2022 Senior Projects

A highlight of the senior year at a Waldorf School, the Senior Project culminates in an oral presentation before classmates, faculty, friends, and family. The 2022 lineup included:

Wednesday, April 6th

Stazi Salazar — The Way of a Doula
Dylan Quinn — Music Production
Liv Kuijper — The Lifeline Fund
Phoenix Ywanciow — Sola: A Project in World Building
James Stuart — Song Writing & Music Production
Elan Volk — Becoming an Online Entrepreneur
Daisy Macomber — Selfhood
Olivia Limburg — Constructing and Renting a Pull-Behind Trailer

Thursday, April 7th

Eliza Blanning — Documentary on Body Image & Social Media
Jonah Carr — Hello World
Guthrie Turner — Becoming an EMT
Lucas Lewis — Scrap Metal Welding
Naomi Noone — Songwriting Journey
Jasper Pastor — The Art of Tattooing
Asher DeMoney — Photography
Will McHenry — Model G

What are Senior Projects?

The senior year at a Waldorf school is designed to be a synthesis of the students’ education and a preparation for their next step in life. As twelfth graders stand on the edge of adulthood, they long for independence and yet are still unsure of their place in the world. The Senior Project is designed to help students begin to bridge this gap, preparing them for college studies and professional work in the world. Students must design a project that forces them to pursue a new area of interest or something that will stretch their abilities, mentally, physically and/or emotionally.

The individual projects are approved by the High School faculty and supported by an adult mentor who is an expert in the chosen field of endeavor and preferably someone outside of the familiar school community. The project scope is equivalent to one main lesson block, or about eighty hours of work, and typically extends over many months of the school year. The project culminates in a formal presentation of learning to the community.

The Shepherd's Play

A Denver Waldorf School Tradition

Recommended to Waldorf schools by Rudolf Steiner, The Shepherds’ Play, is one of a trilogy of plays from the middle ages and has been an annual event at The Denver Waldorf School for more than three decades. The story reflects and contrasts the simplicity of the shepherds, the practical and earthly interests of the innkeepers, and the divine birth event of the Christ Being, amid a fervent reverence for nature.

In today’s eclectic world, some may identify in this play an intimacy with the heavens at the winter solstice, or even a profound personal spiritual birth or renewal, as the returning light of the sun gives promise and hope for the future of humankind.

The Music of the Shepherd’s Play

The music for the Shepherd’s Play was written by Leopold van der Pals (1884-1966), a Danish/Dutch modernist composer who became acquainted with Rudolf Steiner and moved to the Dornach area in 1915. In this production, Lily Kellogg and others arranged the songs for two- and tree-part voice.

2021 Performance

Our Shepherd’s Play returned to the stage before a live audience in 2021. Participants included The Denver Waldorf High School’s 12th graders and faculty, with musical accompaniment by Mariko Murase.

2020 Performance

This year’s audio play participants include The Denver Waldorf High School’s 12th graders, two alumni, current and former teachers, and musical accompanists. As an acknowledgement of the times we live in, all singing and speaking tracks were recorded in small groups of four to five, wearing specially prepared masks for that purpose, and minimal rehearsals to follow safety guidelines.

Step Inside The Denver Waldorf High School

Step Inside The Denver Waldorf High School

Our high school was founded more than 26 years ago, and our robust and dynamic curriculum has been taught throughout the world for more than 100 years. But today, students find that it’s our hands-on approach to education paired with a diverse and inclusive environment that best prepares them for the world beyond our doors. In fact, when students graduate from DWS, they possess the motivation and the confidence to do the work the world so desperately needs. 

Watch the video below to get a feel for our high school curriculum, culture, and community.

Hear from High School Faculty

All high school classes are honors-level courses that integrate high academics, arts, and movement to educate the whole student. Our seminars are organized into nine four-week blocks. During each block, the curriculum focuses on a single subject (such as chemistry, calculus, or history). These focused blocks allow our students the time to immerse themselves in a subject. In this way, we’re able to hone our students’ true abilities by exposing them to rigorous academics while exciting their critical thinking and developing their academic confidence.

During our virtual open house, many of our high school faculty members briefly discussed their classes and our curriculum. Watch the videos below to learn how each contributes to the larger tapestry of our high school experience.

Hear from DWS Alumni

How does a Waldorf school prepare today’s students for college? Of course, 100% of Denver Waldorf students are accepted into college, the vast majority finishing in four years. And our graduating classes, although intentionally small, average more than $4 million in scholarships per year. The investment feels worth it. But what are the experiences of our recent alumni once they go beyond our doors? During this podcast, we sit down with two recent graduates, Ellery Lewark and Vander Georgeff, and they candidly reflect and share about their experience.

