June 2018

After a final school week of projects, concerts, cleaning, picnicking, and yearbook signing, followed by a week (for staff) of meetings, meetings, meetings, campus entered a bit of a quiet period in the lull before summer camp begins on June 25. (It has been mostly quiet: we are thrilled that the Compass Hall roof is being replaced thanks to a grant from the Waldorf Schools fund!)

There were very few dry eyes at Graduation this year and I was reminded of our graduates' fantastic production of The Mahabharata in Fifth Grade. I found the production so moving that for months (years) I would well up whenever I spoke of that play. And I found myself crying again at graduation. But graduation wasn't simply a tear-jerker, it was hilarious too, just as their class play, Harvey, was earlier this year. Each graduating class has a special character. This class (a class of characters) was simply spectacular at plays. I am not only going to miss each individual student as they head off to high school, I am going to miss the magic they created with Ms. Remensperger, but I feel fortunate to have been here to witness it.

Summer Camp begins next week! For our older campers, we have an exciting addition of Spanish and German camp in week two, and if you scroll down you can read about what Ms. Remensperger has planned for the first week of art camp.

Happy Summer!


Christina Dixcy
Communications Director and Office Manager
The Class of 2018 in their 2015 production of The Mahabharata.
Important Links
Imbue thyself
Annual Fund: please donate by June 30!
If you have made an Annual Fund pledge, please remember to send a check, payable to HVWS to:

Housatonic Valley Waldorf School
Attn: Annual Fund
40 Dodgingtown Rd.
Newtown, CT 06470

Housatonic Valley Waldorf School is a non-profit 501c3 (Tax ID #061310057) and your contribution is 100% tax-deductible.
Upcoming Events
Westport Farmers' Market
Thursday, June 28; 10 AM to 2 PM
Would you like to spend the day in the sunshine, helping us make jump ropes and promote HVWS at the Westport Farmers' Market? We'll be there on Thursday, June 28. If you can help for an hour or two, please e-mail Therese Lederer at tlederer@waldorfct.org.
Summer Camp Begins June 25

Explorers (Ages 3-7*)
  • Week 1: June 25-29* (this week only, ages 3-8); Circus Clowns with Carrie Reilly
  • Week 2: July 2-6 (no camp on July 4); Growing, Giving and Gathering with Carrie Reilly
  • Week 3: July 9-13; Water and Wonder
  • Week 4: July 16-20; Music and Merriment
  • Week 5: July 23-27; Fairies, Knights and Dragons
  • Week 6: July 30- August 3; Butterflies, Bugs and Bees with Isabel Gandara
  • Week 7: August 6-10; Merriment under the Sun

Artists (Ages 8-14*)
  • Week 1: June 25-29 *(this week only, ages 9-14 or entering third grade); Circus Arts with Laura Geilen
  • Week 2: July 2-6 (no camp on July 4); World Languages Week with Laura Hayes and Marcela Perez New! Campers will learn Spanish and German through games and skits. All levels welcome. At least 6 campers must register for this week to run.
  • Week 3: July 9-13; Teensy Tiny Worlds with Emily Remensperger
  • Week 4: July 16-20; Tropical Rainforests with Emily Remensperger
  • Week 5: July 23-27; Folklore, Fables, and Fantasy with Emily Remensperger
  • Week 6: July 30- August 3; Archery
  • Week 7: August 6-10; Fiesta and Fun in the Sun with Laura Hayes
Summer Camp Spotlight:
Teensy Tiny Worlds
with Emily Remensperger
Do you take pride in your ability to draw the tiniest, tiniest drawings around? Do you love those artists who create miniature meals or impossibly small sculpey sculptures of animals? Does building teensy houses or cities make you feel like a giant? Then join us for a wonderful, one of a kind art week dedicated to exploring everything super-small scale.

We will create installations; paint on rocks, feathers, and miniature canvases; sculpt with sculpey; and make our very own snow globes! 

