Carol Ann Wilson Biography
Born in the Florida panhandle, Carol Ann Wilson has happily spent most of her life in Colorado. She graduated from Golden (CO) High School in 1962 and continued her education at the University of Colorado in Boulder. There she earned a B.A. in English Literature, M.A. in Social Foundations of Education/Philosophy Emphasis, and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.
Carol’s professional life has centered on education and schooling. She taught English at Arvada High School, was an assistant principal at Arvada West High School, and principal at Wheat Ridge High School. During her tenure as principal, her school received the U.S. Office of Education Secondary School Recognition Award and was named one of the top U.S. high schools by Money Magazine. Carol was also named Woman of the Year by the local newspaper, the Wheat Ridge Sentinel. Carol’s service through education continued as assistant superintendent for curriculum in Adams County. She also served as regional coordinator for the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER), a national collaboration of school-university partnerships.
Beginning in 1984, Carol directed the Colorado Partnership for Educational Renewal (designed to renew schools and teacher education programs), and grew the non-profit organization from six school districts and two colleges/universities to include 16 districts (more than 600 schools) and eight higher education institutions. Building on her work in the humanities through education Carol helped develop a number of national initiatives. These ranged from community engagement, diversity in teaching and teacher education, and teacher leadership. As she was ending her seventeen-year role as director of the Colorado Partnership, she received the University of Colorado’s Alumni Leadership Award from UC Denver.
During the early 1990’s Carol co-founded Stillpoint: A Center for the Humanities & Community to promote a sense of community through the humanities. Programs sponsored by the Center have included poetry readings, author talks, musical events, writers’ workshops, and a visit from Gia-fu Feng’s brother in China, as well as fund-raising efforts for special projects in Poland and Kenya.
Inspired by the visions of her late sister, Margaret Susan Wilson, and Gia-Fu Feng, Carol along with her life partner David Chrislip, has been instrumental in not only preserving the 166-acre sanctuary that is Stillpoint, but also supporting the evolution of a legacy begun by the Taoist teacher and countless others who helped create this oasis of peace. Stillpoint presently serves the community in numerous and varied ways, including activities of groups such as Odyssey Expeditionary Learning School, Naropa University’s Wilderness Therapy and Environmental Leadership Programs.
In 2009, Amber Lotus published the biography of Gia-fu Feng, self-described “Taoist rogue” and author of the best selling translation of the Tao Te Ching. Stillpoint of the Turning World won ForeWord Review’s Book of the Year Award in biography, and was a finalist for the Indie 2010 New Generation Award and the Colorado Authors’ League Top Hand Award in general nonfiction.
In 2011, Carol published About Earline, which recounts her mother’s life of impulsive, unconventional, and courageous adventures. Her third book, Because We Wanted To! Two Women, a Dream, and a Ranch Called Singing Acres, was released in September 2015. A story of friendship, courage, and adventure, it traces the lives of Clara Reida and Margaret Locarnini as they overcome numerous challenges to make their dream a reality.