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.

Nancy Goldberg


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.

Read more.



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
      After the frenetic end-of-year-twelfth-grade events—internships, senior projects, Man of La Mancha rehearsals/performances—the seniors clearly needed to get away, relax and enjoy some stress-free time together. Their trip to Montreal provided just the right balance of recreation, sight-seeing, and preparation for graduation.
      One of the most delightful surprises of the trip was the youth hostel Le Gîte du Plateau Mont-Royal, ideally situated between two of Montreal's legendary streets—Rue de St. Denis and St. Laurent—and within walking distance of both the Old Port and the Parc du Mont-Royal. The hostel also had a lovely rooftop terrace, where the senior class spent many pleasant hours enjoying the surprisingly good weather and, of course, each other's company.
      Of the trip's many highlights the, the students raved about the spectacular Cirque du Soleil show, the bike trek up to the top of Mont-Royal and subsequent "French" picnic, the walk around the Old Port and shopping district, the fabulous crepes at the Chez Suzette, the final evening's special meal at a Moroccan restaurant, and the distinctively international atmosphere of the city.
      At the trip's end, all of the seniors expressed gratitude to Regine Whittlesey for orchestrating and chaperoning such a memorable experience and well-deserved "out-breath" before the final events of their Merriconeag careers.
David Sloan


First Future Alumni Breakfast (FAB) is a Big Success:
      Last Thursday, June 7, Merriconeag started yet another tradition with the inaugural FAB: Future Alumni Breakfast. The senior class and their advisors joined Alumni Committee hosts for a delicious breakfast in the gallery of the Community Hall, to celebrate their new status as alumni, and discuss how best to help these wonderful young men and women stay connected to the life of our school and to other Merriconeag alumni in the years ahead.

     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.
Submitted by Lynne Espy, Development Coordinator and Alumni Committee member


Upcoming Events

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.
Sincerely, Melissa A. Grella, PhD Candidate, Environmental Studies, Antioch University New England
Note: Melissa has spent the year observing and participating in environmental education from the 12th grade Hermit Island trip last Fall to the tree planting at the Early Childhood Center this Spring. We wish Melissa the very best as she finishes her dissertation on how Waldorf Education builds a deep and unbiding respect in children for the natural world.

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.

For more information and to register, please click on the name of the camp:     Circus Arts Camp         Buttercup Summer Garden Camp





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Special Community Camps Link




Greater Community Link


Community Classifieds Link