Catching up with Alumni: Emma Hunko-Haynack


After graduating from SGWS in 2007, Emma went to Copley High School and then went off to Ohio State for her bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She is currently in her first year of a Masters of Human Resource Management at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business and is planning to graduate in May 2018. She hopes to work in HR and eventually become an executive leadership consultant.

We asked Emma a few questions about the influence of her Waldorf education  — both on her adult life, thus far, and on some of her perceptions of community. Emma believes her Waldorf education was, and continues to be, a foundation for her desire to be a responsible citizen of the world.

“The curriculum of Waldorf education is built upon the development of the consciousness of self, consciousness of others and the consciousness of context. It teaches you that education, much like the real world, is not to be divided into silos. Waldorf education showed me that math, art, history, movement, language arts, science, and music are all interconnected and interdependent, which broadened my worldview. I learned to ask questions, listen to other’s stories, and continually learn about myself in relation to the experiences of others.”

This larger worldview has also shaped her opinions about social justice and politics. “Considering the current political climate, I have many hopes for the larger world. I hope we find love, tolerance, and joy in our loved ones, friends, and neighbors. I hope that we learn that equality is not the same as equity, and that we learn that there is a lot of work that must be done to dismantle the current social and governmental systems that have been historically built upon the exploitation of marginalized communities. We must continue to fight the good fight.”

On a more personal level, Emma’s believes her Waldorf education imbued her with a certain level of personal fortitude. She fondly remembers the way that the Spring Garden community celebrated different life stages, seasons and other traditions. It taught her to celebrate her moments in life, “even if times are tough and some years are more challenging than others.”

That focus on mindfulness carried into other areas of her life as well. She credits her early education with helping her learn to be still, present and not distracted. “I truly believe that having a limited exposure to technology and a curriculum heavily laden with storytelling has greatly benefited me as a young adult. While I am far away from being “un-plugged,” I can say that being without technology in the classroom for most of my formative years allowed me to develop wonderful listening habits for my lectures, work meetings, and personal life. I am able to calm my body, sit back, and enjoy the conversation that is in front of me.”

In conclusion, she remembers the late, Carolyn Getson, for her ability to keep Emma and her peers engaged and focused in class. She says, “For that, I am forever grateful.”

We’re grateful we were able to connect with Emma! Thanks for sharing your alumni story.  If you are an alumni, or know one, please contact Amy Hecky with your story at


One thought on “Catching up with Alumni: Emma Hunko-Haynack

  1. <3 <3 <3 We love you, Emma! And bless Ms. Getson's immeasurable contributions.

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