Congratulations Class of 2020!

Members of the Senior Class have been accepted to the following universities:

American University
Bard College
Bennington College
Binghamton University – SUNY
Brandeis University
Bryn Mawr College
California College of the Arts
College of the Atlantic
Crane School of Music: Potsdam College/SUNY
Eastman School of Music
Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Fashion Institute of Technology
Hult International Business School
Ithaca College School of Music
Marlboro College
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Oberlin College
Parsons The New School for Design
Pratt Institute
PrattMWP

Princeton University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Sarah Lawrence College
Savannah College of Art and Design
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Siena College
Skidmore College
St. Lawrence University
Sterling College, VT
SUNY – Morrisville State College
SUNY – Purchase College
The Hartt School/University of Hartford
The University of Montana
Union College, NY
University College Dublin
University of Bridgeport
Washington & Jefferson College
Wells College
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

SENIOR PROFILES

Gabriel Lopez

Gabriel Lopez

 

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I’ve been here since first grade.

What are your post-high school plans and what has led you to pursue that path?

I’m planning on going to SUNY Purchase for art. I’ll mostly be studying drawing and painting, though I’ll hopefully move towards digital illustration.

What interests you in working in the arts?

Well, everything about it! But more specifically, the fact that there are so many mediums available to create art. I just want to keep pushing to create something new every time.

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

I think they’ve mainly prepared me with the art classes they provide. Taking them has allowed me to grow as an artist.

Read more about Gabe

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

I’d say my uncle Jorge and aunt Jimena. But also Frau Pilgrim. She really helped me with getting into college and making sure I had everything I needed to apply.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

What first comes to mind is our senior trip to Hermit Island. It was great interacting with other Waldorf schools and sharing what we all had in common.

Emmett Nelson

Emmett Nelson

 

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I have attended the school for 3 years. Before that, I attended another private school.

What are your post-high school plans and what has led you to pursue that path?

I am planning to attend Brandeis University starting in 2021. My goal is to get a degree in mathematics as it has been a subject that I have always loved. After that there are many different paths I could follow.

What interests you in mathematics?

I have always enjoyed mathematics because it is like a puzzle you have to solve each time you want to prove something, except that the concepts you work with in math can be used for many real life applications which makes it more satisfying than any other form of logical reasoning.

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

It has enabled me to develop the creative side of myself through art and music.

Read more about Emmett

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

While most of my inspiration for my plans for the future comes from inside myself and the passion I have for certain subjects, if I were to name one person who has had the most influence on my studies it would be Mr. Madey. He is a great person to talk with about any scientific subject from a mathematical proof to how electrical transistors work. He also puts a lot of effort into encouraging me to be as organized as possible when working on things, like setting deadlines for parts of my senior project and remembering to add comments into my code, which has always been a struggle for someone as disorganized as myself and is something I am very thankful for.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

No memory in particular stands out for me, however the main thing that stood out to me during my years here was the difference between a mainstream education and a Waldorf education. It was interesting transitioning into a school that has its classes in blocks, makes you do main lesson books, and has a lot more art. I actually quite like this style of education.

Sam Boswell

Sam Boswell

 

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I’ve been here four years. I came in 9th grade. Before that I went to Green Tech High Charter School in Albany.

What are your post-high school plans and what has led you to pursue that path?

I’m going to take a gap year and work, and then I’ll decide which college to go to. I’m thinking the University of Philadelphia.

What area of study will you pursue once you get to college?

I’ll go for graphic design and art.

What is it about graphic design that appeals to you?

I’ve always been drawn to art since I was a child. It’s been a big thing in my family so I’ve always been surrounded by art. My uncle is a graphic designer, and seeing him work, I decided that’s what I want to do as well.

Read more about Sam

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

Hawthorne Valley has opened my eyes a lot. I was raised in a city so coming here was a big change to see this type of life. It was a bit of a shock because I’d never really seen cows or sheep growing up. I’m much more aware of my surroundings now and pay attention to the life forces of the earth. I’m very grateful for the education I received here and where I live.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

My biggest encouragement is my grandmother, who has always been in my life and taught me the right way to go. Mr. Madey has also been super positive, checking in with me and inspiring me to see what possibilities there are out there.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

We went on a trip my freshman year to an art museum in New York City. I don’t remember which one it was, but being there bonding as a class and looking at art together has really stuck with me.

Merrill Lewis

Merril Lewis

 

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I’ve been here for seven years, and before that I went to public school.

