WSOC April 2018 Newsletter

Spring has sprung in Ms. Terri's Kindergarten!

Hello families!

We hope you are having a wonderful break and a restful and rejuvenating time with friends and family. In this edition: news about our upcoming "Around the World" Gala & Auction, WSOC summer camps, fun school happenings and much more.

Additionally, we would like to share the following faculty, staff, and program changes for the 2018-19 school year:


Elisabeth Beck, Grades Eurythmy teacher for eighteen years, has also served on the College of Teachers and as our AWSNA Delegate. Ms. Elisabeth will retire at the end of this school year.

Barbara Cubanski, Pre-Kindergarten teacher, is returning and will welcome her new class in the fall. Ms. Barbara, who has over seventeen years of experience at WSOC, has been continuing her education during her sabbatical this past year.

Robin Theiss, High School Humanities teacher for nine years, has served the high school through our early phases of maturation, and will not be returning for the next school year. We are grateful for her service on the College of Teachers and as our AWSNA Delegate.

Andrea Hubert, Grades teacher for the Class of 2022, will enter her sabbatical at the end of this year when her class is promoted from 8th grade. Ms. Hubert plans to take several classes during her sabbatical to immerse herself further in the Waldorf curriculum.

Ririko Oshiro, Grades Japanese teacher, has enjoyed working with 1st through 4th grade students these last two years. She will depart at the end of this school year and plans to refocus on her family life.

Rising First Grade Teacher: We are currently considering several qualified candidates for First Grade teacher and look forward to making an announcement in the near future.


Gina Illes, School Administrator, began working at WSOC in 2007, when the high school had only a 9th grade. Gina has served WSOC's administration in several key realms and is the proud parent of two High School Alumni. She will depart at the end of the school year.

Carrie Frisby, the High School Administrative Assistant, started working at WSOC in 2012. Carrie will depart at the end of this year and looks forward to taking some time off and seeing her WSOC graduate off to college in the fall.

Raelyn Goodrum, the school's Human Resources Coordinator, joined WSOC shortly after the winter break and is excited to be part of the professional staff at Waldorf.


Foreign Languages

Our middle school Spanish program has increased to include more lessons and split classes for the larger groups. Señora Blanco and Señora Esparza from the lower school, and Señora Rey from the high school, continue to work collaboratively in bringing comprehensive and challenging experiences for the students, deepening their fluency and enthusiasm for the language.

With the departure of our Japanese teacher, the College of Teachers is reimagining a language program that will provide increased exposure to Spanish in the lower grades and offer more varied language experiences, in a variety of languages, in the middle school.

High School Science

We will continue the new four-year earth science elective in environmental science and ecology. This program serves as a culmination of the student's high school years in earth science and biology. This block allows our students to understand and explore the deeper issues through first-hand experience of where they live in the context of a global scale. It looks at current events and research as well as explores deeper philosophical beliefs that drive environmental concerns.

Middle School Science

WSOC is proud to host the Teaching Sensible Science program which is being brought to the West coast for the first time. This program, led by Michael D'Aleo, an internationally recognized lecturer on science, education and environment, is being sponsored by the Research Institute, Saratoga Experiential Natural Science Research Institute (SENSRI), and WSOC.

It is designed for experienced and new Waldorf teachers and will begin in June 2018. By hosting this successful course, our teachers will benefit both from the program and through mentoring.

As we embrace these transitions, the school remains aligned with our vision to continue providing an extraordinary education for our students.

We know that Waldorf Education, and the inherent wisdom in the developmental curriculum that now approaches its 100-year anniversary, is greater than any one component of the whole.

Our shared commitment to the students, and to one another, will continue to guide our school successfully into a bright future filled with promise. We appreciate your continued support and commitment to our programs and to your children.

Alyssa Hamilton
WSOC Communications Coordinator

WSOC Annual Gala & Auction 2018

One week left for Early Bird tickets!

