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School News



Global Destination Imagination

At this year's Global Destination Imagination there were 900 teams competing from all the states and 15 foreign countries--the largest Global Finals ever. These are the gifted and talented from all over the world, competing to see who developed the best solution to their challenge.

Our Upper School Girls, "How'd that Happen", Acting challenge, won 7th place over
all and won a DaVinci award for outstanding creativity. This was the only time the State of Iowa was recognized at the awards ceremony. This team--Tegan Perry, Molly Brooks, Angela Folz, Suzannah Schindler, Serena Stakland, Minca Borg, and Ella Hall--has won an award for creativity at all levels of competition, Regional, State, and Global. The team manager was Ron Perry.

Upper School Boys--Donnie Chell, Owen Stowe, Ace Boothby, Nathaniel Alexander, Mike Dearborn, Benji Jones, Tye Huggins--with "Kidz Rulz", 1/2 technical, 1/2 acting challenge, won 9th place over all. They won their instant challenge in their division, out of 60 teams.

Middle School Girls--Coco Clark, Tamasina Eagleson, Pandy Wadsworth, Danielle Briggs, Penelope Makeig--“How’d That Happen”, acting challenge, came 13th overall. Team manager: Sue Briggs.

Middle School Boys--BG  Court, Eric Caplan, Dominic Borg, Holden Ketterhagen, Ryan Stakland, Toby James, Paul DeAngelis--"Inside Dimension", structure building challenge, came 14th
overall. Their 14 gram balsa wood structure held 315 pounds. Team manager: Maricela Stakland.

Upper School Girls--Mira Moore, Talia Winningham, Nofiya Denbaum, Emily Wofford, Anjali Krystofiak, Julia Ross--"On Safari", improv challenge, came 30th overall. Team manager: Mara Winningham.

Congratulations and deep appreciation for all the creativity, time, and hard work of each student and every parent of the Global Final kids.

Education Tour Creates Huge Demand for Transcendental Meditation Program in Schools

US Peace Government president Dr. John Hagelin and a renowned panel of educators and scientists have now completed their extremely successful national tour to promote Consciousness-BasedSM education and the impact of the Transcendental Meditation® program on educational outcomes. Read more.


Retrospective of Work by Greg Thatcher Is Now Open at Unity Gallery

The "Greg Thatcher Retrospective 1979-2006" is now open at the Unity Gallery in the Library of Maharishi University of Management. The exhibit continues through May 27.

The art work in the exhibit spans almost 30 years and includes a variety of media, but the goal of the work has remained the same. Mr. Thatcher says, "I try to create a spacial structure and rhythm that encourages the viewer to move through the recognizable into the abstract essence of everything."

Works in the exhibit range from early abstract painting and prints to hand-made paper pieces, drawings, and mixed media. The majority of work in the show relates to the landscape in its many forms including his current yew tree series.

For those wanting to learn more about the artist's work, Mr. Thatcher will take visitors on a walk though his exhibit on Saturday, May 13, at 1:00 p.m.

There will be a closing celebration in the gallery on Saturday, May 27, at 1:00 p.m.

Mr. Thatcher has exhibited his work in the United States and abroad. His artis also represented in many private collections.

Unity Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 9:45 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and 7:15-9:00 p.m., Saturday, 9:45 a.m.-4:00 p.m., and Sunday, 7:15-9:00 p.m.

For more information, please call (641) 472-7000, ext. 5035.

View retrospective catalog.

Read article about the grant received for the exhibition catalog.


Carolyn L. Waksman Receives National Honor Roll Outstanding American Teachers Award 2006

Maharishi School is proud to announce that our Upper School Photography teacher, Mrs. Carolyn L. Waksman B.A. has been nominated and will receive the “National Honor Roll Outstanding American Teachers Award” for 2005-06.

The honor will be given in a certificate of commendation, the 2005-06 National Honor Roll Publication, with notification to the governor, U.S. senators, and all school principals in Iowa.

