High School News

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High School News Archives, 2012 - 2013

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Commencement Exercises 2014

The Class of 2014

(l to r) Emma Dolan, Joe Newlin, Sophia Simmons, Jonathan Gross,

John Burgess, Carlin Tindall, Andrew Hastings, Sam Leavitt,

Lily Tupper and Dana Kuniholm

      All graduations are special, but the ceremony at Merriconeag Waldorf School is unique. Because our graduating classes are small, each student gets to put his or her personal stamp on the proceedings. To start with, each student enters onto the stage to live music of their own choosing. This year some students marched to classical music or to friends playing guitar and singing a favorite song. One processed in to his brothers’ beautiful harmonies in a bluegrass tune, and another to a beloved teacher playing and singing a Reggae favorite. One senior was surprised by three of his classmates who sang a song for him from Les Miserables. 
      After a brief welcome from Christine Sloan, the Faculty took to the stage and sang “When You Come Back Down” (Nickel Creek) to the graduating seniors. Each student was then introduced by a faculty member of their choosing and every one of the ten faculty introductions were one of a kind - as one of a kind as the student being introduced.

     After their introduction each student spoke about memories and meaningful experiences from their years at the school. Some spoke of class trips, others of foreign exchange, community, sports, music and the many ways the school had touched their lives. Each spoke of the incredible connections made to teachers, to other students across the grades, and  to one another - through a span of as many as 15 years, or in just a few short years. 
      This year’s graduation speaker was Patrice Maynard whose wonderful keynote address is included below. Other highlights from the ceremony were  the Fifth Grade's offering of "If I had the Wings of a Dove" and the High School Chorus singing "Seven Bridges Road". The graduates ended the program with a rousing version of Neil Young's old hit, “Comes a Time”.

     Fresh from the success of their class play, Almost, Maine, and their senior class trip to Martha's Vineyard, the Class of 2014 delighted the audience at Merriconeag's 5th commencement ceremony with their humor, joy and gratitude for the many fruits of their Waldorf education.


Merriconeag's Commencement Key Note Speaker, Patrice Maynard

Patrice Maynard has deep roots at Merriconeag. She was our first Development Director and very nearly our first class teacher. When we were not able to deliver that first class of children, Patrice was called to New York where she began her 13 year career as a Waldorf class teacher at the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. Ten years ago, Patrice stepped away from class teaching to serve nine years as the Leader of Outreach and Development for the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). Last summer Patrice began her new role as Director of Publications and Development for the Research Institute for Waldorf Education. A visit from Patrice always feels like a special homecoming and we were delighted to welcome her as our commencement speaker this year.

2014 Key Note Address

Friends, Aunts, Uncles, Brothers, Sisters, Grandparents, Parents, Administrators, Teachers, GRADUATES -

     Those who are with us today but no longer living on the Earth, who are interested in you and in what we do today, those who gave us life, or taught us well, or helped us along the way. Let’s picture them vividly so that they know we are glad to welcome theme here.

     Thank you for the privilege of speaking to you today, this day when we welcome you formally into the adult world.
The privilege I already felt increased after seeing the play you gave us. It was, in one word, remarkable. I think everyone in this room who got to see “Almost, Maine” would agree.

     Catharsis, was the gift you gave in your funny, poignant, moving performances,

delivering the fine writing in an artistic tension worthy of professional actors. Not only in the whole play but over and over again in each little vignette. Catharsis is a Greek word, you already know. It means “purification, release, cleansing.” In the Golden Age of Greece, the theater was given to the citizenry for free. Citizens were expected to go to the theater regularly to keep the community healthy in their souls, understanding that experiencing the pain and laughter of others, solves things for each individual.

     I suppose watching a man marry his mother, kill his father and take out his own eyes in despair when he realized that he did these things in Oedipus Rex would put one’s own problems in good perspective!

     On my drive home from your play it occurred to me that the play is a poem - like a sonnet. It has a terse, given form, abab cdcd efef gg rhyme, a defined number of lines, a compression of form that forces meaning to brightness. It heightens pictures to exaggerated expressiveness. The very compression expresses things. The compression reveals secrets – hidden mysteries - that would otherwise remain unrevealed.

     So was your play. And so like a poem, like a sonnet is your time here at this Waldorf school, this home of your youth. Whether you were here for one year or for ever- fifteen years. All the possibility for your life has been compressed into these first years. Everything – joy and sorrow, disappointment, elation, success, betrayal, resentment, tears, forgiveness, peace, upheaval, laughter – has been compressed into this time of your schooling, to be unfolded for the rest of your life’s poem here on the earth this time. Read more...

That wonderful poem from the Commencement Address . . .

Totally like whatever, you know?
by Taylor Mali

In case you hadn’t realized,
it has somehow become uncool
to sound like you know what you’re talking about?
Or believe strongly in what you’re - like – saying?
Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)’s and “you know what I’m saying’s
have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?
Even when those sentences aren’t, like, questions?

Declarative sentences—so - called
because they used to, like, y’know DECLARE things to be true, okay,
as opposed to other things that are, like, totally, you know, - not—
They’ve been infected by this tragically cool and totally hip
interrogative tone? 
As if I’m saying, “Don’t think I’m a nerd just because I’ve like noticed this – Okay?
I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions,
I’m just like inviting you to join me on the band wagon of my own uncertainty?

What has happened to our conviction?
Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?
Have they been, like, chopped down
with the rest of the rain forest? You know?
Or do we have, like, nothing to say?
Has society just become so, filled with these
Conflicting feelings of Nyehh
That we’ve just gotten to the point where
We’re the most aggressively inarticulate generation 
to come along since….
Y’know, a long time ago? 

So, I implore you, I entreat you, and I challenge you,
To speak with conviction.
To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks
the determination with which you believe it.
Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.
You have to speak with it, too.


Roses and Sashes Assembly 2014

On Friday, June 13th our 8th and 12th graders were honored with a ceremony of roses and

commencement sashes at our annual assembly in the Community Hall.

The Eighth Grade Class of 2014: Louise Ahearne, Calla Barton, Eli Gundersen, Siona Henze,

Sylvia Holland, Ryan Kappelmann, Sarah Kinzer, Sophia Laukli, Nicholas Neveu, Chloe Olson,

Olivia Skillings, Salome Skinner, Sophia Skinner, Sophie West and teacher, Phyllis Hill.



News From the High School - June 10, 2014

A Wonderful Senior Class Play: Every single person I spoke to who experienced the Class of 2014’s superb production of Almost, Maine last week had nothing but praise for the play. The fabulous venue at the St. Lawrence Arts Center, the actors’ animated portrayals, sense of timing, humor, and ability to tug at our heartstrings, the director’s artistic vision—all combined to create a most memorable theatrical event. Bravo and thank you to David Barham, Rose Mary Burwell, Katy Stetson, and every member of the Class of 2014; enjoy a well-deserved senior trip to Martha’s Vineyard! 


     A special thanks to the anonymous donor who provided the opportunity to perform at St. Lawrence Arts. What a wonderful gift!

Here are some scenes captured by Tricia Toms on Tuesday evening:



Last week, the 12th grade visited a small fish ladder in Westbrook and contributed to a citizen science project in fisheries research. The students each took a turn counting alewives ascending the ladder around Mill Brook dam, data that will help assess the growing population of alewives returning to spawn in Highland Lake. They also spent time chatting with a University of Southern Maine social science researcher, discussing fisheries ecology, and observing schools of alewives in the brook. Some students got up close and personal with the study subjects! The field trip was part of their course in Sustainable Systems.


News From the High School - June 3, 2014

Seniors Take Scenes from Almost, Maine to Bay Square in Yarmouth:

On Thursday, May 29, the senior class took scenes from their play,

Almost, Maine, to the Bay Square at Yarmouth Senior Living Community.

It was a great opportunity for the cast to share the work they have been doing and to reach out to the larger community as well. The residents and staff who stayed to catch the show were the first audience we had and it was so wonderful to hear them laughing in the right places! It was such a positive experience that we hope to bring more students and more performances from our school to Bay Square. In fact, our little show was not the first Merriconeag offering at Bay Square this year. A few weeks back, as part of their Knighting Ceremony preparation, a group of sixth graders crafted a circus act and brought it to Bay Square as well. 
      All the rest of the performances of Almost, Maine will take place at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland. Tickets are still available for the Tuesday, June 3 dress rehearsal and we hope to see you all in the theater. If the reaction from the folks at Bay Square is any indication, this is a show you won't want to miss!
David Barham, Director & Rose Mary Burwell, Technical Director



News From the High School - May 27, 2014

The Slovak Boys Choir's It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World:

On Saturday evening, May 17 The Slovak Boys Choir and

Friends offered a student organized concert in the Community

Hall as a benefit for the 2015 senior class trip. Below are some

photos from It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, a side-splitting

night of music and fun. Congratulations to Lincoln Samuelson and

Lars Gundersen for organizing such a successful event!

Here are some of the photos taken by Eli Gundersen to

capture the evening.




News From the High School - May 20, 2014

A “Mystic-al” Experience: Last week the ninth grade supplemented their study of Moby Dick by traveling to Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, to New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts, and to Gloucester for a whale watch. In addition to the whaling aspect of the trip, the freshmen also spent an illuminating evening at Carrie and John Schuchardt’s House of Peace in Ipswich, learning about their work “waging peace” in a nuclear world, and assisting people from war-torn countries seeking political asylum.
      In the passages below, students wrote about some of the highlights of the trip.

“I stood in the deep end of the tiny motel pool on our first night. The whole class was with me, laughing and yelling. Suddenly a colorful beach ball came sailing through the air and bounced off of my head. The entire class burst out laughing; so did I. We kept on playing our “beach volleyball” game with no net until the sun had gone down and the windows were black. Then out of the blue, Jenaya yelled, ‘Everybody clap your hands,’ and amazingly, everybody did.” Ava Haag

“Our shadows, dark against the foamy white of the waves, rippled and danced as we sped along over the water, unchanging and peaceful. The salty, stinging wind whipped my hair across my face as another shadow joined us, leaning on the rail of the boat, Hurricane II. We stood there for what seemed like hours, sometimes in silence, sometimes murmuring quietly. The swells rose up and met the wake, flinging salty water droplets into the warm air, sparkling like diamonds. A rainbow played right off the bow, shimmering and gliding along with us. We didn’t want to move, even as we neared the harbor, and I wished I could freeze the moment; it was so peaceful and flawless.”Emma Goldberg-Courtney

“Though the van rides were often long, and left you feeling sleepy, there were some that contained such moments so great they needed to be recorded. For instance, Jenaya and I got so foolishly in depth about the philosophical meaning of sunglasses that I actually started to question my existence in relation to such a great invention.” Sabrina Small

“On the last day of our trip we went on a whale watch. The ride out was bumpy and windy, but nonetheless great fun because we spent the whole hour and a half singing whaling tunes we had learned in our block. When we stopped at the underwater plateau, there were so many whales that we did not know which way to look!” Davis Ritger

“At the New Bedford Whaling Museum there was a replica of a ship’s forecastle (the sailors’ sleeping quarters under the foredeck). The whole class piled into the bunks and just lay there. We talked about how awesome it would be to go on a voyage together and have those bunks (with a real toilet, though!). Lila Bossi

“As the Hurricane II glided through the strong wind, we looked out across the dark blue and green Atlantic Ocean. We began to spot many spouts upon the horizon. Suddenly, huge sprays of white water sprang up and we caught a clear glimpse of the humpback whale slapping its flukes upon the water. It continued to do this, appearing to have fun impressing the passengers aboard the boat.” Dylan Wu

“Although most everything on our trip was fun and enjoyable, the thing that made a real impact on me was going to the House of Peace. Everything there was not only very touching, but very real, and brought light to the terrible reality of war and to the people who survive it. Personally, war and violence is a very hard topic to talk about, so listening to stories about it was nearly unbearable, although I’m glad we got to go; it was an unforgettable experience.”
Eliana Wozniak-Bendremer



Lily O'Brien, MWS class of 2010, is our very first 12th grade graduate to graduate from college: On May 17, 2014, Lily graduated Cum Laude - with honors from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY with a degree in Art History. During her time at Skidmore, Lily studied for a semester in London in 2010 and in Paris in 2013.
      When I spoke to Lily last night to congratulate her on her splendid accomplishments and asked about her plans for the future, she shared that she plans to first return to Romania this summer... for the fifth time! What started as junior counselor position in a small summer art camp for Romanian children, has grown into a position of responsibility as Lily will be running a summer art camp serving six villages.

