A LU M NI MAGA ZINE
Winter 2 0 1 7
Dear Alumni, Friends and Community Members: ALUMNI MAGAZINE Volume 2, No. 1 - Winter 2017 Cynthia Shore Editor Janine Pearson Graphic Designer Jeffrey Baker School Administrator Pat Lord Development and Marketing Director Jennifer Warren Admissions Director and Social Media Manager BOARD OF TRUSTEES Dana Barnard, President Andy Smith, Vice President Cheryl Slover-Linett, Secretary Thomas Baudhuin John Braman Melissa Coleman April Vogel Jeffrey Baker, School Administrator Thomas Keppel, Business Manager Pat Lord, Development and Marketing Director Jennifer Warren, Admissions Director and Social Media Manager The Santa Fe Waldorf School is an independent, nonprofit organization with accreditation through the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA). Additionally, our school is a full member of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) and the New Mexico Athletics Association (NMAA). We welcome and serve students from a variety of social, economic, ethnic, cultural, and international backgrounds.
Waldorf education is swiftly approaching its centennial in 2019. Worldwide celebrations are being planned, and even before this milestone is achieved, its proximity invites us all to contemplate how Waldorf education is perhaps better situated than most educational models to understand, promote, and inspire global awareness. Such a richness of study and stories over the years is what undoubtedly compels so many of our alumni and community to travel to diverse points across the globe; a fact that is highlighted proudly in the pages of this magazine. The two faculty members we interview in this issue have spent valuable professional time abroad: Matthew Burritt in Ghana, and Michelle Keleher in the Netherlands. All three alumni profiled here currently incorporate their passion for travel and foreign cultures as they explore the next stage of their lives. And see the News Highlights section on page 1 to read about how our next generation of global citizens in Grade 8 are communicating with Waldorf schools around the planet. Over the past few years SFWS has put considerable focus into growing our international program—fostering exchanges for our high school students in countries like Taiwan, Belgium, Colombia, and Germany. In addition to the exchange program, for the past two years we have also welcomed students from other countries to our high school, inviting cross-cultural sharing from which everyone benefits. If you or someone you know is in the Santa Fe area and would like to learn more about supporting the international program by serving as a host family, please don’t hesitate to contact our new Admissions Director, Jennifer Warren, at email@example.com. Perhaps part of our alum’s inquiry into other lands began as part of their school trips to regional locales while at SFWS. This year’s Annual Fund is raising money, in part, to purchase a new set of vans to replace our hard-working mini-buses of the past decade. Ask yourself how many fine memories you have of trips to the mountains, canyons, caves, and ski basin that were all made possible by the school’s small fleet of vehicles—and then consider making a donation to support many more years of such trips for the next generation of students. Whether you can give $20 or $2,000 at this time, every bit helps keep the ability to camp, wander and roam alive as part of the SFWS experience. You can find a donation envelope in this issue of the magazine, or give easily online at the school’s recently updated website: www.santafewaldorf.org. Wherever you are on your path as you read this today, I wish you the very best for an inspired, joyous, and reflective winter season!
Jeffrey Baker School Administrator
SFWS TODAY: News Highlights Athletics: GO WOLVES!!
Faculty and Staff
Volleyball: The girl’s volleyball team finished their season by winning their sixth district 1A championship and ranking fourth in the state Class 1A under the stewardship of Coach Ian Longacre. The Wolves competed at the state tournament in November, losing in the semi-finals to Melrose, who went on to become state champion.
This year, the school welcomed three new faculty and staff members, all with diverse backgrounds and a wide range of skills.
Soccer: The high school soccer team, which is a co-ed junior varsity squad, finished the season with an impressive 11-3 record. Under coach Enrique Otero, the team averaged five goals a game. Basketball: The Lady Wolves basketball team will combine forces with the girls varsity basketball at Desert Academy this year to form a new co-op team. The two schools will try the arrangement for the next three seasons through school year 2019-20. The new team will fall in the Class AAA, district 3 level and Desert Academy’s Mike Velarde will be the head coach. Wolf Pack Trail Run: In September the school’s Booster Club held the Fourth Annual Wolf Pack Trail Run, our most successful run yet! The event attracted 125 runners and walkers to raise more than $5000. Funds will be used to purchase much-needed soccer and basketball uniforms, and to offer families assistance in offsetting sports fees.
Curriculum Grade 8 WOW: Grade 8 took the lead on the global “Waldorf One World Day” observation in October by selling their handmade paper peace cranes at the school. So far, the class has raised $500 and will keep selling the cranes through the Holiday Faire on December 2, 2017. SFWS is one of five schools in the United States to participate in the project, which has raised more than 360,000 Euros from over 30 countries and 169 Waldorf Schools. The proceeds are collected by the Friends of Waldorf Education and forwarded at 100% to projects in need. May Center Collaboration: The High School has started a pilot collaboration with the May Center for Learning to provide educational services, tutoring, assessment, and advocacy for students with learning differences. May Center Director of Tutoring and Assessment Coordinator Heidi Schmidt is at the school for approximately 10 hours each week to identify learning strategies for students and provide instructional methodologies for teachers. The center also gave a series of training presentations at the fall teacher in-service, the first of many development opportunities SFWS will be offering around this topic in the year ahead.
