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Class of 2018: The Senior’s Profiles

Learn more about what each of our 2018 graduating Seniors plan to do post-graduation.

The Seniors' “After Graduation” Plans:

Ultra-Violet Archer –

will begin as a musical studies major at Oberlin Collegethis fall. Oberlin offers an environment where she can explore a variety of options; she can take advantage of choir, singing with the jazz band, and taking private lessons with a conservatory professor. This summer she will tour Germany and Estonia with a singing group to attend a folk music festival. Ultra says CWS was “my life”. She is grateful to have been treated as a valued human and listened to. Because she had a voice in her education she feels a certain level of confidence in asking for what she wants and advocating for herself as she heads out into the world.

Claudia Bonaccorsi –

has chosen to attend Dickinson College because of its art program, Italian studies, and because study abroad is featured at the school. She is interested in global studies and sustainability. This fall she may get involved in intramural volleyball and looks forward to starting off with interesting classes. This summer Claudia will spend a month with her aunt at her home in Italy. She credits Waldorf education with teaching her she could do art and has appreciated the whole high school experience. To sum up: “Had fun – bye!”

“ Waldorf I learned to deal with people, to make time for things I cared about, and discovered interesting subjects I otherwise would not have found.”  - Emma

Andrew Chungbin –

plans to spend his summer working at a restaurant and on the boats (with Harry), except for the time his family travels to Iceland for his grandmother’s 80th birthday! In the fall he will head off to Oregon State University where he will explore civil engineering and forestry. He says the campus is in a great location – between the mountains and the ocean. Andrew credits Waldorf for giving him hands-on art experience in painting and sculpting. His exchange experience opened him up to a lot about who he is and how he reacts to things.

Rebecca Fife –

will attend the University of Utah in August of 2018, after a short summer including an orientation session in late June. She is familiar with Utah and has family there; the university has a good psychology department, a beautiful campus, and nice dorms. Rebecca wants to major in psychology and minor in social work, in order to work with abused children. She is ready for a big change and is looking forward to new friends, new scenery, a new social atmosphere, and a different academic environment. At CWS, Rebecca has grown into an individual; she is grateful her experience here helped her develop her personality and beliefs.

Harry Figiel –

will be a freshman at the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana, after working the summer as a deckhand on a Chicago River boat. Thanks to family connections, he will be able to work with the University’s basketball team when he gets to school. He has also been offered a place in the school’s Merit [Honors] Program and is an Illinois State Scholar. Harry liked his time at Waldorf and believes it helped him a lot. He appreciates the freedom he was allowed, the small classes, and getting to know his teachers. Now, he says, it’s time to do something!

Isadora Harper –

was offered a place in the Honors College at University of Massachusetts Amherst and believes it has the best agriculture program. She is glad to learn that the school also has an equestrian team, as this has been a big part of her life. Isadora will attend both summer and fall orientation at the school; she will spend the rest of her time this summer working at Uncommon Ground and teaching violin. Isadora believes that Waldorf made her “the best version of me” and values the magic of grade school and the good community here. Now she is ready to be somewhere new. Isadora is an Illinois State Scholar and received a National Merit Scholar Letter of Commendation.

Emma Hartmann –

has selected to attend Lehigh University because it’s a good size for her; she feels a good relationship with professors there; it’s strong in engineering, math and science; and the beautiful campus is close to larger cities, among other strong features. She will be in the Honors Program, which means no general education classes, a “senior project” opportunity that not everyone has, and a mentorship program. Emma was also offered a spot in Tulane’s Honors Program, although she will not attend there. Before heading to college, Emma will take a gap year that will include working full-time this summer at a café and math tutoring, followed by a 3-month internship working on human rights law in Tanzania; then renting an AirBnB in Paris to read, study French, and travel. Emma says at Waldorf she learned to deal with people, to make time for things she cared about, and discovered interesting subjects she otherwise would not have found. The work creating a senior project was awesome.

“... I feel my whole life is connected to Waldorf; it has made me who I am and taught me to value learning. I'm sad to leave, but also ready to go out into the world.”  - Grace

Elizabeth Jaskot –

has chosen to attend Columbia College Chicago because of the opportunity it offers. She can get hands-on experience and learn everything about filmmaking, which is her major. Living on campus will be a new experience and she is excited about going to school to learn about what she’s wanted to do for a long time. After a trip to London for her graduation/birthday gift, Elizabeth will work during the summer to earn money for school. Elizabeth liked the community at Waldorf and was looking for the same at college; she is glad to see that Columbia is all “artsy people like here.”