The art may be tiny, but I promise BIG fun!!!
Inside the Classroom
Sunflower Kindergarten
Isabel Gandara and Aliz Mihok
The Sunflower children had a busy and exciting last few weeks of school. First, they worked very hard to finish their sailboats for the end-of-year picnic. Then we had a visit from the First Graders, followed by a visit from the Seventh Graders, who joined us for snack and recess. The visits were very special and it was wonderful to see how the Grades children still love to play with the Early Childhood children. Our end-of-year picnic/field trip with the Rose class was tremendous fun! We had very nice weather and the children and their parents loved to sail the boats. During the last week we prepared for our Crossing the Bridge Ceremony on the last day of school. This year was a wonderful year; it went by very fast, but the Sunflower children had the opportunity to learn many things and also have a lot fun.
Rose Kindergarten
Carrie Reilly and Heather Hemphill
The Rose class finished their school year with a delightful field trip to Dickinson Park at the end of May. They sailed the boats they made in class. All of the boats were creek-worthy which made for many happy captains! We wished our rising first grader, Myles Zulli, much luck as he leaves the Early Childhood to join the Grades next year. Our year wound down with lots of house building, tree climbing, swinging on swings and lively play. We will miss our friends over the summer but hope many come to visit at summer camp!
First Grade (Class of 2025)
Chandrika Patalia
One of the First Grade highlights was learning about four gnomes who live in an enchanted forest with their king. The four gnomes, named Subtra, Addon, Multiplando and Sharom, collect gems for their King Equalis. There are different ways the gnomes collect gems and different ways they count them!

