Weekly Bulletin
February 10, 2021
With students back in the building for some classes, the festival committee took the opportunity to hang posters around the school in honor of Black History Month, some of which are shown here.
8th Grade - "The Hill We Climb" Artwork
On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Viewers around the world were captivated by her presence and inspiring words. A recent assignment for our 8th graders was to choose a part of her poem "The Hill We Climb" to consider closely and to illustrate.
Retirement Annoucements
Two teachers who are integral to the history and shaping of our school will retire at the end of this school year.
There is so much to be said about both John Brauer and Tove Elfström and the work they have done as class teachers and in developing programs to give our students a well rounded, robust Waldorf education. We will continue to share and celebrate what they have done for our students and community over the next few months.
John Brauer
Class Teacher
John first learned about WWS when, during his BA studies at UMD, he took a class from Clopper Almon (a WWS Founder). His interest grew and led him to Detroit for Waldorf teacher training. Returning to the DC area, John started with his initial 1st grade class at WWS in 1975. John took 4 classes through all 8 grades and has served as class teacher for other classes in between. John has also taught history blocks in the High School and served as a movement teacher.

As the first athletics director, John developed the WWS athletics program. He advocated for WWS to join the PVAC and has coached many teams on to win championships. During his last year of coaching (2016-2017) the middle school girls teams swept the championships (cross country, basketball, and softball)!

In addition to teaching and coaching, John has supported and served the school in many ways. For years he was a member of the College of Teachers and he was instrumental in finding and securing our space at 4800 Sangamore to ensure that the school had room to grow the high school.

In the 1980's John felt a call to serve in the National Guard. For 8 years, while he taught and coached, John was also a member of the National Guard training in the summers and a weekend each month.
John is currently co-teaching the current 3rd grade class with Lynn Wenning-Adelmann who will continue as their class teacher next year.
Tove Elfström
Woodwork Teacher

After receiving his MEd from the University of Georgia, Tove was living in NC when a mutual friend introduced him to long time WWS teacher Donald Bufano. In 1985 Tove moved to the DC area and joined WWS as the 4th grade class teacher. He continued as a class teacher and graduated a second 8th grade in 1996. Since then, Tove has developed and run the WWS artisan classes in woodworking, enameling, coppersmithing, leather craft, and blacksmithing. He built the woodworking shop, an enameling set-up, and a blacksmithing shop for the school.

On school tours it is always a treat to hear Tove discuss the benefits of the artisan assignments WWS students undertake. His eyes light up as he describes the process of learning a skill while working with a material that can be difficult or unpredictable. This practice of skilled work develops keen observation, problem solving, and perseverance.

In addition to teaching, Tove has been dedicated to the long-range planning of curricula and the economic life of the school. He served on the Executive Committee and then College of Teachers for 30 years. He has also been the Lower School Chair and is in his 3rd year as a member of the Trustees Council.

An advocate for Waldorf education beyond WWS, Tove has also served as an early advisor for the Emerson Waldorf School and was a founding member of the Potomac Crescent Waldorf School.
Please send any pictures and remembrances of John or Tove that you would like to share via email to: agoodyear@washingtonwaldorf.org
School Calendar
Staying Up to Date With Our School Calendar

You can view the full calendar online either on the website , in ParentSquare , or in the BigSis portal (these 3 platforms are synced from the same calendar). 

10/ Wednesday
  • Waldorf Education Speaker Series (see below), 8pm

11/ Thursday
  • G3 Parent Meeting, 7pm

12/ Friday
  • NO CLASSES CG & LS - Parent/Teacher Conferences (High School is in session)
  • No Coffee Break with Jennifer Page due to conferences

15/ Monday
  • NO SCHOOL - Presidents' Day

16/ Tuesday
  • G10 Parent Meeting, 7pm

19/ Friday
  • Coffee Break with Jennifer Page, 10am

23/ Tuesday
  • G11 Parent Meeting, 7pm

25/ Thursday
  • G1 Parent Meeting, 8pm

26/ Friday
  • Coffee Break with Jennifer Page, 10am
Waldorf Education Speaker Series
The Washington DC Area Waldorf schools are joining together to coordinate a speaker series on Waldorf Education. The first event is tonight!
An Education for our Time:
A Talk with Jack & Carol Petrash
Wednesday, Feb 10 at 8pm

Our times are challenging and uncertain. The world our children will inherit will ask a great deal of them. It is essential that we prepare them to meet the future they will face. However, schools cannot effectively offer students answers to problems we can’t foresee. But we can help them to develop capacities with which they can creatively and effectively meet those problems. This talk will look at how Waldorf Education is currently developing these important and needed capacities in students.

Join us on Google Meet: https://meet.google.com/vig-dquz-uri
Dial-in: (US) +1 205-690-1337 PIN: 379 368 141#
Jack and Carol Petrash are Waldorf teachers with many years of experience. In addition, Jack founded and directs the Nova Institute, which works to build bridges between mainstream and Waldorf Education. He is the author of Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out.

Carol is a Waldorf kindergarten teacher and was the registrar for the Rudolf Steiner Institute and the Early Childhood Coordinator at WWS. She is the author of Earthways: Simple Environmental Activities for Young Children.
Lunar New Year
Photo credit: Aglaia Benni
Our first Lunar New Year
By Frau Benni

On a cold February morning, when my children were 4 and 6, we visited a Kung Fu School in Washington DC, Hung Tao Choi Mei Academy and Cultural Center. We had no idea how it would leave a lifelong impression on us. Unbeknownst to us, a rehearsal of Lion Dancing and Chinese drumming for a Lunar New Year performance later that week, was in progress. The impressive drums, colorful lion and dragon costumes and rhythmic movements left us speechless. We were invited to come and join Sifu and the children the following day at a Chinese restaurant. The Lions danced and their big eyes opened and closed to the rhythm of authentic Chinese drums. We fed the lions and observed the celebration with keen interest. 

