Tuesday News - April 10, 2012

Click here for Tuesday News Archives

Click here to view our Google Calendar of Events.   

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

Reminder: School is closed Friday, April 13, for a Faculty Professional Day and

April 16 through 20 for April Vacation. Have a wonderful break!


From the Administrator

Next Year’s First Grade Teacher

     We are pleased to announce that the College of Teachers has chosen a teacher for the upcoming first grade class. Ida Dyment, who is currently teaching second grade at the Richmond Waldorf School in Virginia, has accepted our offer to lead next year’s first grade.
      Ms. Dyment completed her Waldorf MEd final internship in Richmond under master teacher, Roberto Trostli. During that internship, she was offered the second grade class teaching position, following the unexpected loss of a much loved teacher. Though the Richmond Waldorf School offered Ms. Dyment the opportunity to continue with her current class or take their upcoming first grade, she has made the decision to return to her roots in New England, where she had always hoped to live and work.

    Ms. Dyment’s mother is a trained Waldorf teacher who chose to home school her children for several years when they moved away from their Waldorf school community. After completing her high school education at a private, college-prep school in New Hampshire, Ms. Dyment attended Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, where she completed her undergraduate degree in a self-designed major in Nutritional Anthropology. She also continued her studies in dance, vocal and string performance, and played in the Amherst Symphony Orchestra.

     Ms. Dyment brings great energy, enthusiasm and warmth to her teaching. She has extensive experience in classical and world music, is accomplished as an artist and craftsperson, and has an abiding interest in the natural world. We know she will be a wonderful addition to the Merriconeag faculty and we look forward to welcoming her to Maine later this spring. Christine Sloan


Changes in the Finance Office

     In the past two months, our Finance Director, Shannon Combar, has been carefully considering her intentions, and whether she wishes to continue in her current position as Finance Director for the coming school year. She has shared her considerations with members of the administrative team and the board, and at this time has decided to seek out another position that will better meet her career and professional goals. She will be leaving her position at Merriconeag as of April 27.

     In support of this transition, Barbara Guffin, as Board Treasurer, is engaged in the Financial Aid process and reviewing the scope of building and monitoring the budget. She will also observe the financial review process with the school’s accounting firm, in preparation for supporting the audit in 2013. Our highly skilled bookkeeper, Kathy Watko, is also taking on additional responsibilities. Her current knowledge of accounts payable and receivable is a valuable asset in this transition period.

     We are grateful for Shannon’s careful consideration of how best to meet her personal needs and support the continuing work of the school. Her involvement in this transition period will facilitate a healthy succession plan for the business office. This conscientious understanding for what is best for the school has been the hallmark of Shannon’s work ethic over the past four years. She has been a dedicated and highly respected colleague throughout her four year tenure in the Business Office. She will be greatly missed by her colleagues in Administration, Board and Faculty. We wish her the best as she pursues her future work.
Christine Sloan - Please see MWS website job posting for the Finance Director position.


Upcoming Events

The Eighth Grade will present their play

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Wednesday, April 11, 11:00 a.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 12, 7:00 p.m.
Community Hall

Sunday, April 22, 2:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Please join the Foundation Studies program

for an afternoon of "The Art and Science of Anthroposophic Medicine

with Ross Rentea, MD. Dr. Rentea will speak about subjects such as "Practical Applications of Anthroposohic Medicine" and the "Seven Planets and Seven Aspects of Healing."
      Dr. Ross Rentea has been a practicing family physician in Chicago for over 30 years. He is an author, editor, Physician of Anthroposophical Medicine, and innovator. The Paulina Medical Clinic that he and his wife, Andrea Rentea, MD, opened in Chicago in 1983 enjoys an international reputation. Dr. Ross Rentea graduated from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. He is a Board member of the American College for Anthroposophic Medicine. He is co-founder of the True Botanica Company and the True Botanica Foundation.
      Please call Barbara Richardson for more information. 865-6482.


Wednesday Craft Afternoons, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Open to students in 4th grade and up, parents and friends of the school. Please sign up with Lisa in the Grade School office.                 


Crochet Bags- April 11, 25 & May 2
This handy bag is quick to crochet in an assortment of cotton yarns. The double draw string pulls the top closed tight to keep the contents of the bag safely inside. Yarn and crochet hook supplied. Limited to 12 participants. $20





From the Development Office



2011-12 Annual Appeal Update:

Annual Appeal Update:
Congratulations to the 3rd grade class for being the first to have every family make a gift to the Annual Appeal! They will receive a decadent homemade dessert for their hard work. Now let’s see how many other classes can show that they are 100% committed to supporting this education.
Very important: If you made a verbal pledge during our phon-a-thon over a month ago, we need your signed remittance envelope or the payment, in order to officially count your gift.

