Tuesday News - February 1, 2011

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

Click here to view our Google Calendar of Events.


Our Town - Our Community

      The high school plays are always a highlight of the year, a time when we join together as a whole school and see old friends. It is a time when we open ourselves up to being carried into another world. I find that I don't want to miss a single performance.
      How did those boys turn into men, those girls into mothers? How did they gain the capacity to change a mood from a hectic morning to a moonlit night; from an important encounter at a soda shop to a scene from a world very near and yet very different from ours? The eternal was present in our Hall. The mood was rich and warm with the presence of friends and teachers - Diane Geist, Cynthia Taliafero, Ron Richardson and Pat Siviski - who joined many others in our hearts. The children constantly change and grow as they go through the school, and we continue to grow our Merriconceag Waldorf community year after year. Submitted by Barbara Richardson  


From the Administrator

Winter Weather Warning:
      It looks like we will be getting hit with a sizeable storm tonight and tomorrow. School will most likely be closed on Wednesday. Please look for announcements on the school closing websites, radio or tv this evening.
      In the event that the storm lingers into Thursday, we will be monitoring the conditions and local school decisions for delays or closures. Because of the distances that our families and some of our teachers travel to get to our two campuses, we may choose to close when Freeport has a two hour delay. However, we encourage parents to make the decision of driving in winter conditions based on safety and road conditions in their neighborhoods.
      Please check the website and your e-mails for cancellations of after-school parent meetings and events.

Instrument Damage:
      We are sorry to report that one of the student cello’s left overnight in the Community Hall last Tuesday suffered extensive damage. We have spoken to the teachers who oversee classes and programs in the CH after school, but have not yet identified how this happened. Though it is unclear how the cello was broken, it is very clear that this was a shocking and disturbing event for the family, and all of the students and teachers who enjoy our active strings program.

     Because of the open and busy use of the Community Hall for school events, rehearsals, aftercare, and outside rentals, leaving instruments in the gallery of the CH is not a safe option. If special circumstances arise, teachers may give permission to leave instruments in their classrooms. We realize that during ski season, this is especially likely on Thursdays. Please review the guideline stated in the Tuesday News last September:

Please note that overnight storage of wind and string instruments in the Community Hall will not be permitted. On the days students have ensemble, instruments are to be brought to school in the morning and taken home in the afternoon. Not only is space limited in the Community Hall, but the valuable home practice required of students cannot occur when instruments are left at school overnight or over the weekend. Thank you very much for your help with this. From Tuesday News, September 14, 2011

Christine Sloan, Administrator


Upcoming Events

Don't Miss Merriconeag's Only Basketball Game This Season!
     The Second Student-Faculty Basketball Extravaganze is just days away - this Friday, February 4, 6:30 p.m. in the Freeport Jr. High School gym. The student team, led by wily high school "veterans" Cyrus Fenderson, Tyler O'Brien, Connor Beckett, Wyatt McCurdy, Sophie Simmons, Devon Murphy-Anderson and Emma Dolan, will be ably reinforced by eighth graders Jacob Haldeman, Lincoln Samuelson, Natalie Murphy, Anna Evans, Gaby Gaspardi, and Lily Kolle, and seventh graders Joe Armstrong, Phoebe Dolan, Josh Dow, Bekah Rhein and Hugh Voorhees. Fortunately for the faculty, Haley Johnson will be away, and Peter Watko won't be able to play, due to a broken digit.
      Will the faculty find that old magic, when they were younger, fleeter, friskier? Can they overcome gravity, rust, creaky joints, oxygen deprivation? There's only one way to find out--Come to the game! Game? It's going to be a spectacle!
      Admission is free, but donations at the door will be gratefully accepted. With the proceeds from admissions and the refreshments for sale during the game, the high school hopes to raise funds for its Model UN program. Be there, or be square! Submitted by Coach Sloan


Saturday Craft Mornings: The second one is this Saturday, February 5th!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Our first Craft Morning, held last Saturday, January 29, was a great success with many attending from outside of the school. These mornings are a wonderful way to introduce a family to Waldorf Early Childhood Education so please continue to spread the word and bring your friends.

     Pre-registration is suggested but drop-ins are welcome.






Why Waldorf Works: From a Neuroscientific Perspective
Wednesday, February 9, 7:00 PM in the Community Hall

     Join us for a discussion about recent neurological research and how Waldorf Education supports healthy brain development. It is becoming ever clearer that the movement and emotional aspects of education are as important for healthy brain development as the cognitive aspects. What does the research show, and how are we supporting this healthy growth at Merriconeag?

