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Why Choose Nova?

One founding families' perspective on enrolling at Nova High!

We are newcomers to North Idaho. Our family, like many others, longed for a different life for ourselves and our children. We wanted a safe community where our children could actually enjoy their town freely and without fear. We fell in love with the astounding beauty that surrounds Sandpoint, ID, from the stunning mountain ranges, to the glacial lakes. Here is a little about our journey from the big seaside city to this small mountain town.

As we were considering high schools for the eldest of our three children, Beatrice, we had specific criteria to find the right match. Not only to match one for her, but to pave the way for her siblings who inevitably look up to her and the path that she takes.

We had our children enrolled at the San Francisco Waldorf School from nursery-8th grade. It encompassed our whole life, from our community to the inner world of our home. We lived and loved Waldorf education. As our daughter was ready to embark on the next phase of her education we were tasked with making a big decision. We knew we wanted a Waldorf high school experience for her, however, we also wanted to move out of San Francisco, CA to better our quality of life and live closer with nature.

Last spring we decided to enroll Beatrice at the San Francisco Waldorf High School and she was to attend with many of her childhood friends. This meant we would stay in San Francisco for a lot longer than we wanted to. Because we also have two younger children and have a desire for continuity for them all, this decision had then become a much longer commitment in San Francisco for our whole family. We had dear friends who had moved to Sandpoint as well as family in Coeur D’Alene and the area was calling us to explore as a potential move away from the big city life. When considering Sandpoint as our new home, most aspects were checked off the wishlist as a perfect place to relocate our family, including the well established Sandpoint Waldorf School for the younger children. But what about high school for Beatrice? I searched on the internet for ‘Waldorf High School Sandpoint” and came across Nova High, a Waldorf Inspired School.

What? I was blown away and beside myself with hope and excitement. I discovered that one of the three founders was a woman whom I’d admired from afar; for the book she authored called Full Moon Feast and for the community supported kitchen business model she co-founded called Three Stone Hearth. Her name is Jessica Prentice and I thought, if JP is up and moving her family there to help start this new school called Nova then there must be something special happening!

After an amazing initial phone call with Michele Burkey, and an incredible beach day with her and Natalie Britton, the other two founders, we were IN! By the time our visit in May was complete it was clear we were going to join this initiative, move to Sandpoint, and become a founding family at Nova High. We were ready to take this leap of faith. We wanted to become part of a caring, thoughtful community, and to dedicate our energy to building a high school that meets the needs of our teenagers now and for a long time to come.

We arrived in the heat of summer and our children have all settled into this quaint little town beautifully. We are all thriving. Beatrice has been attending Nova with the other founding students for nearly four weeks now. She is proud to be part of this enterprise in its first year and is joyously undertaking the high school experience. She absolutely loves it!

We’re happy to say we love it too. Over the years we’ve heard of so many inspiring stories from the founding teachers, parents and students who established the San Francisco Waldorf School. We recognize how fortunate we were to be part of a healthy, well established school and know that it was only able to happen for us due to those dedicated people who took a leap of faith 44 years ago. The same is true for the wonderful Sandpoint Waldorf School, established 29 years ago.

Now is our family's chance to create those stories and dedicate our time to not only our own children’s future but to the many more yet to come to Nova High.

Shayna Lawson Satlak

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