“The award recognizes educators who have made a positive difference in the lives of their students. The National Honor Roll believes that the future is in the hands of our children and that the teachers who help their students reach their full potential make the greatest contribution to society.”

Congratulations, Carolyn!


Maharishi Upper School Students Win 14 Art and Photography Awards at the 2006 Superconference

Maharishi Upper School students entered 15 works and came away with 14 awards from the 2006 Southeast Iowa Superconference Art Show in Mt. Pleasant. The conference was held on March 28th at Wesleyan College.

The students entered their work into the contest, and then participated in workshops taught by professional art teachers. The rest of the day was spent at the University of Iowa Art Museum to view their current exhibit, master oil paintings and permanent works of African Art. Read more

Maharishi School’s Destination Imagination teams to attend Global Finals in Tennessee, May 23-26, 2006.

Out of a total of sixteen teams that will represent Iowa at the Destination Imagination (DI) Global Finals to be held at the University of Tennessee May 23-26, five are from Maharishi School.  Even after the departure of Mark Headlee, who, for over a decade, was renowned as the “winningest coach in DI history,” Maharishi School continues as a powerhouse in this competition.  The teams are now under the guidance of Mark Wilkins.

More than 8,000 students, from all over the United States and many foreign countries, will compete at Global Finals. (read more)

Consciousness-Based Education Promoted in a Dozen Cities

Following the very successful college tours of David Lynch last fall, a group speakers will visit 13 cities around the country in April and May to promote the use of Consciousness-Based education in schools nationwide.

The speakers will include University and Maharishi School scientists and educators John Hagelin, Ashley Deans, Fred Travis, and Alarik Arenander. Also speaking will be Washington, D.C., school principal George H. Rutherford and ADHD researcher Sarina Grosswald. Rounding out the forum will be neurologist Gary Kaplan, M.D., and cardiologist Cesar Molina, M.D.

"These are tremendous speakers who will have great impact wherever they go,"
said Molly Cutter, direction of the Expansion Office at Maharishi School and one of the organizers of tour.

Ms. Cutter said that there's been a tremendous upsurge in interest in Consciousness-Based education in recent months. In particular, current research on the use of the Transcendental Meditation program to help
children overcome ADHD has been making national news.

At each of the cities there will be a press conference in the morning, followed by a luncheon from noon–3:00 p.m. for educators and health experts. The focus will be the proven success of Consciousness-Based education, information on how to start Consciousness-Based schools, and introducing experts and educators to the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation program.

Maharishi School Director Ashley Deans, who has recently published a book about Maharishi School and Consciousness-Based education, will speak about his book and about the extraordinary achievements of the Maharishi School students.

Ms. Cutter said an anticipated outcome is enrolling more students in Maharishi School as word spreads about the quality of education the School offers. Already students have been coming from other cities and countries to soon begin a full-fledged boarding school.

She said the School's new Expansion Office has been extremely busy fielding requests for information, which is now being made available via a new website and DVD. In addition, the School is now offering Visitors Days to coincide with the University's Visitors Weekends.

Noah Caplan qualifies for USA Math Olympiad

Congratulations to Noah Caplan, who has qualified to take the USA Math Olympiad. This is a 9-hour, 6-question exam to determine the team that will represent the United States in the international Math Olympiad.

Noah is one of about 350 students from across the country that qualified to compete at this level. He achieved this honor by first taking the American Mathematics Competition (25 problems in 90 minutes) where he scored 126.5.

Those who scored above 120 (about 23,000 students) were invited to take the American Invitational Math Exam (15 problems in 3 hours). The average score on this exam was 2.71. Noah's score of 11 was the highest in the state of Iowa.

The USA Math Olympiad, in which Noah will be competing, takes place this Tuesday and Wednesday, April 18 and 19, at Maharishi School. Approximately 15 minutes before the starting time of 11:30 am, a proctor downloads the exam from the Olympiad website and then administers the test. Good luck Noah!!!


