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

November 20, 2013Join Our Mailing List
From the Director 
Ashwood's Excellent Mentor

Kathleen Young, master Waldorf teacher and administrator, spent last week in Ashwood's classrooms and in discussions with administrators, teachers, and parents. Kathleen has worked with Waldorf schools both nationally and overseas. This is her fourth visit to Ashwood, and she has developed a strong relationship with our faculty. 


Kathleen spent time in the first/second grade, the third/fourth grade, the sixth grade, and in handwork, French, and chorus classes. She also was able to catch two fabulous plays. She attended both the Thursday faculty meeting and the leadership council meeting, and led a parent meeting aimed at helping parents understand and learn simple ways to talk about Waldorf education.


Kathleen left us with many inspirations to work with. She is an astute and wise observer who has won the trust of our entire staff. This year Kathleen will spend 20 weeks visiting schools and evaluating and mentoring teachers. Even though her schedule is extremely busy, she loves to come to Ashwood. This time she even brought her husband, Tim, along, just because she is so fond of our school and wanted him to see it. Tim spent two days helping out in the kindergarten and worked with Mr. Clough in a movement class.


If you didn't get the opportunity to attend the parent meeting with Kathleen, you can read the notes from the meeting here. With any luck, Kathleen will return next year and you will be able to catch her then.


--Jody Spanglet

Photo: Doug Mott

Early Childhood
On Friday, November 15, our Rosewood Kindergarten class joined with Mr. Clough's first and second grade for a truly magical experience. All week we had been working on our lanterns for this event, talking about it, telling stories and singing songs. Anticipation was in the air!

Earlier that day, the first and second graders and I placed lights along the path to illuminate our way. The children worked diligently to gather wood for the fire pit, piling twigs, branches, and logs into wheelbarrows and wagons, metal tubs and baskets. They showed great industry and willingness. Thank you, children, for your help!

Mr. Clough lit a bonfire as the moon rose in the mild November night sky. The grades children performed songs, depicting in lovely gestures the story of St. Martin. Mr. Clough captivated all with his telling of St. Martin stories. More.


First and Second Grades
The stories of great human beings who have touched the lives of those around them inspire us and remind us of the highest virtues we, too, possess. Martin of Tours, who later became St. Martin, is one example of such a human being. He was forced to join the army against his will, but even as a soldier he found ways to care for those less fortunate than himself. On a cold November day he stopped to help a freezing beggar. He cut his cloak in two and gave half to the beggar. St. Martin went on to become a monk who lived his life in service to the poor and less fortunate.

We celebrate Saint Martin's deeds with the festival of Martinmas. In this time of year when the nights are growing longer we make lanterns to light our way through the darkness. Our small lanterns illuminate our path and symbolize the flame of kindness and compassion in us all.
 -Jeremy Clough, First and Second Grade Teacher.
Buildings and Grounds

Greetings from the Buildings & Grounds Committee! The committee continues to meet regularly and focus on its two directives: buildings (short- and long-term use and maintenance) and master planning (creating the long-term plan for the entire campus while considering current and near-term uses, desires, needs).


John Luft continues to fly solo on the buildings subcommittee and welcomes others to join him to help assess our buildings and optimize their use.


Chris Osgood and Jesse Labbe-Watson are a dynamic duo using their experience, knowledge, and passion to lead this visioning process. Ursula Leonore and Jacob Eichenlaub are other valuable players on this team.


At the heart of any master plan are driveways and parking areas: necessary, if not evils, at least burdens. All agree that our current configuration is far less than ideal and that a vision of this campus 20 years from now would not be so vehicle-centric. Therefore, although financial resources are unlikely to be available for years, it is still important to determine the best (from pedagogical, safety, aesthetic, and practical standpoints) traffic and parking option NOW so that any near-term projects take the future traffic/parking layout into consideration.


