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|          December 2019          |




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A Note from the Faculty Chair

Dear Community,

Cheers to a Happy New Year!

I just completed a class from Lisa Weiner of Handmade Parenting that led to the following New Year’s Resolution:

Assure my child, through my actions, that I am the alpha in our relationship.

Alpha?!  I had this as a teacher, but as a parent, it sounds so dominant and authoritarian.  A part of me is uncomfortable with this vocabulary.  Yet through the lessons of this class, it became clear that when we, as adults, relinquish the alpha role, the only option for the child is to assume this role, and this causes the child great anxiety.  The instructor of the class said, “Pushing the young of the nest only works for birds!”

Ask any teacher and you will hear that childhood anxiety has grown exponentially.  Today’s children are faced with making many adult decisions.  What would you like for dinner?  What would you like to wear today?  Do you want to go to the party?  What do you want to do today?  Are you ready for bed?  Try for just one day to keep track of all the questions you ask your child.  I did.  I was very surprised by how much I had slipped into a partnership instead of the lead role.  Thus, my new year’s resolution.  Preventing and reducing anxiety for my child is my motivation.  I invite you to explore this.

You’ve likely heard the slogan, “Waldorf is education toward freedom.”  This is often greatly misunderstood.   It does not mean freedom of choice for the child.  The Waldorf teacher is authoritarian in terms of being the “author” of the class whether the model of warmth, love, and boundaries in the Early Childhood, the teacher imbued with imagination in the grades, or the specialists of subject classes and high school.  The move toward independence occurs gradually.

The shift from Early Childhood to the Grades is significant, yet the foundations laid in the pre-school serve as a bridge to grade one, making the transition less stressful for all.    Join me on Saturday, February 1st from 10:30-noon on the topic of entering the grades, what to expect and an exploration of the curriculum for grades 1-3.


Kelly O’Halogan
Faculty Chair


Alumni Basketball Games & Community Three-Point Contest

Please join us on Saturday, January 11th for the Alumni Basketball Games and Community Three-Point Contest beginning at 11:00 am with the Women’s Alumni game.

There is a $10 entry fee for the Community Three-Point Contest with all proceeds benefiting The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network). The contest is open to all community members including students in grades 7 and up. Prizes to be announced.

For more details and to RSVP CLICK HERE


Register Today for Winter Parent & Child Classes!

Registration for the Winter 2019-20 session of Parent & Child classes is now open! Click here to register.

Please contact Suellen Gentile if you have any questions at gentiles@waldorfgarden.orgFall Early Childhood Applications Open

Parents who wish to enroll younger siblings in the Nursery and Mixed-Age Kindergarten for September 2020 are encouraged to submit an Admissions Application now.

Enrollment in these classes is currently underway. While priority is given to families who have siblings in the School, spaces are limited and fill up quickly. Please contact Carol Proctor at (516) 742-3434 ext. 301 or via email at proctorc@waldorfgarden.org with questions.

A New Year – A New Opportunity

Through your enthusiasm, goodwill, and many gestures of kindness, The Waldorf School of Garden City completed the first half of the school year with 100% Faculty & Staff, 100% Board of Trustees, 30% Alumni, and 77% Parent participation.  On #GivingTuesday, December 3rd, we raised $55,000 and processed over 250 gifts. We were also able to donate over $4,000 to The Lakota Waldorf School from your contributions. You certainly took every opportunity to be a part of this amazing community. Let’s keep the momentum going…

As we look toward the second half of the school calendar, a new year, and a new decade, there will be so many more wonderful ways for you to enjoy the full spectrum of what our community has to offer.  I hope to see you over the next few months at one of our many events planned especially for you. Until then, I wish you and your family a healthy, peaceful and magical New Year!

With Gratitude & Appreciation,
Nicole S. Littrean

Simplicity Parenting Winter Session

Explore the extraordinary power of LESS to raise calmer, happier and more secure children. Parents in all grades are invited to take part in this series of workshops!

Join Stephanie Cleary for a series of parent workshops on “Simplicity Parenting, ”at The Waldorf School of Garden City located in our Parent & Child Classroom.