What are your post-high school plans?

I’m going to SUNY Morrisville to study nursing. I want to be a nurse practitioner. I’m also going to play basketball there.

What draws you to nursing?

I come from a long line of nurses in my dad’s family, and I want to keep that tradition alive. I’m also really interested in it.

Is there any particular part of the nursing field you’re interested in?

I’d like to help with people with heart defects someday, but at this point anything is fine with me because I’d be helping people.

Read more about Merril

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

I feel like the workload in college won’t be a handful because of all the work we’ve had to handle at Hawthorne Valley.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

I’d say my mom and our science teacher Mrs. Christiansen.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

The first thing that comes to mind is camping on the Farm. Our surveying class with Mr. Madey was also great. It took a lot of time, but we all got to be outside. Mr. Madey showed us what to do once and then we got to work in independent groups to complete the assignment around the farm. I was also so happy to be named the MVP for the girls’ varsity basketball team this year.

Majel Udjate

Majel Udjate

 

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I’ve been here for seven years and before that I went to public school in Rhinebeck, which was a lot different than a Waldorf school.

What are your post-high school plans and what has led you to pursue that path?

I’m planning on going to college to study Pre-Health. I’m on the waitlist at Marist College, but my second choice would be Wells College.

What is involved in Pre-Health?

It’s the health sciences. I want to be a Physician’s Assistant (PA).

What draws you towards that field?

As part of high school, we had to shadow someone in an area we were interested in, so I shadowed PAs at a hospital in the Bronx and really liked their work. I liked the busyness of it, being in the emergency room, and seeing everything going on. I also want to be able to treat people and help them.

Read more about Majel

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

The school has given me the experience I needed to figure out my interests, like the YSOP trip to New York City and our practicum. For my senior project, I’ve been working with food pantries and composting which has helped me with what I want to do next.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

I’d say a little bit of everyone has done that, but especially my mom.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

There are so many. A lot that stands out are the many field trips we took, like to Maine and pumpkin picking. They were fun and really brought us all together.

Massimo Hamilton

Massimo Hamilton

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I have been here since Kindergarten.

What are your post-high school plans and what led you to pursue that path?

I will probably attend College of the Atlantic in Maine. I wasn’t really excited about choosing just one major, and at COA everyone studies Human Ecology, which allows you to take classes in diverse subject areas. Human ecology is an intersection of art, humanities, and science, with a focus on the environment. I am interested in studying the environment because of my love of fly fishing and nature, but also interested in a range of other subjects because of my experiences at Hawthorne Valley.

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

HVS encourages creativity, imagination, and eclectic interests. I feel that this ability to “think outside the box” has prepared me for whatever might come in my future. Also, my after school participation with the Farmscape Ecology Program gave me experience with hands on research that I imagine will helpful to my future studies.

 

Read more about Massimo

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

The Farm Trip in third grade was a pretty fun and a memorable time. It was the first time that I was away from home, and I remember it being very exciting.

Ava Delmar

Julia Davis

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I’ve been here since second grade. Before that I went to a Waldorf kindergarten in Pennsylvania, then we moved to England and I went to the Michael Hall Waldorf School for first grade.

What are your post-high school plans and what led you to pursue that path?

I was accepted to Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, and I’m hoping to go there. If classes will be all online for the first semester, I might ask for a deferral though. Once I’m there, I haven’t decided exactly what to study. When I was applying to colleges, I looked at all the different courses offered and made a list of areas I was interested in and then have narrowed it down. Two possibilities are either environmental studies or international relations. The great thing about going to a liberal arts college is I don’t have to decide on a major up front but can experience a lot of different classes first.

What interests you in those areas of study?

I’ve volunteered at different organizations that focus on the environment, like the Columbia County chapter of Citizen’s Climate Lobby. I even went to Congress in 2018 to lobby for the environment and that was a fun experience. I’ve also just always been fascinated by international relations.

Read more about Julia

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

I don’t think I’ll know until I’ve experienced life after high school, but I can say that though it seems overwhelming, I’m not freaking out about it and I think my time at HVS has played a part in that.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

I’d say my dad and also most of my teachers have had a role in encouraging me. Mrs. Kenyon is especially great at that.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

My 8th grade graduation is something I remember really clearly. I’ve also loved all our class plays. We’re a big class so we aren’t always together for everything, but when we put on a play, we all come together as a class.

