Tuesday News - May 10, 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

Second Annual Senior Project Presentations

This Thursday, May 12, 7:00 PM, Community Hall

       Back at the beginning of the year, seniors created a self-motivated project based on a topic that they were eager to explore outside of the curriculum. On behalf of the High School faculty, the senior class advisors Sarah Buck and David Barham, invite you to share this evening with the seniors as they present their projects.

A taste of the evening:

  • Leif Anderson, inspired by the Salt Institute in Portland, ME, is presenting his documentary-styled interviews with neighbors for a trip down Libby Lane.
  • Jeremy Colson has gone wireless in the style of Tesla, and will certainly generate an electric mood for the evening.
  • Benjamin McCrave glided, and hauled, and served, and swept his way through the winter, he will be sharing his experience working with Maine Huts and Trails.
  • Ali Perkins was introduced to the world of fundraising (future Board member?) in anticipation of being introduced to the broader world in Africa.
  • Phineas Samuelson took on a new language, and he will be singing the praises of learning 3 languages during his Merriconeag tenure.
  • Becca Wildes shares her love of language with us also, however instead of using her voice to sing the praises of learning a new language, she will show us with her hands.

Submitted by Sarah Buck


Senior Class Play: The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Thursday, June 2 & Friday, June 3, 7:00 PM, Community Hall

Admission is $5 at the door

     Merriconeag Waldorf School’s senior class is enthusiastically preparing to perform Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee’s classic play, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail. The play is a dramatic representation of a vital moment in our history, where the 29 year old Henry David Thoreau’s ardent refusal to pay his taxes- in protest to the United States government’s involvement in the Mexican War- landed him in prison in his home of Concord, Massachusetts. This famous act of civil disobedience- daring and unprecedented as it was- is merely the departure point in this celebrated drama. As the play progresses, we come to understand what motivates this brilliant, independent and ever-unorthodox writer and thinker.

     Written and first produced in the 1970s the play is a story of protest as well as of enlightenment. By turns wise, funny, perplexing and sad, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail is much more than the ruminations of one man in one place in one night. The play explores the crossroads of responsibility, conscience and democracy: the self, the choices we make as human beings and the dilemmas we face as members of society.

     George Oppenheimer in Newsweek Magazine called it, “A Superior play, a literary work as well as a theatrical experience. Scene after scene moves you to laughter or close to tears.”

Submitted by David Barham



From the Administrator

New Faculty for next year…
In the Early Childhood Center:
      We are happy to announce that Merriconeag’s College of Teachers has invited Jessica Moore to join the early childhood faculty next year in support of Kristina Farm-Morrill’s one year leave of absence. Ms. Moore will be the Lead Kindergarten Teacher in the “Daisy Room” while Kristina is away, and Hanna Graham will continue as her assistant.
      Jessica Moore has been the Lead Kindergarten Teacher at the Tidewater Waldorf School in Eliot, Maine for the past two years. Prior to that, she was the assistant EC teacher for two years. During this time, Jessica also worked as the lead handwork teacher for grades 1-5, and led parent-child classes at Tidewater. She comes with a rich artistic background and a special interest in fiber arts and herbal medicines.
      Kristina looks forward to her time in Finland and caring for her ailing mother, especially knowing that her class will be carried by Ms. Moore and Hanna Graham.

Next Year’s First Grade Teacher:
      We are delighted to announce that the College of Teachers has chosen next year’s first grade class teacher. Laura Ghedina, who visited our school in early January, and then returned for a four day teaching/interview process in late April, has accepted our offer to lead next year’s first grade.
      Ms. Ghedina comes with seven years of teaching experience as a class teacher and English language teacher in the second oldest and largest Waldorf School in Germany. After studying Geology at the University of Hanover, she completed her Waldorf Teacher Training certification, and is currently finishing a two-year advanced training in “Curative Education” for Waldorf teachers in Hamburg, Germany, this June. She is currently finishing the eighth grade class, this July, which she has taught from fourth through eighth grade.
     We are also thrilled that Laura’s son, Tarek, will join our fifth grade class in the fall, and could not be more pleased that this highly experienced, warmhearted teacher is coming to Merriconeag!

