Tuesday News - October 21, 2014

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Click here to view our Google Calendar of Events.   


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


Upcoming Events

Learn more about Math at Merriconeag! This talk will be of interest

to parents of students at all levels of the school.

High School Information Night

This Wednesday, October 22, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Desert Road Campus, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport

Please come to our annual High School Information Evening. Veteran math and science teacher Marisha Plotnik will speak about the Waldorf approach to mathematics in her talk “From Clapping to Calculus,” after which a panel of teachers and students will address questions about high school life. Beth Caputi will also be on hand to speak briefly about her work as college counselor. This is a golden opportunity to invite anyone with an interest in Waldorf high school education---and in Merriconeag in particular—to find out what is distinctive about Merriconeag Waldorf High School.


Community Coffee
Thursday, October 23, 8:00 to 9:00 a.m.
Community Hall
Couldn’t make it to last week’s community meeting or coffee? Looking for an opportunity to continue the discussion or ask more questions? Please come for coffee to share your thoughts on in a personal conversation with a few board members and staff. We want to hear from you.


Grandparents and Friends Day,

This Friday, Oct 24, 10:00 - 12:00

Community Hall

New this Year: Parents invited to join us

for Grandparents & Friends Day but If you can come,

please RSVP to developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org so we will have enough seats.


Craft Blitz with Sandy Pearson

Wednesday Oct. 29, 8:15 – 10:15 a.m.

in the Fireplace room of the Farmhouse.

Our longtime, former handwork teacher, Sandy Pearson, is offering one more free Craft Blitz and we want you to come! We will make items for the Fall Fair, and you will acquire new handwork skills and patterns. Bring a friend.


Fall Fair & Open House
Saturday, November 8, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
57 Desert Road, Freeport

Artisan Market Opening Night
Friday, November 7, 2014, 6:00 - 9 p.m.

Community Hall
57 Desert Road, Freeport



From the Development Office

Grandparents and Friends Day

This Friday, Oct 24, 10:00 - 12:00

Community Hall

 This Friday is the day that we welcome an older generation to our school. We are delighted to have already heard from many grandparents and friends who plan to be with us on this special occasion.
New this year: Parents are invited to Grandparents Day, but we do need you to rsvp to developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org so we have enough seats. Parents who can not attend on Friday are also warmly welcome to come to the Rehearsal tomorrow (Wed Oct 22) beginning at 8:20 am, with high school students going first. Both programs will be in the Community Hall.
The schedule on Friday: Coffee and pastries will be served from 10:00 to 10:30, followed by a program that includes presentations by the 2nd through 12th grades. At the end of the program at noon the grandparents are invited to visit the classrooms. Grandparents of high school students will be hosted in the Handcraft Building rather than going to Pineland.

Early Childhood and First Grade families please take note: We have heard from a number of grandparents whose grandchildren are in early childhood or first grade. We are very happy that they are coming, but so that they aren’t disappointed, please remind them that early childhood and first grade students are not a part of the assembly presentations. The grandparents will be invited to visit the first grade and early childhood classrooms at the end of the assembly. 
Parent Volunteers: Thank you to all the parents who volunteered for Friday. You should have received your “assignment” email. We could use a couple more people at the end of the day for clean up (noon – 1pm)
Don’t worry: Each year there are many students who don’t have a guest in attendance so please don’t be concerned that your child will feel left out if they don’t have a guest. 
Assembly Attire: Reminder: for this day students are asked to wear assembly attire, i.e., “best dress.”

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

Fall Fair & Open House, November 8

Artisan Market Opening Night, November 7, 2014

The Fall Fair is Saturday, November 8, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
To make the Fall Fair successful, we ask every family in the school to do three things: Volunteer, Donate, Bake.
Volunteer: Staff an activity on the day of the Fair:

Staff an activity on the day of the Fall Fair, on Friday afternoon during set-up, or
Friday evening during the Marketplace Opening Night festivities

Click here to sign up to work a shift:

Items: see other articles in Tuesday News for details.
1. Pocket Person – found objects from your home: small gems, trinkets or natural objects that fit into a 2x2 inch pocket.
2. Squirrel’s Attic - Homemade items that sell for $1 to $3.
3. Outerwear and Assembly Wear - Gently used outerwear of all sizes, ages 2 - 18! Assembly wear for grades 2-12. Please leave them in the marked donation bins at each of the buildings.
Early Childhood Parents: bake for the Cafe
Grades 1 – 8 Parents: bake for the Cafe
High School Parents: make soups for Rudolf’s Diner or provide ingredients for the French Creperie.