Ava Delmar

Ava Delmar

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I joined the school in third grade. Before that, my mom had done Waldorf teacher training in Garden City and homeschooled me for kindergarten through second.

What are your post-high school plans?

I got into American University in Washington, D.C., and am in the process of registering. They have a mentorship program, and I’ll be doing that for the first semester so I’ll be staying home and probably taking some classes through Columbia Greene Community College. I’ll start actually at AU in January 2021. I’m planning on majoring in Journalism with a focus on Latin Studies, and then go abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. But I also like the CELG program, which is Communication, Economics, Law, and Government so I might do that.

Read more about Ava

What is it that draws you to those study areas?

I’m very passionate about helping–mostly helping women. I’ve always been surrounded by so many great women—my sisters, my mom, aunts, grandmother–and I’ve been empowered to help women, especially with living in a small town like Hudson. I’m also very interested in immigration. Maybe one day I’ll lobby for immigration and women’s rights or something like that. I went to a program with the ACLU during junior year, and that’s where I was able to learn more about women’s rights and what you can do to help women and what steps you can take to protect immigrants whether they’re documented or undocumented. And seeing over the last couple of years ICE coming into my community and definitely hurting families and businesses has strengthened my desire to try to protect people. I’d love to come back to Hudson some day and work more closely with people in the community. Also the last couple of years really noticed what the government is like and the type of president that we have and the way many schools operate towards minorities or women or people of color on a small scale has really impacted my life as well and impacted what education I’m interested in and what my goals are.

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

I think it’s called Socratic learning that we often practice in the classroom which has really been helpful. Our classes can be broken up to whether is a speaking class or if it’s just mostly the teacher talking, but often times if the students are going on and talking and freestyling with their classmates, that is very much open to us and the teachers are very respective of us teaching each other. Getting to work so closely with other people and having an understanding for how to build relationships with others and being treated more as an equal and less like just a child, having the teacher and children on the same level and getting the help when you need it and one-on-one attention has been really helpful. It’s prepares us for open thinking in the future. Kind of out of the box type, like not just saying you can make lemonade with lemons, you can make lemon meringue pie or lemon squares. You can do all these other kinds of things, so you don’t just need to do the one thing. There’s always different answers, and they encourage us to find them.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

One hundred percent my brother Justin. He’s 16 years older than me and been such a huge influence. He gave me my name, for starters, and I remember when I was little I was the one who got his acceptance letter to American University out of the mailbox and ran up the driveway with it. From there my ideal has been following my brother’s footsteps. He went to AU, became something great, and then went off to get his Master’s degree at the London School of Economics. He’s always, no matter how far away he’s been, such a great encouragement to me and helps me with everything from learning financial stuff or applying to colleges and editing my essays.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

Being able to accomplish so many different things, like the plays and singing, and the support we get as we do those things is super helpful. I definitely look back on that in these last months and years, and I’m very thankful we have such a good support group and community to grow in. I look forward to coming back in a few years to see how everything has grown and changes.

Alexander Madey

Alexander Madey

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I have been attending Hawthorne Valley School since first grade.

What kind of educational background did you come from before that (if applicable)?

I came from a kindergarten similar to Hawthorne Valley School’s Kindergarten.

What are your post-high school plans and what has led you to pursue that path?

I have yet to decide on what exactly it will be, but I am certain it will develop over the next year. I know I will not attend college, at least right away. In the meantime, I would like to spend time visiting, and maybe apprenticing in the future, places that are of interest to me. This could be places such as timber framing, blacksmithing, bell founding (casting bells), or something else along those lines. These are all things that are of great interest to me, and from what I have experienced from them so far has made me want to continue pursuing them.

Read more about Alexander

What draws you to the practical vocations?

I have always been building and tinkering with stuff and materials from routine dumpster diving runs. It’s fun, because I can build whatever I want at very little cost. And I think these kinds of practical doings have led me to want to do them formally. That is, I am drawn to these kinds of work more than any other because they have such relevance to what I enjoy doing.

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

I feel prepared in the sense of being able to make do with what I can find around me, which isn’t just something that came from attending Hawthorne Valley School, but something I have always liked to be. I should really say that the school has well encouraged that, which makes me feel prepared.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

Of my teachers at Hawthorne Valley School, I would say that my class teacher Steve Simonak has, of course, had a large input. In my high school classes, I would say I had my most stimulating classes with Eric Muller, Jennifer Kenyon, and Patrick Stolfo. 

