Tuesday News - March 29, 2011

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

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Upcoming Events                                                                                                                            



Tuition Support Fundraiser and Silent Auction:

This Saturday April 2, 6:00 PM, Community Hall

This is a not-to-miss event – it is an evening filled with fabulous food and drink, a faculty/parent presentation that will surprise and delight, enough silent auction items for everyone to take something home, drawing the lucky winner of a large cash raffle as well as winners for 3 delightful student and parent made raffle items, a fast-paced reverse auction, and dancing to beach tunes. The proceeds from this fundraiser directly benefit our tuition support program. Please demonstrate your commitment to tuition support by coming on Saturday, bidding on silent auction items, participating in the reverse auction, and buying raffle tickets.

Bring in the Goods! All items (except perishables) for the Silent Auction should be brought to the Farmhouse as soon as possible, no later than Friday morning. Thanks to the hard work of the Auction committee and the generosity of this community, over 170 fabulous items and tempting services have been donated to the Silent Auction! Check out a sampling of the donated items on our Auction Facebook page. Link to the Auction Facebook page.. You need not be a Facebook user to get on this page. You will find it helpful to peruse the descriptions and photos of the items before you come on Saturday!
Calling All Auction Volunteers!  We still need volunteers to help decorate the Community Hall on Friday, April 1st (10:30 am – 3pm) and others to work a shift on the night of the auction. Volunteer sign up this year is via a Google Doc. Click here to sign up. If you have trouble signing up, or any questions at all about helping at the Auction, call Stacie Hamilton-Waldron (846-5269) or email, shamwald@maine.rr.com.
Auction Catalog now available!   View it now. The catalog includes silent auction items, the student/parent-made raffle items, and a description of the cash raffle and the evening’s program. We will have a printed catalog waiting for you on Saturday when you check in, but if you need a paper copy, a limited number are available in the office.
Check out the Item of the Week:

This just in!! North East Harbor artist Eric Hopkins has donated a signed print from his Waypoints#2 series. View the print. It could be yours! See you at the auction on Saturday!

Send in your rsvp card and payment! Please, please rsvp! We want to have plenty of food and drink available. We have kept the entry fee low ($25 each or $40 per couple) so that every parent will come. If this fee is preventing you (or a friend) from coming, please give Lynne Espy a call. We want everyone to come, and we can provide discounted tickets if that’s what is needed to get you there!
Buy cash raffle tickets! Five cash raffle tickets were included in your invitation, and more are available in the office. We sincerely hope you will fill out with your name and phone number and send the stubs back with the payment. It is a 25/75 cash raffle, meaning that if you win, you keep 25% of the total proceeds. So far, we’ve received over $4,000 worth of cash raffle tickets. Last year, the winner (a grandparent!) took home over $2,000, having just bought only 5 tickets for $100! The more tickets sold, the bigger the prize money! Buy one, buy 10, or buy more! You need not be present to win, so feel free to sell them to your friends and neighbors.

Tickets / Reservations? Didn’t purchase them yet? Can I still go? Of course you can! Tickets will be on sale at the door for $25/person or $40/couple. Just bring your checkbook (or Visa or Mastercard) and we’ll take care of the rest! (The development office has a limited number of tickets available at reduced rates. If this would make the difference in your attending, please feel welcome to call Lynne Espy at 865-3900, ext. 116). Bring your friends, family and neighbors!! Many people coming to the auction hopefully translates into more money for tuition support for our families who rely on it. It is vital that we do all we can to make this Auction successful – and we are so grateful for your help.
Can’t make it to the Beach Party on Saturday? An absentee bid form is attached, click here. Check out the donated items in the Auction catalog and peruse photos of a sampling of the items on our Auction Facebook page. We have an amazing selection of donations that you will want to bid on!

Other questions about the Tuition Support Auction? developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org

Submitted by Lynne Espy, for the amazing Auction Team!


Parent Coffee: Thursday, April 7, 1:30 pm, Farmhouse Conference Room
Math in Mind:

A discussion with Connie Gerwin about how the

Waldorf high school mathematics curriculum is rooted

in a rich understanding of adolescent human development.

Connie Gerwin has been inspiring high school students for over 30 years. She has been a guest teacher in our high school for three years and is currently teaching a morning lesson block in Probability to our 9th graders. A dynamic and resourceful math teacher - with a particular focus on algebra and geometry - Connie also mentors new teachers, and offers talks and workshops throughout New England.