The Lunar New Year marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring and new life, on the lunar calendar. It begins with the first new moon and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later. Lunar New Year is celebrated in many countries around the world, especially those with large Asian populations and has been celebrated for centuries. The New Year is typically celebrated with dragon dances, lion dances, gift exchanging and fireworks with the lucky color of red ever present. It ends typically with lantern festivals on the 15th day. 

During the first performance, we learned that the children get to feed the lion lettuce that he then scatters and leaves to symbolize a fresh start for the New Year and the spreading of good luck. For us, it was a start into a new adventure of Kung Fu with the month of February usually being a busy month with many performances for the children, eventually learning the famous lion dance and drumming. Hung Tao Choi Mei gave us a glimpse into an unfamiliar world. The added beauty is that Sifu is a master at connecting cultures and teaching children pride in their own history and that of others. Today, some of the Chinese drums have become “Drums of Liberation” and bear the picture of iconic African American leaders like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Angela Davis.
Photo credit: Hung Tao Choy Mei
What Moves Your Child?
Here is a peek at how WWS students move through the day...
Alumni News
Galit Cohen (WWS Alum 2011) is an emotional intelligence and leadership coach with EQ Evolution.

Read a bit about Galit's journey and learn more about emotional intelligence in her interview with Authority Magazine.

From the interview:
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” ― Vincent Willem van Gogh

A lot of my work revolves around silencing inner critics, overcoming self-doubt and developing confidence. This quote perfectly captures the limitations we place on ourselves, but also our ability to redefine those limits.
Bulletin Board
How to Submit a Listing
We welcome submissions of community news, items for sale, want ads, etc. Please keep notices to 500 characters or less. Listings will likely be edited. Please submit listings by COB Tuesdays with the subject "Bulletin Submission." If you are sending images, a link to an online image is preferred. Bulletin Board notices generally run for 3 weeks - if space allows - unless other arrangements have been made. There is no charge for listings.  
Classifieds & Notices
Wooden Loft Bed for Sale

For Sale: Elegant blond wooden twin loft bed with good head room underneath for a 5 foot tall bookshelf, desk, or couch. $85

Contact Geoff Baker at gbaker@washingtonwaldorf.org
AU Speaker Series Including WWS Parent Irene Calis
Please join the AU Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center, the AU Department of Critical Race, Gender & Culture Studies (CRGC), and the AU Women’s Initiative (WI) in welcoming a series of speakers to our virtual campus in Spring 2021. This Series addresses the question of human freedom from the perspective of the "the damned of the earth," those on the underside of history. Each speaker, engaged in radical intervention across different emancipatory, anti-colonial struggles, will consider how communities are thinking about and forging alternative futures. Speakers include Randolph B. Persaud, S’bu Zikode, Nigel Gibson, Françoise Vergès, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and Irene Calis.

Virtual Simplicity Parenting Retreat
From: Raelee Peirce, Admissions Director, Emerson Waldorf School and Certified Simplicity Parenting Discipline & Guidance Coach
Simple, practical, values-based tools you can start using right away to help you reduce clutter, create daily rhythms, find needed downtime, and manage screens.

Virtual Student Well-Being Symposium, February 25 at 1pm
from former WWS parent Tiziana De Macceis

Tiziana (now in Italy) let us know that she and her husband are involved with the creation of a new organization focused on student well-being. Mindhamok uses digital learning, webinars, and podcasts working with a network of therapists (psychiatrists, osteopaths, homeopaths, coaches etc). They have a 24/7 helpline, crisis management, and more. 

Be part of the Mindhamok virtual student symposium! Join their expert panel members as they share their perspectives on “the academic year that wasn’t supposed to happen” as well as offering a unique chance to gain new tips on how to improve your well-being as you study during the pandemic. Panel members will also be on hand to listen and respond to questions, thoughts and concerns.

Chocolate Dipped Bacon for Valentine's Day
from Chef Eron (WWS Executive Chef)

This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday and what could be better than sharing the Better Bacon that you Love for brunch dipped in chocolate with the ones you Love.

Available for delivery 1/11, 1/12 & 1/13

Learn About Safe Technology and the Historic Lawsuit on Wireless 
Interested in a meeting to talk about technology safety? Contact WWS parent Theodora Scarato who will be hosting monthly community meetings on tips and tricks to decrease EMF exposure. Scarato's organization has launched a major legal appeal to the FCC regarding their refusal to update 25 year old wireless safety limits. Court proceedings and the press conference are online.  See also this article from WTOP.

Contact Theodora at theodora.scarato@ehtrust.org 
Meal Preparation & Delivery
from WWS parent Kate Mueller

Do you need help with family meals? Cristina Bermudez cooks delicious, nutritious traditional/vegan/gluten-free homemade meals in her Cabin John kitchen using organic ingredients and delivers them to your home. My family has eaten many, many Cristina meals and are so happy we found her. This flyer includes a discount for Waldorf families!

Contact Cristina or email Kate with any questions.
Online Valentine Craft Workshops

WWS alum Victoria Mansuri ('88) is offering online Valentine Craft Workshops where you can learn to create Danish heart baskets.

Victoria was just starting to teach crafting classes in VT before the pandemic altered our lives and habits. After lockdown, she started teaching craft classes online and was delighted to find how well it worked. Read about her experience in this article from the Kenne Sentinal.

Find more information and book a time on her website: byourhandscreate.com

Contact Victoria by email or at 410-925-8432
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Washington Waldorf School
4800 Sangamore Road,
Bethesda, MD 20816