Our WSOC Around the World Gala & Auction "Early Bird" tickets are on sale through April 13, 2018 for $120. After April 13th, the ticket price increases to $140. We highly encourage you to get your tickets now and secure your seats for this wonderful event in support of our school! This is an event not to be missed, and wait until you find out what we're offering in the live and silent auctions!

Click here to buy tickets and download donation forms:
We are still in need of donations for the silent and live auctions! We are looking for gift cards, fine wines, theatre tickets, vacations (local and abroad), sporting events, concerts, children's toys, memorabilia, state-of-the-art electronics and handcrafted items and artwork.
We ask with appreciation that you submit all donations to the Gala Committee by April 13, 2018 to allow sufficient time to get the items on to the Gala site and in the event program.
Thank you for supporting WSOC!

Director of Development
Have a Question? We Can Help!
 A quick guide to communication at WSOC

If you ever find yourself with a question and are not quite sure which Administrative member or volunteer is the appropriate avenue to help you, here's a quick guide to the WSOC lines of communication:
  • Faculty Coordinator (Gina Garrison) - questions or concerns regarding class or specialty teachers, or other concerns requiring additional support/attention. 
  • School Administrator (Gina Illes) - any concerns or questions regarding WSOC administration and its staff, safety, compliance, health, or facilities.
  • Admissions Director (Linda Timmons) - admissions related questions or concerns such as wait pools, enrollment procedures and deadlines.
  • Development Director (Teresa Alarcon) - questions about fundraising and gifts, including Annual Giving, Gala, grants, in-kind donations, restricted gifts, endowment gifts, and community outreach events within and outside of school. 
  • Business Manager (Jeff Barth) - questions regarding school budgeting, finances, tuition contracts, insurance, human resources, employee benefits, vendors, Company of Angels, or SCRIP.
  • High School Coordinator (Kristi Kilcollins)- questions regarding the following high school items: events, fundraising, curriculum implementation and conflict resolution. 
  • Communications Coordinator (Alyssa Hamilton) - newsletter, website, school communications, and school-related event promotions.
  • Parent Association Chair (Olivia Slutzky) - PA Committees and events, volunteerism.

April At-A-Glance
Click here for online calendar

April 1  Registration deadline for Teaching Sensible Science
April 6  Grade 12 trip
April 9  School resumes
April 10 Grade 5 parent evening
April 11  Board of Trustees meeting
April 16  Grade 3 parent evening
April 20  Adult Education
April 20  Grade 6 play
April 20  Grades 7-8 Track & Field
April 21  Adult Education  
April 21  Grade 12 Projects
April 24  Adult Education
April 24  Grade 3 Cal Earth field trip
April 25  Early Childhood Information Evening
April 27-28  Grade 8 Projects

Scrip Update
Spring is a great time to check your Scrip balance! Simply click on

Summer Camps
Early Childhood Summer Fun 
with WSOC Early Childhood Faculty

Pre K- Rising Grade 1
Monday through Friday
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
WSOC Campus

Activities include water play, art, handwork and more!

June 18-22
June 25-June 29
July 2nd-6th No Camp
July 9-13 
July 16-20
July 23-27
July 30- Aug. 3
Aug 6-Aug.10
Aug 13- Aug. 17

Cost: $250 per week, includes snack and camp materials.

Sign up forms available after Spring Break. Contact  Ms. Michaela for more information. 

Waldorf Rhythm and Summer Bliss 
with the Big Aftercare Crew

Rising Grade 1- Rising Grade 5
Monday through Thursday
9am - 3pm
WSOC campus

July 9-12, Week One: Flowers, Fairies and Gardens
July 16-19, Week Two: Summer Fun
July 23-26, Week Three: Bugs, Insects and More
July 30- August 2, Week Four: Pioneer Days
August 6-9, Week Five: Down By the Sea 

Activities include outdoor time, nature walks, water fun, and crafts. 

Cost: $300 per week, includes daily snack. 

Sign up forms available after Spring Break. Contact  Ms. E for more information. 
Children's Craft Camp with Christine Newell, 
WSOC handwork teacher

Rising Grade 2 and up
Monday - Friday
9:30am - 1:30pm      

June 26-30
July 9-13
August 6-10

Space is limited to 10 students per week.

