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Coronado alumnus new director as Waldorf-philosophy charter school starts second year

       Dr. Evelyn Cortez-Ford has been hired as director of the Mountain Song Community School. Mountain Song is a Waldorf charter school that will start its second year in August at the old Whittier school, 2904 W. Kiowa St.
       A 1982 Coronado High graduate, Ford replaces Mike Galvin, who served as interim director through most of the spring semester. He was brought in after organizational decisions by the school's governing board early this year that resulted in the departure of Neah Douglas, the original director and one of the school's founders.

Evelyn Cortez-Ford is the new director at the Mountain Song Community School. The photo was shot in a first-floor hallway of the former Whittier building, which the Waldorf-styled, state-chartered school leases from District 11. Behind her is a quote from Rudolf Steiner, a lead founder of the Waldorf philosophy.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Mountain Song started last year with about 200 students and ended the year at 227. It offered grades K-6 in 2012-13, but will add seventh grade in the 2014-15 school year, with enrollment expected to be around 270, Ford said.
       She expressed eagerness about her new position, saying that one of the attractions to her about Waldorf is that it teaches the best thinking is not always “inside the box.”
       The Mountain Song website includes the following about Rudolf Steiner, who was a leading founder of Waldorf education. “Steiner felt that children needed a balanced development of their capacities to be prepared as adults to contribute to cultural renewal, instead of to the ongoing dehumanization of society. His aim wasn't to inculcate in children any particular viewpoint or ideology, but rather to make them so healthy, strong, and inwardly free that they would become a kind of tonic for society as a whole.”
       In her post-graduate studies, Ford did not initially focus on Waldorf, but she's had recent exposure, working as a consultant at Mountain Song last semester while gaining her final credits toward a PhD in educational leadershp. When the director's position was advertised, she applied. “I felt my skill set and knowledge base could help,” she said.
       Ford had previously taught elementary school for a total of 12 years in New Mexico and at Helen Hunt in District 11.
       Mountain Song was started privately and has no attendance area, but as a state-chartered public school it receives a share of the state's per-pupil funding, Ford explained. The school has a lease agreement for the property from District 11.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 6/29/14; Schools: Other than District 11)

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