WSOC May 2018 Newsletter

Hello families!

May is here, and with it an action-packed month of activity. We have May Faire coming up this Saturday and our "Around the World" Annual Gala & Auction on Saturday, May 12. Scroll down to learn more about our online silent auction, opening in a few short days. If you haven't bought tickets, we have a few left so we encourage you to get yours!

This is an issue bursting with lots of fun information about what our students have been up to this last month. Enjoy, and happy Tuesday!
Celebrating the rejuvenating properties of spring with this copper and wood flowform  created by Nadine Kistner in Grade 12 with Mr. Matan, WSOC woodwork teacher. 

Alyssa Hamilton
WSOC Communications Coordinator

WSOC Annual Gala & Auction 2018


There are less than two weeks to WSOC's "Around the World" Annual Gala & Auction! Donations are still coming in for what is slated to be an amazing silent and live auction this year. Our silent auction goes live this Friday, so please be sure to check out the Gala site to get a head start on bidding.
New this year. All items slated for this year's live auction will be revealed this Friday. Thanks to our generous donors and supporters, this year's live auction will include some WSOC favorites, along with some amazing new, one-of-a-kind experiences. Be sure to check out the Gala site on Friday for an advanced preview of what's in store on Gala night.
Got Tickets? There are still tickets available for $140. If you haven't purchased yours, please do so to secure your spot for what is sure to be a wonderful night of community in support of our school.
Final Call for Ad Reservations. We have one half-page space in our program remaining. If you would like to secure this ad space in the program, please contact Teresa Alarcon at (949) 574-7775.
For tickets, please go to: or contact Teresa Alarcon at or 949-574-7775.

Director of Development
May Faire 2018 this Saturday... Help us Make it an Eco-Friendly Event!
May Faire is almost upon us!

To help make this  annual  celebration amazing, each family is asked to donate either $20 to the May Faire committee or follow the guidelines below and bring one of the following:
  • Hearty yard clippings such as ferns, olive branches, eucalyptus or flowering vines (Bring on Thursday May 3rd or at drop off on Friday May4th).
  • Four bunches of wax flowers, baby's breath, straw flowers or statice.(Bring on Thursday May 3rd or at drop off on Friday May 4th).
  • Four bunches of hearty flowers - sunflowers, daisies etc. (Bring on Thursday May 3rd or at drop off on Friday May 4th). 

This year, the High School Student Council is beginning the process of transforming May Faire into an eco-friendly and sustainable event. Vendors are bringing biodegradable supplies.There will be four designated waste stations each consisting of a compost, trash and recycling receptacle. There will be reusable water bottles for sale as well as a water refilling station. We encourage you all to partake in this endeavor and ask for your support to make this dream a reality. One easy way you can do this: bring your own coffee or reusable cup! This flyer, created by the high school, also lists a few ways you can participate.

We have a request for lemons from the high school for one of their booths. Lemon donations can be dropped off in the front office or the high school office. They are needed by this Thursday, May 3rd. Thank you!

Please visit   for a quick view of the May Faire email that went out to our community last week. In it you will find details about timing, parking, attire and much more.
May At-A-Glance
Click here for online calendar

May 2  Grade 12 parent evening
May 2  Grade 6 field trip to La Brea Tar Pits
May 3   Middle School soccer game v. Emerson, hosted at WSOC
May 4   WSOC Around the World Silent Auction goes live
May 5   May Faire
May 8   Grade 6 parent evening
May 8   Blood Drive
May 9   Grade 7 parent evening
May 10 Middle School soccer game vs. Emerson, hosted at Emerson
May 10  Morning Gathering with College, Admin, and Board staff
May 11  Grade 5 Pentathlon
May 11  Adult Education
May 12  WSOC Around the World Gala & Auction  
May 12  Adult Education  
May 15  Adult Education  
May 15-17 Grade 6 field trip to Red Rock Canyon
May 16  Walk Through the Grades
May 22  Grade 12 play
May 23   WSOC Faculty & Staff Appreciation Lunch
May 24   WSOC Spring Concert
May 25   In-Service Day NO SCHOOL
May 28.  Memorial Day- NO SCHOOL
May 29-June 1  Grade 7 Catalina trip

* Grades 5 and 6 Pilot Cup Soccer Tournament will be held  Tuesday May 29- Sunday June 2. Specific times and locations will be posted  by mid-May.

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

WSOC High School Trip Week

Grade 9 Farm Week

Tanaka Farm, Irvine

The 9th graders spent the week experiencing farm work and the joys and challenges a farmer faces trying to be successful in our modern times. They learned about the history of the farm, the demanding and often unappreciated work that migrant farm workers do to support California agriculture, the business and economics of farming, legalities and certifications for organic and conventional produce, food waste, and the service work that the farm organizes to get excess crops to those in need.

Read more here. 

Grade 10 exchange program with CETYS in Mexico  

"As part of our Mexicali exchange experience with CETYS, the high school from WSOC joined their exchange student and toured the International Bimbo bread and pastry factory in Mexicali (left). This tour and other activities are in addition to the home-stay portion of the exchange, where our students stay in the homes of CETYS students for a week, and in return host the same student in their home for a week here in California," said WSOC HS Spanish teacher Senora Rey.

"My experience at CETYS helped open doors to a deeper understanding of the Spanish language and Mexican culture," added WSOC 10th grader Lily Lieberman. "I can't wait to go back to visit again, and look forward to having my 'sister' visit my family again this summer." 

Grade 11 visits Catalina

11th grade spent High School Trip Week working on Catalina with the Catalina Island Conservancy, which is responsible for maintaining and protecting 88% of the island.  

Catalina is home to 62 miles of unspoiled coastline and 60 endemic species of plants, animals and insects found nowhere else in the world. Our first day was spent taking naturalist training and then beach cleaning - there was a disheartening amount of plastic on the beach and it felt good to collect it all and remove if from the marine ecosystem.  

Read more here. 
Grade 12 explores Japan

On April 6, the seniors, Mr. Shifa, and Ms. Theiss took off to explore Japan for their senior trip.  They visited Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima.  Sites along the way included the Imperial Palace, Tokyo Sky Tree, Kiyomizu temple, Nijo Castle, Tenryuji Temple, Arashiyama Monkey Park, the Atomic Bomb Dome, and the Peace Memorial Park.  While in Kyoto they did volunteer work for the City of Kyoto doing clean-up on the Kamo River.  One highlight of the trip was meeting up with Ms. Masami Inoue, our former WSOC Japanese teacher of many years. 

Click here for a lovely letter Masami wrote after the visit.

Track & Field 2018
Track & Field

WSOC's Track and Field Meet 2018 was held on Friday April 20th, at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Hosted by Pasadena Waldorf school, nine schools attended and sent over 400 7th and 8th grade athletes to compete in various track (running) events and field events (jumping and throwing). 

WSOC had a great day. A strong effort by both our 7th and 8th grade classes netted us a total of 17 Gold, 9 Silver and 13 Bronze medals. 

Thank you to the class teachers, the support staff and our volunteer parents for making a memorable day
for our students!

 -- Brad Holm, WSOC Games Teacher

Senior Projects
The  WSOC  senior   projects  are  focused on preparing and presenting 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. 

On April 21, our students, tasked with the theme of exploring what it means to be human, offered impressive, detailed and thoughtful presentations to our school community that ranged from "Should We Have Free Will?" to "The Essence of Attraction" to "The Effect of Stories on the Moral Compass and Worldview of Children."
8th Grade Projects
The WSOC 8th grade projects, which took place on April 27-28, are our students' first opportunity to present an individual research project to their school community and invited guests. The projects involve learning a new skill and finding a mentor to help them through the process. Our eighth graders spent months working with their mentors, research, writing, and practicing their speeches. The result was a diverse and fascinating array of topics from fencing and ventriloquism to ski-building and equine sports massage. While some admitted to a bad case of nerves beforehand, our students were pleased with their overall presentations and excited to share what they had learned with friends, family and our community.
Faculty Spotlight

Sandra Blanco,  WSOC Spanish teacher for Grades 5-8, (S eƱora Blanco to her students) has been nurturing young minds for much of her adult life. She grew up in Mexicali (on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico) and received a B.A. degree in Business Administration. In her early career, she headed a Young Entrepreneur program (through CETYS) in Mexico to support University and High School students who aspired to create small businesses.
She explains, "In Mexico, once you are out of high school, you are expected to choose your university studies with a clear career path in mind. Why have a degree if you're not going to put it into practice?" With the help of businessmen and women who donated their time, this yearlong program gave them the gift of a year of experience in a industry, so they could experience firsthand what creating a sustainable career might look like.
She moved to California in 1987 when she got married, and discovered Waldorf education in the early 2000s when seeking an alternative to public school for her two daughters, then in 4th and 5th grade.
She recalls, "I was greeted by Ms. Christiane (WSOC current Grade 6 teacher), who was then the handwork teacher. Ms. Peterson's son was in the grades. Michael Knauss (most recently our former woodwork teacher) and his wife Claire were teaching 7th and 8th grade. I felt culturally and socially assimilated the moment I stepped into this school. There was this warmth and dedication that brought us in. It was the best decision we could have made for our daughters, for their growth. I knew this was the best place for our family."

