Tuesday News - June 12, 2012
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Commencement Exercises, 2012
The Class of 2012: (front, l to r) Tyler O'Brien, Cyrus Fenderson
(2nd row) Haydee Jacobs, Ellen Wise , Evelyn Pennoyer, Connor Beckett, Liza Simmons, Sierra Jeffers
(3rd row) Wyatt Dowling, Wyatt McCurdy, Carson Davis
Reflections on Merriconeag Waldorf School’s Commencement Ceremony:
As a former high school teacher, I have attended quite a few high school graduations at several different high schools. However, I have never experienced a graduation quite like Merriconeag’s on Saturday. If I had only two words to describe the commencement ceremony, I would pick intimate and personal.
Each student had selected a piece of music to be played while he or she walked to the stage, and the music was played by the student’s parents or friends. The faculty members who introduced each student were chosen by the student, and each faculty member captured in words individual characteristics of the graduating senior. All of the seniors were speakers, and they each spoke poignantly, openly and eloquently about some aspect of their Waldorf high school experience. These speeches created a mosaic of the students’ years at our high school. The commencement speaker, Joshua Bodwell, gave a speech that truly made me want to capture each word.
It would be easy to say that a graduation like Merriconeag’s is possible because our high school is small. Although there is truth to that reason, the unique qualities of our high school that were depicted during the commencement ceremony left me with the impression that all the seniors were known well by their peers and teachers and had been touched in a deep and powerful way by their Waldorf high school education.
Merriconeag's Commencement Key Note Speaker, Joshua Bodwell
Joshua Bodwell is the Executive Director of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. He was recently included in the Portland Press Herald's 40 under 40 list of emerging Maine leaders and was also invited to join the Maine Arts Commission. Saturday was his 37th birthday!
Key Note Address: 37 Remarks for June 09, 2012
Hello. It is truly such a privilege to be here with all of you.
Since you’re all wondering, I’ll just come out and tell you: this is my grandfather’s kilt. Other than church, I remember my grandfather always donned this kilt for two special occasions: weddings and funerals. Because of that, this kilt makes me think of crying—sometimes it was tears of joy and sometimes it was tears of sadness. So what a perfect outfit, I thought, for a day like this, loaded as it is with complex emotions and no shortage of tears.
I want to begin my remarks by welcoming you all to this, my surprise birthday party. You probably don’t know, but on this day in 1975, I was born in Portland. *A gift table will be set up in back, so please leave presents—or simply cash and checks—right back there.
In many ways, no one is more surprised than me to find myself up here speaking to you wonderful people. This feeling is in part because I am not only so impressed by you students, but also somehow jealous of you and intimidated by you. It is more surprising that I am here today, however, because I am not a traditional guest speaker for traditional students. I do not have a college degree and I do not have a list of anecdotes about how to be successful in business.
I guess it’s a very good thing then that Merriconeag and its students are anything but traditional.
I am, quite simply, a man who used to be a boy that loved to read and write, and has found a way to make those things the bedrock of my life. I want to challenge each of you graduating students here today to construct a similar life, to love what you do, to go to the work you love and feel your heart rising to it.
While I seriously doubt there is anything I can say to any you that you can’t learn yourself by simply mastering the art of being still and observant, in honor of my thirty-seventh birthday, I would like to offer you thirty-seven bits of pithy advice, one impassioned plea for each year of my life.
End of Year Assembly 2012
The Eighth Graders Perform at the End of Year Assembly 2012
The Eighth Grade Class of 2012: Fiona Ahearne, Joseph Armstrong, Maegan Combar, Mari Cooper,
Phoebe Dolan, Joshua Dow, Chris Gordon, Elias Henze, Lily Johnston, Brooke Kelly, Zoe Konstantino,
Even Laukli, Sydney Mogul-Campbell, Bekah Rhein, Julia Ritger, Hugh Voorhees, Peter Watko
On Friday, June 8h our 8th and 12th graders were honored with a ceremony of roses and commencement stoles at our annual End of Year Assembly in the Community Hall. Mrs. Sloan's closing remarks highlight the day:
In these moments we stand in awe of the transformation of our students from first to eighth to
twelfth grade graduates. The vitality of this school community, the strength of the teaching,
the beauty of the campus and the extraordinary support from our parent community
inspire our idealism and nurture this seemingly “Impossible Dream.”
Enjoy your glorious summer months!
Other Highlights from the Last Week of School
Montreal: City of Many Charms for Seniors
First Future Alumni Breakfast (FAB) is a Big Success:
It was a joy to hear their enthusiasm for Waldorf education and their desire to give back to the school, and we hope they will visit us often. The depth of caring they have for each other, and the self-confidence and wisdom they carry into the greater world, will surely serve them well. We look forward to hearing how this Waldorf journey has influenced their life paths, and we encourage them to share these stories with us, so that we may learn from them.
Monday, August 6th and Tuesday, August 7th
The Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour returns to Merriconeag!
Plenty of tickets are available online now at smirkus.org or avoid the processing fees by going Royal River Natural Foods after July 1st.
Don't delay since these shows sell out! Please note that any available tickets are released at the door one hour prior to show time and that
we usually fit in everyone off our waiting list.
STAY IN TOUCH! We'll be keeping you posted on all the circus news over the summer. Be sure to like Merriconeag on Facebook and follow MerriconeagWald on Twitter. Have a great summer...we'll see you down the road!
School Community Updates
To the Merriconeag Community: I will be making my last trip to Merriconeag Tuesday, as I will be finishing up my data collection with four teacher interviews. I want to thank the faculty, staff, children, and parents for allowing me to be a year-long visitor. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Merriconeag and I hope that all of you did not feel that my presence imposed in anyway on normal life at the school. I wish Merriconeag great success for the future. I will certainly be in touch as my project becomes finalized and perhaps I could do a small presentation at the school to share with everyone if folks were interested. And, of course, if anyone is at all interested in reading my dissertation, it will always be available. Thank you, again, for allowing me to be a part of the Merriconeag community.
The 2012-2013 Merriconeag Waldorf School, School-Wide Event, Conferences and Vacation Calendar can be viewed and downloaded by clicking here: 2012/13 Vacation Calendar.
Summer Camps 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.
(Click blue to link through)
Designing Schools for Nature Connection & Community Involvement:
Tues, July 7, 7:00 - 8:30 pm,
Community Hall, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport.
$10/person suggested donation.
Join us for an evening of exploration with Matt Bibeau, Co-Director of the Institute of Permaculture Education for Children, into how we can support the transition towards providing children with abundant opportunities to connect and learn with nature.
This event is co-hosted by Merriconeag and The Resilience Hub of Portland Maine.
Circus Smirkus at Merriconeag:
Monday, August 3 & Tuesday, August 4, 1:00 & 6:00 pm,
Grade School Campus, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport.
THE BIG TOP TOUR IS COMING TO TOWN
with our own high school student, Sarah Norden,
as part of the amazing cast!
TICKETS ON SALE AT ROYAL RIVER NATURAL FOODS BEGINNING JUNE 10TH!