Looking for great gifts that inspire learning and creativity? Lower School teacher Tim Hebda has completed his annual list of books, games, gadgets, and apps that will keep your grandchild excited and engaged during the holidays.
On Friday night, I stood at the top of the theater with Tiki Fuhro and Susan Nelson “managing” the throngs of people filling the space beyond capacity. These were not just the parents of theater kids—these were parents, alums, faculty, staff, and students. Every night was packed and Friday we actually had to turn people away. As hard as it was, it is a good problem to have! This was an outpouring of support from all corners of our school and those who came were rewarded with an incredible production. The Guys and Dolls show was done at such a high quality level and with such heart.
On Saturday afternoon, Waynflete folks poured into the stands at Falmouth High School to cheer on the boys varsity soccer team. Again, students, faculty, staff, alums, and friends of the school filled the stands. Many members of the Guys and Dolls cast, crew, and production team were there, just as the soccer players had been in the theater Friday night. All of the spectators were treated to a remarkable display of skill, agility, and sportsmanship by our team. It is the best soccer I have seen played at Waynflete and a real pleasure to watch.
At the end of the day it is our students that are performing on the stage and pitch, but it is the educators and coaches that bring all the elements into alignment so that this level of success is within reach. Katy Cavanaugh as director and the entire production team did an amazing job bringing all of the elements of a classic Broadway musical to life. I heard several audience members talking about how professional this show was.
The coaching staff led by Brandon Salway did a wonderful job leading our boys to a state championship. In the Press Herald, the Mount View coach talked about how intelligent our players were and how they were really playing at the collegiate level. From my vantage point in the stands, I would agree.
I want to extend my deep appreciation, congratulations, and gratitude to the amazing adults who helped nurture both the musical and the boys soccer team. Both were wonderful accomplishments in their own right and together made for an extraordinary weekend.
This year, instrumental music teachers Gene Gill and Eddie Holmes have collaborated on a program that gives grade 4 and 5 students their first tastes of brass and woodwind instruments. The class complements the introduction to strings program that Andy Happel and Eddie started last year (a gift from the Margaret Burnham ’21 Charitable Trust allowed the school to purchase quarter- and half-size violins and violas and a half-size cello).
Waynflete is well on its way to building a strong farm team of instrumentalists for the Middle and Upper Schools ensembles!
Do you remember the very first time you played an instrument? This short video might jog your memory:
Chris Knapp (Waynflete class of 1997) visited with students in the 2-3 program this week. Chris runs an educational organization in Temple, Maine, called Koviashuvik Local Living School. He taught students about indigenous traditions and skills, including pounding ash logs to make basket splints, collecting beechnuts from a beech tree outside Thomas House, and using birch bark and willow bark to make bracelets. Chris demonstrated making fire using a bow drill.
Mi’kmaq elder and traditional storyteller David Lonebear Sanipass recently visited with second and third graders under the towering trees of the “Piney Woods.” With his young audience surrounding him in a circle, David told three stories. The first was about a bird who wished to gift his singing voice to the people. The next story was about David’s encounter with a bear. The final story told how rabbit came to be from a fat rat. During his storytelling, David played his traditional Mi’kmaq northern block flute and engaged playfully with his rapt audience.
Each of David’s stories held important messages for the children: it matters to be kind, generous, and patient; greedy and selfish behavior can get you into a lot of trouble; and bears are to be respected—from a distance! David stressed the importance of storytelling as a way to learn from and appreciate each other. He encouraged his young audience to tell stories, a task the children will honor later this fall when they write “pourquoi tales” influenced by the Wabanaki storytelling tradition.
David Sanipass’s visit is part of the 2-3 program’s integrated thematic study of the Wabanaki People of Maine. For more than 25 years, this study has been a major curricular focus featuring special guests from Maine’s indigenous communities.