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.