Meg Gluckman, a beloved member of our staff team, resigned this summer to focus on parenting and homeschooling.
Meg joined the Whidbey Institute team in November 2018 and was an extraordinary addition to our community, however the unexpected disruption of COVID-19 to the educational system necessitated a change. As a parent of two, and recognizing that many parents face a dilemma during the COVID disruption, Meg feels grateful that she is in a position to choose a focus on at-home schooling at this time.
Last year, both Meg’s son Dylan and her daughter Sky were Whidbey Island Waldorf School (WIWS) students—and when Meg started her work with us, the combination of Waldorf education and Whidbey Institute employment was a perfect fit. The WIWS shares our forest campus, and coming to the land together made sense for Meg’s family when work and school were full time and in-person. “It was the most beautiful, stars aligned situation for me and for the kids,” Meg said. ““I feel so lucky to have joined the Institute when I did.” This year, with their mom’s full time support, Sky is doing 4th grade via a combination of distance learning and homeschooling while Dylan is doing some outdoor kindergarten with WIWS and some homeschooling.
There are many aspects of working with the Whidbey Institute that Meg will miss, however she expresses confidence that she won’t lose the relationships she’s built here. “ I feel like I’m stepping away from the job, but I don’t think I’m going to lose any of you if I put effort into staying in touch,” she said.
Meg spoke to the value of her time with us, both in enjoying her work on an operational level and also in deepening her understanding of racism during a learning journey with other white team members. “I’ve learned so much, especially around equity and undoing my internalized racism and biases,” she said. “I feel so lucky to have had that experience. It’s like I got to go to school while I worked, and I think so few people can say that.”
“It’s great to know how people are being nourished by the programs and by the space. It really fills up your heart.”
Meg will also miss working with our community of program leaders, and expressed gratitude for those relationships. “I love seeing how each program leader is using their energy and passion in the world,” she said. She expressed the joy of seeing a new program leader’s vision and work come to fruition in a successful first time program. She also expressed how much she valued talking to participants, or reading notes in the guest book that show just how much the land and programs mean to people. “It’s great to know how people are being nourished by the programs and by the space,” she said. “It really fills up your heart.”
During nearly two years with us in her Client Administrator and Registrar roles, Meg researched and adopted new software and put new systems and procedures in place. Before leaving her role, she trained her colleagues in these new systems and processes, leaving us in a much clearer, more resilient position from an administrative perspective than we were several years ago. Meg described the need for these robust systems and processes, saying that as our efficiencies grow and we become better able to handle the logistics of hosting, we will be able to put more staff time toward programmatic development and host an increasing number of participants in meaningful, transformative programs.
“I think the Whidbey Institute is really special and really resilient. I believe that no matter what the next year or so looks like, it will succeed.”
“By getting systems in place that make it possible to host more programs well, we make it possible to touch more lives and have a greater impact out in the world,” she said. She spoke to the impact of the COVID disruption on this vision, but expressed optimism for our long term capacities as an organization.
“I think the Whidbey Institute is really special and really resilient,” she said. “I believe that no matter what the next year or so looks like, it will succeed—because of the staff, the board, the long term donors, the friends, the program leaders, and the participants that love this place so much. When it’s able to get back to running full force, I have no doubt it will be able to. It’s very solid and very strong, and I have all the confidence in the world that it will continue doing its good work.”
The Whidbey Institute team is profoundly grateful for Meg’s service during her time with us, and we’ll miss having her on the team.