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

I would like to say this last year of high school, my senior year; it holds so much and yet is the start of something very different. But I would say the same about entering first grade, as I did eleven and half years ago.

Jennifer Mentzer

Jennifer Mentzer

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I’ve been here since third grade so about 10 years.

What kind of educational background did you come from before that?

I went to Cubs Den Nursery School and then Taconic Hills through second grade.

What are your post-high school plans and what has led you to pursue that path?

I’m planning to go to Columbia Greene Community College and study Sociology and probably Psychology. I’m also hopefully going to play basketball for them. After that, I’m going to transfer to UAlbany when I know what I really want to do with my life.

What interests you in sociology and psychology?

I’ve always been a people person. My friends say I’m good with talking to people and dealing with problems, and I’m interested in how the mind works. I’m also good with kids so I’ve considered elementary education as well.

Another thing is I was adopted from Guyana in South America when I was two and one of the things people in sociology can do is work with people in the system. I’d love to work with kids and get them the help I couldn’t get before I was adopted.

Read more about Jennifer

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

HVS is really good with the social aspect. I feel we are better at socializing because it is a small school and everyone knows each other. And we all have to work together instead of independently so we’ve really learned how to collaborate instead of just being by yourself.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

Mr. Madey has been very helpful and supportive, and so has Ms. Lee. My sister is another one, and I know she’ll do a lot to help me get to the next step, as well as my mom.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

I’ve liked the arts a lot. I’m a movement person—I have trouble sitting still in class. We used to have wood shop class in the lower grades and I remember one class where we made metal hooks. Those were things I was good at and were fun. The trips we’ve had were really fun too. They bring the whole class or high school more together. They helped us build friendships and taught us to work together whether or not we liked each other. Our trip to Hermit Island in Maine at the beginning of the year was really great and eye-opening. We also got to go on an YSOP trip to New York City last year that stands out. We got to work a lot with homeless people and a food pantry there.

Solomon Bergquist

Solomon Bergquist

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I’ve been here since 6th grade.

What kind of educational background did you come from before that (if applicable)?

Before that I went to the Mountain Laurel Waldorf School in New Paltz, NY, so I’ve always been at Waldorf schools.

What are your post-high school plans and what led you to pursue that path?

I am hoping to go to Princeton in the fall. I’ve been accepted, and I’m also applying to their Bridge Program, which sends students to places like India or Bolivia to spend nine months working on service projects. It seems in the fall I’ll either be going to Princeton or spending time at home on the computer pretending to be at Princeton. That part is one reason I decided to apply for the Bridge Program so I can be doing something useful right now.

What are hoping to study at Princeton?

I’m not certain exactly. I’m leaning towards philosophy, linguistics, or classics, but possibly psychology or other areas. What it comes down to is that I’m very interested in what makes human, human—what makes them tick.

Read more about Solomon

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

It’s very cliché, but one of the main was is through teaching the head, heart, and hands. It’s been very useful for me. I’m more of a mental person. If I didn’t go to a Waldorf School I could have easily been cerebral and not able to interact with people. Being at Hawthorne Valley, especially with it embedded in a farm, gave me the opportunity to actually learn how to do stuff. I can’t think of a time when I wouldn’t want to be at a school like this.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

I’d say my parents just because of how they’ve cultivated my interest in things and encouraged me to strive to do my best. Many of my interests have been shaped or outright stolen from them.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

There are definitely a few moments. Like the first day of 1st grade. I had no idea what was going on during the Rose Ceremony, but then we got to the classroom and I remember seeing the straight line and curved line on the chalkboard. The first time I visited Hawthorne Valley for the Spring Fair also stands out; seeing the space and the different activities going on was really impactful. I think the biggest moment for me, though, was the first day of 9th grade. We all read The Boys in the Boat over the summer, and then we spent a lot of time that first day talking about the book before going out to the pond where we were given cardboard and duct tape to design a boat. Then we raced them to see who could get to the dock in the middle of the pond first. I think that for me sums up Waldorf Education. We talked about the book as much as we experienced it for ourselves.

Gwen Labaty

Gwendoline Labaty

 

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

Twelve years, I went to the Berkshire Waldorf high school for 9th grade, but then I came back to HVS!

What are your post-high school plans and what has led you to pursue that path?

I am planning on going to Colombia Green to study nursing this fall. I like helping other people to feel better, I never want to see anyone hurting.

What interests you in the field of study/work you are hoping to pursue?