Thank you to every class – the participation rates are going up!
The Bluebell Nursery – 45%
The Lupine Kindergarten – 65%
The Daisy Kindergarten - 79%
Grade 1 – 85%
Grade 2 – 86%
Grade 3 – 100%
Grade 4 – 80%
Grade 5 – 82%
Grade 6 – 80%
Grade 7 – 77%
Grade 8 – 71%
Grade 9 – 75%
Grade 10 – 80%
Grade 11 – 83%
Grade 12 – 64%

     Please make a donation to the Annual Appeal today by submitting a check to the office (remittance envelopes available), clicking on the paypal link here or on our website and making an online donation, or calling us about a stock gift. If your employer matches your charitable gifts, please let us know so we can stretch your gift even further. The Annual Appeal wraps up at the end of June, so if you want to be a part of this, send in your gift soon!

     As a community, we are enormously indebted to every family who chooses to make a donation to the Annual Appeal. If you have questions about the Annual Appeal, click here.

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




We are deeply grateful to our 15 Auction sponsors who, together, contributed $3,775. We were thrilled that this year sponsorships covered the costs of the event so that every

dollar raised during the Auction will support families with tuition needs.


Auction Wrap-up: As explained in the letter and bill sent home last week, due to a computer glitch the night of the Auction, we were unable to process your reverse auction bids, and we cannot tally the results until these bills are paid. If you made a bid to the reverse auction, or if you left that night without checking out, it is very important that you send payment before the end of this week.You may pay by check or credit card, and please note “auction” on the check or remittance envelope. Thank you, Lynne Espy






From the Admissions Office

Upcoming Admissions Events:

Wednesday, April 11, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Early Childhood Information Session

. . . an introduction to our unique approach to the early years.

To register, contact Lyn Baird, 207-865-3900, ext.103 or admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org

Tea and Play, Fridays, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. - April 27
     We have one more on the calendar so please continue to tell your co-workers, neighbors and friends about Tea & Play. For more information or to register a friend, please call Lyn Baird at 207-865-3900, ext. 103 or email, admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org.



From the Accreditation Coordinator

Report from the Accreditation Team
      The school has received a draft report from the Accreditation team and would like to announce that Merriconeag Waldorf School has passed all the NEASC Standards and AWSNA Shared Principles. Here is a summary of the major commendations and recommendations from the team.

Major Commendations
1. The Visiting Committee commends the Merriconeag Waldorf School for its dedication and commitment to the principles of Waldorf education which permeate the school and for its sense of responsibility to the School’s mission.

2. The Visiting Committee commends the Merriconeag Waldorf School for cultivating the qualities of “goodness, beauty, and truth”, evident in the nurturing care of the children/students, the program standards, the skilled and creative faculty, the high school’s resourcefulness, the aesthetically pleasing buildings and grounds, and the deep respect and responsibility shown for its natural surroundings. The students and school exude a spirit of joyful learning and respect for one another.

3. The Visiting Committee commends the Merriconeag Waldorf School for its efforts in developing a strong, supportive community and positive co-working through its renewed collaborative and inclusive governance model and its outreach to the parents in its community.

Major Recommendations
1. The Visiting Committee recommends that the Merriconeag Waldorf School commence the development of a long range and strategic plan that will address and balance the growth of the campus and facilities with the need to strengthen faculty salaries and benefits.

2. The Visiting Committee recommends that the Merriconeag Waldorf School develop more detailed documentation in the following areas: an overall Technology Plan, an Academic Technology Plan for the high school, an Acceptable Use Policy for students and employees, a library/resources plan for the high school, and a more comprehensive facilities plan.

3. The Visiting Committee recommends that the Merriconeag Waldorf School develop a comprehensive crisis response plan and management for on-site emergencies both for the Desert Road campus and for the high school at Pinelands.

     The next step will be for the accreditation organizations – both NEASC and AWSNA – to review the report and vote on it. These meetings usually occur in June. We will let you know when an official decision has been made.

