JOHANA BUCHERT SMITH
I was born above the Great Lakes in the city, and raised above the Great Lakes in the woods. My first education was in plants and colours, learning to balance light and dark tones by moving around quilt blocks in the moonlight, and learning how to shoot down pinecones with a .22 rifle so as to map their contribution to the genetic diversity of their old growth forest. Living off-grid but attending school throughout high school helped me become a good listener and snowshoer, and also quiet canoer. When I moved south to go to university, one of the toughest things to get used to was the humming of the fridge all night long.
I have loved language and languages my whole life, am fluent in French, studied Italian and Latin, and minored in Arabic for my bachelor’s in linguistics. I have been involved in publishing in various roles for a couple decades, writing and editing books, magazines, and online content. That has taken a backseat role, however, as I have developed my most abiding love and interest—human development—while raising three children with my husband. Over the years, I have started a grade school French choir, been PTA president of a middle school, taught in Montessori preschool, run a neighbourhood writing camp, held weekly winter nature school for 7th graders, and taught skills of all kinds to kids of all ages.
During the pandemic I found myself in Wasatch’s Kinderhouse helping with preschool, and knew I had found home. I am thrilled and humbled and full of fiery enthusiasm to teach the Praesepe class this fall.