Daisy Barnard is our new high-school English teacher, and holds a Master of Arts in Mythological Studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Lawrence University. Barnard received her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Emerson College in East Sussex in the United Kingdom, and she composes and conducts music, and plays the French horn and guitar. Kate Taylor came on board as the new Grade 5 teacher. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico where she also earned a Master of Arts in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies. She is also studying Flamenco dance as an apprentice with Yjastros: The National Flamenco Repertory Company and is pursuing her Waldorf teacher training at the Waldorf School of Orange County. And SFWS is pleased to welcome Jennifer Warren as the school’s new admissions director and social media manager. Warren taught as a class teacher at SFWS before working at other Waldorf schools in Arizona and most recently served as the admissions director at Desert Academy in Santa Fe. Warren is particularly excited about supporting the growing International Program at the high school.
SFWS Board We say goodbye to board members Rebecca Withers and Phyllis Gonzales, who each served for a full six-year term from 2011 to 2017. Throughout their tenure in delivering strong leadership and insight in the governance of Santa Fe Waldorf, they also contributed greatly in their committee work; Rebecca in the International Student Enrollment and Marketing Committees and Phyllis in the Philanthropic Development and Executive Committees. We will miss them but are glad we will still see them around school in their roles as SFWS parents. 1
SFWS TODAY: News Highlights School Facilities
We are sprucing up our school grounds and facilities in preparation for both the SFWS 35th anniversary and the Waldorf Education centennial! Over the summer, former Board President and past SFWS parent David Milliken, alumni Alex Reid (Grade 8, 2003) and Jason Drinkwater (Grade 8, 2008), and the Baumgartner family oversaw renovations of the kitchen, hallway and bathroom at the high school. Grade 10 parents Scott and Melissa Coleman donated wood from La Puerta Originals to augment classroom, hallway and Great Room walls. This fall, Hooper Hall received new landscaping and several small patio areas under Milliken’s supervision. All were assisted by our site team of Carole Cressman, Roberto Loya (pictured), Everett Cole, Raj Patel and Tom O’Shea.
This year we have added to two key projects to our Annual Fund Priorities. Read about them below and then see the donation envelope enclosed in this magazine or visit www.santafewaldorf.org/annual-fund!
Waldorf Global Centennial
100 Women Who Care: The school was honored to receive over $8,500 for our Native American Scholarship Fund from local philanthropy group 100 Women Who Care in August. School Administrator Jeffrey Baker and Pueblo of Pojoaque Education Department Director Cristal Suazo spoke to 140 donors about our school’s Tewa language program for students and our financial assistance commitments to Pueblo families, who make up close to 10% of the SFWS population. Baker and Suazo’s compelling presentation resulted in the Fund being selected as the recipient over all other nonprofit presentations that evening.
As we gear up to celebrate our school’s 35th anniversary in 2018, Waldorf schools around the world are looking to 2019 to the 100th year anniversary celebration of Waldorf education. As part of the festivities, Waldorf schools around the world are sending postcards to each other to strengthen global ties. Grade 8 is coordinating the effort to have every SFWS class send cards to each school in the world—that’s 1,092 schools in 64 countries—by Thanksgiving! In addition, SFWS will offer two themes of study-- the Study of Man and child study—in staff and parent classes through the school year, following recommendations by the Pedagogical Section of the School for Spiritual Science in Dornach, Switzerland. Enthusiastic golfers line up at the SFWS Summer Breeze Golf Tournament at the Towa Club at Buffalo Thunder. From left: Grade 10 parent Doug Wilmore and a friend, Grade 8 students Joshua Weisner and Joaquin Deprez, and parent Joe Deprez. 2
Updating the Early Childhood Play-Yard: SFWS is welcoming support for much-needed enhancements for the early childhood play-yard. These include: • A natural waterscape “creek” play area from rainwater catchment tanks. • The updating of play structures to incorporate more natural elements. • A new “outdoor classroom” gathering space around the horno with seating for story circles. • Updated compost areas in the garden and an expansion of the garden activity area. • A natural climbing and play area utilizing boulders and vigas. New Vans! A key project this year is to get funds to replace our aging schoolbus fleet. We will work with Kia of Santa Fe, under the ownership of Michael Sambilene, to find two appropriate passenger vans this year, and plan to continue on in future years.
Development News SFWS is branching out to create more partnerships, increase the school’s profile in our community and tackle much-needed key projects.