    After Romania, Lily will be moving to Tennessee where she will help teach in a co-op school that she hopes will turn into a full-fledged Waldorf school. All of her talents will be brought to bear as she will be teaching Language Arts, English and Math to small children. When the director mentioned that the children also play the violin and speak French, Lily laughed to think she could actually be teaching in every class. Indeed, not only is Lily an accomplished musician and a brilliant French scholar, she is also a well-grounded young woman who loves children. The school has found a real treasure. While residing in Tennessee, Lily is looking forward to enjoying the nearby Smoky Mountains and Appalachian beauty with her horse.

     It was a delight reconnecting with this talented former student who has always shown great leadership qualities in addition to her wonderful sense of humor and compassionate heart. Lily feels that it was at Merriconeag where she really blossomed and was provided with a wonderful passage to a new and exciting next step.
      Best wishes, Lily, from all of the teachers and staff at Merriconeag! Madame Whittlesey

Prom Night 2014: On Saturday, May 10th most of the high school students and guests attended Merriconeag’s Prom. The art gallery next to Frontier Restaurant in Brunswick was transformed into an elegantly adorned venue, with design elements subtly expressing the “Where the Wild Things Are” theme. Many thanks to Fiona Chace-Donahue and her decorating crew, to Zach Neveu for his DJ expertise, and to Parent Connections for providing a remarkable variety of refreshments, including a chocolate fountain for strawberry dipping! Thanks also to chaperones Regine Whittlesey, Amelie Koch, Nathan Doan and Jeff O’Brien. I heard one of the students declaring that “It was the best ever!”



News From the High School - May 13, 2014

College Acceptances 2014 - There Is Life After Waldorf!
Congratulations to our seniors! They have been accepted at the following colleges and universities for the 2014-15 school year:


Bates College Mount Holyoke College
Colby College Oberlin College
College of Wooster Saint Michael's College
Fordham University St. Olaf College
Goucher College Smith College
Guilford College UMaine Farmington
Johnson State College UMaine Orono
Juniata College Wellesley College
Lawrence University Wheaton College (Illinois)


If the list seems small, that’s because a number of our twelfth graders had their sights set on one special college and only applied to that one school, making use of the Early Decision option in the fall. Clearly, an increasing number of higher institutions of learning have come to value Waldorf-educated students in general, and Merriconeag graduates in particular!




Last March, Merriconeag's 10th, 11th and 12th grade French classes participated in an annual national French contest, called "Le Grand Concours", sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). We now have the results: everyone did a fine job; some students did exceptionally well and became laureates from the Maine Chapter while a few also became National Laureates. Here are the names of these fine Laureates:

In 10th grade: 
Fiona Ahearne ranked #8 in Maine, #17 nationally, she placed in the 70% nationally.
Zoe Konstantino ranked #7 in the Maine Chapter and # 16 nationally, she placed in the 75% nationally..
In 11th grade:
Peter Doughty ranked #7 in Maine, 13 nationally, he placed in the 80% nationally.
Zachary Neveu ranked #2 in Maine, #5 nationally; he is one of 34 national laureates at this level. He placed in the 95% and will receive a silver medal.
Samantha Pierce ranked #8 in Maine and 14 nationally, she placed in the 80% nationally. 
Jesse Saffeir ranked # 1 in Maine, and # 4 nationally; she is one of 12 national laureates at this level. She placed in the national 95% and will receive a gold medal.

In 12th grade: 
Carlin Tindall ranked # 4 in Maine Chapter, #13 nationally; she is one of 13 national laureates at this level. She placed in the 90% nationally. She will receive a bronze medal.
Lily Tupper ranked #6 in Maine and #15 nationally, she placed in the 85% nationally

The above students who don't get medals will receive Honors Certificates.

Our school results will appear in the AATF National Newsletter. I would like to thank all my students for their good will and their hard work. Well done Merriconeag! Régine Whittlesey



News From the High School - May 6, 2014

Richard Blanco picks Cape Elizabeth Student for Top Honors at Poetry Festival
      Inaugural poet Richard Blanco selected Cape Elizabeth senior Jane Vaughan for first prize at the Seventh Annual Merriconeag Poetry Festival, held May 4 at Merriconeag’s Freeport campus. Vaughan won for her poem “The Tall Figures of Giacometti.” Kelsey Talbutt, a sophomore at the Hyde School, and Jesse Saffeir, a junior at Merriconeag Waldorf School, earned second and third place awards respectively.
      Blanco, a Maine poet who achieved national renown for reading his poem “One Today” at President Obama’s second inaugural ceremony in January, 2013, selected twenty finalists during the contest portion of the Festival. At the Festival, the finalists and an audience of over 200 heard Blanco speak about the power of poetry. He referred to a transformative moment in his life when he was reading William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow” andlooked up to see his mother cooking in her tomato-stained apron. 
    “It was then that I realized how the most commonplace experiences can become the most miraculous,” Blanco said. “My mother was not just my mother, and a wheelbarrow was not just a wheelbarrow.” He added, “The world can open up to us, if we just pay attention.” 
      Each of the twenty finalists read their winning poems and received gift certificates donated, in part, by Longfellow Books in Portland, Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, and Sherman’s Books & Stationery in Freeport.
      The Festival was the culmination of events that began in January, when students from all of the over-forty public and private schools in Cumberland, Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties were invited to submit their work. Students from twenty area schools sent in submissions, which could be on any subject and in any poetic form. It was a “blind judging;” entries were only identified by titles, so Judge Blanco had no idea about the identity or school affiliation of the poet. 
      Of the eleven schools with representation among the finalists, four schools ended up with multiple winners: Catherine McAuley High School led the way with six, followed by The Hyde School with three; Merriconeag Waldorf School and Gorham High School each had two finalists.
      The finalists, in no particular order, include; Kelsey Talbutt, Gigi Chen and Dow Drukker, from The Hyde School; Zoe Konstantino and Jesse Saffeir, Merriconeag Waldorf High School; Elizabeth Lemieux and Charlotte Feinberg, Gorham High School; Danielle Guibord, Akech Allolding, Jennifer Devine, Mikayla Carney, Meredith Wheeler, and Emily Norman, all from Catherine McAuley High School; Natalie Dedon, Greely High School; Caroline Dyhrberg, Falmouth High School; Sydnee Harris, Edward Little High School; Kevin Jackson, South Portland High School; Emmy Shaffer, Chop Point School; Ambrosia Klenda, Yarmouth High School; Jane Vaughan, Cape Elizabeth High School.

     The Festival was made possible, in part, by a generous grant from the Maine Humanities Council and Maine Arts Commission.


Senior Project Presentations: Last Wednesday and Thursday evenings we were treated to 10 project presentations delivered by the members of the Class of 2014. On Wednesday evening, the first five seniors presenting were:Sophie Simmons—Researching belly dancing, Sam Leavitt—Crafting a guitar, Carlin Tindall—Learning Spanish, Dana Kuniholm—Building a longboard, and Jonathan Gross—Rebuilding/reconditioning a motorcycle. The following evening the remaining fiive seniors presented: Andrew Hastings—Composing electronic music, Emma Dolan—Animal tracking, Joe Newlin—Producing the Waldorf Weekly, Lily Tupper—Playwrighting, and John Burgess—Drumming. Congratulations to our seniors! Thank you for sharing your wonderful work with us!


News From the High School - April 29, 2014

Merriconeag Freshman Takes Her Skating to a Whole New Level:Freshman Cassandra Albano recently made the roster for the Skating Club of Boston’s Team Excel synchronized skating group, with which she will appear in next year’s popular Ice Chips show. Cassandra has hit a whole new level, becoming one of just 18 girls to make the cut for Team Excel. Spring training for the team begins May 2.  Click here to read the article in the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Sentry.




News from the High School - April 8, 2014

Richard Blanco Selects Finalists for Merriconeag Poetry Festival: Renowned poet Richard Blanco has chosen twenty high school finalists to read at this year's seventh annual Merriconeag Poetry Festival, to be held in early May. Blanco, a resident of Bethel, Maine who rose to national prominence as President Obama’s choice to deliver the Inaugural Poem in 2013, selected the finalists from a submission pool originally containing over 150 entries from twenty regional public and private high schools. 
      Catherine McAuley High School provided the largest number of finalists, with six; other schools with multiple winners included Hyde School, Merriconeag Waldorf High School and Gorham High School. The remaining finalists attend Edward Little, Cape Elizabeth, Chop Point, Falmouth, Yarmouth, South Portland, and Greely High Schools. All finalists will be honored at an awards ceremony and reception on May 4, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. at Merriconeag Waldorf School, 57 Desert Road, Freeport. The event is free and open to the public but due to limited seating, registration through www.merriconeag.org is required.
      The event will also feature the student poets reading their prize-winning work. Blanco, author of award-winning collections, including City of a Hundred Fires, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and Looking for the Gulf Motel, will read his own work as well and speak briefly on the power of poetry. He 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 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;” entries were only identified by titles, so Judge Blanco had no idea about the identity or school affiliation of the poet. 
      The finalists, in no particular order, include; Kelsey Talbutt, Gigi Chen and Dow Drukker, from Hyde School; Zoe Konstantino and Jesse Saffeir, Merriconeag Waldorf High School; Elizabeth Lemieux and Charlotte Feinberg, Gorham High School; Danielle Guibord, Akech Allolding, Jennifer Devine, Mikayla Carney, Meredith Wheeler, and Emily Norman, all from Catherine McAuley High School; Natalie Dedon, Greely High School; Caroline Dyhrberg, Falmouth High School; Sydnee Harris, Edward Little High School; Kevin Jackson, South Portland High School; Emmy Shaffer, Chop Point School; Ambrosia Klenda, Yarmouth High School; Jane Vaughan, Cape Elizabeth High School.
      The Festival was made possible, in part, by a generous grant from the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Arts Commission, as well as by donations of gift certificates from Longfellow Books in Portland, Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, and Sherman’s Books & Stationery in Freeport.


