School News

Why I Give to Spring Garden

»Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in School News | 0 comments

by Joe Kapitan

JoeKThe question “Why I Give” to the SGWS Annual Giving Campaign and the Raise the Roof Capital Campaign has two answers. They are very different programs with differing goals, yet both are equally vital to the future success of SGWS. As a third-year Board member and Site Committee member, I’d like to share with you my view from the inside of these groups.

The Annual Giving Campaign (AGC) is a line item within the annual school budget, which is reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees. When combined with tuition and fundraising, the AGC helps form the tripod of financial support on which the school operates. Most parents are aware that tuition alone does not cover what it actually costs to educate a child at SGWS; fundraising and the AGC fill in the gaps. And this doesn’t mean having enough money to maintain a status quo operation—far from it! Part of the commitment we make in the AWSNA accreditation process is to create strategic goals and a plan for continuous self-improvement. As one example, the Board recognizes that our hard-working teachers deserve better pay and benefits based on the results of regional research and survey data, and the Board is committed to making this happen. My wife and I are thankful that our two kids have loved going to school each day, and one big reason behind that is our school’s ability to attract and retain quality teachers. Your support of the AGC doesn’t just keep us going, it keeps us growing.

In contrast, the new roof project is a once-in-a-lifetime challenge (and opportunity!). Our school building was built in 1961, and with some diligent repair work and sometimes a few buckets, the original roof lasted over fifty years. (I can assure you, as an architect and construction manager, that roofs rarely make it past thirty years, especially flat ones). The Site Committee conducted life-cycle analyses to weigh the long-term benefits of multiple solutions. In the end, a peaked asphalt shingle roof presented the best overall value, along with the added benefits of increasing the insulation value of the roof and greatly improving the school’s curb appeal. I can tell you that there were many early discussions about the size of the project, the daunting cost, and whether or not this idea was beyond the capabilities of SGWS. In the end, we chose to challenge ourselves, to push our comfort zone, and the community responded in an amazing way. I probably shouldn’t have doubted.

At Spring Garden I’ve seen 8th graders perform entire Shakespearean plays that adults would have trouble with, and the following week, conquer their fears at Ace Adventures. In that same spirit of determination shown by our kids, the adults of this community have rallied together, and now the near-impossible roof project is more than 75% complete. Join my wife JoAnne and me in being a part of the group that finishes the new roof that will protect this school for its next fifty years.

read more

Time for Ski Club Sign Up

»Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in Just For Fun, School News | 0 comments

by Michael West, Ski Club Advisor

skignomeSGWS Ski Club Returns! It’s time to hit the slopes! Spring Garden Ski Club is the perfect way to get out and have fun. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve never skied or snowboarded before or if you’re a downhill pro. Through the ski club, hitting the slopes is an affordable and fun way for students, family, and friends to get out and have fun together!

Club members must be between the ages of 8-18. This is a change from previous years. Anyone over the age of 18 may not join the club, but I have arranged for discounts and other options – just ask me! If you own your own equipment, the cost for the season is $159.00.

If you need rental equipment, the cost is $219 (tax exempt). The ski club package includes a snow pass for every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., five lessons for any level, and four club passes good for any day, any time at Boston Mills, Brandywine, Alpine Valley, or even a snow tubing session. These passes can be used by the member or anyone they choose to give it to!

The snow passes go all season till the snow melts – and towards the end of season they even have free days for any ski club member to come and enjoy.

Use our easy online registration – 3 easy steps!!!!

1) Click here for the registration page

2) Our login is springgarden and our password is member

3) Follow the instructions provided

We are tax exempt and you don’t pay online, just drop your check payable to Spring Garden in my box! Click here for online ordering instructions and club information. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Hope to see you on the slopes!


read more

Why We Give to SGWS

»Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Alumni, School News | 0 comments


by Firouz and Kristen Daneshgari

DaneshgariHaving spent 8 years as a part of the Spring Garden community, and seeing how it feeds the souls of both children, their parents, and even extended family, I am honored to support an institution that gives so much in return.

Although there is much difference of opinion in every aspect of school and community life here, the degree of support from and interaction with fellow parents, staff and teachers, provides much fertile ground for personal and societal growth and understanding. I will always consider myself and our family a part of Spring Garden’s family, as well.

The following are just a few benefits our children have gained by attending school at SGWS:

  • Learning to think independently
  • Learning a versatile approach to thinking/problem solving
  • Developing respect for our surroundings, other people and life
  • Discovering how to have good relationships through honesty – develops by
  • spending years with many of the same classmates and teachers
  • Tolerance
read more

Children’s Festival 2015 – A Magical Day

»Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Just For Fun, School News | 0 comments

by Hazel Emery M.Ed.

CFest5DebThank you to Lerryn Campbell and the many helpers that helped bring the 2015 Children’s Festival to life! We are proud to say that thanks to these efforts, we were able to raise a total of $6,300! $500 will be donated to Project RISE to support homeless children in Akron, and the remaining $5,800 will be used to support professional development for our teachers.

The day was a success by many measures. Many new faces visited our school on this day and enjoyed the magic. We enjoyed entertainment from numerous alumni, including Patrick and Anna Fields, Elle Edwards, and Sarah Caley, who shared their vocal and instrumental talents. We also enjoyed the lovely music of Akron native, Zach. Later in the afternoon, our handwork teacher Caty Petersilge shared her talent on the violin with the crowd. Children were captivated by the magic of the Boat Room and Cookie Fairy, and they enthusiastically enjoyed the jump rope, peg people, and felt pouch crafts. In addition to our regular attractions this year, we also were able to offer yoga demonstrations and hosted tours of the new roof.

