Tradition &

|       December 2021       |

A Message from the Faculty Chair

Dear Community,

“The lamps are different, but the Light is the same…” – Rumi

On December 21st at 10:59am (EST) Winter Solstice will occur as we turn from the longest days of darkness toward the lighter ones again.  As we approach this moment in time many traditions hold festivals of light.  These rituals often have an inward, reflective quality as we consider ourselves and our world and make clear our hopes and strivings for the new year.

At The Waldorf School of Garden City, a school of diversity in so many ways, we welcome all traditions of honoring this time of year.

While deep in our own experience, we might have a tendency to forget the experience of others.

It takes practice to include others.  A simple example is to acknowledge that our fellow humans in the southern hemisphere, at this moment of our Winter Solstice, have the opposite experience as they experience the longest day of sunlight.  If we can expand our consciousness out far enough for a global view, we can experience the two simultaneous solstices as an exhale and inhale – a shared rhythmic breath that connects everyone on the planet.

Kelly O’Halogan
Faculty Chair


Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, November 30th we completed our eighth #GivingTuesday campaign and we are thrilled to announce that we set a Giving Tuesday record! We received 210 gifts and raised over $71,000 including our two incredibly generous matches of $15,000 from Dr. Alan and Mrs. Marcia Zimmerman and $5,000 from our 12th grade families.

Thank you! We did this together as a community – parents, alumni, employees, and friends. Your support will help us continue to grow and adapt in this ever-changing world. Thank you all for making every effort to donate, participate, spread the word, and help grow our Gnome’s garden!  If you did not get a chance to donate, its not too late! Click the button below.

Announcing the High School Musical

This year, the Music Department is proud to present The Spongebob Musical, by Kyle Jarrow and Tina Landau, on March 18th and 19th.  Keep an eye out for details closer to the event.

Carol Sing Cancelled

In the interest of safety, we are, unfortunately, unable to gather for our beloved Carol & Winter Sing this year. While we understand that nothing can take the place of joining together in song during this reflective time of year, we would like to wish you and your family a very happy and healthy holiday season.

In-Person Winter Concert Cancelled

The Winter Concert originally scheduled for Wednesday, December 8th has been cancelled. Stay tuned for an e-mail with details about how parents and guardians of students in Grades Five through Twelve will be able to view the musical progress their child(ren) has made this year.

School News

Author and Holocaust Survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan visits WSGC

Marion holding her yellow star ID Badge.

Marion Blumenthal Lazan, author of Four Perfect Pebbles and one of a dwindling number of remaining Holocaust survivors, visited The Waldorf School of Garden City on November 16th to share her experiences with our middle and high school students. The presentation held students and faculty in rapt attention as they listened to her story of survival, hope, and her plea for young people to continue to share these stories with future generations to ensure that atrocities like this never happen again to anyone. Her positive message of love and respect for all people was well received and her upbeat demeanor admirable after enduring such a horrific period in history.

Marion answering additional questions.
Photo of her 104 year-old mother on the table.

Marion recounted her early childhood living for over six years in refugee and transit camps as well as the prison camp Bergen-Belsen–the same camp where Anne Frank, her sister, and about 50,000 others died– in northwestern Germany. She barely remembers life before the camps, she only knew about the outside world from the stories her mother told her. Miraculously, while in the camps Marion never lost hope.

Thanksgiving Assembly 2021

The class of 2022 performed two dances this year, the Lamban and the DunDun dance. Both come from Guinea in West Africa. The Lamban dance was a dance performed by the griots, the storytellers in African communities. The steps come from the founder of the Mali Empire, Sunjata Keita, also known as the Lion King, and have been passed down from generation to generation in griot families. Dundun dances were made popular in Guinea and have become very popular amongst women in Guinea West African dance companies.

A special thank you to Anayo Michelle, owner of Layla’s Dance & Drum for her expertise and enthusiasm in teaching the seniors the dance during their Main Lesson block. Watch the video and read more below.

