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Commencement Exercises 2013

The Class of 2013

(l to r) Ben Tindall, Zoe Oswald, Teagan Wu, Skyler Samuelson, Nowell Stoddard,

Zoe Chace-Donahue, Holly Perkins, Emelie Chace-Donahue, Jack Pierce,

Phoebe Clewley, Devon Murphy-Anderson, Timothy Morse

      If you have never been to one of the Merriconeag graduations, I highly encourage you to come next year. All graduations are special, but the ceremony at Merriconeag 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. Some students marched to classical music, a boyfriend finger picking an old jazz standard or a sibling playing and singing a much beloved Beatles song. Some processed in to an old Robert Johnson blues tune or a set of dueling banjos. One student even sang The Banana Boat Song along with her brothers. Each student was introduced by a faculty member of their choosing. Every one of the twelve faculty introductions were one of a kind - as one of a kind as the student being introduced. Then each student got to speak about memories and meaningful experiences from their years at the school.Some spoke of class trips, others of foreign exchange, many spoke about the value of all the singing and art they did at school in their lives. Each spoke of the incredible connections made to teachers and especially to one another - a complex set of friendships cultivated over many many years. All spoke lovingly of their experiences - even when that meant nearly being buried alive in a debris hut on a class camping trip or waiting hours on the side of the road while a chartered bus basically fell apart.

     This year was particularly special in that a majority of the class had been at the school since kindergarten. That is 15 or 16 years out of an 18 or 19 year life so far! Fresh off the success of their class play, And Then There Were None, and their senior class trip to Provincetown, the class of 2013 clearly enjoyed themselves at their own special event. They sang as part of the high school chorus and also offered a playful a cappella version of Journey's old hit, Don't Stop Believing.

     No cookie cutter graduation this. The school is small but this allows for this unusually high level of input and creativity from each student. After a lifetime in Waldorf education, this was a most fitting ending for the class of 2013. David Barham


Merriconeag's Commencement Key Note Speaker, Jordan Seavey

     Former and much beloved music teacher Jordan Seavey was this year's commencement keynote speaker. Mr. Seavey spoke about the significance of presence and told tales of his own ability to learn about music from long dead composers by being able to be inwardly still and present enough when listening to music that the composers actually offered up and revealed their secrets to him. He finished his address by sitting at the piano and playing an extended piece by Claude Debussy to demonstrate this practice of presence. Jordan's grace and focus spoke as loudly as any words he offered the graduates.

2013 Key Note Address

     Anyone endeavoring to manifest the ideals of Waldorf education will likely find him or herself studying the book How to Know Higher Worlds, by Rudolf Steiner. Steiner, as many of you know, was the originator of Waldorf education, establishing the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart, Germany nearly 100 years ago. Early on in my first year teaching here at Merriconeag, which was also my first year as a Waldorf teacher, which was also my first year as a teacher, I too found myself in possession of this book. And early on in this book, there is a brief passage which has led me to think a great deal about what it means to be an effective teacher, and also, more importantly, what it means to be an effective student. In it—and I’m both paraphrasing and extrapolating here—Steiner conjures the image of a student waiting outside the door of a great teacher, someone the student, out of reverence and admiration, wishes to emulate. He proposes that the awe and wonderment experienced by this student could be something useful, a special feeling, something to continue to try and kindle throughout one’s life. I remember when I first read this passage; I began to reflect upon all of the wonderful teachers—and I’ve been blessed with many throughout my education—whose understanding of a subject, or whose way of thinking, or, simply, whose style and being I’ve looked up to. These teachers have helped me, encouraged me, inspired me, been patient with me, and perceived things in me I didn’t even know were there myself. And although many of them have been truly extraordinary, it was during the phase of my life analogous to that which all of you are about to enter in your own, that I met the one teacher who most palpably elicited this feeling of awe and inspiration in me: my college piano professor, Laura Kargul.  Read more


News from the High School - June 14, 2013


2013 FAB (Future Alumni Breakfast): On Thursday, June 6, the Alumni Committee held its 2nd annual FAB: Future Alumni Breakfast. The 12 seniors and their advisor, Jeff O'Brien, joined Alumni Committee hosts, Jacqui Koopman, Lynne Espy and Deeda Burgess, for a delicious breakfast in the gallery of the Community Hall. The breakfast celebrates their new status as alumni and we discuss how best to help them stay connected to the life of our school and to other Merriconeag alumni in the years to come.
      It is a joy to talk with these impressive young adults and to hear their enthusiasm for Waldorf education and their desire to give back to the school in many ways. We encourage them to visit us often and to continue to share their stories with us so we can share them with you.


High School Ultimate Frisbee: On June 2 at the Cumberland Fairgrounds Merriconeag Ultimate played in the State Championships with great heart and treated all of their spectators to some very exciting games. Congratulations on a wonderful season, MU!

The 2013 Merriconeag HS Ultimate Team: (l to r) Simon (from Brunswick), John Burgess, Hugh Voorhees, Joe Newlin, Andrew Hastings, Nowell Stoddard, Isabella Pignatello, Zoe Oswald, Avery Murphy-Anderson, Devon Murphy-Anderson, Coach Rich Young, Sam Leavitt, Django Pignatello


News From the High School - June 4, 2013

And Then There Were None: A memorable performance was missed if you were unable to attend one of the performances of the senior play last week. The chosen script, a murder mystery, was a new genre for Merriconeag and one might well wonder why no one thought of it before. Agatha Christie’s best selling story,And Then There Were None, was superbly cast and sublimely performed. An additional aspect that enhanced the experience was that the show was presented as dessert theater, with guests seated at tables and served tea, scones, breads, nuts and other treats. 
      Christie’s script has a little of everything. Ten major characters with diverse personalities and unknown to each other were invited by a mysterious host to a vacation home on an isolated island and each was accused, by an invisible voice, of being guilty of murder in their past. Suspense built gradually as the first act introduced the characters and informed the audience of the events in their past to which the accuser referred. The question of why they were summoned to this macabre conclave was revealed at the end of the act with the death of the first victim.
      Suspense built rapidly after that as, one by one, the “ten little soldiers” met their demise. But by whom? All audiences were completely swept up in the drama. Students at the Wednesday afternoon show popped out of their seats at intermission breaks and an excited buzz filled the hall as they discussed what they saw and speculated on the perpetrator. Adult audiences in the evening appreciated the frequent humorous subtleties in the text which brilliantly interwove humor, sentiment and mystery. 
      It is impossible to single out any individual performer for accolade. Each senior became his or her character and made their performance thoroughly convincing and entertaining. The audience was completely swept up in the whodunit right through to the manic culmination of the final scene. And manic it was. My thanks, and that of everyone who saw the show, go out to all those who collaborated to present this fabulous show to the community. Notice that I did not reveal whodunit because, if you missed the show, a visit to your library to read it will be rewarded.
Submitted by Jeff Tindall

Please click here for head shots and bios of the cast!


Foreign Language Awards Celebrated:  On Thursday, May 30th, the proud MWHS language teachers, Frau Merrill and Madame Whittlesey celebrated the success of their classes who participated in the National German and French Contests organised by the AATF and AATG. Out of 23 students from grades 10, 11 and 12 who participated in the Contests in both languages, 18 Merriconeag High School students ranked themselves in the 50 to 95% which placed them in the top ranks in Maine, some being 1st or 2nd in Maine! These laureates all received honorific certificates, pins or medals. Three French students received also national ranking recognition: in grade 10, Zachary Neveu and Jesse Saffeir (both in the 90%) and in grade 11 Carlin Tindall (95%). All three were recipients of a bronze medal. Jesse and Zachary are presently doing an exchange in Paris.
      The Language celebration also recognized Carlin Tindall who was the Maine recipient for the 2013 Laurianna Boucher Scholarship given by the Foreign Language Association of Maine (FLAME) to an exceptional HS Junior or Senior French student who plans to pursue the study of French civilization and language in college.

     Frau Merrill and I would like to thank all the brave participants and all the language students for a fabulous school year "auf Deutsch" and "en français"! Danke! Merci!

French Treasure Hunt: On sunny May 31st, the 9th Graders went hunting for a treasure in their last French class. The 11th graders had spent a period previously designing an epic Treasure Hunt, all clues written in French of course, which sent the two teams of 9th graders running all over the Pineland campus. Some clues were challenging but in general all participants had great fun looking for them in unexspected places. The last clue brought them all to the Pineland Market where the treasure was handed to them by cooperative pastry makers who enjoyed being part of the game. One of them even practiced her lines to welcome the students in French! Everyone was rewarded by a refreshing ice cream, "une bonne glace", before walking back to class.

     I would like to thank the Pineland people for their kind participation, the 11th graders for their enthusiastic game preparation, and the 9th graders for their joyous involvement in the game. Happy end of French class!


News From the High School - May 28, 2013

And Then There Were None: The History of a Most

Dramatic Twelve Year Journey

     On Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, May 29, 30 & 31, the Merriconeag Waldorf High School senior class will be performing Agatha Christie's murder mystery, And Then There Were None (based on her 1939 novel originally titled, Ten Little Indians). Like many dramatic productions, the essence and highlight of this play is the ensemble work of the cast. However, this cast of twelve has a distinct advantage in terms of ensemble work, for the majority of the class have acted together in a play every year since first grade.

    One of the hallmarks of Waldorf education is that from grades 1-8,students stay together as a group under the care and guidance of a single class teacher. Students have a variety of teachers for special subjects (French, German, handwork, woodwork, chorus, movement, instrumental music etc.) but the class teacher guides them through the traditional core academic subjects and through their school life, from the age of seven right up through the end of middle school. Along the way, drama is an important part of the Waldorf curriculum. Each year, every class performs a play that is chosen to integrate with that year’s curricular themes and topics.  Read more


Jesse Saffeir and David Sloan are 2013 Maine Literary Awards Finalists: 

 The Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance recently announced the finalists for the 2013 Maine Literary Awards and two from Merriconeag Waldorf High School were among them. Sophomore Jesse Saffeir is a finalist in the Youth Competition, Poetry and High School Humanities teacher, David Sloan is a finalist in the Short Works Competition, Poetry. The winners of the 2013 Maine Literary Awards will be revealed live at a ceremony on Thursday, May 30 at 6:00 p.m. at SPACE Gallery in downtown Portland. Congratulations to Jesse and Mr. Sloan!


From Whaling to Weeding: Ninth Grade Trip
"A whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard." Herman Melville
      During the Week of May 13, the ninth graders received their own version of Melville's "Ivy League education." After joining the Monadnock and Hartsbrook freshmen classes, we drove to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and toured the Charles W. Morgan, the only remaining nineteenth century whale ship in the world. The next day we traveled to New Bedford's Whaling Museum, then spent the evening at The House of Peace in Ipswich, Massachusetts, a refuge for individuals seeking political asylum. After enjoying the hospitality extended to us by the Cape Ann Waldorf School staff, who allowed us to sleep in the school that night, on Wednesday the group drove to Gloucester and boarded the Hurricane II for a whale watch. We were fortunate enough to see dozens of dolphins escorting a huge fin whale, before we returned home.
      For the last two days of the week, the ninth grade performed community service: on Thursday raking in Bradbury Park, and on Friday helping immigrant farmers from Somalia and Guatemala weed and plant vegetables as part of the Cultivating Community program in Lisbon. 


11th Grade Botany Intensive in New Hampshire: Two weeks ago, the 11th grade traveled to Camp Glen Brook in Marlborough, NH for our Botany Intensive. We were joined in our study of the Plant Kingdom by classes from the Monadnock and Hartsbrook Waldorf High Schools. We spent each day in a mix of field study, class work, art projects and helping grow the burgeoning Glen Brook biodynamic farm by planting blueberries and raspberries. The week culminated in a brisk summit of Mount Monadnock. We look forward to meeting again next year at Hermit Island!



Athletic News

High School Ultimate Frisbee: 

This Sunday, June 2, Merriconeag HS (MU) will compete in the State Championships at the Cumberland Fairgrounds. Come on over and support MU - it is always a fun day!

For more info: http://www.maineultimate.org/team-schedules. 


