Wildflower Open Classroom is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Jillian Hopewell, current Chair of the Wildflower Board of Directors and co-founder of the school. Jillian has spent more than a decade serving Wildflower Open Classroom, as a founder, parent and member of the Board of Directors. Her vision of an innovative, engaging, collaborative learning environment that instills and fosters the joy and adventure of learning is an important part of Wildflower’s foundation as an inclusive and excellent learning experience for all children.
In 2010, Jillian, along with a group of likeminded community members, designed Wildflower Open Classroom and shepherded it through the Charter approval process. Jillian co-wrote the initial grant that funded the start up costs, and enrolled two of her children into the fledgling school. Since 2011, when the doors opened, Jillian has continued to serve in a multitude of ways. Through grant writing, classroom and field trip volunteering, on the Board of Directors and as a passionate advocate for the students, staff and teachers of WOC.
Jillian believed, deeply, in educational experiences that empowered children and valued their voices as co-creators of knowledge. Her children, Owen and Kate Hill are both alumni of the program, and Kate currently works in the after school program – a testament to the impact that WOC had on Jillian and her family. Additionally, the friendships she formed while building the school have been the core of her community in Chico, and in true Jillian fashion those friendships were quickly added to a large circle of friends that she had already established. Jillian was a connector, a community builder, a lover of people and their stories.
Jillian was especially dedicated to the experiential and outdoor education that is a core pillar of Wildflower Open Classroom. Her insatiable curiosity and sense of adventure influenced the creation of field trips and outdoor learning that build the same sense of excitement and exploration for hundreds of Wildflower students. To support this important way of learning, Wildflower Open Classroom has established Jillian’s Discovery Fund, an opportunity for donors to fund the education that was so important to her. All donations will support experiential learning through field and immersion trips, ensuring that future Wildflower Open Classroom students will continue to experience the adventure of learning outside of the classroom.
To donate to Jillian’s Discovery Fund use the QR Code, or the shareable link below.