     Thank you again for all your support during the accreditation process and for your continuing enthusiasm for the ideals of the school. Barbara Guffin


News From the High School

Merriconeag—Poetry Capital of Maine?
      The latest in a string of recent poetry awards for Merriconeag students became public last week. Five of our students were selected as finalists in this year's Merriconeag Poetry Festival. Freshman Jesse Saffeir, sophomores Joe Newlin and Soren Donisvitch, junior Zoe Chace-Donahue, and senior Wyatt Dowling were recognized for their outstanding pieces by judge Adrian Blevins, director of the creative writing program at Colby College.
      This is the fifth consecutive year that Merriconeag has had multiple winners; each year a different well-known poet has selected finalists in a blind judging. The students will read their work at the Merriconeag Poetry Festival on Sunday, May 6, at 3 p.m. in the Community Hall. They will also receive gift certificates, a booklet with all the finalists' poems, and find out who the top three prizewinning poets will be. All are welcome, but please RSVP at highschool@merriconeag.org.
      In another competition, Soren Donisvitch was also chosen last week as the winner of the statewide Terry Plunkett high school poetry contest, sponsored by the University of Maine in Augusta. For his poem "Mad Monk," Soren will receive $100 and the honor of reading his work this Friday evening at the Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival in Augusta.
      For details about the Festival, go to: www.uma.edu/plunkett2011.html.

     Finally, Maine Poetry Out Loud Champion Tyler O'Brien has been invited to be a featured performer at Blaine House in Augusta on April 25. Maine's Poet Laureate, Wes McNair, will be introducing Tyler.  David Sloan

You Can Still Watch Poetry Out Loud: The Poetry Out Loud State Ffinals are now available "on demand" so you can still watch Tyler recite and win! http://video.mpbn.net/video/2217510097/


More Poetry Success in the High School
      English and drama teacher David Sloan was recently selected as the winner of the 2012 Betsy Sholl Award, sponsored by Words and Images, a journal of the University of Southern Maine. He has been invited to read his winning poem, "Bad Math," and several other pieces, at Mayo Street Arts in Portland on Thursday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m. The public is welcome.

     He also currently has a number of poems appearing in online poetry journals. "My Daughter's Boyfriend" can be found at thebroomereview.com; "Skipping into the Dark" appears in the current issue of innisfreepoetry.org. At the enskyment.org website, you can find several of his poems under his name. He also just won the April, 2012 Goodreads Newsletter Contest for his poem "Unfixable." It will appear in the April Goodreads Newsletter that is sent to over 2.5 million people!



School Community Updates


Middle School Ultimate Frisbee Club:
Beginning April 23 and running through May 16, every Monday and Wednesday, from 3:00 to 4:30PM, the Ultimate Frisbee Club will meet at the Desert Rd. campus. This is open to 6th, 7th and 8th graders. The cost is $40. If interested, you must sign up in the office. The club will be run by John Saccone and other guest teachers.


Foundation Studies Program at Merrriconeag September 2012: We are planning to have another Foundation Studies Program at Merriconeag next fall. It is a lively community building course for interested parents, teachers and prospective Waldorf teachers. Participants go on to teacher education programs, biodynamic agriculture courses, art trainings, etc. An information session will be held on Wednesday, April 25, 8:45 = 9:45 am in the side room of the Hall, the little pink eurythmy room. Please let Barbara Richardson know if you are interested: brichardson@centerforanthroposophy.org or 865-6482.

Merriconeag Summer Camps for 2012

Merriconeag Summer Camps for 2012 - Sign up now

This summer we will be offering two summer camps during the week of June 25 - 29, 9:00 a.m. - noon. If there is enough interest, we will consider offering an afternoon program like we did last year.

For more information and to register, please click on the name of the camp below.

Circus Arts Camp: This camp is for ages 8 - 12 (entering grades 3, 4, 5, 6). Campers will learn juggling, clowning, mime, pyramids, tightrope walking, character study and performance techniques. The camp will be led by John Saccone. Cost: $225.

Buttercup Summer Garden Camp: This camp is for ages 3.5 - 6. Campers are lovingly held in a gentle, nature-filled environment that immerses them in magical play and discovery. There is lots of time for crafts, water play, the sandbox, walking woodland paths, and playing games. The camp will be led by Jessica Moore. Cost: $175.



Athletic News

High School Ultimate Frisbee: Congratulations to the team for winning their first game of the season last Wednesday against Freeport. This Wednesday, April 11, 3:30 p.m. at the Cumberland Fairgrounds, Merriconeag Ultimate will play South Portland's A Team. Come on out and cheer them on!

You can veiw the schedule at http://www.maineultimate.com/team-schedules.



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