Tuesday News - November 22, 2011

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Tuesday News Alert: All submissions for the Tuesday News should be sent to

publicrelations@merriconeag.org by Friday at 3:00 pm.


Upcoming Events:

The MWS Winter Concert is fast approaching! On Wednesday, December 7, join us for an evening of music at the Freeport Performing Arts Center. The concert begins at 5:30 and all students in grades 2-12 are expected to arrive no later than 5:15 with all necessary music and instruments. Upon arrival, students should bring their string and wind instruments backstage to the band rehearsal room.
      Students are required to wear black and white concert attire to this event. Please consult the parent handbook if further information is required regarding concert attire.



Crafty Afternoons with Sandy Pearson

Mittens by Christmas: We had a wonderful, over full, turn out on Wednesday! It is such fun to work with an eclectic mix of knitters from expert 5th graders to beginning adults.There will be no class Thanksgiving week, but we will continue on work on mittens (and scarves) Wed, Dec 7 (Winter Assembly that evening)) and 14. Sandy Pearson Sandpear55@aol.com
      Watch for future Wednesday afternoon crafts in the NEW HANDWORK ROOM after the holidays!

Upcoming Admission Events:

Coming up right after the Thanksgiving break – great opportunities for parents to learn more about Waldorf education. To register, please call Lyn Baird , 207-865-3900, Ext 103. Tell your friends!

Tour Grades 1 – 8
Wednesday, November 30, 8:15 – 10:30 a.m.

Early Childhood Information Session
Wednesday, November 30, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Observe High School Classes
Thursday, December 1, 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.


From the Development Office

Thanksgiving: two important words
      At Monday’s board meeting, we talked about the importance of creating a culture of giving within the Merriconeag community. To do this, all of us must show our appreciation (express THANKS) and act upon that appreciation (GIVING). Remember, in this time of thanksgiving, what is important is not the exchange of money between hands, but the warmth of the hand that facilitates the giving.

     When you receive your letter asking you to make a tax-deductible gift to the annual appeal, I hope you will demonstrate your thanks by giving as generously as you are able. In gratitude, Lynne Espy, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org

Car Sales Benefit Merriconeag: Thank you to the Waldron Motor Group, Portland Volvo and Southern Maine Chrysler Dodge Jeep. Merriconeag received $750 in donations this week as a thank you to the three families that bought cars from the group in November. This is an easy and potentially very lucrative fundraiser, and we are so grateful to Bill Waldron and Jason Curie for their initiative.

     Here is how it works: Every time a Merriconeag family (or friend) buys a car (new or used) from Portland Volvo-Saab, Southern Maine Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep, Nissan and Kia of Saco, the school gets a check for $250! They also receive special pricing. All cars for families are at cost plus all rebates and incentives. If you buy a car from any of these dealerships, please be sure to tell them that you are associated with Merriconeag, so they can arrange for the donation. Thank you so much to Portland Motor Group and to the three families who have recently taken advantage of this wonderful way to benefit the school! Submitted by Lynne Espy, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org

High School News

High School Theme Week—Gender Bending
      We live in the Age of Media. No matter which way we turn, commercial advertisements and their messages will not be far away. The constant white noise of radios, televisions, billboards, iPods, cell phones, computers and more has rapidly become part of humanity’s collective subconscious, but we need to critically reflect on what impact this is having on our thought processes, decisions, and judgment. No one is truly immune to its intrusive effect.
      For our semi-annual Theme Week at Merriconeag Waldorf High School, Drew Wing and Stephanie Bouffard, the Executive and Program Directors, respectively, of the Portland-based organization Boys to Men as well as Jackie Dupont, Director of Programs of the Waterville-based Hardy Girls Healthy Women, led three days of workshops focused on media literacy and gender stereotypes. Through a series of exercises, role playing, and discussions in groups large and small, our three facilitators challenged us to confront some of our own biases and preconceptions.  

     We began on Wednesday, November 16th with the thought-provoking topic of the ever-increasing sexualization of the media. From an early age, American children are exposed to unrealistic ideals that leads to eventual sexual objectification of both men and women. A steady wave of images aims to influence consumer behavior, leading to the financial benefit of marketing and corporate interests and the diminution of the individual. Images of glamorized violence and abuse as well as depersonalized and dismembered human beings robbed of all expression and thought haunt us wherever we go. Media literacy calls individuals to be aware of the imagery to which they are exposed and to critically analyze it for its purposes such as marketing, financial and/or political gain.
      We then proceeded to a subject that would come up again and again over the course of the workshops: the stereotypical depiction of men and women. Separated by gender, students created boxes containing words that described the conventional image of their sex. Among other things men are portrayed as hardworking, callous, and powerful with alove for violence, cars, and attractive women. Women, on the other hand, are depicted as beautiful and talented yet obedient and submissive to their husband or lover. Only a minute fraction of our society can actually exist naturally in such a constrictive stereotype, challenging us to realize that such stereotypical images of gender
are both over-simplistic and inaccurate.
      After the workshops ended, the high school students took on the task of sharing the experience with our eighth grade class, enabling us to further synthesize what we had learned over the past week; an interesting change of role for the students themselves. Brian Watko, Class of 2013


School Community Updates

Willow Pond Farm will do one last order on Friday, December 16. Please order by noon on the Thursday before delivery.



