WHAT A JOURNEY! What a wonderful ride! As the founding teacher for Cedar Spring Waldorf School, then becoming a school mentor and Grandma Nancy to the children, I have been privileged to witness beginning, fulfillment, and ending of this school in the 33rd year.
Oh, those earnest first days, the open, eager parents studying together The Education of the Child by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of international Waldorf education. How special is was to watch the dawning of deepening life awareness as these parents took in the breathtaking insights of Rudolf Steiner—learning about our soul/spiritual human nature and how to protect and support our higher true self with this brilliant holistic education. This unique approach was given to meet the awakening consciousness of all children at each developmental stage academically, artistically, creatively, and yes, spiritually and in freedom as no other education in the world has to offer.
The memories abound—the endless meetings, laborious decisions, the incredible searches for land, for classrooms, grappling with zoning issues, the ongoing struggles to find the balance for the needs of parents to afford the education and the needs of the selfless teachers for financial sustenance. But we always somehow did. Thirty-two years of school work parties, the joyful fulfillment in beautifying the grounds, classrooms, paintings on the walls, creating environments for deep, rich learning. The priceless dedication of spiritually striving, devoted teachers bringing engaging artistic lessons, lilting songs and sounds of flutes echoing over the campus, heartwarming class plays, lively community service class trips. The ever new gifts of the bright-eyed, eager and mischievous children growing up, skipping joyfully through the magical rainbow bridge from kindergarten to meet their first grade teacher, then in so few years becoming the graceful Maypole dancers in 8th grade or performers in the delightful school orchestras.
Fierce dragons were conquered year after year at Michaelmas by the ever-valiant knights of St. Michael, rescuing the princess and saving the kingdom… “I will fight for the right, I will conquer the wrong.” Community festivals, honoring the seasons—the humorous and touching Shepherd’s plays given by our dear teachers for the children at Christmastide. And so many candles shining throughout the years, be they the lights for magical birthdays, native wisdom teachings, wholesome uplifting community Halloweens, Diwali, Eid al Fitr, Hanukkah, All Soul’s Day or the heart touching Advent spirals for children, parents and community—all festivals and ceremonies of bringing the light into the darkness - into the world…into our souls.
Oh, such pride we had in our fine athletes winning basketball games or tender tears at our knighting ceremonies and the moving 8th grade graduations as we were in awe and amazement at our young people and their gifts. For our graduates often became known in the wider community and public high schools as stellar students and athletes—valued as young, multi-talented individuals who loved life, who loved learning, who asked questions about ‘why’ and ‘how’, and could think for themselves and enjoyed a broad cultural heritage of beauty, truth, and good.
So Cedar Springs Waldorf Schools has ended after 33 deeply wonderful years, and we are so proud and grateful for all the dedicated teachers, faculty, staff, beautiful children, parents, and families who created and sustained it. Heartfelt thanks for such a beautiful endeavor that has blessed so many.
“Waldorf Schools exist by miracles,” I have often told the community. They are not sustained merely by earthly intellectual logic and business plans, but touch the realm of the universal creative spirit. Therefore, I do not despair with this closing of Cedar Springs Waldorf School, largely caused from the outer world pressures of our time.
Waldorf education is too vibrant, too precious, too life-, heart-, and health-sustaining to not find a further way to serve another generation of outstanding students. Students of today are coming with deep heart values, and strong wills to do the good and show the way with enlightened thinking and love of freedom in a world never more in need. Our children come to us vibrant, innocent, curious and boisterous, but there must stand before them the examples, the guidance and leadership of the surrounding adults, parents, and teachers—those who stand for moral conscience and courage, resiliency and uprightness that they may be shown the way to higher good and caring for the world. I am confident there will be a new creation and new rendition of this marvelous education. We have the parents and teachers with the determination, love of freedom, the courage and values and honoring all of life that will make that happen. I am counting on it!
If you would like to see some of the heartwarming beginnings of Cedar Springs Waldorf School, as well as teaching on the deeper meaning of Waldorf education, please see and share my offering The Joys of A Waldorf Kindergarten Teacher at nancyjewelpoer.youtube
Nancy Jewel Poer, January 2022
First teacher for Cedar Springs Waldorf School
Youtube: nancyjewelpoer.youtube (The Sacred Incarnation Series)