Congratulations Class of 2021!

HVS Class of 2021

Dear Seniors,

You stand perched on the threshold of the next phase of your life, and we watch you with great anticipation. Will you take flight? Will you remain perched for some time, while your wings grow stronger? We are proud of you, and we have great hopes for you, as you venture into the wider world. You are ready for this.

We have watched you these last three or four years, as you have become ever more and more your own selves. Whatever you take away from your time at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, you leave behind you a school that has grown stronger, braver, and wiser because of your presence here. We hope we have helped you find these qualities in yourselves, as well.

As members of the Class of 2021, you extend our school community out into the world with you. You now join the hundreds of other Hawthorne Valley graduates who share memories of their time here in this valley through the years. No matter where you go, you will always be connected to this place and this community. You have a home in our hearts, and there is a place here for your return.

Congratulations, and blessings on your journey!

–Simon Frishkoff, High School Chairperson

SENIOR PROFILES

HVS class of 2021

Oak Charron

 

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I’ve been going to Hawthorne Valley since 10th grade.

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

I think I’ll definitely remember that learning at Hawthorne Valley is unlike any one learning experience I’ve ever had. All of the teachers have been very good to me, and all of the students are extremely welcoming and friendly. I really enjoy the fact that there are smaller class sizes and that we get to go outside into nature much more than you would at a public school.

What’s your senior project about and why did you choose that area of study?

I chose to create a realistic fiction short story about a content creator online. I got the inspiration for this story after watching a few content creators online and creating an original character based off of the people I watch.

Read more about Oak

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

After high school I’m planning on moving up to Vermont to live with my mom and younger sister. While I’m there, I’ll be thinking about my next step in life and where to go next.

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

Honestly, I would consider my biggest influences to have been the content creators I’ve watched online as a child. I’ve watched many creators, but the people who stood out, and will always continue to stand out to me are Mark Fischbach, Seán McLoughlin, and Ethan Nestor.

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

Hawthorne Valley has taught me a lot of good life skills and lesson that I’m sure I’ll use out of high school.

HVS class of 2021

Quianna Brown

 

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I’ve been in Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School since 9th grade, so 4 years to be exact.

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

Aha! Well, there was this one time that our former teacher Mr. Thompson planned an overnight trip in Albany. We slept on an old ship called the USS Slater, went to a couple of museums, and got donuts. It was quite the experience… but on the way back it started to rain heavily to the point you could hear the raindrops smacking against the bus window, it was really soothing to me. As I began to wake up from the bus ride, the driver stopped to let us off the bus onto Hawthorne Valley. A lot of people were running inside or running to their rides, but it somehow was still really quiet. But I just remember how still and beautiful the valley looked, the way that plants looked like they were taking a breath of fresh air and how red the buds looked in the rain. It made me feel safe and calm, mixed with the feeling of coming back from a fun trip. I will cherish that feeling forever.

Read more about Quianna

What’s your senior project about and why did you choose that area of study?

It was African spirituality represented in the media and just the experience of being a black woman. I could say that this project leaned into the areas of art and history, but honestly this project didn’t have a specific area.

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

I’m taking a gap year to prepare for college next year, save money, and travel so I can figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life. I’ve always had multiple things to put my hands in, and I want to see if it’s even possible to just do one thing for the rest of my life.

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

I feel like all the teachers have a part in helping me figure out things as I go. They each gave me pieces to my puzzle. They are actual teachers, not “throw work in your face and walk away” workers. But I must say that Mr. Brown and Dr. Frishkoff taught me ways to go about things out of my comfort zone. They don’t get enough credit.

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

That I can do things differently. There is always an option, and you can do anything if you can put your mind to it. If you can’t find it or it doesn’t exist, make it.

HVS class of 2021

Zia Williams

 

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I have been going to Hawthorne Valley since the 9th grade, after moving to Hudson from NYC.

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

My freshman year I swore that HVS was Hogwarts, and my suspicions were confirmed when Mr. Madey showed us what happens when you pour water on an oil fire during a lab skills class. I’m pretty sure the man is a fire bender.

What are your post-high school plans?

I’ll be attending SUNY Purchase to study theater. I will also be taking time off to study the art of acting in London. Being surrounded by the arts at Hawthorne Valley has given me the confidence to pursue acting with all I’ve got.

