A LU M NI MAGA ZINE
S u m m er 2 0 1 7
Dear Alumni, Friends and Community Members: ALUMNI MAGAZINE Volume 1, No. 2 - Summer 2017 Cynthia Shore Editor Janine Pearson Graphic Designer Jeffrey Baker School Administrator Pat Lord Development and Marketing Director Brent Poole Admissions and International Program Coordinator BOARD OF TRUSTEES Dana Barnard, President Phyllis Gonzales, Vice President Andy Smith, Secretary Thomas Baudhuin John Braman Melissa Coleman Jennie Salyer Cheryl Slover-Linett April Vogel Rebecca Withers Jeffrey Baker, School Administrator Thomas Keppel, Business Manager Pat Lord, Development and Marketing Director Brent Poole, Admissions and International Program Coordinator 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.
The conclusion of the academic year also marks the beginning of a new look for the Santa Fe Waldorf School. Over the summer months, we are rolling out a completely new rebrand. The culmination of a year of effort, this new campaign aims to simplify the language around Waldorf education and to celebrate the unique qualities of our dynamic school. It relies on a warm color palette indicative of the Southwest, utilizes a logo arrived at through a community process during (and following) the school’s 30th anniversary celebration, and it provides bold language around topics as diverse as Eurythmy, outdoor education, child development, imaginative play and much more. One of the primary intentions of any brand is to cultivate a strong feeling of unity within the community around a shared mission and vision. Simultaneously, it efficiently invites those unfamiliar with the school to take a closer look and see if they are interested in being part of such a community. Branding allows people to feel their way toward a decision—it helps them identify their values and hopes as they discern the suitability of an idea, business or product for meeting their needs. We firmly believe that the education offered at the Santa Fe Waldorf School is an ideal education for meeting the needs of an unpredictable future—the new branding campaign seeks to explain why, and to invite others into a deeper contemplation of what constitutes an excellent education. The entirety of this new branding campaign, and the subsequent development of a newly updated website, has been made possible by very generous anonymous donors who provided funding designated specifically for these projects. Their support and financial leadership has allowed the school to realize this long-held goal without impacting school programs or creating new debt. Charitable giving has been a part of the school’s biography since the outset, and it is encouraging to see that it remains a strongly-held value among our community—it is one of many wonderful ways that our collective love, faith and hope for Waldorf education for the children of New Mexico can be expressed. Warm wishes to you in these fine summer months! Kind Regards,
Jeffrey Baker, School Administrator
SFWS TODAY: News Highlights The Cycle of Life SFWS has been watching the seasons of life pass through our school with the enrollment of Sadie Munson’s (HS Class of 2007) daughter Valentin in the preschool and Asher Singer’s (Grade 9, 1997) daughter Reyah in the kindergarten. It’s been wonderful to have the next generation of Waldorf children on campus! In addition, rising Grade 3 and Grade 8 teachers Thomas and Jennie Baudhuin are proud grandparents to Parker and Jackson Cole (rising Grade 4 and Grade 7, sons of Jennifer Kallman, Grade 8, 1992), and Woodworking Teacher Fletcher Lathrop’s granddaughter Chloe (daughter of Travis, Grade 8, 1992) is rising into Grade 1. If you know of any other multi-generational connections at SFWS, please get in touch with Pat Lord at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sadly, our community said goodbye to Andy Ruben in January. Andy was a strong presence on the campus, and served in the roles of high-school adjunct film instructor, after-care staff member, and father of Grade 3 student Soda. Andy passed after a sudden illness.
Intergenerational Learning through the Story Gathering Project SFWS and the Academy for the Love of Learning continued their intergenerational collaboration this spring with Lifesongs & Story Gathering projects. Lifesongs was co-founded by past SFWS parent Molly Sturges to celebrate the voices of elders, the insights gained at the end of life, and the extraordinary alchemy of intergenerational creative exchange. SFWS recently collaborated in the crafting of the Story Gathering project, which also invites youth and seniors to create artwork and share their respective stories.
SFWS HS Students Accepted for All-State Music Conference Aydin Gates (HS Class of 2017) and Colibri Yellowhorse (rising Grade 10) were selected to participate in violin in the 42nd Annual All-State Conference in Albuquerque this past January. This event is an intense three-day music conference for high school students participating in chorus, band, symphony orchestra, and guitar ensembles. Once all students are placed within the ensembles, they rehearse with master clinicians in rigorous, all-day rehearsals that culminate on the third
day in a performance at Popejoy Hall in UNM.