Fall Fair Badge Payment System: To simplify payment for the crafts and games, fair attendees can purchase a $10 all inclusive Fair Badge on Friday Evening or at the fair. The outdoor games are always a Fair highlight – play them over and over again for one reasonably price Fair Badge!

FMI: Lynne Espy, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 x 116, in the farmhouse
Mary Martin, events@merriconeag.org   865-3900, 113, in the office portable

Displaying merriconeagmarketplace.jpegArtisan Marketplace – opening Friday night, Nov.7th, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Back by popular demand – the Artisan Marketplace will be open to the public for adults on Friday night Nov. 7th, from 6-9 pm. In addition to the wonderful selection of local artisans, you can purchase Fall Fair Badges and Puppet Show tickets ahead of time. Do your holiday shopping before Fair Day(out of sight of your family) and reconnect with old friends. Invite your friends, neighbors, adult children, and grandparents to either the Friday night Opening or the Fair on Saturday.

Need a babysitter for Friday Night? Many Merriconeag students are available on to babysit on Fall Fair Opening Night, Friday, November 7th. Please stop by the grade school office, the EC office, or email Mary Martin, events@merriconeag.org, for the list.

FMI: Lynne Espy, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 x 116, in the farmhouse
Mary Martin, events@merriconeag.org   865-3900, 113, in the office portable


Pocket Person Treasures Still Needed: Please bring any treasures that can be used for the Pocket Person at the Fall Fair to the offices. Take a moment and I am sure you will find some at your house. The children have such a fun time discovering things in the pockets that is worth tons our efforts. Thank you so much for your collaboration!Dal Holtrop



News from the Squirrel's Attic: Friday craft blitzes in the farmhouse have been a success, but we are still in need of small finished crafts to fill the Squirrel's Attic. Sample ideas are posted in take-home, index card format on the EC bulletin board, and by request, are also featured here in the Tuesday News (see below). But please feel free to stray from these suggested crafts- absolutely anything you are inspired by will be welcome. Please join us this Friday in the farmhouse from 8:30-10 for the last craft blitz. We have mini notebooks to finish up, as well as a few other ready-to-go craft ideas. Hot coffee will be provided to keep those creative fingers warm.
This week's featured craft idea: Potted Mini Succulents.
Materials Needed: Recycled jars, tins, tea cups, planters, etc. Potting soil.
Please plant 6 or more (at least 1 dozen is needed to make a nice display).
Bring finished crafts and any supply donations in the Squirrel's Attic basket in Lisa's office or in the EC.
Many thanks to those of you who have already donated. Tonya Sattin and Morgan Lake Adams


From the Board

Community Meeting Follow-up: Last Tuesday evening the board hosted a community meeting to begin a shared conversation with Merriconeag families around five core building blocks of our strategic plan — Enrollment and Retention; Marketing, Communications, and Brand; Buildings and Grounds; Programs and Personnel; and establishing a Parent Association. On the following morning we also hosted the first of several coffee discussions to provide a more intimate setting for discussion around these plans. We heard questions, interest, and suggestions that touched upon all elements of the strategic plan, but it was Merriconeag’s aspiration to bring the high school to Desert Road, and the concept design for doing so, that brought forth the most discussion. The board would like to clarify where we are in the process on both of these topics.

     A consolidated campus, with Early Childhood through High School on a combined campus has been a vision held by the school for many years.* When the high school was opened in 2008, Pineland was seen as a temporary solution until we could build a high school campus on Desert Road. A comprehensive design for the high school campus on the open field to the west of the grade school campus (the Peterson property) was tabled due to costs and the collapse of financial markets in 2008. In the ensuing years, Pineland has proved to be a popular home for our high school among the students and many families. But despite the many merits of Pineland there are also limitations, and while the balance between these is oft debated, the vision of a One Merriconeag with a consolidated campus has lived with broad faculty, board, and community support.

     The One Merriconeag vision was first rolled out to the community at the 2013 May Faire. Last year at a Community Meeting, a more developed version of the plan was presented. And from those prior conversations grew the five goals of the Strategic Plan we shared on Tuesday: increasing enrollment, improved branding and messaging, enhanced programs and personnel support, a unified campus, and the establishment of a parent association.

     As for the campus design that we presented, that is a concept the Buildings and Grounds committee developed to explore the most economical implementation of the One Merriconeag campus vision. There are other designs that have preceded this one, and we have learned much from discussing each. But all share the same attribute. They are concepts. The board has not approved this design, nor any other for that matter. Inadvertently, we gave the impression to many that this plan was a done deal. It is not.