Recycling Electronics with Santa Fe Toyota: This past summer, Santa Fe Toyota invited SFWS to partner with New Mexico Electronics Recycling to help keep consumer electronics out of our landfills. The School received close to $1,000 for the tonnage of electronics donated, and NM Electronics Recycling disassembled the materials and melted them for resale. Summer Breeze Golf Tournament: This July, we were delighted to hold the first annual Summer Breeze Golf Tournament. Hosted at Buffalo Thunder’s Towa Club, 80 folks, including students, played 18 holes to raise scholarship funds. Between players, sponsors, raffle ticket sales, silent auction purchases and scholarship pledges, we netted $15,000. Keep your eye out for details on next year’s tournament.
ALUMNI PROFILE Har Simran Khalsa
High School Class of 2016 CURRENT WORK: Traveling, climbing, taking photos and working odd jobs around the world
GOAL: TO SEE AS MUCH OF THE WORLD AS POSSIBLE What have you been doing since you left Waldorf?
Looking back, how does your Waldorf education benefit your life today?
After I graduated, I worked all summer to save up money and bought a one-way plane ticket to Dublin, Ireland. From there, I continued traveling to Spain, Italy, Norway, Thailand, Bali, and Australia, where I am currently living out of a Subaru, climbing and road tripping around the east and south coasts.
I think that Waldorf has made it a lot easier to integrate into the different cultures I’ve seen around the world. This is because I feel like it was a very diverse education and I learned a lot more than just math or history.
When did you become interested in climbing? I used to climb with my dad when I was really young but I don’t really remember too much from it. Apparently I didn’t like it. Once I was older I started again and was instantly attracted to the community around it.
What made you decide to travel? What is your goal? Until I left on this trip, I had never left the country so once I got the opportunity, I took it. I didn’t have any strict plans when I started this trip. I knew I wanted to climb, but that was about it. When I got to Spain, I spent three months hitchhiking and climbing everyday until my visa ended and I had to leave. Now I’ve made it a goal of mine to not get stuck anywhere, and to keep traveling and seeing the world as much as I can throughout my life.
What are your plans for the future? My visa in Australia ends at the end of February 2018 so until then, I’ll be traveling around here. After that, I haven’t decided yet. New Zealand offers a similar one-year visa so I might go there. I’m really enjoying the freedom of living out of my car, so I definitely plan to continue that, although I may upgrade to a van so I have a little more space.
What is your daily life like now? What is the best part of your day? Every day is different. Lately I’ve been camping in the Grampians National Park which means that after I wake up, I’ll make coffee and breakfast, pack up my car, and drive down the road to the boulders. Three weeks ago, however, I had a job an hour outside of Sydney so I spent the days working and exploring the beaches around there. When I’m not climbing somewhere, I’m usually driving along the coast and surfing at some of the beaches along the way. It’s a very relaxed lifestyle.
“WALDORF HAS MADE IT A LOT EASIER TO INTEGRATE INTO THE DIFFERENT CULTURES I’VE SEEN AROUND THE WORLD. ” 3
SFWS TODAY: High School Wilderness Retreat STARTING THE SCHOOL YEAR AT VALLECITOS MOUNTAIN RANCH An enduring part of our school identity is the High School Wilderness Retreat, which has long been a tradition at SFWS High School.
In past years, as part of the welcoming process to the high school, we have paired Grade 12 with incoming Grade 9 students at the century-old Vallecitos Mountain Ranch, 50 miles west of Taos. After several days of orientation, the ninth graders come home, while seniors embark on 24-hour contemplative solo experiences, which they have been preparing for during their four years at the high school. However, this year we expanded the curriculum to include a 10th and 11th grade backpacking trip through the spectacular meadows and ridges of the surrounding Tusas Mountains. The trips were captained by SFWS Wilderness Team members, high school faculty, and guides, all of whom worked with students on coming-of-age topics, socialization of group members, wilderness ethics and safety, and of course appreciation of the beauty of northern New Mexico. The mid-week rain and rolling thunder gave way long enough to allow the 12th graders to set up and complete their solos, but all grades learned, laughed, and grew from these trips, which are exceptional highlights of our strong commitment to a wilderness curriculum.
SFWS TODAY: Festivals ENJOYING AUTUMN AT SFWS The Lily Ceremony, Michaelmas, All Hallow’s Eve—each of our beloved fall festivities at the school were celebrated with beauty and a sense of fun as the community gathered for the beginning of a new school year, chased off dragons, welcomed the spirit of St. Michael, and created a magical, enchanted evening to end October.