News from the High School - March 25, 2014

Over the weekend, a group of Merriconeag students traveled to the Monadnock Waldorf School to participate in their Late Winter Ball. The Monadnock School again put on a spectacular event, this year with the theme of The Roaring Twenties. The local event hall was transformed into a glitzy garden party, where flappers and dapper gentlemen danced the night away. Many thanks to the Monadnock School for hosting such a fun event!




News from the High School - March 18, 2014

High School Theme Week, March 10-14: This year's theme was "Doing Good Work" and the high school certainly lived up to those words. There was lots of good work done, including cleaning and organizing the Desert Road costume closet, transforming the Community Hall into a Waldorf student art gallery and preparing boxes of food for our neighbors in need at the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn. One lovely act of Good Work was when each student in the high school created a knitted square for a baby blanket for high school teacher Ellen Labbe's baby, who is due in June. I wish that everyone could have seen the entire high school sitting around the Sage Room over at Pineland, sweetly knitting, chatting and joyfully creating. 
      The true highlight of the week was a three-day residency with the Beehive Design Collective from Machias, Maine. The Beehive Design Collective is a wildly motivated, all-volunteer, activist arts collective dedicated to “cross-pollinating the grassroots” by creating collaborative, anti-copyright images for use as educational and organizing tools. They work as word-to-image translators of complex global stories, shared through conversations with affected communities. Two of the Bees, Emma and Marco, spoke of the amazing global work the Collective does. The Bees shared their latest project, nine years in the researching and making, with the students. The project is called Mesoamérica Resiste and illustrates stories of resistance, resilience and solidarity from Mexico to Columbia as the local communities strive to defend land and traditions, protect cultural and ecological diversity and build alternative economies in the face of the modern megaprojects planned for the region. Afterwards, our students were led through an exploration of their own community and its virtues, underlying values and stories. By the end of the three days, the students had created a large mural depicting in images the story of this community through their collective eyes. They titled their work, The Garden of MerriconEden. Emma and Marco were truly inspirational and left the entire high school with a beautiful picture of possible ways to interact with the world and make sense of its complexities. After some more work takes place, we hope to share the work with the larger Merriconeag community. To learn more about the Beehive Design Collective check out their website, http://beehivecollective.org. 
      Of course, all good work and no good play makes for dull boys and girls. So one afternoon, the entire high school trekked over to the sledding hill at Pineland and played in the snow together before heading back for donuts, brownies and hot chocolate. 
      Monday morning we went back to regularly scheduled block and skills classes, but for one week, we stepped out of our regular routines and rhythms and explored our theme as fully as possible, all the while doing good work. 
David Barham

The students of the Merriconeag Waldorf High School worked with members of the Beehive Collective for three days during Theme-week 2014 to create this poster. The garden and the various scenes around it are meant to be a metaphorical representation of how the students see the Merriconeag community. There are four parts to the poster. The first is the garden itself. The garden is a depiction of the people and product of the community: the parents, teachers and especially students. Underneath and throughout the roots of the garden there are scenes representing what the students see as the root values of Merriconeag. Above the garden there are the external forces that have helped shape the garden. And, finally, outside of the garden there is the interaction between our community and the outside world. Joe Newlin, Class of 2014


News from the High School - March 4, 2014

Merriconeag High School Nordic Teams Are Awarded the

Sportsmanship Award for Skiing by the Maine Principals' Association

This is a statewide award, for all Classes  - A, B and C, with no distinction made for Nordic/Alpine. It is truly a high honor to be recognized, and one in which everyone – coaches, skiers, students, parents, fans, supporters, faculty – plays a role. Congratulations!


High School Nordic:  (Please be sure to see the great news above!)

     Congratulations to all seven of our skiers who participated in the Eastern High School Qualifier race at Sugarloaf last Sunday. Every one of our skiers that raced either qualified for the team or qualified as an alternate. Samantha Pierce, Carlin Tindall, Forrest McCurdy and Graham Roeber will be traveling to Vermont March 14-16 as part of the Maine Team and skiing in the Eastern High School Championships. Well done everyone!

     A very special thank you to John Tarling for going above and beyond the call of duty, coming to Sugarloaf to wax for and support our skiers.

For more information, please visit our High School Nordic blog:http://mwsnordicskiing.blogspot.com/

Tough Guise 2

Thursday, March 27, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Freeport Performing Arts Center

Admission is free but seating is limited so please

register by clicking on this link.

Due to mature content, we recommend this film for audience members who are 13 or older.

We are please to be co-sponsoring this film about violence, manhood and American culture with Boys to Men and TARP at the Freeport Performing Arts Center.  The film is the highly anticipated update of the influential and widely acclaimed Tough Guise. Tough Guise 2 stands to empower a new generation of young men -- and women -- to challenge the myth that being a real man means putting up a false front and engaging in violent and self-destructive behavior. The film will be followed by a panel discussion.
View the trailer. 


News from the High School - February 25, 2014

Merriconeag Boys & Girls are Class C Nordic Team State Champions

 This is the fourth consecutive state championship for the girls and the second for the boys!

Congratulations to coach John Tarling and the skiers!


Merriconeag's Inaugural One Acts Performances
Open Dress rehearsal: Wednesday March 5th,

7:00 p.m., Community Hall, 57 Desert Rd, FREE
Regional Competition Performance: Saturday, March 8th,

6:00 p.m. , Lawrence High School, Fairfield, ME

$5/student, $8/adult at the door

What are the One Acts? The Maine One Act Festival or "One Acts," is an interscholastic drama competition for high school students coordinated by the Maine Principals Association. Regional Festivals are held each year around the state in early March, with the winning teams from each class (Class A and B) go on to compete at the State Festival in late March. Although a school places (1st, 2nd etc) as a whole team, individuals students can be named to the "All Festival Cast" or be awarded recognition for costume and set design and even student directing. These festivals are a great opportunity for students interested in drama to challenge their craft and interact with other teen thespians.

Merriconeag's Inaugural One Acts Team: This is Merriconeag's first year competing in the One Acts and we are taking our production of Hard Candy to compete in Class B at Lawrence High School in two weeks. The cast and crew is made up of students from every grade in the high school. We invite the community to come watch our open dress rehearsal on Wednesday, March 5th. We will have feedback forms for the audience and would greatly appreciate the chance to practice in front of a live crowd as well as fine-tune our performances before competition time!Hard Candy, a zany workplace comedy, is appropriate for 7th grade and up. Questions can be sent to Ellen McCann Labbe, who is directing this year's production.


Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School Basketball: The basketball team played its final game at Hebron, narrowly losing in the final minutes, despite strong performances by seniors Dana Kuniholm and Joe Newlin. Congratulations to the team for a fine season, kudos to coach John Newlin for helping the program take a giant step forward, and to the parents for supporting the team so ardently.


High School Nordic: 

     During vacation week, the Nordic team headed up to Black Mountain in Rumford for the Class C State Championship, two days of racing against all other Class C schools in the state. Day one was the classic race, and we had stellar results. Samantha Pierce won the girls race and we placed our four scoring girls in the top seven. The boys, not to be outdone, placed four skiers in the top six, and all six boys were in the top 12!

     Moving on to the skate race on day two, again our skiers impressed, with both the girls and boys teams placing their four scoring skiers in the top seven. Both teams are the Class C Nordic State Champions for 2014! For the girls, this is their fourth consecutive state championship, and the second in a row for the boys. Congratulations to coach John Tarling and the skiers, and thanks for a terrific season! 

Click here to view race results.

For more information, please visit our High School Nordic blog:http://mwsnordicskiing.blogspot.com/


News from the High School - February 11, 2014

Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School Basketball: This afternoon the basketball team plays its last game (and for seniors, their last Merriconeag game!) at Hebron. The game starts at 4 p.m.

     The basketball squad overcame a spirited faculty/staff team last Thursday, spearheaded by seniors Dana Kuniholm,Sophie Simmons and Joe Newlin, with stellar contributions from Hugh Voorhees, Chris Gordon, Lincoln Samuelson, Peter Doughty and Joe Armstrong. Not even Lynne Espy’s shinguards and helmet could prevent the students from prevailing. Many thanks to referees David Whittlesey and Steve Musica, and to Carlin Tindall and Sophie Simmons for organizing the refreshments.


High School Nordic: 

     On Saturday our skiers participated in a classic race in Fryeburg for the first half of the Western Maine Conference Championships. It was a spectacularly beautiful day, the coach nailed the wax and everyone skied very well. The girls team came in third, a mere two points behind Freeport. Samantha Pierce finished second, Fiona Ahearne 10th, Carlin Tindall 13th, Lily Tupper 23rd, and Fiona Libby 33rd. The boys finished second behind Yarmouth, with Forrest McCurdy in fifth, Graham Roeber sixth, Tucker Pierce seventh, John Burgess 13th, Zach Neveu 17th, Lars Gundersen 34th, and Davis Ritger 46th. This was the first half of the Western Maine Conference Championship.

     On Monday, February 10, the 2nd half of the WMC Nordic Championships - the rescheduled skate races - were held at Libby Hill. Merriconeag boys and girls were both 3rd in the skate races.In the overall team scores, Merriconeag boys were 2nd to Yarmouth and the girls were 3rd to Yarmouth and Freeport. Congratulations to our teams!

     Up next are the Class C State Championships. The classic race is Wednesday, February 19 at Black Mountain in Rumford. The Girls start - 1:30 PM and the Boys start at 3:00 PM. The Skate race is Thursday, February 20 at Black Mountain. The girls start at 9:00 AM and the boys start at 10:30 AM. Awards are to follow on Thursday.

Click here to view race results.

For more information about races and to read the mid-season update by Coach John Tarling, please visit our High School Nordic blog: http://mwsnordicskiing.blogspot.com/


News from the High School - February 4, 2014

Coming right up! Two Annual Favorites from the High School:

Student/Faculty Basketball Game

This Thursday, February 6, 7:00 p.m.

Freeport Middle School Gym

19 Kendall Lane, Freeport, ME

Duel of the Titans IV—Student/Faculty Basketball Rivalry Intensifies:
In polite, peace-loving Waldorf circles, “Grudge Match” is too strong a phrase to describe this year’s upcoming Student/Faculty Basketball Game at Freeport Middle School on Thursday February 6 at 7:00 p.m.; so is “Revenge Rumble” and “Flail the Faculty.” However, after last year’s heart-stopping faculty victory when, in the waning seconds, David Barham made the only basket of his long and storied athletic career, the Merriconeag student squad has set its sights on securing a victory over the Geezers. 
      To that end, this year’s team—led by seniors Joe Newlin, Sophie Simmons and Dana Kuniholm, and ably supported by juniors Lincoln Samuelson and Peter Doughty, as well as sophomores Hugh Voorhees, Joe Armstrong and Chris Gordon—and coached by master strategist John Newlin, will take the floor against a mix of wily faculty veterans and unproven newcomers. The faculty/staff squad includes last year’s most dominating player, “Yumpin’ Yunus Lowenthal, Nancy “Hot-Rod-“erick, Jeff “The Big O’” Brien, David “Has He Opened His Eyes Yet?” Barham, “Margaret “Monster Jam” Samuelson, Nathan “In the Zone” Doan, Chris “Classy” Chasse, “Be Like Mike” Fenderson, Lynne “She’s Got the Recipe” Espy, Noah “The Boa” Fralich, Samantha “The Pantha” Wolf, and Amalie Koch “a Cola.”
      Come support your favorite team—and buy the goodies baked by high school students to help financially support high school athletics!


