Tuesday News - November 27, 2012

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

There are no Early Childhood Classes on Friday because the children will be walking the Spiral of Light in the Community Hall.

Spiral of Light, Friday, November 30, 2012


A Spiral Garden of Light, Friday, November 30, Community Hall,

for children in Early Childhood and Grades 1 and 2: 

There are no Early Childhood classes on this day!

     The days are getting shorter and the darkness of night envelopes us. The harvest is in. It is cold. Yet, it is within the darkest hour that we find hope. It is in the depths of our soul that we find the light. It is the light of love, a light of peace, and a light of hope. This is the time of year when we anticipate this light, see it, acknowledge it with our gifts and deeds, cherish it with our families, and honor it during our festivals of faith.
      Walking the Spiral Garden is a magical experience for the children. Each child walks the spiral carrying his or her light into the darkened space. Their light is placed along the path guiding the way for others.

The timing for the two walks on Friday morning in the Community Hall is as follows:

The Lupine Room (Bridget & Kelly) - 8:30 a.m.

The Daisy Room (Kristina & Kimberly) - 8:30 a.m.

The Bluebell Room (Kam & Jess) - 10:00 a.m.

( The times for First & Second Grades will be shared by their teachers.)

Please Note: Dear Parents, We are collecting pine boughts for the Spiril Garden on Friday. If you would like to contribute a bit of evergreen beauty from your yard, please bring your boughs to the Community Hall by Thursday morning. On Monday, you are welcome to take some of the greenery to decorate your home for the Advent Season. Many thanks!



Upcoming Events

Kneading Passion: Cultivating a Life with Bread

A public talk by Ciril Hitz

Friday, December 7, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
$10 Suggested donation.
What do you get when you combine a Waldorf education and an art degree? A trip to the World Cup of Baking in Paris, of course! When you follow your passion, life has a way of shepherding you along on unexpected and serendipitous journeys, and this couldn't be more true for Ciril Hitz. At this evening talk, he will speak about how his life experiences and personal creative explorations have informed and contributed to his

professional career as a bread baker, author, and educator.

To learn more about Ciril, please visit, www.breadhitz.com or click here.

Workshop below is limited to 20 participants.

You must pre-register and pay to hold your place,

Email publicrelations@merriconeag.org and drop your check off at either office.

Decorative Holiday Dough Ornaments

A worksop with Ciril Hitz

Saturday, December 8, 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon

Community Hall

$35 per person.
Are you looking for a new and creative outlet that combines craft  and kitchen? Come learn about ornamental decorative breads! The techniques utilized produce stunning results, and even complicated effects can be surprisingly easy to learn. Chef Ciril Hitz will guide you through the steps in making fun and festive decorative ornaments for the winter and holiday season, and you'll have the opportunity to work hands-on with the doughs and create your own ornaments. Participants should bring their own apron, a rolling pin, and a cookie tray to the workshop. Cookie cutters will be available to share, but feel free to bring your own along.

Upcoming Admissions Events: Now is a great time to talk up the school with your friends and colleagues. Numerous events between now and the December break provide perfect opportunities for interested parents to discover more about Waldorf education – at every level of our school. For more information and to register, please call or email Lyn Baird, 865-3900, ext. 103, admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org.

Early Childhood

Tea & Play
Thursdays, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m., November 15, 29 and December 6, 13.
An informal drop-in program where parents bring their young children to the early childhood center and enjoy conversation and a cup of tea with a teacher while the children play nearby.



Early Childhood Information Session
Wednesday, December 5, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
A chance for parents (without their children with them) to hear an early childhood teacher discuss the philosophy behind our approach to early education, and answer questions.



Elementary & Middle Grades

Tour of Grades 1 – 8
Tuesday, December 11, 8:15 – 10:30 a.m.
Parents will observe in every classroom during the main lesson period. Q & A at the end.
Seventh Grade Play: “Eleanor and Her Three Kings”
Wednesday, November 28, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 29, 11:00 a.m.


High School

Observe High School Classes
Thursday, December 6, 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Visit our Pineland campus and observe our high school students and teachers during the morning lesson period in these classes: “Nerve, Skin and Bone” with Ellen Labbe, “Dante” with David Sloan, “Optics” with Jeff O’Brien.
Shadow Days: Students in 8th grade and up – at any school – are invited to immerse themselves in the Waldorf high school program by spending a full day at Pineland.


Wednesday is Handcraft Day at Merriconeag!     

Knitted doll, November 7, 14, 28, and December 5: With gift giving or a personal treasure in

mind, create an adorable knitted doll made with a Maine wool/alpaca blend yarn.

