April 2020 E-News
~ Celebrating 100 Years of Education Worldwide ~
Waldorf Strong & A Message from the Board Chair
A Message from the Faculty Chair
I’m happy to share with our Community some good news! We have hired two new Class Teachers, one for the Rising First Grade and the other to take the Rising Fifth Grade as Ms. Lyons moves into retirement.
Florence Kadri has accepted the role of First Grade Class Teacher for the coming school year.
Ms. Kadri began her career with The Waldorf School of Garden City in 1999. She received her Waldorf Teacher Certification from The Waldorf Institute of Southeastern Michigan. She was mentored at our School by master teacher Uta Taylor Weaver. Over her years at our School, she has mainly served as the Lower School French Teacher, but she has also substituted for a variety of lessons, including main lesson, and she led an after school math club.
Prior to discovering Waldorf education, Ms. Kadri graduated with a Masters in English from the Universite of Paris and was the recipient of a Fullbright Scholarship. She graduated Baccalureat cum laude in Humanities and Mathematics, with a certificate in music studies from the Conservatoire D’lssy-Les-Moulineaux.
Kathleen McCarthy has accepted the role of Fifth Grade Class Teacher for the coming school year. Many of you likely know Ms. McCarthy as one of our Kindergarten Assistants for the last two years. You might not be aware of her background in elementary education.
Ms. McCarthy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Special Education from the University of Delaware and a Masters of Education from Hofstra University. In addition, she has an Advanced Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from Hunter University. Ms. McCarthy is set to graduate this summer from Sunbridge Institute.
As an elementary public school teacher, Ms. McCarthy taught for 9 years in Queens and for two years held a leadership role in the ADS Nest program, a program designed to serve the needs of students with disabilities.
With the hire of these two teachers, and with the amazing ability of our current teachers to successfully and quickly meet the educational needs of these changing times, the strength of The Waldorf School of Garden City endures. With a combination of wise fiscal and strategic planning of our Board and the commitment of the College to strong and well-rounded educational programs for our students, the School is set for a trajectory of continued success, even through the pandemic. Thank you to our students, parents, and alums who continue to make The Waldorf School of Garden City a bright, guiding light; an essential institution of our times that is unique among all Waldorf schools. Our community is strong, flexible, and resilient and I am certain that, as we move into the future, we will continue to thrive together.
WSGC and COVID-19
At the direction of Governor Cuomo, distance-learning will continue through the end of the school year. Keep up with the WSGC’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis by visiting our information hub at the link below.
Last year, the Waldorf student government, with the support of the Administration, voted to change the Athletic Mascot from the Waldorf Stars to the Waldorf Wolves. Earlier this year, current students were offered the opportunity to submit artwork illustrating the new wolf mascot in a competition that required students to maintain the school brand standards in their creative efforts. Submissions were reviewed by the Administrative Circle and, while it was a difficult decision, we are happy to announce that Sophomore Skylar Vernola is the winner of the Waldorf Wolves logo contest! Congratulations Skylar and thank you to all of the students for their amazing submissions.
Dear Waldorf Community,
During this time of uncertainty, rest assured The Waldorf School of Garden City and its determination to educate children to meet the world with purpose and resilience, remains strong.
On Tuesday, May 5th, The Waldorf School of Garden City has chosen to participate in #GivingTuesdayNow, a new global day of giving and unity launched as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. In conjunction with this initiative, our School has launched an Emergency Relief Fund to offset the enormous impact this crisis has had on our School and community.
The fund will immediately address the following:
- Tuition assistance for current families, who have experienced a loss of income and can no longer cover full tuition
- Critical facility renovation projects (i.e. roof and boiler repair)
- An operating deficit presented by the economic climate
A dollar-for-dollar match of $50,000 has been raised for Tuesday, May 5th by members of every segment of our community, including; Parents, Alumni, Alumni Parents, Faculty, Trustees, and Friends. I hope you will consider joining them on this global day of action for giving and unity. We are not asking anyone to go above or beyond their capacity to give. However, if you want to make a difference in a child’s life and support your School during this unprecedented time, we hope you will consider a gift of any amount to the WSGC Emergency Relief Fund.
Thank you to all of our donors, supporters, volunteers, and advocates.
Sending you all light, warmth, and peace.
An Alumni Family Supports The Waldorf Community and Our School
Jonathan’s Restaurant, located in New Hyde Park on Long Island, has been crafting the finest dishes since 1992. The restaurant is owned and operated by The Mavrikis Family and at the helm is Mr. John Mavrikis, an alumni parent. The day to day operations are led by partners, Dean Mavrikis ’87, graduate of The American Film Institute with an MFA, his cousin Peter Kalamaras, Chef Alain Ribiere, and GM, Frank Billera.
