Daily Archives: October 1, 2011

October 2011


1 SATs at Burr and Burton

5 Macbeth Alive Project, Riley Center for the Arts, 6:30 pm

6 Junior Parent College Night,  Rowland Center, 7 pm

10 Columbus Day – No School

12 Senior Workshops PLAN and PSAT, 8:00 -11:30 am

20 Calliope Café, Rowland Center, 6:30 pm

21 Grandparents and Special Friends Day

22 ACTs at Burr and Burton

26 End of the marking period

27-28 Midterm exams. Dismissal at 12:35 pm


From the Headmaster

Life imitates football
In the second game of the season, our football team lost a heartbreaker in overtime. With the score tied 6-6, we had the ball on our opponents’ five-yard line with less than a minute left in the game, and didn’t get the ball into the end zone. A crushing defeat. The following week, trailing by a point with a minute left in the game and the opposing team with the ball on our five-yard line, Coach Thomas told his players to let the other team score a touchdown. Our Bulldogs then stopped the two-point conversion, thereby keeping the deficit to 7 points, received the kick-off and drove down the field to tie the score with two seconds left on the clock. The game went into overtime, and this time, we emerged victorious–a gutsy, hard fought, nerve-wracking win.

Life imitates soccer
Last year, our boys varsity soccer team was 2-14. This year, we are 7-0 and have outscored our opponents 26-2.  Same uniforms, same team, but a year older and wiser and tougher.

Winners figure out how to learn from their losses. Winners take the bitter pill of defeat and use it as motivation. Winners rise and overcome the obstacles that are in front of them.

Study after study demonstrates that the formula for success–on the sports field, in school, in life–is fairly simple: refuse to lose. Call it grit, call it tenacity, call it resilience, but our best students commit themselves in the classroom in the same way that our athletes commit themselves on the sports field. Our best students don’t know all the answers, but they seek out extra help from our teachers so they can learn the answers. And our best students have parents who pay as much attention to their schoolwork–and cheer as loudly for success–as our fans cheer on the sidelines of athletic contests.

I am proud of how ALL our sports teams have started off this school year, and I am proud of how we as a school have started off. Please cheer for your students and help them come back from their defeats.

Mark H. Tashjian


From the Advancement Office

With the fall foliage color starting to show, it’s a reminder to all of our parents and friends of the school that we are just about to launch the Annual Giving Campaign!  While some of you are groaning and saying, “Not again”, we are excited about the start of this season. Why? Because we have such a great story to tell about Burr and Burton Academy, and all that the annual fund helps provide to enrich the student experience here at our school.

Let me share just a few examples of what last year’s hugely successful Annual Giving Campaign has provided to YOUR student:

  1. School subsidized SAT test preparation classes last spring
  2. A new “Cultural Enrichment Fund” to bring visiting artists and experts into the classroom and curriculum
  3. Improvements to the BBA Observatory with a new telescope and an active Astronomy Club (one of many)
  4. First Annual Gawlik Awards showcasing student achievement in filmmaking and honoring a beloved teacher, Brian Gawlik
  5. Upgrades to the Riley Center for the Arts to provide four simulcasts of Metropolitan Opera performances this school year
  6. Scholarships for prom tickets, field trip expenses, dance shoes, clothing and more for students who may need a little financial help

While many take it for granted that the sending town pays the tuition of your student to Burr and Burton, what we charge for tuition does not cover the cost of all that is provided. With support from the annual fund, we can offer so much more to all students at Bur and Burton Academy.

We have many contributors to the annual fund including our board of trustees (100% participation), alumni, businesses, past and current parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, and friends of the school who are joined by one common denominator – they believe in the value of a great education. As a parent, you have an important interest in our success because your student is the one who benefits from the many different programs and opportunities offered at Burr and Burton.

So watch for the Annual Giving Campaign brochure which should reach your mailbox in mid-October. We’ve featured three accomplished students who reflect on all of the opportunities that have been provided to them as a Burr and Burton student. Please give as generously as you can and encourage other parents to do the same. It’s all about participation and support of the education of your student.

Cynthia Gubb
Director of Advancement

Grandparents and Special Friends Day

Invitations are in the mail for Grandparents and Special Friends day on October 21, 2011. We’ve posted the information to our web site where you can also find an online registration form. Information can be found at www.burrburton.org/grandparentsday.  If we don’t have the address of your student’s grandparents and you know they would like to get an invitation, there is still time to get one out to them. Call or email Nancy Brown in the Advancement office at 802-549-8110 or nbrown@burrburton.org.

