Marlene Laughter was born and raised in San Jose, CA. After graduating high school in San Jose, Marlene moved to Los Angeles and earned her B.A in Cultural Anthropology from UCLA. During this time she had the opportunity to take an archaeological trip to Peru and assist with graduate student research. As she traveled the land and met the people, Marlene began to realize that her deeper interests lied more with the community and cultural food ties versus the archaeological landscape. Upon reviewing her old family photos, Marlene also began to notice that 90 percent of her family photos involved food in some way.
A spark of connection arose and she decided to move to Sacramento to be closer to her family and to pursue a career in culinary arts. She worked in various restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores and completed numerous culinary courses at American River College. While working at Whole Foods Market as a marketing coordinator, Marlene had the opportunity to teach children’s culinary classes and lead educational school tours through the store. The pure delight and joy of discovery on the children’s faces gave Marlene a greater desire of wanting to nurture and guide the children on all levels. A co-worker had a Waldorf brochure on her desk and told Marlene about the schools that she was researching for her son. Upon reading this brochure, a sense of wonderment arose in her face. When packing up her home, Marlene found a booklet that she had made in the second grade. The book was titled “What I want to do when I grow up.” She opened this book and to her surprise “to be a teacher” was written across one of the pages.
Marlene earned her Masters in Education from Rudolf Steiner College in 2009. Before joining Golden Valley, Marlene worked at the Davis Waldorf School as a Kindergarten Support Teacher and as a Substitute Teacher for the preschool at Cedar Springs Waldrof School. She had her son, Mason, in 2010 and has since continued her early childhood education through reading, attending pedagogical lectures, parent/child classes, workshops and observing various children’s class settings. Marlene plans to continue with early childhood course work and enjoys reading, cooking, baking, puppetry, storytelling, and creating arts and crafts.