News From the High School - May 21, 2013

2013 Spring Concert
This Thursday, May 23, 6:30 p.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Road, Freeport
We cordially invite you to musically celebrate Spring and join us for the 2013 Spring Ensemble Concert. Students in grades 5 through 12 will be performing. All students in grades 5 though 12 are required to attend and should arrive no later than 6:10 with their instruments and music. Dress for the evening consists of assembly attire (described in the parent handbook) with spring colors encouraged. We look forward to seeing you there! Nancy Roderick


Final Senior Project Presentation

This Friday, May 24, approx. 8:45 a.m.

(after chorus) Community Hall

57 Desert Road, Freeport

Tim Morse - First Responder/Firefighter training


Senior Class Play:

And Then There Were None

Wed., Thurs, Fri., May 29, 30, 31

7:00 p.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Rd., Freeport

$7.00 at the door

Please join us for an evening of theater, tea,

biscuits, mayhem and murder!

Recommended for ages 12 & over.

     The senior class at the Merriconeag Waldorf High School will perform Agatha Christie's 1939 story (originally published under the title, Ten Little Indians) for three public performances listed above.

     A mysterious host invites a diverse group of people to an island. They arrive and a gramaphone recording accuses them each of having committed murder. Soon after, they begin to die, murdered off in horrible ways echoing a children's nursery rhyme on the wall of the elegant island home. Ten little Soldier Boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine. Nine little Soldier Boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight...
      Who is killing them? Where is the host? Attempts are made to track down and stop the killer. Tension builds as the guests begin to suspect one another. The title of the play hints at the suspenseful ending.


10th Grade Surveying:

Last week, the 10th grade was camping in Brewster, Massachusetts (on Cape Cod) with the 10th grades from Monadnock and Hartsbrook Waldorf High Schools. We camped at Nickerson State Park and were able to bike from our home base to all of our activities. We spent much of each day surveying a portion of the beach from the dunes down to the waterline. In addition to surveying, we spent an afternoon orienteering through the woods and we spent a morning at the shore with an marine biologist. We also spent some of each day doing artwork on the beach.



Senior Holly Perkins was back in the news on Friday evening, May 17, as WGME followed up with her about her senior project. Be sure to watch this wonderful clip:


High School Senior Brings Art Of Ballet To Children In Tanzania
MERRICONEAG (WGME) -- As part of a school service project, Merriconeag High School senior, Holly Perkins, brought her passion for dance halfway across the world. Her mission: to bring the art of ballet to children at an orphanage in Africa. CBS 13's Beth Jones has the story of her 3 week journey in Tanzania.



High School Ultimate Frisbee: 

This Wednesday, May 22, 5:00 pm. Merriconeag HS (MU) plays

Fryeburg (FB1)at the Cumberland Fairgrounds. Come on over

and support MU!

Click here for the game schedule:




News From the High School - May 14, 2013

High School German teacher, Ingrid Merrill is proud to announce the results from the 2013 National German Exam: Lincoln Samuelson placed third in Maine and Lars Gundersen placed second on the Level Two Exam. Zoe Oswald placed second and Jack Pierce placed first in the State on the Level 4 Exam. The top achieving German students will be honored at an awards ceremony at the Blaine House in Augusta on May 16, 2013. Congratulations to Lincoln, Lars, Zoe and Jack!

stairway circle_resizedImprovox Forum:    

Our last High School Forum of the year was held on Tuesday, April 30 when Improvox featuring Deb Hensley, Kathy Slack and Martin Swinger came to our Pineland Campus. They led us through an hour of improvised singing, humming, clapping, moving, and story telling - all in a loving and safe way. There were lots of singing games with great humor, creativity and musicianship. Improvox encouraged us all and some courageous souls among us entered the circle for solo improvisations. It was a liberating and joyous forum where students and teachers were united in joyous harmony.
      Improvox leads singing workshops and give concerts in the community so be sure not to miss this liberating experience if it comes your way. The high school thoroughly enjoyed it and you will too. Thank you, Improvox! Madame Whittlesey

A Few Images from Prom 2013:



High School Ultimate Frisbee: 

There is no game this week as most of the high school students are away. Please click here for the game schedule:http://www.maineultimate.org/team-schedules. All games take place at the Cumberland County Fairgrounds. Please note that some games are at 3:30 and others at 5:00. The team will play in just one tournament this year - the state championships on Sunday, June 2 at Cumberland County Fairgrounds.



News From the High School - May 7, 2013

Merriconeag Students Earn "Silver," "Bronze" at Poetry Festival
      Teagan Wu and Carlin Tindall were among the top three prizewinners announced on Sunday at the Sixth Annual Merriconeag Poetry Festival. Teagan took second place for her poem "Belonging," and Carlin was the third place winner for her piece "Ophelia." Both poems can be read below. For the second consecutive year, first place went to a Falmouth student—this year's winner was Emma Sapat.
      In all, five Merriconeag student-poets were among the twenty finalists selected by Festival judge Megan Grumbling, noted Maine poet, teacher and theater critic. Merriconeag's other finalists included Jack Pierce for his poem "Day-Dream," Zoe Chace-Donahue (selected for the second consecutive year) for "How To Lie," and Lily Tupper, who was unable to attend because she is on exchange in France. Senior Holly Perkins read Lily's poem "River-Pull." All finalists received gift certificates donated, in part, by Longfellow Books in Portland.
      To add to the ambience of the Festival, for the fourth straight year the trio of Jack Pierce, Skyler Samuelson and Ben Tindall played music both to open and (joined by Carlin on double bass) to close the program. Many thanks for their generosity and musical prowess; thanks also to Susan Sonntag, Kristin Agudelo, Deeda Burgess, Lynn Baird and Regine Whittlesey for helping in unsung ways to make the Festival a gracious occasion.

Belonging by Teagan Wu

The goats await our arrival, nibbling the mountain grass
The jingle of their bells lure us, across the rocks
To their secret place
Their horns dance across the outline of the sky
Sharp, yet warm against the horizon
The younger ones prance and leap from the rocks
They sing of youthfulness
They greet us, open as unfolding flowers
Like we belong
They follow close behind us through the grasses
The heat of their bodies radiating
Their small cries and the ring of their bells
A song of the present, familiar and untouched
Embraced by the breeze
I want to capture the song of the bells
And the soft warmth of the goats
And wrap them in a package
To stand so silent as to fall
Into belonging
Teagan Wu

Ophelia by Carlin Tindall

My father loved me.
This isn't some sappy father-daughter story,
Sentimentality clinging like pond weeds.
I am sure that he loved me.

My duck-just-hatched memories
Were of him;
Playing with me, teaching me how to act in public,
A river of strength and comfort after I fell.
In the tangle of familial ties,
My knot was closest to my father's.

I grew and he was always there.
I slipped in the mud and he knew
How to brush off my hurt.
To me he was unquestionably

Would I have survived as a child without him?
Or would I have been a puppet without a master,
Limp and lifeless?

Too soon the moment came.
A snake blade,
Hidden, swift,
Cut his hands from my strings
And left only senseless songs to crawl into.
Their soft melodies born in smoldering hurt,
Their verse a window
To that swampy view.

Did I lose myself in the current of grief?
If my father were still alive,
He could've seen through the waters,
Swirling through my life,
Finding the rocks
And showing me where to step.


News From the High School - April 30, 2013

Senior Project Presentations

This Thursday, May 2, 7:00 p.m. and

This Friday, May 3, 1:15 p.m. and

Friday, May 24, 1:20 p.m. (This one: Sage Room at the hs)

Community Hall, 57 Desert Road, Freeport

Please come out to support our oldest students and also to catch another glimpse of some of the gold that awaits at the end of the Waldorf journey rainbow. Open to all!
May 2, Thursday, 7:00 PM in the Community Hall
Emelie Chace-Donahue - Arabic
Devon Murphy-Anderson - Women in Politics
Ben Tindall - Photography
Skyler Samuelson - Stem Cell Research
Zoe Chace-Donahue - Architecture
Holly Perkins - Teaching Ballet to Children
May 3, Friday, 1:15 in the Community Hall 
Teagan Wu - Writing and Illustrating a Children's Book
Jack Pierce - Building a Canoe
Phoebe Clewley - Lifeguarding
Nowell Stoddard - Electronic Music
Zoe Oswald - Entrepreneurship 
May 24, Friday, 8:45 a.m. in the Community Hall
Tim Morse - First Responder/Firefighter training 


One Student's Reflections on the Boston Bombings (Note: During this last quarter of the year, all freshmen have been asked to keep daily journals, with one entry per week describing some current event. The paragraph below was written by Zoe Konstantino and is reprinted here with her permission.)
      I think this is what the Mayans predicted; not the end of the world but the end of humanity. The bombs that went off at the Boston marathon yesterday were identified as an act of terrorism. I feel so badly for the people who think that harming others like that is okay. These people must be really sick, to think that. When I look around I see a family that loves me, friends who care about me, and an almost perfect world; But when I see things on the news or in the papers, I realize how lost society is; terrorism is like a really big way of bullying, Someone has to make other people feel badly to feel good about themselves. That is so sad to me. I feel so sorry for the victims of these bombs; they must be going through a lot right now. 173 people are working through the pain. When something like this ever happens, I remember what Mr. Rodgers said when I was young: “Look for the helpers, you will always find people helping.” I want to be one of those helpers. I am determined to leave this planet better than how I found it.




Merriconeag Waldorf High School French classes 10, 11, and 12 participated in the 2013 National French Exam organized by AATF (American Association of Teachers of French). All students received honorable results while some students distinguished themselves and ranked on the National Level.
Class 10 Maine Chapter Rank
Zachary Neveu #1 
Jesse Saffeir #2
Samantha Pierce # 8
Graham Roeber # 14
Zachary and Jesse ranked themselves on the National Level, respectively # 6 and #7
Class 11 Maine Chapter Rank
Carlin Tindall #3
Lily Tupper # 14
Sophie Simmons # 17
Carlin ranked herself #9 on the National Level
Class 12 Maine Chapter Rank
Skyler Samuelson #2
Nowell Stoddard #2
Emelie Chace Donahue # 5
Zoe Chace Donahue # 7
Ben Tindall # 8
Devon Murphy Anderson # 9
Teagan Wu # 9
Phoebe Clewley #13
Congratulations to all my honorable French students for an excellent participation in this national contest!
Regine Whittlesey, High School French


This spring, Merriconeag High School sophomore Jesse Saffeir was chosen as a semi-finalist in the seventh annual Smith College Poetry Prize for High School Girls in New England for her poem “What the Flames Saw.” The Poetry Center at Smith College was founded in 1998 with the goals of bringing distinguished poets to the College, creating a video archive of their readings, and promoting an appreciation of poetry in the larger community through outreach to schools.



News From the High School - April 23, 2013

High school humanities teacher David Sloan will have his first book of poetry published this spring by Deerbrook Publications of Cumberland. The collection, entitled The Irresistible In-Between, will include pieces that were selected as winners of the 2012 Betsy Sholl and Maine Literary Awards.

If you missed him at The Royal Bean in Yarmouth on Sunday, you have another opportunity to hear him read his poetry at Engine Gallery in Biddeford on Friday evening, May 17 at 6:30 p.m., with a number of other Maine poets.



Merriconeag Poetry Festival

Sunday, May 5, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Road, Freeport


Kris photo.jpg

Host an International Student!

     As you may remember from previous Tuesday News articles, starting this Fall, our High School will be accepting a small number of international students from China and South Korea. These teens will be attending the high school as full-time students for 3-4 years, so we are looking for families who would be interested in hosting a student for at least one year, and possibly for their entire stay if the arrangement turns out to be agreeable to both student and family. Students will spend the entire school year here, returning home only over the Christmas break and the summer. Shorter vacations (Thanksgiving, February, April, etc.) may be spent either with the host family, or with a network of “temporary/holiday hosts” we hope to set up in the coming months.

