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News From the High School - June 12, 2012

Commencement Exercises, 2012

The Class of 2012: (front, l to r) Tyler O'Brien, Cyrus Fenderson

(2nd row) Haydee Jacobs, Ellen Wise , Evelyn Pennoyer, Connor Beckett, Liza Simmons, Sierra Jeffers

(3rd row) Wyatt Dowling, Wyatt McCurdy, Carson Davis

Reflections on Merriconeag Waldorf School’s Commencement Ceremony:

     As a former high school teacher, I have attended quite a few high school graduations at several different high schools. However, I have never experienced a graduation quite like Merriconeag’s on Saturday. If I had only two words to describe the commencement ceremony, I would pick intimate and personal.

     Each student had selected a piece of music to be played while he or she walked to the stage, and the music was played by the student’s parents or friends. The faculty members who introduced each student were chosen by the student, and each faculty member captured in words individual characteristics of the graduating senior. All of the seniors were speakers, and they each spoke poignantly, openly and eloquently about some aspect of their Waldorf high school experience. These speeches created a mosaic of the students’ years at our high school. The commencement speaker, Joshua Bodwell, gave a speech that truly made me want to capture each word.

     It would be easy to say that a graduation like Merriconeag’s is possible because our high school is small. Although there is truth to that reason, the unique qualities of our high school that were depicted during the commencement ceremony left me with the impression that all the seniors were known well by their peers and teachers and had been touched in a deep and powerful way by their Waldorf high school education.

Nancy Goldberg


Merriconeag's Commencement Key Note Speaker, Joshua Bodwell

     Joshua Bodwell is the Executive Director of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. He was recently included in the Portland Press Herald's 40 under 40 list of emerging Maine leaders and was also invited to join the Maine Arts Commission.  Saturday was his 37th birthday!

Key Note Address: 37 Remarks for June 09, 2012

Hello. It is truly such a privilege to be here with all of you.

     Since you’re all wondering, I’ll just come out and tell you: this is my grandfather’s kilt. Other than church, I remember my grandfather always donned this kilt for two special occasions: weddings and funerals. Because of that, this kilt makes me think of crying—sometimes it was tears of joy and sometimes it was tears of sadness. So what a perfect outfit, I thought, for a day like this, loaded as it is with complex emotions and no shortage of tears.

     I want to begin my remarks by welcoming you all to this, my surprise birthday party. You probably don’t know, but on this day in 1975, I was born in Portland. *A gift table will be set up in back, so please leave presents—or simply cash and checks—right back there.

     In many ways, no one is more surprised than me to find myself up here speaking to you wonderful people. This feeling is in part because I am not only so impressed by you students, but also somehow jealous of you and intimidated by you. It is more surprising that I am here today, however, because I am not a traditional guest speaker for traditional students. I do not have a college degree and I do not have a list of anecdotes about how to be successful in business.

     I guess it’s a very good thing then that Merriconeag and its students are anything but traditional.

     I am, quite simply, a man who used to be a boy that loved to read and write, and has found a way to make those things the bedrock of my life. I want to challenge each of you graduating students here today to construct a similar life, to love what you do, to go to the work you love and feel your heart rising to it.

     While I seriously doubt there is anything I can say to any you that you can’t learn yourself by simply mastering the art of being still and observant, in honor of my thirty-seventh birthday, I would like to offer you thirty-seven bits of pithy advice, one impassioned plea for each year of my life. Read more.


Other Highlights from the Last Week of School

Montreal: City of Many Charms for Seniors
      After the frenetic end-of-year-twelfth-grade events—internships, senior projects, Man of La Mancha rehearsals/performances—the seniors clearly needed to get away, relax and enjoy some stress-free time together. Their trip to Montreal provided just the right balance of recreation, sight-seeing, and preparation for graduation. 
      One of the most delightful surprises of the trip was the youth hostel Le Gîte du Plateau Mont-Royal, ideally situated between two of Montreal's legendary streets—Rue de St. Denis and St. Laurent—and within walking distance of both the Old Port and the Parc du Mont-Royal. The hostel also had a lovely rooftop terrace, where the senior class spent many pleasant hours enjoying the surprisingly good weather and, of course, each other's company. 
      Of the trip's many highlights the, the students raved about the spectacular Cirque du Soleil show, the bike trek up to the top of Mont-Royal and subsequent "French" picnic, the walk around the Old Port and shopping district, the fabulous crepes at the Chez Suzette, the final evening's special meal at a Moroccan restaurant, and the distinctively international atmosphere of the city. 
      At the trip's end, all of the seniors expressed gratitude to Regine Whittlesey for orchestrating and chaperoning such a memorable experience and well-deserved "out-breath" before the final events of their Merriconeag careers.
David Sloan


First Future Alumni Breakfast (FAB) is a Big Success:
      Last Thursday, June 7, Merriconeag started yet another tradition with the inaugural FAB: Future Alumni Breakfast. The senior class and their advisors joined Alumni Committee hosts for a delicious breakfast in the gallery of the Community Hall, to celebrate their new status as alumni, and discuss how best to help these wonderful young men and women stay connected to the life of our school and to other Merriconeag alumni in the years ahead.

     It was a joy to hear their enthusiasm for Waldorf education and their desire to give back to the school, and we hope they will visit us often. The depth of caring they have for each other, and the self-confidence and wisdom they carry into the greater world, will surely serve them well. We look forward to hearing how this Waldorf journey has influenced their life paths, and we encourage them to share these stories with us, so that we may learn from them.
Submitted by Lynne Espy, Development Coordinator and Alumni Committee member


News From the High School - June 6, 2012

Phoebe Clewley and David Sloan Win Maine Writers and Publishers

2012 Literary Awards for Poetry

     On Thursday evening, while the Community Hall was filled with the inspiring words and music of “Man of La Mancha” another event celebrating writing in Maine was taking place at the USM library in Portland. The Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance was hosting the 2012 Maine Literary Awards, honoring writers and publishers in over a dozen categories, from Fiction to Children’s books, from Non-Fiction to Poetry.

     This year, more than one hundred books were entered into the Award’s various categories. More than fifty manuscripts were submitted into the award’s “Short Works” competition in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Nearly 80 Maine students submitted work in the same categories in the award’s “Youth Competition.”

     The finalists hail from every corner of the state, including Bangor, Belfast, Bethel, Brunswick, Camden, Deer Isle, Georgetown, Norridgewock, Portland, Stockton Springs, Unity, and York. Youth finalists come from communities such as Farmington, New Gloucester, Scarborough, and West Bath.

     Last year, Jeremy Colson, class of 2011, was a finalist and won in the category of “Youth Poetry.” This year, Phoebe Clewley, Class of 2013, was a finalist in the same category. David Sloan, who submitted his students’ work to this competition, was also a finalist for his collection of poetry this year, in the “Short Works, Poetry” category.

     Merriconeag’s “Impossible Dream” was being sung at two locations that night, as the poetry winners were announced and both Phoebe Clewley and David Sloan won their respective rewards! Joshua Bodwell*, executive director of the MWPA, mentioned Merriconeag Waldorf School several times that night. Phoebe graciously thanked the Alliance for the reward, her teacher, Mr. Sloan for submitting her poetry and Merriconeag Waldorf School for recognizing and nurturing the importance of poetry and all writing throughout the school’s curriculum. I read the statement below on behalf of Mr. Sloan…

     "If my wife is reading these words, then the unlikely has happened, and it appears that at least a few people besides my 87-year-old mother actually appreciate my poetic efforts. I actually feel doubly blessed this evening, because I am much more of a teacher than a poet, and it is a great honor to have one of my Merriconeag students- this year Phoebe Clewley, selected for the second straight year as a finalist in the Youth Poetry Category. In the six years since moving to Maine, I have discovered what I suppose most of you already know-that if Maine's natural wonders inspire writers to write, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance has helped to create a remarkably rich community of those same writers. I am grateful to Josh Bodwell for his leadership in that regard, and grateful to live in a state where the welcome sign as you cross the Piscataqua Bridge could just as well read, "The Way the Writing Life Should Be."

     To view the winners in other categories and to learn more, please click here.

*Please note: Joshua Bodwell will be the Commencement speaker at the Merriconeag Commencement Ceremony,

Saturday, June 8 at 2:00.

Christine Sloan

College Counselor's Rave Review: I have just come from the dress rehearsal of Man of LaMancha. What I saw on that stage tonight provides ideal material for presenting Merriconeag students to college admissions folks – commitment, team work, seriousness of purpose, excellence, depth of involvement, understanding of sophisticated material, versatility of talent – from EVERY senior. My perception of a typical high school dress rehearsal is one filled with stumbles and giggles, and groans from the director; other than the tiny audience, there was nothing to suggest that the performance I saw was a dress rehearsal; that is how prepared and engaged the class was – even down to the scene changes. Those of you who attended Thursday or Friday evening no doubt were treated to an even more polished and professional show.

     For those families for whom a Waldorf education has been a lifelong experience, the involvement of every student in annual theater productions may not seem remarkable, but to those from the outside looking in, as most college admission officers are, this is indeed impressive. What a Merriconeag student accomplishes over the course of a day, a week and a year, no matter what his or her level of tested ability, is in fact remarkable and worthy of emphasis in our presentation of them as admission candidates. In these early years of Merriconeag Waldorf High School, the pioneering spirit of both students and teachers is highlighted: the extraordinary energy and involvement of every student and teacher in this emerging school community defines its success. No student can hold back – even the shyest of kids must standup on stage, or express himself in art class or offer her interpretation of Dante in English class or grapple with a math concept regardless of his comfort with the material. There is no place to hide, and thus these students learn in ways that students in other schools do not and, in fact, cannot learn. Merriconeag High School students are incredibly well prepared for the college classroom and recent successes in college acceptances points to the fact that admissions committees are seeing this. And beyond what our students will contribute to the classroom, it is evident to committees that they will also add richly to the life of a college community as they have proven through their participation in the life of Merriconeag Waldorf High School.

     Letters capturing these intangibles, together with the concrete (grades, testing and a profile of Merriconeag) are presented to colleges on behalf of each student, and this year has resulted in 62 acceptances to 56 different colleges. In the fall our seniors will be matriculating at Fort Lewis College in Colorado, Clark University, Mount Ida College and Wheaton College (all in MA), Macalester College (MN), UMaine-Farmington and College of the Atlantic (both in ME), Hartwick College (NY) Green Mountain College and Bennington College (VT). These students will now serve as ambassadors, bearing the standard for Merriconeag Waldorf High School as they move on to their respective college communities. We wish them all well on their next stage! ~Beth Caputi

Congratulations to the Senior Class:

     Congratulations to our Seniors for the gift of Man of La Mancha. For those of us who have been to many class plays over the years, we know that with careful selection of a play and careful casting, these plays deliver some of the most potent educational experiences for our students. Man of La Mancha was a perfect choice for our twelfth grade. It explores (and rebels against) a complex literary work with humor, heartfelt song and storytelling. The casting was perfect as each senior participated in their unique way as they presented this gift to us: that what we believe (even if it is "not-real") has a ripple effect on those around us. When Don Quixote briefly revives his sanity and stands proudly yet weakly with his lady Dulcinea and his friend Sancho, I could hear grown men collectively stifling tears, grandmothers sniffling into handkerchiefs, and others (such as myself) dealing with a proverbial lump in their throats. Thank you, Seniors, for this gift and thank you to all of you who helped make it possible. Jeff O'Brien


News From the High School - May 29, 2012

Model UN Conference at High Mowing: On steamy Saturday, May 26, three intrepid delegates journeyed to Wilton NH to attend High Mowing School's annual Model United Nations conference. Devon Murphy-Anderson represented Turkey while Zach Neveu and Lily Tupper represented Jordan as the mock Security Council debated the path to peace in Syria and the weaponization of nuclear power. Our delegates were joined by about 40 others from High Mowing School, Monadnock Waldorf High School and the ever-strong Alvirne High School of Hudson NH. Debate was lively and at times tense, the food was delicious and all of the delegates had a great time. To learn more about Merriconeag's own Model UN program, please visithttps://sites.google.com/site/mwsmun/ Ben Tupper




2012 National French Contest:
      This Spring, the students in Merriconeag Waldorf High School French classes in grades 10, 11 and 12, participated in the National French Contest of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF).
MWHS is very happy to announce six official National Finalists among all 26 participants!
In grade 10: Lily Tupper ranked 7th in the Maine Chapter and 15th in national rankings.
Carlin Tindall and Joseph Newling both ranked 9th in the Maine chapter and 17th in national rankings.
In Grade 11: Skyler Samuelson and Nowell Stoddard respectively ranked 3rd and 10th in the Maine chapter and 11th and 17th in the national rankings. 
In Grade 12: Cyrus Fenderson ranked number 1 in Maine and 7th in the national rankings!

A few other students distinguished themselves and ranked very well, both in Maine and nationally :
Grade 10 : Sophia Simmons, John Burgess and Andrew Hastings
Grade 11 : Phoebe Clewley, Devon Murphy-Anderson and Emelie Chace-Donahue
Grade 12 : Wyatt McCurdy, Liza Simmons and Haydee Jacobs.
      The French language is alive and well at MWHS! Thanks to M. Fenderson who gave these students an early love for the language.

Outstanding Senior in French Award
The American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) is pleased to announce that Cyrus Fenderson has received a 2012 AATF Outstanding Senior in French Award. This award is made annually to a graduating senior who has demonstrated excellence in the study of French as well as exceptional commitment to the French language and the many cultures where it is spoken. 
      Last year as a junior, Cyrus received the FLAME Lauriana Boucher scholarship. All through his high school years, Cyrus has demonstrated a high level of proficiency in comprehension, speaking, reading and writing in French as well as a strong interest in the French culture, Literature and History. 
      Cyrus has chosen Clark University in Worcester, Mass, over the Université de Paris in Paris, France, but I am sure he will continue to carry his love of the French language and culture in his higher education and his future life.

This MWHS French teacher is proud of her students achievements! Bravo et Merci à tous mes élèves!

Régine Whittlesey



A prize well appreciated!
      Three months ago, the 11th Grade French class of Merriconeag Waldorf High School participated to a FLAME contest (Foreign Language Association of Maine). They created a video from the poem “I will not speak French on the School Grounds” by Jean Arceneaux. Here is the link for the video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP2vAkKXC:\Users\Lucie\Desktop\536263_3980759875296_1169655232_3693640_147813343_n.jpgQmE

     The 11th Grade class won the 1st price in the state of Maine and received a beautiful award document as well as small check. The students decided to share their prize money at the French Crêperie in Portland, the Merry Table. So that’s where we all went last Thursday.

