Behind Gesine’s childhood home in North Jersey were fields of corn stalk “forests”, apple orchards, and pumpkin blossoms. Playing freely outside in these fields through the changing seasons framed her early years. In Middle School, her family moved to Cape May, New Jersey. The Carroll Villa, a 35 room Victorian hotel and restaurant, became her new home and family business. Over the years, Gesine worked in all aspects of the business including room cleaning, dish washing, waiting tables and cooking.
Gesine earned her B.A. Degree from the Global Program of Long Island University, and her Elementary Teaching Certificate with an Early Childhood Endorsement from Glassboro State College, New Jersey. The Global Program was established to provide an alternative educational path, with a curriculum that would lead students to seek solutions to the world’s pressing issues. The keynote of the program is “the world is your campus and all of humanity your ultimate loyalty.” Gesine completed semesters in the Global Program in New York, Mexico, East Africa, Scandinavia, and Germany. Gesine attended the Foundation Year program for Waldorf Education at Emerson College in Sussex, England. She completed her second year of Waldorf training at the Waldorf Institute in Detroit, Michigan where she met her future husband.
The Long Island University Global Program’s emphasis on social renewal led Gesine to focus her studies on education as a means of addressing problems and possible solutions at a more causal level. The 60’s and 70’s were a time when many social programs were being questioned in a deep and fundamental way. Experiments in education ranged from a child-directed Summerhill type of education to a more rigorous academic back-to-basics approach. Waldorf education at that time was somewhat hidden behind the scenes. When Gesine discovered Waldorf Education, she knew that this is what she had been looking for.
Since the 1960’s, Gesine has been working as a Waldorf preschool/kindergarten teacher. She moved with her family to the Rogue Valley in 1989 so that her son could attend the Waldorf School of the Rogue Valley. She worked there for 10 years as the kindergarten teacher. Afterwards, she worked with Sydney Rudolph, and later Amy Rudolph, at Star of the Morning preschool in Jacksonville. She is presently working with Claire Marie at the Children’s Garden in Ashland. Gesine was one of the founders of Madrone Trail. She is the author of the book Preschool Education, Keeping the Magic Alive: Preserving the Spiritual Potential of Early Childhood.