There is so much that interest me in nursing, and I can go in so many different directions with it. I want to try it all and get as much experience as I can.

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

HVS has helped me to be able to think for myself and to think creatively to find solutions to any problems.

Read more about Gwen

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

My mom is my biggest cheerleader! She pushes me to be the best me that I can be.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

I think our trip to Hermit Island is an experience that I will never forget. We all learned so much and grew a lot together. It was a great way to start our senior year!

Berenika Lehrman

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I joined the school in third grade.

What kind of educational background did you come from before that?

I attended a Waldorf School in New Mexico for a year and before that was homeschooled.

What are your post-high school plans?

I’m sorting through the possibilities. I would really like to go to Europe this summer, but I don’t know if that will be possible after all. Then I need to decide between some of the colleges. I think it’s down to either Wells College in New York or Hult International Business School in London. I’m hoping to study either Business Entrepreneurship with Environmental Studies and International Relations or Investigative Journalism.

Read more about Berenika

Those are some pretty intense subjects to combine.

Yeah but what fascinates me is how they all come together. Impact investing and international commerce regulations can have a positive impact on our environment, and I love seeing it all work together.

What has influenced you to pursue your interests in business and the environment?

My time abroad through two exchange programs really influenced me. The first one was to Germany in 10th grade, and then I spent a month in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the exchange student who had lived with us for a semester. Another huge influence is my father. He works as an impact investment advisor and deals with new start-up companies and helps them grow with an environmental and sustainability focus.

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

I feel really well prepared. The wide offering of subject matter has shown me the broad range of possibilities out there. The way artistic exercises are added to everything helps you think outside the box and work with what you have to create solutions. It’s been incredible to do that with the Hawthorne Valley community. This Covid-19 outbreak has really made clear just how important the community is, and how having those relationships with my peers and greeting the teachers each morning is something to be valued.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

My father has been a key part of encouraging me to decide what I want to do and go after the path I would like to lead in life. But there have been so many others. One is our Argentinian exchange student. Her perspectives and the opportunities she’s been able to make for herself given her circumstances has been so inspiring.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

I would say the dramatic work I’ve been able to do. We had the 10th grade play, and I also did outside drama work, helped Solomon with his senior project of The Man of La Mancha, and was part of the drama club working with older students. It has been so inclusive, and I feel we were sharing something with the community in a deep way. That’s more poignant now when it’s unlikely we’ll be able to do our senior play.

Odin Esty

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I came to the school just two years ago.

What kind of educational background did you come from before that?

I came from various other Waldorf schools across the country. Regrettably, the longest I was at one school was only four years. I went to kindergarten through 3rd grade in Oregon, 4th-6th in New Mexico, 7th-10th at Saratoga Springs, and now 11th and 12th here.

What are your post-high school plans?

I want to make those decisions really carefully and deliberately so I am going to take a gap year to think about what I really want to do with these next few years and how I want to contribute to the world. During that time, I will likely recreate my senior project which was making a lute like in Renaissance time. I’ll make another lute, write something, maybe build a small house, or work on a farm. I want to do something useful to fill up the time. After that, I will likely go to college but I want to make sure I have the right plan. My brother is in college right now and under a lot of stress and I don’t want that. I am drawn to studying the practical arts or the arts of language—poetry, music, singing—and how those are combined.

Read more about Odin

What is it that interests you in the practical arts and language arts and how they intersect?

That’s what I was looking at with my senior project. I’m drawn to the role of the bard in all places and in all times. I think the role of music and the storyteller are critical at all times, and I was using the Renaissance period as a lens to look at it.

Being exposed to the arts quite a bit has led me to an appreciation of them. Poetry, writing, singing, and the like have given me a sense for the language of art. Being immersed in art culture has shown me that art is something of universal significance and a great part of human significance. I’d say the combination of seeing art and making art experimentally has been foundational for me.

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

Early on in High School and elsewhere, all my in-school endeavors were experimental. I was figuring out my style and voice. Here, and with great guidance, I’ve been able to come into my identity. I can write, sculpt, or whatever that are my own. I’ve been encouraged to ask questions about my process and why I create things as I do and to answer them in my own way. I’ve really developed into my own human being here.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

The first people I think of is my parents, the ones who made me who I am. But I’d also say each individual teacher I’ve had—and there have been many of them—has added one slightly different thing or aspect to how I’ve gone on to the next class.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

Some of my earliest days in kindergarten. I keep thinking back to those days when I was just singing and making soup and running in the woods and looking at slugs and plants and being in lots and lots of rain. It was so completely reasonable to me. That I keep thinking about it shows it was really significant to me.

