Vikrant Batra is joining the WSP board as our newest trustee. He shared an enlightening conversation with alumna board member Alyssa Woodman to introduce him to the wider community.
What drew you to WSP?
We’ve been a part of Waldorf schools for the last eleven years. In December 2018, I had the opportunity to move from San Diego to the Bay Area for work. Being part of a Waldorf community was vital to us – WSP’s presence and reputation in the community helped us make the decision to move and live here. Through the admissions process, we had the opportunity to speak with several members of the staff, faculty, and board and came away very impressed with how well the school operated. Most importantly, during the shadow week, our kids immediately felt at home and the “new Waldorf school” experience was comfortingly seamless.
Your children Dante and Sahar are in 8th and 5th grade, which of their classes would you have most wanted to join this year?
I would have loved to join their strings class – one of my biggest regrets is not being able to play a musical instrument! When I see Dante play the double-bass or Sahar playing the Cello, I am always fascinated at how easily they can create amazing music.
What aspect or goal of our board work in the coming years most excites you?
I feel we’re experiencing a time in the world when Waldorf education is more relevant than ever. The school has weathered the ups and downs of COVID quite well and is now ready to emerge stronger and grow. I am most excited about the opportunity to work with the rest of the board and the administration to enhance the awareness and understanding of Waldorf education in our communities and grow the footprint of our school.
Do you have any new year’s resolutions or past-year reflections you want to share?
Resolution: Track what makes you feel good and bring more of it into your life. Notice what makes you feel lousy and do less of it.
What has been a favorite project you have led or participated in?
Right at the beginning of COVID, along with a couple of close friends, we decided to import organic wine and incorporate a company. It all started as something interesting to dabble in on the side while we were all stuck at home, but has turned into a lot of fun. We now have four organic wines that we source from Spain and Italy and are starting to pitch retailers. It’s been a fun “weekends project”. We created easy-to-drink, under $20 wines with fun brand names. If anyone wants to sample Pink Wink, Blanc Check, or Glorious Rascal, give me a call!
Do you have any heroes? Thich Nhat Hanh, Winston Churchill
Favorite environment? Seaside
Last book you read? Four Thousand Weeks: Time management for mortals by Oliver Burkeman
What would you sing for Karaoke? “We’re not gonna take it” – Twisted Sister 🙂
How many/which languages do you speak? I speak Hindi & English and can understand Punjabi
Can’t-live-without tool/gadget/toy? Corkscrew
Do you collect anything? Wine
Please join us in welcoming Vikrant as our newest WSP board member.
by Melanie Ingler | Communications Coordinator
Years ago, when Victoria entered the tunnel to Marin through the San Francisco fog and emerged to clear skies with the sun shining down onto the Waldorf School bumper sticker on the car ahead, she knew she just had to listen to the many signs she had been given that Waldorf Education was in her future. Some signs were more subtle than this but Waldorf had already been on her mind even long before meeting her husband who, as it turned out, was a Waldorf graduate.
As her thoughts turned to what she wanted to do in the future, she decided to leave her job in Marketing and Product Development and enroll in the Waldorf Teacher Training program at Steiner College. Afterwards, Victoria taught in the Early Childhood program at San Francisco Waldorf School, as well as a home-based Nursery program. She also began her study of Spacial Dynamics and was frequently known as the teacher who would get the children out and moving! As a kindergarten teacher, she found she was passionate about movement and how it prepared young children’s brains for their upcoming more traditional academic work when they entered the grades.
After taking some time off to start their family, Victoria began teaching at Berkeley Rose Waldorf School, just before the beginning of the pandemic that had all of us learning primarily from our homes for a while. Victoria and her family so enjoyed the time they had together during the lockdown that they realized they wanted a change: shorten her husband’s commute and the ability to spend more time together. As our luck would have it, WSP had an opening for a Movement Teacher, as well as a role for Admissions Office support. With her background and training in Movement, as well as Waldorf Early Childhood teaching, this clearly became the perfect fit.
Now entering her fourth month at WSP, Victoria is really enjoying her work with our students. She appreciates watching them learn and grow, and seeing their confidence in themselves increase as they know they can do anything. Already some of our students in are up on their stilts and unicycles this year, some for the first time!
In her free time, Victoria loves to dance with her family. They can be found exploring the area on foot, skates or bikes; or spending time time boogie boarding in the ocean. If you have any favorite spots to share, be sure to drop her an email!
Please join us in welcoming Victoria and the Klocek family to WSP this year.
by Melanie Ingler | Communications Coordinator
Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Ami C Evergreen, our new Pedagogical Administrator for Early Childhood – Grade 8.
Born in Castro Valley and raised in Los Angeles, Ami was always on stilts, a pogo stick, or skateboard when she was young. In addition to her Waldorf Teaching Certification, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Literature, and a Master’s of Philosophy with a concentration in the analytical study of ethical, theological, and metaphysical traditions.
Ami has been involved with Waldorf education since 1988, when she first encountered the movement in an article speaking out against Sesame Street. She has taught movement, integrating neurodiverse students into grades classes; as well as upper grades, fifth – eighth, then the early grades. Responding to changing needs of students and families, she also founded Evergreen Expeditions, a Waldorf Outdoor Education School in Oregon which strived for children to “build a strong and resilient body, develop a deep ‘sense of place,’ and be elementally nourished in the cradle of our beloved valley.”
In her spare time, Ami enjoys tree climbing, yoga, mantra, and hikaru dorodango.
Ami welcomes the opportunity to continue to get to know more members of our community. Reach out to her to sit together to chat about parenting and family-making, learn how to bridge home and school together, explore the “dance of mutual development” between you and your child, and remember that life was made for JOY!
Ami has daily open office hours between 12:00 and 1:00 pm, and is available to meet with you outdoors, or via zoom or phone.
(Photo courtesy of Ami: My son Isaac and I, with a basket-backpack made of willow. Ubuntu: “I am because we are.”)