"Tuesday News" - September 7, 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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Welcome Back from the Administrator

Dear Parents and Friends,

     Welcome back to Merriconeag for the exciting year ahead!

     This summer our campus has been bustling with activity. We enjoyed the second year of hosting Merriconeag’s summer camp, the return of Circus Smirkus, which attracted record numbers under the “Big Top” and at the very center of our campus, we have watched the dream of our new Handcraft Building take shape. It has been a time of building, not just the physical space of our school but also the mission and vision of our work at Merriconeag.

     People are capable of building amazing structures. The purpose and intentions of these structures can create unity, establish power, shelter and protect, and sometimes…inspire!

     I was thinking a great deal about building “structures” this summer as I watched our new building take shape. The intention to create a space of beauty, integrity and harmony that would reflect our school community’s aesthetic, pedagogical and environmental values was at the core of both the design and construction of this building. This project is being built through collaboration of professional expertise, volunteerism from parents, teachers and high school students, and grass roots fund raising and community building directed by our development office.

     On August 13th I was driving to school and heard on NPR that it was the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall. In 1961, during the early hours of a Sunday morning, when most people were distracted by summer holiday, East German authorities conducted an operation, curiously code named “Rose.” They began construction on the mighty Wall that would keep people from freely moving between East Germany and West Germany. In a matter of days, families were cut off from loved ones, the flow of materials and goods between the east and west ceased, and communication went underground. For nearly 30 years, this Wall, stretching 96 miles, attempted to break all ties between the people of Eastern and Western Europe. Then on November 9, 1989, this barricade between East and West was finally broken, and amid great celebration, the wall was torn down and people were free to travel throughout the whole of Germany.

     Some people build walls to keep people apart. Others build structures to bring people together.

     We build many things at Merriconeag. Sometimes the projects are very big, like the Community Hall, and sometimes they are of a smaller scale, like the Early Childhood’s chicken coop or the lovely benches and garden carts that have been created by two of our third grade classes. No matter what we are building, our projects are designed to deepen our connections, further our understanding of each other and the world around us, enrich the teaching and learning at our school and thus, bring people together.

     There is still much to do and many opportunities to help. This is a project meant to build more than walls or spaces. It is building our work as a school community. Help Raise the Roof, September 17th!

Christine Sloan, Administrator


Raise the Roof Party

Saturday, September 17, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

     This year, in celebration of our new Handcraft Building, we are having a day-time, family-oriented, back-to-school celebration and fundraiser. We hope that every Merriconeag family, as well as alumni families and friends of the school, will lend a hand to support this wonderful new Handcraft Building. What better way to start the year than to celebrate the power of our community!

     There are a variety of work projects which we need your help with that day, and depending on your interest and age, we will find a fun way for you to help! We need help shingling the building, gardening, sorting recyclable building materials, setting up the potluck lunch, and cleaning up. Bring work gloves and gardening tools, and wear appropriate footwear for outdoor work. Team leaders are still needed for certain areas; contact Sarah Pierce or Lynne Espy if you’re willing to help supervise certain projects.

     Acoustic musicians and singers of all ages are encouraged to bring their instruments and a song to share. The music will entertain us as we work and help us raise the funds to finish this building! So remember to bring your checkbooks (or credit card) as well!

     The work party will be followed by a community-wide potluck lunch. To ensure there is enough hearty food and refreshments for everyone, we’re asking that:

Families whose child’s last name begins with A – M:
bring a main lunch dish such as ready-to-eat sandwiches or wraps or salads
(green salads, pasta or grain salads, meat or veggie salads, etc.)
• Families whose child’s last name begins with N –S:
bring fingerfood desserts such as cookies or bars.
• Families whose child’s last name begins with T-Z:
bring cider (2 gallons per family if possible)

     If you bring a gluten-free or dairy-free dish, please mark it as such. Please bring any necessary serving utensils and dishes with your name marked on them.

      Plates, cups and forks will be provided, but we encourage everyone to bring their own if possible, in keeping with our goal of reducing waste.

     This event was originally scheduled for the evening – it is now just during the day, so please mark your calendars, bring the kids, and come lend a hand for Handcraft!