THE LILY CEREMONY: The class sits together under the trees for the first time as Grade 1; Tahlia Torrez, Mateo Aragon Sciaretta and Zebediah Baker revel with their flowers; and new first grader Sylvia Beck contemplates her lilly. Photos by Genevieve Russell
MICHAELMAS: Three seniors, Martine Perez, Owen Leriche and Amia Cressman, invoke the spirit of St. Michael to restore peace and goodness to the land; the Mayor (Grade 3 teacher Mr Baudhuin) makes his proclamation, and the dragon arrives. Photos by Susanna Green ALL HALLOW’S EVE: Student-carved jack-o-lanterns haunted the school entrance, while pirates fought an epic battle on the ark and costumed kids enjoyed the first annual “S’mores Pit”. Photos by Perihan Sheard 5
ALUMNI PROFILE Brooke Reiche
High School Class of 2015
East Asian Studies, Austin College, Sherman, Texas. Currently studying Mandarin in Taipei, Taiwan
FOLLOWING HER PASSION FOR ASIA BY STUDYING IN TAIWAN How was your college experience after Waldorf, both personally and academically? College has been a great experience for me so far. It’s been great to get into a larger community and take classes that I’m really interested in. My writing and my interpretation skills have really served me in all my courses, which is something I can only credit to Waldorf and the teachers there.
What made you decide to study in Taiwan, and where do you see it taking you? When I was a freshman at SFWS, we were required to take an introductory Mandarin class rather than the usual Spanish class. It was taught by Christine Chen, whose family is Taiwanese. I really enjoyed the class and it sparked my interest in the language enough that I decided I wanted to study abroad. Waldorf schools tend to do exchange programs amongst each other, because it is easier for the students to have a more continuous learning experience when following the Waldorf curriculum. We found that no Waldorf high schools existed in mainland China, but there was the Ci Xin Waldorf School in Yilan, Taiwan. The school soon welcomed me as their first international exchange student in the spring of my sophomore year, and I lived with a host family for three months. It was certainly challenging, as my language skills were very basic, but it helped me grow and live outside of my comfort zone, which has been an incredibly valuable experience.
“MY WALDORF EDUCATION HAS GIVEN ME PERSONAL SKILLS THAT HAVE MADE IT EASIER TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS.” 6
I’ve known that I wanted to return here ever since. I really want to improve my Mandarin language skills so that hopefully I can be fluent one day. Of course, being immersed is the best way to learn a language, so I decided to come to Taipei through the Council on International Educational Exchange. Though I don’t have any solid plans for my future at the moment, I can see myself possibly teaching English in China or Taiwan, or serving as an interpreter or translator.
Please describe your daily life. My daily life is just that of a typical college student. When I’m not in class, I’m studying, working on my art, spending time with friends, or trying to find a job! This time around, I will be here for fall semester. The program I am in focuses on intensive language training in Mandarin, but I am also taking an art history course at National ChengChi University. I am living in one of the on-campus dorms, which is very convenient. There is an excellent public transportation system, and many events take place all around Taipei. I get to
practice the language in real life settings every day, which makes the learning experience more fun and helps me improve at a much quicker pace. Though we do have a cafeteria on campus, most folks in Taipei eat out for almost every meal, so there are hundreds of affordable restaurants to try out, not to mention the night markets. Taiwanese cuisine is undeniably delicious, with lots of fresh fruit, noodles, and regional specialties. One of the more controversial dishes for visitors, but one of my personal favorites, is stinky tofu!
Looking back, how does a Santa Fe Waldorf education benefit your life today? My Waldorf education has not only benefited me in my higher education, but has given me personal skills that have made it easier to connect with others and problem solve in my daily life. The wilderness experiences also helped me find a stronger connection to nature and improved my outdoor skills, which I am so appreciative of today.
What is the best part of what you do now? The best part is that I have opportunities to study the things that I am passionate about.
TEACHER PROFILE Matthew Burritt High School Registrar, Math and Physical Sciences Teacher, 12th Grade Sponsor, College Counselor and Wilderness Program Coordinator In retrospect, it might seem obvious that Matthew Burritt would grow up to become a Waldorf teacher. As a child, he attended the Green Meadow Waldorf School in Spring Valley, NY. But first he had to follow a few other paths. As he told his grandfather, he wanted to be an ambassador. That ambition brought him to Santa Fe and St John’s College, where he happened to serve on the college’s search and rescue team with former SFWS teacher Mary Freitas. Happy to find someone in town with Waldorf high school experience, former school administrator Barbara Booth and former teacher Pam Colgate interviewed him as they prepared for the founding of the SFWS high school. However, following his dreams, Burritt moved after graduation in 2001 to Washington DC to work in international aid. He eventually joined the Peace Corps, working for two years in Ghana teaching environmental science to students in the third to tenth grades. While he was there, something shifted. “I started to fall in love with education,” he says. Burritt particularly liked the high school students, noting, “The teens were the most hopeful, the most energetic and the most willing to learn new things.” He came home to New York and debated what to do next. Freitas stepped in by inviting Burritt to lead a high school rafting trip in 2005. That led him to successfully apply to the SFWS high school to be a math and science teacher, and things just fell into place after that. “This was a natural fit,” he notes. “I connected to the foundation of Waldorf Education, which recognizes the spiritual component of a human being. Even my tone of voice shapes a student.”
