Our Alumni

Waldorf School at Moraine Farm graduates have many options before them. For two decades our graduates have transitioned successfully into public schools, independent or alternative schools and highly competitive preparatory schools. Scroll down to see the growing list.

And that’s just high school — graduates now in their thirties are successfully building their families and careers. Oh, the places they’ve gone! Don’t miss our next alumni evening when you can hear their stories and reflections about their Waldorf education and beyond.

Waldorf alumni are not just from the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm. They are global. See Waldorf Alumni around the World.

Calling all alumni! We’d love to connect with you. Please provide us with your updated info and we’ll be sure to stay in touch!

Alumni Spotlight

Our alumni are the product of our education. Hear from some of our alumni when we asked:

How did attending Waldorf contribute to the person you are today?

 

On the day I graduated from the 8th grade at Waldorf, my teacher, Virginia McWilliam, gave each member in our class a hand drawn flag with a personalized message. Mine was a monkey who was perpetually reaching up to the sky for greater achievements, but always needed to remember those from before.
As a Waldorf student it was hard to appreciate the value of the education that I received in the moment. I was never the most artistic, musically gifted, nor natural thespian, and I often would have preferred to play basketball or touch football and enjoy the fresh air. But now, almost a decade removed from graduating from our wonderful Waldorf school I live in Los Angeles, California and work in international policy and finance consulting. Therefore, the importance and value of my Waldorf education lies in every single step and decision that I have made since graduating from Waldorf.
Following Waldorf, I decided to attend boarding school in Ojai, CA at The Thacher School. It was an amazing opportunity to jump into a challenging and different high school experience. I enjoyed my time immensely and fell in love with backpacking, trekking, and canoeing. My experiences in high school in many ways reflected my time at the Waldorf school. I had to work hard, but I truly believe that my time at Waldorf prepared me to not only be a dedicated student, but most importantly to be a student that truly seeks to understand and do their best. In the freedom provided by the Waldorf education, I discovered a desire to be my best academic self and I have enjoyed that drive and the holistic Waldorf educational experience ever since.
After high school, I have had the opportunity to live and study at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and also study abroad in Montevideo, Uruguay for a year and a half. My desire to experience new places and new people has existed since boyhood and my diverse experiences reflect this passion. I studied international studies and public policy with a focus on economics at Ole Miss and have pursued academic research on the cowboys of the Western United States and the gaucho of Uruguay along with thesis research on hydropower and international investment in Chile and Argentina.
When I reflect on my decisions and experiences, I always remember the foundation that my Waldorf education provided. My formative years at Waldorf provided the opportunity to learn in a personal, healthy, and loving environment. As I move forward in my professional career and personal life I look forward to bringing all that I learned with me and never forgetting the beauty of my time at our Waldorf school. As Virginia McWilliam taught me so wisely: one should always reach for their greatest self, but never forget all those people and amazing events that came before.

Hanging on the wall in my third grade classroom I remember there was a poster of Raphael’s School of Athens. I knew nothing about the image at the time, but it was large and right next to my desk, so I found myself looking at it a lot. I remember learning Norse mythology in main lesson, listening to stories of Loki and Thor, and looking up at the School of Athens. I remember reciting Goethe in German and looking at the School of Athens. I remember drawing geometric diagrams with compasses in math, and mixing blues and vermillions in painting, and tracing the borders of the United States in geography, all the while staring up at the School of Athens. By the time I graduated I still knew next to nothing about the painting or what it depicted—who all those brightly robed people were and what it was they were discussing so animatedly—but the image had taken on a certain significance for me, even if I wasn’t aware of the depth of that significance at the time.

Fast forward six years and I think I have finally begun to understand what the School of Athens means for me and my development as a student. Raphael’s painting is a visual representation of the unity and cohesiveness of human knowledge, of the connection and codevelopment of every discipline in the human enterprise to understand. Philosophers, mathematicians, astronomers, musicians, sculptors, all engaged in an ordered frenzy of debate and dialogue, of enthusiastic exchange; despite their different methods and subjects of enquiry, all in search of the same thing in its manifold appearances: Truth, Beauty, Goodness. Looking back, I finally realize that this overwhelming impression of unity and cooperation between the parts of knowledge is exactly what my Waldorf education had been trying to illustrate the entire time.

