Tradition &

May 2019 E-News

~ Celebrating 100 Years of Education Worldwide ~

| May 2019 |

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Waldorf School of Garden City with the

A Note from the Faculty Chair

Dear Community,

It’s hard to believe that this school year is nearly complete!   It seems we just got started.   The year has been filled with many high points, including our Gala.  (Thanks to Nicole and her team.)

A little more than a year ago, I met Susan Braun in a telephone conversation.  That phone call confirmed for me that I’d be foolish if I didn’t uproot my family, travel across the country and take this job.   The opportunity to work with such a skilled leader — one who embodies a balance of clear thoughts, warm heart and active will — comes once in a lifetime.  The gratitude I feel for Susan cannot be measured.  Thank goodness, Susan’s transition into the next phases of her life, includes continuing as a consultant to our School.

Over the course of the last few months, I have informed you of others who are transitioning in their careers.   I recap them here for you, and add a couple more names to the list.   We wish the very best to Dale and Heawon Stuckenbruck, Reina White, Wenjun Zhang, Andrea Crozier, Stephanie Gonzalez, Carmen Braun, Onsy Elshamy and Joanna Dorman.  Please join me in thanking each and every one for their years of service and dedication to our School.

Before we are swept away into the summer, there are many School events you’ll want to attend.   Please check the calendar for the Senior play, Closing Assembly and all the other activities.   Not to be missed is our Commencement Ceremony on Friday, June 14th at 10:30am.  (We’ll provide the tissues!)

The work at The Waldorf School of Garden City does not fade away in the summer.   With a new Early Childhood playground being built and the renovation of the 8th grade classroom, there will be many busy hands here all summer.   The administrative staff and faculty will be working hard to be ready to welcome you back on September 3, 2019.   Have a fabulous summer!


Kelly O’Halogan
Faculty Chair

Facebook PageInstagramyoutubeTwitterWhat’s Happening in Athletics?

The spring athletic season has quickly come and gone. Due to an abundance of rain, we had a number of interruptions in our schedule but both varsity baseball and softball teams played valiantly through their seasons.

The last remaining event on our athletic calendar this year is our annual Sports Night, taking place on Wednesday, June 5th at 6:00 pm, where we will recognize all of our student-athletes and honor our graduating seniors. All are encouraged to come and support this year’s student-athletes.


Gala 2019 is Tonight!

We are looking forward to celebrating 100 Years of Waldorf Education Worldwide and our esteemed honorees tonight at the 2019 Gala! If you cannot attend, you can still support by participating in the Silent Auction! We have over 80 incredible auction items and all bidding happens directly on the Gala website. To begin bidding, please click on the sign-in button on the top right corner of the screen and create an account. The Silent Auction will close at 10:30 pm, tonight. Happy bidding!

Silent Auction Selection

Senior Commencement

On Friday, June 14th, The Waldorf School of Garden City will celebrate its 60th Commencement and recognize the achievements of the 31 members of the Class of 2019. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 am, in the School Auditorium!

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

8th Grade Graduation

Similarly, we would like to congratulate the Class of 2023, who will graduate from the 8th grade on Thursday, June 13th. The ceremony will begin at 8:00 pm in the School Auditorium.

We wish all our 8th graders the best of luck in high school!

Seussical is Next Weekend

As summer approaches and classes come to a close, the class of 2019 is proud to present, Seussical as their final class performance. The fun begins Thursday, June 6th at 8:00 p.m. followed by a matinee on Friday, June 7th at 1:00 p.m. and eventually ending with our finale Saturday, June 8th at 8:00 p.m. All three presentations will take place in the School Auditorium and are open to the public. Admission is free, but a donation of $10.00 per person and $25.00 per family would be greatly appreciated. Donations will be used to cover the costs of creating sets and costumes. The show is recommended for audience members ages 6 and up.