     Merriconeag is working with an agency to help ensure a good “fit” between students and our school community, and there will be ample aid to help families know what to expect and how to help their international student adapt to this new culture. Students come from a variety of backgrounds, but for all of them the language and cultural differences may be challenging at first, so flexibility and a desire to have a truly cross-cultural experience as host parents are a must. The rewards can be great: we've heard from other Waldorf schools that they are finding both their school life and greater community deeply enriched by the presence of teens from these countries. The school will also pay a generous stipend to cover room, board, and expenses for each student, so do not let finances keep you from volunteering.

     The process of becoming a host involves answering a detailed questionnaire about your family life and home, and some photos are required as well. This document is then circulated to students, who participate in the final placement decision. If you think you may be interested in being a host family, volunteering as a “holiday host” (i.e. someone who would be willing to have a student short-term for a holiday week or other short-term period), or simply have further questions about what's involved in being a host, please contact Kristin Agudelo atkagudelo@merriconeag.org. 


News From the High School - April 9, 2013

2013 College Acceptances: Congratulations to our twelfth graders! They have been accepted at the following colleges and Universities:
American University, Bard College, Barnard College, Bates College, Bennington College (2), Champlain College, Clark University(2), College of the Atlantic, Cornell College, Fordham University, Franklin and Marshall College, Goucher College (2), Green Mountain College, Guilford College, Hamilton College, Hollins University, Ithaca College, Juniata College (2), Lewis and Clark College, Marlboro College, McDaniel College, Middlebury College, Mt. Holyoke College, Sarah Lawrence College, Smith College (2), St. Olaf's College, UMF (2), UNE, UNH (2), USM, UVM (2), Wheelock College,
and College of Wooster.

     As you can see above, Merriconeag continues to do extremely well in college admissions. Half of our seniors got accepted to every college to which they applied!  We continue to see that colleges look favorably on Waldorf students. As colleges seek to create a diverse freshman class, Waldorf educated students add another element to their schools. Jeff O'Brien

Merriconeag Lands Five Finalists in Poetry Festival Contest
      For the sixth consecutive year, Merriconeag had multiple winners among the finalists chosen for this year's Sixth Annual Merriconeag Poetry festival. Festival judge Megan Grumbling, noted Maine poet, professor and theater critic, selected five student-poets from Merriconeag: juniorsCarlin Tindall and Lily Tupper, and seniors Zoe Chace-Donahue, Jack Pierce and Teagan Wu. This is Zoe's second consecutive selection, an impressive feat considering that each year the finalists are chosen by a different judge. Other schools with multiple finalists include Catherine McAuley High School, Falmouth High School, Glickman Academy and Morse High School. All finalists will be honored at an awards ceremony and reception on May 5, to be held in the Community Hall. 
      The event, from 3-4:30 p.m., is open to the public and will feature the student poets reading their prize-winning pieces. Megan Grumbling will read her own work as well and speak briefly on the power of poetry. She will also reveal the first, second and third prize winners, whose poems will be displayed on a poster to be distributed to all high schools in the region. All finalists will receive gift certificates and a festival booklet containing all the selected poems.
      The 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. Students from fourteen schools responded. It was a “blind judging;” entries were only identified by titles, so Judge Grumbling had no idea about the identity or school affiliation of the poet. 
    The Festival was made possible, in part, by a generous donation from Longfellow Books in Portland.

David Sloan


News From the High School - April 2, 2013

Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram Names John Tarling Coach of the Year!

Congratulations to Coach Tarling who was named Coach of the Year in last Sunday's Maine Sunday Telegram!

See the article in the March 31, 2013 Maine Sunday Telegram

Coach of the Year
John Tarling, Merriconeag
Tarling led Merriconeag to its third straight Class C Nordic state championship in his fifth year at the small Waldorf school in New Gloucester. He also led the Merriconeag boys´ team to its first state title, and both teams won Western Maine Conference titles for the first time. "They overcame some big challenges," Tarling said, pointing specifically to the late-season illness of team leader Zoe Chace-Donahue. "The other girls covered for her when she was sick, so that was pretty sweet."


News From the High School - March 26, 2013

More news on Holly:

Senior Holly Perkins was on WGME 13 TV news the other night.

High School Student To Teach Dance To Young Children In Tanzania
NORTH YARMOUTH (WGME) -- A high school student from Maine is now half a world away, getting ready to teach dance to young children in Africa.

     Merriconeag High School senior Holly Perkins is off to Tanzania, where she will teach kids dance. This was made possible through a senior service project at the school. The children, who will be Perkins' students, are orphans, and are often the victims of abuse and neglect. Click here to watch the news broadcast.

More press on Holly from previous weeks in case you missed it:

Teen Dancer Leaps into her new role as ballet teacher at an orphanage in Africa.

Along with her passion, Holly Perkins will also deliver dance apparel she collected to Tanzania.

By Bob Keyes, Maine Sunday Telegram, March 16, 2013

Listen to Holly interviewed on 98.9 WCLZ: Link to interview

Read the article about Holly in the Forecaster:
North Yarmouth Teen to Bring Ballet to African Orphanage
By  Alex Lear, The Forecaster, March 5, 2013

Ninth Grade Visits the State House in Augusta:

Our trip to the State House by Zoe Konstantino:
This past Thursday we had the privilege of attending the state house up in Augusta. We were greeted by Freeport House of Representatives member Sara Gideon and Brunswick House of Representatives member Mattie Daughtry. After visiting the democratic caucus we made our way to the House of Representatives headquarters where we were to become pages for the first part of the morning. After being briefly trained on what to do, we were thrown right in to duty. Our names were announced as we filed down the aisle to the leather benches where there was a panel with the seat number of each representative. When the number lit up one of us would run to their seat and receive a note which had a number on it to be passed to the seat of that specific number. We all caught on fast and it became a game of extreme note passing. The trip concluded with a visit to the museum to see the labor mural. The trip was allover amazing and I cant wait to go back a be a page again.

Our trip to the State House by Phoebe Dolan:

The ninth grade went to our own state capital in Augusta. We met with Sarah Gideon, Representative of Freeport and Mattie Daughtry, Representative of Brunswick and served as honorary pages, passing notes between representative members. It was a stellar experience seeing gavals bang and laws being voted on. This trip helped us get a peek of what goes on in our state...Maine.


News From the High School - March 19, 2013

Poetry Out Loud State Finals are this Wednesday: As reported earlier, Senior Skyler Samuelson was one of five finalists selected at the Southern Regionals held last month in Biddeford. This Wednesday, March 20, she will compete against nine other contestants for the state championship at the Gracie Theater in Bangor. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and the event begins at 4:00 p.m. For tickets and more information:http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/346905.

The event will be aired live on MPBN televison. 

Go Skyler! We'll all be cheering for you!



Senior Holly Perkins receives more great press for her senior project in the Maine Sunday Telegram:

Teen Dancer Leaps into her new role as ballet teacher at an orphanage in Africa.http://www.pressherald.com/news/teen-dancer-leaps-into-her-new-role-as-ballet-teacher-at-an-orphanage-in-africa_2013-03-17.html

Along with her passion, Holly Perkins will also deliver dance apparel she collected to Tanzania.

By Bob Keyes, Maine Sunday Telegram, March 16, 2013

More press on Holly from last week in case you missed it:

Listen to Holly interviewed on 98.9 WCLZ: Link to interview

Read the article about Holly in the Forecaster:
North Yarmouth Teen to Bring Ballet to African Orphanage
By  Alex Lear, The Forecaster, March 5, 2013


Theme Week at the High School:

     Last week was the annual Theme Week at the high school. This year the students spent the week exploring the theme "What is Art?"  They kicked off the week with keynote speaker. Chris Pliem, a buddhist teacher from Massachusett, who spoke of the connection between meditation and art and how artists speak of producing their best work while "in the zone". He also spoke of the importance of focusing on "each step of the process", of living in the moment and not being so preoccupied with "the goal."  Tashi Armstrong demonstrated this using the art form of Japanese archery.

     Each high school student participated in three artistic workshops that met over four days. Here are some student comments from each of the workshops:

Art in Nature: There are so many amazing patterns in nature. We looked at how you can try to explain them using mathematics. It's amazing that you can copy patterns found in nature using a compass and ruler.

Fabric Printing: I learned so much about collaboration and teamwork through this elective. I felt so involved in the present moment, designing, carving and printing. We all put our ideas together and created T-shirts for everyone in the school as a gift representing our artwork. (Teagan Wu)

Dance: The first day of dance was fun and full of energy as we paired up and learned the basics of disco.  The next day we reviewed disco before moving to the waltz. The steps were a little more complicated, but we made it relatively gracefully through the theme of Cinderella’s ball.  Thursday, we got off the ground and began lifts in swing. The song we danced to was energetic and everyone loved getting flipped around and upside down.  The last morning was spent learning some hip hop tricks, which weren’t part of a whole dance, but were fun nonetheless.  After such an active week, I’m not the only one who’s a little sore. (Carlin Tindall)

Circus Arts: Being able to do something that we have done before and deepening our understanding of it and really having fun was an awesome feeling. (Zoe Konstantino)

Clay: Texture, gesture, and a personal element; those were our instructions for the class.  For a couple hours each day last week we worked with clay, melding the required elements together to form one piece.  Some made animals, some abstract sculptures, but everyone incorporated a texture, gesture and personal element into their product.  At the end of each class we smashed our work, and each morning we started something new. (Carlin Tindall)

Yoga: When I stood up after every yoga practice, the space around me felt infinite and I was able to feel my center. As Yoga means "yoke" or "connection," I found my center though the fluidity of the movements and the focus on the present moment. It made me want to do yoga every morning. Through this elective, I was introduced to Mandala's which are meditative and spiritual tools with unifying centers and concentric shapes. I chose the shapes for my design in the present moment without thinking about the end result. In doing so, I think the piece turned out even better. (Teagan Wu)

Drumming:  During drumming we learned about the various beats created by hitting a drum. We learned about different cultures' ways of drumming. But we spent most of class collaborating to create our own music.(Meredith Saunders)

Fiddle Tunes by Ear: In the afternoons we played music.  Many people played instruments they already knew how to play, while others picked up new ones.  We had banjos, fiddles, cellos, guitars, basses, mandolins and a dobro.  Most of the songs we played were already well-known by everyone, but there were some new ones.  We played for almost two hours each day, learning chords, melodies and harmonies.  While sometimes rocky in finding the balance between melodies and chords, or keeping time steady, we ended our week happy with the progress we’d made and all that we’d learned. (Carlin Tindall)

It was so cool to see everyone work together playing as best they could to make wonderful music. I have found myself playing mandolin a lot more since theme week and teaching myself some more songs. The school got the best teachers possible for this workshop. (Julia Ritger)

The high school also spent on day of theme week on a field trip to the Museum Fine Arts in Boston. Who knew that an electric fan placed in vegetable oil is art?

Theme Week has easily been one of my best experiences here at the high school, I am certainly looking forward to it next year! (Chris Gordon)


News From the High School - March 12, 2013

Senior Holly Perkins will be returning to Africa on March 23 equipped with ballet slippers, tights and leotards. She will be teaching ballet to the children of an orphanage in the southeast African country of Tanzania as part of her senior project. To prepare for her trip, Holly has been teaching ballet to grade school students at Merriconeag with the help of John Saccone. She has also taken classes for younger students at Maine State Ballet to learn its teaching methods, and is planning a curriculum with their Artistic Director Linda Miele and School Director Glenn Davis.