The master planning subcommittee has been focused on this and other (play, garden, sacred, etc.) elements for the past 16 months, as was outlined at Planapalooza II. On Thursday, January 16, 2014 from 6-8 p.m., the committee would like to invite all interested community members to come hear about some of the traffic/parking options and provide feedback. In the meantime, please contact me at if you would like to provide input in advance, ask questions, and/or would like to join the committee. Our next B&G committee meeting is Thursday, November 21, 5-6:30 p.m.


To learn more about some of the folks on the committee, please see the bios on the right.

Additionally, Jesse Labbe-Watson, our very own permaculture expert, will help teach us all about permaculture in a series of Leaflet articles, starting today with "What Is Permaculture," and in Facebook posts.


-Betsy Morrell, B&G Committee Chair

What Is Permaculture?
The easiest way to frame permaculture is in terms of landscape design, planning, and management. I think of it as master planning using edible landscaping plants with the health and well being of the great-grandchildren in mind. At its core, permaculture is a system of ecological design for sustainable human habitats and perennial agricultural systems. If designed right, these systems produce more energy than they consume. We attempt to mimic relationships and patterns observed in nature. The word permaculture was originally a contraction of "permanent agriculture," but has broadened to the concept of "permanent culture" with its expanded insight into land stewardship, architecture, tools and technology, community structures, and economics. Permaculture is a way to recreate "Paradise Gardens" rich with abundance in and around our built spaces. I think of it as the conscious design of ecosystems - both ecological and economic ecosystems. 

Permaculture defines sustainability. In its most concrete sense permaculture is a movement of landscape design. In its most abstract and poetic sense it is a movement in the symphony of life to more elegantly integrate spirit and matter.

Working with the buildings & grounds committee, we are using permaculture design in the master planning process for the entire 32-acre Ashwood campus. We are encouraging holistic design and long-term thinking. We are considering future generations when we think of how the campus can be used and how that relates to Waldorf education and the long-term vitality of Ashwood in particular. Permaculture design provides an ethical and principled framework for considering complex interactions among elements and systems such as:
  • school & community
  • vehicles & children
  • earth & water
  • ecology & economy
  • wildlife & vegetation
  • people & fairy folk 
It can be complex (and fun!) work to envision all of this in the physical space of the campus and through time as these things evolve. We can always use more help, and we value your feedback and participation! Please join us and get involved in our upcoming participatory design sessions!

- Jesse Labbe-Watson. Permaculture Designer/Teacher and Parent Volunteer for Ashwood Buildings & Grounds Committee

Early Childhood News
Baby chickEarly Childhood folks have been busy this fall preparing for the arrival of chickens this spring. After much discussion and planning among the administration, teachers, and parents, we will once again welcome a brood of hens to the early-childhood play area.

Parents will improve the existing chicken coop, adding nesting boxes to make gathering the eggs
easier for the children, and secure the fencing.

Thanks to Rising Tide Co-op in Damariscotta for a generous $300 grant that will fund food and nesting supplies for the chickens.

--Erin Brainerd
Hannaford Scrip
Got Scrip? Eat. Shop.Support Ashwood.
How about that $260 donation your family could give to Ashwood without spending an extra cent? Let's say each Ashwood family spends $100 per week at Hannaford's (they must eat like birds or have a huge garden, but let's just say). 

Then let's look at how that weekly habit could benefit Ashwood over a year's time. 

One Family: $100 per week spent on Hannaford's groceries. Ashwood receives $5 per week (5%of $100) x 52 weeks per year = $260 per family.

75 families (faculty and parents): 
$260 x75=$19,500!!!

It's all about habit. Come into the office today to get your cards! Shop, eat, and save the world!

-Annie Mahle
PCC Fundraising News! Returnables Just Got Easier!
The PCC has joined the Clynk program through Hannaford Supermarkets. This means that you don't have to bring your returnables to school, just fill up one of the Clynk bags and drop off at your local Hannaford. The label on the bags will identify the money to be put in Ashwood's PCC account. Bags will be available at the Community Building anytime. Questions? Call Lora 323-1962

PCC Meeting Agenda  
Our upcoming PCC meeting is this Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 8:45 a.m. in the cottage building. Our agenda is:

  • Board presentation: Annie and Betsy (questions from Planapalooza, answering survey questions). 45 min.
  • PCC treasurer report. 5 min.
  • Old business (what we wanted to achieve, and what we have achieved since last PCC meeting, Clynk, bags, store hours, and operations). 5 min.
  • Procedure for fundraising or activity proposals: should we create a celebration liaison? 5 min.
  • Steering committee roles, duties, openings.10 min.
  • Faculty presentation: Jeremy Clough presents movement. 45 min. 
  • Next month's meeting (agenda, new business, questions). 5 min.

