Alpine Valley School has a podcast! Join us as we interview AVS community members, discuss life at school, and talk about how you can get involved! Have a question you want to submit to the show? Email us at

Subscribe to the AVS podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts! The show is also available on our YouTube Channel! 


Latest Episode

Episode 05: One Family's Story 

On this podcast you’ve heard from many graduates of Alpine Valley School, but in this episode listeners have the opportunity to hear from a current student. Host Missa Gallivan interviews ten year-old Alder Bloomfield and his mom, Stacey. A former unschooling family, they share how their lives have changed since enrolling in Alpine Valley School three years ago along with some of the benefits and challenges they have experienced along the way. Alder also shares his personal experiences with Judicial Committee and other aspects of life at school. This episode is perfect for any families with unschooling backgrounds considering the move to democratic education at schools like Alpine Valley.

Links mentioned on the show:

Episode 04

Episode 04: Belonging

What does it mean to belong at school? How can a young person’s life be shaped by the unique brand of support and acceptance available in democratic schools like Alpine Valley? These are the questions host Missa Gallivan takes on in episode 4. Her guest, Vanessa Reich-Shackelford is an AVS graduate who talks about her experience as a teenager at Alpine Valley School and how finding a community that saw her and accepted her for who she was helped shape her young life and propelled her into a successful academic career.

Links mentioned on the show:

Episode 03

Episode 03: Community

In this episode, host Missa Gallivan talks about the cornerstone of Alpine Valley School community. How do you know that your child will benefit by their alternative education? Look at the graduates. Better yet, come to an event and talk to a graduate (or just keep listening to this podcast)! Guest Aaron Cure is the parent of an AVS grad, not to mention an employer of two more AVS alums, and he shares his uniquely positive take on the role of community in democratic education.

Links discussed in this episode:

Episode 02

Episode 02: The Importance of Video Games 

In this episode host Missa Gallivan tackles the subject of video games at school. How do students learn what they need to know if they spend all day playing Minecraft? It's a question we get all the time! AVS Graduate Josh Mann joins in on the discussion and shares his perspective as a student who played video games for much of his time as a student at our democratic school. Believe it or not, video games actually taught him to read! Join us as we list the benefits of video games (and, yes, there are many) and talk about how growing up with great freedom also demands great responsibility. 

Resources discussed in the show: 

Episode 01

Episode 01:  Alpine Valley School's 20th Anniversary

The first episode of the Alpine Valley podcast is here! Join host Missa Gallivan (AVS alum and staff member) for a march down memory lane to twenty years ago when Alpine Valley School (a Sudbury school located in Denver, Colorado) first opened its doors. This episode also contains an interview with Gina Mancuso, Alpine Valley School's first student! Gina graduated in 2009 and talks about her journey after AVS, including her time in college and the valuable skills she took away from her democratic education.