A teacher and artist, Claire McConnell gravitated toward art from a young age, directing her cousins in theater productions for family gatherings. Throughout her life, she has pursued a wide variety of paths, gaining experience that has given her vital insight for her work as an educator.
Claire McConnell received her undergraduate education at Smith College in Massachusetts, from which she graduated with a B.A. in Studio Art in 1997. In her third year of college, she enrolled in a study abroad program in China. After earning her Bachelor’s degree, she relocated to England for a year, and then moved to California. While continuing her studies through the San Francisco Waldorf Teacher Training program, Ms. McConnell worked as an assistant preschool teacher at A Child’s Nest in the town of El Cerrito. Upon receipt of her Waldorf Teaching Certificate in July of 2001, Ms. McConnell accepted a position as a teacher with the Hawthorne Valley School in Harlemville, New York.
Claire McConnell later decided to pursue further studies in art, which led her to travel to England. There, she attended the Artemis School of Speech and Drama in East Grinstead, taking courses in storytelling, poetry, acting, and other arts. In July of 2007, she received a Goetheanum diploma in Creative Speech.
Ms. McConnell subsequently returned to the U.S. and settled in Philadelphia, where she started teaching again. While offering classes in speech and drama to adult students, she also began writing fiction. In 2009, she was asked to assist in the Snowdrop Nursery at the Waldorf School of Philadelphia.
Claire McConnell has engaged in numerous side projects. She continues to foster her interest in the arts and takes creative writing classes from Janet Benton at The Word Studio. Ms. McConnell is also a longtime practitioner of Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms Dance. Additionally, she enjoys creating her own handmade purses, which she sells through Etsy. She is a member of the West Philadelphia Quaker Group, and she attends and organizes volunteer efforts at the Christian Community in Devon, Pennsylvania, a congregation based on the work of Rudolf Steiner.