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Around the School Newsletter

Week of September 26th - 30th
Grade 12 shares Eurythmy performance as part of our in-school Michaelmas festivities.

Michaelmas Time

attributed to Michael Rose


Michaelmas time, Michaelmas time, time is turning under the plough.

Under the stars, under the signs the ploughman toils with deep-furrowed brow.

He turns his thoughts against the cold, buries his fears ‘neath the earth’s deep mould;

Frost, like fire, burns white on the blade of his iron share that red fire made.


Michaelmas time, Michaelmas time, time is bending over the scales.

Over the bread, over the wine, the ploughman bows his head at the rail.

He turns his thoughts towards the flame, raises his eyes to the thanksgiven grain.

Stars, like spears, gleam over the tower of the house of God in Michael’s hour.


Michaelmas time, Michaelmas time, time is changing the guard of the world.

Deep in his heart, dauntless in mind, the ploughman guards against time growing old.

He stands and studies the star-patterned sky, fixes each spark in his wishing-well eyes.

Stars, like seeds, strewn over the land and under the plough by Michael’s hand.

Dear Families,

Good wishes to all in this Michaelmas season. Today, our school celebrates Michaelmas with an outdoor assembly of presentations from different classes, followed by our now traditional Work Day. Spearheaded by teacher Michael (!) Pewtherer, the Work Day involves mixed groups of students and teachers taking up a variety of tasks around our campus, farmscape, and surrounding areas.

We had a frost advisory in our region last night, letting us know that Autumn has really and truly arrived. Of course, we knew that already, from the autumnal equinox last week, or maybe the pumpkin spice products on the store shelves. We are also in the midst of the Days of Awe, or the High Holy Days of the Jewish calendar, beginning with Rosh Hashanah. The book of life in which we will be inscribed for the coming year is now open, and will be closed and sealed next week on Yom Kippur. It is a time for looking inward and considering our relationship with the divine, but also for considering our deeds and effects on those around us, and resolving to reconcile with those we may have wronged.

This balance between our inner, spiritual path of development and our outer work in the world is also essentially “Michaelic.” St. Michael is often depicted or described as a warrior, leading the charge of the heavenly forces actively supporting humanity to overcome those forces that would confuse, divert, and ensnare us, in the picture of the Dragon. Michael also traditionally holds the scales, weighing our souls, and Michaelmas falls during the time of the celestial Scales, in Libra.

Living through a time of continuing military and political conflicts throughout the world, we could well ask ourselves whether it is still possible to turn our swords into plowshares. Can St. Michael help us to take up the inner, spiritual battle against all that is deceitful, grotesque, and cynical, while working to cultivate peace, selflessness, and joyful celebration of life? What role can the Farmer, Teacher, and Artist play in creating the conditions for a more sustainable, equitable, and insightful society?

In the song lyrics above, Michael is presented, not as warrior, but as “ploughman,” with his plow of iron. He plies and cultivates the earth, attends to his devotions, and contemplates the starry heavens, where both the sign of the Plow (or Big Dipper) and the Scales (Libra) can be seen. Each of us can find our own connection to those aspects of St. Michael that support us in our inner and outer work.

Blessings on our Autumn!

With warm regards,
Simon Frishkoff
High School Chair

More scenes from Michaelmas...
October 1st

Grade 5 & High School Photo Day
October 3rd

October 5th

Grades 2, 3, 4, & 7 Photo Day
October 6th

Grades 1 & 6 Photo Day
October 7th

HVA Roots to Renewal - 50th Anniversary Celebration - Volunteers Needed!
October 8th 

Indigenous People's Day - SCHOOL CLOSED
October 10th

PSAT Grades 10 & 11
October 12th

PTA Meeting
October 19th 

Grade 7 Class Meeting 
October 20th

EC Parent Meetings
October 26th

Grade 8 Play 
October 26th - 29th

Grade 3 Play 
October 28th

Makers Market @ Hawthorne Valley Farm Store
October 29th

In School Halloween Celebration
October 31st
For more detailed information visit the calendar page on our website, here.
Grade 7 Trip to the Hulbert Center
Last week the seventh graders packed their bags and set off for Fairlee, Vermont, for our traditional Grade 7 trip to the Hulbert Center.  Situated on a beautiful summer camp setting with mountain views and a large lake, the Hulbert Center offers adolescents an opportunity to spend time outside of the classroom walls challenging themselves physically, learning about themselves as leaders, and working cooperatively with problem solving skills.  We spent the week sleeping in cabins, hiking, canoeing, engaging in team-building activities, facing our fears by climbing the high ropes course and climbing wall, and supporting our friends.  One night we had a talent show and played theatre improv games, while other nights we had a night journey and stargazing session, played team games or gathered together for a story.  Our school has had a long association with the Hulbert Center and several of the students had parents who had taken this trip when they were students as had Class Teacher, Ms. Acciani.  It was wonderful after our past years of Covid to get the opportunity to spend this time together as a class, learn more about ourselves as individual thinkers and leaders and create meaningful memories.