Faculty and Staff: Hellos and Goodbyes This fall, the school will welcome Brenna Rothschild as the new Grade 1 teacher (see profile on page 11), Kate Taylor as the new Grade 5 teacher, and Daisy Barnard as the new high-school English teacher. In addition, SFWS alum Michael Freitas (HS Class of 2011) will come on board as the new Math Skills instructor for grades 6-10. The school will be saying heartfelt goodbyes this year to kindergarten teacher Jennie Salyer, Grade 5 teacher Sharon McFeeley, and high school English teacher Pam Colgate (see profile on page 7). We wish everyone the best in their new futures.
Photos by Dick Goldsmith
From Veterinarians to Tattoos: High School Internships Spread Far Afield
This collaboration is a two-year program starting in fifth grade, in which both Grade 5 and 6 students work with elders from the Santa Fe Care Center and the Kingston Residence Center in small groups. Over the course of twelve weeks, these groups shared stories and songs, danced, laughed and even cried together. Bringing youth and elders together allows for a transmission and exchange of vital wisdom and experience. “The kids learn an incredible amount of empathy and respect,” says SFWS Grade 6 teacher Peter Wolheim. “Every moment spent with the elders was incredible.” The work culminated with a May concert at the Lensic Performing Arts Center with our students sharing the stage with other performers and elders.
Grade 11 participated in week-long internships the last week in May, exploring a variety of professions from veterinary medicine and acupuncture to tattoos and graphic design. Some of the internship institutions included Los Alamos Laboratories, UNM Hospital, the Santa Fe Reporter weekly newspaper and Meow Wolf arts production company. Our school community is our greatest resource. If your business or one you know of would like to participate in our high school internship program, please let Pat Lord know at: email@example.com. • 1
SFWS TODAY: Graduation 2017 PRESENTING THE SANTA FE WALDORF CLASS OF 2017!
This past June we celebrated and said goodbye to nine gifted seniors who are moving on to the next stage of their education. They have bright futures ahead of them. As a class, they have been accepted to almost 50 colleges, coast to coast, from Wesleyan University and Vassar College to Puget Sound University and Austin College. In addition, six students have been offered $2M in merit scholarships. Scholarships & Awards • Lily Fowler, Aydin Gates, and Zoë Whittle, have won Bronze Scholarships from Los Alamos National Labs Employee Scholarship Fund. • Zoë Whittle won the prestigious Daniels Fund Scholarship, covering the full cost of tuition for four years of college and was also granted the Century Bank Super Scholar Award. • Sophie Linett was granted the Santa Fe Institute Award.
Colleges The nine students in the Class of 2017 will attend the following colleges:
The SFWS High School Class of 2017, from left to right: Sophie Linett, Carlo Alberto Vera Ramirez, Aylin Sheehan, Julian Kniesley, Lily Fowler, Aydin Gates, Zoë Whittle, Maria Enriquez, Natalina Cotter.
Natalina Cotter Maria Enriquez Lily Fowler Aydin Gates Julian Kneisley Sophie Linett Carlo Ramirez Vera Aylin Sheehan Zoë Whittle
University of New Mexico Highlands University, NM Cornell College, IA Colorado College Santa Fe Community College Wesleyan University, CT Santa Fe Community College Hanover College, IN Grinnell College, IA
ALUMNI PROFILE Elliot Hammans
High School Class of 2011
Photo by Todd Rosenberg
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University CURRENT WORK: Dancer, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Chicago, IL
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE OF CONTEMPORARY DANCE How was your college experience after leaving Waldorf, both personally and academically? After graduating from Waldorf, I moved by myself to Manhattan. It was truly a shock moving into the heart of one of the most populous cities in the world, especially after growing up in Santa Fe and being blessed with mountain views my whole life. It took about a year before I began to feel comfortable with the change, but the sheer volume and vibrancy of the culture I was experiencing was well worth the stress. The standards at NYU were high but I feel my education at Waldorf prepared me enough to succeed. Between the standard liberal arts courses, the dance courses, and functional anatomy courses I was enrolled in, I managed to find time to get a minor in web programming and data structure design.
How long have you been dancing, and how did you decide on it as a career?r? I have been dancing as long as I can remember. I have always had an affinity to physical sensation and exertion. I knew I wanted to pursue dancing as a profession when I saw Hubbard Street Dance Chicago perform at the Lensic Performing Arts Center (in Santa Fe) when I was 11 or 12. I was offered a job with the company of Hubbard Street 2 for early career artists twice during college and turned it
down on both occasions. It was important to me to finish school and earn my degree. They ended up asking me a third time after I graduated, and I joined the company in 2014.
