Tuesday News - September 20, 2011

Click here for Tuesday News Archives

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.   

Raise the Roof Party

Raise the Roof: where “building community” and “a building for the community” intersected. This poetic description, coined by David Sloan, truly captures the spirit of the Raise the Roof party last Saturday. We came together to work, eat, and play music, and in the process we deepened and renewed friendships, expanded our circle to encompass many new families, and built something that is much more powerful than a building. This will be a day long remembered, as voiced by one child who, pointing to a shingle in the middle of the wall, said “That’s my shingle - I put it there myself.”

     It was a joy to witness the power of our community working and celebrating together, to beautify the campus and help shingle the front of the new Handcraft Building. The bountiful and beautiful potluck lunch kept us nourished, the non-stop foot stomping live music kept us energized, and the expertly-led building tours enlightened all of us about the benefits of green building design and materials.                                                                

     On Saturday we were showcasing the numerous “green” features of the building, and many people who toured the new building expressed their delight with the design details, including our commitment to an energy-efficient, low maintenance, green building, that is also cost-conscious, functional, beautiful, and appropriate for our handwork programs. In addition to grades and high school handcraft studios, this space will be used for remedial and small group work in the near term, and will provide wonderful opportunities for community handcraft workshops and classes during evenings and weekends.

     To raise the money needed to complete this building, we were conducting a sale during the Raise the Roof party -- every item in the building was tagged with its price, and there was a wide price range for items that donors could purchase (with a tax-deductible gift) to help us reach our goal. Since last spring, we have received gifts totaling $82,500. On Saturday we collected $6,500 in donations to the building, we saved $3,100 by using volunteer labor for the shingling, and we had conversations that hopefully will generate other donations of gifts and services in the weeks ahead. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the handcraft building fund, we would be very grateful. Check out the pricelist and lend a hand for handcraft!

     If you are interested in touring the building, or getting more information about the many green features, I will be available this Wednesday and Friday at the building around drop-off and pick-up, and encourage you to take advantage of this rare opportunity to see the skeleton of this fascinating building before the insulation and inside walls go up.

     This fabulous handcraft building is a tribute to the hard work and talents of the facilities planning committee, who deserve our sincere gratitude: Sarah Pierce (chair), Jason Donahue (co-chair and architect), Steve Konstantino (green building expert), Chris Gormley (project manager), Sandy Pearson, Will Hight, David Sloan, and Roger Hassol. Many others helped in numerous ways - designing posters and brochures, creating videos and t-shirts, designing the building tour, and organizing the potluck lunch and music. Hopefully the photos and captions that follow will capture the spirit, if not everyone there, who helped make this day such a success. Thank you for lending a hand and building community! To see a selection of thumbnail images from the day, please click here.

Lynne Espy, Development Coordinator, development@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 ext. 116.



From the Administrator

The gift of working together: How do you take a lot of tedious, time consuming, and costly work and make it a party? Just ask the organizers of the “Raise the Roof” gathering on Saturday, Sept.17th, and they’ll share their secrets! Nailing over 600 square feet of shingles, extracting weeds from the drip edge of several buildings, pulling a jungle of golden rod and switch grass to discover several hidden gardens, building a bridge in the woods, preparing the chicken coop for the return of our EC hens and raising over $6,500 in donations and services was only a day’s work for our amazing teams!

     We estimated that over 75 families were represented throughout the day, transforming weeks of work for a crew of 2 or 3 into a day-long fun fest! We seemed to have everything in our favor….perfect weather, plenty of coffee and sweet treats to start the day, non-stop live music, organized and up-beat crew leaders, gracious and plentiful pot-luck picnic lunch, beautiful “hand-crafted” t-shirts, and dedicated organizers who put in endless hours to make this event a success.

     Our Development Coordinator, Lynne Espy, with an amazing committee of volunteers, envisioned an event that would: be FUN, build COMMUNITY, build EXCITEMENT, and last but not least, raise MONEY!

