News, Notes & Updates 

November    2 0 1 3    V o l .  1 

Imbue thyself

Housatonic Valley
Waldorf School
40 Dodgingtown Road
Newtown, CT 06470

In This Issue
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-Child Classes
Regional Alumni Event
Study Group
Fall Admissions Events
Spring Benefit Committee
Parent Enrichment Committee
Scrapbookers Needed
Alumni Spotlight
Important Links

Second Grade Honors El Dia de los Muertos

Halloween Dance

Fall Fair
















What a busy season! Just as the students finished celebrating Halloween with a gourd hunt in Early Childhood and a costumed dance in the Grades, it was time for Day of the Dead celebrations in the Sixth and Second Grades AND our Fall Fair & Craft Market. Phew! And now we move right into the week of Martinmas, with beautiful evening lantern walks...

Thank you to everyone who came out and made our Fall Fair & Craft Market such a success! We were indeed incredibly lucky with the beautiful weather, but beyond that, luck had nothing to do with it. We are fortunate to have an amazingly hard-working, thoughtful, creative, and dedicated school community which manifested itself in the wonderful crafts, activities, and energy at the Fair. (I, for one, could have sat in Woodland Pond all day...) Thank you, thank you, thank you! If any of you have photos of the event that you would like to share, please send them along as I will assemble a slide show for our website. I will also keep our vendor list posted on our website as well, in case there were any beautiful items you are now regretting not purchasing at the Craft Market!

We had a full crowd at our most recent Windows Into Waldorf. If you weren't able to make it and are curious for a glimpse into our Grade School program, make sure to register for our next open house on November 19th at 7 PM!

Warm regards,

Christina Dixcy
Communications and Outreach Director

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Submissions to News, Notes & Updates are due the 1st and the 15th of every month. 
Specialty Teacher Parent-Teacher Conferences


Signup sheets are now posted in the Administration Cottage near the large Calendar.  Please remember to stop by and sign up for your Specialty Teacher conferences!




Upcoming Events
There is no school on Monday, November 11th.
Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place November 14th and 15th.
For a full calendar listing, please visit the
Calendar page of our website.
Grades 1-4: Friday, November 8th, 4:30 PM 

Celebrated in northern Europe, this holiday commemorates St. Martin, who as a young man passed under an archway in the city of Amiens and discovered a poor beggar huddled there.  The man was nearly naked, shivering with cold, and had received no alms to assist him.  On seeing him, Martin took his own cape from his shoulders, tore the garment in half, and covered the poor man to warm him.  The following night Martin had a dream in which he saw Christ wearing the same piece of his cape.  The experience confirmed in him his devotion to all humankind, regardless of their station in life.


Martin went on to become the patron saint of beggars, drunkards and outcasts.  He was known for his gentleness, his unassuming nature, and his ability to bring warmth and light to those who were previously in darkness.  On the evening of Martinmas, children in Waldorf schools remember St. Martin with a festival of lanterns they have made.  As we carry our lit lanterns into the woods at dusk, we symbolically represent the light of our humanity which transcends winter's darkness, and the light of love and generosity illuminating the world.  The stars, moons and suns with which the lanterns are decorated attest to the heavenly origins of these shining human qualities.

Regional Alumni Event
Saturday, November 9th from 6-8 pm
Visit the Event's Facebook Page


Join us for an evening of Waldorf Alums from 10 different schools!  If you graduated from The Waldorf School of Philadelphia, The Garden City Waldorf School, Waldorf School of Princeton, Kimberton Waldorf School, Hawthorne Valley School, Rudolf Steiner School of NYC, Green Meadow Waldorf School, Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School, Washington Waldorf School, Housatonic Valley Waldorf School, or any other Waldorf school, please join us at:



Pageant Soloveev
Bainbridge Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147 


The venue is an art gallery in the Bella Vista section of Philadelphia, and will host a national Waldorf art exhibit that will be on display from Nov. 9th through November 10th. This alumni event and art exhibit are all a part of The Waldorf School of Philadelphia's weekend event called the "Pop-Up Shop."  We can't wait to see a vibrant mix of alumni from our many schools to share stories, experiences, and memories.  This is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and network with new connections.  Food, drink, raffles, and great conversation are provided.  Hope to see you there!


HVWS is delighted to be a sponsor.

