News from the Parent Council
MAY 15, 2018
Hello MLWS Families!

Two weeks into the merry month of May, we are coming into the home stretch of the school year and life is filled with the events and activities of the season. We are pleased to share this issue of the newsletter, which includes a Parent Council update, highlights activities of various classes and other school-related topics, offers Classified listings and provides information about upcoming events in the community. Please read on to find out what is unfolding within our school community!

Parent Council held our last meeting of the 2017-2018 school year last Wednesday, May 9. Below are some current projects that could benefit from your support:

  • Lost & Found Coordinator(s): We are looking for a couple of parents to set up a table outdoors in front of the school (weather-permitting) on the last day of school and lay out all of the items that have amassed in the Lost & Found during the year for families to claim, and to donate unclaimed items to a local agency. Please send an email to if you can help.

  • Welcome to MLWS Packet: An information packet for new families is in development and we are striving for it to be ready to give to new families for the upcoming 2018/19 school year. We would welcome a few organized and inspired folks to help work on this project over the summer. Please send an email to if you are interested in getting involved.

Although we will not be meeting again this school year, there are still many ways to participate. We would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and concerns, as they relate to our school community. Please consider getting involved with the various Parent Council initiatives in the works. Help our community thrive. Many hands make light work!

At a glance:
Upcoming Events
School Portraits / Pre-Order Yearbook
Did You Know...
A Peek Into the Classroom
Philadelphia Music Tour
Steiner Study Group
Birth Announcement
Development Corner

Calendar of School Events

Friday, May 18, 7:00pm
MLWS Spring Music Share 
Please join us in the New Paltz High School Auditorium.

Wednesday, May 23, 8:30-10:30am
Community Craft Circle
Bring your current project and join us in the Handwork classroom to craft in community. For more information, please contact Amy at .

Wednesday, May 30, 8:30-10:30am
Community Craft Circle
Bring your current project and join us in the Handwork classroom to craft in community.  For more information, please contact Amy at .

Saturday, June 2, 2:00pm
Eighth Grade Presentations 
Please join us, at New Paltz High School Auditorium.

Wednesday, June 6, 8:30-9:30am
MLWS Coffee Hour 
Come join us in the Handwork Room in the main school building! Please bring your own cup, and email if you can bake something to share. 

Wednesday, June 6, 8:30-10:30am
Community Craft Circle 
Bring your current project and join us in the Handwork classroom to craft in community. For more information, please contact Amy at .

Friday, June 8
Last Day of School & Spring Work Share 
Please join us for the Work Share!

Saturday, June 9, 11:00am
Eighth Grade Graduation 
Please join us at this joyful event. Location TBA.

School Portraits / May Day Photos / Yearbook


This is a reminder that you can view and order portraits and other photos on Roy Gumpel's website. 

Here are the links:

5”x7” portraits and class photos for all students (regardless whether you pre-ordered) are also available in the MLWS Office, 9:00am to 3:00pm for “cash and carry.”


MLWS Yearbooks are on sale! $30 for one yearbook, $25 for two or more yearbooks. Please make checks payable to “MLWS.” 

Order forms are available in the MLWS entryway and below. Please submit completed forms and payment in the Yearbook Drop Box, which is also in the MLWS entryway.
Did you know…

QUESTION : I have been hearing murmurs about an upcoming event,  Moving Up Day . What is this all about?

ANSWER Moving Up Day is a much-anticipated event that occurs during the last week of school for children in the grades. It is a bustling day filled with enthusiasm and good will. During this unsung festival, each teacher works with their class to review the year’s work, pack up all necessities, scrub the corners of the classroom, and say farewell to the grade they are completing. At this time, supplies, books, and signifiers of the grade are ceremoniously handed over to the “graders” one year younger. This even includes classroom mascots (such as Freddy, the knight in the 6th grade classroom). The 8th graders are the first to move, usually enjoying their remaining days at Mountain Laurel by helping out, and reminiscing in the Community Room. The lower grades follow one by one through the day, until each class has arrived in their new home. This is a special time as students peek into their new realm, study the chalkboard greeting from the class before, and claim their favorite desk. Moving Up Day shows us all that our good work is propelling us forward. 
A Peek Into the Classroom
From Mr. Evans :

