Tuesday News - January 14, 2014

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

Upcoming Events

Merriconeag Poetry Out Loud Finals

Thursday, January 16, 8:20 a.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Road, Freeport

Poetry Out Loud (and Incredibly Close) For the past several years, Merriconeag Waldorf High School has participated--quite successfully--in a nationwide recitative poetry program called Poetry Out Loud. Two years ago, Tyler O'Brien became Maine's state champion, and last year Skyler Samuelson was one of only ten state finalists.
      The competition encourages students to learn by heart, and present orally, classic and contemporary poetry. This year four of our students have emerged victorious in the school's preliminary round: freshman Ava Haag, sophomore Fiona Ahearne, junior Lincoln Samuelson, and senior Emma Dolan. They will present two poems each this Thursday during the school finals, which will be held in the Community Hall at 8:20 a.m. We warmly invite any parent poetry-lovers to attend. The event shouldn't take more than 30-40 minutes. The seventh and eighth grades have also been invited. Our three judges, Craig Giddens, Sarah Hyde and Mandoline Whittlesey, will determine which of these deserving students will represent Merriconeag at the Poetry Out Loud State Regionals next month.


Tour of Grades 1 - 8
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

8:15 - 10:30 a.m.
57 Desert Road, Freeport, ME

(Begins in the Community Hall)
A distinctive feature of Waldorf elementary education is the two-hour “main lesson” period that begins each day. During this period the class focuses on a particular curriculum topic over a three-week block of time (e.g., fractions in 4th grade, geology/mineralogy in 6th grade, Civil War in 8th grade). Call 207-865-3900, Ext.103 or email admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org, to sign up for this tour. We are also happy to arrange other times for you to observe classes. . .just call.


A Journey To Nepal
Thursday, January 23, 7:00 p.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport

2013 alumnus Teagan Wu will give a presentation on her semester abroad in Nepal. She will plan on giving others an understanding of the customs and spiritual aspects of another culture while sharing her own insights and discoveries. Through stories and photos, she will paint a picture of her experience from city and village home stays and an independent study project to trekking in the Himalayas. She will also share how her Waldorf education has affected her outside the classroom setting. While away, Teagan gained a new appreciation for her education and would love to share these insights with the school community and any others who would like to come. In addition, there will be a sampling of a traditional Nepali dish.


Cabin Fever Reliever!

Merriconeag Parent Dance

(same dance, new image)
Saturday, January 25, 7:00 -11:00 p.m.
Community Hall , 57 Desert Road, Freeport

     Dance away the winter blues with the Almond Butter’s Band led by our very own David Barham, on Saturday January 25, 7:00 to 11:00 at the Community Hall. This is an event sponsored by the High School Parent Connections group for ALL MWS parents and alumni parents and other friends you may want to invite.

     As described by one band member the “Almond Butters Band is a 100% and locally grown dance band, specializing in good ole rock and roll with a focus on the positive and the way that well crafted songs bring us together. This is music that lifts us up together and makes us feel like we can do anything.” (To hear the Almond Butters Band: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFYSIlVykys )

     The dance will begin with an hour of swing lessons taught by the high school swing elective teacher, Dimetra Corsetti. Dimetra is a very fun and talented dance teacher that the high school students have enjoyed working with for the past several years. She will provide her own swing music to accompany her lesson, which will start the dancing from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. Following the swing, the Almond Butters Band will keep the dance floor hopping with their foot tapping and rocking music.

     Come on out and see old friends, meet some new friends, learn a little swing dance, and rock out to the Almond Butters Band – just have a good time! BYOB. Any donations will be greatly appreciated to help support the work of Parent Connections. 

Need a babysitter for this evening? Check out our growing list.
1. Holly Perkins, 2013 MWS graduate, is CPR certified, 615-5792
2. Carlin Tindall, 12th grader, Red Cross certified, 353-8800
3. Jesse Saffier, 11th grader, Red Cross certified, 688-4191
4. Louise Ahearne, 8th grader, 865-9063
5. Fiona Ahearne, 10th grader, 865-9063

Parent Connections is a parent group that formed at the high school about two years ago for the purpose of fostering connections amongst parents, faculty and students and to provide opportunities to have fun as a community. We also provide volunteer support to the high school for class trips, service work, sports and clubs as needed. Examples of work of this committee are our annual Harvest Party for 7th - 12th grade families in the fall, the annual Waldorf High School teen dance in the winter (we’ve invited and hosted other Waldorf schools for this dance weekend to help maintain connections of our students with other Waldorf students in New England), parent social dinners, whole school Christmas caroling, planning social time and food before high school parent meetings, and providing teacher appreciation meals during conference times for high school faculty.

