Tuesday News - May 19, 2015

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Please note: School is closed on Monday, May 25 for Memorial Day.

Upcoming Events
Tea & Play
Friday, May 22, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m
Early Childhood Center, 60 Desert Road, Freeport
Share a cup of tea with us while your child plays nearby and learn more about our programs for young children. Storytime at 9:30.
Registration is appreciated but drops-ins are welcome. For more information and to register, please contact Heidi Drexel, 207.865.3900, Ext 163 orhdrexel@merriconeag.org.


Grade 5 Pentathlon Hosted by Merriconeag

Friday, May 22, All day event

57 Desert Road, Freeport

This May we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Maine Pentathlon Festival. It is a truly great event and milestone. The organizers would like to thank Paula Runge and Cynthia Taliaferro for planting the seeds, Jaimen McMillan and Thom Schaefer for bringing this impulse into Waldorf Schools and the Spacial Dynamic Institute for their continued support. Read more on our blog...



Spring Concert
Thursday, May 28, 6:30 p.m.
Community Hall, 57 Desert Road, Freeport
We cordially invite you to musically celebrate Spring and join us for the 2015 Spring Ensemble/Chorus Evening. Students in grades 5 through 12 will be performing. Note: All students in grades 5 though 12 are required to attend and should arrive no later than 6:10 with their instruments and music. Dress for the evening consists of assembly attire (described in the parent handbook) with spring colors encouraged.
We look forward to seeing you there! Nancy Roderick


Senior Class Play: Museum by Tina Howe

Tuesday, June 2, Open Dress Rehearsal, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 4, 7:00 p.m.

Friday, June 5, 7:00 p.m.

Community Hall, 57 Desert Road, Freeport



Honoring Childhood: A Blog for Merriconeag

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To sign up and to read the latest post, Fifth Grade Pentathlon Celebration Festival by John Saccone: Movement Education, click here.

(You may also get to the blog by clicking on this icon  wherever you see it posted!)


Summer Camps 2015

New this year - Up to 6 weeks of Waldorf summer camps at Merriconeag!

Planning to have your child attend summer camp at Merriconeag? Kindly register today. This year we are pleased to offer three summer camps - Nature Nurtures (ages 3-6), Circus Arts (ages 8 - 12), and Summer Adventure (ages 7-12). As you will see below, Nature Nurtures Camp offers the choice of 1 - 6 weeks and Summer Adventure Camp, 1 to 4 weeks. For details and registration information for each camp, please click on the name of the camp below:

Nature Nurtures Summer Camp

Circus Arts Camp 2015

Summer Adventure Camp


From the Development Office



New Matching Grant received for Annual Appeal: Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, we have just received a $12,000 grant for the Annual Appeal. This gift will be used to match, dollar for dollar, every gift to the Annual Appeal that comes in between now and June 30. Let’s show our gratitude by matching the entire gift!
      To date, we have raised $172,000 toward our goal of $200,000, so this final push is extremely important. Increasing our participation rates is just as important – a gift of any amount qualifies.
Please demonstrate your support for all that you value about Merriconeag by making a tax-deductible gift today. 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, on the donate button above or on the home page of our website: www.merriconeag.org
• 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
Lynne Espy, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org , 865-3900 Ext. 116

Permaculture Updates:

This is a 9 minute film about turning a mono-culture apple orchard into a bio-diverse, permacultural-designed orchard. A nice introduction to Permaculture for our community, using an apple orchard as just one example.
Click here to view.

Here is the link to the permaculture movie InHabit that The Resilience Hub showed to our community a week ago Monday. It is 90 minutes long, and gives a great overview of what permaculture is, and how this design process can be applied to rural, suburban and urban landscapes. Click here to learn more.


From the Circus Coordinator 



THE BIG TOP TOUR IS COMING TO TOWN with our own high school student, Sarah Norden, part of the amazing cast!

Monday, August 3 & Tuesday, August 4, 1:00 & 6:00 pm

Grade School Campus, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport

The circus at Merriconeag represents our school’s most extensive community outreach with over 3,000 people coming to our four shows each summer. Our sponsorships for the Magic Matinee program allow children in need to attend this magical show, making it a truly special event.


Other proceeds from The Big Top Tour are directed to our operating budget, our Tiered Tuition Program and our Circus Arts program. Playbill Sponsorships play an important part in this fundraising event. If you would like to be a sponsor for either of these programs, please contact me at: events@merriconeag.org

2014 08 circus smirkus atlantis 61 smallthumbVOLUNTEER AT THE EVENT!

We need your help! Another way you can be a part of the circus is to volunteer to work a shift at one of our shows. Please check out this on line sign-up page. ANYONE SIGNING UP BEFORE THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR WILL BE ENTERED INTO A RAFFLE TO WIN 2 FREE TICKETS TO A PERFORMANCE OF YOUR CHOICE! 


*ACCOMMODATIONS FOR CAST MEMBERS: Become a “Homestay” family. If interested in hosting 2 cast members during their stay here in Freeport and receiving 2 complementary tickets to a show, please contact  Sarah Currie, Amy Eshoo or me for more information.!  



http://www.merriconeag.org/parents/images/NEW-PortlandShellHome-WEB.jpgOur annual FLATBREAD COMPANY benefit evening will be on Tuesday, June 16:Support 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 raffling off many interesting items-see you there!

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



From the Business Office

Did you know there are many ways you can support Merriconeag just with your every day shopping? We have gift cards for Hannaford/Bow Street, United Scrip gift cards for hundreds of local retailers and restaurants, Amazon Smile, Target and CLYNK bottle return. We also take Box Tops for Education located on a wide variety of products (not just boxes of cereal). Check out our flyer for more information. Contact Melissa Hoy in the Business Office (ext. 151) with any questions.


News from the Grade School

Merriconeag Students Receive Their Prizes from the Zero Waste Challenge

Front row ( l to r): Wilson Haims, Caroline Odlin-Brewer, Madelaine Panici, Charlotte Joseph, Alec Eames, Tarek Ihaddaden, Myah Garrison, Magnolia Sinisi, Kipling Samuelson. Back row (l to r) Kaitlin Cunningham Morse of We compost it!, Tom Twist of Chewonki, and Alicia Heyburn, Leadership for Change Elective Teacher
The above group of nine seventh and eighth grade students from the Leadership for Change elective taught by parent Alicia Heyburn won first place for their proposal in Chewonki's Zero Waste Challenge (If you missed the news in the May 5th edition, click here.) On Friday, May 15, Tom Twist, Sustainability Officer at Chewonki, arrived at the Desert Road Campus to present  the students with their check for the top prize of $1000 which will be used to implement their waste reduction proposal. As an added bonus, Kaitlyn Cunningham Morse, Sales & Brand Ambassador for We compost it! (a challenge sponsor), joined Tom with a pledge of three months of compost pickup, a yard of finished product, and a compost consultation to to help reach our goals. Congratulations to our Leadership for Change students and their teacher!


School Community Updates

Merriconeag Dads complete bridge over the little Merriconeag River:         Last Saturday, May 16th, 18 Merriconeag dads gathered at 9 am out in the back field on the Desert Road Campus to carry lumber, clear trail and build a bridge to span the little Merriconeag River. The new trail crosses the river on the Yellow Trail.

     It was a fantastic morning led by master trail builders Will Height and Nate Hoy. Afraid they would oversleep, Nate and Will were the only two dads brave enough to spend the night at the trailhead.The work party included: Drew Tieman, James Welch, Will Hight, Nate Hoy, Tay Veitch, Adrian Bossi, Curtis Combar, Chuck Staples, Shane McLaughlin, Justin Corcoran, John Baugher, Paul Harrison, Kevin Lukis, Scott Libby, David Benton, Selcuk Karamanoglu, John Olson and Michael Stefanakos

     John Olson and John Saccone laid out the new trial with the goal of giving our runners and skiers a steep training hill. After carrying 8’ 2” x 6” pressure treated lumber up and down that hill all morning, the dads can’t wait to see what the students think of their new hill.

     By 1 pm the project was complete - three bridges were built, trails were cleared, gear was returned - and not a single emergency room visit!

     Thank you to all the dads who made this project possible! We don’t know what the next project will be, but be on the look out. More great dads projects are coming soon! Sincerely, Michael Stefanakos (mainestef@gmail.com)


Last Friday , the Slovak Boys Choir performed for the final time and, as reported by an enthusiastic audience member, “It was the best ever! The evening featured the crowning of the Stefanakos family as the best darned chocolate pudding eating family at Merriconeag, fantastic music, a great rendition of "I Will Survive,” a fashion show, and so much more. We will miss songs about Bratislava Lovers and a Green Cactus. Yet, we are certain the Stuhl Stapel Wettbeverb (chair stacking contest) will live on. Congratulations to the Slovak Boys Choir for a wonderful evening, and thanks to all those in the audience who came and made the evening such a success.”