Please describe your daily life and discipline. I ride my bike five miles to work every day. It helps me get my body and legs ready for the day. We take a company ballet class every morning, then we rehearse for the next six hours for whatever program we are preparing for. I am constantly learning new works from some of the most prominent choreographers in the world. We also often learn two or three other roles in the same piece in case someone gets injured. It is a massive amount of information to hold in the brain, but we all manage to learn it all.
Looking back, how does your Waldorf education benefit your life today? Waldorf instilled a deep curiosity and love of discovery in me. These qualities are invaluable to my work on a daily basis. The values a Waldorf education provides have become my tools that allow me to delve deeply into the work I love.
What is the best part of what you do now? The best part of my job is touring our programs. We tour nationally and internationally. My favorite place to visit is Switzerland. We often get a few days off on every tour so I always pack my mountain gear. Aside from the Rockies, the Swiss Alps are some of the best mountains I have ever climbed.
What do you do for fun? Rock climb, cycle, write music and choreograph dances.
â€œWALDORF INSTILLED A DEEP CURIOSITY AND LOVE OF DISCOVERY IN ME â€?
Contact Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hubbardstreetdance.com.
SFWS TODAY: Global Citizenry 2016-17: INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM EXPANDS THE WORLD OF SANTA FE WALDORF HIGH SCHOOL Students crossed oceans and continents in all directions as the SFWS High School’s International Program continued to show strength and numbers this past year. Four students from Germany, Colombia, Brazil and Peru came to the school for varying lengths of time, and four Santa Fe students ventured to Colombia, Italy, England and Switzerland. Angela Wagner, a Grade 11 student from Windischleuba, Germany, spent the entire school year at SFWS, discovering great rewards. “Being an international exchange student is something exciting, even though it seems a little scary at first,” Angela says. But eventually, she felt she found a second home here in Santa Fe, and “I definitely got to know myself a lot better too!” Sophie Linett, HS Class of 2017 spent several months at the Scuola Steiner di Lugano visiting a student her family had hosted last year. She says of her experience, “...There’s a certain inexplicable atmosphere that comes with every Waldorf school–in different shapes and sizes, yes, but at its heart the same–and that’s why an exchange to another school is such a great experience, because you can go to a Waldorf school anywhere in the world and you’ll feel at home.”
2017-18: WORLD EXPLORATIONS THAT LIE AHEAD Waldorf in Nepal: Emma Warren, (Grade 9, 2009) will be returning to the Maitreya Waldorf School in Pokhara, Nepal in October to bring Waldorf toys and school supplies. Warren visited the school this past February for about a month and a half with her sister Lucy (Grade 4, 2009) during a gap year of travel. The pair were inspired by their mother, former SFWS teacher 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. The school currently only has 16 students (though twice a many as in 2016), a kindergarten and first grade, but will start a second grade later in the year. It also runs a biodynamic farm, and has 12 cows. Emmas writes, “When Lucy and I left, early April, they asked if we would want to maybe spread the word and send toys (dolls or knitted animals) as well as any literature. They are translating all their books into Nepali (amazing!).” Visiting International Program Students and their hosts: Back row: Alyeska Shore, Grade 8; Sophie Linett, Grade 12; Devta Khalsa, Grade 11; Pierro Rivera, Grade 11, Peru; Nicolas Kauffman, Grade 11, Brazil. First row: Angela Wagner, Grade 11, Germany; Chloe Casdagli, Grade 10; Tucker Smith, Grade 11. (Not in photo: Martín Saldarriaga, Grade 10, Colombia, Santi Briceno, Grade 10)
Emma is offering to send or bring donations with her when she returns this fall. If you or anyone you know would like to make a donation, please contact Emma at email@example.com. Waldorf in Georgia: SFWS siblings, Luka Naranjo Chyorny (rising Grade 7) and Sasha Chyorny (rising kindergarten) will accompany their mother Raisa to the country of Georgia during the summer. This fall, the students will attend the Waldorf school in Tbilisi.