To learn more:

Listen to Holly interviewed on 98.9 WCLZ: Link to interview

Read the article about Holly in the Forecaster:
North Yarmouth Teen to Bring Ballet to African Orphanage
By Alex Lear, The Forecaster, March 5, 2013


High School Students Have a (Snow) Ball! How to break the routine of a dreary

winter? Attend a Waldorf Schools Snow Ball! Last weekend, some fifteen students from Merriconeag High School joined students from four other Waldorf schools at the Monadnock Waldorf School in Keene, NH. Mr. Sloan and I played both chauffeurs and chaperones of our joyous bunch. The weekend was extremely well-organized, beginning with a few ice breaking activities that encouraged the 115 students present get to know each other. 
      Friday night, after a delicious and generous dinner prepared by a very efficient parental group, the ninth and tenth graders gathered to watch the classic movie The Big Sleep, with an introduction about film noir by presented by ex-Merriconeag teacher Karl Schurman. Meanwhile, the juniors and seniors took a brisk walk to the Monadnock Elementary School Theater, where Glen Williamson performed his gripping one-man adaptation of Goethe's Faust. Then host families came to gather their brood for the night, some of them hosting as many as 18 young people under one roof!
      On Saturday, after a big brunch served at school, the students were left to choose among many activities: playing sports at the nearby Recreation Center, going sledding on a hill next to the school or walking downtown, discovering art galleries and delicious frozen yogurt shops. 
      Everyone went home around 3 p.m. to get ready for the big event. At 6 p.m., all our handsome gentlemen and stylish ladies gathered at a hall transformed into an elegant Hollywood venue. Guests entered in pairs or small group, walked the red carpet, applauded by an admiring crowd of parents and teachers and accompanied by the flashing cameras of the paparazzi! The very first guests to walk in were Charlie Chaplin and Ginger Rogers look-alikes. A life-size statue of an entirely golden Oscar greeted the guests. To the surprise of the students, this statue, one of the Monadnock teachers in disguise, came shockingly to life! 
      An elegant sit-down dinner was set up in the ballroom while silent black and white movies were being shown on stage, under the HOLLYWOOD banner. After a delicious dinner, tables and chairs made way for a dance floor while the DJ prepared his music on stage. The DJ was Monadnock's dance teacher. He was a wonderful DJ, offering a mix of music to please all tastes. Wild dancing ensued for hours. It was so much fun witnessing the joyous energy of the dancers and how connected they were to each other. 
      The ride home Sunday morning was quite quiet as riders dreamt the Hollywood dream. I asked some of our students what they appreciated about their week-end and here are some of their appreciative, enthusiastic answers:

     "It was fun being with other Waldorf students who know what a block book is; I didn't have to explain about borders!"
    "We are not so weird; there are others just like us!"
    "They were so kind and hospitable!"
    "I loved the Hollywood theme!"
    "It was fun doing eurythmy moves on the dance floor with people I didn't know!"
      All in all, a great success! We want to thank the Monadnock school for their impressive organization and their generous hospitality. Can't wait for next year's theme! Regine Whittlesey



News From the High School - March 5, 2013

Congratulations to Mr. Sloan:
In 2012, poet David Sloan won both of the Betsy Sholl Award from Words & Images magazine and the 2012 Maine Literary Award for Poetry in the Short Works Competition. Now, Deerbrook Editions’ Jeff Haste has just announced that Sloan’s first collection—The Irresistible In Between—is due to be published by his Cumberland-based press this spring. Kudos to both author and publisher!

Read more in The Peavey, a weekly newsletter from the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, where you will also see Tyler O'Brien's photo and Skyler Samuelson's name in the article on Poetry Out Loud!


News from the High School - February 26, 2013

Merriconeag Boys & Girls are Class C Nordic Team State Champions

and Western Maine Conference Nordic Champions!

Congratulations to our skiers and their coach, John Tarling

The girls team won their 3rd state championship and the boys team won

the 1st state championship for our high school in any boys sport. 

(See Athletic News below for more information)


Another State Finalist:
      For the second consecutive year, a Merriconeag student has advanced to the Poetry Out Loud State Finals. Senior Skyler Samuelson was one of five finalists selected at the Southern Regionals held last month in Biddeford. She will compete against nine other contestants in Bangor on March 20 for the state championship. The event will be aired live on MPBN televison. 
      Skyler's recitation of three poems—Shakespeare's "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day," "Calling Him Back from Layoff," By Bob Hicok, and "Sweetness," by Stephen Dunn—propelled her into the finals over students from 20 other schools.
      Last year Tyler O'Brien won the state title, earning him $200 and the high school $500 for its library of poetry collections. In addition, he received an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C., to compete for national honors. No matter what happens this year at the state finals in Bangor, congratulations Skyler! David Sloan


Senior Ben Tindall has been named a candidate in the 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program: The candidates were selected from nearly 3.4 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2013.

     Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 49th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

     Over 3,000 candidates were selected for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT Assessment. Further consideration is based on students’ essays, self-assessments, descriptions of 
activities, school recommendations, and school transcripts. A distinguished panel of educators will review these submissions and select 500 semifinalists in early April. Each year, up to 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.

    Congratulations and good luck, Ben!


Romance, Dance, Bunny Rants Highlight High School Coffee House
      Merriconeag celebrated Valentine's Day with a rich program of high school talent and equally rich desserts. Emcees Sophie Simmons and Nowell Stoddard established the romantic mood with original "love poems" to frame the evening. In between their declarations of mutual adoration, well over 150 attendees enjoyed a smorgasbord of artistic offerings. 
      The program featured poetry by Graham Roeber, Teagan Wu, Emelie Chace-Donahue, Lily Tupper, Sam Leavitt, John Burgess, Devon Murphy-Anderson, Zachary Neveu, Jesse Saffeir, Zoe Oswald, Sophie Simmons, Phoebe Clewley, two French poems recited by Teagan and Skyler Samuelson, and a joint recitation of a Maya Angelou poem by Julia Ritger, Phoebe Dolan, Sophie Ichizawa, and Zoe Konstantino; short story excerpts from Meredith Saunders, Samantha Pierce and Isabella Pignatello; musical pieces from Peter Watko, Isabella and Django Pignatello (accompanied by Fin Woodruff), Skyler Samuelson, Devon Murphy-Anderson and Phoebe Clewley, the guitar class, and the "Von Pierce Family Players."
      Other highlights included eurythmy by Emma Dolan, an original Canterbury Tale presented by Carlin Tindall in an approximation of Middle English, a dramatic monologue about an excitable dog, a dead bunny and puzzled neighbors, written by Joe Newlin and enacted by Andrew Hastings, a scene from St. Exupery's The Little Prince presented by members of the eleventh grade—in French—feats of juggling and diablo performed by exchange student Leonard Dorig, and three dance numbers by the dance elective class that brought down the house! 
      Many thanks to all who helped to make the evening a memorable one—especially Rose Mary Burwell for her tireless planning, David Barham for rehearsing students, Johanna Flath and Regine Whittlesey for their valuable assistance with decorating and/or baking, as well as all the students and parents who prepared delectable desserts. The evening netted well over $350 for various high school activities. David Sloan



The Little Prince:  On Friday February 15th, royalty came to Merriconeag High School at Pineland. A very lovely and convincing Little Prince came to tell a stranded pilot about his adventures traveling around various planets, encountering extraordinary personages that made him wonder about the wisdom of grown ups. Fortunately, on Planet Earth he encountered a wise and kind Fox that shared his secret: "One can see well only with his heart, the essential in life is invisible to the eyes." The Little Prince then understands how his friend the Rose, on his own tiny planet, is truly his friend and how much she means to him in spite of her vain appearance and attitude.

     I adapted this beautiful story, The Little Prince, originally written by Antoine de St Exupery, into a play written for the Grade 11 class. The students readily embraced the challenge, memorizing lines and performing in French in order to put on the very first Merriconeag Waldorf High School play performed in a foreign language. They worked so hard and diligently that one soon could forget that the actors were speaking in a language that was not theirs. They were breathing, living French! I was so proud of them all!

     We were very lucky to include music in our production thanks to the generous participation and accomplished help brought by Will Bristol, a MWHS alumnus and friend, who is a talented musician presently studying at USM. Will kindly wrote music for the play and taught a song to the cast. Thanks to his generous contribution, the play was enhanced into a different dimension. 
      I want to sincerely thank every student of our Class 11 for their huge efforts and positive attitude all along this adventure: first of all Emma Dolan, the Little Prince, who was on stage from start to finish! She embraced her challenging role with courage, grace, and competence; Carlin Tindall was the moving pilot, St. Exupery himself, recounting his touching encounter with the Little Prince; Lily Tupper personified the vain Rose with a tender heart. Then came the characters encountered by the Little Prince in his travels: Sophia Simmons, an eager King ready to welcome and reign over any new subject, and a pathetic Drunkard who drinks to forget the shame of drinking; John Burgess, a busy businessman who forgets that life is not all about counting stars in order to "buy" them and an impressive Geographer who does not understand how to appreciate the beauty of his own place; Finally Sam Leavitt, as a street lamp lighter obeying an absurd, obsolete order that destroys any pleasure in his life and as a vary vain character who lives solely to be admired. These strange personages confuse the Little Prince who finally meets the wise and tender Fox, played convincingly by Andrew Hastings, so that he can finally return to his planet helped by an eager snake presented discreetly by Lily Tupper.

     In my thank you, I can't forget the role played by my assistant, Amandine Thevenet Brown, who seconded me every step of the way, helping to produce this play. I also thank Sandy Pearson and Julie Pennington who contributed their assistance with the Rose outfit.  Grand Merci a Tous! Regine Whittlesey, MWHS French teacher.


High School Athletic News:

Our 2013 Nordic Team State Champions and

WMC Team Champions and their Coach

Front row, l to r: Coach John Tarling, Lily Tupper, Jack Pierce,

Emelie Chace-Donahue, Ben Tindall, Samantha Pierce.

Back row, l to r: Zachary Neveu, Lars Gundersen, Teagan Wu, John Burgess,

Graham Roeber, Carlin Tindall, Zoe Chace-Donahue.

Season Wrap-Up: It is hard to believe the HS Ski Season has finished. As promised I will try to summarize the Western Maine Conference Championships and the State Class C Championships. I could do so by simply writing SWEEP, as that is just what the Boys' and Girls' Teams did at both events in winning both overall championships at season's end.

     The WMC has long been considered the premier ski conference in Maine and shows how far the team has improved to win the event. The girls' team has won the State Class C races before, however it was the first win for the boys' team, completing a fantastic season overall. Even with such stellar results, and in setting a high mark that will be difficult for future teams to surpass, it is not just results that define a successful season. The 2012/13 team started out the ski season focused and prepared to work for their goals. Through the dryland training period of cold, often wet, days in the fall they did the necessary bounding, running and strength training needed with few complaints. The Christmas camp this year provided mid-winter conditions, allowing for great early season skiing as well as the chance to spend time together. For me, ski seasons often have defining events that have a lasting impression - this year getting hopelessly stuck in snow after a long day skiing says much about this team. They all saw the humor in the predicament and turned to shoveling, pushing and tugging together to free the van and cars stuck in the snow. Even after this and a long day of skiing, they rallied to go for a night ski on a very cold and windy evening.

     A few result highlights from WMC and States are the overall team improvements, especially by Lars, Zach, John, Lily and Carlin - all had highlight races at season's end that helped raise the bar for the team. Samantha and Graham also had fine results and finished in the top 10 in these final races. The seniors finished out their last year just as they have all along, by leading the team with their hard work and great spirit. Teagan, Emelie and Zoe have had great HS careers, starting out as three unknown freshman winning second at states, then three-peating the State championship, which is quite an accomplishment. Ben and Jack both had very good results when it mattered most, helping the boys' team with their first State title and WMC championship. The entire girls' team really dug deep to win at the WMC when Zoe became ill after winning the opening WMC skate race and then missed the classic race. The races in Presque Isle for this year's States gave the team a chance to race in a new venue. The County is a special place and offers landscapes totally different from what we see in Southern Maine ... but clearly the change didn't rattle our team!

     A special thanks to the school staff for supporting the ski team this year and all the parents who helped out at the races - waxing, cooking, driving, lugging gear, cheering, etc. - without such help it would not be possible to make the team work. Thanks to Jennifer, Jason, Carol, Keelyn, Susan and Jeff for making things work all year as well as on the trips. Coach John Tarling

Click here for results.


Skiing's big week: State championship time
It's a typically deep field with many talented skiers competing for the last time in a single-week format.
February 18, By Glenn Jordan, Portland Press Herald, Staff Writer
Skiing: Falmouth, Merriconeag start strong
February 19, Portland Press Herald, From staff reports

Skiing: Falmouth, Merriconeag sweep Nordic titles
February 20, Portland Press Herald, From staff reports

2013 WMC All Conference Skiers

The following Merriconeag High School students were named 2013 All Conference for the recent Western Maine Conference Championships:

Boys: Ben Tindall (4th), Jack Pierce (5), Graham Roeber (6), and John Burgess (Honorable Mention).

