The Wave | November 2021
November Events
Click here to view WSSD Public Calendar
November 1 | Día de Los Muertos, All Saints' Day
November 2 | Día de Los Muertos, All Souls' Day, Election Day
November 4 | Diwali/Deepvali
November 7 | Daylight Savings
November 11 | Veterans Day- NO SCHOOL
November 15 | Sandlerling 8th Grade Shadow Day
November 16-19 | WSSD 8th Grade Shadow Day
November 15 | Board of Trustees Meeting
November 17-19 | 10th Grade Play
November 22-26 | Fall Break- NO SCHOOL
November 25 | Thanksgiving
November 29 | Hanukkah (Day 1)

Looking ahead...
Winter Faire (date tbd), December 23-January 4, Winter Break/NO SCHOOL
Annual Giving
The Waldorf School of San Diego depends on financial support from parents, alumni, faculty, staff, grandparents, and friends to sustain and build our programs, provide at least 30% of our students with need-based tuition adjustment, and positively impact our community. The Annual Fund touches every aspect of our school and allows us to say “yes” to new opportunities ensuring that children today and generations to come can enjoy Waldorf education – head, hands, and heart.
Please consider making a gift to the Waldorf School of San Diego in the following ways:

  • Donate a Cash Gift to the Annual Fund Online: Any gift, no matter how big or small, will make a huge difference to advance our mission. Click here to make a donation or mail a check to the Waldorf School of San Diego, 3547 Altadena Avenue, San Diego, CA 92105.
  • Donate a Non-Cash Gift: There are many ways to give back that can benefit you as well. Gifts from your IRA, transferring stocks, or giving from a Donor Advised Fund are ways to consider donating today. Contact us and click here
  • Create a Legacy with the Waldorf School of San Diego: We know that cash donations might not be right for everyone, but giving a gift in your will to create a legacy with the Waldorf School of San Diego is a powerful commitment to our work and mission for generations to come. You can support The Waldorf School of San Diego​ forever without paying a cent today using this​free will-writing tool​. It’s an easy way to protect the people and causes you care about the most and help The Waldorf School of San Diego​. You can also use this tool to help get your affairs in order before speaking with an attorney. For a supportive conversation about creating a legacy gift please reach out to our Development Team at
  • Employer Match and Workplace Giving: Through corporate gift matching, some employers will match your gift to the Waldorf School of San Diego. In addition, some companies offer a payroll deduction plan. Please talk to your human resource department.
  • Sustainer Gifts: Make a difference, the whole year long and make a consistent, monthly gift by becoming a Sustainer today. 
  • For a conversation about other ways to make a gift, please contact

November Birthdays
November 2 Anthony Thomas
November 17 Alyssa Avila
November 22 Mary Carmichael
November 24 Johanna Laurelin
November 24 Sara Gomes
November 28 Angela Sarich
Diwali/ November 4
Diwali is known as the “festival of lights” thanks to the practice of lighting oil lamps and decorating homes and cities with strings of twinkling lights to symbolize the victory of light over darkness.

Thanksgiving/ November 25

Thanksgiving falls under the category of annual festivals that celebrate the harvest and its bounty. It is important to note that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores. As important as the bounty and gratitude of the season are the realities indigenous people experienced as a result of the European arrival. These truths are often overlooked in American celebrations. May we each celebrate and be grateful according to our ancestors’ unique traditions! And may we be particularly mindful of the plight—past and present—of those native to this land. To learn more—and to help children in their learning of truths about Thanksgiving—here are some additional resources:

And, more broadly, here is a good site for keeping equity & inclusion present as we teach and talk to our children about various topics:
A Letter from our EID Committee
Dear Waldorf School of San Diego,
With the arrival of new members on our committee, we want to take a moment to introduce ourselves to you.
We are a Board mandated committee and you can find the mandate here: WSSD EID Mandate
We are made up of teachers, administrative staff, alumni parents, grandparents and parents. Everyone on the committee has experience and/or training in the work of social justice, equity and inclusion. That means that we support historically underrepresented community members to feel seen and included in all that our school does. We are a resource for the school in many areas including in the classroom and behind the scenes.
We meet bi-weekly and hold 4 open sessions a year. We report at the Board meeting once a month.
Do you want to learn more? Come to an open session, meet some members and bring your questions.
We can be reached at

A little bit about each of our members:
Jessica Cohen has been in the Waldorf world since 2012 and is the current Grade 8 teacher at WSSD; she is grateful and excited to have the opportunity to renew and decolonize the Waldorf curriculum through her work with students, parents, colleagues, and on the EID committee. 