(Not) Just Desserts: High School Coffee House

Next Wednesday, February 12, 7:00 p.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Road.

(Not) Just Desserts: The High School Coffee House Is Brewing!
Clear your calendars and dispose of your diets! On Wednesday evening, February 12, the High School's Annual Coffee House will take place in the Community Hall at 7 p.m. A full range of high school talent will be on display—poetry, song, dance, skits, delectable desserts, and a few surprises! Parents and students of the seventh and eighth grade are warmly invited. All proceeds will benefit both the high school's sponsorship of the Siddhartha School in India, and the publication this spring of our literary/artistic magazine, The Linden Tree.


Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School Basketball:  On Tuesday, the basketball squad will host NYA at the Pineland Y in a return match. Come cheer the team on at 3:30 p.m. The game will serve as a warm-up for the Annual Student/Faculty Basketball Game, which will be held Thursday, February 6, at Freeport Middle School, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Since the next day is a Professional Day for teachers, there will be no school, so bring the children!

High School Nordic: 

     Our Nordic ski teams will have two races this week, after once again doing well in last week’s race at Libby Hill. The girls placed four skiers in the top 20 with Samantha Pierce coming in first, and the boys also placed four skiers in the top 20.

     Up next are the WMC Championships. The skate race will be held on Wednesday, February 5 at Libby Hill and the classic race on Saturday, February 8 at Stark’s Hill in Fryeburg.

Click here to view race results.

For more information about races and to read the mid-season update by Coach John Tarling, please visit our High School Nordic blog: http://mwsnordicskiing.blogspot.com/


News from the High School - January 28, 2014

This week! Don't miss it! Our 9th & 10th Grade Play!

Skin of Our Teeth, (9th/10th Grade Play)

Open dress rehearsal: Tues., Jan., 28, 7:00 p.m.

School day performance: Wed, Jan., 29, 10:45 a.m.

Opening Night: Thurs., Jan. 30, 7:00 p.m.

Closing Night: Fri., Jan. 31, 7:00 p.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Road, Freeport

$5 suggested donation at the door

Thornton Wilder's Wildest Play Yet: Our Town became his beloved, classic depiction of small-town American life, The Matchmaker his signature farce about love and money. But Thornton Wilder'sThe Skin of Our Teeth was the boldest, grandest, wackiest play he ever wrote. Wilder follows the fortunes of the Antrobus family in three acts of Biblical proportions, against the backdrop of an impending Ice Age, the Great Flood, and the aftermath of the War to End All Wars. Dinosaurs, mammoths, fortune tellers, seductresses, and murderous sons all provide intrigue in this panoramic anthem to the resilience of the human race.

Come see Merriconeag's ninth and tenth grade classes perform The Skin of Our Teeth on Tuesday evening, January 28 (open dress rehearsal at 7 p.m.), Wednesday at 10:45 a.m. (school performance), opening night on Thursday, January 30, and closing night on Friday, January 31, both at 7 p.m.

Age guidelines: At our daytime performance,  2nd & 3rd graders will see only Act 1; 4th & up will see the whole play.


Student/Faculty Basketball Game

Thursday, February 6, 7:15 p.m.

Freeport Middle School Gym

19 Kendall Lane, Freeport, ME

Duel of the Titans IV—Student/Faculty Basketball Rivalry Intensifies:

In polite, peace-loving Waldorf circles, “Grudge Match” is too strong a phrase to describe this year’s upcoming Student/Faculty Basketball Game at Freeport Middle School on Thursday February 6 at 7:15 p.m.; so is “Revenge Rumble” and “Flail the Faculty.” However, after last year’s heart-stopping faculty victory when, in the waning seconds, David Barham made the only basket of his long and storied athletic career, the Merriconeag student squad has set its sights on securing a victory over the Geezers. 
      To that end, this year’s team—led by seniors Joe Newlin, Sophie Simmons and Dana Kuniholm, and ably supported by juniors Lincoln Samuelson and Peter Doughty, as well as sophomores Hugh Voorhees, Joe Armstrong and Chris Gordon—and coached by master strategist John Newlin, will take the floor against a mix of wily faculty veterans and unproven newcomers. The faculty/staff squad includes last year’s most dominating player, “Yumpin’ Yunus Lowenthal, Nancy “Hot-Rod-“erick, Jeff “The Big O’” Brien, David “Has He Opened His Eyes Yet?” Barham, “Margaret “Monster Jam” Samuelson, Nathan “In the Zone” Doan, Chris “Classy” Chasse, “Be Like Mike” Fenderson, Lynne “She’s Got the Recipe” Espy, Noah “The Boa” Fralich, Samantha “The Pantha” Wolf, and Amalie Koch “a Cola.”
      Come support your favorite team—and buy the goodies baked by high school students to help financially support high school athletics!


Taking the Top of Your Head Off: Writing Poems

For students: Ages 13-18

Saturday, February 8, 9:30 - 12:30 p.m.

The Telling Room, Suite 201
225 Commercial Street, Portland

Maine Poets, David Sloan and Gibson Fay-Leblanc, are the instructors for this upcoming poetry writing workshop at the Telling Room in Portland. The poems generated in this workshop may be entered in the Merriconeag Poetry Festival to be judged by inaugural poet Richard Blanco. 
      How can a poem "ride on its own melting" or make you feel as if the top of your head has been taken off? How can a poem sucker punch you in the gut or help you convince a girl you love her? Poetry is as old as the history of human beings, yet still mysterious and hard to define. W.H Auden said, "Poems are just stories...with the boring parts left out," while Billy Collins said that after reading a poem "you want to get right back on the ride." Whether you eat sonnets for breakfast or have never written a poem before, in this workshop, mysteries will be revealed, poems will be read and written, and all will leave with new ways to see the world through poetry. Click here to register.    


High School Coffee House

Wednesday, February 12, 7:00 p.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Road.

Don't miss this annual favorite! The Coffee House provides a great opportunity to bring a friend and show them the impressive work of our high school students. Stay tuned for more information.


Mr. Sloan to Read his Poetry This Sunday: David Sloan has been selected to read his poetry this Sunday as part of the celebration of Longfellow Days in Brunswick which run February 1 - 27. (We are sure he would love to see your familiar faces in the audience!)The event, in the Fireplace Room of Curtis Memorial Library on Sunday, February 2, 1:00 p.m. is entitled, The Coursen Readings, Part Oneand the description is as follows:

Many superb writers have graced Brunswick and its vicinity through the years. We feature nine of them in a three-part Sunday series named for the late poet and great Longfellow Days friend, Herbert Coursen. First up: Marcia Brown, Stephen Cowperthwaite, and David Sloan. Refreshments. Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library.

American Freedom Project: As part of the work for the ninth grade American History block, the students created a multi-media arts project exploring the subject of Freedom. What does Freedom mean to me as an American? The class looked at passages from The Declaration of Independence, The US Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, The Star Spangled Banner and others to gain a broad overview of how freedom is perceived from the American perspective. They looked at specific freedoms contained in the Bill of Rights to come to an understanding of the things we can do in this

country than many people in other parts of the world can't.

     Using poetry, music, drawing, painting, video, and many other art forms, the students then created original works that spoke to the uniqueness of the American experience. Many of these works are still on display in the hallway over at Pineland. We would love to have folks come over and see these. The creativity of these works is truly inspiring.

     Here you see photos of ninth grader Fiona Libby using a plasma torch to craft her American flag. This gorgeous piece measures approximately 24" x 16".

David Barham


Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School Basketball:  Last week the basketball team had to forego their game at Hebron due to a number of player illnesses. This cancelled game has been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 11, and the next scheduled game is February 4, a home game against NYA at 3:30. Be sure to catch the Student/Faculty game on February 6 (see event listings above).

High School Nordic: 

Sophomore Forrest McCurdy was named High School Top Ski Perfomer of the Week by the Portland Press Herald on January 23.  Bravo, Forrest! The article also gives our ski teams, school, and coach great coverage.Read the article by clicking here.

     The skiers had two races this past week. The team traveled to Fryeburg last Monday for a relay race against all WMC schools. Despite no new snow, Fryeburg did some amazing grooming and we had a great race, seeing both our boys and girls relay teams place first.

     On Saturday the ski team headed to Black Mountain in Rumford for the largest high school race in the state - the Sassi. This year's race saw over 400 skiers representing approximately 40 teams. In a strong field, both our girls' and boys' teams placed fourth, an impressive result given the competition.

    We also had two skiers qualify for the J2 team, Forrest McCurdy and Tucker Pierce. This team of 20 boys and 20 girls will represent Maine at the New England J2 festival in March, this year held in Vermont.

Our skiers travel to Libby Hill at G/NG tomorrow, Wednesday, January 29, 3:30 p.m.

Click here to view race results.

For more information about races and to keep up with our Nordic team news, please visit our High School Nordic blog: http://mwsnordicskiing.blogspot.com/


Alumni News

Lily Cuellar (8th grade class of 2004) graduated from Earlham College in 2013 and is currently working as an English Teaching Assistant in Epernay, France. The assistant principal at her school approached her recently to ask if she knew an eighth or ninth grade girl who would be interested in being penpals with his daughter, because she's very motivated to learn English. Lily thought immediately that this would be a great opportunity for a Merriconeag student to practice her French! She'd love it if you would ask around, and if anyone is interested, e-mail her atlily.cuellar@gmail.com.


Dana Freshley ( 8th grade class of 2005) recently visited the Rudolf Steiner Haus in Stuttgart, Germany - the birthplace of Waldorf education! Dana graduated from the University of Maine in May, 2013 summa cum laude with a major in Communications and a minor in Biology. Before settling into a professional job she is traveling in Europe with a home base in Portugal, her ancestral home. She has visited farms and cities and beaches and mountains in Portugal, Spain, Germany and Switzerland. In the past year she has also been to the US Virgin Islands, Hawaii, and the summit of Katahdin!


News from the High School - January 21, 2014
Skin of Our Teeth, (9th/10th Grade Play)

Open dress rehearsal: Tues., Jan., 28, 7:00 p.m.

School day performance: Wed, Jan., 29, 10:45 a.m.

Opening Night: Thurs., Jan. 30, 7:00 p.m.

Closing Night: Fri., Jan. 31, 7:00 p.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Road, Freeport

Thornton Wilder's Wildest Play Yet: Our Town became his beloved, classic depiction of small-town American life, The Matchmaker his signature farce about love and money. But Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth was the boldest, grandest, wackiest play he ever wrote. Wilder follows the fortunes of the Antrobus family in three acts of Biblical proportions, against the backdrop of an impending Ice Age, the Great Flood, and the aftermath of the War to End All Wars. Dinosaurs, mammoths, fortune tellers, seductresses, and murderous sons all provide intrigue in this panoramic anthem to the resilience of the human race. Come see Merriconeag's ninth and tenth grade classes perform The Skin of Our Teeth on Tuesday evening, January 28 (open dress rehearsal at 7 p.m.), Wednesday at 10:45 a.m. (school performance), opening night on Thursday, January 30, and closing night on Friday, January 31, both at 7 p.m.


Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School Basketball: The basketball team succumbed to NYA last week, but they showed scrappiness and resilience, and they were certainly aided on by a strong fan turnout. They play again at Hebron today at 4:30. Good luck, Team!

