High School News

Read all the latest news in our newsletter, The Tuesday News.

High School News Archives, 2013 - 2014

High School News Archives, 2012 - 2013


Visit Maine's Only Waldorf High School

Parent & prospective student visits arranged at your convenience.

New Gloucester Campus, 83 Pineland Drive
Call 207.865.3900, Ext. 103 or email, admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org to schedule.

 

News from December 2, 2014

From the High School Faculty Chair: This past week I hope you all enjoyed family, feasting, and skiing (or shoveling!) It gave many of us time to reflect upon just how much we have much to be grateful for, not the least of which is being an essential part of this extraordinary Waldorf community. Seven years ago we had just started the high school, with a total of fifteen ninth and tenth graders. At that stage it would have been a real stretch to imagine any single class whose enrollment would exceed that number, yet here we are! It is a measure of the school’s vitality that we continue to be a desirable destination for so many exchange students. Last week we bid bon voyage to Tounga Gonthier and Isaia Piette. This coming week Tucker Pierce’s exchange—Jannis Greissl—arrives. We also continue to attract enrollment possibilities from outside the school. In the next few weeks, several interested families will be visiting. David Sloan
  

 

Merriconeag Waldorf High School Humanities teacher, Kristin Agudelo, has an article in the current issue of the Research Bulletin (Autumn/Winter 2014) which is published by the Research Institute for Waldorf Education. Kristin's article is entitled, "Encountering Sophia in the Classroom: Gender Inclusion in the Waldorf Curriculum." Congratulations, Kristin!

To learn more about the Research Institute, click here.

 

Merriconeag Musicians Mesh with Mozart: Last month, three Merriconeag High School students had the honor of joining a 145-member ensemble in three sold-out performances of Mozart’s Requiem at Bowdoin College. Calla Barton ‘18, Fiona Ahearne ’16, and Louise Ahearne ’18, were recommended to the Mozart Mentors Orchestra by their private instructors. These teachers then work with the students to prepare for pieces performed through the year with groups such as the Oratorio Chorale, Bowdoin College Chorus, and others. Shaina Graff, Merriconeag High School strings teacher, is one of the professional mentors and served as first violinist in the performances.

     Calla, Fiona and Louise enjoyed the experience of playing alongside professional musicians (including the grammy-recipient guest musicians), college students, and under the direction of an amazing young female conductor. To watch and listen to their performance, click here. (the Requiem itself begins at about 7 minutes in).


 

News from November 12, 2014

High School Cross Country: Eight members of our Class C

Maine State cross-country running team traveled to Connecticut

for the New England Cross Country Championships. It was a

tough course with a big hill, and the competition was impressive.

Everyone went into this race with the intention of each individual

doing their best, and some of our runners had very good races.

While our team finished at the back of the pack, the benefits were

still many to this intrepid group of runners. Having trained and

performed at a high level all season long, the coach and kids felt

it was a real privilege to make the trip, and everyone thought it was a

positive experience to participate in this high level race. Read more> 
Full results and more can be found on the results page of the blog.


 

News from November 4, 2014

Merriconeag high school boys are Class C XC State Champions!

Four top-ten finishes. Five all-time PRs. Eight course PRs. Ten team medals.

And of course, one first-time-ever boys Class C cross country championship trophy.

Yes, Belfast was good to Merriconeag! Read more below.

High School Cross Country: First and foremost, congratulations to our

boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams, both of whom so admirably

represented Merriconeag Waldorf High School at the Maine State

Class C Championships in Belfast on Saturday.

The girls finished fourth in the state, and the boys are Merriconeag’s

newest STATE CHAMPIONS! Special kudos to Coach Morgan Lake Adams;

with the exception of Orono High School (student population: 359), whose

girls’ team finished first and boys’ team second at Belfast, small but mighty

Merriconeag (student population: 44) can claim to have the most successful combined cross-country program in the Class C division of the state of Maine! Bravo to all! Read more> 
Full results and more can be found on the results page of the blog.

Coming up next are the New England Championships this Saturday, November 8 in Manchester, CT.

Go Team!

Our Team in the News: The Tri-Town Weekly has an article on the Class C (and B) State Meet.

