West has worked at Rainbow Community School for over 10 years. She has served the school in various capacities from 2nd and 3rd grade lead teacher, to professional development coordinator, to mentor teacher and curriculum coach, to marketing coordinator and now as curriculum coordinator and development director.
She is also the co-founder of Rainbow Institute, the adult education arm of Rainbow Community School and coordinates and hosts continuing education workshops and conferences. Additionally, West serves as Rainbow Community School’s resident naturalist.
West’s educational philosophy is anchored in place based and experiential learning. She works to nurture a love of learning by fostering student’s deep connections to themselves, their community, and the natural world around them. She strongly believes that direct, authentic and meaningful experience is the primary stepping stone to understanding.
West holds a Bachelors Degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of the South, a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Education from the Teton Science Schools, a Master’s of Education from Montana State University, a school administration license from Appalachian State University and a Certificate of Non-Profit Management from Duke University. West is trained in Appreciative Inquiry, a model for organizational change and is currently serving as a Fellow for Columbia Teacher’s College, Collaborative for Spirituality and Education. West is also an award winning and published teacher and has presented at various regional and national educational conferences.
West also serves on the Board of Directors of the Asheville Museum of Science and the Green River Preserve and as an Advisory Council member for ICARE, the international council for accrediting relationship based education. West is also an avid rock climber, a competitive bodybuilder, a trail runner and road cyclist.
Did you know West was interviewed by Dr. Bob Hanna on Asheville FM? You can listen to an excerpt of her interview where she discusses her blog and her approach to education.
Here’s West and other Ashoka change leaders on a panel at the SXSWedu 2106 conference in Austin.
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You can reach her at: West.Willmore@rainbowlearning.org