Where do BVWS students go after 8th Grade & what are they equipped to do?
When our students graduate from Boulder Valley Waldorf School they know themselves and choose tailored higher education and career paths.
The chief technology officer of eBay sends his children to a [Waldorf school]. So do employees of Silicon Valley giants like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard. But the school’s chief teaching tools are anything but high-tech: pens and paper, knitting needles and, occasionally, mud. Not a computer to be found. No screens at all… A New York Times story published in 2011 called “A Silicon Valley School that Doesn’t Compute” demonstrates how creative thinking, movement, human interaction and attention spans are best served this way.
Success for BVWS graduates includes:
+ LEADERSHIP ROLES
our students have high emotional intelligence
our students are creative thinkers with a strong work ethic
+ COLLEGE GRADUATES IN DIVERSE SUBJECTS
our students have a life-long love of learning
our students are flexible thinkers and creative problem-solvers
+ PARENTS & EDUCATORS
our students are contributing community-minded individuals
Waldorf Graduates & the Transition Into High School
After graduating from 8th grade at BVWS, our students are ready to leap into the “bigger world”. Roughly half of students transition into private high schools (whether continuing with a Waldorf or other educational model) and half of our students join a local public school.
From their new teachers, we so often hear that our “Waldorf graduates are an asset to their new class”; they elevate the level of discussion and are able to think critically and independently. Waldorf graduates know themselves and hence integrate into high school’s new environment like other high schoolers looking to find their way!
Beyond High School: Famous Waldorf Alumni
How do Waldorf graduates succeed after high school? As CEOs, Nobel Prize Winners, award-winning actors/actresses, Olympic Gold Medalists, musicians, engineers, architects, doctors, Prime Ministers, members of Parliament, and the list goes on! Waldorf graduates hold an attitude of, “I can do anything; I can learn anything.”, choosing rigorous educational and career paths driven by their strong multidisciplinary foundation and love for life-long learning. A Waldorf graduate is strong-willed and does not feel limited in their options for a career or ability to accomplish ambitious goals. Waldorf students have developed skills and confidence not only in core subjects, but also in world languages and a wide scope of arts, from practical woodworking to dramatic performance. Watch the video below for a presentation of famous Waldorf alumni.
Boulder Valley Waldorf Alumni Testimonials
“My Waldorf background really helped for doing research. Research, at least in my experience, is very creative.” -Daryl Goldman
After graduating from Shepherd Valley (now Boulder Valley Waldorf School), Daryl Goldman studied in the undergraduate biochemistry program at the University of Rochester in New York, which she completed at CU in Boulder. During college, she did a significant amount of research in a biochemistry genetics lab, researching cancer and various metabolic diseases. Now, Daryl is in her second year at The University of Queensland Ochsner Clinical School, in Australia. Her medical program will finish with two years in New Orleans, at which point she will be a doctor.
Daryl says, “My Waldorf background really helped for doing research. Research, at least in my experience, is very creative. “Waldorf has helped in learning how to think and how to work independently. In college, at the beginning there was a little bit of catch-up in some of the basic science courses. But once I got past the basics, I really felt I had a leg up in the way that I thought, the way I interacted with my professors, the way I went about learning–in these areas, I was far more advanced than my peers.
As long as you know how to work and how to learn, you can learn anything. One day when I have kids, I definitely want to send them to Waldorf school, because they can go into anything from there.”
“As I have traveled and started a business, I have been amazed at the depth and breadth of knowledge that serves as a foundation, coming from my years of Waldorf education.” -Neal Ritter
Describing himself as “a lifelong Waldorf student”, Neal Ritter graduated from Shepherd Valley (now Boulder Valley) in 2001. He attended Tara Performing Arts High School, then spent several years traveling to 26 countries on several continents.
In 2007, Neal co-founded the Laughing Coyote Project, a non-profit dedicated to teaching Earth Skills, and has been playing games, telling stories and immersing himself in the ancestral skills ever since.
Neal says, “The multi-faceted Waldorf education is a gem. As I have traveled and started a business, I have been amazed at the depth and breadth of knowledge that serves as a foundation, coming from my years of Waldorf education. Of particular value are mythology, history, foreign language, and the crafts.
An education that gives students the ability to solve issues from multiple angles, engaging their imagination, creativity as well as logical thinking should be treasured.”
Gerwin, Douglas, and David Mitchell. (2007) Standing Out Without Standing Alone: Profile of Waldorf School Graduates. Research Institute for Waldorf Education, 12(2), The Online Waldorf Library Research Bulletin, www.waldorflibrary.org/journals/22-research-bulletin/852-spring-2007-vol-12-2-standing-out-without-standing-alone-profile-of-waldorf-school-graduates
Larrison, Abigail L., et al. (2012). Twenty Years and Counting: A Look at Waldorf in the Public Sector Using Online Sources. Current Issues in Education, 15(3), Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University, cie.asu.edu/ojs/index.php/cieatasu/article/view/807/386
Lawton, P. (2019). How Do They Do Out There? Transitioning from Waldorf to a Mainstream High School. Renewal: A Journal for Waldorf Education, 28(1), 28–31.