We have a really great program planned for our special guests on the 21st, culminating in a lunch date with your student. Please encourage grandparents or special friends to participate.

Tropical Storm Irene Relief Fund Grants Available Now
The Tropical Storm Irene Relief Fund has received donations of approximately $35,000 over the past several weeks and grant applications are now being accepted from community members who need assistance. The grant application forms have been distributed to the town offices of all the sending towns, local nonprofit organizations, and other community venues, and can be downloaded from the school’s website www.burrburton.org/Tropical Storm Irene Relief Efforts

Relief grants in increments of $250 or $500 will be given in the form of gift cards to local businesses. Grants to pay for other services, such as contractors, will also be considered. For more information, please contact one of the following at Burr and Burton:  Ben Freeman bfreeman@burrburton.org  (802-549-8279), Cindy Gubb cgubb@burrburton.org (802-549-8201), or Lani Lovisa llovisa@burrburton.org (802-549-8275).


Food for Thought

Burr and Burton  has teamed up with the Northshire Bookstore and Spiral Press Café to offer students and faculty the exciting opportunity to read, listen, and connect. The program, Food For Thought, is intended to encourage pleasure reading: three or more students with at least one adult select a book to read together. The school will purchase the books for the group through Northshire Bookstore. Once the group has finished reading their book, they then have lunch at the Spiral Press Café to discuss the book. Spiral Press and Northshire Bookstore are providing a discount, and Burr and Burton is paying all expenses.

“This is a terrific opportunity for students and teachers to share the joy of reading and discussing great books,” said Headmaster Mark Tashjian. “As an added bonus, they get to do this over a nice meal at one of the top lunch spots in town. Such a deal!”

“We are thrilled to be a part of this partnership,” said Northshire Bookstore’s Nancy Scheemaker, “and very excited for everyone who is participating in these newly forming reading groups.”


From the Foreign Languages Department

On October 13, 20 students from Wirtemberg Gymnasium, our sister school in Stuttgart, Germany, will arrive in Manchester with their teacher. This is the 29th year of this wonderful partnership.

The group will be here for 16 days. During that time, the German students will be living with host families and attending classes at Burr and Burton. There are many events planned for the group, including an afternoon on the ropes course, tailgating before a home football game, and pumpkin carving at the Equinox Hotel.

Burr and Burton students will complete the exchange by traveling to Germany for three weeks in June. In addition to traveling around Germany, our students will stay with their partner in Stuttgart for two weeks and attend classes at the Wirtemberg Gymnasium.

Foreign Language Conversation Groups at Mark Skinner Library

Sprechen sie deutsch? Parlez-vous français? Habla espanol? Brush up on your foreign language conversation skills at Mark Skinner Library. Burr and Burton and MSL are teaming up again to host conversation groups in German, French, and Spanish. Three groups meet the 2nd and 4th weeks of each month, October-May. German begins Wednesday, October 12, at 7 pm; French, Thursday, October 13 at 7 pm; and Spanish, Friday, October 14, at 3 pm.

Spanish speakers also have an evening option on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 pm, starting October 11. Burr and Burton’s foreign language teachers Barb Miceli, Michelle Emery, Sue Ritchie, and Erin Gilligan along with teacher Lizzy Lindenberg from Maple Street School will keep the meetings lively. These meetings are not lessons, but rather opportunities to practice conversation skills. Most meetings center on a theme.

Those with intermediate or advanced skills might feel most comfortable in the groups. Beginners are always welcome but their participation may be limited to listening and absorbing the language until they are able to join the conversation.

The groups are free and open to everyone. MSL customers do have the added advantage of using Mango Languages and Powerspeak, online foreign language learning systems available through their library membership.

Mark Skinner Library is located at 48 West Rd. in Manchester. For further info, contact Cindy Waters at (802) 362-2607.


Student Travel Opportunities

Every year members of the faculty take students on extended educational trips. Interested students are welcome to apply to the Rowland Fund for financial assistance to participate in these trips by October 15. The application form can be downloaded from the website.

February 17-26, 2012
England, Ireland, and Wales
Contact: Betsy Hubner

April 15-22, 2012
Smithsonian Grand Canyon Adventure
Contact: Dale Spring

April 12-19, 2012
Puerto Rico
Contact: Sue Ritchie

June 14 – July 5, 2012
German Exchange Trip to Stuttgart
Contact: Barb Miceli

March 2-4, 2012
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Contact: Michelle Emery


From the Yearbook Staff

A reminder to all Seniors: Pictures are due October 26. Digital photos must be submitted to yearbook@burrburton.org or hard copies delivered to Mr. Vincent in Room 4 of the Rowland Center. Pictures must be in vertical format and (if digital) at a high resolution (300 dpi).

