Volunteer Profile: Diane Hullet
Hometown: Okemos, Michigan
Husband: Russ, from Westport, Connecticut
Children: Anna, 9th grade at Dawson, dances at Kinesis; Jessica, 5th grade at Friends, practices karate at Wolchek Academy of Martial Arts
Pets: Kaya, lab/shepherd; Mokie, cockapoo; Skidder the turtle; various fish
Education/current or previous employment:
BA from CU, MA in Education from Stanford, taught middle school and high school English, including at September School in Boulder in the early 90s; taught creative painting workshops with Michelle Cassou, using paint as a tool for self-discovery and mindfulness; currently employed as chauffeur, chef and personal assistant.
Hobbies & passions & talents: skiing, painting, sewing (mostly making quilts), hosting house concerts with singer/songwriters.
Q: Tell us about volunteering at Friends School.
I got started volunteering at Friends by helping in the classroom with writing when my oldest daughter was in Kindergarten. Pretty soon, I got involved in the grade-level art projects for the auction each year, then joined the development committee. I’ve now been on the board for 6 years, and I am the chair of the advancement committee. For me, volunteering here means making the best decisions possible with other enthusiastic, smart people, helping to jump-start creative projects, and following through on long-term strategic goals.
Q: How did you find Friends School & why did you choose it for your children?
I first saw Friends when I was finished with undergrad at CU and was working at a preschool called Make a Mess. I think the elementary school must have just been finished. I remember thinking “That looks like a perfect size and a creative place.” Later, when we felt Anna would thrive in a smaller school, I showed her the school one day as we drove by. From then on, she referred to it whenever we drove by – “That’s my school!” I had never seen her attach to something like that and thought it was a good sign. I delivered her preschool application on my bike one day, with her in a Burley, and she was very pleased that soon she would be going to “her school”. We chose it for the small classes, creative spaces, and the warmth and expertise of the teachers. We believed that our child would be known and seen there, and it was true. When Jessica was adopted a couple of years later at age 3 1/2 and we brought her home from China, the community embraced her and came to know her deeply as well.
Q: What motivates you to volunteer?
The world feels like a very big place to me, so being connected in a small sphere where I actually feel like I can have an impact matters to me. I want to improve everything all the time — so working to make a positive difference in very concrete ways at a place where I can see things change and grow and improve is rewarding. I see the teachers and the program at Friends doing two critical things: 1) opening and challenging the minds and hearts of young students 2) creating new teachers though the Teacher Prep Program. Both of these layers of learners will go on to make the world a better place – so I want to support the infrastructure and the program that help to make that happen.
Q: What books are you reading right now?
I’m reading “A History of the World in Six Glasses” and “Untangled.” I just finished “Little Princes” and “How to Raise an Adult.” Usually I only like fiction, but I seem to be on a nonfiction jag. This summer I read “Modoc,” “Commonwealth” and “The Hunger Games.”
Q: If we were to open your fridge, what would we find?
Well, you are catching me on a remarkably good day, because I cleaned it out yesterday. What we have here is: a couple take out boxes from a snack at Pica’s, two kinds of soup made yesterday (beef chili plus what we Midwesterners call “hamburger soup” aka beef vegetable soup), fruit, lots of eggs, lots of veggies. What my kids like best for breakfast currently is quesadillas with ham and cheese made on my all-time favorite kitchen purchase – the Breville Sandwich Press, recommended to me by Oprah.
Q: How do you recharge?
I go and be alone, pretty much anywhere, but often in my sewing studio where I play around with color and patterns. I give most of my quilts away, and my favorite donation each year is to a tiny history museum in McCarthy, Alaska. You can ask me about that sometime.