High School Nordic: 

     Our Nordic skiers traveled to Fryeburg for a skate race last Wednesday. Kudos to Forrest McCurdy, who finished first for the boys; both the girls and boys teams placed second overall.

     The teams race twice this week—yesterday in Fryeburg, and Saturday, January 25, at the annual Sassi Race at Black Mountain in Rumford. At the Stark's Hill WMC race in Fryeburg yesterday, both our girls and boys relay teams won! Click here to view results.

     For more information about races and to keep up with our Nordic team news, please visit our High School Nordic blog: http://mwsnordicskiing.blogspot.com/


News from the High School - January 14, 2014

Merriconeag Poetry Out Loud Finals

Thursday, January 16, 8:20 a.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Road, Freeport

Poetry Out Loud (and Incredibly Close) For the past several years, Merriconeag Waldorf High School has participated--quite successfully--in a nationwide recitative poetry program called Poetry Out Loud. Two years ago, Tyler O'Brien became Maine's state champion, and last year Skyler Samuelson was one of only ten state finalists. 
      The competition encourages students to learn by heart, and present orally, classic and contemporary poetry. This year four of our students have emerged victorious in the school's preliminary round: freshman Ava Haag, sophomore Fiona Ahearne, junior Lincoln Samuelson, and senior Emma Dolan. They will present two poems each this Thursday during the school finals, which will be held in the Community Hall at 8:20 a.m. We warmly invite any parent poetry-lovers to attend. The event shouldn't take more than 30-40 minutes. The seventh and eighth grades have also been invited. Our three judges, Craig Giddens, Sarah Hyde and Mandoline Whittlesey, will determine which of these deserving students will represent Merriconeag at the Poetry Out Loud State Regionals next month. 


Skin of Our Teeth, (9th/10th Grade Play)

Open dress rehearsal: Tues., Jan., 28, 7:00 p.m.

School day performance: Wed, Jan., 29, 10:45 a.m.

Opening Night: Thurs., Jan. 30, 7:00 p.m.

Closing Night: Fri., Jan. 31, 7:00 p.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Road, Freeport

Thornton Wilder's Wildest Play Yet: Our Town became his beloved, classic depiction of small-town American life, The Matchmaker his signature farce about love and money. But Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth was the boldest, grandest, wackiest play he ever wrote. Wilder follows the fortunes of the Antrobus family in three acts of Biblical proportions, against the backdrop of an impending Ice Age, the Great Flood, and the aftermath of the War to End All Wars. Dinosaurs, mammoths, fortune tellers, seductresses, and murderous sons all provide intrigue in this panoramic anthem to the resilience of the human race. Come see Merriconeag's ninth and tenth grade classes perform The Skin of Our Teeth on Tuesday evening, January 28 (open dress rehearsal at 7 p.m.), Wednesday at 10:45 a.m. (school performance), opening night on Thursday, January 30, and closing night on Friday, January 31, both at 7 p.m

High School Basketball: Today there is an away (but local) basketball game at NYA beginning at 4:30 p.m. Come on over and cheer for the team! On Thursday, January 9, the basketball team traveled to Hebron and … WON 47-39!!! Well done, athletes!

High School Nordic: The season is underway but the weather is not cooperating. Today's ski practice at Pineland has been cancelled. Pineland has closed its trails due to lack of snow and they are urging everyone to stay off of them. Merriconeag's ski race scheduled for tomorrow at Pineland has been moved to Fryeburg with a start time of 3:30 p.m.

     Last Wednesday at Pineland all skiers raced well, led by Samantha Pierce, who finished first for the girls, and both the girls and boys teams placed second overall.

For more information about races and to keep up with our Nordic team news, please visit our High School Nordic blog:http://mwsnordicskiing.blogspot.com/


News from the High School - January 7, 2014

A Journey To Nepal
Thursday, January 23, 7:00 p.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport

2013 alumnus Teagan Wu will give a presentation on her semester abroad in Nepal. She will plan on giving others an understanding of the customs and spiritual aspects of another culture while sharing her own insights and discoveries. Through stories and photos, she will paint a picture of her experience from city and village home stays and an independent study project to trekking in the Himalayas. She will also share how her Waldorf education has affected her outside the classroom setting. While away, Teagan gained a new appreciation for her education and would love to share these insights with the school community and any others who would like to come. In addition, there will be a sampling of a traditional Nepali dish.


News from the High School - December 17, 2013

Christmas Market at the High School: Last week, the 9th grade French and German students joined forces to prepare hundreds of Christmas cookies for the upcoming Christmas Market at the High School. The French recipes were provided by our intern Amelie Koch who comes from Strasbourg, in Alsace where the Christmas Market tradition has been kept alive since the 16th century. Herr Frälich added some German recipes since Germany and Northern Europe also share this tradition. The students worked hard with a joyful spirit. The confections ended being not only lovely but also very appetizing! They will be bagged and sold at The Christmas Market which will open at recess and lunch time in the High School for the whole week. The High School will be twinkling and smelling good all next week! You are welcome to come and get some goodies for your holidays.Madame Whittlesey


On Thursday, December 12, MWHS 11th Grade French students went to the Franco-American Collection at USM in Lewiston-Auburn. "The University of Southern Maine’s Franco-American collection is one of the largest repositories of Franco-American archival material in the State of Maine. The Collection’s holdings cover local history, government, religion, language, education, industry, sports and the arts."

     The students who are finishing a semester long study of French America, are presently working on the history of the Francos in Maine. In order to test the reality of the history studied in class, the students were invited to interview a person of Franco-American heritage about their family history.This interview was conducted in French, which proved to bechallenging at times when the people, happy and

honored to be interviewed, started speaking faster or with emotion about their personal history. Then the students were invited to view some of the black and white photos of the Collection.

     This was a warm and rich experience for our students who are now in the process of writing, in French, the biography and family history of the person they encountered. The visit brought history alive and hopefully it brought the realization that history is but a chain of human lives lived in the past.

     I would like to thank James Myall who helped organize this visit at the USM Collection, as well as Maureen Perry, Rita Dube, Bob Gilbert and Georges Blouin who very kindly and patiently gave their time to help our students understand better this important page of our local History. Madame Whittlesey


On Saturday, December 14th, the high school robotics team, "Free Range Robots", traveled to Augusta to compete in the Central Maine Robotics Tournament.The team had been meeting since September to design, build, and program its robot. This was the very first time our school has participated in a Robotics Competition.

    At the tournament, the team was partnered with a different team from another school for each of its matches. We learned a lot, won a good number of matches and had a lot of fun. We did very well considering it was our very first tournament.

From the some of the participants:

  • I enjoyed the experience of joining the robotics team not only because I learned so much but it was also a lot of fun. When I signed up for the elective, I knew I would learn a lot about robots but I didn't know I would learn so much about engineering and computer programming. Davis Ritger, Grade 9
  • It was amazing to be able to work with technology and be able work with students from other schools. Maxime Rumiel, Grade 9
  • This fall's robotics course was an eye opening experience for all of us. Learning the basics of writing code was intriguing as was designing and building a working robot. The competition provided an entire day of high speed thinking, repairing, and driving. Overall, this program is a great addition to our school. Zach Neveu, Grade 11
  • I thought that I learned so much at the tournament. The atmosphere was very different than any thing I've ever been in. There were a lot of unique people and robots in the conference room. I found a long lost friend and made some new ones. Ava Haag, Grade 9

Jeff O'Brien


News from the High School - December 10, 2013

David Sloan's Poem Wins Goodreads December Poetry Contest:

Mr. Sloan has done it again! His poem, "Living Too Long" from his book, The Irresistible In-Between won Goodread's December Poetry Contest. For those of you who may not know about it, Goodreads is a website that publishes a monthly national newsletter recommending different genres of books to "millions" of readers. Congratulations, Mr. Sloan!

Read the poem in the Goodreads Newsletter by clicking here and scrolling down to the bottom of the page.


Merriconeag students "vaulted" into the weekend energized by the spectacular Red Trousers performance in the Community Hall on Thursday afternoon. Waldorf graduates Tobin Renwick (son of Hugh and Carol) and David Graham electrified the audience with their juggling and acrobatic derring-do. Many thanks to John Saccone, David Barham and all those involved in bringing these talented performers to our school. A special congratulations to Will Barmby for his brave performance.

See more amazing feats at www.redtrousershow.com


News from the High School - December 3, 2013

Richard BlancoRichard Blanco to Judge 2014 High School Poetry Festival
David Sloan has announced that Richard Blanco, who read his poem “One Today” at President Obama’s second inauguration, has graciously agreed to judge Merriconeag’s seventh annual high school poetry festival. The festival, open to high school students from southern and midcoast Maine, culminates in a public reading and awards ceremony in early May. Richard Blanco’s participation will certainly add luster to this already prestigious event. It may also lead to new grant or sponsorship opportunities. If you are aware of any businesses or organizations who might be interested in supporting this project, please contact Lynne Espy in the Development Office. Submitted by Gina Sawin, Board Member & Alumni Parent   


News from the High School - November 5, 2013

High School Cross Country

Cross Country State Championships:Merriconeag's cross country teams completed their seasons this past Saturday at the Class C state meet at Twin Brook in Cumberland.  It was a beautiful (if unseasonably warm) Saturday with a good strong breeze and clear skies.  Merriconeag was supported, as usual, by a large contingency of fans- family members, faculty members, classmates and friends.  Thank you all who came to cheer and especially to the middle school runners who helped take splits and all the photographers!

     The girls' team finished seventh overall, boosted over 8th place finisher Mattawancook by Fiona Libby's's tie breaking race.  The team placed ahead of St. Dom's, who had beaten Merriconeag the previous week at Regionals.  Sam Pierce was recognized at the award ceremony for her top 30 finish.

     The boys' team finished 8th overall, just barely losing the tie with NYA.  Tucker Pierceand Dylan Wu were recognized at the award ceremony for their top 20 finishes.

     Many thanks and congratulations to Coach Morgan and the Teams for a wonderful season!

Visit the blog for more photos, results, and to read more:http://mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com/


News from the High School - October 29, 2013

Merriconeag Boys Are Western Maine

Regional Class C Runners-up!

Congratulations to the Team and Coach Morgan Lake Adams!

(Read more below under Athletic News.)



On Thursday, October 24, the ninth grade class

joined the second grade for pumpkin carving

and a good time was had by all!






Halloweeners Haunt Hartsbrook!  On Saturday, nearly two thirds of the high school traveled to the Hartsbrook Waldorf School in Hadley, Massachusetts for a three-school Halloween Dance. Although the drive was long and the visit was short, students loved dressing up in costume: Superheroes showed up, as did Peter Cottontail, Uncle Sam (or I should say—Uncle Graham!), a menacing group of female Goths sporting various faux-piercings, and what seemed like the entire cast of the Wizard of Oz. Thanks to Nathan Doan and Susan Sonntag for driving and chaperoning.










High School Cross Country:

Western Maine Regional Championship
  The Western Maine Class C Regional meet was held at Twin Brook in Cumberland last Saturday. Cheered on by almost the entire high school, families and friends, both Merriconeag teams turned in strong performances that ensured them one more week of practice and competition. The girls' team finished fifth overall, which qualifies them for the state Class C meet. Sam Pierce, Fiona Ahearne and Carlin Tindall were recognized for their top thirty finish (and Sam received an individual medal for her top ten finish).
      The boys' team finished second overall, squeaking by Monmouth by just one point and earning them the school's first ever boys' regional runner-up plaque (and, of course, qualifying them for this Saturday's state meet). Tucker Pierce, Zach Neveu and Dylan Wu were recognized for their top thirty finish (and Tucker and Zach received individual medals for their top ten performances).

