Dean of Students & Development: Peter Ryan, M.Sc

Pete’s primary interest is in directly training adolescents in meditation and mindfulness techniques derived from traditional Zen practices. These skills come into play throughout the entire school day: in academics, care-taking, social time, and the preparation of meals. Students find that immersion in such a school culture has enduring, highly positive effects at home and elsewhere.

Pete is a long time student of the Great Zen Master Chang Sik Kim, and holds three black belts in Zen Sword. He holds degrees in English Literature and Education from Boston College and Clinical Psychology from Chestnut Hill College.

In 1998, he co-founded The Lotus School’s precursor, Tinicum Art and Science.

He is a certified therapist in Focusing Oriented Psychotherapy, a modality that teaches attention to sensed, pre-verbal experience. Pete has taught in the classroom for twenty years and has practiced psychotherapy for ten years.

Dean of Academics, CFO:  Stephanie Kenney, M.Ed

Stephanie Kenney (M.Ed in Integral Education from Endicott College, Beverly, MA; BA in Mathematics and Philosophy from Boston College, Newton, MA) is a founding member of The Lotus School of Liberal Arts. As the Assistant Principal and Director of Admissions for Tinicum Art and Science, she enthusiastically embraced the concept of continuing her work with the same dedicated group of teachers and with the same educational paradigm.

Stephanie has been teaching for 25 years and her classes have included Algebra I and II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, Woodworking, Jewelry-making and Japanese. She has traveled to over 25 countries and speaks German and Japanese. She has worked with adolescents for more than 30 years and is certified to teach at the secondary level by the state of Pennsylvania. Stephanie holds a second degree black belt in Shin Boep and studies sword and Ho Shin Sul in the Shim Gum Do style of martial arts. Stephanie serves on the Board of Trustees of The Lotus School.


William Q Palmieri, English & Social Studies Instructor

Will received his B.A. in English from Kutztown University and is currently working towards his M.A. in English. He taught at Tinicum Art & Science for 18 years where he contributed to the development of the English core curriculum and elective courses, such as Aesthetics and Film History. He also designed and ran the photography program for 13 years and co-chaired the senior project committee. In addition, he assisted with technology infrastructure building in the classroom as well as facilitated school wide interior space usage and classroom design.

His hobbies include photography and film studies, music history, playing drums, and rearranging spaces.

Steffi Park Eger, Spanish & Art Instructor

Steffi teaches Spanish and art at The Lotus School of Liberal Arts. She taught all levels of Spanish at Tinicum Art and Science for four years before continuing on with The Lotus School. Steffi holds a Bachelor of Science in Commercial Art, a Master of Art in Humanities with a fine art emphasis, and a Master of Education degree. She is currently obtaining dual state certification in Spanish and art.

Before teaching at Tinicum and Lotus, she taught Spanish 1-3 and 2D art at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School in Lansdale, Pa. She has been a classroom teacher for 20 years including three years teaching English as a foreign language abroad in Mexico and The Republic of Georgia. While teaching in The Republic of Georgia, she was awarded the 2011 Volunteer Teacher of the Year from the Ministry of Education and Science.

She is an avid runner competing for a local team in endurance events and spends time volunteering for runBucks’ races in order to give back to the running community.

Brad Wuerstle, Science & Math Instructor

Brad is master of many trades. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Pittsburgh and is PA state certified in general science, math and physics. He lived in Alaska for five years where he was a Survival Instructor and was on the Denali rescue team on Mount McKinley. He provided hands-on training and instructed passengers and pilots to egress underwater aircraft. As a Local 1281 Journeymen Carpenter, Brad worked on the construction of the Alaska Convention Center.

When Brad moved back to Bucks County, he dreamed of living in a home that was good for the environment where he could grow food and work toward sustainable living. He researched how to design and build a ‘green’ home that was cost effective​, low energy and inviting. ​With this knowledge, he designed and built a timber framed, eco-friendly, geothermal and passive solar house. He did this on weekends and during the summer for two years while teaching math and science during the day. Brad enjoys learning and any outdoor activity from gardening to sailing.

Buffy Parvin, Chef

Buffy Parvin is the vegetarian whole foods chef at The Lotus School. From the start she has been preparing meals regularly for the students, staff, and visitors with a healthy and nutritionally conscious diet in mind. Stemming from a background in Asian culture, the food that is cooked is seasonally inspired, as local and organic as possible, and ethnically influenced from Latin to Mediterranean to Indian cuisines.

Buffy has been the head chef since the inception of Tinicum Art & Science 20 years ago. In addition to cooking, she also taught art and yoga classes for ten years. Now at Lotus, the tradition continues to delight those who come to enjoy the meals that are served regularly from her kitchen. Students learn to love eating food that is good for them, and a conscious eating habit is encouraged for all.

Buffy attended Tyler School of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Barnes Foundation seminars, and Philadelphia College of Textile and Science (now Philadelphia University). She also studied at the Art Students League in NYC. For a period of time, she worked as representative and assistant for architectural photographer, Tom Crane. She has traveled to Japan, UK, France, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean, painting and cooking all along the way. She holds a certification for teaching yoga from Los Angeles teacher Erich Schiffmann. Buffy continues to attend classes at Dig Yoga in Lambertville, New Jersey. She has been an active attendant at the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, NY and has taken many workshops and classes at the New York Natural Gourmet Cooking School in NYC.