Issue: #5 May 2008

Dear Friends,

In January we reported on The Poly-Gnomes: a robotics team of eight high school students in grades nine through twelve at the Green Meadow Waldorf School who won a local championship alliance. Recently we received this update from their robotics coach and high school physics and math teacher James Madsen:

" I thought you would like to know that the Green Meadow PolyGnomes robotics team just missed going to the world championships by a whisker.  We competed in the big NYC tournament with 60 teams on April 5th. At the end of the grueling qualifying matches we were still undefeated, but seeded second in ranking points behind a Canadian team. We easily sailed through the championship tournament quarter-finals and semi-finals, but we were finally bested by the Canadians in the finals. It did go down to the last few seconds though. The students were slightly disappointed, but it was only our third tournament in our rookie year ever after all."

Go, Poly-Gnomes! We are so proud of you all!

Frances Kane            Patrice Maynard                   Michael Soule Administration           Development & Outreach       Programs & Activities

Drive team members Gavin Langdon (left) and Nicholas Frei
tweak the robot before a match in NYC.

Prestigious Joseph Klingenstein Fellowship Awarded to Rudolf Steiner School Teacher

The prestigious Joseph Klingenstein Fellowship was recently awarded to Marisha Plotnik, high school physics and math teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School of New York City. Starting in the fall, Plotnik will attend Teachers College to take courses and to complete an independent study project. "Fellows are asked to investigate issues that have particular relevance to their sponsoring schools as well as to their own professional interests," explains Plotnik. "My research project is "Beyond Mentoring: Developing the Teacher's Art through Peer Collaboration." She has long been interested in the relationships and differences between "mentoring" and "collaboration" in the area of teacher development.

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Why Waldorf Works

AWSNA's Patrice Maynard Present
at White House Summit On School Choice

After attending a recent White House Summit on Inner-City Children and Faith-Based Schools, Patrice Maynard, who was invited to attend on behalf of CAPE (Council for American Private Education), reports:  "President Bush delivered a forty-minute speech to about three hundred representatives from faith-based and independent schools in a day packed tightly with panels designed to highlight  information and expertise on the alarming rate of closings of faith-based schools in our nation's inner cities. He underscored his proposal for ell grants for kids (designed to mimic Pell grants available for post-secondary education with the added caveat that these grants would be made available only to those students in public schools that are failing).  He endorsed tuition tax credits, individual philanthropic initiatives that have helped to sponsor underprivileged student's participation in faith-based private schools, and corporate philanthropic involvement in education."

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Why Waldorf Works

Waldorf Educators From Across the U.S.
attend 8th Annual World Teachers' Conference

Dornach, March 2008
- Fifty teachers from Waldorf schools across the continent joined more than one thousand educators from fifty-six nations at the Goetheanum in Dornach for the Eighth Annual World Teachers` Conference. This year the theme was "Educating the Will - Awakening the Spirit in the Head: Searching for New Ways."

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Why Waldorf Works
Annual Conference
The AWSNA Summer Conference 2008 will be held at the City of Lakes Waldorf School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The theme is "Working in a Waldorf School - why vocation and self-development are inextricably entwined." You can learn more about the conference on Why Waldorf Works.
Winning With Waldorf III
Have you signed up to golf in Birmingham, Alabama, in Winning With Waldorf III? June 9, 2008, is the day! Our PGA touring golf champion, Duffy Waldorf, will lead us on to success. The Redmont School, our sponsor this time, promises another exciting event at the beautiful FarmLinks Golf Club, this time with an Alabama football hero in every foursome. Look for your invitation in the mail or register on-line at Why Waldorf Works.
About Us
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The Association for Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) is a not-for-profit membership organization that supports independent Waldorf schools, initiatives, and teacher training institutes, and promotes Waldorf education throughout North America.

Waldorf education is a holistic and developmental approach that integrates academic, practical and artistic elements as it addresses the changing needs of the growing child and maturing adolescent. Waldorf schools engage the heart and hands as well as the mind with a lively, experiential curriculum rich in the basics, literature, history, languages, the arts, the social and natural sciences and technology.

AWSNA provides leadership to schools by facilitating resources, networks and research as they strive towards excellence and build healthy school communities. The Association performs functions that its member schools and institutes could not do alone, including outreach and advocacy, accreditation and school support services, professional development activities, research and publications.

Please contact us if you have any questions about AWSNA or this newsletter.

In This Issue
Prestigious Fellowship Awarded
White House Summit
World Teachers Conference
AWSNA Summer Conference
Third Annual Golf Event
About Us
Quick Links