 Click here to read more about the race on the blog.

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

Congratulations to both teams! We hope to see all of our friends, relations, faculty, neighbors and other supporters back out again at Twin Brook this Saturday, November 2, for the Class C State Meet! Girls race at 12:30, boys at 1:05.

Click here for the complete race schedule.


Race Press:

Press from the Western Maine Regional Races

Cape runner comes back to finish first in Class B
By Glenn Jordan, Staff Writer, 
Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
Saturday, October 26, 2013

It´s a journey for the regional champions
By Glenn Jordan, Staff Writer Saturday, 
Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
October 26, 2013

Press from the Western Maine Conference Race:
Evans, Shafer win Western Maine Conference cross country titles
Falmouth girls and Cape Elizabeth boys are team champions.

By Glenn Jordan, Staff Writer, October 19

Merriconeag at the WMCs
2013-10-22/Sports, The Times Record



High School Information Evening

Wednesday, October 23, 7:00 p.m.

Freeport Campus, 57 Desert Road

Our annual High School Information Night is a great opportunity for all interested parents – as well as students in middle grades and up – to learn more about the

merits of a Waldorf high school education. At this event, current Merriconeag high school students and teachers will discuss our unique program and what makes it so engaging and meaningful. Beth Caputi, our college guidance counselor, will share her experience of working with Waldorf students, and why colleges are eager to have them. Bring your friends and join us on October 23rd!


High School News - October 15, 2013

Electives Elate: If you had peeked into the elective classes last Friday, you might have experienced a twinge of envy as you witnessed the range of activities and the sheer exuberance of the participants. While a small core of mechanically-minded students was working intensively on activating a remote control robot under the supervision of Mr. Doan, another group was playing catchy acoustic music with guitar, stand -up bass, mandolin, and vocals, under the guidance of Carter Logan and Dan Pierce. In the Sage Room, Dmitra Corsetti was choreographing flashy dance moves to music from "Footloose," as nearly half of the high school worked up a joyful sweat, while in Johanna Flath's kitchen yet another group of students was whipping up a batch of delicious pear tarts, which the cross-country running team enjoyed later in the afternoon. What an outpouring of creative energy!

High School Cross Country:

Merriconeag Home Meet (Pineland, 10.11.13)
      First, a big thank you to all the parents, faculty, siblings, and assorted friends and relations who attended the meet. We really appreciate all your directing, flagging, timing, baking and cheering. Home meets are special largely because of our supporters.

     Despite the black dust that settled into everyone's shoes, permeating the air with a fragrance reminiscent of seafood and wet dog (thanks to Thursday's fertilization of the main field), it was overall a lovely day for our home cross-country meet, with cool temperatures, clear skies and a large crowd. Merriconeag ran well, resulting in eight new PRs and a win for the boys' team.

     Sam Pierce went out with the large Freeport pack, cruising through the race to finish in sixth place overall. Next up for Merriconeag was Fiona Ahearne, who kept her streak alive by setting another PR this week- this time by one second- with a strong final mile. Carlin Tindall battled through some stomach cramps to finish with a solid effort. Lily Tupper also continued her relentless time improvement, breaking 24 minutes for the first time this race. Per usual, the pair of Emma Goldberg-Courtney and Sylvie Fenderson paced one another through almost the entire race, but this week it was Emma who would beat Sylvie to the line. Both runners set new PRs in the process. Fiona Libby, despite taking a nasty tumble, battled back and made up quite a bit of time in the last half mile with another great finishing kick. She was followed by Emma Dolan, who also fought some G.I. distress to finish over a minute ahead of her 2012 time on the same course. Phoebe Dolan, after being sidelined by a lengthy illness, did not look the worse for wear this week, setting a new personal best for the first time this season (despite being chronologically challenged). The girls finished second to Freeport, beating out Yarmouth and Class C rival NYA.

     Zach Neveu and Tucker Pierce both went out with the leader, running a fast first half to capture second and fourth, respectively. Dylan Wu had an aggressive second half of the race, passing a Freeport runner in the final mile and earning his best place to date (fifth). Lars Gundersen also went out fast, finishing right behind Freeport's large pack and in front of NYA's. Graham Roeber ran a very competitive race, stepping into the final scoring position and mixing it up with a large NYA pack. His was the first PR of the day for the boys' team. John Burgess had a strong first half of the race, and paced Lincoln Samuelson  through the remainder, out-kicking his teammate to the line. However, this was enough to motivate Lincoln to a new personal best, and earned John a bear hug (that almost knocked him out of the chute). Davis Ritger also had a great day- despite taking a little time off to mend his ankle, he managed to shave 28 seconds off his previous personal best, aided in part by a strong first mile and a fast kick in the last 100 meters. Merriconeag boys won the meet!

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

We hope to see you this Friday when we travel to St. Joseph's College in Standish for the WMC championship meet. Note that there will be four races- varsity boys and girls, as well as junior varsity boys and girls, and that we will have runners in each of the four races.

Click here for the complete race schedule.


High School News - October 8, 2013

Many Hands for Many Harvests 
      Michaelmas is a little-known fall festival on this continent, but Waldorf schools worldwide traditionally celebrate September 29 as the triumph of St. Michael over the dragon. Because of its proximity to the fall equinox, Michaelmas also commemorates the end of the growing season, which is why nearly 100 of Merriconeag's sixth through twelfth graders canceled their regular afternoon classes last Thursday to help with the harvest at four local farms in the area. 
      Almost half of the students traveled to Cultivating Community's Littlefield Farm in Lisbon, where over two dozen immigrant farmers lease garden plots and grow vegetables that they sell in local farmers' markets. Students worked with farmers from Kenya and Somalia, picking the last of the tomatoes, rolling up irrigation tubes and putting the beds to sleep. 
      Cultivating Community connects Maine's newest Americans—primarily immigrants from East Africa and Central America—with the land, skills, and resources needed to start farm-based enterprises. Its mission includes "feeding the hungry, empowering our youth, and healing the planet." Students came away from the experience both awed and admiring. One senior commented that "these people are leaping hurdles that only exist in our nightmares. They are pulling themselves up by their pitchforks. I was farming beside a true hero." David Sloan


Last Thursday in the spirit of Michaelmas, a mixed aged group of 6th -12th grade Merriconeag students headed toCrystal Spring Farm on Pleasant Hill Road in Brunswickto lend a helping hand during their busy harvest time. The October day itself was simply spectacular, incredibly warm and colorful. Students and faculty were met by Crystal Spring’s farmer and operator Seth Kroeck. Seth shared information with us on the farm’s operations and programs and explained what our task would be during our visit.
We joined Seth and student interns on the farm and enthusiastically put our many hands to work weeding. The rows were long but students were amazed when we truly worked together how much we were able to accomplish. When the weeding was finished (or perhaps Seth took pity on us) we split into two harvesting teams. One group crossed Pleasant Hill Road and harvested bucket upon bucket of beautiful orange carrots. The other moved over a few rows and worked on harvesting beets. Seth expressed his gratitude to our students. We returned to campus tired, thirsty and satisfied...with plenty of dirt under our fingernails! Nancy Roderick

On Thursday, October 3 a group eleven mixed grade students drove to New Leaf Farm in Durham. For the drivers it felt like a homecoming visit, arriving to be warmly greeted by Steve Sinisi, Chris, and Dave Colson. We went straight to work picking two varieties of dried beans and folding up yards of plastic from hoop houses. Our work was praised and rewarded with cold slices of watermelon munched on in the shade. A very rewarding beautiful Indian summer afternoon enjoyed by all. Rose Mary Burwell



Under the bright blue sky last Thursday afternoon milkweed seeds lazily floated through the warm sunlight, but there was no lazy floating on the part of the sixth through twelfth grade students at Milkweed Farm in Brunswick..These guest farm workers were firmly rooted on the ground, and delved eager hands into the earth at the guidance of Lucretia Woodruff, who owns the farm with her husband Michael. Two groups were designated. One group was assigned to clear out the hoop houses that were home to tomatoes, and needed the last of the golden and green fruits picked for eating and the plants pulled out so that they could do their important work in the compost. The second group harvested the last of the squash and melons (most of which would go to feed the cows, who love squash- who knew?), pulled up the plants and the compostable plastic earth-warming weed-retardant, weeded the sweet potatoes and then dug into the soft, rich, October earth to find these orange jewels. Lucretia was able to tell us all a little bit about Biodynamic Farming - for Milkweed is a Biodynamic farm- and so we all went away with a deeper understanding not only of what incredible work goes on to put food on our table, but also with some new knowledge of how the seeds planted by Rudolf Steiner not only blossomed into a world-wide educational movement, but a worldwide agricultural movement as well. It was an afternoon of true, purposeful work, with some nice conversations, some giggling, and take-home trophy for all of dirt under the fingernails! Marta Rackmales


High School Cross Country: Instead of traveling up to Belfast, last Friday found the Merriconeag teams making a return trip (just down the road) to Freeport. It proved to be yet another great meet for both the girls and boys with a huge number of PRs and season bests. Merriconeag definitely benefited from the dry conditions on the trails and the fast course. With great weather and a healthy spectator turn out of spectators, the team couldn't ask for much more. Thank you to our growing middle school support system for helping with splits, taking photos and, of course, the very loud cheering.

     On the girls' side, Sam Pierce again led Merriconeag, passing her teammates after a conservative first mile to set a season's best. Carlin Tindall was not far behind, blasting through the 22 minute barrier to set a new PR on the flat course. Accompanying her through the first half was Fiona Ahearne, who moved up several spots on the Merriconeag record board with a new PR. Lily Tupper also managed to dig deep for a PR of over a minute, running aggressively throughout the race. The familiar pair ofSylvie Fenderson and Emma Goldberg-Courtney worked together from the very fast first mile through the last stretch, where Sylvie again just edged Emma. Not far behind them was Fiona Libby, who caught Emma Dolan after a very fast final mile. Fiona set a PR of almost two minutes, while Emma D ran a season best time by over a minute. The girls finished second to Freeport, beating out Class C rival Traip (Fryeburg, Wells and Richmond did not score).

     On the boys' side, another familiar narrative unfolded with Zach Neveu and Tucker Pierce starting off right behind the leaders. Both managed to shave off large chunks of time with new personal bests, with Zach finishing third and Tucker right behind in fourth.Dylan Wu was next for Merriconeag, running a very strong final mile to have his best race of the season by over a minute to break the 18 minute barrier. Lars Gundersen also showed great improvement, going well under 19 minutes for the first time with another great run. Tucker, Dylan and Lars all made jumps up the top ten times list. Finishing in the final scoring position for the third meet in a row was John Burgess, who continued the acceleration trend by setting a huge PR. Graham Roeber was not far behind, holding on to the pace after a very fast first mile to set the tenth personal best of the day for Merriconeag. Lincoln Samuelson also went out fast, weathering the final mile for an overall improvement over his previous effort at Freeport. The boys finished in a very close third- five points behind Freeport and six behind Fryeburg- beating Traip and Wells (Richmond did not score).

