Tuesday News - February 24, 2015

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Merriconeag Boys & Girls are Class C Nordic Team State Champions

(The girls' FIFTH consecutive championship & the boys’ THIRD!)

Both teams were honored with the highly regarded Good Sportsmanship Award for Class C!

Samantha Pierce and Forrest McCurdy are the Classical Class C Champions.

Fiona Ahearne and Forrest McCurdy are the Freestyle Class C Champions.

Congratulations to our skiers and Coach Tarling!

                           (See more under Athletic News below)


Upcoming Events

Join Mr. Sloan for . . .

MPE-PosterA very special and very limited 2015 run of the Maine Poetry Express:

This Wednesday, February 25, 7:00 p.m.

Merrill Memorial Library, Yarmouth, ME

(Conductor: Mary Dowd at mdowdmd@yahoo.com.)

David Sloan and Megan Grumbling will be the featured poets.

The Maine Poetry Express is an Office of the Maine Poet Laureate initiative led by Wesley McNair. The Maine Poetry Express is a “whistle-stop” tour of community readings and discussions about poetry in our everyday lives.

Saturday Craft Morning - Winter Snow Fairies
Saturday, February 28, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Early Childhood Center, 60 Desert Road, Freeport
Delightful activities for prospective families and their children under 7. Please tell your friends!
Come make snow fairies, play in our enchanting classroom and listen to a winter story.
Registration is appreciated but drop-ins are welcome. Contact Heidi Drexel, 207.865.3900, Ext 163 or hdrexel@merriconeag.org.


Tour of Grades 1 - 8

Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 8:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Grade School Campus, 57 Desert Road, Freeport

An opportunity for adults to experience Waldorf education first-hand by observing our students and teachers in action. Questions and answers at the end. Begins in the Community Hall.

For prospective parents. To register contact Lyn Baird, Admissions Director, 207-865-3900, Ext. 103, admissionsdirector@merriconeag.org.


The Challenges of Being a Good Dad:

What Does It Take and How Is It Different From Being a Good Mom?

A public talk by Jack Petrash
Friday, March 27, 7:00 pm
Community Hall, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport

Donation at the door.
Parenting today is a challenging assignment. What is needed to do this work well?

A Fathering Workshop with Jack Petrash
Saturday, March 28, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Community Hall, 57 Desert Rd, Freeport

Cost: $15

Register now: publicrelations@merriconeag.org
It is rare that dads have a chance to sit together and speak about the joys and the challenges of fatherhood. In this workshop participants will reflect on their own childhood experiences which in so many ways influence our parenting. Through our conversations and reflections we will get at the heart of what it takes to create a meaningful and memorable relationship with our children.

To learn more about Jack Petrash, click here.


From the Business Office

New promotion with CLYNK: Now through April 20, 2015 - Hannaford will be matching every dollar raised by Merriconeag with an additional $.50. We now have CLYNK bags available in the main office and the EC office. Once you have filled your bag, simply take it to your local Hannaford, scan the bar code tag on the bag, and drop the bag in the designated location at your Hannaford. It's that easy! See flyer for more.
Example: If Merriconeag has 20 supporters, and each one returns a bag every two weeks, we'll make over $1,500 every year (based on an average bag worth $3.50).

We still have all of your everyday shopping programs too. Check out the flyer for all the details.
Contact Melissa Hoy in the Business Office (ext. 151) with any questions.


From the Development Office

Variety Show & Silent Auction to Benefit Tiered Tuition
Saturday, April 11, 6:00 - 9:30 p.m. (Happy Hour 5-6 p.m.)
Community Hall, 57 Desert Road, Freeport

     We are still looking for volunteers to help with our Auction. If you have a bit of free time and like to have fun, let us know and we’ll find a volunteer job for you that fits your interest, skills and schedule.
• Merri-Happenings – help Lynne Espy and Michael Stefanakos dream up a selection of fun parties that we call “Merri-Happenings”. If you’ve gone to any of these, you know how fun they are and you can help make them happen!
• Mailings – do you have a few hours next week to help Lynne send out the invitations?
• Cash Raffle Sales – we send cash raffle tickets home with every invitation, but we could use help selling them in the parking lot, on the path, to your neighbors…can you help?
• Sponsorship Reminder – if your business wants great visibility at the Auction, please ask them to be an Auction sponsor. A sponsor form is attached showing the benefits. We need to know all Heart Level Sponsors by this week, so act quickly!
Keep watching for Auction updates.

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

Mary Martin, Events Coordinator, events@merriconeag.org, 207.865.3900, Ext.113


News from Early Childhood

Reporter from Tri-Town Weekly Visits Kindergarten Forest Friday:

On Friday, February 13, Larry Grard, a reporter from the Tri-Town Weekly came to join the kindergartens for Forest Friday. He didn't make it all the way to the woods on that very cold day but you can read his article in the online version here.