One of the most important things I learned at Waldorf wasn’t any particular skill, fact, or body of knowledge, it was a way of viewing the relations between those bodies of knowledge. At Waldorf I saw drawing and painting grow out of mythology, and math out of drawing and painting, and biology out of math; I saw history open onto geography and languages, while poetry, music, and gym all seemed to come together in Eurythmy. In this way the education of a class became something biological, treated as the development of a single organism within which each discipline represented an organ. At Waldorf nearly all of my classes in any given year were in the same room; there was very little travelling around the school and teachers typically came to your classroom to teach their subjects. With this sort of structure main lesson and each grade’s specific classroom became lifelines for the education of that class. Instead of relegating different subjects to different spaces, every discipline came together in the same central hub, with the result that new subjects seemed to develop out of one another by a sort of internal logic, as opposed to being arbitrarily stacked on top of each other. In this sense my memory of my education is of a stew rather than a many-course meal, with everything tossed into one pot and all the flavors combining with and complementing one another. My experience at Waldorf, then, was ultimately one of unifying, of bringing together seemingly disparate things, and of unveiling continuity where it is easy to see nothing but fragmentation and difference.

How did this sort of education contribute to the person I am today? Well, at the very least it led me to major in philosophy at a liberal arts college, brought me back to the roots of Waldorf education in 19th century German Idealism, and set me firmly on the humanist track in all of my intellectual endeavors. Yet to stop here and limit education to theoretical influences is to miss the whole point. I said above that my greatest takeaway from Waldorf was the unity of human knowledge, and I talked about what Waldorf taught me about unity; I think the most important lessons I learned at Waldorf, however, were about the humanity of knowledge.

As I have reflected on my education over the years, I have realized that in its tendency to emphasize unity and continuity Waldorf instilled in me a deep suspicion of irreconcilable dualisms, or oppositions that resist mediation, like those between theory and practice or knowledge and knowers. The fundamental lesson I learned from Waldorf, then, is that knowledge is always human—that it is the sum total of the observations, actions, arguments, suggestions, guesses, mistakes, etc. of particular people—and thus that, like humans, it is alive.

When we treat knowledge as something monolithic and alien, when we abstract knowledge from the people and life at its source, not only does learning become an incredibly intimidating experience, it also becomes something impotent and divorced from practice. The goal should rather be to show the immense body of knowledge established through human history as an extension and a part of the life of people.

Waldorf is a small place; each class has the same teacher throughout its time at the school, and as a student I knew personally every member of the faculty. In that sort of environment learning can’t function as a business transaction or an exchange of goods, it inevitably becomes an intensely personal dialogue, and knowledge always ends up having a human face. Every day at Waldorf I was subtly reminded that Knowledge is always rooted in Someone’s knowledge. From the teachers to the music instructors, to the receptionists and coaches, the essential exchange of knowledge for me came in the form of learning a way of life, and I encountered every discipline not as a disembodied theory, but as a mode of activity carried out by people. Ultimately, Waldorf taught me that learning about things is always at heart a matter of learning about yourself and other people; it made me realize that knowledge is just as embodied and living and changing as are knowers, and that theory and life are not antithetical, rather, each is the second half of the other.

To wrap up, I think it’s pretty clear that none of this was apparent to me as a student at Waldorf, that these conclusions are the product of years of development and reflection and other influences. I can even admit that I wasn’t always so optimistic about my experience at Waldorf, and that it took me some time to realize how unique my education was. Yet with every year since I graduated Waldorf I have realized more and more just how remarkable of a place it was and how much my experience there has shaped the last six years of my life. These are just a few of the reasons my education has come to mean so much to me over the years, and I think also a few of the reasons I still can’t look at the School of Athens without thinking of my time at Waldorf.

by Jack Fantini
Highschool:  Pingree High School
College: Kenyon College
Major: Philosophy
Sports: Varsity tennis in high school
Music: Played drums in my high school jazz band and started a trio outside of school sophomore and junior year
Travel: South Dakota Rosebud Reservation, as part of a community service trip
Accomplishments: Won the Davis Art History Prize senior year of high school.  Won the Timberlake Essay Award freshman year of college
Wok: Research intern at the Museum of Russian Icons and as kitchen help
Language: Planning on studying in Germany next summer

I would say that Waldorf has helped me look at things in a different way. Where others look at a problem from one angle I find that I am able to step back and find another solution to the same end which I find most others can’t do.

I have resolved to be a lifelong learner. I want to devour every bit of knowledge that comes my way and integrate it into myself, so that I become a well-rounded, capable, human being. I love the feeling I get when I see myself getting closer to that goal. Perfection doesn’t exist, at least when it comes to people, and I think that’s amazing. Why? Because it means there is no limit to how much I can learn and grow, and if I develop myself in a positive, balanced way, I can have a serious positive effect on the world around me. By the time I left Waldorf, this mindset was ingrained in my being thanks to Waldorf’s emphasis on “educating the whole child.” I didn’t realize the significance of this way of thinking until about halfway through high school, when many students started to lose their motivation, while I savored my education. I was one of the few people who genuinely wanted to participate in discussions and debates, and actively involve myself in my learning. I felt bad for many people around me, because I didn’t (and still don’t) see their lack of desire to learn as their fault. Standardized testing and parroting textbooks starting in elementary school had shown them that learning was a boring and meaningless process, without any intrinsic value. Having seen differently at Waldorf, to me learning was a beautifully colorful journey of personal development in respect to both myself and the world around me. I was learning with the intent of becoming a fully capable individual and positive contributor to the world around me, not learning to pass the next test.

