This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.

This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please inquire about permissions.

All rights are reserved by Oral History Summer School.

Researchers will understand that:

  • Oral History Summer School abides by the General Principles & Best Practices for Oral History as agreed upon by the Oral History Association (2018) and expects that use of this material will be done with respect for these professional ethics.
  • Unless verbal patterns are germane to your scholarly work, when quoting from this material researchers are encouraged to correct the grammar and make other modifications maintaining the flavor of the narrator’s speech while editing the material for the standards of print.
  • All citations must be attributed to Oral History Summer School:
    Narrator’s Name, Oral history interview, YYYY, Oral History Summer School

Alanna Navitski



Recorded by

Diana Lempel

Clips from this interview:
No items found.

This interview with Alanna Navitski was conducted on July 17, 2020 remotely via Zoom. Alanna is the director of a small, experimental early childhood school called Catskill Wheelhouse, in Green County, NY. After describing her route to Early Childhood Education as a profession, she talked about her experience managing her small staff, children, and families in the context of the uncertainty and remoteness that the COVID-19 shutdown created, beginning on Friday the 13th of March, 2020. Alanna talked about the difficult conversations about money and supporting the school with parents in the early weeks of the pandemic, both in person and then later over Zoom, and making decisions with teachers to close indefinitely. She described feeling alone and unsupported as an independent early childhood leader, given no guidance or certainty about how to remain open safely and how to navigate the financial repercussions of not providing care, among other things. She shared a bit about her experience of the past few months, as a mother of a six year old herself, finding new balance between work and home, and what letting go of the daily stressors of a hectic leadership position has afforded in terms of thinking creatively, both to meet community needs and to find new organizational sustainability.

Interviewer Bio:

Diana Lempel is a mother of two young boys and a descendant of 20th century Italian immigrants, Mayflower passengers, and at least one professional medium. Her world-making combines women’s and family history with fiction and performance, and a strong attention to place, community, magic, and labor. Diana has served as the Mass Humanities Scholar in Residence for the New Bedford Working Waterfront Festival, the Doing History Curator at the Cambridge Historical Society, and the Researcher in Residence at the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park’s exhibition “Visionary New England.” She received a MUP in Urban Planning + Design and an MA in Landscape Studies from Harvard University.

Additional Info:
Interview language(s):
Audio quality:

Audio Quality Scale

Low - There is some background noise and the narrator is hard to hear.

Medium - There is background noise, but the narrator is audible.

High - There is little background noise and the narrator is audible.

This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.

Part of this interview may be played in a radio broadcast or podcast.