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High School special edition!

in this issue page 1 & 2 high school project week page 3 alumni dinner page 6 alumni updates page 8 valentine tea for prospective families happy new year!

January events 1/31 lower school music concert 9th grader Stewart Baker preparing to weld.

High School Project Week During the last week of November, the High School held their Fourth Annual Project Week. Each member of the high school faculty created project oerings and the students submitted their top three choices. Aside from our music curriculum, musical, and extracurricular sports; project week is one of the only focused experiences in the school year where students are in groups of mixedgrades and get to learn and create work with their peers and teachers in an alternate format. Our

week culminated in a presentation assembly to share their learning and work from the week. Across the board, it was a very successful round of projects, completion, and imagination. Student and Teacher Reflections from Project Week 2012: “It was really good to have guest instructors and alumni participate. I really enjoyed the learning

Portland Waldorf High School is accepting applications for Fall 2013. The $50 application fee is waived for applications received before January 30th. For Tuition Assistance and other information, see our website: portlandwaldorforg, or call 503-654-2200 EXT 218




environment that was relaxing, fun, and productive.” Isaac Holland, 10th grade, Billiards -

impact that volunteers can make toward preserving our forests.” - Randy Hicks, HS Faculty, Eco-Activism

“I really enjoyed working with teachers in a different way, in an outside of class environment; and getting to go off campus somewhere new each day.” - McKenzie Blaser Lerch, 10th grade, Hiking & Mapmaking

“It was a great learning environment, because everyone in the group had a similar interest and enthusiasm in the subject.” - Joie Bassham, 11th Grade, Lord of the Rings

“Getting to be in an unconventional learning environment and getting to work with people from other grades in equality to do collective work were my favorite parts of the week.” - John Paul Takacs, 9th grade, Eco-Activism “I enjoyed getting to go further in one subject that I’m really interested in and have a whole week of time to do it.” Linnea Ashkar, 9th grade, Photography “We spent a few days examining different logging sites in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Our main goal was to survey and record specific characteristics in these sites to ensure that best practices were followed. Students on this project got a taste for environmental stewardship and the

2013 Projects Offered Billiards – sport, science, art, fun! Building and Design (see cover photo) FEAST: food for the future Lord of the Rings and Modern Fable Mindfulness & the Power of the Press Eco-activism in Mt Hood National Forest Movement and Meditation Photography Outdoor Exploration and Map Making through alternative mediums

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Ms. Berg & her first class! Each Thursday afternoon, our PWS faculty and staff is invited to engage in study together. Recently, we began a fascinating book entitled The Human Life by George and Gisela O'Neil. They were ardent students of Steiner and late in their lives, aimed to present an overview of common themes, opportunities, and crises through the entire human biography. This winter break, there has been time to raise my eyes from my second graders and look more-broadly, and this book has been wonderful material. Part of what makes this study especially rich is that Waldorf schools tend to foster long-term relationships. What we study in human development, we have the opportunity to observe, in our own lives, the lives of our colleagues, and if we're especially lucky, the lives of our students. The material isn't dry theory; it becomes real, practical knowledge by discussion and testing it out as we enter these various ongoing stages of development, clear through the gate of death. Speaking of long-term relationships and human development into adulthood, the 8th grade class of 2000 has made stone soup at my house each winter break for 12 years now. I met most of these people as first graders when I was their class teacher, so that many of us have now known each other for 20 years. Even these reunions have continued to evolve each year--at first, I found myself providing most of the food, and there were many dirty dishes left in the sink--aah, high school, and the early years of college. As time went by, they brought more food, and I'll never forget the first time one of them stayed behind while the others charged off to some party so that he could really clean my kitchen. Now, they organize everything, and bring instruments. They effortlessly come into song together, even after they haven't spoken in a year, which always makes me weepy. They

sound good. They bring significant others, and play with my children. We haul out the photo albums. During the evening, I always manage a quiet conversation with each one, and we can sincerely catch up. Since they're now turning 27, I hear more frank admiration and objective gratitude for their parents. They ask me questions about what was behind their education, and we can swap impressions about their gifts and challenges, and my struggles as their teacher. There was one moment when I was just watching this group of adults--two scientists, one business woman, a teacher, a filmmaker, a fitness instructor--chat among themselves, and my breath was taken away by how each person was so utterly him-or-herself, and how beautiful it was to know something of the essential in each person, and how clearly they know that in each other. We're connected, and that is a blessing. So: rather than try to rattle off an alumni class' achievements, etc., (which I'm also happy to do; I'm quite proud of them), I want to convey that I spent an evening with a group of young adults who are living thoughtfully and who are sensitive to their individual destinies. I hope my description lends some sense of how fulfilling this is.

