Ann's connections to Anthroposophy began even before she was born. Her uncle, Ralph Courtney, was the guiding light of the Threefold Community at its inception. Her mother, Elise Stolting, became interested in Anthroposophy while traveling in Europe with her dear friend Ruth Pusch. Together they began a biodynamic garden at the Threefold Farm in the early 20s. Ralph Courtney introduced Elise to his brother Joe. Soon they got married and moved to New York City where Ann was born on June 7, 1932.
Ann’s father worked for the US Government Unemployment Services both in New York City and Hempstead, LI, where Ann attended public schools from grades K to 5, later finishing school at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City. At the age of seventeen, Ann began eurythmy training here at Threefold with Lisa Monges and finished in London with Margarete Lundgrin. She then continued her studies in early childhood education at Adelphi University, earning BA and MBA degrees.
At a Christmas play put on by the alumni of the Rudolf Steiner School, Ann, playing Mary, met Swain Pratt, the first shepherd. They eventually got married and Ann gave birth to two daughters, Laura and Alice.
Ann took part as “implementer” of a Waldorf program in an elementary school in the Milwaukee public school system. She was responsible for two parallel classes from nursery school to grade 4. She did this work for three years with the cooperation and backing of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education. “This was a thrilling experience!” says Ann. The children loved to come to school, according to parents and grandparents. Knitting and eurythmy classes were favorites.
Some teachers were experienced in Waldorf Education, others not. They held summer school sessions where Waldorf-experienced teachers taught the classes. It was a most exciting time to experience such serious questioning and full engagement by seasoned faculty from the public school sector.
Swain taught math at High Mowing School. Ann opened Pine Hill Waldorf Elementary School across the street. After Swain retired from teaching, he became a Computer Magazine editor in Peterborough, NH. He died January 3, 2012 at the age of 91. They had been together for 62 years.
Ann has lived in the Fellowship Community for the last two-and-a-half years.
To make a gift to the Fellowship Community in honor of Ann Pratt please visit fellowshipcommunity.org/donate