A New Ark for All Ages PARENTS COME TOGETHER TO CREATE A NEW PLAYGROUND SHIP A landmark that SFWS students have loved for over a decade sailed its final voyage last year and was replaced with a newer, taller, and larger vessel this past school year. Over the summer of 2016, parents from Miss McFeeley’s class, with help from other grades, built a new ark with funds donated by the Grade 8 class of 2016. The original ark was built as a parent-student project in 2002, (Mr. Oellig’s Grade 8 class of 2008), as part of the Grade 3 shelter-building curriculum. Parents Parker Jennings, a carpenter for the Santa Fe Opera, Travis Stroope, and Bob Kyser led the student and parent builders to create Jennings’ design of an ark that would be larger and more durable than its predecessor. Played upon by all ages, decorated for All Hallow’s Eve, sailing forth as Odysseus’s ship in the Grade 5 play, and serving as a backdrop for the high school class of 2017, the new ark has been an instant hit.
HELP NAME THE SHIP!
The class of 2015 walks by the old ark at the Rose Ceremony
Odysseus sets forth in the Grade 5 play this spring
< She was all aglow and looking grand for the 2017 All Hallow’s Eve Celebration
The nomination period is currently open. Please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggestions from Mr. Oellig’s class of 2008 are especially invited, and all are welcome to the drawing and name announcement at the Holiday Faire on December 2, 2017.
The naming process started at the 2016 Holiday Faire. Help us finish it up at the 2017 Faire when we christen the new vessel! 5
ALUMNI PROFILE Kailey Zercher
High School Class of 2013
Bachelor of Music in Performance (Violin), Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA, 2017 CURRENT WORK: Violinist, The Womps
FROM SFWS MUSIC STUDENT TO SOARING ROCK VIOLINIST How was your college experience after Waldorf, both personally and academically?
“WALDORF...LEAD ME THROUGH WAYS OF EXERCISING CREATIVE THINKING AND MY MUSICAL MIND ”
My college experience was an amazing time in my life. I did miss the open spaces of New Mexico, but otherwise I feel like a made a great transition from high school to college. I made great friends, and I was eager to learn what Berklee had to offer, which helped me excel academically. I feel that I’ve absorbed many different styles of playing, and have learned so much about the contemporary music industry that has given me a foundation for the career I want to pursue.
How did you choose your major and how did you get involved in the Womps? I choose my major because I wanted a career in performing. In my first semester, my first friends were some of the first people I played with and have formed bands with. In October of 2014, three of those friends and I formed The Womps because we realized we all wrote very similar music, and had the same musical interests. I love and respect all forms of music, but in the past two years, my bandmates have helped me with the transition from being a classical player with little-to-no improvisational technique to becoming comfortable in a jam and rock setting. They have helped me form the sound I aspire to having as a performing rock violinist.
Looking back, how did your Waldorf education benefit college and your life today? I look back at my Waldorf education very gratefully. I started Waldorf in the first grade, which lead me through ways of exercising creative thinking and my musical mind, especially in elementary school. All throughout my Waldorf career, I was able to prepare for a life in performing, from class plays, end-ofyear performances, and class projects, which included giving reports starting at an early age. The way that Waldorf teaches you about critical thinking and formal essay writing helped me in my liberal arts classes and with my professional writing skills.
What do you do for fun? The Womps
For fun, I love to visit the many parks in Boston, as well as hiking and camping in the nearby White Mountains in New Hampshire. And of course, playing music with friends is always a joy.
What is the best part of what you do now? The Womps is working on putting together a large portfolio of new songs that will be recorded in 2017 in our first full album. Arranging and working on these new compositions has been the best part of The Womps. It’s been an adventure finding new ways to make music different, and going through the whole creative process with our songs.
What are your future plans? So far, The Womps has decided to move forward together to make this our official career. As side jobs, I plan on doing some teaching, recording sessions, and freelance performing in weddings or general business gigs. • To find out more about Zercher and the Womps, visit them here: www.thewomps.bandcamp.com or on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheWompsRock On our website, please feel free to sign up for our email subscription! www.thewomps.wixsite.com/thewomps
Pam Colgate High School English, College Guidance Counselor By Zoë Whittle We all know Pam Colgate as the high school English teacher who made us learn how to write well, but before she was a teacher, she had other lives. Ms. Colgate received her undergraduate degree in English from Colorado College, worked in New York City in publishing and advertising, and then went on to receive an MBA from Columbia University. For over 20 years, she worked in marketing and new product development, and along the way, she married, had two children, and became a Waldorf parent in Pasadena, California. In 1999 she and her family moved to Santa Fe. In 2000, she volunteered to teach grammar to her son’s seventh grade class. Ms. Colgate also became part of a core group of instructors who forged the vision for the high school, which opened on Labor Day, 2001. During her Waldorf teacher training at the Center of Anthroposophy in New Hampshire, Ms. Colgate wrote her thesis and designed a course on Japanese Literature. It was a topic and culture that she still believes is important, and which has become part of the SFWS curriculum, a unique offering among Waldorf Schools. The two things Ms. Colgate enjoys most about teaching have always been the students and the class discussions. She loves deeply exploring the classics and revisiting characters in different ways with a new set of students each year. “Of course,” she says, “I also love a well written essay and a take-your-breath poem.” Outside of the classroom, Ms. Colgate has always been an avid supporter of her students. She has been at almost every class play, every concert, every high school dance. She has attended high school sporting events with more frequency than most students. For one-on-one talks with a student, an escape for lunch at Harrry’s was one of her trademarks.
