The Bulletin

Invite Your Friends to the CWS May Fair!

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Saturday, May 14th from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Some Background to the May Fair
Separated by many countries and centuries from its pre-Christian origins, the celebration of the return of spring is a unique part of life surrounding the Chicago Waldorf School. May Day, generally celebrated on the first of the month, has a significant connection to the festival of Flora and folk dancing of long ago that celebrated springtime fertility. European settlers brought this tradition to America where it is still practiced by many communities including Waldorf schools where it takes on the name “May Fair.”

What is May Fair
May Fair is an annual celebration of Spring, arts, and crafts put on by Waldorf schools throughout the Americas and Europe. This event always supports the belief in creativity and imagination in which Waldorf schools respect and nourish the whole child. May Fair takes on its own aura for each individual school as activities range from barbecues to child-made crafts, woodworking, silk dying and more. Yet, the most integral part of the fair remains the maypole dance that evokes the same pride and spirit as it did in festivals centuries ago.

What is the maypole dance? 
Often the center of May celebrations, the maypole bears garlands and is a symbol for the growth of new vegetation and spring life. Dancers gather around the pole that is sprawling with greenery and colored ribbons attached to the top. They will then walk or skip in opposite directions allowing the strings to intertwine or create a braided wave around the pole. This colorful weave and dance is a special part of the coming of Spring.

What makes CWS May Fair special?
The CWS May Fair has evolved from a celebration for children into a community-wide affair that seeks to incorporate the spirit of a Waldorf education into students, families, and the neighborhood. The festival features dancing, live entertainment and music, games, food, craft-making, and unique vendors and exhibitors. Maureen Flannery, a current CWS grandparent, has seen the event change throughout the years as it has grown along with the size of the school. She and her husband once held the position as May Fair queen and king which used to be an integral part of May Day celebrations. She also remembers the Mummers Plays, troupes of actors known as mummers or guisers, that were incorporated into the event for some years as a tribute to the celebration’s English heritage. “The dunk tank and petting zoo were very popular among students in the past”, Maureen said as well.

May Fair has become a large and special event within the neighborhood and is an integral way to demonstrate Waldorf values to the community at large. As families, friends, and children participate in Maypole dancing or craft-making, creativity and imagination shine at Chicago Waldorf School.

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

Old maypole postcards
1920s Maypole Dance
Maypole engraving
The country Maypole
A history of the dance

Historical Profile submitted by Brittany Aller

Attend Our Spring "All School Meeting"

Spring State of the School Meeting Wednesday, May 11th from 7:00pm – 9:00pm

You are warmly and cordially invited to attend the annual 2011 Spring State of the School meeting in the CWS auditorium. This event (sometimes also referred to as the “All School Meeting”) is an important opportunity for our community to meet the school’s Board of Trustees, College Chair, and Administrative Director and hear about the finances, operations and programs at the school.

The PTO is hosting the event and is inviting everyone in our community to come at 7:00pm for refreshments and social gathering. This will be followed from 7:30pm-7:50pm with a musical recital by our High School students directed by Jeff Spade before the topic presentations start at 7:50pm.

The State of the School meeting will be full of information about all sorts of issues that are important to our families and the school’s future.

At the behest of the PTO, the evening’s topics will include reports from the Board of Trustees and College of Teachers, an overview of efforts being undertaken this year by the Strategic Planning Committee and additional reports on fund development, the budget and more.

A community question and answer period will follow. We invite you to attend, socialize, and then participate in this dialogue with the school’s leaders.

Invitation Announcement submitted by
Sally Rosenthal & Sheryl Wandler
Parent Teacher Organization Co-chairs

7th Grade Field Trip in 2011

EUREKA! (The Life and Times of Archimedes) Goes on the Road to Midwest Schools

The 7th grade will be embarking on its class trip in the last week of May. Like most 7th grade field trips at CWS, the current 7th grade will be engaging in the high ROPES, team challenges, and a climbing wall challenge. These adventure events are set to occur in Howell, Michigan. The 7th grade will also visit Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan where they will see the resurrection of Thomas Edison’s lab, the Wright brothers’ bicycle shop, the workings of steam engines revealed, slave and masters’ dwellings from the 19th Century American South, and many other remarkable expressions of our colonial and early industrial past.

The 7th grade will be remounting its production of their original play for three Michigan Waldorf schools.

The heart of our trip, however, will be two performances of Eureka! (The Life and Times of Archimedes) – yes, it has been re-titled from Archimedes since our November performances at CWS. The play opens as the commanders of a Roman army, eager to secure the city of Syracusa in Sicily as a strategic prize in Rome’s war with Carthage, debate the strategy whereby they can take it. Their efforts have been stymied for years by the war machines devised by Archimedes of Syracusa.

