OUR STAFF

Spring Senerchia Administrator

SPRING SENERCHIA

Administrator

I was born and raised in Mendocino County; my childhood was spent outdoors and with books.  I graduated from Mountain Meadow Waldorf School (now WSMC) in 1992.  Since then I have lived in a Zen Monastary, Guatemala, Santa Cruz, New Mexico and Willits.  I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Culture, Ecology and Sustainable Community.  I have worked for an Intentional Community, in classrooms, offices and commercial kitchens of all sorts, as a Natural Builder and as a mother.  In my work I am passionate about supporting individuals towards working effectively within larger organizations that operate out of reverence for the spiritual nature of life, and whose goals are social health and renewal.  My children both attend WSMC: Indigo, like many 8th grade Waldorf students, synthesizes in a unique way, years of learning and practice, daily astounding me with artistic talent and social emotional acuity; Salvio, entering Class 4 & 5 is a voracious reader of history and an exemplary athlete whose passion for organized sports ignites mine.  Working here brings together almost all of my passions and deeply held convictions in a way that is deeply satisfying.  I am thrilled to work with fantastic colleagues in service to the children of our future.
 
I most like to be in wild places and with my family.
My best friends are farmers and spiritual seekers.
Cooking and serving excellent food to my friends and family is a great love of mine.

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Jessy Jane Pope

Assistant Administrator

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.

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KELLY
AUSTIN

Pedagogical Chair

I began my teaching journey at this school by taking up the 4th grade class in 1997 while concurrently taking the Waldorf Teacher Training at the Center for Educational Renewal. This class graduated from 8th grade in 2001; at the same time, I graduated from my teacher training program.  I then began an eight year journey with my next class.  I stayed in the upper grades and graduated two 8th grade classes (2011 and 2012).  I began again with a new 1st grade in 2012.  In our 4th grade year, we were joined by the 3rd grade class, when WSMC switched to a combined grades model.  We moved together through the grades and graduated in 2020 and 2021. I have always loved teaching and although I am not teaching this year I look forward to possibly taking another class through the grades in the future.

This year I was offered the new position, Pedagogical Chair. I will be working closely with the School Administrator and College of Teachers to hold the whole picture of the school and work to strengthen the relationships, curriculum and organization. 

Outside of school I spend every moment possible with my husband, my three children, and my five grandchildren.  I enjoy reading, knitting, drawing, puzzles, gardening, hiking, and birding.




 

Jami O'Connor Office Coordinator and Registrar

JAMI

O'CONNOR

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.

Jennifer Krauss Business Manager

JENNIFER

KRAUSS

Business Manager

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 Enrollment and Outreach Coordinator

EMILY ROSE SMITH

Enrollment & Outreach Coordinator

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.