Karin Almquist
Grade 7 Co-Advisor
Cross Country
The Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School hosted its first two interscholastic cross country meets in nearly a decade this week and made an impressive showing of the natural beauty of the HVS campus and the athletic potential of our student-athletes. The HVS varsity squad was diluted due to illness and injuries for both meets, but rookie varsity runner - eighth grader Thomas Madey - finished behind only 2021 Patroon Conference first team all star Eli Russo from Taconic Hills in each race. Madey finished the 3 mile course with a time of 21:31 to Russo's 19.11 finish on Tuesday.  Both runners bettered their paces on Thursday with Madey finishing with a time of 20:51 to Russo's time of 18:04.  Eighth grader Theo Bergquist continued to impress in his rookie campaign as a varsity runner finishing with times of 24:37 on Tuesday and improving on that with a finishing time of 23.49 on Thursday. Tenth grader Idris Evans also showed his continued growth with finishes of 31:33 Tuesday, followed by a finishing time of 28:41 on Thursday.

HVS modified runners dominated their class in both meets with at least five top ten finishers.  On Tuesday, the top four times were posted by HVS modified runners led by 8th grader Savyon Hinestroza. Seventh grader Lulu Saunders was at the top of the girls modified field. Hinestroza finished first in Thursday's meet as well.  

It bears noting that the visiting coaches at both meets were impressed by both course layouts and look forward to running future meets at HVS. 

Jim Gibbons
HVS Athletic Director
Roots to Renewal
A 50th Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, October 8th

Please Sign Up To Volunteer!


Fall is in the air, and with it comes anticipation for our upcoming Roots to Renewal 50th Anniversary Celebration! We invite the public to join us on Saturday, October 8th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to mark this momentous occasion.*
We have curated a variety of inspirational and meaningful events as well as fun, creative activities, including the premiere of our 50th Anniversary Roots to Renewal film (featuring many of our coworkers), panel discussions, poetry readings, and mandala making. WDST Radio Woodstock will be on site doing a live remote during the event, and will be offering giveaways and providing entertainment. An Art on the Farm tour will feature our Folly Fields artist-in-residence Patty Harris, along with other Hawthorne Valley artists’ work. Guests will have the opportunity to savor tasty food from local vendors, and relax under the beautiful new pavilion while watching a musical performance or two. You can check the updated schedule on our website
With the amazing day we have planned, we need your support to ensure its success! Volunteers are needed to help everything run as smoothly as possible, from parking attendants to crossing guards to information booth volunteers to AV gurus! There are plenty of opportunities to use your talents and become involved in this exciting and historic day, and we thank you in advance for your support. 
Please click the button to sign up to volunteer at the event!  If you have any questions, contact Stacy Szymaszek.
Thank you and we look forward to seeing you all at our Roots to Renewal 50th Anniversary Celebration in a few weeks!

*This event is in lieu of our traditional Fall Festival.

Sign Up To Volunteer!

The Magical Puppet Tree Theater presents:

In honor of Hawthorne Valley’s 50th Anniversary 

The Story Stone’s 

Earth On Turtle’s Back

Saturday October 8th

 1:30pm and 2:30pm

In the HVS Morning Star Kindergarten Theater

With gratitude to the Haudenosaunee people, and in celebration of Hawthorne Valley’s 50th Anniversary, we invite you to join us for these Seneca and Iroquois legends.

Once upon a time, how did stories come to be? A gift is given from the heart, and another resonates in return…The story stone shares how the great tree of life was once uprooted in sky land. When water animals and birds see a woman falling towards the sea, they seek to find earth in order that she may live. 
Admission is free… donations appreciated

Entry tickets are on a first come basis, given out in the Early Childhood foyer from 11am on!

