Winter Newsletter - 2019
Created by and for our Talented and Wonderful School Community
A Celebration of Us!
Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Seasonal Newsletter, 2nd Edition! Each day, so many amazing things happen on our campus, both with and through our students and community members. While it is impossible to capture everything magical that happens each week here at Cedar Springs, we offer this collection of features as a little peek into some of what goes into making this such a special community. Below you will find insights into our pedagogy, our governance, what our alumni do out in the wider world, and the ways in which we celebrate, showcase, and support the work and play we do here.

As you see to the right, we are in good company in recognizing that the education we offer here is something different and special: Style Magazine readers ranked our school as the No. 1 private school in El Dorado County for 2018. This is the 8th consecutive year we've been ranked, but the first year we've placed first. Thank you to everyone who voted and to all those who act as ambassadors for our school out in the wider community, helping to spread the word about Waldorf education here at Cedar Springs. The plaque is on display up in the main office reception area (while some of what led to us having this distinction is featured in the 'pages' below).

As we enter our 30th year of providing excellent and inspired Waldorf education to the children of El Dorado County, I hope you enjoy learning more about what happens here each day. Each feature in this issue, written or photographed by a community contributor, offers a picture of the love, creativity and deep dedication that have nurtured our journey over these three decades. Please let us know what you think, including any feedback you have on our new format or feature ideas you have for future editions.

Blessings on your weekend.

In spirited community,

Nicole Deutsch
Director of Community Development
Curriculum Corner
Service Projects Lovingly "Stitched" into Handwork Curriculum
By Lisa Steinmetz
Administrative Coordinator

This is my tenth year at CSWS and my first year getting to share my passion for handwork with the fifth and eighth grades.

In the fifth grade, the students are learning to knit with four needles in the round. We began by making hats, one for ourselves, one for a loved one, and then one for charity. I thought it might be hard for the children to give away something that they worked so hard on, but they have surprised me with not only the willingness, but a desire to give to others. The class has chosen a few options for their donations, one has gone to a victim of the Camp fire, another is going to someone who is going through cancer treatment
Fifth grader Jaden shows off his 'knitted
in the round' hat from handwork class
In the eighth grade, the students are learning to sew with a machine. Venturing into the world of mechanized handwork for the first time at school corresponds with Waldorf's eighth grade history curriculum, which introduces them to the Industrial Revolution. Their first project is to make a napkin for the Kindergarten class. They then make themselves a pair of lounge pants as they learn how to follow a pattern. The second group of students will be making bowl cozies for a retirement home as their community give.

I feel it is important to learn to give to others. It not only helps teach generosity but gives awareness of those going through difficult times. Helping others gives these children the knowledge that they can make a difference in the world through their efforts. I am hopeful that they will have a passion for handwork as I do, but more importantly, I hope that they will continue to give of themselves and their talents.
With each new stitch and skill we show
How our fingers will fly and our hats will grow.
But simple tools, wool, wood and dedication
belie the complexity of our creation.
As we give and receive in turn,
humility and care are the gift we earn.
Kindness and patience, great or small
from self to neighbor help us all.
 -Fifth Grade handwork verse
Eighth graders modeling their lounge pants.
8th Grade Economic Geography: Traveling the World Without Ever Leaving the Classroom
By Jeff Jackson
Teacher, Class of 2019

One of the most unique and fun main lesson blocks we do in 8th grade is Economic Geography. Its goal is to help the students expand their feeling of being a part of the greater world and developing connections and reverence for a variety of different places through food items and other common commodities.

We vicariously experienced the rainforest environment and Mayan culture through studying the origins of chocolate and rubber, learned about Africa and Arabia through coffee, met the Incans in the challenging Andes mountains and experienced European peasants from another perspective, by studying the humble but amazing potato. Peanuts, sugar, nutmeg, and finally an individual commodity of their choice completed the topics studied. Students thoroughly researched and presented reports on a variety of commodities, from coal and iron and wood to bottled water and Bitcoin. To tie everything together, they made some delicious peanut butter and chocolate bon-bons! 

