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20 Nelson Road
Ithaca, NY, 14850
United States


Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees


David Whitmore - President

David Whitmore grew up surrounded by Steiner kids but never had the pleasure of going to Waldorf School himself. His son Lucian has not been so unlucky having already attended the Ithaca Waldorf School as part of the Parent/Child, Nursery, and Kindergarten classrooms over the last four years. Lucian is currently in the Second Grade at IWS. David on the other hand graduated from Cornell University with an A.B. in Women's Studies and the Maxwell School for Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University with a Master's of Public Administration. After years of work in Ithaca not-for-profits, including Planned Parenthood and the Sciencenter, and two terms on Ithaca's Common Council, David currently serves as the Associate Dean of Alumni Affairs and Development at Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences. David, his wife Sara and their son Lucian live in downtown Ithaca.

Josephine Martell - Secretary

Josephine is a public policy professional who has advocated within the conservation field for nearly twenty years. She has recently served two terms on Ithaca City Council where she was a member of the Parks Commission and Natural Areas Commission, and is a member of the Friends of Stewart Park Leadership Committee. In addition to her civic work, she directs the grants portfolio at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International to support work conducting research on, and providing direct protection to, critically endangered gorillas in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Josephine lives on West Hill with her husband and their three children, all of whom attend the Ithaca Waldorf School. 

Josephine holds a MS in public policy from the Center for Animals and Public Policy at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and is pursuing a PhD in Natural Resources at Cornell University examining how message framing and word choice impact long term species conservation, management, and individual animals.


Sarah Hesse - Vice President

Sarah Hesse is the mother of two boys (4 & 7 yrs old) and a Waldorf graduate herself. She went on to study Industrial / Organizational Psychology in graduate school and has experience working with many sorts of organizations on issues related to training and motivation. She brings a passion for Waldorf Education and for raising children who are good stewards of this beautiful planet and all living creatures on it.

Cherie Wendelken - Member

Cherie Wendelken has been a supporter of the Ithaca Waldorf School since 2005, when her youngest son attended Karen Lonsky's Waldorf kindergarten. She received a PhD in architectural history from MIT and was on the faculty of Harvard University for ten years. She has served on numerous boards including the Sciencenter of Ithaca, the Domini Foundation in New York, and Mayo Street Arts in Portland, Maine. She is currently a Director of the Brooks Family Foundation with special interests in underserved youth, cultural diversity, and educational innovation. 


Tivadar Szegletes – Budget

Tivadar Szegletes, PhD, MBA, first encountered Waldorf education at the Waldorf School in Jacksonville, FL, where he was a postdoctoral Fellow at the Mayo Clinic. At that time, he had two little children, and his wife was introduced to the local Florida Waldorf Initiative. After moving around the world, he and his family settled in Ithaca, NY. His youngest child enrolled as a first grader to the Ithaca Waldorf School, and his wife, Maria became involved with the school as the Development Coordinator, among multiple other roles.

Tivadar’s career included working in corporate finance for many years in New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin and California. Since 2015, he is the Executive Finance Director of Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. Serving as a Board Member in the Ithaca Waldorf School (IWS), he primarily focuses on the school budget and financials since 2017.   

Tivadar has three children: two of them are grown up, while his youngest one is 12, and he is currently attending sixth grade in Boynton Middle School. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer, skiing, hiking, gardening and spending time with his family.  

Claire Huyghe - Faculty Rep

Rebecca Lesser -  Faculty Rep