Board of Directors and Faculty

Board of Directors

Marlana E. Sterner Flaherty, Director of School/Center, Treasurer
Marlana E. Sterner Flaherty is the Director of The Valley School of Healing Arts. Always devoted to service, she became early on a member of the Valley Spiritual Center and has since focused great energy in healing and in leadership. She has studied virtually all of the healing methods taught at our School, and teaches Therapeutic Massage and Reflexology.

Nancy D. Waldeck, Assistant Business Administrator
Nancy Waldeck is an Acting Director of the Valley School of Healing Arts and the Secretary of Far Point Animal Rescue. Desiring to be on the cutting edge of knowledge, she chose the study of the sciences during college and then employment in research. However she found that all too often scientists limited their beliefs to what their instruments were able to measure and rejected ideas currently unprovable by traditional methods. When she discovered The Valley Spiritual Center she was thrilled to learn and use many effective healing modalities most of which cannot as yet be satisfactorily explained by the science of today. She has specialized in the study and teaching of Homeopathy.

Daniel T. Flaherty, Jr., Legal Adviser
Daniel T. Flaherty, Jr., is an Administrative Law Judge for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. After many years of spiritual exploration, he found his way to The Valley Spiritual Center and School of Healing Arts, where he has learned many healing modalities and contributed to the many tasks of Center activities.

Peter B. Waldeck, Ph.D., Business Administrator and Acting Director of the Valley School of Healing Arts, is a retired professor of German and Linguistics and author of a number of scholarly books and articles. His favorite area is teaching astrology. After decades of college teaching of German, he discovered Jane Roberts’ “Seth” and the works of Carlos Castaneda, and became immersed in a totally new view of reality. He retired early, knowing that somehow his true vocation lay ahead of him, and soon found a new home at the Valley Spiritual Center, where hugs were (and are) everywhere and a new family beckoned.


Marlana E. Sterner Flaherty. Massage Therapy, Reflexology.

Jack A. Braunstein is a certified practitioner of flower essences healing (Certified by The Flower Essence Society, Nevada City, CA, 1999). He is also certified in New York as an elementary and secondary teacher of English and art. Author of an article on flower essence character archetypes, he brings a special knowledge and sensitivity to our program. Flower Essences.

 Trey Casimir III is a licensed acupuncturist with an established practice in Lewisburg, PA. He has a Master of Science degree from the Swedish Institute of Acupuncture in New York and experience as a professional exercise therapist. He brings both experience and expertise to the Valley School. Acupuncture Meridians. Introduction to Oriental Medicine.

 William Dunn is a graduate of Villanova University with a major in economics. He has studied and practiced a great variety of methods of Iridology since 1979, and comes to us with extensive experience. Iridology.

Curtis L. Green is a licensed massage therapist who has also taught a number of courses at the Pittsburgh School of Massage Therapy. He comes to us highly recommended with excellent education and teaching experience in massage therapy and related areas. Neuro-muscular Therapy.

 Norma Hayhurst, RN, CHT. CST, is certified by the Upledger Institute to teach CranioSacral Therapy. She comes to us with a rich and varied background in the healing profession. CranioSacral Therapy.

 Susan Hepler operates her own beauty shop in Kulpmont, Pa. She has been trained at the PA School of Muscle Therapy, King of Prussia, Pa.   She has acquired a great variety of massage-related and energy-based healing techniques, including therapeutic massage, shiatsu, reflexology, and chair massage. Chair Massage.

 Arlyne Hoyt has a Master of Science degree in Education from Bucknell University (1970), and a diploma from the International School of Shiatsu (1998), Doylestown, PA. Her 622 hours of varied training include Shiatsu, Shin Tai, Oriental Medical Theory, Anatomy, Physiology, Food and Healing, Client relationships, Clinic and Business Skills. She is also a licensed psychologist. Qigong.

 Cynthia Koons, RN, has a nursing diploma from Geisinger Medical Center, and a BS in nursing from the University of Phoenix, as well as extensive work in herbal studies from Mt. Nittany Institute of Natural Health in State College, PA. She has been a staff nurse in Obstetrics at Divine Providence Hospital, and is currently employed at Geisinger in the Same Day Surgery Department. She also has extensive training in herbology, which is a special interest to her. Pathology, HIV and the Workplace, Herbal Simpling.

