News, Notes & Updates 

January  2 0 1 4   V o l .  1

Imbue thyself

Housatonic Valley
Waldorf School
40 Dodgingtown Road
Newtown, CT 06470

In This Issue
Parent-Child Classes
Annual Appeal
Middle School Morning
After-School Enrichment
Connie Helms Lecture
Handwork Morning
Parent Enrichment Committee
Spring Benefit
7th Grade Gernan Field Trip
Alumni Spotlight
4th Grade Visitors
Important Links
The Shepherds' Play


Happy New Year! We are back after a lovely, restful break and jumping right into a flurry of activity. This January we have a slew of wonderful events coming up for adults.

If you have never done so, treat yourself and register for our upcoming Middle School Morning on January 14th. This sample Main Lesson will focus on Physics and will be taught by HVWS Fifth Grade class teacher Amalia Pretel-Gray. It is a wonderful taste of the HVWS classroom experience. Come prepared to work! On the 17th, our Parent Enrichment Committee is bringing educator Connie Helms to speak to our community about helping children navigate the stress of modern life. (I have already arranged for a babysitter!) And we are thrilled to announce that HVWS handwork teacher Carol Reznikoff will offer two Handwork Mornings for adults on January 30th and 31st. Space is limited!

Finally, despite the arrival of a new calendar year, please note that our Annual Appeal is still running. Your donations are vital to our school's health and well-being and we thank you!
Warm wishes in this cold month,

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. 
Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the Spring Session of Parent-Child Classes.



Annual Appeal: Matching Gift 

We have received a generous, anonymous matching gift for our Annual Appeal!  HVWS can receive an additional $25,000 if we can raise $25,000--this is a one-for-one match.  Every dollar donated becomes $2 with the matching gift. 


Help us reach our goal of 100% school community participation by making a tax-deductible donation today!

Donate now or visit for details.   
Upcoming Events
After-School Enrichment Program

Classes begin the week of January 15th.


Register online for the Winter 2014 session.  Classes include Painting, Form Drawing and Drawing, and Woodwork Carving.
Students need not be enrolled in HVWS to register.
Parent Enrichment 
Friday, January 17th, 7:00 PM

Handwork Morning

January 30th or 31st

8:30 to 11 AM

Keep the Festive Feeling Going...
Create a simple and beautiful Gnome Celebration Ring.
This simple and beautiful craft will delight your family during any occasion. Join Handwork Teacher and College Chair, Carol Reznikoff, for a morning of handwork and camaraderie.

Choose either Thursday, January 30th or Friday, January 31st from 8:30-11 AM in the Handwork Room (lower level of Compass Hall, 1 Jacklin Road, Newtown).

Carol Reznikoff has taught handwork at HVWS for more than 12 years. She is a graduate of the Sunbridge Institute Applied Arts Program. Carol was one of the founding parents of our HVWS, and her 3 daughters are graduates.

Space is limited to the first 8 participants for each day--so register now.

Coffee and refreshments will be served
$10 supplies fee

Call 203-364-1113 x 102 with any questions.

This is an event for adults.

For a full calendar listing, please visit the Calendar page of our website.
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



10th Annual Spring Benefit: Save the Date!
WHEN: May 17, 2014
Funds raised through our Spring Benefit are integral to balancing our budget and each year we are overwhelmed by the generosity of our community.
This year we will be asking our school community to donate TIME, TALENT, or TREASURE to help ensure the success of the Spring Benefit. More details to follow!
All are welcome at planning meetings. For more information about the Benefit, please e-mail Marisa DelMonaco at, or visit our Spring Benefit homepage.
Seventh Grade German Class Field Trip

Seventh Grade German field trip for an Advent celebration at the home of Frau Garten's mother.
Students enjoyed a German scavenger hunt and traditional treats while viewing hand-carved decorations from the Erzgebirge in Germany, birthplace of Frau Garten's father.


Alumni Spotlight


ZoŽ Schlanger, Class of 2005, writes, "I'll be starting at Newsweek in a few weeks as a 'generalist' reporter for the magazine's website, which means I'll pitch and write about a range of issues. I'm hoping that can include environmental and energy policy, corporate trade secret laws, LGBT and women's issues, and life in Spain under austerity, where youth unemployment recently passed 50%. I hope everything is going well at HVWS!"

Two Scouts from Troop 70 were honored for their work helping to design a Medical Center for the Deer Lake Scout Reservation in Killingworth, CT. Working alongside a computer engineer and an architect, Max Filter Calvo and Erik Mihok (HVWS Class of 2013) of Newtown Middle School operated a CAD program to plot utilities on the computer-designed 3D model. This structure is being proposed to be built by the Connecticut Construction Industry and donated to the Scout Reservation. The work invitation came as a result of the Scouts' participation in the Merit Badge College sponsored by the Connecticut Yankee Council, in which the Scouts earned merit badges in the building trades category. Eric gave a speech about the proposed medical center and the work that the Scouts did, asking for donations from the Industry leaders to make the building a reality, and both Scouts were honored in a speech by Charles Flowers, Scout executive for the Yankee Council. 
Max Filter Calvo (l) and Eric Mihok (r) flank Boy Scouts of America Connecticut Yankee Council CEO Charles Flowers at an awards banquet honoring the work the Scouts did helping to design a proposed medical center for the Deer Lake Scout Reservation.


Fourth Graders Receive a Special Visit
Parents Sally Schwager and Eric Lifgren's chickens visit the Fourth Grade!


Our Gratitude


A warm Thank You to the HVWS parents for their holiday gifts to the teachers.  We so appreciate your generosity!  Thank you also to the PTA and Co-Chairs Denise Pedane and Lola Strilowich, for organizing gifts for specialty teachers and staff, and to all of our dedicated class parents for organizing class teacher gifts!


Danke Schoen from Mrs. Lew & the Seventh Graders to Janice Garten & our own Frau Garten for a delightful field trip on December 19th!


Thank you to Diane Barnes (director and actor), Mary LarsonPeter WipfLark Bergwin-AndersonJanelle Beardsley, Amalia Pretel-Gray, Jeff Parker, Alex Reznikoff, Leslie Lew, Christopher Gray, and Emily Remensperger for their delightful production of The Shepherds' Play. What a gift to our community!  


Thank you to all the parents who prepare amazing meals for our faculty meetings! 


"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!


Suggested Links:


Experiential Learning and Waldorf Education
Experiential Learning and Waldorf Education


Cold Is Important 

The Pine Project 


The Infinite Classroom



Why A Regular Bedtime Is Important For Children


Language, Measures, and the US Handicap in Math
Psychology Today

To Make Science Real, Kids Want More Fun

Creating your own textbooks to deepen knowledge
Creating your own textbooks to deepen knowledge

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.