As a doctoral student in Political Philosophy and high school history teacher, Terrill Legueri ’01 knows a thing or two about the importance of accurately recording the past. So when we stated in the November issue that this was the first effort to organize an Alumni Association, Terrill gently reminded us of an important point in DWS Alumni history – the 2005 publication of the original Alumni newsletter, Wood, Wool & Wax.
“I felt that Alumni really wanted to see what everyone was up to, so when Kristi Fraum [the Development Director at the time] approached me about putting something formal together, I took on the challenge,” Terrill recalls.
Currently in her second year of teaching philosophy, literature and history to 10th graders at the Mesa Preparatory Academy in Phoenix Arizona, Terrill draws on the storytelling skills she learned at DWS to engage her students.
“The ability to tell a good story is an essential skill for a teacher, because it makes your message compelling and meaningful for the students,” she says. When she completes her doctorate, Terrill hopes to one day bring this skill to a career as a college professor.
Terrill has long believed that DWS Alumni bring a historical perspective that can be highly valuable to strategic planning for the school’s future. She helped create an Alumni seat on the Board of Trustees and served for a year.
“I was only 22 when I was serving on the board. It was sometimes a bit intimidating and humbling – sitting in a room with what felt like a bunch of philosophers! I had to gain their respect,” Terrill noted. “It was a really interesting time to be involved, because the school was deciding whether to keep the high school.” After Terrill’s year term ended, the alumni seat was filled by David Oppenheim. The Board is now actively looking to fill the Alumni seat.
Terrill came to DWS in first grade in 1989 from Parzival Shield. In 2001, her graduating class had just 8 students. “In 9th grade, I left DWS and went to public school for less than a year.” Terrill remembers.
“I thought I wanted something a bit different after being with the same people for 8 years. It was a bigger school a different social scene. But in the end the classes just didn’t inspire me, so I came right back to DWS and really enjoyed my high school experience.”
Terrill attended Grinnell College in Iowa and received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. “When I went to college I took as many different kinds of classes as I could. When the time came to pick a major, Poly Sci just made sense, since it matched my activism for the environment, human rights and mental health awareness.”
In college, Terrill also became a leader of a radical Cheerleading organization. “We were ‘on-call’ to support campaigns for social justice and other important causes. We came up with these great routines that really helped to communicate the group’s message.”
One of her fondest memories of her time at DWS was that of Mr. Baker and his water gun. “Mr. Baker always had some new, silly nickname for me – Pterodactyl, Terrible – and he would drive by the coffee shop in his car and ambush us with that darn water gun! On the last day of school one year, there was a school wide water fight. We all tried to team up against Mr. Baker, but no matter what we did, he always seemed to have the upper hand.”
Terrill hopes that the Alumni Association continues to grow and becomes strong. “There is no place like The Denver Waldorf School. I hope that every Alum joins in as part of the association and helps to support the school well into the future.”
Watch Terrill speak about her experience at DWS (Terrill appears around the 3:20 mark):