Monthly Archives: December 2011

December 2011


3 SAT testing, 7:45 am, Rowland Center

6, 7, 8 Theater Arts Symposium Auditions, 3-6 pm, Riley Center for the Arts

7 Vermont Reads Film Presentation, 7-9 pm, Riley Center for the Arts

8 National Honor Society Induction, 6:30 – 8 pm, Rowland Center cafeteria

10 International Holiday Potluck for Host Families, 6-8 pm, Rowland Center cafeteria

13 International Holiday Open House, 5-7 pm, Caroling and refreshments at the International Student dorm houses

15 Winter Concert, 7:30-9:30 pm, Riley Center for the Arts

22 Holiday Assembly, 11:30 am, gymnasium. Early dismissal at 12:35 pm.

23 Holiday Break


3 Classes resume


From the Headmaster

Dear Families,

Like many Americans, I have followed the unfolding story at Penn State University with horror and outrage. How could grown men stand idly by while one of their colleagues, assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, molested and raped young boys? How could anyone witness a rape in progress and then leave the victim with the attacker? How could anyone fail to take the simple and obvious act of calling the police?

Perplexed and angry, I asked our AP psychology teacher, Dave Miceli, to take the podium this Monday at our weekly assembly to explain this behavior in some way that we can make sense of it. What he had to say is sobering.

Conformity + Obedience + Social Loafing = The Bystander Effect
We all think we would do better in that situation—we would be the hero.  But would we? Psychological studies have shown the very human propensity to conform: to do what everyone else is doing. If nobody is calling the police, why should I? A second factor is a natural sense of obedience: I’ll just leave it to my superior to decide what to do, and on up the chain it went. Finally, there is the concept of Social Loafing: someone else will do the right (and difficult) thing, so I don’t have to. These three forces conspire to create The Bystander Effect: people watch bad things occur, and they fail to act to stop it. Mr. Miceli cited numerous instances and studies demonstrating The Bystander Effect in action.

The Antidote to The Bystander Effect
Most of us don’t witness such clear violations as what occurred at Penn State. But we witness smaller acts. Bullying. Littering. Vandalism. Drug use. Cheating. Anti-gay slurs. Racial slurs. Do we stand by and watch?

Some think it is the job of school leaders and administrators to take on these violations to our community standards, and they are right. But just like the police in State College, Pennsylvania, we can’t act on what we don’t know. Is the code of silence stronger than the call of righteousness?

In fact, we ask that ALL students and ALL faculty and ALL staff members and ALL parents take responsibility for the welfare of our school. Mr. Miceli explained that to overcome The Bystander Effect, we must push ourselves to take action, push ourselves to step in when someone is being bullied or harassed, speak up when someone is bringing drugs or alcohol into our school. We must be the first to act rather than assume that someone else will step in. We must get comfortable with the discomfort that comes through action. That is the only way to become the hero that we all want to be and think we would be.

The only thing we can do with the tragedy and ignominy at Penn State is to learn from it.


Mark H. Tashjian


From the Athletic Department

Basketball and Ice Hockey Ticket Prices 2011-2012

Adults $4
Students $2
Senior Citizens (age 62 and over) $2

Season Pass Prices for Basketball Games Only
Students and Senior Citizens: 10-game punch ticket $15
Adults: 10-game punch ticket $30

Season Passes are available for purchase at the Burr and Burton Athletic Office and at all home games.

Winter Sports Schedules on our website: Calendar

Booster Club Raffle
Patriots Package
The Booster Club still has raffle tickets available for their Patriots Packages (two game tickets and $500 spending money). This is their primary fundraiser for the year and the drawing will be held on December 5. Raffle tickets are $25 each and only 200 will be sold. Contact Booster Club President Arlena Merrow at or Kathi Bierwirth at


From the Advancement Office

Dear Parents,

Since December is such a busy month we’ll make our appeal very short and sweet.

