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Our Alumni

As a vital part of the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh community, we celebrate our alumni.

Alumni Spotlights

It’s been over 25 years since we first opened our doors. We have grown, adapted, and flourished in that time — and our graduates have followed suit! Our alumni’s paths are as unique and varied as the Waldorf experience. WSP alumni go on to a variety of independent, public, and parochial high schools in the Pittsburgh area and beyond. Regardless of their path, our alumni continue to foster their life-long love of learning and are deeply committed to making our world a better place. Our graduates are routinely commended for their educational engagement, integrity, and talent. Take a look below and see for yourself.

If you are a graduate of WSP, please connect with us.

Kavi Mankoff-Dey


Computer Science major at Harvey Mudd College; 
Seattle Academy High School

“Because I had an in-depth understanding of how to break down complex concepts, I was able to take a junior calculus class as a sophomore. I attribute that skill to how math is taught in a Waldorf school — complex systems are broken down, allowing you to see the parts of the whole.

What did you learn from Waldorf School of Pittsburgh that stayed with you in high school?

For my 8th Grade Project, I designed and developed an app that used machine learning to detect different types of activities. That six month long project taught me how to take on a large challenge, break it down, work through it, finish it, and be proud of what I did.

What is one of your favorite memories from WSP?

When we were in 6th or 7th grade we were learning about the Renaissance. We were learning how Michelangelo would lie on his back to paint the Sistine Chapel, and how the paint fell into his eyes. Ms. Opdahl had us tape up our drawings and draw with chalk so the dust would fall in our eyes. It was very unpleasant, but also one of the coolest things I had done in the classroom.

How does the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh mission show up in your life?

It is important to me to do something that helps others. I'm currently on three robotics teams at my school, where I have the opportunity to lead projects. Right now I am working on a climate change initiative for the state of Washington to help robotics teams become more eco-friendly.

What would you tell families who are considering sending their children to Waldorf School of Pittsburgh?

The kind of education you receive at Waldorf School of Pittsburgh — especially in middle school — is amazing because of the relationships you form with teachers and the types of projects you are going to do. You are going to learn so much and so many things that aren't necessarily “a + b = c.” It’s an education in how to be a good person.


Eli Dorsey


Student at Goucher College; 
Winchester Thurston School

“Having Waldorf School of Pittsburgh as a foundation helped me explore and find my strengths, and to realize that many different types of intelligences fully encompass a human being. At Waldorf School of Pittsburgh I felt that every part of me was valued equally. 

What did you learn from Waldorf School of Pittsburgh that stayed with you in high school?

Creativity and problem-solving was knit into every class at WSP, creating a default problem-solving mindset. As a creative and imaginative person, I was allowed to feed into and be valued for my imagination. That really helped me in high school because I had already been “thinking outside the box.”

How does the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh mission show up in your life?

I have this sense that because of the environment we were in at WSP — the fact that we all cared for each other even when people did not get along — we had, at the end of the day, this love for each other. That expands when you move on from the school. There’s a sense that you can disagree with people, but that doesn’t mean that they are any less deserving or they are valued less because of those differences. 

What would you tell families who are considering sending their children to Waldorf School of Pittsburgh?

WSP gives students of diverse learning styles the chance to succeed in school because information isn’t taught and intelligence isn't measured in one specific way. I couldn’t read until the end of second grade. Which is like, “What?! So different than the traditional expectation.” But I felt supported. I didn’t feel like there was something wrong with me. That was just how long it took me to develop that skill. Going from WSP to a more traditional setting, especially a highly competitive one, I am grateful that at WSP I learned to be ok with where I was. I learned to fail. I learned to deal with failure, then have to go back and figure my way out of it. If I had been placed in a more traditional school, I don't think I would have done so well. I probably would have felt like there was something wrong with me — like there was something wrong with the way that I think and learn. 


Amelia Smith-Tine


Materials Engineering, Drexel University;
City Charter High School

“My Waldorf education gave me the confidence to take on the more difficult college classes in order to reach my end goal of becoming a materials engineer.

What did you learn from Waldorf School of Pittsburgh that has stayed with you in high school and college?

The love of learning and reading fostered by Waldorf School of Pittsburgh has had a positive impact on my college experience. I credit WSP with my being able to understand and write complicated, scientific material. Also, the approach to learning in Waldorf education allowed me to build confidence in my ability to learn which, in turn, enabled my willingness to take difficult classes in order to get to the end goal of becoming a Materials Engineer.

