Monthly Archives: February 2012

February 2012


8 VSAC Forms Night II, Smith Center, lower level, Room B3, 6 – 7:30 pm

11 ACT testing at Burr and Burton, 7:45 am, Rowland Center

13 Mountain Campus Program application due

14 Calliope Cafe, Rowland Center, 6:30 pm

16 Parent Association Pasta Dinner, Rowland Center, 5 – 6 pm

16 Second Semester Open House for Parents, 6:00 – 8:30 pm

20 -24 Winter Break

28-29 Spring Musical Auditions, Riley Center for the Arts, 6:30 – 8:30 pm


From the Headmaster

Dear Families:

I am pleased to announce a number of new teaching and administrative assignments for the second semester.  We welcome some newcomers, welcome back some veterans, and have added and shifted responsibilities for a number of current personnel:

  • Rene Driscoll will serve as interim Associate Dean of Students.  Rene has been working in our International Program, where she has demonstrated superior organization skills, follow-through, judgment, professionalism, toughness, and an abiding care for students, all of which are attributes we deemed essential for this position.  She replaces Todd Prevost, who departed after the first semester for reasons that will remain private.
  • Jennifer Rosenthal has joined Burr and Burton to teach Foundations of Science and CP Biology. Jennifer lives in Arlington and recently completed her PhD in curriculum and instruction at SUNY Albany. She also has a masters degree in secondary science education, a bachelor of arts in chemistry, and quite a bit of teaching experience.
  • Chris Costello, ESL teacher, is teaching a section of CP English 9.
  • Kim Shaw will be teaching Spanish while Katie Bove is on sabbatical in Peru, South America. Kim taught Spanish here last spring and set in motion the memorable culture fair that took place in our gym.
  • Kendra Larson has returned to the Social Studies department after taking a sabbatical for the first semester.
  • Sarah DeLong Graf has returned to the Learning Center after taking maternity leave for the first semester.
  • Meg Cornell, director of our health clinic, is teaching a section of freshman Wellness.
  • Rebecca Halnon, from our special services department, is teaching a section of Intermediate Algebra. Rebecca recently completed a masters of education degree, with a concentration in mathematics, at Cambridge College.
  • Bettina Abrams is student teaching with the English and Social Studies departments under the supervision of Peter Mull and Sarah McMillan.
  • Kristen Partesi is student teaching in our Art department, under the direction of Betsy Hubner.  Kristen in currently a senior at Castleton State College.

A school is only as good as its people.  I hope you agree that we have a fine team of adults and students here at Burr and Burton Academy.


Mark H. Tashjian


From the Advancement Office

We are thankful we made it through January which is always a cold, dark, very long month. I hope you noticed – we didn’t ask you for anything because we figured you were paying off Christmas bills and just hunkering down. But now that it’s February, we have a couple of things to share with you.

BBA Parent Thank You Party

Our BBA Parent Thank You Party is scheduled for March 29, 2012, at Seasons Restaurant from 5 PM – 7 PM. Your ticket to the party? A gift to the annual fund! Any outright gift or gift-in-kind made since July 1, 2011, will get you on the invitation list. So if you haven’t yet made a gift to the Annual Giving Campaign, we would appreciate your support.  There are three easy ways to make a gift:

• Drop a check in the mail to:  Burr and Burton Academy Advancement Office, P. O. Box 498, Manchester, VT  05254

• Give online:

• Stop by, say hi and drop off your gift to the Advancement Office

Our sincere thanks to all of you who have supported the annual fund this year, and we look forward to seeing many more parents on the invitation list!  Remember, it’s the annual fund that helps provide all of the “extras” for your student here at Burr and Burton.

Save the Date May 25, 2012

Online Auction
On behalf of the committee for this year’s gala event, An Evening of Broadway on May 25, we invite you to participate in Burr and Burton Academy’s second annual online auction. With your contribution, the auction is sure to build on the momentum of last year’s inaugural success.

The auction is designed to generate excitement for the main event on the 25th. Launching on April 1 and closing on May 5, the auction will reach bidders all over the world (including parents of our international students, long-distance grandparents, and our  alumni), plus the many friends of the school right here in our own backyard. The auction serves as a great way to involve those people who cannot attend the event for any number of reasons.

We are looking for products and services of all shapes and sizes to feature as stand-alone items and in specially designed packages. Your item could be as simple as a bottle of wine or as elaborate as tickets to an sporting event.  Perhaps you can offer a service, such as landscaping or wood delivery? (In fact, a cord of seasoned and stacked wood donated by a BBA parent was one of our hottest items last year!)  Whatever the contribution, it will benefit our most precious commodity of all, our children!