Girls: Emelie Chace Donahue (1), Samantha Pierce (4), and Zoe Chace-Donahue (Honorable Mention).

Congratulations to all!


News from the High School - February 12, 2013

High School Coffee House

This Thursday, February 14, 7:00 p.m.

Community Hall (aka: The Love Nest)

Grade School Campus, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport

Can a High School Coffee House Put a Little Romance in Your Life?
      Come find out on Valentine's Day Night! On Thursday, February 14 at 7 p.m. in the Community

Hall (renamed "The Love Nest" for the event), Co-emcees Nowell Stoddard and Sophie Simmons will preside over a talent-filled high school evening brimming with sweetness—sweet poetry and gripping tales,

sweet songs and dances, and sweets of all kinds. The music, stories, dance and shenanigans are free - refreshments cost a little, but they're worth it! Come early to get a good seat, and enjoy a sweet, sweet evening! David Sloan for the High School


High School Nordic:

Merriconeag had excellent results in the WMC Skate Championships on February 6 at Starks Hill in Fryeburg

Merriconeag girls were 1st and the boys were 2nd! Congratulations to our teams!

Click here for All Results. View tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet to see Boys/Girls results

The WMC Classic Championship race will take place today in Fryeburg at 2:00 p.m.

For the complete race schedule check our blog.


News From the High School - January 29, 2013


Juniors Joe Newlin and Andrew Hastings volunteered at Freeport's White Nights Auction on Saturday night. Along with a couple Freeport High School students, they passed appetizers, helped the organizing committee (including MWS parent Victoria Stefanakos) and took photographs of the event. Merriconeag was a sponsor of this fundraiser which raises money for Freeport Community Services.




High School Nordic: The Sassi Classic at Black Mountain
Merriconeag Girls, 1st / Merriconeag Boys, 4th!

Sassi Recap from Coach Tarling: 
      Last Saturday the team traveled to Rumford for the Sassi Race. This race is the largest High School Nordic Race in Maine with over 400 racers and is a good test to see where all the teams stack up. The Merriconeag team did very well as the girl's team was the overall winner and the boy's team placed fourth. These are truly great results and give validation to the teams focus and dedication in their training.

     Zoe Chace-Donahue, as she has for all her four years, led the team with a 9th place finish and was recognized in the top 10, despite her not having her best day. Emelie Chace-Donahue was not far back in 14th place, followed by Sam Pierce in 20th, Teagan Wu in 31st and Carlin Tindall in 38th. For the girls - they improved overall from 4th last year to 1st this year - a result they all worked hard for.

     The boys' team also had a good day led by Jack Pierce in 14th, Graham Roeber in 30th, Ben Tindall in 45th, John Burgess in 52nd, Zach Neveu in 56th and Lars Gundersen in 107th. Many of the team recorded great improvement from last year - Lars jumped 75 places and continues to improve, Samantha, Graham, John, Ben and Emelie also recorded improved results from last year's Sassi.

     Within the Sassi Race each year is the J2 age group qualification for the Maine Team competing at the New England J2 Championships. This year Zach earned a spot on the team with a strong 18th J2 finish - good luck at the NE Championships Zach!

     We are looking forward to the upcoming WMC Championships as well as the State Championships in Presque Isle. Visit the Maine High School Skiing website for complete results and click on this link for a story about the race in the Lewiston Sun Journal.

Read about our Nordic team in last week's Portland Press Herald:

Skiing Notebook: Sassi provides true test of skiers throughout Maine
By Glenn Jordan, Staff Writer, Portland Press Herald, January 24

Next up: race today at Pineland. Please note that due to expected rain, the race scheduled for Wednesday, January 30 has been switched to Tuesday, January 29. It will be a 1.3K skate sprint.

For the complete race schedule check our blog.


News from the High School - January 22, 2013

The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder

Performed by the Classes of 2015 & 2016

Open Dress Rehearsal, Tuesday, January 29, 7;00 p.m.

Opening Night, Thursday, January 31, 7:00 p.m.

School Performance, Wednesday, January 30, 10:45 a.m.

Final Performance, Friday, February 1, 7:00 p.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport

Got a Match?
      Need a little laughter to lighten the dark days of January, those mid-winter blues? Thornton Wilder's famous farce, The Matchmaker, inspiration for the musical Hello Dolly!, will be performed next week by the ninth and tenth grades, with an Open Dress Rehearsal on Tuesday, January 29, Opening Night on Thursday, January 31, and Friday, February 1. All performances will begin at 7 p.m. There wll also be a school performance on Wednesday, January 30, at 10:45 a.m.
      The plot revolves around Dolly Levi, matchmaker extraordinaire, who appears to be arranging a marriage for wealthy curmudgeon Horace Vandergelder. However, she has a personal interest in who should end up as Horace's wife. In the meantime, two of Vandergelder's beleaguered clerks decide to go into New York City for an adventure. They get more than they bargained for as they become romantically entangled with a couple of lovely ladies, while at the same time continually bumping into their employer, first at a hat shop, then a restaurant, and finally at a spinster's apartment.
      Admission will be $5 for all seats.


Merriconeag seniors unwind and celebrate last Wednesday's snow


High School Nordic: Starks Hill 4K Skate Relay
Merriconeag Girls, 1st / Merriconeag Boys, 2nd
      Yesterday, January 21, at Starks Hill in Fryeburg, the girls skied a fine relay race and allowed anchor Zoe Chace- Donahue to ski the last leg unchallenged. Sam Pierce started the girls off in good form leading her opening leg. Lily Tupper (skiing for Emelie Chace-Donahue) skied a fine 2nd leg to give Teagan Wu the chance to mark the team just in front. Zoe skied alone to finish the job.

     For the boy's race Graham Roeber skied a good leg in a fast start giving Ben Tindall the 2nd leg with a number of teams close by. Ben closed in on the lead team and Zack Neveu held position and gave Jack Pierce the chance to close on the lead Yarmouth Team. Jack skied a very strong last leg missing a win by a matter of seconds. John Burgess, Lars Gundersen and Carlin Tindall all raced in the mass start race and had good finishes.

Coach John Tarling For complete list results click here.

Next up on Saturday, January 26 is the Sassi Classic at Black Mountain. This is one of the highlights of the year. 

For the complete race schedule check our blog.


News From the High School - January 15, 2013

Early Decision/Early Action College Acceptances:Merriconeag continues to do extremely well in college admissions. Seniors in this year's senior class who applied early decision or early action to college received acceptance letters from Middlebury College, Smith College, Hamilton College, Barnard College, Lewis and Clark College, Guilford College, College of Wooster, McDaniel College, Green Mountain College, Hollins University, and Fordham University. We continue to see that colleges look favorably on Waldorf students. As colleges seek to create a diverse freshman class, Waldorf educated students add another element to their schools. Congratulations to these seniors and good luck to the remaining seniors applying "regular decision". We will keep you periodically informed as acceptance letters come in for our seniors.

Jeff O'Brien, High School Faculty Chair


Faculty Ekes Out Win with (Unlikely) Shot Heard Round the (Waldorf) World: Only a last-minute shot by basketball wizard David Barham snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat for the faculty last Saturday night. A driving layup by freshman Hugh Voorhees had put the students up 27-26 with a half minute to play, when "Bombs Away" Barham received a pass near the foul line, turned and without any hesitation (or sense of where the ball might end up), tossed up a prayer (some spectators swear that his eyes were shut) that hit nothing but net, clearly guided by Waldorf fairy sprites. 
      Until that unlikely scenario, the game seesawed back and forth. After the students had established a comfortable 17-9 halftime lead, the faculty slowly chipped away, spearheaded by Yunus Lowenthal's all-around play, Robert Pennington's "enforcer" role, and tenacious defense by Will Hight, Ellen Labbe, Sarah Hyde and John Saccone. Two free throws by Nancy Roderick put the faculty ahead 26-23, until the students rallied behind Hugh Voorhees and captain Joe Newlin, his squad's leading scorer with 11 points. Yunus Lowenthal provided most of the offensive punch for the faculty, scoring more than half of their entire output with 16 points. 
      Many thanks to all the faculty who risked life and limb to play the friskier Merriconeag team. Special thanks to Michael Fenderson, whose brilliant substitution scheme helped the faculty to victory, to John Newlin and Steve Musica for refereeing, to Susan Sonntag and alumnus Tyler O'Brien for operating the scoreboard and keeping the scorebook, respectively, and to Devon Murphy-Anderson and Regine Whittlesey for organizing the refreshments. The game raised over $300 to support high school activities. The high schoolers' final words after the game? "Wait until next year!" Coach Sloan



Thank you for the Cookies: The faculty, the 6th Grade and the Alumni Committee would like to thank senior Zoe Oswald for her initiative and leadership in the marathon cookie baking that occurred in the Early Childhood Center prior to the

Community Celebration on December 20. Many thanks to Jill Fox and Lynne Espy for their support and to all of the 6th grade and high school bakers who helped! Thanks, too, to the Early Childhood Center for lending their rooms and their ovens.



News From the High School - January 8, 2013

Ven Robina Courtin: Our last High School Forum of the year 2012 was very appropriate for inviting some personal introspection well in harmony with this period of the year. Thanks to Mer and Troy Stafford, generous Grade School parents, the High School was very fortunate and very honored to host Venerable Robina Courtin on Tuesday December 11th at our Pineland campus. Grade 8 students came and joined us for the Forum as well as for lunch, so Ven Robina Courtin had a respectful and attentive audience of about 50 students.

     When Ven Robina started speaking, I worried for a couple of minutes as I had never heard someone speak faster than M. Barham or M. Lardie! But very quickly, it became clear that Ven Robina was on mission, a clear mission to explain with great clarity and precision what it means to embrace Buddhism as a life philosophy. Ven Robina does speak fast but she is fascinating and we were all soon enthralled by her presentation.

     Ven Robina Courtin has been a Tibetan Buddhist nun for 35 years. Born in Melbourne, Australia, she was brought up as a Catholic. She studied classical singing then went to London in 1967 where she lived for four years as a leftist and a feminist. She studied martial arts and back in Melbourne she attended a Tibetan Buddhist course given by Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. She then went to Nepal and became ordained as a Buddhist nun at Kopan monastery in 1977.

     Ven Robina is very lively and has a great sense of humor ; she spoke frankly and with great honesty about her life choices as a single woman and how she lives her life fully according to the Buddhist precepts. And as she told a student "so far, so good"; it works for her and she feels that she continues growing and learning. She feels very happy. Judging by the numerous questions coming from the audience the students were very interested; they were not shy to ask many pertinent or even very personal questions. Ven Robina answered each one with great sincerity and often with humor.

     It was such a pleasure to listen to this very wise and kind lady! I would like to thank profoundly Ven Robina Courtin to have taken the time to come to MWHS, even though she was in the region only for a couple of days; and I would like to thank Mer and Troy for having helped orchestrating this very enriching and thought provoking Forum. Many HS students told me it had been one of their favorite Forums so far!

     What will 2013 bring us? We promise a variety of speakers to continue opening windows into different facets of our world. Régine Whittlesey

High School Nordic: Our Nordic Ski Team had some successful races over the vacation. All of our skiers skied very well in a skate race at Pineland on Wed. Jan 2 (the girls team came in first out of 13 teams and the boys came in third out of 12 teams) and at the Telstar Relays on Sat. Jan 5 (Merriconeag teams won both the A race and the B race). You can see the results atmainehighschoolskiing.com.

Merriconeag senior Zoe Chace-Donahue was included in the Portland Press Herald's list of High School skiers to Watch. Click here to view. Congratulations, Zoe!

The next high school meet is tomorrow, Wednesday, January 9 at 3:30, hosted by Freeport and Greely. This classic race is scheduled to be held at Twin Brook in Cumberland with NYA, Yarmouth, Falmouth and Merriconeag participating. It's nearby so come on over and cheer for our awesome skiers!

