Puget Sound Community School

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staff profile

Nic Warmenhoven
Teaching Staff

When Nic Warmenhoven was 14 years old, he received an unusual gift. Nic was an active kid who liked playing Dungeons and Dragons, riding his bike, and organizing his friends into fantasy baseball leagues. His mother thought it would be a good idea to give him a cookbook.

“Her philosophy of gifts is that you should give someone something they’ll enjoy and they would never get for themselves,” he says. Nic enjoyed baking cookies in high school, but he didn’t know what to do with a huge cookbook. He held on to it though, all through high school, and brought it with him when he went to college.

In the summer of 1993, Nic . . .

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Our Approach

Our fundamental approach begins with the ongoing maintenance of a safe, nurturing, and respectful environment.

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PSCS students often pass through a series of stages, starting with a feeling of euphoria when they first enroll. Students are excited by the promise of spending their days pursuing activities that give them joy, and the thrill of being surrounded by an extraordinary group of teachers. For some students riding his bike can fade into boredom. We often say that PSCS is the easiest school you’ll ever attend because no one is telling you what to do. It’s also the hardest school, because no one is telling you what to do.

The job of the teaching staff is to not solve a student’s boredom problem. This can be frustrating for students, but inevitably they emerge on the other side with a powerful sense of autonomy and ability to direct their own lives.

Students then often engage passionately in the endless academic and social opportunities available, and even begin leading new activities that they create. Over time, however, some students grow indignant over the fact that others are not taking full advantage of the school. The job of the teaching staff at this point is to coach students on how to transform their indignation into leadership. Staff will challenge students to become mentors for others who are in the process of learning how to fully engage.

The curriculum at PSCS is responsibility, and the goal for our graduates is maturity. This takes place in a safe, loving, nurturing environment in which high-level academics are being offered by a teaching staff with degrees from the most prestigious universities in the world.