By now, you have received our Annual Giving Campaign brochure, an e-mail from Patricia Nelson, chair of the Advancement Committee of the Parent Association, and a letter from our Headmaster Mark Tashjian asking for your support of the annual fund. From these communications, I’m sure you understand the importance of the annual fund and we sincerely hope you will be able to do your part in supporting it. As a parent, you have a vested interest in seeing the school meet the goal for the Annual Giving Campaign as it benefits YOUR student.

It easy to make a gift – you can give online at, you can mail a check to the Advancement office at Burr and Burton Academy, P. O. Box 498, Manchester, VT  05254, you can call Nancy Brown in our office at 802-549-8110 and use your credit card, or you can stop by and drop off your gift. We’d love to see you in the Advancement Office and thank you in person. Or you can make a pledge at this time and fulfill it later in the school year – whatever works for you, works for us.

Once again, thank you to all those parents who have made their gift.  We are most grateful for your support and we hope all parents will join in and follow in your footsteps supporting Burr and Burton Academy. Please give as generously as you can afford.

Our sincere best wishes for a wonderful holiday season,

Cynthia H. Gubb
Director of Advancement

P.S.  Just in case you missed any of our appeals, please click on this link and read about Kristen, Mitchell and Rachel, current Burr and Burton students taking advantage of every opportunity available to them. Because of you – these opportunities are available to every student.


From the Parent Association

The Burr and Burton Parent Association endeavors to foster partnership between families, school, and the community through communication, education, social and fundraising activities and advocacy.

Looking back at November, we’d like to thank the Burr and Burton hockey teams for hosting the Pasta Dinner prior to the Mandatory Winter Sports Meetings; the many parents who assisted with behind the scenes needs for the fall theater production, Little Women; provided baked goods and served at the Teacher Appreciation Dessert Buffet and The MET Live in HD simulcast; and aided the Advancement Office in promoting the Annual Giving Campaign (by the way, contributions can still be made by mail or online at under Giving).

Last month we noted the PA’s efforts to provide the school community with feedback on what parents are excited about and what we’re struggling with, what we’d like to see improve and what we’d like to see more of…and your feedback was heard. Parents asked for more frequent and consistent notification of weekly events. And this week we launched our new communications initiative, “This Week at BBA.” Now, each Sunday evening parents will receive an email detailing events, activities and other important information for the upcoming week. This is an added feature to the existing school-parent communications, such as this monthly newsletter, The Bullhorn, the website, and other user-specific notifications you may have subscribed to personally.

Thanksgiving is behind us and the holiday season is just around the corner. At this time each year, Parent Association sponsored dinners and activities have temporarily wound down, giving everyone time to enjoy the season and an opportunity to get a jumpstart on all that lies ahead in the New Year. There will be numerous volunteer opportunities with Performing Arts, Booster Club and the annual fundraising gala, just to name a few. As always, we encourage you to volunteer your time and talents or share your feedback. Contact a committee chairperson listed on the Parent Association page of the website,, or simply email us at We look forward to hearing from you!


From the Performing Arts Department

Advanced Vocal Ensemble Caroling in Weston December 3, 1 pm.

Advanced Vocal Ensemble Community Christmas Concert at the First Congregational Church in Manchester, December 11, 4 pm.

Instrumental and Vocal Music Winter Concert, December 15, 7:30 pm in the Riley Center for the Arts. Ticket information:

Advanced Vocal Ensemble Caroling at Hildene, December 18, 1:30 pm.


Student Travel Opportunities

Last call for the March weekend trip to Quebec!
Cost: $700 (approx)
Dates: March 4-6, 2012
Who can go: Any student
$100 deposit needed IMMEDIATELY to Michelle Emery (
We will be snow tubing, snowshoeing, dogsledding, AND learning about history at the same time!


Holiday Pie Sale Supports Burr and Burton’s Green Initiative

Help support Burr and Burton’s effort to go green by ordering a holiday pie from Grandma Miller’s Bakery. Mrs. McMillan’s Politics of the Environment class is participating in the Lexus Eco Challenge and is raising money to buy a greenhouse for the garden as well as to support a school initiative to install smart lights throughout the buildings on campus. These two projects are going to help reduce Burr and Burton’s carbon footprint and promote environmentally friendly habits in the community.