For the complete race schedule check our blog.


News From the High School - December 18, 2012

Student-Faculty Basketball Game IV: The Rematch 
      The Summer Olympics? The Presidential Election? Bah, Humbug! Both were small competitive potatoes compared to the biggest rivalry in Waldorf Land—this year's Epic Student-Faculty Basketball Clash, coming on Saturday, January 12, at 6:30 in the Freeport Middle School gym. Merriconeag’s student team, a coed high school squad, is giving the proud but pooped, spirited but aging faculty a chance to redeem themselves after last year's blow-out student romp. 
      Possible returning faculty team members may include “Jumpin Johnny” Saccone, Oliver “Kangaroo” Kinzer, “Reboundin’’ Robert Pennington, Will "I Can't Get No" Hight, Rose Mary “Bombs Away” Burwell, "Bouncin'" Bridget Jeffers, "Dunk it'" David Barham, Jeff “Airball!” O’Brien, Lisa “Nothing but Net"Mainella and Nancy “Hot-Rod”-erick, who sank the winning basket two years ago when the faculty eked out a last-second victory. This year, new faces promise to revitalize the Geezers: Yunus "High and Low"-enthal, "Dead Eye"-da Dyment, and Selma "The Eurythminator" Fricke. Michael "The Mastermind" Fenderson will return to coach and console the faculty.
      The student team, led by junior Joe Newlin, also includes starters Sam Leavitt, Sophie Simmons, freshman Hugh Voorhees and exchange student Moritz Haldy, as well as improving reserves Peter Doughty, Lincoln Samuelson, Avery Murphy-Anderson, Emma and Phoebe Dolan, Chris Gordon and Joe Armstrong.
      Come cheer on your favorite team, and support the high school’s fund-raising efforts as well. Although there will be no admission fee, generous donations are welcome. Refreshments will be on sale, the proceeds of which will go toward funding the high school athletic programs, Model UN trips, and the Siddhartha School in Ladakh, India. Coach Sloan



Many thanks to juniors Lily Tupper and Carlin Tindall for their

art work for the Community Celebration poster!



News From the High School - December 11, 2012

A Community Celebration of the Warmth of the Season

Thursday, December 20, 2012, Community Hall

6:30 - 7:15 - Nativity Play by Ms. Fox's 6th Grade

7:15 - 7:45 - Social time with refreshments

7:45 - 8:45 - The Shepherds Play by the Class of 2014

Come one, come all! We have also invited our alumni families to join us this evening. (Our alumni are encouraged to join us and then make plans with their classmates for after the plays.) If you can't make it this evening, you will have another chance to see The Shepherds Play on Friday morning.


The Shepherds Play

Friday, December 21, 2012, 11:00 a.m.

Community Hall

We warmly invite the entire community to join us to witness this simple, yet profound offering which speaks to what it means to be truly human. The play will be performed by our 11th Grade Class.

Click here to read David Barham's article and learn why you just might want to come out and see The Shepherds Play!


Zoe Chace-Donahue, Grade 12, has artwork in the upcoming Maine Youth Excellence in Art Exhibition, sponsored by the Maine Arts Commission, at the Capitol Complex in Augusta. The opening of the show is on December 18, 2012 and the works will be on display to the public over the holidays.


Merriconeag runners earn all-star praise: Senior Jack Pierce was named to the WMC boys' cross country first team. Sophomore Zach Neveu qualified for the second team. Sophomore Samantha Pierce qualified for the girls' second team.The Maine Track and Cross Country Coaches' Association's boys' All-State team included Merriconeag's Jack Pierce on the first team. Congratulations to all! Read all about it in the Forecaster.


News From the High School - December 4, 2012

Update from the American History Block: As part of their studies in American History, each ninth grader is asked to take up The American Freedom Project: A Multi-Media Exploration if the Living Heart and Soul of the American Experiment. Students are asked to think deeply on the concept of American freedom and what it means to them. We explore statements in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Star Spangled Banner relating to freedom. We review the freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, particularly those in the First and Second Amendments. We speak about topics such as immigration, same sex marriage, the history of voting rights and much more.,
      They are then asked to create a multi-media art project utilizing at least three different art forms. The idea is to use sound and form and color and movement and design to say something about American Freedom. Students have written poems and songs, made quilts, carved sculptures, performed dance or eurythmy pieces, created rap songs, curated photography exhibits, painted paintings and much more. Students finish the project by presenting the fruits of their labors to their classmates. 
      This week we are sharing one aspect of the work of Phoebe Dolan, one of this year's ninth graders.

What does freedom mean in America?
      In the 9th grade, we created images of freedom for our US history block. These projects were focused on the question “What does freedom mean in America?” My picture is about how America was built to be free. The words “All men are created equal” are in our laws. I created this picture with two stories. The first is that, the US flag gets progressively darker and more defined. The second is that over time more people stand under it as they join America. I drew in these people as I imagined how they came to America; first a white man, then a black man, an Asian woman, and a Muslim woman praying. This demonstrates the way I see America: as it grows, the more equal it becomes. Phoebe Dolan, Class of 2016

History of Architecture, Grades 11 & 12: Last Friday, Grades 11 and 12 concluded the morning lesson History of Architecture taught by Mr. Stolfo and Ms. Christofides. Here are some quotations from some Maine Designers:

  • Natural architecture created by animals other than human beings, never exceeds practicality.John Burgess
  • Human architecture can achieve order, beauty, function, all without strictly following "form follows function. Andrew Hastings
  • Buildings that resemble the forms of nature give truth to the nature of the human soul. Teagan Wu
  • Architecture is when a person designs and builds a buiding with artistic reasoning, creating a structure that sows an emotion or concept rather than only taking care of a need. Emma Dolan
  • Architecture is the creation on any deliberate structure that can be entered and is used either as a place of recreation, habitation, or occupation. Joe Newlin
  • The process that an architect goes through when designing a building might be the same a spider might go through when designing a web. Sam Leavitt
  • Human beings posses the ability to reason and reflect; that is why architecture is art and not just building. Sophia Simmons
  • Architecture is the art of combining solids and spaces to their best possible advantage as structures. Carlin Tindall
  • Architecture is the design of buildings that will in some way stimulate the mind and please the soul, as well as be functional to its purpose. Lily Tupper
  • ...A spider web, while sometimes exceptionally beautiful, is built by the spider for the simple purpose of catching bugs. The spider did not spend hours designing it for its beauty, but rather made it for its purpose. This is not architecture. Emelie Chace-Donahue
  • We manipulate and use nature to do what we specifically decide to do. Zoe Chace-Donahue
  • Human architecture is a representation of our personal and inner needs and desires. Phoebe Clewley
  • The need for buildings to fulfill every aspect of our lives has driven the evolution and development of architecture. Devon Murphy-Anderson
  • We create architecture that is made to be noticed. Animals generally do not. It is interesting, though, to see how much humans draw from nature's simple forms for their inspiration. Zoe Oswald
  • Animals are architects in the way that they take the materials around them and build a home and a place of protection for themselves. Holly Perkins
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson defined nature as everything outside of us - that plastic spoon there, that modern building over there - everything. I say that yes, natural forms are great, but how can there ever be an unnatural form? Jack Pierce
  • A human architect has the freedom and impetus to create a plethora of different space - and those spaces affect the people who come into contact with them. Skyler Samuelson
  • Humans...are always seeking to impose ourselves onto the space we lie in, seeing it as a reflection of ourselves. Nowell Stoddard
  • For a structure to be considered architecture, it must have a level of conscious artistic intention.Ben Tindall

Ballet Class is Part of Senior's Project: 12th grader Holly Perkins will be teaching an intro ballet class beginning in January. There will be five sessions of the class and they will be supervised by Mr. Saccone. This will take place in the community hall on Wednesday afternoons from 3:15 to 4:30. The class will be for children in 3rd through 5th grade. Holly is teaching this as part of her senior project and will be filming segments of the class to share in her project presentation. She asks that everybody taking the class comes to all five classes. There will be no cost. If interested please email Holly at xhollydancerx@aim.com or Mr. Saccone at jsaccone@merriconeag.org.

Class Dates: January 16, 30, February 6, 13, and March 6.


News From the High School - November 27, 2012

National French Week was happily celebrated at MWHS: On Monday November 12, about 35 young people, grade 6-12, gathered in the Sage room at the HS for a French Movie Night. In between the beautiful films of Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, heartwarming soups and fresh bread were served to the students. The movies, in French with English subtitles were a great success!

     On Friday November 16th, the whole High School, students & staff were invited to partake of a 4 course French meal prepared with the help of Grade 9 students The Sage room this time was transformed into a lovely restaurant, tables complete with tablecloths, flowers and pitchers of Grenadine. The menu offered multiple French salads including shredded carrots, mixed greens and Provençale tomato & cucumber salad, all with a homemade vinaigrette, rice accompanied by snow peas and /or chicken in a mushroom and cream sauce, a huge tray of varied cheeses and a basket of whole grain bread and baguette parisienne. The dessert table was overflowing with homemade apple and pear pies, chocolate mousse, gâteau savoyard and yogurt, all traditional French desserts. The ambiance was wonderful, teachers and students eating together, celebrating our last day of school before the Thanksgiving vacations. The cleaning was done in the wink of an eye, thanks to everyone's help, as we had to return the room to a clean stage before the the beginning of our new electives.

     I have a few heartfelt thanks to give to special people who helped makes these events such success. First I would like to thank Katy Neveu who generously came with massive provisions of popcorn and a large soup to our Movie Night. My traditional vegetable soup was much less popular than her chicken and rice soup! We were also all unexpectedly treated to a huge ice cream cake brought by Graham's mom for his birthday. Nobody complained! The Friday French meal was made thanks to the help of hardworking 9th graders who chopped, cooked, sauteed, cleaned and organized the restaurant scene with great attitude and good humor. They are so much fun to work with! And last but not least, I would like to thank my assistant, Amandine, who was there at my side every step of the way, ready to help any way she could. And there were many ways! So thank you everyone! This kind of event can't be done by one person alone. And it was so much fun to share with you all.

     When is the next Movie Night? Stay posted! Gratefully yours, Régine Whittlesey, MWHS French teacher


News From the High School - November 13 2012
Student - Faculty Soccer Game 
This Thursday, November 15, 3:15 - 4:00 p.m.
Desert Road Campus, 57 Desert Road, Freeport
Following a rousing game last fall, the faculty will again take on the high school soccer club in the 2nd Annual Student-Faculty Soccer Game! The game will be held after school at the Desert Road campus. We hope to see lots of spectators at the game!


Athletic News - Sports Updates

Merriconeag senior Jack Pierce placed 12th in the New England Cross Country Championships on Saturday, November 10 at Twin Brook. Congratulations to Jack on another great run and a fabulous season!



News From the High School - November 6, 2012

Movie Night at the High School
Monday, November 12, 3:15 - 7:00 p.m.

83 Pineland Drive, New Gloucester

In celebration of National French Week, two of France's most celebrated films will be shown. Jean de Florette with Yves Montand, Gerard Depardieu & Daniel Auteuil, and its sequelManon of the Spring with Emmanuelle Beart.  Both are rated PG. These very famous French movies are based on Marcel Pagnol's books of the same name, part of France's literary treasure. The action is situated in Provence, France. This event will be, Monday, November 12th, at the High School at Pineland and will go from 3:15 to about 7pm. Students may come to one or both of the movies. Dinner will be provided. Middle school students welcome! Suggested donation: $2. Please RSVP to Madame Whittlesey, rwhittlesey@merriconeag.org if you plan to attend or call Susan at the high school. A bientot!


Athletic News - Sports Updates

78th Council of New England Secondary School Principals’ Association

Boys’ and Girls’ Cross-Country Championships 
Saturday, November 10, 2012 ,Twin Brook in Cumberland

(The meet will be held regardless of weather conditions)

Merriconeag senior Jack Pierce will run in the boys race at 11:30 a.m.. The girls race is at 12:30. Come on out and support our Class C State Cross Country Champion! Go Jack!

For more information about the New England Championships, please click here.