     So, where do we go from here? Foremost we intend to continue the conversation. We had an open-community coffee last Wednesday morning that was very productive. Another is planned for this Thursday, October 23 at 8:00 a.m. in the Community Hall gallery. And more small gatherings, including a meeting with high school students, are in the works. At the November 18th board meeting (which the community is invited to attend) we will review what we’ve learned. On December 10th we will be hosting another Community Meeting to present findings and discuss possible options. And concurrent to all of this activity, committees guiding each of the Strategic Plan’s goals are meeting regularly to bring their respective initiatives forward.

     Each of these committees will be looking for your input and offering opportunities for your participation, support, and guidance. The question of where to locate our high school looms large in our deliberations as a school, but it shares the stage with a host of endeavors that promise to shape Merriconeag for the next 30 years and beyond. Please consider joining a committee that speaks to your strengths and interests.

     We have appreciated hearing from many of you with your thoughts, feedback, suggestions, and wishes for Merriconeag. If you would like to get in touch with one of us, a listing of all board members is on pages 4 & 5 of the Parent Handbook and Community Directory. And you may contact us as a group via email at stratplan@merriconeag.org.
      With gratitude for your support and on behalf of the Merriconeag Board, Jim Ahearne

*Click here for the Brief Timeline of MWS.

Click here to read the Strategic Plan.

Open invitation from the Enrollment Committee: It was fantastic to see so many of you at last weeks community meeting. Our schools 5 year strategic plan includes many parts. None more important that enrollment. Our committee is interested in building on the energy created by these recent discussions and can use your help. If you’re interested in learning more about the projects we’re working on, please let us know. You can contact Michael Stefanakos (mainestef@gmail.com) or Sara Staples (staplesinmaine@gmail.com). Thanks so much for all of your support. We look forward to hearing from you.


From the Business Office

gift card.jpgAre you looking for another great way to support Merriconeag? Purchase a Hannaford/Bow Street Market Gift Card at school and we earn 5%.

Great news! Merriconeag raised over $3000 from the sale of the Hannaford gift cards during school year 13/14. That was $800 more than the previous school year. Our order is placed every Thursday morning as long as we meet the minimum order of $1000. Simply bring your payment to Lisa in the main office and note new grocery card or reload on the memo line of your check. We will let you know when the purchase/reload is done. Contact the Business Office (ext. 151) with any questions. Note: Once again, we will be offering credit card purchases at the Fall Fair. Come see us on stage in the Community Hall.

Description: Description: 80%Logo-Announcement2.jpg

Also Available: Scrip Gift Cards - New retailers are added almost every day!  Merriconeag is also a member of ScripZone, an online retailer of Gift Cards. With your purchase of gift cards, and there are hundreds to choose from, Merriconeag receives a percentage of the total amount of your purchase (ie: We earn 19% from the sale of LL Bean gift cards). Credit cards are accepted when you enroll!
Enrollment: Enrollment in ScripZone is easy to do right from your own computer.
1. Go to ScripZone.com
2. Click on the NEW USER option
3. Create your own Secure Online Account; after registering
4. Enter our Unique Group ID: 207865MWS
Entering the Unique ID will link your purchases to Merriconeag, Every purchase you make will result in benefit to the school.
Payment: Payment for your order can be made online by credit card, ACH (bank withdrawal) or by dropping a check off at the office. By paying with your credit card or ACH you have the option of having your order delivered directly to your house. If you choose ACH, you will need to click on MyScripPayment Center to set up your account.
Do I have to Enroll to participate? No, you do not have to enroll at ScripZone to participate. If you are interested in purchasing gift cards you can simply go to Scripzone.com and scroll through the Retailer List located on the right side of the screen. Simply make a list of what you want and quantities and email to the business office. Your order will be processed once we receive a check.


From the Early Childhood

The Early Childhood families enjoyed a Michaelmas Fall Celebration on Saturday morning. The beautiful autumn weather blessed us as we collected apples from our trees, used them to press cider and worked on our gardens. The gardens are now looking wonderful. Our joyful morning ended as we joined together to sing and, of course, enjoy freshly pressed cider! Many thanks to everyone who participated and special thanks to Lyn and Jay Espy for loaning us their cider press.