The Portland Press Herald's story on the boys' race includes a quotation from our own Lars

Gundersen. The Bangor Daily News covers the boys' race and the girls' race. And of course,

there is the usual extensive coverage over at milesplit, including an interview with Tucker and

more race photos.

Cross country: Freeport, Merriconeag take Class B, C titles
By Adam Birt, Tri-Town Weekly, November 3, 2014

Boys’ cross country: Scarborough, Freeport and Merriconeag take state titles
By Glenn Jordan, Portland Press Herald, November 1, 2014

Different strategies fuel successful efforts for boys cross country champions
By Ernie Clark, Bangor Daily News, Nov. 01, 2014p.m.

There is also the usual extensive coverage over at milesplit, including an interview with

Tucker Pierce and more race photos.

 

News from October 28, 2014

Congratulations to Merriconeag high school boys and girls cross country teams!

Both were runner-up at the Western Maine Class C Regional Championship

on Saturday at Twin Brook in Cumberland. Read more below.


High School Cross Country:
 The skies finally cleared on Saturday for the Western Maine Regional Cross Country Championship at Twin Brook in Cumberland. Merriconeag runners were in fine form, with both the boys' and the girls' teams placing second in Class C. It was a thriller, with the boys tying Boothbay for first in regular scoring, however Boothbay came out ahead in the tie-breaker. Girls were a solid second and both teams have good momentum heading into the states race this coming Saturday at Belfast. Both the boys' and girls' teams finished with three runners in the top 10 and four in the top 20! Well done! Read more>

Check out this article on Milesplit, which name checks several of our runners- Tucker, Zach, Nick, Olivia and Sam. Olivia and Tucker are interviewed as well. There are also photos from both races, and a video from the boys' race.

Coming up next is the Class C State Championship at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast .

The schedule is:
Class C Boys - 11:00, Girls – 11:45 (this is our division!)
Class A Boys – 12:30, Girls – 1:15
Class B Boys – 2:00, Girls – 2:45
Full results and more can be found on the results page of the blog.

Click here for the complete race schedule.

Throughout the season, everyone can keep on top of the running team happenings via the blog.

 

During PSAT exams, our French Intern Kevin Reynaud took the three French Exchange students to the Maine Wildlife Refuge in Grey. In a beautiful sunny Autumnal day, Pauline, Isaïa, Tounga and Kevin enjoyed discovering the Maine fauna. They particularly loved observing the albino raccoon and the moose. They want to thank Merriconeag to give them this opportunity to discover this very special Maine place.


 

 

On Thursday October 23rd, I asked two students to accompany me to the Independent School Fair hosted by Breakwater School in Portland. 10th grader Sabrina Small, a former Breakwater student, and 9th grader Eli Gundersen came along with me to represent Merriconeag among about twenty other independent schools. They proved to be wonderful Ambassadors of our school, talking with great enthusiasm and clarity about their Merriconeag experience to prospective 8th graders and their families. We hope see some of these children come and shadow at our High School in the near future. I want to thank Eli and Sabrina for their kind and positive participation to this important outreach. Madame Whittlesey

 

News from October 21, 2014

Spirit Day at MWHS: Last Thursday, October 16, the high school celebrated Spirit Day, a day recognized by high
schools across the country. It was sponsored by our high school's new GSTA (Gay-Straight-Trans Alliance) group.A number of kids dressed in purple to signify that they oppose the bullying of LGBT kids. 

 

 

The Wit and Wisdom of the Class of 2015: For the past two weeks, the seniors have been exploring a number of authors chiefly responsible for awakening the literary genius of nineteenth century America—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Walt Whitman among them. Each writer exhorted people to find their own voices, to rely upon their own individual genius. In the spirit of this celebration of the self, I asked students to write an “original sentence,” that is, some thought that they believed had never been expressed in quite the same words that they chose. Below you will find the fruits of their efforts. David Sloan

“I want to live where the sky rains quivering drops of mercury and the sun and the moon perfectly co-exist and all the beings live by one simple rule: love each other.” Fiona Chace-Donahue

“Storms are remembered for how they change the world around them. This is the same for people.”Mindy Dixon

“If a society is a glass of water, then dishonesty, is the unrelenting sun that siphons it slowly into oblivion.” Lars Gundersen

