Tuesday News - Wed, January 04, 2012

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All submissions for the Tuesday News should be sent by Friday, 3:00 pm. to publicrelations@merriconeag.org


From the Administrator

Welcome back to school in the New Year, 2012, …
      There is a great deal of “new” with this “New Year” at Merriconeag! To start, we have a new Handcraft Building already filled and busy with classes. On this Friday, January 6, we will gather with the students outside the entrance of

the new building. When the second bell rings at 8:20 in the morning, we will celebrate with song and good cheer, the many gifts of hard work, artistry, and support that went into this beautiful building. We welcome all interested parents and friends of the school to join us in this joy-filled dedication with our students. We anticipate a short and boisterous celebration for 15 to 20 minutes. Early Childhood families will have time to join in before heading to the ECC!

     There are also a number of “new faces” visiting and working in our classrooms this New Year.

  • Matthew Messner, a graduate of the Waldorf High School Math and Physical Sciences program at Antioch, (where he met our High School Faculty Chair, Jeff O’Brien) will be teaching several blocks of math in the High School over the next seven weeks. He is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon Univ. with a B.S. in Cognitive Science and a minor in Computer Science.
  • Heather Sherman, a Bennington College student, majoring in French and interested in Waldorf education, has started a seven week internship with Michael Fenderson. She will be observing French classes in the grades and high school.
  • While Hugh Renwick is away till after February break, Rima Meadow, a visiting eurythmist with years of experience teaching blocks in Waldorf Schools all over the country, will offer four weeks of eurythmy classes for grades Five through the High School. She is also interested in teaching after school classes for students and adults. If you would like more information about extra eurythmy, starting January 24th, please send an e-mail to administrator@merriconeag.org.

     We are all looking for a little snow to brighten our New Year. Don’t give up hope. There are bound to be snow closings ahead and lots of time to ski with Mr. Saccone!
Happy New Year…Christine Sloan



From the Admissions Office

     Thanks to all of the Merriconeag families and friends who continue to talk up Waldorf education with interested others. Nearly every new family who calls me says they heard about our school from one of you – so you can see how vital your efforts are to our enrollment growth!

     The winter calendar is full of events that are great introductions to Merriconeag so please encourage your co-workers, neighbors and friends to attend them. (They are also listed on the website under News & Events.) To register, prospective parents should call Lyn Baird at 207-865-3900, ext. 103 or email admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org

  • Wednesday, January 11, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
    Early Childhood Information Session
    Learn about our unique approach to meeting the needs of today’s young children. See our beautiful indoor and outdoor environments, designed for play and exploration.
  • Thursday, January 12, 10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Snow date: January 19)
    Observe High School Classes
    9th grade Humanities with David Barham
    10th grade French with Regine Whittlesey
    11th grade Mosaics with Rose Mary Burwell
    12th grade Limits and Derivatives with Jeff O’Brien
  • Fridays, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. January 13, 20, 27 & February 3, 17
    Tea and Play
    While your child plays near you, share a cup of tea with our Early Childhood teachers and learn more about our programs for young children.
  • Wednesday, January 18, 8:15 – 10:30 a.m.
    Tour Grades 1 – 8
    In the elementary and middle grades, the two-hour period that begins each day focuses on a particular topic such as history, science, math or literature. Observe our teachers and students as they move through the morning. . . see if you could imagine your child in one of these classes!
  • Monday, January 30, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
    First Grade Information Night
    Our teachers will offer insights and practical details about life in a Waldorf first grade classroom. See how our approach appeals to the child’s imagination and love of active learning.
  • Thursday, February 2, 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. (Snow date: February 9)
    Observe High School Classes
    Morning Circle (all grades)
    9th grade – Thermal Physics with Jeff O’Brien
    10th grade – Conics with Matthew Messner
    11th grade – Dante with David Barham
    12th Grade – Biochemistry with Sarah Buck


From the Development Office



2011-12 Annual Appeal Update:

     Thank you so much to everyone who has already sent their donation to the 2011-12 Annual Appeal. Generous gifts from grandparents, parents and friends of the school are arriving daily, and each week I will give an update on the total amount

raised and the participation levels.

      Here is an update for each of the 3 Annual Appeal goals:

Goal #1: 100% participation: In order to demonstrate strong support to outside funding groups (foundations and

businesses), it is critically important that every family in the school give a gift to the Annual Appeal. Last year, parent participation increased significantly over the previous year, but we still have room to improve! Last year, participation among current parents in kindergarten through 12th grade averaged 80%, with seven classes getting higher than 80%. Let’s see if we can’t get this participation rate closer to 100%! Remember, gifts of ALL sizes count.

Goal #2: Raising $65,000: I am pleased to announce that in the last two weeks we have received 30 gifts or pledges, and have raised $7,920 toward our goal of $65,000. Many of the gifts have been larger than the previous year’s gifts, and we have a number of first-time donors – a heartwarming demonstration that, even in these challenging economic times, parents recognize the importance of their support, and the important role that Merriconeag and Waldorf Education plays in their lives.

