Board Executive Committee
Chad Bantner, Director of Development
Chad has been working in entertainment and education for over 17 years, with big names such as Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil, and Celine Dion. He now brings the same energy and laser focus he brought to his performance career to Da Vinci Waldorf School. With a unique blend of creativity, willingness to learn, and perseverance, Chad has become an asset to many new business development ventures. His wife Julia is currently teaching first grade and their daughters are enrolled in 3rd Grade and Wonder Garden.
Specialties: Business development, brand management, educational platforms, and interactive, social media campaigns.
Christian Canga, Treasurer
Christan is a Risk Management professional with 19 years of experience in the financial industry working for the largest U.S. bank by total assets. Christian holds a Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Strategic Management and Finance and is excited to have the privilege to serve as the Treasurer, joining the Board Executive Committee at Da Vinci Waldorf School (DVWS).
Christian is excited to bring fresh ideas to DVWS and his primary goal is to build upon a culture of trust and financial transparency. On a personal note, Christian and his family have been part of the DVWS community since 2014 and are committed to the success of this wonderful school.
Elizabeth English, ex officio, Faculty Chair
Elizabeth’s life has revolved around the arts, and Waldorf teaching is a natural fit for her. Elizabeth completed her Waldorf grade school teacher certification at Sunbridge College in Spring Valley, NY. While there she furthered her knowledge in Anthroposophic music, studying instrument making under Manfred Bleffert and flute/recorder training under Pär Ahlbom, creator of Choroi Flutes. Elizabeth has taught music and orchestra for many years, and has also been a class teacher and handwork teacher at DVWS. She has taught music to adult students at the Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Program in Chicago since 2012, and mentors other Waldorf schools in music.
Elizabeth’s passion is in working with children and adults alike and in bringing new music to the world. In her spare time, one may find Elizabeth occasionally cooking a special menu at a local café, singing in a choir, acting or building an instrument.
Marianne Fieber, ex officio, Administrator
Marianne has been working in Anthroposophical or Waldorf School environments for nearly 25 years. She has served as a grades teacher, adult educator, administrator and mentor. She has developed programs, designed events, presented at conferences and led an accreditation process. She has worked with numerous committees, boards and organizational leaders including the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA).
Marianne’s background in the Performing Arts has laid the foundation for her life and work. She earned a BFA in Theater from the University of MN-Duluth. She performed on stage for decades in Chicago and internationally with touring productions. Her further training and experience in Waldorf School Administration and pedagogy have built upon this foundation. She earned her an MS Ed in Waldorf Administration and Community Development from Sunbridge College, Spring Valley, NY, and her Waldorf Teaching Certification from Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Education Program in Chicago.
Kristin Floress, ex officio, Parent Teacher Organization Chair
Kristin Floress is a jill of all trades who loves to sing, play couch ball (a game invented by her 2nd grader, Quinn) and have her cooking/baking judged Master Chef style by aspiring dancer/chef/entomologist/ mathematician/playwright CJ (Apple Blossom Garden). When she isn’t having fun with her family, she tries to put her PhD to use in her role as a research social scientist for the USDA Forest Service. She loves science – from the scale of a single cell of data to a community-led collaborative management plan – and is thrilled to serve the school community as co-chair (with Courtney Slinko) of the PTO and member of the Board.
Specialities: Community Relationships, Grant writing, Eco and Social Sciences
Bill Jones, Vice President
Bill holds a BS in Management, and his professional life has mainly been spent in enterprise sales, marketing, and leadership, while also co-managing a small consulting firm with his wife. He has also served on the Da Vinci Waldorf School marketing committee.
Bill grew up attending a small parochial school until high school, and in the process grew to value a private, community-based education. As a result, he’s grateful to have found Da Vinci Waldorf School. The Jones family came to Da Vinci Waldorf School in 2015 and currently have three children enrolled.
Based on his family’s experience, Bill felt the best way to give back was service on the board—focused on helping the DVWS community achieve its long term goals.
Matt Myren, President
Matt is an experienced legal counselor with over 27 years of experience as a corporate attorney and advisor to both private and publicly-owned corporations, their boards and officers. He is currently the chief legal counsel for Enesco, LLC, based in Itasca, IL. Matt has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago school of law as well as a religious education teacher for the Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist in Palatine, IL. Matt brings a diverse experience set in the not-for-profit world, having served as President of the Barrington Area United Way Board of Directors and as director on such board for over ten years.
Matt and his wife, Margaret, have four boys, all of whom attend(ed) Da Vinci Waldorf School. The Myren family has been a part of our school community for over ten years.
Maurice Safavi, Member-At-Large
Maurice Safavi and his wife Amy Kunz have been active DVWS parents since 2013. His daughter, Anahita is currently in 2nd grade. Maurice has been involved with a family dry-cleaning business and a jewelry business overseeing many aspects of business and business development. He has been recognized for his ability to work with teams to identify and reach organizational goals. Maurice looks forward to bringing respectful, honest and informed interactions to new ideas and explorations for the development of Da Vinci Waldorf School.
Specialities: Bookkeeping, Financing, Marketing, Community Focus and Relationships.
Miriam Swann, Secretary
Miriam became part of the DVWS community in January of 2015 when her son joined the school as a 5th grader. She was immediately enchanted by the Waldorf approach, especially the opportunities for learning things in different ways and experiencing the outdoors on a regular basis. Miriam brings to the board over 25 years of teaching experience in public and private schools in both the United States and England. She is currently the Director of General Studies at Arie Crown Hebrew Day School in Skokie.
Miriam and her husband, Barry, have two children—one son (DVWS Class of 2018) and a daughter who is a senior at Grayslake Central High School. In her free time, Miriam loves singing, playing guitar, reading, and kayaking.