Crafts include:
  • fabric and wool dyeing
  • silk painting
  • sun printing 
  • gardening
  • painting
  • wet felting
  • dry felting
  • art felt
  • woodwork
  • leather work

Cost: $290 per week. Morning snack provided plus  all supplies and materials.

Sign up forms are located in Company of Angels.
For more information, contact Christine Newell 

Arts & Learning Conservatory Summer Camps

WSOC Performances

On Tuesday, March 20, Grade 8 debuted their rousing performance of "The Adventures of Oliver Twist." Said Ms. Andrea, Class of 2022 teacher, "I was so impressed with the professionalism and poise displayed by our 8th graders. It was a joy to watch them develop their acting skills under Ms. Guilia Vittori's expert guidance; their efforts culminated in two wonderfully engaging performances!"

Dueling Reality,
The 11th Grade Monologues, (which took place Saturday, March 17) are the original and creative work of the students.Through a series of writing workshops, the students write original pieces and turn them into dramatic monologues to be performed onstage. 

As part of the curriculum, it is compulsory for every 11th grade student at WSOC. It affords the student with the opportunity to explore the array of the human condition and the challenge of confronting the duality of reality. The inner life of an 11th grade student is one in which these soul questions are at their height. 

Therefore, you, as the audience, have the rare opportunity to experience the existential catharsis of saying "yes!" to life.

Thank you to all who attended and supported our students!

- Robin Theiss, WSOC high school humanities teacher

In February, Grade 5 performed  The Apple of Discord based on the ancient Greek classic T he Iliad  by Homer. "It contained a mix of comedy, romance and betrayal with some really awesome battles," said Grade 5 main lesson teacher Ms. Lorri. The play was a perfect addition to Grade 5's studies of the history, culture and geography of ancient Greece.

Parent Education

You may have missed out on Waldorf as a kid... but we have a solution!

Have you ever said, I wish I was the one going through Waldorf Education? Or perhaps you would like to learn more about why Waldorf teachers bring subjects to   th eir students in a particular way. With Foundation Studies, you can! Waldorf School of Orange County's two-year program enables participants to experience many of the subjects their child learns, including a study of great literary works such as Parzival, form drawing, wet-on-wet watercolor, projective geometry and more. Additionally, courses include Child Development and the Basics of Waldorf Education, a Biography Workshop, and other fundamentals of Waldorf Education. Faculty members from WSOC support the program, as do several guest teachers from the wider Anthroposophical movement.

The program, which began in 2009, is directed by Chris Bennett, who joined the faculty of WSOC in September 2009.  He is the former director of Kula Makua, the Honolulu Waldorf Teacher Training Program, and was an instructor at the 
London Waldorf Teacher Training Seminar (UK) for many years prior to that. He served as a WSOC class teacher from 2009-2017, when his class graduated 8th grad e.
This two-year, part-time study is offered from Sept 2018 to June 2020. Tuition is $2,500.00 per year. A monthly payment option is available (September-
June). Please click  here for brochure and registering instructions.


Raising Creative, Balanced Children in the Digital Age

Tuesday, May 8th
Meadows Hall
Free, open to the public

Today's children are growing up in a new landscape filled with screens, apps, online games, internet and so much more. There's no escaping it, but there are ways to create healthy, balanced experiences for children and to foster their creativity and gifts. We will explore the challenges faced by children and parents in this digital age, as well as healthy ways to nurture contemporary family life.
Joan Almon was a Waldorf early childhood educator for over 30 years, working in Maryland and around the world. She co-founded the U.S. Alliance for Childhood in 1999 and currently works with it to restore play to children's lives and to address the issues of childhood in the digital age. Her most recent book is Playing It Up - With loose parts, playpods, and adventure playgrounds (available online at

Adults only, please RSVP to


Come Sing! Community Singing Sessions with Rusty Vail 

8th grade classroom
Suggested donation: $10

About these sessions

This method of singing was developed by Werbeck (vair-bek), in keeping with the indications given her by Steiner, and she named it The School of Uncovering the Voice. This way of using the voice harmonizes the entire human being, and is equally beneficial for beginners and those with experienced singing voices. Rusty Vail is offering an opportunity to come and experience Werbeck singing. 