Early Grades (1 – 3) Information Night
Monday, January 27, 2014, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Grades 1 – 4 Building, 57 Desert Road, Freeport
Join our teachers for a lively introduction to the joy and wonders of the Waldorf early grades. Learn how we use stories, songs, games and artistic activities to engage both the intellect and the feelings, and how this approach lays the foundation for imaginative thinking. Our approach to writing, reading, math, science and art are all topics to be addressed. For more information or to register, please contact admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org or 207-865-3900, Ext.103.


Skin of Our Teeth (9th/10th Grade Play)

Thursday, January 30 & Friday, January 31

7:00 p.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Road, Freeport

Thornton Wilder's Wildest Play Yet: Our Town became his beloved, classic depiction of small-town American life, The Matchmaker his signature farce about love and money. But Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth was the boldest, grandest, wackiest play he ever wrote. Wilder follows the fortunes of the Antrobus family in three acts of Biblical proportions, against the backdrop of an impending Ice Age, the Great Flood, and the aftermath of the War to End All Wars. Dinosaurs, mammoths, fortune tellers, seductresses, and murderous sons all provide intrigue in this panoramic anthem to the resilience of the human race. Come see Merriconeag's ninth and tenth grade classes perform The Skin of Our Teeth on Tuesday evening, January 28 (open dress rehearsal at 7 p.m.), Wednesday at 1 p.m. (school performance), opening night on Thursday, January 30, and closing night on Friday, January 31, both at 7 p.m.





Tasting. Talk. Film.

Featuring David Levi, chef/owner of Vinland 

Monday, February 3, 6:30 p.m.                                                       

Community Hall, 57 Desert Road                                                    

Tickets: $15.00 (snow date: Monday, February 10)                                                        

David Levi, chef/owner of Vinland, Portland’s newest restaurant experience will present a tasting & talk followed by a screening of the film, Fresh. Vinland, located at 593 Congress Street " forges a distinctly Maine cuisine. Drawing from indigenous food traditions along with those of the Acadians, New Englanders, and other peoples of the North Atlantic, the cuisine of Vinland is an expression of our place and history. Yet the mission is as much about ecology, building the local economy, and teaching good nutrition as it is about great food. We see these four elements as inextricable and mutually reinforcing. Vinland is the first restaurant in the United States to serve 100% local, organic food." FMI:http://www.vinland.me/

Fresh, the Movie "celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet."

Stay tuned for how to purchase tickets.


local. organic. maine

local. organic. maine

On Going:

Circus in the New Year: Circus Atlantic is delighted to offer a 13-week session of circus classes starting on Monday, January 13th, at Merriconeag and on Saturday, January 11th, in Portland. We will offer a range of training in an in-depth, non-competitve and fun atmosphere. We'll cover acrobatics, aerials (lyra in Freeport; lyra, fabric and trapeze in Portland), juggling, unicycling and more. We'll have new instructors with years of experience in each of the disciplines, providing an environment of safety and expertise. Students of all ages and abilities will benefit from our general Circus Arts lessons as well as specialty classes. You can learn more and register for classes at http://circusatlantic.com/programs/.
Circus Atlantic is the recreational program of the Circus Conservatory of America. At the heart of all our classes is a reverence for creativity, dedication and the inspiration of circus. We look forward to working--and playing--with you! FMI: Trace Salter, Trace.Salter@Circus.Conservatory.org, 207/756.9212


Visit Maine's Only Waldorf High School
  where the academic is brought to life

through exploration, enquiry, and experience
Parent & prospective student visits arranged at your convenience.

New Gloucester Campus, 83 Pineland Drive
Call 207.865.3900, Ext. 103 or email, admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org to schedule.


Tea and Play

Wednesdays, Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Early Childhood Center, 60 Desert Road, Freeport

For prospective parents. Bring your child, share a cup of tea with us and learn more about our programs for young children. Story time is at 9:30. For more information: 207.865.3900, Ext. 163, or hdrexel@merriconeag.org


From the Board President

Update on the State of the School evening: Thank you to the parents who were able to attend and participate in a lively discussion about the state of our school. What we overwhelmingly heard and took away from this meeting is that parents want to be involved in the discussions about how to make this school thrive. We have received a lot of information through conversations after the State of the School meeting last Thursday and have forwarded information to the right people in order to address parent’s thoughts more deeply.
      We welcome each of you to join in our work through volunteering for an event or on a committee to lend a hand; or speaking with any one of the committee chairs or administrative staff to offer your thoughts and support on enrollment and building the school in the community. Tay Veitch will meet with parents in the early childhood and grades during the parent meetings in January to introduce the revised re-enrollment contracts and I will meet with the High School families to do the same. Please feel free to approach us then if you have other thoughts or questions.