News from the Grade School

A few highlights from the 5th Grade play, Perseus and the Gorgon's Head (photography by Tricia Toms)



Seventh Grade student, Grace Sanford, placed third out of 100 contestants at the state level for her entry in the annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest designed to encourage students to express themselves through art. She received a certificate and $50 prize. Each year a specific theme is given and students are required to depict all aspects of the theme without using words on their poster. This year the theme was Peace, Love and Understanding. Students aged 11-13 from many schools participate in the contest with teachers taking on a large role in conveying the guidelines to the students. Congratulations, Grace!

Click here to read about it in the Tri Town Weekly.


There were many happy customers at the very enticing 7th Grade Bake Sale on the Friday before February break!




News from the High School

Merriconeag Nordic Skiers Reign As Maine State Champs. . .Again! Winning a high school state championship is an almost unheard-of feat in Waldorf circles. Bringing home consecutive state championships seems utterly implausible, but that is just what Merriconeag Waldorf High School’s Nordic skiers accomplished at the 2015 Maine State Class C Championships held in Presque Isle. Braving sub-zero temperatures, the girls’ team secured their fifth straight title, and the boys earned their third. As usual, Merriconeag competed against schools with nearly eight times its enrollment. Nevertheless, Merriconeag’s girls’ team dominated the field, finishing with a combined 33 points over the two-day event (the lower the score, the better); the second and third place teams finished with 130 and 134 points, respectively.
      In the classical race, the girls took five of the top ten spots, led by senior Samantha Pierce and junior Fiona Ahearne, who finished one-two. Freshmen Olivia Skillings (fourth) and Louise Ahearne (eighth) and sophomore Fiona Libby (tenth) were the other top ten finishers. The next day, Fiona Ahearne earned top honors, followed by Pierce (third), Skillings (fourth) and Louise Ahearne (tenth). For the boys, junior Forrest McCurdy led the way (first in both classical and freestyle races), with sophomore Tucker Pierce (second in both contests), seniors Lars Gunderson (fifth in classical) and Zach Neveu (fifth in freestyle, ninth in classical), and freshman Nick Neveu (seventh in freestyle) rounding out the scoring. The boys’ combined team score (32 points) placed them far ahead of their nearest rivals; Fort Kent finished a distant second with 92 points. As if their athletic achievements weren’t enough, both teams were awarded the highly regarded Sportsmanship Award.
       Merriconeag’s Athletic Director, Susan Sonntag, praised both coach John Tarling and his skiers. “We are fortunate to have John as our coach, who shares his life-long love of the sport with the team, in addition to training them well.” She added, “We couldn’t ask for a better bunch of kids on the team—not only do they ski fast, but they encourage and support one another in every race and practice.”
      Coach Tarling has been the chief architect behind the team’s sustained success. “I very much enjoyed working with this motivated group. I could tell they were intent on doing their best, yet they always found ways to keep each other’s well-being in mind. Although ski racing is an individual contest, the kids really were team-focused, making sure to look after each other as the injuries and illness took a toll throughout the season.” David Sloan


School Community Updates

Don't know what to do with all those precious finger-knittings filling up your house? Donate them for the auction! Parents of the Second Grade are on the hunt THIS WEEK especially and up until auction time for strings of finger knitting, twisty-ties (ask your child what these are), skeins of cotton or wool yarn, ribbon, fabric, cotton rope, wooden beads. Pieces of all sizes and colors welcome. Clean out those toy/craft boxes and please help us make something up-cycled and wonderful! Donation basket will be on 2nd grade bench, or give to Iris' mom, Jen Fitzpatrick, at EC or simply hand your loot to any 2nd grade parent you see. Thank you so much!

Pest Management Policy: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a focus of the state to track the use of pesticides in schools and public buildings. MWS is required to disclose to any parent or faculty member when any pesticides are used. MWS does not use pesticides as a general rule. If pesticides are used it would happen when school is not in session and there is no threat of exposure to the students or the community. If you would like contacted when pesticides are used a form is provided in the Grades office (Lisa). After filling out the form you would be contacted in the event of pesticide usage. Contact Will Hight with any questions or concerns 865-3900 x135 caretaker@merriconeag.org

Needed for Costume Room: Do you have any of the following to donate to our costume room?
-Plastic bins with lids, any size
-Clear plastic bags; 12 x 16 or bigger
-Plastic bags with zippers (like the ones bedding comes in or similar)
-Plastic garment bags
-Ironing board
Please leave items with Lisa in the office. Thank you, Regina Kusche

Honoring Childhood: A Blog for Merriconeag

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To sign up and to read the latest post, Middle School Science and Phenomenology
By Jennifer Chace: Seventh Grade Teacher
, click here.

