Waldorf Sarasota was founded by parents, teachers and friends
Where's Waldorf _ Meet Matthaus Atkinson
Where's Waldorf  introduces you to Waldorf graduates who share reflections about their Waldorf education. They represent a small sampling of courageous, confident, creative, contributing members of their families and communities.
Meet Matthaus Akinson. Matthaus is a Product Engineer and Project Specialist at Kennedy Space Center. He attended Kimberton Waldorf School, Sacramento Waldorf School, and High Mowing Waldorf School. Read more about his Waldorf experience below.
Meet Lea Semple. Lea is Co-owner and Buyer for Elysian Fields in Sarasota, Florida. Lea attended the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City.
Meet Gabriel Monahan. Gabriel is a recent graduate of Waldorf Sarasota. Gabriel is a student and continues on his educational path with courage, confidence, creativity, and contribution.
Meet Grace Gerdes. Grace is a graduate of Waldorf Sarasota. Grace is a writer and student who is continuing her education with courage, confidence, creativity, and contribution.
Meet Kenneth Chenault. Kenneth Chenault is President & CEO of the American Express Company. He graduated from the Waldorf School of Garden City. Read more about his Waldorf experience below.
Meet Juliana Margulies. Juliana is an accomplished actress. She is a graduate of High Mowing Waldorf School. Read more about how Juliana's Waldorf education enriches her career.
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Grace is a wonderful, creative writer. Learn more about Grace's journey beyond Waldorf Sarasota in this short video:


Kenneth Chenault
President & CEO
American Express Company
Waldorf School of Garden City Graduate

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MY PARENTS WERE LOOKING FOR A SCHOOL that would nurture the whole person. They also felt that the Waldorf school would be a far more open environment for African-Americans, and that it was focused on bringing up students with values, as well as giving the academic tools necessary to be constructive and contributing human beings.

During the early years, I was fascinated by the storytelling. I was captivated. The exposure to the arts-even though I didn't consider myself a talented artist-allowed me to express myself. I got a tremendous amount from that. And I was very fortunate to have a teacher who had a keen sense for the needs of children. If you think of the many benefits to a child of the parental relationship, to then have a teacher who spends more time with you than your parents, to have someone you can trust and who will grow with you for eight years, that's a rare gift.

I think the end result of Waldorf Education is to raise our consciousness. There is a heightened consciousness of what our senses bring us from the world around us, about our feelings, about the way we relate to other people. It taught me how to think for myself, to be responsible for my decisions. Second, it made me a good listener, sensitive to the needs of others. And third, it helped establish meaningful beliefs. In all the main block lessons-in history, science, philosophy-we really probed the importance of values and beliefs. In dealing with a lot o[ complex issues and a lot of stress, if that isn't balanced by a core of meaningful beliefs, you really will just be consumed and fail.

Mr. Chenault received his B.A. from Bowdoin College, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. 

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Juliana Margulies
Graduate of High Mowing Waldorf School

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"The first time I understood the benefit of a Waldorf education was my first week in college. Students around me were flipping out because they were afraid of writing papers. At High Mowing we had at least ten pages to write every night. It was such a big part of our education that I became very confident in my writing. I still have my Faust main lesson book with me.  We had to analyze each scene, then write the analysis. When I wrote about it, I was able to expand my thinking and make it my own. That’s what’s so wonderful about Waldorf Education. You’re exposed to many different ideas, but you’re never given one view of a topic. You’re encouraged to think as an individual.

Dante’s Inferno, that was another thing. I did a six-foot painting of all the stages in the Inferno – it took three and a half weeks. That’s how I understood every character in the book. It allows you to see things visually and not just intellectually, and without that, I don’t think I could be a good actress.

When I get a script, it’s my job to interpret that script. I do it exactly as I would have to do a main lesson book. I envision a character completely separate from the script and I make her my own. Then I return to the script and per her into it. That way I create my own character, and the feedback from directors is always, 'that was very interesting'. It might not be their interpretation, but they’re interested. I think that’s one of the greatest gifts of Waldorf Education, that if you do the inner work, and you make a choice, that choice is valid. I think that comes from this whole culture of making you feel comfortable in the world and learning that being an individual is a wonderful thing.”

Ms. Margulies received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.

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Meet Lea Semple
Co-Owner & Buyer
Elysian Fields, Sarasota, FL
Rudof Steiner School, NYC Graduate
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Lea is Co-owner and Buyer for Elysian Fields in Sarasota, Florida. Lea attended the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City.

Meet Matthaus Atkinson
Product Engineer/Project Specialist
Kennedy Space Center
Kimberton Waldorf School, Sacramento Waldorf School, and High Mowing Waldorf School Alumnus
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"I would have to say that a passion for learning is the most important thing gained from my almost twelve years in Waldorf schools. The experience of learning through doing stirred up my curiosity and touched the most creative part of my being. I learned that I had in me a natural capacity to do whatever I chose to pursue. The Waldorf classroom environment invited me to involve my heart and soul in the learning process. This integration of all aspects of my true self helped me to understand the limitless potential that inherently lies within us all.

As I left the nurturing environment of the Waldorf classroom and made my way in the world, I carried a sense of what was right for me. That sense has ensured that my entire adult working life has been spent doing what I love to do. Many different work experiences have been available so far in my career because I learned in a Waldorf classroom to bring all of me to each of them. I frequently look back on my experiences with Waldorf and am grateful for those class teachers who instilled in me the faith in my abilities and creativity. The vast array of classroom activities from science experiments to painting and foreign language whetted my appetite for new and different experience. That appetite has led my life to be happy and fulfilling for that I will be forever thankful.

The Waldorf system of education is slightly different depending on the location, but one thing remains constant: the students will learn to function with all of their being."

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For the Waldorf student, music, dance, and theater, writing, literature, legends and myths are not simply subjects to be read about, ingested and tested - They are experienced. Through these experiences, Waldorf students cultivate a lifelong love of learning as well as the intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual capacities to be individuals certain of their paths and to be of service to the world.

Read more about Why Waldorf Works...


Some excerpts from the AWSNA publication: "Learning to Learn", Waldorf Alumni Reflections.


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At Waldorf Sarasota