The Third Grade is immersed in their play block. This year they will be performing “Joseph The Dreamer” at the end of May. This play comes out of the Hebrew Scriptures. Our gardens are growing and we will soon harvest the garlic that we planted in the spring. We are also finishing our handmade birdhouses.
Eighth Grade Presentations

A Few Words About Eighth Grade Presentations from Mr. Neel:  

Some children at Mountain Laurel, who have journeyed through the early childhood program and all of the grades, have been with us for eleven years. After completing this carefully thought-out curriculum, which is intended to work profoundly on the students’ inner-being (not just fill their heads with dry facts) and takes into account all the subjects, from the cultural immersion of the language program to an outstanding music program like none other, these children are steeped in an ineffable richness that works within them for the rest of their lives.  At this point, they are prepared for the right of passage that is the Eighth Grade. Of all the tasks the Eighth Grade must complete above and beyond the rigorous main lesson, such as playing in two or more orchestral performances, making a shirt by hand, making a piece of furniture by hand, being gracious in this tumultuous revolutionary time of their lives, performing in a play that is the culmination of years of practice, and graduating with grace, the greatest challenge is the Eighth Grade Presentations.

In our culture, there has been a loss of a ceremonial rite of passage for young people coming of age. The Eighth Grade year is such a rite in many ways. These presentations truly mark the height of these young people's rite of passage into the next phase of their lives. They are venturing into the professional realm—seeking mentorship, seeking apprenticeship, seeking to learn something they know nothing about from a professional who they may not even know. They are seeking a symbiosis with the world at large and in our community. Through this process, which culminates in their presentation, these young people will emerge from this passage as part of our community in a new way—not as children any longer, but as young people with skills, standing on the threshold of adulthood.
Reflections on the Philadelphia Music Tour

 On Thursday, April 25 at 7:45am, a tour bus with 35 young musicians, 6 adults, and our bus driver Ezra, drove away from Mountain Laurel Waldorf School, heading south to Philadelphia. It was a beautiful Spring day for our trip! We arrived 3 1/2 hours later at the beautiful, old school called the Philadelphia Waldorf School. We unpacked our instruments and bed rolls and entered the Great Room, where in an hour, the MLWS Recorder Ensemble and Chamber Group would play a concert for all of PWS. Violins, cellos, basses, and recorders of all sizes scattered around the Great Room. Chairs are set up for everyone in the school and the stage is being prepared. Mr. Losee and Matan Ziv set up the percussion and drums Everyone is filled with excitement! The Mountain Laurel ensembles did not disappoint as our young musicians played brilliantly and the large audience of 150 was very impressed, offering thunderous applause at the end of the show. A quick pizza lunch for everyone and then our group set off for a walk to a local park.

When we arrived back at PWS, we were treated to an hour of Circus Arts performed by the Fifth through Eighth grades of PWS, followed by an hour of PWS students teaching MLWS students of some of the fine points of Circus Arts. We then boarded the bus for a short ride to a wonderful Thai restaurant called Yanako. The owner and chef, the angelic Moon Krapugthong, greeted us with a bow and showed us to our private room for dinner. Moon was very honored to speak to the children. She told stories about the smell of jasmine rice wafting through her neighborhood and of being a child growing up in Thailand. After her talk, we enjoyed the most delicious food with coconut ice cream for dessert! Upon arriving back at PWS we played a little basketball to unwind, and then lights out…

Lights back on at 7am on Friday morning! It was raining as we packed the bus for our trip north to the River Valley Waldorf School. Our bagel (and coffee!!) breakfast magically appeared as we pulled away from PWS. Chaperones Tricia McCloskey and Nancy Hoose were amazing at figuring out the details with so many bagel sandwiches. We were all so happy to be on the road again! We arrived at River Valley Waldorf School and were greeted by a friendly staff. We set up once more, this time in a smaller room with great acoustics, a wide but shallow stage, and a beautiful backdrop of blue sky and white clouds. After warming up, we were ready for our second concert. The Recorder and Chamber Ensembles played the same show that they had played at PWS. The River Valley First though Eighth grades were very excited to hear the Recorder Ensemble’s Baroque Suite, as well as the Chamber Groups’s Bach and Led Zeppelin. MLWS students then visited the classrooms for a lunch of pizza and salad, and it was time to leave. We thanked everyone at RVWS and boarded the bus one more time. Ezra honked the bus horn a couple of times as we pulled away from the school, waving to the children. It was an uneventful and somewhat quiet ride back to New Paltz.

