The Sunrise School of Miami began as the vision of Brooks Butler, Marisela Saenz, Danaee Perez-Doty, and Patricia Russell. Brooks, a former faculty member of East Bay Waldorf School, felt determined that this group of passionate parents could hold the vision for an inspired Waldorf education and in particular Sunrise School of Miami in South Florida.
With the assistance of Brooks (who delayed a planned relocation for one year so that he could help start the school) and surrounded by other determined individuals, this group of parents opened the doors to Sunrise School of Miami in October 2005.
Sunrise School of Miami began with nine children and initially operated as a home-school group. While the founding parents began the search for a school facility they continued their work with their studies and grass-root efforts of educating the community about Waldorf teachings of Rudolf Steiner. Within a few weeks, a facility was found and the task of preparing the classrooms for the children began.
Before opening it’s doors the school also added the mentorship of Dawn Diehl, a long time Waldorf educator and pioneering member of the Shining Mountain Waldorf School (Boulder, Colorado). With her and Brooks’ guidance, the second year brought the Early Childhood Center and the school quickly began to take root and grow.
Visits from “master teachers” and AWSNA (Association of Waldorf Schools of North America) representatives provided additional guidance and valuable input. They were able to see a school that was determined and committed to moving forward with the rich curriculum, programs and the faculty development necessary to create a long-lasting, healthy school inspired by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and Waldorf education in a community largely unfamiliar Waldorf education and Rudolph Steiner. More importantly, a school holding true to the vision that was first brought to life by the founding group which also included Kim Black, Julie Almedia, Ana Cifra, and several other founding members from other Waldorf schools.
Today, Sunrise School of Miami continues to grow and expand and is currently looking for a permanent home – the next step in this amazing journey.
We never cease to be amazed when visiting families and parents pause for a moment to consider “I can only imagine what my life would be like today if I had an education that was influenced by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and Waldorf Education”.