Earlier this year the First Grade celebrated -- or as is said in India, played -- Holi. Holi, the Indian Holiday of Colors, is celebrated to welcome spring and say goodbye to the dull and dreary colors of winter.The children played Holi by sneaking up on their friends and playfully smearing colored powder on each other's faces. We invited the Second Grade too, and the game became such fun that by dismissal many other children from other grades had their faces covered in bright colors as well. Indeed, they all looked like beautiful flowers of spring!
Second Grade (Class of 2024)
Allison Washington
In the classroom, the Second Grade finished up their final language arts block of the year listening to the story of Saint Odilia. The Second Graders also honed their writing skills with a focus on capitalization, punctuation, and parts of a sentence — such as the noun and verb — and how they work together. Outside the classroom, the Second Graders were busy as well. Many thanks to HVWS parent, Marcella Kapsaroff, for assisting us with gardening, and to the Third Graders for getting the garden ready! We planted seeds, tending them indoors and then outdoors, watched them grow, and then, alongside the Third Graders, planted the garden. As rising Third Graders we will take over the responsibility of caring for the garden and look forward to reaping the harvest when we meet again in September! The Second Grade also had a wonderful time this spring on their first bike-riding field trip! The class rode their bikes along the Housatonic Valley Rail Trail and then visited Wolfe Park in Monroe. A fun day was had by all. It’s hard to believe how quickly the year went by! 
Third Grade (Class of 2023)
Leslie Lew
The Third Grade spent five days at Plowshare Farm in early May. This was a wonderful way to see and experience daily life on a farm, and such a highlight for this year. When we returned we finished up our work in Language Arts. We learned about seven different grains, how they grow, and how they are used. 
Giving the Second Graders the responsibility for collecting compost and caring for the garden helped make these students very ready for the year ahead in Fourth Grade!
Fourth Grade (Class of 2022)
Laura Hayes
The end of Fourth Grade began with our welcoming Sammy Lopata and his family to our class! Sammy arrived just in time to join us on the many exciting year-end field trips we enjoyed around our Animal and Local Geography main lesson blocks. We hiked Bear Mountain in New York to get a view from the top over the Hudson River; we went rafting on the Housatonic River; and we visited Mystic Seaport and the Mystic Aquarium for another view of the local waterways and their connection to the ocean. One field trip took us to the forever-home of our class chickens: Pencil, Vanilla, Bella, and Teriyaki. We raised them over a span of five weeks with lots of love, care, and worms. This chicken project was a wonderful addition to our Animal Studies, Language Arts, Drawing, AND Math lessons. We journaled about the chickens, drew them, and charted their weight gain. One of the baby chicks developed into a rooster, which gave us the opportunity to observe the different appearances and characteristics between hens and roosters. The favorite time for us with the chickens was “Chicken Story Time” when the students could listen to a story and have the chickens fall asleep in their arms.
Fifth Grade (Class of 2021)
Vincent Vojack-Weeks
The Fifth Grade ended our year on a high note with lots of enriching field trips. We enjoyed a beautiful day of athletics in Great Barrington at the Pentathlon, saw the Persian Gardens and beautiful views of the Hudson River at Untermeyer Gardens, and revisited all the Ancient Cultures we studied throughout the year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Sixth Grade (Class of 2020)
Kenneth Friedman
We wrapped up the year binding our main lesson books and having a one-week mini Math block. We ended our Medieval history block with a trip to the Cloisters Museum in New York.
Seventh Grade (Class of 2019)
Laura Wittmer
The Seventh Grade ended the year discussing the Age of Exploration. Each student completed a report on a different explorer and presented it to the class. We also had some wonderful field trips, including a visit to Mystic Seaport, where we learned to navigate using quadrants and the stars, and to the Amistad,* where we heard the harrowing story of a group of Africans fighting for their freedom. We also visited the Sunflower class and had snack with our rising First Grade buddies, then later watched as they crossed the bridge on the last day of school. We look forward to the culmination of our journey together as Eighth Graders!
*Scroll down to the Gratitude section to read more about the Amistad.
Eighth Grade (Class of 2018)
Emily Remensperger
The Eighth Grade ended the year tearfully with a very moving graduation. They were joined by their First Grade buddies for the beautiful Rose Ceremony, and then bid each other, their teachers, and their school goodbye as they head off to High School in the fall. We wish them well and hope they come to visit often!
From the Office
  • The office is open over the summer. Our summer hours are 9 AM to 2 PM. Check the calendar for office closures.
  • Please return all library books and come check the lost and found for missing items and the kitchen for food storage and serving containers.
  • Thank you to everyone who has donated books to our library this year. We are no longer accepting library book donations at this time.
Community Blanket
Add your square to our community blanket...Natasha de Castro (on behalf of the Handwork Group) is accepting 5-inch hand-knit squares (10-inch also welcomed) of any pattern, color, yarn, and will be sewing these squares into a blanket to be auctioned off next year. Summer is a great time to knit! Please e-mail Natasha at tashebe79@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
Alumni Updates
Lily Blyn (HVWS Class of 2017) and Eric Mihok (HVWS Class of 2013)
Lily Blyn and Eric Mihok both qualified for US Rowing Youth Nationals in California. Their lightweight double boats from GMS Rowing both placed third at The Northeast Regionals earlier this spring.
Henry James (HVWS Class of 2017)
Henry James was among a group of Shepaug Valley High School students whose film Alone won Best Screenplay at the 2018 CT Student Film Festival. The filmmakers wrote, filmed, edited, produced and published their three-minute film over an 84-hour period after receiving specific criteria — a choice of one of three lines, one of three characters/motives and one of three items/events — from the festival organizers. Alone was made by Henry James, Alexa Kotas, Kayleigh Hendy, Kaylee Martinez, Kaylee Alexon, Emma Vandenbosch, Lydia Hagen and Isabella Guzman. Watch Alone below...
Fox 61 presented an opportunity for high school students to find a story and produce a news report modeling professional journalism. Henry James and Alexa Kotas made a news story, Shakesperience, about a Waterbury-based acting company that shares the work of Shakespeare with local communities. Shakesperience won the “Higher Education Award” for the Fox61 student news film festival. Henry and Alexa received a check for $1000, graciously sponsored by CHESLA, a student loan program. Fox61 aired all the winning videos on TV. Shakesperience was also nominated for the CT Student Film Festival. Click here to read about all of the winners. Watch Shakesperience below...
Henry and his collaborators are currently working on a video about a group of teenagers who accidentally break the WiFi and are forced to go outside and discover nature. They will submit this, along with a few other films, to the All American High School Film Festival, which is the biggest high school film fest in the world!
Alex Campbell (HVWS Class of 2007)
Alex Campbell is finishing his last semester of an M.S in Biotechnology at Indiana University. His research focus is on the molecular characterization of antibiotic resistance mechanisms in CRE (Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriacae), under the direction of Dr. Karen Bush, who notably developed the functional classification of β-Lactamases. Most of what Alex does is genetic screening for specific ß-lactamases harbored in clinical isolates from health care centers in Indiana, to help achieve a full resistance profile. After finishing his degree, he will remain in Bloomington for part of the summer to help with the transition period in the lab when new students arrive, keeping the laboratory research running. Most of the research will be published in various papers and abstracts this summer. Later this summer, he will begin medical school at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at their new branch campus in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The school has partnered with Arkansas State University to help bring more medical training to the Delta area, and Alex will be receiving a 10% scholarship for attending. He is currently leaning toward applying for residency in infectious disease or interventional radiology, although he writes that his mind might change during his subsequent study!
Deepest thanks to alumni parent and stalwart HVWS supporter Rose Witte who is ending her term on the Board of Trustees as she turns her attention to her new position as Captain of the Amistad. Read more about Amistad here . Thank you, Rose!