Coffee Hour for Parents

Tuesday, October 4th
8:30-9:30am in the School Hall

Please join us in the School Assembly Hall after dropping your student off for some coffee and a short talk with Melanie Reiser, the Executive Director of Membership for the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA)

By providing an organizational structure for Waldorf schools across the USA, Canada and Mexico to come together, AWSNA not only supports school initiatives, gives them accreditation, and maintains the quality of our curriculum, but it also creates a framework for holding the bigger picture of social renewal and the role of Waldorf Education in meeting the needs of our time. We are excited to be hosting Melanie Reiser at our school on Tuesday, October 4th and hope that you can join us in discussing the bigger context of Waldorf education. 

Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School is going through our re-accreditation process this year and next year our school will be celebrating its 50th year of operation since our founding in Fall of 1973. It is an exciting time to be picturing the future of the larger Waldorf movement.

Come by for coffee, tea, and be a part of this community conversation!
Maker's Market at Hawthorne Valley

October 29th from 10am - 4pm
We are excited to announce that Hawthorne Valley will be holding a monthly Maker’s Market at the pavilion outside the Farm Store. Our next market will be on October 29th from 10 am-4 pm! These monthly markets feature products made by Hawthorne Valley staff! We'd love to see you there!
Biodynamic events at Farm this season
All ages are welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. No previous experience necessary, but an open mind is always helpful. Also helpful to bring are water bottles, clothing layers, boots, hats and gloves.
Dates are weather dependent. 

October 6, 2:30-4:30 pm
Help make next year’s batch of Biodynamic horn manure. 
We will talk as we work, and this is messy work! We will be using fresh cow manure, otherwise known as “farmers’ gold”, one of the most special substances for helping the earth. Hawthorne Valley cows are healthy and vibrant, and so is their manure. If you want to get to know the heart of the farm, this is an amazing start! 

October 13, 2:30-4:30
Adding Biodynamic Preparations to the compost pile.
Come help add the homeopathic medicine that Rudolf Steiner recommended for bringing more vitality into a compost pile. 
October 20, 2:30-4:30
Using the Biodynamic horn manure preparation on the West Hill pasture.
On Hawthorne Valley’s iconic West Hill pasture, come help add homeopathic amounts of the Biodynamic horn manure preparation to the earth. This will be especially helpful this fall, after such a hot and dry summer. We will be stirring warm water with the preparation and spraying it onto the pasture using buckets and pine boughs. 
October 27, 2:30-4:30
Using the Biodynamic horn manure preparation on the pastures behind the barn.
The pastures behind the barn are part of the night pasture rotation, where cows have their supper and late night snacks during the spring, summer and fall. 
Come help stir and spray the Biodynamic horn manure preparation on these pastures. This is especially helpful after such a hot and dry summer. We will be stirring warm water with the preparation, and spraying it into the pasture using buckets and pine boughs.
These biodynamic events at Hawthorne Valley are offered by Farmer Katy, a friend of the farm and fellow Biodynamic peer that has volunteered to lead some seasonal events.

Please contact Linda Park if you have any questions.
A Message from the Farm
It has been such a delight, these past few weeks, to meet and work alongside parents and community members who have graciously volunteered their time at the Farm. Many have been asking for an on-going opportunity to continue helping at the Farm until the end of harvest season. So, if you haven’t been able to make it or you are looking forward to coming back, we will be gathering bi-weekly until the end of October.
Spend some time outdoors, get to meet our farmers and community members, experience the joy of meaningful work, and go home with some fresh biodynamic produce from our farm!
When: every Tuesday (1:30-2:30 PM)* and Thursday (8:30 AM - 10:00 AM)* UNTIL THE END OF OCTOBER
* please meet at the start time in order to get to the field
Where: meet at the apple tree by the school parking lot
Questions: contact Tessa Schmidt or Linda Park
Looking forward to getting together!
Thank you very much,
Hawthorne Valley Farm Team
Don't forget to check out our Community News and Classifieds page for more community announcements!

Click here to make a submission.
Hawthorne Valley is a diverse non-profit 501(c)3 organization committed to social and cultural renewal through the integration of education, agriculture, and the arts. Initiatives include:

Waldorf School | Farm | Farm StoreFarmscape Ecology Program |Children's Programs PBLC| Center for Social Research | Alkion Center | Adonis Press  | Walking the dog Theater I Place Corps at Hawthorne Valley

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330 County Route 21C
Ghent, NY 12075

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