Beginners welcome!


Early Childhood Parent Chat Room

Wednesday mornings, 8:45 to 9:30 a.m.

Early Childhood Center, Bluebell Room

Join host Michael Fenderson, French Teacher for EC through Grade 8, and Mary Korsiak, Early Childhood Teacher, for a chat - share questions, get to know each other, and sip a warm cup of coffee or tea.


From the Development Office


Annual Appeal Mailing – incentives attached:
      Later this week you will receive a letter by mail explaining our Annual Appeal and how you can help with its success. If the concept “Annual Appeal” is foreign to you, then it is imperative that you carefully read the letter and call me if you still have questions. I will be posting regular updates in the Tuesday News and following up with families in person, in the hopes that together we can meet our Annual Appeal goal of raising $80,000 by the end of June. If you remember nothing else about the Annual Appeal, remember this: Every Gift Counts, and we want to reach our goal of 100% participation by all board members, faculty and parents. Incentives (aka chocolate desserts) will be used.

     Remittance envelopes will be included in your letter, and are available in the offices. There are 3 easy ways to make a tax-deductible gift to the Annual Fund:
1. Submit payment by cash, check or credit card in the remittance envelope, and mail or bring it to the main office
2. Easy online giving, using PayPal or credit card, through our website: www.merriconeag.org
3. Make a gift of securities – call Barbara Guffin or Lynne Espy for instructions

United Way / Live United: For those families who make a charitable gift to Live United (United Way), please consider designating Merriconeag as your charitable organization – this brings United Way dollars our way!
Matching Gifts from Your Employer: Some employers will match your charitable gifts, or provide employee charitable giving incentive programs. Ask your employer – and let us know if they participate in this way.

     Any questions about the annual appeal or the ways in which you can donate or help with this effort, please contact Lynne Espy, Development Coordinator, 207-865-3900, Ext. 116 or developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org. Thank you in advance for supporting the school with your generous tax-deductible gift.


Grocery Card News From the Business Office

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Grocery Cards: Thank you for buying Grocery Cards at the Fall Festival. We just started this program in October and have raised $592 for Merriconeag so far! If you have not purchased a card yet and would like more information, please call the Business Office at Ext. 101.
How does this program work? With every gift card order, Merriconeag receives 5% of the order amount. You will receive the full amount of your order on your card; the donation comes from Hannaford.
What do I do to get a Grocery Card?
Step 1: Simply bring your payment to Lisa Mainella and tell us that you would like to order a grocery card. Cards can be purchased in increments of $50 up to $500. (Please note on your check that you are purchasing a Grocery Card and if it is New or a Reload)
Step 2. When check is received (and we have $1,000 of orders) we will send them all in to Hannaford.
Step 3. The first card takes about 5 days to arrive because of the initial processing.
Step 4. You receive your card and can go shopping; you will be notified via email when your card can be picked up.
Once you have a card, the process is quicker. You tell us by sending in the check that you wish to “re-load” your card and the specific additional amount you wish to put on the card. Please note that there is a maximum of $500 per card. When we have a total of $1,000, we will contact Hannaford and the cards are usually re-loaded in 24 hours or less. If you include your email address with your order we will send out an email when the re-loading has been completed. You can also check your balance through the Hannaford web site.
What day will the cards be ordered? Hannaford cards will be ordered on Thursday mornings; orders should be in the office by 9am to be processed on that day. Any orders received after 9am will be processed the following week. All orders are subject to the $1,000 minimum amount. If the minimum is not reached any given week, then we will process the order the following week. Barbara Guffin, Business Manager

100th Anniversary, design 14 of 15LL Bean Gift Cards available: Similar to the Grocery Cards discussed above, we now have the opportunity to purchase gift cards from many different vendors. With every gift card order, Merriconeag receives a percentage of the total amount. The percentage varies with the company but for LL Bean, the school would receive 18% of the total proceeds.

How does this program work? Step one is to go to the scripzone.com website and review the Retailer List. Next to each retailer is information about size of the gift card and the percentage discount that would be given to the school. For example, if you wanted to purchase a $100 gift card from LL Bean, Merriconeag would receive 18% .

How do I order a Scrip Card? You can order a Gift Card the same way you order a Grocery Card.
Simply bring your payment to Lisa Mainella and tell us the quantity and dollar amount of the gift cards you would like to order. LL Bean Gift Cards are available in $25 and $100 amounts. On Thursday mornings, we will make an order for all requests received to date. The cards take about 5 days to arrive because of the processing and we will notify you when they are here.


