Tuesday News - December 18, 2012

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

Upcoming Events - It's a busy week!

Our Annual Winter Concert is Wednesday, December 19,
at Freeport Performing Arts Center, 30 Holbrook St., Freeport:
Join us for a delightful evening of music. The concert begins at 5:30 and all students in grades 2-12 are expected to arrive no later than 5:15 with all necessary music and instruments. Upon arrival, students should bring their string and wind instruments backstage to the band rehearsal room.
Students in grades 5 - 12 dress in black and white...and perhaps a touch of red! Students in grades 3 and 4 may wear concert attire in festive colors of their choosing. Students in grade 2 will wear their Santa Lucia attire.

Nancy Roderick


6th Grade Play: One Night in Bethlehem,

Thursday, December 20, 11:00 a.m.

Community Hall

You may see it again at

the Community Celebration

at 6:30 p.m.



A Community Celebration of the Warmth of the Season

This Thursday, December 20, 2012, Community Hall

Come one, come all! We have also invited our alumni families to join us this evening.

6:30 - 7:15 - One Night in Bethlehem (6th Grade Play)

7:15 - 7:45 - Social time with star cookies

7:45 - 8:45 - The Shepherds Play (Class of 2014 & others)

Our alumni are encouraged to join us and then make plans with their classmates for after the plays. If you can't make it this evening, you will have another chance to see The Shepherds Play on Friday morning.


The Shepherds Play

Friday, December 21, 2012, 11:00 a.m.

Community Hall

We warmly invite the entire community to join us to witness this simple, yet profound offering which speaks to what it means to be truly human. The play will be performed by our 11th Grade Class.

Click here to read David Barham's article and learn why you just might want to come out and see The Shepherds Play!


Caroling in downtown Freeport, Friday, December 21,

Gathering in front of the L.L. Bean boot at 6:00 p.m. 

A beloved tradition in its 4th year! Come spread the holiday cheer and represent the Merriconeag Community in downtown Freeport with an evening of caroling led by our Chorus Teacher, Amanda Gale. We plan to carol for about an hour. People may want to bring head lamps to read the caroling books. Be sure to dress warmly. We look forward to seeing everyone there! Snow Note:  Two years ago, caroling needed to be canceled because of inclement weather. In the event of snow/ice on Dec. 21, please check the MWS website for a cancellation notice.


Weekly Events

Wednesday is Handcraft Day at Merriconeag!     

3:00 - 4:30 p.m. For 4th grade and up, $5.00 per session includes a light snack.

Jan 9 - open session: Bring your projects and unfinished work.

Jan 16, 23, 30 - Belt weaving on an Inkle loom: Practice your

weaving skills on the beautiful Inkle looms made for us by Mr. Thurrell

and Yunus. All instruction and materials included for a colorful belt or strap.


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 Administrator

Dear Merriconeag Community,
      As we prepare for the light-filled events of this week, we are constantly reminded of the darkness and despair being experienced in a small community in Connecticut. There is “no making sense” of such a senseless act. We have all thought deeply about what to share and what not to share with our children. Below, you will see a link to a helpful article that was shared with the faculty this weekend.
      The simple acts of listening to our family members and friends, celebrating acts of courage and love all around us, and joining together to honor the light that shines in the hearts or our children, lends some comfort in the face of this tragedy.
      This week at the Winter Assembly, Santa Lucia’s candles will be burning brightly, and our children’s voices will be lifted in song. At the Shepherds’ Play and the Sixth Grade’s play, “One Night in Bethlehem,” we will watch pageantry and reverence for life and good deeds, portrayed by our children. We will also gather for community caroling in Freeport, and share a song of peace being sung all over the world. Throughout these celebrations in our community, we will hold in our thoughts those so deeply saddened by the events at Sandy Hook School. I found a poem shared a few years ago in the Tuesday News, which seems especially appropriate this week.
      With heartfelt blessings on your family time this holiday, Christine Sloan
A Poem: “TURNING TO ONE ANOTHER” by Margaret Wheatley
There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.
Ask: “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.
Notice what you care about. Assume that many others share your dreams.
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters. Talk to people you know. Talk to people you don’t know. Talk to people you never talk to.
Be intrigued by the differences you hear. Expect to be surprised. Treasure curiosity more than certainty.
Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible. Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something. Know that creative solutions come from new connections.
Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know. Real listening always brings people closer together.
Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.
Rely on human goodness. Stay together

How Not to Talk With Children About the Newtown Shooting
By KJ Dell'Antonia, The New York Times, December 15, 2012, 6:17 pm



News from the College of Teachers

Next Year's First Grade Teacher: The College of Teachers is pleased to announce that Margaret Samuelson will be our next year’s First Grade Teacher. In reviewing the files of last year’s applicants, the College decided not to post the position of First Grade Teacher this year, but to offer the position directly to Margaret.

