic characteristics of a national origin group.

​​Video of Village School
The Village School produced a video back in 2005 describing the distinctive aspects of its educational programming. Much of the video rings true today. Click here to see the video.  


Our primary focus is learning how to go to school: how to work together as well as individually, how to listen well and be respectful of others, how to work and play creatively within the safe boundaries of a group, and how to be ready to take in the gems of knowledge that will be presented during the next many years of school. In this foundation year, imagination and the natural seasons inspire and guide the work and play of the Kindergarten. Our program is nontraditionally academic. Rather than teach formal skills of reading, literacy work aims at developing listening and comprehension skills through story telling.

First Grade
Achieve mastery of main lesson work pertaining to fairy tales, folk tales and nature stories; introduction to literacy, letter formation, phonics, the writing process, story writing, poetry writing, letter writing, punctuation and capitalization; qualities of the numbers, introduction to the four processes in arithmetic, fact families, place value, charts/graphs, problem solving, skip counting and pattern recognition, simple plane geometric figures. Foundations of science education begin with exploration of nature in the immediate environment and may include observation of life cycles and gardening.

Second Grade
Legends and myths of helpers of humanity, animal fables, folk tales from North America and other continents, some North American native legends, literacy blocks which build on the work completed in grade 1: story, poetry, journal and letter writing, drafts and the process of writing, continued work with the four processes in mathematics and word problems, place value, number patterns and relationships, introduction to plane and solid geometric figures. Science topics include the study of local animals and continued exploration of the immediate environment.

Third Grade
Creation stories from around the world are first introduced; agriculture study; human habitats and house building; clothing and culture. Literacy lessons incorporate grammar mechanics, parts of speech, and paragraph structure. Mathematics includes multiplication tables, measurement, common fractions, time and money, redistributing (carrying and borrowing) geometry, and problem solving. In science our major focus is on earth sciences with an emphasis on agriculture, climate, and weather.

Fourth Grade
North American history as seen through the viewpoint of Oregon and its development from the time of its indigenous people, local geography and map making (starting from the intermediate surroundings and working up to neighborhoods, city, county, state and region), Norse mythology, and age appropriate literacy work that includes letter writing, verb tenses, abbreviations, personal pronouns, poetry, and alliteration. Math work will focus on reviewing arithmetic operations, times tables, story problems, long division, averages, fractions, decimals, simple factoring, perimeter, area, and volume. Science topics include the study of the animal kingdom, simple electrical circuits, energy transformation and use, water cycle, salmon life cycle, local habitats and ecology.

Fifth Grade
Ancient history and myths from ancient India to ancient Persia, China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and ancient Greece, including participation in the Greek Games; the lives and legends of Rama and Sita, Buddha, Zarathustra, Gilgamesh, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Khufu, Plato, Aristotle, Achilles, Odysseus, and Alexander the Great. Continued development of writing skills with attention to focus, voice, organization, mechanics and the modes; geography of North America with reference to vegetation, topography, agriculture, and economics; math blocks include decimals, fractions, mixed numerals, ratios and proportion, the metric system, geometry, estimation, data collection and analysis using number lines bars and line graphs; science topics may include botany and plant studies, simple machines, and dissolving rates.

Sixth Grade
Roman and medieval history, including the founding of Rome, the Republic, the Empire, the advent of Christianity, the Crusades, and the rise of Islam, and participation in the Medieval Games; pre-algebra, geometry, business math (percentages, interest, discount, etc.), ratio and proportion, and geometric drawing; astronomy, geology and mineralogy; European and Middle Eastern geography; physics (sound, light, heat, magnetism and electricity); age-appropriate language arts including writing for various purposes and debates.

Upper Grades: Seventh & Eighth Grade
In the 7th and 8th grades students spend equal class time with Math/Science/Art and Humanities/Language Arts/Drama teachers specializing in their content area. Each class has a homeroom teacher with whom they start each day and maintain in a two year loop.