Atish Dey wins prestigious, full tuition scholarship for National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine

Atish Dey has won a full tuition scholarship to the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine, based on his academic achievements and a 500 word essay on Medical Genetics. He is registered to go to Houston, Baylor Medical College and Texas A&M, from 09 July-18 July, 2006.

Founded in 1992, the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF), http://www.nylf.org/index.cfm, is a tuition-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit educational organization established to help prepare extraordinary young people for their professional careers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., its mission is to bring various professions to life, empowering outstanding young people with confidence to make well-informed career choices. NYLF programs are held in nine cities throughout the United States.

Forums are offered in a wide variety of career fields, such as defense, intelligence, diplomacy, law, medicine and technology. Over 50,000 high school and university students have attended NYLF programs. Participants are nominated to attend a program by educators, organization advisors, alumni, and participating institutions or through classroom surveys. Students may also be admitted through an application process. Program participants all demonstrate strong academic abilities, leadership and a strong interest in the career field being studied. NYLF is funded through student tuition and is proud to offer need-based scholarships.

This is the first time that a Maharishi School student has been given the full cash award.

Congratulations to ALL Destination Imagination Teams

At the State Competition on Monday, out of 117 teams competing, the Maharishi School Teams won:
5 First Place (these teams go on to Global Finals)
2 Second Place
1 Third Place
1 Fourth Place

The five teams representing Maharishi School and the State of Iowa at Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee, in May include the following people:

Senior Level Acting Challenge:  Tegan Perry, Molly Brooks, Ana Folz, Suzy Schindler, Ella Hall,
Serena Stakland, Minca Borg.  This team also won a team Renaissance Award for outstanding creativity

Senior Level Improv Challenge:  Julia Ross, Ani Krystofiak, Talia Winningham, Emily Wofford, Mira Moore, Nofi Denbaum

Senior Level ½ and ½ Challenge:  Ace Boothby, Owen Stowe, Donnie Chell, Benji Jones, Mike Dearborn, Nathaniel Alexander,Tye Huggins

Middle Level Acting Challenge:  Danielle Briggs,  Coco Clark, Penelope Makeig, Pandy Wadsworth,
Tama Eagleson

Middle Level Structure Challenge:  Eric Caplan, BG Court, Dominic Borg, Holden Ketterhagen, Ryan Stakland, Paul DeAngelis, Toby James

Maharishi School Students and Faculty Attend David Lynch Weekend

March 24-26, 2006, Maharishi University of Management held a unique weekend conference, “Exploring the Frontiers of Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain,” hosted by award-winning film director, writer, and producer, Dr. David Lynch, and renowned quantum physicist, Dr. John Hagelin.  Also performing at the weekend was legendary musician, singer, and songwriter, Donovan. 

Almost 1,000 people attended this weekend, which was profound, inspiring, and completely enjoyable for both meditators and non-meditators alike, who came from around the United States and the world, to hear these great leaders in their fields.

Both Maharishi School students and faculty, along with many members of the Fairfield community enjoyed this extraordinary weekend, in which Dr. Lynch was presented with a City Declaration by the Mayor of Fairfield, Mr. Ed Molloy. A special performance was given by Donovan on Sunday night just for the Fairfield community.

Other speakers at the conference included Dr. Fred Travis, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management; Sarina Grosswald, Ed.D., president of the SJ Grosswald & Associates; Director, Continuing Medical Education, American Medical Women’s Association; Project Dirctor, ADHD research, Kingsbury Day School, Washington, D.C.; and George Rutherford, Ph.D., principal of the Ideal Academy Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., and previous principal of the Fletcher-Johnson Education Center in Washington, D.C. for 30 years.  Consciousness-Based education has been introduced into both these schools.

On Sunday morning, Maharishi also addressed the conference, telling all the students present that they should follow the advice of these great scientists and artists of our time and get into the study of Consciousness-Based education and the Transcendental Meditation technique. It was announced that a special "Summer of Peace" program would be held at MUM over the summer, for one week, one month or two months, depending for how long students would like to come.