     In the summer of 2012, Margaret completed her Waldorf Teacher Training, with a Masters in Education at the Antioch New England Teacher Training Program. Her MEd Thesis focused on the application of remedial work in Camphill programs to mainstream Waldorf education. In 2008-2009, the Samuelson family moved to Australia where Margaret attended the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar, full time, which combined in-depth study of Anthroposophy and Steiner Education with classroom observation and teaching. Margaret’s undergraduate degree is from Bowdoin College, in Classics and Psychology.

     Margaret and her husband Nord have had a long history at Merriconeag, with four children attending the school, and are soon to have two graduates from Merriconeag High School; their son, Phineas, Class of 2011, and daughter, Skyler, Class of 2013. Their sons Lincoln and Kipling are in 10th and 5th grades.
      Margaret worked for two years as First Grade assistant at Merriconeag. In addition, she has assisted in science, drama, math, and art classes, taught Latin in the sixth grade, and helped with festival events in classes throughout the grade school. These experiences with the various age levels have only deepened her commitment to work as a class teacher at Merriconeag.

     Please join the Faculty in welcoming Margaret Samuelson to the circle of teachers for the 2013/2014 school year!

David Barham, College Chair and Christine Sloan, Administrator





News from the Board of Directors

Strategic Planning: Early this fall, Merriconeag’s Board and faculty embarked on an exciting 5-year strategic planning process focusing on three important areas of the school: Enrollment, Program and Personnel, and Facilities. Three “Strategic Planning Teams”, comprised of board members, faculty, parents and high school students, have been meeting over the last several months to collect information, review and make recommendations for a 5-year road map towards the school’s goals. The work will continue into the new year with many opportunities upcoming for community involvement. Stay tuned! We hope every parent will actively engage in this conversation and will try to attend one of the “community coffees” that we are planning. We would like to thank the team leaders, Ben Pearson (Facilities), Barbara Guffin (Personnel and Program) and Sean Fitzpatrick and Michael Stefanakos (Enrollment) for their commitment to helping Merriconeag chart its future. Merriconeag’s Board of Directors


12th Grade Food Drive

The 12th grade is sponsoring a food drive. A representative of the 12th grade was in each classroom this morning, distributing a paper shopping bag to all students who came to school today. Stapled to the paper shopping bag is information about the food drive and a list of things that the food banks in the area are in particular need of. If you are able, please bring the paper bag back to school on Friday, Dec 21 filled with non-perishable food. The 12th grade will be in the Elementary School and ECC parking lots at drop off to collect donations.

     We will be donating the food to the Good Shepherd Food Bank Warehouse in Auburn. This warehouse supplies food pantries all over central and southern Maine. The Good Shepherd Food Bank welcomes food donations but for every $1 donated to the Good Shepherd Food Bank they can purchase $8 of food. If you are able, please feel free to staple a check (payable to the Good Shepherd Food Bank) to your paper bag and the 12th grade will deliver it with the food. Thank you for helping with the food drive!


News From the Grade School

The Second Graders Celebrate Santa Lucia Day, 12/13/12:


The Third Graders Make Latkes and Celebrate Hanukkah:


The Eighth Graders Celebrate with a Night on the Town: After two weeks of intensive reading of Dicken's A Christmas Carol, including a study of the author and the conditions of his London, the 8th graders, attired in their very finest, headed for the lights and bustle of Portland last Thursday evening. Our first stop was The Merry Table, where we were warmly welcomed by Jean Claude and his staff, in French. M. Fenderson had been preparing the class for a takeover, the 8th graders, their chaperones, and teachers occupied every available table in the restaurant. The crepes were worth every hard won word spoken and the students were able to show their appreciation for Jean Claude's accommodation by singing a very beautiful French song. A brisk walk took everyone back to Portland Stage where they were treated to a brilliantly creative rendering of the Carol. It was a delight to all to recognize the script when followed precisely and to know when staging assumed the role of the passage of time and narration. It was an evening well deserved and well spent. Many thanks to the chaperones, M. Fenderson, The Merry Table, Portland Stage, and Mr. Dickens. Lynn Thurrell