      A French guest joined us at the table because my mom is visiting Maine for 10 days, from Bayonne, France. She was impressed to see the engagement from the students and their ability to speak French . 
      We had a wonderful time all together; we even sang some French songs for the restaurant guests! But most of all, the crêpes were delicious!!! Miam! 
Lucie James, French Intern at MWHS


Three Forums—Three Artists! 
Rivera Sun Cook: The High School ended its Forum series for the school year with a Spring flurry of artistic Forums! On May 8th, our Sage room transformed into a theater thanks to Rivera Sun Cook, who brought to life a young African-American girl who grew up in the 1890’s in a town called Lovely, Kansas. Spunky and endearing, 14-year-old Lala danced, sang, and interacted with other "residents" of Lovely, (all played by Rivera), as her indomitable spirit and visionary heart dramatized the love that unites us all. 
      Rivera Sun Cook, Artistic Director, playwright and performer of the Rising Sun Dance & Theater, captured our imagination in her one-woman show; her acting crossed age, color and gender lines. In seconds, and with barely a turn of the voice or change of posture, Rivera went from to feisty Lala to portraying a frail, wise 90-year-old woman, to an awkward 14-year-old boy strutting his stuff. The whole high school and our eighth grade were riveted by Rivera’s performance. 
      Rivera, who grew up in Maine, came to us from Santa Cruz, California; she is presently touring Maine presenting the “Freedom Stories of Lala,” 3 plays, 1 actress for 30 characters, with her Rising Sun Dance & Theater production. If you can, go applaud this extraordinary young artist on Portland Lucid Stage May 30-June 3. You will fall in love with Lala! Hurry before Lala goes back to California! Régine Whittlesey 


wethliMark Wethli: On Thursday, May 17th the visual artist Mark Wethli came to Merriconeag to discuss his work with the high school. The A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Art at Bowdoin College in nearby Brunswick, Mark showed the students a forty-year span of his exciting and diverse work. 
      A simple drawing of an engine drawn by him at age fifteen was one of the first images he showed, to illustrate to everyone that he was about as “talented” an artist as they are at an early age. What happened next was a combination of hard work, keen observation and a will of mastery. Wethli’s early oil paintings were made in stunning photorealistic style, inspired by master painters of light like Vermeer and Bonnard. They are serene images of empty interior spaces, well composed, inviting the viewer into them. He explained to the students how he came to these compositions and the number of times he would alter the painting. He said “You must be willing to change, “ when it comes to painting. In time, Wethli’s work progressed into more modernist images, large-scale blocky color grids echoing artist like Mondrian and Rothko. He pointed out that despite the visual difference between his early and later work, the common thread is a constant investigation into the interplay of color, light, and geometry. His most current works are zen-like abstractions, two brightly painted lines thoughtfully placed across old barn boards, honoring their beautiful patina of age.
      From public murals in hospitals, schools and museums, to sculptural 3D installations, (he made life-size model airplane out of wood!), Mark Wethli challenges the notion of artists being placed into a category of style or type. He said “our modern time freezes us,” therefore his life’s work continues to address the issue of transitions and thresholds. The students and faculty alike left inspired, ready for change and a little more sharpened in ways at looking at the visual world.Johanna Flath

Peter BehrensPeter Behrens: It's not every day that an internationally known, best-selling novelist visits Merriconeag Waldorf High School, but that's exactly what happened on last Thursday. Canadian-born, now splitting his year between Brooklin, Maine and Marfa, Texas, Peter Behrens achieved widespread fame in 2006 with his acclaimed debut novel The Law of Dreams, about a young boy's adventures during the Irish potato famine of the 1840's. Behrens explained to the students that while the book is fictional, much of his own family's history inspired the story. In his most recent book, The O'Briens, Behrens revealed that the central character is largely based on his grandfather. However, he was quick to add that the book is a novel, not a memoir, despite the "resemblance" characters might have to certain relatives. 
      Behrens read excerpts from both of his books, then fielded numerous questions from spellbound students. One point students found fascinating was that Behrens' original manuscript for The Law of Dreams was rejected by over 20 publishers before it was accepted. Behrens said that in those three years, he never doubted that the book would find a home. He also stressed that choosing a point of view from which to write a story is perhaps the most important decision an author can make. For The Law of Dreams, Behrens chose to write exclusively from a teenage boys' perspective, while The O'Briens is related from multiple points of view. 
      Behrens is a Waldorf parent at the Bay School in Blue Hill, Maine, and is also married to Rose Mary Burwell's stepdaughter Basha. David Sloan


Athletic News

High School Ultimate Frisbee:

    Congratulations to the High School Ultimate Frisbee Team for their intense play at the State Championships in Fryeburg on Saturday, May 26th and for being awarded the league's SPIRIT AWARD for the third time in our short history. Thanks for a wonderful season, MU!


High School Athletic News - May 22, 2012

High School Ultimate Frisbee:

     This Thursday, May 24, 3:30 p.m. at the Cumberland Fairgrounds, Merriconeag Ultimate will play the Cumberland A Team. Come on out and support the team!

     This Saturday, May 26 the State Championships are being held in Fryeburg. Go MU!

You can view the schedule athttp://www.maineultimate.com/team-schedules.


News From the High School - May 15, 2012

A Senior Moment

     The senior class has been incredibly active these past few weeks. In addition to beginning the rehearsals for their big end of year, end of journey musical (Man of La Mancha), our oldest students have recently completed their senior projects and senior internships and had opportunities to share these experiences with the community.

     Over the course of two nights, Thursday, April 26 and Tuesday, May 1, the students presented the fruits of their senior projects. Held in the Community Hall, both nights were very well attended. Six students presented the first night. Armed with pictures, artifacts and passionate anecdotes, the students did a fine job presenting and answering insightful questions form the audience. Participants the first night:
• Wyatt McCurdy who demonstrated the wind turbine that he built (and that really works!)
• Connor Beckett who essentially performed a stand up comedy routine about his experiences creating stained glass for the first time
• Haydee Jacobs who movingly spoke about the work she did in a community acupuncture clinic in Portland administering treatment to veterans suffering from the aftereffects of combat
• Tyler O'Brien presented his research on how the worldwide loss of languages impacts cultures
• Evie Pennoyer read from the novella she was writing
• Sierra Jeffers showed the photographs that she had composed and taken
The second night's presenters were:
• Cyrus Fenderson who had taken up the ancient pursuit for making perfumes 
• Carson Davis shared the ceramic pieces he had learned to make on the wheel
• Ellen Wise enthusiastically demonstrated the complex process she undertook to make beautiful pieces of custom jewelry
• Wyatt Dowling read from one of the short stories he wrote for his project
• Liza Simmons played some of the original songs she recorded in a professional studio in Portland and revealed the process of transforming a song into a studio creation

     But that was not all!

     On Friday, May 4, here at Pineland, the seniors once again made presentations. This time, they were sharing the stories and experiences from the land of work. For three weeks and in some cases, a fourth week extending into the April vacation, seniors did not come to school. Instead, they spent time at hospitals, clinics, schools, restaurants, Green building supply companies, ski mountains, environmental organizations, coffee roasters, shipyards and French bakeries, learning about how these businesses run. In all cases, the students learned a tremendous amount through these real world experiences.

     With these two milestones behind them and their last academic block over, senior attention now turns to the play, the senior trip to Montreal, and ultimately, graduation.

     Congratulations to all of our seniors for their successful projects, internships and presentations and thank you to the community for supporting our oldest students. David Barham & Regine Whittlesey, Senior Class Advisors


High School Coffee House a Hit, Even without Springsteen!
      I thought Bruce Springsteen had come to the Community Hall when I arrived Friday evening, May 4th - but no, it was just the usual enthusiastic crowd attending the annual Coffee House at Merriconeag. I’m always amazed at the talent shared at MWS events. This evening, the audience was treated to a wealth of poetry, music, dance, and drama - in addition to a sumptuous array of desserts and hot drinks.
      Juniors Phoebe Clewley and Jack Pierce hosted the show, drawing our attention to choice vocabulary words - and sharing an amazing example of verbiage (author unknown) that would make Will Strunk and E.B. White squirm in their graves. I counted 25 poet-readers, eight juniors reciting in French, four singer-musicians, three dancers, two dramatic fiction writers/performers, and one cellist...... plus two interior decorators (Martha Carton and Regine Whittlesey) who transformed the space with flowers, linens, artfully arranged platters of food, and a warm Coffee House atmosphere. Thanks again to all the families who provided the treats!
      As an added dimension to the evening's success, the event raised over $700 to help fund Model UN and the Siddhartha School in Ladakh, India. Mariana Tupper

Athletic News

High School Ultimate Frisbee: Congratulations to the team for winning their fifth game of the season on Wednesday, May 9, against Isleboro.

     This Wednesday, May 16, 3:30 p.m. at the Cumberland Fairgrounds, Merriconeag Ultimate will play the Cape Elizabeth A Team. Merriconeag is the only team in the league that is undefeated but Cape is a league powerhouse so this will be challenging game. Come on out and support the team to continue their winning streak!

You can view the schedule at http://www.maineultimate.com/team-schedules.


News From the High School - May 8, 2012

Falmouth Sweeps Top Awards at Merriconeag Poetry Festival
      Falmouth High School students swept first, second and third place at the Merriconeag Poetry Festival held last Sunday at Merriconeag's Freeport campus. Falmouth Senior Conor McGrory earned the top prize with his poem "Running to Naperville," while sophomores Emily Roscoe and Katie Ryan earned second and third place, respectively. 
      Mark Melnicove, veteran Falmouth High School English teacher of the prizewinning poets, expressed both surprise and delight at his students' unprecedented sweep of the top three awards. "As a teacher, I just try to set up a situation that allows the students to succeed, and then I get out of the way."
      Festival judge Adrian Blevins, Director of the Creative Writing Program at Colby College, selected nineteen finalists during the contest portion of the Festival, including the three top award winners. The judging process was blind, so Ms. Blevins read the submissions without any knowledge of the name, gender, age, or school affiliation of the poet.
      During the Festival, the winners, along with other finalists, heard Ms. Blevins read two of her poems about motherhood and quote from John F. Kennedy's remarks about the importance of the humanities.
      After Ms. Blevins' reading, the finalists read their winning poems, then received gift certificates donated by Longfellow Books in Portland and Gulf of Maine in Brunswick. 
      The Festival was the culmination of events that began in January, when students from all of the over-forty public and private schools in this region were invited to submit their poetry. Students from fifteen area schools sent in work. 
      Interestingly, even though a different well-known Maine poet has served as judge each year, two schools have had multiple finalists every year: Scarborough High School, and Merriconeag Waldorf High School. This year Falmouth and Catherine McAuley High Schools also claimed multiple winners. 
      In addition to the three top prizewinners, the other finalists included: from Brunswick High School—Bridget Horan; from Catherine McAuley High School—Julia Cornell and Christina Murray; from Falmouth High School, Conor McGrory, Emily Roscoe, Katie Ryan, and Ryan Tartre; from Gorham High School—Olivia Marshburn-Ersek; from Merriconeag Waldorf High School—Zoe Chace-Donahue, Soren Donisvitch, Wyatt Dowling, Joe Newlin, and Jesse Saffeir; from Morse High School—Lauren Lindsay Crosby; from Scarborough High School—Beatrice Braeuer, Bridget Cange, Lauren Foley, and Jesse Rule; and from South Portland High School—Wamokonzi (Konzo) Alognon. 
      The Festival was made possible, in part, by generous grants from the Maine Humanities Council.

David Sloan


Tyler O'Brien Represents the State of Maine at  National Poetry Out Loud Competition: This coming Monday, May 14, at 9:00 a.m., Merriconeag senior, Tyler O'Brien, will be participating in the first round of recitations at the National Poetry Out Loud Competitions in Washington DC. This first round can be viewed live athttp://www.ustream.tv/channel/poetry-out-loud-finals.

Congratulations, Tyler, we wish you all the best!



Dartmouth Model UN Conference 2012:  The Model UN club started off with a bang this year as a third quarter elective. We began with a short introduction to how the UN works and quickly moved on to preparing for the Dartmouth Model UN conference. 
      Every single student participating in the conference represented a country in many committees including, but not limited to, DISEC (Disarmament and International Security), the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), and SPECPOL (Special Political and Decolonization Committee). On every committee there were about twenty to sixty participants from schools across New England, as well as one school from California.
      This was my second time participating in the DartMUN conference, but I still learned a lot about international relations and more importantly, how to compromise and work together. 
      Cyrus Fenderson should also be commended for receiving an award for his outstanding work in the Israeli-Palestinian summit.Submitted by Tyler O'Brien

Athletic News

High School Ultimate Frisbee: Congratulations to the team for winning their fourth game of the season on Wednesday, May 2, against Forest City (Portland).

     On Sunday, May 6, Merriconeag Ultimate (MU) participated in the Cumberland Invitational. This all day event lasted from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. with MU playing four games. They won their first game against Forest City, 13 - 4. They then played Fryeburg and won, 13 - 9. Their third game was with Camden Hills and MU again won, 13 - 9. The fourth and final game was with Falmouth and MU was defeated, 13 - 5. Congratulations to Merriconeag Ultimate for a wonderful day of games.

     This Wednesday, May 9, 3:30 p.m. at the Cumberland Fairgrounds, Merriconeag Ultimate will play Islesboro. This should be an exciting game as both teams are undefeated. Ulitmate is a great spectator sport, so please join us on the field on Wednesday.

You can view the schedule at http://www.maineultimate.com/team-schedules.



