Tuesday News - December 14, 2010

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All submissions for the Tuesday News should be sent to publicrelations@merriconeag.org by Friday at 3:00 pm.

Food Drive this Week

The High School is sponsoring a food drive to benefit area food pantries. Please bring in donations of non-perishable foods. Collection boxes have been placed in the upper grades building, the lower grades building, the early childhood center, the office, and the community hall. The food drive ends this Friday, December 17th.


Is There Life After Waldorf: Alumni Panel Discussion




Friday, January 7, 7:00 p.m., Community Hall

Is There Life After Waldorf? On Friday, January 7, meet four fascinating Alums from Waldorf high schools across the Northeast as they relate how Waldorf education made a difference in their lives. By popular demand, Dr. Trevor Braden, a veteran our last Panel Evening two years ago and graduate of Garden City Waldorf School in Long Island, NY, is back! He will be joined by Leila Forman, Theodore Groh, and Brooke Adams, who submitted brief autobiographical sketches below. The evening begins at 7 p.m. in the Community Hall, and any current or prospective parents and students are invited. Bring along any friends who want to know more about Waldorf high school education!

Theodore Groh was born and raised on a organic/biodynamic farm in Wilton New Hampshire and attended Pine Hill Waldorf School, and High Mowing Waldorf high school. Theodore just finished a run for the New Hampshire State Legislature, and is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science from Saint Anselms College in Manchester New Hampshire.


Brooke Dennee-Sommers attended Lake Champlain Waldorf School in Shelburne, Vermont from pre-school ("morning garden") through eighth grade and High Mowing School in Wilton, New Hampshire for eleventh and twelfth grade. Brooke currently works as a project manager for a health research consulting company in Boston, Massachusetts.


Leila Forman attended Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, NY from 6th grade through senior year of high school. She loved her experience in the Waldorf school and felt like it was her second home. So much so, in fact, that after graduating from college with a degree in French Literature she decided to return and spent a year on the faculty teaching French to 10th-12th graders.
Today, twelve years after graduating from Green Meadow, after a brief career as a french teacher, a lot of worldwide traveling, and a Master's degree in Nursing, she has settled in Cambridge, MA where she works as a Certified Nurse Midwife at Mt. Auburn Hospital.



Other Upcoming Events

All School Winter Assembly, Thursday, December 16, 5:30 p.m.

Freeport Performing Arts Center
Our annual Winter Assembly will be held at the Freeport Performing Arts Center (30 Holbrook St. Freeport) on December 16 at 5:30 PM. All students in grades 2 through 12 are performing and all are expected to be at the Freeport Performing Arts Center no later than 5:00. To the extent that you are able, please observe the following requests for dress: students in grades 5 through 12 should wear black and white; students in grades 3 and 4 should wear festive assembly attire in colors of your choosing; students in grade 2 should wear their Santa Lucia attire. Upon arriving, students should bring instruments and music backstage and then should join their classmates and class teachers in the audience. Sections of the audience will be designated for each class. Again, please, be sure to have your children at the FPAC no later than 5:00 PM.
      Please contact me for answers to any additional questions you might have. I look forward to an evening of festive, seasonal sounds! Jordan Seavey, 607-3057

Attention parents of Grades 2, 3, and 4:  We look forward to seeing you at the Winter Assembly. When you are picking your seats, please save some for your children. For the first half of the program, they will need to sit as classes, but after intermission, we would love for them to join you in the audience.

Shepherds Play, Friday, December 17, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, Community Hall

The play, usually performed by members of the faculty and adults in the community, will be presented with a unique twist this year. 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. To read about why you might want to come out to see the Shepherds Play, click here.



Caroling in downtown Freeport, Monday, December 20, 6:00 p.m.

(gathering in front of the L.L. Bean boot)
Come spread the holiday cheer and represent the Merriconeag Community in downtown Freeport with an evening of caroling. Last year, an impressive group of Merriconeag students, friends, and parents (dare I estimate, 70+) journeyed up and down the streets of Brunswick, caroling for any and all who would listen. The evening was such a great success that we have decided to continue on with the tradition, this year taking our seasonal strains to the streets of Freeport. We will gather in front of the L. L. Bean boot on Monday, December 20 at 6:00 and proceed about town. Caroling books will be provided. If you are able to attend, an RSVP sent to Jordan Seavey, jordan.seavey@maine.edu would be appreciated. Thanks.

We hope to see you there!


From the Development Office

2010-11 Annual Appeal Update:

     In the spirit of the season, I want to thank everyone who has demonstrated their gratitude to the school through their generous gifts to the Annual Appeal. We received another 32 gifts and pledges to the Annual Appeal this past week, bringing the total to 75, and to date we have raised $28,891 toward our goal of $60,000. Your support of Merriconeag is a gift that gives back many times over, to your children, to the faculty, and to this community.
      Many of the gifts have been larger than the previous year’s gifts, and we have a number of first-time donors – a heartwarming demonstration that, even in these challenging economic times, parents recognize the importance of their support, and the important role that Merriconeag and Waldorf Education plays in their lives. If you haven’t made a gift to the Annual Appeal yet, please do so today – gifts of any amount help us reach our goal of 100% participation. You can make your gift in any of these easy ways:

• Check, made out to MWS, submit in remittance envelope and drop in safe (main office)
• Online giving, by clickiing on the icon below.