News from the Early Childhood Center

     The apples have ripened and the red and golden leaves that Prince Autumn worked so hard to paint have flown from the trees and made their way gently to the ground. Now they have woven themselves into a golden brown blanket to keep Mother Earth cozy all winter long.
      In the ECC the children along with their parents have been busy preparing for the arrival of King Winter. In the spirit of Michaelmas, we held a Gardening Day, where parents were invited into the classroom for a good soup and then helped plant bulbs, prune shrubs, weed and rake in our orchard playgrounds.
      Before the break we set out into the darkness with handmade lanterns to hold a last spark from Father Sun’s summer brilliance. Under the twinkling starlight and embraced by the songs of the students from Grade Seven, we walked with our little lanterns through the orchard path, lit only with luminaries and our love and compassion for one another.
      Now we hear stories of gratitude and sharing as we prepare for time with our families. A time when we will pause to remember how truly thankful we are for this bountiful earth that gives us so much.
      Soon we will look toward the brighter light, one that shines brighter than even Father Sun himself. It is coming and we will joyfully await its arrival. We will journey around the evergreens and stars, seeing the one light shining and adding our own until darkness is replaced by the light in each of us. Jess Moore

News From the High School

National French Week was happily celebrated at MWHS: On Monday November 12, about 35 young people, grade 6-12, gathered in the Sage room at the HS for a French Movie Night. In between the beautiful films of Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, heartwarming soups and fresh bread were served to the students. The movies, in French with English subtitles were a great success!

     On Friday November 16th, the whole High School, students & staff were invited to partake of a 4 course French meal prepared with the help of Grade 9 students The Sage room this time was transformed into a lovely restaurant, tables complete with tablecloths, flowers and pitchers of Grenadine. The menu offered multiple French salads including shredded carrots, mixed greens and Provençale tomato & cucumber salad, all with a homemade vinaigrette, rice accompanied by snow peas and /or chicken in a mushroom and cream sauce, a huge tray of varied cheeses and a basket of whole grain bread and baguette parisienne. The dessert table was overflowing with homemade apple and pear pies, chocolate mousse, gâteau savoyard and yogurt, all traditional French desserts. The ambiance was wonderful, teachers and students eating together, celebrating our last day of school before the Thanksgiving vacations. The cleaning was done in the wink of an eye, thanks to everyone's help, as we had to return the room to a clean stage before the the beginning of our new electives.

     I have a few heartfelt thanks to give to special people who helped makes these events such success. First I would like to thank Katy Neveu who generously came with massive provisions of popcorn and a large soup to our Movie Night. My traditional vegetable soup was much less popular than her chicken and rice soup! We were also all unexpectedly treated to a huge ice cream cake brought by Graham's mom for his birthday. Nobody complained! The Friday French meal was made thanks to the help of hardworking 9th graders who chopped, cooked, sauteed, cleaned and organized the restaurant scene with great attitude and good humor. They are so much fun to work with! And last but not least, I would like to thank my assistant, Amandine, who was there at my side every step of the way, ready to help any way she could. And there were many ways! So thank you everyone! This kind of event can't be done by one person alone. And it was so much fun to share with you all.

     When is the next Movie Night? Stay posted! Gratefully yours, Régine Whittlesey, MWHS French teacher


Why You Might Want to Come Out To See The Shepherds Play: It is quite ironic that I am the one writing this article, directing this year’s production of The Shepherds Play and urging all of the adults in the community to come to the Community Hall on Thursday evening, December 20 and again at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 21 to see the performance.

     Let me start at the beginning with a short, personal anecdote.

     Many years ago, when I was doing my Waldorf teacher training at Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, New Hampshire, our teachers tried to get us to perform The Shepherds Play as part of our studies. My class was known as a rebellious class and we actually refused to take up the play because we felt our teacher’s could not fully explain how this Medieval drama was something more than a Christian tale for Christian families. Our pressing questions went unanswered. So instead, my fellow students and I pulled together a Revels style celebration with elements from pre-Christian winter solstice celebrations (including a spiral of greens with candles), the Jewish traditions of Chanukah, and aspects of Christmas as well. The celebration was meaningful and satisfying and I imagined I would have little to do with the Shepherds Play as I moved into my Waldorf teaching.

     A few years later, I was involved in a study of the Christmas season and the Shepherds Play and what Rudolf Steiner had to say about both. Consciously opening myself up to the play and its relation to this special season made it possible for me to accept a role in my school’s production. The amazing thing was this: I actually loved doing the play and the calm and centered feeling it gave me at a very hectic time of the year.

