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Sewing Class Peek :)


...this term! Always an impressive selection brought to you by the dedicated teachers and staff of Wellsprings!

  • Rise & Fall of Empires
  • Math
  • Essay Writing
  • Guitar
  • Reading Circle
  • Health Yeah
  • Music Appreciation
  • Creative Writing
  • Sewing
  • Government
  • Independent Study
  • Life Sciences
  • Figure Drawing
  • Team Sports
  • Cooking
  • D&D
  • Out There Art
  • History of Science
  • Short Stories
  • Astronomy
  • Transitions
  • Painting
  • Science of Disaster
  • Human Sexuality
  • Global Studies
  • Singing & Songwriting
  • Literature

Student Art

In Chanci’s art class the students are encouraged to explore various art mediums. Here are some drawings-in-progress.


The Amazing People of Wellsprings
A year long series

This newsletter's focus:
Chanci Herer, teacher at Wellsprings since 2005.
Interviewed by Chris Meeker (parent at school).


Quick Bio:
Chanci Herer graduated with a BA in English/Writing from Southern Oregon University. Before coming to Wellsprings, she volunteered at Ashland High School as an ASPIRE mentor, a writing tutor, and an English as a Second Language (ESL) assistant. She has published one short story and is an avid poet as well as a singer/songwriter. Chanci came to Wellsprings in September 2005. Although mainly teaching language arts classes, Chanci has also taught Singing/Songwriting, Drawing, Small Group Communications, Meditation, and more. In June 2017, after almost two years of a grueling schedule of graduate studies while teaching fulltime and raising two young children, Chanci received her Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Western Oregon University.
Some people know from an early age, the main ways they would like to spend their time when they grow up. For Chanci this happened when she was in fourth grade. That was the first time she realized she wanted to be a teacher. “I loved how our teacher interacted with us. How he made us feel like people instead of kids. We called him by his first name. It was the first time I experienced school holistically; instead of the teacher talking at us and us having to spit the information back to him, he created an environment of equal learning in a combined 4thand 5thgrade class.”
Chanci also remembers thinking how she wanted to be a writer or a musician. Well, since she teaches creative writing and technical essay writing as well as singing and songwriting, among other classes, it seems to me that she has combined many of her passions into one job! Now, to be clear, Chanci writes and makes music outside of school for herself because as she said, “When you love something you don’t let it go, because you know that’s what makes you happy. And even though I love teaching, writing and playing music helps keep me grounded and balanced.” 
Chanci started teaching because it was so pivotal to her when she was young to have adults that she could relate to. She liked how her teachers paid attention to her. She grew up getting so much out of school that she knew she wanted to give that back to others. 
Perhaps what she didn’t know growing up, however, was how she would grow herself from being a teacher. “I like teaching academics and I like helping the students deal with their “inner stuff” as it lets me know where I’m at in dealing with my own inner stuff which is important to me. I’m constantly getting feedback as to whether I am as grounded as I think I am, as kind as I think I am. My students provide this for me. They give me real feedback as to whether I am as present as I want to be in my life. And then I can mirror this to the students, as there is so much internal pressure for them that doesn’t need to be there. If I can help them unpack some of that and not take it all too seriously and instead see it as something that you’re moving through instead of something that you’re up against, that is helpful for them.”
In speaking with Chanci about the ways she approaches teaching her different classes I was struck by a common theme which is central to the encompassing approach of Wellsprings: How to support and encourage students to express themselves. When she teaches songwriting she approaches it in two ways. Firstly, in the technical aspects of how to write a song which is intellectually based. And, secondly, in teaching each person how to honor one’s inner voice which is what Chanci calls, ‘the magical part of music’. Her goal is to create the space and the assignments where there is structure yet also allows for the freedom for this “magic” to come to each student. “If you can find this magic at a young age then you always have it, no one can take this special thing away from you, and you don’t have to seek it out in other, perhaps not healthy, ways.”
And in drawing classes she encourages students to not be attached to the process and to not judge the outcome. “If they say this looks awful, I say, ‘So what’? You’re not here to make replicas or to be a copy machine you’re just here to learn how to draw better. Everyone has cubbies so we save all of the drawings whether they draw two pieces a term or one every class. At the end of term each student puts up their drawings in the order they made them and their fellow students comment on the art and point out the improvements they see and how they’ve grown. And everyone improves and grows. At the end of class the students feel good about what they’ve accomplished.”
Chanci also really likes hearing from former students. “I’ve heard from students that I taught five or ten years ago that I thought didn’t have a problem with me and they tell me that they hated me so much, and all the stuff you said to me, but now I really appreciate it.” Chanci went on to say that, “Sometimes I say something that the student doesn’t want to hear right then in the hopes that a seed is planted for their future and is there for later in life when it is needed.” 
So, another interview and another impressive teacher at Wellsprings! I truly feel more grateful for each person at Wellsprings every month! Thanks for sharing, Chanci.

Washington, D.C. Trip
Below is a letter sent to the community regarding an upcoming trip.

March, 2019

Hello Friends and Family.

I am a student at Wellsprings Friends School, a small alternative high school in Eugene, Oregon. I am part of a delegation of five seniors, two young adults and chaperones, who are taking a trip to Washington, D.C., March 20 - 27. We will be learning about and practicing active citizenship as well as meeting with our congressmen. Our excursion will also allow us to visit national monuments, museums and experience the culture of our capital city. This trip can be a life changing opportunity for us.

We will be participating in the Friends Council on National Legislation (FCNL) conference over spring break. FCNL will help us learn about current legislative issues, hear speakers, form our own positions on the issues and schedule meetings with our congressmen to share our concerns and/or support.

I’d like to introduce the delegation. Our group includes Jack, a young transgender man interested in a close up view of the government and experiencing the culture of D.C. Alyssa, a young woman interested in exploring career options in the government. Miranda, a young woman is going because she cares and wants to be an active citizen. Gaven, a young man who’s looking forward to stepping out of his small town and expanding his horizons, and Jordin, a young man who has a desire to “get in there”, and see the government’s operations up close. 

We are all looking forward to making this trip to our capitol city and am asking if you can support the delegation with a financial contribution to the school.  We’ve received a grant from Friends Council on Education to assist with the conference registration but we still need to raise $5,500 for this excursion.  As you can see, any support you can give to help fund this trip would be appreciated.

Jack, Alyssa, Miranda, Gaven, Jordin, Nick, Bronte, Lisette, and Ethen

Written by Jack with input from the delegation.

Please send support to:

Wellsprings Friends School, 3590 W. 18th, Eugene, OR  97402 (memo $ with DC trip)


March 1st
Beyond War Presentation

March 2nd  5-8:30pm
An Evening of Music for Wellsprings Friends School
A Benefit at Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette St, Eugene, Oregon.
Featuring our very own Bob Schlichting along with other fine acts!

March 20th - March 27th
Friends Council on National Legislation (FCNL) Conference
See above article for details.

March 25th - March 29th
Spring Break

Know someone who would like this newsletter?
Do you know family members or extended members of the Wellsprings Community who would enjoy receiving the Wellsprings Way? Forward this issue along to them or reply with their email address and we’ll send them future issues!

We want to hear your…
…thoughts, story ideas, anecdotes, suggestions, and contributions! We want to hear all of them! Perhaps there is something you've been wondering about that the Wellsprings Way team could investigate? Hit "reply" to this newsletter, let us know what it is, and we'll "get on it"!

Wellsprings Way Newsletter Group: Chris Meeker (Ben’s dad), Dawn Meckelson, Dennis Hoerner, Gen Schaack.

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