Welcome Back, Katya
For the brand new position of Director of Education we brought in a familiar face: Katya Matanovic. Katya has been with the Pomegranate team for years in various roles, most recently as a trainer alongside her father Milenko. We’re excited for Katya to join the team as we grow our Pomegranate Method training, and hope you’ll join us in celebrating the good news.
Welcome back! Where’ve you been?
I’ve spent the last four years doing the most difficult job I’ve had yet – taking care of two kiddos. It has been a really wonderful and challenging time, and I have learned a lot about myself. Luca is 5 and Clio is 2.5 now.
How did you decide to come back to Pomegranate Center?
Well, I’ve been doing the occasional training with Milenko and the Pomegranate Center team. And, as his daughter (the last name is no coincidence), I care deeply about his legacy and work, and am a true believer in the philosophy and methods he’s built at Pomegranate Center over 30 years. So when Eric approached me about rejoining the team to focus on the organization’s training and education programs, it was easy to imagine how I could help the organization build some critical programs in a critical time of understanding community and civic engagement, and I could be part of anchoring my father’s legacy of work into something that can last.
Are there any parts of being home with kids for a few years that will influence your work here at Pomegranate Center?
Absolutely. I had no idea how isolating it could be to be a full time parent. It took me a while to figure out how to build the community I needed to feel supported and nourished and connected. I ended up starting a meal co-op with four other families, and for nearly two years now we have cooked dinner for each other every week. And, like all good community projects, that simple act turned into so much more – shared childcare, political action, and daily support for each other. I recognize this kind of community is rare these days. And it takes a certain kind of muscle to maintain it. But it is essential. We are meant to be connected to each other, to need each other, to care for each other. And I think this realization will make me so much better and more committed to the Director of Education role, because community building is a muscle. It takes practice, but you can do it. And it can make everything better.
What parts of this job feel exciting for you?
So many things! The new office space is vibrant and the team here is passionate and so talented. I love doing trainings with Milenko. And look for the training and education programs to expand! I’m exploring intensives, certification programs, and lots of new learning resources (like our upcoming Refresher Course). I really, really love the part of this work where I get to meet all the courageous folks who are committed to their communities, and I can’t wait to reconnect with familiar faces (come to the office and say hi!) and meet new friends.