Sonja’s life work is about making connections – making connections between what happens locally to what happens globally, between vision and action, between people whose synergy creates collective good. She is drawn to projects that are in transition, either starting up or moving to a new level. Her work for socially conscious endeavors has led Sonja from reducing street violence through community engagement in Salinas, CA to organizing the largest peace movement in Chicago, IL during the onset of the Iraq war. She has created innovative, wraparound workforce development programs for youth and adults in Monterey County, CA, introduced secondary school students to careers in environmental protection in Benin, West Africa, and built cross-sector collaborations for improving urban environments throughout the United States. She has furthered her desire to create holistic global health as an advisor for Environmental Cleanup Coalition and the Love of Life Institute in Santa Cruz, CA. She provides leadership coaching, facilitates executive & board work sessions and focus groups, raises funds, designs experiences & events, and acts as a “brain-for-hire” for just about anything that is exciting.
I am a true lover of the natural world, since my childhood it was nature that was my most sacred and revered haven. When I attended College my passion for exploring nature resulted in my studying Recreation Resources Management. Following completion of my degree, my professional work was dedicated to sharing my passion of nature with children. It consisted of instructing for the Outward Bound School, Yosemite Institute and Maui Undersea Adventures Inc. on Maui, HI. I am also an American Montessori Society Certified Lower Elementary Teacher. Currently, I work as the Director of Environmental Education for White Rock Montessori School in Dallas, TX and volunteer with the National Audubon Society as a Texas Master Naturalist. Having worked in the Environmental and Outdoor Education for over twenty years, I have a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to share with the Environmental Cleanup Coalition. I look forward to being an essential contributor to the ECC Board, sharing my desire to manifest our mission of educating about the importance of cleaning our watersheds and oceans of man made pollution.
Katharine Woods is the founder of The Mountain School and has worked at the school since its inception. Katharine, born and raised in New York City, is the owner of the property upon which the school is located. She designed and facilitated the building of the green school building, farm and gardens. Her teaching duties include the Second and Third Grade Program. Katharine obtained her Waldorf teaching credential from The Rudolf Steiner College Teacher Training in San Francisco in 2000, and is credentialed to teach Waldorf Education Kindergarten through 8th grade. She has taught school since 1997 when she began teaching kindergarten at The San Francisco Waldorf School. She has taught Kindergarten for a total of three years at The San Francisco Waldorf School from 1997-1999 and at The Santa Cruz Waldorf School in 2000 and 2002. When Katharine moved back to The Wood River Valley with 7her daughter India in 2000 she started a non-profit organization called The Friends of the Earth Festival Co. which offered after-school programs and seasonal festivals throughout the valley during the years of 2000-2007. She also taught as a substitute at The Santa Cruz Waldorf School throughout the elementary school grades in the years of 2003-2005. Katharine is also a certified perma-culturalist. Katharine’s daughter India attended Waldorf School for her preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade years. She is currently attending Stanford University.