Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
FAIRFIELD — Maharishi School has undergone a number of changes in its leadership positions after the new interim Head of School had to abruptly resign last month.
Nuwaira Pasha was hired to be Head of School earlier this year, and spent four months in the role before leaving at the end of October. Pasha and her husband were faced with a family medical emergency that forced them to sell their home in Cedar Rapids and move their family to Texas.
To replace Pasha, the Maharishi School Board of Directors called upon Richard Beall to resume his position as Head of School, which he held from 2008 until his retirement in June. The retirement proved to be short-lived. In fact, though Beall had stepped down as the Head of School, he continued to work for the school, teaching an advanced placement psychology course.
When Beall learned that Pasha was stepping down and that the board wanted him back as Head of School, he assumed that the idea might not go over well with his wife Andrea.
“I was finally getting some things done around the house,” Beall joked.
But Andrea was fully supportive, and so for now Beall is the Head of School at the institution that he and his wife helped to establish in 1981. Maharishi School was the first preschool through Grade 12 school in the country founded on consciousness-based education.
Beall said the school board is searching for candidates to replace him, so he can go back to what he had been doing, which was devoting more time to developing the school’s consciousness-based education and sharing it with other schools. He said schools in South Africa and Nepal have reached out and expressed an interest in adopting the school’s curriculum.
Pasha was particularly involved with developing the lower school, so the board has hired a new lower school director, Kaylee Harris. Harris had just begun a different role at the school this fall, teaching first and third grade.
Before coming to Maharishi School this August, Harris had been teaching psychology at Indian Hills Community College at its campuses in Fairfield, Ottumwa, Sigourney and Oskaloosa. She and her husband live in Wayland, and she was getting tired of the long commutes. She had driven by the domes at Maharishi International University, and was curious to learn more about it, and about its affiliated K-12 school. Her husband encouraged her to Google the school, and to see if there were any openings. Luckily, there were.
Harris is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, and her husband still is in the Navy. They had just moved to Wayland from Hawaii, where Harris taught sixth-grade math, social studies and English language arts. She was eager to return to teaching young children again, and thus applied to teach in Maharishi School’s lower school.
“For young kids, so much is happening,” she said. “They’re learning so much so fast that their brain development is wicked fast. To get to be a part of that and shape that is great. I like to be a part of their foundation, from when they learn to write their names until they’re writing in sentences.”
Harris said that her interview with Pasha went very well, so well that Pasha was ready to hire her by the end of it.
“She was like, ‘You’re coming, right?’” Harris said. “She would not let me say no.”
Not only was Harris having to learn a new job, she was having to do so as a new mom, having given birth to her third child in July. She said the school has been accommodating, and she’s able to have all three of her kids in the building while she works.
Even before Pasha told the school board she would have to leave, she had a conversation with Harris about whether Harris was willing to become the new lower school director. Harris said she was honored that Pasha had such confidence in her.
“I’ve never been one to turn down a challenge,” Harris said.
Beall said he, the school board and the other leaders at the school have confidence in Harris, too.
“She’s someone who is totally equipped and capable of handling this job and all it requires,” Beall said.
With her new assignment, Harris is devoting half her time to administration and the other half to teaching. Beall said the school is interviewing applicants to help teach the lower grades with the staffing changes.