What do you do for fun? In my free time I love to go hiking or camping, draw and paint, and read. I have done a fair amount of traveling around the island, and one of my favorite places I have been is Hualien, on the eastern shore, boasting incredibly beautiful mountains and scenery. Of course, Yilan always holds a special place in my heart as the first place I got to know back in high school. Contact Brooke at firstname.lastname@example.org
On his first day at his new job, he showed up in a suit and tie. Chinese language teacher Christine Chen took one look and teased, “What are you dressed for? The prom?”. Burritt relaxed into Santa Fe mode. He and Chen married in 2009 and are now parents to Oliver, age one. Overall, Burritt is happy where he has landed almost by chance years ago. He especially values leading the high school’s unique wilderness program. “Not that many schools have as strong of a program as ours,” he notes. A new highlight for him this year will be taking over the helm of the college guidance program. As he says, “I get to spend my days helping each student move into the next phase of their life.” 7
SFWS TODAY: Global Citizenry WALDORF SCHOOLS ABROAD: GEORGIA, NEPAL AND COLOMBIA Waldorf School in Tbilisi, Georgia Dr. Raya Chyorny, a Russian-born American and SFWS parent, is teaching medicine at the international program at the Tbilisi State Medical University in Tbilisi, Georgia this fall. Chyorny’s son Luka, Grade 7, spent the summer in Tbilisi before returning to the US, while Sasha Chyorny (kindergarten) is staying with her mother throughout the fall to attend the Waldorf School in Tbilisi, which in 2010, won an award from the Georgian Ministry of Education as the best school in the country. Chyorny sent this report about discovering Waldorf in another country: “The school is amazing, very much in the Waldorf style, though the number of kids is
overwhelming. Sasha’s class has 27 kids and there are four classes in the kinder section
and (Grade 7) boasts 32 kids. The teachers are more than wonderful and have been very understanding.... Sasha already has most of the class speaking Russian. We are getting
ready for our harvest festival and lantern walk. It has been a wonderful experience so far.”
Maitreya Waldorf School in Pokhara, Nepal Emma Warren, (Grade 9, 2009) visited the Maitreya Waldorf School in Pokhara, Nepal for the second time in October to bring Waldorf toys and school supplies from SFWS. The school has 26 students in kindergarten and Grades 1 and 2. Warren visited the school this past February with her sister Lucy (Grade 4, 2009) during a gap year of travel. The pair were inspired by their mother, SFWS Admissions Director and Social Media Manager Jennifer Warren, who lived in Nepal in the 1980s, and more recently, by former SFWS teacher Karl Johnson and his son Kreston (HS Class of 2011), who were mentoring at the school in October 2016. In mid-October, Emma wrote from Nepal: Raya Chyorny’s daughter, Sasha, in her beautiful kindergarten classroom at the Waldorf School in Tbilisi, Georgia—looking pretty much like any Waldorf kindergarten anywhere in the world!
Students playing at the Waldorf School in Nepal 8
“I went to Maitreya yesterday, in true Nepali style—just showed up—and had a great visit; catching up, working in the garden and seeing all that they have added in only just the few months I was away. It is harvest time here, the end of the rainy season, and my gosh, do they have a lot of soy beans. We separated the green soy beans for about two hours and then put all of the ones drying in the sun under cover in case of rain. They now have three greenhouses full of tomatoes, and about 10 different types of beans, as well as Tulsi basil that will be sent to Europe for tea making! As tourist season was beginning, they were making lots of fresh feta cheese from their 12 cows to sell to restaurants in Pokhara. It is all biodynamic and organic, and they use the vegetables for the children in school so that they have the best meals possible.”
Right to left: Second grade teacher Ritman, Lucy Warren, Emma Warren and kindergarten teacher Vishnu at the Maitreya Waldorf School in Pokhara, Nepal.
The International Study Program is integral to the Santa Fe Waldorf School’s mission of educating students to become thoughtful, compassionate global citizens.