Accreditation Update: Members of the school community are hard at work in completing the last parts of our accreditation review. Self-study part 1, which is a review of the school from the perspective of fifteen different standards, is nearing completion. We are now in the process of finalizing the first part of the self-study and beginning the work of summarizing the report into a short executive summary. The entire self-study document will need to be completed by the end of January when it will be sent to members of the Visiting Team who will be coming to our campus on Sunday, March 11 to Wednesday, March 14, 2012. If you are interested in learning more about the accreditation process or would like to help edit our document, please contact anyone on the Steering Committee. Members of the Steering Committee are: Phyllis Hill, Christine Sloan, David Sloan, Barbara Guffin


Calling all 6th, 7th and 8th grade Baskeball Players. Shannon Combar has volunteered to coach the Middle School Basketball Program. To make the program successful we need a few more children. We have a heard from a few excited families but we do need some more responses to move forward. The program is scheduled to start on Fridays beginning the week after Thanksgiving Break, so we really need to hear from all of those who are interested NOW. Please call or email to let me know,so we can decide if we have enough to move forward. Thanks!
Barbara Kappelmann, 754-5777 or boston97@roadrunner.com.


Sign-up Time for the Winter Pizza Session: The winter pizza session is a total of 9 weeks beginning January 6th and ending March 16th. 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 winter session will be $18.00. As in prior years, students in grades 4-8 and faculty will have the chance to participate during the winter 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 winter session, please complete an order form and return it with cash or check (made payable to MWS) to the basket outside the 7th grade classroom no later than Tuesday, December 6th at 8:20 a.m.
Questions? Call Nancy Goldberg, 865-1961. Click here for the form.

Community-made crafts and Waldorf supplies are on sale in the grade school office! Items include: Beeswax sheets, knitting needle kits, cotton crochet yarn and kits, tin boxes of both block and stick crayons, beeswax tapers and votives, decorating wax and beeswax pillars for decorating (These make beautiful holiday gifts!), wooden mushrooms (with or without wool tops), handmade “cupcake” pincushions, modeling beeswax in many colors, plant-dyed wool felt, fountain pens and cartridges, hand knit cotton baby hats, kite paper for star making, the Dragon Boy Trilogy and many other books, ski ties (to keep Nordic skis together), yarn, sewing notions and more!! Lisa Mainella

Athletic News - Sports Updates

Middle School Nordic Skiing
If your child is interested in participating in the ski program this year please email highschool@merriconeag.org, providing the skier and parent/guardian names, email for all parents and guardians as well as phone and cell phone information. Parents of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students should have received information, along with required forms to complete. Note that December 2nd is the cut off date for joining the ski team, so please be sure to sign-up before then.


High School Soccer Club: 2011 was officially the first year of the Merriconeag High School soccer club. As in any sport's beginning year, there were a few minor setbacks, including, but not limited to, our head coach, Mark Leavitt, getting horribly sick for more than a week, leaving Ingrid Merril, our player coach, who's also the high school German teacher, and Gordon Halderman, who's coaching days were limited to only a few by his schedule, in charge of a raucous bunch of high schoolers. To further complicate things, the team had a huge range of playing experience, some who'd played every year up to this one, and some who hadn't played at all until the first practice.
      Fortunately our coaches handled the practices beautifully, and used all of the resources and time that they had, to teach us the basics of ball handling, passing, and scoring, while making it fun for the more experienced players as well. Despite the fact that the practices were educational, they were also fun, our main activity being scrimmaging, which taught us how to apply what we learned in the field, while also allowing us to kick and yell at each other, which I believe to be just as educational when it comes to soccer.
      Having experienced the first season, I feel like the soccer team is off to a great start, having emerged victorious from the student faculty game at the end of the season, and having gotten more skilled every day in practice, with the considerable help of the coaches. I'd like to thank Mr. Leavitt, Frau Merril, and Mr. Halderman for coaching us, even with many other things going on in their lives at the same time. There was no possible way that it would've worked without all of you contributing, and I would love soccer to happen again next year.

Wyatt McCurdy, Class of 2012

Note: The high school soccer club finished their season undefeated with an easy 5-3 victory over a combined faculty/parent/student team. Thank you to the coaches, Mark Leavitt, Gordon Haldeman, and Ingrid Merrill and to team parent Patty Carton for all of their work to make this opportunity possible for our high school students. Jeff O'Brien


High School Cross Country

Congratulations to the following Merriconeag High School Cross Country runners who were named to the Western Maine Conference All-Star team. Jack Pierce is a First Team All-Star. Teagan Wu and Samantha Pierce are Second Team All-Stars. Zoe Chace-Donahue and Jesse Saffeir each received an Honorable Mention.


Read (Listen to or Watch) This

My Teacher Is an App
More kids than ever before are attending school from their living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens. The result: A radical rethinking of how education works.
By Stephanie Banchero and Stephanie Simon, The Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2011



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