Study Group: Study of Man

Monday, November 18th
7 pm at the Community House

Meeting Mondays, every other week beginning in October, several teachers are studying Rudolf Steiner's Study of Man. These lectures were given to teachers of the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart, Germany in 1919.  Regarding the human being as "a threefold being of body, soul and spirit," the lectures begin with a survey of the human being "from the soul which stands between body and spirit." If you are interested in Waldorf teaching anytime in the future, or are currently a Waldorf teacher, you will find these lectures enlightening. If you simply want to deepen your understanding of Waldorf education, you may find that this helps to shed light on this holistic education.
Please contact Amalia Pretel-Gray with any questions.

Join the Spring Benefit Committee


The Spring Benefit, which will be held in May, is Housatonic Valley Waldorf School's most important fundraiser of the year.  But not only is the Spring Benefit important for our budget, it is a lot of FUN!!!  The Spring Benefit Committee is already forming and beginning to look for a venue and sponsorships.  If you would like to join this dynamic group of dedicated parents and help shape this year's event, please contact Christina Dixcy.  It doesn't matter whether you have been with the school for years or months--we can use your help!

Calling Members for the Parent Enrichment Committee!


Young in its development, the Parent Enrichment Committee brings evening speakers to the HVWS community.  Recent examples include a panel of HVWS's Educational Support Group; Kathleen Young speaking on "dystopia versus utopia" in her talk, U TXT ME; Douglas Gerwin's talk on the teenager, Walking the Tightrope; and a study group working on "Overcoming Nervousness," one of Rudolf Steiner's lectures.

The Parent Enrichment Committee seeks to foster an understanding of the roots of Waldorf education among the HVWS parent body.  The committee hopes to support and to communicate closely with the PTA to create forums, panels, dialogue, discussions, Coffee Klatches, lectures, presentations, study groups, resources of books and articles, artistic events, and speaking engagements.

If you have an interest in developing an understanding of Waldorf education, please contact Amalia Pretel-Gray at for further information on the Parent Enrichment Committee.



The Capital Asset Strategy Team (CAST) supports the short-term and long-term development of our infrastructure, including all physical properties of HVWS.  CAST is currently looking for new, energetic committee members!  If interested, please contact Jeff James at


Scrapbookers Needed


Do you like to scrapbook?

If so we could use your help preserving some HVWS history.  We have a collection of newspaper clippings from over the years that we would love to make beautifully presentable.


Please contact Therese Lederer if you would like to help.


Alumni Spotlight 
Elisa Navarro, class of 2009,  received a commendation from the College Board's Advanced Placement Program on her "outstanding academic performance," earning the designation of "AP Scholar." Elisa graduated 6th in her class from Bethel High School last year and is now studying International Business at American University in Washington DC on a full scholarship. Well done, Elisa!


Jared Parker, Class of 2010, performed with the New Milford High School Marching Band in the US Bands National Championships at MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on November 2nd.  The band placed 8th in the competition. Jared plays percussion. Congratulations!

Shami Khoshabo, Class of 2011, will play Jo March in the Bethel High School production of "Little Women."  Show time is Friday, November 22nd at 7pm at Bethel High School.


Alumnae Louise Fernandez (Milford), Paige Storrier (Wilton) and Renata Navarro (Bethel) at the Fall Fair.  Photo courtesy of the Storrier Family.


Our Gratitude

Fall Fair & Craft Market

Thank you to all of our parents (with a particular thank you to our Class Parents), faculty, staff, students, and alumni whose hard work made our Fall Fair possible. A huge thank you to Yolie Moreno for single-handedly organizing our Craft Market!  We had an amazing collection of vendors this year. Nicely done. Thank you to Denise Pedane (PTA Co-Chair), Carrie Reilly, and Allison Valentino for all their food-service and dishwashing efforts at our Friday night Craft Market reception.  Thank you to Fountainhead Wines and La Zingara Ristorante for their donations of wine and food to our Craft Market reception.  What a spread! Thank you to Billy Middeleer for hanging and removing our enormous Fall Fair & Craft Market banner as if by magic! Finally, thank you to the Fall Fair Committee: Marisa Del Monaco, Christina Dixcy, Allison Farrell, Heather Reilly Hiemstra, Jennifer Moscatello, Sandy Proksa, Gwynneth Sobejko, and Allison Washington. As always, thank you to Nathalie Bennett for her beautiful design work.


Windows into Waldorf

Thank you to Christina Dixcy, Denise Pedane, and Deirdre McCann for baking delicious treats for Windows into Waldorf.