News From the High School - May 1, 2012

The First Annual Merriconeag Waldorf High School Prom:  This year marked the first annual Merriconeag High School prom! Zoe Oswald had been campaigning for a prom since she arrived in 9th grade, this year, with Skyler Samuelson and Devon Murphy-Anderson, her dreaming paid off. The Murphy-Andersons graciously offered the 2 Echo Community house as the location for the dance. This house was transformed into a fun dance hall during the course of Saturday by the hard work of the three 11th grade girls. Ms. Flath arrived in the afternoon to set up a photo booth, and a disco light was secured to the ceiling. Once the preparations to the space had been made, the 11th graders switched to cooking mode. The senior class had been invited to the community house to enjoy a dinner hosted by the 11th graders, Nowell Stoddard, Ben Tindall, Zoe O., Skyler, and Devon. Seniors dined on homemade soup, salad, and tortillas. Each senior also received a personal poster, on which students would write comments over the course of the night. Lucie James and Sarah Buck came to chaperone, just as the senior dining experience was coming to an end and the dinner clean-up music started up. 
      Each student attending the dance had been assigned a “date” by the senior girls. The extent of the responsibility of the date was to dance one dance and to have a photo taken in the photo booth. This made the atmosphere fun and inviting, no one was left to stand as a wallflower during the date dance, and each student came away with at least one photo taken with a fellow high schooler. The night was also filled with fun activities, a raffle for gift certificates and a dance with Nowell Stoddard (won by Andrew Hastings), and the choosing of prom king and queen. Since the much vied-for position of prom king and queen produced a tie vote, a “veggie-off” was necessitated to decide the winner. Nowell and Holly Perkins, and Zoe Chace-Donahue and Joe Newlin squared off and when the veggie of choice was called out, “Leek!” The clear winners were Zoe and Joe. Ben Tindall provided music for the dance and it played through the evening until the last dance at 10:30. Students all pitched in to return the community house to its original décor and many smiling faces returned home. Merriconeag’s first successful prom came to an end. Thank you to all who participated and worked to make this prom a great success and set the tone for more such events in the future. Sarah Buck


The 9th World Waldorf Teacher's Conference at the Goetheanum in Switzerland

     On Easter Sunday, April 8th 2012, I arrived in Dornach, near Basel Switzerland, to attend the 9th World Waldorf Teacher's Conference. I joined some 800 other participants, mostly Walforf Teachers from schools all around the world (48 countries participated to this conference!) and we would gather daily for a week of Anthroposophical Lectures, Scientific Plenum and diverse workshops in the huge, splendid auditorium at the Goetheanum. The Goetheanum is an enormous building, built of freely sculpted concrete, from 1925-1928, on the basis of a model made by Rudolf Steiner. It is an extraordinary place with a very interesting exterior and interior architecture. Working and studying there takes another dimension!
      The main theme of the Conference this year was “ When Future is Now – How the Self finds its Way.”
It was very rich and varied, with lots of music, Eurythmy performances, challenging lectures and active workshop participation. I loved every minute of it!
      I had many opportunities and the great pleasure to meet and share conversations with teachers from Israel, China, Germany, Romania, England, South Africa, New Zealand and more. Every time, I would talk about our our wonderful school in Maine and they were very interested to hear about us. Who knows? This may become a base for future exchanges between teachers and/or students.
      It was a great privilege to be able to attend this conference and I hope I can continue sharing some of the insights I gained there with my colleagues. It certainly enriched me as a Waldorf Teacher and I believe I gained some more profound understanding of this philosophy which is not only a (very sane!) way of approaching education but is also a way of life.

     After the conference in Dornach, I took a train to Geneva where I was expected at the Rudolf Steiner Waldorf School. This is the 1st year that Merriconeag does an exchange program with the Geneva school and it's very promising. Our 10th grader Soren Donisvitch spent three happy months in Geneva in the Fall, then we hosted two of their students, Elodie Trebossen and Ulysse Goudal. At the present time, Carlin Tindall is in Geneva, living with Elodie's family. I saw Carlin and her friends in her new school and she seemed very happy in her new surroundings. I had the whole tour of the school which is similar in size to ours, except that students leave after Grade 10. It was fun exploring one of our Exchange program schools!

     I want to thank my colleagues at the High School for supporting my participation to the conference, especially our intern, my assistant Lucie James who handled gracefully my classes, and Merriconeag School for helping defray some of the costs of this voyage. I hope that many more teachers will have the opportunity to go to Dornach in the future and experience the power of the Goetheanum! Regine Whittlesey


Athletic News

High School Ultimate Frisbee: Congratulations to the team for winning their third game of the season on Wednesday, April 25, against Yarmouth. This Wednesday, May 2, 3:30 p.m. at the Cumberland Fairgrounds, Merriconeag Ultimate will play Forest City. Come on out and cheer them on.

You can view the schedule at http://www.maineultimate.com/team-schedules.


News From the High School - April 24, 2012

Merriconeag Poetry Festival Finalists Selected
      Nineteen finalists from eight area high schools have been selected by Judge Adrian Blevins to be honored at the Fifth Annual Merriconeag Poetry Festival. At the Festival, to be held on Sunday, May 6, 3:00 p.m., at Merriconeag's Desert Road Campus in Freeport, the student poets will read their work and meet Blevins, nationally known poet and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Colby College. The Festival is open to the public.
      Blevins will be a featured speaker and will read some of her own work as well. She will also reveal the first, second and third prize winners, whose poems will be displayed on a poster to be distributed to all high schools in the region. All finalists will receive gift certificates and a festival booklet containing all the selected poems.
      The finalists, in alphabetical order of schools, include: from Brunswick High School—Bridget Horan; from Catherine McAuley High School—Julia Cornell and Christina Murray; from Falmouth High School, Conor McGrory, Emily Roscoe, Katie Ryan, and Ryan Tartre; from Gorham High School—Olivia Marshburn-Ersek; from Merriconeag Waldorf High School—Zoe Chace-Donahue, Soren Donisvitch, Wyatt Dowling, Joe Newlin, and Jesse Saffeir; from Morse High School—Lauren Lindsay Crosby; from Scarborough High School—Beatrice Braeuer, Bridget Cange, Lauren Foley, and Jesse Rule; and from South Portland High School—Wamokonzi (Konzo) Alognon. 
      The Festival, announced in late January, invited all public and private high school students in Cumberland, Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties to submit their work, which could be on any subject and in any poetic form. It was a “blind judging," so entries were only identified by titles. The judge had no idea about the identity or school affiliation of the poet. Of the schools whose students were selected as finalists, Catherine McAuley, Falmouth, Merriconeag and Scarborough High Schools all had multiple winners.
      The Festival was made possible, in part, by generous grants from the Maine Humanities Council, as well as by donations of gift certificates from Longfellow Books in Portland and Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick. 


Athletic News

High School Ultimate Frisbee: Congratulations to the team for winning their second game of the season on Wednesday, April 11, against South Portland A Team. This Wednesday, April 25, 3:30 p.m. at the Cumberland Fairgrounds, Merriconeag Ultimate will play Yarmouth. Come on out and cheer them on. It's loads of fun!

You can veiw the schedule at http://www.maineultimate.com/team-schedules.


News From the High School - April 10, 2012

Merriconeag—Poetry Capital of Maine?
      The latest in a string of recent poetry awards for Merriconeag students became public last week. Five of our students were selected as finalists in this year's Merriconeag Poetry Festival. Freshman Jesse Saffeir, sophomores Joe Newlin and Soren Donisvitch, junior Zoe Chace-Donahue, and senior Wyatt Dowling were recognized for their outstanding pieces by judge Adrian Blevins, director of the creative writing program at Colby College. 
      This is the fifth consecutive year that Merriconeag has had multiple winners; each year a different well-known poet has selected finalists in a blind judging. The students will read their work at the Merriconeag Poetry Festival on Sunday, May 6, at 3 p.m. in the Community Hall. They will also receive gift certificates, a booklet with all the finalists' poems, and find out who the top three prizewinning poets will be. All are welcome, but please RSVP at highschool@merriconeag.org. 
      In another competition, Soren Donisvitch was also chosen last week as the winner of the statewide Terry Plunkett high school poetry contest, sponsored by the University of Maine in Augusta. For his poem "Mad Monk," Soren will receive $100 and the honor of reading his work this Friday evening at the Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival in Augusta. 
      For details about the Festival, go to:www.uma.edu/plunkett2011.html.

     Finally, Maine Poetry Out Loud Champion Tyler O'Brien has been invited to be a featured performer at Blaine House in Augusta on April 25. Maine's Poet Laureate, Wes McNair, will be introducing Tyler.  David Sloan

You Can Still Watch Poetry Out Loud: The Poetry Out Loud State Ffinals are now available "on demand" so you can still watch Tyler recite and win! http://video.mpbn.net/video/2217510097/


More Poetry Success in the High School
      English and drama teacher David Sloan was recently selected as the winner of the 2012 Betsy Sholl Award, sponsored by Words and Images, a journal of the University of Southern Maine. He has been invited to read his winning poem, "Bad Math," and several other pieces, at Mayo Street Arts in Portland on Thursday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m. The public is welcome.

     He also currently has a number of poems appearing in online poetry journals. "My Daughter's Boyfriend" can be found at thebroomereview.com; "Skipping into the Dark" appears in the current issue of innisfreepoetry.org. At the enskyment.org website, you can find several of his poems under his name. He also just won the April, 2012 Goodreads Newsletter Contest for his poem "Unfixable." It will appear in the April Goodreads Newsletter that is sent to over 2.5 million people!

Athletic News

High School Ultimate Frisbee: Congratulations to the team for winning their first game of the season last Wednesday against Freeport. This Wednesday, April 11, 3:30 p.m. at the Cumberland Fairgrounds, Merriconeag Ultimate will play South Portland's A Team. Come on out and cheer them on!

You can veiw the schedule at http://www.maineultimate.com/team-schedules.


News From the High School - April 3, 2012

Waldorfians Dance the Night Away
      Two Saturdays ago, a group of high schoolers, chaperoned by David Sloan and Lucie James, drove close to three hours to Keene, NH, to attend a "Late Winter Ball" hosted by the Monadnock Waldorf High School. Upon arriving in Keene, we went to the high school, where we were given tours of the building by Monadnock students. We were all impressed by the spaciousness of the building, given the relative smallness of the school body. After a few ice-breaker games, we were divided into the groups that would stay with different hosts. We spent the remainder of our afternoons at our hosts' houses, getting ready for the ball. 
      At six o'clock sharp we all arrived at a nearby dance hall and waited in the cold while our pictures were taken. Upon entering the hall, we found ourselves in the midst of a lit-up city, as lights had been strung up around the room in the shapes of famous skylines. Monadnock parents served a delicious dinner as we got to know students from the three other Waldorf high schools: Monadnock, Sarratoga Springs, Lake Champlain. During dinner, we all reveled in the fact that we did not have to explain "eurythmy," "block books" or "Waldorf" once! Following the dinner, we received formal ballroom dance lessons, then were set free to dance the salsa, rhumba and cha cha, as well as to dance to more modern music. The evening ended with the classic "Shake It Up Baby," to which we even got our teachers to dance! The next morning, we said our goodbyes back at the school and started on the long ride back to Freeport, bringing with us wonderful memories and the aspiration to try to host our own semi-formal Waldorf dance sometime. A big "thank you" to Mr. Sloan and Lucie for chaperoning, driving, and dancing! Lily Tupper, 10th Grade

Athletic News

High School Ultimate Frisbee: The first game of the season is tomorrow, April 4, 3:30 p.m., at the Cumberland Fairgrounds. Merriconeag will play Freeport. Come on out and cheer for the team. Games throughout the season are on Wednesdays. You can veiw the schedule athttp://www.maineultimate.com/team-schedules.


High School News - March 27, 2012

Say It Out Loud!

Tyler O'Brien Is Maine's 2012 Poetry Out Loud State Champion

     Senior Tyler O'Brien triumphed over nine other strong finalists on March 23 to become Maine's 2012 State Poetry Out Loud competition. The contest, which involved reciting work from well-known poets, began in February when high schools across the country selected representatives to compete at the regional level within each state. Over 8000 students in Maine alone participated in the competition. Tyler placed in the top five in Maine's southern regional; then, on the strength of his recitation of Allen Ginsberg's "A Supermarket in California,"  William Ernest Henley's "Invictus," and Lisel Mueller's "The End of Science Fiction," he earned top honors in the Poetry Out Loud Finals, held at Bates College. In May, Tyler will travel to Washington, D.C. to compete against other state winners for $50,000 in awards. For becoming Maine's state champion, he earned $200, with another $500 going to Merriconeag Waldorf High School to stock its library with poetry books. Bravo, Tyler!



     The college acceptances are coming in for the class of 2012.So far, the senior class has received decisions on 59 applications to 42 different schools. They have received 52 acceptances. That's a phenomenal acceptance rate of over 88%. We are still waiting to hear from about a dozen more schools.

     The colleges and universities that have accepted Merriconeag seniors this year (so far) are: American University, Paris, Bates College, Becker College, Beloit College, Bishop's University, Clark University, Colby Sawyer College, Colgate University, College of the Atlantic, Dickinson College, Earlham College, Eckerd College, Franklin Pierce College, Goucher College, Green Mountain College, Hamilton College, Hartwick College, Ithaca College, Juniata College, Lawrence University, Macalester College, Marlboro College, Mount Ida College, New England College, Roger Williams College, St. Anselm's College, St. Joseph's College, St. Olaf's College, University of Maine, Farmington, University of Maine, Orono, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, University of New England, University of Southern Maine, University of Vermont, Ursinus College, Westminster College, Wheaton College.

     Congratulations to the class of 2012 and thank you to our college counselor, Beth Caputi!


High School News - March 20, 2012

The 2012 Poetry Out Loud Maine State Final
      At 1:45 pm on Friday, March 23, ten students representing schools across Maine will come together at Bates College in Lewiston to compete in three rounds of poetry recitation at the state finals of Poetry Out Loud.and Merriconeag senior, Tyler O'Brien will be among them.

     The Maine state champion will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete at the national finals. The state champion’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up at the Maine state finals will receive $100 and his or her school will receive $200 for the purchase of poetry books.

     Poetry Out Loud began in Maine in December with approximately 8,000 students competing at 44 schools across the state. Winners were then selected from each school to compete at two regional finals where five students from each region were selected to appear in the state final.

     The Maine Public Broadcasting Network will televise the state final live from the Olin Arts Center on the Bates College Campus in Lewiston. Anyone wishing to attend the final should register online as space is limited and only those with printed reservation will be able to access the event. 
Click Here to register to come out and support Tyler on Friday!


High School News, 03-13-12

Special news from the High School Language Department:

Video by 11th Grade French Students Wins First Prize!

     The video "I shall not speak French on the School Grounds" made by the 11th grade French class, was entered in the annual Foreign Language Association of Maine (FLAME) video contest. FLAME received 13 videos and, last week, at the annual Conference held in Portland, MWHS's film was granted the 1st Prize!

     The story is a historical fiction created by the 11th Grade students who have studied extensively the French America theme this past semester. It is about a class of Francos students in Lewiston in 1854, at the time of the KKK intimidation against the Franco American population. Brian Watko is the strict teacher who imposes his class to speak English. The skit is based on a poem "Je suis Cadien" by Jean Arsenault, which the students memorized when they studied this theme. The skit is both in French (ad lib) and in English.The plot is all theirs!
Lucie James, our Amity Aide assistant, held the camera and Ben Tindall was our masterpiece editor. Overall director was yours truly, the grateful French teacher of this talented group!

     The FLAME board member who announced the Prize to the whole conference of about 125 teachers from all Maine schools (and some from New Hampshire) said it really stood out among all the other videos and it very much deserved 1st Prize. Later, 2 women judges came to me and told me they watched it 3 times and it brought tears to their eyes.

     I want to thank my French class for the enthusiasm and the seriousness they put in this presentation. It was a very rewarding Class project and I am most grateful we were able to complete in time for the contest!
Sincerely, Régine Whittlesey

Click here to view the prize winning video.


