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

April 9, 2014Join Our Mailing List
From the Director
New First Grade Teacher

Donna Wenckus has graciously accepted the position of first-grade teacher for next year. Donna has been teaching at Ashwood for the past eleven years. In addition to her role as handwork teacher extraordinaire, this year Donna

has assisted Jeremy Clough in Grade One/Two during main lesson. It was during this time that Donna became inspired to apply for the first-grade teacher position. Donna has also taught modeling, painting, and form drawing in multiple grades at Ashwood, and this year teaches handwork to children in our early-childhood Star program as well. While considering several qualified applicants for this position, it became clear to the entire faculty that Donna was a stellar candidate. We are thrilled to see her step into this new role.  


Like all Ashwood class teachers, Donna will continue teaching some specialty classes next year. As we begin to create the teaching schedule we will determine which handwork classes she will continue to teach.


After completing the Waldorf Foundation Studies certification program through the Center for Anthroposophy, Donna continued her teacher training at Sunbridge College in New York. She completed the Waldorf Applied Arts course, a program that focuses on the philosophical and artistic foundations of Waldorf education and teaches teachers how to provide

age-appropriate lessons that meet children's changing developmental needs, and how to understand those needs. Donna tells us, because "she spent her childhood drawing, painting, sewing, embroidering and, eventually, knitting," she was drawn to becoming a handwork teacher.


Donna is a native Mainer who comes from a large Franco-American family. She has three grown children and a grandson. Donna lives in a round cordwood house that she built, from the ground up, with her husband, Pete. Donna has a small floor-sanding business, and she is currently completing the renovation of a two-story building in Randolph, Maine, transforming it into living spaces and wood- working and art studios.


Donna is very excited to take this next step in her Waldorf teaching journey:


It has been a wonderful journey thus far, here at Ashwood, and every day I feel privileged and honored having the opportunity to bring my gifts and love of life to the children of this school.  


Please join me in warm congratulations, both to Donna, and to those lucky first graders!


-Jody Spanglet 

Please join our entire faculty, staff, and board in a heartfelt goodbye to Elizabeth Larrow. Elizabeth has decided to resign, effective immediately, for personal reasons. She has served as our administrative assistant for almost three years. During this time she surrounded us all with her warmth and affection. We all wish Elizabeth the best.

Chris McBride, better known in these parts as "Cooper's dad," has agreed to fill in while we conduct our search for candidates for this position.

-Jody Spanglet
From the Business Manager
Tuition Assistance
Tuition assistance award letters have been sent. All families who choose to withdraw due to insufficient tuition assistance must notify the school director in writing no later than April 18.

-Tamara Cody
Early Childhood News
A Note from Ms. Beth
Hello Everyone:
A big thank you to everyone who turned out for the Open House event on Saturday. It was fun to see the children's faces when they watched my little puppet show; thank you to those who attended!

Soon we will begin transforming some of our paintings into Easter baskets. Inside will be living Easter grass, which we will begin soaking today. The children may take these baskets home on their last day next week before spring break.

We have been enjoying many classical Grimm's fairy tales; last week was "The Shuttle, Needle, and Spindle." The week before was "Old Sultan," and the week before that, "The Bremen Town Musicians." We acted out the first two stories at the end of the week, and how the children enjoy playing their "roles"! I am always amazed at how deeply these archetypal stories penetrate into their imaginations. They can become so creative with their staging and "props." It is always a true joy to participate in these special moments. Sometimes I even get a chance to play a character, too!

