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Our mission is to nurture the intellect, stimulate the will, and
embrace the creative potential of youth in a balanced environment that
engenders reverence, respect, and responsibility for nature and the
needs of others.
Welcome to Watershed High School, Minnesota’s only Waldorf methods-
based public charter school.
Watershed High School serves students in grades nine through twelve.
Previously a private school with a successful six-year history,
Watershed continues with the same four-year curriculum and standards.
Today our student body is comprised of adolescents from a variety of
backgrounds who have made a single discovery: Watershed High School is
an excellent environment in which to grow and learn.
Our mission is realized through encouraging discussion and reflective
inquiry in the classroom. Curriculum is designed to help students find
an active role in the world through community involvement, and to
stimulate the active will through form, discipline, and hands-on
Watershed High School
2344 Nicollet Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
12 July 2011 1
A WATERSHED EDUCATION
Ethics, Acceptance, Critical Thinking
―Watershed is unlike any other school I‘ve attended. Other schools
teach absolutes. Here, we have the privilege of teachers who open
students up to the question of ‗why?‘ and the exploration of
-Maggie, WHS student
Our goal is to inspire creative thinking, not to force feed facts. We
acknowledge the wholeness of each individual, and seek to create a
community in which students can contribute to and benefit from the
greater social whole. Students are given opportunities to mingle among
grade levels and are allowed to fulfill a most basic need of
adolescence--to have ownership over what they are doing.
(This leads to the Snippets newsletter blog and other blogs)
Welcome back! This will be a space to catch up with old friends.
(Leads to the SiPS/Centerpoint system)
Start with a visit. Decide for yourself.
―Watershed has an aura of coolness.‖
-Noah, WHS student
Watershed High School welcomes students who are motivated to learn, to
grow, to create, and to contribute. If you are interested in our
school, please contact our admissions coordinator to arrange a visit.
Watershed High School admits students of any race, color, national and
ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities
generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It
does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic
origin in administration of its education policies, admissions
policies, and athletic and other school-administered programs.
Download Watershed Admissions Forms
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Watershed Student Handbook (PDF, updated June 2006)
Watershed Parent Handbook (Word document, updated Sept 2006)
For further information about Watershed High School, please fill out
the form provided or contact:
Watershed High School
2344 Nicollet Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
2344 Nicollet Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
A map and directions to Watershed are coming soon. Until then, please contact the school for
The Watershed Experience: An Opportunity to Succeed
―When my daughter attended a big public high school, she was nobody.
At Watershed, she‘s a star.‖
-Anne, WHS parent and volunteer
Watershed is the result of an initiative begun in 1996 when The Youth
Initiative School opened its doors with 12 students committed to
Waldorf education. During its second year, the school found solidity
in its new name--Watershed High School. In 2000, Watershed became a
tuition-free public charter school.
Students at Watershed High School are genuinely supportive of one
another, creating an atmosphere in which the gifts of each individual
can emerge and be valued. In our deliberately small community, every
student is an honored student.
Our dress code is minimal. No hate-speech, pejorative slogans, or
otherwise offensive content on apparel; otherwise, dress how you like.
There are no “right” brands, no “wrong” style. Come as you are. We
want to get to know you.
Today, the student body has grown to more than 100 students. While we
look forward to further growth, we remain committed to small class
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sizes in order to most effectively provide students with our unique
Waldorf methods-based approach to education.
Graduates of Watershed High School have been accepted at the following
institutions of higher learning: Augsburg College, Bard College,
Bennington, Carleton College, College of Visual Arts in St. Paul,
Concordia University in Wisconsin, The Eastman School of Music,
Hampshire College, The Julliard School, Macalester College, McGill
University in Montreal, Minneapolis Community & Technical College,
North Carolina School of the Arts, Oberlin College, Randolf Macon
Women’s College, Rice University, Roger Williams University, The
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Minnesota,
University of North Dakota, University of St. Thomas, University of
Washington, University of Wisconsin, Wellesley College, and Wesleyan
Waldorf Theory: The “best-kept secret in education”
―Every day is a possibility—for me and my students. It‘s amazing to
watch their progress from ninth grade to graduation. You can‘t believe
–Deb Pelinski, performing arts instructor
The Waldorf educational model originated with Rudolf Steiner, an
Austrian philosopher and scientist. Insisting upon a highly ambitious
curriculum infused with arts, crafts, and a sense of ethics, Steiner
established the first Waldorf school in 1919 for the children of
employees at the Waldorf Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart,
Individuality is at the very roots of the history of Waldorf schools.
Just 20 years after Rudolf Steiner established the Stuttgart school in
1919, the Nazis closed it and six other Waldorf Schools. According to
the state-run media, the government preferred schools to educate
students for the state, not to think for themselves.
Steiner's unique approach to education has been called the “best-kept
secret in education,” and today Waldorf schools number close to 600 in
30 countries worldwide. Watershed High School is one of more than 140
Waldorf schools in North America, one of four in the Twin Cities
Watershed High School’s curriculum is designed to provide a well-
balanced environment for learning in which our students, while fully
prepared to meet their future educational goals, are also inspired to
enjoy learning throughout their lives.