The means and opportunity to overcome the siege are at last determined when two personal slaves of Archimedes are brought before the Roman general Marcellus. Through them we learn about life in Archimedes’ household and the palace of his friend and supporter, King Hieron of Syracusa some forty years earlier. We are witness to his famous experiment with the gold crown of King Hieron, as well as his infamous clothes-less run through the streets of Syracusa. Marcellus, moved by the slaves’ account, seeks to rescue Archimedes and his family in the inevitable sacking of the city. His efforts, however, prove insufficient to restrain an overzealous Roman soldier, who murders Archimedes, and the play resolves with a lament and tribute to this remarkable human being, whose achievements we experience and benefit from (usually without knowing it) throughout our lives.

Both performances will take place on the beautiful stage of the Detroit Waldorf School. The first performance will take place before parents of the Detroit Waldorf School; the second will be a day-time performance before twelve classes, collectively from the Detroit Waldorf School, the Oakland Steiner School, and the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. The dates of these performances will be May 25th and May 26th.

The play itself is the product of collaboration between class teacher John Trevillion and music director Jeff Spade. The transformation of the play into a production required the efforts of all of the 7th grade parents, but key among them have been those of Mary Spalding, Liz Heavenrich, Isabel Liss, and Anne Libera. The “road show” sets have been “down-sized” from their ambitious November proportions, but the drama and songs remain intact. Mr. Spade will travel with us and provide piano accompaniment. Most importantly, the 7th grade is excited and eager to perform their play once more.



Celebrate and Invest in The Year of the Teacher

Support our Teachers. Give to the 2011 Annual Fund

Our 2010-2011 Annual Fund is working to reinforce an important initiative–to support the efforts to reinstate the salaries and pension for our faculty and staff. The CWS Annual Fund total as of May 1 is $127,000.00. Please help us make a world of difference for those who make a difference in the world. Annual Fund giving provides budgetary support for educational initiatives that tuition alone does not cover. We are very grateful to all of our generous supporters of the Chicago Waldorf School!

Please give to the CWS Annual Fund so that we can make our goal of $200,000.00!

You can track the progress of the Annual Fund in the candle graphic in the right-hand column of the bulletin. Keep an eye on “the candle” each week to monitor our progress. We thank everyone for your continued support of our wonderful school and for all who have already given to the annual fund. If you haven’t already given to the best of your capacity, please do so before the end of our school year. The last day of Annual Fund giving is June 30.

Your contribution to the CWS Annual Fund will enable us to support The Year of the Teacher. With your help, we can “Light the Fires of Learning!” and together, we can make the flame come alive.


Thunder Athletics

Swim Team Athletes Demonstrate Excellence

Congratulations to CWS student athletes, Armel Cazedepats and Keven Henley! Their YWCA Flying Fish swim team excelled at the recent Sunkissed Invitational Jr.-Sr. Swimming Championships. The team beat two meet records, five team records and achieved 141 personal bests and five first-place swims! The Flying Fish team earned gold and silver medals in swim team relays at the competition. CWS student athlete, Keven Henley, was a member of the relay team that took 1st place in Boys Senior 400 yd. Freestyle Relay and 2nd place in Boys Senior 400 yd. Medley Relay.

These athletes worked extremely hard all season and we are proud of their dedication and accomplishments! Great job Keven & Armel!

Local Happenings

Announcements from our Community Members:

Please help make the famous May Fair Flower Crowns on Friday, May 13th.
Come to the school Auditorium anytime from 8:00am to 3:00pm, Friday, May 13th,  (the day before the May Fair). Even an hour of your time would be greatly appreciated.  No experience necessary. Other dedicated flower crown makers will show you how to craft these fabulous icons of Spring. The 4th Grade is happily assuming the task of organizing all the materials for the crowns, making crowns and selling them on the day of the fair, but the 4th Grade needs help from the whole school to make enough crowns to supply the fair.

Why else should you join us?  Because it’s really fun and we get to talk while we craft! 

Submitted by the May Fair Flower Crown Committee (4th Grade)
Jackie Votanek / Kim Piehl / Karen Brennan / Sheila Donohue


Housing Needed: Host a Waldorf Teacher
Chicago Waldorf School will be hosting the 2nd week of the Teaching Sensible Science course Saturday, June 18-Friday, June 24, 2011. Thirty Waldorf teachers from around the country (including eight CWS teachers) are expected. This course is designed for Waldorf class teachers who wish to deepen their practice and understanding of the teaching of science in grades 6-8.

