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Meet the Team

These are WCSS's Staff, Tutors and Volunteers!
You can learn a little bit about each of us below.
Staff

Staff

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Kathrin Bierwirth

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Jessica Mason

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
― John Dewey

With a background in environmental education, communty activism and wandering adventures I am passionate about connecting young people with the world around them and supporting them to find their own voice.
The idea for WCSS came from a desire for something different for my own children, but it quickly became bigger than the sum of its parts, showing the need for this model of education in Ireland.

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Claire Supervie

“Play is the beginning of knowledge.”

― George Dorsey


French illustrator and musician happily lost in the hills of West Cork, I love supporting creativity, playfulness and imagination within groups and communities.
And what better place than WCSS to do so… a school where students can learn by playing all day long! When I’m not facilitating or drawing, you can probably see me dancing or imagining what it feels like to be a tree…

"Replace judgement with curiosity."

Lynn Nottage


Kathrin has a BA in Social/Youth Work & MA in Educational Research. She is one of WCSS's founders and works half the time tucked away in her lovely office, making sure the day-to-day business runs smoothly.
When on the floor, she likes to play games and listening to students playing music. She facilitates Children's & Teen Yoga and assists with Game Design.
She is always up for learning new things - at the moment it's Cello & Dungeons & Dragons.

She is passionate about Diversity and Inclusion and loooves to bake.

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Aoife Nagle

Stay tuned!
 

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John Baker

"If change is to come it will have to come from the margins."

― Wendell Berry

 

Myself: Facilitator, educator and land worker, settled for the time being in West Cork. Finally, I have found an organisation that supports free-flowing creativity and learning, allowing students to respond directly to Life.

I'm learning a lot from it too. 

Tutors & Volunteers

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Angelo Nikolaou

"When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning."

― Reiner Knizia

 

I am a video and board game designer, currently working for Dublin indie studio Gambrinous.
I have a BSc in Economic Sciences and MA in Game Design.
Apart from volunteering for WCSS, I also organize Global Game Jam and CoderDojo for my local communities. 

I am glad to help WCSS embrace creativity through game creation, either digital or physical. Games have such a fulfilling role in our lives, especially when crafting new experiences and expressing yourself through them.

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Saoirse
Nash

"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everybody else."
―  Margaret Mead

I remember gradually falling through the cracks of the standard educational system, and the disillusionment and self doubt that came with not fitting in to that one-size-fits-all method of teaching, learning and testing.
I joined the WCSS team because I believe that each child is unique, and if that uniqueness is embraced and celebrated - they will flourish!

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Jitsu
Tanaka-Townson

Stay tuned!

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Aoibheann Murphy

Stay tuned!

Catherine

Catherine Scroope

”Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
― Howard Thurman

As an explorer myself , my desire to create West Cork Sudbury School came from a wish to facilitate a space for more children to have the opportunity to explore who they are, what they love and what truly makes them come alive! 
I am one of WCSS' founders. Now, after returning from maternity leave, I am delighted to be back engaging, learning with & supporting our students in a voluntary capacity while I also navigating my new role of being a mother.

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Sam
Simpson

Stay tuned!

Board of Management

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Annie King

Chairperson

"We must understand each other and work in harmony with one another, because it is our reponsibility to develop in human beings their natural disposition for peace."

― the 14th Dalai Lama

 

Now retired, I left my teaching career in mainstream education in the UK when the National Curriculum was introduced in 1990 as I felt that there was less emphasis on child centered education and too much emphasis on goal orientation. Pursuing a new career in Arts Management I organised outdoor and community events and ultimately formed my own company ‘K2ARTS’ through which I ran summer camps teaching environmental education through arts and drama, linking my teaching experience and ideals with my environmental ethics. I then became involved with WWOOF Ireland, setting up an educational charity and a director of the  international organisation that supports national WWOOF groups – FoWO.  Now I am rediscovering my personal creative side as an Artist, and have become involved with WCSS as a volunteer on the Board of Management as I see democratic education fulfilling the more child-centered direction in education that I had wanted to pursue as a teacher thirty years ago.

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Maureen
O'Sullivan

Stay tuned!

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Saoirse Nash

You've already met Saoirse in our Volunteer section.
Find out more there.

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Rebecca
Firmage

''What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?''
― Jean-Jacques Rousseau
 

I am passionate about community; working together; creation; diversity and inclusion; change; personal responsibility; interdependence; and I am passionate about West Cork Sudbury School.

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Vicky
Ridgeway

As a young mother I took the decision to home educate my children from the start, also exploring other types of alternative education. As a consequence, I ultimately became a founder member of a Steiner school project in West Cork.

Having worked all my life in health care, both conventional and alternative, I feel that school should be a nurturing environment, which is not always catered for in the state system. Becoming a grandparent introduced me to more alternative forms of education through their experiences, with which I strongly identified. The democratic system of Sudbury seems to be an ideal starting point for change through education for the better of community and society. A school where children learn to be self-directed and responsible through trust will create a generation of conscious and aware adults who are able to realise positive change in the world.

 

I am proud and honoured to be a part of the team for West Cork Sudbury School and give all my support to its success.

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Tracy
Wall

I consider the current conventional school model to be outdated and not fit for purpose. Children have been joining the rat race from age 5 for far loo long. When I first heard of the Sudbury School model of self directed democratic education it was obvious to me that this project would be worth the time and dedication required to set it up. Sudbury schools have been in operation for 60+ years and there is a wealth of data and reading material backing up the claim that trusting children to self direct their own learning really pays off in all areas of their education and well being. After two years up and running we now have first hand experience of the Sudbury model working and it has exceeded all our expectations. It has drastically changed a lot of our students and their families lives. I'm so grateful a group of us were able to found a school like this here in West Cork.

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Muriel Lumb

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
― Aristotle

I've lived a full and varied life, working in computing, psychology and running my own environmental bookshop; singing in music sessions around the world; volunteering for a variety of charities including HIV/AIDS, mental health, women's issues, environment and animal welfare. 

I am most inspired by the accountability, personal & social responsibility and resilience the WCSS approach engenders in its students.

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