News From the High School

Student-Faculty Basketball Game IV: The Rematch
      The Summer Olympics? The Presidential Election? Bah, Humbug! Both were small competitive potatoes compared to the biggest rivalry in Waldorf Land—this year's Epic Student-Faculty Basketball Clash, coming on Saturday, January 12, at 6:30 in the Freeport Middle School gym. Merriconeag’s student team, a coed high school squad, is giving the proud but pooped, spirited but aging faculty a chance to redeem themselves after last year's blow-out student romp.
      Possible returning faculty team members may include “Jumpin Johnny” Saccone, Oliver “Kangaroo” Kinzer, “Reboundin’’ Robert Pennington, Will "I Can't Get No" Hight, Rose Mary “Bombs Away” Burwell, "Bouncin'" Bridget Jeffers, "Dunk it'" David Barham, Jeff “Airball!” O’Brien, Lisa “Nothing but Net"Mainella and Nancy “Hot-Rod”-erick, who sank the winning basket two years ago when the faculty eked out a last-second victory. This year, new faces promise to revitalize the Geezers: Yunus "High and Low"-enthal, "Dead Eye"-da Dyment, and Selma "The Eurythminator" Fricke. Michael "The Mastermind" Fenderson will return to coach and console the faculty.
      The student team, led by junior Joe Newlin, also includes starters Sam Leavitt, Sophie Simmons, freshman Hugh Voorhees and exchange student Moritz Haldy, as well as improving reserves Peter Doughty, Lincoln Samuelson, Avery Murphy-Anderson, Emma and Phoebe Dolan, Chris Gordon and Joe Armstrong.
      Come cheer on your favorite team, and support the high school’s fund-raising efforts as well. Although there will be no admission fee, generous donations are welcome. Refreshments will be on sale, the proceeds of which will go toward funding the high school athletic programs, Model UN trips, and the Siddhartha School in Ladakh, India. Coach Sloan


School Community Updates



Many thanks to juniors Lily Tupper and Carlin Tindall for their

art work for the Community Celebration poster!



The rental skis have arrived: If you have not yet picked them up, you can find them by the Community Hall. Please take them home for the holidays. In January, Grades 2 - 8 will cc-ski during their movement classes. This will begin on the Monday, when we return (snow permitting). Please bring your ski equipment to school. There will be designated places where you can leave your skis and poles. Boots can go in cubbies or lockers. It is great to have your name on all of the equipment with masking tape & permanent marker. Parent volunteers are needed. Please contact John Saccone if you are interested in helping at: jsaccone@merriconeag.org


Missing Chladni Plates: If anyone is aware of who might have borrowed the chladni plates from the Physics Department, please contact Bob Thurrell at Ext. 115 or rthurrell@merriconeag.org.



If you are looking for modeling beeswax, block crayons, beeswax sheets and wicking, 12” natural beeswax tapered candles, yarn, needle felting kits, and/or homemade Echinacea tincture stop by the grade school office any day from 8-3:30.

While dissolving, dehydrating, melting, and burning all manner of carbohydrates in its Organic Chemistry block, the 8th grade discovered a talent for making caramels, chocolate covered almond toffee, and peanut brittle. We have lots left all weighed and seasonally wrapped in 1/4 pound packages and available to you for just $3 each. Come visit us ( follow the smells) or watch for us at drop off and pick up. If you can't find us, Lisa will have a small stash in the office. Greetings of the Season! The 8th Grade

Ballet Class is Part of Senior's Project: 12th grader Holly Perkins will be teaching an intro ballet class beginning in January. There will be five sessions of the class and they will be supervised by Mr. Saccone. This will take place in the community hall on Wednesday afternoons from 3:15 to 4:30. The class will be for children in 3rd through 5th grade. Holly is teaching this as part of her senior project and will be filming segments of the class to share in her project presentation. She asks that everybody taking the class comes to all five classes. There will be no cost. If interested please email Holly at xhollydancerx@aim.com or Mr. Saccone at jsaccone@merriconeag.org.

Class Dates: January 16, 30, February 6, 13, and March 6.



Read (Listen to or Watch) This

Take Two Hours of Pine Forest and Call me in the Morning
These days, screen-addicted Americans are more stressed out and distracted than ever. And nope, there’s no app for that. But there is a radically simple remedy: get outside. Florence Williams travels to the deep woods of Japan, where researchers are backing up the surprising theory that nature can lower your blood pressure, fight off depression, beat back stress—and even prevent cancer.
By Florence Williams, Outside Magazine, December 2012


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