RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] donation offer

From: Carmel Sullivan <>
Date: Thu Nov 21 18:17:01 2002

Hi Linda,


My son used to go to an SVS school in Colorado (Alpine Valley) he now
goes to a new Public Charter School in LA called Pacifica Community
Charter School. It was started by moms whose children went to a school
very similar to SVS. They are looking to implement some of the SVS model
into that school, e.g. judicial system, no classrooms etc. This may be
the first Public Charter School in LA to try to implement SVS into the
public school system, much like what the Charter SVS in Oregon has done.


They would love and appreciate a gift like that.


Contact: Anna Wayne 310-845-9405 or email her at




-----Original Message-----
From: Linda Siska []
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2002 1:06 AM
Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] donation offer



When I was in high school, back in the sixties, I was one of the shy,
quiet types who sat in the back of the class and was rarely noticed --
not by teachers, and not by my peers. I studied hard and did extremely
well; my grades were my self-esteem. But I was enough of a rebel to
resent a system which gave me so few choices. My time, my life, were
not my own and I hated it.

I knew there had to be a better way. I resolved to someday open a
school of my own -- a school where children would want to be -- a school
that empowered instead of imprisoned. I went off to college and majored
in education, reading _Summerhill_ and John Holt on the side. The plan
was to teach a few years in public school -- just to gain experience --
and then strike out on my own.

Life has a way of altering our plans. I married young, had children,
and moved to Germany with my husband. Through all of the changes, my
desire for a 'someday school' never abated. I studied Montessori,
Waldorf and alternative schools looking for the right model. When I
answered an ad in _New Age Magazine_ for a school called Sudbury Valley,
I knew I had found what I'd been looking for. The problem was, I was
still in Germany, living in a military community and never knowing from
one year to the next if we would stay or 'go home.'

Eventually, I took my teenage son, a high-school drop-out, and moved
temporarily to Framingham. Sean was still a minor, so I lived with him
for the first of his two years at SVS before returning to my life in

I am now 53 years old. My husband will be retiring in another year, and
we will at last be returning to the states. For my dream of a school,
it is too late. I no longer have the energy or determination it takes
to get a Sudbury model school up and running, nor do I have the desire
it takes to keep one going.

Surprisingly, I have no regrets. Looking back on my life, I believe my
dream was not really about founding a school but about finding SVS. It
was at SVS that my son regained a sense of dignity and self-worth, and
it was there that he met the beautiful young woman whom he will marry
this coming June. And it was in Framingham that I met some of the most
incredible women it has ever been my privilege to know. Life is good,
and I am blessed!

What I do have is a full set of 'start your own school' materials from
SVS. If there is someone out there who could use the books, tapes and
videos, please let me know. I will gladly donate them to your cause and
know that my goal is being fulfilled, though not by myself.

Yours in common spirit -- Linda


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Received on Thu Nov 21 2002 - 18:11:30 EST

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