Mark and I would like to thank all of our chaperones: Tricia McCloskey, Nancy Hoose, Patty Salone, Katie Guernsey, Vince Orlando and Chris Losee for being exceptional chaperones. Everyone enjoyed being together. And a special thanks to the teachers of MLWS and particularly the administration, Judy Jaeckel, Patricia Kuyl and Carol Jordan, for all of their help with the logistics. Thanks a ton! We couldn’t have done it without you! And of course we would like to thank the parents for your support of our music program. It continues to be a privilege to teach your very talented and musical children!

With gratitude and love,
Steve and Mark Bernstein 
Reflections on the Monday Afternoon
Steiner Study Group

As the school year slowly comes to a close, we often reflect on what has made the year special, and the anthroposophical study endeavor certainly deserves a mention! Under the guidance of Theodor Lundin, a group of parents and staff has gathered every other Monday after school since November to study Rudolf Steiner’s seminal work “How to Know Higher Worlds.” Many of us had previously tried to tackle the book individually, but as is often the case with Steiner’s studies, so much more comes to light through sharing our (many) questions and from the gentle guidance of more seasoned students of anthroposophy.

Mr. Lundin first introduced us to the four ground rules for the Study Group, as established in an essay by Paul Margulies:

  1. Inner Activity: Bring as much inner activity as possible when trying to comprehend the lecture at home. This includes active listening—completely silencing one’s self. (Picture yourself as a gigantic ear). Also, active listening cultivates selflessness, moving from our lower selves to our higher selves.
  2. Creating a "Mood of the Threshold”: Here we picture leaving our lower selves at the door so that the material can lead us into direct contact with spirit - in the world and in ourselves.Here we can share an experience that is independent of our physical senses, encountering spirit with scientific lawfulness.
  3. Questions Must Be Encouraged: As our study provokes questions, questions can serve the group more than ideas. Questions can serve as a bridge, bringing ideas from the head into the heart, from the abstract to the concrete.  Therefore, there is no such thing as a dumb question. ‘Question’ and ‘Quest’ come from the same root.
  4. Focused Attention: Since our goal is to understand the text, we need to cultivate discipline and the ability to stick to the text. (Here we may possibly appoint a rotating leader during each study, to decide if the group’s discussion remains relevant or if it is going too far afield.)

Two members typically volunteer to present a chapter to the group at each meeting, and we share around the circle what spoke to each of us in a paragraph or sentence. We also practice some of Steiner’s exercises in the group and (hopefully) at home. This year’s study group helped us delve into the spiritual teachings of Rudolf Steiner with more focus and intent. It also illuminated for many of us the philosophy behind the pedagogy we see practiced by our dedicated teachers each day. Last but not least, understanding the meaning behind Rudolf Steiner’s verses definitely helps to finally, maybe, memorize them!
The study group is open to the community, and Mr. Lundin plans to lead an anthroposophical study again next year with Steiner’s book on The Temperaments .

A Birth Announcement from Miss Veronica
We wish to introduce you to the newest member of our family: Lyra Juniper Mizelle.  

Lyra was born December 8, 2017 at home in New Paltz. Lyra has two teenage siblings, Evangeline and Clay (both MLWS alumni), who are delighted to have a baby sister in the house. We have been hibernating all winter, with lots of nursing and napping, verses and songs, and plenty of giggles and snuggles. I was delighted to bring Lyra to the MLWS May Day celebration, where we basked in the beauty of the festival and met so many of our MLWS community!

The newborn phase has been wholeheartedly cherished. Even so, I have missed my work in the MLWS Kindergarten and Aftercare, and have missed those wonderful children of yours! I’ve hardly been idle, however, as I have been deepening my commitment to the young child by way of research and study. In April, I presented a research project in the mood of the fifth, music indications from Rudolf Steiner for children up to age nine, at Sophia’s Hearth in Keene, NH, where I am completing a four-year certification in Waldorf Early Childhood: birth to age seven.

