My name is Hridaya Atwell. I am the director of the Ananda Village Living Wisdom School and have worked in the school since 1994. When I first started out I was acting only as administrator; then in 2001 I started teaching part time in the jr. high and high school along with my on-going administrative duties. Life changed drastically then. I really began to understand the life of a teacher vs. the life of an administrator, and realized that being in the classroom part time is essential to running a school. I began taking the jr high and high school girls to their service projects in town and serving at our local animal shelter with some of the girls. It was amazing meeting hundreds of animals over the years and being involved in their care. One time when I had bathed a tiny abandoned puppy and was holding him to my heart and looking into his eyes, I had what I can only call a spiritual experience. We connected on the deepest level and I saw that look of universal love in his eyes. Priceless. I also joined in on the 2 week service/ adventure trips with the girls every year. I had no idea what life-changing experiences were in store for me—I’ve lived in an orphanage in Mexico and hiked the Grand Canyon. Teaching in this school is an all-encompassing experience—you become a part of a family that learns and grows together.