     The vision of the day placed all of those priorities in the perfect order. Those of us who were able to participate felt a part of building this new Handcraft Bldg, whether we were weeding, playing music or hammering. If you were not able to be there on Saturday, (or buy the t-shirt,) Lynne will be available to give tours at drop off and pick up most of the week, except for Thursday. Look for her on the path! The Facilities Planning Committee will be sharing regular updates about the progress of the building and Lynne will keep us posted on how close we are to reaching our fund raising goals. “Handcrafted Education” t-shirts, designed by Lisa Bossi, are on sale in the grade school office. It is never too late to lend a hand!

     Special thanks to Lynne Espy and the Facilities Planning Committee, headed by Sarah Pierce and Jason Donahue, for their work and dedication to this project. They are building much more than a structure, and their generous spirit and enthusiasm are an inspiration to all of us! Christine Sloan


Merriconeag's Community Education Speaker Series

Jaimen McMillan will be on campus September 30th & October 1st for two events you won't want to miss:



Jaimen will also present the following workshop:


Space is limited in the workshop and it is quickly filling up. 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





From the Board

     Fall weather has arrived and with it comes an opportunity to get involved at school as we begin the new school year. The Merriconeag Board is always looking for new members to continue our progress in improving the health and well being of our organization through our Board Committees. Here are two standing committees that may be of interest. Please consider joining a committee, or visiting at the next meeting, to find out more on how you can help build our school.
  Bob Neveu, Board Chair



Compensation and Benefits Committee
The Compensation and Benefits Committee is chaired by Tyler Kolle and includes Christine Sloan, Shannon Combar, Mary Martin and Phyllis Hill. The Committee is charged with overseeing issues concerning employee benefits, classifications, insurance, and compensation. Though many of these subjects are somewhat dry, the proper functioning of MWS requires attention be paid to them. All are welcome to attend Committee meetings; those with legal, insurance or human resources backgrounds will probably be drafted and may actually find our discussions engaging.


The Development Committee

The Development Committee consists of three members, Lynne Espy (chair), Bob Neveu and Sarah Pierce. Our primary objective is to identify and coordinate the various development events which occur throughout the school year. This includes the Annual Appeal, Fall Fair, Tuition Support Auction, May Festival, Circus Smirkus, and coordinate efforts with class fund raising activities. The Development Committee also works on outreach efforts including major donor development, grant writing and support appeals, and business outreach within the greater community. If you have interest in helping plan the financial future of our school, please contact Lynne Espy at developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org. Lynne always brings yummy snacks to our meetings and it always feels good to help new donors support our school. Come join us!


High School News

Where Have all the High Schoolers Gone? The 12th grade left Sunday for Hermit Island in Phippsburg to join the senior classes from the Waldorf School of Mass Bay, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, Great Barrington Waldorf School, Lake Champlain Waldorf School, and Hartsbrook Waldorf School. They return on Friday around 2:00 PM. Ms. Buck and Mr. Barham are Chaperoning.

     The 11th grade left Monday for Quebec City. They will return around 3:00 PM on Friday. Madame Whittlesey, Frau Merrill, and Mademoiselle James are chaperoning.

     The 9th and 10th grades left on Monday for a canoe trip on Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Rangeley. They will return around 3:00 on Thursday. Mr. Sloan and Mrs. Pearson are chaperoning one group and Mr. Pearson, Ms. Burwell, and Mr. O'Brien are chaperoning the other.. The two groups will camp together on Tuesday Night.