From the High School

Spirit Day at MWHS: Last Thursday, October 16, the high school celebrated Spirit Day, a day recognized by high
schools across the country. It was sponsored by our high school's new GSTA (Gay-Straight-Trans Alliance) group.A number of kids dressed in purple to signify that they oppose the bullying of LGBT kids.




The Wit and Wisdom of the Class of 2015: For the past two weeks, the seniors have been exploring a number of authors chiefly responsible for awakening the literary genius of nineteenth century America—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Walt Whitman among them. Each writer exhorted people to find their own voices, to rely upon their own individual genius. In the spirit of this celebration of the self, I asked students to write an “original sentence,” that is, some thought that they believed had never been expressed in quite the same words that they chose. Below you will find the fruits of their efforts. David Sloan

“I want to live where the sky rains quivering drops of mercury and the sun and the moon perfectly co-exist and all the beings live by one simple rule: love each other.” Fiona Chace-Donahue

“Storms are remembered for how they change the world around them. This is the same for people.” Mindy Dixon

“If a society is a glass of water, then dishonesty, is the unrelenting sun that siphons it slowly into oblivion.” Lars Gundersen

“It would be easy to believe in God if God had a crooked right thumb and a firm handshake.” Zach Neveu

“They observed a new species of animal rolling about, or Rich and Al thought at least, but it turned out to be just a little child scratching its back on the roots of a tree.” Samantha Pierce

“Driving in the car alone is one of the best forms of meditation; your conscious mind is occupied with keeping you alive, while your subconscious is free to go anywhere it chooses without interruption.” Isabella Pignatello

“Life is like mushroom roulette; you never know when you might drop dead.” Graham Roeber

“If you devote your life to fishing for praise, you will probably reel in a lot of soggy shoes, but if you devote your life to fishing for soggy shoes, you probably won’t receive much praise either.” Jesse Saffeir

“We speak about living in nature, but quickly forget, then return to our concrete castles in the middle of our walled-in kingdoms of steel.” Lincoln Samuelson


Community Service Continues: On Thursday, October 16, high school students joined community service work crews on campus, at local farms, and in Portland. Here are some highlights from the day.


School Community Updates
Willow Pond Farm apples and cider

Next delivery, Friday, Nov 7.

Order by 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 6.

For order details, please see our Community Classifieds page



Athletic News

Middle School Cross Country: The middle school cross country team completed their final race of the regular season on Thursday, 10/9, at Gray-New Gloucester's famed Libby Hill against their host, GNG, Greely, Jordan Small, and Sacopee Valley. After the course walk and much discussion of the inclines involved, the team went on to post eight PRs with only 1/2 half of the team healthy enough to run.

     The boys started the day, once again led by Charlie Wilson who took 4th place after a footrace to the finish. Adriel Barham overcame a tweaked back muscle to aid the team and tie his PR set the previous week with a 6th place finish. Matinicus Neveu (9th overall) and Kipling Samuelson (11th) came in shortly thereafter, both nailing new PRs in back-to-back weeks and on a significantly more difficult course. Sam Wilson was right on their heels in 12th, followed by Stuart Whittier and and Henry Libby, each achieving back-to-back PRs, and rounded out by Owen Stefanakos and Aiden Stark-Chessa to bring a second place team finish behind Greely.

     On the girls' side, Dylan Randall-Newberg charged the hills to achieve a 6th place finish and shred 22 seconds off her prior week's PR. Eliza Skillings, with yet another back-to-back PR (-17 seconds), came in shoulder-to-shoulder with Aniela Holtrop to take 13th and 14th, respectively. Grace Kessler dismantled her PR from Smiling Hill by yet another 30 seconds, followed by Evelyn Lukis and Wilson Haims. Sophie Roberts-Fishman, Myah Garrison (setting a new PR by 41 seconds!), and India Galbreath-Jenkins ran solid races to secure a third place team result for the girls, behind Greely and Gray-New Gloucester, but edging out Jordan Small and Sacopee Valley.

     Another great day for both skeleton crew teams! BUT, I think the greatest moment of the day for me, personally, was the action of our girls on the starting line just before their race began. A group that could easily have been consumed by pre-race jitters, preoccupation with their own performance, etc. noticed a late finisher from the boys race coming down the field to the finish. Not only did they cheer him in, but they prompted his own teammates at the far end of the line and, ultimately, the entire field of runners and the crowd to encourage this runner to the finish line. Watching the kids run fast is awesome, but this was just one of those special moments of which we all, as a community, should be proud.

     Then came the grand finale of the middle school season, the CCC Invitational at Twin Brook on Thursday, 10/16 where we faced all fifteen teams from the CCC conference. After some questionable weather and concerns of cancellation, we were able to sneak in the races before the downpours began.

