Our mission is to awaken students' minds and hearts, foster their sense of connection to each other and the world, to engage them in meaningful work and activities, and to excite them about life itself. Accordingly, we provide an educational path that asks students to step into the light as individuals and to learn to take the kind of risks involved in being truly human.
Tara is dedicated to providing opportunities for emotional growth and renewal through deep involvement in the performing arts. In addition to supporting lively intellectual development through a demanding Waldorf academic curriculum, the school encourages students to engage in the artistic process as a way to explore the challenges of becoming fully human in our complex and challenging age.
In their experience as educators, Laurel and Greg Fisher and Betsy Barricklow, the directors and co-founders of Tara, recognized that many students were motivated and inspired by the performing arts. They also noticed that working within a schedule which concentrates on dramatic or choral work at specific times seemed to strengthen and enliven academic studies all year.
In 1993, the founders began an after-school musical theatre program as they prepared the curriculum and planned what we believe is the only Waldorf performing arts high school in the world. The name Tara, an acronym for 'The Arts Renewed and Arisen,' is doubly significant, as that was the hill in Ireland where St. Patrick kept the sacred fires burning (when the evil kings had ordered that all fires be extinguished). The image fits perfectly with the vision of keeping the fire of enthusiasm alive for young people in these times.
In 1997 the high school opened with ten students; classes were held in the basement of one of the families' homes. In 2004, we moved to the Riverside campus, our permanent home, with four grades and an expanded faculty. And in 2013, a new science building was added to the campus to further support the curriculum and the growing student body (which reached full enrollment). Over the years, our rich offerings have been refined and enhanced while remaining true to the original vision of an exciting education.
"Tara Performing Arts High School is one of those rare places where the value of learning through the arts is clearly seen through the eyes, hearts, and expressions of its students and graduates. We are proud to support this institution and its students"
"The Tara experience is exceptional in showing students their own particular vitality and inviting them to engage learning with curiosity, imagination, and joy. Students enter a close community and emerge as determined citizens of the world. Tara transforms."
- Alumni parent
"Tara isn't just a high school for me; it's a way of life, and what I strive for in my everyday experiences."
-Alumna, Class of 2011
"Had I gone to a different school, I would have learned as many facts and figures as I did at Tara, but I suspect that the knowledge would rest in the brain of a very different person from the one I am now."
- Alumnus, class of 2009
"As a student at Tara, I found the academic subjects enlivening and rigorous, delivered by the faculty and received by us with a sense of joy. Tara has created a truly extraordinary environment for learning."
-Alumna, class of 2001