We started giving oral presentations in fourth grade, and presented to increasingly larger audiences all the way through eighth grade. As a result, by high school, presenting to other students felt natural, more like leading a discussion than being put on stage to cower in front of an intimidating audience. The summer after high school, I worked with Harvard Life Sciences Outreach, and presented the research my group and I did there to teachers from all over the world. I’m currently working as an intern at a biotech company called New England BIolabs, and give an oral presentation of my research biweekly. One of my (many) dreams is to give a TED talk about my research or experiences, and as I walk onto the stage, I will fondly remember how I gave my first presentation about the dolphin all the way back in fourth grade. I’m sure it’s evident by now, but I credit my love of public speech to my Waldorf education.

When I was younger I was severely lacking in social skills, at least in my opinion. I rarely felt confident talking to those around me. I struggled to connect to people on the deep emotional level that I wanted to. But one of the best things for me at Waldorf was its emphasis on social growth. Students stay with the same class of throughout their years at Waldorf, and this was a huge boon for me. I became well-acquainted with the hopes, fears, and traits of everyone in my class, as well as how to listen and communicate with them in a kind and understanding manner. Being so close to these other students, who were often quite different than me, for so long was an incredibly important exercise in empathy and social connectivity. It also taught me a deep appreciation for others; I was able to see that everyone had unique, positive talents and abilities to offer to the world. As a result of my Waldorf education, I found that I was very well-prepared for both high school and college when it came to social skills, motivation to learn, and public speaking ability. I am certain that I will continue to use what I learned as a Waldorf student in the future.

High School: Masconomet Regional High School – Graduated with High Honors
College: University of Massachusetts Amherst, Member of Commonwealth Honors College – Dean’s List
Major: Double major, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (primary major), Psychology (Neuroscience Track) (secondary major)
Sports: Cross country and outdoor track in high school
Music: Singing and violin through high school, Chieftones acapella group junior year
Performances: Masconomet Regional High School Film Festival freshman and junior year
Accomplishments: Eagle Scout, Institution For Savings Annual $15,000 Scholarship
Work Experience: Harvard Life Science Outreach, New England Biolabs
Certifications: Emergency Medical Technician, registered nationally and in Massachusetts

Other projects:

Three special things about Waldorf for me were the language and arts programs and the way that kids learned to communicate. After I graduated in 2015, I moved to Rockport High School. I quickly realized how lucky I was to have the kind of education I had. Waldorf taught me ways to learn that the kids at my new school were never exposed to which gave me an advantage. For example, in my second year at Rockport, I was one of only two people in the highest language level course offered by the school and I was conversationally fluent in Spanish after only 3 years of taking it. I credit this to the way I was taught German, first through eighth grade (a very different language from English, and generally harder to learn than Spanish). I was nearly fluent in German when I left the Waldorf school.
As for art, I always loved it and the way that every child learns how to use it and appreciate it at the Waldorf school was really important for me. After I graduated I expanded my skills greatly. I was able to do this because of the foundation I was given before high school. I am currently illustrating a book for NOAA Fisheries as part of an internship and I consistently spend a lot of my free time drawing and painting.

Communication is the other important thing that I took from my Waldorf experience. Waldorf kids can communicate in a way that other people seem to find very difficult. They can look you in the eye when they talk to you and their thinking and explanations are clear and understandable. They have no problems talking to adults and little children, and are at ease with their teachers and colleagues in a way that is different from other people. They have an awareness of the world around them and an understanding that everyone matters.

Elizabeth Davidson-Blythe, a graduate of the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm (Class of 2012), performed as a guest violinist with Yo-Yo Ma and the Grammy-award winning Silk Road Ensemble in their concert at Harvard University on September 26, 2017. The last two pieces of the concert were streamed live and can be viewed on Silkroad’s Facebook (below.)

Live from OBERON the Silkroad Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma.

Posted by Silkroad on Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The first piece on the video, “Lullaby,” is based on a Vietnamese folk tune and is an excerpt from music that the Silk Road Ensemble recorded for Ken Burns’ new documentary, “Vietnam.” Elizabeth takes the first solo on the second piece, “Briel” by John Zorn (begins at 4:26).

Elizabeth attended the Waldorf School from the age of two through eighth grade. She is a graduate of Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick and is currently a first-year student at Smith College, where she plays in the orchestra and with the “Wailing Banshees,” the college’s Celtic music ensemble.

