The mother in me can’t help but brag and the documenter in me can’t help but keep track. Last weekend while covering the 2009 Floyd County High School Graduation for the local paper, I discovered something unique. Both the graduating valedictorian and the salutatorian have educational roots in the Blue Mountain School, Floyd’s parent-run cooperative with roots in Waldorf education that was founded in the early 80’s. It’s the school where my sons Josh and Dylan went before enrolling in public school in the 6th and 5th grades and where I taught a creative writing class for nearly a decade in exchange for tuition.
Although I haven’t been involved in the school since my now 27 year old started public school, my bookcase is lined with past BMS yearbooks. My photo albums are stuffed with pictures of BMS plays, seasonal ceremonies, Spanish night, potlucks, and even a circus. My filing cabinet has a Dolphin Messenger folder for the monthly arts newsletter I helped the BMS kids produce. I have video of girls, who are grown up now, jumping rope and young boys, who are men now, building forts in the pine forest that surrounded the community built school.
Born out of the homeschooling movement, BMS has always fostered a hands-on approach to education, one that emphasizes critical thinking, the arts, and, as the BMS webpage reads, “…a love of learning and respect for family, community, and nature as great teachers and partners” in the educational process.
By my count I can think of 5 other past BMS students who have made it to the same positions of honor that Kaya and Mallory (pictured center and to the right above) have. The school provided a foundation to other kids who went on to become teachers, acupuncturists, environmental organizers, physician’s assistants, welders, artists, lawyers and more.
BMS kids are a force to be reckoned with, as evidenced by my son Josh whose career as a potter I’ve chronicled on this blog. I’ve also written about past salutatorian/valedictorians with BMS beginnings, Johanna Neuman HERE and Cloe Franko HERE.
Post Notes: The Photos above are two of group that recently appeared in The Floyd Press. Pictured in the first photo are 2009 graduates, Young Actors Coop member Bedelia Burris-McGrath, Salutatorian Kaya Norton, and Amber Wiley-Vawter. The three students on the podium stage in the second photo all have BMS ties and are Clay Weiss (class president), Mallory Coartney (valedictorian) and Kaya Norton (salutatorian) in the back. Check out the BMS website HERE and visit their booth at Floydfest