Zari Jones –

is excited to be heading south to Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans! The school is good for her major, Zoology, and she likes that it guarantees students a job after graduation. Zari’s dream is to travel and work with wildlife and exotic animals; she believes Xavier will be a good first step in that direction. She is currently applying for summer jobs to earn money for college and also hopes to visit Disney World. Once she gets to college she will focus on settling in to the new routine of being an adult out on her own!


“... I appreciate the free thinking and that classes are more a conversation than lecture; looking back, it’s what I needed.”  - Charles

Grace Kahn –

was offered a spot in Skidmore College’s London Program, but has chosen to attend Oberlin Collegebeginning in the fall of 2019. She loves the size and feels the people at Oberlin are passionate and interested in education in and of itself. She would like to double major in environmental studies and creative writing with a minor in studio art. The cooperative housing is also a plus. During her gap year, Grace will spend the fall “woofing” in Norway, then winter in Oslo working with Waldorf students at an art center, followed by a visit to Berlin and Vienna to stay with her exchange family. Grace feels her whole life is connected to Waldorf; it has made her who she is and taught her to value learning. She is sad to leave, but also ready to go out into the world.

Alexander Levinson –

plans to spend two weeks this summer in the renowned Castleman Quartet Program, a small program to explore chamber music with professional musicians in Fredonia, NY. This summer he plans to play gigs in Chicago to save money for college. This fall, Alex heads to Bard College Conservatory where he will earn a dual degree in music and sciences or English Literature. The school is close to New York City and there are “enough people to get to know” without being huge. Alex says it is small enough that it has a “Waldorf” feel to it.

Caroline Livaditis –

applied Early Decision and was accepted to Colorado College. She appreciates the block system, which is a good fit for her, as well as the style of experiential learning and the chance to study abroad – she can do a block almost anywhere in the world. Caroline plans to study international relations with a double major or minor in German. She’s excited about the location and outdoor activities and looks forward to meeting new people. Caroline is taking a gap semester and will spend two months this summer as a camp counselor; then head to India for three months to study Hindi and yoga. As a long-term Waldorf student she has learned to love learning, was glad she could learn at her own pace and LOVED exchange because, through that experience, she found what she wants to do with her life.

Zoë Miller –

is elated to be attending Oberlin College. It’s a good fit and she can see ensemble music; pursue a variety of interests, such as theatre and music; and study psychology and social work. The winter term is attractive as it offers the independence and freedom to explore, to find new interests. She will spend her summer working as a nanny full-time and visiting family and friends. Her time at Waldorf taught her she can be happy "doing whatever" as long as she is with a good community. She really valued the class trips, the student/teacher relationships, and that the requirement to do art, theatre, and music showed her she could enjoy these subjects without having to be an expert.

“... I am grateful for my Waldorf class “family” connections. Now I am ready to move on to my next great adventure!” - Levi


Helen Murray –

leaves on June 11th for Marine boot camp. Helen is an Illinois State Scholar and also received a National Merit Scholarship Letter of Commendation; however, she does not want to go to school right away. The Marines offer an opportunity to be outdoors, to get paid work experience, and will then pay for college when she is ready to go! Her job in the Marines will be in intelligence; Helen wants to be a cryptologic linguist and then study STEM in college. She feels Chicago Waldorf School was a good place to "figure yourself out," to not follow along with the crowd; and she values her relationship with her teachers.

Ayodele Opeifa –

will spend this summer after high school visiting with family in Nigeria. This fall she plans to attend Illinois Wesleyan University; she likes the campus and feels she can be at home there. Ayo will major in political science; she wants to learn more about how government works.

“...As a long-term Waldorf student I learned to love learning, was glad I could learn at my own pace and LOVED exchange because, through that experience, I found what I want to do with my life.”  - Caroline


Eva Preus –

has enrolled in the University of San Francisco for the fall. The school has a good art program and she plans to live off-campus with friends. She is looking forward to a new environment and being able to have the freedom to create her own routine. This summer she will spend her time working to save money for the fall. Eva says the CWS community has made her who she is, thanks to a well-rounded education. She really values the relationships with her teachers and her “25 siblings-for-life!”

