Donna Newberg-Long received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from University of Denver. Her passion for educating children and the need for a meaningful education for her 4 children led to the founding of a successful Waldorf school on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1983 where she was educator of the year. Here she embraced the Hawaiian culture and taught grades 5-8 while administering the school for 16 years. Finding meaning and purpose through the work of Rudolf Steiner as a personal path of development, Dr. Long has been a student of anthroposophy for over 30 years. She received her Master’s Degree in Education and Waldorf Certification from Antioch New England Graduate School. In Seattle, she taught 5th through 8th grade at Seattle Waldorf School while also chairing the College of Teachers. During her years at SWS, she revitalized the middle school program and began traditions such as middle school musicals and an electives program that served to retain middle school students.
Donna is dedicated to Waldorf education and spent a number of years in charter and public schools to broaden her view of the challenges and opportunities available for public Waldorf education through the charter movement. She was founding Principal of Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, Colorado, a top 100 school in the nation, after which she worked in Denver with failing schools, diverse populations and English Language Learners. She began consulting at Mountain Phoenix Community School, a charter school inspired by Waldorf education, in 2009 and became Principal while she led the school in its move to Wheat Ridge and its exponential growth in enrollment from 42 students to over 500 in 4 years. She maneuvered through the challenges of teaching in the public system while working with State and Common Core Standards and also maintaining the integrity of Waldorf education in this setting. Her knowledge of Special Education laws, District expectations, and charter school rights can assist schools leaders who are dedicated to Waldorf education in their schools.
She is a faculty member and Director of Administration for Gradalis. With her husband Tim, she leads our Gradalis Business Services department—providing support for schools through Board and Administrator Training—offering guidance for public and independent schools as they tackle strategic planning, 3-fold governance and self study that can lead to healthy and vibrant futures for Waldorf schools. She is the grandmother of 2 little girls and visits her children in Seattle, Aspen and California as often as possible.