In education, some individuals go above and beyond to create unique and inspiring learning environments for students. One such person is Coleen Ryan, she was the admissions director at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm in Beverly, Massachusetts. During our podcast chat, she shared some incredible insights about Waldorf education and how the school nurtures children’s development. Coleen believes in a well-rounded education that helps kids grow intellectually, creatively, and emotionally. She told us about the Waldorf philosophy, which encourages imagination, a love for learning, and discovering each child’s unique potential.
Background and Commitment to Education
Coleen Ryan has dedicated over a decade to the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm. Starting as an assistant to the head of school, Coleen quickly found her calling in this unique educational approach. With a background in informal environmental education, she brought her expertise to the school. She was pivotal in starting the Science in Nature program, an outdoor science class that enhances the existing curriculum. Over the years, Coleen’s contributions expanded, and she assumed the role of admissions director, further deepening her connection to the school community.
Insights and Philosophy of Waldorf Education
We loved hearing from Coleen about how the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm embraces nature. Waldorf education, which has been around for over a century, was founded by Rudolf Steiner to provide a modern education accessible to all. Coleen emphasized that Waldorf education seeks to help each child develop their unique capacities and reach their highest potential. It goes beyond traditional academic preparation, fostering a holistic approach that nurtures intellectual, artistic, and emotional aspects of a student’s development.
Coleen highlighted the importance of imagination in Waldorf education. In early childhood, the emphasis is on cultivating the child’s imagination through play and hands-on experiences. Rather than rushing into academics, Waldorf education focuses on building a strong foundation of community, self-care, and imaginative thinking. As students progress into the grades, the curriculum seamlessly integrates art and storytelling, creating a meaningful connection to the subject matter and making learning a joyful experience.
With their beautiful 200-acre property, students explore the outdoors, do fun activities like making maple syrup, and learn about caring for the environment. Coleen also mentioned the school’s inclusive community events, like their yearly pancake breakfast celebrating spring. It is clear that Waldorf education is all about creating a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere.
Here is the exciting update
Coleen has started a new adventure! Since August 2022, she has become the Project Manager for Girls on the Run Western Massachusetts. This fantastic nonprofit organization empowers young girls through a running-based program that boosts their physical, emotional, and social well-being. Coleen’s new role shows her commitment to education and dedication to helping young girls grow and succeed.
We thank Coleen for sharing her insights and experiences on the School Success Podcast. She is an inspiration to us all, and we are excited to see the impact she continues to make in education.
Congratulations to Coleen Ryan on her new role as Project Manager for Girls on the Run Western Massachusetts! Her passion, leadership skills, and desire to empower young girls will make a positive difference in their lives. Coleen’s transition from the admissions director at a Waldorf school to the Project Manager for Girls on the Run Western Massachusetts is a testament to her unwavering commitment to education and supporting young individuals. Keep shining bright and making a difference in the lives of young girls in your community.
As school leaders, let us keep learning, growing, and supporting one another in our mission to create successful educational environments for all students. Stay tuned for more inspiring episodes on the School Success Podcast.