About The Denver Waldorf High School

The Denver Waldorf High School offers a liberal arts education, consciously aimed to nurture and encourage adolescent ideals. The high school experience aims to balance the students’ academic needs with their longing to find meaning in the world.

Engaging Body, Intellect, and Emotion

At the start of each day, movement helps spark students’ circulation and bring them together. They then engage in a long, uninterrupted seminar (referred to as main lesson in elementary and middle school) to activate their minds, followed by music and elective classes to spark emotional expression. Music classes and elective courses promote the development of healthy emotional expression through creation.

High School Music

Regarding music, all high school students participate in chorus, with the option to participate in either music ensemble or orchestra until their senior year. Students new to DWS and who have not played their instrument before are strongly encouraged to take private lessons.

Hands-On Learning of Real-World Skills

Students apply what they’ve learned theoretically to scenarios in the real world. For example, a study of soil composition could be applied to a chemistry lesson on acids and bases, as well as a close reading of The Grapes of Wrath, and a course in black-and-white photography in which they learn to develop their own film.

Rhythm of Thinking, Feeling, and Willing

Our goal is to expose our high school students to academic wealth, and demonstrate to them that all knowledge is valuable to encourage their pursuit of wisdom throughout life.

The high school curriculum revisits themes and subjects periodically to strengthen functional knowledge. Students cultivate their ability to think critically, organize ideas and information, and clearly present thoughts through an academically challenging mix of math, English, humanities, physics, life sciences, chemistry, world language, practical, industrial and fine arts, chorus, orchestra, drama, and physical education.

About The Denver Waldorf School

The Denver Waldorf School is an urban pre-K through 12 independent school in Colorado. Founded in 1974 on Rudolf Steiner’s humanitarian curriculum, DWS believes education should foster what it is to be human, cultivate lifelong curiosity, and inspire a love for the world. We are currently enrolling for in-person learning:

Want to learn more about us? Schedule an in-person tour of our Denver campus or join us online during our virtual events.

High School Roundtable: College After Covid

In February, we kicked off our High School Roundtable with DWHS faculty and staff and independent Education Counselor Carolyn Francis to discuss the post-Covid college application process, taking a gap year, and more. Watch both recordings of College After Covid below.

To see what’s coming up next in our lineup, check our Events page.

College-Prep Checklist

Common questions that surface for high school students and parents include everything from when to take the ACT or SAT and how to search for schools. Download our 10-step checklist to help stay on track.

College-Prep Checklist

Recordings for the February Sessions of the DWS High School Roundtable

Part 1 — February 5, 2021

Part 2 — February 5, 2021

About the High School Roundtable

The High School Roundtable is a monthly webinar series serving DWS families. The aim is to bring guidance on navigating high school to the table.

Enrollment & In-Person Tours

The Denver Waldorf School is a Denver-based independent school that is currently enrolling preschool through high school students. Schedule an in-person to learn more on our curriculum, admissions process, financial aid, and more.

High School Happenings at The Denver Waldorf School

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High School Panels

If you missed either of our live Q&As with The Denver Waldorf High School students and faculty, don’t fret. We recorded the session so you can catch a glimpse of our program and hear from those who make our high school one of the most incredible places in Denver.

Get to know The Denver Waldorf High School

High School Academics Q&A on January 12, 2021

With High School Director Brie Kaiser, Math Teacher Sarah Meyer, Science Teacher Wayne Mayer, Humanities Teacher Eric Mills, and some of our DWS high school students.

High School Arts and Theater Q&A on December 3, 2020

With High School Director Brie Kaiser, Art Teacher Kimberly Martin, Theater Teacher Leo Bond, and some of our DWS high school students.

High School Athletics and Arts Q&A on October 20, 2020

With Admissions Manager Brooke Camfield, High School Director Brie Kaiser, School Director Kelly Church, Athletic Director Michael Quinn, Art Teacher Kimberly Martin, Student Support Coordinator Sarah Boyer, and some of our DWS high school students.

Step Inside The Denver Waldorf High School

The Denver Waldorf High School offers a liberal arts education, consciously aimed to nurture and encourage adolescent ideals. The high school experience aims to balance the students’ academic needs with their longing to find meaning in the world. We are currently enrolling high school students and offering monthly group tours and experiential mornings.

Group Tours

Our monthly group tours Group Tours take place on the following dates at 9am. 

Experience Waldorf

During our Experience Waldorf mornings, you’ll observe.