Calvin Turnwall — 1980 - 1986
I grew up on Greenfield Ranch, just outside of Ukiah. I was a student at Mountain Meadow Waldorf school in Calpella from 1980 to 1986, before it became the Waldorf School of Mendocino County.
Since then, I have lived in San Francisco where I worked as a bicycle messenger. Waldorf education re-entered my life a bit later when I lived in Citrus Heights, while my girlfriend, Alena Cochrane, went to the Rudolph Steiner College in Fair Oaks. Alena later taught at the Mendocino Waldorf School. I now live in Ukiah with my wife Stacey and my Daughter Tessa (4th Grade), where I am a graphic designer and a Capoeira teacher.
Waldorf education helped me cultivate my art skills, which I use for my graphic design business. Waldorf school also instilled in me a lifelong curiosity. I believe that anything I set my mind to can be accomplished.
Santiago Stocker — 1990 - 1998
I live just outside Washington D.C., in Maryland, with my wife, Hadley, and my two children, Ricardo and Polly. I work at the State Department, for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Our bureau is dedicated to finding ways to prevent and mitigate conflict around the world. I am a political scientist by training, and my specialty is identifying the drivers of conflict and the pathways to peaceful conflict resolution.
I earned a B.A. in political science from Oberlin College in 2006, then spent six years working on political campaigns. In 2013, I earned an M.A. in international studies from Claremont Graduate University and went on to work for the State Department.
My Waldorf education has been very important for me in many ways. It has taught me to be a critical thinker and a creative problem solver. In a world of hyper-compartmentalization, it's important to understand that there can be many solutions to a problem, and that there are many methods and ideas to draw from to solve a problem.
EMILY DESMOND — 1990 - 1998
I graduated 8th grade from Waldorf in 1998. She attended the Calpella campus from 1st-8th grade and went on to graduate from Willits High School, fourth in my class. I attended the University of San Diego and earned my BA in English and Education and my Master's degree from the same university in School Counseling. I worked as a yoga teacher and yoga studio manager and lead instructor for eight years, and I now work as a community outreach specialist for a Population Health Program with the Navy Medical Hospital and branch clinics in San Diego.
I am ever grateful for my Waldorf education. It was one of the most formative experiences in who and how I am today. The best way I can describe it is that I was given the opportunity to fall in love with learning through the Waldorf approach to education. I was allowed to experience my childhood without being rushed or pushed through it; to be creative and exposed to so many methods of discovery. My experience at Waldorf set me up to earn a full ride scholarship to the colleges that I applied to because it taught me to be interested in learning. I currently live in San Diego, and I have a wonderful job as a contractor for Population Health. I enjoy surfing, yoga, pilates, and spending time with my sister, who lives just a few miles away!
Taj Meadows — 1990 - 1997
I went to Mountain Meadow from 1990 to 1997, 1st through 8th grade, spending most of that time with the kind and energetic Mrs. Springer. I graduated with eighteen kids, most of whom were with us from the beginning. It's still the longest time I've spent as part of something (though my marriage is getting close), and I give Waldorf a lot of credit for some of the things that continue to make me happy and moderately successful in my various pursuits—namely, creativity, a rich aesthetic sense, and an insatiable appetite for knowledge.
Today, I live in Singapore with my wife, Katheryn, and our two very small kids, Kai (2.5) and Isla (1.5). I work for Google, as the head of Policy Communications for Asia Pacific. This basically means that I help us do and say the things we should across Asia Pacific to earn people's trust and respect, while also trying to push back on efforts by governments and others to limit free expression and access to information.
It's been quite a journey to get from Mountain Meadow in Calpella to Google in Singapore. After college at UC Santa Barbara, I went into politics, working on John Kerry's presidential campaign in Colorado. From there, I moved to Washington D.C., where I worked in politics and consulting and had the great fortune of meeting my wife, who I somehow convinced, after a year of dating, to move with me to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to pursue an opportunity working for the Prime Minister. After two years in Malaysia, I was offered a job with Google, and we lived in Tokyo, Japan for two years. When Katheryn got pregnant, we realized our lack of Japanese language skills might prove challenging when trying to navigate baby fevers at 2am, so we made our move to our current home in Singapore.