Hope to see you all next week at our home meet at Pineland! 
Note: In the results, Graham is listed as Davis. 

This Friday, October 11, Merriconeag hosts Freeport, NYA, and Yarmouth at Pineland. A home race! Please come out and join the fun!

Click here for the complete race schedule.

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


High School News - October 1, 2013

High School Cross Country: GNG Meet (9.27.13)
      The Gray-New Gloucester meet presented the team with a challenging course up Libby Hill in near perfect conditions- a dry, sunny day with a light breeze- and the Merriconeag teams rose to the occasion. We had a number of personal and season bests on the toughest course we've run thus far. The team was encouraged, no doubt, by the large number of spectators (who also appreciated the dry conditions after our last meet at Freeport) and Pierce family cookies afterwards. Special thanks to all our middle school spectators who returned the favor after Thursday's meet (and even took splits at mile two!)

     One the girls' side, Sam Pierce went out strong, keeping pace in the first mile with the leaders and finishing with a season's best time in fourth overall. Carlin Tindall and Fiona Ahearne again worked together, settling in to fifth and sixth place, respectively, and never reliquishing those spots. Carlin still has her killer kick and Fiona A managed to set another PR. Lily Tupper and Sylvie Fenderson also ran together, with Lily again surging away in the last half mile of the race. As our fifth runner (and final scorer), Sylvie managed to beat the entire Poland team. Fiona Libby also had a great day, working largely on her own and still managing to set a personal best (and have a great finish) even on the hills. Making her first appearence in the top seven, Emma Dolan had a good effort on the hills. Phoebe Dolan was not too far behind with a minute and a half improvement over her time from last season. The girls finished second to Cape Elizabeth, handily defeating Poland and host Gray-New Gloucester.

     It was a banner day for Pierces, with Tucker Pierce managing to surge past Zack

Neveu in the boys' race and finish with a new PR, even greeting spectators with a smile around the 2.5 mile mark. Fending off a cold, Zack still managed a fourth place finish, toughing out a hard descent off Libby Hill. Dylan Wu had a great day with a top ten finish and breaking 19 minutes for the first time. Lars Gundersen also shattered his former PR (by over 15 seconds!), making a return to the top ten list. John Burgess came very close to his all time best (and improved on his time from last meet), running a very aggressive second mile on the most challenging section of the course. Graham Roeber made his 2013 debut with a near personal best, running very consistent splits in spite of the hill.Lincoln Samuelson really attacked the first mile of the course, running a very gutsy race and finished with a time that vastly improved on last season's. The boys also finished second, to host Gray-New Gloucester, beating Cape and Poland. Coach Morgan Lake Adams

Thank  you to Eli Gundersen for the photos from last race.

This Friday, October 4, Freeport hosts Fryeburg, Greely, Traip, Wells and Merriconeag. This race is on Pownal Road in Freeport where Freeport plays football. We love our fans! Please come out and join the fun!

Click here for the complete race schedule.

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


High School News - September 24, 2013

High School Trips—From Mollusks to Mooselookmeguntic, Cliff Bars to Baguettes! 
      Last week Merriconeag high school students traveled in three different directions on very different odysseys. The seniors camped at Hermit Island with nearly one hundred twelfth graders from eight other Waldorf schools, studying marine biology, singing, sketching, painting, writing poetry, and contra dancing. Juniors drove to Quebec City for a week of French-Canadian urban immersion. The freshman and sophomores joined forces for several days of canoeing and camping in the Rangeley Lakes region. Descriptions of each trip follow:

Flowing Easy—Ninth/Tenth Grade Rangeley Lakes Canoe Trip: Imagine three gorgeous spots to camp and watch Venus and Mars rising, and then the full, fat moon screaming over the waters and casting deepest shadows—Sand Banks, Metallak and Students Island. Picture three lakes of pristine beauty where the loons cry lonesome on Lower Richardson, Upper Richardson and Mooselookmeguntic. Now envision two groups of mixed age paddlers, ninth and tenth graders—one northbound and one southbound, meeting for the second night together to share stories, songs, goofy laughter and a time of quiet contemplation and reflection. 
      It was a trip of tremendous bounty—more quiet water, perfect weather and delicious food than a person has a right to expect! A landing floatplane and a circling bald eagle welcomed the northbound group to their second night's campsite. The ancient rhythm of paddling (and plenty of Cliff Bars!) kept the groups mellow and flowing easy. Flowing easy—that was the essential feeling of the trip. Nothing was too hard, the food delicious, sleeping comfortable and dreamy, the company robust and welcoming. The jokes, stories, songs, kind words and endless laughter still echo in my head as richly as the mountain scenery and sound of the gentle water.
      Here in Maine we live in a special place, and experiencing its beauty by canoe makes for a sacred journey. Going on a sacred journey with our ninth and tenth graders insures an experience not soon to be forgotten. 
      And to top it all off? Upon arriving back home, I read the front page of the New York Times and one could swear the magic of our trip had an impact on world events. Not one, not two, but three headlines trumpeted remarkably unexpected and positive news: The new head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, criticized the Church for putting dogma before love and called for "an inclusive church, a home for all." In another article, "On Mideast, Heads Spin" the world witnessed a shift away from military action to diplomacy in places as difficult as Syria and Iran. "Diplomacy is suddenly alive again." Finally, a front-page article about America's reawakening textile industry ("Back from the dead") described manufacturing moving back from China, India and Mexico to our own factories in South Carolina and elsewhere. When was the last time the front page of the paper sang like that? 
      Sometimes, the world is filled with beauty and good news. Perhaps it is time spent in nature with a paddle in hand that allows us the eyes to see and the ears to hear.
      And finally—an enormous thank you to Grady Hogan and Lucas Milliken, two noble and talented young men who served not only as guides through the wilderness, but as models for how to live a good life. Between young men such as these two and our 27 ninth and tenth graders, the future feels in good hands. David Barham

Student Views: On the second day of the canoe trip, it was a beautiful day as usual. We started to come upon our destination, Metallak Isalnd. As we paddled closer we noticed the other group had arrived before us. We got out of our canoes and joined them, sharing stories of the day before. That night the teachers placed us around the island for a moment of solitude. We sat alone watching the full moon and the setting sun reflecting off the still water. I thought about how lucky I was to be with such wonderful people and to be able to be outside, enjoying nature in all it's beauty. I am lucky to be in a school that treasures nature, fun and memorable experiences. Dylan Wu, Class of 2017

I lay there on the beach, all wrapped up in my sleeping bag against the growing cold of the night. I could hear whispers from the people that were around me, but they seemed distant and dull, because of all the layers I had covering my ears. The full moon shone high in the sky, surrounded by twinkling stars. The moonlight covered everything in a mysterious glow, making it possible to see the tiniest detail in everything around me. I shut my eyes, and breathed in the fresh air. A loon crooned softly, and soon there was a silence so silent it almost seemed loud. The talking and rustling of sleeping bags had teetered off. Stillness. All that could be heard was the silence. I pulled my hats down over my eyes, curled up in the sand, and quickly drifted off into my dreams. Ava Haag, Class of 2017

It was late evening on our second night of the canoe trip, and we had recently finished a filling, delicious dinner, when my friend and I decided to go for a relaxing stroll around Metallak Island. The sun was just setting in the west, leaving a golden path across the still water. We watched for a moment, then continued walking toward the corner of the island. As we rounded the little bend, we stopped in our tracks, staring wide-eyed up at the full moon that had just risen above the treetops. Slowly, we turned so we could look to the west to see the sunset, and east to see the moonrise. It was one of those moments that takes your breath away, and leaves you to realize just how lucky you really are. Fiona Libby, Class of 2017

One of the best moments of the trip for me was Wednesday night. Both groups met up at Metallak Island. That night just as it was getting dark, the teachers brought us one by one to a spot somewhere on the island and told us to think about why the school does these trips. We all sat at our spots, some more quietly than others, and watched the light fade and the stars come out. From my spot I watched the intense outline of the mountains and the trees against the orange light of the sky. It is not often that anyone can get complete peace and quiet, but this was one of those rare times. When we got back we all shared our opinions. Some said that the trips were for social reasons; others said it was to get us into the outdoors. The one that really caught my attention was that we don't often get a sense of real wonder. On these trips, we can all experience that sense of wonder. Julia Ritger, Class of 2016

Although I have lived in Maine my entire life, the breathtaking beauty of the mountains at sunset, and the moon's reflection on the water at night was a lot to take in. After spending so much time near the city, I have taken the nature around me for granted. But when I was pulled away from cars, radio, television and all the other distractions in life, it gave me an opportunity to take in what Maine has to offer- and I thought it was beautiful.Chris Gordon, Class of 2016

The ninth and tenth grade canoe trip on the Rangeley Lakes was a blast. I thoroughly enjoyed the many chances we had to dive into these wonderful sky blue lakes. All but a few went swimming off these glorious sandbar-like coastlines. They had a chill to them, even on these crystal clear fall afternoons. Phoebe Dolan, Class of 2016


Quebec? Fantastique! Viewing museum exhibitions on subjects as disparate as Samuel Champlain and the history of the video game; taking ghostly tours by candlelight in haunted cathedrals; wandering winding, cobblestone streets at all hours of the day and night; holding picnics on centuries-old battlements; shopping the latest French fashions in boutiques; gorging ourselves on baguettes, pain au chocolate, and (strangely enough) Lebanese food; running joyfully through steep canyon trails beside a rainbow-encrusted waterfall; sitting quietly inside a basilica that holds the cast-off crutches of hundreds of faithful pilgrims--these are just a few "snapshots" of our 11th grade trip to Quebec. 
      If the other grades' trips were about journeys into nature, our trip was most definitely about the journey across cultures--from the US to Canada, from English to French, and (as we reviewed the history of Quebec), fromOld World to New. Each of us stretched a little to accommodate the cultural difference, whether by attempting French for the first time in years, or (for the more fluent speakers) opting for the French-language earphones at one of the many exhibits we took in. 
      Perhaps even more important than the cross-cultural experience, though, was the wonderful sense of camaraderie we enjoyed as a group. We quickly progressed from tentative sampling of each other's music on the van ride up (big winner for the week was the hip hop group "The Underachievers"), to creating silly hashtags for each of our activities (e.g. #gogetthebaguettes), to developing an ongoing mental list of best quotes of the trip (Lars won, hands down. Ask him why.). By Friday afternoon, this self-described "van full of misfits" was planning a post-graduation cross-country road trip because our time together had been so terrific. Thank you, Madame, for making it all possible. Vive la Nouvelle France! Kristin Agudelo

Student View: After seven hours in the van, we finally saw the sign that we had long awaited. “Bienvenue a Quebec,” it said with a fleur de lis next to it. When we arrived at the youth hostel, we were pleasantly surprised to find it clean, roomy and comfortable. After getting settled there, we got a chance to stretch our legs and check out the city. Shops, restaurants, and museums all caught our eyes, and the good news is that in the next four days we would have enough time to explore them all. The class spent time learning about Samuel de Champlain, the history of Quebec City and Province, and visited the Musee de la Civilization. The running team ran the grassy path around the entire city on top of the fortress walls. We all enjoyed a spectacular night-time ferry ride across the Saint Lawrence River to see the city lights, and took the funicular, a glass-sided, diagonal elevator, which traversed the huge hill on the way back to the hostel. The food was delicious; croissants for breakfast, baguette sandwiches for lunch, crepes for dinner, and a taste of Canadian putine as a snack. By the time that we got home, we all had spoken lots of French, had learned about the Acadian culture, and had become an even tighter knit eleventh grade class.