Zoë Whittle, HS Class of 2017, (pictured above with Ms. Colgate) is the recipient of the prestigious Daniels Fund Scholarship, covering the full cost of tuition for four years of college, which she applied for and won with Colgate’s guidance.
Ms. Colgate has served on the College of Teachers and more recently, as College Guidance Counselor. She was the founding faculty advisor to literary magazine, Taliesin, and to the creation of an all-school yearbook. We wish her well as she moves into the next journey of her life, which she says will include gardening, reading, and hiking the hills—and might we guess, also, writing.
SFWS TODAY: Community Engagement AN ACT OF DOG
SAVE THE DATES
This year, the Grade 9 art class, under the guidance of School Administrator Jeffrey Baker, partnered with local charity An Act of Dog to create woodcuts and prints designed to reflect the current conditions of abandoned animals, to raise awareness and funds, and to be advocates to help save animals without a voice.
Summer Breeze Golf Tournament
The goal of an Act of Dog’s work with SFWS students is to pave two parallel pathways: to cultivate compassion for animals by raising funds through the sale of fine art products to give back to shelters/rescue groups across the nation, and to show kids how to use their art for social change.
July 22, 2017 Because of our strong relationship with the Pueblo of Pojoaque, Buffalo Thunder Resort is underwriting a golf tournament for the School in order to support fundraising for scholarships. If you cannot join us, please look on the website santafewaldorf.org/summerbreezegolf/ for Silent Auction and Raffle opportunities — winners need not be present to win!
4th Annual Wolf Pack Trail Run
“Kids are the unwrapped gifts of our future, and we believe that it is critically important to put meaningful art back into schools to allow them the process of self discovery, and to ignite a desire to become informed about the atrocities in society and to use their creativity to bring them into the light.” — An Act of Dog
Waldorf believes creativity is vital. Picasso said, “All children are born artists.” This project is aligned with our curriculum in emphasizing creativity to cultivate original ideas that have value, to connect us to what is enduring and lasting. If you are interested in supporting the work of our compassionate SFWS High School students, individual prints and posters are available for purchase. The funds generated from the sale will support SFWS High School art programming as well as An Act of Dog, the Peggy Adams Animal League Rescue League and the Espanola Animal Shelter. www.anactofdog.org
September 10, 2017 The Booster Club’s annual fundraising event will include Trail Runners from the area, and families and individuals wanting to enjoy the morning’s opportunity to run a 10K or 5K, or walk the trails. Proceeds from the Trail Run will support the Athletic Programs at the school.
Holiday Faire December 2, 2017 Rudolf’s Diner, Sweets & Savory Cafe, children’s games, artisan’s market, performances by Clan Tynker and more await visitors, friends and alumni at our 34th Annual Holiday Faire—we hope to see you there!
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: PLord@SantaFeWaldorf.org before December 11 if you are able to join us.
Holiday Alumni Get Together December 2017 Check the SFWS alumni page for the latest details at www.santafewaldorf.org/alumni
CELEBRATING A FROSTY SPRING This year, students, teachers, parents, grandparents and home school groups visiting from Taos and Albuquerque put on their warmest winter gear to celebrate Mayfaire and Grandparents and Friends Day....What? Instead of warm weather as expected, Santa Fe had seasonally low temperatures for our two favorite spring holidays. This didnâ€™t stop one of our largest crowds ever from gathering for Grandparents and Friends Day, and attending a lunch at which Grade 1 teacher Megan Rosker spoke about the importance of free play. And the next day, the entire school bundled up to enjoy the Mayfaire dances being performed in the snow, followed by crafts and cake walks.
