Oak Grove alumni are just as much a part of our community now as they were when they attended Oak Grove School. Each month we focus on one, keeping up to date with their current adventures in life.

Here is a growing list of our recently formed Alum Focus pages, listed in order of date posted.

 

Mary Eliza Gilden began her schooling at Oak Grove in 1989 and graduated in 1996. She then went on to obtain a BA in Dance, Performance, and Choreography from San Francisco State University. Later she pursued an MA in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University. Mary lives in Durango, Colorado, with her husband and two beautiful daughters. Besides being a mom, Mary is an Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist. Her passions are varied, including dance, travel, reading, gardening, cooking, and anything involving being outside.

Of her Oak Grove education, Mary says:

I reflect often on my time at Oak Grove and am reminded of the importance of relationship and how our relationships (to others, to ourselves and our lives) have a rippling effect into our community and our world. I am grateful that through the teachings of Oak Grove my relationships are founded and nurtured through kindness, respect, and compassion.”

View the list of Alum Focus posts.

Jay Jayanetti joined Oak Grove School in 3rd grade back in 1988 and graduated in 1998. He went on to obtain his B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior (NPB) with a minor in Studio Art from University of California, Davis. Jay subsequently obtained his Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) and Specialty Certificate in Prosthodontics from UC San Francisco. Heading east, he then obtained a Specialty Certificate in Maxillofacial Prosthetics from University of Alabama, Birmingham. (Maxillofacial prosthodontists treat patients who have acquired defects in the head and neck region usually due to cancer, surgery, trauma, and/or birth defects.)

Jay spent five years working as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Prosthodontics, first at UCSF School of Dentistry and the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry before joining Louisiana State University in the same capacity. At LSU School of Dentistry, Jay was awarded the “Golden Apple” Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014.

Last year Jay was thrilled to return to California. He is currently the UCLA Associate Program Director of Maxillofacial Prosthetics and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Advanced Prosthodontics.

Asked if or how his Oak Grove education remains important to him, Jay responded:

I don’t subscribe to supernatural powers. Instead, I am a naturalist in my thinking. Therefore I know that I am a product of my genetic material and my upbringing, the latter of which was to a great degree influenced by the faculty and staff and friends that are the fabric of the Oak Grove School community. To that end I know that I am fond of my time in Ojai and at OGS. I love reminiscing about these past chapters in my life, and when I’m in Ojai, I’m drawn to the campus for a quiet stroll through the wood chip paths. I usually take a moment to sit on a boulder under an oak tree, and without trying I hear the voices of those that shared with me a piece of themselves: Karen, Vicky, Darcy, Theresa, Don, Jake, Issa, Karen, Jeff, Jeff O., Liz, Posy, Gabe, Larry, Laura, Irmgard, Christy, Meredy…”

View the list of Alum Focus posts.