Jessy Jane Pope
I have grown up in rural Northern California, soaking up the wild beauty and expansive nature that it has imbued into my being. For 15 years I’ve lived in Covelo, California on our 200-acre homestead farm and nature preserve. My three children were all born here. When I moved here I knew it would be the place where I also gave birth to my vision for a nature-based school for children. I completed my BA at the New College of California where I wrote my thesis on education that included my vision for community, art, and nature to be the educational containers for a child’s unique unfolding to be nurtured. In 2009, I founded EarthStars. EarthStars nurtures families and youth through deep nature connection, artistic self expression, and community regeneration. We create a space where everyone can be themselves and allow for each person’s unique gifts to be honored and integrated as a vital piece to the world. In 2014, I completed the Lifeways Early Childhood training. Lifeways gave me a wonderful education in Waldorf philosophy and practice that I integrated into EarthStars.
I love to splash in puddles on a rainy day, pull up logs in search of creepy crawlies, or take uncharted waterfall adventures into the hills. My family and community are a big source of inspiration. I spend time reading novels with Jupiter, sewing doll clothes with Nova, cheering on soccer star athlete Artemis, and stealing moments of affection with my partner Rio. Having a delicious meal together in the evening is a daily highlight for me. I am grateful to bring my leadership to the continued learning experience The Waldorf School of Mendocino County provides, while serving the commitment to nurturing the whole child, honoring diversity, and taking care of Mother Earth.
When I began looking deeply at Waldorf classrooms as a place for my daughter, I realized it was where I belonged as well. I have a background in Theater that includes performing and teaching at all levels, from Kindergarten through Junior College. My interest in the mystery of being human lead me to become a Licensed Acupuncturist. I bring my experience as an actor, a director, a teacher, and a healer to my teaching. I was drawn to theater and Chinese Medicine because they encompass the whole human being: the physical, the emotional, the communal, and the spiritual aspects. As a Waldorf Teacher, I get to bring my love for the human being and all her potential to the classroom everyday. I live with my husband John, daughter Sage, dog Biscuit and two cats Muzby and Romeo. In my personal life, I enjoy spending time in nature, camping, swimming in the river, and playing with my family and our pets.
Office Coordinator & Registrar
I have been part of WSMC since 2007 when my oldest daughter started preschool. We immediately fell in love with this school and their principles and teachings. I became very involved with event coordinating here and became a Board Member. I served on the Board for 7 years. I stepped down when I starting working in the office. My youngest daughter graduated from WSMC in June of 2020. I love to continue to be a part of this school and community. It’s a very positive, loving and supportive environment, for employees and children.
I love to be outside, and walk my dogs. I enjoy watching my children be active with their activities, be it, horseback riding, dance, or soccer.
I was born in California, but spent most of my childhood in Colorado. Mendocino County has been home to me since 2001. I have earned Associates Degrees in Business Management and in Psychology. Most of my employment background consists of work for local governments, and after 16 years in Mendocino County government I decided to go a different direction. I dreamed of a place where appreciation and kindness are integral to the culture of the organization. I have found that here at The Waldorf School. I spend my free time enjoying the company of my husband, our grown children, and our dogs. I enjoy several hobbies including cake decorating, gardening, knitting and crocheting, reading, and kayaking
EMILY ROSE SMITH
My journey with Waldorf education began in a small playgroup run by Marcia Tichenor. I don’t remember the play group but it made an impression on my mother who supported my Waldorf education through 8th grade graduation here at WSMC. I loved being a Waldorf student. Beeswax and watercolor are at the core of my being. My experience at WSMC formed the foundations of who I am today. After high school, I left California for the snowy winters of upstate New York to attend Wells College. After graduating with a BA in International Studies I traveled in Latin America before falling into teaching. Four years later, the travel bug caught again and I took a position teaching English in the Republic of Georgia. Nothing like living in an economically fragile county to make you reassess your life and upon return to California I decided to pursue my MBA with a focus on nonprofit management at Mills College. The excitement of business meetings and East Bay life changed with the birth of my daughter Eva. I decided it was time to head home to Willits (again) to dirt and trees. I knew I wanted my children to have the same Waldorf experience I had had and was honored when I was asked to join the WSMC Board. Board work became Committee work, Committee work became taking on the Auction and now Enrollment and Outreach. I am excited to use the skills I have acquired with an organization I feel truly passionate about. I think it is my responsibility, as a parent and alumni, to contribute to the sustainability of the school I love.
Enrollment and Outreach Coordinator