“It would be easy to believe in God if God had a crooked right thumb and a firm handshake.” Zach Neveu

“They observed a new species of animal rolling about, or Rich and Al thought at least, but it turned out to be just a little child scratching its back on the roots of a tree.” Samantha Pierce

“Driving in the car alone is one of the best forms of meditation; your conscious mind is occupied with keeping you alive, while your subconscious is free to go anywhere it chooses without interruption.” Isabella Pignatello

“Life is like mushroom roulette; you never know when you might drop dead.” Graham Roeber

“If you devote your life to fishing for praise, you will probably reel in a lot of soggy shoes, but if you devote your life to fishing for soggy shoes, you probably won’t receive much praise either.” Jesse Saffeir

“We speak about living in nature, but quickly forget, then return to our concrete castles in the middle of our walled-in kingdoms of steel.” Lincoln Samuelson

 

Community Service Continues: On Thursday, October 16, high school students joined community service work crews on campus, at local farms, and in Portland. Here are some highlights from the day.


 

High School Cross Country: This past week our team was at the WMC Championship at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. This is a race comprised of all WMC (Western Maine Conference) schools, so it is large in number of schools and in number of runners. With Sebago Lake and the spectacular fall colors in view, it was a terrific day for runners and spectators alike. Results in this race are divided into large and small school divisions. Our runners ran hard, with the boys placing second and the girls placing third in the small school division. As we near the end of the season, every race is a big one. Read more>

Coming up next is the State Regional race on Saturday at Twin Brook on Tuttle Rd in Cumberland. The schedule is:
Class C - Boys – 10:00, Girls – 10:35 (these are our races!)
Class A - Boys – 12:00, Girls – 12:35
Class B - Boys - 2:30, Girls – 3:05

Full results and more can be found on the results page of the blog.

Click here for the complete race schedule.

Throughout the season, everyone can keep on top of the running team happenings via the blog.

 

News from October 14, 2014

High School Cross Country: Last week the cross country team had their final race of the regular season at Cape Elizabeth on Friday afternoon, racing against Cape, Gray-New Gloucester and Poland. Both of our Merriconeag teams ran strong, with both boys and girls placing second behind Cape (girls tied for first with regular scorers but lost on the tie-breaker). Olivia and Samantha came in one-two in the girls race.Read more>

Coming up this Friday is the much heralded WMC Championship at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.

Races are:
3:00 – Girls Varsity
3:30 – Boys Varsity
4:00 – Girls JV
4:30 – Boys JV

Full results and more can be found on the results page of the blog.

Click here for the complete race schedule.

Throughout the season, everyone can keep on top of the running team happenings via the blog.

 

News from October 7, 2014

9th & 10th Grades Study Geology in Acadia National Park:  From Monday, September 29 through Thursday, October 2 the 31 ninth and tenth graders lived in Acadia National Park studying the intricacies of the geology and the effects of glaciation. Former Merriconeag teacher Cristina Post, a specialist in the geology of Mount Desert Island joined Susan Sonntag, Rose Mary Burwell, Nathan Doan, David Barham and Jeff O'Brien. The students hiked The Bubbles as well as Dorr Mountain, observed the glacial moraine by Jordan Pond and learned why Sand Beach is made up of sand rather than the more typical boulders found on most Maine beaches (hint: it has something to do with how calcium carbonate breaks down in cold water). There was much to be learned about how a mile and a half high glacier, covering the land for thousands of years compressed the Earth over 330 feet down and how the Earthhas rebounded since the last glacier melted 18,000 years ago. There is something wonderful about coming to a new and more profound understanding of the ground beneath your very feet!

     On Tuesday and Wednesday, in addition to hiking, the students had two artistic workshops. One half the group painted with Mrs. Burwell, one day on Sand Beach and one day at the beautiful bridge next to Bubble Pond. The other half had a poetry workshop on Tuesday and a prose writing workshop based on Aldo Leopold's powerful essay, Thinking Like a Mountain. Both of these were led by Mr. Barham. On Wednesday night around the final campfire, the students each shared either their poem or their essay with the others. Though many were nervous about sharing their writings, a beautiful intimacy was created as everyone read. On Thursday morning, beneath the only sun we saw the whole time we were out, all of the paintings were laid out on the beach and we could take in all of the color and beauty at once. Additionally, to round it all off, the guitars and mandolins came out each night around the campfire and songs filled the air.