Esteban del Río has been a parent at WSSD since 2008 and previously served as chair and co-chair of the EID Committee. He is a professor of Communication at USD, with an administrative background in strategic equity leadership. Esteban writes and teaches about the construction of human unity and difference in entertainment and information discourses. 

Sudha Dorairaj is a co-chair of the committee, parent to two Waldorf students (one former and one currently in 4th grade), a board member and a faculty member of the WSSD high school. She has been an educator for the past seventeen years in various schools/colleges and always strived for equity and inclusion in her teaching. Since joining the committee, she has been striving to make Waldorf education more inclusive and advocate for policies that will support that much needed growth.

Candie Harper is the grandmother of a WSSD 7th grade student and has been an active part of this community since 2013. She joined EID in the beginning stage thinking that this work would be critical to the tapestry of WSSD. Her hope and prayer is that one day we will understand what is best stated by... Audre Lorde~ “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

Elizabeth Heald is a parent of a WSSD 8th grade student and has been teaching Kindergarten at our school since 2013. Elizabeth recognizes the need for growth in the areas of equity, inclusion and diversity in our school and feels called to support that growth.

Caryn Ipapo-Glass (she/her/hers) is a parent of a WSSD Kindergarten student and is new to both the Waldorf community and the EID committee. Caryn has been an arts educator for over 15 years and has experienced first hand the important role that equity, inclusion and diversity play in the shaping of our communities and the raising of our children. She is very much looking forward to contributing to the important work of the EID committee.

Sara Gomes has been the lower school Games and Movement Teacher since 2008 and is currently a co-chair of this committee. This is also her second year chairing the Pedagogical Group. Her two children were students at WSSD from early childhood through high school graduation. She has a history of social justice work and is eager for equity to permeate our pedagogy to the point of not needing such a group!
Natalie Lindenberg (she/her) parent of one child at Waldorf, joined EID this year, and is eager to grow with our school through the work of ensuring that everyone in our community feels included, represented and supported in all spaces of our community. 

Socorro Maldonado (she/ella/ellas) is a co-chair, educational support and Spanish teacher for grades 1-3. She aspires to create a community where everyone finds belonging. Since joining the EID committee, she has been working on bringing EID educational opportunities to the community at large, as well as advocating for the creation of school policies and procedures that reflect values of inclusion and equity.

Shaneela Marlett is a parent of a first grader at Waldorf, and new to EID this year. She is a disability lawyer, with a passion for social justice and activism. She looks forward to supporting and honoring the diversity in our community. 

Kacey Moe-Vu (she, her/s) is a parent to 3 WSSD students (two former and one current) and is the assistant in Grade 1. Her heart is in social justice & equity work and strives to bring that passion into her life each day. 

Sesen Negash (she/her/hers) is the parent of a child in the early childhood program and professor in Marriage and Family Therapy at SDSU. As a member of the EID committee, she hopes to promote the use of culturally responsive ideologies and practices that foster community and expand opportunities for students to learn and innovate. 

Sylvia Padilla Sullivan (she/her/hers) is mother to Arlo, 3rd grade, who began his journey at WSSD at age 1 in Morning Glory. She is a practicing psychotherapist with a strong calling toward social justice, social health, mental health, and their inevitable intersection. She is grateful for the chance to contribute to this imperative work and this beautiful community.

Erika Robb Larkins (she/Ela/Ella) is a Waldorf graduate, board member, mother to a 2nd grader and 5th grader, and professor of Anthropology at SDSU. Her research and teaching is focused on social and environmental justice in the Americas.  

Sheila Salmeron is an Early Childhood teacher at the WSSD. She is eager to learn more about EID work in a school setting, so this way she can bring it back to class. She feels the need for this work from the very beginning of the school journey.

Heather Scott is a high school Humanities teacher, passionate about social justice. Her daughter attended The Waldorf School of San Diego from kindergarten through Grade 12. She has taught at WSSD for seventeen years. 

