Congratulations to our Co-Ed Middle School Cross Country team who ended their season earlier this week. They had a tremendous season and the girls earned a third place trophy in the league finals this week.
Our Middle School Girls’ Volleyball team also finished up their season with a great win vs Synapse and their last game against Hausner. I’m so proud of everyone and happy to witness their growth. I hope this season helped our players develop a strong passion for volleyball.
The Middle School Golf Team has a league tournament next week and its great to see them continue to improve weekly!
Our HS Girls’ Volleyball team had a fantastic 3 – 0 win over Liberty Baptist earlier this week, and closed out their season last night against Kahn Labs last night with another 3 – 0 win! Congratulations to our team and our two senior players, Maya & Frejya! Great season everyone!
by Ashley Brickeen | N – Grade 8 Admissions Director & Member of the DEIJ Committee
What is DEIJ?
DEIJ stands for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. Put simply, it means working to create a space where everyone sees themselves reflected in our community and where our community enjoys the benefits of each person’s ability to participate fully, creating a sense of true belonging.
WSP’s vibrant and diverse community of people come from all over the world. We have families representing every major religion, with ties to every continent. Our community has families in all shapes and sizes with family members with different gender identities and orientations.
What is the DEIJ Corner?
WSP’s DEIJ committee meets weekly to plan professional development workshops, study related topics and work on projects related to DEIJ. In the DEIJ Corner, we will report to the community on our work, share resources, and provide information.
This month we are spotlighting the local group, Girls Leadership. They were founded in Oakland in 2008; and offer workshops, professional development and classes for students from K-12th grade as well as adults. Many of their materials are offered for free, such as SEL (social-emotional learning) check-in materials or their workshop on Belonging in Basketball, offered through a partnership with the WNBA.
I’ve found their Bias Intervention and Developing Culturally Responsive Mindsets workshops particularly useful for my work at WSP. As a parent, I’m currently taking a Girl & GrownUp class with my daughter about friendship, managing conflict, learning to set boundaries, and find her own voice. I’ve found this one to be helpful, not only by providing skill sets, but also by creating a space for us to talk about some of the social challenges she is facing.
Keep an eye out for future updates from WSP’s DEIJ committee in our DEIJ corner. If you have any suggestions for resources or comments, please contact us via email.
by Señora Geraldine Strub | Spanish Teacher for grades 1-8
Celebrating El Día de los Muertos at the Waldorf School of the Peninsula is a cherished tradition. I have a deep connection to this holiday, and will lead the celebration this year. The school joins in the joyful celebration of the Day of the Dead, which takes place over three days; the multi-day holiday beginning on October 31 (All Hallow’s Eve), continuing on November 1 (Día de los Inocentes, or All Saints Day), and ending November 2 (Día de los Difuntos, or All Souls Day). It is celebrated in Mexico and beyond as a vibrant tribute to those who have passed away and a time to pay respects to our dearly departed.
My roots are in Mexico, and I share my childhood memories of the Day of the Dead, especially those moments with my grandmother, filled with the sights and aromas of the occasion, not to mention the delicious food.
El Día de los Muertos is a tapestry of Indigenous, Pre-Hispanic, and Spanish/Catholic traditions passed down through generations. It is a time when the boundary between the living and the deceased blurs, allowing loved ones who have passed on to visit once more. Traditional decorations include papel picado, symbolizing the wind, one of the elements of life, and sugar skulls, representing the departed souls. Marigolds, known as Cempasúchil in Aztec culture, have a strong connection to this holiday, dating back to Aztec funeral rituals.
Leading up to El Día de los Muertos at the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, students immerse themselves in the festival’s history and significance while crafting their own ofrendas (offerings for loved ones) and bringing some from home. These ofrendas are lovingly placed on the school altar, which serves as a symbol of celebration and remembrance, not a religious artifact. Students visit the altar, savor pan de muerto (bread adorned with sugar), and tenderly present their offerings to honor their loved ones.
Forms of celebration vary, but typically an altar is set up in a home and laden with offerings to help the dead on their journey. The altar usually contains three levels representing heaven, earth, and the underworld, and can include items representing the four elements—water to quench thirst, fire in the form of candles to light the way, wind represented by incense from copal tree resin, and earth with food for sustenance on the journey.
The fascinating coincidence of the monarch butterfly’s 3,000-mile migration to Mexico aligns with El Día de los Muertos, and some believe these butterflies represent the souls of departed loved ones returning.
Whether celebrated at the school or elsewhere, El Día de los Muertos is a day to revere and remember the deceased, ensuring that they remain in our hearts and are never forgotten. During times of collective loss and separation, this celebration holds special significance for the school’s students, families, and community, as it reminds us to cherish and honor those who have left us.
Leona joined WSP this fall as our Middle and High School Athletics Director. She has a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Pacific Union College and is currently completing graduate studies in Sports Management at the University of San Francisco. Before coaching basketball throughout the Bay Area, Leona has played basketball overseas and in college.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Leona recently to learn more about her:
Q: When did you first become interested in organized sports or athletics?
A: I have been told I always had a ball in my hands. At age eleven I joined my first basketball team and at age thirteen was playing at higher levels.
Q: What brought you to the Bay Area?
A: I transferred to a local college during the pandemic to complete my degree in Exercise Science.
Q: How did you decide to pursue that program for your degree?
A: As a lifelong athlete I have always been interested in the biomechanics of the body, athletics, injury prevention, fitness, and health.
Q: What brought you to WSP’s Athletics Program?
A: I have an interest in impacting the athletic field by focusing on being an Athletic Director for students and am excited to work with both our coaches and our athletes.
Q: How can WSP parents help support Athletics?
A: Parents at WSP can have a positive impact in athletics. Students need external motivation and families are the best ones to provide that for their child. Parents can support the athletic department by attending all games, modeling good behavior, and being encouraging. It makes sports more fun and meaningful when you have a positive support system. WSP Athletics appreciates all your help and dedication!
Q: What else would you like our community to know about you?
A: I am looking to grow our program! I’ve begun with adding a basketball tournament for our high school athletes for the first time. We are also adding activities for each of our athletic teams so they and their families can get to know each other and the coaches better. We have brought back the use of the TeamSnap app for our athletes’ families to stay connected and experience better communication sharing with the teams. We are planning improvements to the Athletics Program portion of the school website, and refreshing some of our uniforms. (author’s note: and this is just her first month!)