     There will be a meeting with Board members offered prior to February 15 (when contracts will be due) to have questions answered and allow for clarification as needed. We will look forward to seeing you this week!

Martha Eshoo, Board President


From the Development Office


2013-14 Annual Appeal Update:

Our deep gratitude goes to the many parents, board members, faculty, grandparents and friends who have already made a generous gift to the Annual Appeal.  To date, we have raised $108,212 toward our goal of $150,000.  Thanks to many of you who increased your gift over last year’s, or gave for the very first time, we have been able to secure over $44,000 of the very generous $50,000 anonymous match. 

Why is it important for each family and faculty member to give to the Annual Appeal? 
1. The board is currently finalizing the budget for next year – a strong Annual Appeal demonstrates confidence about the fundraising potential in our community.
2. Your donation supports every aspect of the school’s operating budget – art, music, movement and classroom supplies, faculty salaries, keeping the campus maintained, and tuition support to the over 40% of our families who could not be here without it. 
3. Every gift, no matter how small, contributes to the percent participation in all of your children’s classes. The first class to reach 100% gets one of Lynne Espy’s decadent desserts.
4. As the school applies for grants, it is important to show that we have exhausted all other possible sources of revenue. We want to demonstrate that we have 100% of our parents and faculty already giving what they can to support the school.

You can make your donation in one of 3 easy ways: 
• Check, made out to MWS, submit in remittance envelope and drop in safe (main office)
• Online giving, Click on the Donate button above.
• Credit Card: fill out the remittance envelope with the appropriate information
• Gift of securities: Call Barbara Guffin or Lynne Espy for information about stock gifts    

Next week I will report the participation levels for each class. Please get your gift in today!!    

Our goal is to have 100% participation by current parents. The class to reach 100% participation first will receive Lynne Espy’s decadent desserts.
Please help your class, and all the students, by submitting a donation to the Annual Appeal today. 

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


Tuition Support Auction and Variety Show Planning is Beginning –

we need your help!

     Next Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 8:45 a.m. in the Farmhouse we will hold a planning meeting (with yummy refreshments of course) for this year’s Auction. This year the Auction will be held on the evening of Saturday, April 5th. The Auction supports tuition funding at Merriconeag – a cause that is vital to the well being and economic diversity of our school. The Auction is always a memorable party, known for its fun themes, great food, and joyful celebration of this community. Mark your calendars now, and look for future Tuesday News notices about ways you can help with the Auction’s success.

     If you are interested in helping with the Auction, or you just want to learn more about it, please come to this planning meeting or contact Lynne Espy. Whatever your time constraints or talents, we will find a task for you!

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


News from the Grade School

Mr. Thurrell Wins The Honey Exchange's Favorite Teacher Contest:

Two days before Christmas Mr. Thurrell received a phone call from "The Honey Exchange" . Meaghan, the owner, explained that they were a company on Stevens Ave in Portland which specializes in selling products made with honey and also provide bee keeping equipment. She went on to explain that they had sponsored a contest for students to write an essay nominating their favorite teacher and that Samantha Malley of Merriconeag's fourth grade had "hands down" won with her description of her woodworking teacher, Mr. Thurrell! By itself - a great Christmas present, but he then received a large wooden laundry basket filled to the brim with various brands of honey, barbecue sauce with honey, a honeyed mustard , a tee shirt with the Honey Exchange logo, a couple of books on bees and much more. Congratulations to Mr. Thurrell and Samantha Malley!


Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School Basketball: Today there is an away (but local) basketball game at NYA beginning at 4:30 p.m. Come on over and cheer for the team! On Thursday, January 9, the basketball team traveled to Hebron and … WON 47-39!!! Well done, athletes!

High School Nordic: The season is underway but the weather is not cooperating. Today's ski practice at Pineland has been cancelled. Pineland has closed its trails due to lack of snow and they are urging everyone to stay off of them. Merriconeag's ski race scheduled for tomorrow at Pineland has been moved to Fryeburg with a start time of 3:30 p.m.

     Last Wednesday at Pineland all skiers raced well, led by Samantha Pierce, who finished first for the girls, and both the girls and boys teams placed second overall.

For more information about races and to keep up with our Nordic team news, please visit our High School Nordic blog: http://mwsnordicskiing.blogspot.com/


Read (Listen to or Watch) This

Into the Woods
American kids don’t know how to explore. Maybe what they need is forest kindergarten.
By Emily Bazelon, Slate.com, Dec 3, 2013

Into the woods (same title as above, different article)
The growing nature school movement is dedicated to getting young kids moving—and learning—outside.
By Melanie Plenda | The Boston Globe Magazine, October 06, 2013


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