Halton Waldorf has graduated over 250 students in it’s 30 year history… Here’s what some of them are up to now!
Clarisse Tonigussi, Class of 2007
The 8 years at HWS that I spent with Mrs. Rasmussen and my class were the best years of my life. The children in my class were not only my classmates, but were like my siblings, and people I still care deeply for today. Mrs. Rasmussen was not only my teacher but was like my mother away from home, and I feel fortunate to be able to still keep in contact with her. Similarly, learning for me wasn’t a task, but a joy. Even when I was sick I would beg and cry to go to school because I loved it so much!
After graduating from HWS I went to the Toronto Waldorf School for highschool with five of my friends from Halton, including Jenna Pattison, Jordan Smith, Henry Liptay, Ryan McNamara and Ewan Ross. Having them with me on that journey was a blessing.
Following my education at TWS I went straight into a 4-year degree in Voice Performance (or what I like to describe as singing school for those who may be wondering) at the University of Toronto. After graduating with Honours I dove into a 2-year Masters degree again, in Voice Performance at the University of Toronto. During the last year of my masters I began developing The Canadian Women Composers (CWC) Project, a recital tour that supports music written by Canadian women, and have since travelled throughout parts of Canada with the recital. Thus far, the project has been very well received. In the future, my hope is that the project will expand to include a season of recitals in Toronto performed by various Canadian musicians each year as well as helping younger classical musicians build their own tours in support of Canadian women composers. (for more information on the project visit www.canadianwomencomposersproject.com)
Dr. Josephine Taylor, Class of 1994
I began my Waldorf education as a member of the very first class of the Halton Waldorf School. We started with just a few of us, barely half a dozen at the beginning, and the school grew with us, adding grades as the years progressed, until we had a full contingent of classes from kindergarten to grade 8. I enjoyed these early years of my education thoroughly, with endless opportunities to learn and explore. Most memorable was the way in which Waldorf education fostered true curiosity and engagement in the learning process. Thanks to the school’s unique approach to creative, holistic education and hands-on learning, my experiences at Waldorf were incredibly positive and memorable.
I graduated from the Halton Waldorf School in 1994. My transition into high school was bittersweet. Although the structure and sterility of the new setting left something to be desired, I was academically well-equipped and had no stresses on that front. I developed a strong affinity for math and science, which continued to serve me well throughout the rest of my academic endeavours as well as in my career. Eight years of post-secondary education later, I was able to pursue my dream career as a Doctor of Chiropractic.
These days, I think back to my time at Waldorf with great fondness and surprising frequency. I still make a point of attending every Christmas fair I can, to keep my candle-dipping skills honed, and more importantly to enjoy the nostalgia of it all. As a chiropractor I’m passionate about holistic approaches to health and wellness, and my appreciation for Waldorf’s holistic approach to education has deepened over the course of my career. The importance of nurturing the mind, body, and spirit as a whole is an essential part of Waldorf education, and it’s a concept I continue to hold dear.
Sydney Bradshaw, Class of 2010
I was a student at HWS from 2006-2010, completing Grades 5 through 8. My younger sisters, Madison and Chelsea, attended the school from 2007-2011 and 2007-2016 respectively. My time at the school was transformative. Through the Waldorf curriculum, I developed skills in out-of-the-box problem solving, a deeper appreciation for beauty and the importance of stillness, and a stronger sense of self. I also made incredible friendships which are still going strong a decade later. My teacher, Mrs. Anthon, remains the most influential figure in my academic career and I am eternally grateful for the four years I spent in her class.
After Waldorf, I attended Hillfield Strathallan College for secondary school between 2010 and 2014. I am currently completing my final year of an Honours Bachelor of Arts with High Distinction at Trinity College in the University of Toronto, studying Film and Media Theory with an emphasis on the creative and cultural industries. After graduation in June, I intend to pursue a Masters in Management (school TBD!). I am passionate about digital media strategy and the intersections between the arts, technology, business and storytelling, and hope to enter a career in which I can use all of these elements.
Outside of academia, I am an avid photographer, a voracious film-goer, and am always working on my creative writing. I wrote my first novel as part of my Grade 8 project at HWS, and am currently working on my second. I am passionate about travelling and experiencing new cultures; I volunteered in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic during the spring break of my first year of university and spent this past summer in the UK on an academic exchange at the University of Oxford. All of these experiences are directly connected to the curiosity that HWS instilled within me. Simply put, my time at the school shaped everything I am today.”
Briar Wilson, Class of 2013
I graduated from Halton Waldorf School in 2013, after spending nearly my entire childhood there. It was at HWS that I cultivated my passions for history and the arts, with the environment nurturing my desire to draw, create and explore.
After graduating, I continued my education at Cawthra Park Secondary School where I was a part of the Regional Arts Program for visual arts, and a member of the Specialist High Skills Major for arts and culture. In the four years at Cawthra I had the ability to continue my love for the fine arts and apply my technical and analytical skills I learned from Waldorf to my work and my everyday life.
Fast forward to present day I am now a first year student at the University of Guelph, majoring in Art History. I am able to continue studying the same things I was passionate about ever since grade 6, and know that it was my experiences at Waldorf that helped me arrive to where I am today.