We feel so blessed to be a part of this community that has offered us home-cooked meals, natural gifts, (the best!) hand-me-downs and good wishes for our baby. I hope your days are filled with the goodness, beauty and truth that being part of this wonderful community affords.

Veronica Kent and Agon Mizelle, with Evee, Clay and Lyra
Development Corner

We are just over half way to reaching our goal for Annual Giving! 
Thank you for your generosity and support!

STUFF (For Rent, For Sale, For Free, ISO…)
For Sale: UPPAbaby stroller
Stroller comes with everything, plus 2 piggybacks. In good condition. Original cost was $1100. Asking $180. If interested, please contact

For Rent: House in New Paltz 
Small three bedroom house for rent on beautiful Hasbrouck Rd. House abuts 50 acres of land. $1350 per month (negotiable). If interested, please contact Carol at (917) 587-4252.

For Rent: House in Kingston near Uptown Historic District 
Seeking long-term renters for our two-story, four bedroom home with good natural light and wood floors throughout on Linderman Avenue. All four bedrooms are on the second floor; you must pass through another bedroom to reach the fourth bedroom. The two living rooms and dining room have built-in cabinets, and have been great for our family and lots of entertaining. There is a full dry basement and up-to-date systems, including natural gas heat and hot water, washer and electric dryer. The backyard has a small stream, beautiful trees and nice space for enjoying the outdoors. The front and side yards are sunny with a screened-in porch. There's a detached one-car garage with off-street parking for at least three cars. Pets negotiable. $1550/month plus utilities, with minimum one-year lease. If you or others you know are looking for a lovely home to live in, please contact Emanuel Hemsi and Danielle Walters at or (845) 544-8834.

Macrame Plant Hanger Workshop: Workshop for adults and kids with Poliana Danila. Learn the basic technique to make your unique piece. All supplies are included! Cost $40/person, May 18th at 9:30am-1:00pm . Address: 8 Bridge Creek Road, New Paltz, 12561, NY.  To register or for more information, email

Satori Circus Arts: Richard Ferrono is teaching circus arts and tumbling classes this summer in New Paltz! Children ages 9 and up are invited to learn tumbling, partner acro, unicycling, juggling, flow arts, barrel walking, slack lining, and more at Anna and Noam Kerner’s farm located at 181 Huguenot Street, New Paltz on Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 12 through July 12, 4:30-5:45pm (10 classes total). The cost is $125 for all 10 classes, payable in advance to reserve your spot (limited to 12 students). Drop-in rate is $15 per class. Please call first to confirm that there is space. Email or text Richard for more information and to register: or 845-475-2949

Tutoring: Ms. Greta Jee, M.Ed is available for tutoring this summer and next school year. If your child could benefit from individualized instruction, support in gaining literacy skills or assistance completing school work, Ms. Jee would love to help. With sliding-scale rates, she aims to make tutoring accessible to all who are interested. Contact her at (610) 420-3856 or .

Tutoring: Ashley Sapir Lathrop is offering tutoring for children in reading and literacy skills. She holds dual master’s degrees in elementary education and literacy, with certification in both areas. Whether it is decoding, phonics, comprehension, fluency, or simply finding more comfort with literacy skills, Ashley finds fun and meaningful ways to help children shine. Ashley is available year round for tutoring, at an hourly rate of $60, and can be reached at (845)519-5067 or

Traditional Figure Drawing for Teens: Offering 14 to 19 year olds an opportunity to hone their figure drawing skills at the 10 Horse Art Center (five minutes outside of New Paltz). The 12-week class covers anatomy, proportion, composition and perspective, with the goal of creating accurate drawings of the clothed human figure from direct observation. Contact Alex Canelos at 845 255-7612 or . For details, visit  . Adult classes also available. ( )

Traditional landscape paintings in oil – Tim Smith
Offering private tuition for adults and 8th grade students in classical oil painting method. To organize a session around your or your child's specific schedule and needs, 

Guitar and mandolin lessons  with Mr. Steve Bernstein at his home in Gardiner, NY. Children, teens and adults are all welcome. Please call: 845 255 0822 or drop a note in his mailbox (2nd floor) at school.

