I grew up on a farm in north-central Indiana, near the small town of Galveston. The core of my education and life work has been with young children and their families. This has involved a variety of settings - classroom teacher, working with families in the Head Start Program, and teaching adults in traditional and non-traditional setting of early childhood education. Education: M.A. Clinical Psychology; M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction Supervision; Ph.D. Human Development and Family Studies, with focus on Early Childhood Education. Other relevant experiences include decades of community volunteer work to support positive human interactions, environmental sustainability, and cultural arts.
What attracted you to The Mountain?
The physical setting is amazing, so this makes it a lovely place to be. The part of the Mountain experience that has engaged me and keeps me coming back is consistent commitment of Mountain staff to provide lifespan programs that gently challenge and support individuals in becoming our best selves. This involves the Mountain staff modeling, as well as providing constructive opportunities to develop our greatest potential.
What would you like to accomplish in your Board role?
It is a great honor to me to serve as a Mountain trustee. It is also a great responsibility to be charged with supporting and guiding the work of The Mountain. My intent is to contribute to preserving the best of what the Mountain offers to the worls as a retreat and learning center, and to support the development of additional strenghts, to move further toward our optimal potential. We have a great foundation upon which the staff and Board can work as a team, to build in ways that will provide more of these life-enhancing opportunities to a greater variety of people.
About your family:
Husband: Charlie West, 78, retired professor of Business Management; two step-daughters - Susan (Cleveland) and Carolyn (Miami), their husbands, Dan and Evan; and five grandchildren from four-years-old to a sophomore in college.
What do you find most important in life?
The mission and programs at The Mountain reflect my own personal values of living in our world - interacting with people and all parts of our earth -- in a manner that reflects integrity and awareness of the interdependence of all segments of our environment. It is very important to me to live my values, and while it is easy to state these values, it is not always so easy to live the values in every decision, large or small, in daily life. My connection with the people and programs at The Mountain supports me in my ongoing journey in living and refining my values.
In high school, the mid-1960's, which was a great time to be an emerging adult, I became fascinated with and immersed in books by Tom Dooley, a medical missionary in Southeast Asia. This interest extended to other books about people doing real work to address world problems. I decided that what I wanted to do in life was to "save the world" because there were so many issues that needed attention. In the forty-some years since then I have discovered that "saving the world" is quite a challenging task! Even though I have narrowed my focus, I have remained committed to work as an in individual, as well as with groups and organizations, to support a variety of efforts in this journey we call life. Whether it is a small gesture or major work with international organizations, all of it makes a difference. I have been affiliated with The Mountain for about twenty years - The Mountain as a whole experience of setting, people, and programs - our Mountain sustains my belief that together we are and will continue to make a positive contribution in our world.
© 2013 The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center. All Rights Reserved.
P.O. Box 1299
3872 Dillard Road,
Highlands, NC 28741