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After attending high school at The Putney School, Ragnar Naess studied premedical sciences and history at Stanford. He is credentialed for high school teaching of Chemistry and History in California. As a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war era he worked with the Cambridge yearly meeting of Friends to organize an alternative school for truant youngsters in Deerfield MA. His career training with master potter Marguerite Wildenhain at Pond Farm was traditional guild style training for what became his career. Ragnar’s interest in education never waned as he believes it is the bedrock of civilized society. Learning about MCS from former MCS teachers Doris Finkel and Anne Zinsser and then from Michèle Solá, led him to believe the most effective work he could do as a volunteer was in support of MCS' commitment to progressive education. No organization Ragnar has worked with several organizations and strongly feels that no one walks the talk as does MCS. None is more attuned and relevant today than MCS.
Why is it important for you to serve on the board?
The image of MCS lodged in my heart is of an educational community graduating young people prepared to be catalytic citizens whose grasp of the gifts of diversity and the larger world blends with compassionate awareness, personal empowerment and high level communication skills. I've always believed education has the most powerful multiplier effect of all social institutions. My personal need to 'do something constructive about the world' is deeply nourished by supporting MCS's revolutionary gifts to our country.