Hannah Schurr, SGWS class of ‘06, has graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Summa Cum Laude, with Honors, and as the Outstanding Art Department Senior.
Ravi Harley and Willow Campbell were honored with awards in academic excellence at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent, Ohio. Both SGWS grads have maintained a 3.5 GPA this year.
Three alumni recently received honors at Copley High School. Emma Hecky received a Scholar Award for maintaining a 4.0 or above GPA for her freshman year. Madison Deckert, a senior at Copley, received the National Choral Award, the Departmental Award for Art, and an Honor Roll award for maintaining a 3.5-3.9 GPA all four years. Emma Haney also received an Honor Roll award for maintaining a 3.5-3.9 GPA for her four years at Copley High School.
It’s news when an alumni wins a Science Fair award, but Alena Veigl has won the ACESS (Akron Council of Engineering and Scientific Societies) Award for outstanding project at the Akron Science, Math, and Technology Expo for the second year in a row. The title of this year’s ACESS award-winning project from January was “How Temperature and Time Affect the Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide.”
In addition, she received a perfect score at the Akron Public Schools Science Fair for her project titled “The Role of Gene Expression in Cell Differentiation.” After advancing to the District 5 Ohio Science Fair at the University of Akron, she won the Akron Schools Award and a $1000 scholarship from the University of Akron. This project, which will be published in a science journal, also qualified her for the State Science Fair in May, where she received the OAS “Excellent” Award.
Alena is currently in the 11th grade at Firestone High School in Akron, Ohio. Keep up the inspiring work, Alena!
Former SGWS student, Ian Lim-bonner (class of 06) graduated Allegheny College with honors with a BS in Environmental Science. Ian recently interviewed with OPWALL and said, “This [job] would allow me to conduct biodiversity research in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean (fingers crossed). Tomorrow I leave for a four week backpacking trip around Europe. Life is so good.”
Ian is not the only one heading to Europe. Julie Chlysta (SGWS Class of ‘06) and Allyson Chlysta (SGWS Class of ‘03) get to spend some time together traveling through Europe. Julie is currently studying overseas for school and Allyson has joined her for traveling.
Tim Fries, SGWS Class of 2007, is currently attending Muskingum University and has just been inducted into Kappa Mu Epsilon, the mathematics honorary society.
And we also send best wishes to SGWS graduate (‘10), Todd Rexroad, who just received the Omnova Solutions scholarship — “dedicated to math and science education today that creates innovators of the future.”
Great job everyone! Do you have some SGWS alumni news? Please email Amy Hecky: firstname.lastname@example.org
This Saturday, April 12th, SGWS alumni, Sarah Welton, will be honored for her winning essay about Spring Garden Waldorf teacher Marie Paul. The My Favorite Teacher contest, sponsored by Barnes and Noble, declared Sarah the winner of the 9-12 grade essayist category for her entry about her Spring Garden Class 1-8 teacher. In addition to be honored for her local win, Sarah will also have her essay entered in the regional B&N contest. Congratulations to both Sarah and Ms. Paul!
Here is Sarah’s winning essay:
“Whenever I am asked about the influential people in my life, my thoughts immediately turn to both my parents and to Marie Paul, the wonderful person who served as my teacher for first through eighth grade. She is a beautiful person and a great friend, always there to listen and always there to help. I have much reason to admire her.
Among her many talents, her ability to teach not only from the text but through her own actions shines bright. As a teacher she taught me in such a captivating and enthralling way. She encouraged me to want to learn and to enjoy learning. In the way she taught, she let us make our own conclusions and formulate our own opinions on the subjects we studied, and would always hear us out as we expressed these opinions.
She has always been a wonderful listener, many times I’ve found myself going to her for advice or just for someone to talk to. She has listened intently and offered heartfelt opinions, forever encouraging me to follow my dreams and aspirations. I truly admire this about her. For my classmates and I, she was not only involved with our school lives, but would check that we were doing well at home and with friends. She was always looking out for us, and when I see her now she always checks in to make sure I am doing well.
The dedication and work she puts into her teaching is astounding, often I would come in to school to find that she had drawn, in beautiful color, a map on the chalkboard or had sketched a portrait of a French king we were to begin studying. In addition, when we were to write about these subjects she would give us neatly written articles that she came up with herself. What I enjoyed about these was that they contained the necessary information and made it clear in a way we would understand.
She molded our entire education around who we were and around our individuality. She encouraged us to create our own ideas, and gave information that we were free to interpret in our own way. For example, when we learned about the Greeks and Trojans, we heard the story from each side’s perspective so that we could be open to different ideas and not decide blatantly that one side was good and the other evil. She taught us to be accepting to different views and showed us how to look at things from different perspectives, which I believe has helped me throughout life.
Even after I graduated in 2012 and left my wonderful teacher, she continues to teach me. Not only did she teach me what was required, but she taught me how to be kind, generous, and accepting. Every time I see her she teaches me something new. She has always been there for me and she has always looked out for me, and for all she has taught me, I am grateful.”
At this year’s 25th Annual Benefit Auction, March 22, at Greystone Hall, Spring Garden Waldorf School will honor an alumni who has made a difference and brought about positive change in the world. This award, “The Waldorf Difference,” is being given to Akron’s own Laura Wallerstein for her participation as a Board Member with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Summit and Medina Counties, and her involvement in Torchbearers and the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank.
Laura has already been recognized for her career success, most notably being named a 2014 Ohio Rising Star by Ohio Super Lawyers Magazine. Attorneys chosen as “Ohio Super Lawyers” represent 5% of the Ohio Bar.
Laura has fond memories of grade school. She began in public school and advocated for her own switch to Waldorf education.
“After enrolling in SGWS, my mother tells me that I ‘went from being sad to being happy.’ As an adult, I simply have no memory of being anything but joyful in my grade school years. SGWS stripped away the pressures of a strictly academic-content curriculum and gave me the space to explore what a happy childhood could be like.”
Laura has also credited her childhood education with helping her appreciate strength in others. As a student in a class of children who were respected for their varying degrees of ability in different subjects, she grew to admire both difference and resourcefulness.
“A special kind of compassion and humility develops when one student who is strong in a subject helps another who is weak and then the students reverse roles in another activity. As an adult, I find opportunities for teamwork rather than ways to exclude those people who seem weak.”
We believe she sums it best by saying, “The Spring Garden Waldorf School community gave me more than an education; it gave me the space to be happy, the confidence to be unique, and the ability to appreciate the strength in others.”
Laura is a lifelong resident of Ohio and practices in the Akron office of Brennan, Manna & Diamond.
As reported earlier this week by The Akron Beacon Journal, Katie Wagner, along with her fellow Walsh University students studying abroad in Rome, was able to hand a dinner invitation to Pope Francis. Katie and fellow students got to St. Peter’s square at 6 a.m. for a good spot and when the Pope stopped near them, they were able to hand him a heart-shaped card and dinner invitation.
Katie is studying Early Childhood Intervention in the Education Division at Walsh University in N. Canton and was studying in Rome for eight weeks with Walsh’s Global Learning program.