     Despite some pre-race jitters, the boys came out flying in the first race with five of seven runners posting new PRs: Charlie Wilson shaved 5 seconds off his best in a 9th place finish, Adriel Barham a full 21 seconds in his 18th place finish, Matinicus Neveu with a 17 second reduction for 23rd place, Sam Wilson with -19 for 27th place, Stuart Whittier 30 whole seconds in a 51st place finish. Henry Libby and Owen Stefanakos ran great races just off their prior PR times to win a 4th place team finish for the boys behind Falmouth, Greely, and Cape Elizabeth in a field of 101 runners and 15 scoring boys teams (at least 5 runners).

     After a brief downpour the girls were off, and another four of the seven had PRs: Dylan Randall-Newberg led the way with a 24th overall finish, followed by Eliza Skillings in 46th place, Wilson Haims closing out her middle school career with 33 seconds off her prior best and a 49th place finish. Next came the newly assigned pack of Evelyn Lukis (-37 seconds), Grace Kessler, and Tillie Munro (-46 seconds) to take 53rd - 55th. Charlotte Joseph brought it home for the team in a highly respectable 8th place finish out of 90 runners and 13 teams posting team scores.

     Finally, the co-ed race to end the season resulted in yet another PR - Magnolia Sinisi blasted through the course to remove more than a minute from her prior record. Kipling Samuelson, Zeb "Adams" Staples, Jennie Bakewell, India Galbreath-Jenkins, Brenna Moore, Caroline Odlin-Brewer, Sophie Roberts-Fishman, and Ava Teegarden all turned in great end of season performances and a 4th place team finish behind Cape Elizabeth, Greely, and Falmouth.

     We topped it all off with a pizza party and a team farewell to our "graduating" 8th graders: Charlie Wilson, Jennie Bakewell, Olivia Bradbury, Wilson Haims, Charlotte Joseph, Tillie Munro, Caroline Odlin-Brewer, and Madelaine Panici, most of whom I have had the pleasure of coaching for the last three years. They will be greatly missed, but I look forward to following their future running careers - hint, hint, wink, wink. Remember, there is an open invitation to all 8th grade runners to attend next Saturday's high school Regionals at Twin Brook with me and the high school team. More to follow on that.

     And, at long last, the thank yous...huge thanks to Alicia Heyburn for assisting with the team throughout the season and at the meets, (my wife) Erin Olson for much of the same, Derek Libby and Caitlyn Pow for the extra help and supervision at practices, Lisa Mainella and Susan Sonntag for all of the behind the scenes coordination, Gina Quinn-Skillings for photography, John Saccone and Will Hight for field/trail/facilities support, Suzie Pierson, Jen Chace, and Jill Fox for their flexibility in schedules to allow timely departures for meets, and to all the parent volunteer drivers - it would not have been possible without you! Thanks for a great season... Coach John Olson


High School Cross Country: This past week our team was at the WMC Championship at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. This is a race comprised of all WMC (Western Maine Conference) schools, so it is large in number of schools and in number of runners. With Sebago Lake and the spectacular fall colors in view, it was a terrific day for runners and spectators alike. Results in this race are divided into large and small school divisions. Our runners ran hard, with the boys placing second and the girls placing third in the small school division. As we near the end of the season, every race is a big one. Read more>

Coming up next is the State Regional race on Saturday at Twin Brook on Tuttle Rd in Cumberland. The schedule is:
Class C - Boys – 10:00, Girls – 10:35 (these are our races!)
Class A - Boys – 12:00, Girls – 12:35
Class B - Boys - 2:30, Girls – 3:05

Full results and more can be found on the results page of the blog.

Click here for the complete race schedule.

Throughout the season, everyone can keep on top of the running team happenings via the blog.


Read (Listen to or Watch) This

Articles on the recent controversy in North Carolina around the play Almost Maine (performed by our high school seniors last spring). David Barham was interviewed yesterday by the Bangor Daily News. Read what he had to say below:

Maine native’s play canceled in North Carolina for ‘racy’ content

Features quotes from David Barham.
By Julia Bayly, Bangor Daily News, October 20, 2014

Maiden High School play canceled for "gay" scene?

The original artical from North Carolina
Richard Gould, Hickory Record, October 16, 2014

Parents saying no to too much homework
By Jay Mathews, The Washington Post, September 28, 2014


Greater Community Link


Community Classifieds Link


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