Tuesday News - April 5, 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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Best Beach Party Ever!                                                                                                                           



The Tuition Support Auction was a great success, thanks to the many, many people who gave their time, talents and resources. To paraphrase one parent, “the effort behind the Auction is like an ant farm – everyone doing lots of jobs, working together to build something much bigger”. Indeed. This year we had 20 people on the Auction Committee, plus others helping them, and everyone worked together like a tight-knit ant farm to create an amazingly fun beach party (where there were no real ants). Equally satisfying is that it was also a very successful fundraiser for an exceedingly important cause – tuition support. We had a blast pulling together all the parts, and were touched by the extraordinary, creative, and generous response from the entire community.

     The final numbers will be announced in next week’s Tuesday News, after all costs are submitted, but the preliminary numbers are very exciting – it looks like we netted at least $45,000. This is a wonderful testament to our generous and committed community.

Here is a snapshot of how this community and the greater community helped with this very successful fundraiser:
• A whopping 168 items and services were donated to the silent auction
• parents in the Daisy room of the ECC knit a blanket for the raffle – and some of them learned to knit during this project! It was won by the Eames family.
• Handwork students in grades 6-8 braided a beautiful rug (won by Aly Fullagar)
• High school students tiled a delightful outdoor table (won by Lynne Espy)
• The cash raffle generated an amazing $2,486 for the lucky winner (Melissa and Nate Hoy) and $7,459 for the school.
• Faculty and parents jumped in (literally) to help build the excitement in the inaugural ‘appreciation volleyball’ game.
• An anonymous donor offered a very generous $10,000 match, which we not only met in the reverse auction, but exceeded! The emcees, in their crazy costumes, helped us raised over $26,000 in 30 minutes (not counting the match)!
• A very large number of businesses donated a wonderful selection of items and services to the silent auction. They are listed in the auction catalog (on our website). Please thank them when you shop there – it really helps cultivate them for next year!
• Please also thank our wonderful “heart, head and hands” sponsors – they are listed on the front page of our school website.
• We had donations, desserts, and volunteer help from parents spanning the kindergarten through the high school, including gifts from high school students, faculty, alumni families and grandparents.
• Most importantly, you supported the school by coming! It was a huge crowd, which made for a very fun beach party!

     Each year we seek volunteers to help with fundraisers like this auction and the fall fair. If you were excited by what you experienced, please consider joining in by volunteering to help.

With gratitude for the amazing effort by EVERYONE in this community,
Lynne Espy, Development Coordinator, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org


Upcoming Events

Parent Coffee: This 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.


8th Grade Play: Cheaper by the Dozen

Wednesday, April 13, 10:30 a.m.

Thursday, April 14, 6:30 p.m.

     The 8th grade warmly invites families of children in grades 3 and up to our play, Cheaper by the Dozen,
to be held on Thursday evening, April 14th, in the Community Hall.

     It is a play about the Gilbreth family who lived in New Jersey during the 1920’s. Mr Gilbreth, the father, was an efficiency expert who made his living streamlining production in factories in the US and Europe. His wife held one of the first PhDs in psychology and, after the death of her husband, took up his work and designed efficient and labor friendly products for the housewife, including a refrigerator with shelving on the door and a kitchen garbage can which could be opened using a pedal, two items that we take for granted today. The couple brought 12 children into the world, and their rambunctious, yet efficient, family life was immortalized in a book by two of the children, published in 1949. Our play is based on a few episodes from that book. Please come and enjoy!  Hugh Renwick, 8th grade class teacher



News From the High School





Dartmouth Model UN Conference, April 1 - 3

     Twelve students in the Model UN class headed out a day early and beat the snowstorm to Hanover, NH for the Dartmouth Model UN Conference 1-3 April. The students took advantage of the extra morning to have “skype” conversations with international experts in Geneva (on Sudan), Berne (on Swiss history), Nairobi (on the Horn of Africa and Uganda) and Costa Rica (on Panama and Trafficking in Women), and to finalize position papers for the event. The good folks at the Chieftain Inn turned over their common area to us (including the kitchen, living room, dining room and at one point the office!), and it became our own personal “delegates lounge”!
      The students all were engaged and did a fantastic job representing their countries, or their roles in special committees. They spoke clearly and well and maintained “decorum” throughout the whole event. They participated in the Disarmament and Security Committee (DISEC), the Social, Humanitarian and Culture Committee (SOCHUM), and the Legal Committee of the General Assembly; a special historical simulation on the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the Mosul Arbitration debates in the League of Nations; the World Trade Organization (WTO); the 17th Conference of the Parties on the environment (COP17); the International Court of justice; and special “crisis committees” – the United States Cabinet (as Director of National Intelligence) and the African Union.
      With over 400 student delegates from 27 schools, it was a challenging and exciting weekend, and the students did a great job! They participated in nine different committees, and out of the 16 awards given, they received four of them:

