VWS: Tell me about your work and education after graduating from the VWS (post-secondary schooling, travel, work experience, family, etc.)
MC: After graduating I did a seven month trip throughout Australia and Europe on my own. I then came back to Vancouver and completed the Arts and Entertainment Management program at Capilano University. In 2006, I moved to Cancun for “two years” and ended up staying for twelve years working in Vacation Sales.
During my 2nd year in Cancun, I got married and had a wonderful child who is now eleven years old. During his 2nd year of Kindergarten, I realized I wasn’t happy with the local, traditional school system in Cancun and began the search for a Waldorf School. I found one 45 minutes away and we commuted there for a year and a half. IThroughthis little school, I met a group of parents who also lived in Cancun and shared my feelings about commuting with our children. We banded together to start a Waldorf Initiative in Cancun. It was an intense experience, but we managed to open the *Del Mar Waldorf Initiative Cancun in one year! We started with two Kindergartens and Grades One and Two. Since then, it has expanded and currently has one preschool, three Kindergartens and Grades One to Six. It was an amazing experience to not only start a school but also to create a community from such diverse family backgrounds, It was also wonderful to bring everyone together with the common denominator of giving children an education that supports their creativity and development in a more holistic way. Last year, I moved back to BC with my son and excited to begin a new life here—back to my roots!
VWS: What advice would you give to this year’s graduates?
MC: Travel, experience new things, enjoy what the world has to offer. Now is the time to do it.
VWS: What are your fondest memories of your time at the VWS?
MC: There are so many to choose from. The camping trips, Greek games, connections and friendships all bring back fond memories.
VWS: How did Waldorf education affect your life, and your choice of career?
MC: It all really made sense once I had my son and was looking for an appropriate school for him. You don’t realize how different and holistic Waldorf Education is until you can’t find something similar and you see the adverse effects of what early academic stimulation has on a young child of three to six years old. Stress has adverse effects on adults and in children; it’s even worse. I appreciate the creativity and freedom given to us to present our ideas and opinions instead of academic regurgitation. I feel it is far more important to know that you have understood a concept through how you present it back to the teacher rather than just repetition.
*Del Mar Waldorf Initiative Cancun www.facebook.com/DelMarWaldorf
Interview date: May 2019 Ronaye Ireland, for Development