2011 Summer Camps at Merriconeag


To learn more about our six summer camps and to register, click here.



From the Administrator

Conference Feedback:
      Throughout this year, the grade school faculty has been re-designing the report format, providing more extensive reports from class and subject teachers prior to conferences, and this spring, encouraging greater participation from subject teachers in the conference schedule. We have received wonderful feedback from parents. In the high school, parents meet with a team of teachers, “summit style,” and their enthusiasm for this model has been shared at our faculty meetings. This works well for high school, because of its unique course structure and variety of morning lesson and subject teachers for each grade level.

    In the grade school, one of the most welcome changes is the detailed report going home the end of the week prior to conference days. Parents have shared with us that it allows them time to focus their questions and concerns for a more productive dialogue in the 30-45 minute sessions. The grid has also allowed parents and teachers to notice if specific concerns are shared by a number of teachers, or if issues are specific to one class or another.

     Lucy and Jim Ahearne shared the following e-mail with the faculty over the weekend…

We wanted to pass along to you and the faculty just how much we appreciated having the opportunity to meet with subject teachers during conferences. Hearing from the subject teachers about their classes, the social dynamics, and even year to year progress, was enlightening and it seemed like it might have been productive for them as well.
Most of all it helped us to see how well the teachers know our kids, how thoughtfully they approach their work, and how they love them. It's not that we didn't know this already-but it sure was confirming.
I hope that many parents will take the subject teachers up on the offer to meet with them, as it seems like it can be so beneficial for all.

    Please continue to share with us your experiences of conferences, so that we can further develop this vital tool for parent/teacher communication. Submitted by Christine Sloan


From the Admissions Office




Two admission events are coming up next week. Both are great ways to introduce friends to Merriconeag. To register, contact Lyn Baird at 865-3900, ext103 or admissionsdirector@merriconeag


Walk through Grades 1 – 8
Tuesday, April 5, 8:15 – 10:30 a.m.

Join us for a tour of the grade school. We will spend observe classes at each grade level and have a question period at the end.

Early Childhood Information Session
Tuesday, April 5, 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Our early childhood teachers will talk about our unique approach to early childhood. They will describe a typical morning in a Waldorf nursery-kindergarten classroom.

From the Facilities Planning Committee

Update on Campus Planning:
Progress continues weekly on the school’s plans to replace the handwork portable with a beautiful, energy efficient space. Community members will be offered several opportunities this spring to talk with the Facilities Planning Committee about the potential green features of the building, preview diagrams of the site plan and ask questions. An important part of the process is identifying the person responsible for leading the construction project. Any interested applicants within our community are encouraged to view the website for details about the position of Project Coordinator. We look forward to sharing more details about the handwork space as the plan unfolds.


News From the Early Childhood Center

Last week, Kristina Farm-Morrill announced to her Kindergarten parents that she will be taking a leave of absence from her class for one year. This decision was prompted by her mother’s failing health. Kristina will be spending part of next year in Finland caring for her mother, who was diagnosed this year with Parkinson’s disease.
Kristina has the support of the College to take a one year leave from her responsibilities at Merriconeag and return to her class the following school year. We will all miss Kristina’s involvement throughout the school next year, but we trust that this time with her family in Finland will provide strength and comfort to her and her family.

     Please note that we are advertising a one year position in the Kindergarten, in this Tuesday News and on our website: One Year, Lead Kindergarten Position beginning August, 2011/2012
A one year position in Merriconeag’s Waldorf Kindergarten program will be available for the 2011/2012 school year. This position will allow one of our founding teachers to take a one year leave of absence from her class. The five day Kindergarten will have the support of an experienced assistant, and three other lead teachers in Nursery and Kindergarten classes that share the building. Our Kindergarten is housed in a specially designed, straw-bale constructed Early Childhood Center, situated on 80 beautiful acres in Freeport, Maine

Qualifications, Salary and Benefits: Ideal candidates are Waldorf-trained, teachers, with at least two years of Waldorf early childhood teaching experience and a commitment to working out of Anthroposophy. Applicants must be dedicated to excellence in teaching and recognize the importance of parent education, self-development and collegial cooperation. Full-time faculty is currently offered medical and disability coverage, a retirement plan, and financial support for professional development. Our base salary is competitive with other Waldorf schools.


