I am Vanessa Van Deusen, a senior here at Waynflete, and I am a ballerina. I started ballet when I was a kid, as most little girls do, but for me it was an obsession rather than a passing phase. Ballet continues to be an obsession of mine and because of this I haven’t had the most orthodox schedule in my time here at Waynflete. Every year I have taken four classes instead of the typical five or six, not participated in sports, performing arts or studio art, and left at 1:00 every single day.
Ever since I was allowed this unusual schedule I have been the source of envy for those who can’t sit through the last block or dread their art requirements, but what I lose in academic school I make up for in extra hours of ballet training. In the beginning of sophomore year I joined Portland Ballet’s CORPS program, a pre professional ballet program for high school students who want to take their training to the next level. In the beginning balancing Waynflete and CORPS was really hard and scary. I had to learn how to deal with missing a math and history class a week but with help from my teachers and amazing advisor Debba Curtis, leaving early to go dance became second nature. The two now seem to coexist perfectly as Waynflete has become comfortable with my need to dance and CORPS requires that I maintain good academic standing.
Strangely enough, though, the two have never intermingled until now. Ballet is a huge part of my identity and is something that I am so happy I finally got to share with Waynflete. Dancing for all of my friends and teachers last Monday was absolutely terrifying. Being on stage knowing that all of the people I love and respect were watching me was a lot of pressure but at the same time it felt very full circle. When I ended the partnering piece from Stars and Stripes I was taken aback at the applause and support in the theater.
That support didn’t end when I walked off stage. For the past week I have experienced teachers and friends telling me how proud they were of me but I was also approached by countless people I had never met expressing the same sentiments. I am not only proud and excited that I was able to show what I have been working at for so many years off to my school but also astounded by the amount of support I have received from both the school as a whole as well as the individuals in it.
Congratulations to Senior Alpine Skier Louis Frumer, who recently captured Class C individual State Championships in both the Slalom and Giant Slalom events and then excelled in the all classes Maine Shootout earning a spot in the Maine Team competing in the Eastern Championship.
“After winning Class C State Alpine Championships in both Slalom and Giant Slalom, Senior Louis Frumer finished 3rd in Slalom and 4th in Giant Slalom at the “Shootout” (Classes A,B and C) thus securing 4th (out of 12) place on the Maine State Alpine Ski Team. Louis was one of only 2 Class C skiers to make the State Team and the only Class C athlete to make the Team in 2 consecutive years. The Team represented Maine at the Eastern High School Championships held at Attitash, New Hampshire.
At Easterns Louis finished 17th overall out of 126 skiers from 12 states in Slalom, scored for the Team in 3 of the 4 races (he crashed in one Giant Slalom race), was the only Class C athlete to score, and thus contributed meaningfully to the Maine State Team’s 3rd (out of 12) overall finish in Slalom.
Louis ends his High School skiing with a total of 3 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals at the State Championship level.”
As you have likely heard, Waynflete is hosting two performances of Incognito next Tuesday, March 4. There will be a daytime performance for students in grade 8 through 12 and their advisors and an evening performance at 7:00 p.m. for the community with a reception sponsored by the Parents Association and Parent Diversity Committee in the Arc hallway preceding the performance.
I am writing this note to inform you as to why we are hosting these performances at Waynflete. Incognito is a one man play in which the actor, Michael Fosberg, tells his personal story of identity. The performance highlights the many dimensions of identity, including race which features prominently in Mr. Fosberg’s life story. It also, contrary to the assumption that many hold, highlights the idea that identity is not something stable that one “discovers” once and for all at some point in life but is instead fluid so that the “discovery” of identity is ongoing and sometimes surprising as one’s experiences change and perceptions of experiences evolve.
We are hosting this performance for our students because supporting identity formation is central to our mission. Helping them to cultivate interests and passions in the present while staying open to the possibilities moving forward activates so much of their potential as students, as leaders, as ethical citizens, as artists, as athletes, or you name it. In fact, I would name our support for this process as the secret ingredient of the Waynflete experience that propels our students forward and often leaves me wondering as I watch them in and out of the classroom, “Huh, what was I doing when I was in high school?”
Thus, the theme of identity formation underlies much of the Waynflete experience. It is central to the Ninth Grade Seminar curriculum. We had a fascinating assembly last fall in which Waynflete alum Lucas O’Neil (’08) told his story of identity formation. The video of his talk is linked here. And we hope that the Incognito show will inspire students to reflect constructively on the many dimensions of identity and the ongoing excitement of shaping it.
The show is powerful as Mr. Fosberg’s story is emotionally charged and includes times of anxiety and anguish. It may cause some students to reflect on unsettling experiences of their own, which is why we have scheduled the show so that students will spend time in their advising groups afterwards. I hope you will be able to engage your child in conversation after the show, and I do encourage you to attend the evening performance. I have been in regular communication with Mr. Fosberg and have come to realize that his story has messages about identity and race that are relevant to my life as well as to the lives of our students.
Waynflete Takes on Titan Challenge – http://jamaine.org/programs/titan-challenge/
by Zak Starr
On Wednesday, February 12, eight students along with math teachers Steve Kautz and Zak Starr went to the University of Southern Maine to compete in the 8th Annual Titan Challenge. The event, sponsored by Junior Achievement and including volunteers from many local and national businesses, took place at seven different universities across the state of Maine. The competition is a simulation in which groups try to create the ultimate business model for their product weighing factors such as marketing, research and development, and charitable giving. The eight students from Waynflete were split into three different groups that eventually placed 25th, 35th, and 59th out of 130 teams in the state. This is the second year that Waynflete students attended and we are looking forward to coming back next year. It was a challenging experience and the students represented their school very well!
The eight participants – split up by group:
Sahal Hourdeh, Rowan May, Mason Saltz
Salli Li and Emily Wasserman
and Abdi Dahir, Cody Tiparos, and Jackie Xiao
The winter sports season is coming to an end. Depending on playoffs, each varsity sport will end on a different date. Please have your child check with the coach.
PE classes ended on Friday, February 14, and Performing Arts classes ended on Thursday, February 27. PE will start back up on Tuesday, April 1, and PA on Thursday, March 26. During this short break from PA and PE class, time is often used for various other activities, including play rehearsals, Driver’s Ed., and extra help with teachers.
During this time, your child is free to leave campus at 2:00 p.m. Students do not have to remain on campus after 2:00 p.m. unless a parent makes a request to Cathie Connors.
Please contact Cathie (ext. 1233) with questions.