Pat Misterovich

Pat Misterovich lives in Springfield, MO with his wife and two dogs. They enjoy traveling the country in their Airstream. They have three grown children all of whom have graduated from or worked at democratic schools. Pat graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in Secondary Education and from University of Michigan with a Masters in Library and Information Studies. He has worked and taught in public schools, private schools, adult education, and universities but none of those institutions lived up to his ideas of what learning could be. He started his teaching career inspired by the likes of John Holt, Neil Postman, Ivan Illich, bell hooks, and Paulo Freire and took those ideas with him to the classroom. He eventually decided the best way forward was to start his own school where student agency, consent, and participatory democracy would be the foundation. That school, u.school, would become Springfield’s only democratic self-directed school. Inspired by Sudbury schools, free schools, and Liberated Learning Centers, one of u.school’s primary goals was to be connected and integrated into Springfield’s downtown community. U.school students were a regular part of the downtown scene, hanging around, volunteering, eating food, reading at coffee shops, interning, hosting concerts and an art gallery, and creating the student-driven, glossy print magazine, DWNTWN. Unfortunately, u.school did not survive the pandemic, and for the next few years after its close Pat helped students complete their learning journeys virtually while contemplating ways to bring the heart of self-directed and democratic schools to students at home. In 2023, he published Field Guide to Your Learning Journey: An alternative approach to your high school years for unschoolers, homeschoolers, liberated learners, and adventurers of all kinds.

Pat serves the school in the following roles: virtual program staff and school administration.