Orders will be accepted between November 30 and December 14, 2011. Pies can be picked up on Wednesday, December 21, from 3-6 pm and Thursday, December 22, from 1-6 pm in the gym lobby. All pies are frozen and uncooked. Pies cost $13 each with the exception of pecan which is $14. For more details and order forms click here. For more information, please contact Sarah McMillan at


From the 2012 Yearbook Staff

Yearbooks are still available to order online at

All online orders are now $55. If seniors wish to order books at the reduced price of $50, they can order directly through Mr. Vincent in Room 4 of the Rowland Center. Forms can be found on the first floor of the Seminary Building or on line at 2012.

Seniors still have a small window of time to hand in their photos and write ups to If they do not hand in either photos, the yearbook staff has the obligation to fill the empty space with any available photos.

Senior parents who wish to purchase a recognition ad for their students can still do so until January 31, 2012. Each ad is $40 and is the size of a business card (horizontal). Forms can be downloaded from the web site page mentioned above.

Please make checks out to BBA Yearbook.


From the Library

Virtual Reference Desk.  Try one or all of these sites:

Citation Machine — An easy way to help you cite sources correctly.

The Information Please Almanac — An encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas, and an almanac all in one!  A quick and easy way to find answers to factual questions.

Federal Resources for Education — A website with useful links to a variety of teaching and learning resources, including photos, primary documents, and videos.

iTools Reference Desk — Provides quick access to a variety of tools and information, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, newspapers, language and currency converters, and biographies.

The Library of Congress — A link to the largest library in the world.

BBA’s Credo Online General Reference Collection continues to grow each month and now has over 560 titles. The following well-regarded titles were recently added.

The 2011 Annual Register: World Events 2010, ProQuest

Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia, Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc.

The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Cambridge University Press

Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language, Cambridge University Press

Collins English-Greek Dictionary, Collins

Collins Greek-English Dictionary, Collins

Cultural Geography: A Critical Dictionary of Key Concepts, I.B. Tauris

Dictionary of Trade Policy Terms, Cambridge University Press

Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture, ABC-CLIO

Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History, ABC-CLIO

The Environmental Debate: A Documentary History, Grey House Publishing

Globalization: Encyclopedia of Trade, Labor, and Politics, ABC-CLIO

The Handbook of Political Sociology: States, Civil Societies, and Globalization, Cambridge University Press

A History of Feminist Literary Criticism, Cambridge University Press

A History of South African Literature, Cambridge University Press

Key Concepts in Anti-Discriminatory Social Work, Sage UK

Key Concepts in Education, Sage UK

Key Concepts in Governance, Sage UK

Key Concepts in Nursing, Sage UK

Key Concepts in Public Health, Sage UK

Key Concepts in Social Research, Sage UK

The National Gallery Companion Guide, The National Gallery

Pocket Guides: Myths & Legends, The National Gallery

Poverty and the Government in America: A Historical Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO

Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO

The Featured General Reference Title of the Month is Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia

This comprehensive guide to the animal kingdom includes stunning action photography that puts our animal neighbors in context and shows them in their natural habitats, interacting with other animals and taking part in amazing migrations, feeding frenzies, and more.

Read a few of the entries:

Saving Giant Pandas

Elephant Family


Poison Dart Frogs

Killer Sharks?

A World of Shells

Want more on this topic?

Take a look at these additional related titles, all part of the Credo General Reference collection:

Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs, Elsevier Science & Technology

Encyclopedia of Insects, Elsevier Science & Technology

Animals and Science: A Guide to the Debates, ABC-CLIO

Dictionary of Developmental Biology and Embryology, Wiley

Human Evolution: A Guide to the Debates, ABC-CLIO

The Lisa B. Tuttle Memorial Library provides students and faculty with resources for study, research and pleasure reading.  We are always looking for ways to serve you better. If you have any suggestions or comments we would love to hear them.  Just stop by the Library and tell us!