-Ms. Beth
Grade School News
Fifth Grade Trip to Boston
April began with a bang this year in the Fifth Grade. We set off last Thursday for a class trip to Boston to spend time together and to see some of the wonders of the city. We started out at the Museum of Fine Arts, where we were given a tour of the Ancient World Collection,
which is full of treasures from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. There were rooms devoted to each culture, and a wonderful room full of ancient coins. A highlight was a beautiful Assyrian lion that we'd seen in reproductions, glowing on a wall. The class spent time after the tour drawing coins and mummy caskets, and exploring the collections more thoroughly. Ocean got to see a statue of Medea, her character in our class play, in the American Wing, and Jasper saw many images of Herakles on pots in the Greek Rooms. 
Roman Medallion by Sylvan Eichenlaub.
We left the city, spent ages in traffic, then had an Indian dinner and went to the Sri Lakshmi Temple in Ashland, where dear Mrs. Kalmath worshipped when she was in Boston. A temple official spoke with us about Hinduism, and then we heard a rousing Kirtan for Lakshmi sung by a group of men as the priest circled a bowl of flames about her statue and another man rang a huge bell. We had brought fruit, and a priest blessed it and gave it back to us, full of divine energy.

[The next day] we took the subway to Harvard Square, and walked to the Peabody Museum and the Harvard Museum of Natural History. There we had lots of time to look at one of the wonders of Boston: the Glass Flower Exhibit. The many detailed plants and cross-sections were miraculous to behold, incredibly detailed and lifelike, yet all made with glass! After we had looked at every plant, and tried to find a Pinguicula, which we didn't ever find, we went about the museum to look at the collection of stuffed animals and birds, the pickled sea creatures in jars, and the pinned beetles and butterflies, a gruesome and marvelous extravaganza, with huge skeletons of whales floating overhead. Some of us lingered to look at the vast collection of minerals; others went to the Peabody to look at the collection of Native American objects. 

Below are some observations by the Fifth Graders:

I liked looking at the mummies. There was an unwrapped mummy head. It is amazing to think that there is a real person inside an Egyptian coffin. I also liked the part where we played outside. -Sofia

One of my favorite experiences on the Boston Field Trip was being in the Indian Temple. I was amazed yet intimidated. Seeing lots of statues of the gods and making offerings to them made me feel like I was a Brahmin (Priest). In the end, I got to eat a banana blessed by the gods (it was delicious!). -Isaiah

My two favorite things were seeing the taxidermy animals and also playing at an amazing playground. -Jasper

My highlight was the glass flowers, because they were so well done and detailed that they looked like real flowers and plants. When I walked into the glass flower room I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. There was one plant that caught my eye, it was the Cactus. -Leah

I loved looking at the displays of the animals. There were so many kinds of animals there. They had a whole section of North American wildlife and also on Asia, South America and Africa... I was especially interested in the Mesopotamian exhibit [at the MFA]. I liked the stone statues of the gods, and also their tools and weapons. -Caleb

The most exciting part for me on our Boston trip was when we saw the glass flowers. They were so realistic. Most of them were magnified 20 to 50 times. Also when we saw the mummies and when we got to draw them. It was very creepy seeing the mummy head. It was very quiet in the Museum when we were drawing. -Jacob

I loved the taxidermy animals and the glass flowers. The glass flowers looked so real. The animals were so amazing. They had a wall of hummingbirds, which I do not know if everyone knows that I did a project [in 4th grade] on hummingbirds. -Ocean

One of the highlights was when we played at the children's playground, which made me feel like I was in kindergarten, which is nice sometimes. Then we ate PIZZA! I also loved seeing Fenway Park and Boston Garden. -Sylvan

Something I really liked in Boston was the glass flowers. They were so realistic that at first I didn't know they were glass. There was one glass sculpture that was very interesting: it was a grain of pollen that was made 2,000 times bigger than real life. -Daniel 
Greek coin by Sylvan Eichenlaub.
Ashwood Student Art
Opening celebration for CMCA's celebration of student art, including works by all of our grade-school students, is this Saturday, April 12, from 2:00 -4:00, at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport.
Late Arrivals
Parents, when your children are late for school,  please accompany them to the office.
Thank you.
Pysanky Workshop
Tuesday, April 15, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
At Rosewood. For Grades 3 - 7 and their parents.
Cost ~ $10 individual; $15 for a family of 2; $20 for families with more ~ materials included.

Instructor ~ Lesia Sochor. Lesia has taught Ukrainian egg decorating (Pysanky) for many years throughout Maine. Lesia is of Ukrainian heritage and brings the folklore of the craft as well as the technique and stories from her family.