     The 9th and 10th graders will go to the Common Ground Fair with Grades 2 through 8 on Friday. Busses leave Desert Rd. at 8:15 and return at 3:00. Mr. Sloan, Ms. Burwell, and Ms. Flath are chaperoning. Jeff O'Brien, High School Faculty Chair


Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School Cross Country

York Meet Recap
 Merriconeag traveled down to York last Friday for a very successful race on a fast, flat course. The weather was sunny and breezy, with a welcome respite from the higher temperatures and humidity of the last few weeks. We were joined by our usual legion of spectators and closed out the day with a picnic on the beach. All in all, a wonderful day to race. Athletes on both the girls’ and boys’ team all met or exceeded personal goals set for this race—please congratulate them when you see them!
      On the girls side, Zoe Chace-Donahue cruised out to a very competitive start, racing at a very fast pace and hanging on for fourth place overall. She was followed in quick succession by Sam Pierce, Jesse Saffeir and Teagan Wu, who have become a very formidable pack. They managed to break up runners from both Cape and York, ensuring a low score (a good thing, for all you non-runners!) for the team. Returning to racing form this week, Carlin Tindall put on a late surge to pass a number of York runners and finished the race with a punishing kick. Emelie Chace-Donahue also worked hard to close gaps in the last mile of the race, while Emma Dolan fought hard to stay close on her heels. Zoe Oswald had perhaps the biggest break-through of the day, beating her goal time by a minute and obliterating last year’s time. The girls’ team finished in a tie with York, beating Cape Elizabeth and Poland (!).

     For the boys, Jack Pierce led the pack, striking out on his own around the halfway point and winning his first race of the year. Tyler O'Brien had an excellent race, pushing himself hard against the competition. Zack Neveu kept pace with Ben Tindall for most of the race until he broke away in the last mile with a hard sprint at the finish. Ben, while feeling under the weather, still turned in a very quick time for the day. Lincoln Samuelson also had a stellar performance, significantly beating his goal time. John Burgess and Lars Gunderson worked together again, pushing each other through a very quick first mile and maintaining a steady pace. And congratulations to Graham Roeber, who finished his first high school x-country race! The boys’ team finished behind York and Cape Elizabeth, beating Poland.

     Hope you can join us next week at Yarmouth! Coach Morgan Lake Adams

The next high school race is at Pratts Brook on North Road in Yarmouth on Friday, September 23rd. Merriconeag will be racing Lake Region, Gray/NG and Yarmouth . The girls run at 4:30 pm and the boys at 5:00. We love to see you there! You can keep up with cross country news, meet schedules and directions on the team blog: http://www.mwsxcrunningteam.blogspot.com/

High School Sailing

Tim Morse and his partner (MWS alum, Nina Jarrell) finished second in last Saturday's high school sailing regatta. Congratulations!

Middle School Cross Country
Their next race of the year is this Thursday, September 22 at Twin Brook in Cumberland and it is hosted by Greely. Please come out and cheer them on!

Upcoming races:
9/22 Thursday at Greely. Twinbrook
9/26 Monday at Sacopee Valley. SV High School
10/3 Monday - Greely relays at Twinbrook
10/6 Thursday - WE HOST AT MWS
10/13 Thursday at Freeport - Pownal Rd. Field
10/20 Thursday - CCC Invitational at Twinbrook
All races start with a 3:00 course walk. Girls race at 4:00 and Boys at 4:30, with the exception of the
final race (10/20) where the course walk is at 1:30, Boys race at 3:00, Girls at 3:30 and a fun race at 4:00.



School Community Updates


Common Ground Fair: Merriconeag Waldorf School again has a booth in the Young Maine area at the Common Ground Fair. This year we have the added attraction of having Bob Thurrell give a talk. He will be speaking on

Friday, 9/23 at 1:00 pm in the Young Maine Speaker's Tent. Bob's topic is The Woodworking Curriculum and the Developing Child in the Waldorf School: How we have to first member (touch and feel) in order to remember.

     We continue to have some openings for 2 hour shifts at our booth. This is a wonderful opportunity to do some good outreach for Merriconeag. Volunteers will receive a free pass to the fair.

Friday, 9/23: 1 - 3 pm

Friday, 9/23: 3 - 5 pm

Sunday, 9/25: 1 - 3 pm

Call Deeda, 865-3900, Ext 105, if you can help.


