TWS25/Waldorf100 Interview 3: Jimmy Gehrels

As we continue to celebrate the 25th anniversary of TWS and the 100th anniversary of Waldorf Education, we share our third video in the anniversary series: an interview with alumni student, Jimmy Gehrels, currently Assistant Director of Alumni Letterwinners for the University of Arizona Foundation.

As a graduate of Tucson Waldorf School’s first set of graduating classes and son to a school founder, Jennifer O’Brien, Jimmy (James) Gehrels went on to become a NCAA Division I Men’s Volleyball student-athlete at Pepperdine University.  The Pepperdine Men’s Volleyball team is one of the top two programs in the nation (developing members on the Olympic Team, and having won 5 NCAA National Titles, more than any other school other than UCLA).  Jimmy was a Member of the University Athletic Committee, Scholar Athlete 2014-17, and on the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation All-Academic Team.  He is currently serving as the Assistant Director of Alumni Letterwinners at the University of Arizona Foundation and is an aspiring NCAA Athletics Director.  Jimmy received his master’s degree in Sports Management at the University of Florida.

Jimmy is an authority in the sports/athletics field both on and off the court, and a success story for Waldorf’s patience for allowing the non-organized sports “movement based” curriculum that can and will harness an inevitable rise to the top of the sport.
He discusses this experience, as well as his current interactions with coaches at the highest level who find student athletes who have never been allowed to fail. Of this, he says, “… when they get to college they have no idea what to do when things start going poorly. They have no idea how to adapt to that.” This is how perseverance is learned. This is where resilience is born. This is Why Waldorf Works.

Video Credit: Seth Pepper