For further information and complete coverage of this weekend, please visit www.lynchweekend.org, where the presentations are available on-line.

Students Win at Science Fair

Last Saturday, 19 eighth grade students from Maharishi School participated in the Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fair, Junior Division.  Our students brought home a total of 15 awards and $375 in cash awards. The junior division of the fair is open to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from the eastern half of the state of Iowa. There were 197 students from 17 schools participating in the junior division of the fair this year.

Congratulations to the following students who won awards:

Discovery Young Scientist Challenge Awards, sponsored by the Discovery Channel. These winners are now eligible to compete in a national competition: Gabrielle Hathaway, Suzanne Seehusen, Phoebe Jones

Biological Division – Class 1, Blue Ribbon--$50 cash awards: Gabrielle Hathaway, Suzanne Seehusen, Gabrielle Lamoureaux

Physical Division – Class 1, Blue Ribbon--$50 cash awards: Rose Hoffman, Phoebe Jones

Biological Division – Class 2, Red Ribbon: Sophia Blitz

Physical Division – Class 2, Red Ribbon: Jay Stuart

Biological Division, Individual Projects, Honorable Mention: Holly Armstrong, Ariana Lisefski.

The following students also received special awards:

Matt Fleshman – Sigma Tau Award

Gabrielle Hathaway – Isaac Walton Award and the Sierra Club Award for an outstanding environmental/conservation project (includes $50 cash award).

District History Day Awards

Maharishi School 7th graders competed against students from 7 other school districts in the District History Day this week. Our students placed in 5 out of 7 categories in which they competed. Congratulations to the following students who will be going on to the State History Day in April with their projects:

Atreya Dey: Exhibit on Rachel Carson, “ Taking A Stand Against Pollution”

Wesley Folz:  Documentary entitled “Eric H. Liddell: The Christian Runner Takes An Olympic Stand”

Lila Cutter and Dodi Paige Thiel: Documentary “The Tiananmen Square Protest of 1989”

Ryan Stakland and Toby Walker: Performance entitled “Taking the Stand: The Scopes Monkey Trial”

Hillel Costeff: Historical paper entitled “Galileo Galilei: The Man Who Took A Stand for the Stars”

Mathcounts Competition

Congratulations to eighth grader Sophia Blitz who represented Maharishi School at the State Mathcounts Competition last Friday. Sophia earned her way to State by placing second in the individual Chapter Competition in Ottumwa last month.

Spring Celebration, March 20, 2006

The annual Spring Celebration, hosted by Maharishi School, was a great success on Monday night. The Upper School Boys Jazz Ensemble provided delightful entertainment, and the following four outstanding individuals were honored with Maharishi Awards:

Dr. Jim Buck, exemplary medical practitioner in Fairfield

Sgt. David Thomas, dedicated Fairfield police officer in charge of the canine unit.

Mr. Ken Roseboro, editor and publisher of “The Non-GMO Report”, a monthly newsletter that helps food producers respond to the challenges of genetically engineered foods.

Mrs. Mary Tarnoff, inspiring Science teacher at Maharishi School

Another State Winner

Upper Elementary student, Brandon Prather-Huff, won third place at the State swimming finals. His back stroke qualified to go to State through the Fairfield Parks and Recreation swim team. Congratulations Brandon!

Ryan Smelcer Named Iowa Geographic Bee Semifinalist by
National Geographic Society

Ryan Smelcer, a 6th grade student in the Upper Elementary Boys’ class is the first student from Maharishi School ever to place in the top 100 state qualifiers. Geography Bees were held in schools with 6th through 8th graders throughout the State to determine each school’s Geographic Bee winner. Ryan qualified to represent Maharishi School, where he won the School Geography Bee.

School-level winners then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. In each of the 50 states and in the territories, the National Geographic Society invited students with the top scores to compete at the state level.

