Mount Madonna School Hosts Two-Day YOUnivesity for Middle and High School Students

On January 25 and 26 Mount Madonna School (MMS) will launch its first annual YOUniversity learning days. The project was initially conceived as a way to engage students during parent-teacher conferences, however faculty committee organizing the event quickly realized it offers so much more!

Dan Gurska, high school social studies teacher and YOUniversity committee member, reflected, “At bottom, YOUniversity is an opportunity for the passions and talents of our community to be shared and celebrated. Our brilliant students, staff, and administration have all been invited to put on their professor hats and facilitate some really cool learning opportunities. How cool is that?!”

More than 25 classes will be offered over two days. They range from an introduction to the Japanese language, to dog training, to how to make homemade macaroni and cheese. Art teacher and YOUniversity committee member Angela Willetts was impressed with the variety of class offerings.

“So many students and staff have passions, knowledge and experience that fall outside of academic subjects,” commented Willetts. “We want to honor that knowledge and share the wealth within our community. We also want to empower our students to be leaders and teachers, and question assumptions about who holds knowledge. I’m so looking forward to being a student in some of these classes!”

Each day will start with a keynote address. Alumni Soma Sharan (‘11) and Jake Ward (‘14), were selected to present. The committee asked them to speak because they both have found ways to incorporate their passions into their everyday lives and have explored different ways that one can pursue a life of purpose.

At heart, Mount Madonna School is a diverse learning community dedicated to creative and intellectual growth.

“We believe that people benefit from continued exploration and engagement with new ideas and interests,” commented YOUniversity committee member and Upper School Director Shannon Kelly. “This belief is the inspiration behind Mount Madonna School’s YOUniversity.”


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, director of marketing & communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 375 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a diverse learning community dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believe a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.