―My role is to reinforce the lessons in the classroom: respect for
others, responsibility for personal actions, and reverence for
education. I challenge our students to internalize lessons of
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responsibility and accountability. Learning is a life-long process
gained through both success and failure.‖
-Jamie Hepner, dean of students
The Waldorf curriculum is an organic whole, meeting the developmental
phases of the student with techniques and subjects that bring balance,
wholeness, self-knowledge, and confidence. The goal is to nurture the
free human being, eager to take his or her place in the world and
ready to work to make it better.
Watershed High School meets or exceeds Minnesota graduation standards
in all subject areas. Requirements are:
Language Arts 4 years
Science 4 years
Social Studies 4 years
Math 3 years
Arts 4 years
World Language 3 years
Phys Ed/Health 1 course
Community Service 2 projects per year
Senior Project year
Download course descriptions for 2006-07 (Microsoft Word Document,
updated Sep 25, 2006)
Faculty & Staff
More Than Teachers
―The teachers are almost like friends. They all say ‗hi‘ and know your
name, even if you haven‘t been in one of their classes. I didn‘t
realize how much I don‘t like big schools until I came here.‖
-Isaac, Watershed student
Watershed High School is administered by faculty, staff, and a board
working from a model of consensus. Faculty and board members work
together to chart the course of Watershed based on the model of human
development presented by Rudolf Steiner and the needs of the school’s
(Note to web designers: each faculty bio will be accompanied by a
photo. We don’t have these photos for you quite yet, so in the
meantime please just substitute a generic image in the design.)
Bob Anderson, math teacher, 11th grade sponsor, and athletic
coordinator, has bachelor’s degrees in math and English from Moorhead
State University and Bemidji State University, respectively.
Christina Beck, main lesson teacher and enrollment coordinator, has a
BA in creative writing from Hamilton College, and an MFA in creative
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writing from Vermont College. She is also a graduate of Waldorf high
school teacher training.
Scott Cole, director of development, has an associate degree in
aviation systems from the United States Air Force, and work toward a
BA in Accounting from Carlson School of Management, University of
Minnesota, and a master’s in international finance from Edinborough
University's distance learning program.
Anne Crampton, main lesson teacher, has a BA in English and history
from Macalester College, St. Paul; an MA in English from the
University of Wisconsin-Madison; a master's in education from the
University of Minnesota; and has done graduate work at Lesley in
Theresa Filner-Hutchison, 12th grade sponsor, main lesson teacher, and
instructor in fine arts, earned a BA in graphic design from the
University of Minnesota and received her teacher’s certification at
Western Michigan University.
Kjerstin Gurda, main lesson teacher and 10th grade sponsor, has a
degree in cultural anthropology from Macalester College, St. Paul.
Ingunn Henrikksen, main lesson teacher, 11th grade sponsor, and faculty
co-chair, has a BA in biology from Smith College, MA; an MPA in public
administration from Syracuse University; and an MS in environmental
science from State University of New York, College of Environmental
Science and Forestry.
Jamie Hepner, dean of students, is a graduate of The School of the Art
Institute of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.
David Horstmann, main lesson teacher, 12th grade sponsor, and
counselor, has a BA from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, with majors
in theatre arts, speech, and English, and an MS from the University of
Wisconsin, Stout, in marriage and family therapy.
Kent King, main lesson teacher and math instructor, has a bachelor’s
of science degree in electrical & computer engineering from the
University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BS in physics education from St.
Cloud State University. He also has an MBA in information management
from the University of St. Thomas.
Jane Landes, business manager, has a BS in mechanical engineering and
business administration from the University of Minnesota.
Pamela Lien, registrar and 504 coordinator, has a BA in English and
art from Augsburg College.
Mark McGarraugh, main lesson teacher, 10th grade sponsor, and math
instructor has a BA in social studies from Yale University and an MPH
from the University of Minnesota in biostatistics and epidemiology. He
is currently completing a master’s in education at Hamline University.
Deb Pelinski, main lesson teacher and performing arts instructor, has
a bachelor of arts in speech and dramatic arts from the University of
Iowa. She completed a Master of Fine Arts in theater with an emphasis
in acting at Illinois State University. Her teaching licensure in
English and theater comes from the University of Northern Iowa where
she minored in English as well.
Mark Powell, physical education teacher, has a BA in holistic health
from the University of Minnesota. He is trained in Spatial Dynamics,
the Waldorf approach to physical education; has 25 years of study and
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teaching in martial arts; and is the author of a book on stress
reduction for teenagers.
Kristin Roubinek, German language instructor, has a master’s of art
from the Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms-Universität Bonn in English
language and literature. She also completed minors in German language
and literature and Italian language and literature.
Maggie Rozycki, traditional arts teacher, has degrees in studio art
and sociology from the University of Minnesota, and a master’s in art
Jen Stephens, Spanish language instructor, graduated from Gustavus
Adolphus College with a double major in Spanish and biology.
Student Art Gallery
I look into the world
wherein there shines the sun,
wherein there gleam the stars,
wherein there lie the stones.
The plants live and grow,
the animals feel and live,
and I to spirit give a dwelling in
I look into the soul
that living, dwells in me.
The Creating Spirit lives and weaves
in light of sun and soul.
In heights of world without,
in depths of soul within,
to thee, Creating Spirit,
I, seeking, turn myself;
that strength and grace and skill
for learning and for work
in me may live and grow.
--Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf Education
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