Alum Corner with Mariella Costanzi

Mariella Costanzi travelled extensively after graduating from VWS, exploring Australia and Europe. She then completed the Arts and Entertainment Management program at Capilano University. Mariella moved to Cancun, where she worked in Vacation Sales and had a son. When she wasn’t satisfied with the local school system, she initiated the creation of a Waldorf School in Cancun, which grew to include preschool and grades one to six. Recently, she returned to British Columbia with her son to start a new chapter in her life. Mariella values the holistic and creative approach of Waldorf education and appreciates the freedom it provides for students to express their ideas and opinions.

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

Interview date: May 2019 Ronaye Ireland, for Development

Mariella Costanzi
Mariella CostanziClass of 2001

The Vancouver Waldorf School provides an experiential, age-appropriate approach to education based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner that inspires students to love learning, to be creative, open-minded, and compassionate. With a curriculum that integrates all academics with the arts and social learning, Waldorf Education develops not only the left and right hemispheres of the brain but the whole human being. A child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual development is considered equally, supporting a conscious unfolding of the individuality within each student. Waldorf graduates possess capacities for empathy and clear, creative and independent thinking that enables them to carry out a chosen course of action with moral courage and social responsibility.