Deepening our Work: Supporting Children in Times of Uncertainty

On November 17th at 7:30 pm, we welcomed back seasoned Waldorf educator and founder of Nova InstituteJack Petrash for the second installment of our Waldorf Education Speaker Series. Watch Mr. Petrash’s talk here.

Glen Brook

Fall Wrap Up

As we enter into the colder, darker, holiday times, we’re full of gratitude at the end of our fall programs. It was a season of incredible discovery, beautiful foliage, and many adventures. We’re so grateful to the incredible students and gappers who came, and for our seasonal staff who spent so much time teaching and leading this fall.

School Program Reflections by Katy Gibney, Youth Program Director

As I walk along the colonnade this evening, my attention is drawn to the sky above the meadow- a stark line has been created by stratus clouds which contrasts with the dark rose and indigo sunset beneath them. In the center of the sky shines Venus, reminding me of the night hikes taken by many of the school groups when they visited this Fall.

One of the gifts of trips to Glen Brook is the opportunity to experience darkness outdoors. At first, the idea of walking in the dark evokes concerned looks and questions about flashlights. Yet, carefully venturing into the outdoors, with only the stars to light our way, students step beyond their comfort zone and allow their eyes to dilate until what, at first, seemed impenetrable, becomes clear. Quietly cresting the hill beneath the Big Dipper and a show of meteors, we hear the persistent questioning of the barred owl at Bear Camp, “Who cooks for you?”  Students laughingly answered, “Chef Robyn!”

The dark hikes serve more than one purpose. As the years go by, Glen Brook takes students on journeys into the great outdoors on camping and canoe trips, Sunrise hikes and Moonrise hikes. These short dark hikes offer students a chance to prepare for these adventures. There is also a metaphor here. Being able to stride confidently through life even in dark times, seems like a valuable skill, whether literally or figuratively. We are equipped to do so; we have the tools, and at Glen Brook we have a chance to practice using them.

As we hurry down the hill to the Main House, beckoning us with the lights glowing in the windows and the warmth of the fire in the wood stove, the question, “Can we do that again tomorrow?” makes me smile.  “Yes,” I answer, “That’s a possibility.”

A Message from Jake Lewis, Gap Program Director

After 8 years of rooting ideas and wonderings into the beautiful and fertile ground of Glen Brook, my family and I are taking up the call for our next adventure.  I am moving on from my position as Gap Program Director after this winter, before summer 2022, with full heart, great excitement, and some grief as we plan to move away from camp and towards something new.  Gap at Glen Brook will continue under new leadership, and we are currently looking for the next Gap Director—if you know of anyone who may be interested, please direct them to this job description.

This place and this program have been central pieces of my life, personally and professionally, for the last 8 years.  I was married up in the hay meadow just out the window; my second son was born in that bedroom just down the hall.  In the first year of the gap program, the gappers lived in the house that I now live in!  The turn of the seasons here supports so many wonderful opportunities to learn and to live, to work and to play, to struggle and to celebrate.  I will miss it all, and am eager to see who steps in to take up the next chapter of Gap at Glen Brook’s development.

It was my privilege to steward the school programs through the tumult of COVID. I’ve known many of these young people for many years, and have memories of their adventures and misadventures over time playing through my head as I write. For the students to have such a place to return to, and for me to watch them grow as the seasons go round and round, is a blessing that goes both ways.

This past year also saw me at the head of Glen Brook’s summer camp. To see children once again playing in the meadow, leaping into the lake, and singing on the lawn was a powerful antidote to the isolation of the pandemic days. I’m proud to have been a part of making it happen. Many of my previous campers and CITs were my staff this summer. May all educators have such a rewarding experience as to witness those they’ve taught grow up to teach others.