Goal #3: Finish earlier!: Reaching our goals of raising $65,000 and getting high participation rates quickly is critical. It translates into more time for the development office to seek outside funding through foundations, business sponsors, and outside donors, and more time to devote to event planning and long-range planning, which are also essential focus areas for successful fundraising.

     If you haven’t made a gift to the Annual Appeal yet, please do so today – gifts of any amount help us reach our goal of 100% participation. You can make your gift in any of these easy ways:

• Check, made out to MWS, submit in remittance envelope and drop in safe (main office)
• Online giving, on the home page of our website: www.merriconeag.org
• Credit Card: fill out the remittance envelope with the appropriate information
• Gift of securities: Call Shannon Combar or Lynne Espy for information about stock gifts

     Thank you for your generosity. With deep gratitude, Lynne Espy 865-3900 Ext. 116



From the Board

How do we set tuition rates?
Ever wonder how the school sets the tuition rates for the year? Now is your chance to find out! Come join us on Monday, January 9th from 7pm – 8:30pm in the Community Hall, to hear a presentation on the proposed budget and tuition rates for

the 2012 / 2013 school year. The school budget, and resulting tuition rates, impacts everyone and we encourage participation by all including parents, faculty, and staff at this meeting. Hope to see you Monday evening for this important annual event.

Bob Neveu, Board President



Upcoming Events:


Craft Afternoons with Sandy Pearson

Wednesdays 3:30- 5:00 p.m. in the new Handcraft Building
These afternoons are for 4th graders and up. Please sign up with Lisa in the Grade School office. Sandy Pearson, Sandpear55@aol.com

Wednesday, Jan 4 - Knitted Mittens
Mitten and scarf knitters, lets meet one more time in the new Handwork Room. Bring your finished and unfinished knitting!

Wednesday, Jan. 11- Open Craft Afternoon
Anyone welcome! Bring a project and enjoy working in the Handwork Room. Free.

Wednesday, Feb 15 – Open Craft Afternoon
Anyone welcome! Bring a project and enjoy working in the Handwork Room. Free.


Wednesdays, Jan 18, 25, Feb 1, 8 - Knitted Rugs
The entire rug is made from one long knitted strip that you then coil and sew together. Easy! Yarn provided. Bring size 10 or10 ½ single pointed knitting needles. $25.00 (limited to 12)



Parent Enrichment Coffee:

Early Childhood Parent Coffee, an Open Conversation

Tuesday, January 10, 9:00 a.m.
Fireplace Room at the Farmhouse

This month we are switching gears and offering a parent coffee just for Early Childhood parents. Please come for coffee, tea, and conversation with three delightful women who have over 50 years combined experience as Waldorf parents - Lyn Baird, Admissions Director, Lynne Espy, Development Coordinator, and Christine Sloan, Administrator. This is sure to be a fun morning so come share your experience as an EC parent at Merriconeag this year, as well as your stories,

questions and hopes for the New Year.


Miss Representation: A film presentation for parents on the impact of media

on developing girls and women.
Monday, January 30th, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, Freeport Performing Arts Center
      The Tolerance and Respect Project of Freeport Community Services in collaboration with Boys to Men, Freeport High School, Hardy Girls, Healthy Women and Merriconeag Waldorf School, will host a screening of the highly-acclaimed, 90 minute, documentary Miss Representation. The film will be followed by a Q & A with an expert panel and high school students.
      The film explores how the media's portrayal of women and girls has led to the under representation of women in positions of power and influence. The average teenager spends 10 hours a day consuming media. Mainstream media bombards children and adults alike with overwhelming messages that marginalize and objectify women. These messages limit children's ideas of what is possible in the world and can have damaging effects on girls and boys.

     Please keep in mind this film contains strong imagery and is intended for MATURE AUDIENCES only. We welcome and encourage both parents and students in 9th grade and older to attend. Please do not bring younger siblings to this presentation. This is a great opportunity for parents to come see the film and then carry on the conversation on media literacy at home with their daughters and sons.

For more information: www.missrepresentation.org, Deeda Burgess, publicrelations@merriconeag.org; Dede Bennell, bennelld@rsu5.org;


School Community Updates

Reflections on the Shepherd’s Play

by Nancy Goldberg:
      I have been a Waldorf parent for almost 10 years, yet until a few weeks ago, I had never seen the Shepherd’s Play. As a Jewish person, I was uncomfortable with the subject of the play, so I chose not to go. As December rolled around this year, I remembered an article David Barham had written about his personal connection to the Shepherd’s Play, and I was inspired to finally attend.
      I was amazed by the warmth and levity that the high school juniors brought to the Shepherd’s Play. The chorus of the 9th, 10th and 12th graders enhanced the feeling that the whole high school community was part of the play. The
simplicity of the production helped me understand the story behind the meaning of Christmas. For me, the Shepherd’s Play was a lens through which to view how the story of Christmas fits into the whole picture that Waldorf education shows us about how different cultures embrace this time of year.


Alumni Celebration: On Thursday, December 22, 4 – 6 pm, Merriconeag’s Alumni Committee (Lynne Espy, Jacqui Koopman, Lucretia Pascarelli, Gina Sawin, and Deeda Burgess) hosted a celebration of our new Handcraft Building for our alumni (18 & older) and their parents. As always, we were inspired by the transformation of our former students into interesting, active and poised young adults.

