Desert Marigold School belongs to the worldwide movement of Waldorf Schools. Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian educator, philosopher, and scientist (1861-1925), established the first school in Stuttgart, Germany. After the World War I, Emil Molt, manager of the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart,wanted to provide a school for the workers’ children. He hoped it might develop human beings who were able to respond to the complexities of modern life and help renew cultural and social ideals. Steiner responded to Molt’s request in 1919 with what came to be called the first “Waldorf School.”
Steiner brought a practical educational approach grounded in the knowledge of human development and psychology, which sought to achieve an integration of academic and artistic disciplines. The aim was to foster the healthy, balanced development of the capacities of thinking, feeling, and willing which would enable the growing human being to acquire a sense of inner freedom and social responsibility. Since that time, Waldorf schools have grown steadily, at present there are over 700 elementary and secondary schools and countless kindergartens teaching students around the world.
Since 1994, Desert Marigold School (DMS) has served students and families in the metro Phoenix area by working to bring alive the deep principles underlying Waldorf Education. First as a developing member of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and now as a member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education (APWE, DMS has grown from atiny Kindergarten into a thriving K-12 school. Throughout our entire history, DMS has also been a key member of the Arizona Council for Waldorf Education (ACWE), a trailblazing organization that models collaboration and mutual support between private and public endeavors. Currently, DMS is the only comprehensive K-12 Public Waldorf School in the United States, with a dedicated and experienced staff of nearly 90 serving over 350 students. We celebrate the diversity of our amazing community, so rich in different cultural, family, and faith traditions, and so generous in its support of our beloved school. Here are some brief highlights in the unique history of DMS: