Tuesday News - June 24, 2014

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   (B= Early Childhood Blog)  

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

This is the last newsletter of the 2013 - 2014 school year. Happy Summer to all!

Commencement Exercises 2014

The Class of 2014

(l to r) Emma Dolan, Joe Newlin, Sophia Simmons, Jonathan Gross,

John Burgess, Carlin Tindall, Andrew Hastings, Sam Leavitt,

Lily Tupper and Dana Kuniholm

      All graduations are special, but the ceremony at Merriconeag Waldorf School is unique. Because our graduating classes are small, each student gets to put his or her personal stamp on the proceedings. To start with, each student enters onto the stage to live music of their own choosing. This year some students marched to classical music or to friends playing guitar and singing a favorite song. One processed in to his brothers’ beautiful harmonies in a bluegrass tune, and another to a beloved teacher playing and singing a Reggae favorite. One senior was surprised by three of his classmates who sang a song for him from Les Miserables.
      After a brief welcome from Christine Sloan, the Faculty took to the stage and sang “When You Come Back Down” (Nickel Creek) to the graduating seniors. Each student was then introduced by a faculty member of their choosing and every one of the ten faculty introductions were one of a kind - as one of a kind as the student being introduced.

     After their introduction each student spoke about memories and meaningful experiences from their years at the school. Some spoke of class trips, others of foreign exchange, community, sports, music and the many ways the school had touched their lives. Each spoke of the incredible connections made to teachers, to other students across the grades, and  to one another - through a span of as many as 15 years, or in just a few short years.
      This year’s graduation speaker was Patrice Maynard whose wonderful keynote address is included below. Other highlights from the ceremony were  the Fifth Grade's offering of "If I had the Wings of a Dove" and the High School Chorus singing "Seven Bridges Road". The graduates ended the program with a rousing version of Neil Young's old hit, “Comes a Time”.

     Fresh from the success of their class play, Almost, Maine, and their senior class trip to Martha's Vineyard, the Class of 2014 delighted the audience at Merriconeag's 5th commencement ceremony with their humor, joy and gratitude for the many fruits of their Waldorf education.


Merriconeag's Commencement Key Note Speaker, Patrice Maynard

Patrice Maynard has deep roots at Merriconeag. She was our first Development Director and very nearly our first class teacher. When we were not able to deliver that first class of children, Patrice was called to New York where she began her 13 year career as a Waldorf class teacher at the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. Ten years ago, Patrice stepped away from class teaching to serve nine years as the Leader of Outreach and Development for the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). Last summer Patrice began her new role as Director of Publications and Development for the Research Institute for Waldorf Education. A visit from Patrice always feels like a special homecoming and we were delighted to welcome her as our commencement speaker this year.

2014 Key Note Address

Friends, Aunts, Uncles, Brothers, Sisters, Grandparents, Parents, Administrators, Teachers, GRADUATES -

     Those who are with us today but no longer living on the Earth, who are interested in you and in what we do today, those who gave us life, or taught us well, or helped us along the way. Let’s picture them vividly so that they know we are glad to welcome theme here.

     Thank you for the privilege of speaking to you today, this day when we welcome you formally into the adult world.
The privilege I already felt increased after seeing the play you gave us. It was, in one word, remarkable. I think everyone in this room who got to see “Almost, Maine” would agree.

     Catharsis, was the gift you gave in your funny, poignant, moving performances,

delivering the fine writing in an artistic tension worthy of professional actors. Not only in the whole play but over and over again in each little vignette. Catharsis is a Greek word, you already know. It means “purification, release, cleansing.” In the Golden Age of Greece, the theater was given to the citizenry for free. Citizens were expected to go to the theater regularly to keep the community healthy in their souls, understanding that experiencing the pain and laughter of others, solves things for each individual.

     I suppose watching a man marry his mother, kill his father and take out his own eyes in despair when he realized that he did these things in Oedipus Rex would put one’s own problems in good perspective!

     On my drive home from your play it occurred to me that the play is a poem - like a sonnet. It has a terse, given form, abab cdcd efef gg rhyme, a defined number of lines, a compression of form that forces meaning to brightness. It heightens pictures to exaggerated expressiveness. The very compression expresses things. The compression reveals secrets – hidden mysteries - that would otherwise remain unrevealed.

     So was your play. And so like a poem, like a sonnet is your time here at this Waldorf school, this home of your youth. Whether you were here for one year or for ever- fifteen years. All the possibility for your life has been compressed into these first years. Everything – joy and sorrow, disappointment, elation, success, betrayal, resentment, tears, forgiveness, peace, upheaval, laughter – has been compressed into this time of your schooling, to be unfolded for the rest of your life’s poem here on the earth this time. Read more...

That wonderful poem from the Commencement Address . . .

Totally like whatever, you know?
by Taylor Mali

In case you hadn’t realized,
it has somehow become uncool
to sound like you know what you’re talking about?
Or believe strongly in what you’re - like – saying?
Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)’s and “you know what I’m saying’s
have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?
Even when those sentences aren’t, like, questions?

Declarative sentences—so - called
because they used to, like, y’know DECLARE things to be true, okay,
as opposed to other things that are, like, totally, you know, - not—
They’ve been infected by this tragically cool and totally hip
interrogative tone? 
As if I’m saying, “Don’t think I’m a nerd just because I’ve like noticed this – Okay?
I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions,
I’m just like inviting you to join me on the band wagon of my own uncertainty?

What has happened to our conviction?
Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?
Have they been, like, chopped down
with the rest of the rain forest? You know?
Or do we have, like, nothing to say?
Has society just become so, filled with these
Conflicting feelings of Nyehh
That we’ve just gotten to the point where
We’re the most aggressively inarticulate generation 
to come along since….
Y’know, a long time ago? 

So, I implore you, I entreat you, and I challenge you,
To speak with conviction.
To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks
the determination with which you believe it.
Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.
You have to speak with it, too.


Roses and Sashes Assembly 2014

On Friday, June 13th our 8th and 12th graders were honored with a ceremony of roses and

commencement sashes at our annual assembly in the Community Hall.

The Eighth Grade Class of 2014: Louise Ahearne, Calla Barton, Eli Gundersen, Siona Henze,

Sylvia Holland, Ryan Kappelmann, Sarah Kinzer, Sophia Laukli, Nicholas Neveu, Chloe Olson,

Olivia Skillings, Salome Skinner, Sophia Skinner, Sophie West and teacher, Phyllis Hill.



Upcoming Events

Parade with us JULY 4th in Freeport: Calling Merri-makers of all ages to come out and represent Merriconeag in our debut at the Freeport July 4 Parade. Bring bubbles, decorated wagons and bikes, wooden swords, coats of arms, fairy wings, capes, unicycles, juggling balls, violins, trumpets, whatever you can think of to show what you love about our school and we will travel together in the parade. Wear Merriconeag hats and t shirts if you have them. If anyone is inspired to do something more extravagant, like a float, great! If not, walking and wheeling will be wonderful. Music would be really appreciated. We will have a banner to be carried. Look for each other at the Freeport Middle School at 9:00 am on Friday, July 4th, to get lined up. The parade starts at 10am, and goes down Main St. to Freeport High School. It is short and sweet. We will be finished by 11. If you want to join in from the crowd, feel free to do so. If you could please email kbarham@merriconeag.org if you plan to join us, that would be helpful. Thanks so much. See you there!



Annual Flatbread Company Benefit Evening

Tonight! Tuesday, June 24, 5:00 pm

72 Commercial Street, Portland

Support Freeport’s Circus Smirkus Magic Matinee Program and see many friends for this fun-filled evening.  There will be hula hoop and juggling contests, plus we will be raffling off family passes to Monkey C Monkey Do-see you there!


“Anchors Away for Atlantis”

Monday, August 4th & Tuesday, August 5th,

1:00 pm & 6:00 pm

Grade School Campus, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport

Tickets on sale now at Royal River Natural Foods.


Summer Camps 2014

To learn more about each of our summer programs and to

register, please click on the links (names) below.

Sign up today ! There's still some room but it's going quickly!

Circus Arts Camp 2014 

Nature Nurtures Summer Camp 2014


From the Development Office

The Farmhouse Kitchen is getting a Facelift: An anonymous donor has provided funding to give the Farmhouse Kitchen a facelift. This donor understood that the “kitchen” is often the first space that prospective parents, visitors, and guests enter, and it creates a lasting impression of our school. This space is the portal for all prospective families who are coming for an Admissions visit, which often includes getting a glass of water or using the restroom. It is the portal for parent, board committee meetings, and small group faculty meetings. It is also the portal for all current parents and visitors coming to the Business or Development Offices.
      The goal is to make the space function well for all who use it, to use materials that are healthy and environmentally friendly, and to reflect our aesthetic and creative sensibilities. We also want it to reflect the children and the parents, who help make our dreams become reality.
      Although this project could be viewed as critical for enrollment growth, there are many other higher priority personnel and program funding needs that our school budget needs to support. Doing this kitchen renovation does not take monies away from any of these important funding needs.
      Extensive rot, poor heating, and failing structural problems in the kitchen were issues that we would have had to address soon. The kitchen facelift is only possible thanks to the vision of this donor and the many parents who have stepped forward to donate both their time and professional services or materials. We are deeply grateful to everyone who has already helped us stretch every donated dollar with their generous gifts:
• Catherine Weiland – donated her services to provide a kitchen design and budget that met all of our goals.
• Scott Libby - is providing and installing a state of the art heat pump at half the cost. He and his crew also helped Will with the demolition.
• Adrian Bossi – and his crew (including Drew Tieman) will install the cabinets and will do additional construction work. Adrian also has plans to work with students (and a teacher) to build a kitchen table.
• Steve Konstantino – is keeping us green, local and high quality. He donated environmentally-friendly wood finish for the underlying wood floors that are being refinished, and is helping us afford higher quality, “green” cabinets and countertops, at close to the price of traditional big-box products.
• Parent electrician Brian Kessler is looking into ceiling lights.
• Volunteers – including former board member, Jacqui Koopman, who serves on the committee and has offered to help paint. We need a few helpers, so let us know if you want to be a part of the August painting crew!
      If you’re nearby, feel free to stop by and see the progress during the summer. If you’re interested in helping paint, or you have something you could donate, please let us know. Here’s a short list of items that could be donated: a new toaster oven, Blackboard paint, a coffee maker, a new toilet!
Lynne Espy, Development Coordinator, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org, 865-3900 x 116


From the Circus Coordinator




“Anchors Away for Atlantis”

Monday, August 4th & Tuesday, August 5th,

1:00 pm & 6:00 pm

Grade School Campus, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport




Come on down and join the fun!

http://www.merriconeag.org/parents/images/NEW-PortlandShellHome-WEB.jpgSupport Freeport’s Circus Smirkus Magic Matinee Program and see many friends for this full filled evening.  There will be hula hoop and juggling contests, plus we will be raffling off family passes to Monkey C Monkey Do and a Wicked Whooopie Pie - see you there!


*VOLUNTEER TO WORK A SHOW: Click here to sign-up for a shift (the sooner the better as this is a fun event to be a part of!):http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F0E4EA9AC2CA02-circus 

*Have kids that can’t get enough of the Circus Troupers? Become a HOMESTAY FAMILY! (It’s really fun and the kids will love it!) We're looking for a few more homes to house troupers in from August 3 through August 6. If interested in hosting 2 cast members during their stay here in Freeport and receiving 2 complementary tickets to a show, please contact Jennifer Fitzpatrick, mainemamaj@gmail.com or myself for more information.  