News From the High School





Monday, March 28th was the beginning of new Morning Lessons. We have two guest teachers for the next three weeks. Connie Gerwin is teaching "Probability" to the 9th grade and David Levi is teaching "Rise of the West" to the 11th grade. Mr. Sloan will be teaching Greek History to the 10th grade.

The 12th graders have embarked on their three week internships. Becca Wildes is working at an animal shelter in Nevada. Benjamin McCrave is job shadowing with the ski patrol in the Rocky mountains. Leif Anderson is learning how to flip crepes in France. Ali Perkins will be at an orphanage in Tanzania. Phineas Samuelson is working with immigrants in Portland. Jeremy Colson is programming computers locally. We are looking forward welcoming them back and hearing of their experiences. They return after April vacation.

What Does it Mean to be Free? Theme Week, March 21 through March 23:  Last week our high school students spent their second theme week of the year in a variety of activities, contemplating the question, What does it mean to be free? Teagan Wu (10th grade), Emma Rhodes-Armstrong (9th grade) and Wyatt Dowling (11th grade) write about their experiences below.

"There Is No Easy Walk to Freedom Anywhere” by Teagan Wu
     For theme week the high school explored the topic: What does it mean to be free? On Monday, we had the privilege of hearing a keynote speaker from the Universalist church in Yarmouth named Jennifer Lentz. We engaged in a deepening discussion on what it really means to be free. Freedom has always been a struggle, for as Nelson Mandela once said, “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere.”
      We all agreed that with freedom comes responsibility. We were able to look inside ourselves and think about how freedom affects our lives and those around us. How is it living in a world where the media tries to control us? In the afternoon, a man named Drew Wing gave a workshop on the media and how it affects our freedom.
      Early Tuesday morning we drove to Boston for an exciting trip to a medium security prison. We had an inspiring and truly amazing talk with ten inmates from the prison. Throughout our discussion, we found that each prisoner was able to talk straight from his heart, despite their very difficult backgrounds. It was amazing how much they cared about educating young adults. We walked away from the prison with a greater appreciation for the people we love, and the freedom we have each and every day.
      In the evening, we enjoyed an exciting musical production of Hair, which gave us a picture of life as a hippie in the late 60’s. Not boring! After a long day, we stayed overnight at the Massachusetts Bay Waldorf School. Getting into the vans the next morning, all of us drove away with a new view of the world and a greater understanding of freedom.

Are We Really Free? by Emma Rhodes-Armstrong
      During this Theme Week, the topic we were looking at was freedom. What does it really mean? It is such an ambiguous term; it could mean physical freedom, psychological freedom, freedom to express oneself, freedom to do what we like… it means something different to everybody. On Monday morning, Jennifer Lentz, a Unitarian Universalist minister spoke with us about what freedom means to her, asked us questions, and had us debate related topics. Later, we split into groups and held brief discussions before lunch, after which another speaker, Drew Wing, talked to us about freedom within the media. He presented a short slideshow and part of a film about women and the ways they are portrayed in the media. He also brought up some questions. Are we really free? Are we really impervious to external influences telling us who to be, what products to buy?
      The next day we drove down to Shirley, Massachusetts and visited a medium-security prison. We spoke with ten of the inmates, heard their stories, and asked them questions. It was an amazing experience. While many of these men had been convicted for murder, they were incredibly insightful and aware of what they did and where they are now. It was very interesting to hear what freedom meant to them, and to hear the advice they had for us. Later that evening, we went into Boston to have dinner, and watched a fantastic production of “Hair.”

  Many of these experiences, particularly the visit to the prison, changed our views of what freedom can mean, and made many of us reconsider the truth of our preconceptions. Overall, from discussions and debates to prisons and musicals, the Theme Week has been an eye-opener, and a great success.

Enlightened Inmates by Wyatt Dowling
     For our second theme week of the year, we discussed what it meant to be free. On the first day, we heard from a couple of speakers and held discussions on what freedom meant to each of us. On Tuesday we drove to Massachusetts to visit a prison and to speak with a few of the inmates. This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. There we were, sitting just a few feet from men who were serving life sentences for horrible crimes, and they seemed more enlightened then almost anyone you would meet out in the world. Now that they had lived out some of their punishment, some even for taking the lives of others, they had a stronger understanding of life than anyone I have ever met before.
      After this incredible experience, we went to Boston for another, very different one. We attended opening night of Hair, which has become my favorite musical, by far. The week as a whole was an unforgettable time. It makes me appreciate going to a school where we take time away from our studies to do things like this. This may have been the best theme week yet; I cannot wait for the next one.


