About Me

I am an educator, writer, consultant, and world traveler. Most of all, I am a connector—with students in my high school and teacher education classes, with parents in workshops, with adults in biography classes, with faculties in the Waldorf schools that I helped found, with those who were stimulated by my books or videos, and with the people I have met in countries around the world. I have been a Waldorf teacher for over fifty years. As one of the founders of Rudolf Steiner College, I directed the Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program and the Public School Institute and was significant in bringing Waldorf education into public schools, beginning with the Urban Waldorf School in Milwaukee in 1991. I have been a member of the Board of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education and of the Pedagogical Section Council of North America.

The Early Years

The first 12 years of my life were spent in the Bronx, New York. I was born to immigrant parents in 1938, at a time when the world was in chaos, and as a first-generation American the events leading up to the Second World War were part of our daily lives.

My younger sister Janet had special needs. It was my early awareness of her experience in school that helped me discover the importance of an education that meets the needs of the whole child regardless of disabilities.

From my earliest memories, I loved school, loved my teachers, and thought school was the closest thing to paradise. We moved to Florida to take advantage of a better lifestyle than NYC offered, and I attended grades 7 to part of 11. The small town of Hollywood, Florida in the 1950s helped me find myself through sports, but at the same time confronted me with the experience of segregation. After my father’s illness prevented him from working, and the money he had saved for me to go to college was depleted, we moved back to New York so I could finish high school and attend college which was free at that time. Experiencing the sharp contrast between the more laid-back attitude I had come to know in Florida and the stimulating environment of city life was an experience for which I am grateful.

Education and Early Influences

My father, Israel Kletsky, was a factory worker who modeled the importance of social justice. As a result of his influence, I became active in high school student organizations and began participating in seminars and workshops. During my time at City College of New York (CCNY), I had the opportunity to substitute teach, but soon became disheartened by what I saw in the classrooms. It was my first experience where I knew that education had to offer more to children. My mother who had her hands full with meeting the needs of my younger sister did her best in providing a stable home for me.

My history professor, Dr. Stewart Easton, introduced me to the work of Rudolf Steiner. I moved to England to attend the Michael Hall Waldorf Teacher Training Program, and in addition to loving the opportunity to travel, I found the depth of Waldorf education to be life-affirming, as it continues to be to this day.

Notable Achievements

In 1965, my husband, children, and I moved to Sacramento, California where I began my career as a Waldorf teacher. I started in kindergarten, then teaching handwork in grades 1-8, then as a class teacher in the middle grades, and finally as a high school teacher of history and English at the Sacramento Waldorf School. It was during the 1970s that I co-founded Rudolf Steiner College, and in time, the Waldorf High School Teacher Training Program.

During that time, I combined teaching high school students and teaching future Waldorf teachers, with writing and participating in workshops as a lecturer and leader. In the early 1990s, I was the leader of a committee to start the first public Waldorf school (in Milwaukee). I combined work in the independent Waldorf school movement and in the public- school system. I have founded and supported a number of American Waldorf high schools which are thriving today. For the last thirty years, I have been active as a member of the Pedagogical Section Council of the Anthroposophical Society, in service of Waldorf education wherever it is active.

I’m fortunate to have traveled and done research internationally, as well as to teach and mentor in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Curriculum has always been fascinating to me, and I have pioneered conversations on adapting the Waldorf curriculum to various countries rather than imitating a European or American plan of study. I’ve taught many courses in teacher education in general anthroposophy, Waldorf education, evolution of consciousness in history and literature, as well as courses in human relationships and biography work. It is important to me to be in touch with current psychological research and explore the keys to understanding the patterns and rhythms of one’s life.

Since retiring from daily teaching, I continue to advise in Waldorf schools, give workshops to parents and teachers, and write articles and books. I have written eight books, several have been translated into languages such as Dutch, German, Chinese, Korean, and Thai. I reside in Fair Oaks, California, a suburb of Sacramento, which is a delightful community where city stimulation meets nature.