The Bulletin

CWS May Fair: A New Experience with Old Ties

A Neighborhood Block Party- Free & Open to the Public

The May Fair is an annual celebration of Spring, the Arts and creativity that is celebrated by Waldorf schools throughout the Americas and Europe. This event connects the school to the larger community and celebrates the spirit by which Waldorf schools nourish and support the whole child. May Fair takes on its own aura for each individual school as activities range from barbecues to child-made crafts, handworking, silk dying and more. The most iconic element of May Fair is the maypole dance that evokes the same pride and spirit as it did in festivals centuries ago.

The CWS May Fair has evolved from a celebration for children into a community-wide affair that seeks to incorporate the live arts and culture in the neighborhood. The festival features dancing, live entertainment and music, games, food, craft-making, and unique vendors and exhibitors.

Here are a few links to interesting related historical Maypole images and facts:

Old Maypole Postcards 1920s Maypole Dance Maypole 1933
The Country Maypole A History of the Maypole

Maypole Engraving

Entertainment & Performances at the May Fair (these appear on the main stage)

In addition to the many games, crafts and activities that will be available to the Chicago Waldorf School May Fair participants, the event will feature a lively roster of entertainers:

10:15am Katy Collins: Storytelling & Song

Especially for the Early-Childhood crowd, Katy Collins, actress/storyteller extraordinaire from the Fable Festival will read the TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES. She also will have a guitar and interactive songs to sing with younger children.

11:00am Licorice Sticks

The Licorice Sticks are Chicago-based ensemble, conducted by CWS's own private woodwind instructor Rick Kissinger, who play Jazz, classical, Dixieland, Broadway, pop and much more. The Licorice Sticks include the full range of the clarinet family from monstrous BBb & EEb Contra Bass, the Bb Bass, Eb Alto, Bb Soprano and the "baby" Eb Sopranino clarinet. See their website for Sunday concerts at CWS, in the auditorium.

12:00noon Maypole Dance

The center of May Fair celebrations, the maypole bears garlands and is a symbol for the growth of new vegetation and spring life. Our 4th graders dance and play pentatonic flutes around the pole that is sprawling with greenery and colored ribbons attached to the top. Their complicated and coordinated dance movements allow the ribbons to intertwine and create a braided weave around the pole.

1:00pm CWS Circus Club Performance

Our Circus Club students will perform a variety of physical feats including tumbling, acrobatics and floor gymnastics, clowning, hip-hop dance performance, juggling, and more. See teams execute advanced unicycle skills, jump-rope exhibitions and more. Coached by professional circus artists, athletes and acrobats, this is our students’ chance to show off their excellent circus skills.

2:00pm Magician Sean Masterson

Sean Masterson became interested in magic at the age of seven. As a youth he won Chicago’s Junior Magician of the Year award and has continued a long and successful Chicago career in which he has developed a theatrical magic show that amuses and perplexes audiences. Sean returns from a well-received performance at last years May Fair; see what new magic he has for us this year!

3:00pm CWS High School Musicians Perform

The High School Students will offer their music in performance at the May Fair. The High School Band will perform songs both contemporary and classic. Come out and hear our students!

In addition to these performers, the May Fair will have a variety of booths and other activities including the traditional Cake Walk, Jump Rope Braiding Machines, Tie-Dye Station, Handmade Hula Hoops, Flower Crowns, Arts & Crafts projects for kids and Treasure Hunt and more!

For more information about the May Fair please contact the Chicago Waldorf School main office at 773.465.2662

Tweens & Teens: Cellphones, Texting & Cyber-bullying.  An Expert Presentation & Community Discussion

All parents are invited to join us for this presentation and community discussion about:

Tweens, Teens & Social Media: Navigating Cell Phones, Texting and Cyber-Bullying

Monday, May 7th from 7:00-8:30pm in the Auditorium

Technology is an important and pervasive tool in today's world. Like any powerful tool, the user needs a certain skill set in order to effectively manage it. Without those skills, the potential for trouble increases dramatically. Just think of a 13 year old with a complex tool like a chain saw or driving an automobile. How do we educate our teenagers so they can safely and responsibly navigate the world of cellphones, online communications and portable media?

The PTO is hosting this important lecture and community discussion on cyber-bullying and inappropriate texting. Invited as a pedagogically sensitive presenter who works with many adolescents and parents, Kelli R. Underwood, LCSW from the Center for Contextual Change, will address the community on this important and relevant topic. Ms. Underwood will explore the various types of cyber-bullying and inappropriate texting, the legal ramifications and wide ranging consequences of cell phone misuse, as well as strategies for parents to support their teen's safe use of technology - including effective ways to monitor adolescent screen time. Ms. Underwood will explore why students engage in bullying behavior and how we can empower our children to confront and prevent it.

