What do you remember most about the Lagunitas School District?

I remember my whole elementary school career at Open Classroom vividly. This was because the closeness of the classrooms and the various grades to each other tapped into a community synergy that made the whole place feel connected and self aware; every activity, whether work or play, took place in the whole school and, by extension, the whole district. Memories of childhood are so valuable for understanding yourself, and I feel so blessed to have all of mine so grounded in the person that I am.

How did the Lagunitas School District influence the person who you have become and your interests and goals?

I have always loved art and science and bringing them into everything I do, and I was allowed to do that at every step of my academic career at Lagunitas. The teachers made grade to grade transitions so seamless and easy. Little things make that happen; Larry told lunchtime stories not only to his own class but to the first graders as well, so going into second grade from first grade was easier than I had ever imagined. The synergy continued in middle school. Whenever teachers talk together and bring ideas to the table, the experience in all of their classrooms becomes richer. This interdisciplinary outlook on education allowed me to inject my interests into everything I did.

What activities are you or were you involved with in the San Geronimo Valley and surrounding communities during your years in the Lagunitas School District and in high school. Volunteer activities, school activities, sports, jobs, internships etc. (high school activities as well)

In my fifth grade year at Open Classroom, I started the Lagunitas Dungeons and Dragons group. We played every Friday night in the loft. Since then, we have moved our operation to the back room of Revolution Nine and our group is now full of kids from all over the place. All that because Lagunitas school offered me a space to play almost nine years ago. At Lagunitas Middle School I also did community service with Wilderness Way, and helped out with some things in open classroom. I was also able to maintain my link with Open while in middle school through the teacher’s helper elective. Last year, during my first year of college, I came back again to teach an ecology class to the fifth and sixth graders at Open Classroom. During those few workshops I witnessed once again the interconnectedness and community that I had grown up with. The thing I remember most was that a little girl from the fourth grade saw what we were doing from the next room, peeped her head in, and asked,

“Woah! Will we be doing that next year?” I said yes.

What special awards and honors have you earned and been given? (including throughout high school)

In middle school, I was nominated for a “Heart of Marin” award for community service, and Buck Chavez told me I was a renaissance man at my graduation, which I will always treasure. In High school I was on honor crew for several semesters, chosen for link crew, elected the King of Rock and given the Rock Allstar award for interdisciplinary studies. In my senior year I received an academic excellence award from the ComaCad teachers and an Art award from Martha Cederstrom, and I graduated with a scholarship award as well.

If you are a high school graduate what have you been up to since high school, where are you now, what are your plans? If at college where are you and what are you studying?

I graduated from Sir Francis Drake High school two years ago and have since been a full time student at college of Marin. I am digging through the prerequisites for a biology major (but enjoying it), and I hope to transfer to Berkeley in the next few years. Eventually I would love to get a degree in Entomology. I love going to college, just like I loved going to high school. I love education and learning because Lagunitas made it so exciting in my mind with the richness of its varied curriculum and the interconnectedness of its teachers. I know that the school district will do the same for others in the future.