School and College Counseling

Seniors should be finalizing the college process – be sure to connect with your School and College counselor. We need to plan ahead for deadlines that fall over the holiday period; therefore, Thursday, December 15 is the last day to request transcripts and records until January 3. Don’t forget that is the student’s responsibility to request that SAT/ACT scores be sent directly from the testing agency to the colleges.

Once you receive a decision, please let us know so we can keep an accurate record of our students’ successes. We’ll also pass along your happy news to Mr. Tashjian so he can announce it at Monday assemblies!

Standardized Testing Information for Juniors
PSAT results are due to arrive later this month. We will distribute results to students as soon as they arrive and discuss future testing options with them. Copies of the results will be sent home.

SAT prep courses will be available this spring. Watch your mailbox in January for details and registration information.

Burr and Burton will be a testing site for the ACT on February 11. Students wishing to register for this exam need to sign up at by January 13.

Financial Aid
If you missed the VSAC Financial Aid Night here on November 8, an online version of its popular “Paying for College” presentation is available at The online presentation takes about a half-hour, but can easily be viewed in shorter segments. There are also helpful handouts available at the site to download.

It’s important to pay attention in individual college financial aid deadlines which are different from admission deadlines. Please check each college’s website for information.

Some private colleges also require a form called the CSS Financial Aid Profile Form. This two-part process should be started immediately so as not to delay funding. Forms are available online at or via the VSAC website:

All families of students applying for need-based financial aid will submit the FAFSA. Be aware that it can take 4-6 weeks for the paper FAFSA forms to be processed and forwarded to your colleges. Please remember that you can estimate on your forms and revise them later. Many colleges distribute financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis. The FAFSA form may be submitted beginning January 1 by completing it at Families can register at this site in advance of January 1 to receive the necessary separate pin numbers for students and parents. (Beware of another website: — which charges people to complete the forms. FAFSA is a FREE form!)

All students applying for need-based aid will also submit the VSAC Financial Aid Form after January 1. It is available online at And to help with all those forms, the School and College Counseling Office, in conjunction with VSAC, will be offering a Financial Aid Forms Night. See next month’s Bullhorn for the date and time.

Seniors will be receiving a VSAC booklet of scholarship opportunities in Vermont from the School and College Counseling Office; the booklet and application are also available on the VSAC website. Other local scholarships are posted in our office and will be announced as they come in.

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:

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: (left side of screen, Info Center)

MENSA Education & Research Foundation Scholarship Essay Contest
Eligibility: Awards are made on the basis of an essay of no more than 550 words that describes the applicant’s career, vocational, or academic goals. It is NOT necessary that the applicant be a member of Mensa. The eligibility requirements are that the applicant be enrolled, for the academic year following the award, in a degree program in an accredited U.S. institution of post-secondary education, and that an applicant be residing in the participating local group of American Mensa of application. The general awards are unrestricted as to age, race, gender, level of post-secondary education, grade point average and financial need. Winners MUST provide proof of school enrollment for Fall/Spring 2012-2013 prior to payment of the award. Application can be downloaded at Also available in School and College Counseling Office. Award: $600 – $1,000 Deadline: January 15

Eligibility: Seniors who are sons or daughters of VT NEA members, must submit a 400-word essay
Award: $1,000; Deadline: February 1
Application in College Counseling Office or online at:

GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program
Eligibility: High School Senior who demonstrates exemplary leadership, drive, integrity, citizenship.
Award: $10,000 renewable; Deadline, February 17
Application online at

Garden Club of Manchester
Eligibility: Senior continuing their education in the fields related to horticulture, landscape design, and environmental studies and other similar studies.
Deadling: April 1
Application in School and College Counseling Office

Knights of Columbus Scholastic Achievement Scholarship
Eligibility: high school senior who is a son or daughter of a Knight of Columbus; five scholarships based on scholastic achievement, involvement in school and community and need.
Award: $1,000; Deadline: February 15

Manchester Masons of VT Scholarship
Eligibility: senior planning to enroll in college who lives in Manchester, Dorset, Sunderland OR has Masonic affiliation through a parent or grandparent ; award based on leadership, community service and extra-curricular activities and financial need
Award: $500; Deadline: April 27


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