In their experience as educators, Laurel and Greg Fisher and Betsy Barricklow, the directors and co-founders of Tara, recognized that many students were motivated and inspired by the performing arts. They also noticed that working within a schedule which concentrates on dramatic or choral work at specific times seemed to strengthen and enliven academic studies all year.
In 1993, the founders began an after-school musical theatre program as they prepared the curriculum and planned what we believe is the only Waldorf performing arts high school in the world. The name Tara, an acronym for ‘The Arts Renewed and Arisen,’ is doubly significant, as that was the hill in Ireland where St. Patrick kept the sacred fires burning (when the evil kings had ordered that all fires be extinguished). The image fits perfectly with the vision of keeping the fire of enthusiasm alive for young people in these times.
In 1997 the high school opened with ten students; classes were held in the basement of one of the families’ homes. In 2004, we moved to the Riverside campus, our permanent home, with four grades and an expanded faculty. And in 2013, a new science building was added to the campus to further support the curriculum and the growing student body (which reached full enrollment). Over the years, our rich offerings have been refined and enhanced while remaining true to the original vision of an education that students are excited to be part of.