    Please come and enjoy the faculty presentation, and hear the board answer all your questions! 

    Thank you and see you there!


    -The PCC


    In This Issue
    Important Dates

    Friday, November 22 

    Assembly. Grade 3/4 

    8:40 a.m.


    Wednesday, Nov. 27 -Friday, Nov. 29

    Thanksgiving Break.


    Sunday, December 1.
    First Advent Sunday.

    Friday, December 6
    Assembly. Grade 1/2
    Friday, December 13
    Santa Lucia celebration.
    8:40 a.m.


    Interactive Web Calendar

    Printable Calendar

    Community Classifieds
    Violin for Sale
    Violin for sale, 1/4 size, has been used by two Ashwood students, ready for next! $350 Contact Lora 323-1962 or
    We publish community-service announcements from and for Ashwood community members at no charge (50 words maximum). Send to: Judith Soleil

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    Introducing the B & G Committee Members

    Building & Grounds Committee Member Bios


    John Luft is the general manager of the Revision Energy Liberty shop, and also supervises the branch's solar thermal division. John started out with the company when it was Energyworks, doing solar thermal installations back in 2004. Since then he has installed, designed, and managed hundreds of residential and commercial solar thermal projects. John has a B.S. from Unity College and is a licensed, state of Maine certified solar thermal installer. John resides in an off-grid solar home that he and his wife, JoAnna, built. When John is not busy keeping up with the demand for solar projects, he is found spending time with his family, playing his guitar, bicycling, fishing, and working in the woods with his two sons, Avery and Sam.


    Chris Osgood is a painter/artist who has dedicated years to working on local and regional land-use and transportation planning in midcoast Maine.  The local volunteer committees he's worked on have created models for the reconstruction of federally funded roads within scenic and historic areas.  These task forces were the first to bring traffic calming to U.S. Route 1. He has experience in clearing, designing, and funding new road construction, with success in locating drives and structures within sensitive areas.  From these experiences he has learned to let the land speak for itself. Chris's daughter Isadora spent 8 years at Ashwood, graduating in 2013.


    Jesse Labbe-Watson, aka Scarlett's dad, came to permaculture over the last decade by way of social and environmental justice movements.  Over the last decade he has come to agree with the idea that "all the world's problems can be solved in the garden."  After a brief apprenticeship at Earthaven Ecovillage in North Carolina, Jesse formally studied permaculture with Charles and Julia Yelton at the Newforest Institute and Humustacia Gardens.  He graduated from their advanced permaculture design course in 2008.  He has gone on to start a permaculture landscape design/build and sustainability firm in the midcoast area.  He has consulted for private residents, market gardens, and non-profit organizations.  He is the primary organizer for the Midcoast Permaculture Network, which hosts workshops, meetups, and potlucks.  He was also a principal logistics coordinator for the 2010 Northeast Regional Permaculture Convergence.  Jesse brings an artist's paintbrush, a philosopher's thoughtfulness, a tracker's attention to detail, and a holy fool's comedic relief to the company he keeps.  He lives with his young family in Rockland.


    -Betsy Morrell


    Read about other B&G members, Ursula Leonore, Richard Ailes, and Jacob Eichenlaub in the next Leaflet. 

    Do you have a story to tell about Ashwood? A review of a book or event? A reflection on Waldorf education? Photos you've taken?
    A question about the Leaflet?
    Send us an email! We would love to hear from you. The next Leaflet will be published on Wednesday, December 4. Deadline for submissions is Monday, December 2 at 9 a.m.

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