Eurythmy Spring Valley Performance

Thank you to Laetitia Berrier Saarbach for organizing the Eurythmy Spring Valley performance on October 24, and to Linda Straub for organizational support.  Thank you to the Second Grade class including teacher Jillian Miller and parents Deirdre McCann, Beth Anesi, Allison Valentino, Laura McKinney, Heather Hiemstra, Jennifer Moscatello, and Tomoko Nishimura for preparing and organizing a delicious meal and snacks for the Eurythmy performers. Thanks also to the PTA reps Connie Greguski and Denise Pedane for snack setup and lunch clean-up. Thank you to Amalia Pretel-Gray and her Fifth Grade students as well as Leslie Lew and Janelle Beardsley for help setting up and putting away chairs. An enormous thank you to Christopher Gray who helped set up the space and did the lighting, and to Chris and Amalia for hosting some group members. Thank you to Therese Lederer and Christina Dixcy for the last-minute website updates and Diane Rockwell for always being there.



Thank you to Krista Stringer for catching a tweet that led to an article mentioning HVWS (see links below) and to John Hiemstra for being interviewed for the article.


Classroom Help

The Seventh Grade would like to express sincere thanks to Krista Stringer (mother to Emily Stringer), Ben Goode (grandfather to Maya Goode), and Jillian Miller (our lovely Second Grade teacher) for their help during our Physiology Block. Thank you for your time, wisdom and knowledge! 

- Mrs. Lew & the Seventh Graders


Staff Meeting Meals 

Thank you to our parents who generously cook delicious meals for our staff meetings!



Thank you to Patricia Campbell & Fran Hendrickson for a wonderful Halloween Dance! 


Fall Clean-up (from Diane Rockwell)

The campus is looking great! We had a wonderful crew for the campus cleanup. Mother Nature gave us a beautiful day. We had two projects done on Friday. Marcela Perez, Maya Goode, and David Schoenberg cleaned out the gutters of all buildings. Thank you for your willingness and ability to get on the roofs. Rich Disbrow blew leaves on the Early Childhood campus.

There are many people to thank for their time and talents. I kept a list but I apologize in advance if I missed your name. Yolie Moreno donated the services of a professional leafblowing company. It is amazing how many leaves fall in front of the Sundial House. This crew blew and vacuumed up a TRUCKload of leaves. They finished this in a couple of hours. It shows what it means to have the right equipment for the job.

There were many projects for the rest of the day; planting bulbs, creating a new garden around the school sign, more leafblowing on both campuses, trimming perennials,  weeding, moving mulch, moving gravel, cleaning up as we worked, and having fun.

Our thanks go to Yolie Moreno, Lily Moreno Sheridan, the Storrier, Keating, Bukovsky, Wipf (including Diana's friend) and Rooney families, Rich and Christopher Strilowich, Lark Bergwin-Anderson, Owen Richards, Joanne Andruscavage, John Scott Disbrow, Dempsey Reese, Tricia Bennett-Bigham, Ed Orleman (grandpa to Garrett Carnrick), and Billy Middeleer. Tambascio's donated pizza for our lunch and Robin Howard provided some delicious fresh fruit.

We have another campus cleanup scheduled for Saturday, April 26th; mark your calendars now so you can join us in work and fun.



A big thanks to Linda Straub for helping the Early Childhood teachers make Martinmas a wonderful, special festival. Thank you to James  Reilly, Lily McKinney, and Peter Brown for helping set up for the celebration. 



"Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls." 

~David Thomas




Here are the most recent articles posted on the HVWS Facebook page. If you haven't already, Like us on Facebook you'll never have to wait to read the articles we post!


New on our Blog

A Day of Remembrance 


Suggested Links

How Video Games Are Getting Inside Your Head--And Wallet 

NPR's All Tech Considered


Don't replace paper books yet, at least for kids


Trending: Where Families Go Private 


The mission of the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School is
to develop each child's unique capacity
 to engage meaningfully in the world.
    Guided by the principles of Waldorf education,
the faculty inspires in our students
creative thinking, moral sensibility, and a passion for learning. 
We offer a classical education that integrates
experiential and artistic learning, in an environment emphasizing
academic excellence, respect for diversity,
and reverence for the natural world.
    Our faculty, board of trustees, and parents work together,
with dedication and warmth, to support our school community.