The goal of the evening is to provide parents with a skill set for ways to better manage, guide and educate their tween’s and teen's encounters with the world of technology.

There will be time for follow-up questions and discussion.

For more information, please contact Lisa Rekstad at

Kelli Underwood holds a Master's degree in Social Work from Indiana University and is a certified Marital and Family Therapist. She is the Director of Child and Family Programs at the Center for Contextual Change. She has done extensive work with children, adolescents, adults and families in creating a safe context from which change can occur. She conducts numerous trainings for professionals and parents on a variety of topics. The Center for Contextual Change in Evanston honors the resiliency of the human spirit and is dedicated to helping individuals enhance their strengths and develop new coping strategies.

12th Grade Play: Presenting “The Government Inspector”

The Chicago Waldorf School's Senior Class invites you to their presentation of

Nikolai Gogol's The Government Inspector

Thursday May 17th 7:30pm / Friday, May 18th 7:30pm / Saturday May 19th 2:00pm & 7:30pm

The Government Inspector is a wild and zany satire by the Russian dramatist and novelist Nikolai Gogol. Originally published in 1836, the play is a comedy of errors, satirizing human greed, ignorance and the extensive political corruption of Imperial Russia. Recommended for grades 4 and up. Admission is free (donations will be gratefully accepted at the door to help fund the Senior Class' upcoming Service Learning Trip to Costa Rica). The play lasts approximately two hours.

Come enjoy our seniors culminating dramatic performance!

Hitting New Milestones for CWS Annual Fund

CWS 2012 Goal: $200,000
Where are we? $  92,600

Your donations ensure the health and depth of
our school community. Click Here to contribute now.

The Annual Fund supports excellence and diversity at CWS. Our strategic plan includes a goal that: Chicago Waldorf School will be an inclusive community that better reflects the diversity of the city in which we live and will offer an educational experience that prepares students to thrive in a multicultural world. Charitable gifts to the Annual Fund allow the entire school community to support an important component of each family’s educational costs, to fund financial aid programs and to minimize tuition increases that strengthen our school community. Charitable donations to the Annual Fund may also be matched by employers which greatly extends the power of your gift!

Matching Programs Can Sometimes Double Your Gifts!

Many companies offer matching gifts for employees, employees’ spouses/partners and some retirees. Usually a company will have this information along with the directions for the matching gift process on their web site. You can also request a matching gift form from the company’s benefits or personnel office and submit it with your pledge payments. It is a wonderful way to increase your gift to the school.

Lee Boyce, CWS Trustee and Vice President of Finance at Kraft Foods has utilized his company’s matching gifts program to bolster his contribution to Chicago Waldorf School. He shares his experience:

How did you learn about the matching gift program at KRAFT?

[Lee:] Kraft has always made community involvement a very important aspect of its employee’s lives. Kraft has a very well designed internal Community Giving section on its intranet site where it lays out the matching gift application process.
I think that many companies offer gift matching as a benefit; it may just be that they don’t advertise it as widely.

Tell us how you set up the program to enhance your gifts.

[Lee:] The application process is very easy to navigate. As long as the institution is eligible, it is merely a case of making the gift, completing a simple online application, and then waiting for confirmation that the match has been made. Many companies have a paper application process. But this is also straightforward. Just complete the one page form and submit it for processing.

Why did you and your wife Catherine choose CWS for your matching gifts?

[Lee:] The School has always been our top choice for giving. It reflects our values and optimism for helping developing our children to achieve their own dreams and aspirations, by nurturing a real love of learning and a gentle appreciation for the world and individuals around them. Our children are extremely important to Cathy and me, so it seems natural that such an important part of their lives is where we would focus our giving.


The School has always been our top choice for giving. It reflects our values and optimism for helping developing our children to achieve their own dreams and aspirations, so it seems natural that such an important part of their lives is where we would focus our giving.

-Lee & Catherine Boyce

We thank Lee and Catherine Boyce for their generosity and for making the most of their gifts through the Kraft matching gift program. Contact your company’s benefits or personnel office to find out if you can match your gifts to our CWS annual fund. Help our CWS reach its annual fund goal of $200,000!  Please Click Here to contribute to Annual Fund now.

CWS High School Students Receive Merit Scholarships

11th Grader Lauded in National Merit Scholarship Program

Congratulations to 11th grader, Liam Lundy who’s score in the national PSAT/NMSQT test qualified him into the National Merit Scholarship program. Liam’s selection index score placed him within the top 3.33% of the 1.5 million students who participated in the test. According to the National Merit Scholarship criteria, Liam’s ranking distinguishes him as having outstanding academic potential and qualifies him for a CPRS College referral service. Liam is eligible to qualify for Merit scholarships that provide money for college tuition and that promote student scholars to colleges and Universities who are interested in their high academic standing. Congratulations Liam!