The Mavrikis Family has partnered with The Waldorf School of Garden City to support the Emergency Relief Fund by providing 25% of every restaurant gift card purchased online using the promotional code Waldorf.
Support a local family-owned business and your School by visiting https://jonathans.crave.it and entering the promotional code Waldorf.
Continued Learning Despite the Distance
While our campus may be closed, learning still continues. See a gallery of distance learning in action within our community below.
Please visit our Distance Learning Resource page (password: 225cambridge) for new activities for you and your family including:
- Great workout videos from Coach Flanagan;
- Gardening Tutorials courtesy of Jeannine Davis;
- A Waldorf Star Making Activity initiated by Denver Waldorf School as a campaign to connect Waldorf families;
- And more….
When life gives you lemons, make… RAINBOWS!
During this challenging time when social-distancing is keeping us apart and children are unable to see their friends and classmates in person, some of our students decided to spread a message of joy and hope. The fact that you can’t have a rainbow without any rain, metaphorically resonated with members of our third grade. One student, in particular, was so inspired by seeing rainbows in the windows of houses in her neighborhood, that she suggested to her class that they all create rainbows to share with our community.
Congratulations to Junior, Jadyn Mardy who had her essay published in Amaranthus Journal of Environment Leadership this month! Jadyn’s concern for the environment led her to submit this article with the goal of helping “people understand how our actions have dire consequences and how they can make a difference.”
Sophomore Steps up to Support Long Islanders During COVID-19 Crisis
The current COVID-19 crisis has negatively impacted a large number of Long Islanders due to job loss and business closings. Many residents of our island have found themselves in need of financial support, and one 10th grade student has answered the call. In order to help those people, Benett Maley started a campaign to collect unused gift cards and donate them to organizations that serve people in need. As part of his planning, He has reached out to a number of local organizations that expressed an interest in collecting donated gift cards for use in their support of residents in need. These organizations include homeless shelters and veteran support organizations.
Congratulations to Junior, David Kissin on his recent partnership with Ernie Ball! Ernie Ball is one of the worlds leading manufacturers of guitar strings, bass strings, and guitar accessories.
Camp Glen Brook
Here at Glen Brook, the spring is unfolding beautifully as always: the grass is green and growing, the birds have returned in force, the buds are swelling on the trees, and the pond is clear of ice– a few brave residents have already jumped in (and then scrambled out)!
Though the fields and forests are full of animal and plant activity, this landscape has been unusually quiet without our normal spring groups. We’re missing all the students who were so looking forward to their class trips, and who we were excited to welcome. Glen Brook is a place for people to play, work, and be together, after all, and it is painful for anybody to have to miss out on a Glen Brook experience.
With that in mind, we are looking forward to welcoming back as many people as we can safely have as soon as we can. We are still hoping to run our full Summer Camp, and while many bunks are full we still have some space available. If we must make any changes to our summer schedule we expect to make that decision by Memorial Day.
We are also quite confident that we can run a safe Gap at Glen Brook semester this fall and have had a surge of interest in this incredible program. You can read more about why our gap program is a perfect and reliable opportunity for young adults here.
What’s Happening in Athletics?
On Monday night, the Private School Athletic Association decided to officially cancel the 2020 Spring Season. It was determined that, as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, it is in the best interest of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and supporters to cancel the season and turn our attention to honoring our student-athletes and all they have achieved this school year. And the Waldorf school has every intention of doing just that!
I am happy to announce that on Wednesday, June 3rd at 7 pm we will be holding a Virtual Sports Night via Zoom. All 7th-12th grade student-athletes, their families, coaches, and supporters are invited to join us in a fun evening as we reflect on the 2020-2021 sports season, and honor the hard work and commitment of our athletes.
Calling all Student-Athletes, Coaches, and Managers!
Show us your skills! How are you keeping active as you are physically distancing yourselves? Have you learned a new trick or improved your ball handling skills? Are you running or practicing your home-run swing?
Throw on your Waldorf gear and show us what you’ve got by submitting a snippet of video of you in action at this link!
We will compile your submissions and share them on social media. Thank you in advance for helping us all stay connected!