 

It’s funny, whenever I do something particularly “me” my friends roll their eyes and laugh and say “Waldorf” as if it explains everything. And for the longest time I would roll my eyes back and try to explain to them that most of the quirks they think I got from Waldorf are actually just my quirks. What they attributed to Waldorf I attributed to me just being me.

But now that I think about it, without Waldorf I don’t know if I would be the person who I am today, quirks and all. Because it was at Waldorf that I learned to take pride in being myself, even if it made me weird or different. I learned how to be unapologetically me.

Growing up at Waldorf and among the Waldorf community is an experience I took for granted for a long time. I didn’t realize how different the Waldorf approach is from that of most other educational models until I was released into the public school system and suddenly encountered standardized testing and smart-boards and classroom Jeopardy. The contrast hit hard. And as I listened to teacher after frustrated teacher pontificate on what a struggle it is to create and maintain a “learning environment,” I would think to myself that at Waldorf, we were always in a “learning environment.” There was never a moment when we weren’t learning, and learning to love learning, through and through.

Part of the beauty of Waldorf education is that each student takes away something slightly different from the experience. There are some things we all attribute to Waldorf—our deep love of learning, our willingness to contribute in class even if we know we don’t have the right answer, our ability to communicate and express ourselves articulately, our creativity and independent thinking, our knitting skills—ask any alum and they’ll tell you the same. But I think most of those things are just bonuses that come from Waldorf’s focus on educating the “whole child.” At Waldorf we learned how to be people as well as students. We were given space to grow, both emotionally and intellectually, in our own time and, for the most part, on our own terms.

After Waldorf I attended Ipswich High School, but I was quickly diagnosed with chronic migraines and slowly began to watch my plans all fall apart. By the time I’d finally graduated I had no idea what I was going to do next. On a whim, I joined Gloucester Biotechnology Academy where I trained to become a laboratory technician. I went on to intern at Dana Farber’s Center for Cancer Systems Biology, where I helped to map the human protein-protein interacome, and then at Lariat Biosciences, a startup company in Beverly. I was then hired at Lariat Biosciences, and I’ve been working to help them develop a microfluidics-based pre-diagnostic cancer screening test ever since. I plan to attend college next year.

Now, whenever my friends jokingly tell me my Waldorf is showing, I laugh and nod and think that yeah, maybe it is. Because Waldorf is more than just where I went to school; it’s a part of my history, and a part of me. Waldorf not only gave me a one-of-a-kind education, it also gave me the strength to be myself with confidence and aplomb and a little pizazz.

High Schools:

  • Austin Preparatory School
  • Beverly High School
  • Bishop Fenwick High School
  • Chapel Hill-Chauncey Hall School
  • Clark High School
  • Commonwealth School
  • Concord Academy
  • Dana Hall School
  • Essex Agricultural and Technical High School
  • Gloucester High School
  • Governors Academy
  • Hamilton-Wenham High School
  • High Mowing Waldorf High School
  • International Academy
  • Ipswich High School
  • Landmark High School
  • Lynn English High School
  • Manchester-Essex Regional High School
  • Marblehead High School
  • Masconomet Regional High School
  • Newman School
  • Phillips Andover Academy
  • Phillips Exeter Academy
  • Pingree School
  • Proctor Academy
  • Putney School
  • Rockport High School
  • St. John’s Preparatory School
  • St. Mark’s School
  • Tabor Academy
  • Tilton School
  • Trivium School
  • Vincenza International School, Italy
  • Waldorf High School of Massachusetts Bay
  • Waring School
  • Winsor School

Colleges and Universities:

  • Babson College
  • Bard College
  • Bates College
  • Boston University
  • Bowdoin College
  • Brandeis University
  • Brown University
  • Carleton
  • Clark University
  • College of Charleston
  • Connecticut College
  • Elon University
  • Endicott College
  • Evergreen College
  • Franklin Pierce College
  • Gordon College
  • Guilford College
  • Hampshire College
  • Humboldt State University
  • Ithaca College
  • John’s Hopkins University
  • Kenyon College
  • Lesley College
  • Maine Maritime Academy
  • Marlboro College
  • Massachusetts College of Art
  • Montana State University at Bozeman
  • Mount Alison College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Northeastern University
  • New York University
  • Providence College
  • Queen’s University, Ontario
  • Salem State University
  • Skidmore College
  • Smith College
  • Stanford University
  • Sterling College
  • Stonehill College
  • St. Anselm College
  • St. Lawrence University
  • Syracuse University
  • Trinity College
  • Tufts University
  • Tulane University
  • Union College
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Wellesley College
  • Wesleyan University
  • Westminster Choir College
  • Wheaton College