• Credit Card: fill out the remittance envelope with the appropriate information
• Gift of securities: Call Shannon Combar for information about stock gifts

Thank you for showing your gratitude!

Lynne W. Espy, Development Coordinator, 865-3900 Ext. 116, developmentcoordinator@merricoenag.org


From the Administrator

Dear Merriconeag Community,
I was recently sent this poem by the Maine chapter of the Slow Money movement. It sets the stage for our family gatherings, our inner work and our dreams and hopes for a peaceful world. May your homes and hearts be filled with the goodness of slow time!
Blessings on your Holiday!

Christine Sloan


TURNING TO ONE ANOTHER  by Margaret Wheatley
There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.
Ask: “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.
Notice what you care about. Assume that many others share your dreams.
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters. Talk to people you know. Talk to people you don’t know. Talk to people you never talk to.
Be intrigued by the differences you hear. Expect to be surprised. Treasure curiosity more than certainty.
Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible. Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something. Know that creative solutions come from new connections.
Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know. Real listening always brings people closer together.
Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.
Rely on human goodness. Stay together


News From the High School

Fall Cross-Country Kudos Continue: An article David Sloan submitted to the national AWSNA site about the girls' cross country championship is running on the front page of Why Waldorf Works.org. Click here to read the article.


School Community Updates

Missing a Head Lamp? If you think you may have lost a head lamp in the grade school parking lot, call Lisa, 865-3900.

Saddleback is once again offering $49 season passes to students in EC through grade 12, who are doing honor roll level work. They have agreed to accept letters from MWS signed by both teacher and administrator in lieu of graded report cards. If you would like a letter (which is required in order to purchase the pass), please let Lisa know. More information is available on the Saddleback website

There have been a couple of cases of head lice confirmed in the eighth and six grades. The students involved have been treated and monitored per school policy. Parents should be aware and please make an effort to check your children for signs of head lice - such as excessive scratching, especially around the hairline and nape of the neck. Head lice are mainly acquired by direct head-to-head contact with an infested person’s hair, but may infrequently be transferred with shared combs, hats and other hair accessories.
Some tips to help prevent the spread of lice at school:

- Reinforcing children to hang coats separately in their cubbies--placing hats/gloves in sleeves of coats/jackets.
- Teach children not to share clothing, hats/caps, helmets, hair accessories or personal
grooming articles.
- Teach children to avoid head-to-head contact.
More in depth information is available from Lisa in the office. Thanks for your help and please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.

Barbara Kappelmann, R.N.


From Foundation Studies

Early Childhood parent and Foundations Studies participant, Kristin Aguedelo, describes a potently experiential

approach to studying the basic books of Rudolf Steiner in an article that was published in the November/December edition of Center and Perphery, the Center for Anthroposophy's newsletter and is included below.

Meditation on a Moonrise over Casco Bay

     On a recent November Sunday, the Foundation Studies class held at the Merriconeag Waldorf School met to discuss Rudolf Steiner’s seminal work How to Know Higher Worlds. We were pleasantly surprised to find that Barbara Richardson, Coordinator of the Center’s Foundation Studies and leader of our seminar, had arranged for us to travel the fifteen minutes or so down to the Atlantic coastline and watch the moon rise over Casco Bay. The purpose for this outing was to experience one of Steiner’s spiritual exercises—specifically, watching the moon rise as a way of experiencing the inner qualities associated with decay and death.
      That afternoon moonrise and sunset were only minutes apart, so we were lucky enough to see both. Standing on a chilly pier, looking out across waters teeming with animal life but devoid of other human observers, our small group watched in awed silence as the moon rose, huge and golden, above a spit of land opposite our viewing point.
      It would be impossible for me to put into prose the soul-feeling that I experienced that evening. Indeed, it is difficult to put any words to it at all—which is probably why Steiner urged us each to experience it for ourselves at first-hand. However, back at the school, we were each given a little note card on which to record a quick sketch and some thoughts of the experience.
      My thoughts came out in the form of Haiku-like poetry (not a form which I am accustomed to writing). Here they are—the best representations I can give to an experience that stayed with me for many days afterwards, like tea steeping in the water of my soul.

Feeling earth turning
Under my feet,
A gull cries.

Moon rises over the bay.

A twig snaps, and

Lo! The evening star.



Read This

Parents Embrace Documentary on Pressures of School

December 8, 2010, New York Times article by Trip Gabriel

A film [Race to Nowhere] on how students are driven to build their resumes has attracted grass-roots attention.

For links to other recent articles included in Read This. click here





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