Grade 8 students dress up during one of their last days at school.
The completion of the 8-year journey in a Waldorf school is an exceptional experience. It is Berkeley Rose’s commitment that when our students step beyond the school gates into the larger world, that they do so with individual confidence and conviction, ready for an ever-changing world.
The students of this graduating class have been groundbreakers through their upper grades years, and as a group they hold the “stir-what-we’ve-got,” can-do attitude that Ms. Vander Pluym speaks of (below), present in the parents, teachers, and staff who have been forging the way for Berkeley Rose.
A class teacher receives a rich gift from the students whom she has the privilege of teaching. Over these eight years, each of my students has allowed me to experience the miracle of the unfolding human being. The first time I subbed for the Eighth Grade teacher when my class was in First Grade, I gaped at those towering adolescents and quickly sunk into the teacher’s chair at the back of the class after stammering a few words about study hall. Who were these creatures? How was a teacher supposed to communicate with them?! There was certainly no way that my little charges would ever become manifestations of the human being that were as entirely foreign to me as these! A few weeks ago as my Eighth Graders helped their First Grade buddies bind their main lesson books, I overheard my students marvel at their own journey. “How is it possible that we were once like that? We can’t have been that sweet eight years ago!” Now it is the Eighth Graders who feel especially familiar to me because, quite simply, we have grown together. — Elisa Saltet, Class Teacher
On the last day of eighth grade, the first grade buddy gave each graduate a rose, wishing them farewell as they spread their wings to leave for high school.
Some of this year’s graduating class have been at Berkeley Rose Waldorf School since preschool; others have joined at various points during the years; all of them leave with deep friendships and interests they will pursue in the years to come.
Their journey is a triumph, not only for them, but for our school. We are proud of the hard work, determination and perseverance that all the people who have touched our school have provided. With love and dedication they have created a school for these children, and the children who follow in their footsteps.
What a delight it was to hear Berkeley Rose Waldorf School’s first graduating class recite the quote that ushered the school into its existence: the quote by W.H. Murray. I read this quote at the school’s very first board meeting in June 2010, as a few of us kindergarten parents got together to explore the crazy idea of founding a nonprofit Waldorf school in Berkeley. Through the ups and downs of founding and growing the school—including moving every year, year after year, to obtaining permits and licenses and countless other Herculean tasks—reciting this quote is what gave the school’s founders, teachers, and volunteer parents the strength, vision, and tenacity to carry on. June 11, 2021 was a beautiful manifestation of those dreams and the dedication of so many, and a celebration of the journey that’s always unfolding. May BRWS be blessed with many more graduates! — Andrea Vander Pluym, Founding Board President & Former Class Teacher