Click here for the rest of the spotlight!
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.



Come Sing! Community Singing Sessions with Rusty Vail 

8th grade classroom
Suggested donation: $10

About these sessions

COME SING! with the Community Singing Sessions. Discover health through singing;  it's rejuvenating and very enjoyable! Learn how to do the well-known exercises from The School of Uncovering the Voice, also known as "Werbeck singing."  

Two more opportunities to sing together: SUNDAYS 5/6, 5/13. 


Kindly RSVP so we have a head-count:

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


Raising Creative, Balanced Children in the Digital Age

Tuesday, May 8th


Adventures on and off campus

Grade 3 visited CalEarth on Tuesday, April 24th, as part of their housing studies. Cal Earth, the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture, is a nonprofit organization committed to providing solutions to the human need for shelter through research, development, and education in earth architecture. Superadobe (pictured above) is a form of earth bag architecture developed by architect and CalEarth founder Nader Khalili. Using long sandbags, barbed wire, on-site earth and a few tools, Khalili devised a revolutionary building system that integrates traditional earth architecture with contemporary global safety requirements, and passes severe earthquake code tests in California.

Wildlife Learning Center, a small zoo in Sylmar that features a cadre of lovingly cared-for rescued exotic animals, paid a surprise visit to Grade 4 on Wednesday, April 25, as part of their animal block. Students got to learn about and interact with a fox, a sloth, an owl, a baby alligator and several other animals.

Grade 6 Play
On Friday, April 20th, Grade 6 performed their play, "Her Three Kings," about the colorful life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Queen consort of France and England, and Duchess of Aquitane. One of the most powerful and wealthy women in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages, she was a leader of armies, a leader of the Second Crusades and, in her time, the most eligible bride in all of Europe.
Summer Camps
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 

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 now. Contact  Ms. Michaela for more information. 

Waldorf Rhythm and Summer Bliss 
with the Big Aftercare Crew

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

Week 1  June 18-21            Flowers, Fairies and Gardens
Week 2  July 16-19             Summer Fun
Week 3  July 23-26             Bugs, Insects and More
Week 4  July 30-August 2    Pioneer Days
Week 5  August 13-16         Down By the Sea

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

Cost: $300 per week, includes daily snack. 

Green registration forms are available in the office and in Big Aftercare. Contact  Ms. E for more information. 
Arts & Learning Conservatory Summer Camps

Community News
A loving goodbye to Ms. Truus as she heads back to her homeland 

Our wonderful Therapeutic Eurythmist Ms. Truus Geraets will be returning to her home country of Holland at the end of this month. Ms. Truus has dedicated many years of service to WSOC, working with -- and being of tremendous help to -- many of our children. She will be attending May Faire so if you see her, be sure to give her a hug!

Truus initially trained in Curative Education in Germany, followed by four years of Eurythmy and Therapeutic Eurythmy Training at the Goetheanum in Switzerland.  Her working life took her to Holland, Scotland, and Germany over the course of 13 years. She spent 10 years in South Africa and has been in the United States, off and on, for over two decades. 

Her workshop and lecture titles include  Eurythmy as a Healing Art for schools and private organizations, and   advanced courses for professionals in Eurythmy  and Therapeutic Eurythmy.  She started  The Center for the Art of Living , a non-profit organization which promotes diversity in the Waldorf movement in the United States, as well as raising funds and awareness for the struggling Waldorf initiatives and disadvantaged students of the black townships and rural areas in South Africa.

Truus also has been involved with the Lakota Waldorf School, the only Waldorf School so far in a Native American community.

We will miss her greatly and wish her well in all of her future endeavors!

WSOC family instrumental in our office makeover

You have probably seen our newly rejuvenated office by now. It's amazing what new flooring, paint, and some deft interior design changes can do! We want to extend a special thank you to Fernando Ruvalcaba, father of Trinity, Cole and Hayden, for donating and installing our beautiful new flooring over Spring Break.

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.

Steiner study group at Company of Angels

You are invited to join WSOC community member Rajee Rajamani's Steiner study group.  The group has begun 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

Need a question answered? Here's a

Support WSOC every time you shop on!

PrestoPay tutorial for Scrip here:

Big Aftercare May forms, please email to Ms. E
Little Aftercare May 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
Gary Roth
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 ||