GHENT – Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School (HVS) is pleased to announce that Karin Almquist has become its School Director. Almquist is succeeding Michael Frosch, who served three years in the role.
“We are incredibly grateful to Michael for his work leading Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School,” said Martin Ping, Hawthorne Valley Association Executive Director. “His servant-leadership helped create a unified faculty and strengthened our whole community. I was thrilled when Karin came forward to express interest in becoming Director and am confident in her ability to take on the role in a way that supports and grows our school holistically.”
Karin Almquist joined HVS in 2013 as a class teacher. She has received two Masters degrees, studied in a Ph.D. program, and did her Waldorf Teacher Training at Hawthorne Valley’s Alkion Center. Her area of focus in graduate school was international affairs and religious studies, but the learning she has found most meaningful is what she’s discovered while working in the context of a Waldorf school.
“A central idea in the Waldorf curriculum is that we are all called to lead a creative life,” she says. “It’s amazing to see how music, movement, and drawing are not just supplemental activities but actually help students penetrate and absorb their lessons in math, science, and the humanities and make connections with the material on a deeper level than they would have done through just reading and memorizing lessons.”
As Almquist steps into the role of School Director, she will also continue serving as the Grade 8 class advisor and teaching main lesson blocks to her students through 8th grade, which they will complete in June 2021. In a prepared statement, the school said “She looks forward to working collaboratively with the school’s Council of Teachers and Executive Leadership Group to ensure excellence in education throughout the grade levels. Almquist is deeply committed to Waldorf Education and to the Hawthorne Valley Association. Her perspective as both a class teacher and a Waldorf parent will inform her work in our school’s administration and support her approach to strengthening our school community.”
“As the past months have shown, we are living in an age when we can no longer ignore the impact that our choices make to the health of our community and the planet as a whole,” Almquist says. “Although, from a fiscal point of view, this is a daunting moment for the leaders of all independent schools, I am excited to take on the position of School Director as I find nothing more meaningful than participating in the project of preparing the next generation with the necessary creative thinking skills, empathy for others, and practical understanding that the world will require of them. With the school ideally situated on Hawthorne Valley Farm, I’m eager to continue the work in integrating HVS in the association’s ambitious initiative of agricultural sufficiency and social renewal.