Luis Horacio Gomez Waldorf School in Cali, Colombia Last spring, as part of the SFWS High School International Program, two Grade 11 students went to stay in Cali, Colombia, with Martín Saldarriaga Cantu, after Martín spent the fall of 2016 attending SFWS. Santiago Briceño went from February through July, attending the Luis Horacio Gomez Waldorf School and extending his stay “because I was loving it so much.” Amia Cressman joined the duo for six weeks from early June to mid-July. Santi writes: “I chose Colombia because my dad is Venezuelan and I thought it would be a good opportunity to study Spanish and experience South American culture. I thought the school was more “pure Waldorf” than our high school because it was more artistically focused. The exchange opened my eyes to a totally different society and way of daily life. I woke up much earlier. School started at 7am and ended at 2:30pm, and had a full meal service. After school, we took a bus to the gym and worked out, and then a bus home. Thursdays, we were released early to go home to have a family dinner. Lunches are much more important meals than dinner, which is different than home. “It was a life-changing experience. I lived in a gated community with rivers and waterfalls within five minutes away. The city of Cali is completely safe even though people here may believe that Colombia is “unsafe”. It was also a much bigger Waldorf school, with 40 students in my 10th grade class. I’m going back this coming summer to see my friends and to see Martín graduate. It was an amazing opportunity to improve my Spanish, and to make life friends who I’m in contact with almost every day since I’ve left.” Amia adds: “During my first three weeks in Colombia, I did not attend the Waldorf school with Martín and Santi, but rather volunteered at Tarapacá, a Waldorf program for people with disabilities and those struggling with mental illness. Everyone working or participating in the program spoke in Spanish only. I had just arrived and initially found their rapid speech almost unintelligible. I worked mainly in the kitchen helping the cook, setting the plates out for meals, and washing dishes. “Once the school year ended, Martín, Santi, and I spent the next three weeks attending social events, spending time with friends, playing basketball or soccer, and swimming in the river or hiking to one of three nearby waterfalls. I also had the pleasure of learning about all the various, colorful plants around the area. Colombia also has the greatest bird biodiversity in the world, and I enjoyed birdwatching on my walks. It was never quiet and I loved hearing all the sounds of life around me. Whenever I would Skype with someone from home they would ask, ‘What’s that sound? Are those all the birds around you?’ “Colombia was a great learning experience for me, not only to further develop my Spanish, but also to discover a different way to live life. My experience with the Colombian people was such that they rarely focused on time and planning. It forced me to absolutely slow down and enjoy the present moment, instead of thinking ahead about the next task, and I loved it!! I returned home well rested, relaxed and deeply grateful for all the support I received in order to facilitate this experience.”
Santiago Briceño being congratulated after a basketball game in Cali, Colombia.
Host a visiting student Students from Colombia, Switzerland, Austria and Taiwan have attended Santa Fe Waldorf High School in recent years, and our own students have studied in Colombia, France, Belgium, Taiwan, Switzerland and Germany. The school is looking for families to host visiting students for varying lengths of time for the 2017-18 school year. Anyone is eligible to host, regardless of the age of your children, and opportunities are needed for varying lengths of time. For more information, contact our Admissions Director: Jennifer Warren at 505-467-6431 or email@example.com.
Help our school thrive! The Santa Fe Waldorf School, like all non-profit independent schools, relies on a combination of both tuition and fundraising to support its everyday operations. Generous donations to our Annual Fund are very important to build a bridge between our income and expenses. With your help, together we can help our school grow and flourish year after year. Visit santafewaldorf.org/ donate-now.
ALUMNI PROFILE A PASSION TO ACT AND TELL STORIES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE How was your college experience after leaving Waldorf? I studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, an acting conservatory in Los Angeles. In 2014, I graduated from the program and was accepted into the AADA 2014-2015 Company where I was able to be a part of awesome works like Rumors by Neil Simon and The Seagull by Anton Chekhov.
Kholan Garrett Studi
High School Class of 2012
American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles, CA CURRENT WORK: Actor, Bassist
After my Company Year, I joined Native Voices, a Native American theater company in Los Angeles. It has given me the honor to work on new plays by Native American playwrights from all over the country, and in 2016, I was cast in the world premiere of They Don’t Talk Back by Frank Henry Kaash Katasee. The story is about a 17-year-old, half-Tlingit, half-Caucasian boy, Nick, who is sent to live with his traditional grandparents in a small fishing village in rural Alaska after his mother is sent to jail. I played Nick’s younger cousin Edward. I was with the show in Los Angeles and San Diego, and went on tour to Alaska where it premiered in Juneau and Anchorage in the winter of 2017. In addition to Native Voices, I work on the show Jamestown as an extra. The show takes place in Colonial Jamestown when the first women arrive to the new colony, and follows the story of three women and their encounters with the men in Colony, the surrounding Native American tribe known as the Pumunkey and the new land they now call their home. The production is shot in Budapest, Hungary. In between jobs, I work for a rideshare company called Lyft and a food delivery service called Postmates. On top of that, I have also started playing bass for an artist named Raye Zaragoza, doing short tours around California, Arizona and New Mexico.
What made you decide to study acting and where do you see it taking you?
“I’M INTERESTED IN TELLING STORIES THAT MATTER, AND THAT MEANS STORIES FROM ALL PERSPECTIVES AND ARTISTIC MEDIUMS.”
I became interested in pursuing acting in a high school production of Harvey. It was fun and I had a knack for it. Then when I went to AADA, I learned acting is more than just getting on stage, saying lines, and getting laughs. It’s about telling a story. Whether giving comedic one liners, long dramatic soliloquies, or a simple “Yes Sir”, every character is a piece of the greater picture. It’s not everyday you get to step into the shoes of other people and into their minds. I’m interested in telling stories that matter, and that means stories from all perspectives and artistic mediums. Plus it’s fun, but it’s a very, very tough profession and I am grateful for the opportunities I have earned. There’s nothing better than getting paid to do what you enjoy.
