Posted by: Alex Borders | November 11, 2010

Catching up with Alumni


Thursday 11th November

Public high schools closed last election day and several Alumni took the opportunity to pay their old school a visit. We were very happy they did!  Here’s an interview with two of our recent graduates Ben Morrone and Clifford Bastian who left WSP in June 2010.  The photograph below shows from left to right, Brenda Ridley, Director of Administration, Mandy Rogers-Petro, Music Teacher, Clifford Bastian and Ben Morrone.

Welcome back Ben and Clifford.  It is great to see you.  I guess your high schools are closed for the election today. Since you are both here visiting why don’t you tell me about your first few months of high school?  How’s it going?

Ben: It’s going really well.  I’m one of about 900 kids at Springfield High School and I really like it there.

Clifford: I’m happy at Central High School.  There are 2400 kids in my school and about 600 in my class.  It’s a lot of students and I like the diversity of the school.  I have more opportunities to make more friends from different neighborhoods, the city, the north-east and down town South Philly.

That’s great to hear.  Do you have any favorite subjects yet?

Clifford: I’m in Central’s MG (Mentally Gifted) program for English and World History so they are probably my favorite.  I’m also learning Italian and like that too.

Ben: World History.  My teacher is great!

Has anything come up that you didn’t feel prepared for?

Ben: Not really.  I’m learning biology in a lab at Springfield so that is a bit different but I’m not finding anything difficult; it’s just new.

Clifford: Yeah, we have more tests and more homework but I feel prepared.

So what are some of the differences between high school and The Waldorf School of Philadelphia (WSP)?

Clifford: More homework.

Ben: Homework on a nightly basis.  Also, there are more computer written assignments which is a change from WSP.

It appears that you are both happy with your respective choice of schools.

Clifford: Yes.  Central was my first choice and I’m glad I’m there.

Ben: I was accepted into both Central and Springfield and decided on Springfield.

What has happened to all your handwork and art skills?  Do you knit these days?

Ben: Ha!  I sometimes butterfly stitch when I’m in class.

Clifford: There are no art electives in freshman year but my sister who is a senior takes four art classes a week at Central.

Lizzie is a graduate of our school and I hear that she is thriving at Central.

Clifford: Yes.  She is in the National Honor Society and now wants to apply to Pratt or Parsons after graduating from Central.  She also recently became a scholarship winner for the Teen Vogue/CFDA Scholarship.

Congratulations, Lizzie!  So, do you have any advice for the 8th grade students who are about to go to high school?

Ben: Don’t get too stressed out because high school isn’t that hard.  There is more work and a lot more people, but it’s nothing to worry about.

Clifford: If you’re the smartest kid in your class now you can’t expect to be the smartest kid in high school.  You have to study for it and earn it.  The main difference is all the homework and tests.

Do you have any advice for parents of 8th grade students who are currently trying to help their son or daughter navigate the high schools?

Ben: I’d tell them not to worry.  That there are hundreds of kids in the same situation and so it’s really easy for their kid to make new friends.

Clifford: Central High School likes Waldorf kids.

Thanks guys!  See you at the Holiday Fair maybe?

Clifford and Ben      You bet!

More Alum News ………..

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Bastian, an alumna of the WSP Class of 2007, has been named one of five finalists in a nationwide design competition sponsored by Teen Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Lizzie is the winner of a $5,000 college scholarship. The competition was open to upcoming high school seniors who are planning to pursue college studies in fashion design. Students had to submit an essay, school transcript, letters of recommendation and a “mood board” that demonstrated their design abilities. The competition was judged by Manhattan-based designer Jason Wu and internationally-known designer, Anna Sui who interviewed the finalists via Skype. The CFDA executive who called Lizzie to announce her selection as a finalist told her that they knew right away she would be a winner when they saw her mood board. According to Lizzie’s mom, Nancy, her daughter’s essay credited her experience at WSP, and Nicole Nicola and the handwork program in particular as playing big roles in her life. Lizzie is currently a senior at Central High School in Philadelphia, and is tin he process of applying to colleges, with Parsons School of Design as her first choice. Kudos and all the best to you, Lizzie. We’ll expect you to take the fashion world by storm in the years to come!

This article first featured in The Weekly.  The Waldorf School of Philadelphia weekly newsletter.  To read the current edition please visit the homepage of the school website and click on The Weekly.

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