Alumni

According to a national study of Waldorf graduates, 89% are “highly satisfied” in their choice of occupation.* Those are impressive numbers, and CWS alumni are no exception. Waldorf students are highly sought after by institutions of higher learning. Arthur Zajonc, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Physics at Amherst College loves having Waldorf students in his classroom: "By the time they reach us at the college and university level, these students are grounded broadly and deeply and have a remarkable enthusiasm for learning. Such students possess the eye of the discoverer, and the compassionate heart of the reformer which, when joined to a task, can change the planet."

"If you've had the experience of binding a book, knitting a sock, playing a recorder, then you feel that you can build a rocket ship—or learn a software program you've never touched. It's not bravado, just a quiet confidence. There is nothing you can't do. Why couldn't you? Why couldn't anybody?"— Peter Nitze, Waldorf and Harvard graduate and Director of an aerospace company

Welcome back, Alumni!

As members of our community, you are vital to the legacy and life of our school and we look forward to keeping you connected to CWS. Please send updates and contact information to alumni@chicagowaldorf.org or visit our Chicago Waldorf School Alumni Facebook page to stay in touch. Take a look at all of our events on the CWS Calendar and come back and visit us for the Holiday Fair, the May Fair or an Alumni Reunion. You can also join other alums as a volunteer at the school! We can always use extra hands for Fairs and Festivals or ongoing service projects.

Reunions

Whether it's been 5 years or 25 years, Chicago Waldorf School alumni love reconnecting with former classmates, and reunions are the perfect opportunity to do so. Please contact Becky Moskowitz if you are interested.

Ask an Alumnus

Click below to read Alumni Profiles from different graduating classes.

Anyah Akanni - Class of 2015


Attending: Northwestern University / Evanston, IL
College Major: Political Science & Psychology, Double Major
Professional Activities Since Graduating CWS: Current internship offers with Senator Dick Durbin & Circuit Court Judge Jim McGing

How can students make the most of the opportunities available at CWS?

"Waldorf gives you the ability to make as much of your education as you want, similar to college. My advice to current students is to take that opportunity to learn as much as you can. Each morning lesson block offers you a bit of knowledge in a different field. Challenge yourself to dive more in depth. Pursue projects that you’re interested in."

What is your advice to parents and students who wonder how it is to make a transition from CWS to college?

"The learning curve freshman year is a steep one, but I really began to appreciate my Waldorf education when the time came to write reports and papers and speak with professors. My advice to current parents and students wondering about the transition is to stick with it. Transitions aren’t always smooth or easy but don’t let that take away from where you’ve come from and where you’re going. When I wrote my resume for the first time I was amazed at the experience Waldorf gave me the opportunity to have.

CWS instilled in me a love of community service. The service learning trips each year fostered a love of helping others and an appreciation for nature. Traveling and doing what I can to help others is a drive that shapes my life. The relationships that I built with my classmates at Waldorf will last a life time. None of my friends at college have such a strong bond with their former classmates. My friends from Waldorf and I have traveled together and visited each other. Parents of friends have sent care packages. Waldorf built a community that follows you when you leave."

- Anyah Akanni, class of 2015

Olivia Ragan - Class of 2010

College/University: Lewis & Clark College / Portland, OR
Degree: BA in International Affairs
Current Occupation: Public Relations Manager, On Inc.
Professional Activities Since Graduating CWS:

  • Communications Intern at the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom
  • Broadcast Media Intern at The White House
  • Public Relations Manager at On Inc. (Swiss running shoe brand based in Zurich, Switzerland & Portland, OR)
How does your experience at CWS affect your current life and career?

"Though my main responsibilities at my current job are in public relations, I am also part of the global marketing team where we work on special projects and initiatives. We are often asked to think creatively and out-of-the-box to, come up with new ideas for marketing new products. I definitely think that growing up in the Waldorf School enabled me to be creative and innovative in my career."

In what ways do you feel Waldorf education is distinctive or unique?

"Even now, when I meet someone who either went to Waldorf or has a child in Waldorf, I get so excited to talk about it. For example, a man I worked with in Washington, D.C. had a daughter who was attending Waldorf and was in the 4th grade. It was amazing how I was able to recall what I learned in 4th grade (Norse Mythology) and discuss with him what she was learning. I don’t think many people in their 20s can recall what they learned in their first years of education which says a lot about Waldorf and its methods."

- Olivia Ragan, class of 2010

Dakota Rubin - Class of 2005


College/University:
University of Vermont
Degree: BA in History & Spanish
Occupation: Education
Professional Activities Since Graduating CWS:
  • Teacher
  • Coach
  • Advocate for equal education
How was your transition from CWS to the next step in your education or career?

"When I began teaching in 2009, it was the first time in my life that I had spent any time in a public school. I was stepping into a completely foreign world and thought my Waldorf education would hold me back. I quickly discovered that the “think outside the box” attitude Waldorf instilled allowed me to navigate professional obstacles more easily than I anticipated. Finding myself teaching in a public charter school that served socially and economically disadvantaged families, I assumed my lack of experience with traditional public education would be an added challenge What I found was just the opposite; my 15 years of Waldorf education became one of my greatest assets as a teacher. The diverse educational experiences I had at CWS equipped me to look at my students through a well-rounded and whole child approach, something that has proved invaluable as an educator."

How does your experience at CWS affect your current life and career?

"I have dedicated my life to education and strongly believe that every child deserves to have the same experience that I had: an excellent education. I am proud to be continuing to work every single day to ensure that all students receive the education they deserve, and believe every child should have access to an education that nurtures and inspires them. Waking up every morning knowing that I will have an impact on the life trajectory of the next generation is the most rewarding work I could ever ask for."

- Dakota Rubin, class of 2005