A few years ago, Elishelah entered my child development course as an eager, engaged and enthusiastic learner. Within a very short time, I realized she possesses an abundance of expertise in educational practices; I quickly became HER student. Through dialogue and discussions, it became abundantly clear that Elishelah’s educational philosophy of character development employs best practices in both parenting and education. Fortunately for the educational community, Elishelah freely shares her practice of creating a caring and compassionate community. My current students are the recipients of her grace and talents through the Shantivanam website, observations at the school, and her presentations in my college courses. Shantivanam Children’s Community is making a significant difference in our world. I am forever grateful for Elishelah’s presence in my life, and I believe I am a better educator because of her.
Laurel Anderson, PhD
Assistant Professor, Child Development
Palomar College, San Marcos, California
I feel I am in a unique position to comment on Shantivanam Children’s Community due to my role as assistant head of school at The Gillispie School with our 100-child preschool, and my role as a parent with own daughter attending Shantivanam Children’s Community from 18 months old until her graduation into Kindergarten; my son now attends Shantivanam. My wife and I looked at perhaps 20 schools before placing our daughter at what affectionately has become known as “Elishelah’s”. One powerful aspect of Elishelah’s work is her serious devotion to lifelong learning and best practices. She is well-versed in NAEYC guidelines and continues to ensure that her program follows both California’s Preschool Learning Foundations and DRDP-R (the state’s leading tool for assessment and developmental milestones). Elishelah makes the social and emotional development of each child the cornerstone of her program and she is a model early childhood educator and the rare 21st century school leader who’s both current in the approaches of the present and grounded in the values of the past. My daughter was ready for the “academics” of kindergarten, but, most importantly, she was ready to be a confident, thoughtful, active member of her classroom community.
Assistant Head of School
The Gillispie School, La Jolla, California