     Based on the immensely successful formula used for the twelfth grade marine biology study at Hermit Island, the incorporation of painting and writing alongside the science felt vital and true to the heart of Waldorf education. Being connected to the geology of Acadia through hiking its gorgeous trails, hearing the specific details from an expert on geology, painting its beauty, capturing the wild majesty in language and simply living day and night in the park for four days allowed for a depth and heart-knowledge that simply can not be "taught" in the classroom, no matter how masterful the teacher. For Waldorf education, the notion, "The world is my classroom," is not just a bumper sticker. We learn when we care and are moved and we care and are moved when what we learn is in a meaningful context.

     All part of Thinking Like a Mountain. Rest assured, we will take to the woods again as soon as we are able. 
David Barham  Click here to read some of the poems from Acadia

 

11th Grade trip to Quebec city, Canada: The annual 11th Grade trip to Quebec was once more a smashing success! The 11th grade class took advantage of it small size to enjoy wonderful closeness in the van as well as during every minute of the day! Our six adventurers enjoyed running in a fierce wind, looking for the secret tomb of a lost Royal French Heir, they enjoyed playing a historical game related to the 18th century battles of Quebec, picnicking on top of the Plains of Abraham or in the bright autumnal park of the Canyon of Ste Anne, visiting diverse museums to discover more about Samuel de Champlain and life in the early French colonies, walking respectfully along the aisles of the magnificent Basilica of Sainte Anne de Beaupré... The days were peacefully filled with culture, history and delicious food, leaving some space for some free time to discover quaint boutiques in the narrow cobblestone streets of old Quebec, admiring some talented craftsmen and sipping hot chocolate at leisure. This 11th Grade class was enthusiastic, interested, curious, joyous and oh, so kind to each other. It was a real pleasure to be their guide and chaperon. Our little group of 8, including our wonderful intern Kevin Reynaud, was more like a small group of friends enjoying the sights of this French American jewel than a formal school group. I want to thank my students for being such a wonderful group to be with and Kevin for being a joyful, most helpful assistant during this trip.Can't wait to do this trip again! Madame Whittlesey

 

Mudflats and Mingling—The Twelfth Grade Hermit Island Trip: As part of their zoology block last month, the Class of 2015 spent an entire week studying marine biology at Hermit Island, along with over a hundred Waldorf students from eight Waldorf schools. The week was crammed with activities—joint morning lessons, tidepool explorations, poetry and painting workshops, microscope and dune ecology labs, campfires and contra dances. Below are few brief highlights singled out by our seniors:

At Hermit Island my favorite part about Hermit Island was meeting up with all of my old friends and making many new ones. I very much enjoyed how it boosted our class; what an amazing start to this year! Our class seems so much closer together than we have in a long time. Lincoln Samuelson

We learned about lobsters, seaweed, octopi and enjoyed campfires, delicious food and many laughs. The ocean sparkled and we splashed in the waves after covering ourselves in mud. If there had been a singing competition, we would have won with our fabulous rendition of “Bratislava Lover.” Fiona Chace-Donahue

After the mudflat lab we all got together and had a mud-smearing fight. After we were covered head to toe in mud, we ran into the ocean where we body surfed and swam around. It started to rain, and a double rainbow appeared over the water. Jesse Saffeir

Hermit Island was a wonderful time to get to know both the creatures and the people that surround us. From watching skeleton shrimp under a microscope to sitting at the edge of a cliff under the clear blue sky, the trip was a meaningful experience. I particularly enjoyed learning about how simple life can be: just a passive sponge clinging to a rock, and how amazing it is that we have become the complicated creatures that we are. Zachary Neveu

One of the most engaging aspects of the Hermit Island camping trip—the contra dance—kick-started pretty late in the week. Striving to connect and entertain a large quantity of the student body, this activity on the last evening of the trip definitely served to help the week go out with a bang.Mindy Dixon

favorite part about the Hermit Island trip was our campsite. It was on a rocky bluff overlooking all of Casco Bay, the “luxury suite” of campsites. We enjoyed watching the waves crashing on the rocks, as well as the bio-luminescence at night. It was a picture perfect Maine setting for our week of marine biology. Graham Roeber

