Meet our 2014 Featured Speakers:
Peggy O'Mara was the Editor and Publisher of Mothering Magazine from 1980 to 2011. In 1995, she founded mothering.com and was its Editor-in-Chief until 2012. Peggy's books include: Natural Family Living, Having a Baby Naturally, and A Quiet Place. She has presented at Omega Institute, Esalen, Bioneers and La Leche League International. She is on the advisory boards of Attachment Parenting International, Best for Babies, Holistic Moms, Infant Massage USA, Intact America, and Oak Meadow. She is the mother of four adult children and grandmother of two. Peggy has lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for 28 years.
An internationally renowned advocate of natural parenting, Peggy writes and speaks on a vast range of timeless and contemporary issues—from the practical to the philosophical, from preconception to adolescence:
Embracing a conscious, conscientious pregnancy
Natural childbirth, homebirth, and midwifery
Healthful eating for the whole family—and balanced attitudes toward food and diet
Alternative health care for children, including homeopathy, bodywork, herbal remedies, and aromatherapy
Family matters: from discipline issues to home entertainment
Uses and abuses of television, computers, and video games
Approaches to sexuality
Homeschooling and alternative education
Jason Marsh is the founding editor in chief of Greater Good and the GGSC’s director of programs. He is also a co-editor of two anthologies of Greater Good articles: The Compassionate Instinct(WW Norton, 2010) and Are We Born Racist? (Beacon Press, 2010). His articles forGreater Good have explored everything from the psychology of the bystander to the reasons why he should finally start meditating. His writing has also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and Utne Reader, among other publications, and he writes regularly for the opinion section of CNN.com.
Previously, he was the managing editor of the political journalThe Responsive Community; he has also worked as a reporter and producer at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco, as a documentary producer, and as a kindergarten teacher. His first documentary, Unschooled, debuted at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. A graduate of Brown University and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Jason lives in Berkeley with his wife and daughter.
For 20 years now, Sandra Dodd has been involved in learning more about the potential of unschooling to improve lives. With two books, weekly chats, a daily-inspiration blog and a blog, the ideas are shared in all directions. Sandra is a former English teacher whose other jobs have all involved words, ideas and learning, and whose avocation is helping other parents find ways to live more richly and peacefully with their children.Sandra maintains an online collection of writings, notes, examples, and great quotes collected from over 15 years of online discussions. Sandra's unschooling website is here: SandraDodd.com.
Wes Beach has 50 years' experience in education. He spent 32 years in public and private schools as a teacher in grades K-14 and as the director of several alternative education programs. He is currently Director of Beach High School, a private high school that offers a wide variety of alternatives to traditional schooling. Some BHS students skip a substantial part of high school and enter college or trade schools, go to work, start businesses, travel, engage in independent learning and pursue unique creative endeavors. Others put together high school programs that include formal coursework, self-teaching, study with tutors, work, distance learning, volunteering, travel and inventive projects. Wes has served on the board of the HomeSchool Association of California (HSC) and is at present the Teen Adviser for both HSC and the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum (GHF).
Elana K. Arnold
Elana K. Arnold writes curled up in a corner of her couch with a cup of coffee--heavy on the cream and sugar--nearby. She finds the words flow more freely if the house isn't too quiet and if there is the promise of chocolate in the near future. She lives in Long Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a dozen pets. Literally a dozen of them. Her debut novel, "Sacred," is published by Random House Books and her second novel, "Burning," will be released in June 2013. Elana teaches creative writing at UC Davis. Visit her at elanakarnold.com.