     Panelists will include David Beringer, who has completed a three-year training as a therapeutic educator, Cristina Post who recently completed the Mind, Brain, and Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Sandy Pearson, Handwork Teacher who recently led workshops for teachers on the importance of craftwork and the hand for healthy development, and other teachers.   This event will include brief presentations and time for dialogue, so please come and bring your questions.


Merriconeag Art Show Opening Reception at 317 Main Street, Yarmouth


Rescheduled for Friday, February 11, 6:30 - 8:30 pm


Where Art and Academics Interesect

an exhibition of student work from Merriconeag Waldorf School.

Show dates: Jan 17 - Feb 25,

317 Main Street, Yarmouth


Merriconeag Presents the Maine Premiere of  the film

Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?

Thursday, March 3, 7:00 PM

For tickets please click here.

     In 1923, Rudolf Steiner,scientist, philosopher, social innovator and founder of Waldorf Education, predicted that in 80 to 100 years honeybees would collapse. His prediction has come true with Colony Collapse Disorder, where bees are disappearing in mass numbers from their hives with no clear single explanation.
      In an alarming inquiry into the insights behind Steiner’s prediction Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? examines the dire global bee crisis through the eyes of biodynamic beekeepers, scientists, farmers, and philosophers. On a pilgrimage around the world, the film unveils 10,000 years of beekeeping, highlighting how our historic and sacred relationship with bees has been lost due to highly mechanized industrial practices. Featuring best-selling author, Michael Pollan, Indian activist, Vandana Shiva, Biodynamic beekeeper, Gunther Hauk and beekeepers from around the world, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves together a dramatic story that uncovers the problems and solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.


Growing Up Real in a Virtual World
A Public Talk by Lowell Monke

Wednesday, March 9, 7:00 PM
     It’s hard to remember a time before the advent of the internet, before mobile computers transformed our daily lives, altered the way we communicate, do business, teach, learn, entertain ourselves. Yet with this brave, new world of electronic wizardry comes an ever-more insistent question: What is the human cost, especially for children? How can parents and teachers both protect children and, at the same time, prepare them for the challenges of living in a technologically driven world?

     Lowell Monke is Associate Professor of Education at Wittenberg University. He is coauthor of Breaking Down the Digital Walls: Learning to Teach in a Post-Modem World (SUNY Press, 2001), and numerous articles on the role of technology in children’s lives. For twenty years Lowell taught young people with and about computers in schools in the U. S., South America and Europe. He is a founding member of The Alliance for Childhood and serves on its board of directors. Currently Lowell spends most of his time confusing aspiring teachers about the purpose of education and its role in American society.





From the Admissions Office




New Date for “Walk through Grades 1 – 8”
This event has been re-scheduled for Tuesday, February 8, 8:15 – 10:30 AM. It is a great opportunity for prospective parents to see our students and teachers in action. Please call Lyn Baird (865-3900, ext.103) if you are interested in joining this tour of Merriconeag’s grade school. Call Lyn Baird, 865-3900, ext.103, admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org, for more information.




From the Finance Office

  Enrollment packets: Packets were mailed to families on Friday, January 28th. If you don’t receive your packet by the end of this week, please let us know so we can provide another one. The re-enrollment deadline is February 11th. If you do not intend to re-enroll, please check that off on the enrollment contract or contact the Finance Office directly as this helps us with planning for the next school year. Please remember that both parents/legal guardians are required to sign the enrollment contract. If parents are in separate households, the enrollment packet includes an envelope for the paperwork to be forwarded to the other parent.

Tiered Tuition (formerly Tuition Assistance): Information regarding the changes in this program are now listed on the website under Admissions, Financial Aid. At the bottom, there is a link “Applying for consideration” which will take you to the web page containing the TADS links for the worksheet and the application website. We will have additional information regarding the application process listed on this webpage by tomorrow.

     Please state the tier of tuition that your family is applying for in your letter to the Tiered Tuition Committee and send this document along with your financial documents to TADS. In evaluating an application for consideration, the committee considers the assets of both parents and/or legal guardians. Parents/legal guardians in separate households must submit an application and the supporting documentation to TADS individually. If you have any questions regarding enrollment or applying for tiered tuition, please contact me at 865-3900 ext 101 or businessmanager@merriconeag.org. Thank you, Shannon Combar


From the Development Office

2010-11 Annual Appeal Update:

     The Annual Appeal touches every student at Merriconeag. From the early childhood programs to the high school, these funds support the high quality arts, music, movement, language, and outdoor programs that we value. The Annual Appeal also supports our dedicated faculty, and helps maintain our beautiful campus. Whatever it is about Merriconeag that you appreciate, you can be certain that it is sustained by the Annual Appeal. Your generous support of Merriconeag’s Annual Appeal has immediate and lasting impact on the lives of our students and is the most important gift to the school you can give. Please make that gift today!