The high school is seeking old gas powered machines (lawnmowers, chain saws, weedwackers etc.). If any of your machines are not starting this spring after the long cold winter, consider donating your machine to science. Contact Jeff O'Brien (jobrien@merriconeag.org), if you have a machine that you are willing to donate.

¾ to Full Time High School Humanities Position: Merriconeag Waldorf High School is offering a 3/4-FT high school humanities position with a concentration in the history curriculum. This position would involve teaching a variety of morning lessons and skills classes to grades 9-12, and the possibility of teaching blocks in grades 7 and 8. Additional high school responsibilities include being a class advisor, mentoring individual students, chaperoning overnight field trips and other duties associated with a small, dynamic high school.

     The ideal candidate would have completed the Waldorf high school teacher training or similar Waldorf training, and would have had some experience teaching high school students. Candidates must hold a Bachelor's degree within the Humanities, and preferably pursued graduate work in history. Teaching experience and previous work with Waldorf high school curriculum is highly desirable.

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


Alumni News

A Year in Provence
Bonjour à toutes et à tous,
      As a former student at Merriconeag (8th grade class of 2007, plus 2 years in the high school) I decided to come work at a Waldorf school in France after graduating last year from university. This decision was influenced by the fact that I had studied French and music at university as well as by the many positive memories I keep of my time at
Merriconeag. After contacting and communicating with several schools in France I found the Steiner school of Avignon. They offered me a full year at their school as a young volunteer‐‐a function that was to incorporate multiple things that interested me: working as an English language assistant, directing and accompanying chorus lessons
and the possibility to give piano lessons independently.

     I arrived in Sorgues, France (town where the school is located) on August 25, 2014 where I met the host family with whom I was to spend the rest of the year. My first week began with a cocktail of frustrations‐‐jet lag + having the flu + painting benches at the school (not exactly what I had been expecting to do when I arrived) + the mistral (a
strong wind that can gust up to 100km/hr in the Rhône valley). By the end of the first week, however, I had comfortably settled in and was looking forward to my first week of real classes‐‐even though by that point I had learned to enjoy painting benches. My weekly schedule fell into place. I began spending 5‐6 hours per week in English classes, 2 hours with chorus and the rest of my time either with the other volunteers at school (six volunteers from Germany who had come on the program freunde der erziehungskunst rudolf steiners e. v.) or by working at the school's canteen. Along with all of this, I was happy to begin giving piano lessons on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons after school.

     This schedule has constantly evolved up until now‐‐there are times when I've focused more on English classes than music or just on certain projects like plays. More definitively however, my weeks now include more music and individual work than I had at the beginning of the year. I now accompany eurythmy classes every week and end up
often directing chorus and parts of English classes‐‐things I had not started out doing. Some of the greatest experiences I have had as an assistant include telling stories in English to 3rd, 4th and 5th grades as well as working on English conversation skills with high school kids. I have also greatly enjoyed participating in the creation of theatre projects at the school. With the 11th and 10th grades I composed and played music at
the piano for their play (La Ville au fond de la mer‐‐which we went on to present at the annual conference of the French Anthroposophic Society in Sète). I worked with the 10th grade on a play in English having to do with WW1. I also acted in The Shepherd's Play and The Paradise Play, which the professors and volunteers presented before
winter vacation.

     During my two‐week vacations at school have travelled to some very remarkable places around France. I spent two weeks in the Alpes in early November, Christmas in La Rochelle, two weeks in Paris during the month of February, and more recently a week in Nice. I have also spent considerable amounts of time in Lyon, Toulouse and of course in Avignon and many small villages throughout Provence.

     My school year will soon be coming to an end on the 10th of July after which I will either come back to the US or if not, stay a little longer Europe to travel and experience the Avignon Theatre Festival. For next year I have applied to multiple Waldorf schools in the search of a job as a pianist or music teacher. I would very much like to continue as a pianist accompanying euythmy and chorus classes or as a teacher of chorus and music
lessons in a Waldorf school.
All the best, Will Bristol


Read (Listen to or Watch) This

It Is, in Fact, Rocket Science
By LEONARD MLODINOW, The New York Times, MAY 15, 2015

Let the Kids Learn Through Play
By DAVID KOHN, The New York Times, MAY 16, 2015


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