This course, which is highly regarded and very popular, is only sporadically offered and we’re very fortunate to be able to continue to host it at CWS. In order to make it economically feasible for as many Waldorf teachers as possible to come, we’re looking for housing in our community. If you have a spare bedroom and would also be willing to provide breakfast (there is a stipend of $30 per night for a shared room or $40 per night for a private room), please contact Colleen Everhart at or at 773.590.1409.

Maroon 5? Save the Date!.... For our Faculty, Alumni, Alumni Parents, Current Parents and Trustees Join the school community in our CWS Summer Social at Ravinia event. We have 70 tickets reserved at Ravinia to see BoDeens on Friday, July 29. Have a beautiful summer outing and a fun night of music. Please save the date! More info at
Interested? Contact Jackie Johnson at 312.828-8458 or

Attend the Tenth Annual Chicago Green Festival
Saturday, May 14 & Sunday, May 15
Sat- 10:00am to 7:00pm /  Sun- 11:00am to 6:00pm
McCormick Place / 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive

Chicago’s Green Festival inspires and promotes the connection between change and sustainable progress for people, communities and businesses. Green Festival’s interactive marketplace and learning environment provides solutions to help make healthier lives—socially, economically and environmentally.

This 10-year-old ‘Party with a Purpose’ is an exciting weekend experience for individuals, friends and families. Festivities include presentations by more than 125 renowned authors, leaders and visionaries, informative how-to workshops, cutting-edge films, enriching kid’s activities, organic beer and wine, delicious organic vegan and vegetarian cuisine, diverse live music and an amazing marketplace of more than 300 green local and national businesses and organizations.

For more info visit:

Women & Children First Bookstore’s First Ever Kids’ Swap Night!
Friday May 20th, 6:00pm to 8:00pm / $5.00 admission fee; free pizza and soft drinks

Come swap books! Bring books you’ve read and don’t want to keep and exchange them for ones you haven’t read yet. Kids ages 6 to 10 should come between 6 and 7 pm; kids ages 10 to 14 should come between 7 and 8 pm. We’ll be offering pizza and soft drinks throughout the evening, and our friendly, well-read staff will be talking about their new favorites. Bonus: take home a free advanced reading copy of a forthcoming hardcover!

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama will be in Minneapolis in May and in Chicago in July:

Bridging the Faith Divide: A Public Talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Sun, July 17, 1:30pm to 3:30pm
at UIC Pavillion. 525 S Racine Ave., Chicago. For tickets call the UIC Box Office at 312- 413-5740 or online purchases at

Building Bridges: Religious Leaders in Conversation with the Dalai Lama
Mon, July 18, 9:30am to 11:30am
at Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 East Randolph Drive, Chicago. For tickets call the Harris Theater Box Office at 312-334-7777 or online purchases at

For more tour info visit:

Thunder Athletics

From Coach Robb Gill—

High School Soccer Update

The heavy rains of April of 2011 will not soon be forgotten, as it did make Chicago a very green place as well as led to many games being cancelled. The Girls’ Soccer team went through a rough start of their season but the team is slowly developing into a solid unit under the direction of their outstanding head coach, Adrianna Kondrat. Their last game was their best game to date, as they were able to fight to a tie with the Stars of the Universal School of Bridgeview. The girls will now go into an 8-on-8 Tournament hosted by the Metropolitan Prep Conference. We are very excited about 8-on-8 soccer because it is made for small teams like the Thunder. The girls’ first IHSA play-off game is against the Stingers of St. Scholastica on Tuesday, May 10 and the game will be played at St. Scholastica’s soccer field.

See Chicago's Youth Circus w/ 1st Grader Ellis Rekstad

10th Annual Spring Circus on May 13th & 14th

This year CircEsteem celebrates its 10 year anniversary. Since 2001, they have worked to unite thousands of youth from diverse backgrounds and build self-esteem and mutual respect through the practice of circus arts.

Come see Ellis Rekstad (CWS first grade) perform in the circus on Saturday, May 14th.

Join CircEsteem for their 10th Annual Spring Circus on May 13th & 14th at the Francis W. Parker School located at 2233 N. Clark St. in Chicago.  In celebration of 10 years of spectacular shows, the 10th Annual Spring Circus will take audiences back in time to the early days of the big-top, when children of all ages were awestruck by feats of strength and entertained by comical performances.

Additionally you can join them for a benefit reception on Friday May 13th before the show at 6:00 pm and enjoy refreshments and stories from CircEsteem graduates.  All proceeds benefit the CircEsteem Scholarship Fund allowing the dream of college to become a reality for many youth.

Tickets to the show and benefit reception can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets, or by calling CircEsteem at 312.731.HAHA (4242).

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