Board of Directors and Faculty

Board of Directors

Marlana E. Sterner Flaherty, Governing Chairperson, Director of School, Treasurer.

Marlana 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. Recently she has been chosen to continue in the footsteps of our Co-founders Patricia and Franklin Sterner, as Governing Chairperson.

Peter B. Waldeck, Ph.D., Business Administrator/ Secretary. Also an Acting Director of the Valley School of Healing Arts, Peter is a retired professor of German and Linguistics and author of a number of scholarly books and articles. He has a deep interest in spiritual questions and methods of energy healing.

Daniel T. Flaherty, Jr., J.D, was until retirement 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.  Until his retirement from the legal profession he served the Valley Spiritual Center as legal adviser.

Karin Phillips is an Acting Director of the School, our resident Reiki instructor, and a mainstay of our operations at the Center. She is devoted to energy healing and to our larger mission.  She is employed in Dietary at Hershey Medical Center and is a practicing reflexologist.

Ronald A. Schirk is a new member of our Board. An engineer by profession and owner of Cenn-Penn Designs, he has studied extensively at our school and helps with many tasks at the Center.

Nancy D. Waldeck  is an Acting Director of the Valley School of Healing Arts and the Secretary of Far Point Animal Rescue.   She has specialized in the study and teaching of Homeopathy, and designed and taught our homeopathy program.  She also served many years as Assistant Business Administrator of our organization.

New member Michael J. Zook has a widely varied background in technology and in the military as well as being a long-time musician. He is also well-studied and proficient in homeopathy.  He teaches our homeopathy courses.

Also a new member, Patricia Zook is a long-time employee of Hershey Medical Center, currently as a patient relations representative.  She is a Reiki Master Teacher, reflexologist, and is providing vital assistance in our massage program.


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  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.

 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.

 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. 

 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,  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.

 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.