Michel Deunov Cornellier
Michael Deunov is the founder of « La Cite Écologique » in Ham-Nord that has focused on education since its founding in 1984. He also founded La Cite Écologique of New Hampshire in 2003.
Michael was born in 1953 in the Province of Quebec. In his youth he found primary school quite boring and of little interest. At an early age, he was already dreaming of creating a new type of school. In his dreams, school apprenticeship took place almost entirely in nature. Because childhood education was very important to him, he chose to teach in the field of physical education, where he could work with children.
Michael became interested in the writings of Ivan Illich, who denounced the gap between education purposes and the results achieved. He also followed attentively the educational progressivism of A.S. Neill, founder of «Summerhill School» in England. He was moved by Neill’s writing, which said that traditional education was too involved with formal learning, instead of being concerned by education in a broader sense. Yet Deunov found Neill’s philosophy too simplistic. The thoughts he had on the concept of soul led him towards Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy. Steiner taught that a spiritual world exists, and that human beings can relate to the spiritual world through their inner self. In 1979, at the age of 26, Michael Deunov met Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov (1900-1986), a Bulgarian philosopher and teacher who lived in France, and who confirmed in him that the school he dreamed of when he was a child could be realized, because dreams are meant to come true.