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 moved to Mendocino County as a teenager and have lived in the mountains of Redwood Valley for 20 years. I became part of The Waldorf School when my daughter began preschool. During the pandemic, I found strength in the shared values of the WSMC community. The staff, faculty, and families powered through with hope even at the height of uncertainty. It has been a joy to experience the return to normal school activities at Waldorf.
I enjoy quiet country life and spending time outdoors with my daughter. I am a certified equine body worker, an animal caregiver for livestock and pets, and a baker. Bountiful seasonal harvests, a love for the science of baking, and finding any and all reasons to celebrate is what keeps me inspired.
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 & Outreach Coordinator
I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and after high school I attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. There I received a B.A. in Liberal Studies, a multiple subject teaching credential, and an M.A. in Education. Shortly after my daughter was born seventeen years ago, my husband Mike and I decided to move to Mendocino County. We were seeking a slower pace of life with plenty of space to raise a family and for our pets.
My first Waldorf experience was when my daughter and I attended the Roots and Shoots Program at WSMC. It was a lovely few weeks of songs, crafts, fresh baked bread, and playtime. I knew then that this school would offer a warm nurturing space for my daughter to grow. She then attended Rosebud Preschool, Yellow Rose Kindergarten, and journeyed up through the grades. My son is now following her lead and is in the third grade. While my children have attended WSMC I have volunteered, helped as a classroom parent, and worked as a resource teacher. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, riding my horse, doing arts and crafts, and going on outdoor adventures with my family.