We miss you and hope everyone is staying busy and healthy,
Socially Distant but Together
Classes of 1964 & 1965
On Monday, April 13th, members from the alumni classes of 1964 and 1965 held a virtual reunion on Zoom. Philip Bertenthal ’64 arranged the meetup and was joined by 16 classmates from across the United States, as well as one from Australia. Roughly every three years the class holds a destination reunion, and last September they celebrated their 55th anniversary in Charleston. For decades, Adrienne Lecraw Polychron, the class representative, has been an ambassador for her fellow alums and the School. During each month she sends out emails in honor of her classmates’ birthdays, or of their special milestones. In addition, members of the class email witty jokes, sayings, and videos to one another. Mrs. Polychron, as a “lifer,” is a strong advocate of the education being offered at “our” Waldorf school.
Adrienne’s mother, Lydia “Lee” Lecraw taught at The Waldorf School of Garden City as a class teacher from 1951-1965, taking two separate classes from 1st grade through middle school. In 1966, Mrs. Lecraw became co-director of the Waldorf Institute for Adult Education, a newly created Waldorf teacher training center at the School. Students at this institute studied for two summers at Adelphi University, and one school year at the Waldorf Institute. Upon graduating, they were awarded a master’s degree in Waldorf education from Adelphi. After 11 years as co-director, and then director of the Waldorf Institute, she retired. Both Mrs. Lecraw and later Mrs. Polychron created a model for us to stand by that will help us all propel Waldorf Education into the next century.
Class of 1985
The Class of 1985 held a Zoom Reunion on Monday, April 13th. Organized by Seth Skolnik, seventeen members of the class from New York, California, Connecticut, Florida, Virginia, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Germany participated on the call. Classmates were represented from preschool, elementary, middle, and high school years. After hearing updates on life from each class member, the group chatted about the COVID virus and shared lots of fond memories from their years in school together. The group hopes to get together more regularly going forward and have more classmates participate in future Zoom gatherings. Participants included: top left to right – Terry Sullivan, Marco Maccari, Seth Skolnik, Scott Williams, Grant Butler, Anne Murray, Alexios Kritas, Christine Torres, Kim Sheridan-Dugmore, Leslie Rudner, Monique Isenschmid LePage, Melissa Pascal Driscoll, Andrea Conte-Noble, Sophia Mavrikis Pisano, Dawn Manning Shmaruk. Not shown, but also on the call were: Susan Nova Marshall and Terence Worthy.
Ariana Metzler, ’07,
Ariana Metzler, ’07, a WSGC “lifer,” came back to work part-time at the School in 2018. In January of 2019, she was approached to substitute HS Math for a week and the Faculty Chair Assistant position for Kelly O’Halogan opened up. By 2019 she accepted the Faculty Chair Assistant position and many more class offerings. “It all came quickly, in great numbers, and all at once!” said Ariana.
Ariana has been instrumental in rolling out all the technical support and resources for Distance Learning as “a lot of new things had to happen very quickly across our vast community. Of course, this was a team effort in conjunction with Communications Associate & IT Coordinator, Kevin Padilla, but rolling out Zoom was probably our biggest challenge.”
“It’s an odd feeling, but I can’t help but wonder if this social distancing situation was one of the reasons that I was meant to come back to Waldorf. Working with the students in the physical classroom is one of the best things I’ve had the privilege to do, along with having the fortune of revisiting nostalgic activities from my time as a student, but my experiences from college and the professional world have adequately prepared me for helping the School make it through this crisis. I feel like I was brought back to the right place just at the right time, against many odds. ”
Elora Nadel Niborski ‘12
For the past six years, Elora Nadel Niborski ’12 has been living in Arusha, Tanzania working on several different projects and for the past year has specifically been working with PassionProjects Intl. The work involves finding sponsors from all around the world who are interested in sponsoring children in Arusha so that they can attend a proper English Medium School which provides boarding if necessary. The organization has nearly 80 children (ranging in age) with sponsors who are doing absolutely amazing at their new School. With Schools now closing down due to Covid-19, there is a huge strain on families who became accustomed to their children receiving sufficient meals at school each day. Because of this, Elora and the rest of the PassionProjects team held a fundraiser in order to provide enough dry foods for all of the families during this difficult time. They supplied 70kgs to each family of rice and maize. Each family was extremely grateful and the distribution of all the foods was a huge success. Thank you, Elora, for all that you are doing!
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WECAN Special Spring Sale Extended!
SAVE THESE DATES
Virtual Coffee Hour with Kelly and Helene
Tuesday, May 5th – 9:30 am
Last Day of Classes for Seniors
Friday, May 15th
Virtual Senior Art Opening
Saturday. May 23, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Don’t Forget you can Shop and Support The Waldorf School of Garden City with the following organizations!