A Visitor Offers Her Impressions of Science in the High School:
      My last semester of college (Fall 2011), I was a teaching assistant for the introductory ecology class at Brandeis University. However, the professor I worked for is not just a Biology Professor, he is also the Associate Provost for Assessment and Innovation in Student Learning at Brandeis. This means that it is his job to constantly look for the most effective, lasting, and empowering methods to facilitate student learning. His style is very unique, in my experience, and I know that I am not alone in wishing that more professors shared his dedication to the advancement of student thinking.

     Therefore, I was incredibly surprised when I visited Merriconeag’s freshman science class the other day and encountered the same critical-thinking based learning environment that is created by my ecology professor. Here were fourteen-year-olds embracing a critical-thinking approach to science that challenged some of the top students of a respected university! For those whose scientific training has primarily consisted of attending and recording fact-packed lectures, it can be a shock to enter a classroom where the answers - and, more importantly, the process used to reach them - are neither announced nor written on the board. Instead, students are merely provided with the tools and building blocks necessary to reach the answers on their own, through careful thought and discussion. The teacher serves as a guide and mentor, rather than a delivery unit for pre-processed conclusions. Though this process may appear slow, it allows the students to fully understand why the correct answer (or set of possible answers) is true and to logically defend/employ it as a concept.

     In my opinion, the sooner a student is immersed in this sort of environment and learns how to utilize his or her critical thinking skills, the more equipped he or she is to engage with the world at a personal level. Therefore, I could not have been more excited about watching a group of high school freshman use their own logic and observations to explore the phenomenon of specific heat, making deductions and testing hypotheses both as individuals and a group. I feel blessed that my younger sister has the opportunity to receive this sort of education, and I have no doubt that it will serve her well when she continues on to college. I wish that every high school student had the opportunity to be challenged to think in this way before he or she ventured on to employment or higher education. Charlotte Oswald (Zoe Oswald's sister)


High School News, 02-28-12

Merriconeag Waldorf High School Girls are

Repeat Class C Nordic State Champions!

And Merriconeag Boys Came in Second!

Congratulations to our teams and to our wonderful coaches,

John Tarling and Henry Heyburn!

More news on the State Championships below.


High School Nordic Skiing:

Zoe Chace-Donahue, Emelie Chace-Donahue and Samantha Pierce

swept the top three places in the girls' freestyle race last Tuesday at Black Mountain.

States Recap

     The trip to Rumford started on Sunday morning. After a light lunch and quick wax job, the team previewed the 5k CL course. Most had skied the course earlier this year at the Sassi race and were getting to know the course well and dialing in the best lines and waxes. The efforts worked as Zoe Chace-Donahue blistered the CL course in a very fast 16:05 for the win by 56s over Emelie Chace-Donahue. Samantha Pierce continued her late season break out with a 7th followed by Teagan Wu in 9th, Carlin Tindall in 13th and Jesse Saffeir in 14th to take a commanding lead in the Girls team results. 
      For the boys Jack Pierce lead the way in 5th followed by Eli McCurdy in 7th, Ben Tindall was just outside the top 10 in 11th, Graham Roeber, 12th, John Burgess,15th and Lars Gundersen, 38th. The boys after day one were second to NYA with a good cushion over 3rd place, Freeport. The CL race conditions were about perfect as the temperatures stayed cold enough to provide good glide and allowed the wax team to find a good grip wax, this was a big improvement over the WMC CL wax result. A large thanks to Henry Heyburn, Ben Pearson and Jason Donahue for help in the wax room. 
      The Freestyle race on Tuesday was late in the day so it was challenging to keep the team busy but not too busy during the day. We contested an impromptu scavenger walk, splitting the group in boys and girls teams. The boys used a creative and liberal interpretation of the rules and appeared to win, however special consideration was given to the intrepid girls who walked almost to West Paris to find the school on the search list and were awarded the win. 
      The Freestyle 5k race was on the traditional Rumford HS course and included a single one lap course. Zoe Chace-Donahue again finished 1st for her fifth Class C Championship! Emelie Chace-Donahue was close in 2nd -17s, Samantha 3rd -24s, giving the girls a rare podium sweep. Teagan improved to a fine 7th and another top ten finish, followed closely by Jesse in 12th and Lily Tupper in 15th as the girls ran away with the Championships. 
      The boys closed the States racing with great skiing, Jack had another top result in 5th in 12:19 for 5K - do the math, this is FAST! Eli continued his late season surge with a 6th -13s after Jack, Graham was next in in 12th followed by Ben in 14th, John, 15th and Zach, 34th. 
      Congratulations to the Boys State Class C Runner ups and the Girls repeat Class C Champions. A special thanks to the parents for supporting the Christmas Camp and the WMC as well as the State Championships. Susan Sonntag and Jennifer Chace especially did the hard advance work planning the food, transportation and lodging all year and Carol Wu kept us well fed at States. Thanks! Coach John Tarling

Click here for more race results.


High School News

The Fruits of the Eurythmy Block: Grades five through eight and a high school group worked very hard this past month in a eurythmy block taught by Rima Meadow. In the sharing on February 17 the students were "all eyes," eager to see what the other classes had accomplished. It was a program full of wonderful music played by Katy Stetson. Highlights were copper rod tossing by the 5th grade, "Horatio" by the 6th grade,

humoresque complete with black and white costumes (an award-winning theme these days it seems) and a poem of Hilaire Belloc done by the 8th grade which was dedicated to Mr. Richardson. The high school group performed a full and lively piece of music (Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, 3rd movement) and there were nearly enough colorful gowns to go around. Phoebe and Emma Dolan did a lovely duet to Beethoven's Emperor Piano Concerto (3rd movement) in full gowns and transparent silk eurythmy veils.
      We are now looking forward to the performance this Friday, 10:45am, by Eurythmy Spring Valley, the fairy tale of "The Goose Girl at the Well." Submitted by Barbara Richardson



High School News, 02-14-12

Singing Tyler's Praises "Out Loud!"
      Last week senior Tyler O'Brien was selected in the regional Poetry Out Loud Competition to advance to the state finals in March. Tyler is one of ten students statewide who will be vying for an opportunity to go to the National Finals in Washington D.C. later this spring. Competing against students from 23 other public and private schools in Southern Maine, Tyler was the only male chosen among the five regional finalists.
      Poetry Out Loud is a national contest, funded through the National Endowment for the Arts and—locally—by the Maine Arts Commission, in which students memorize and then present classic or contemporary poems before a panel of judges. Schools select their own winners through class or school-wide competitions. In mid-January, Tyler edged out Lincoln Samuelson, Emma Dolan, and Brian Watko to earn the right to go to the regionals. At the regional event, held February 8 at Biddeford's City Theater, Tyler recited Allen Ginsberg's "A Supermarket in California" and Lisel Mueller's "The End of Science Fiction" to advance to the third, "semifinal" round, with nine other students. His final piece, Keats "When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be," secured him a place among the state finalists, Merriconeag's first such representative in three years' of participating in Poetry Out Loud. The State Finals will be held at Bates College on Friday, March 23, time to be announced. David Sloan


German Students Score High on National Exam:


Congratulations to our German students Tyler O'Brien, Jack Pierce and Zoe Oswald who scored 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the State of Maine on the National German Exam. Ingrid Merrill

Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School Nordic Skiing:

State Championships
Monday, February 20 Black Mountain Classic 1:30 PM Girls-3:00 PM Boys
Tuesday, February 21 Black Mountain Skate 3:00 PM Girls-4:00 PM Boys

We hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 11, WMC Classic Recap: I want to complement all the team for working hard in today's classic race. The girls continued their top performances with a second place finish. The boys had a harder time today, no help from the wax, but this happens - still 4th in skate and 5th in classic and overall is a good finish. Coach John Tarling

Wednesday, February 8, WMC Freestyle Recap: Great racing today at the WMC Freestyle races at Pineland. Another fantastic result for the girls team, 2nd overall at the WMC meet is a result to be very proud of. Four of the top eight places and solid results for all the girls reflects all the hard work they have put in this year. The boy's continue to improve as a team, a fourth place finish is very respectable in a very strong field. Its great to see the competition among both the boy's and girl's team, this competition is making everyone faster...keep up the good effort. Coach John Tarling


High School Athletic News, 02-07-12

Giants Win Super Bowl! Merriconeag Students Win Super Ball!

     In a fitting culmination to a season of improvement, Merriconeag’s

basketball team soundly defeated a valiant but overmatched faculty/staff squad last Friday night at the Pineland YMCA. The final score—34-15—was due in large part to a stifling student defensive effort. Fittingly, seniors Cyrus Fenderson and Tyler O’Brien led a balanced scoring attack, with ten and eight points respectively, supported by seniors Connor Beckett and Wyatt McCurdy, who each added four points. Sophomore Liam Little scored six points, all in the final quarter. 
      Every member of the student team contributed to the victory: Joe Newlin directed the offense; Sophie Simmons scrapped for every loose ball; Sam Leavitt, Emma Dolan, Lincoln Samuelson, Tim Morse and Avery Murphy-Anderson all added to the students’ defensive intensity.
      The faculty, who couldn’t buy a basket in the first half, parlayed some much needed halftime eurythmy into a slightly-more-than-moribund-but-slightly-less-than-explosive offense in the second half. Led by intern Lucie “The French Firecracker” James’ seven points, baskets by “Jumpin’” John Saccone, Henry “Hey—Who Moved the Hoop” Heyburn, Oliver “Kangaroo” Kinzer, and a Nancy “Hot Rod” Roderick free throw, the faculty kept the game interesting.
      Many thanks to the faculty/staff players who contributed to the game’s high entertainment value—either through dazzling displays of dribbling, stalwart rebounding, or their general (lack of) fitness—Will Hight, Rose Mary Burwell, Lisa Mainella, Jeff O’Brien, Ingrid Merrill, David Whittlesey, David Barham and Shannon Combar. 
      Thanks also to Coach Fenderson, who rallied his squad from a 12-0 halftime deficit, to John Newlin, Bob Thurrell and Steve Musica, for refereeing (and refusing several blatant attempts from both sides to “influence” the outcome with offers of free baked goods), and to Devon Murphy-Anderson, who organized the baked sale. The high school raised nearly $500, which will go toward supporting the Model UN trip this spring, the Siddhartha School in India, and the general athletic program. Coach Sloan 


High School Nordic Skiing:

Come on out to Pineland for the Western Maine Conference Championship Skate Race tomorrow, February 8!

The girls start at 2:00 p.m. Due to conditions, this week's big race which was scheduled to be held at Libby Hill in Gray/New Gloucester has been moved to Oak Hill at Pineland. We hope to see you there!


Starks Hill Race Recap: Last Thursday's race at Stark's Hill in Fryeburg was a good one for the MWHS Team. The start format was a change of pace, FOUR per wave, making for fun racing and lots of good competition. On the boys side they continue to get stronger and finished THIRD, despite Jack missing his start (coach cheering in girls and did not get back to the start to help - Sorry Jack - LESSON...stay near start area). Graham led the boys with a strong 7th place finish - great job boys!  The girls continue to be among the state's strongest teams regardless of class.Samantha had a breakout race finishing 3rd and leading the girls to SECOND place.

     Next up are the WMC Championships this Wednesday and Saturday. I encourage all family and friends to try to see at least one of the races. Coach John Tarling

Remaining races are:
Western Maine Conference Championships
Wednesday, February 8 Pineland-Oak Hill Skate 2 PM
Saturday, February 11 Fryeburg Classic 10 AM

State Championships
Monday, February 20 Black Mountain Classic 1:30 PM Girls-3:00 PM Boys
Tuesday, February 21 Black Mountain Skate 3:00 PM Girls-4:00 PM Boys


High School News, 01-31-12

Magnificent Metamorphoses! Congratulations to the 9th and 10th grades for the gift of Metamorphoses and a big "Thank You" to David Barham and Rose Mary Burwell for their efforts in creating this rewarding experience for these classes. Well done!



Thank you to Tricia Toms for her wonderful photography. These photos and more will soon be availble for purchase on her website: http://triciatoms.zenfolio.com/merriconeag. (She donates 50% of net photo sales to support tuition assistance.)


11th Grade French Class Studies in Lewiston

     On January 10th 2012, the 11th grade French class went to the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston to lead an interview with Franco-American people of the region.

     This was done in the context of their first semester study focused on French America. After studying Acadian and Quebec History, the class worked on the history of the Franco-Americans in Maine.

     Thanks to the help of Rita Dube, the Coordinator for the Center, each student was partnered with a Franco-American volunteer whom they interviewed in French. It was wonderful to witness the multiple conversations held at separate tables ! Merriconeag students stood out by their respectful and kind demeanor and their efforts to conduct the conversation solely in French. These interviews will be recorded as an oral history project, part of their French America booklet.

     After the visit to the Center, the group led by teacher Régine Whittlesey and her assistant Lucie James went to the French Archives Center at the USM, Lewiston where they were warmly welcomed by James Myall. James showed the students some ancient photos from the Franco-American Maine archives. The students observed these photos and tried to imagine their context and the stories they depicted.

     This project enables a better understanding by these young American students of their French Canadian neighbors. Let’s not forget that according to a 2000 statistics, 5.3% of the Maine Population still speak French at home.

     I would like to thank Mrs Rita Dube and the kind and generous partners from Lewiston as well as my students for their patience and hard work. Régine Whittlesey


On Tuesday January 24th, MWHS hosted its first Forum of the New Year. We welcomed Mark Tipton and Peter Mezoian, two Maine musicians who improvised music while old black and white silent movies from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s were projected in front of the students.

     Mark Tipton is Professor of Trumpet at Colby College, Waterville, and also part of the Jazz Faculty at USM, Gorham ; he is also a Trumpet Instructor at the Portland Conservatory of Music and Director of “Les Sorciers Perdus” Chamber Ensemble (Classical/Jazz/Word), Leader of the Mark Tipton Trio, Quartet and Quintet and the Leader of the Tipton Brass Quartet as well as Director of the Colby Brass Ensemble. An impressive list of accomplishments ! Peter Mezoian is a freelance banjo soloist who tours the world most of the year, in spite of the fact that he wanted to be a standup comedian !

     Mark Tipton writes his own scores for ancient movies found in archives. He showed us old films like “Mc Kinley at Home” or “Airplane flight and wreck” and the very funny “the fatal sneeze”. The students loved these vaudevilles.
Afterwards the students were invited to pick any film they wanted and they could also choose the musical mood with which the musicians improvised. We watched old films by the Lumière Brothers.

     Another great Forum at the High School in the midst of a grey winter ! Régine Whittlesey

High School Nordic Skiing: Sassi Race Recap
      Thanks to the parents supporting the Nordic Team at The Sassi Race Saturday as well as the earlier races this year. I have noticed the days are staying lighter longer as we practiced last week, a telling sign that we are into the important period of the ski season.