What is the best part of what you do now? In the past two years I’ve been able to travel a lot mostly for work. One of the reasons I took the job for Jamestown was to go to Budapest and in my off-time, explore the city. I’ve been able to walk through the Hungarian National Museum, the Labyrinth of Buda Castle, take a dip in the Turkish Baths, meet people, and even go to an arcade game museum. I’ve made friends that I hope I’ll be in contact with for the rest of my life, both co-workers on set and locals alike. Budapest showed me that you can find like-minded people all over the planet.
TEACHER PROFILE Studi, left, with Roman Zaragoza in the world premiere of the play They Don’t Talk Back. The same goes for the time I lived in Alaska. Getting to live in Juneau for a couple of months was delightful. I personally love putting on a jacket and going for a hike in the snow. While I was there, I visited a glacier and walked on a frozen lake. The sound of silence followed by the booming voice of a crack in the ice is exhilarating and beautiful.
Looking back, how does a Santa Fe Waldorf education benefit your life today? I honestly look back on my time at Waldorf fondly. The curriculum and its commitment to the arts helped make me into the person I am today. Since the curriculum never sugarcoated or whitewashed history, I got a sense of empathy and appreciation for our past. Being of Cherokee, Irish, Scottish and Ukrainian descent, it was comforting—I guess that would be the word—to know that everyone—and I mean everyone: every race, religion, sexual orientation, and identity—has been through hell and subjugation at one point or another. History is messy and often only told from the perspective on top, and humans can either be great or just the worst. Most great works of theater are depictions from all over history ranging from William Shakespeare, Moliere and Chekhov to Neil Simon and Tennessee Williams. So the old adage, “If you don’t learn from history, you’re doomed to repeat it” was never lost on me. On a lighter note, the artistic aspect of the school gave me an appreciation for all mediums as well as kept me interested in acting and music, which have now carried over into my career.
What are your plans for the future? I am lucky to have a few things at the start of next year. I’ll be going to Germany to play music with Raye Zaragoza for a festival in Stuttgart followed by a short vacation in London. Then in March, I’ll be premiering another play for Native Voices called Bingo Hall by Dillon Chitto, who is also a native son of New Mexico. As far as the future is concerned, I can only hope I get to pursue my career in acting, and impact people the same way other actors and storytellers have affected me. Contact Kholan at: facebook.com/kholanstudi
Michelle Keleher Kindergarten Teacher Originally trained as an architect, Michelle Keleher spent years exploring the world before returning in 2016 to the Santa Fe Waldorf School, this time as a teacher. Keleher and her family came home to the US after years in the Netherlands where her children attended a local public Waldorf school, and where she studied the Dutch Waldorf curriculum for instructor certification. Starting as the preschool teacher last year, Keleher shifted this year to the Forest Kindergarten. In the Netherlands, Keleher says her training at the Hogeschool Leiden was “objective and thorough”. However, her passion—and what brought her specifically to SFWS—was our emphasis on the outdoors. The value of uninterrupted time in nature cannot be overstated, she notes: “One hundred percent of the students respond so well to the experience.” Keleher lives in Corrales with her husband Tom, a private equity investor who specializes in sustainable businesses, and two of their children, Abram, 12, and Owen, 18. Daughter Amelia, 19, attends college. Earlier in her life, Keleher worked as an architect on projects ranging from library renovations in Chicago and historic preservation in the California Bay Area, to teaching architecture in Quito, Ecuador. Keleher first discovered Waldorf in California after Amelia’s birth. Most preschools in the area required enrollment of children as infants, but the Mountain School in Corte Madera, CA, took new applications each year. The wholesome atmosphere in the classroom and the Waldorf emphasis on not rushing kids made Keleher love the curriculum. The family also spent time in New Mexico before moving to Europe. Here, they designed and built their own home, and operated a permaculture farm. Continuing her commitment to the curriculum, Keleher ran a Waldorf-inspired homeschool, before sending her children to SFWS for several years. What Keleher values most about the Waldorf system is the freedom of looking at her class with fresh eyes every day to see what is needed at all levels. As she says, “My job is to create a rhythmical environment for the group, but also to meet each child where they are.” Most of all, Keleher deeply values being a protector of children’s spirits. “This is still one of my focus points,” she says. “Every child develops at their own pace. When you rush them, you really take away the joy of living.” 11
SFWS TODAY: Community Engagement STUDENT-MADE PRINTS & POSTERS FOR SALE TO FUND SOCIAL CHANGE Earlier in 2017, Grade 10 and School Administrator Jeffrey Baker worked with local charity An Act of Dog to create woodcuts and prints designed to raise awareness about the current conditions of abandoned animals. The goal was twofold: to show kids how to use their art for social change, and to raise funds through the sale of fine art products for shelters and rescue groups across the country. The effort resulted in a beautiful poster compiled of the class’s block prints that is available for sale at www.anactofdog.org/ collections/shop-products. Individual prints are also available for sale—-contact Pat Lord at firstname.lastname@example.org. Funds generated from the sale will support SFWS High School art programming as well as An Act of Dog, the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, and the Espanola Animal Shelter.