"My classes and lessons offer techniques, exercises and songs chosen and designed to develop mastery over the physical instrument; find joy, enthusiasm and creativity through singing; cultivate a singing voice that is effortless, flexible, objective and universally beautiful. If you are inspired to better understand and develop your voice, then try this inherently healing artistic process; come sing on Sundays and begin a new practice!" --Ms. Rusty

**Parking and entry at the faculty parking area behind the 5/6/7 classrooms. 

Grades 7 & 8 Orchestra Garners Superior & Excellent Ratings
Congratulations to our 7th & 8th grade orchestra (WSOC) who  performed on March 15, at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, District Music Festival at Garden Grove High. Debora Wondercheck, conductor, said the WSOC 40- piece orchestra received a Superior Rating for their Sight Reading and an Excellent for their overall performance. "Our students placed a solid amount of time and effort in preparation for this day," Wondercheck said. "I am proud of what they accomplished with the technical pieces they performed."

Musicians in the Festival are required to play three pieces of music. They were judged on dynamics, rhythm, blend, balance, phrasing, intonation, articulation, technique and interpretation. Each orchestra was also scored on its sight reading ability by three professional adjudicators.The scores of all three judges combined leads to an overall score of the groups performance. Bravo middle school orchestra, we are so proud of you!

- Debora Wondercheck, WSOC Director of Music
Adventures in High School Science
Grade 9 biology

Grade 9 biology hones in on the stu dy
of anatomy.  The students start by examining the human skeleton and looking at the dif f erent types of bone s. In a Waldorf school we approach science like scientists and beg in  with the pheno mena first - being able to accurately describe, sketch and measure such anatomy is key. Students model b ones from clay and in this way hone their observation and critical thinking skills by truly experiencing the shapes and ratios involved in the bones of our skeleton.

- Kim Eijpen, WSOC high school science teacher

Please join us for Senior Projects!
WSOC Senior Projects
Saturday, April 20th
Meadows Hall

WSOC's high school senior projects are a very different experience and have a completely different impetus than the 8th grade  projects. Whereas the 8th grade  project is focused on learning a particular skill (hands on work) the  senior  project is focused on doing college level research and drawing conclusions (academic discovery). The majority of time is spent writing a research paper. Students use current, peer reviewed, empirical articles and compose a literature review to integrate into their work. They explore different methods of research such as observations, writing open-ended questionnaires, conducting interviews and coding responses. Ultimately, they summarize their findings and draw conclusions of their own.
Students have done research on diverse topics which explore  what it means to be human. The following are just some of the topics they tackled:
  • The Essence of Attraction 
  • How Does Music Influence People?
  • The Nine Year Change
  • What It Means to be a Friend
  • The Effect of Stories on the Moral Compass and Worldview of Children
  • The Experience of Empathy: How We Value Empathy in Our Relationships as We Get Older
  • The Psychological Effects of Single Handed Offshore Sailing
  • Influences of Parent-Child Relations
  • The Effects of Our Clothing Style
  • The Experience of Mexican Immigrants in the United States
  • Why We Like Dogs
  • Do We Want Free Will?
  • Music and Emotion: A Dynamic Relationship
  • Oh the Horror! The Parallels between Viewer's Mind and Film
  We invite you to come and hear students present their experiences and empirical research findings. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch a glimpse of the maturing minds of our high school students!

