This is Kate Magruder with Promise of Paradise, Back to the Land oral histories of Mendocino County. In the early ‘70s, a knot of recent college graduates with Stanford diplomas in hand, came up with an audacious plan...not to go into professional careers, or even to get jobs at all…
but instead, to move to Mendocino County and create a new school for k-8th graders.
Located on 43 acres in the oak-studded hills west of Ukiah, Mariposa School educated more than 1,000 students over 29 years, making it one of the longest-running alternative schools in the state.
One of those Stanford grads was Gina Campbell, now of Ukiah.
Gina tells us about the early days, and realizing teaching wasn’t the right fit for her.
And how this community, and the spirit of the times, helped her forge her own path as a carpenter, drafter and residential designer.
Gina helped build the main school building at Mariposa School, and the Ukiah Playhouse, two architectural gems beloved by the community today. With a sense of humble wonder, Gina says she created her own career, coloring herself in as a young woman, becoming a builder instead of a teacher.
And how it could have only happened here...