Sadly, there's no Waldorf School in Singapore, as we'd love to send our kids to one. But the journey continues, and hopefully we'll find some Waldorf for them on some of the next stops along the way.
Jason Whitby — 1994 - 2003
I attended the Waldorf School of Mendocino County until graduating 8th grade in 2003. I live in the Willits valley, where I work in our family business, Jeff's Gas Appliances.
I feel fortunate that, because of my line of work, I end up spending a lot of my work days enjoying the scenery of Mendocino County. In my free time I enjoy camping, four-wheeling my truck ,and spending time with my dog.
I believe I received a great education, that included experiences a lot of people only dream of, and an appreciation for the amazing place we live.
Ruby Campbell — 2005 - 2015
The transition to UHS had been a dream. Ruby is a straight A student! Even receiving two A+'s—one in English and the other in Spanish. She tested into all AP classes for next year as a sophomore. She is consistent with her homework, diligent, and self-accountable. She has already met with college advisors and has her eyes on the prize—UC Berkeley.
She uses her artistic training to create beautiful hand illustrated papers—pushing her A papers up a notch to A +'s. She's particularly crazy for biology, English, photography, and math.
She can't believe her peers don't know how to write cursive!
She's a math freaky genius—thank you Jeremy Bates!!!
Ruby was handpicked to go on a UHS summer Spanish language/biology immersion program to Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands for twelve days.
Socially, she has a great boyfriend—they are adorable together. She is still best friends with her Waldorf crew; River and Duncan are part of her social group on a daily basis.
We feel so fortunate and are grateful for Ruby's Waldorf education which helped to form a beautiful, compassionate, and aware human being. Ruby is ready for the World. Thank you Waldorf. From the early foundation of the brilliant guidance and nurturing of Ms. McCarthy, to the genius of Mr. Bates, we scored!
Maraya Simonis — 1993 - 2001
I live in Willits with my two children: Isao who is in Red Rose Kindergarten and Saya who is two years old. I am an Aftercare Teacher at WSMC. Previously I was a preschool teacher at the Child Development Center of Mendocino College. Currently I am attending Western Governors University to earn my Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Once that is completed I plan to attend Rudolf Steiner College to be trained as a grades teacher for Waldorf.
I love to do anything outdoors. Especially gardening, hiking and watching the stars. My kids and I really enjoy swimming in our pond. I also enjoy cooking, especially dessert (and eating it too).
I attended the Waldorf School of Mendocino County from 1993 to 2001. Waldorf education is very important to me. It has taught me many practical skills that I still use today such as sewing, cooking, woodwork and gardening. I feel my Waldorf education prepared me to be successful in anything that I choose to do. I am grateful for the opportunity to work at this school as it holds a special place in my heart.
Orion Stocker — 1984 - 1994
I grew up in the hills outside Ukiah, and attended the Waldorf School of Mendocino County from 1984 to 1994, from Kindergarten to 8th grade. I have many fond memories of my childhood spent on the woodsy campus and the feeling of magic that was cultivated by the teachers.
From there I attended Ukiah High School and then lived in Portland, OR, Sacramento and Humboldt County. I attended various collages studying music, computer science and business administration and worked mostly as a computer programmer.
I now live in Willits with my wife Faith and 6-year old son Otto (who is now in Kindergarten at WSMC) and spend my time caring for my family, gardening, cooking, writing music, considering ancient mysteries, and walking around in the woods at night as often as possible.
The magic inherent in nature, music, gardening, food and sense of wonderment and interconnection are still what I value most in life, and the seeds of these values I credit to my Waldorf education.