News From the High School - October 30, 2012

Senior Jack Pierce is Class C Cross Country State Champion!

Jack Pierce won the Class C State Championship in 15:57!

Congratulations, Jack!

Zach Neveu placed 14th and Merriconeag High School girls were 4th in Class C!

Congratulations to our runners and Coach Morgan Lake Adams for a great season!

See more below.

High School Cross Country State Championships

     As mentioned above, Senior Jack Pierce is the Class C State Cross Country Champion! He came in 3rd overall (Class A, B, C) with his time of 15:57. Jack will be competing in New Englands at Twin Brook in two weeks. 

    Sophomore Zach Neveu, who also qualified for States as an individual runner, came in 14th in Class C with a personal record for the day.

     Our girls cross country running team also had a great day at the State Championship meet in Belfast on Saturday. It was an incredibly close race between the second-place, third-place and fourth place teams. Our girls team came in 4th place just one point behind Waynfleet and 2 points behind Orono.

     Again, congratulations to all of our runners and to Coach Morgan Lake Adams!

                                     Our runners after States!

      Lots of fans came out to cheer!                 Our Class C State Champion!

                          Go Sam!

Click the following links to read all about both races in the Maine Sunday Telegram:

An epic battle, and new champions
Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
By Glenn Jordan, Staff Writer Saturday, October 27, 2012

It´s a fine day at the races

Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
By Glenn Jordan, Staff Writer Saturday, October 27, 2012

To see race results from the State Championships, please click here.


News From the High School - October 23, 2012

Merriconeag Girls Win Western Maine Regional Class C Title!

Merriconeag High School girls won the Western Maine Regional Class C Title

for the 2nd year in a row! Congratulations to them and Coach Morgan Lake Adams!

Senior Jack Pierce Wins Class C Western Regional Championship

The best time of the day belonged to senior Jack Pierce, who broke away from

Josef Holt-Andrews of Telstar with less than a mile to go and won the Class C

race by 12 seconds! Congratulations, Jack!

Click here for video & results.

See press & recaps for both races below.


Inspiring Women! SPEAK OUT!: Merriconeag Waldorf School can be very proud about education delivered to our young women, as highlighted by a Speak Out event held last Friday in Brunswick. Junior Sophie Simmons and senior Devon Murphy-Anderson pulled together an impressive public event to present the kinds of issues women are facing today. They invited a rich and interesting panel of women of different ages and experiences: Megan Hannan, Director of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood of New England, Trish Riley, Lecturer at George Washington University & Health Policy Expert and Merriconeag's very own alumni, Mattie Daughtry (8th grade class of 2001), a candidate for State Representative in Brunswick (District 66). 
      Mattie, a graduate of Brunswick High and Smith College, left Merriconeag after 8th grade since we didn't have a high school at that time. Mattie, who is now 25, spoke earlier in the week Merriconeag high school's first Forum of the year. She is a very inspiring and well-spoken young woman with fire in her belly when it comes to women's issues. She shared with our students how grateful she is for her Waldorf education and how it is part of who she is today.
      At the Brunswick event, Mattie and her fellow panelists spoke eloquently about issues women face nowadays and answered numerous questions from the floor and from the very attentive audience. The moderator, former Merriconeag Board president & parent, Craig Freshley, led the conversations with great skill and respect. The issues ranged from lack of equality on the job market to the right to contraception and choice regarding women's bodies. The common thread throughout the evening was the importance of educating young women to speak out and be assertive and also to encourage them to join the ranks of leadership in any domain, including economic and political. 
      I came out impressed and inspired by each person involved in this evening but especially by our students, Devon and Sophie, who organized and directed this event with poise, simplicity and great eagerness to move women's issues forward. Yes, we should never be shy to SPEAK OUT. Thank for this reminder, Devon and Sophie!

Regine Whittlesey

Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School Cross Country

The crowds. The excitement. The nerves. The agony. The mud.

The MUD: Yes, it was another Regional meet at Twin Brook. And between the rain and the mist and the drizzle and the fog (yes, the fog), the course really was a sight to behold. As were the runners (and coaches and spectators) when it was all finished. The day was marked with both highs and lows, as well as a brief hint of sunlight. Thank you to all the families and friends and teammates who came to support the runners, as well as acting as split-takers, photographers and coat-racks... Read the full story and see more great photos by clicking here.

Click the following links to read all about both races in the Maine Sunday Telegram & Portland Press Herald: 
The Massabesic, Cape Elizabeth and Hall-Dale boys, and Bonny Eagle, Falmouth and Merriconeag girls win Western Maine titles.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@mainetoday.com, Staff Writer, October 20

The Yachtsmen join Bonny Eagle and Merriconeag as team champions in Western Maine.
By Kevin Thomas kthomas@mainetoday.com, Staff Writer, October 21

Boys' Cross Country.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@mainetoday.com, Staff Writer, October 21

High School Notebook: It's crowded at the top in Class B
From staff reports. October 22 at 12:39 AM.

Upcoming Race: This Saturday, October 27 is the Class C State Championship race in Belfast. Merriconeag girls, Jack Pierce, and Zach Neveu will all be running. If you can, come on up and cheer with us. For meet details, please click here.           

Full results, schedules and more information can be found on our Cross Country Blog.


News From the High School - October 16, 2012

High School Harvest Picnic/ Parent Connections News
      Patty Carton and John Newlin hosted a fun-filled day at their home in Brunswick on Sunday, October 7. Despite threatening clouds, The Fall Harvest Picnic was a great success. Nowell’s dad, Brooks, manned the cider press and churned out several gallons of cider, which went nicely with the home made doughnuts delivered warm from the kitchen. Everyone enjoyed making their own caramel apples as they watched the very popular cakewalk event. There were lots of relays and games to play, before settling down to yummy picnic dinners.

     After dinner the whole party took to the woods for a candlelit night walk that ended up in a blazing bonfire in the woods. We entertained each other with songs and stories and were all duly impressed with Lincoln’s recitation of Roald Dahl’s version of Jack and the Beanstalk.

     Thanks to everyone who came and played and laughed and sang and told stories. I am sure we are all looking forward to the next opportunity to “connect.” 

Martha Carton


New Faces Around the Campus

Ellen McCann Labbe, Life Sciences in the high school
We are pleased to welcome Ellen McCann Labbe to Merriconeag. Ellen holds a B.Sc.in Environmental Sciences from the University of Guelph and she is currently a candidate for a Masters in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern Maine. She has worked as a naturalist and experiential educator at conservation organizations and research institutions throughout New England. Ellen has conducted field research in climatology, coastal wetland ecology, and fisheries biology, most recently completing her thesis on the population genetics of alewife in Maine. She loves being outdoors in all seasons for recreation, reflection, and exploration.

Interview with Ms. Labbe conducted by Sophia Ichizawa '16 and Lily Tupper '14, 10/12/12

Why did you chose to teach at a Waldorf school?
-I wanted to teach where human beings could be whole human beings and students would be excited and able to meet challenges.

What is your favorite part of teaching?
-Knowing that every student sees the world in a different way and I get to hear about their view. also, when students see something old in a new way.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
-Someone who made nature films like Jacques Cousteau. Or maybe Captain Nemo.

When did you know that you wanted to teach math/science?
-I knew that I wanted to teach biology and ecology after volunteering at the Seacoast science center.

What activities did you do in high school?
-Varsity soccer, Drama, One Act Play Festival, student government, peer mentoring.

Coffee or tea?

High School Cross Country

Last Friday, October 12, Merriconeag traveled to St. Joseph's College in Standish for the Western Maine Conference Championships. For results, please click on the results tab on the blog (link below).

Upcoming Race: This Saturday, October 20 is the Regional Meet at Twin Brook in Cumberland. Please come out and cheer for us. It means a lot to the runners! For meet details, please click here.           

Full results, schedules and more information can be found on our Cross Country Blog.


News From the High School - October 9, 2012

New Faces Around the Campus

Andrew Lardie, Math and Science in the high school
We are pleased to welcome Andrew Lardie to Merriconeag. He has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College and a MAT in Secondary Biology from Emory Universtity. Andrew previously taught math and science at the Atlanta Girls School, The Epstein School, and in the City Schools of Decatur, Georgia. He also advised students and families as a college admissions counselor for four years. Outside the classroom, Andrew likes to play music and hike with his family and dog, George.

Interview with Mr. Lardie conducted by Lily Tupper '14, 10/05/12

1) Why did you choose to teach in a Waldorf School?
- Because I wanted to be in an environment where I could teach in a way that matches the way a student learns.

2) What is your favorite part of teaching?
- When a student is surprised to be excited about what they are learning.

3) What did you want to be when you were growing up?
- a professional athlete. I didn't really know, so I went to a liberal arts college where I could learn a bit of everything.

4) When did you know that you wanted to teach math/science?
- After I was a volunteer science teacher in Portland, Oregon, I realized that there is a need for science teachers who are good at communicating the science they teach.

5) What activities did you do in high school?
- band, football, basketball, tennis, track, National Honors Society

6) coffee or tea?
- tea


The following essay was written by Andrew Hastings, '14 for his Medieval History Block with David Barham. The egg tempera painting from the Middle Ages is by Sophie Simmons, '14.

The Intellectual History of the Middle Ages:    

     The Middle Ages and the classical Greek eras are often regarded as completely and fundamentally different. Not only are the eras separated by hundreds of years, the spiritual and intellectual differences are profound. Ancient Greece is revered as a triumph of intelligence, reason, and democracy; while the Middle Ages, are also known as the Dark Ages, where everything was centered on God, and the only way to God was through the Church. However, as different as the philosophies of these two periods of time may seem at first, the philosophy of the Middle Ages is essentially Platonic and later Aristotelian thinking adapted by Christianity.
      The essence of Plato's philosophy can be glimpsed at by observing his upward gesture portrayed in Raphael's School of Athens. Platonic thinking centered on the belief that that true perfection cannot be found on earth and that a transcendent reality must be reached in order for the human being to experience true enlightenment. Plato taught that everything that existed on earth was "chaotic, untrustworthy and unreal" and that earthly objects were mere flawed shadows of their perfect form that could be found in heaven and thus nothing could be learned from them. Plato called these perfect objects "ideas," or "forms." Plato believed that with perseverance and reason, the human being can reach and comprehend the perfect ideas of every object. St. Augustine adapted Plato's philosophy, which entailed Christianizing it. Augustine's philosophy was similar in that perfection cannot be achieved on earth, and that the material world was misleading. However, Augustine believed that human beings cannot reach heaven on their own through reason because original sin had warped humankind's sense of reason. St. Augustine's teachings entailed that the only way to God was through the church. This Platonic/Augustinian philosophy prevailed throughout the early middle ages, and resulted in a society that effectively stalled in terms of advancement, as life was seen as a pointless, sinful period and that entering heaven after death was the only thing worth striving for.
      Standing in contrast to his teacher's philosophy, Aristotle believed that much could be learned from the earth and the material world through the use of reason, as is evident from his downward gesture in the School of Athens. This Aristotelian philosophy laid the basis for empiricism, the discovery of knowledge through experience and experiments, as opposed to theory. Just as St. Augustine transformed Plato's philosophy, St. Thomas Aquinas, Maimonides, and Averroes transformed Aristotle's philosophy. For the first time, it was proclaimed that faith and reason were not mutually exclusive, and that both are ways of searching for ultimate truth. St. Thomas Aquinas referred to learning by faith as "supernatural revelation" and learning by reason and observation "natural revelation." This effectively founded empirical science, as reason was no longer viewed as the enemy of religion. This momentous moment started the High Middle Ages, and would later blossom into the Renaissance.


High School Cross Country

NYA Meet Recap: We finally saw the sun this week, during a brief window at Royal River Park in Yarmouth for the NYA meet. Unfortunately, it was not enough to dry out the course, which was described (aptly) as a 'soggy carpet'. Still, our runners must have found inspiration in those few hours of sunlight, as the meet yielded several PRs and season bests. Even though many of the runners were using the race as a hard workout, everyone left feeling good about the experience. Thank you to all our spectators and especially to the middle school split crew. Read more.