Charlotte Whitcomb with her four SFWS grandchildren, clockwise from top right: Sophie Biderman (Grade 6), Zebediah Baker (kindergarten), Teo Biderman (Grade 2), and Ria Baker (Grade 4).
Margarita Salazar with her grandsons Tau (Grade 4) and Xia (kindergarten).
Georgia Maryol with her granddaughter Lily Gundrey, Grade 5.
Kindergarten teacher Fletcher and Ruth Lathrop Jill McCormick with with their granddaughter Autum Carpenter Chloe (kindergarten). (kindergarten).
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 that allow our school community to thrive. Your charitable tax-deductible gifts help us to minimize tuition increases and are invested right back into our school community in many ways. With your help, together we can help our school grow and flourish year after year. Visit santafewaldorf.org/donate-now.
ALUMNI PROFILE WORKING FOR PEACE: ERADICATING THE USE OF CHILD SOLDIERS How was your college experience after leaving Waldorf, both personally and academically? I chose to go to college in Canada to pursue mechanical engineering, with the end goal of going into astronautical engineering. After finishing my undergrad, I began a master’s in mechanical engineering, but quickly realized that I wanted to do something with a more human focus. I chose a master’s in resource and environmental management at the same school, focused on managing human interactions with the environment.
High School Class of 2009 Bachelor of engineering in mechanical engineering from Dalhousie University Master of resource and environmental management from Dalhousie University Masters internship with Green Initiative NGO in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia CURRENT WORK: Program Officer – Research at the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative in Halifax, Nova Scotia
During both degrees, I was for the most part able to succeed academically, while dealing with challenging classes, a heavy course load (five to six courses per semester in undergrad) and while pursuing extracurricular activities. My time helping run both the outdoors society and the university’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders provided many valuable experiences, some of which were more important than my actual academic experience.
How did you choose your major and/or your work? During high school I was a member of the peace studies group. During both my undergrad and master’s degrees, I was a member of my school’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders. In the fall of 2014, I was able to do a project with the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, a small nonprofit based in Halifax, Nova Scotia at Dalhousie University where I did my master’s. I began doing volunteer work for them after the course. The following year I was hired on as a research assistant, before being hired full time as their research officer in March 2016.
Please describe your work. The Dallaire Initiative was founded in 2010 to confront and end the use of child soldiers. Our main focus is addressing why children are recruited as soldiers and how the security sector, especially peacekeepers, can help prevent their recruitment. My role in this work includes conducting primary and secondary research, preparing it for publication, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of our projects, and keeping other staff members abreast of developments in countries where we work.
“W E URGENTLY NEED YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE OPEN MINDED, CAPABLE OF CRITICAL THINKING, AND HAVE A HOLISTIC VIEW OF THE WORLD. I THINK WALDORF IS WELL SITUATED TO INSTILL THESE QUALITIES TODAY’S YOUTH, AS IT CERTAINLY DID FOR ME.”
So far, my work has twice taken me to Sierra Leone. There, we train members of the Sierra Leonean military, police, and prisons services on how and why children are used as soldiers, how authorities can help prevent recruitment, what they should do if they encounter child soldiers, and how to better protect children during both peace and wartime. Many of the people we have trained are now serving in United Nations and African Union peacekeeping missions, where they are making a measurable impact on children.
A second aspect of our work in Sierra Leone is working with children in schools to begin changing attitudes. In partnership with a local NGO, we have been piloting an after-school club program where children learn about peace and child protection, and then teach their peers and parents about it. I helped to assess the initial impact of this project in April, and found that it is already shifting attitudes and changing behaviors, helping to reduce fighting and bullying, and change parents’ attitudes towards their children. Our work was critical in leading the Canadian military to become the first to create a doctrine specifically on child soldiers, and many other nations and organizations such as NATO and the African Union are interested in our work. Being part of such an organization that is helping make the world more peaceful is rewarding, enjoyable, and challenging.
Looking back, how does a Santa Fe Waldorf education benefit your life today? I think the kind of education that the Waldorf system provides is more important than ever, as it emphasizes learning, critical thinking, and an appreciation for the humanities and liberal arts. Throughout my education and in my current work these qualities have proved especially important, providing the skills I needed for succeeding in a wider variety of topics, understanding and appreciating knowledge derived from a broad range of sources, and radically changing my career path between undergrad and my current work.