Since the auction is running prior to the event, our timeline is pushed up a bit this year. We need to have your donation in the Advancement Office by February 29. You are welcome to drop it off yourself or contact one of us and a committee member will come pick it up from you. Don’t forget, your item or service donation counts toward parent participation in the Annual Giving Campaign and gets you on the list for the annual BBA Parent Thank-you Party!

Questions? Contact Shannon O’Leary, or 549-8281.

Many thanks for your support and don’t forget to put the gala on your calendars!

Cynthia Gubb
Director of Advancement


From the Booster Club
This year Burr and Burton Academy boys and girls basketball teams will be hosting “Hoops for Hope” on Tuesday, February 7, (girls game) and again on February 21 (boy’s game). All proceeds from both games will be donated to the American Cancer Society on behalf of BBA. This is program run through Coaches vs. Cancer, a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. More than 2,000 Division I, II, and III college coaches are involved in the program and have raised nearly $50 million since 1993 to support the American Cancer Society’s mission to eliminate cancer as a life-threatening disease. Recently efforts have been made to bring it to high school athletics.


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.

Happy February from the Parent Association!

We’d like to encourage your attendance and participation at Open House on February 16. Beginning at 5 pm, parents and faculty can socialize over a Pasta Dinner. Then, hear from class advisors at grade level meetings, and round out the evening by rotating through your student’s second semester schedule of classes. Teachers will be there ready to share their goals and agenda for each class whether there is one parent or 100 parents who come through their door. Support your students and our teachers by attending Open House and hearing what they have to say. They’ll be glad you did–and so will you!

We’ve begun a weekly email blast to keep parents better informed and “in the know” regarding the coming week’s activities and events, and other important information. The email is sent on Sunday evenings and goes to the primary email address you provided to the school. (If you are not receiving this email or would like to add/correct an email address, please contact Nancy Brown, Also, let us know if you enjoy receiving the email at!

The Online Auction Committee needs your help as noted above. They are looking for products and services that would be appropriate. All donations count toward parent participation in the Annual Giving Campaign and get you on the list for the Parent Thank-You party.

Please feel free to call or e-mail one of us with your products or ideas.

Betsy Tiene

Drew Dunigan

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 Association or simply e-mail us at look forward to hearing from you!



Burr and Burton Academy senior Karolina Sowulewska was one of four Vermont high school students named as runner up in Sen. Bernie Sanders’ second annual State of the Union essay contest. Her essay will be entered in the Congressional Record along with the other winners and she will participate in a roundtable discussion with the senator. Sowulewska’s essay focused on the need to make meaningful changes in order to effect progress in America. “These changes on our three fronts–environment, economy and education–will be difficult, but they are changes that will only benefit us; these are changes we can believe in.”


Student newspaper is online!

Burr and Burton students have started an online school newspaper called the Belltower. The site has news videos, audio files, articles, and pictures that are all done by students. It is continually updated by our staff with the help of English/journalism teacher Sunny Wright. It is an opportunity to check out what’s going on with sports teams, events, teachers, lost and found, and much more! There is also a new portion called the “Crossfire” where students, faculty members, and the community can debate topics online. The following URL will bring you directly to the site; check it out!


From the Library

Approximately 50 new titles have been added to our professional collection.  Here is a small sampling of the titles:

The Death and Life of the Great American School System:  How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education by Diane Ravitch

The Flat World and Education:  How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future by Linda Darling-Hammond

The Ordeal of Equality:  Did Federal Regulation Fix the Schools? by David K. Cohen and Susan L. Moffitt

The Schools Our Children Deserve:  Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and “Tougher Standards” by Alfie Kohn

The libraries ebook collection is growing. Look for the ebook category on the library’s home page (both username and password are listed for you to use!).  In addition to this online bookshelf of e-titles, you can find additional e-books switching to the catalog tab on the library’s homepage– change the “material type” to “electronic book” and click on the title icon to get the full list of choices.  Last but not least, our database “Credo” consists entirely of reference and research ebooks!

Please take a look around the Library website.   It is always being updated with more links and resources so that it meets the needs of students and teachers.

There are always new books to review, so stop by and say hello to your library staff: Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Hansen! We can help you find great books and great web resources!

As always, if you need anything, please let us know.  Have a great year!