*"LIKE US" ON FACEBOOK AND SHARE CIRCUS NEWS:  http://www.merriconeag.org/parents/images/icon-facebook-small.png

Mary Martin, Freeport Circus Coordinator, 207/865-3900, x113, events@merriconeag.org.


School Community Updates

Future Alumni Breakfast (FAB) big success: 

     On Thursday, June 12, the senior class and 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. Lynne Espy, Development Coordinator and Alumni committee member


Welcome Baby: We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Frederick Wallace Labbe, born June 16th at 8:34 pm weighing 8lbs even and measuring 20 inches with a full head of dark hair. Ellen, Adam, and Frederick are all healthy, happy and looking forward to a wonderful summer together.


Part-time, Assistant Position(s) Available for 2014/2015 School Year

Merriconeag Waldorf School is offering part-time positions for assistants in the Nursery/Kindergarten programs. These are both morning and afternoon positions, three to five days a week. Prior background in working with young children and special interest in Waldorf education is necessary. Certification in a Waldorf Early Childhood program is not required, but would be a benefit.

To Apply: Please send a letter of introduction, your resume, a brief biography, and two letters of recommendation to the attention of Administrator at administrator@merriconeag.org.


Education Support Teacher, commencing in September, 2014.

The High School Educational Support Teacher, is a 15 hour a week position. This position will include direct individual and small group work with students, as well as support within regular classrooms. Occasional attendance at High School Faculty and Educational Support meetings, as well as time for classroom observations and consultations with individual teachers are a necessary part of this position.
General Responsibilities:
1. Work closely with the administrative faculty to help understand, develop, implement, and document individualized support for students within and outside the classroom.
2. Follow up on Personalized Education Plans (PEPs). This would include assessment of incoming students at all grade levels when necessary.
3. Meet with parents and participate in relevant parent-teacher conferences.

     This position requires a Bachelor’s Degree. In addition, a Waldorf Teacher Training, Therapeutic training, and a Master’s Level Pedagogical or Therapeutic Degree are highly preferred.

     Merriconeag Waldorf High School is a school for highly motivated, academically oriented students in which some types of special needs can be accommodated on a case-by-case basis. Please send your resume and two letters of reference to Christine Sloan, at administrator@merriconeag.org.


Parent Volunteer Spotlight: Regina Kusche
The entire Faculty would like to thank Regina Kusche for her tireless work, and skillful organization and transformation of the “Costume Cage” in the basement of the Grades 5-8 Building. It was a monumental task and Regina took it up with courage and enthusiasm. We are grateful and awed by her efforts.


* PLEASE HELP!* Host Family Need for Amity Institute Intern: Every year the High School invites an Amity Institute intern to assist in classes, mostly in the language program helping individual students, to help chaperone trips, drive the van etc... We are always happy with this international addition to our High School life and want to continue this enriching and helpful program. But we need the help from the Merriconeag community! Next school year, we are ready to welcome a young Frenchman, Kevin Reynaud, who will arrive end of August. We need a couple of families, not necessarily from the High School, to help host Kevin. It could be from August till end of December, then from January until June. These interns are young adults, so they are not like an exchange student. They are independent and often spend many week-ends and vacations visiting friends or exploring the region. One advantage for the family, beside the enriching presence of a European young adult in their home, is that their child can come to school directly in the van from home!  Please contact Madame Whittlesey (rwhittlesey@merriconeag.org) or Mr. Sloan (dsloan@merriconeag.org) if you are considering hosting Kevin. Many thanks in advance for your consideration. Madame Whittlesey


Read (Listen to or Watch) This

The Real Reason Children Fidget
Angela Hanscom, Timbernook, June 05, 2014

The Battle Over Dress Codes
By Peggy Orenstein, June 13, 2014
The New York Times, The Opinion Pages | OP-ED Contributor

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