     This week is the last regular season race followed by the WMC races and then the State Races. Despite a low snow season so far we have had five races and have had on snow practice most days. The team has worked hard and we are getting good results and efforts from both the boy's and girl's team members. A few highlights so far are our first NIGHT race at Mt Cranmore in N.H, two trips to Rumford, one to Starks Hill in Fryeburg and a fun Sprint Race at Pineland. I have been pleased with the many top results on both girl's and boy's teams. But as gratifying as these results are it is most pleasing to see the level of commitment by all team members. Our Girls Team is well known and they have attained a high level of expectation in the WMC, the boys team is also improving and I look forward to continued development from them as well.

     This past Saturday we did the Sassi Race at Black Mountain. Thanks to all parents who helped out, driving, supporting the team at the race and waxing, it would be impossible to do this type of event without help. I read the race report from the Chisholm Ski Club stating there were 480 racers at the Sassi. This continues to be one of the largest HS ski races in NE. Despite very challenging track conditions the team performed well. We qualified four J 2's for the Maine Team who will represent the State at the NE J2 Festival. This is a great event and one that has started many young skiers on a great path in skiing. Congratulations to Samantha Pierce, Jesse Saffeir, Graham Roeber and Eli McCurdy.

     Other high and low lights from the race: Zoe Chace-Donahue placing 4th against the best high school girls in Maine, Carlin Tindall, John Burgess and Ben Tindall all benefited from OK skis and had great races, Lars Gundersen skied a solid race and placed well in the J2 race. Unfortunately Lily Tupper missed her start and gave up lots of time. Lily has shown real improvement this year and she will be charged up this Wednesday I am sure. Emelie Chace-Donahue and Teagan Wu skied well in a strong girls field. I know they would have had even better results had the wax worked. The wax team tried many different wax combinations, however, changing conditions and no good test track worked against us nailing the right mix on Saturday.

     Despite less than stellar wax the girls were a strong 4th (out of 34 teams) and the boy's, 9th (out of 37 teams) - a good result against the best teams in the state. Coach John Tarling

To see Sassi race results, click here

To see photos from the race, click here.




Athletic News - Sports Updates, 01-24-12

High School Nordic Skiing:

To see results from last Monday's race at Starks Hill in Fryeburg, click here.

Merriconeag boys were 4th and the girls were 2nd!






Athletic News - Sports Updates, 01-17-12

High School Basketball: Today the team will travel to Hebron Academy again for a rematch.

High School Nordic Skiing:

   Because of conditions, last Wednesday's race was moved from Pineland to Black Mountain in Rumford. The classical race began at 2:45 with a field of over 346 skiers. Merriconeag Waldorf High School Girls came in 2nd and the Boys, 6th. Congratulations to all!  Click here for the Official Results and scroll down on the left 


High School News, 01-10-12

The high school welcomes two exchange students from Geneva, Switzerland. Elodie is being hosted by Carlin Tindall and Ulysse is being hosted by Soren Donisvitch.

High School Basketball: 
On Friday, the high school basketball team hosted St. Dominic's at the Pineland YMCA. The team was outscored by St. Dom's 38-24. The team continues to show improvement in both in individual skills and teamwork.
     On Tuesday, January 17, the team will travel to Hebron Academy again for a rematch.


High School Nordic Skiing:

Last Thursday, the high school nordic ski team traveled to Mt. Cranmore in North Conway to participate in a race. Merriconeag's skiers performed exceptionally well, all finishing in the top half of the pack. 11th grader Teagan Wu won the girl's race. Congratulations, Teagan!

    This Wednesday's race has been moved from Pineland to Black Mountain in Rumford. The race will begin at 2:45 with a field of over 300 skiers.






High School News, 01-04-12

Reflections on the Shepherd’s Play

by Nancy Goldberg:
      I have been a Waldorf parent for almost 10 years, yet until a few weeks ago, I had never seen the Shepherd’s Play. As a Jewish person, I was uncomfortable with the subject of the play, so I chose not to go. As December rolled around this year, I remembered an article David Barham had written about his personal connection to the Shepherd’s Play, and I was inspired to finally attend.
      I was amazed by the warmth and levity that the high school juniors brought to the Shepherd’s Play. The chorus of the 9th, 10th and 12th graders enhanced the feeling that the whole high school community was part of the play. The 
simplicity of the production helped me understand the story behind the meaning of Christmas. For me, the Shepherd’s Play was a lens through which to view how the story of Christmas fits into the whole picture that Waldorf education shows us about how different cultures embrace this time of year.


Nordic Ski Camp Summary
  The MWHS Ski Team completed our first Christmas Ski Camp this past week. A big thanks to all the families who helped make the trip a success and a special thanks to Jennifer Chace, Susan Sonntag and Jason Donahue for their planning and help during the camp.

     We departed from Desert Rd Wednesday morning in spring like temps and it was apparent that if winter was not coming to us then we would have to find winter. In NE that means Mt Washington. Even with spring like conditions on the drive to NH, I was confident we would find the winter conditions we were looking for.

     As we prepared to leave the trail head in Pinkham Notch we began getting sketchy reports regarding water running down the hiking trail, not what we wanted to hear but we headed out to see for ourselves. As we headed up the trail we soon noticed at least two Nordic Teams running down, so I figured it would be possible to make it to the shelter at the base of Tuckerman's Ravine. At the shelter it was full on winter with wind and snow and cold, perfect!       After a short lunch we quickly descended and headed to one of the best Nordic Centers in the east, the Jackson Ski Touring Center. Unfortunately the prior night's rain cleaned out the skiing and we were faced with two options, ski around a field next to Jackson or head up to higher ground at the end of nearby Carter Notch Rd. We decided to try the high ground and were pleased to see the Freeport Nordic Ski Team at the same site: things looked promising. Sadly, the snow on the ground was very soft and not worth damaging skis so we cut 

this session short and headed to the rental house nearby. It was clear we were a hungry group as the two large platters of lasagna disappeared in a hurry.

     Thursday we headed to Craftsbury Vt to find skiing at the local Nordic Center on man made snow. The conditions were excellent and we had a great day of skiing. Returning to the house we all enjoyed excellent chili and corn bread, followed by a movie about skiing in Tuckerman's and games.

     Friday we traveled to Black Mt in Rumford to ski on more manmade snow on the same trails hosting this weeks US National Nordic Championships. We had another great ski day, skiing with many racers prepping for the upcoming Nationals, good training for sure. After skiing we enjoyed an end of camp dinner in Freeport.

    All in all a great camp. We traveled to interesting venues and did end up finding the skiing and winter we were aiming for. Coach John Tarling


High School News, 12-13-11

Merriconeag Hoopsters Prevail!
      Down by a point against Hebron Academy last Friday with 8 seconds to play, Merriconeag won its first game of the season—25-24—on a last-second shot by sophomore Joe Newlin. Seniors Connor Beckett, with 8 points, and Cyrus Fenderson, with 6, led a balanced scoring attack. Freshman Jacob Haldeman and senior Tyler O’Brien contributed 4 points each. 
      The game was tightly contested throughout. Hebron chipped away at Merriconeag’s 21-14 halftime lead, and finally forged ahead with two minutes to play. After Tyler scored a basket to bring Merriconeag within a point, Joe put the game away with his clutch shot. 
      Every player contributed to the victory. Senior Wyatt McCurdy pulled down key rebounds, and Merriconeag’s less experienced team members—Liam Little, Tim Morse, Sam Leavitt, Lincoln Samuelson, Avery Murphy-Anderson, Dan Morse and Emma Dolan—maintained Merriconeag’s slim lead during the first half of the third quarter, gaining valuable game experience as well.
      The team’s next home game is at the Pineland YMCA on Friday, January 6, at 3:30 against St. Dominics of Auburn. Coach Sloan

There has been a change of date for one of the high school basketball games. The game originally scheduled for Friday, January 20 has been switched to Tuesday, January 17.

Upcoming games are:
Friday, January 6 HOME at Pineland YMCA, St. Doms, 3:30 PM
Tuesday, January 17 AWAY at Hebron Academy, Hebron, 4:00 PM
Friday, February 3 HOME at Pineland - Student/Faculty game, 6:30 PM


High School News - 12-06-11

The High School is coordinating an Advent Food Drive. Collection Boxes will be in the High School, Upper Grades Building, Lower Grades Building, and Early Childhood Center. The boxes will be in place by Wednesday morning, Dec 7th. The last day to donate food will be Monday, December 12. On Tuesday, the 13th, the high school will deliver the food to the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn which supplies food pantries all over the state. Please consider donating non-perishable food items. Jeff O'Brien

High School Reports: The high school sent home quarterly reports via email this past Friday. The email contained a link to your report, with links remaining active for 2 weeks. If you didn't get the report email, had any problems with the link, or wish to receive a paper copy of your student's report, please contact Susan in the high school office at 688-8989 orhighschool@merriconeag.org.


High School Forum Speaker, Dr. Josie Skavdahl:

     Doctor Josie Skavdahl, naturopath and midwife, came to the high school as a Forum speaker on Thursday, Dec. 1st. Under her arm, Dr. Josie carried a small clear plastic box. This was her traveling birth kit. Dr. Josie began by telling the students that as a teenager in South Dakota, she had never heard of naturopathic medicine. Following her interest in nutrition brought Dr. Josie to Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington, where she finished her undergraduate in nutrition. It was also at Bastyr that Dr. Josie was able to pursue her doctorate in naturopathic medicine. Bastyr is one of the few accredited naturopathic medical schools in the United States.

     The high school students listened with interest as Dr. Josie recounted her personal story. Then, turning to her small plastic box, Dr. Josie pulled out two homeopathic remedies to share with the students. She passed these around as she explained the remedies’ various qualities. Pulsatilla for weepy patients and the popular Arnica for bumps and bruises of all kinds. Both are useful remedies for the birthing room. Dr. Josie clearly explained the premise for homeopathic medicine, and even shared her initial feelings of doubt over the efficacy of such remedies. With her logic, it was impossible for Dr. Josie to explain how these remedies work on a patient. Dr. Josie now is confident that homeopathy offers relief to her patients as she has seen the effects first hand. Students were told that each remedy is unique to a certain set of symptoms and constitutions, and were free to try each remedy without fear of adverse effects. Students tested with gusto! Read more.






High School News, 11-22-11

High School Theme Week—Gender Bending
      We live in the Age of Media. No matter which way we turn, commercial advertisements and their messages will not be far away. The constant white noise of radios, televisions, billboards, iPods, cell phones, computers and more has rapidly become part of humanity’s collective subconscious, but we need to critically reflect on what impact this is having on our thought processes, decisions, and judgment. No one is truly immune to its intrusive effect.
      For our semi-annual Theme Week at Merriconeag Waldorf High School, Drew Wing and Stephanie Bouffard, the Executive and Program Directors, respectively, of the Portland-based organization Boys to Men as well as Jackie Dupont, Director of Programs of the Waterville-based Hardy Girls Healthy Women, led three days of workshops focused on media literacy and gender stereotypes. Through a series of exercises, role playing, and discussions in groups large and small, our three facilitators challenged us to confront some of our own biases and preconceptions.  

     We began on Wednesday, November 16th with the thought-provoking topic of the ever-increasing sexualization of the media. From an early age, American children are exposed to unrealistic ideals that leads to eventual sexual objectification of both men and women. A steady wave of images aims to influence consumer behavior, leading to the financial benefit of marketing and corporate interests and the diminution of the individual. Images of glamorized violence and abuse as well as depersonalized and dismembered human beings robbed of all expression and thought haunt us wherever we go. Media literacy calls individuals to be aware of the imagery to which they are exposed and to critically analyze it for its purposes such as marketing, financial and/or political gain.
      We then proceeded to a subject that would come up again and again over the course of the workshops: the stereotypical depiction of men and women. Separated by gender, students created boxes containing words that described the conventional image of their sex. Among other things men are portrayed as hardworking, callous, and powerful with alove for violence, cars, and attractive women. Women, on the other hand, are depicted as beautiful and talented yet obedient and submissive to their husband or lover. Only a minute fraction of our society can actually exist naturally in such a constrictive stereotype, challenging us to realize that such stereotypical images of gender
are both over-simplistic and inaccurate.
      After the workshops ended, the high school students took on the task of sharing the experience with our eighth grade class, enabling us to further synthesize what we had learned over the past week; an interesting change of role for the students themselves. Brian Watko, Class of 2013


High School News, 11-22-11

High School Soccer Club: 2011 was officially the first year of the Merriconeag High School soccer club. As in any sport's beginning year, there were a few minor setbacks, including, but not limited to, our head coach, Mark Leavitt, getting horribly sick for more than a week, leaving Ingrid Merril, our player coach, who's also the high school German teacher, and Gordon Halderman, who's coaching days were limited to only a few by his schedule, in charge of a raucous bunch of high schoolers. To further complicate things, the team had a huge range of playing experience, some who'd played every year up to this one, and some who hadn't played at all until the first practice.
      Fortunately our coaches handled the practices beautifully, and used all of the resources and time that they had, to teach us the basics of ball handling, passing, and scoring, while making it fun for the more experienced players as well. Despite the fact that the practices were educational, they were also fun, our main activity being scrimmaging, which taught us how to apply what we learned in the field, while also allowing us to kick and yell at each other, which I believe to be just as educational when it comes to soccer. 
      Having experienced the first season, I feel like the soccer team is off to a great start, having emerged victorious from the student faculty game at the end of the season, and having gotten more skilled every day in practice, with the considerable help of the coaches. I'd like to thank Mr. Leavitt, Frau Merril, and Mr. Halderman for coaching us, even with many other things going on in their lives at the same time. There was no possible way that it would've worked without all of you contributing, and I would love soccer to happen again next year.

Wyatt McCurdy, Class of 2012

Note: The high school soccer club finished their season undefeated with an easy 5-3 victory over a combined faculty/parent/student team. Thank you to the coaches, Mark Leavitt, Gordon Haldeman, and Ingrid Merrill and to team parent Patty Carton for all of their work to make this opportunity possible for our high school students. Jeff O'Brien


High School Cross Country

Congratulations to the following Merriconeag High School Cross Country runners who were named to the Western Maine Conference All-Star team. Jack Pierce is a First Team All-Star. Teagan Wu and Samantha Pierce are Second Team All-Stars. Zoe Chace-Donahue and Jesse Saffeir each received an Honorable Mention. 


High School News, 11-15-11

High School Cross Country

Congratulations to Jack Pierce and the Girls Team who traveled down to Rhode Island to run in the New England Championship Race. From all accounts, it was a great experience for our runners to race at a higher level of competition. For a more detailed account see the team's blog at mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com

The fall sports season is officially over. Congratulations to all of our runners and sailors for a great season!