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

Athletic News

Middle School Nordic: Thanks to all of you who helped make the middle school Nordic ski season a great success. We launched with challenging dryland training. We juggled cold temperatures and icy conditions, often finding ourselves indoors. When the snow arrived we filled the bus with 34 skiers ready to have some fun! Throughout the season we learned to accommodate all conditions. The first few practices were cold and blustery and followed by a few days without enough snow to ski. We had the opportunity to race on man-made snow and test our klister. A few practices were missed due to snow days and of course there were also days that were ideal!

     Despite the challenges, the team was always enthusiastic and met each practice with a sense of adventure. Our team ranged from new skiers to experienced veterans, cheerleaders to racers. We shared our expertise and carried each other to new levels of technique and team spirit. (The bus drivers were always very impressed.) Throughout the season almost every skier raced and many racers placed well.

     At States the energy was impressive. The day was shortened due to threatening arctic conditions. A huge orange tent stood marking the center of our home base. Racers, parents, siblings and friends milled about chatting, laughing and sharing the excitement of the day. A table overflowed with hot soups and yummy snacks for everyone. Beside the tent there was a waxing station with many busy experts conferring. Racers and former racers tested wax. Music filled the air causing many folks to dance as they kept their feet moving to stay warm. We handed out bibs filling the rosters of every race and lined our racers up. Each and every racer made us all proud. Merriconeag placed skiers on the podium and more in the top 10. Each and every one of our volunteers and fans made us proud to be part of such an amazing community.

     Though Yarmouth took the title I'd like to claim Merriconeag as the most impressive overall. If you look closely you'll see many champions: Skiers who dug deep - cheering each other on, taking chances, challenging themselves, and reaching for their personal best. All along celebrating each other... medals, top times, first places, first races, high fashion, fresh air, friends, the outdoors and all that skiing and being a team brings.

     Thanks to all of you: racers, volunteers, organizers, parents, and everyone who joined in. We appreciate you all and were so very honored to share the experience, Coaches Julie Yeo and Ryen Munro


High School Nordic:

From Athletic Director, Susan Sonntag:
The nordic ski team had an exciting time the first half of vacation week, heading up to Presque Isle for the Class C States ski races. It is difficult to describe the other-worldliness of our time in the county, but some notable points were:
· Scrambling to leave a day early to avoid yet another incoming snowstorm.
· VERY cold and windy weather.
· Candlepin bowling at the Northern Lanes Elks lodge.
· Nothing but snow-covered roads everywhere, due to all the blowing snow.
· Class B and C skied together for these state championship races, a new format this year.
· Did we mention it was cold and windy?
      For our first race, in the classical style, conditions were 2 degrees and 25+ mph winds. The team rose to the challenge of skiing in these extreme conditions and both the boys and girls teams were in first place at the end of the day, with our own Forrest McCurdy and Samantha Pierce winning their respective Class C divisions. Some race scheduling issues arose due to the windy conditions, so our races on the final day were pushed into the very late afternoon and evening, with the course changed to be under the lights. By the time the girls set off it was solid dark, and we could glimpse skiers through the woods on the trails, racing in and out of the floodlights, something one doesn’t usually associate with nordic racing. This race ended with Forrest McCurdy and Fiona Ahearne taking first in the Class C skate division. After the races we moved down into town to the Presque Isle High School gym for the awards ceremony. Again, an unusual time, with awards for Class B and Class C being done in one ceremony. By the end of the evening, many Merriconeag skiers received ribbons or medals for top 10 honors in the past two days of races, Merriconeag boys and girls were named Nordic Champions in Class C, and both teams were honored with the highly regarded Good Sportsmanship Award for Class C. We returned back to our cabins at 9:00 PM for a well deserved celebration dinner, and made the trek back down south the following day.
      Congratulations to all the skiers and coach John Tarling, and huge thank yous to all the helpers, parents, and ski team supporters throughout the season. There is one more week of ‘official’ ski team afterschool practice, for those kids intending on skiing in the U16/EHS qualifier race on Saturday, February 28 at Black Mt. Check the blog for more info on this race and to see more detailed results from the States races - http://mwsnordicskiing.blogspot.com/


Read (Listen to or Watch) This

Q&A: Blocks, Play, Screen Time And The Infant Mind
"Tools of the Trade" series is taking a look at some of the iconic objects that form a vital part of our educational lives. For an upcoming piece, I'm reporting on how young children learn through that most basic of preschool education tools: simple wooden blocks.
By Eric Westervelt, nprEd, February 12, 2015 6:40 AM ET

Opening economic doors with early childhood education

This show features Waldorf education and one of our speakers and friend of our school, Joan Almon.
By Eliza Mills for Marketplace Weekend, Friday, February 13, 2015 - 11:56

Letting kids move in class isn’t a break from learning. It IS learning.
By Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post, January 19

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