What are your future plans? I currently plan to stay in my current position for at least the next few years, and am considering pursuing a PhD in a related field. I intend to remain working on armed conflict issues for the foreseeable future.
What is the best part of what you do now? Working in a job that I know has a positive impact on the world is very rewarding. The causes of and solutions for conflict are incredibly complex. Wading through these and understanding them is an enjoyable challenge.
What do you do for fun? Traveling is certainly my favorite activity, and I’ve been fortunate enough to do a lot of it both for pleasure and for work. Halifax is a great city and I get out hiking and cycling fairly often, and sometimes canoeing and kayaking. My favorite activity lately though has been watching in enraptured horror on Twitter as the US collapses. Contact Dustin at email@example.com or visit www.childsoldiers.org.
TEACHER PROFILE Brenna Rothschild Grade 1 teacher Each spring, kindergarten families eagerly await the announcement of who will be the new Grade 1 teacher to guide their child for the next eight years of the Waldorf curriculum. This year’s rising Grade 1 families found out that their new teacher comes straight from the Santa Fe Waldorf community; Brenna Rothschild is a school parent who learned her skills through teaching her three children via a homeschool-based Waldorf curriculum. Coming to SFWS is a long-held ambition, she says. “Ever since I discovered Waldorf, I wanted to be a Waldorf teacher in a Waldorf school.” Originally, daughter Ida attended two years in the SFWS kindergarten. However, with son Emmet on the way, Rothschild and her husband Robby, decided to participate in the Waldorf-inspired homeschooling cooperative, the Sunflowers. Rothschild, who has a background in arts education and dance, started to teach children of all ages in a wide range of subjects, as well as studying anthroposophy, putting on festivals, and producing original plays through the Golden Lantern theater group, which she founded. “It was a magical time to be learning, with parents who were friends and colleagues.” After third grade, Ida decided she wanted to return to school, so the Rothschilds brought her and Emmet back to SFWS, where they are now rising Grade 6 and Grade 3 students. In fall, their son Eden will start kindergarten. To complete her Waldorf training, Rothschild will start her master’s degree in Waldorf education from Antioch University New England this summer. She is relying on Robby, a musician with the band Round Mountain, and three of the children’s grandparents who live locally to help her balance family and work duties. “I have a lot of support!” And she has a lot of enthusiasm. She already knows many of her Grade 1 class and is looking forward to getting to know them as a teacher. “When you are a teacher to a child, you see the spirit of the child in an intimate and special way,” she says, adding, “They are a strong, spirited group and I’m excited to get to know them individually and also how they work as a group. It’s like a big fat novel—I can’t wait to pick it up!”
ALUMNI NEWS: Class Notes Margaret Andersen, Grade 10, 2003, is a freelance graphic
designer and writer based in Los Angeles, CA (and sister to current SFWS music teacher Casey Andersen, HS Class of 2010!). She received her MFA in Graphic Design from the California Institute of the Arts, and is a contributing writer to AIGA’s Eye on Design, and The Dieline. She currently works with a narrative design studio that specializes in storytelling through virtual reality and immersive design.
Hunter Riley, Grade 9, 2004,
made it all the way to Albuquerque before she found her dream job as the manager of outreach, operations and education at Self Serve Toys, a health and education-focused sexuality resource center. Self Serve has been around for 10 years, and Hunter has been part of the team for five years bringing medically accurate, inclusive, pleasure-focused sex education to New Mexicans, and beyond.
Celeste (Booth) Eizaguirre, HS Class of 2005, currently resides in Ann Arbor, MI and is a full time wedding and lifestyle photographer, and freelance graphic designer. Her work has been featured by national wedding blogs, the New York Times, and more.
Miguel Yi Sandino, HS Class of 2005, writes: “I am currently
working with JackRabbit Systems as the Analytics Strategist. I have also relocated to Denver, Colorado where I am enjoying the mountains, the city life, and the proximity to a large international airport.”
Ona Yopack, HS Class of 2005, returned to Santa Fe where she
continued her work in knitwear design after completing her BA at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. As a multi media artist, her work can be found in different galleries in collaboration with Strangers Collective. Ona is also continuing her passion for the art of baking and is perusing a career in cake decorating.
Hari Ray Khalsa, HS Class of 2006, writes, “I live in Santa Fe and spend my days making silly apocalyptic sci-fi comedy stories. Check them out at www.radiation.world.”