Community News

Announcing a part-time course starting in June 2018 for
new and experienced Waldorf educators who wish to deepen their practice and understanding of the teaching of science in Grades 6-8
Teachers who have taken this course rave about it.
Teachers who did not take it are asking,
"When will the next cycle begin?"
When: Starting in June 2018 
Where:  Waldorf School of Orange County
2350 Canyon Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
For course information contact:

Michael D'Aleo, SENSRI
or Gary Banks

Sponsored by the Research Institute for Waldorf Education,
SENSRI, and the Waldorf School of Orange County

Brochure here

Tanaka Farms CSA

Our CSA is growing! Waldorf School of Orange County now has a Tanaka Farms CSA (community supported agriculture) account! 

Deliveries take place on Thursdays, with the exception of vacation weeks. Participants have the option of once a week or once every other week.

CSA boxes will be located by Eurythmy Hall. 

Interested? Sign up here:

Tanaka Farms will be donating 10% back to the school, which will go towards the 8th grade trip each year.

Please contact Cat Bodga with any further questions about the WSOC CSA.

Supporting Your Child's Immune System: The Key to Healthy Development
with Wiep de Vries, Anthroposophical Nurse
Saturday, April 14th
8:30 AM-3:40 PM
Cost: $75
Waldorf School of San Diego 
3547 Altadena Ave, San Diego, CA
Deepening the awareness of the significance of childhood illnesses can lead to a new approach to healing in which the child is gently being guided and supported through the process of illness.
Workshop participants will:
  • Attain a deeper knowledge about the role of childhood diseases from a holistic developmental perspective.
  • Be empowered and feel confident in taking responsibility for the care of a sick child
  • Learn to create a healing environment for a sick child, and have insight into healing measures that can prevent the occurrence of chronic illness.
  • Learn practical ways to guide a child through the process of illness, integrating herbal wraps and compresses, herbal and homeopathic remedies.
Waldorf Institute of Southern California (WISC) summer courses

Imagine becoming your favorite teacher! Waldorf teachers use music, movement, and art to educate the whole child: hands, heart, and mind. Waldorf schools are the largest growing non-sectarian educational movement in the world, and are born out of the impulses of social understanding, spirituality of the individual, and a striving towards a peaceful future.

Click here for information on summer programs!

The Waldorf Institute of Southern California
Los Angeles * San Diego
A Non-Profit, Adult Education Institute which does not discriminate
on the basis of religion, sex, ethnic background, or national origin.

Steiner study group at Company of Angels

We are happy to announce that WSOC community member Rajee Rajamani is forming a Steiner study group.  The group will begin with an essay by Rudolf Steiner, "The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy." It is a relatively easy read and has a good introduction to the basic ideas of Anthroposophy and yet, like all of Steiner's writings, there is always more that one can glean even from a second or third reading.

As  with all Anthroposophic study groups, there is no leader in the group, and it is built instead on the questions and contributions of everyone involved. Rajee will act as facilitator.

Whether you are a seasoned anthroposophist and longtime community member or a new parent, the study group would love to have you be a part of it! 

1pm - 2:50pm
Company of Angels garden
Annual Giving 

Thank you to all who have donated and pledged! Donations to WSOC's Annual Giving Fund for the 2017-18 school year can be made through July 31, 2018 at

Important Documents & Links

Support WSOC every time you shop on!

PrestoPay tutorial for Scrip here:

Big Aftercare April forms, please email to Ms. E
Little Aftercare April  forms, please email to Ms. Michaela

College of Teachers
Catherine Averett
Christiane Bohr
Jenell Carlson
Gina Garrison (Chair)
Andrea Hubert
Angie Meier
Brooke Natzke
Holly Peterson 
Lorri Valenzuela-Mier (Chair)

Board of Trustees
Lisa Arnquist
Megan Brown
David Burnett 
Gina Garrison (College Rep)
Gabe Frisby (Chair)
David Kruse
Maureen McDermott
Leslie Morrison
Margaret O'Brien
Colin Severn
Olivia Slutzky
Adminstrative Rotation:
Jeff Barth
Teresa Alarcon
Gina Illes
Linda Timmons

WSOC Ombudsmen
Russ Bermejo


Waldorf School of Orange County | 2350 Canyon Drive, Costa Mesa CA 92627 | 949-574-7775 ||