  •  Devon Murphy Anderson won Best Delegate, the golden gavel award, for her work in in SOCHUM (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee)
  • Andrew Hastings was given an Honorable Mention for his work in DISEC (Committee of Disarmament and International Security)
  • Cyrus Fenderson was named Outstanding Delegate in the AU (African Union)
  • Wyatt McCurdy was named Outstanding Delegate for his work in the WTO (World Trade Organization)

     And best of all, in the words of one of the delegates, everyone “had a blast”. From all reports, the Delegates’ Social on Saturday night was good fun, too!
      Special thanks to Johanna Flath who accompanied and assisted throughout the weekend with warm humor and efficient touch, as well as considerable culinary expertise.
      It was a fine weekend, and a fitting to this year’s Model UN Elective!  Submitted by David Whittlesey


A Student View of The Dartmouth Model UN Conference by Sophomore Brian Watko

       This past weekend, twelve MWHS students participated in the Sixth Annual Dartmouth Model United Nations Conference in Hanover, New Hampshire. Phineas Samuelson, Tyler O’Brien, Sophie Simmons, Cyrus Fenderson, Devon-Murphy Anderson, Wyatt McCurdy, Emelie Chace-Donahue, Connor Beckett, Carson Davis, Ben Tindall and I made up delegations of Uganda, Switzerland, Panama and Sudan in eight committees as well as a judge on the International Court of Justice and President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence.  

     Our journey began abruptly Thursday evening. Although we were scheduled to set off on Friday the 1st around midday, an unexpected April blizzard threatened to prevent us from reaching our destination. Taking the initiative, our fearless chaperones/supervisors David Whittlesey and Johanna Flath refused to risk the elements and instead brought us to the Dartmouth area the night before. By morning, the snowless New Hampshire landscape was transformed into a snowy scene straight out of winter. Friday was spent on the rapid completion of unfinished position papers, with trips to the college’s library and video conferences with subject experts around the globe.

     At six o’clock, all the participants convened in the Hopkins Center building. Representatives from twenty-five schools hailing from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, California, and Osnabrűck, Germany were in attendance. After an opening speech by the University of Michigan’s Political Science Professor, Allan C. Stam, DartMUN was called to order. Soon, the crawling mass of students in Western business attire flooded the sidewalks of Hanover to reach their committees.

     The next three days were spent by all members of our two-year old club in fierce debate. Alliances were formed, rivalries brewed, resolutions were written, passed and failed. While the average hustle and bustle of any Model UN conference went on in General Assemblies, those in one of the two Crisis Committees had to deal with a new kind of stress. Delegates were “kidnapped” by men in black suits, received death threats via video conference and e-mail, , and were pitted against the inevitable outbreak of what was essentially a third world war.

     Andrew Hastings ‘14 received an Honorable Mention for his

representation of Panama in the Department of International Security, Cyrus Fenderson and Wyatt McCurdy, both ‘12, made out with the Outstanding Delegate award for their portrayals of Uganda in the African Union and the World Trade Organization, respectively. Finally, Devon Murphy-Anderson, ‘13, received the Best Delegate award (along with the prestigous Golden Gavel) for her representation of Panama in the Social, Humanitarian , and Cultural Commitee. All in all, it was an excellent turnout for all who participated; and not too shabby for a club that’s only two years old.


High School Students Garner More Literary Glory!

Two Merriconeag students have had their poetry accepted in a regional poetry contest sponsored by The Telling Room in Portland. Junior Evelyn Pennoyer and senior Alexa  Perkins, whose essay also recently won the high school division of the Slow Food Writing Contest, will be honored at a celebration of all of the contributing young authors at the Portland Public Library on Thursday, May 5, at 7pm.

To read their award winning poems, please click here.


