Emily is an Education student and Al is the owner of a private landscaping business. Their oldest child began at the Waldorf School in 2004.
“Our first introduction to the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh was the Morning Garden Program. It was there that we first experienced the wonder that the school holds for children. Education here is an active process, not simply sitting at a desk and being fed information passively. We’ve noticed the reverence that each child has for one another, for the teachers, the other parents, and the things in the classroom. Waldorf teaches patience and respect in a time when we as a society demand to be gratified and have little concern for our neighbor. Our son has learned how to be comfortable in his own skin, how to love his classmates, how to respect his teachers. All of this, in addition to Russian, Spanish, knitting and crocheting, multiplication and division, form drawing, agriculture, and competitive soccer! I know that when the time comes for them to leave Waldorf for high school, they will have acquired tools that will give them confidence and wisdom that will prepare them for whatever this world holds in store for them.
Greg is the President of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership and Amber is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Maeve has been at Waldorf since 2006 and Gage since 2010. He is a member of the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh Board.
“I [Amber] learned about Waldorf education from my college roommate. I must admit some of the principles sounded pretty kooky to me at first. But when I saw how grounded, present, curious, and creative her children turned out, I became intrigued. The educational philosophy makes sense to us. Waldorf employs experiential learning of language, math, social studies, and science, so kids really understand things. They don’t just sit still and memorize disembodied facts. We are both driven, type-A people with Ivy League educations, and we’ve realized that our own educational biography, which emphasized getting As and ‘getting in’ to the next school, trained us to seek external sources of validation, rather than encouraging self-inquiry and social reflection. We want something more for our own kids. We are already confident they will be smart and successful. We want them to be creative, happy, and kind, too.”
Jennifer and Anind are both professors in the school of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. Their children have been at Waldorf since 2004.
“I [Jennifer] attended a Waldorf school for 11 years. I have fond memories of school and am keenly aware of how Waldorf education helped me thrive as a child and nurtured the very qualities that have led to lifelong success, like my curiosity, love of learning, and creativity. I see the same love of learning growing in both of my children now. The school has nurtured my son’s passion for handwork, laying the groundwork for many possible futures that involve creating beauty with his hands (music, art, engineering, science, literature). It has provided opportunities for my daughter to experience social roles as a leader that complements here experiences as youngest at home. As a parent, I am delighted to see the age-appropriate way it educates the head, heart, and hands of my children in a nurturing environment that puts the needs of each child first.”
Randy and Paige are teachers. Their children have been at Waldorf since 2008.
“We have experience as administrators and educators in private in public schools in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont and Ohio. Yet the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh was the only choice we considered for our children. Its holistic model ensures that they will be well-prepared academically and that other parts of them – social, emotional, creative – will be tended as well.”
Christina, Cynthia, and Andrew
Christina is a therapist and coach. Her children have been at Waldorf since 2008.
“As a parent it’s important for me that my children’s creative spirit does not get lost in educational benchmarking. I want my children to feel valued not only when they are with me but when they are in the care of teachers. I chose Waldorf because the teachers cherish and nurture children and their uniqueness. Their nurturing yet structured environment encourages them to become lifelong learners and seekers of knowledge. My children enjoy learning because it has been a pleasant and fun experience at school. And, unlike our experience at other schools, where I had to spend evenings and weekends helping them to decompress from overstimulation and lack of psychological nourishment, my children come home calmer. Now our after school time is spent playing, singing songs, having play dates, doing crafts, and enjoying cultural events. I feel very lucky to be part of this school and the larger Waldorf parent community.”
Zuleika is a graphic designer and Richard was a chef. Their children have been at Waldorf since 2008
“We first heard about the Waldorf School through a friend. We looked into our public school, a local environmental charter school, the magnet schools, and some of the private schools in the area. The more we looked at what was available, the clearer we became about what we wanted for our children. Most schools lacked access to the outdoors, with children being restricted to fenced, paved areas or dark, windowless computer rooms. The Waldorf building and grounds are beautiful, with plenty of places for young children to explore and discover the world around them. After we visited Waldorf, reviewed the curriculum, and met the teachers we had to review and rethink what was important to us, and the Waldorf curriculum and philosophy spoke to us. It matched our values. Every part their experience is intentional on the part of the faculty and staff—the way they are spoken to, the things they play with, eat, even the colors of the rooms. The Waldorf community has been extraordinary for our family. Our girls love to go to school, they are carefree yet engaged. We are very thankful that we made the decision to send our kids to the Waldorf School.
Richard is Executive Director of the Phipps Conservatory and Jan is a chemist with the Department of Energy. Their children have been at Waldorf since 2008.
“We like that there is a codified, logical philosophy underlying the curriculum. Not all schools have that. Plus the emphasis on the outdoors, on wholesome food, on handwork is really unique. Our children are incredibly excited about sewing. We, like a lot of families, worried about the relatively late age at which Waldorf starts kids reading. But once we read books explaining the rationale for late reading, including research on neurological development that suggests pushing kids to read early is profitless, we were convinced. They have more important things to do early on.”