Regular Library Hours

Monday – Thursday 7:00 am – 4:00 pm

Friday  7:00 am – 1:00 pm


College and Career Information

Meetings with Juniors
Individual meetings with juniors are now underway as we help them shape their futures in college, gap programs, employment, military service, and other options. All students will have a scheduled appointment with their counselor sometime in the next few months when they will complete a resume of activities and explore opportunities with us.

For students who don’t have college in their sights at this time, we will discuss ways for students to determine possible career and job interests. Field Study, elective courses and part-time jobs are good avenues for students to prepare for employment after high school.

We assist college-bound students with the college search process, discuss academic preparation, review PSAT scores and plan for standardized testing.  We look forward to continued contact with juniors throughout the next year as we work together to find good college matches.

Parents often wonder how they can help. We meet with students and help them compile an appropriate college list, but families need to take the next step.  Please facilitate some college visits during the spring semester.  In our experience, we have found that students who have visited a few campuses prior to applying find the process more meaningful and manageable.  With advanced notice to teachers and the Dean of Students, college visits are excused absences from school. Plan a trip to see a campus or two and take advantage of information sessions and tours. Then be sure to let us know your family’s impressions.

Another way that we coordinate efforts with students and families is through the Naviance Program ( This on-line program contains multiple career and college resources and also serves as a communication tool.  We demonstrated various program functions during our evening College Program for Junior Parents in October.  If you’d like access to this program or need to reset your password, please email Lynne Welsh, Office Assistant at

Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.  We are eager to partner with parents in the college and career planning process.

Andrea Hogan 549-8145;

Melissa Michaud  549-8130;

Cristin Rose 549-8126;

Maria Bittinger 549-8126;

Standardized Testing Registration
College bound Burr and Burton juniors should sign up to take either the SAT or the ACT this spring. Please check your calendar for possible athletic and other conflicts. We offer both tests on our campus so students can benefit from testing in a familiar environment. We will be discussing testing with juniors during our individual meetings but please feel free to contact us for specific questions and testing recommendations.

Information on the SAT and ACT, registration forms and free practice booklets are available in the School and College Counseling Office and at and, respectively. The table below outlines spring testing options.  Additional testing opportunities will come next fall.  Please contact us if you have questions.

Upcoming Test Dates and Deadlines
Saturday, Feb. 11 ACT
Register by Jan. 13 at
Sign up for ACT with writing!
Test is offered at BBA

Saturday, March 10 SAT
Register by Feb. 10 at
SAT Critical Reasoning Test only (no subject tests)
Test is offered at BBA

If a student has a potential athletic or other conflict for May or June test date, you may want to consider taking this one.

Saturday, April 14 ACT
Register by March 9  at
Sign up for ACT with writing!
Test is offered at BBA

There are additional test dates in April, May and June. See the ACT and College Board Websites or refer to the testing calendar we mailed home. Students should not test every time one is offered but we do recommend that juniors take at least one ACT or SAT this year.

Junior Prep for Standardized Testing
High End Test Prep teacher Brian Marohnic (802-233-7711) is currently conducting after-school classes on campus (Feb. 3, 10; March 10; 12:30 – 3:00 pm). A second session will take place March 23, April 6, 27 and May 4 at the same time. Deadline for registration is March 9. To register bring $100 (payable to Burr and Burton) to Mrs. Welsh in the School and College Counseling Office. These classes are underwritten by the school. Manchester Tutorial Center has classes beginning February 5 for $300 with a second session beginning April 1. Contact number is 362-0222.  Strategies for Success will be given at Grace Christian Church, Bennington 978-394-3711 April 1 for $295. To learn more about High End Test Prep go to

Sophomore Update
Sophomores who took the PLAN in October received their results in advisory. Students’ individual reports will also be sent home this month and we urge you to share the details of the test results with your student. The scores are now posted on student Naviance accounts  ( Counselors will also be meeting with sophomores to advise them on scheduling junior year classes.

Financial Aid

Wednesday, February 8, from 6 – 7:30 pm in the Smith Center lower level, Room B3
VSAC Presenter: Jim Estes
The Forms Night held in January was such a success that a second opportunity is being offered in February! This program is for parents of seniors who plan to attend college or vocational/technical school. Attendees will complete their actual FAFSA and/or VT Grant Applications privately on individual computers under the guidance of the presenter. Parents are encouraged to bring:

– copy of last year’s tax return
– supporting documentation like W-2s if you have them (2010 or 2011)
– 1099s
– bank statements
– latest quarterly investment statements
– son or daughter’s SS#

Parents will also need the above items for their student if applicable. Please contact Lynne Welsh in the School and College Counseling Office to register: (or 549-8242).

