Alumni Journeys

A Walk Down Sacramento Waldorf School Memory Lane by Nicole Fields, LS Handwork Teacher & SWS Alum ’85


  • ​​driving down the hill to find that the parking lot is gravel.
  • ​the administration building is a geodesic dome, lovingly built by the hands of faculty.
  • ​that where Linden Hall stands today instead stands a forest and the parking area for the school bus – yes, the school bus.
  • that the high school buildings do not exist; rather, that area is populated by young oak trees, and the children fondly call it the Fairy Forest.
  • that the soccer field is covered in star thistle, and access to the river is unobstructed by fencing.
  • that San Juan Hall is not there, and the biggest space we have to gather as a whole school is the classroom that now houses 8th grade.

​This is what Sacramento Waldorf School looked like when I joined as a 5th grader, more than 40 years ago. I began my time as a Waldorf student in Kindergarten 3,000 miles away in New York, and when my mother and infant sister (the beloved Mrs. Gold!) and I moved to California, we chose Sacramento as our destination because of this school.

We arrived in time to see the first 12th grade class graduate in June of 1978, and to enjoy the high school’s first musical, Fiddler on the Roof. The school was smaller, more intimate, and much more funky!

Many aspects of daily life were supported by well-meaning community members, parents, and students. We children cleaned toilets, swept walks, repaired fences, and helped build many of the things we treasure today. I remember riding on a box spring behind a truck during a high school work week to help grade what is now the soccer field. My hands have had a part in shaping many of the areas of this campus.

I treasure those memories of a time when the school was still emerging from its pioneer days, a place looking to a future full of promise.

The school was filled then as it is now with the daily thrum of activity that is the heartbeat of any living institution. Passing by classrooms that I once occupied, I see the many layers of my experience on this campus:  as a youngster, as a parent, and, beginning 26 years ago, as a teacher, with hopeful visions for many more years to come.

I am grateful to have this deep relationship with the Being of Sacramento Waldorf School. As long as we serve the Being of the school with our hearts and our deeds, I am certain it will thrive and grow to serve many generations of students to come.

That is my pledge every day as I drive down that familiar hill, carrying my love for this place, its students, and all the people who fill it with life.