Merriconeag Poetry Festival Finalists Selected: Three Merriconeag Students are among the twenty finalists that Wes McNair, Maine’s new Poet Laureate, has selected from ten area high schools, in the contest portion of the Fourth Annual Merriconeag Poetry Festival. Freshman Emma Rhodes-Armstrong and seniors Jeremy Colson and Leif Anderson will be honored with the other student-poets at an awards ceremony and reception in the Community Hall on May 1. This is the second time Leif has been selected as a finalist during his high school career.
      The event, from 3-4:30 p.m., is open to the public and will feature the student-poets reading their prize-winning work. As Festival judge, Mr. McNair, nationally acclaimed author of eighteen books, will read his own work as well and speak briefly on the power of poetry. He will also reveal the first, second and third prize winners, whose poems will be displayed on a poster to be distributed to all high schools in the region. All finalists will receive gift certificates and a festival booklet containing all the selected poems.
      The Festival, announced in late January, invited all public and private high school students in Cumberland, Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties to submit their work, which could be on any subject and in any poetic form. It was a “blind judging”; entries were only identified by titles, so the judge had no idea about the identity or school affiliation of the poet. Of the schools whose students were selected as finalists, North Yarmouth Academy, Merriconeag Waldorf High School, Scarborough, Falmouth and Gorham High Schools all had multiple winners. Ex-Merriconeag student Aldis Gamble, currently a student at North Yarmouth Academy, is one of the finalists.
      The Festival was made possible, in part, by generous grants from the Maine Art Commission and the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, as well as by donations of gift certificates from several local bookstores, including Longfellow Books in Portland, Sherman’s in Freeport, and Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick.
Submitted by David Sloan


Athletic News - Sports Updates

Congratulations to Zoe Chace-Donahue who was named to the Maine Sunday Telegram All State Girls High School Nordic Ski Team. To see the list, click here.

The Western Maine Conference All Star Boys' Nordic Team featured Merriconeag's Jack Pierce. The girls' team included Merriconeag's Emelie Chace-Donahue and Zoe Chace-Donahue. Congratulations to all of our all-stars for a job well done! Read the article in the Forecaster.


Alumni News

Alum Alice Gauvin (8th Grade Class of 2007) Reflects on her Merriconeag Experience for her College Essay:

To Wonder at Beauty, Stand Guard over Truth

      One day in seventh grade, my teacher showed my class Raphael’s The School of Athens, a beautiful Renaissance fresco that portrays many of the greatest intellectuals of Western history. Ms. Fox identified first Plato, then Aristotle, and continued across the painting, and as she did, I realized with a thrill of recognition that I had already been introduced to each person over the course of my grade school studies. The myths, stories, math and science classes, plays and festivals that are the ingredients of the Waldorf curriculum had made me aware of these icons of learning. Now the painting and my teacher were bringing them vividly to life.
      This moment was exciting for me, but it was not an isolated occurrence. My five years in a Waldorf classroom were characterized by these “a-ha” moments, when the puzzle pieces of learning seemed to magically come together, and knowledge – in science, humanities, and arts – became interconnected parts of a whole.
      Two years later, I was a freshman at Portland High School, whose size and cultural diversity presented an exciting shift from the sanctuary of the Waldorf classroom. In my first World Civilization class, I looked forward to a lively discussion (as well as the chance to impress my teacher with my expertise in Classical history!) Early in the lecture, a hand went up, and someone asked, “Do we NEED to know that?” This question confused me at first, until I realized that it was code for: “Will that be on the test?” To me this was an alien concept.   Read more.

Alum Michael Dix Thomas (8th Grade Class of 1998) Stars

in the Comedy "Brendan"

Shy Irish immigrant Brendan Roche ( Michael Dix Thomas) finds his first American girlfriend in Rose ( April Singley) in the comedy ' Brendan,' presented by the American Irish Repertory Ensemble from Thursday through April 16 at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage Company.

For ticket information call 799-5327 or visit www.airetheater.com

Read the review in the Portland Press Herald




School Community Updates




Ski Rental ReturnsToday: 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


2011 Summer Camps at Merriconeag:

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




Merriconeag Students Support Japan: Last week, the Sixth Grade assembled over 1200 cards featuring the artwork of Merriconeag students. These note cards packets are on sale in the Grade School Office, at Royal River Natural Foods and at Island Treasure Toys. There is a suggested minimum donation of $15 for 12 cards. 100% of our proceeds will benefit the Japan NGO Earthquake and Recovery Fund of the Japan Center for International Exchange. JCIE comes highly-recommended by trusted Japanese community groups and The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times amongst others. JCIE is deeply moved by the way our community is reaching out to Japan: “The depth of the intention behind this generosity continues to impress and sustain us right now.” Thank you for supporting this effort on behalf of Japan.


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


Read (Listen to or Watch) This

Film aims to ease race to achieve

By Kelley Bouchard, Portland Press Herald, March 31, 2011

Nearly 500 gather at Yarmouth High to watch the film "Race to Nowhere," which raises disturbing questions about the pressures on today's young people.









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