The Woolman Semester School was a four-month program in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California that incorporated issues of peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability into a one-semester immersive experience. Rooted in Quaker values, the program drew high school juniors, seniors, and gap-year students from around the country who wanted to take control of their own education and focus on issues that mattered to them. The program ran continuously from Spring 2004 until Spring 2016.
I attended the Spring 2009 Woolman Semester during my senior year of high school, and the experience changed my life. After graduating from Haverford College, I returned to Woolman to give back to a place and community that gave me so much. I interned at Woolman for one academic year and then joined the staff as Woolman’s Operations Manager. Read more about my time as Operations Manager at Woolman.
While I was a student in the Spring 2009 Woolman Semester, I periodically sent out updates to let people know how I was and what we were doing. Links to the updates are below:
On April 22, 2009, my father, Laurence Marc Sigmond, passed away unexpectedly in his sleep. I came home for five days and then went back to Woolman for the rest of the semester. Being at Woolman was such a wonderful experience, and I knew that my father would have wanted me to go back. Being there after he died was also healing for me. I planned to continue sending out my updates, but I had to deal with my schoolwork and grief. I sent out Update #5 in July, after I came home from Woolman.