Saturday, November 9, 2013 Philadelphia Waldorf Alumni Event

Join us for an evening of Waldorf Alums from 13 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, Mountain Laurel Waldorf School, Rudolf Steiner School of NYC, Green Meadow Waldorf School, Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School, Washington Waldorf School, Housatonic Valley Waldorf School, The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, or any other Waldorf school and you live in or near Philly–

Please join us on Saturday, November 9 from 6-8 p.m. at Pageant Soloveev, 607 Bainbridge Street, Phila, 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! *

*Sponsored by: AWSNA, Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School, Green Meadow Waldorf School, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, Housatonic Valley Waldorf School, Kimberton Waldorf School, Mountain Laurel Waldorf School, Rudolf Steiner School, The Waldorf School of Garden City, The Waldorf School of Philadelphia, The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, Waldorf School of Princeton, Washington Waldorf School

On Facebook

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 Waldorf In Boston – C’Mon Down!!

Were you part of a Waldorf community — teacher, student, parent, graduate, staff?? Then this party is for YOU!

SEPTEMBER 19TH (Wednesday evening) 6 TO 9 P.M.

at LUCKY’S LOUNGE, 355 Congress Street, Boston 02210, 617-357-5825

Buffet dinner and cash bar — good friends — many reunions — and Waldorf memories!

RSVP to Patrice Maynard of AWSNA,, OR Marjorie Jean-Paul at the Waldorf School of Garden City,

This event collaboratively sponsored by: The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA)
The Waldorf School of Garden City;
High Mowing
Waldorf HS of Massachusetts Bay
Monadnock WS
Kimberton WS
Washington WS
Green Meadow WS
Rudolf Steiner School of NYC (definite now)
WS of Princeton
Merriconeag WS
The WS of Baltimore
Cape Ann WS
The Washington WS
Great Barrington RSS

Strength Through Collaboration proven again!

John Palmer, Class of 2002 (Mrs. Zay/Mr. Sagarin)

John Palmer – Basecamp Manager, Deer Hill Expeditions, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah

My love for the outdoors began at a very early age with family camping trips to Cape Cod. As a kid, I was always up for adventure and loved exploring in the woods around my home. I attended the Great Barrington Rudolph Steiner School where our teachers fostered within us creativity, a love for the arts and an appreciation for the natural world.

My senior project was immersing myself in the world of whitewater rafting; the history, the culture and learning to guide on rivers. I knew then that my future would include sharing the outdoors with young people. After graduating from Brevard College in NC with a degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I began my search for a place to land and begin my life’s work.

I began at Deer Hill Expeditions several years ago as field staff and now am Basecamp Manager; a position that allows me to support the myriad of workings of Deer Hill and our programs. I live at Basecamp in the summers and am a ski instructor in the winters. My spare time is spent whitewater canoeing, climbing, cooking delicious meals, adventuring in the outdoors and working on my vowels in eurhythmy!

Katie Sagarin, Class of 2004 (Mr. Sblendorio)

Katie Sagarin in West Texas Spring 2012Katie Sagarin, Class of 2004 (Mr. Sblendorio), attended Miss Hall’s School after Steiner, where she realized her passion for science and played soccer and softball. She also interned at the Mead WestVaco paper mill (now Onyx papers) in the R&D lab. As high school graduation approached, Katie looked for a science program with a serious undergraduate research component, and settled on McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec.

In the school of science, which Canadians call the Faculty of Science, Katie focused on biology with a strong interest in geology, accompanying geological field expeditions to Chile (she was there for, although unaffected by, the earthquake in 2010), to Banff, and to west Texas. She developed a love of turtles, including assisting a graduate student from Williams College in banding bog turtles in Berkshire County during the summer of 2009, and sifting earth to find and reassemble fossilized turtle skeletons at McGill. She has worked in the evolutionary biology lab of Hans Larsson at McGill for the past two years, a lab in which researchers are attempting to create–or at least create proteins from–dinosaur DNA that may be found in modern chickens, lightly referred to as the “chickenosaurus.”

Katie enjoyed her time at McGill and in the city of Montreal, picking up what she calls “ingredient French,” which allows her to shop and to cook. She has a broad circle of international friends who gather to cook for each other and to watch “Doctor Who,” a British TV show about a time-traveling scientist.

Katie graduates from McGill this spring, and plans to take a year off from school while applying to graduate school. She will return to Berkshire County to teach life science and math part-time at the Great Barrington Waldorf High School. Although she attended Miss Hall’s, she also considers herself an “honorary graduate” of the Waldorf high school, and is looking forward to imparting her love of science to high school students, especially girls. “All students should love science and math,” she says, “but because the field is still dominated by men, it’s important that women know how beautiful and important this work can be”

Katie remembers her days at Steiner fondly, especially all the folk dancing with Mr. Sblendorio. “He showed us something that he really loves,” Katie remembers, “and I believe that made it easier for us to find what we really love and to pursue it with all our strength.”