“Wonderful course. So glad I took part. It gave me time to recognize the importance of being present and mindful of how lucky I am.”

-Parent to a 7 month old and current faculty member

School News

Long Island Moot Court Competition 2019

This year, four Waldorf students were selected to participate in the Annual Nassau County Moot Court Competition at the Suffolk County Courthouse. Over the course of five weeks, Stephanie Marshall (10th), Sophia Conrad (11th), Sanaalee Troupe (10th), and Esandi Perera (10th) went above and beyond their regular classroom studies to explore the world of law as they prepared to present a case, given to them by Fordham Law School, in front of judges.

2019 Carol Sing and Alumni Reception

On Friday, December 20th, our community came together for our Annual Carol Sing and Alumni/Faculty Reception. It was a beautiful evening which brought peace to the hectic Holiday Season. We thank everyone who joined us and wish you all a peaceful transition into the new year.

From our Community to Yours  – The Lakota Waldorf School

During the month of November, Parents, Students, Faculty and Staff joined forces to support The Lakota Waldorf School located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Our school combined the efforts from #GivingTuesday on December 3rd, with the HS Diversity Committee, the HS after-school snack stand, Mrs. Miccio’s Mixed-Age Kindergarten, and the Craft Circle to raise over $4,000.  An additional $2500 worth of warm weather clothing and accessories, donated and hand-made, were also shipped to South Dakota just in time for the holidays.

The Lakota Waldorf School was founded in 1993 by a group of Lakota parents committed to an alternative vision for their children’s education – one that provides a Waldorf education integrated with Lakota language and culture.  Lakota is the only Waldorf School on a Native American reservation and, despite its natural beauty, the reservation is severely lacking in resources. For more information about The Lakota Waldorf School please visit: https://lakotawaldorfschool.org/

High Schooler Fights to Keep our Oceans Clean!

At the Waldorf School, we love seeing our students take proactive steps to make the world a better place. One 10th grader, in particular, has stepped up to the challenge with notable drive and passion. Drawn together by a common goal, Sophomore Sanaalee Troupe, with other Long Island students, founded the Cleaner Oceans Institute earlier this year in order to educate the public about important environmental issues that impact our oceans.

Star Assembly

On Monday, December 16th, the School held its annual Star Assembly, a tradition dating back over 50 years when it was called the Tree Assembly.  Back then the children in grades 1-12 gathered in the gym to hear a story told by a member of the Salvation Army as a treat for completing a successful coat drive. An enormous fir tree filled the stage as a background for the storyteller and was destined to be a central feature of the Carol Sing, which would take place a few days later. As time went by, the details changed but the beloved tradition of storytelling continues. The huge fir tree used during the assembly, and hung with stars bearing a wish from each class that is shared with the community, will be planted by a class on the school grounds.  This tree provides a beautiful background for the storyteller, and each person who hears the wishes carries them in their heart into the new year.

Camp Glen Brook

We still have a few spots for your family in our popular Winter Family Weekend – February 7 – 9.  It is also time to sign up for Winter Camp, February 17 – 22  for 3rd – 9th graders. Spend a fun-filled week in our winter wonderland during February School break. Round trip bus transportation is offered from WSGC. Visit our website for details and sign up today – space is limited!

Believe it or not, it is also time to sign up for Summer Camp and Family Camp – August 12 – 16.  Our Summer Camp Early Bird Discount ends on January 31, however, some cabin groups will have a waiting list by then. Don’t delay, claim your child’s bunk today.

A Glen Brook experience makes a wonderful holiday gift!  Register here.

We hope to see you in the New Year!

What’s Happening in Athletics?

Winter basketball season is well underway with both of our varsity teams having a handful of games under their belts. The Varsity Girls just got their first win of the season, 41-36 over Our Savior New American. Coach Thornton was delighted with the win, as it has inspired the team to push forward after a few early season roadblocks. “The season is looking bright for 2020” she mentioned.

The Varsity Boys are holding their own in the PSAA, with an early highlight being an overtime win over The Lexington School. “The boys did great, kept their composure and focus through OT and managed to solidify the win” commented, Coach Cain.