In addition to spending time meeting fellow Waldorf students, we were able to spend time as a class, eating, cooking, cleaning, watching the stars and around the campfire. I very much enjoyed this time spent as a class, and I think that we returned even closer than ever. Lars Gundersen

One of my favorite Hermit Island memories was when we got a whole group of kids together to play Ultimate Frisbee on the beach. It was a great chance to get to know some of the kids a little bit, and it was perfect weather. After we played, a bunch of us jumped right in the ocean and the waves were big enough for us to do some body surfing, which was a blast. Isabella Pignatello

What I enjoyed about Hermit Island was the beautiful scenery and our campsite on the water’s edge where we could see the sunset every night. It was fun to be able to share the week with so many other Waldorf seniors. Samantha Pierce

 

A few highlights from our celebration on Friday, October 3rd:

 

 

High School Cross Country: Festival of Champions: Belfast Invitational (10.4.14)
The Merriconeag cross country teams traveled up to Belfast Saturday. Despite the unrelenting drizzle, conditions on the grassy course did not get too slick, and the flat course brought several PRs and impressive performances. The blue and gold handled the fragmented schedule (there were six different races that ran consecutively) with aplomb. And for the first time in school history, Merriconeag had a race champion. So many thanks this week- to the family members and friends who cheered everyone on, to Susan for taking on the assistant coaching role, to the Skillings for our envy-inducing giant tent, to Fiona C-D for helping with all the numbers and tags, and especially to Eliza and Clara who took splits for six different races with hardly a break in between. Check out the full re-cap after the jump: Read more »

Nick Neveu won the freshman boys' race with the fastest freshman time of the day

(not to mention a huge PR).

Don't miss Nick's interview with Milesplit.

 

Here's a link to Olivia Skillins interview on Milesplit.

 

Full results and more can be found on the results page of the blog.

Next up: Fri 10/10, Cape Elizabeth hosts Gray, Merr, Pol. Please note: This week boys 4:00, girls 4:30.

Click here for the complete race schedule.

Throughout the season, everyone can keep on top of the running team happenings via the blog.

 

News from September 30, 2014

High School Cross Country: This past week the cross country team travelled to Gray-New Gloucester for a race with GNG, Kennebunk and Lake Region. Results were stellar this week, with Merriconeag runners coming in first for boys and girls (Tucker and Olivia) and both teams placed first in the team scoring. We also saw strong efforts all the way through the team. Full results  and more can be found on the results page of the blog.

The team’s next contest is a big one – the Festival of Champions in Belfast on Saturday, October 4 - which will see over 1800 runners on the course throughout the day! Races are as follows:
11:00 AM - Unseeded Boys
11:45 PM - Unseeded Girls
12:30 PM - Freshmen Boys
1:15 PM - Freshmen Girls
2:00 PM - Seeded Boys
2:40 PM - Seeded Girls
3:20 PM - Awards Ceremony in Gym
Note: Teams should report to the start area 20 minutes before the above times for check in and team introductions.

Click here for the complete race schedule.

Throughout the season, everyone can keep on top of the running team happenings via the blog.

 

Welcome Baby: High School Art Teacher Johanna Flath, her husband, Eric, and son, Zev, welcomed Isla Katrina Ritter, 7lbs-6oz, into their family at 9:41 am on September 22. 

 

 

 

News from September 23, 2014

High School Cross Country: Fortunately the seniors returned from Hermit Island in time for the race at Freeport on Friday, which saw both the boys and girls teams placing second, with York boys and girls coming in first. Merriconeag finished with four boys and four girls placing in the top 10, with congratulations to Olivia for her first place finish! Many racers also set PRs in the Freeport race.

Full results  and more can be found on the results page of the blog.

The Next Races: This week the team will be racing at Gray-New Gloucester on Friday, along with Kennebunk and Lake Region. The boys run first at 4:30, with the girls to follow at 5:00.

Click here for the complete race schedule.

Throughout the season, everyone can keep on top of the running team happenings via the blog.

Come out and cheer for the team!