Waldorf Goes To Washington (D.C.)

Waldorf in Washington Alumni Event

Princeton Waldorf School – Kimberton Waldorf School – Waldorf School of Baltimore – Washington Waldorf School – The Waldorf School of Garden City – the Green Meadow Waldorf School – and Association of Waldorf Schools, AWSNA – Presents…

With strength through collaboration
Waldorf Goes To Washington (D.C.)
Please Join Us for a Waldorf Alumni Night!

!!!WALDORF Alums (of one sort or another) from any Waldorf School ever – Attention! If you are in DC – C’mon Down!!!
Ever wonder where everyone is? Here’s a chance to find out in the DC area…
R.F.D. (Regional Food and Drink)
810 7th St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

Wednesday, May 2, 2012
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

RSVP by April 20 so we have a head count:

Co-sponsored by AWSNA (Assoc. of Waldorf Schools of North America), Waldorf School of Princeton, Kimberton Waldorf School, Waldorf School of Baltimore, the Washington Waldorf School, Green Meadow Waldorf School, and the Waldorf School of Garden City.

Food and a private room will be provided. Cash bar.
Bring your business card for a raffle!
You must be 21 years of age to attend.
Grads and non-grads are welcome!

Fay Lee Thung, Class of 2009 (Mr. Sansone)

Fay Lee Thung, Mr. Sansone’s Class of 2009

Fay Lee was enrolled in the very first parent/toddler class at GBRSS and has spent a total of eleven years at our school. In her freshman year at Monument Mountain Regional High School she enjoyed a smooth transition to all honors classes, feeling well prepared and harmonizing easily with new teachers and fellow students. Presently, as a junior , Fay Lee has had the pleasure of performing yearly with Shakespeare and Company’s Fall Festival and the Berkshire Pulse spring dance performances. She is an active member of the National Honors Society and sits on the MMRHS senate.

Fay Lee’s enterprising spirit, that we’d like to say we’ve nurtured since she was a toddler, has helped her to initiate a fundraising dance party raising $1,000 for Haiti Relief in conjunction with Railroad Street Youth Project and the Berkshire Pulse. Fay Lee has been accepted and is looking forward to attending Boston University Summer Theater Institute for five weeks this summer. These varied accomplishments grew from the foundation of confidence, gratitude, compassion and the love of learning that GBRSS instills.

Jessica Ryan
, Class of 1999

What were the forces behind your decision to join the Peace Corps?

There were several forces behind my decision to join the Peace Corps in 2010. First, I’ve always been curious about the world and its different cultures. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I’ve had the unique privilege to intimately know a foreign culture and lead a completely different lifestyle for two years in the farming community of Cuisnahuat, El Salvador. Second, my career goal is to work for the Foreign Service and Peace Corps is a natural stepping stone with its emphasis on international public service. Third, I believe that a worthy life is defined by meaningful work and for me there is no work more meaningful or inspiring than helping others improve their lives. Despite the many hardships during my service, I’ve never doubted that my time in the Peace Corps was well spent.

Could you describe what your overall mission is in El Salvador?

1999 GBRSS Alumni, Jess Ryan & her girls, Lake Suchitoto

1999 GBRSS Alumni, Jess Ryan & her girls, Lake Suchitoto

The focus of my Peace Corps work is youth development, which means I design, organize and manage activities to help children and adolescents develop healthy lifestyles, gain life skills, learn strategies to successfully navigate the workforce/generate income and be more active in their community through involvement in local organizations/public service. One of my favorite projects was an empowerment camp I helped design/organize/manage for 19 at-risk Salvadoran girls to teach them knowledge/skills in goal-setting, leadership, self-defense, sexual health, family planning, HIV/AIDs prevention and self-esteem. I am currently working on a parent-child reading program in the local school to help combat the 60% illiteracy rate in my community and mentoring 5 recent high school graduates to receive USAID scholarships in order to go to college in the United States.

What is it like on a day-to-day basis?

Everyday I eat beans and tortillas for all three meals, use a latrine full of roosting chickens, shower with a bucket of cold water and gossip with my neighbors in Spanish about everyone’s business. Every morning I rise at dawn to the crow of roosters and wait in the street with the other women to buy fresh bread delivered to us by kids on bicycles. Once a week I ride the bus for two hours to shop at the market in closest city of Sonsonate, which happens to be territory controlled by the infamous drug gang MS13. Every night I tuck in my mosquito net against the scorpions and fall asleep to the sound of the choir singing in one of the town’s seven churches.

What has surprised you most in your time there?