SAVE THE DATES 34th Annual Holiday Faire December 2, 2017 Rudolf’s Diner, Sweets and Savory Café, children’s games, artisan’s market, performances by Clan Tynker and more await visitors, friends and alumni. Be sure to visit alumna Nikkie Carothers’ (Grade 8, 1992, then named Leilani Moore) fiber-arts booth, FiberPunk (fiberpunk.com).
Parent High School Luncheon Classes of ‘17, ‘16, ‘15, ‘14 are invited! December 15, 2017 Traditions live on—the High School Parents provide a lovely luncheon for the current High School. We are inviting the four most recent graduating years of alumni to join us as well. Please RSVP to email@example.com before December 11 if you are able to join us.
Alumni Holiday Reception December 20, 2017 Come one, come all to the Chastenet/Withers household—Alex Chastenet, HS 2015, Gabby Chastenet, HS 2016, and SFWS former board member, Rebecca Withers—for a holiday party from 6-9pm at 852 Hillcrest Drive, Santa Fe.
“Healing and Nature - Conversations with Terry Tempest Williams” March 12, 2018 SFWS hosts author, conservationist and advocate, Terry Tempest Williams at the James A. Little Theater. If you would like to support Ms. William’s talk, please contact Pat Lord at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos by Marina Servan
Mayfaire May 4, 2018 Welcome spring at our traditional Mayfaire celebration, complete with maypoles, flower crowns and strawberries and cream.
Graduation June 1, 2018 Help celebrate and send off the High School Class of 2018! 12
ALUMNI NEWS: We Want to Hear From You!
rf School Alumni, for Dear Santa Fe Waldo and families gathered lty cu fa , ts en ud st , ar urney. t morning this ye ing of the Grade 1 jo On a beautiful Augus nn gi be e th ks ar m stival that ilies, Lily Ceremony, the fe mpanied by their fam co ac , ch ar e th to d up sembled, graders were walke ade students were as gr st fir l al One by one, the first ce On e. the story through the arch alon a nest of birds. After t ou ab y and then each passed or st ul rf de tion, renna, told a won nce, virtue and devo ce no in of er w flo their teacher Miss B e lily, th send off e student received a ch first grader will ea , ar ye ol ho sc ended, each first grad is th d of e student. At the en from a twelfth grad wer of love. gift of a rose, the flo e th ith w or ni se y the ever onal involvement with rs pe st la y m to ck ba at the Green mble ritual, I thought of the Class of 1997 r be em m In witnessing this hu a as n he w I also walked twenty years ago, ve years before this el Lily/Rose Ceremony Tw . se ro a ed ft gi Waldorf hool, I too was . When I started my 85 19 in e ad gr Meadow Waldorf Sc st fir es in nt! to join my schoolmat o years old â€“ an infa tw ly on as through an archway w ol ho Sc the Santa Fe Waldorf ance educational journey, y first as college guid m d an , ol ho Sc rf do hips. Some ar at Santa Fe Wal umni-school relations al r ou Now in my twelfth ye g in en th ng re st parents connecting and st and there are also pa s counselor, we are re nt re pa as ol ho sc nized their turning to the ss of 2007, self-orga cla of our alumni are re e th e lik , ni um al r arents! Othe returning as grandp past May. its founding ten-year reunion this rf High School since do al W Fe a nt Sa e ni stand with graduated from th hool. These 110 alum sc gh hi Thirteen classes have om fr d te ua ion of the high udents have grad 8 before the format de in 2001. So far, 110 st ra G ed et pl m co of alumni who the previous classes to the 1980s. almost 35 years ago ck ba ng hi tc re st , ol and hear scho t you are up to now, ha w t ou d fin u, yo ith u to connect -establish contact w so want to invite yo al e W . ys We would love to re da S W SF perience to journeys since your ork with your life ex tw ne ng about your individual ro st a ild bu students. Help us with current SFWS d in life. udents move forwar st nd ou -b ge lle co r help ou Get in touch! ar from you! We canâ€™t wait to he
Contact Matthew at email@example.com
Thank you, a Fe Waldorf School nt Sa , tt ri ur B ew th Mat unselor College Guidance Co
or Development Director Pat Lord at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your news and/or college expertise.
26 Puesta Del Sol, Santa Fe, NM 87508 santafewaldorf.org/alumni
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Photo by alumnus Har Simran Khalsa, taken on an unnamed beach in Bali. See page 3 to learn more about Har Simran. Cover painting by alumna Brooke Reiche. See page 6 to learn more about Brooke.
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