All Vermont students applying for need-based financial aid must submit the FAFSA and VSAC forms.  Pay close attention to individual college financial aid deadlines; many colleges require students to file the FAFSA in February and March.

To file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and VSAC grant application, go to these websites: and Families are urged to file on-line as soon as possible and you are welcome to use our office computers if you need internet access.  If you have questions about the FAFSA or other financial aid forms, don’t hesitate to contact the helpful folks at VSAC’s toll-free help line: 800-642-3177.

In addition, some private colleges require students to file the CSS Profile form. You will need to check your individual college financial aid requirements.  Information about the CSS Profile can be found in the financial aid section at

Summer Programs/Study Abroad
The School and College Counseling Office has collected information about a variety of summer programs, including two Vermont-based programs:  MedQuest and CollegeQuest (for health-related careers); See websites for details and deadlines.

All students are eligible for the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont that are week-long sessions organized around the following topics: Arts, Asian Cultures, Current Events and Issues, Engineering, Information Technology, Mathematics, and Science and Technology. Applications will be online beginning February 1 (

Students planning to spend a semester abroad or in an alternative educational setting in 2011-2012 should meet with their counselor to plan an appropriate academic schedule.  Students need to submit a BBA Off-Campus Study application for approval. These forms are due by May 12 for plans that commence at any point during the fall semester.

Remember Mountain Campus applications deadline is February 13.

Updated 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: Some applications can be downloaded from Naviance.

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 financial need.
Award: $1,000; Deadline: February 15

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

Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation Scholarships
Eligibility: 8 different scholarships/eight different criteria. A student may apply to ONLY one.
Award: up to $8,000 over four years
Deadline: March 15
Application must be done online: (click on the Community Events tab)

Berkshire Bank Foundation 2011 Scholarship Program
Eligibility: high school seniors with record of non-school sponsored volunteerism in the community and participation in extra-curricular school activities; GPA, 3.0 minimum; financial need; plan for 2 or 4 yr college or tech school.
Award: $2,000; Deadline: Application materials to your school counselor by March 21st!
Application online: or in School and College Counseling Office

Fraternal Order of Eagles and Auxiliary Scholarships
Eligibility: Seniors entering either a college or vocational school. Personality, community service, academic accomplishments, and financial need are some of the deciding factors.
Award: not specified; Deadline: March 30

Fr. Clancy Knights of Columbus Council 6816 Scholarship
Eligibility: Applicants must apply and be accepted to a trade or technical school and demonstrate a need for financial assistance. Applicants agree to participate in a personal interview. During this interview they should be able to discuss their high school academic experiences, career goals and involvement in extracurricular activities and community service.
Award: $1,000; Deadline, March 30

Saybrook Charitable Trust
Eligibility: Windham County residents only.  Financial need, strong academic achievement, service to school and community, evidence of part-time work or extra-curricular activities, must be pursuing study toward a bachelor’s degree in engineering, technology, sciences or education.
Requires IRS 1040 information and FAFSA info.
Award: not specified; Deadline, March 31
Application online: or in School & College Counseling Office

American Legion of Vermont Scholarship
Eligibility: seniors accepted at approved or accredited school or college,
Award: $1,500; $1,000; or $500; Deadline: April 1
Application information online:

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

Vermont Golf Association Scholarship
Eligibility: financial need, top 40% of class, connection to the game of golf; i.e., play, working in golf shop, on the grounds, caddying, etc.
Award: $1,000 for 4 years; Deadline: April 20

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: $500.00; Deadline: April 27

Vermont Grocer’s Scholarship
Carefully read eligibility requirements from flyer in School and College Counseling Office (VT Grocers Scholarship folder) THEN call or write for application. Does require family association with a VGA member or working for a VGA member company in VT
Award: $1,500 to $2,500; Deadline: April 30

Dorset Sportsman’s Club Scholarship
Eligibility: graduating seniors who live in Dorset and have been accepted into a school for post-secondary education including 2- and 4-year colleges, technical and vocational schools. Based on academic success, school activities, sports, extra curricular activities, community involvement, etc.
Award: $2,000; Deadline: May 9

AES Engineers Scholarship
Eligibility: Graduating senior or current college student regardless of course of study. Must submit an essay of no more than 1,000 words to
TOPIC: What impact will the Natural Disasters of 2010 have on the global economy? How should these affect future political, business and personal decisions?
Award: $500; Deadline: October 5
Info Online at:


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