Christine Sloan, administrator@merriconeag.org



From the Development Office

Final Annual Appeal Update:
      Great News!!! With excellent participation rates among board, faculty and the parent body, we have not only met, but exceeded our annual appeal goal of $60,000. The total amount raised to date is $60,166. This is a terrific accomplishment, and it is a tribute to the generosity, positive attitude, and commitment of this wonderful school community.

     In addition, the 3rd grade class should be congratulated for being the first class to achieve 100% participation. As promised, they will receive a decadent dessert as a thank you (they’re getting it at tonight’s parent evening!). Most of the classes are extremely close to 100% participation, and hopefully will achieve 100% by the June 15 deadline.

     If you haven’t yet participated, let me explain that high participation rates towards an annual appeal are one of the clearest demonstrations of our families’ commitment to Waldorf education and Merriconeag. We use this participation number when we seek outside funding. I want to also reinforce that every dollar we raise over the $60,000 goal helps us handle last minute budget needs. It allows the board and faculty to appropriate last-minute funding where it can best serve the children and our families.

     I won’t be giving regular annual appeal updates, but I’ll make one last plea: If you haven’t done so, please consider making a tax-deductible gift to Merriconeag’s Annual Appeal today. Gifts are payable by June 15, 2010. Envelopes are available in all of the school’s offices. Contact Shannon Combar if you are interested in making a gift of stock, or if your employer will match your donation.

     With much gratitude, and congratulations to all of you who helped us reach the annual appeal goals!!!

Lynne Espy, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900, Ext. 116




News From the Early Childhood Center

Baby Foxes Frolick at ECC:  Last Thursday morning many of us at the Early Childhood Center were lured outside by a special springtime treat - three baby foxes frolicking down around the drainage ditch. We all watched from a safe distance so we wouldn't disturb them and many parents snapped a few photos. Now we will just have to hope that these cute babies don't grow up to become raiders of our hen house.




From the Grade School

A Good Time Was Had by All: Many thanks to Lynn Thurrell and the 6th Grade parents and students for coordinating such a wonderful May Celebration and Medieval Faire.






News from the High School

From Pinch Pots to Pageant: The High School's contribution to this year's May Celebration and Medieval Faire was a great success. Students acted in the pageant, helped with games and archery, provided music, and made and sold pinch pots. The Faire was enlivened with high school energy and humor.

     A big thank you to Mr. Barham for spearheading the pageant and to Ms. Burwell for her coordinating the making and selling of pinch pots.



Please donate your gas powered machine to science! Lawn Mower, weed-wacker, chain saw, roto-tiller not working after the long cold winter? Donate it to Merriconeag. Every year the 9th grade dissects engines. Instead of paying a disposal fee, take a tax deduction! Please put any donated equipment behind the community hall and the office portable. Any questions call Jeff O'Brien at the high school (688-8989) or at home (688-3245).



School Community Updates



Renewal is in: The Spring/Summer 2011Edition of Renewal magazine is now available and our own David Sloan, High School Humanities Teacher, has an article in it. The article entitled, Teenage Technoholics: The Digital Revolution, Its Effect on Our Children,and What Parents Can Do, is on page 33. The magazine is free and you will find copies in each school office. Please feel free to recycle your copy at the school offices as there are often parents looking to read back issues.


Merriconeag Helps Raise $10,000 for Japan
      An idea that began earnestly and simply with Merriconeag Eighth Grader Gabriella Gaspardi turned into a global relief effort to benefit Japan in the wake of the March 11th earthquake, tsunami and the ensuing nuclear crisis. Gabriella and 11 other Merriconeag students and alumni created original artwork that was placed on 1200 notecards donated by Dale Rand Printing of Portland. The Sixth Grade spent an afternoon assembling card packets that were then sold at Royal River Natural Foods and Island Treasure Toys. Friends and family members across New England sold cards and solicited contributions for the Japan NGO Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund run by the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE/USA). A kind matching offer from an anonymous donor meant that the $5000 raised will be matched, making for a total of $10,000 that will be donated to Japan. Half of the funds go directly to six leading Japanese organizations that are working on the ground to provide immediate disaster relief. The remaining 50 percent will be used to establish a separate fund to support Japanese NGOs engaged in long-term recovery efforts, which will be critical in the months and years ahead. Please visit http://www.jcie.org/earthquakeupdate.html to see how the funds are being used.

