While attending a worldwide gathering of Waldorf educators in Switzerland in 2012, Justine Costerouse was inspired by the keynote speaker's closing remarks: “If you take nothing else away from this conference please take this: Go home and found more kindergartens!”
This idea had been brewing for some time. Soon after, a happenstance encounter between Justine and Abbie Coburn, each on vacation in Hawaii with their respective families, sparked the next steps. Justine told Abbie, “I’m thinking of starting a school” to which the reply was “Me too!”. Abbie soon told a friend from teacher training, Jessie Elliot, “Justine wants to start a school, just like we do. We should meet with her.” Throughout their teacher training Abbie, Jessie and classmates discussed the type of school they felt would bring to life the ideals of the training and how Waldorf education and can be a healing force in our current times.
A few weeks after the chance meeting in Hawaii, the three experienced teachers sat in a circle in Jessie’s living room. After subsequent meetings they presented their vision to interested parents. Preschool enrollment was soon in full swing and by February 6, 2013, 13 families were enrolled as we opened Dandelion Preschool. Visit our blog to see how we progressed in the early days.
Golden Bridges School completed our first full school year in 2014 with preschool, kindergarten and aftercare programming. In 2015 we added first grade and have added an additional grade every year since. GBS purchased the farm on Cotter Street in 2014, and in 2020 landed at our long-term home in Portola. With steady growth in enrollment, we graduated our first 8th grade class in June of 2023!