Seventh Grade
Age of exploration, discovery, and invasion; the Renaissance and Reformation; modern topics and current events; Language Arts, including creative writing and other forms and modes of writing, novel study, free and structured sustained, silent reading, reading buddies with lower grade students, poetry, response and analysis of literature, more complex class plays involving critical analysis of thematic content with opportunity for original writing and production; Science includes chemistry and astronomy, physics (mechanics, magnetism, and electricity), human physiology and nutrition.. Math work includes pre-algebra, geometry (Pythagorean Theorem, simple Euclidean proofs, laws of perspective drawing), powers, roots, integers, and formulae.

Eighth Grade
Health and the human body, introduction to organic chemistry, physics (acoustics, optics, hydraulics, aerodynamics, meteorology); math includes algebra and geometry (platonic solids, proofs, volumes of solids, laws of loci), binary opposition math, and the origins and development of the computer; art curriculum; language arts includes response and analysis of literature, novel studies, an introduction to the short story, letters, personal essays, modes of writing, free and structured sustained, silent reading; more complex class plays involving critical analysis of thematic content with opportunity for original writing and production, learning to discern and interpret various modes of media; social studies include Colonial America, the age of revolution (American, French, Industrial), United States Government, the American Civil War, contemporary history topics, and current events.

Village School History

To read more about our history, please go to the following page: VSHistory

Faculty and Staff

Each grade level is led by their full time Class Teacher who instructs the children in all Main Lesson subjects, and oversees the children throughout the school day. The Kindergarten Class Teacher is accompanied by the Kindergarten Assistant throughout the school day.

Main Lesson (classroom) teachers are responsible for instruction in all academic areas, as well as lessons in painting, music (recorder and singing), movement, form drawing, class meetings, and games. The Village School faculty members work in two and three year loops, teaching the same group of children for two or three consecutive years. There are 2 loops; grades one, two and three, and the other is grades four and five. Grades seven and eight are team taught by two teachers.  

Specialty teachers instruct the following classes: Handwork (knitting, sewing, and other hand crafts); Foreign Language (Spanish); P.E. (movement); and Music (choir, guitar and marimba).

As a Title I School, The Village School receives federal funding for, among other services, hiring part time Instructional Assistants. These Instructional Assistants are available on a daily basis to assist Class Teachers in meeting the needs of struggling learners.

The Village School exceeds Oregon Charter School Law requirements that a minimum 50% of staff are licensed or registered with the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. 

Individuals interested in employment at the Village School can check for current job postings at the  Employment Opportunities page.

Administrative Staff

Executive Director, Andy Peara 
Mr. Peara was one of the founding board members of the Village School. He wrote the financial policy, budgets, and projections for the charter application, contributed to the charter startup grant and directed finances for the first year and a half of school operations. He also was a co-founder of the Network Charter School in Eugene. He has a B.A. from Yale University in English LIterature and an M.S. in Environmental Studies from University of Oregon. He also is a retired Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. His work has delved into the various financial, developmental, legal, political and policy related issues of building and sustaining a charter school in Oregon. He worked for 9 years for the environmental education nonprofit, Nearby Nature, helping refine its focus and develop a solid business plan. Prior to working in Oregon, Andy worked 9 years as a consulting actuary for Hewitt Associates, currently owned by Aon International, supporting several Fortune 500 clients in the area of retirement benefit plan design, funding, financial reporting, and regulatory compliance.

Registrar and Records Coordinator, Tristin Beach 

Communication and Volunteer Coordinator, Carrie Mack 

School Counselor, Pat Anderson    

Main Lesson (Classroom) Teachers

Kindergarten Teacher, Denise Huebner
Kindergarten Assistants, Susan Flynn and Cara Patton

First - Second - Third Grade Teacher, Alyson Byas
First Grade Assistant, Merrily Ellestad

First - Second - Third Grade Teacher, Jennifer Horn

First - Second - Third Grade Teacher, Emily Swenson

Fourth - Fifth Grade Teacher, Shannon Powell
Shannon grew up in Portland, Oregon. She earned a Bachelors Degree in Pyscholoy from the U of O in 1993, traveled in Africa and Europe in 1994, and graduated from the Waldorf Teacher Training program in 1997. She began work at the Village School in 2004 as an instructional assistant and became a full time class teacher in 2007. Shannon has a daughter who graduated from the Village School and two daughters who currently attend the school. She enjoys camping with her family, reading fiction and running. 

