Dear Step One Friends and Family,
After 33 years of working with Zeena Cameron, one of the beloved founding teachers of Step One School, it is my honor and great pleasure to introduce this issue of our newsletter ‘Step One Connect,’ which celebrates Zeena on the occasion of her retirement.
All of us who have experienced working with and learning from Zeena know she comes from a place of pure love. "Starting from the heart,” our school motto, embodies Zeena and how she shows her love with kindness and compassion and also with strength, helping children become allies and stand up to injustice. (In fact, Zeena is the one who originally wrote “love is love is love” up on Step One’s gatehouse, where it inspires us on the yard every day.) Zeena never hesitates to be in there with the kids working out difficult situations, which connects to her commitment to the world and also her commitment to learning
As a life-long learner, Zeena is exemplary. She is intensely curious about all the ways kids are learning, whether it’s learning to form letters or working to make a new friend. She delights in their success and mastery. Zeena is also expert at supporting children to break down concepts to help them succeed with new material. And once her students have grasped what they are trying to learn, she really celebrates it with them.
Zeena continues to explore new things. In recent years she's gotten more interested in the mind-body connection. Her own practice of tai-chi and meditation have influenced her teaching and how she responds to the kids, with a central focus on building peace in the world. She reads voraciously about all kinds of subjects, which is why I’m so thrilled that Zeena is going to be our first Step One librarian, doing a deep dive into the children’s literature she loves to support all our teachers.
I am so pleased to share just a few of the many reasons why working alongside Zeena Cameron for the last three decades has been an absolute joy, and to introduce others’ testimonies to her generosity and her impact. Zeena, we love you, and you will always be a part of Step One School!