Read more about Zia

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

Mr. and Mrs. Muller have had a much larger impact on me than they know; both have inspired me to work hard and try my best. There were times where I was stressed by having to balance home, school, and work, and simple statements of theirs would always seem to be perfectly timed.

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

HVS, and Waldorf Education, move with a person-to-person method of teaching. This has allowed me to identify the strengths I can grow, and the weaknesses that I can strengthen. In simpler words, Hawthorne Valley has given me the tools necessary to be adaptable.

HVS class of 2021

Amy Dalton

 

How long have you attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School?

I have attended Hawthorn Valley for 3 years, starting in the 10th grade. I moved from Manhattan, NY, to our weekend house in Copake to pursue training and competition with my horse in classical dressage. When we were looking for a school, we found HVS through some friends who had children that have both attended and graduated Hawthorne Valley, and it came very highly recommended.

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

In 11th grade, we took an electricity and magnetism main lesson block taught by Mr. Madey, where we got a highly intensive and interactive experience. We began to understand how both magnets and electricity affect our everyday lives. We focused on how they don’t only help us with our modern life, but how they also play a role in the natural world. This block challenged me to move to the next level in my work. With the skills, I learned from this block I was able to create a model of my house with working electricity as well as a detail-packed book based on the notes from class. This block truly made an impact on me because it does a phenomenal job at representing what Waldorf Education is all about: allowing students to invest their time in a subject not only to get a good grade or to bump their GPA but to retain, learn, and especially enjoy the information that is being brought to them.

Read more about Amy

What’s your senior project about and why did you choose that area of study?

My senior project is the restoration of a 1989 Sahara, Jeep Wrangler. Over the summer when I began to think of what I wanted to do for my senior project, it was my first summer being able to drive. With that being a factor, I desperately wanted my own car, but I also didn’t want to always have to run to the shop to do something that I could potentially fix myself. Combining the two, I happily stumbled upon the car that is now running on the open road. I was able to learn the basic workings of a car in a couple of months with the help of my mentor and very enthusiastic father, leading me to now be able to do the simple task of changing oil, and to understand how to change a clutch. I have learned skills I will never forget, and hopefully, they will save me a little money in the future.

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

In the fall of 2021, I will be attending the University of Vermont, located in Burlington, and pursuing my passion for psychology. I also plan on continuing training and competition in classical dressage throughout my years in college. Psychology has not always been my plan, but I think it’s always been on the back burner, no matter what crazy career path I had chosen for myself, it was always an option. When I realized that most of my books and idols were heavily involved with psychology, I knew that it was something I had to pursue through college to see where it would take me.

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

Although I have never met Jane Goodall, I would have to say it’s her. With her amazing studies on chimpanzees and becoming the world’s top leading primatologist, she was able to observe our closest relatives in their own environment, which was never accomplished before. On top of this, she was studying in Tanzania for 50 years, discovering many new aspects about chimps’ behavior. For example, she noticed that they can make tools, hunt for meat, and even hold many familiar attributes to humans. Although she isn’t a psychologist, her line of work is about the behavioral aspects of another living being. Even though she was intruding on their environment, she was able to find a way to make them comfortable, creating a unique connection with wild animals that the world has never seen before. Though I don’t ever see myself living in a jungle for 50 years, she has truly influenced me to pursue my interest in the living being’s behavioral attributes.

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

Because I joined in 10th grade, I had one year of high school where I attended a public school in the city. In that school, it felt as if I was being force-fed information and then required to spit it out on tests for a good grade. Instead of retaining information, the public school system based my entire education on how to take a test, where I would never truly learn anything. Waldorf Education is a hands-on experience–for every main lesson block we create our very own textbook. Because of this opportunity, we could write information down in our own words and have it as a reference guide for both other classes and after high school life. By doing this, instead of analyzing an out-of-date textbook, I could add my opinion and my thoughts to a class without the fear of failure. With this learning format, I was able to develop critical thinking skills that allow me to be independent in my thought and speech. HVS prepares you not only for written tests but also for the inevitable mental tests and challenges that you are bound to come across in your life after high school. HVS has given me both the support of the amazing teachers and an education with the unique learning format to give me the extra push through my life after graduation.