(Campus Director and Game of Village)
I was born in Los Angeles, California in 1959 to a mom whose middle name was ‘adventure’. Growing up we spent a lot of time traveling and were in and out of towns, states, countries and public schools, where I had never really felt very much at home any way. In 1973 my mother, sister and I moved to Austin, Texas and, at long last, settled down.
Recognizing that the public school system was not really working for her two children my mother found a ‘Free School’ nestled in the woods, 35 miles outside of Austin, and a whole new adventure began.
The Free School, modeled loosely after Summerhill, had opened in 1969 and was the creative, nurturing haven for about 35 children ranging in age from 5-18. Its foundational beliefs were that children were as deserving of respect as the rest of humanity and the leading authority on their own personal and educational needs. In an environment of love and respect I was free to choose how I might spend my time and there I learned the lessons that have made the most difference in my life. How to relate to people, the value of resolving conflicts respectfully and honorably, what it takes to make mistakes and still look the people you respect in the eye, knowing that you are loved for who you are, not what you do.
With the pressure to make grades removed from my life I developed a fondness for writing, nature, science, history, world cultures, yoga, crafts, world religions, peaceful conflict resolution, and, eventually, mathematics!
Inspired by own experiences in alternative eduction I gravitated to working and playing with children in the same ways that I had been worked and played with. I have taught in alternative schools, Montessori schools, at home with my own three children (now grown), in homeschool co-ops and now at Austin EcoSchool.