12th Grader is Awarded the Prestigious Horatio Alger Illinois Scholarship

CWS senior, Jhanneu Roberts has been named a 2012 Illinois Scholar and awarded an academic scholarship from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. Jhanneu was one of only twenty Illinois students to receive this award that is given to students who demonstrate and exemplify "...hard work, determination, integrity and perseverance." Jhanneu's award is part of a program that awards about $7 million academic scholarships annually. Congratulations Jhanneu!

Preserve School Memories: Yearbooks Are On Sale!

Get your personal copy of The Loop, the CWS 2011-2012 Yearbook

Filled with fond memories, beautiful art, class pictures, event photos and more, the yearbook makes a memorable keepsake and is a great way to enjoy all the students, faculty and staff in our school. Relive your heartfelt memories of the schoolyear by leafing through the pages.

Yearbooks are available for $45 each. We offer this special price and also an offer for a family to purchase two copies for $80 when ordering two or more at once. Drop by the Main Office to purchase a yearbook or you may mail in payment by check to Chicago Waldorf School / 1300 W Loyola Avenue / Chicago, IL 60626. Yearbooks will also be sold at this year's May Fair; so bring funds to purchase it at the Fair where you can get lots of signatures from friends. Or come by the Main Office to get your copy today!

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

CWS Seniors Consider Their Next Moves

Our current seniors are in their final decision-making stages―planning their future steps including choosing a college, considering majors, planning professional opportunities and employment, weighing their options and generally looking forward to their next stage of life. Here are brief profiles of their future plans:

Joseph Allen is planning to attend Lake Forest College, a place where he feels at home. Joseph would like to study chemistry and was impressed with their lab facilities. He is also considering pre-med; Lake Forest boasts a 90 percent acceptance rate into medical school for graduates from their five year pre-med program.

Alice Blehart is still in the decision-making process; she is considering offers from Bard College, Ithaca College, Alfred University and Eckerd College. With interests ranging from puppetry to arthropods to comic book writing, Alice is eager to begin taking a wide range of classes.

Gabrielle Calvert is planning to attend Chamberlain College of Nursing in preparation for a career in the health care field. She has considered a career as a pharmacy technician and physical therapy assistant, but is now leaning towards nursing with an emphasis in pediatrics.

Armel Cazedepats will attend Lake Forest College, which places in the top 10 percent of schools in the National Survey of Student Engagement. He will continue to explore his interests in a liberal arts environment. Armel has expressed a strong interest in becoming a social worker or psychologist.

Cara Culbert has just about settled on St. Olaf College in Minnesota, a school which will provide the very rigorous curriculum that she is looking for. Cara plans to study the sciences and is considering pre-med or pre-health. Nationally, St. Olaf ranks 5th in life sciences, 8th in chemistry, and 9th in biological sciences.

Camille Dozier will attend Lawrence University in Wisconsin, one of the few liberal arts colleges with a music conservatory, and so she will be able to continue to cultivate her strong interest in music. Camille liked the personal feel of the campus and the fact that the culture is collaborative, not competitive.

Rosie Fitz has enrolled at DePaul University to study math (not surprisingly as Rosie’s aptitude in the subject led her to be involved in the advanced math classes at CWS). Rosie likes the fact that she will be able to live at home and attend college in an urban environment. She is considering teaching as a career.

The college application process has come to a close as acceptances are received by April 1st.

Students usually make their decisions by May 1st. Most CWS seniors  have decided, though a few are still in process.


< Armel Cazedepats & Quinn Kennelly

Cairo Fultz will take a gap year in order to work, pursue the arts and travel. She will also take the time to consider the right setting in which to pursue her many academic interests, including physics, math, and electronic music.

Eric Garcia will also take time to explore his options. Eric plans to work while immersing himself in various esoteric subjects, including hermeticism, psychic healing, astrology, meditation and tarot.

Karis Harrison-Rucker will attend Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. Karis has considered a number of careers including literary or restaurant critic, art therapist, museum curator, or social worker. Currently, Karis is planning to double major in psychology and forensic investigation.

Keven Henley plans to attend the University of Puget Sound (UPS) in Tacoma, Washington and will swim competitively for the “Loggers.” Keven is interested in economics and business, especially as it relates to the environment and sustainability. He also has a strong interest in psychology and hopes to participate in the Business Leadership Program.

Matthew Kane will be leaving the Chicago area for the coast, but the question is “which coast?” Matthew is still in the process of deciding between the University of Vermont in Burlington and the University of Oregon in Eugene. Matthew is strongly considering psychology as a major.