My work here—and in so many ways, the life I’ve lived alongside it—is only partly mine. It has come to me from many, many others, for whom and to whom I am grateful. To the WSGC teachers and staff, to my colleagues/neighbors/friends at Glen Brook, and to the many children who have grown up in part at Glen Brook: I’m a better person for the knowing of you.

What’s Happening in Athletics?

Varsity girls basketball practice.

Waldorf Basketball is back this winter!! Coach Cain and Coach Shawna have returned this year as our Varsity head coaches and have been practicing diligently with the teams in preparation for what is sure to be a very competitive season. Along with their assistant coaches, Daniel Ferguson, and Kailya Davis, the boys’ and girls’ teams will be competing in the PSAA West division this season and will face some stiff competition from Avenues, Martin Luther, Stony Brook, Portledge, and Schechter School. You can stay up to date with the teams’ schedules by visiting our athletics webpage here and keep up with the league standings by visiting the PSAA website.

Varsity boys basketball practice.

Unfortunately, spectators will not be allowed to attend our home games for everyone’s health and safety. 

Our 7th & 8th graders are eagerly awaiting the start of their season, and began practicing on Tuesday, November 29th. We look forward to seeing them wear Waldorf’s blue and white jerseys and represent our school with the same focus, diligence, and sportsmanship as our varsity teams continue to demonstrate.

Calling all Alumni!! We are still committed to and are planning on hosting our annual Alumni basketball games on Saturday, January 8th. There are a lot of details to iron out, but please keep an eye on your email as we will be sharing information about the games with you as soon as we can. We would love to have you all back in our gym and hope we can make it happen. RSVP here!

Happy holidays to you all, stay safe, and take care.

Coach Flanagan

Shane Flanagan
Director of Athletics


Kenneth I. Chenault ’69

Earlier in November, Kenneth I. Chenault ’69 was part of the DealBook Online Summit hosted by Andrew Ross Sorkin, Editor at Large, Columnist and Founder, DealBook, The New York Times. The summit was in honor of the 20th year anniversary of DealBook. The summit brought together “some of the most influential minds in business, policy and culture to take stock of a world in the midst of rapid reinvention, grappling with the ripples of Covid and rewriting the rules in real-time.” For a recap of the summit and a short clip, visit NY Times Live.


Mary Catelli ’10

Congratulations to Mary Catelli ’10 who, in the past year and a half, with her husband Jake Lutz, had a baby girl, Emilia Mary, and bought a house. Wishing you much luck in this next chapter of your lives!


Chukwudi Anagbogu ’12

In an article from Bentley University titled “Chukwudi Anagbogu ’16 Finds the Melody of Music and Business,” Chu Chu–as he was known in high school–is featured for his passion and success in the music industry. Chukwudi, stage name chuXchu, was featured on the Apple Music Africa Now radio station as the Africa Rising Track of the week and recognized as Africa Rising Artist of the week on The Nadeska Show. He was also recognized by Apple Music as one of the top rising Afrobeat artists to watch. Click here for the full article from Bentley.

Carole Davenport ’60

Earlier in November, Carole Davenport ’60 held a show featuring the oldest artwork, a partial Shinto head of a kami, or deity, from the 11th century and a red granite stone sculpture of Wolf blood Moon by Hiroyuki Asano of Tokyo. The head has been analyzed scientifically through Carbon 14 and dendrochronology and then subject to stylistic analysis to ground the dating.

The Wolf Moon needed no testing as it came directly from the artist. For more information visit http://www.caroledavenport.com/

Visit or Join our Alumni Facebook Group:

We are proud of our Alumni! Please tell us what’s new:

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!

Save These Dates

Nursery & Kindergarten Winter Spiral
Sunday, December 5th

Classes Dismiss at 12 noon – No Holiday Assembly
Friday, December 17th

Holiday Break
Monday, December 20th – Sunday, January 2nd
(classes resume Monday, January 3rd)

Last Day for 2021 Tax-Deductible Donations
Friday, December 31st

Alumni Basketball Games
Saturday, January 8th

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