Below are some sample main lesson pages they did for the block.
by Isabella Hoffee
by Sophia Marquez
by Evan Anderson
by Anna Standeven
by Tommy Acosta
by Fischer Work
by Ella Coburn
Finding Consensus
The Process that Strives to Bring Everyone to the Table
Faculty, administration and other school leaders came together at White Feather Ranch to deepen their understanding of the consensus method of decision making.
Retreat photos by Lisa Mason Mellberg
By Janette Dodge
Board of Trustees Co-Chair

Did you know at Cedar Springs we value consensus in decision-making? This is written in our mission and values statement, as well as our bylaws. We work to make decisions by consensus because we value the opinions of all in the room, not just those of the majority.

To this end, our Faculty, Board and Parent Guild Steering Committee commissioned alumni parent, prior staff member, and Organizational Consultant Lynn Morgan to conduct a Consensus Training for us at our Annual Leadership Retreat over the holiday break.  This retreat - which included members of our faculty, staff, Parent Guild and Board of Trustees - took place at White Feather Ranch. The day opened with inspiring words from our beloved Grandma Nancy Poer, one of our Cedar Springs founders, and included a eurythmy exercise led by Shannon Weiler.

Consensus is defined as: general agreement; the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned; or group  solidarity  in sentiment and belief. To provide perhaps a clearer picture, synonyms include: agreement, harmony, concord, like-mindedness, concurrence, consent, common consent, accord, unison, unity, unanimity, oneness, solidarity, concert.

Consensus decision-making is a fundamental value of Waldorf philosophy, and challenges us beyond our traditional majority-rules process. It can be time-consuming, as the process continues until all conversation has been exhausted on a topic, and each person in the room is ready to move to decision. In our school, not every decision is made by consensus, but the larger, more impactful questions are answered and decided upon by the Board and by the College through consensus. Though our leadership has been using consensus since our school’s inception, this is the first official training we have held for many years.

The day offered its participants a lot of insight and food for thought.

Not only was it helpful to know how the governing bodies work, reflected Festivals Manager Kate Barba, but consensus is especially valuable because it engages a process of active decision making and investment that leads to a more comprehensive and thoughtful level of collaboration.

"It allows us to come to a better decision, not just the fastest one," she said.

If you would like to learn more about CSWS's consensus process, please reach out to a member of the administration, Board of Trustees or College of Teachers.
Basketball Program Soaring to New Heights
This Year's League Change Brings New Opportunities
By Todd Grosby
CSWS Basketball Coach

This is a year of transition for our basketball program at Cedar Springs. Previously we participated in the "Waldorf League" against other Waldorf schools in the greater Sacramento region, with all games held at Sacramento Waldorf School in Fair Oaks. This year the CSWS program was moved to the Placerville City Parks and Rec league; this move has provided solutions to challenges the program faced. The city league provides uniforms, a gym to practice in, coaches if needed, players if needed, age-appropriate competition, as well as exposure for our school in the local community.

This year we have a boy's 7th-grade team coached by CSWS Dad Rocko Shorrock, as well as a boy's 8th-grade team, and girl's 7th/8th-grade team, both of which are coached by me.

The program is always looking for anyone who has a passion for the sport and desire to help our young athletes' development. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact me at

All games are held Sundays at El Dorado High School. Check out the links below for tip-off times. We hope to see you rooting us on from the stands!

Photo by Lisa Mason Mellberg
An Auction Reflection
In the End, it's the Community's Support that Brings the Magic
By Kate Barba
Festivals & Events Manager

In theater there is always a time when the director’s anxiety builds and she thinks: “We’re not ready; how will it all work out?” The preparations have been done, the plans made, the people in place, yet the show hasn’t quite come together, and the end result is in doubt. Somehow, through the magic of the theater, it (almost) always does work out!