Quinn Kennelly will attend Lewis & Clark College. Quinn likes the urban location in Portland, Oregon and that her college is a liberal, somewhat quirky, and accepting environment where many different kinds of students mix together. Quinn looks forward to exploring her interests in the arts and the English language.

Sarah Lavin-Burgher has selected Columbia College Chicago. She likes the idea of staying in Chicago next year and getting her college start in a creative environment. Sarah has considered a number of courses of study: psychology, art therapy, writing, advertising and public relations.

Fiona Masterson will attend Lawrence University. Fiona was particularly impressed with the quality of the vocal ensemble and the wide range of musical styles that they sing. Fiona’s academic interests strongly lean toward anthropology, but she is also interested in history, psychology, math, physics and chemistry.

The Chicago Waldorf School Class of 2012 seniors amassed over $1.1 million dollars in merit scholarship offers! 

Congratulations to all our seniors and their families! We wish you good fortune in your
future endeavours...


< Seniors in the High chool Camping Trip 2012

Torii Maysonet is happy to attend Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Connecticut. She is looking to gain a solid foundation in drawing prior to pursuing studies in fashion design. Torii currently studies art classes at CWS and the Vitruvian School of Art and she is excited about Lyme for its outstanding curriculum in drawing and painting.

Malcolm Riordan is going to Columbia College Chicago to study film. In 2010, Columbia opened a $21 million Media Production Center with studios for set and wardrobe design, a motion-capture studio and two large soundstages. Columbia boasts many high profile filmmaking graduates, including Academy & Oscar award winning cinematographers.

Jhanneu Roberts will attend Claremont McKenna College in California. Jhanneu was impressed with the caring and upbeat vibe on the campus, and the Athenaeum, a place where students, faculty, and prominent guests gather for intellectual discourse. Jhanneu plans to major in international relations, but is also considering pre-med.

Michael Smid is excited to go to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. He is considering combining business and theater set design. Michael was impressed by the theater facilities, which include an experimental stage and fully equipped costume, scene and make-up shops, in addition to a 600-seat theater with technologically advanced capability.

Jessica Syzmanski will attend Pace University in New York. Jessica is planning to study nursing and wanted to find a program that provides substantial clinical experience. Many nursing programs have just two years of clinicals, but at Pace it is a three year program. Jessica also likes the idea of attending school just 30 minutes outside of New York City.

Mason Willetts will attend Columbia College Chicago. Mason plans to pursue the arts and gravitated toward Columbia because of its focus on applied arts. Many of the Columbia College faculty are employed as artists elsewhere and bring a practical perspective to their teaching.

These Senior plans were collected and detailed by Academic Advisor, Diane Meinke as of 4/19/2012

Waldorf Education and the Socratic Method

The Socratic Method, in teaching, aims to increase understanding and critical thinking skills through inquiry. Memorized facts are soon forgotten. Children learn best by asking questions spawned from genuine interest. This goes against an assumption some have about the purpose of schooling. Waldorf educators believe that the purpose of education is NOT to instruct students.

Surprised? Consider this except from the whitepaper: Assessment Without High-Stakes Testing: Protecting Childhood and the Purpose of School: “The teachers’ task is not to convey what they know to their unknowing students, then confirm the efficacy of this transaction by testing the students’ ability to remember––or at least recognize–– what they have received.…A teacher’s task is… to draw out students’ nascent capacities. Herein lies the fundamental difference between in-struction, which in its etymological origins means to pour stones (Latin structus) into an empty vessel, and e-ducation, which in its origins means to lead or draw (Latin ducere) forth or out (Latin e-). When they instruct, teachers insert what they know into the empty vessel of the student who knows not. By contrast, when they educate, teachers draw forth from a student what he or she in some sense already knows, whether implicitly or explicitly. Like Socrates in Plato’s dialogue Meno, the teacher coaxes from the students––with the help of skillful leading questions–– responses that help them figure out the lesson for themselves, instead of waiting for the teacher to supply it.”

What would using the Socratic method look like in the classroom? Here’s one example. During a science lesson, the teacher blows up a balloon by combining baking soda and vinegar. Instead of telling the class that an endothermic reaction produced CO2, the teacher asks them: What happened here? Who has an idea? The teacher can then lead the inquires and debates between students. Then the teacher might have a few students hold the balloon and ask: What do you notice about it? Then the teacher can guide students inquiries about the implications of its temperature and weight. In this way, together as a class, they take the time to truly learn the why and how of this experiential science.

This article was originally posted to the blogsite for the Spring Garden Waldorf School (of Northeast Ohio) by Rocky Lewis on April 19, 2012 The referenced white paper by David Mitchell, Douglas Gerwin, Ernst Schuberth, Michael Mancini, & Hansjörg Hofrichter is available in the archives of the National Association of Independent Schools.