The Second and Third grades wish to thank Marcella Kapsaroff for working with the children this spring. We planted flowers, tomatoes, carrots, and peppers. The children experienced stirring and spreading a biodynamic prep, which Mrs. Kapsaroff brought from her Biodynamic Gardening Training at Sunbridge Institute. As is our tradition, the Third Graders officially handed over the garden and beds to the Second Grade. We are so grateful for your help and for donating the items that made this all possible. Thank you!
Thank you to Jeff Parker for donating more facial tissue to the school.

Thank you to the Knuff family and Julia McDonald for donating books to our library, and continued thanks to Peggy McFarland who still tidies the library whenever she is on campus. Thank you to Peggy for donating Eurythmy slippers as well.

Thank you to Mikel Bensend for repairing our portable chalkboard sign and for help with various woodworking repairs on the Early Childhood campus. And thank you to Larry Washington for his woodworking handiwork this year, in particular for repairing and restoring the Early Childhood playground playhouse!
Thank you to all class teachers, Mr. Demment, Mrs. Reznikoff, Ms. De Grande, and ALL grade school students for help with our Spring Clean-Up afternoon last month. We started the month of May with glorious weather, preparing the grades campus for the May Fair. And thank you to Carol Reznikoff for all the weeding she does around the grades campus throughout the year.

Thank you to Andrea Maloney for donating a unicycle to the spatial dynamics program.

Special thanks to Natasha de Castro for donating beautiful paintings for the early childhood classrooms.

Thank you to all the Puppetry Committee members for bringing wonderful puppet shows to the children in our community and outside our community. Special thanks to Gabriel Friedman who was always open and ready to help us when the Puppetry Committee needed an extra hand!

Thank you to Marleen De Grande's sister, Annick, for preparing amazing Belgian waffles for the faculty and staff. Two visits in one year — lucky us!!!

Thank you to the Whelehans and the Hudaks for donating books to the teachers’ library.

Thank you to ClareAnn James for washing and pressing the Pentathlon togas.

Thank you to the First Grade parents who prepared and brought treats to our First Grade Tea.

Thank you to our 2017-18 class parents ( Rebecca Page, Rekha Terway, Marcella Kapsaroff, Natasha De Castro, Marlies Redpath, Alison Hobbs, Alex Exley, Darcy Demu, ClareAnn James, Mark Ancona, Amy Rodriguez, Damon Reynolds, and Sally Schwager), our school store volunteers ( Natasha Daniels Pearson—store manager, Jennifer Finefrock, Lena Merkulov, and Dale Tucker), and everyone who has donated their time, skills, and support to HVWS throughout this school year!
We send our deep sympathy to Tricia Bennett-Bigham and her family on the recent passing of her mother-in-law.
Wish List
Exhibitor Tent
Our main pop-up tent is showing its age and we would love to replace it with one that includes removable sides for outdoor outreach events. If you, or your company, have one you could donate or if you have a potential tent connection, please contact Therese at tlederer@waldorfct.org or 203-364-1113 x102.
Articles & Videos
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Box Tops
Please clip and save your box tops and send them into the office so rising 5th Grader Oliver Exley-Seidel can process them for the school.
Photo Album: 2018 Class Plays
8th Grade Class Play: Harvey
7th Grade Class Play: The Tale of Robin Hood
6th Grade Class Play: The Midwife's Apprentice and Catherine, Called Birdy
5th Grade Class Play: The Ramayana
4th Grade Class Play: Isla's Dream
3rd Grade Class Play: Joseph and His Brothers
2nd Grade Class Play: The Legend of Jumping Mouse
1st Grade Class Play: The Six Servants
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.
Housatonic Valley Waldorf School | 203-364-1113 | office@waldorfct.org| waldorfct.org