We hosted an intimate event Friday afternoon for current 7th and 8th Graders and their parents to meet members of the pioneer class of the Hill School (now Waldorf School of New Orleans). One of these Hill School alumni, Genevieve Nielsen, daughter of one of the founding families of the school was to be honored that evening as WSNO's Guiding Star for 2019.
Genevieve and two of her Hill School classmates, Marga De Jong and Lee Mayberry comprised our "panel". Genevieve's parents, Laurie and Chris Nielsen, who hosted that first class in their home, and who have continued to support WSNO through the years were also in the circle, along with Marga's parents, Esther De Jong and Harley Winer, and on Lee's lap, his son Miller.
All these pioneering Waldorf alumni spoke of how highly they valued what was brought through the curriculum and comradery of their Hill School years; and what it has meant to them - through high school, college, and now in their (successful!) careers.
Marga is a special education teacher in the New Orleans public schools; Lee is studying naval engineering, alongside a real estate career; and Genevieve is a software developer and founder of mRelief, a non-profit connecting those in need to social services. Genevieve was cited as one of Forbes Magazine's "30 Under 30" for 2017.
This was the first time the three of them had been together in over a decade, and the conversation was warm and inspiring - a wonderful reunion!
Our time together was closed out by a rousing traditional fiddle tune offered by Johann, a former Waldorf student visiting New Orleans from Quebec. We were grateful for his contribution, and the connection we feel to Waldorf communities everywhere!