I have known Walden School for over 25 years. My two (now grown) children attended Walden and now are successful businessmen in the community. What each of them got at Walden was a solid foundation and recognition and nurturance as unique individuals. They went on to junior and senior high school and college fully prepared and fully confident in themselves. Our family will always be grateful to the dedicated staff of Walden School with its philosophy of providing a garden where everyone can grow. God knows we need intelligent, creative thinkers in this challenging land of ours, especially now. Over the years I witnessed Walden "growing up" its staff; from assistant teachers becoming lead teachers, to lead teachers becoming assistant directors or Head of School. I personally have known the current Head of School, Terra Toscano, since she first came to Walden as an Assistant Teacher. She was a lead teacher and Curriculum Director before she was selected by a diverse search committee to be Head of School. Walden is fortunate to have Terra; she embodies the strength and spirit of the school. Most of the staff, lead, assistant and specialty teachers have been at Walden for many years; there is little turn-over. This has allowed for a community of educators who trust each other; they work together with the students always at the center.
My advice to those of you reading Great Schools and trying to decide where to send your little one: go visit schools, check out the kids in the classrooms; are they happy?, talk to a teacher, go to a school event, observe interactions, how do YOU feel about the place? Trust your intuition and your heart. And relax; you'll find the right place for your family.
Conflict resolution has always been a big part of Walden way before it became popular. Teaching children how to NOT be a bully as well as how to handle a difficult or hurtful situation takes place every day.
Walden tries to be very careful in only accepting students whom they think are the right fit. By that I mean: can the school support this child? how can the school environment meet the needs of this child? Does the school have the resources and staff? What Walden has is highly trained and experienced teachers, assistant teacher and a learning specialist...all of whom work closely with the parents to support every child.
Leadership at Walden is not only with the Head of School; everyone has a hand on the steering wheel. Honesty, integrity, compassion, respect, commitment, passion....... these are some of the qualities of the many leaders at the school.
At this time I can only comment as a former parent and knowing students who attended who are now grown up. Successful, confident graduates who have great fondness for Walden and think Walden contributed very positively to their growth and development as citizens of the world.
Walden school equipped me with the tools I needed to be a respectful and unique contributor to my community and encouraged me to reach for the stars. I learned how to treat people equally and respect everyone and everything in my environment. I have only succeeded in my life because of the life values Walden taught me and the encouragement and support they have given me throughout my 6 years at walden and the 9 years since. With Terra Toscano as the new leading force , the school can only get better.