     Since that time, I have acted in the play many many times, each time as one of the shepherds- Gallus, Huckle, Muckle or Crispin. It got to the point where the season just didn’t feel right without the simple, warm heartedness of the play. For me, it is a real antidote to the insanity of modern American Christmas and a portal to something richer and more meaningful.

     I was raised in a reform Jewish household. We celebrated the Jewish festivals more out of a cultural, rather than spiritual direction. I enjoyed them, but was looking for more depth and meaning my entire life.

     Yes, it is true that the images of The Shepherds Play are directly out of the New Testament. On the literal level, it is the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, the birth of the baby Jesus, and the honoring of the Christ child by the humble shepherds of Good Will who learn of the miracle birth in their dreams through the Angel. At this level, it is a celebration of an important story, one that has deep significance for Christian families throughout the world. Personally, I love the notion that the main characters in this archetypal Christian story are all Jewish!

     And yet, The Shepherds Play, as performed in Waldorf schools all over the world is different from what Christian families can expect to see in their churches. It is a matter of intention.

     Our Shepherds Play is really a universal celebration of the essential qualities found in this story. Joseph’s care for his pregnant wife. Mary’s maternal warmth for her newborn infant. The selfless giving of the goofy shepherds. The possibility for redemption and a new beginning- even for the simplest of folk. The idea that every human family is the Holy Family and every new child is the Light of the World. As Canadian folksinger Bruce Cockburn says, “There’s a future shining in a baby’s eyes. Redemption rips through the surface of time in the cry of a tiny babe.”

     I have performed in the play for a number of years on the stage in our Community Hall and each year have wished that more of the adults in the community could have been there. My great hope is that the play can become part of the good part of your family’s holiday season. Part of the inner preparation to receive the Light that humanity has always recognized as needing to grow within at this darkening time of year. We hope that as many of you as possible can join us this year. The hope is that the images in the play, presented as lovingly and humbly as possible, will speak to each of us regardless of our religious and cultural background.

     As a Waldorf community, we are committed to working together to protect and preserve the endangered kingdom of childhood. That is what The Shepherds Play is really about. David Barham


Alumni News

Please send alumni news and photos to publicrelations@merriconeag.org. We love sharing the stories!

Jeremy Colson (Class of 2011) and Cyrus Fenderson (Class of 2012)

both attend Clark University in Worcester, MA and are collaborating on a radio show entitled Saturday Night Jive. They feature a relatively new genre called Electro-Swing which mashes swing-era tunes with modern drum and bass lines to make for a very energetic and addictive blend. (Example: http://youtu.be/fBGSJ3sbivI)
The show is every Saturday between 7 and 8 pm. They have recently started experimenting with streaming video along with the audio, to make it a little more interactive. Clark's Radio (ROCU) is not over the air, and solely online at clarkuradio.com.


School Community Updates


Wreath Pick Up Info: Community members who pre-ordered wreaths from Mrs. Thurrell’s 8th grade will be able to pick up their wreath outside the Community Hall on Monday, December 3rd. All wreaths are labeled with customer name and will be alphabetically placed under the eaves. If you still need to pay for your wreath, checks made out to MWS (with “wreath” in the memo line) can be dropped off at any office. ~Many thanks and Happy Holidays from the 8th Grade Class!


See our very own, John Saccone, in his 24th year performing in Portland Ballet's Victorian Nutcracker! Berenice Barbiero, a fourth grader at Merriconeag and Josh Dow and Ellie Dickson, both alumni, are also part of the cast. Our third and fourth grades will be attending a youth concert on Friday, December 7th at 10:00 a.m. Shows for the public are on Saturday December 8, 2:00 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 9, at 2:00 p.m. at Merrill Auditorium in Portland.



Merriconeag Administrative Assistant Position:
Job Description: Merriconeag Waldorf School in Freeport, Maine, is looking for a self-motivated administrative assistant. The ideal candidate will be responsible for coordinating volunteers for events throughout the school year, with the primary responsibility to oversee volunteers for a major fund raising event hosted in the summer. This position works closely with the entire Administrative Team, supporting Development and Outreach events. This is a year-round part-time position averaging 20 hours per week, with full time hours required during several weeks of the summer.
Job Requirements:
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, ability to work collaboratively or take initiative where appropriate.
• Ability to prioritize tasks and be proactive in communicating in an ever changing office environment
• Excellent planning and organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple projects consecutively
• Computer skills including database management, word processing and basic spreadsheet capability
• Ability to prioritize independent work and set annual goals
• Ability to speak articulately about the mission of Waldorf education
Education Requirements:
- Bachelor's degree preferred
- Associates degree or greater required
To Apply: Submit resume and cover letter with references to Christine Sloan, administrator@merriconeag.org


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