Ian Serrano Cuevas (he/him) has been an Admin Assistant for WSSD since 2019. Besides believing that it is unmistakably the just and right thing to do, Ian believes equity, inclusion and diversity work are essential to the thriving of the school. He is the father of a four-year old.

Emilia Sumelius-Buescher (she/her/hers) is a co-chair, Waldorf alum, parent of 3 WSSD students and joined the committee as it was forming it’s mandate to present to the Board. Her goal is always to bring about more equity and inclusion in our school. She sees this work as absolutely essential to Waldorf meeting the moment we are in and the next 100 years!

Deborah Tweit (she/her) has worked at WSSD in a variety of support roles since 2008. She was a member of the Social Health Group since it started in 2007. Her two children attended WSSD from Parent-Tot through grade 12. She believes strongly that strength of community comes from diversity and full inclusion of all. She also feels that all members’ voices need to be heard and valued.

Amanda Womble (she/her/hers) has been a specialty subject teacher at WSSD since 2005; teaching two subjects, Gardening and French, whose integral goal is based in teaching about diversity. She has been trained in Social Inclusion work and has been an active member of the Social Health Group since its inception in 2007. She has led the Student Social Action Committee since 2009. She is passionate about social justice and has been an activist since the 1980s. Her two children attended WSSD and her son's class was the first graduating class of our High School in 2012!
Welcome to the world!

Surlynn Hartsten (Periwinkle) and her family welcomed a new baby girl, named Sofia. 
Third Grade Parent, Ryan Smith, received a nice write-up in the San Diego Reader, October issue. Click 'read more' to learn about his holistic health practices.
Each month all sections of WSSD; Early Childhood, Grades, High School and Admin, gather together (via zoom, for now) to meet and work together. Before getting into business matters we have a group activity and a study. Below is a collaborative 'diamante poem' written during our October Full Circle Meeting.
Welcome & Welcome Back!
We want to give a warm welcome to Angela Sarich, who is assisting in our early childhood classrooms, and Maria Drogari who is a new addition to our Math department at the High School!

A big welcome back to Ms. Candie Harper whom we all know and love- We're so happy to have her back in the lower school front office!
April House

April House is an accomplished executive who pushes through the status quo to build high-performing organizations to achieve strategy and revenue objectives by design. 

She currently serves as the President of HR Benefits, Inc. and has a track record of building critical strategic, financial, and operating programs. She is a licensed nurse and U.S. Navy Veteran.

April earned her Bachelor's degree in Health Education from Trident University, and her Master's in Healthcare Administration from the University of Southern California.

April and her husband Preston have one daughter, a WSSD High School sophomore, and they have been members of our community since Pre-K.
Whittney Beard

Whittney Beard is an ICF-credentialed Master Certified Coach and lawyer, who has focused her coaching practice exclusively on lawyers since 2008.

She supports leadership teams within law firms and companies to create better strategic focus, communication, team-work, accountability and more enjoyment out of work. Her area of practice in law was corporate finance and securities law.

Whittney earned her BA from UCSD, and her law degree from UCLA School of Law.

Whittney is a single mom by choice (SMC) to a son, who is currently in Grade 2. They live in Bay Park with their pandemic dog, Summer the Doodle.
Carlos Meier

Carlos Meier is a proven operations and management leader with over 15 years of results-oriented success. As the head of operations for 1798, LLC, he is responsible for business operations, strategic partnerships, business development, project management office (PMO), employee recruitment, and vendor and independent consultant utilization, as well as management of the training and creative analytics teams. 

Carlos completed a master’s degree in health economics from the University of California, San Diego, and a master’s degree in finance from Alliant University. He received his B.S. in business from Iowa State University.

Carlos enjoys playing music, kayaking, hiking, and playing sports with his son (Kindergarten at WSSD) and his wife.
A Long Way From the Block
with Anthony Thomas (Coach)
Mark Davis tells his amazing journey from the inner city to Major League Baseball
During this episode, Mark talks about what it was like growing up in City Heights with a father as a Police Officer, and how two supportive parents helped his dream come true. We also talk about his amazing journey from little league baseball to the major leagues. From playing strikeout in his driveway with Charles Steel to watching his older brothers play sports at a high level. Currently, a defense lawyer he talks about getting his law degree after his long and arduous baseball life ended.