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Senior Project Highlights Each year, based on their interests, each Senior undertakes an independent project involving research which culminates in an essay; an activity, (usually related); and an oral report. In the process, Seniors strengthen skills that last a lifetime—including the ability to think for themselves and work on their own. Some of this year’s highlights: Exploring his interest in marine biology and fisheries management, Jacob Campabello worked for two months on a salmon fishing boat off Kodiak Island in Alaska. His paper is on sustainable fisheries. Anya Conlon wrote a survey of the literature on the science and public policy on genetically-modified food. She worked on the California ballot Proposition for its labeling. Mary Evans worked with the Regional Arts and Culture Council to set up a non-profit to benefit the ballot measure for funding arts instruction in Portland Public Schools. She set up a website and organized a day of playing music downtown by herself and with other musicians, raising $800. Her paper is a history of marketing as applied to political advocacy and social change. As a way to conquer her fear, Kate Caruthers trained for and completed the ascent of several major mountain peaks. She has been interviewing mountain climbers to discover what drives them to seek these extreme experiences. Phoebe Wagner is writing on the cognitive, emotional and social benefits to children of experience in nature. She developed a workshop on nature, and persuaded a public school to let her teach her workshop to young students. Motivated by her interest in homelessness, Carson Nies documented her own attempt to live on food stamps for three weeks, and wrote a comparison between programs addressing homelessness in Scandinavia and the US. Cooper Stites composed keyboard music and lyrics for a film on homelessness. He is writing on the physical, emotional and psychological effects of music. Isaac Ambrosio challenged himself with a solo backpack this summer, about which he is making a documentary film. His essay is an exploration of whether the U.S.’s economic model is useful in helping poor and developing nations serve their populations. Natalie Condon’s (left) essay is an exploration of the philosophical and religious bases for philosophies of nonviolence. She is also writing a full-length play exploring the Irish Revolution and revolutions more generally. Natalie received Early Acceptance at Reed College, which she will attend next fall. Congratulations to all our Seniors, we’re proud of you all and anticipate many great years to come!

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High School News October Freshmen visited the “Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece,” in connection with their World History through Art class, and the Tutankhamun exhibit in Seattle. Dr. David Helfand, chair of the Astronomy Department of Columbia University gave a talk to the entire High School, on the history of the science of global warming. Monthly, the 9th grade returns to monitor a section of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. November See cover story about Project Week. December The Freshman visited Mercy Corp’s Action Center exhibit on innovative solutions to the problems presented by cities world-wide. January Always a busy month filled with finalizing college applications. This year, students are applying to Yale, NYU, Middlebury, Pitzer, Macalaster, Brown, Occidental, Claremont McKenna, Bates, Dartmouth, Wesleyan, Northwestern, Rice, Vanderbilt, Carleton, Oberlin, Reed, and Whitman.

The girls’ basketball team is off to a great start, with 5 wins and only one loss in league games. “They’re looking great for the playoffs,” says Athletic Director James McCarter. February The Sophomores will put on a workshop production of Dylan Thomas’s play Milkwood February 12 to 13. February 25, baseball is coming to PWHS! Athletic director James McCarter has responded to student interest by organizing a team combined with Pacific Lutheran students, they will play in the 2A Northwest City League. Ongoing HS activities Each year in the Foreign Exchange Program, 10 to 12 Sophomores and Juniors trade with students at Waldorf schools in Spanish- or German- speaking countries. This year PWS students are exchanging with students in Lima, Buenos Aires, Vienna and several German cities