     The company was grand, the food was delicious and the atmosphere most convivial as we socialized and honored the many talents and gifts that supported the creation of our beautiful new building. (More photos to follow next week)
      Many thanks to Lisa Bossi for her wonderful design for the invitation to the party!


High School Needs Engine: Do you have an old lawn mower that is no longer running? The High School is looking for old gas powered engines (Lawn Mower or similar one cylinder, 4-stroke engine) for the 9th grade physics class that begins on Jan 30th. If you have a machine that you can donate to science please contact Jeff O'Brien (688-8989 x202 or jobrien@merriconeag.org)


Update on 2011 Japanese Earthquake Relief Fundraiser: Last Spring, Merriconeag students donated artwork to be used on notecards that were sold to benefit the relief effort following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. This fundraiser brought in $10,000 that was directed to the Japan NGO Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund administered by the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE). JCIE wrote to us at year's end to tell us that "communities throughout the Tohoku region are undertaking extraordinary efforts to rebuild and recover, and the generosity of people like you is already making such a major difference in their lives". They also told us that they distributed more than "$300,000 to 6 emergency relief organizations that were providing food, shelter, medical care, and counseling to the survivors. We also set aside funds for Japanese groups working on the long-term recovery, and after intensive consultations with community leaders, we are focusing on 3 key priorities: 1) revitalizing local economies; 2) rebuilding community ties; and 3) supporting senior citizens, who are especially vulnerable in these difficult times". Please visit JCIE's earthquake update link for more information on exactly how the funds are being used to continue the support that is vital to the full recovery of Japan. Happy New Year!

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu



    Athletic News - Sports Updates

    No Snow? Basketball Is in the Air!
          Merriconeag’s historic first home basketball game takes place this Friday at the Pineland YMCA, beginning at 3:30 p.m. After losing to Pine Tree Academy in the squad’s initial contest of the season, they defeated Hebron Academy last month on the last-second heroics of sophomore Joe Newlin, who sank a jump shot to secure a one-point victory.
          This week’s game, against St. Dominics from Lewiston, is one of only three more games

    on the schedule. On Tuesday, January 17, the team will travel to Hebron Academy again for a rematch.

    Then—mark your calendars for Friday, February 3! The students will take on the faculty and staff in another memorable contest. You’ll recall that last year, Nancy Roderick scored the winning basket for the faculty in the waning seconds of the game. This year the students are looking for revenge (in a friendly, Waldorfian sort of way). Don't miss this opportunity to cheer for both teams! David Sloan


    Nordic Ski Camp Summary
    The MWHS Ski Team completed our first Christmas Ski Camp this past week. A big thanks to all the families who helped make the trip a success and a special thanks to Jennifer Chace, Susan Sonntag and Jason Donahue for their planning and help during the camp.

         We departed from Desert Rd Wednesday morning in spring like temps and it was apparent that if winter was not coming to us then we would have to find winter. In NE that means Mt Washington. Even with spring like conditions on the drive to NH, I was confident we would find the winter conditions we were looking for.

         As we prepared to leave the trail head in Pinkham Notch we began getting sketchy reports regarding water running down the hiking trail, not what we wanted to hear but we headed out to see for ourselves. As we headed up the trail we soon noticed at least two Nordic Teams running down, so I figured it would be possible to make it to the shelter at the base of Tuckerman's Ravine. At the shelter it was full on winter with wind and snow and cold, perfect!       After a short lunch we quickly descended and headed to one of the best Nordic Centers in the east, the Jackson Ski Touring Center. Unfortunately the prior night's rain cleaned out the skiing and we were faced with two options, ski around a field next to Jackson or head up to higher ground at the end of nearby Carter Notch Rd. We decided to try the high ground and were pleased to see the Freeport Nordic Ski Team at the same site: things looked promising. Sadly, the snow on the ground was very soft and not worth damaging skis so we cut

    this session short and headed to the rental house nearby. It was clear we were a hungry group as the two large platters of lasagna disappeared in a hurry.

         Thursday we headed to Craftsbury Vt to find skiing at the local Nordic Center on man made snow. The conditions were excellent and we had a great day of skiing. Returning to the house we all enjoyed excellent chili and corn bread, followed by a movie about skiing in Tuckerman's and games.

         Friday we traveled to Black Mt in Rumford to ski on more manmade snow on the same trails hosting this weeks US National Nordic Championships. We had another great ski day, skiing with many racers prepping for the upcoming Nationals, good training for sure. After skiing we enjoyed an end of camp dinner in Freeport.

        All in all a great camp. We traveled to interesting venues and did end up finding the skiing and winter we were aiming for. Coach John Tarling


    Read (Listen to or Watch) This


    Hooked on giving back(Handwork helps troubled teens)
    Volunteer Dan Reardon oversees a program at the Long Creek youth center that not only has produced 3,000 blankets to donate to others, but also has taught troubled teens the rewards of learning a skill and giving back.

    Bill Nemitz, Portland Press Herald, December 30, 2011



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