Ted Liptay, Class of 2009
Former Halton Waldorf School student Ted Liptay pursued his love of playing the piano and started the folk pop band, A Fellow Ship with five other Waldorf alumni. In September 2017, the band performed their song “A Million Voices” on Global TV’s Morning Show as part of their Canadian tour. Check out their performance at:
In November 2016, we were thrilled to see several alumni return for the day as part of Take Your Child to Work week. Some of these June 2016 graduates have parents working here and others chose HWS for their day away from high school. Miss Hill was very happy to have her grade eight graduates help out in her new grade one class.
Our Class of 2016 volunteered together at Milton’s Fall Fair in September 2016. Pictured here while helping at the fair’s waste station are Peter Frensch, Sam Crane, Matthew Frensch, Sophie Smith and Sequoia Deathe. Patrice and Georgia Temush also volunteered. We’re proud of our grads for giving back to the community!
Hayley and Ellis Chato
Two of our former students, Hayley and Ellis Chato, are doing very well and they really appreciate the Waldorf education they received here at HWS. Their mother, Ramona, is delighted that her children acquired broad knowledge and that both Hayley and Ellis know how to apply what they know to figure out problems. “My children can talk to anybody and they do not wait to be told what to do – they are not typical millennials!” says Ramona.
In 2015, Hayley finished a Bachelor of Design, Fashion Communication, at Ryerson University in Toronto and she was hired by Le Chateau’s head office even before she graduated. She is happily living in Montreal and enjoying her work in graphic design and print production. “I wouldn’t be who I am today without my Waldorf education,” says Hayley. “I consistently reference Waldorf education in how I apply myself to my work, both creatively and analytically.”
Her younger brother Ellis is currently finishing grade 12 at Frank Hayden Secondary School. He has built several computers from solid work-based to gaming and he is applying to colleges to pursue a trades career.
Kevin Rasmussen, Class of 1999
I graduated from HWS in the class of ’99, one of the last classes to finish at the old schoolhouse in Campbellville. Nearly 16 years later I’m still doing exactly what I was back then, making movies in my backyard with my friends and former HWS classmates. It might sound silly, but it’s entirely true, though the backyard has been traded for studios and far flung locations around the world.
Many things contributed to our success in our careers, and one of the most important factors would be the lasting friendships formed at HWS, and an environment that allowed us the freedom to create and let our imaginations run wild. I went on to have a few teachers in high school who recognized my dogged obsession with images, cameras and computers, and they encouraged me. With a very well rounded technical education from Sheridan College, nearly 16 years later I’m literally living my dream working steadily as a cinematographer. The open mind and curiosity for the world that I left HWS with haven’t led me astray yet. Looking back I can say without a doubt that I wouldn’t trade my time at HWS for anything.
Ryan, Class of 1993
I joined Mr. Kraus’ Grade 7 class at HWS in 1992, and graduated the next year. I was the new kid in the class (which consisted of 8 students at the time), but my teachers and fellow students made me feel welcome right away. While I only attended Waldorf for two years, I have come to appreciate the outlook on life and living that the Waldorf method helped to instill in me, particularly in regards to our connections with the natural world.
Simply put, Waldorf makes learning fun. Teachers go out of their way to ensure that you’re grasping the lessons, and enjoying them as well.
I eventually went on to a year of mechanical engineering at Waterloo, after which I decided to switch my career path to becoming a CNC machinist and programmer. I feel fortunate to have found a rewarding career where I love what I do every day. My two years at HWS helped me find that path. Today, I’m working at Triumf, Canada’s Nuclear Physics Laboratory in Vancouver, BC. When I’m not making parts for Canada’s biggest science experiments, I can usually be found playing in the mountains.
Henry Liptay, Class of 2007
When Henry joined teacher Linda Rasmussen’s Grade 1 class, he was one of only seven students. By the time that class graduated from Grade 8 in 2007, it had 21 students, 5 of whom joined Henry on his commute to the Toronto Waldorf School for high school.
In 2011, Henry’s keen interest in the sciences led him from TWS to Dalhousie University where he is currently in his final year of a combined honours B.Sc. degree in Biology and Biochemistry. This past summer he received a national science grant to conduct research in Dalhousie’s Retina and Optic Nerve Laboratory. Henry’s fourth year honours project will be done in a cancer research lab, focusing on pancreatic cancer.
Outside of school, Henry’s interests include playing guitar, sports and time spent outdoors. He hopes to work eventually to a PhD in Molecular Biology, with the goal of carrying on research in industry or academia.
Meredith Kenzie, Class of 1993
When Meredith was 18, she wrote this article about her high school experiences and how they had been influenced and affected by her years here at HWS. This article is remarkable for its honesty and insight.
Life as a Waldorf Graduate
When I think back to my last few months in Grade 8 at the Halton Waldorf School, I remember being a little nervous, a little excited, but mostly, I was worried about whether Waldorf had prepared me well enough for the challenges of high school. I remember a lot of ancient history and geography, writing compositions, German and French, a lot of music, drama, and art, woodwork and handwork, choir, many exciting science experiments…..
You can also visit the AWSNA website for research and survey results about North American Waldorf graduates.
Check out these other Waldorf graduates from around the world on
The International List of Famous Waldorf Alumni !
If you are an HWS alumnus and you want to share your story, please get in touch!