Available wherever you get your podcast.
Thank you Kristin Ferguson Kacirek, Tracy Henry, Sarah Kleven McGann, Jennifer Thunstrom, Adriana Villagrana, and Dana Zeff, for volunteering your time for our weekly COVID screening testing.
[if you would like more information on the testing, please see this ParentSquare post]

Thank you to all families who donated to the Afghan Refugee drive, we were able to donate many needed items to help families settle into their new homes!

Thank you high school families for donating time, energy, and pumpkins(!) for Wanderer's Way!
Say Hello to our New Families!

Cajas Family (Nursery)
Holland-Peterman Family (Kindergarten)
Johnson Family (Grade 4)
Chavez Family (Kindergarten)
Johnson Family (Kindergarten)
McCracken Family (Kindergarten)
Mora Murillo Family (Grade 9)
Mulgado Family (Grade 7)
Nakach Family (Grade 8)
Perry Family (Grade 2 & Grade 4)
Rosado Family (Grade 2)
Simons Family (Grade 7)
Thank you for Referring Families to WSSD!
Stradling Family
Ansel Family
Masters Family
Dr. Hilliar
Johnson Family
Holden Family
Wilson Family
Marsh Family
Wilson Family
Muldago Family
Bielaz Family
Harper Family
Larkins Family
Knauss Family
In the Classroom
Michaelmas in the Grades
On September 29th, we celebrated Michaelmas, a festival dedicated to courage and good deeds. The students learn the story of St. Michael and the Dragon, which symbolizes our search for inner courage to overcome the growing darkness of the coming winter. WSSD celebrates the Michaelmas season with service projects, field games, and with a pageant performed by the students.
Grade 2
BEES! From Ms. Stussi

Grade 2 is hearing nature stories about bees. They are very active this time of year preparing for the colder weather. On-campus, they are buzzing about collecting as much nectar as possible.

We arrived the morning of 10/12 to find the cactus flowers opening next to our tent. They were filled with excited bees taking advantage of the brief abundance with the quick and magnificent appearance of the cactus flowers.
We painted bees in watercolor and molded bees from wax.
Grades Halloween Parade
Middle School Flag Football
The Waves are currently UNDEFEATED!!
High School
Grade 9 : Descriptive Geometry Seminar
In the study of descriptive geometry, students develop skills in observation, graphical representation, and mathematical imagination through the study of the orthographic projections of three-dimensional solids. They construct the Platonic solids and then translate their construction into accurate parallel projections. They work with hand drafting tools and final drawings are produced in ink and rendered with colored pencil.
No Place for Hate National Kickoff
On October 6, grades 9-12 tuned in to watch Amanda Gorman at the No Place for Hate Back to School Kickoff! Amanda read an excerpt form her new book, Change Sings, and answered questions from students across the USA.

Because we were among the first schools to register for the event, we also received a copy of Change Sings!
Michaelmas in the High School
The high school celebrates the spirit of Michaelmas with acts of service. This year, we held a donation drive in support of Afghan refugees, partnering with Welcome Home, a volunteer service and funding organization committed to raising awareness and resources for New Americans who have been displaced by war, famine, or persecution.

On October 12th, students participated in various activities; sorting and organizing donations from the drive (to be delivered at a later date), creating an art project, working in our giving garden, and coming together to sing at the end of the day. Our sewing elective also made bags to be donated.
Wanderer's Way
Nursery through Grade 4 attended the magical Wanderer’s Way Halloween event, prepared especially for them, at the Colina Campus on Saturday, October 30. Wanderer's Way is an event that offers a child-friendly option for celebrating Halloween and raises funds for our 11th Grade service trip each year.
Thank you to everyone who came out to support the students!

Photos taken by Sam Payne, Grade 11.
Dia de los Muertos
Danza de Los Viejitos- 'Dance of the Old Men', is a traditional folk dance from Michoacán, Mexico that our high school students perform each year during their Dia de los Muertos celebration.

