Skip to main content

The Light of Aurora Shining for 30 Years!

Remembering our Past

As we celebrate AWS’s 30th anniversary, we recognize the amazing effort of our school’s founders and the dedication of the teachers, trustees, and parents who have kept the light of Aurora shining over the last three decades! On behalf of the many students whose lives have been touched, Thank You!

Throwback Photos

Team work
Team work

Team work

Dress Up Fun!
Dress Up Fun!

Dress Up Fun!

Gathering Apples
Gathering Apples

Gathering Apples

Brave knights with swords they forged themselves
Brave knights with swords they forged themselves

Brave knights with swords they forged themselves

fun with chickens
fun with chickens

fun with chickens

Handworks class
Handworks class

Handworks class

Basket weaving at summer camp
Basket weaving at summer camp

Basket weaving at summer camp

Summer camp
Summer camp

Summer camp

class play
class play

class play

Summer camp cooks
Summer camp cooks

Summer camp cooks

class play
class play

class play

Dress Up Fun!
Dress Up Fun!

Dress Up Fun!

Forest fort
Forest fort

Forest fort

1st grade knitting
1st grade knitting

1st grade knitting

Hungry Hen
Hungry Hen

Hungry Hen

Whole body education
Whole body education

Whole body education

Rose Ceremony
Rose Ceremony

Rose Ceremony

A Wet Walk
A Wet Walk

A Wet Walk

Soccer Team & Coaches
Soccer Team & Coaches

Soccer Team & Coaches

Soccer Team & Coaches
Soccer Team & Coaches

Soccer Team & Coaches

Knitting a scarf
Knitting a scarf

Knitting a scarf

summer puppet show
summer puppet show

summer puppet show

Rose Ceremony
Rose Ceremony

Rose Ceremony

Rose Ceremony
Rose Ceremony

Rose Ceremony

Class play
Class play

Class play

Wet boots!
Wet boots!

Wet boots!

Creek discoveries
Creek discoveries

Creek discoveries

Circle time
Circle time

Circle time

Creek walk
Creek walk

Creek walk

Painting in Kindergarten
Painting in Kindergarten

Painting in Kindergarten

Learning to knit
Learning to knit

Learning to knit

Visit to the creek
Visit to the creek

Visit to the creek

Friends in the forest
Friends in the forest

Friends in the forest

Friends in the forest
Friends in the forest

Friends in the forest

Video Testimonials

Stories from our Alumni

“During my time as a student at AWS, one of the many things I enjoyed was the celebration of festivals throughout the year. Whether it was singing beautiful songs while wandering through the dark forest with our lanterns on Martinmas, softly walking the awe-inspiring Spiral of Light while holding an apple bearing a lit candle, or creating an intricate weave while dancing around the maypole on May Day...each celebration carried a special energy and nourished our community's togetherness. I deeply appreciate my Waldorf education experience and I am so happy to now have the opportunity to create that space for others as an assistant in the Ash Grove Kindergarten.”

Claire holds a B.S. in Health Promotion, Community Health with an Integrative Health & Wellness Specialization from Daemen College. She works as an Assistant Teacher at AWS in Ash Grove Pre-K / Kindergarten.

“When we don’t have markers of time, we can lose our place a little bit. Something I noticed myself returning to this past year was finding rituals and practicing ways to mark time for myself. Seasonal rituals that come directly from Waldorf education and tradition. This was a part of my education that I took for granted before, but these ways of getting in tune with the cycles and seasons of nature have been one of my biggest tools this year to deal with the effects of needing to adapt my life and build resilience during wild times. They have allowed me to slow down and honor the seasons.” AWS alumna Kayla Czysz shares how she coped during COVID shut-down.

Kayla holds a Bachelor's in Community Mental Health from SUNY Buffalo, and a Master’s in Clinical Social Work from Portland State University. She works at a private practice in Buffalo specializing in holistic and integrative psychotherapy.

"Waldorf education emphasized experiential learning and creativity. My education at AWS was an act of creation and we expressed what we learned, our perception of the world and how it works, in our main lesson books. At AWS creativity was valued.

I also remember stories being a really big part of the curriculum and the sense of community. When I think back to the classroom, I think of it as a home, in terms of how I felt and the relationships I made there. I didn't have that same experience in high school."

AWS alum Harry Warren received BS degrees in Sociology, History, and Italian from Cornell University. Currently, Harry works for Epic, a healthcare software company based out of WI as an Application Executive where he directs multiple teams focused on the implementation of healthcare software.

"Woods walks made me feel at home in nature, and full of awe. I am positive that my devotion to understanding and protecting natural spaces goes back to those AWS walks, especially wading in Cazenovia Creek and exploring the hidden meadow on the way!

At some point I realized how lucky I was to walk through those woods every day, and that not every school was like ours. That’s a reflection from a place of privilege for sure. But it’s part of my commitment to increasing everyone’s access to open space.

Also, growing, preparing and sharing food from the garden at AWS is definitely where first ideas started about food bringing people together."

AWS alumna Susan Kornacki, MPH (Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins), has worked with Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper & other environmental organizations in NYS. Currently she is a Food Security Programs Manager.

Highlights from 2021-22

As we gather together in community our lives are enriched, ideas are shared, and imaginations of what is possible begin to form.

The Indigenous Spirit Dancers visited AWS for a presentation about Haudenosaunee culture. Students were able to participate in social dances and learn about the significance of these dances to the Haudenosaunee. They also had the opportunity to ask the group questions about their regalia, culture, and aspects of everyday life.

We thank the Indigenous Spirit Dancers for a wonderful and enriching experience, as well as the DEI Committee who facilitated this event, and the donors to the DEI fund for making this event possible.

Our students enjoyed the fall festival's celebration of courage and strength first with a eurythmy performance depicting Indra's battle with Vrtra the dragon, performed by Maria Ebersole and Vijayta Singuluri, a visiting eurythmy student teacher. Next, all students participated in an outdoor performance of the story of St. Michael conquering the dragon. This was followed by an all-school tug o’ war match. Such an exciting and energetic event!

First and Second Graders practice following rhythm and melody through a fun singing game as they pass a polished stone from hand to hand in time with the music. Ms. McKenney often incorporates movement into her music classes engaging her students in both kinesthetic and musical learning.

AWS community members gathered on August 30th, 2021 to kickoff our 30th Anniversary celebration. Everyone enjoyed seeing one another again and had fun playing ultimate frisbee, painting postcards, reminiscing over old AWS photos, singing together and reconnecting!

Envisioning the Future Together

We can envision a brighter future by coming together to consciously create community! At the October Awakening Connections workshops, AWS parents, teachers, board members, and community members took part in reflective and artistic exercises. Guest presenter, Kathleen Bowen, created a safe space for authentic exchanges where the power of deep listening allowed for deeper connections among community members. Differences in perspectives and experiences were acknowledged and appreciated while recognizing shared values as a common thread weaved through our community.

Peaceful activism can take many forms from small actions to large demonstrations. People of all ages can participate and follow their own personal interests and passions while doing so!

On September 18th, AWS held a Meet the Author/Illustrator event in the new outdoor classroom, where Tanya Zabinski inspired parents and students with biographical stories of peaceful activists from all around the world with a book talk on her book: Peace, Love, Action! Then she led participants in a bookbinding craft, and discussed everyday actions that anyone can do to promote peace in our world.

Stories help us recognize our interconnectedness with one another and our world. As AWS was approaching its 30th year of educating students to change the world, a group of current and alumni parents felt moved to honor the incredible power that stories have brought to their children’s education by creating a Little Free Library, where stories can be shared with the wider community.

A Grand Opening was held on August 3rd, 2021 which included an outdoor Story & Craft Time enjoyed by parents and children from the surrounding community.

What's Upcoming

Check out our upcoming events to join us for community enrichment!