Emily Merchant is a Utah native with a life-long interest in education and child development. She has earned a BS at the University of Utah, studying psychology and elementary education and a Masters in education from Antioch University with a focus on administration and Waldorf teaching.
Emily’s professional career has included work as a technical writer, a congressional Policy Adviser on education in Washington, DC, and experience in various educational contexts, such as teaching children with autism, coaching high school debate, creating service learning programs, and teaching dance and arts for preschoolers and in public schools.
After years of study and involvement in education, it was as a mother of three beautiful and lively girls that Emily discovered Waldorf education. Emily was enlivened and inspired by the use of the arts as a primary teaching modality, the deep spiritual and philosophical basis, the attention to the whole, developing child, and the role of the teacher in Waldorf schools. She immediately began learning more, incorporating aspects of the Waldorf approach into her home, and looking for Waldorf schools in her area.
After attending training at Rudolf Steiner College and aware that there were not any Waldorf schools in Utah (to which she was moving with her family), Emily was inspired to work to bring a Waldorf school to the Salt Lake Valley. Given her personal experiences as a mother and deep commitment to providing the highest quality educational options for students of all demographics and socio-economic statuses, Emily felt strongly that this must be a public charter school, allowing Waldorf education to be a choice for all families.
Over the last few years, Emily has worked with other dedicated individuals throughout the community to apply to the Utah State Office of Education for approval of Utah’s first Waldorf charter school. Emily is thrilled that the Waldorf approach to education will now be available to Utah’s children and families. She feels privileged to be a part of such a valuable work and is in awe daily of the blessing it is in her personal life to have had her interests, experiences, and passions all intersect into this endeavor.