Marjorie Nafziger – Counselor

I grew up within a large Mennonite farm family, the 6th of 9 children, 25 miles NW of Philadelphia, PA. where we played and worked amid a wonderful (but fleeting!) setting of barn, meadow, woods and creek.Upon leaving home, rural places continued to beckon me in Oregon, West Virginia, and Virginia, living where, as one friend aptly put it years ago, “where other people like to visit on vacation!”. As a result I have come to reside in the varied beauties of the Wallowa Whitman National Forest and old growth rainforest of Oregon, the heights of the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia, and along the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and its tributaries in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. My family of origin’s love of and experiences in the out-of-doors, along with these places where my family and I dwelled, have deeply shaped my lifelong interest in sustainable gardening practices, hiking, birdwatching, raising chickens, earth care concerns, to name some majors.

During my times in Virginia I obtained a BA in Art and an MA degree in Counseling/School Counseling through course work at Eastern Mennonite University and James Madison University of Harrisonburg. I have worked the past 17 years as a school counselor and also as 6th/7th grade art teacher at Eastern Mennonite School, a K-12 private school where I primarily served grades 6-9. Beyond teaching art, I have also illustrated three food-related books in collaboration with several authors, one of them my daughter.

All three of my children returned to Oregon, which means the three grandchildren too, and so put gentle pressure on me the last few years to consider returning as well…which brings me to a city at last (but near Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge!), living with one of my daughters and her family. Not ready to retire, yet wanting to be more available to my family, I was glad to learn of a part-time opening here at Springwater. My delight continues as I discover here some shared interests and school philosophy with the school I left behind in VA, whose school culture and environmental science emphasis have so much in common with Springwater in its 3-fold cord of school, family, and community. I am grateful to be able to serve this unusual school community and look forward to getting better acquainted with all its members.