Introducing Helene Smith

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am writing to introduce Mrs. Helene Smith as our School’s new Administrator. This announcement marks the culmination of a thoughtful and thorough process which began last November, following the formal announcement by Susan Braun that this would be her final year at our School. A Search Committee, comprised of Board members and senior administrative leaders, reviewed dozens of applications, conducted numerous phone and in-person interviews, and organized formal site visits for candidates to meet members of our Faculty, Staff, Parent and Trustee communities. The Board was united in its assessment that Mrs. Smith was the best candidate for this important School leadership position.

During her visits to The Waldorf School of Garden City earlier this spring, community members were impressed by Mrs. Smith’s passion for Waldorf Education, her ability to analyze difficult situations and develop thoughtful and creative solutions, and her strong leadership skills.  Mrs. Smith is taking over the School Administrator position from Susan Braun, who has served our School for more than two decades. Ms. Braun will work directly with Mrs. Smith over the course of the next year to ensure a smooth and seamless transfer of knowledge related to all aspects of the School’s operations, noting, “I am excited to be working with Helene and believe she will bring new energy and insight into both the daily management of our School’s operations and our administrative leadership.”

As we bid farewell to Susan Braun, and honor her years of service, I hope you will also join me in welcoming Helene Smith as she and her family become new members of our Waldorf School community.


Lance Cheney
Chair, Board of Trustees


6th Grade Physics: The Gateway to Science

While students study science every year, the Sixth Grade Physics Main Lesson Block is the first formal laboratory science block in the Waldorf curriculum. It introduces fundamental scientific study techniques, laboratory work including lab safety and equipment, and the basic properties of heat, sound, light, magnetism, and electricity. The block awakens students to these natural phenomena by presenting them in a systematic way so students learn to form their thinking and then to elaborate on their basic scientific knowledge and personal explanations to develop strong conclusions.

Senior Language Plays

As a culmination of years of study in their language of choice, earlier this month, the seniors staged four short but lively productions of classic tales with dialogue spoken entirely in the languages they have learned. This annual tradition celebrates the student’s accomplishments by allowing them to actively share their skills with their peers, parents, faculty, and staff through an entertaining afternoon of theater. Click the video above to see short clips from the plays. The plays performed were:

  • Liebestreu und Grausamkeit – Presented by the German Class
  • Contes d’Afrique francophone – Presented by the French Class
  • Senior Murder Mystery (written and conceived by Mrs. Gallo and the Seniors) – Presented by the Spanish Class

Congratulations to all the seniors for their performances!

8th Grade Play – The Madwoman of Chaillot

Earlier this month the eighth grade staged their production of The Madwoman of Chaillot. The play told the story of an eccentric woman who lives in Paris and her struggles with the straitlaced authority figures in her life. Congratulations to the class of 2023 for completing their first show on the main stage!


Waldorf Senior Wins at Adelphi Poetry Day

Congratulations to senior Claire Hou who earned the General Excellence in Poetry Award for her original poem “Growing Up” at Adelphi Poetry Day earlier this month. Out of hundreds of students around Long Island who attended the event, Claire was one of two to receive this award!

Class of 2019 Senior Art Showcase

The class of 2019 presented their Senior Art Projects during a special reception this month. During senior year, each student chooses to concentrate on conceiving, executing and completing a Senior Project in either fiber art, visual art, or woodwork.

“We are all so very proud of the hard work and dedication of the seniors,” said woodworking teacher, Martin Somers. “The work this year was excellent, and it is great that the community has the opportunity to experience it.” Click the button below to see a gallery of photos from the showcase. Thank you to Iwonka Piotrowska for the photos.

Spring Festival 2019

This year’s Spring Festival welcomed families from across our community to celebrate the beginning of the spring season. “Heavy rain did not dampen our spring festivities,” said Spring Festival Committee member Carol Proctor. Highlights of the celebration were the lively fourth and sixth grade traditional Morris and Maypole dancing and the enchanting Briar Rose marionette puppet play presented by our Early Childhood teachers.

Click the button below to see photos. Thank you again to Iwonka Piotrowska for the amazing photos.

5th Grade Greek Olympics!