Welcome Aboard Dr. Hicks This fall PWHS welcomed Dr. Randall Hicks to the math and science faculty. After earning his Ph.D. in chemistry, Randy went on to 10 years of university teaching while also conducting research in inorganic materials chemistry, with an interest in designing materials that can effectively filter contaminants from water.  He taught chemistry for 7 years at Reed College before moving on to a tenure-track position at Wheaton College.  After 3 years at Wheaton, Randy heeded the call to return to his previous home base of Portland in 2012, along with his wife, Jennifer, and young son, Reed. Randy is enjoying the grand experiment of bringing his love of science to a new, younger audience.  PWHS students are fortunate that he brings his intimate knowledge of university   expectations  of  student preparedness to work at advanced-level math and science classes.  In

addition to encouraging our students’ love for these disciplines, he is uniquely qualified to ensure they have the tools for success wherever their academic travels may take them. Randy isn’t the only one taking a first plunge into the Waldorf experience, as young Reed is enjoying the fun in the Rose kindergarten.   We warmly welcome the entire family to our school community!

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Alumni News In October, Aaron Parecki (left) (‘03) sold Geoloqi, the company he developed with a partner that created a platform for location-based services to Esri, an industry leader in information systems, for an undisclosed amount. Staff of the two companies will combine to form an R and D center in Portland. Mari Hoiland (‘04), who graduated from the University of Montana in 2009, will be an intern with the City of Portland Office of Sustainability this winter and will begin a Masters in Food Policy at Marylhurst University in the fall. Emilia Marcyk (’07), after receiving a BA from Bryn Mawr College last June, has started a graduate program in Library and Information Sciences at the University of Illinois. Toby Thom (‘08) received his BA in political science from Portland State in June but didn’t wait for his degree to start working in the field. In March, he began as an intern on President Obama’s campaign for reelection. In May he was hired to be the coordinator for SE Portland and Clackamas County. “It was relationship building,” he says, “working with other people towards the same goal.” Despite some 50and 60-hour weeks, he found it “pretty wonderful.” Sam Wasko (’08) graduated from Warren Wilson College in May with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. He’s currently working and plans to attend graduate school in chemistry in the next few years, with the goal of becoming a high school chemistry teacher. Maya Dair (‘09) is completing her BA in Music at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where she's studying viola and voice on full scholarship. In 2011, she performed at the Aspen Summer Music Festival's opera and symphony orchestras. Her senior recital is coming up, followed by auditions for a Masters in Vocal Performance.  Alana McKenzie (‘10) is a sophomore at the University of Oregon studying modern languages (German, Russian, Spanish, French). She is also about to be certified as a Zumba trainer. Taylor Holland (below) (‘11 ) a Sophomore on a full National Merit scholarship to Northeastern University, is pursuing a double major in history and international affairs, with a minor in economics and social entrepeneurship. She spent 7 weeks last summer on an intensive program in Israel and the Palestinian Territories; next summer she will focus on micro-economics in the Dominican Republic.

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Photo Of The Month

Gnomes go marching one by one... Ms. Berg’s 2nd Grade made these for their 9th Grade reading buddies for a special holiday gift. Be sure to like us on Facebook and feel free to tag PWS in your photos of school related events.


Tuition Assistance for 2013-2014 Important Deadline of February 1st, 2013         Planning on applying for Tuition Assistance for the 2013-14 school year? Apply on-line at  Please read all instructions and answer all questions carefully.      There is more information on our website You will also find links to TADS for the application process and links to TADS information including TADS contact numbers and a worksheet to use.   The application processing fee is $34 with additional fees if you have a Corporation, Partnership or Trust or if you want a parental report.   The deadline for application with documentation is February 1st, 2013.  As there is a tuition assistance budget, those who apply by the deadline will have a prime consideration for tuition assistance awards.   

Spring Creek Store Our First Holiday Market was a wonderful and well attended success. We would like to thank Patti Michaels and Scott Bergen for their great organization and incredibly efficient work and to their crew Eric and Erika Allen. We had a wide array of craftspeople from; locally crafted confections to wood-burned wooden treasures. A warm and cozy gathering catching up with friends was had by all as well as beautifully crafted gifts to purchase. We look forward to growing this into an annual event. Sale on all holiday items will begin on Wednesday, January 9th with items marked down 40-50%. January Make One Take One Calendar 1/10 - Recycled Sweater Chicken 1/17 – Winter Fairy Peg Doll 1/24 – Lavendar Heart Sachets 1/31 – Heart Babies

