Meet the Team
These are WCSS's Staff, Tutors and Volunteers!
You can learn a little bit about each of us below.
''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.
“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.
“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…
"Be yourself - everyone else is already taken."
― Oscar Wilde
Being born in Germany, I had two dreams from very early on: to become a teacher and to live in Ireland. During the course of my studies it became apparent that the mainstream school system was just not my cup of tea, so I looked out for alternatives, and the Sudbury model was a perfect fit. I am passionate about languages, vintage cars and other old objects, history, philosophy, music and everything creative, including film production. I am very happy to be part of this wonderful community where I can pass on my passions and spread happiness.
"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!
"If you know you are on the right track, if you have this inner knowledge, then nobody can turn you off... no matter what they say."
― Barbara McClintock
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 & American Sign Language.
She is passionate about Diversity and Inclusion and loooves to bake.
"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.
”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 on the floor engaging, learning with & supporting our students part time while I also navigate my new role. of being a mother.
Albert Einstein wrote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Growing up I was frustrated by the standard educational model and its over emphasis on rote learning. There are so many ways to learn whether it be visual, kinesthetic or auditory.
The needs of children are becoming increasingly complex in this rapidly changing world so there is no better time for a revolution in education!
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
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.
"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.
Board of Management
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.
"Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferals of information."
― Paolo Freire
Hello my name is Mark Lucey a trustee with West Cork Sudbury School. I have worked as a community worker for the best part of 25 years. In college I discovered Paulo Freire and loved his approach to education and learning. He believed that through conversation both the teacher and the learner grow and learn together. This is why I love West Cork Sudbury School so much.
It gives the kids and staff equal status and responsibility to grow and nurture a community of learning. It gives kids the power and understanding to grow an inquisitive mind and direct their own learning and path in life.
My buddy Paulo coined the phrase “Banking system of education” where you deposit information in to the students brain for retention. This is not the way all brains work so I am delighted to be part of an organisation that offers other options and encourages conversation, equality, inclusiveness and self belief (all my passions).
"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.
Peter is an artist and landscape designer bringing his organic designs to life in situations all over Europe, with award winning designs in UK and Ireland. His work is widely recognised at events and through the media over the last 15 years.
He has lived experience with the Sudbury approach, having traveled widely with his children and seen the benefits of the freedom to learn creatively and through personal choice. Inspired by the idea of bringing this kind of worldly, holistic learning into a school situation in their home in West Cork, Peter and family saw the opportunity to help build something very positive in a more settled situation. With a rather timely lockdown they set out on a collective new journey to help create an institution that reflects their values of freedom of choice, trust, self-empowerment, respect and creativity.