(Submitted by the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School)
Saturday, June 11 marked the seventh graduating class of the .
Charles Keating, a Shakespearian thespian and well-known daytime television actor (“Another World”) was the keynote speaker. He noted the significance of having an actor/artist as the graduation speaker, and the central role the arts play in the academic instruction at the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School.
“The teachers must be creative each and every day at school, calling upon the best in them to educate the students as human beings first and foremost,” he said.
Music, visual and performing arts are incorporated into virtually every academic subject, offering the students meaningful ways to connect and integrate the academic material on a deeper level, making it their own.
The 10 graduates add to the growing number of Waldorf graduates in the state. The Housatonic Valley Waldorf School is the only pre-school through 8th grade Waldorf school in Connecticut.
Three special events mark the culmination of the Waldorf curriculum in the 8th Grade: a major Shakespearean production, the presentation of a year-long experiential graduation project, and graduation itself. This year’s class performed “Love’s Labour’s Lost” with Keating’s help.
The students’ graduation projects are worth noting: Rachel Crosby, cake decorating; Abraham DeFeo, built a wood-fired brick oven; Shami Khoshabo, adapted, directed and acted in a one-act play; Nora Laymon, learned jazz improvisation on the guitar; Peter Mihok, built a model glider; Serena Pedane, designed recycled clothing; Lena Reznikoff, self-expression in contemporary art; Noah Siddiqui, built an acoustic and an electric guitar; Michael Unschuld, designed a website; Quinn Whelehan, learned falconry and built a Native American Teepee.
On June 11, the rain didn’t dampen the graduates’ morning as they sang choral works, performed on recorders and strings, recited famous Shakespearean soliloquies, and offered words of gratitude to their parents, teacher and school for the education they received.