Our Middle School Basketball teams have been practicing for the past 3 weeks and had their season opener on December 19th where they faced off against The United Nation International School in Queens.

Click here to see the full schedules for our teams!


Alumni Notes

Chris Jurak ‘87

Chris Jurak ’87 continues to carry on the Waldorf School’s Gilbert & Sullivan tradition, having appeared with the Gilbert & Sullivan Light Opera Company of Long Island for the past several years. His roles include; Lord Tolloler in Iolanthe (2016), The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance (2017), Colonel Calverly in Patience (2018), Don Alhambra in The Gondoliers (2019), Ghost of Marley in A G&S Christmas Carol (2019), and “The Baritone” in the company’s revue show, The World According to Gilbert & Sullivan (2016-19). He will also be singing the role of Push Tush in the company’s 2020 production of The Mikado, which will be updated to a 1920’s Long Island Gold Coast (a la The Great Gatsby) setting.  Additionally, Chris was elected President of the company’s Board of Directors this past summer, having served previously as Publicity Chair (2016-17) and as Vice President (2018-19).

Chris invites any interested members of the Waldorf Community to come to perform with the company, which presents a yearly full-scale, orchestra-accompanied G&S production at various venues around Long Island.  Anyone interested can contact him directly at cjurakpt@hotmail.com or go to the company’s website at https://gaslocoli.org/ for more information.

As The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance (2017) with Valerie Grehan (Mabel) and Michael Economos (The Major General)

As Don Alhambra in The Gondoliers (2019) with Vincenzo Fiorito (Marco) and Henry Horstman (Giuseppe)

Julie Marissael ’09

Congratulations to Julie Marissael ’09 who graduated this semester with an M.S. in Actuarial Science from St. John’s University. Julie will start work at New York Life in January as an Actuarial Assistant in their Actuarial Development Program. She will join their rotational program which means she will be in a different actuarial department every couple of years. Best of luck, Julie!

Sydney Bossuk ’19

Last spring, Sydney Bossuk ’19 spent a week on the set of Amazon Prime Video’s original TV show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Season 3 aired this month and Sydney was spotted during episode 3! This won’t be the last time we see Sydney on the big screen. Sydney is currently studying Musical Theatre at Marymount Manhattan College as she pursues a career in Performing Arts. Congrats and good luck, Sydney.

Dan Strauss ‘88 & Franklin Rankin ’13

On December 15, Dan Strauss ‘88 was joined by alum Franklin Rankin ’13 at Rockwood Music Hall in Manhattan.  They performed Dan’s original songs in a 45 minute set at the famous Lower East Side venue.  The two have performed together a few times over the last year.  “Franklin’s guitar playing is absolutely brilliant,” said Dan.  “He adds just the right touches to my songs and makes them soar.”  They look forward to more gigs together in the near future. Learn more at danstraussmusic.com and franklinrankin.com.

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News from AWSNA

Keep up with all the news from the Association of Independent Waldorf Schools in North America by subscribing to their monthly E-News. Learn more by clicking the button below!


Classes Resume
Monday, January 6th

Alumni & Community Basketball Games
Saturday, January 11th

Soloist Concert
Thursday, January 15th at 7:00 pm

All School Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Thursday, January 16th

Professional Development Day – SCHOOL CLOSED
Friday, January 17th

Martin Luther King Jr. Day – SCHOOL CLOSED
Monday, January 20th

End of 2nd Quarter (HS) and 1st Semester (LS)
Friday, January 24th

PTA Meeting
Friday, January 24th at 8:30 am

12th Grade Trip to Glen Brook
Monday, January 27th – Friday, January 31st

Sophomore Play
Thursday, January 30th at 7:30 pm
Friday, January 31st at 1:00 pm
Saturday. February 1st at 7:30 pm

Early Childhood Closed for Conferences
Monday, February 3rd

8th Grade Square Dance Fundraiser
Friday, February 7th

Kimberton Basketball Tournament
Friday, February 7th – Sunday, February 9th

Winter Assembly – Noon Dismissal
Friday, February 14th

Re-Enrollment Contracts Due
Friday, February 14th

Don’t Forget you can Shop and Support The Waldorf School of Garden City with the following organizations!