Do you know why the masks resemble White, blue-eyed Spaniards? They were modified from their original design as a way to keep their dance and traditions alive. The Purepecha made their masks and overall dance appeal to the White colonizers in order for them to be able to continue practicing their ceremonies and traditional dance. They were also a way to make fun of the European colonizers and portrayed them as a crippling societal ground.
Day of the Dead and All Souls Day
Although associated with the Catholic celebrations of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, Día de los Muertos has a much less solemn tone and is portrayed as a holiday of joyful celebration rather than mourning.

Día de los Muertos is a multi-day holiday involving family and friends gathering to pay respects and to remember friends and family members who have died. These celebrations can take a humorous tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes about the departed.

All Souls' Day traditions often remember deceased loved ones in various ways, it is a day of prayer and remembrance for the souls of those who have died. Many All Souls' Day traditions are associated with popular notions about purgatory. Bell tolling is meant to comfort those being cleansed. Lighting candles serves to kindle a light for the poor souls languishing in the darkness.
WSSD Admissions

We are available for any questions or inquiries regarding enrollment for the 2021/22 school year, please complete the Inquiry Form on our Tour page (Inquire Here) or email to connect with our Admissions team.

Check out the new Virtual Tours on our website!
News from the Snake & Lily!
Hello Friends! 
Please check it out if you haven't already!

The Snake and Lily is now 100% online; all items are available for purchase via the shop's website. Once purchased online, items can be picked up on campus (or mailed).

Thank you! 

The Snake & Lily Crew (CJ McGrady & Liza Ferraro). 
619-280-8016 x 202
Scrip Doctor is In! 
Are you reaching your full scrip potential?

How it works:
Our families buy virtual and physical gift cards online at or on the RaiseRight App on their smartphones, or through the WSSD school store, The Snake & Lily to use in place of cash, checks, or credit cards for their regular everyday shopping. The Snake & Lily buys the gift cards from Great Lakes Scrip Center at a reduced cost to sell at full face value. The difference is immediate fundraising for our school!

Please visit our website for more info!

Stay the course my friends, scrip can be a lot of fun and provide huge funds for the school, your class trips and even tuition credit! For more details, contact Liza Ferraro 619-318-8460

In Huge Gratitude,
Liza Ferraro
Waldorf 101: Did you know?
The first Waldorf School began in Stuttgart, Germany, founded by Emil Mott and Ruldoph Steiner to educate children of cigarette factory workers.

Online or Outdoor Tutor
My name is Donovan Wilcox and I am an 11th grade student at WSSD. I know from personal experience how difficult homework can be, and how much easier it becomes when you have someone to work with who can provide support, motivation, and encouragement. I am currently available for hire as a homework tutor for 5th-10th grade students. I am available most afternoons of the week and my rate is flexible. All proceeds will go towards my class' 11th grade service trip this Spring. I would be able to help your student with homework, classwork, and academic assistance of any sort. I am equally eager to help with math, writing, and/or reading assignments. Please reach out to me if you are interested. I am available on zoom or in a Covid-safe setting. I can be reached at or at (619) 597-3573.
Support our community!

All businesses listed will have a WSSD family connection. This is an opportunity to expand, increase and grow your business and a great way to support our community. Think of our community any time you shop, use professional services or dine out!

Our Directory is officially up on our website, under the Community Page!

Waldorf Alum Connections

Did you know that AWSNA offered a continental New Year happy hour for alums across the continent? Seventy-five alums attended and it was a blast!

Quarterly social events are now on the schedule.

Need an architect, an artist, an accountant? Support alum businesses and share with your community the alum business directory.

As we journey through a second year of our Continental Alum Connect program and the accompanying online networking platform, we would like to remind you to share an invitation with alums and alum parents. Here is a direct link to join:

For more information on the above activities, or to join the monthly alum networking calls, connect with Nita June at
We’d love to hear from you. We value your opinion, and that’s why we want you to share your thoughts about your Waldorf experience! It would mean the world to us if you took a brief moment of your day to leave a review by clicking this link.
Thank you!
The Waldorf School of San Diego earned a Niche grade of A for 2021!

Only 10% of schools across the U.S. receive an A or higher, so this is a huge accomplishment for us! Waldorf School of San Diego also ranked #20 in Best High Schools for the Arts in CA.
Support WSSD
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