Zachary Neveu Class of 2015


"Bio-Blitz" at Hermit Island:  Now that my week at Hermit Island has come to a close, I’ve unpacked my bags, and caught up with some sorely lacking sleep, I have had a chance to reflect on each day. 
Sunday afternoon we all hopped in the van, bags shoved in between legs, sleeping mats stowed under seats. We rumbled over the land bridge and onto the “island.” After maneuvering through a shoddily marked path, we crested a hill to find Mr. Sloan, deftly defending our campsite from the other Waldorf schools. After setting up camp we settled down for dinner and ended the night with a campfire. 
      Monday morning, we headed to the main area of the Island where all the Waldorf schools gathered together for main lesson. After being assigned a group (each group named after a marine créature—I was a proud member of the Atlantic Dogwinkles!) everyone squeezed onto benches and studied the scientific phylum mollusca. After that, my group walked to beach with Mr. Sloan to reflect and write ocean-related poetry. 
      After lunch, we all collected again into our groups and took the precarious march down to the tide pools. Once there, we received the directions for a "bio-blitz." Essentially a bio-blitz is when you scramble over the seaweed-clad rocks and through tide pools observing and identifying as many species as possible. It was incredible to discover what a diverse and complex population such a small area could house. 
      During our Tuesday main lesson we focused on the phylum annelida, spending two hours learning about different worm species—the most fascinating ones being parasitic. We also learn quite a bit about octopid. Interestingly, after reproduction the female kills the male, waits until her young is born, and stays by them until she starves to death. For Tuesday’s second class we plodded our way through the dunes and onto the beach, where we painted the surrounding oceanscape with water colors. 
      That evening all the different Waldorf schools gathered around a campfire and each one sang a song. Our class, mainly Andrew Hastings, actually wrote a fabulous number, accompanied by John Burgess and Dana Kuniholm, who composed their own guitar music. The other schools performed everything from the classic folk song “Wagon Wheel” to a rendition of “Blurred Lines.”
      Wednesday we studied phyla cycliophora and anthropoda. Ms. Labbe then walked us through the process of dune creation and its importance in ocean-front sustainability. Thursday we studied phylum echinodermata, which includes species such as urchins, sand dollars, and sea stars. After that we pulled out the microscopes and studied barnacles and sea stars on a microscopic level. 
      Thursday evening all the schools came together for a fantastic contra dance. We packed into a wood floored room and, appropriately accompanied by a folk band called "Hermit Crabs," stomped, shuffled, and twirled the hours away. Afterward, the teachers then informed us they had a surprise. So we crept through the still night, following the hushed footsteps of our leader. Arriving at an estuary, we were instructed to lie down and swept our hands through the black water. As we did so, tens of tiny lights shone in the water. We learned they were tiny bioluminescent organisms. 
      On Friday we packed together all of our wet, muddy, and smelly clothes. 
After many exchanged names and sad hugs, we said farewell to all of the great friends we had made from so many different states and piled back into the van. Driving home I felt somewhat forlorn and wished I could spend just one more week at Hermit Island. Jonathan Gross, Class of 2014


High School Cross Country

Last week Merriconeag did not participate in a meet due to high school trips.  The team is back racing this Friday, Sept. 27th. at Libby Hill on Libby Hill Rd in Gray, next to the Gray/New Gloucester Middle School. We love our fans! Please come out and join the fun! As always, any meet photos would be appreciated.

Click here for the complete race schedule.

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




High School News - September 17, 2013

High School Cross Country

Meet with Freeport, York & Poland:  Friday the 13th proved to be a very auspicious day for the Merriconeag cross country teams. Despite the pouring rain, standing water and occasionally sloppy footing...oh wait, because of the pouring rain, standing water and occasionally sloppy footing, everyone had an excellent time at the race. The weather at the Freeport Community Fields ranged from light rain to torrential downpour, and there was no avoiding the puddles small lakes (including one with current!) that had formed on the trails. Instead of complaining about the conditions, our runners embraced them, resulting in some great performances and muddy, gritty shoes. Thank you to all our enthusiastic (and slightly damp) spectators, to Susan for having the foresight to bring the tents, and for the parents who contributed the tarps for our gear.

     Our girls' team had the distinction of having every single runner finish faster than she had run the week before at Twin Brook. This resulted in a number of PRs and happy runners. Sam Pierce again turned in a strong finish as Merriconeag's number one, finishing sixth overall after chasing down a number of competitors in the last mile. Carlin Tindall rebounded nicely from last week, demonstrating a strong final mile and the quick kick that we've come to know and love. She paced Fiona Ahearne through the first half of the race, helping Fiona to a new PR and a place on the all time top ten list. Also setting new personal bests were the pack of Lily Tupper, Sylvie Fenderson and Emma Goldberg-Courtney. They worked together for almost the entire race until Lily broke away with the fastest kick of the day in the final 200 meters. Sylvie and Emma G-C, separated by less than a second, finished close on her heels. Fiona Libby and Emma Dolan also did some great pack running, running almost exactly even splits to a new PR for Fiona and a much improved time for Emma. Phoebe Dolan ran a strong race, drafting and exhibiting a strong last half mile (although no dynamic breathing). And despite coming off a bad cold, Fiona Chace-Donahue managed to race remarkably well, setting a new PR by over a minute. The girls' team finished third overall, beating Poland.

     On the boys' side, Zack Neveu and Tucker Pierce led the way for Merriconeag (as well as leading the race for most of the course). Zack was edged at the finish by his Freeport competition, however his second place overall is the highest place finish in his high school career. Tucker was not far behind, setting a new PR. Dylan Wu had another great race, picking it up after the first mile to finish in almost exactly the same time as last week. Lars Gundersen recovered from last week's illness to break 20 minutes for the first time, moving up nicely in the final mile. This week it was John Burgess' turn to capture the final scoring position, also running negative splits to come within seconds of his personal best. He ran with Lincoln Samuelson through the first mile, who turned in a solid effort. (Lincoln and Davis managed to displace the majority of the Poland boys' team). Davis Ritger also had a great day on the trails, running negative splits to a new PR by 30 seconds. The boys' team narrowly finished third (only two points behind Freeport!), beating Poland.

     Full results can be found on the results page of the blog. As always, any meet photos would be appreciated. This week we will not have a meet, but we'll be back at it on Friday the 27th at Libby Hill (Gray-New Gloucester's home course). Hope to see you there! Coach Morgan Lake Adams

Click here for the complete race schedule.


News From the High School - September 10, 2013

High School "Tangled Up in (Mt.) Blue" 
Last week the entire high school caravanned (in nine vehicles!) two hours north to Mt. Blue State Park for its annual opening-of-school camping trip. Pouring rain, a dead battery, a flat tire and a missing math teacher at the outset of the trip did not cast a shadow for long. Students' spirits soared throughout the trip; in addition to a challenging hike up Tumbledown Mt., students also participated in a goal-sharing campfire, performed community service by staining picnic tables at the campground, and engaging in a creative "willderlympics" organized by the senior class. Four student perspectives on the trip follow:

Ninth grade—Emma Goldberg-Courtney 
I woke up in the morning to the cold, wet tent pressed against my face. It was bitterly cold outside, so bundling up in all the layers I could, I quickly rushed over to the sound of voices and the smell of campfire smoke coming from behind the tents. When I reached the fire, I was met with a series of cheery good mornings, an offer of hot chocolate, and the grumblings from certain persons about the various downsides of camping. One of the aforementioned people had made quiche, which we warmed up for breakfast by the fire as we watched other campers gradually struggle out of their tents and come over to join us. At the agreed-upon time of seven o’clock, Mr. Sloan with his harmonica, Mr. Barham and Mr. O’Brien with their guitars, proceeded to march amongst the tents playing their instruments very persistently, calling out a wake up song of their own invention, and quite thoroughly shaking the tents to guarantee success in leaving no one asleep. Although it was very amusing to watch, I think I preferred my wet awakening to the louder one that was thrust upon many drowsy students. 

Tenth grade—Phoebe Dolan
Yet again the Merriconeag Waldorf High School set off on our first week of school trip. After we drove through a large rainstorm, we came to our cozy camp at Mt. Blue state park. It had not rained up there and the sky was blue. After some preparation we got back into the vans and drove to the base of Tumbledown mountain. This justly named climb gave us as a whole school quite a run for our money: large boulders, moosewood trees, and some small rocks crossing streams. At the top there was a sublime view and a tempting lake, which some of us swam in even though the air was cold. Then we tumbled down the mountain back to our camp. It was quite a jovial hike in the good company of my fellow peers!

Eleventh grade—Lincoln Samuelson
When you think camping, you think best friends, family, or maybe you just go alone and hang out with the guy next to you. But only at Merriconeag do we have the opportunity to be with our entire school when we go camping. Though the temperatures dropped below 40 degrees, we all huddled around a wonderful camp fire and had an amazing time. We all went around the camp fire and shared a wish for either ourselves or the school or even both if we felt so inclined. As we did this, everyone respected everyone else’s wishes, and everyone was heard when and how they wanted to be heard. As we sat there, a feeling of such general love seemed to radiate from the fire. Living in the present moment was a goal shared by a girl entering her sophomore year. That present was so present at that campfire that it could have been perpetual presence, and it would have been sublime. It was a one in a million (well, not actually because one in a million really isn’t that great. Think about it. If there are 7 billion people in the world, and it’s one in a million, then it’s really like seven thousand others in the world. So veto that.) It is a priceless experience that you cannot get from books, movies, or magazines, and it will remain with us as long as we can remember.

Twelfth grade—Lily Tupper
      What happens when you leave a group of Waldorf high school students and a few teachers to wait in a parking lot to wait for an indefinite amount of time for the last hikers to return? They play “Wah” and “Camouflage” and eat popcorn, of course.
      A group of about fifteen of us found ourselves in this situation last Thursday after our hike up Tumbledown mountain. After a strenuous hike up and knee-jarring trip down, we were all in various stages of fatigue. Some people had even gone swimming in the pond at the top of the mountain while a frigid wind whipped around the rest of us. Most of us had thawed out by the time we got to the parking lot, although a few still sported layers of rain jackets and sweaters.After enjoying a snack of popcorn that had somehow not been unloaded with the rest of the food at the campsite, a game of “Wah” was suggested. And when I say “game,” I mean an all-out competition where those with slower reflexes and wandering minds will not survive. The culminating event is a traditional veggie-off, in which participants imitate a vegetable of the judge’s choosing. After having exhausted our voices from screaming “wah!” at one another, we moved on to a game of camouflage. We found hiding places behind trees and parked cars and inside of vans in attempts to outwit the seeker. A word to the wise: if you are going to hide behind a car, make sure that you do not go to a school small enough that everyone has everyone else’s shoes memorized.
      And so it was after these snacks and games, the last hikers returned, and we drove back to the campsite, somewhat refreshed and ready for an evening full of wilderlympics, food and song.


 The Classes of 2014, 2018, and 2025 were celebrated at our 2013 Wildflower Assembly!