The Leaflet a newsletter for parents and friends of Ashwood Waldorf School

October 9, 2013Join Our Mailing List
Board News
Board alumnus David Gordon did not forget to bring along his quirky sense of humor.
Humor and Hard Work Make for a Productive All-School Meeting 

The All-School meeting, otherwise known as Planapalooza II, last Thursday was well attended and, I hope, informative for all. The night was productive and portrayed the myriad accomplishments that took place over this past year as well as the challenges and work yet to be done. The updated Strategic Plan was handed out, and there were presentations on each area of the plan:

  • Programming
  • Buildings & Grounds
  • Enrollment and Retention
  • Financial Sustainability
  • Leadership: Board, Faculty, and Parent Community Council

Although two hours is a long time to meet, each section of the plan was allotted only 20 minutes, and each presenter or group used every minute of it. Questions from those in attendance were written on cards and Buck O'Herin read them for all to hear.


If you weren't able to attend the meeting, please stop by the office and get a copy of the updated Strategic Plan. In addition, I am happy to answer questions about the Plan broadly, or any aspect of it. Please send me your questions, and I will make sure that they get to the appropriate committee chair.


The minutes from the meeting will be collated and published soon. We also collected all of the questions that were posed and will collate and answer all those we did not get to. Many of the questions will be answered at upcoming PCC meetings, so be sure to check out future PCC agendas. If you are not able to attend a meeting where a question is being addressed, please be in touch with me.


A big thank you to David Gordon for his entertaining introduction and wardrobe (see photo), Betsy Morrell for providing us with food and child care, Buck O'Herin for facilitating the meeting, Jen Lavi and Betty Wyman for handing out question cards and surveys, all of the presenters and participants on each of the committees, and all of the parents of the school who bring us your children and contribute to the life of the school in so many ways.


Jody Spanglet, School Director  

and Betsy Morrell, Board Chair 

Grade School News
Illustration by Ashwood teacher Lesley Finlayson for last year's Fourth Grade Norse Mythology
Behind the Scenes in Grade 3/4, 5, and 7
Behind the Scenes in Grade 3/4, 5 and 7

Have you ever wondered what goes in your child's classroom? Then, join our School Day Tour on October 16 from 8:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for a behind-the-scenes look at Waldorf education! Every morning, in more than 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide, the day begins with a dynamic and interactive main lesson, where academic subjects are brought to life through storytelling, movement, experimentation and the arts. In this tour you will wind your way through three grade school classrooms, seeing firsthand how Waldorf works from the early elementary grades through the middle school. After the tour there will be time for questions and conversation. Advance registration is required: or 207.236.8021. Free of charge. All are welcome!

Sign Up for Parent-Teacher Conferences
It is time to sign up for your parent-teacher conference. The conferences begin after dismissal on Thursday, Oct. 24 (1:30-5:50 p.m.) and continue on Friday, October 25 from 8:30 a.m.-3:55 p.m. There is no school on Friday. Donna Wenckus (Handwork) and Alex McGregor (French and Chorus) will also be available for conferences during these days. Instead of Donna and Alex writing notes for your class teacher to read,  you will instead have the opportunity to meet with them yourself, and to hear about your child's participation in these classes. Please sign up for a 10-minute conference with these specialists if you have a child in Grades Three/Four through Seven.

Families with two households are asked to schedule just one parent-teacher conference.

Conference sign-up sheets are in the office; please stop in or call. The sign-up deadline is noon on Wednesday, October 23. After this date, any additions or changes must be made directly with the class teacher. Please remember that no children may be on campus without adult supervision during conferences.

Jody Spanglet, School Director
"Across the Beautiful Sea" to Seguin Island
In September, shortly after school began, Ashwood Waldorf School's Fifth Grade set off for our first group boat-and-camp overnight. The weather threatened storms and wildness, but our captains, John Chandler and Richard Lee, and their intrepid first mates, Tania Chandler and Cherry Short-Lee, were confident we would be just fine, so we set off from Small Point, and had a beautiful trip, through rising fog and rolling seas, past the mouth of the Kennebec River, past seals and seabirds, past dolphins, to the rocky shore of Seguin Island. More
Lesley Finlayson, Fifth Grade Teacher
photo John Luft
Middle School Students Take on the "Grand Canyon of the East"
Gulf Hagas, the "Grand Canyon of the East," is a three-mile-long slate gorge located in the mountains of central Maine. Last week the Middle School enjoyed a two-night camping trip to the area crowned by a daylong hike along the rim of the gorge. It was an amazing trip: waterfalls cascading through narrow passages, sheer slate cliffs, crisp fall colors, and even a moose on our way home. Our profound thanks go to all of the parents who helped make the trip possible by cooking and shopping and providing equipment. We'd also like to send a big shout-out to our chaperone/guides: Buck O'Herin, David Ray, and John Luft.  More

Amy Watson, Seventh Grade Teacher, and Laura Purdom, Sixth Grade Teacher
Festival News
All Hallows' Eve is Coming 

Ladies and gentlemen, boos and ghouls, goblins and witches! Ashwood Waldorf School's 12th Annual All Hallows' Eve Walk is hovering just... around... the corner! Boo!


Beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 31, the grounds of Merryspring Nature Center, Conway Road, Camden, are transformed into an enchanted forest full of beautiful and mysterious creatures and magical characters from myth, fairytale, and legend. Walk the jack-o-lantern lit paths, and look for your favorite storybook scenes, from sleepy Rip Van Winkle and carefree Red Riding Hood to dear old Mother Holle and brave Sir Lancelot.


A delicious cookie awaits you as you exit the path. And don't miss storytime at the gazebo with our favorite good witch!


The All Hallows' Eve Walk is specially designed as a gift for young children and their parents or caregivers. We hope that it will be a place where the littlest ones in our community can have a happy and scare-free Halloween experience. For more information, see The Spirits of Halloween, an article by Eugene Schwartz on the young child's experience of Halloween.


For the older children, aged nine to thirteen, a mysterious character will offer a spooky story by the campfire in the woods. And to warm you up, hot cider will be served by the Parent Community Council.


Parking for the event is in Merryspring Nature Center's meadows past the buildings and off the main loop. Guides will show you the way. Families are encouraged to carpool. 


Join us! All Hallows' is a not-to-be-missed festival for young and old. And (we're not tricking!) it's always a treat to see everyone in their Halloween finery. So, dress up! But we do ask that you save the scary masks and costumes for elsewhere for the sake of the small children. 


Are You a Character?

If so, you might want to get into costume and play one of the magical creatures or fairytale legends on our All Hallows' woodland trail on October 31. Or maybe being a car parking engineer is more your speed. From the trail to the car park, we are looking for a few happy volunteers to make All Hallows' Eve a success. Email:


A Peck of Pumpkins?

Have you picked your pumpkin, Peter? Don't forget to bring a pumpkin or two to school for the annual pumpkin carving extravaganza. Tools, marked with your name, are also needed. Large spoons, wrapped carving knives, and markers are all useful items. The carving will taking place from 12:15 to 1:20 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30. Parents are encouraged to join the fun! Please send a pumpkin or two of any size to school with your child between October 28 and 30. Carved pumpkins will be transported to Merryspring for the All Hallows' Eve walk. (They are the children's contribution to the festival and will not be returned.)

The Celebrations Committee: Lesley Finlayson (Chair), Jeremy Clough, Robert Kaczor, Laura Purdom
Early Childhood News
The Kindergarten Goes Apple Picking 
The leaves are green, the apples are red
They hang so high above our head
Leave them alone 'till frosty weather
And then we'll all fall down together!

It certainly was not a frosty day last Thursday when the Kindergarten went apple picking in Camden at Romy's grandmother's orchard. It was a beautiful autumn day, and all the children delighted in picking plentiful apples. When we returned, the classroom smelled heavenly! We were glad so many of you could join us. Thanks to Lindsay Verite and her mom for making this possible.
In our circle time, we have transitioned into one of our favorites themes, the animals getting fat and furry...ready for the cold days ahead. We will also begin to introduce some pumpkin and Halloween songs and poems as the big day draws closer.
Our first parent evening on September 19 was very well attended. We hope you enjoyed your soup and bread! We socialized, welcomed new families and worked on our "Little Ones," snuggly soft hand-made dolls, which will arrive for the children later this month. Mother Earth will send them for the children to care for as the cold winter days arrive. I am hoping to see some arrive (secretly of course) in my pockets very soon!
We are spending lots of time outside in these golden days
of autumn. Sand,  buckets of water, and laughter on the playground. Life is good.
Ms. Beth and Ms. Ursula
PCC News
PCC to Meet Wednesday, October 16

The Parent Community Council's next meeting is Wednesday, October 16 at 6:00 p.m. at the Early Childhood Center. The agenda is as follows:

  • Bringing back the bottle drive!
  • Cottage store hours and merchandise
  • Possible crafting classes; Kate Chandler and Elizabeth Lally's ideas on this subject
  • All Hallows' Eve duties: cookies, cider, specific recipes for cookies (including gluten free )
  • What would be (if any) the PCC's role in deciding cancellation of All Hallows' Eve due to unsuitable weather conditions? 
  • Discussion about the results of the PCC questionnaire. 

All parents are members of the PCC. Please join us, if you can! If you have any questions or comments, please call Jen Lavi at 623-2166.

Alumni News
Alumni to Perform in "Shrek, The Musical" at Camden Hills Regional High School

"Shrek, the Musical," based on the Oscar-winning film, is this year's Camden Hills Regional High School fall musical. Several Ashwood Waldorf School alumni are cast in this show, so don't miss the chance to cheer on our talented students.

Duncan Hall '10, plays Lord Farquaad, while Fiona Hall '13 turns in a performance as one of the Three Pigs, along with her cohort Chloe Isis '13. Jamie Oshima '12 plays a Singing Knight, while Jonas Eichenlaub '13 rounds out the ensemble.

"Shrek, the Musical" will run Fridays and Saturdays, November 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, November 10, at 2 p.m. in the Strom Auditorium, Rockport. Advance ticket sales are $12 reserved and $10 general admission; $6 for students and senior citizens. There will be a special Family Show on Wednesday, November 13, at 6:00 p.m. with the reduced ticket price of $5, all general admission. For more information: 207-236-7800, ext. 282 or Link

Jack Petrash to Speak at Merriconeag 

Waldorf educator Jack Petrash will be at Merriconeag Waldorf School in Freeport, Maine for two events on October 18 and 19. Click here for details.


School Closing: Be in the Know

Here's a way to get school cancellations and delays right to your cell phone. Go to this link, and follow the instructions. Ashwood follows the SAD 28 school delay/closing protocol.



Download the latest edition of Inform, the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America's monthly newsletter.

In This Issue
Important Dates

Thursday, October 10 

Fifth Grade Field Trip 

9:00-11:00 a.m. 

Fifth Grade Parent Evening 

6:00-8:00 p.m.

Board Meeting

6:00-9:00 p.m.


Friday, October 11

All-School Games

8:40 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
Monday, October 14
Columbus Day, No School

Wednesday, October 16
Tour of the Grades
8:15-10:30 a.m.
PCC Meeting @ EC Center 
 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Friday, October 18
Friday Assembly: Seventh Grade Presents
8:40-9:00 a.m.

Thursday, October 24
Parent Teacher Conferences
1:30-5:50 p.m.

Friday, October 25
Parent Teacher Conferences
No School
8:30 a.m.-3:55 p.m.

Wednesday, October 30
Pumpkin Carving
12:15-1:20 p.m.

Thursday, October 31
4:30-5:45 p.m.


Interactive Web Calendar

Printable Calendar

Community Classifieds

Infant Child Care Sought

Seeking child care for baby Isaac. Nanny or small home operation preferred. Part-time/flexible hours. Call Keri Kaczor at 207-215-3511.


Maine Christian Community Michaelmas Gathering

The Maine Christian Community will hold the Michaelmas Gathering in the garden-level classroom at Ashwood on October 19 and 20. All events will be led by Darryl Coonan, visiting priest: Saturday, 7:00, Gospel Study and End of Day Service. Sunday, 9:15 a.m., children's portion, followed by Children's Service at 10:00 a.m.. (ages seven to 14 and parents or other adults); 10:30 a.m., The Act of Consecration of Man; 11:30 a.m., talk by the priest, with discussion, on a deeper understanding of the Act of Consecration of Man service; 12:15 p.m., potluck brunch (all welcome). Child care information: Cherry Short-Lee, 207-273-3045. More 

Bella Luna Is Hiring
Bella Luna Toys, a leading online retailer of Wadorf toys based in Rockland, is seeking a part-time customer service rep. Hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Must have excellent communication and writing skills. Familiarity with Waldorf education and Waldorf toys a big plus! Must be available during the holidays, and willing to work the Friday after Thanksgiving and through December 20. Please send resume to this link.
Apartment for Rent

Cozy, energy efficient, two-bedroom house for rent in Warren, Maine (seven miles from Ashwood). The house is furnished and has a cat. FMI: Marianne at 207-691-8101.


E-Book by Ashwood Faculty Alumnus Available Online

Returning The Gift, by Ashwood faculty alumnus Steve Donoso is an electronic book collection of dialogues on awakening, forgiveness, and coexistence with Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power Of Now; Adyashanti, author of Falling Into Grace; Laura Waters Hinson, director of the award-winning documentary film As We Forgive, and Timothy Wilson, former director of the Seeds of Peace International Camp in Maine. Reviews and a book sample at are available at this link.

We publish community-service announcements from and for Ashwood community members at no charge (50-words max.). Send to: Laura Purdom. 

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Why Waldorf?

In this short video, Eugene Schwartz describes the powerful impact the Waldorf method has on the developing child. Click on the title, above, or this  link.

Do you have a story to tell about Ashwood? A review of a book or an event? A reflection on Waldorf education? Photos you've taken?
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