Please sign up in the office & pre-pay by Monday, April 14.  Make checks payable to Lesia Sochor.  Feel free to call Lisa Newcomb for more information, 589-4311.
Community Cottage Store News
The store will be open on Friday mornings: either after the assembly, or, on mornings without an assembly, right after drop-off, until 11:00 a.m.. We're now carrying "Starcroft" felting wool; come check it out!
-Jessica Wheeler
Now Enrolling
A Meditative Pathway from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Lecture and Seminar with Herbert Hagens.

Lecture: Friday, April 11, 2014, 7:00 p.m. Open to the public, suggested donation $5.00.
Seminar: Saturday, April 12, 2014, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. $30.00 includes soup and salad lunch. Please enroll at:
Where: Ashwood Waldorf School, Rockport, Maine
About: "The year has a life of its own, and the human soul can become part of it."
-Rudolf Steiner

The weekly verses in Rudolf Steiner's Calendar of the Soul create a special dynamic for one's meditative life during the course of the year.  Herbert Hagens will focus on the Soul Calendar contemplations for the seven weeks (Lent) leading up to Easter.  The talk on Friday evening will sketch out some of the key features along this meditative pathway. The seminar on Saturday will explore various Calendar verses in greater depth and trace their relationship to the seasons and major festivals.  We will also discuss
practical guidelines for working with the verses through the course of the year.

Herbert Hagens has been an active member of the Anthroposophical Society for more than 40 years.  He has taught in the Foundation Studies Program at the Waldorf School of Princeton. In addition to lecturing and Society activities Herbert conducts an annual course on Rudolf Steiner's Mystery Dramas in the Anthroposophical Studies in English Program at the Goetheanum.  He lives with his wife Adelaide in Princeton, New Jersey, where he is business manager at Hagens Recording Studio.
In This Issue
Important Dates

Wednesday, April 10

Grade 5 Class Evening  

6:00 p.m


Friday, April 12 

Articipation Student Art Exhibit Opening
Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport   
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 16
Tour of the Grades(1-2; 5; 6)
8:15 - 10:30 (Registration required)

Interactive Web Calendar


Printable Calendar

Community Classifieds
Early childhood caregiver looking to open my arms again after having my son, Oliver (15 months). Care could be at your home or ours (Thomaston-Camden). Ten (10)- plus years of nannying, associate's in ECE, and life experience with Waldorf philosophy. Please call to see if its a good fit! 691-8494.
Thank you,
Casey Goding (Hallowell)
Swedish-American couple in the process of moving from Stockholm to Camden, seeking short or long-term accommodations in Camden or Rockport.  For shorter term option we're not so picky!  Immediate occupancy needed. Happy to receive word of all possibilities. For longer term consideration, we are looking for a cozy home or the right apartment with two-three bedrooms.  We have three small children under the age of five.  Please call Katie or Pär: 860 331-0696  Thank you!
ROCKPORT BOAT CLUB Summer Sailing Program
The Rockport Boat Club Summer Sailing program for youths age 6 to 18 kicks off its 2014 season in June. For over 30 years, the primary mission of the Rockport Boat Club has been to provide safe, fun and engaging sailing instruction for youth of member families and the community at large. Come share the excitement of spending time on beautiful Rockport Harbor. Classes are open to all ability levels. New this year is on-line registration. Registration is open April 7th. Please see our website  and click on the Youth Sailing tab for details on class schedules and fees and other information.
We publish community-service announcements from and for Ashwood community members at no charge (50-words max.). Send to: Judith Soleil. 
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Why Waldorf?

Longtime early-childhood educator Joan Almon tells wonderful stories, and this video is filled with them. What does  

Waldorf education have to offer in a  

culture that stresses rigorous  

accountability and academic standards?  

A great deal, as you'll see below.

Joan Almon: Dynamic Education in an Era of Rigorous Curriculum, Accountability and Standards
Joan Almon: Dynamic Education in an Era of Rigorous Curriculum, Accountability and Standards
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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