Receive the child with reverence, educate them in love, send them forth in freedom.
–Rudolf Steiner

The twenty-six members of the Portland Waldorf School Class of 2018 are a formidable group. At their graduation ceremony this past weekend, their teachers had the opportunity to sing their praises and share strengths and struggles overcome during their high school years. These heartfelt and personal celebrations are the best possible representation of the students and their successes and potential. However, for those of you who couldn’t join us on Saturday, here is a somewhat more quantitative summary of the graduating class, from their years here at PWS to their impressive future plans.

The Class of 2018 has experienced a cumulative total of nearly 175 years at PWS, with more than a quarter of the class having enrolled here beginning in their early childhood years. Another 20 percent arrived on the path from grades 1–8 with class teacher Ms. Peirce, and just over half of this year’s graduates joined the class at some point during their high school journey (four of those from other Portland area Waldorf schools).

As they head off into the world to begin the next chapter of their lives, their plans include deepening experiences in engineering, forestry and construction management, history, journalism, wildlife conservation, law, medicine, art, movement, education, computer science, and more. Twenty-four graduates have plans to attend college; four are taking six months to a year to work or travel following graduation. They boast fifty-five acceptances to a global range of colleges and universities, including local community colleges, well-respected state schools, art institutes, liberal arts colleges, and universities in Australia, Germany, and Canada. For a full list of college acceptances, click here.

Of those planning to attend college, nearly 90 percent gained acceptance to and will attend their first choice school. Their personal and academic strengths were also recognized across the board in scholarship awards—more than half of the college-bound students received awards, with the group as a whole earning more than $2.26 million in scholarships.

During this culminating year of their Waldorf education, these students have showcased their intelligence, artistry, ingenuity, and social consciousness, proving themselves to be independent young people who have balanced personal and academic growth. As a class, they are a shining example of individuals who come together in constant striving to see the best in each other, even in the face of conflicts and challenges. They are daring free thinkers who are not afraid to advocate for themselves and others, and are ready to take up anything, even if it means swimming against the stream. With the breadth and depth of their passions and talents, they are truly a class who can change the world.

Congratulations, graduates!