High School News, 11-08-11

Dr. Sagaree Sengupta is the First High School Forum Speaker

of the New School Year: On Thursday, October 27th, Merriconeag Waldorf High School welcomed its first Forum speaker of the year, Dr. Sagaree Sengupta. Sagaree spoke in front of a full house at the high school, as the 8th grade class gave us the pleasure of their company and joined us for Forum and lunch.
      Sagaree Sengupta was born in India and raised in a Bengali family. She came to the U.S. as a child and currently lives in Central Maine. She has written poetry and after many years of teaching, is presently a writer. Sagaree is also a translator, specialist in Hindi, Urdu and Bengali poetry of medieval and colonial India and a textile artist who likes to use recycled fabrics.
      On Thursday morning, Sagaree introduced our students to the culture of the Baul Singers of West Bengal. For centuries, the Baul musicians have been minstrels going from village to village, singing their traditional songs inspired by their spiritual tradition mixing Hinduism, Sufism and yoga. Their music is their religion through which they hope to experience the ultimate truth. Their main instrument is a stringed drone Ektara, so named because it has only 1 string. The other instruments are simple and can be carried around.
      Baul music influenced Rabindranath Tagore, the most famous Bengali poet who received a Nobel prize in 1923. We listened to a few pieces of Baul music, which at first sounded strange to our Western ears, including a poem by Rabindranath Tagore performed according to Baul music tradition.
      Sagaree Sengupta opened a new window for the students on the variety of music in the world, especially devotional music. I believe all students appreciated this unusual discovery. Madame Whittlesey



High School Ultimate

Merriconeag Scores Second Place in Maine's First Ever Ultimate Championship
      Merriconeag's Ultimate Frisbee team awoke early last Sunday to venture up the coast to sunny Northport for Maine's first ever Co-Ed High School Ultimate Frisbee Chanpionship. Six teams in all (Merriconeg, Freeport, Brunswick, Camden Hills, Cape Elixabeth, and South Portland) competed and at day's end Merriconeag came away with a strong second place finish, edged out in the final game by a great team from Cape Elizabeth.

     Superb weather and a most spectacular seaside setting added to this friendliest of competitions as the six teams cheered each other's efforts throughout the day. The level of play was impressive as most of the players involved have now played continuously throughout three seasons (regular Spring play, Summer League, and a new Ultimate season this fall with the advent of the Rising Tide regional team, where all of Merriconeag's players have played side by side with players from the several schools).

     As parents and spectators looking on the fast-paced and outstanding, hard-fought games, it was hard not to marvel at the level of comraderie and 'spirit of the game' conduct that flowed through the

day's excitement. Highly skilled play, involving both boys and girls, and all officiated by the players themselves - it was a true pleasure to behold our team in its fourth year.

     Congratulations to the players who, with just one extra player, played four games and brought home a beautiful 2nd place frisbee made of wood! 

     Sincere thanks from appreciative players and parents to Mark Leavitt for accompanying the team this Sunday, to the volunteer organizers of the event, and especially to Merriconeag's Coach Rich Young for his continued leadership and love of the sport. Submitted by Michael Fenderson


Merriconeag Girls are Class C State Champions!

Congratulations to the Girls and their Coaches!

Please see race recap below.


Athletic News - Sports Updates, 11-01-11

High School Cross Country

States Recap

Repeat State Champions with a total of 61 points!

     It was a cold, cold day when the Merriconeag teams returned to Twin Brook in Cumberland for the State Cross Country championship. The course was still muddy and churned up in sections from last week's Regionals, and the wind blew steadily. Nevertheless, our runners (and spectators) were armed with coats, mittens, hats, sleeping bags, toe warmers and hot beverages. All of the hard work of the season paid off with great performances from both the girls' and boys' teams.

     The girls began the race in pack formation, with Zoe Chace-Donahue, Teagan Wu, Sam Pierce and Jesse Saffeir leading the charge. Throughout the race, Zoe moved up steadily, securing 16th place. Sam and Teagan were close behind in 17th and 20th. Jesse and Carlin Tindall helped to cement the win by finishing in front of Washburn's number four in 22nd and 27th places respectively. Emelie Chace-Donahue also went to work, besting every other team's number five except one and finishing 51st. Zoe Oswald did her part, beating several teams' fifth runners for 68th place.


     On the boys' side, Jack Pierce raced hard, moving up into 4th place and holding off his competitors in the last stretch. Tyler O'Brien and Zach Neveu again proved that teamwork pays off, pushing each other to 41st and 43rd places, respectively. This week, Tyler out-kicked the freshman in the final yards in his last high school race.Yet again, Ben Tindall had another solid, well-paced race, finishing 71st. Although Lincoln Samuelson, John Burgess and Lars Gundersen began the race as a pack, Saturday it was John's turn to step into the role of fifth scoring runner for Merriconeag in 81st place. He was closely followed by Lars, who finished 82nd. Lincoln rounded out Merriconeag's seven with a 90th place finish.

     The boys' team finished ninth overall, with a total of 199 points.

Hope to see you all in two weeks when the teams travel to the New England Championships in Rhode Island.

Coach Morgan Lake Adams


You can keep up with cross country news, photos, meet schedules and directions on the team blog: http://www.mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com/



High School News, 10-25-11

Community Service

Merriconeag Mingles with Elders
      Last Monday, one of the three high school community service groups went to visit with the senior residents at the Falmouth by the Sea Nursing Home. This was a rare opportunity for all of us, because it is not often that we younger people have the chance to converse with the elderly and hear about their life experiences. When we first walked in through the doors, the nursing home appeared to be something like a hospital, a sterilized, foreign environment. When we met some of the people who lived there, many of us became unsure of how to behave around older folks. Were you supposed to talk loudly so that they were sure to hear you? Or were you supposed to talk quietly, so as to not wake up the people who were sleeping? Once we began to talk with them, though, we learned that they were all very friendly, knowledgeable people, who were glad to have someone to talk to. It was nice to hear the stories about their lives and their families.

    Many students played music while we were there, which many of the patients enjoyed immensely, but this led to an unusual moment at my table. A lady from West Virginia was sitting next to me, and we were in the middle of a conversation, when she said something that I wasn't expecting, What was that?" I asked.

    "I said, why don't they stop playing that awful music?" she said in a southern accent.

     This was hard for me to believe; what she had called "awful music" was actually Skyler and Ben playing a highly complicated classical piece on the cello and violin. This left me confused until Jack began playing the banjo. "Now that's what I call music!" she exclaimed, and I realized that she simply was not a fan of classical music.

     Overall, it was a great experience for all of us, and helped us to see a part of life that is not necessarily a part of our daily existence. We met some really wonderful people and enjoyed volunteering at the center.

Zachary Neveu, Grade 9


Lunch for 200?

Last Monday a group of high schoolers headed down to the Preble Street Soup Kitchen. Without hesitation we were let in and set to a task. Some of us sorted fresh basil, cut mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and prepared soups. Little time was left before we had to serve. Mr. Sloan's camera flashes and the steamy heat of the sink gave everything a more exciting and real feeling. We served over 200 people. We took turns dishing out salad, soup, burritos, casserole, bread, and desserts. After everyone (including us) was fed, we wiped down all of the tables, and swept the floor; and then we were ready to head back to school. It was a great feeling to leave the Kitchen knowing that, in a small way, we had helped out Portland's neediest population. Emma Dolan, Grade 10

Lifting More Than Their Weight

The high school students at the Good Shepherd Food Bank definitely lifted more than their weight on Monday, October 17. A group of students, collectively weighing only around 3000 pounds, hauled, sorted, and packaged over 7000 pounds of ice cream and other frozen goods with ferocious speed and efficiency, in one case unloading a shipment weighing approximately a ton in fifteen minutes. Another group was tasked with unloading meats to sort, which would then return to the freezer. The shipments kept coming for both of these groups - as soon as the contents of a pallet were sorted and loaded into boxes, another huge pallet would arrive from the cavernous storage areas, and the work would begin again. The students' hands got quite cold and sticky, as leaking and broken containers made for quite a mess at times. Another group had the responsibility of cleaning and weeding the perimeter of the facility, keeping it in top shape for inspections. At the end of their time volunteering there, the food bank was very grateful for the service, and the students were astounded that they could have such an effect. Andrew Hastings, Grade 10

Maine Civil Liberties Union Conference, Thursday, September 20, 2011

     Each year in the high school, our ninth graders study US Government and take a deep look at the Constitution. In fact, they read and summarize every word of the text, giving them a deep and solid understanding of the foundational principles of our country. In tenth grade, we continue the study with the Bill of Rights and other key amendments.

     Last week, I was able to bring the sophomore class to University of Southern Maine in Portland to attend the Maine Civil Liberties Union's conference on the Bill of Rights. It was exciting to bring our eleven tenth graders- including two European exchange students as well as Lucie James, our French intern- to participate alongside 200 other area high school students from twelve schools. It is always great to get the students out into the larger world. Being among the lawyers, law school professors and civil libertarians was a rich experience for the students. It was clear our students were well prepared and ready and able to throw themselves into the constitutional debates that took place in workshops on the first, fourth and fourteenth amendments. These are tough and complex issues and the students were able to wrestle with the nuances well. Does the first amendment protect a student at a school-sponsored event in unfurling a banner reading, "Bong Hits for Jesus"? Does a principal looking into a student's purse for cigarettes and finding marijuana violate the fourth amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures? What guidance does the fourteenth amendment and all of the Supreme Court precedent setting cases give us today about using race and Affirmative Action for school admissions?

   I am so pleased with the way our students handled themselves in the various workshops and look forward to next year's conference. I have already been in touch with the coordinator of the conference with ideas and suggestions for next year and how the gathering could better support the work we are doing here at Merriconeag. The Bill of Rights is a powerful aspect of the American experience and a profound penetration of its history, meaning, application and controversies is essential for our students as they step up to take their proper place in American society.  David Barham

A Student's Response to the MCLU Bill of Rights Conference

     On Thursday, October 20th the tenth grade went to a convention on the Bill of Rights and other amendments, most important of which was the 14th Amendment. The 14th amendment protects our rights as stated in the Bill of Rights from being violated by state or local governments. 
      We left the Desert Road campus around 8:15 to go to the Hannaford Lecture Hall in Portland and arrived around 8:30. We checked in and headed into the lecture hall along with several other high schools. In the lecture hall we were told how the day was planned out and then we were sent to our different workshops. There were many workshops including Bill of Rights 101, The 4th Amendment, Know Your Rights, Attorney Debate, and The 14thAmendment. I started out by going to Know Your Rights. It covered what to do if you have any interaction with a police officer involving legal matters. Since they were answering the majority of the questions I could tell that the Merriconeag students knew much more than the other students in attendance. I am certain this was due to listening intently in class of course and not from personal experience.

     After that I attended a workshop called Bill of Rights 101. The other Merriconeag students and I didn’t know this, but we could have skipped this one. It turns out, we had covered all of this material already in our Bill of Rights humanities course. When the second session ended we ate lunch (included for free with the conference- you see, there really is such a thing as a free lunch!) and then headed to our last workshop.

     The last workshop I had was Attorney Debate. In this workshop a court case was introduced to us and two lawyers defended each side. Then all of the students had to be a mock jury and come to a verdict. The room was packed and it was definitely one of the most interesting and energetic workshops of the day. After the final workshop we filled out some questionnaires and headed back to the Desert Road campus arriving back around 2:00. All in all, a positive event and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Sam Leavitt, Grade 10

Merriconeag Girls Win Western Maine Regional Class C Title!


And they did it in 41 points! Please see race recap below.


Athletic News - Sports Updates, 10-25-11

High School Cross Country

Western Maine Regional Meet Recap

     The Western Maine Regional meet at Twin Brook in Cumberland on Saturday featured true cross-country conditions yesterday. The course, after several days of rain and other races, was well-churned and slick in sections. The weather was cool but comfortable and both the girls' and boys' teams responded well to the course. 

     On the girls' side, the team worked together, packing five runners into the top fifteen (!) Zoe Chace-Donahue rebounded nicely from last week, starting out at a steady pace and working her way up to a 7th place finish. She was quickly followed by Sam Pierce (9th), Teagan Wu (10th) and Jesse Saffier (12th). Carlin Tindall closed a large gap in the last mile, picking off close to ten runners to finish 15th. This group effort ensured a very low score for the team. Emelie Chace-Donahue finished 33rd, displacing runners from all the other competing teams. Emma Dolan rounded out the seven Merriconeag runners with a steady run and a 55th place finish. Merriconeag girls dominated the meet, securing first place and the Western Maine Regional Class C title in 41 points (runner-up Waynflete finished with 90).

     On the boys' side, Jack Pierce took off at a punishing speed, spending most of the race in fourth until, after biding his time, he passed a Telstar runner to finish the race decisively in 3rd place. Zach Neveu and Tyler O'Brien worked together the entire race, maintaining a great pace and finishing 25th and 26th. Ben Tindall also worked hard, passing a number of runners in the last mile to secure 43rd. Regrouping from last week, Lars Gundersen stepped up to be the boys' fifth runner at 67th. John Burgess (75th) and Lincoln Samuelson (84th) rounded out the boys' finishers on the very muddy course. Merriconeag finished sixth overall, qualifying the boys for the State meet with 161 points. 

     Congrats to both the girls' and boys' teams, who will be racing again at Twin Brook at the State meet next Saturday. Hope to see you there! Coach Morgan Lake Adams

The next high school race is on Saturday, October 29,  Maine State Championships at Twinbrook in Cumberland. 

You can keep up with cross country news, meet schedules and directions on the team blog:http://www.mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com/


Athletic News - Sports Updates, 10-18-


High School Cross Country

Western Maine Conference Meet Recap 
      The WMC championship meet, after being rained out on Friday, was hosted by Sacopee Valley at St. Joseph's College in Standish on Saturday afternoon. We were lucky to have a beautiful, cool fall day with steady breezes and even some sunshine. The St. Joe's course featured dry wide pathways, but also a narrow start that required a quick initial pace and a section of hilly switchbacks in the third mile called "Monk's Misery". Again, we are grateful to all our spectators and helpers (particularly the timers). 
      The girls' team was led by Teagan Wu, who powered through the hill(s) in the last mile to finish an impressive 15th overall. Sam Pierce was close behind, running yet another well-paced race with a strong finish. Jesse Saffeir, coming off a sore quad, nonetheless ran a very courageous race, keeping up with Sam for much of the run and finishing soon after. Carlin Tindall ran the rolling course at a steady pace and again demonstrated a good kick at the finish. Emelie Chace-Donahue paced herself off of Carlin, improving her finish significantly from last week. Emma Dolan rounded out the girls' varsity finishers with a solid effort, catching the Lake Region runner who had outkicked her two weeks earlier. The girls' team finished sixth overall and second in the small school division to Yarmouth.

