Great communicators.

Problem solvers.

Good listeners.

Open-minded thinkers.

These are just a few of the traits unique to Waldorf graduates according to alumni from The Denver Waldorf School. To kick off the new year, we welcomed back a panel of our alumni and hosted a discussion featuring graduates from classes spanning 1995 to 2019.

The panel’s composition reflected the diverse interests and talents of Waldorf students—including a Ph.D. candidate in Chemical and Biological Engineering, a student pursuing a Master’s from The Juiliard School, an IT and software engineer, a Waldorf educator and coach, and college students studying subjects ranging from musical theater to chemical engineering to veterinarian medicine to psychology.

Although their individual journeys differ, the panelists pointed to their Waldorf education as an inspiring, confidence-building and mind-opening force in their lives. Waldorf pushed each of them to be “full people” through a diverse liberal arts curriculum, they suggested.

Through its core and elective courses, our school exposes students to disciplines in the arts, sciences, mathematics, literature and poetry, history, fine arts, practical arts, industrial arts, music, movement, world languages, theater and beyond. The graduates noted that this diversity of education endowed them with an appreciation for, not only their chosen profession or studies, but their peers’ paths as well.

In addition to crediting diverse fields of study with their citizen-of-the-world outlook, the graduates also identified Waldorf’s small class sizes as a strength that gave them the confidence to find their niches in the bigger world.

One graduate explained that he knew how to create strong bonds with his peers and teachers, and therefore he confidently headed into a much larger college. Another panelist noted that her college professor expressed her appreciation for Waldorf graduates in her classes for their ability to think critically and communicate effectively. The small size of Waldorf schools— with a focus on building strong relationships within the student body—prepared these students to thrive.

The students’ work outside the classroom also prepares Waldorf students to find their place in the broader society and contribute to their communities. Beginning in third grade, Waldorf classes experience annual overnight trips, sometimes to learn from Mother Nature’s goodness, sometimes to be in service to others.

Slowly but surely, the class trips move farther away from Denver, from Colorado, and even from the United States, and all the way to transformational senior trips to Australia, Costa Rica and Peru (to name a few). These trips build community, at home and abroad, and allow students to see themselves as citizens of the world.

With an education that celebrates tradition, provides a rhythm of thinking, feeling and willing, and encourages students to experience the curriculum deeply as tools with which they can build their lives- our alumni shine brightly in the broader world. We always feel grateful to welcome them back home to DWS and enjoy hearing of their journeys, seeing their lives in motion.

Members of the Class of 2019 gather with a couple old friends from the Class of 2020, sharing wisdom of their days beyond DWS!