Yearbooks can now be ordered on line at www.JostensYearbooks.com at a discounted price of $50.00.


LEOs Club Events

The Manchester LEOs Club is a student subsection of the Lions Organization. LEO stands for Leadership, Experience, Opportunity and they volunteer throughout the community as well as in outside communities. Their main goal is to form a Teen Center in Manchester, Vermont but they are currently working on supporting the Manchester Food Cupboard as well as the Disaster Relief Funds for Vermont.

October 22 Gaming Tournament in the Internet Café at the Chalet Motel Annex, from 12 pm to 8 pm

November 19 Food Drive at Shaw’s from 10 am to 2 pm

For more information contact LEOs President Nikki Grossfeld at ngrossfeld@burrburton.org


From the Library

Need a good book? Try using the QR codes in our library.

You’ve seen them on the pages of glossy magazines, or maybe even on signs outside restaurants. They are black and white squares with an odd pattern. These are Quick Response codes. A Quick Response or QR code is a two-dimensional barcode which can be interpreted by any mobile phone with camera capabilities. Unlike traditional barcodes, which feature a series of straight lines, these QR barcodes are laid out in a matrix and can hold much more information. “Scanning” the code by photographing it installs a free App or simple piece of software to your smartphone, and allows you to access the information behind the QR code which may contain images, website links, or text.

We are using QR codes in the library to help students find a good book. The heart of the library is still reading. There’s still something special about curling up with a good book to read, and nothing wrong with venturing into cyberspace to help with the selection process. When scanned by students using their smartphones, our QR codes connect the student with a book trailer that pops up and offers a visual description of the book.


Regular Library Hours

Mondays – Thursdays 7 am – 4 pm

Fridays 7 am – 1 pm


College and Career Information

College Workshop for Parents of Juniors
Come to the Rowland Center for a discussion about the college admissions process for junior parents on Thursday, October 6, at 7 pm. Following a brief presentation on the college search, standardized testing and related topics, we will open the floor for questions. Please join us to learn how to explore the opportunities for your student. We will begin scheduling individual appointments with juniors in February once we have completed the fall application season with current seniors.

Sophomore and Junior Testing
Sophomores will take the PLAN on the morning of Wednesday, October 12. The PLAN helps students measure their current academic development and explore career options.  Part of the PLAN is modeled on the ACT, a standardized test option used in college admission. Therefore, the PLAN has value for students intending to enter college as well as those joining the workforce.

College-bound juniors will take the PSAT (a preliminary, or practice SAT) on Wednesday, October 12, during school hours. Students need to bring $15 registration fee by October 3 (or pay a $20 late fee) to Lynne Welsh in the School and College Counseling Office. (Checks are payable to Burr and Burton. Fee waivers for students on free and reduced lunch are available.) The PSAT is a wonderful opportunity for students who have completed geometry to assess their testing skills in preparation for the college admission process.

Juniors who do not wish to participate in the PSAT have the opportunity to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery), an entrance test for students interested in serving the US Military.  The ASVAB highlights skill areas not normally tested so students planning to find a civilian job after high school may benefit from taking this exam.

Juniors also have a third option for October 12. Instead of testing, they may sign up to participate in a field trip to learn more about local business opportunities.

October 12: Schedule for Freshmen

All freshmen will participate in their annual day of service learning on October 12. They are currently signing up for activities in their advisories.

October 12: Schedule for Seniors

Although seniors are excused from school on Wednesday, October 12, until 11 am when regular classes resume, we strongly encourage them to put the morning to good use. Interested seniors should sign up in advance for the following programs:

College Application Work Session from 8-9 am, in the library.

  • Complete applications with your college counselor

College Essay Writing Workshop from 9 – 11 am, in the library

  • Brainstorm, write, and edit essays under the direction of Jen Hyatt

ASVAB Test (for students interested in joining the military or enter the civilian workforce)

Standardized Testing Registration for Seniors
For seniors who need additional testing:

October 7 deadline for November 5 SAT (not offered at Burr and Burton)

November 8 deadline for the December 3 SAT at Burr and Burton

November 4 deadline for the December 10 ACT (not offered at Burr and Burton)

Register online at www.collegeboard.com or www.actstudent.org. Please note that Burr and Burton does not collect the fees for the SAT or ACT; you must register directly with these organizations. (We recommend that current juniors wait to take the SAT and ACT until the spring after they have received their PSAT results and have had a chance to participate in a test-prep course.)