    In the girls' JV race, Zoe Oswald ran a very smart race, getting out to a good position and then passing a few runners to edge into the top ten with a 9th place finish! She was also the 3rd small school runner. 

     On the boys' side, Jack Pierce was part of the three-way competition that made the boys' race a thrill to watch. He finished a very close 3rd overall. Zach Neveu and Tyler O'Brien ran the first half of the race together, with Zach breaking away in the last mile (and continuing to make huge strides with his freshman season). Tyler held steady through the last hilly section, while Ben Tindall, despite lingering congestion, was able to turn in another solid race this week. Lincoln Samuelson was able to maintain his pace in the last mile over "Monk's Misery" and finish strong. John Burgess returned to form this week, keeping pace with Lars Gundersen for most of the run and finishing close behind Lincoln. Lars rounded out the varsity runners for Merriconeag, keeping contact with his teammates for most of the run and showing his kick yet again. The boys finished ninth overall and fourth in the small school division, behind NYA, Fryeburg and Waynflete. 

     In the boys' JV race, which experienced an even longer false-start delay than the varsity race, Graham Roeber paced himself well over the the hills and finished strong (and as the fifth overall small school runner).

     Hope to see everyone at Twin Brook next Saturday for the Western Maine Regional meet, which will determine who goes to the State meet this year. Coach Morgan Lake Adams

The next high school race is on Saturday, October 22,   WMC Regional Championships at Twinbrook in Cumberland. Girls at 11:10 - Boys at 11:45

You can keep up with cross country news, meet schedules and directions on the team blog:http://www.mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com/


The SMHS sailing team has been busy: On Saturday, Oct 8th on Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, light and challenging wind conditions did not bother our sailors. Congratulations to Leah Bevins, Tim Morse, Sam Alexander, Nina Jarrels and (alternate) Dan Morse for a great first place finish, 12 points ahead of the second place team! On Sunday the 9th, in Boston, SailMaine's varsity Team met unusually warm temperatures and light and variable winds for the Gleekman Regatta on the Charles River. Two boats from each team sailed eight races each, with Sam and Tim each capturing several first and second places. SailMaine finished in second place out the 20 participants, most of which were good competition. Jeff O'Brien



Athletic News - Sports Updates, 10-11-11

High School Cross Country

NYA Meet Recap: The cold temperatures finally arrived right in time for our last regular season meet. NYA hosted at Royal River Park on a fast (but wet) course- the final stretch came complete with a steeplechase-esque puddle that many runners hurdled over on their way to the finish. The day was capped off by a birthday celebration for Coach Ryan and delicious cupcakes made by Zoe Oswald
      On the girls' side, the trio of Jesse Saffeir, Sam Pierce and Teagan Wu went out fast with the leaders. Sam and Jesse battled it out on the final stretch, ultimately crossing the line at exactly the same time. Teagan finished soon after, running the course 18 seconds faster than last season. Carlin Tindall had a break-out race, finishing close behind Teagan and shaking off her Freeport pursuers in the last quarter mile (and also beating last year's time). Emma Dolan locked up the win for Merriconeag, pacing herself right behind NYA's number two for the entire race. Emelie Chace-Donahue and Zoe Oswald finished soon after, bringing in all of Merriconeag's seven runners before NYA's third (!). Zoe O also improved on last year's time by over a minute. The girls' team won the meet, beating Freeport and NYA (Sacopee did not have a complete girls' team).

     For the boys, Jack Pierce racked up his third victory of the season by a comfortable margin (57 seconds). Tyler O'Brien and Zach Neveu paced one another throughout the race, holding off most of the NYA pack in the process. Tyler also posted an improvement over last year's time. Ben Tindall also had a great race, besting his time from last year and running down a Freeport competitor in the final stretch. Lars Gundersen and Lincoln Samuelson pushed each other in the last 200 yards in yet another dramatic Merriconeag sprint to the finish. Graham Roeber continued to make gains this week, and also demonstrated that he has an amazing kick (much to the surprise of one of the Freeport runners). John Burgess finished with a strong effort, bringing all seven Merriconeag runners in before Sacopee's fourth (!). The boys' team finished third, (behind Freeport and NYA) beating Sacopee Valley.

     Please join us at the Western Maine Conference meet next Friday at Community Park in Falmouth- it should be a very exciting race. Coach Morgan Lake Adams

The next high school race is on Friday, October 14,   WMC Championship.

NOTE TIME CHANGE - Girls race first at 3:30, boys at 4:00.

The race is at Falmouth Community Park on Winn Rd in Falmouth. This is 1/8 mile north of Falmouth Rd. Map.google finds this just across from "16 Winn Rd, Falmouth, ME".

You can keep up with cross country news, meet schedules and directions on the team blog:http://www.mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com/


Athletic News - Sports Updates, 10-04-11

High School Cross Country

Fryeburg Meet Recap 
      Saturday's race certainly had the wettest conditions we've enjoyed thus far this season. The girls raced in an aggressive mist, while the skies opened up for the boys. Despite the mud and soggy shoes, both teams raced well, with a number of runners setting personal records (PRs) for the 5K distance. The meet, well over an hour away from our typical courses, also attracted a healthy number of spectators, outfitted in rain jackets, boots and umbrellas. Thank you to all who made the trip.

     In the girls' race, Jesse Saffeir went out hard and raced confidently, running down a Cape Elizabeth competitor in the last 200 yards and finishing second over all with a new PR. She was quickly followed by Sam Pierce and Teagan Wu, who worked hard to match pace with the competition. Sam set a PR as well, while Teagan ran her fastest 5K of the season. Carlin Tindall ran a solid race, settling in to the pace and running a strong third mile (and, as usual, a strong kick at the finish). Zoe Oswald and Emma Dolan worked together, battling it out with a Lake Region runner in the final stretch. Zoe O also set a PR (by over two minutes!) and Emma also ran her fastest 5K this fall. The girls' team finished the meet second behind Cape Elizabeth, beating Fryeburg and Lake Region.

     For the boys, Jack Pierce went out fast with the lead Fryeburg runner, racing to a second place finish and a new PR. Tyler O'Brien had a great run (despite not having his glasses), keeping pace with Fryeburg and Lake Region competitors, finishing with his fastest 5K time of the season. Zach Neveu also raced very well, again picking up speed in the last mile to try to catch up with Tyler and setting a new PR. Ben Tindall finished close behind, dramatically out-kicking a Lake Region runner in the last 100 yards, also setting a new PR. Continuing on that streak, the pack of John Burgess, Lars Gundersen and Lincoln Samuelson all set PRs, coming in under 21 minutes and racing a Lake Region competitor all the way to the finish. Graham Roeber ran a very good race right behind that pack, improving on his finish from last week. The boys' team also finished second (to Fryeburg), beating Lake Region (the Cape boys' team did not run in this meet). 

     Hope to see you all next Friday at our last regular season meet at NYA! Coach Morgan Lake Adams

The next high school race is on Friday, October 7, hosted by NYA. NOTE TIME CHANGE - Girls race first at 4:00, boys at 4:30. The race is at Royal River Park, entrance on East Elm St. in Yarmouth. Map.google finds this at "89 East Elm St, Yarmouth, ME".

You can keep up with cross country news, meet schedules and directions on the team blog:http://www.mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com/


High School News, 09-27-11

Mooselookmeguntic Mysteries—

The Ninth and Tenth Grade Canoeing Trip: Last week the ninth and tenth graders went on a four-day, three-night joint canoe/camping trip to Richardson and Mooselookmeguntic lakes. On Monday morning, the two classes were split into two grade-irrelevant groups; one started at the south arm of Richardson Lake and one at Haine’s Landing on Mooselookmeguntic Lake. I was part of the southern group, (aptly named the Rebels). The weather on Monday was phenomenal (at least for us for us); bright sun and clear sky, not too hot, not too cold, with a firm northerly breeze. The time passed quickly on the water, mainly due to Lincoln Samuelson’s amazing (a wee bit off tune) a capella entertainment. Although the day was fun, it doesn’t compare to the evening. As happens during most of the camping trips I’ve been on, a general outcry for ghost stories usually occurs around the campfire. What usually doesn’t happen however, is that someone tells a true, riveting and terrifying narrative about a mischievous spirit and a midnight séance, as calm, serious, math teacher Mr. O'Brien did. He scared our (at least my) pants off. But that’s not all that happened. 
      After we had all gone to bed (huddled in the center of our tents in little clumps not sleeping a wink), SOMEBODY came around taunting (more like torturing) us. First it was just a few rustles along the side of our tent, then it was poking and prodding us through the wall of the tent, and then we heard two distinct clicks—someone was unclipping our rainfly. Normally we would have been fine with that, but that night it was scheduled to rain. So very, very slowly, each trying to go second, John Burgess and I crept out of the tent and shone our flashlights where the clicking noise had come from. And sure enough, our fly was unclipped, ready to fly away with the slightest wind. Not only that, but there was no sign of any intruder. At that point John and I dove back into our tent and the relative security of our sleeping bags. 
      Then we went through the list of possible culprits. It couldn’t be the girls; they had gone on a group bathroom (outhouse) trip and we could still hear and see their flashlights off in the woods. It couldn’t be the other boys’ tent, because from my experience, teenage boys do not have the self-discipline to keep from laughing when playing a practical joke. So that left us three options—Mrs. Burwell (our art teacher), Mr. Pearson (Ben, our guide) or Mr. O’Brien. We knew it couldn't be Mrs. Burwell (we heard her snoring). So that night we had narrowed it down to two possible culprits, Ben (the more likely) and Mr. O’Brien. The next day we confronted Ben and he put up a very good argument consisting mostly of wishing he had been the one to play the prank... So we moved on to Mr. O'Brien. All he said was “I dunno what you’re talkin’ about,” and averted his eyes, but I saw a twinkle in them. It goes to show you never really know someone until you go on a Merriconeag camping trip with him. Joe Newlin, Class of 2014

Into The Wind—Another Canoeing Perspective: Last Monday we set off on our Mooselookmeguntic Lake canoe trip, each of us confident that our group was the best. There were two groups of 9th and 10th graders: one paddling north from the south end of the lake and one paddling south from the north end of the lake. We planned to meet in the middle on a island to spend the night before going on to end at the very spot from which the other group had started.
      The first day the lake was mostly smooth, but pretty quickly we figured out that we were going to be canoeing into the wind the whole trip. By the time we reached the island on which we would be camping, everyone was tired. The canoe bearing Eli and me reached the island first and right in front of us there was a perfect campsite. We paddled in and got out. Well, it was not our campsite, but it was so perfect, with a wide beach and birch trees, that we stayed there anyway. 
      The next day was not quite so relaxing. We woke up to rain and fog. The water had white caps and we were canoeing straight into a strong wind. For the morning canoe, I was paired with Mr. Sloan. Well, quite to my aggravation, Mr. Sloan made me count thirty paddle strokes, each stroke being 2 seconds long, and then yell, "switch!" at the beginning of the thirtieth paddle. After two and half hours, I was nearly crazy from counting. 
      When we finally arrived at our campsite, after hours of singing Michaelmas songs and countless rounds of "The Ants go Marching" and "Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog," we burned out. At the island, we met up with the other group, which was full of energy because they had made sails out of tarps and sailed with the wind all the way to the island! After s'mores and a back rub circle however, we were back. We ran around in the woods without flashlights and scared each other. A few times I found my gullible self alone and I was sure that I heard a moose breathing on me. Of course it was not a moose and so after screaming bloody murder into a certain someone's face, I was mercilessly teased.
      After saying good-bye to the other group the next morning, things were pretty uneventful. That's when Mr. Sloan announced that we would be practicing canoe rescue! A few hours later, still shivering from the icy water, we ate the best dinner ever: Annie's Macaroni and Cheese, even after we discovered that Liam is a very literal person--he dumped a potful water on our little stove because Mrs. Pearson told him to put the pot of water on the burner!
      For our last day, the wind was strong and the waves choppy. We braved the weather with lots of singing or, what one might more accurately call, shrieking. When we got to the dock and pulled our canoes out for the last time, everyone was so tired that on the way back in the van, we more or less resigned ourselves to listening to Mr. Sloan’s classic oldies stations. Fiona Chace-Donahue, Class of 2015

Thursday, September 22, 2011 8:43 am, Last full day in Quebec:
Good morning everyone,
      A quick update before leaving for our excursion outside of Quebec City. So far our 11th Grade students have been just GREAT, without exception! We have kept very busy trying to balance cultural experiences, art, history acquisitions, language practice and just plain fun or rest time. We made sure the runners could have their daily run around the beautiful Plains of Abraham. I think they have very much enjoyed it!

     We have been to 3 museums in the last 3 days: first with a brief historical diorama account of the most famous battle of Quebec when the British Conquest started, then to the Museum of French America following the paths of French immigrants, then to the very wonderful Musee de la Civilisation where students chose their exhibitions of choices; I believe they now have a pretty good understanding of the Quebec history. The very serious and official visit to the Parliament was a success. The guide was clear and interesting , the solemn government place inspired respect and awe to all our teenagers.
      On Tuesday, we had a lovely dinner at the most ancient restaurant in Quebec "Aux Anciens Canadiens" where everyone could try traditional Quebecois fare. The maple sugar pie was unbelievable! That day, as it was very sunny and lovely, the students took their instruments to the ancient Place Royale in the lower old town and they displayed their musical talents for the greatest delights of passers by, Quebecois and tourists from around the world. Merriconeag School got lots of positive advertising that day!! Yesterday, somebody stopped us in the street to say how much they had enjoyed the musical performance (instruments and singing)the day before. I was so proud of our kids!

     Last night, we enjoyed a music workshop with Guy Bouchard and his wife Laura Sadowski, in the a very ancient house in the old town. Guy sometimes comes and teaches at Maine Fiddle Camp. As a matter of fact, Jack had him as a teacher before! Guy taught our string musicians a traditional off beat (literally!) Quebecois tune while the non players danced around in a countradance organized by Laura. Great fun! Devon and Skyler demonstrated some Irish step dancing. Then we were invited to go downstairs in the ancient stone vault cellar where a singing workshop was happening with another musician. There, it was a real challenge for our kids to follow the call & response singing in French, sometimes old French. Some started becoming giggly and restless but eventually, they were released from this intense immersion musical exercise. We had to walk briskly to evaporate the last high silly energy before returning to a quiet Hostel!

     Today we are off to visit the gorgeous Canyon of Ste Anne where we shall hike and pass swinging bridges over raging waters. We'll picnic in the park before visiting the Ste Anne basilica on the way back. A very impressive cathedral that inspires awe.
      Tonight, we have our last dinner in a very nice restaurant in the old town before, and it will be our last surprise, a storyteller will take us at night around the dark old cobblestone streets of old Quebec, telling us ghost and murder stories that are part of the Quebecois heritage. Should be fun! Hopefully, they will be tired enough to go right to bed afterward so that we can leave early tomorrow morning. I am keeping the race in mind so I am leaving plenty of time, just in case the border takes longer than planned.