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From the Admissions Office Happy 2013! We are experiencing a wonderful flurry of interest in our school these days!  Over 40 people attended our last outreach event for 2012 – the Winter Tea.  Families with young children enjoyed a morning of play, crafting, tea party and puppet show in our three beautiful kindergartens.    Also, PWS traveled out to NIKE World Headquarters and hosted a school booth at their corporate Kindergarten Fair for employee families.  Special thanks to Alixx Hutsenpiller for letting us know about (and joining us at) this great event!  Also, much thanks to Patti Michaels for being so generous with her time as a parent volunteer at the PWS booth.   Parents, if your employer hosts a school fair, do let us know - we’d love to participate.  And if your neighbor or friend is school shopping, do invite them to join us for one of our upcoming events.    Here’s what we’re up to for the beginning of 2013…so far TOUR:  Walk-Through-the-Grades Thursday, January 10, 2013 from 9:00 - 10:30 am PWS Lower School and High School   Pre-school Forum:  Lake Oswego Mother’s Club January 17, 2013 from 5:00 – 8:00pm At the Lake Oswego West End Building   LOWER SCHOOL (1/31) MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:00pm Held at the Milwaukie High School Theater   TOUR:  Walk-Through-the-Grades Thursday, February 14, 2013 from 9:00 - 10:30 am PWS Lower School and High School   VALENTINE TEA Saturday, February 16, 2013, 10:00 - 11:30 am PWS Kindergartens (Lily, Rose, Trillium)   RSVPs and questions to Mary Beaton, Admissions Office at or call 503-654-2200, x209

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JANUARY Mon 1.7 Welcome Back to School! MS Basketball girls 4 boys 5:30 @Hood View Parent Council Mtg. 7-9pm 1.14

Tues 1.8 HS Basketball boys jv 4:30 girls 6 boys v 7:30 @ City Christian 8

1.9 Grade 7 Pt Mtg 6:30-8:30pm

1.15 MS Basketball boys 4pm @ Home

1.28 MS Basketball girls 4pm boys 5:30 pm @ Home




1.10 Walk Through the Grades 9-10:30 Circus Skills 1:30-3:30pm MS Basketball girls 4 boys 5:30 @ Home

1.11 Community Choir 8:45-10:30

1.16 HS Parent Meeting, 7-9pm

1.17 Circus Skills 1:30-3:30pm


Grade 5 Pt Mtg 6:30-8pm Grade 3 Pt Mtg 7-8:30pm Lily Pt Mtg 7-8:30pm

MS Basketball girls 4 boys 5:30 @Home

1.18 Community Choir 8:45-10:30 8:45 Adult Eurythmy MLK Day Assembly 2pm HS Basketball boys jv 4:30 girls 6 boys v 7:30 @ Open Door Christian

1.22 Board of Trustees Meeting 6pm MS Basketball girls 4pm boys 5:30 pm @ Crossroads HS Basketball boys jv 4:30 girls 6 boys v 7:30 @ Home


1.24 Circus Skills 1:30-3:30pm

1.25 8:45 Adult Eurythmy

MS Basketball gir;s 4 pm boys 5:30 pm @ Columbia Christian

HS Basketball boys jv 4:30 girls 6 boys v 7:30 @ Portland Lutheran

1.26 HS Basketball boys jv 4:30 girls 6 boys v 7:30 @ Home

1.29 HS Basketball boys jv 4:30 girls 6 boys v 7:30 @ Columbia Christian

1.30 MS Basketball girls 4pm boys 5:30 pm @ Home

1.31 Circus Skills 1:30-3:30pm

2.1 8:45 Adult Eurythmy

HS Basketball boys jv 4:30 girls 6 boys v 7:30 @ Home

Winter Music Concert Grades 7-12 Milwaukie High School

HS Basketball boys jv 4:30 girls 6 boys v 7:30 @ Southwest Christian

1.21 MLK Service Day


Grade 1 & 2 Combined Pt Mtg 7-8pm

8:45 Adult Eurythmy

1.12 HS Basketball boys jv 4:30 girls 6 boys v 7:30 @ Damascus Christian

Winter Music Concert Grades 4-6 Milwaukie High School

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January 2013 Heartbeat  

Portland Waldorf monthly newsletter

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