SMWS Alumni White Paper

SMWS Alumni White Paper

Dear SMWS Community,

It is with great pride that we share with you our first Alumni White Paper, entitled “A Portrait of the Shining Mountain Waldorf High School Graduate”. This article is the result of 18 months of dedicated research by Nita Davanzo, our Alumni Relations Coordinator and proud graduate of our High School. Nita conducted two surveys in addition to countless in-depth interviews with a selection of our 389 High School graduates, spanning 20 years from 1996-2016. Her research identified many distinguishing traits, capacities, and themes of our graduates, creating a profile of our students and shining the light on the power of our education in making a difference in the world. Happy reading and feel free to share this article far and wide!

Jane Zeender
School Director


AATG 2017 prizewinners

National German Awards

National German Awards

10th, 11th and 12th grade Shining Mountain Waldorf German students took the American Association of German Teachers national exams at the end of January. There were about 20,000 participants in all.

Please congratulate the following students who received awards in this tough competition:

Alec Evans (12th grade) – Level 4 Goldurkunde (Gold award)

Emma Schaefer (11th grade) – Level 3 Leistungsurkunde (achievement award)

Eric Mahoney (10th grade) – Level 2 Goldurkunde (Gold award)

Marcus Zeender  (10th grade)- Level 2 Silberurkunde (silver award)

Elisa DuBose (10th grade) – Level 2 Leistungsurkunde (achievement award)

Gold award winners who have not spent more than 2 weeks in Germany also have the opportunity to apply for a three-week study award to Germany. 10th Grader, Eric Mahoney, is  the first student from Shining Mountain who is eligible to apply for this. We will keep you posted!

~Paula Blum, HS and MS German teacher

AATG 2017 prizewinners

Photo: Melissa Chilson, SMWS 12th grade student

From left to right: Alec Evans, Marcus Zeender, Emma Schaefer, Eliza DuBose, Eric Mahoney



SMWS High School German Program Featured in Boulder Daily Camera

High school students at Shining Mountain Waldorf School now have the opportunity to prove their German skills through an exam and earn acceptance to a German university.

German teacher Paula Blum said Shining Mountain is the first Waldorf school in North America to partner with the German government to offer the Deutsches Sprachdiplom program.

Read the full article here:




Shining Mountain Waldorf High School’s Production of “Into the Woods” by Stephen Sondheim

Before Thanksgiving Break, the High School came together for a week spent inside the Nomad Theater working on this year’s musical production, Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim. The vision for bringing this story into life came from Dr. Lawrence Mathews’ initial impulse last spring. Flying on the wings of his creative and enthusiastic vision, into rehearsal the high school students skipped. Each and every high school student had a hand in the creation of the production―from marketing, documentation, lights, sound, sets, effects, costumes, make-up and of course acting. The students were asked to “rise up” on many levels, and it was with pride and joy that they brought their work into performance before sold out audiences each night. The musical was a story full of magic, full of longing, of dreams, sadness, and full of hope and dedication to community. It was a story that we could and can all resonate with; a timeless story of growth, transformation, and of life’s highs and lows. Congratulations to those students who worked so hard on this production! And thank you, Shining Mountain community, for supporting them to shine so bright!

~Nita Davanzo, SMWHS Theater Director and Teacher

Watch scenes from the High School musical here: https://youtu.be/xHlU9Wo82Ic



VITAMIN N IN KINDERGARTEN: Nature-Based Education | by Jason Sperling, Author & SMWS Parent

November 10, 2016| Guest Writers, THE NEW NATURE MOVEMENT

In Richard Louv’s recent book  Vitamin N, Louv shares 500 actions to bring more nature into our lives. One of my favorites is the suggestion that parents choose schools, such as Montessori or Waldorf schools, that support direct-experience learning often in natural settings. In the following interview, Jane Zeender, the Director of Shining Mountain Waldorf School in Boulder, Colorado, shares how Waldorf Kindergarten programs can impact children’s health and happiness.

Jason Sperling: What is Waldorf Education?

Jane Zeender: Waldorf Education was founded almost 100 years ago by an Austrian philosopher by the name of Rudolf Steiner, who was approached by the owner of the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory to create a new educational system that would raise healthy, balanced, human beings so that the world could avoid a repeat of World War I. Today, Waldorf education is the fastest-growing educational movement in the world, in both the charter and private schools, and our fastest growth is happening in China, which speaks to the continued need to educate children in this holistic way.

In Waldorf education, we not only focus on the intellect but also on the social/emotional growth of the child as well as the physical and spiritual growth of the child. All of our work with children is done with a deep understanding of healthy human development, so that we meet each child, at each age, with what speaks to them emotionally, physically, socially, as well as intellectually.

Our students graduate from our school with a solid understanding of who they are, with personal connections to themselves and others, and with the capacities and skills to go out into the world in service to humanity. Waldorf graduates are unique, healthy individuals with a strong sense of purpose and who find meaning in the world and in their lives.

To read the full article at the Children & Nature Network:


About the Author:

Jason Runkel Sperling found Running Wild family nature club in Boulder, Colorado, in 2015. He is a skilled and experienced outdoorsman who earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a youth – and went on to travel and live around the globe for 20 years, scuba diving, surfing, backpacking, skiing, rafting, and adventuring. He is the author of several books that help parents get their children outdoors, and reconnected with nature, themselves, family, and friends. Read his blog and all his books (for free) on www.jasonrunkelsperling.com.



High School Musical “Into the Woods”

Shining Mountain Waldorf High School Presents:

Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim 

Shining Mountain Waldorf High School is delighted to bring you Into the Woods, a musical for all ages about wishes, fairy tales and the challenges and adventures that life brings our way.

Nomad Playhouse 1410 Quince Ave, North Boulder

Friday, November 18 | 7:00pm
Saturday, November 19 | 7:00pm
Sunday, November 20 | 1:30pm

Family friendly, appropriate for all ages!  Running time is approximately 2 hours with one 20 minute intermission. All seating is general admission. Doors open 1/2 hour before the performance begins.

Tickets: $10-15

For more information and to purchase tickets: