History and Facts

Overview of Waldorf Education

The first Waldorf school was founded in Stuttgart-Uhlandshöhe (south-central Germany) by Emil Molt in September 1919 for children of workers at the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Company. Rudolf Steiner, an acquaintance of Molt, was invited to become the pedagogical director of the school. Steiner’s insights and methods, which he shared with founding teachers, became known as Waldorf education. In the 100 years since its inception, the Waldorf educational movement has spread across the globe, growing to approximately 1,100 schools and more than 2,000 kindergartens.



Today, most Waldorf schools are independent—run by dedicated faculty/staff and supported by an active parent community.

Waldorf education has been and continues to be an education of its time, ever evolving to bring us closer to the world that we want for our youth; advancing values of inclusion and equity, service and leadership, community and relationships, and quality and integrity in every program.

Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the very nerve of education.

-Rudolf Steiner

History of Seattle Waldorf School

  • R

    1980: Waldorf School Association of Seattle Is Formed

    Inspired by the ideals of Waldorf education, three individuals active in the Seattle anthroposophy community (Ron Moss, Suzanne Szekely, and DoloresRose Dauenhauer) formed the original Board. Classes met in a series of temporary locations until the current Meadowbrook campus was purchased.

  • R

    1984: Kinderhaus Merged with Seattle Waldorf School

    Kinderhaus found a permanent home at its current location near Woodland Park—in a house remodeled and leased to SWS by Audie and Hunter Black, parents and now grandparents at the school. SWS subsequently purchased this property in 1994.

  • R

    1988: Meadowbrook Campus opens

    Purchased from the Full Gospel Native Missionary with support from the Rudolf Steiner Foundation, the Meadowbrook campus was transformed by parents, faculty, staff, and Board members into beautiful spaces for students.

  • R

    1993: Briar Rose house purchased

    Initially owned by SWS parents and then leased to SWS for use as a kindergarten, the Briar Rose site was purchased in 1993 by the school.

  • R

    2000: New wing added to grade school

    Three spacious classrooms were added for lower grades to accommodate growing enrollment. Expansion was possible due to a capital campaign led by Paul Lippert and Andy Barker, with help from numerous volunteers.

  • R

    2006-2012: Garden House purchased and remodeled

    The home at the northwest corner of the grade school offers new spaces for handwork and practical arts programs and a preschool classroom on the lower floor. The upstairs offers a large kitchen and work area for faculty; a much-needed meeting space for staff, parents, and volunteers; and offices for the administrative team. This space was remodeled in 2012.

    Garden House Remodel

  • R

    2008: Hazel Wolf High School joins SWS

    The SWS Board of Trustees was approached by independent local Waldorf school Hazel Wolf High School, which could no longer sustain its endeavor alone.  Now, Seattle Waldorf School could fulfill the vision of its founders and the goal laid out in the strategic plan, to provide the complete Waldorf curriculum to children from preschool through high school. The high school was located on the campus of Sacred Heart Church near the Seattle Center.

  • R

    2012-2019: Farm House purchased and remodeled

    The upstairs of this home, originally purchased in 2012 with help from an anonymous gift, was transformed into the “Nest,” a space for Parent-and-Tot classes, a preschool class, and early childhood extended care. Funded by generous donors, in the summer of 2018, the downstairs was renovated to update an existing early childhood classroom and add an international language classroom and the school’s first dedicated library space.

  • R

    2014: High School moved to Magnuson Park complex

    SWS was fortunate to create a partnership with the City of Seattle and Magnuson Park to create one of the only high schools located in an amazing 350-acre urban park. Combined with park amenities that include ball fields, gym access, shoreline, and community gardens, the school’s light-filled classrooms, science labs, art loft, practical arts studio, commons with a kitchen, and spacious hall offer a broad and rich learning environment.

  • R

    2016-2018: Three Cedars Waldorf School Merges and Closes

    In January of 2016, Seattle Waldorf School merged with Three Cedars Waldorf School (early childhood through grade 8) in Bellevue, WA.  In June 2017 the SWS Board of Trustees made the difficult decision to close the Three Cedars campus at the end of the 2017–2018 school year due to significant, ongoing financial losses and low enrollment.
  • R

    2019-2020: SWS Opened Library and Commemorated 100 Years of Waldorf Education

    Made possible by donations from Inspire 2018, Seattle Waldorf School opened a grade school library on its Meadowbrook campus. In honor of the 100th Anniversary of Waldorf Education, SWS unveiled a commemorative mural entitled “Waltz of Time,” created for Seattle Waldorf School by artist John W. Jacobs.

  • R

    2020-2021: Operating through the Covid-19 Pandemic

    Despite many challenges, incuding moving to fully online classes and transitioning back to campus with masks and working to keep our school healthy, SWS remained strong throughout the pandemic and worked to adapt to best serve our students and stay connected as a community.

  • R

    2024: Seattle Waldorf High School Closes

    Despite an outpouring of support from our community and inspiring efforts by high school faculty, staff, and families, the it was with heavy hearts that the SWS Board of Trustees made the decision to close the High School.

Seattle Waldorf School—Facts at a Glance

Student to Faculty Ratio



Financial Aid Recipients

Miles Walked by Kindergarteners

Visual, Fine, & Practical Arts

Trips During Grade School Years


2728 NE 100th Street
Seattle, WA 98125
Phone icon206.524.5320
Fax icon 206.523.3920


4919 Woodlawn Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103


7777 62nd Avenue NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone icon206.522.2644

MISSION  Daily we strive to inspire learning, courage, and joy in the developing human being.

Phone icon206.524.5320 | CONTACT | EMPLOYMENT

© 2020 Seattle Waldorf School.
All rights reserved.
EIN: 91-1095411

Member NWAIS | Member AWSNA | Member WECAN