Friday Pizza is Back at Merriconeag: The 7th grade will be coordinating pizza this year. The fall session is a total of 8 weeks beginning October 7th and ending December 9th. Sign up for pizza will be for the entire session only.

     Pizza choices will be cheese, pepperoni, and pesto and the cost will be $2.00 per slice. The total cost of one slice of pizza per week during the fall session will be $16.00. As in prior years, students in grades 4-8 and faculty will have the chance to participate during the fall session.

     Students will have the option to omit or skip a pizza day in the case of a known or anticipated absence (i.e., Dr.’s appointment). Please provide the date(s) of known absences. Adjustments or refunds cannot be made for unanticipated or last minute absences.

     To order pizza for the fall session, please complete an order form (pizza form link here) and return it with cash or check (made payable to MWS) to the basket outside the 7th grade classroom no later than Tuesday, September 27th at 8:20 a.m. Questions? Call Nancy Goldberg, 865-1961


The Faculty wishes to welcome Melissa Grella to our campus this year: Melissa is a PhD Candidate at Antioch University New England, and will be engaged in her doctoral research project at the Merriconeag Waldorf School (MWS) in the upcoming school year. Her research interest lies at the intersection of Environmental Education and Waldorf Education. “Specifically, exploring the Waldorf pedagogy - which infuses feeling into the process of teaching and learning - and how it nurtures care for nature/environment. It is my hypothesis that since Waldorf's pedagogy has an artistic foundation, students have the opportunity to develop care toward nature/environment.” Melissa has been studying Waldorf education for almost two years. During the summer of 2010, she participated in the first year of Antioch New England’s Summer Sequence Waldorf Teacher Training Program. Her experience only confirmed that she was moving in the right direction with her research.

     Melissa will be observing the teaching/learning in both classroom and field trip settings. In addition, she will be interviewing teachers, students and parents. Please be assured that the confidentiality of everyone involved in the project will be preserved. Appropriate release forms will be provided.

     “I'm excited to be working with MWS for many reasons. For one, I will be given the opportunity to look at the entire spectrum of grades in a Waldorf school - from ECC to 12th grade over the span of an entire school year. Secondly, just as I will gain by learning from the MWS, it is my hope that my research will benefit all of you. Throughout the year, I am interested in discussing possible ways I may reciprocate.”

     Melissa has over13 years of experience working with students from pre-school to college as a trip leader, educator, and administrator. Currently, she is the Project Director for the Lancaster Community Garden and on the Leadership Team for the Expedition Education Institute. Following completion of her BS in natural resources at the University of Maine, Melissa joined Lesley University’s Audubon Expedition Institute where she earned an MA in Environmental Education.

     We feel very fortunate to have Melissa gather this vital information for her research at Merriconeag!

Christine Sloan

Carpool/Bus update: Thank you to all the families that indicated their interest in a morning school bus route to Merriconeag! Despite your strong interest, we do not have enough children to spread the cost out to make it an affordable choice…..yet!
      Some of the support that I heard:

  • “My husband and I are both self employed. If we could use a bus we would have 10 more billable hours per week – a big contribution toward paying tuition!”
  • “A bus to Merriconeag would enable many families to attend who now don’t have a schedule that allows them to drive.”
  • “Can’t you imagine the positive marketing message from a Merriconeag bus driving through these towns? Plus it is just the right thing to do.”

     Erik West and I are also developing a carpool tool and will be meeting with the school administration next week to discuss options such as linking a carpool finder to the school website.
      In the mean time, please use the school directory to see who lives near you and give them a call. We can build the strength of our community when we help each other out!  Alicia Heyburn



Read (Listen to or Watch) This


Standardized Testing: Is it a Blessing or Curse for U.S. Students?

By Ashley Portero, International Business Times, September 15, 2011



(Click blue to link through)

Greater Community Link


Community Classifieds Link