     We hope to be back at the latest at 3pm at Desert Rd, hopefully much before that.

     Great and interesting class to be with. But, I shall be happy to sleep in my bed tomorrow!

All the best from beautiful Quebec. What a place!
Regine Whittlesey

Check out this small video done by our French intern, Lucie: The 11th grade students were improvising some music on the ancient Place Royale in old Quebec. It was the end of the day, before walking back to Chateau Frontenac then the Hostel. They sang, played music and danced to the great joy of passers by and tourists! They received many compliments even though some of them were doing these pieces for the 1st time.
To view the video, please click here.


Hermit Island 2011: 
Every year for the past sixteen years, senior classes from Waldorf high schools from all over the US have gathered at our very own Hermit Island for a week of camping and the study of marine biology. This year, eight schools were represented: Merriconeag, Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (MA), Hartsbrook School (MA),

Waldorf High School of Massachusetts Bay (MA), Hawthorne Valley School (NY), Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs (NY), Kimberton Waldorf School (PA), and Lake Champlain Waldorf School (VT.) Including our own eleven seniors, we were close to 100 students strong.

     The week was a wonderful mixture of morning lessons about marine invertebrates, tidal pool observations (including writings and drawings) and afternoon workshops focusing on microscope work, beach ecology, water color painting and writing poetry. In the evenings there were campfires to discuss Rachel Carson quotes about taking responsibility for the environment and share musical offerings, a reading given by a local Maine writer, a very energetic contra dance and more. The trip is a rich combination of learning and exploring, making new friends, solidifying class relationships and living outdoors in a stunningly beautiful place. On the last day, as one looks at the 100 paintings mounted on the walls, listens to some of the poems written on the island, recognizes what the students have learned, and bears witness to newly formed friendships, the richness and wisdom of the Waldorf approach becomes supremely clear.

David Barham


Athletic News - Sports Updates, 09-27-11

High School Cross Country

Yarmouth Meet Recap 
      Despite class trips which put a damper on training this week, both the girls' and the boys' x-country teams turned in great performances at Yarmouth this past Friday. The course was a muddy slog over tough terrain and uneven footing, and although the rain held off, it was a humid and overcast afternoon. Spectator turn out was good, however, the course offered few viewing points for supporters. 
      The girls' team started the race with a pack mentality. They held this formation for most of the meet, with Teagan Wu, Sam Pierce, Jesse Saffeir and Zoe Chace-Donahue finishing in a solid block and puttingMerriconeag in excellent scoring position. Carlin Tindall was close behind, again showing her incredible kick as she passed several Yarmouth competitors in the last 400 yards of the field loop. Emelie Chace-Donahue also ran a strong race, not allowing any competitors to pass her once she had established her position. Emma Dolan and Zoe Oswald worked together throughout the race, passing the competition (while still showing that Merriconeag sportsmanship!) and Zoe again unleashing a punishing kick in the last stretch. The girls finished first, beating Yarmouth, Lake Region and Gray New Gloucester. 
      The boys' race was a little closer, with several runners providing key scoring positions. Jack Pierce jumped out to a quick lead, ultimately winning his second race of the season. Tyler O'Brien again ran aggressively this week, placing above expectations and keeping the score low. Close behind him was Zach Neveu, who ran down a surprised Lake Region runner in the final field loop. Ben Tindall and Lincoln Samuelson turned in strong performances, placing all Merriconeag's scoring runners in the top twelve places. Not far behind was John Burgess, who's kick improves week by week. Lars Gundersen also ran a very competitive race, jockeying for position with the competition in the final stretch. Graham Roeber rounded out the Merriconeag finishers, running well on a hard course. The boys finished first as well, beating Lake Region, Yarmouth and Gray New Gloucester.
     This is the first race where the girls' and boys' teams have both won on the same day. Congrats!

Coach Morgan Lake Adams

The next high school race is on Saturday, October 1, at Fryeburg Academy. Merriconeag will be racing Cape Elizabeth, NYA and Fryeburg. The girls run first at 11:30 a.m.. We love to see you there!

You can keep up with cross country news, meet schedules and directions on the team blog:http://www.mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com/


Our high school cross country running teams were also featured in an article in the Portland Press Herald on Thursday: Click here to read the article.


High School Sailing

Tim Morse (sailing with Leah Bevins this week) came in fifth out of 15 boats in the Casco Bat Open regatta. Congratulations Tim!

Merriconeag Ultimate

Six Merriconeag Students played for the Southern Maine High School Team in the Bowdoin College Frisbee Tournament this weekend. They learned a lot about playing at the college level.


High School News, 09-20-11

Where Have all the High Schoolers Gone? The 12th grade left Sunday for Hermit Island in Phippsburg to join the senior classes from the Waldorf School of Mass Bay, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, Great Barrington Waldorf School, Lake Champlain Waldorf School, and Hartsbrook Waldorf School. They return on Friday around 2:00 PM. Ms. Buck and Mr. Barham are Chaperoning.

     The 11th grade left Monday for Quebec City. They will return around 3:00 PM on Friday. Madame Whittlesey, Frau Merrill, and Mademoiselle James are chaperoning.

     The 9th and 10th grades left on Monday for a canoe trip on Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Rangeley. They will return around 3:00 on Thursday. Mr. Sloan and Mrs. Pearson are chaperoning one group and Mr. Pearson, Ms. Burwell, and Mr. O'Brien are chaperoning the other.. The two groups will camp together on Tuesday Night.

     The 9th and 10th graders will go to the Common Ground Fair with Grades 2 through 8 on Friday. Busses leave Desert Rd. at 8:15 and return at 3:00. Mr. Sloan, Ms. Burwell, and Ms. Flath are chaperoning. Jeff O'Brien, High School Faculty Chair


Athletic News - Sports Updates, 09-20-11

High School Cross Country

York Meet Recap
 Merriconeag traveled down to York last Friday for a very successful race on a fast, flat course. The weather was sunny and breezy, with a welcome respite from the higher temperatures and humidity of the last few weeks. We were joined by our usual legion of spectators and closed out the day with a picnic on the beach. All in all, a wonderful day to race. Athletes on both the girls’ and boys’ team all met or exceeded personal goals set for this race—please congratulate them when you see them!
      On the girls side, Zoe Chace-Donahue cruised out to a very competitive start, racing at a very fast pace and hanging on for fourth place overall. She was followed in quick succession by Sam Pierce, Jesse Saffeir and Teagan Wu, who have become a very formidable pack. They managed to break up runners from both Cape and York, ensuring a low score (a good thing, for all you non-runners!) for the team. Returning to racing form this week, Carlin Tindall put on a late surge to pass a number of York runners and finished the race with a punishing kick. Emelie Chace-Donahue also worked hard to close gaps in the last mile of the race, while Emma Dolan fought hard to stay close on her heels. Zoe Oswald had perhaps the biggest break-through of the day, beating her goal time by a minute and obliterating last year’s time. The girls’ team finished in a tie with York, beating Cape Elizabeth and Poland (!). 

     For the boys, Jack Pierce led the pack, striking out on his own around the halfway point and winning his first race of the year. Tyler O'Brien had an excellent race, pushing himself hard against the competition. Zack Neveu kept pace with Ben Tindall for most of the race until he broke away in the last mile with a hard sprint at the finish. Ben, while feeling under the weather, still turned in a very quick time for the day. Lincoln Samuelson also had a stellar performance, significantly beating his goal time. John Burgess and Lars Gunderson worked together again, pushing each other through a very quick first mile and maintaining a steady pace. And congratulations to Graham Roeber, who finished his first high school x-country race! The boys’ team finished behind York and Cape Elizabeth, beating Poland. 

     Hope you can join us next week at Yarmouth! Coach Morgan Lake Adams

The next high school race is at Pratts Brook on North Road in Yarmouth on Friday, September 23rd.Merriconeag will be racing Lake Region, Gray/NG and Yarmouth . The girls run at 4:30 pm and the boys at 5:00. We love to see you there! You can keep up with cross country news, meet schedules and directions on the team blog: http://www.mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com/

High School Sailing

Tim Morse and his partner (MWS alum, Nina Jarrell) finished second in last Saturday's high school sailing regatta. Congratulations!

High School News, 09-13-11

     Thank you to everyone who made the first few days of school an unqualified success. We are very appreciative of our seniors who welcomed our incoming 9th graders last Tuesday (and included a goodie bag for each one), gifted the entire community with their song "Lean on Me" at the Wildflower ceremony on Wednesday, and organized a fun "Wilderlympics" for the entire high school on Thursday and Friday. They helped get us off to a very good start this year and we thank them for their initiative.

     Thank you to Gina Sawin and our Board for providing the high school with a delicious Mexican buffet and a barn dance to remember last Thursday evening. We thank Monday Night Posse for the music that got us all dancing and we send out a special thank you to the anonymous high school parent who purchased this item, offered by the Board at last spring's auction, and then gave it to the high school.  Jeff O'Brien, High School Faculty Chair


Athletic News - Sports Updates, 09-13-11

High School Cross Country

Congratulations to Jack Pierce who was named one of the Portland Press Herald's "20 Cross Country Runners to Watch." You can read all about it by clicking here.


Merriconeag Meet Recap
      Another Friday, another great race for the x-country teams! Last Friday, September 9th, Merriconeag hosted Falmouth and Gray New Gloucester at their home course. The weather was bright and breezy, with the trails providing some welcome shade. The meet was well attended by family members, classmates and teachers (thanks spectators!). Cookies and other snacks were greatly enjoyed by the competitors. 
      On the girls side, Zoe Chace-Donahue recorded her first ever individual victory, battling it out with Falmouth's number one and making her move in the last mile. Working together, Teagan Wu, Jesse Saffeir and Sam Pierce broke up a large Falmouth pack, putting Merriconeag into excellent scoring position. Teagan in particular had a break-out race, passing a number of competitors and hanging on for third place while Jesse and Sam both finished before Falmouth's fourth and fifth runners. Emelie Chace-Donahue rounded out the scoring with a well-paced run. Emma Dolan gave a good effort on the trails despite some shoe issues, working hard to maintain her pace. Zoe Oswald ran very aggressively in the second half of the run, ensuring her a large improvement over last week's time. The girls beat Gray New Gloucester and finished only two points behind a very large Falmouth team.

     For the boys, Jack Pierce again went out with the leaders, in a large pack that narrowed down to just two in the second half of the race when he and the lead Falmouth runner decided to pick up the pace. Tyler O'Brien ran very consistent splits as the lone Merriconeag runner in a very large Falmouth pack. Ben Tindall and Zach Neveu, working together, had a strong race and finished without being passed by a single runner (although there was a little jockeying between the two teammates as they kicked into the finish chute). Lincoln Samuelson turned in another strong effort, working hard on the hills. John Burgess ran an impressive race, improving on his last year's time by over a minute and a half. Lars Gundersen also posted an improvement- a new personal best- while continuing to display an excellent kick in the finishing stretch. The boys beat Gray New Gloucester and finished second to Falmouth. Coach Morgan Lake Adams

The next high school race is in York on Friday, September 16th. Merriconeag will be racing Cape Elizabeth, Poland and York. The girls run at 4:30 pm and the boys at 5:00. We love to see you there!

You can keep up with cross country news and meet schedules on the team blog:http://www.mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com/


Athletic News - Sports Updates, 09-07-11

High School Cross Country : Greely Meet Recap 
      Merriconeag had a very exciting start to the x-country season on Friday, September 2. It was a beautiful afternoon with clear skies, sun and a light breeze at Greely’s Twin Brook course. We were also grateful to have so many enthusiastic spectators to cheer on the runners throughout the course. 

     On the girls side, Zoe Chace-Donahue closed a sizeable gap during the second mile to finish third overall. Sam Pierce and Jesse Saffeir both made their high school x-country debut in an impressive fashion, looking confident and picking off opposing runners. Teagan Wu and Carlin Tindall also ran hard, maintaining their strength through the last mile and giving the girls’ team a good position in the scoring. Emelie Chace-Donahue and Emma Dolan ran a smart race, working together in the first mile and, as the sixth and seventh runners, helped to ensure the tie with Greely with their quick pace. Zoe Oswald, despite having to run by herself, used the opposing runners to motivate herself and finishing with a very good time for the first meet of the season. The girls’ team ended by tying for first place with the much larger Greely team. They also beat Fryeburg and Wells. (Boothbay and Traip did not field full teams).

    For the boys, Jack Pierce started the race off in an exciting fashion by keeping pace with the leader for the first mile and a half. Tyler O'Brien ran a very strong second mile, moving up dramatically. Ben Tindall pushed himself hard throughout the race, displaying real grit in the last mile. Zach Neveu held on for a very strong finish, with a surge that started all the way back at the ‘pain cave’. Lincoln Samuelson also had an impressive freshman debut, beginning the first mile of the race with his freshmen teammates and hanging on through the hills the second time through the A loop. John Burgess ran a very steady, consistent race, holding off teammate Lars Gunderson’s blistering kick in the last 100 yards. The boys’ team ended by finishing third behind Greely and Boothbay, beating out Fryeburg, and Wells. (Traip did not field a full team). Coach Morgan Lake Adams

You can keep up with cross country news on the team blog, http://www.mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com/

Who Says Poetry Doesn't Pay?

     Recent graduate Jeremy Colson, one of three Merriconeag finalists in last year's Merriconeag Poetry Festival, received yet another literary award over the summer. He won the statewide competition sponsored by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance for his poem "Irrelevant Nonsense." Jeremy earned $200 for his achievement and was feted at a July awards ceremony that also included Maine Poet Laureate and Merriconeag Poetry Festival judge Wes McNair. Jeremy plans to attend Clark University in Worcester, Mass. in the fall of 2012.

    To read about Jeremy's honor in the Portland Press Herald, click here.

Jeremy's winning poem follows:

Irrelevant Nonsense

Strawberry skies and sherbet clouds.
A crepuscular punch bowl.
Licorice lamp-posts
populate the Italianesque boulevard.
A quacking multitude of moustaches
flock south as jimmies on whipped cream.
Crumbling cobblestone crenellations
mix in a castle stew.
Bubble-wrap hillsides
coat sealed wine bottles,
Next to a stack of vanilla wafers,
to be served abruptly and without warning.
I take a bite of polyurethane,
and chew slowly.
A drawbridge tongue mocks me,
so I trample it.
Flinging nonsense like anchovies,
I have seeded the courtyard with vocabulary.
This trans-dimensional blabbering
is pepperoni on pie.
Unfortunately deprived of ginger ale,
I wander into the gatehouse
And contemplate the meaning of beverage.