Athletic News - Sports Updates

Spring Athletics at the Middle School:  We will be offering two different after-school activities for 6th, 7th
and 8th grade students.

Running Club led by Oliver Kinzer - from April 25th to May 18th on Mondays and Wednesdays from

3:00 to 4:30PM. Cost is $30.

Ultimate Frisbee Club - from April 25th to May 18th, every Monday and Wednesday from 3:00 to 4:30PM.

Cost is $30.

     If your child was not a member of the running team, ski team or basketball club, you will need to fill out a medical release form. A student cannot participate without this form. Please sign up in the office. Any questions, email John Saccone at jsaccone@maine.rr.com.



School Community Updates

Congratulations to Marta, Tom and Robert Rackmales on the addition of new family member, Tizita. She is a experiencing winter for the first time, as the weather is slightly different in Ethiopa, where she has spent her first three years. Welcome Tizita, we’re all looking forward to seeing more of you on campus!




Welcome to baby Samantha Pohl Francis, born last Tuesday, March 15 to her Richard and Sandra Francis. Congratulations!




Notecard Fundraiser for Japan: Inspired by 8th Grader Gabriella Gaspardi's idea to make note cards to raise money for to the Japanese people in the aftermath of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, 12 students and alumni of Merriconeag have donated artwork to a fundraising project. 100% of the money brought in from the sale of note cards featuring the children's paintings, drawings and prints will benefit the Japan NGO Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund administered by the highly-recommended (by trusted Japanese contacts and The New York Times) and well-established Japan Center for International Exchange. JCIE and its partners in Japan distribute funding to Japanese humanitarian organizations that are moving quickly to reach those who have been affected by this disaster, participating in search and rescue missions and providing food, water, shelter, healthcare, and emotional support. Please drop by the EC or Grades School Office, Royal River Natural Foods or Island Treasure Toys after Thursday, April 1st to buy your cards. We humbly suggest a minimum donation of $20 for the pack of 12 cards.


domo arigatou gozaimasu

thank you very much


Ski Rental Returns: On Tuesday, April 5th before and after school and Wednesday, April 6th before and after school, rental skis can be returned to the Desert Rd.campus. Skis MUST be free and clean of kickwax. Skis should be wiped free of dirt and elastic banded together on top and bottom. Poles should be wiped off and elastic banded to skis, top and bottom (total of 4 elastic bands). Boots should be wiped off and attached to bindings. You must check in/out with John Saccone. Please do not just drop off the equipment. Thank you. Mr. Saccone


Seventeen Seeds:
The 7th Grade continues their seed sale all week in the parking lot and at the MWS offices—but they are going like deep-fried zucchini blossoms so get yours now! With the help of Fedco Seeds, we have chosen a variety of vegetable and flower seeds (17 varieties in all), which we are selling in a bundled pack. For $25, you will receive 17 seed packets filled generously with highest quality Maine and New England grown seeds. Varieties in the bundled pack are: Bush Bean, Sugar Snap Pea, Slicing Cucumber, Zucchini, Delicata Squash, Pie Pumpkin, Carrot, Radish, Spinach, Lettuce Mix, Greens Mix, Swiss Chard, Kale, Cosmos,
Nasturtiums, Sunflower, and Zinnea. Chosen based on flavor, popularity, and ease of growing, some can be started indoors if preferred but they can all be direct seeded (in the ground) as well. You may have a relative or neighbor that would like to get in on this
great deal so please help spread the word. They make a nice gift too, and Mother's Day is around the corner...
Submitted by Lucy Ahearne


Props Needed: The 8th graders play production is well underway. We are in need of the following stage props to complete the stage set-up depicting the time period the play will be portrayed in:

- a 1920-1930's telephone
- a sugar cube prong
- a cane holder (similar to an umbrella holder)

If anyone has any of the above items or knows where I could barrow an item, please contact me or drop it off in Lisa's office. Submitted by Mary Martin, 865-0689, marymartin2@comcast.net.










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