     Any questions, contact: Lynne Espy, Development Coordinator: development@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 ext. 116 or Sarah Pierce: danandsarah.pierce@gmail.com, 926-5337


Merriconeag's Community Education Speaker Series

Jaimen McMillan will be on campus September 30th & October 1st for two events:



Jaimen will also present the following workshop:

Back to Health
A Workshop with Jaimen McMillan
Saturday, October 1
9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Cost: $50

In this workshop, Jaimen McMillan, founder of Spacial Dynamics®, will present new approaches to posture, carriage, and grace-filled movement. Parents, teachers, movement therapists, and back sufferers alike will learn ways to help children, patients and themselves move with ease and get “Back to Health.

Space is limited in the workshop. To register email: publicrelations@merriconeag.org


Jaimen McMillan developed the discipline of Spacial Dynamics® in 1985. He

gives lectures and workshops worldwide, and regular trainings in the US,

England, Germany, and Hungary. He has written articles for educational and

health journals and is a contributing author for books dealing with pedagogy

and therapy.

For more information: www.spacialdynamics.com




After School Program News

     Our After School program has a new lead teacher. We are happy to welcome Wendy Marciniak to Maine and to Merriconeag! Before moving to Portland, Wendy was a class teacher for four years at the Madison Waldorf School in Madison, Wisconsin. From 2005-2007, she lived in Portland, Oregon, and was the lead kindergarten teacher at the Shining Star Waldorf School. Wendy completed her Waldorf training at the Antioch New England Graduate School in 2005. She has a son, Izariah, in the 6th grade class at Merriconeag.

     This year we have enrollment in the After School program, from 3:00 to 5:30, on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. We need at least three students to be enrolled to carry the program each day. Currently, we have one family interested in the program for Wednesday. If you would like to sign up for the afternoon program, please contact Shannon Combar in the Business Office, or stop in at the Farmhouse to pick up a form. To download a form from our website, please click here. Christine Sloan, Administrator


Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School Cross Country

Greely Meet Recap
      Merriconeag had a very exciting start to the x-country season on Friday, September 2. It was a beautiful afternoon with clear skies, sun and a light breeze at Greely’s Twin Brook course. We were also grateful to have so many enthusiastic spectators to cheer on the runners throughout the course.

     On the girls side, Zoe Chace-Donahue closed a sizeable gap during the second mile to finish third overall. Sam Pierce and Jesse Saffeir both made their high school x-country debut in an impressive fashion, looking confident and picking off opposing runners. Teagan Wu and Carlin Tindall also ran hard, maintaining their strength through the last mile and giving the girls’ team a good position in the scoring. Emelie Chace-Donahue and Emma Dolan ran a smart race, working together in the first mile and, as the sixth and seventh runners, helped to ensure the tie with Greely with their quick pace. Zoe Oswald, despite having to run by herself, used the opposing runners to motivate herself and finishing with a very good time for the first meet of the season. The girls’ team ended by tying for first place with the much larger Greely team. They also beat Fryeburg and Wells. (Boothbay and Traip did not field full teams).

    For the boys, Jack Pierce started the race off in an exciting fashion by keeping pace with the leader for the first mile and a half. Tyler O'Brien ran a very strong second mile, moving up dramatically. Ben Tindall pushed himself hard throughout the race, displaying real grit in the last mile. Zach Neveu held on for a very strong finish, with a surge that started all the way back at the ‘pain cave’. Lincoln Samuelson also had an impressive freshman debut, beginning the first mile of the race with his freshmen teammates and hanging on through the hills the second time through the A loop. John Burgess ran a very steady, consistent race, holding off teammate Lars Gunderson’s blistering kick in the last 100 yards. The boys’ team ended by finishing third behind Greely and Boothbay, beating out Fryeburg, and Wells. (Traip did not field a full team). Coach Morgan Lake Adams

You can keep up with cross country news on the team blog, http://www.mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com/


Who Says Poetry Doesn't Pay?

     Recent graduate Jeremy Colson, one of three Merriconeag finalists in last year's Merriconeag Poetry Festival, received yet another literary award over the summer. He won the statewide competition sponsored by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance for his poem "Irrelevant Nonsense." Jeremy earned $200 for his achievement and was feted at a July awards ceremony that also included Maine Poet Laureate and Merriconeag Poetry Festival judge Wes McNair. Jeremy plans to attend Clark University in Worcester, Mass. in the fall of 2012.