    JCIE has been deeply moved by our efforts. They ordered extra packs of cards to use as their Thank You Notes and intend to place Gabriella's hinomaru (rising sun) piece on their website. We had an additional request for over 800 cards from the College Women's Association of Japan (CWAJ), another community organization in Japan. They, too, wil sell Merriconeag's cards as a fundraiser for the disaster relief effort. Misa Kyaskawa of CWAJ said "Thank you for all you are doing for Japan and we are really encouraged by the warm messages and actions take by our friends overseas." Maya Wedemeyer of JCIE repeatedly expressed appreciation for this gesture of support and for the beauty of the artwork featured: "We have since been floored, flabbergasted and completely taken by these amazing cards you have been able to put together! The artwork itself is just so sincere and stunning, it is clear that these children were inspired to this art. "

     Many thanks to the students, families and our partners in the greater community for supporting this effort on behalf of Japan. どうもありがとうございます Domo arigato gozaimasu


Tick ME Off – Ticks are back in Maine:

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in Maine and the second most common of the reportable infectious diseases in Maine. May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Maine so remember to do your tick checks.

     Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is carried by Ixodes scapularis (the deer tick). Cases have increased over the last five years in Maine, and occur in all 16 counties. Lyme disease is most common among school age children and middle age adults. As the weather continues to get warmer, more ticks will be out in the open, and most infections in Maine occur during the summer months.

     The most common early symptom of Lyme disease is an expanding red rash that occurs at the site of the tick bite within 3-32 days after being bitten. Fever, join and muscle pains may also occur. Lyme disease is treatable, and the majority of patients recover after receiving appropriate therapy.

     Lyme disease is preventable. Maine CDC recommends following the “No Ticks 4 ME” approach which includes:
1. Wear protective clothing

2. Use insect repellent

3. Perform daily tick checks

4. Use caution in tick habitats

    Ticks must be attached for 24-48 hours before the bacteria can be transmitted, so prompt removal of ticks is extremely important. Anyone with a known tick bite, or who has been in a tick habitat should watch for symptoms for at least 30 days after the exposure. If symptoms develop, call your physician.

Additional information:
Maine CDC has numerous educational materials available on our website at http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/boh/ddc/epi/vector-borne/lyme/index.shtml


Lost at the May Faire: Nikon FM2 35mm Camera was in a colorful brown and pink woven basket and probably fell off the roof of my car in the MWS parking lot. Any information leading to its return is greatly appreciated. Please call Shelly Elmer 450-3962.


2011 Summer Camps at Merriconeag: There is still time to register for our seven summer camps. For more information about each camp follow this link and click on the name of each camp. To download registration forms, click here: Camp Registration Forms     Medical Release Form

For more information contact Kathy Watko, bookkeeper@merriconeag.org 207.865.3900, ext 151.



Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School Ultimate Frisbee Update from Cyrus Fenderson:

The Merriconeag Ultimate Frisbee team has played seven games so far this season. Of those, three were official league games and four were simply games scheduled outside of the league with other team captains. The team has won five and lost two of their games. The team plays every Wednesday at the Cumberland fairgrounds at 3:30 along with many other teams from all over Southern Maine. The team has members from all four classes. There are seventeen people on the team. It really is a fun time to go out and watch the teams play and the regular schedule makes it easier to plan. Merriconeag is participating in the state tournament on May 29 and plans to go to the Cumberland Invitational this Saturday. It really has been a great season so far and hopes are high for a long run in postseason play.

Merriconeag's High School Frisbee team is coached by Rich Young. Cyrus Fenderson and Tyler O'Brien are the team's co-captains.



Alumni News

     Aldis Gamble (8th Grade Class of 2009) is on a semester study program at the Island School on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. He and close to 50 other students from across the US and Bahamas are learning to develop an intimate sense of place through immersion experiences in the natural and cultural environment. The school models sustainable individual and community lifestyles and the systems that support them, whose community members are cognizant of

their abilities, limitations and effect on others.
      They recently celebrated May Day where Aldis taught his fellow students how to weave the maypole, drawing on the lessons he learned at Merriconeag.

Submitted by Lisa Gamble



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