Morgan Reesh –

has been accepted to the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and is still waiting to hear from her #1 choice: the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Boston offers her small classes, contemporary theatre; she is able to be fully immersed in her passion. This summer she will spend much of her time working; as well as attending a camp retreat and performing at a wedding. The Chicago Waldorf School was like her second home – she’s a “lifer”! She felt trusted here and that the teachers see students as real people; the support and education is unparalleled. The teachers personally know and understand the students and the environment has excited her to learn new things.


Ulises Rodriguez –

heads to Oakland, CA this fall to begin school at the California College of the Arts. He appreciates that the school offers a more narrowed focus on specific subjects, which fits what he wants to learn. This summer he will spend his time enjoying his freedom! Ulises states that he valued the art exposure he received at CWS.


“... As a transfer to Waldorf, I found that I loved the arts and the community at the school. I have enjoyed the trips, the opportunities (for community service, & that music and theatre are required); I have been exposed to things – like agriculture – that I might not have been elsewhere. I really like the Waldorf way “of being conscious” of everything!” - Victoria


Victoria Ryan –

will attend Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia this fall. She is excited about being in a new city and looks forward to studying fine arts. She already has good connections in the Philly art scene. This summer she is hoping to have time for some travel. As a transfer to Waldorf, Victoria has found that she loves the art and the community at the school. She has enjoyed the trips, the opportunities (for community service, that music and theatre are required); she has been exposed to things – like agriculture – that she might not have been elsewhere. She really likes the Waldorf way “of being conscious of everything!” Victoria will study product design and plans to focus on what she would really like to pursue as a career, such as education or studio art.

Charles Saineghi –

is staying in Chicago to attend the Illinois Institute of Technology this fall. While he plans to study Electrical Engineering, he say he will “see where it goes”. IIT is familiar to Charles as he has taken classes there previously. This summer he plans to work. Charles will miss the people here; he states that the Chicago Waldorf School has been a valuable high school experience and he would like to have started here earlier. He appreciates the free thinking and that classes are more a conversation than lecture; looking back, it’s what he needed.

Levi Schneider –

will nanny this summer, an opportunity that arose out of his internship with Waldorf’s Early Childhood program. After the summer, he plans to move to Oregon where he will work on an organic farm. This is something he’s been interested in for some time. He also intends to make time to pursue his passion for making and recording music; with plans to attend the School of Audio Engineering Institute Chicago. Levi is grateful for his Waldorf class “family” connections. He feels that now he is ready to move on to his next great adventure!


Elida Sepich –

is working this summer at Crate & Barrel and may volunteer at the Kohl’s Children’s Museum, where she interned earlier this year. At the end of August, Elida is off to Carroll University in Wisconsin. She appreciates that it is a small school and it’s close to home; she is excited to be rooming with a friend she’s known since 9th grade. While she is currently undecided about her major, Elida has an interest in graphic design, marketing, and communications; she may also consider a double major. After three years at Chicago Waldorf School, Elida is both nervous and excited about attending a more traditional style school, though she says she will miss the one-to-one connection with teachers here. Elida plans to meet the Carroll six-week challenge: If you can make it for six weeks, you will make it for four years!

Aiastan Sherniiazov –

will be starting at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, this fall. He says that it’s a good school, is similar to Waldorf in its philosophy, has a music conservatory and also offers physics, philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, music, and business – all of which interest him. He could study any of these areas and is also interested in sleep science and astrophysics! Aiastan goes home to Kyrgyzstan this summer to visit family before starting school. He speaks well of his time at Chicago Waldorf School and says it helped him find his own voice and personality. As people struggle to discover who they are, Waldorf opens them up to find their own meaning, to find out what they can do. It has opened Aiastan up to the process of learning.

Aiden Zielinski –

is looking forward to working this summer, perhaps on a taco food truck, to save money to visit Berlin, where he went on exchange. In January he will enroll in Oakton Community College to complete his general education classes. Then he plans to transfer to a larger 4-year college, perhaps in Oregon.


With warmth for our Graduates...Fare Thee Well!

* All self-portrait paintings by the seniors, class of 2018