ZachWe’d like to express our gratitude to John Fellenstein from the University of Akron for operating the Cartesian Diver Experiment. We’re also grateful to Zach Freidhof and Elizabeth Vild, who brought us the zero-waste project, and we’re proud to note that we were able to welcome over 600 visitors for a six-hour event and create only one bag of trash, with all of the other waste being sorted into compost and recycling. A heartfelt thanks goes to Ed Cote, who once again hosted our free rock stacking activity. And of course we are grateful to the many vendors in the Artists’ Market for supporting our school and sharing their wares with us!

read more

Support Spring Garden in 2015

»Posted by on Nov 19, 2015 in School News | 0 comments


SupportSGWSThis week we launched our Annual Giving Campaign — Why I give — and we also have asked our community to support our ongoing Raise the Roof Capital Campaign.  

Annual gifts are for today.  Capital gifts ensure our tomorrow.

Our Annual Giving Campaign funds day-to-day operations.  We need your ongoing support to be able to continue offering the outstanding Waldorf education our children deserve.

The Capital Campaign is an investment in the future. The building will serve us for decades to come, and a new roof is long overdue.



Annual Giving


Each year, parents, teachers, trustees, staff, friends, grandparents, and neighbors are able to impact the lives of the students at Spring Garden Waldorf School by contributing to the Annual Fund. Tax-deductible gifts to the Annual Fund go directly toward expenses such as teachers’ salaries, facility needs, classroom supplies, and tuition aid.

Click HERE for More Information about our Annual Fund.

Click this Donation Button to make on online donation to our Annual Fund.







Capital Campaign


We are actually ahead of schedule, thanks in large part to our contractor who has found numerous ways to save us money over the life of the project. Through a combination of a long-term loan, cost saving strategies, and donations totaling over $60,000 we are nearly 75% toward project completion. Thank You! We are in the home stretch, and we still need your help.

Click HERE for More Information about our Capital Campaign.

Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions about our Raise the Roof Capital Campaign.

Click this Donation Button to make on online donation to our Capital Campaign.









read more

Frequently Asked Questions – Raise the Roof Capital Campaign

»Posted by on Nov 19, 2015 in School News | 0 comments

What is this Raise the Roof Capital Campaign all about?

SGWS-RTRcapital_logoRGBA capital campaign is a drive to ensure we have the physical resources for the long-term success of SGWS.  In this case, our campaign is about the roof, which you all know has been leaking for some time.  We have patched it and placed buckets in the hallways, but that is no longer a workable solution.  Not only does the leaking roof impair our ability to provide our children with an outstanding learning environment, but it also impacts enrollment.  It’s imperative we put our best foot forward when prospective families visit, and having them sidestep drips and puddles is not a great first impression.   

We are calling this campaign “Raise the Roof” for a couple of reasons.  First, it’s about putting a new roof on our school.  Second, we are raising the necessary funds to pay for that roof.  And third, the phrase “raise the roof” implies excitement and joy, which is what our school community is all about.


Why the roof and not some other worthy project?

As mentioned, the roof is leaking significantly, and it is critical we address that problem today.  That does not mean we don’t recognize the school has other important needs, and the relationships we are building through this campaign – especially with the charitable foundation community – will be critical in securing support for other projects in the near future.  This roof project is an introduction of SGWS to the local philanthropic community.  It’s also been an introduction to our neighbors, many of whom have swung by the school to see what we’re doing.  Excitement is building, and this will build relationships that will help us with so many of our needs long into the future.


What kind of support have we already received for this project?

The Board of Directors of SGWS were the first to give to this project – and every member made a gift or pledge.  We have received other gifts from organizations and individuals who believe in the work we do and are willing to support it.  Finally, our contractor has been our partner in this project, finding ways to keep costs down and secure resources.  We have been blessed by so many generous offers of help, but we cannot successfully complete this project without the support of our school community.  And your contribution will have a double impact.  Yes, the dollars you give will help pay for the roof, but you will also be sending a message to the philanthropic community that the SGWS family is behind this project.  That kind of endorsement gives us credibility as we seek grant funds.



Can I pledge my gift over a period of time or do you need it all up front?

Annual gifts may be pledged over the period of our school year, and this year’s gift needs to be paid in full by June 30, 2016.  We need these funds during this school year to pay our teachers, provide our children with learning resources, and offer the outstanding educational and enrichment programming that we all have come to expect of SGWS.

Your gift to the roof project can be pledged over a two-year period and will be due in full two years from the date of your pledge.  We have found that donors like this extended payment schedule because it allows them to support this capital improvement project at higher levels than if they had to pay it in full by the end of the school year.

Of course, you are free to pay both your annual and capital campaign gifts all at once as well.


If I commit my support to the roof project and pledge over two years will you still come back to me next year for the Annual Giving Campaign?

Yes, we will.  Remember, the roof project is an investment in the long term sustainability of our school.  The Annual Giving Campaign funds day-to-day operations.  Both are vital to our success.


Can I pledge my support now for more than one year of the Annual Giving Campaign?

Absolutely!  Please call Amy Hecky to work out the details.


How can I pay my gift or pledge?

All of the standard payment methods you’ve been using for payment of your Annual Giving pledge will be available to you for payment of the pledges you make here:  your MCA, a credit card, check, or cash.  For extended pledges, we will send you quarterly reminders so you can see where you stand.


Who do I call if I have questions?

Amy Hecky is your contact and can be reached at or 330-666-0574.



read more