The most surprising thing I’ve learned while in the Peace Corps is how much our culture accounts for defining who we are. I used to believe that cultures were just different ways of living and now I realize they’re also different ways of thinking— about oneself and the world. For example, I know my family and my Steiner education were very influential in cultivating my love and respect for animals. However, in Salvadoran culture animals are seen as tools, not members of the family like in the United States. A dog is for guarding, not for playing. A cat is for killing mice, not for petting. It still upsets me to see my neighbors “mistreating” their animals, but at least I now realize it’s cultural, not personal. In other words, my neighbors don’t feed their dog because they’re mean. They don’t feed their dog because they can barely afford to feed their own children. I am privileged to have grown up in a culture in which most people have the luxury of caring for and thus about animals. Unfortunately, most people in El Salvador are too busy worrying how they will care for themselves and their children to worry about feeding the skinny dog hanging around their house. My biggest challenging while serving as a volunteer in El Salvador has been adapting to the local culture and respecting it even when I don’t agree with it.

Has your view of the world changed? How?

I used to think I was going to make a difference by changing the world. However, my time in the Peace Corps has taught me that “making a difference” doesn’t have to be global to be meaningful. My most successful projects in El Salvador have focused on helping a few people in very select ways (i.e. college scholarships). The projects that tried to help too many people solve too big a problem were the ones that failed (i.e. no more teen pregnancy). I still think it’s possible to change the world, but now I realize that real, sustainable change must first start small with local support to solve specific problems and then, eventually, can grow to a global scale.

Also, could you give me just a brief sentence on what you were doing before you went to El Salvador.

Before joining the Peace Corps I graduated summa cum laude from Smith College and did a post-graduate teaching fellowship for a year in Spain. I also spent 6 months over two summers at a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center in the Amazon Jungle of Ecuador.

Do you have any general ideas of what you’d like to do after your mission is completed?

My time as a PCV ends this April 2012, however I am planning to stay with Peace Corps in El Salvador for another year as a regional leader in charge of volunteers. I hope to visit the Berkshires later this year to see my family, eat a good home-cooked meal and take a hot shower.

Published in the Spring 2012 Mosaic Newsletter of the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (PDF).

Jack Lee, Class of 2006 (Mr. Eurich)

Jack Lee Diving Jack Lee, Mr. Eurich’s Class of 2006 – Driven to Dive
Alum Jack Lee is pulling out all the stops in the University of Michigan’s men’s swimming and diving team. Lee took the platform diving title at the Pittsburg Invitation last November.

“Jack Lee is really dedicated & really driven by the motivation to do everything, to try everything and learn everything,” says head coach KZ Li. Lee has been put into a leadership role as a sophomore “to be a good leader is to encourage people to step outside of their comfort zone. One of the biggest challenges is overcoming the fear of trying…personally, that is something that I really strive at,” says Jack. Jack just took 8th place at the Big 10’s, it’s the first time a diver from Michigan has made the finals at Big 10’s since 2003. Jack graduated in 2006 and then went on to Berkshire School. He is the son of Michael Lee & Lori Bashour, brother of Chris Lee (class of 1990) and Shannon Lee (class of 2015). GBRSS congratulates Jack on these triumphs.

A Mother and (Alum) Son Photography Exhibit – Feather and Flora

Feather and Flora
Feather and Flora

A mother and son photography exhibit
Nature mandalas by Sarah Nicholson
Bird studies by Kai Reed (GBRSS Alum)

March 31 – May 11, 2012
Opening Reception
March 31, 5 – 7 pm

Art on Main
The Gallery at Barnbrook REaly
271 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA
9 – 5 Daily, Sunday 10 – 4

Alum becomes a Foreign Exchange Student

Student Exchange!

My name is Iolani deRis. I graduated 8th grade at GBRSS in 2009 with open, curious eyes and a creative mind. When the opportunity of being a foreign exchange student was within reach, I immediately worked toward making it happen. I could sense that being immersed abroad would be an extraordinary learning experience and did not want to pass up this opportunity.

I could have never imagined beforehand what I am actually experiencing now. Being an exchange student has turned out to be the most incredible and difficult experience I may ever be fortunate enough to have! I am learning things about myself, other people, a new culture, and the world: all of which are very essential to life.

As a participant in the Rotary Club’s one-year student foreign exchange program, I arrived in Linares, Chile in August, and was warmly welcomed by my host family. They have helped me to adjust during the last 6 months. My host mother, father, and siblings are very loving people and clearly doing everything in their power to make sure I am happy and have the best experience possible.

Learning the language came easily for me and I am now conversing comfortably in Spanish! Learning the culture, however, is more difficult for me. I am finding that the Chileans I am getting to know have such a distinctly different way of thinking and living that it has been a big challenge for me to pick up on many things by simply observing people.
There are many opportunities for me to get more comfortable with the Chilean culture. By studying in a small school I have been able to participate in all the sports available and assist in tutoring the English language. I am also fortunate enough to be going to Patagonia and other beautiful places in this incredible country!

My host family and new friends have been treating me very well here. I hope to absorb everything and learn from this amazing experience to the best of my ability. I am very thankful to everyone who helped me get here, and who made me into the person I am!

Saludos de Chile! ~Iolani deRis