Shawn Thomas, HS Class of 2006,
writes: “I have been attending Illinois Central College and am set to graduate this fall semester with Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management degrees. I have been working in the service industry for six-plus years in restaurants and butcher shops/seafood markets. I plan on traveling and working under different chefs in different areas including Ecuador and Louisiana once I graduate.”
Marshall Johnson, HS Class of 2007, writes: “I defended my Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin in July 2016. I subsequently moved to Columbus, Ohio, where I am the Columbus Prize Postdoctoral Fellow in the Ohio State University Department of Astronomy; my research focuses on various topics related to planets around massive stars, and planet formation and migration.”
Connie Wind Walker HS Class of 2005, currently resides in
Santa Fe, NM with her two children Orrin, five years old, and Thea, five months old, and her husband John. Connie currently works in collaboration with Dancing Earth as a costume designer and aerial dance coach. 12
Eva Singer, HS Class of 2008,
writes, “I’ve been living in Austin, TX for about five years. I completed my Master’s in Russian Language and Literature in May 2015 and am currently working at the Austin Public Library.”
REVISITING WALDORF A DECADE DOWN THE ROAD
High School Class of 2007 Sylvie Neal, HS Class of 2008, writes: “After
high school I attended St. John’s College for undergraduate and then for graduate work, so I got a bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and a master’s in Eastern Classics. Then I worked tutoring high school students for a year before volunteering in Kilkenny, Ireland from the summer of 2014 to the summer of 2016 at Camphill Community Ballytobin. There I met my partner who is German. I have been in Santa Fe for the last year tutoring once again and working as a riding assistant at Santa Fe Sport Horse. I am planning to move to Germany in the summer and continue in education, either with children or horses, whichever I can.”
On May 18, members of the SFWS High School Class of 2007 reunited to connect and share life changes a full 10 years after graduation. Organizer Laura Hitt, who is now getting an MFA in Creative Writing at Iowa State University, says the group really enjoyed re-finding each other and their teachers. “It was great to relate to (the teachers) as adults. Now we can understand better where they are coming from since some of us are grad students or teachers ourselves.” Even the high school looked different after 10 years. The building “looked so different to all of us,” says Hitt. “The great room seems so much smaller now—it used to seem so big to us!” In attendance were Laura Hitt, Ursula Hartman (Grade 10, 2005), Marshall Johnson, Iza Bruen (Grade 10, 2005), Zoe Kelly Linkletter, Nathan Gollogly, Matthew Langenskamp, and Sadie Munson. Teachers who dropped by included Pam Colgate, Greg Shultz, Matthew Burritt, former middle- and highschool teacher, Mary Freitas, and former Chinese teacher, Christine Chen.
Kayla Salyer, HS Class of 2013, was named to the Dean’s List at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida for outstanding achievement during the fall 2016 semester. Kayla is currently in her senior year, majoring in Critical Media and Cultural Studies
Alex Chastenet de Géry, HS Class of 2015,
was awarded a competitive, career-center grant from Sewanee: The University of the South for her acceptance as a summer intern for the United States Peace Corps in Washington, D.C. Alex is a rising Junior at Sewanee, and will study at the Institute of European Studies and l’Université de Nantes, France, for the Fall 2017 semester.
Keifer Nace, HS Class of 2015, achieved
academic distinction for the Fall 2016 semester at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. She was a starter on the varsity lacrosse team there and will be studying environmental issues in Ecuador this coming fall semester.
Gabrielle Chastenet de Géry, HS Class of 2016, made the Dean’s Honor List for her
second term at Savannah College of Art & Design. Gabrielle was also accepted to the Winter 2018 term abroad at SCAD’s campus in Lacoste, France.
From left to right: Zoe Kelly Linkletter, Iza Bruen-Morningstar, Nathan Gollogly, Mary Freitas holding Ambrose Valdez, Greg Shultz, Sadie Munson Valdez holding Sierra Valdez, Marshall Johnson, Laura Hitt, Matthew Langsenkamp, Christine Chen holding newborn Oliver, Pam Colgate, and Ursula Hartman.
We Want To Hear From You! Enjoy reading about what your classmates have been up to? They want to hear about you, too! Let fellow alumni know about your latest life changes, professional accomplishments, interests, or anecdotes. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
26 Puesta Del Sol Santa Fe, NM 87508 santafewaldorf.org/alumni
Grade 8 and the High School Class of 2017 line up on the bridge after the Rose Ceremony to celebrate all they have achieved at SFWS. Photo by Daniel Quat.
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