By Sadie Williams
and Sheri Duff
The ribbon cutting ceremony for the Lake Champlain Waldorf High School held on Monday, Sept. 8 in Shelburne was a joyous occasion, as it celebrated not only the opening of the new school, but Lake Champlain Waldorf’s 30th anniversary. A drum parade led by teacher Mashobane Moruthane and a beautiful rendition of Owl City’s “Fireflies,” sung by the high school students, kicked off the brief ceremony before parents, grandparents, friends, staff, and teachers at the Lake Champlain Waldorf School celebrated the opening of the new high school campus.
Designed by David Pill of Pill-Maharam Architects and built by DEW Construction Corp., the 14,000 square foot post and beam high school building was completed on budget and on time for the first day of school.
Waldorf School Humanities Teacher Mary Collins’ welcome to those in attendance was followed by a special address by Nell Coogan. The current Waldorf School board member reminisced about the school’s history, offering a detailed account of its various locations, from its origins in space rented from Trinity Church to its present day campuses. Coogan then introduced Board Chair Josh Simonds, who thanked everyone for their efforts. At one point in his speech, Simonds was interrupted by a loud buzzer, and someone shouting, “time’s up!” Simonds humorously explained that the bell had been relocated from the creamery building in Charlotte, which housed the old high school. Last in the line-up of speakers was Maureen Wheeler, co-chair of the capital campaign, who introduced architect David Pill and warmly commended him to the crowd. “He’s my hero,” she said.
As the speeches ended, the crowd was led up the dirt road to the entrance of the building by a student and alumni four piece band nestled in the back of a pick-up truck. Once everyone was settled under the shade of the large tree in the roundabout driveway at the entrance, a pair of large, silver scissors was produced, and the ribbon cutting commenced. One elementary school student exclaimed, “There’re a million ribbons!” Of course, there were only three, one for present students and alumni Kate Sherrer, Sarah White, and Henry Jamison Root respectively, one for teacher Elena Baba and grandparent Brenda Bisbee, and a final ribbon for David Pill and Josh Simonds.
The ceremonies closed with a self-guided tour of the school, as well as copious refreshments, flourless chocolate cupcakes, massive platters of cheese, apple pies, and fresh apples. Students, parents, and faculty roamed the warmly lit halls of the new building. The afternoon light bouncing off the timbered ceilings and walls, accompanied by the pitch of young voices and quick feet, made one feel like school was already in full swing.