I had that same feeling last March as the “Masquerade Ball” auction drew near. What I could control was done, but the end result was in doubt. Would people come? Would they have a good time? Would we have the volunteers we needed to keep the event smooth? Would we reach our fundraising goals?

Thankfully, it did all work out. We had enthusiastic, generous guests who seemed to have a grand time in their masks, surrounded by elegant food and decor. The silent auction tables contained quality, varied offerings so that nothing was left behind, and an action-packed live auction left the audience gasping and laughing with the joy of giving to our school.

The magic, however, was in our volunteers. New parents, faculty, veteran parents, and even extended family stepped up and served with a smile. Challenges arose and were met with the grace, perseverance, and positivity we strive to model for our children. I was so proud and grateful!

Thanks to all who donated, planned, volunteered, and attended our “Masquerade Ball” auction fundraiser. As we approach this year’s auction, “Art Unveiled: Red Carpet Gala,” please consider how you can be part of the magic! Contact me at
for information on volunteer opportunities, and visit our website, for more information and to purchase your tickets!

Art Unveiled Invitation Art by CSWS Alumna London Deutsch, Class of 2015
Alumni News
Reflections from a Few Years On ...
By Colleen Bandle
Class of 2016

As I look back on my time at Waldorf, I am very struck by the amount of impact it has had on my life and who I am as a person now. I strongly believe that it has helped me to feel comfortable with myself and has provided me with a confidence I had previously lacked before we made the switch from public school to Waldorf. I also feel that this education has taught me to pay more attention to detail, as well as to pride myself on always doing my best work. These capacities of having patience and being able to focus all my attention on certain things has been very helpful, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to go to Cedar Springs.
Colleen, pictured above with some of her nimble charges at her part-time job: "I have been working at Tumble Time for about a year and a half now and I love it so much," she said.
Alumna Shares the Healing Power of Art
By Nicole Deutsch
Director of Community Development

Congratulations to Class of 2012 Alumna Kate Crowley Harper (pictured at right), who recently had her first public art showing at The Collective in Seattle, WA. Harper, who attended St. Francis High School in Sacramento after graduating from CSWS, had her love of art nurtured while as a student here, explained her mother, Teresa. She now attends the University of Washington, where she studies English, but that connection to the artistic process remained long after her Waldorf School days were concluded.

Her collage work came about in response to conversations between mom and daughter regarding the deluge of troubling news stories and divisiveness so prevalent in our culture right now. With the holidays coming up, Kate wanted to find a way to warm her mom's heart and remind her - in a tangible way - of the truth, beauty and goodness all around us. So she and her husband, Graham, worked together -- he, finding and printing uplifting articles, and Kate using her artistic eye, color and mod podge to piece them together.

From Teresa's FB page: "They know how I hate the negativity all over Facebook and the news, so Katelyn thought of this gift as a reminder that there is so much positivity in the world. Katelyn chose to make a paper mosaic of a sunflower because of the sunflowers ability to always face the sun, serving as the perfect metaphor for focusing on positivity. Graham researched positive, happy and uplifting news stories and printed them out on paper for Katelyn to then paint, tear apart, and piece together as a sunflower collage."

The heartwarming gesture got the attention of both ABC and Yahoo News, who each picked it up and ran it as a story on their respective websites. Later, Kate opted to create other works and have prints made, which led to the successful art showing and a presence on Etsy. To view more of her work, click here: Etsy Art
The original sunflower piece Kate did for her mom, top, was followed by several other pieces, pictured left and directly above.

At top right, Kate Harper at her first showing last month.