Fourth - Fifth Grade Teacher, Matthew Rutman
Matthew Rutman (AKA Mr. Matthew) grew up in San Diego, just a few miles this side of the border. He spent his early years submerged in the ocean and fascinated by the culture and languages of Mexico. As a child he camped, surfed, and fished the Baja Peninsula with his family. After graduating from the University of Oregon, he spent several years traveling, living, working, and volunteering throughout Latin America. In 2002, he received a Masters in Elementary Education from Pacific University, here in Eugene. Since then, he has taught grades 3-6 in Springfield, Eugene, and most recently Venezuela. He has worked in the field of education since 1995, and has served in a variety of positions that include working as a special education assistant, Americorps volunteer, outdoor environmental educator, Spanish teacher, substitute teacher, and classroom teacher. He currently teaches the third and fourth grade loop here at Village School. Matthew spends his spare time surfing, backpacking, skiing, and exploring the Northwest.

Fourth - Fifth Teacher, Matthew Bigongiari
Born on the south side of Chicago, Matthew, graduated from Reed College with a degree in psychology in 1983 and then trained as a Waldorf teacher at Rudolf Steiner College before beginning his work as an educator, his passion for more than 20 years.  He is the father of three children and step-father of three more.   As one of the original co-founders of The Village School, his work in writing sections of the charter proposal and federal start-up grants, coordinating the curriculum/mentoring teachers and serving on the founding Board for 3 years, helped to put the school onto the firm foundations it finds itself today. He now teaches in the 5th/6th grade loop and also works as an educational consultant to charter schools across the state. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, cooking, biking, reading, music and being in nature with his wife, Donica

Sixth Grade Teacher, Susana Romatz
Susana grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Religion and Earth Science from Central Michigan University in 1998. She lived briefly in New York City and Lafayette, Louisiana before coming to Eugene to attend the Waldorf Teacher Training from which she graduated in 2005. Before joining The Village School faculty, she worked at Fern’s Edge Dairy milking goats. She enjoys drawing, the ocean, and dyeing scarves with mushrooms.    

Seventh and Eighth Grade Teacher, Jesse Gammon

Seventh and Eighth Grade Teacher, Justin 
Justin grew up on the edge of suburbia in Beaverton, Oregon. His early adventures in the woods and fields around his home, and their subsequent development into more neighborhoods and apartments lead him to follow a career in environmental education. For a number of years he taught about the natural history and ecology of the Northwest. Some of his fondest memories are those that involve a creek side mountain lion track and the awe of attentive kids. He’s worked as a professional storyteller as well. He enjoys baking bread, playing old blues on the guitar and banjo, drawing, kayaking, and long walks on the beach.

Special Subject Teachers 

Spanish Teacher, Sarah Lewenberg

Guitar Teacher, Brett Jacobs

Marimba Teachers, Jennifer Sellers and Chris Halaska

Handwork Teacher, Susanne Woelbing
Susanne was born and grew up in Germany, where she graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education and taught Kindergarten. Handwork, teaching and travel were always close to her heart and in 1989, she relocated to the USA after meeting her husband during an adventure trip through California. Susanne started volunteering in handwork at the Village School in 2001, when her daughter joined the school in fourth grade, and became first a handwork assistant and a year later handwork teacher. In her free time, she enjoys handwork, reading, aquariums (salt and freshwater), travel, baking, learning about sustainable living.

Handwork Assistants, Anna Szmit and Beth Mettler

Movement Teacher, Britten Kimbell

Choir Teacher, Jennifer Sellers

Librarian, Molly Bautista

Title I Staff 

Title I Instructional Assistant, Alison Cantril 
Alison was one of the original founding board members of the Village School. She volunteered in the classroom and for the festivals committee when the school opened, and has served as a Title I instructional assistant since the Fall of 2005. Alison has a Masters in Teaching from National Lewis University in early childhood education, a BA from Yale University, and a license from TSPC. Her older daughter was among the first class of students to attend kindergarten through 8th grade.

Title I Instructional Assistant, Betsy Priddle

Title I Instructional Assistant, Meridith Kidder

Title I Instructional Assistant, Merrily Ellestad

Title I Math Tutor, 


4J Special Education Staff at The Village School

Special Education Teacher, Robyn Louden

Special Education Assistant, Georgiann Jones