Coach Morgan Lake Adams   

Upcoming race: This Friday, October 12, we will travel to St. Joseph's College in Standish for the Western Maine Conference Championship meet. The schedule for that day is as follows:
1:45pm Course Walk
3:00pm Boys Varsity (top 7) 
3:30pm Girls Varsity
4:00pm Boys JV
4:30pm Girls JV
5:15pm Results, Awards
Hope to see you there!

For meet details, please click here.           

Full results, schedules and more information can be found on our Cross Country Blog.



Congratulations to Merriconeag senior Jack Pierce who was featured in last Wednesday's Portland Press Herald: Jack broke 16:15 at a big invitational for the second week in a row, placing fourth (second among Maine runners) at the Festival of Champions in Belfast in 16:14 a week after finishing similarly in 16:09 at the Manchester Invitational. Go Jack!
To see Jack and read more about that weekend's race that featured over 1,400 runners, please click here.



News from the High School - October 3, 2012

High School Cross Country

Festival of Champions - Belfast 9/29/12: Another Saturday, another long van ride, this time northeast in the rain to Belfast for the Festival of Champions meet. Merriconeag runners competed in five different races, all of which were wet, cold, muddy affairs. The pace was fast for every race, particularly in the first mile. Belfast's flat, looping course offered great spectating opportunities, and we would like to thank all our spectators, parent drivers, assistants, cheerleaders, split recorders, and snack providers. It was a great opportunity to preview the state meet course and we had some excellent individual results.

     First up was the boys' unseeded race, which saw the bulk of the boys'

team compete. Ben led the charge, maintaining a steady pace over the second and third miles and racing to his fastest time of the season. Moritz was next, squeaking in under the twenty minute barrier with a strong finishing kick and a new PR. Lars also set a new personal best after a blistering first mile. John ran a very steady, even paced race and was closely followed by Cesar, who still managed to conserve energy for his typical final sprint despite a very quick first mile. Lincoln was next, with a valiant effort despite not feeling his best. Graham had another challenging race, starting out with a strong first mile and then gutting it out for the remaining two.

     Next was the girls' unseeded race. Emelie went out hard in the front of the race, and she and Zoe O were rewarded for their aggressive runs by finishes in the top 20. Emelie ran her fastest race of the season while Zoe O set a new PR by almost 30 seconds. Despite taking a tumble on the rocks (ask to see her scars), Emma was also able to run her fastest race so far this fall (perhaps it was all that adrenaline).

     Phoebe was the sole Merriconeag runner in the girls' freshman race, but being on her own didn't stop her from crushing her previous PR by over two minutes for the most improved time of the day-she even ran a faster pace than her Manchester race, which was a mile shorter.

     She was followed by the boys' seeded race, which saw the leaders go out in a sub-5 minute first mile. Jack, of course, was among them, and he hung on for a fourth place finish overall. Zach also had a great day, where, despite a head cold he managed to set another PR (this one even more maddeningly close to breaking 18 minutes).

     Finally, the girls' seeded race took to the course. Sam led the team with a strong first mile, setting a new PR by over ten seconds. Teagan also had a strong race, just beating her time at Manchester to bag her fastest time of the season. Zoe C-D and Carlin helped pace each other through most of the race, with Zoe breaking away in the last half mile to just edge out her sister's time. Carlin was not far behind with a steady finish.

     The girls' team finished 34th. The boys' team finished 35th. Compiled results for girls and boys can be found here. Coach Morgan Lake Adams   

Upcoming race: Thie Friday, October 5, NYA hosts Merriconeag, Freeport, and Sacopee Valley

at Royal River Park in Yarmouth. Please note that for this race the boys run at 4:00 and the girls at 4:30 p.m. Please join us! For meet details, please click here.           

Full results, schedules and more information can be found on our Cross Country Blog.

Congratulations to Coach Morgan Lake Adams and her relay team,

the Gressives, for placing 2nd in the Maine Marathon last Sunday!


News from the High School - September 25, 2012

Last week was a wonderful week. The 12th grade spent the entire week at Hermit Island with over 100 other seniors from Waldorf schools as far away as Pennsylvania. The 11th grade spent four days in Québec City studying Acadian history. The 9th and 10th grade spent three days in Baxter State Park climbing Mount Katahdin, Maine's highest mountain. A big "thank you" to David Whittlesey and Jeff Tindall who volunteered as chaperones.

Trip to Quebec City: The 11th Graders are back from their wonderful trip to Old Quebec City where they could practice with great pleasure their French linguistic skills.

     After riding the van for six hours and driving through the Canadian border without any problem, most of us discovered Quebec City for the first time and set off on our big adventure. The Champlain’s Prediction activity helped us to become more familiar with the upper part of Old Quebec. The different museums and especially “Le Musée de l’Amérique Française,” showed us the cultural and political influence of France overNorthern America throughout the last centuries. We did appreciate escaping from the city for a few hours and enjoyed hiking around Sainte Anne Canyon and its beautiful landscapes. The lower part of Old Quebec is lovely but might become very scary at night when you run into the guides of the Ghost Tour of Quebec and they start telling you about its authentic darkest stories.
      Fortunately in order to be able to deal with this four-day jaunt, we could rely on the delicious food we had in typical French Canadian restaurants and bakeries but also on Madame’s amazing picnic lunches. And of course, at night we made the most of the Quebec International Hostel to sleep tight and get ready for the delight the day after had in store for us.

     Thanks to this trip, I really enjoyed spending time with the students and getting to know them on a more personal level. I was pleased to walk around the city and laugh with them! I would also like to say a big thank you to Madame Whittlesey and her husband David for leading us in memorable Quebec and for their endless generosity and kindness! Amandine THEVENET, Amity French Intern







Local Ultimate Frisbee Team (with five Merriconeag students)

was Third at National Tourney 
Rising Tide, a local ultimate Frisbee all-star team comprised of male and female athletes from Cape Elizabeth, Casco Bay, Falmouth, Freeport, Greely, Islesboro and Merriconaeg, finished third in the nation in the U-19 mixed (co-ed) division in Minnesota back in August. Four recent Merriconeag graduates, Cyrus Fenderson, Haydee Jacobs, Sierra Jeffers, and Tyler O'Brien, as well as 8th grade graduate, Chloe Rowse, were on the team!

     After losing their opening game to a team from Seattle, Wash., they rallied back with wins over teams from San Francisco, Chicago, and Madison, Wisconsin before losing to Boston in the semifinals. The team was then able to beat San Francisco again for third place in the tournament.
Click here to read more.
Click here to see a short video of the tourney.

High School Cross Country

Sept. 22, Manchester Invitational Recap: We had an early, early start yesterday morning as the two Merriconeag vans made the long trip to New Hampshire for the Manchester Invitational. The weather changed from cold, wet and grey to warm and sunny by the time the first race went off. Despite the challenges of a week of travel (with some strenuous hiking for some of the athletes) and missing a few runners, the teams performed very well at the invite. Thank you to all the parents and relations who attended the meet, with special thanks to our drivers, Susan and Dan. Click here to read the rest on the blog. Coach Morgan Lake Adams   

Upcoming race: This Saturday, September 29, our team will participate in the Belfast Invitational in Belfast, Maine
For meet details, please click here.           

Full results, schedules and more information can be found on our Cross Country Blog..


News From the High School - September 18, 2012

David Levi to be Featured at the Common Ground Country Fair this Weekend: Former Merriconeag High School teacher, David Levi, will offer daily classes in the Country Kitchen Demonstrations tent this Friday, September 21, 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday at noon and 4:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

     David, who is now known as Chef David Levi, has worked at Norma, the Copenhagen restaurant often cited as #1 in the world; at Sweden's Faviken Magasinet, recently hailed by Bon Appetit as "the world's most daring restaurant", at Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Perry St. in New York City, now on the San Pelegrino list of the world's 50 best restaurants; and with famed Tuscan butchers, Stefano Falorni and Dario Cecchini, the latter often cited as the world's greatest butcher.

     David is also a professional educator with 10 years of experience as a high school humanitites teacher and tutor.

Since February 2012, he has offered classes on cooking and preparing food as an expression of place and season in Maine. Now he is working to open Vinland, a 100% local-food, zero-waste, fine-dining restaurant in Portland.

New Faces Around the Campus

Amanda Gale: Chorus, Grades 5 - 12
      Australian Flutist and Vocalist Amanda Gale is a captivating performer sought after for her luminous sound and poise on stage. She has made appearances as guest soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout Australia, France, Italy, Germany, Mexico and the United States; where she often features both flute and voice repertoire by esteemed Australian composers such as Peter Sculthorpe, Carl Vine, Anne Boyd, Elena Kats-Chernin, Ross Edwards and Miriam Hyde.
      Although rapidly establishing a career primarily as a versatile flute soloist and chamber musician internationally, Amanda is no stranger to to the orchestral and vocal music scene, working with conductors and musicians from all over the world. Some of these have included Leon Botstein, Gisele Ben-Dor, Harold Farberman, Guillermo Figueroa, Craig Kirchhoff, Dawn Upshaw and David Krakauer.
      Raised in Tasmania Australia, Amanda began her flute and voice studies at the age of four, which she has exuberantly pursued ever since. Her primary teachers and mentors have been Dr. Tara Helen O'Connor and Jennifer MacDonald. Additionally, she has had the privilege of working closely with artists such as Ransom Wilson, Maxence Larrieu, Douglas Mackie, Helen Todd and composer Joan Tower.
      Amanda is a graduate of both Bard College and Bard College Conservatory of Music.She has plans for her debut album to be released in the Spring of 2013, featuring the entire Telemann Fantasie Collection for solo flute.

     Amanda now makes her home in Freeport, Maine with her accordionist husband Christian Stevens. In addition to her budding home studio of flute and voice students, she is on voice faculty at 317 Main Street Community Music Center where she also leads 317's new Early Music Education Program called 'Little Roots'.


High School Cross Country

Fort Foster (York) Race Recap: On Thursday, September 13th, the x-country team made the long trek down to Fort Foster in Kittery for our third meet of the season. York, borrowing Traip Academy's home course, hosted Merriconeag, Cape Elizabeth and Poland. The scenic, gently rolling course wound its way past several lovely ocean vistas, complete with a lighthouse. The ocean also provided a nice breezy which helped to offset the bright sun. We had a dedicated cadre of parents present to drive, help with splits and cheer on our athletes (thank you parents!)Click here to read the rest on the blog. Coach Morgan Lake Adams   

Upcoming race: This Saturday, September 22, our team will participate in the Manchester Invitational in Manchester, New Hampshire. For meet details, please click here.


News from the High School - September 11, 2012

The high school had its opening of school camping trip at Swan Island on the Kennebec River in Richmond. We departed from Freeport after the Wildflower Ceremony under drizzly conditions. However, the rain stopped when we asked it to. Swan Island is a beautiful spot for a camping trip. The lean-tos were spacious. The swimming was good. We kayaked around the island. We performed community service by creating a new hiking trail on the island. It was a positive experience for everyone and a great way to begin the year. Thank you to the seniors for organizing the fifth annual Waldorf Wilderlympics. And a special thank you to everyone who made this trip possible. Jeff O'Brien


New Faces Around the Campus

Selma Fricke: We are happy to welcome Selma Fricke as our first Amity Intern in the grade school and high school, and our first eurythmy intern. Selma graduated (after attending grades 1 - 12) from a Waldorf School in Germany and then went on to study anatomy and physiology for two years in college. She then went to eurythmy school in Bonn and had her graduation performance at the Goetheanum in Switzerland this summer.
      Selma will be joining students in many grades, in German, circus arts and, of course, eurythmy! She and Barbara Richardson, our eurythmist for grades 1 - 4 and individual eurythmy, have identical matching purple scarves, are both of the Chinese zodiac sign Ox/Buffalo (calm and easy-going), and most importantly, both love eurythmy and want children to have fun with it!

                                   (Selma is the eurythmist on the left)                (Selma is in the foreground)


Click on the links below for high school new archives:

High School News Archives, 2011 - 2012

High School News Archives, 2010 - 2011

High School News Archives, 2009 - 2010