Photos courtesy of the Crowley and Harper families.
Are you a CSWS Alumnus or Alumni Parent with good news or a fun story to share? We'd love to feature you in our Spring Edition Newsletter!
Special Events
Our 2019 Winter Concert
Beautifully captured by CSWS Sixth Grade Parent, Lisa Mason Mellberg - Thank you, Lisa!
The administration and faculty of CSWS extend our deepest gratitude to Mr. Giorgi Khokhobashvili and Ms. Ali LaVanway for their time, talent and tenacity in guiding our dear students toward musical success.
Heartfelt Appreciation for All our Generous Supporters
thank you
Our fall fundraising drive was a great success ... thanks to all of you! You - and all of our community members who give their time and talents every day - make the creative work we do with children possible. Thank you for supporting Waldorf Education and CSWS!
Our 2018-19 Annual Giving Donors
Manuel Aguilar
Matt and Nita Albert
David Anderson and Lisa Steinmetz
Jane and Gary Andrew
Daniel and Laura Arriola
Andrea Bandle
Peter and Kathryn Barba
Stephanie Baumgartner
Adam and Melissa Beasley
Denise and Ron Bernardin
Penny Bravo
Jennifer and Brian Bumgarner
James and Roxane Bybee
Hernan and Kathleen Castro
Kerianne Cavin
Taylor Cavin
Nathan Champlin and Joey Chico
Weldon and Cecilia Cox
Berry and Kim Crawford
Becky and Joe Crosswhite
Jim Curtis and Lynn Morgan
Christiane D'Aguanno
Laurie Dahl
Diane Daly
Felipe De la Pena-Contreras and
Ruth Villalobos Alcala
Nicole and Richard Deutsch
Bill Dittmann and Jennifer Koerber
Janette and Gary Dodge
John Dorst
Amy and Don Doyon
Kim and Alex East
Mark and Amy Elder
Edward Everett
Kyle and Scott Everett
Bill and Rose Firestone
Rachelle and David Firestone
Karl Fisher and Diane Yates
Karolina Gonzales
Jason and Rebecca Grace
Kim and Michael Greco
James Green
Jennifer Green
Devo and Veronica Gunasekara
Carmen and Robert Gunn
Laura and Michael Hauge
Elizabeth Hamilton
Beverly and Bob Hedges
Lauren and Bob Hickman
Suzy and Pete Holtrichter
Jeff and Jennifer Jackson

Ethan Scott Janes
Shauna and Jason Jared
David and Loni Jay
Bryan Jones and Cynthia Fee
William and Katherine Jones
Patricia and Terry Keene
Emily and Joe Klein
Brian Kohmescher and Carrie Gamble
Pavel Konev and Ira Kotlik-Konev
Meghan and Michael Krick
Dudley and Christine Land
Ali LaVanway
Ayon LaVanway
Craig and Eileen Lindsay
Steven and Lynette Long
Cynthia Lopresti
Michelle Lopresti
Liam Maguire
Alison McFarlane
John and Lisa Mellberg
John Metzger and Debbie Hewlett
Christl Michele
Mike and Jennifer Miller
Jorden Mingle and Becky Carter Mingle
Monica and James Ness
Ralph and Kaye Newton
Marcie Nugent
George O'Connell and Elizabeth Lewicki
Marc Olsen and Jennifer Simmons
Peggy and John Papathakis
Marina and Stephen Peacock
Mikelle and Jim Phillips
Shannon and Kyle Pogue
Tina and Gerry Rheault
Jacob and Kelly Ricketts
Jennifer Riley
Gabriel and Michelle Rios
Julie Robinson
Angel Roberts
Amy and Jim Roehl
Christine and Richard Rorden
Robert and Joyce Ruday
Sarah Shaver
Tom and Doris Smeltzer
Donna and Curtis Soldano
Inge Stoll
Jordan and Fred Tanaka
Paula ThompSon
Chuck and Tara Vanderpool
Judith Wares
Jane and Greg Widroe
Tracy Work and Jocelyn Smeltzer
Timothy Walker
Barbara and Robert Yates
Oleg and Kira Yevsyukova
Follow us on social media!