David serves on the Board.
Taylor serves on the Board and is our Vice President.
Brenda serves on the Board.
Rita Jane Kiefert
I have been a member of the School of living since around 1988 when my community, Common Ground, put its land into the SOL land trust. About five years later I joined the Board of Directors. My father Mel Leasure was president for many years. When Mel stepped down from the presidency, I stepped up. I have a strong personality and I do not want to intimidate people, so I had been being quiet and doing my hand crafts at the edge of the meetings for a number of years. When I put my name in for the board and the presidency all in the same day folks were surprised. I remember going up to Artie Yeatman and a few of the other older members and inviting them to keep tabs on me and let me know if I was making mistakes so I could improve with time. Artie was very pleased with the offer and did come to me with encouragement and suggestions from time to time.
I was president for 11 years. I have been on the board for over 20 years. I am a life member and although I took a break for several years, got married, and moved away from the community, I have returned to the board and expect to stay involved for some time to come. To learn more about Rita Jane’s work with School of Living, click on this link.
Board MemberI am Deb Fisher from Julian Woods Community. I’ve been living at JWC for 20 years now. I grow flowers and plants which I sell at the State College Farmers Market and also for weddings. My business, Deb’s Flower Farm, is perfectly suited for my love of nature and plants, and allows me to stay on the land I love almost every day. We grow plenty of vegetables as well and have Free Range hens for a bountiful supply of eggs. Over the years we have hosted Fresh Air Kids and occasional interns interested in gardening. My two daughters, Amy and Katherine, grew up at JWC and are presently attending colleges elsewhere. I am hoping to host more New Farmer Interns in the future to help with the gardens and greenhouses.
Board Member and Executive Director
Karen Stupski is a sustainability educator, grant writer, and communitarian. She has been an active member of School of Living since 1993 and currently serves as SOL’s part-time Executive Director. She lives at Heathcote Community
, one of SOL’s land trust communities, where she coordinates the permaculture education program. Karen is also a faculty member at Goddard College and Development Director of the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy.
To send a message to the Board of Directors, please, go to our contact page and your message can be shared with our Board.
School of Living Officers:
- President: Katherine Fisher
- Vice President: Taylor Quilty
- Executive Director: Karen Stupski
- Clerk: Brenda Carr
- Assistant Clerk: Ann Wilken
- Treasurer: Jerome Liss
- Assistant Treasurers: Ann Wilken and Herb Goldstein
- Office Manager: Ann Wilken
- Corresponding Secretary: Ruth Bennett
- Green Revolution Editor: Bob Flatley
- Advisory Board: David Harper