Photos courtesy of Kevin Morris, Photographer

 

News from September 16, 2014

High School Cross Country

The High School Cross Country helped out as the middle school hosted a huge race this past week (awesome race everyone!), and the following day hosted Greely, Kennebunk, NYA and Poland. Our team ran hard, resulting in second place finishes for both the boys and the girls teams. Thanks to everyone that came out to support our runners, to the parents for providing post-race snacks for all and for helping to direct runners on the course, and many thanks to Coach Morgan Lake-Adams for a great job organizing the team and preparing our kids. Full results can be found on the results page of the blog.

The Next Races: This week sees the team racing at Freeport, along with Poland and York. The boys run first at 4:30, with the girls to follow at 5:00. Click here for the complete race schedule.

Throughout the season, everyone can keep on top of the running team happenings via the blog.

Come out and cheer for the team!

Photos courtesy of Kevin Morris, Photographer

 

News from September 9, 2014

We kicked off the year celebrating the Classes of 2015, 2019, and 2026 at our annual Wildflower Assembly!

 

 

A Swan Song to Start the School Year
      Last week the entire high school took its annual opening-of-school camping trip to Swan Island, just south of Richmond. While half the students kayaked around the island, the other half were ferried over to the island, hiked the mile-and-a-half to the campsite, then performed community service for the ranger, cleaning out a shed. The groups switched activities in the afternoon, then participated in senior-led “Wilderlympics” events, including a competition that involved stuffing as many marshmellow in one’s mouth as possible and attempting to say clearly “Chubby Bunny,” a trivia contest and choreographed team cheers. Around a memorable evening campfire, students and teachers shared goals and hopes for the year. The next morning, the Wilderlympics concluded with the most “Waldorfian” of events—fairy house building—before returning to school for the cross-country teams’ first race of the season. Below, several students shared brief impressions of the trip:

Perhaps the most memorable experience for me was when a couple of my friends and I decided to take a "shortcut" while paddle boarding. The wind was blowing and it was slow out in the open so we decided to cut through some reeds. Unfortunately it became quite shallow and it took a good 25 minutes to go through, having to pick up our paddle boards at one point. Although we were quite tired at the end of it, it certainly was adventurously fun!
Dylan Wu, Tenth Grade

The warm weather made for some lovely kayaking on the Kennebec river and everyone had a great time trying out paddle boards with varying degrees of success. Luckily the water wasn’t too cold if you fell in. 
Samantha Pierce, Twelfth Grade

The camping trip to Swan Island that kicked off the school year included many exhilarating activates, everything from leapfrog relay races to fairy house building competitions. It was also a great opportunity to meet and bond with all of the students, exchange students and new teachers.Nicholas Neveu, Ninth Grade

I really enjoyed the kayaking and paddle boarding. It was a great way for us to meet people we didn't already to know and to have a fun afternoon with those we did. Forrest McCurdy, Eleventh Grade

Although the exceptionally nice weather did invite the mosquitos into our lean-tos, it made for an abundance of fun outdoors. At night, the clear sky gave a full picture of the stars, and the afternoon swimming was prime.
Lila Bossi, Tenth Grade

Despite torrid conditions, the athletes competing in the annual wilderlympics remained phlegmatic throughout the senior-planned games, and effortlessly negotiated its many challenges. Thanks to every team’s uncanny ability to sell block crayons in the Block Crayon Commercial Competition, Stockmar is sending a scouting team to the school, and will be discussing hiring students for their marketing team. Stay tuned for more info on that. Congratulations to Kyrgyzstan, which clinched first place in the medal count for the first time in the country’s olympic history, and to all the other teams who represented their countries well. Thanks to all for a great trip. Lars Gundersen, Twelfth Grade

I really enjoyed paddle boarding and kayaking a lot. The water was the perfect temperature; it was especially funny when Eli kept tipping everybody over. I also really loved getting to know everybody better at the campfire and during mealtime. I made many new friends and learned more about everyone, even the people I've known since kindergarten. Sarah Kinzer, Ninth Grade

Kayaking on the beautiful, still water with the sun beating down on us was the perfect beginning to our annual high school camping trip. Heartfelt feelings and inspiring goals were shared as we sat around the fire, and it seemed as though a spell was cast over us. Sophie Ichizawa, Eleventh Grade