Ryan will compete at the 2006 Iowa Geographic Bee at Drake University on Friday, March 31st. The State winner will then represent Iowa in the national finals at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 23-24th. The State winner will receive $100 and the trip to Washington, D.C. The national winner will receive a $25,000 college scholarship. Congratulations Ryan and Good Luck at State!

Four More National Photography Awards

The 2006 Texas A&M University-Commerce Third Floor Photographic Society High School Shoot-Out was held during the ATPI winter conference in Austin, Texas. The annual contest is sponsored by the Third Floor Photographic Society, a student organization of the University’s Photography Division. The Texas A&M Photography Division is widely recognized as the best photography program in the southwest.

There were 2,560 prints entered from 37 high schools. The judges acknowledged the high quality of work entered. “The competition was incredible!” they said. Also, the high level of design, composition, and conceptualization involved in the imagery impressed the judges tremendously.

Maharishi Upper School photography students received four national awards. The winning students are:

2nd Place—First year-Black and White: Lane Weaver; Grade 10 “The Microphone" (developed, printed and sepia toned by the student in the Dark Room)

2nd Place—All years, Sports, Color: David Fulcher; Grade 10 “Moving Snowboard”

3rd Place—All years, Open, Color: Molly Brooks; Grade 12 “Textured Mirror”

Honorable Mention—First year, Color: Toby Briggs; Grade 11 “Sign”

Mrs. Carolyn L. Waksman, B.A., is the Maharishi Upper School photography teacher.

Congratulations to you all!
See Photos »


Regional Destination Imagination Competition
March 4, 2006

Maharishi School had nine teams present at the Regional Destination Imagination competitions. Of eight teams in one regional competition, seven won first place and one a second place.

There were two boys teams and two girls teams on the Senior Level, two girls and one boys team in the Middle Level, and one boys team at the Elementary Level.

All eight teams qualified for the state competition, and one of the senior girls teams received the only special award given at the competition—the Da Vinci award for exceptional creativity.

The state competition takes place Monday, March 27, at Grinnell, Iowa. From there, only first-placed teams go on to the Global competition in May in Knoxville, TN.


Maharishi School Goes Solar!

In January 2006, a 1.1 kilowatt solar electric power system was installed in Maharishi School’s courtyard, funded by a $15,000 Solar 4 R Schools grant from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) of Portland, Oregon. This new system of six solar panels will supply part of the School’s energy requirements.

The project also implements a renewable energy curriculum “Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic and Renewable Energy” for Middle and Upper School students to educate them on the specifics and benefits of solar electric (photovoltaic) power. Read More »


School Basketball Star Sofia Iwobi Commits to University of Vermont

Green and gold have been lucky colors for Maharishi School star forward Sofia Iwobi, who recently signed a letter of intent to accept a four-year basketball scholarship offer from the University of Vermont, an NCAA Division I school.

“When people ask me why I picked Vermont, I always say it’s because they have the same school colors as Maharishi School — I can keep my tennis shoes,” she jokes.

Ms. Iwobi has a lot to be happy about. So far this season, she is averaging over 20 points a game, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and 8 steals. She is making 55 percent of her field goal attempts and over 67 percent of her free throws.

Pioneer coach Brendan Higgins puts her performance into perspective: “She leads the state in steals. She leads the state in rebounds. She has a high scoring average. Sofia is a complete player. Not only is she strong in both defensive and offensive skills, but if you look at her shooting, that in itself is also very well-rounded. She can catch and shoot a three-pointer. She can create a three-point shot off the dribble. She can make a medium range jump-shot off a dribble from the left or from the right, and she can take it to the basket. Her entire game is well-rounded.”

Vermont Catamounts Coach Kate Cronin, a former WNBA assistant coach and former Catamount team captain, is eager to have Ms. Iwobi on the team. “Sofia has all the key ingredients to be a terrific player at UVM. She is a very gifted athlete, is a tireless worker, and truly loves the game of basketball. We expect her to make an immediate contribution to our program. She is a true student of the game and a standout person. UVM is very fortunate to have Sofia joining our team.”