Bonnie Luther operates the Mountain Tai Chi School, Newport, PA, which has been named a chapter of the Bow Sim Mark Tai Chi Arts Association (Feb. 2000). A sought-after practitioner and teacher of Tai Chi, she has conducted numerous classes and workshops at various places in Pennsylvania. She studies with Bow Sim Mark. She is also a farrier, and has contributed most helpfully to Far Point Animal Rescue. Tai Chi.

John Miller began his career in Yoga by taking a course at our school taught by Yoga master Sudharman. Thereafter he studied with Sudharman at the Integral Yoga Center and was warmly recommended by the latter to replace him on our faculty. Yoga.

Mary D. Nelson comes to us with decades of experience in both teaching and practicing massage therapy and the healing arts. She is the founder/creator of LaStone therapy, a highly successful healing technique in great demand, and teaches world-wide. LaStone Therapy.

 Tammy Nickel is a certified practitioner of Healing Touch with many years of private practice as well as contract employment at the Masonic Village in Elizabethtown, PA. She is also a licensed massage therapist trained at the Lancaster School of Massage. Healing Touch.

 Karin Phillips, a student of Geane Armstrong, is an experienced teacher of Reiki as well as trained in two levels of Lomi Lomi Massage and Magnified Healing. She comes to us also with a wide variety of life experiences including police work and managerial positions, and was a photographer for many years in the Harrisburg area. She has found a second home here at the Valley School of Healing Arts, where she is also an Acting Director. Magnified Healing, Reiki.

Catharine (“Cate”) Scaffidi has been an instructor of Yoga and counselor, adviser, and massage therapist in a variety of contexts including teaching at Penn State, Bucknell and Bloomsburg universities. She has a masters degree from Bucknell University in Educational Counseling and School Psychology. She also has advanced certification in Yoga Stress Management and Yoga Cardiac Instruction. Hatha Yoga.

 Natalie Shaffer, who has a B.A. degree from Susquehanna University, works for the Department of Public Welfare—Office of Medical Assistance, Harrisburg, PA, with certification as an instructor in First Aid/CPR/AED and eight years of continued upgrades and practice. First Aid/CPR.

Diane Ruth Shewmaker is a teacher of healing, Reiki and other holistic modalities who comes to us all the way from Washington state. She is the author of “All Love,” the only book on Sekhem-Seichim-Reiki. She travels widely as a sought-after teacher of energy healing methods. Sekhem-Seichim-Reiki, Karuna Reiki, Integrated Energy Therapy.

 Sandra M. Snyder, NCTMB, CHT, owns and operates a healing center providing massage therapy and physical therapy. A member of the American Massage Therapy Association, she has also explored many spiritual paths and many healing modalities. She has studied under John Barnes. Myofascial Release.

Ruth Steck, a nationally certified massage therapist for many years, has had prior teaching experience at the Mt. Nittany Institute of Natural Health, State College, Pennsylvania, and the Liberty Isle Living Arts School of Liberty, Pennsylvania. She is also an Acting Director of our school. Therapy for Cancer; Anatomy and Physiology.

Karen Stoner, LMT, became a massage therapist after a car accident forced her to “retire” from her career as a professional ballerina at the ripe old age of 23.   Since then, she has been helping relieve people’s pain from injuries, stress, car accidents, and body discomfort, as well as maintain good bodily and mental health as the owner of A Caring Touch: Massage Therapy in State College, PA where she specializes in Prenatal, Fertility, and Infant Massage therapy and instruction. Pregnancy and Infant Massage.

Nancy Waldeck is an Acting Director of the Valley School of Healing Arts with extensive training in Homeopathy. She has a degree in biology from Tufts University and was employed as a research technologist at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA. She is also a member of the Board of Directors and helps to manage the daily activities of the Center, as well as oversee many of its financial operations. Homeopathy.

 Linda Weihbrecht is an instructor in clinical aromatherapy with R. J. Buckle Associates, LLC. She also comes with a widely varied background in health care with Pinnacle Health as patient access representative, managed care coordinator, and occupational health coordinator as well as having served as a medical assistant and a medical claims examiner. Aromatherapy.

 Cynthia Wood is a senior practitioner of Ortho-Bionomy and is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She also graduated from the Chicago School of Massage Therapy. Ortho-Bionomy.

Michael Zook has studied homeopathy and other healing modalities at The Valley School of Healing Arts and has several years of additional study and practice of homeopathy. Homeopathy.