“Lo Athens, Sparta, Corinth, & Thebes!” As part of their Ancient Greece Main Lesson Block, our fifth graders, with students from the Brooklyn Waldorf School and the Rudolf Steiner School, participated in their own Greek Olympics. Throughout this main lesson, the birth of an extraordinary culture is revealed through reading Greek myths and academic study. A highlight of the block is when the students become Olympians and learn to cultivate their personal bests by taking risks to find their strengths while competing in javelin, discus, long-jump, wrestling, and running events. See photos from the event by clicking the button below.


Alumni Notes

Kenneth Chenault ’69 will become one of five new members on the NCAA’s Board of Governors later this year. The NCAA said it received more than 150 nominations from the general public and considered more than 250 candidates before selecting the final five. Congratulations, Ken! For more information, click here.

Christopher Smalley ’07 completed a Masters of Business Administration at the University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business. In addition to his studies, he has been the Chief of Staff for Unstructured Data Storage at Dell Technologies since October 2018. Congratulations, Christopher!

Congratulations to Brittney Otruba Randolph ’04 who married Steven Ryley Walker Randolph in Birmingham, AL on Sunday, May 26th. Brittney moved to Birmingham, AL after matching for residency at UAB School of Medicine. The couple will move into their brand new home in Alabama after the honeymoon. We wish them a lifetime of love and happiness!

Daughter of Mary Kay (Costello) Theoharides ’74, Kathleen Theoharides, was sworn in as the new Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for the state of Massachussets. Congratulations on this major accomplishment! Click here for the full story.

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Camp Glen Brook

Don’t stress about planning your summer family vacation—we’ve done it for you!

Fall in love with your New Hampshire campus and make new family memories at

Glen Brook’s Family Camp – August 14th-18th, 2019

Cost: $650 for ages 14-adult; $350 for ages 2-14; free for children under 2.

Summer at Waldorf Approaches!

Summer Camp this year runs from Thursday, June 27th to Friday, August 9th! We can’t wait to see all the exciting adventures that our campers will have this summer!

For questions contact Co-Director Carol Purdie at (516) 742-3434 ext. 327 or email summerprogram@waldorfgarden.org.

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!

Winkler Center for Adult Learning

Are you interested in learning more about the foundations of Waldorf Education? Please join us in an Information Session about the Foundation Studies program:

June 6th Thursday 8:10 – 9:30 AM
June 7th Friday 11:00 SM – 12:00 PM
June 10th Monday 8:10 – 9:30 AM

The sessions will meet in the main lobby of the School. For more information, or if you are interested and cannot attend the meeting, please call Tomomi Aozono at 516-776-6037

click for full flyer

Hawthorne Valley Farm CSA

Hawthorne Valley Farm is a certified biodynamic and organic farm in Ghent, NY. We offer a 20 week CSA program with pick up on Thursday afternoons from mid-June through late October.  Each week you will receive a box bursting with fresh, delicious seasonal produce with the option to add on fruit, eggs, dairy, bread and meat!  Joining a CSA is a great way to get the freshest, healthiest food while supporting local farms and building local community!

Visit our website www.hawthornevalleystore.org for more information or to sign up!

Save These Dates

Sports Night (All Student-Athletes Grade 7-12)
Wednesday, June 5th

Senior Play – Seussical (suitable for ages 6+)
Thursday, June 6th at 8:00 pm
Friday, June 7th at 1:00 pm
Saturday, June 8th at 8:00 pm

Last Day for Early Childhood Classes
Friday, June 7th

Closing Assembly
Thursday, June 13th at 10:00 am

8th Grade Graduation
Thursday, June 13th at 8:00 pm

Senior Commencement
Friday, June 14th at 10:30 am

Summer Bonfire (All are welcome)
Friday, June 21st at 7:00 pm

Waldorf Summer Program Begins
Thursday, June 27th

Glen Brook Summer Camp Begins
Sunday, June 30th

Final Day for Annual Giving Contributions
Sunday, June 30th

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