Ms. Iwobi is equally enthusiastic about the University of Vermont, which competes at the Division I level in the America East Conference. “I really like the team. I won’t be alone there,” she said. Ms. Iwobi passed up scholarships from Rutgers and the University of Denver, much bigger schools, in favor of the more familiar small town atmosphere of UVM. “Vermont has about 10,000 students. The community is about the same size as Fairfield.”

The school’s academic program also attracted Sofia. In 2004–05, Vermont won its second America East Academic Cup in a decade with a cumulative grade-point average among the student-athletes of 3.14, the highest in conference history.

Maharishi School academic counselor Cheryl Carter commented, “Most people know Sofia as an outstanding gifted athlete; I know her also as an excellent student, with clear goals and a strong sense of purpose. She has a lively, down-to-earth personality, and she’s kind and cordial to everyone around her. It’s a great combination for leadership. The University of Vermont will be fortunate to have her in their academic environment as well as on their basketball team.”

Maharishi School Wins Five International Photography Awards

Maharishi Middle and Upper School photography students have been honored with five international awards this year in the 2006 PIEA (Photo Imaging Educational Association) International Photography Competition. The PIEA is a world wide organization and a division of the PMA (Photo Marketing Association) that helps photography teachers teach, educate, and exhibit student and faculty work. The competition is one of the largest photography competitions in the world. This year there was a record total of 5,915 images entered by 1330 entrants from 101 school world wide. Read More »

See Photos »

Speech Competition

Maharishi School took two teams to the Iowa High School District Speech Competition in Danville, IA, Saturday, January 21, 2006.

The girls' team entered the Musical Theater category with their piece "Just So," a selection of music and scenes from the fairly new musical of the same title by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The musical is based on Rudyard Kipling's "Just So Stories," which tell the stories of how the animals acquired their individual characteristics, such as the Elephant getting her trunk. The team included Bagambhrini Gerace, Jessica Pollack, and Ali Swigart.

The boys' team entered in the Radio Broadcasting category with their original recording of a news broadcast, which included both local and national news as well as a few commericals, just to make things interesting. The boys, Nathaniel Alexander, David Fulcher, and Lane Weaver, made excellent use not only of their writing skills, but their acting skills as well, by creating memorable characters who were interviewed at appropriate points throughout the broadcast. The judge was impressed with the flow and pace of their broadcast and felt that the team had gotten off to a great start.

Both teams received a Division I rating which means that they competed at the State Competition in Pella, IA, on February 4, 2006. Both the boys' team and the girls' team did very well. Two of the three judges gave them both a rating of 1, and that awarded them an overall rating of 1. Although this meant that both teams were eligible for an All-State nomination, neither team was nominated. Both teams did an excellent job, however, and we are very proud of the work they did.

The students will be representing Maharishi School at the All-State Festival in Ames on February 18th, when they will return the Radio Broadcasting banner that our school won at last year's festival.

The girls' team also competed at the Super Conference level earlier in January and placed first in their category.

Three National Photography Awards

Maharishi School came away with three national awards in the 2005 Association of Texas Photography Teachers National Fall Photography Contest in Arlington, Texas.

Over 50 schools from Texas, Iowa, Missouri, and Indiana entered images into the contest, and five judges viewed over 3,000 prints—the largest number of entries in the contest’s history.

There were 320 students that came away as winners in 36 categories. 

Maharishi School winners included:

Third Place in Beginning B/W Portrait, Ella Hall, grade 11

Honorable Mention in Beginning Color Still Life, Camille Morehead, grade 10

Honorable Mention in Beginning Color Nature, David Boyle, grade 10.
See Photos »

Violin Student Receives Honors

For the second year in a row, Maharishi School junior Anjali Krystofiak was selected by the Iowa High School Music Association (IHSMA) to participate as a violinist in the All-State Orchestra.

Forty eight top high school violinists from the region auditioned, and 16 were selected for the orchestra. Lee Anne Blackmore, a sophomore at Maharishi School, was selected as the first alternate violinist.

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