I think that’s why for my junior internship I helped out in the Kindergarten here. It was a very significant week and presented me with a time gap of who I was 11 years before and who I was then. I wouldn’t have gotten that opportunity elsewhere because this place is unique. It was a very thought-provoking week for me.

Magdalen Garrity

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I joined Hawthorne Valley in 7th grade.

What kind of educational background did you come from before that (if applicable)?

I’ve attended Waldorf schools for almost my entire life- excluding 5th grade.

What are your post-high school plans and what led you to pursue that path?

I am planning on attending college in the fall and studying public health/health sciences. I have always been interested in physiology. I went to Belize to study public health and get my WFR certification during the summer of 2017. Then in July of 2018, I traveled to India with Broadreach to study Public Health once again. After attending those summer programs abroad revolving around public health, I am fascinated by healthcare and its societal impact.

Learn more about Magdalen

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

It has taught me a lot about the significance of community, understanding how people work together and work through their differences.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

Each one of my teachers has played a crucial role in my life trajectory, but most recently. Mr. Ping has really shaped the path for my senior year. During our Main Lesson block together, I met with him about an extra credit project which quickly turned into my senior project because of his enthusiasm, support and input about the idea.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

The numerous art projects and classes have defined my experience with Waldorf Education. Just within the four years of high school, we did metalwork, watercolor, oil painting, rock sculpting, tissue paper art, and much more. Getting the opportunity to experiment with different mediums has been a wonderful opportunity that sets Waldorf schools apart. The importance of art in my life is something that I will carry with me beyond high school.

Goni Ronen

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I came in fifth grade.

What kind of educational background did you come from before that?

I came from a Waldorf school in Israel so it was a bit different. My parents came to the US to Camphill Village and I tagged along.

What are your post-high school plans?

Next year I’m going to Bard College to study music at the conservatory. It’s a performance degree that’s a joint degree but I’m still figuring out what my other area of study will be.

Do you have a specialty instrument?

I play the tuba. I’ve always wanted to play the tuba, and my older brothers play the trumpet and French horn, so I had to outdo them in size.

Learn more about Goni

What led you to want to study music formally?

I will have the opportunity to be with other people who are as passionate about music as I am. I went to a music summer camp a few years ago and it was an amazing experience. We have music at Hawthorne Valley, but it’s different when everyone around you shares your passion.

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

The main thing is working together with people. I think that’s a most essential skill everywhere.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence and encouragement to you in your studies and life plans?

I’d say probably my brothers, especially my brother Liri. He’s also studying music at Bard, and next year will be his last year while I’m there for my first. We’ve played a lot of music together.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

The last class trip to Hermit Island. It’ll probably end up being the last trip we take unless somehow we can go on our senior trip. Being with our class and with the other seniors from other Waldorf schools was great. We really came together and bonded by being together for so long.

Anything else?

Bard College isn’t very far away from here so I’m hoping to somehow stay connected. Hawthorne Valley isn’t something I’ll just leave behind. I hope I can make it to some coffee houses or concerts.

Christopher Hertle

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I’ve been here since Kindergarten with Mrs. Bachrach.

What are your post-high school plans and what led you to pursue that path?

I don’t have a specific plan right now because I’m trying to figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life. I’m interested in some sciences, like psychology or animal science, or medical science. I’m also interested in practical work like being an electrician or a carpenter. I’m just trying to decide what I want to spend my time doing in-depth study on versus just knowing about because there’s so much that I can learn outside of school as well.

What is it about the sciences and trades that appeals to you?

I’m really compelled by the thought and theory behind the sciences and the unknown that’s in them. For the trades, I’ve always like doing things that are practical. I’ve worked with community members and learned different trades from them. They are good skills to have in life.

Learn more about Christopher

How do you feel HVS has prepared you for life after high school?

I’ve been taught to have an open-mindset, that I’m allowed to choose. We’re taught to think differently and shown that there are many, many options for us to choose from as we decide where to go in life.

In your years of Waldorf Education, what experience or memory really stands out to define your time?

One of the bigger pieces I’ve taken away from Hawthorne Valley is the way we do theater, plays, and presentations. We were taught not just how to stand in front of an audience but to speak well doing it and to have confidence. It’s given me a good platform for going forward.