Private Drum-Set Lessons: Amir Ziv (Head of the Drum Department at the New School University's Jazz & Contemporary Music Program) is now offering students of all ages private lessons from his home studio in Kerhonkson. Serious students only. For more details and to set up a time to speak on the phone or in person, please email: To view Amir’s bio:

Music Composition with ‘Famous Waldorf Alumna’
Have you ever wanted to write a piece for recorder? Maybe a piano sonata? Or even a symphony? My name is Stephanie Ann Boyd, I’m a symphonic composer in New York City, and I went to the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. You can find me on the list of Famous Waldorf Alumni, and my music is being played all over the world. I teach music composition lessons via Skype and I have helped over 100 people write their first pieces. I charge $100 an hour, and I have financial scholarships for those who need them. You can read more here: and you can contact me at:

Valentine and Wilder's Pet-Sitting Service
Experience with cats, fish and guinea pigs, but open to other pets as well! (917) 309-7790 or

Photography for All Occasions: Roy Gumpel has been a photographer for more than 40 years. He has done assignments in many different areas, including travel, corporate, environmental portraits, cd covers, studio portraiture, still life, fashion, architecture, documentary projects and film stills. He also shoots video. Roy and his camera were featured in a National Geographic Explorer film about Rt.66. He has traveled extensively and is open to assignments of all kinds. Contact: , 845.544.5373 

Children’s Haircuts: Jodie Naccarato-Fanning is a MLWS parent and a hairdresser specializing in children’s haircuts. If you are interested in her services, please contact her at 845-380-8488.

FREE Sustainable Living Consultations: Would you like to live a more sustainable lifestyle? Do you need help determining what personal actions have the biggest impact? We offer consulting to help you tread lightly on the Earth and mitigate climate change. This is a free service because we truly believe in building a viable future for all of our children. Samrat Pathania (Waldorf parent) and Dan Guenther are the Climate Consultants. For more informarion, email or call/text 631-848-1599.

Jason Boyd Contracting:  Quality craftsmanship with an artistic edge, 25 years experience, Free Estimates, , 845-616-6365

Newburgh Seamless Gutter: Owner Jason Fanning is a MLWS parent. Please give him a call if you need any gutter installation or service. (845) 236-7873.

Home Inspections : emfs, dirty electricity, radio frequency
Concerned about children’s cell p hone or lap top use? Get protection from new electric meters. Get emf readings on prospective new homes. Learn about router signals. Create an emf free sleeping environment. Teach children about safe wireless use. Decrease overall field exposure. Measure offices, cars, dorms. Learn about resources. Public talks. Harrison Barritt, , 256-0446

Permaculture Home and Property Designs : installed and maintained by Andrew Faust and Adriana Magaña. We help you to adapt your vision to the ecological and geological realities of your site. We have more than twenty years of experience in the region offering the following services: Real Estate Assessment and Land Selection, Installing and Maintaining Ponds and Solving Water Problems, Creating Biodynamic Orchards and Farms, Organic Vegetable Gardens, Off-grid Natural homes and communities, Native Landscapes, Permaculture Forest Gardens, Contact us at 917-584-4588 or see our portfolio and get a quote here:

Wellness: Holistic, Drug-Free Asthma and Allergy Relief. Buteyko Breathing Method is the most effective drug-free approach for the management of asthma, other breathing related problems, anxiety and panic attacks. Technique can be practiced by children and adults. Anna Yashayeva, RN, Dip BBM. . 917-750-2652 

Make Shift Happen! Naam Yoga Classes with Renée at The Living Seed in NP: 10:00-11:30am All levels welcome! Call 917-655-2540 for more information.

Welcome Wellness MLWS parents Liz Duncan-Gilmour, Callie Hershey and Nancy Hoose invite you to experience Ondamed® PEMF therapy. Liz and Callie founded Welcome Wellness after our children achieved remission from neurological Lyme Disease with the help of Ondamed® therapy. Our team has seen the benefits from Ondamed® therapy with issues including stress management, sleep disorders, sports injuries and surgical rehab, Lyme disease and other chronic and degenerative issues. A one-hour session generally costs $75, but MLWS families will receive a special “friends and family” discount. We are located across the street from MLWS at 29 South Chestnut St., Suite 201. Please call to learn more. Liz: 845-616-2709, Callie: 914-456-5406, Nancy: 518-269-6357.