    To read about Jeremy's honor in the Portland Press Herald, click here.

Jeremy's winning poem follows:

Irrelevant Nonsense

Strawberry skies and sherbet clouds.
A crepuscular punch bowl.
Licorice lamp-posts
populate the Italianesque boulevard.
A quacking multitude of moustaches
flock south as jimmies on whipped cream.
Crumbling cobblestone crenellations
mix in a castle stew.
Bubble-wrap hillsides
coat sealed wine bottles,
Next to a stack of vanilla wafers,
to be served abruptly and without warning.
I take a bite of polyurethane,
and chew slowly.
A drawbridge tongue mocks me,
so I trample it.
Flinging nonsense like anchovies,
I have seeded the courtyard with vocabulary.
This trans-dimensional blabbering
is pepperoni on pie.
Unfortunately deprived of ginger ale,
I wander into the gatehouse
And contemplate the meaning of beverage.


Parking Guidelines

     The speed limit in all parking lots is 5 miles per hour. If you will be getting out of

your car, please pull into a parking space. Standing cars are not allowed as they impede the flow of traffic. A parked car needs to be in a parking space.

     At the grade school campus, u-turns are not allowed. Only parents of first and second graders may park alongside the driveway by the lower school building. Please ensure your car is parked facing the correct direction.

     The sidewalk below the Community Hall has been extended for drop off and pick up ease. There is no parking allowed along the sidewalk between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning, or between 2:30 and 3:30 in the afternoon. Please remain in your car when you are in line for drop off and pick up.

     Parking and use of the barn lot is reserved for faculty and staff use only. When visiting the farmhouse, please park in the first lot on the ECC/Admissions driveway (60 Desert Road).

     Parking lots are inherently hazardous places, and with the activity and congestion that accompany the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times we must all use utmost care, courtesy and attention while in these areas.

Grade School Dismissal Guidelines

In order to ensure the safety of all students during dismissal time, we ask that you please observe the following protocol.

Grade 1: Students in grade 1 are dismissed at 12:30 and report, with their teacher, to the benches outside the lower grades school building. Parents picking up students in grade 1 should follow the thru traffic lane until arriving at the grades 1 and 2 pickup zone, park in the grades 1 and 2 pick-up area and walk up to collect your child. Please be cautious when merging back into the thru traffic lane to depart.

Grade 2:  Please see grade 1 directions above, but note that students in grade two are dismissed at 3:05 Monday – Thursday and at 12:30 on Friday. On Monday – Thursday, parents picking up students in grades 1 and 2 need not enter the loading/unloading lane until they reach the grades 1 and 2 pickup zone.

Grades 3 – 8: Students in grades 3 – 8 are dismissed at 3:05 and report to their respective dismissal benches. Grades 3 and 4 are supervised by their class teachers; grades 5 – 8 are supervised by faculty members. When arriving to pick up students in grades 3 – 8, parents should proceed in the thru traffic lane until they reach the beginning of the pick-up/drop-off lane, r whereupon they should join it. (Please note that the length of the pick-up/drop-off lane as well as the anticipated wait therein vary from day to day depending upon a number of factors.) In order to facilitate the efficient flow of traffic, all cars in the pick-up/drop-off lane must at all times be attended by a licensed driver in case the need to advance one’s car arises. Upon having picked up students, drivers may carefully depart the pick-up/drop-off lane and merge with the thru traffic lane.

Note Bene:

  • Speed limit is 5 MPH throughout the MWS motorway.
  • School zone speed limit is 15 MPH on the Desert Road.
  • All vehicles are required to yield to individuals using the crosswalk, which is demarcated by four caution cones.
  • Vehicles are not permitted to parallel park against the flow of traffic.

Thank you for your time and effort in reviewing these guidelines and making sure students depart school safely.






Read (Listen to or Watch) This

The Schools We Need

When public education fails, democracy fails with it.
By Erik Reece, published in the Sept/Oct 2011 issue of Orion Magazine




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