SGWS Grad Ariel McCleary finds Musical Success

»Posted by on Mar 20, 2013 in Alumni | 0 comments

ArielMc2Ariel McCleary, an SGWS grad, is having great success as a vocalist and instrumentalist at Stow High School and in her band Recipe of Life.

Ariel will be performing in the Stow-Munroe Falls High School musical “Hello, Dolly!” where she will play the second female lead Irene Molloy. Performances are at Stow-Monroe Falls H.S on Friday April 19th and Saturday the 20th at 7 p.m.  There is also a Sunday performance, the 21st, at 2:30 p.m.

Ariel and her Recipe of Life band mate Shelby Denton also won the 2012 Stow-Munroe Falls High School talent show with their original song, “The Journey.”

Watch The Performance:


McCleary credits Spring Garden for opening up her eyes to the music world: “If I hadn’t been in the choir or played musical instruments in the orchestra and music classes, I would’ve never found my notch with singing. I would’ve never found a desire to be in the musicals and plays in high school. Spring Garden taught me the beauty of music and how it changes you.”

read more

SGWS Grads Advance to State

»Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Alumni | 0 comments

Sparhawk2Isabella Sparhawk is an SGWS grad whose Mock Trial team for St. Vincent – St. Mary moved on to state competition this March in Columbus.

Ms. Sparhawk also won an award at Regionals for Best Attorney. And we also just learned she won 1st Place Grand Champion in the Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair!

The Mock Trial team of fellow SGWS grad, Matt Rossi, a senior at Hoban,  also advanced to the state competition in Columbus this year. And Matt won “Outstanding Advocate” at the State Competition.



Congratulations Matt and Isabella!


read more

Congratulations to Alumni William de Cardenas

»Posted by on Mar 4, 2013 in Alumni, School News | 0 comments

WilliamdeCardenasWilliam de Cardenas, an SGWS grad and current senior at Theodore Roosevelt High School, in Kent Ohio, has won Best in State in the Verizon App Challenge. Cardenas, along with classmates in the App Club, designed an app to test streams for pollution.

The team has qualified for national competition, a $10,000.00 prize and a trip to Florida in June. Great job, Will!


read more

SGWS Alumni, Chris Connelly, Awarded the Kroc Fellowship

»Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Alumni, School News | 1 comment

Spring Garden Waldorf School alumni, Chris Connelly, was awarded the Kroc Fellowship with National Public Radio. The fellowship is an honor to receive and Chris is paid to intern in all aspects of NPR.  He is currently a producer for All Things Considered.  His next assignments will be as a reporter both producing his own stories and reporting on national news in Washington D.C.

Chris went from Spring Garden to Firestone High School and then to Antioch and Berkeley for Media and Journalism. He says his elementary education at SGWS taught him how to collaborate. “It is such an incredible skill to be able to talk with people and critically engage with each person’s ideas—100% of my work is collaborative now so being able to communicate and collaborate along with thinking critically has been invaluable.”

The folks at NPR have worked before with Waldorf graduates and told Chris his attributes are true to what they have seen before in Waldorf students.

“Everywhere I go, more and more people have heard of Waldorf.  When I say in passing, oh I went to a Waldorf school, the typical response I hear is ‘that’s why I like you so much!’  It’s like it’s an explanation of why I am a good person.”

read more

SGWS Alumni in the News

»Posted by on Aug 24, 2012 in Alumni, School News | 0 comments

Emma Hunko-Hayneck, SGWS graduate and daughter of SGWS teacher Cate Hunko, had the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama in the Student Center at The Ohio State University.  Congratulations Emma!

read more

Spring Garden Alumni Created NBC Olympic Logo

»Posted by on Aug 15, 2012 in Alumni, School News | 0 comments

Northeast Ohio native and Spring Garden Waldorf School alumni, Nate Howe, designed the Olympic logo for NBC 2012’s coverage of the games. Nate transferred to Spring Garden after what he described as being “disengaged, unmotivated and unconnected” to his public school education. Nate continued on in Waldorf education for high school. He is now an EMMY® Nominated multidisciplinary creative director and designer based in LA and has a client list including Coca cola, MTV, Oprah, and Ford. See Nate’s portfolio of work at

SGWS admissions director Amy Hecky spoke with Nate about how his schooling influenced his creativity and career.

“SGWS set a foundation for me at a critical time in life.  In my public school, there was no value or respect for art. Plus, teachers and students lacked diversity in their thinking and their awareness of a world outside of their day to day interactions. Spring Garden opened my eyes to an appreciation of human diversity and art.”

Nate told Ms. Hecky that SGWS “changed my outlook on education and life” and noted class trips to Chautauqua Institute and Niagara Falls among other experiences that brought him to the belief that “things are possible and I had the inert ability to go out and do them.”

According to Nate, “SGWS began a chain reaction of positive things in my life.”

When asked if going to school without technology had a negative impact on his techno-centric career, Nate said, “There is a time and place for technology.  It is not for young children.  It is a tool.  It should not be used in place of human interaction or as a distraction.  Students in upper grades could benefit from exposure to using technology as a tool to create, but young children should have their lives rooted in reality first and then be introduced to technology later.”

So what kind of education will Nate choose for his own children?  He says Waldorf education is the best — for him and for his family. “Waldorf education fosters values, morals, creativity, diversity and endless possibilities. And Spring Garden allows children to be sensitive and to be themselves in a safe environment. This nurturing atmosphere provides space for growth in exponential ways.”

read more