What is one of your favorite memories from WSP?

Probably a 7th Grade class trip to Frick Park with two other grades. I really enjoyed how Waldorf School of Pittsburgh would do these small trips with other classes as you got older. Getting off campus and out of the classroom allowed us to interact differently.

How does the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh mission show up in your life?

I want to create. I want to design. I want to innovate something new that can effect the world in a way that I can see. WSP instilled in me a sense that I should change the world through action — that actions are more important than words.

How would you describe the transition from WSP to high school or college?

Having a small class prepared me to work on the many team projects I have completed in college. My experience at WSP set an example for how to function well within a team or small group — how to communicate effectively, how to understand what others are thinking without being over-controlling or too hands-off, and how to read body language.


Adam Burston


Ph.D Student, Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara; MA., University of California, Santa Barbara; BA., Goucher College

“At Waldorf School of Pittsburgh you really do feel a sense of awe and appreciation for life itself — for art, literature, science, and the way the world works. You’re regularly encouraged to sit back and think, ‘isn’t that just amazing.’

What did you learn from Waldorf School of Pittsburgh that stayed with you in high school and beyond?

WSP helped me become a well-rounded person. It helped me understand not only how to think about the world in an integrative way — how to connect stories and myths with culture and politics — but also how to connect literature, music, and art with leading a fulfilled and engaged life.

How does the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh mission show up in your life?

As a student at the WSP, I developed strong moral beliefs. I thought the world ought to be a certain way — there should be racial, gender, and socio-economic equality. In college I became acutely aware of racial injustice and gender inequality. I wanted to intervene in a meaningful way, so I started volunteering at various organizations. I volunteered as a domestic violence counselor and community mediator. Eventually I decided to combine my passion for education and social justice into a Ph.D. in Sociology to perhaps become a scholar or policy-maker.

What would you tell families who are considering sending their children to Waldorf School of Pittsburgh?

WSP gives children an aptitude to pick up skills in all environments regardless of where they may go next, be it a more conventional school, university, the workplace, etc. To parents who worry their children won’t be heavily tested at WSP — you are right, they won’t be. Over-emphasis on testing requires children to spend a lot of time preparing for a joyless experience that does not measure aptitude — I say this as a sociologist and someone who has done well on the SAT and GRE. With a Waldorf education, you learn how to learn and how to appreciate learning. I was able to prepare for those tests. WSP prepares students for many types of success in today’s world. I look at my peers: one is a teacher, one completed a peace corps mission and got a master’s in public health. They are achieving success and leading lives that give them a sense of happiness and fulfillment.

According to a Study of North American Waldorf Graduates*:​


attend college or university


chose humanities or arts as a major


chose sciences or math as a major


are highly satisfied in choice of occupation


are active in life-long education


placed a high value on critical thinking


highly values tolerance of other viewpoints

*The Research Bulletin, The Research Institute for Waldorf Education

What happens after Waldorf School of Pittsburgh?


​Currently, approximately one third of Waldorf School of Pittsburgh graduates attend independent schools, one third attend parochial schools, and one third attend public schools. Below is a list of some of those schools.

Independent Schools
  • City of Bridges

  • Falk Laboratory School* 

  • High Mowing School 

  • Kiski School

  • Laurel Springs School 

  • Olney Friends School 

  • The Ellis School 

  • Shady Side Academy​

  • The University School 

  • Winchester Thurston School

Parochial Schools
  • Central Catholic
  • Oakland Catholic 
  • Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH) 
Public Schools
  • Chartiers Valley 

  • City Charter

  • Fox Chapel 

  • Quaker Valley

  • PA Cyber School 

  • Pittsburgh Public Schools, including the follow magnets:

    • Creative and Performing Arts School (CAPA) 

    • Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy 

    • Obama Academy for International Studies 

  • Urban Pathways Charter School

  • Westinghouse Arts Academy

  • Woodland Hills 


*Indicates middle school acceptance


Waldorf students have been accepted in and graduated from a broad spectrum of colleges and universities including Stanford, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Yale, and Brown. Waldorf graduates reflect a wide diversity of professions and occupations including medicine, law, science, engineering, computer technology, the arts, social science, government, and teaching at all levels.

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