    To date, we have raised $47,660 towards our Annual Appeal goal of $60,000. This is very good progress – let’s keep the momentum going and finish this important fund drive!

    Many classes have exceeded the 50% participation rate, but we still need your help getting to our goal of 100% participation in each class! If a high quality education isn’t incentive enough, the first class to reach 100% will get to enjoy a decadent chocolate dessert by Lynne Espy. Remember, a gift of any size counts. We hope you will consider all that Merriconeag brings to your family, and make a gift accordingly.

Classes with participation rates exceeding 50% (as of today):
EC (Kristina’s class) - 53%
Grade 1 – 50%
Grade 2 – 67%
Grade 4 – 56%
Grade 5 – 58%
Grade 6 – 50%
Grade 7 – 59%
Grade 8 – 53%
High School – 53%

Matching Gifts: If your employer matches your charitable gifts, please let us know! Some of the businesses that have matching or incentive programs include Aetna, FairPoint Communications and Drummond & Drummond. Gifts to United Way can also be directed to Merriconeag. Please make a donation to the Annual Appeal today by submitting a check to the office (remittance envelopes available), going to our website and making an online donation, or calling us about a stock gift, or a matching gift from your employer

     As a community, we are enormously indebted to every family who chooses to make a donation to the annual appeal. In gratitude, Lynne Espy (developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 Ext. 116)




From the Circus Office

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

     The 2011 Circus season is off to a roaring start with the Smirkus Freeport Roustabouts already busily planning for August 11th and 12th when Circus Smirkus will bring FRONTPAGE FOLLIES Big Top Big News! to our campus for four fabulous shows. Broadcasting live from under the Big Top, Smirkus newshounds and newsclowns seek the headlines and beat the deadlines, circus-style! In a swell tribute to old-time journalism, those paparazzi clowns capture all the daredevil derring-do. Juggling paperboys, acrobatic announcers, high wire hacks and one wacky weatherman score the sensational Smirkus scoop.

     There are 30 troupers spanning the globe. You’ll see old friends and new on this list: Una Bennett, Aaron Berman, Chase Culp, Sam Ferlo, Emily Gare, Maia Gawor-Sloane, Magnus Giaever, Julia Greenberg, Sam Gurwitt, Sonya Gurwitt, Alyson Mattei, Bekk McGowan, Willem McGowan, Collin Miclon, Al Mireault, Noah Nielsen, Anna Partridge, Morgan Pinney, Jessica Roginsky, Emma Rogers, Leah Samelson, Olivia Saunders, Brin Schoellkopf, Zoe Silberblatt, John Stubbs, Sarah Tiffin, Ezra Weill, Owen Winship, Emily Wunderle & Nick Zelle.

     Our own local cast includes, Aly Fullagar (recruiting volunteers), Barbara Guffin (helping run the back office) and Drew Tieman & Catherine Weiland (coordinating Homestays). Your Head Clown is once again Trace Salter, circus@merriconeag.org, with a new office in the Farmhouse. Drop by any time to throw your fedora into the ring…we’d love your help!


Athletic News - Sports Updates

Middle School Nordic Skiing

On Thursday, January 27, the MWS middle school Nordic Team raced at Twin Brook in Cumberland in a 3 K classic event with teams from Yarmouth, Grey - New Gloucester, Lakes Region, Fryeburg, and North Yarmouth Academy. The conditions, both ski and weather, were ideal. The event ran like clockwork—and no wonder, as it was hosted and organized by NYA coach Louisa Moore and her assistants, Peter Moore and Tim McMahon. The girls tied for 1st place with Yarmouth and the boys came in 2nd place after Yarmouth. The racers seem to really enjoy the good competition and you can see them doing their best for themselves,their team-mates, and their school. One of the many benefits of being on the team is having the opportunity to meet kids (and parents) from other teams. We often run into old friends and notice that the new faces become familiar. Getting to know the other competitors and cheering for them as well is all part of the fun. The sun was setting by the end of the races, turning snow and sky from blue to purple. A time for the team to gather with Coaches Amy & Bjorn to celebrate their hard work and team-mate Ciara's birthday with aprés ski treats and a rousing birthday song. Submitted by Lucy Birkett Ahearne

High School Nordic Skiing

     We had perfect snow conditions and lots of good competition for the race we hosted at Pineland with NYA on Wednesday, January 19. The food table was a hit and everyone skied well. We met a team goal by having Haydee Jacobs complete the race. Now the whole team has done so. A few highlights: Jack Pierce again led the way with a solid 16 in a stacked field of boys. Ben McCrave showed he can ski with the top skiers in the conference. Eli McCurdy, Phineas Samuelson, Ben Tindall and John Burgess all finished in good places. The girls had three in the top eight: Zoe and Emelie Chace-Donahue and Teagan Wu. They work hard and have shown they are all able to ski with the best in the conference. What's really great is that our top three girls now have wonderful support with Carlin Tindall, Haydee Jacobs,and Lily Tupper.

