Jill Unger has been our East West School administrator for over three decades – first joining us in 1982.
On a late summer day in August of 1980, Jill met Michael Tierra’s son, also named Michael, at a bus stop in Santa Cruz. Two years later, Jill and Michael married and Jill was hired to help Lesley Tierra with the herb course admin duties. As the years passed, Jill and Michael welcomed a family. Two boys were born, Beau & Justin Agnello, and Jill left to raise their sons. A short time later, Jill returned to the school and has been with us ever since!
Her sons are also our grandsons and they grew up right here at the school office playing Legos and adventure games on the floor and exploring the backyard herb gardens. We are truly a family business and herbs are our passion!
Being a mom has been Jill’s greatest joy. Now that her sons are grown, she considers her work at East West an extension of that nurturing role. In fact, she fondly refers to herself as “den-mother” to all the East West students, most especially those she meets at our onsite East West annual seminars.
Jill’s other love, and definitely not second to her other interests, are her dogs Danielle, Hansel and Brigitta. All three take turns coming to the office. It’s not unusual to hear Jill talking to her dogs about the days’ activities, which are about herbs of course!
Jill raised her sons on herbal medicine, gives her dogs herbs, and always has time to talk about the healing power of herbs. When she’s not busy inspiring students to be the best herbalists they can be, Jill loves to do yoga, hike in the woods, and spend time with her beloved family.
We were indeed fortunate the day Jill met Michael’s son, Michael. That day not only started her family but also gained us the best school administrator ever. Jill’s devotion to our students is legendary and her loyalty and dedication to our school unparalleled. Jill works tirelessly to make sure everything runs seamlessly, answer everyone’s questions, and that all receive their materials in a timely manner – and she does this with love, personal interest, great care and enthusiasm! We mean it when we say we are the East West family – and that includes all of our students, too!