Application Reminders for Seniors
In addition to hosting the Application Workshops on October 12, the counselors are busy meeting with students on an individual basis to consider college lists, review applications and discuss essay topics. If your student is experiencing a roadblock in this process, please let us know so we can reach out.

By now, seniors should have submitted requests for teacher recommendations.  Students who plan to complete their applications during the month of November need to have their essays and applications to their counselor by October 15 for final review. December applicants should have their first draft completed in early November. Please refer to the Burr and Burton College Application Guide on the school’s website for more detailed information about timelines and the overall application process.

We encourage students interested in the University of Vermont to apply by November 1, to take advantage of the fee waiver for Early Action applicants and to receive a non-binding reply by the December holiday break.

VSAC Financial Aid Night
The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation Financial Aid road show comes to Burr and Burton on Wednesday, November 8, at 7 pm in the Rowland Center. Parents of juniors and seniors will especially benefit from the presentation of the principles and basic steps of the financial aid process and review of different parts of the various aid forms.

Make an evening of VSAC night by arriving to the cafeteria by 6:15 pm to enjoy the wonderful spaghetti dinner fundraiser hosted by the BBA Friends of Hockey.

Campus Visits
Seniors who have not visited colleges are strongly advised to make plans to do so as soon as possible. While scheduling visits on holidays and weekends is preferable, we understand that it is sometimes necessary for students to miss school. Parents should notify the school in advance for absences to be excused, although these absences still count toward the 14 absence total for individual classes. Monday, October 10, and Friday, November 11, are particularly good days to visit colleges because classes at Burr and Burton will not be in session.

College Visitors
Juniors and seniors may be excused from class, with teacher permission, to meet with college representatives visiting Burr and Burton. Please check the college visit list on Naviance (http://connection.naviance.com/burrburton). Daily announcements also serve as a reminder of these appointments. College visits provide students with a great opportunity to indicate their interest in specific colleges, ask individual questions and learn the most current campus information.

Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) is a dynamic and interactive educational program designed to prepare our country’s youth to become effective, ethical leaders in their home, school, workplace and community. Sophomore students who attend the Vermont seminar interact with leaders in business, government, education, media and nonprofits. They get a realistic look at our nation, its people, and their role within the world community. The VT HOBY seminar will be held in May, date and location TBA. Stop by the School and College Counseling Office for an application. Applications are due back to Mrs. Welsh by Friday, October 21.

Scholarships 2012
Forms for all of the scholarships listed below are available in the School and College Counseling Office. This scholarship information is also listed on the Naviance website at: http://connection.naviance.com/burrburton.

AES Engineers Scholarship
Eligibility: awarded on the basis of character, as determined by evaluated the essays that are submitted. Essay to be submitted via email.
Deadline: October 7
Details in the School and College Counseling Office.
TOPIC: What impact will the Natural Disasters of 2010/11 have on the global economy? How should these events affect future political, business and personal decisions? Submit essay to: scholarships@aesengineers.com

American Legion Oratorical Contest
Eligibility: This is a state and national Constitutional Speech Competition open to 9th through 12th graders.
Deadline: January 7
Online information: www.legion.org/oratorical (left side of screen, Info Center)

The William Randolph Hearst Scholarship
Eligibility: Applicant must hold an elected student government office; show leadership, academic achievement, clear speech, and community involvement
Award: $5,000; Deadline: October 4
Online application: www. vpaonlin.org (Go to “students” then scholarships)

The Voice of Democracy Scholarship
Eligibility: Open to students in 9th through 12th grades. Must write an essay and record it on CD…reading of 3-5 minutes in length on the theme: “Is There Pride in Sering in Our Military?”
Award $30,000, Deadline: by midnight, November 1st, to local VFW Post.

School and College Counseling Contact Information
Don’t hesitate to call us if you have a question, a concern or feedback. We welcome all contact and the opportunity to work with you to assure the quality of your student’s Burr and Burton experience.

Phil Anton, Director of Admission and School Counseling, Counselor for all freshmen 549-8125; panton@burrburton.org

Andrea Hogan, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors 549-8145; ahogan@burrburton.org

Melissa Michaud, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors 549-8130; mmichaud@burrburton.org

Cristin Rose, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors 549-8126; crose@burrburton.org

Maria Bittinger, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors,  549-8126: mbittinger@burrburton.org



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