     The Sassi Race on Saturday, January 29 lived up to the hype as the best HS Nordic race in Maine and it is hard to envision a better HS Nordic event anywhere. With over 425 finishers, this a huge race by any standard.This year the weather cooperated with cold conditions at the start of the boy"s race and a slight warming for the girls. The new snow and high humidity made the wax tricky and changing throughout the day.The tracks were breaking down due to the new snow and large numbers of racers. Despite these challenges I was pleased with the efforts of all our racers.We had many fine individual finishers including Zoe Chace-Donahue,8th,Teagan Wu, 20,Emelie Chace-Donahue,24, along with Carlin Tindall,72 giving the girls a very impressive 6th out of 25 teams.For the boy's, Jack Pierce, 39th, led the boy's team to a very solid 11th place out of 28 teams.Ben Tindall had his best finish of the year as did John Burgess and Eli McCurdy and Phin Samuelson also had strong results.

Submitted by John Tarling

The high school nordic race scheduled for tomorrow, February 2, in Fryeburg has been rescheduled for Friday, February 4.

For race dates and maps, visit our website's Google Calendar. For high school race results, go to Maine High School Skiing.


School Community Updates


Merriconeag's 4th Annual Blood Drive is scheduled for Tuesday, February 15th, 1pm - 6pm. Volunteers are needed to help make this years' drive a success. A schedule will be posted in the office to sign up for donating, as well as assisting the Red Cross in caring for those who have donated. Volunteers are needed to check people in, assist people after they have donated by escorting them to the snack area and offering a drink and snack. Many hands make for less work. Last year some parents were kind enough to make some homemade snacks. 7th graders assisted with caring for those who had donated, 9th graders came after school to relieve the 7th graders. Although the amount of blood donated last year was low, our support, teamwork, and positive experience to those who visited our campus was so appreciated. Please choose some way to help make this years' Blood Drive a success.

     Any questions, please feel free to call me, or stop by the office to sign up for a shift to help or a time to donate. If anyone would be willing to organize the baked goods for this day, please call me. Thank you!

Barbara Kappelmann - 754-5777.

Buy Your Seeds from the 7th Grade
Very soon, the MWS 7th Grade will be launching their new business, Seventeen Seeds. They will be offering a carefully chosen a variety of vegetable and flower seeds (seventeen varieties in all) in a bundled pack. The seeds come from Fedco, a locally owned company known for selling seeds of the highest quality. They are offering a generous deal for schools to use as a fundraiser, and we are passing on much of the savings to you! Stay tuned to the Tuesday News for more details of this blossoming business and the deal that the 7th Grade is offering. The next announcement will include the varieties offered, as well as give you a glimpse of some of the charming verses that are being composed for the envelopes. If you are not (yet) a gardener, keep in mind that this will make a wonderful gift to the gardeners in your life.


Pizza Lovers Please Take Note: The new pizza session will begin next week instead of this week as planned. This Wednesday's pizza will be offered to make up for the snow day a few Wednesdays ago. Next Wednesday will begin the second session of pizza and will be extended through June 1st. If there is a snow day tomorrow, the "make-up" pizza day this week will be on Thursday. Submitted by Mary Martin



Craig Ela from The Theater Project in Brunswick will offering an after school theater class for grades 7 through 12. The class will meet on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 3:15-4:45. The class will start on Monday, Feb 28th and the last class will be Wednesday, March 30th. The class will meet in the community hall. The cost of the class is $75.
Craig offered a very successful class to the high school last year.
Please let me know by Monday, Jan 31, if you are interested in your student participating. You may contact me at jobrien6@maine.rr.com.
If you have any questions about the content of the class, please email Craig directly. His email is elacraig@yahoo.com.


Race to Nowhere

Cape Elizabeth High School, February 7, 6:30 PM

For more information: cape-elizabeth-high-school.





Read (Listen to or Watch) This

To read two significant articles in Orion Magazine by our upcoming March speaker, Lowell Monke, please use the following links:

Unplugged Schools

Charlotte’s Webpage





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Greater Community Link


Community Classifieds Link