Monthly Archives: November 2012

November 2012


55      Mandatory Parent/Athlete Ice Hockey Meeting

7-10  Fall Play

12      Full Day Faculty In-Service (no school for students)

15      Winter Sports Mandatory Parent/Athlete Meeting 6:00 pm
15      Spaghetti dinner hosted by hockey team 5:00 pm

19-20 Parent Conferences (Early Dismissal – 12:35 pm)

21-23 Thanksgiving Break

26       Winter Sports Begin


From the Headmaster

“I would recommend this to other students… I am much happier and enjoy what I am doing. I am learning lots in a different way than I have ever learned before. I am building leadership skills that will help me throughout my entire life and I am gaining much more confidence not only in myself but in the whole high school experience. “ – a Mountain Campus student

Dear Families:

If I offered you something worth over $20,000, but you had to pay nothing extra, would you be interested?

The Mountain Campus launched this year with 21 students engaging in a very different kind of education. Rigorous, adventurous, demanding physically, intellectually, and emotionally, the mountain campus is exceeding all our expectations for the kind of impact and experience it offers students.

Last week, the group went away for three days to visit a variety of eco-ventures in the Northeast Kingdom, ranging from Vermont Natural Coatings to an intimate look at the marble quarry in Danby. Students are experiencing the intersection of free enterprise and environmentalism, demonstrating that it is possible to pursue the American Dream while doing good for the world.

Three weeks ago, this group was backpacking off-trail in the Green Mountain National Forest, utilizing skills of observation, identification, and interpretation of the forested landscape while working together as a team.  Students are writing extensively, diagramming in journals, reflecting on their personal development, and learning to use the reference library to understand the natural world.

Colleges love seeing applicants who have taken the road less travelled, have demonstrated courage, have explored themselves and their surroundings and thereby distinguish themselves from students with more mainstream experience.

Experiential, placed-based education is a style of education typically available only for those willing to pay over $20,000 for a semester at a variety of programs around the country and the world. At Burr and Burton Academy, it is part of our program.  I encourage you to visit the website by following this link, check out the Mountain Campus blog at this link, and consider encouraging your son or daughter to apply for this remarkable program.

The Mountain Campus requires commitment. Due to the intensity of the program, students are not able to participate simultaneously in most extracurricular activities. However, this semester’s students are finding that the reward is commensurate with the commitment.

As with all things we do, we strive to be our absolute best. I hope you continue to find the Burr and Burton experience to be worthy of your support.


Mark H. Tashjian


If our first month of fall at the Mountain Campus was blissfully dry, our second was challengingly damp. Fortunately, challenge was just what we were looking for! After a week of camping and hiking in the rain in early October, our group of students and teachers was tighter than ever – more confident in our ability to work together, to persevere in the face of adversity, and primed to continue finding enjoyment, curiosity and growth through our studies. This past month has taken us all over Vermont learning more about what sustains and builds strong communities, economies, and environments – our version of the triple bottom line!

A closer look at our past few weeks can be found on our blog ( and facebook page (

Students interested in learning more about the program and admissions for spring semester 2013 or school year 2013-14 are encouraged to talk to their counselor in the School and College Counseling Office or contact us directly by email: ( or phone (802-824-4846).

Ben Freeman
Mountain Campus Director


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.

November already! The play is early in the month, M*A*S*H from November 7th – 10th. And it’s almost Turkey (Thanksgiving) Day! Remember to schedule your teacher conferences for the Monday or Tuesday before. You will be amazed by how well your child’s teacher knows them! Winter sports begin at the end of the month. Go Bulldogs! Look at the full calendar to really be in the know.

The Annual Fund for this year has been launched. Last year, 29 percent of Burr and Burton Academy parents contributed to the annual campaign, for a total of approximately $89,000. While dollar amounts matter, participation matters much more. Our goal this year is simple – to increase that giving rate to 50 percent or more.

This year we’re going to have a bit of fun as we work toward that goal of 50% participation: a competition between the classes. We’ll be tracking parent participation rates by grade level. When the campaign concludes next March, the class with the highest rate of parent giving will win a party….and prizes! More details on that to come soon.

We’re looking for parent leaders to serve as captains for each class to coordinate outreach. If you’d like to sign up or learn more about being a captain, please let us know.

Thanks and we hope you’ll consider joining us!

Watch your inbox for the BBA This Week email sent Sunday evenings at 5:00 pm with information about upcoming school events. Not receiving this weekly email? Contact Nancy Brown at Oh and don’t forget to email us at with any questions or if you would like to volunteer your time or talents. Together we can do so much!

Peggy Brockett
Parent Association President


Parent and Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled this semester for Monday, November 19 from 1 pm – 8 pm and Tuesday, November 20, from 1 pm – 5 pm with a break from 5:00 – 5:45 for dinner. Students will be dismissed at 12:35 on both days. Scheduling is done again this year online starting November 5 at: This link will also be available on our web site: in the “Parents” section.

All parents are encouraged to schedule appointments with teachers. If you have any questions or are having problems scheduling appointments, please email us at

Helpful Hints:  The pick-a-time software is VERY sensitive to both case and punctuation. Please follow the examples exactly in order to register. The most common problem when trying to set up appointments is not entering your student’s birth date correctly. It needs to be entered exactly as the example is shown: mm-dd-yyyy. Also, if you are a split family, and another parent has already made appointments, you will need to contact us at so that we can “clone” your student.


From The Athletics Department

Sunday, November 4, 1:15 pm
Please join the BBA hockey teams for a Dollar Skate on November 6 at Riley Rink from 1:15 pm-3:15 pm. Enjoy great skating with family and friends for a dollar per person and some delicious homemade baked goods to re-energize yourself and chuck puck to win a season pass to all home BBA hockey games. All proceeds will help cover the cost of ice time for the BBA hockey teams.

Monday November 5, 6 pm Boys and girls ice hockey parent/athlete meeting in the Rowland Center cafeteria.

Thursday, November 8, 5:15 pm   Parent/athlete informational meeting for alpine skiers interested in participating in the Burr and Burton Ski/Study Program in collaboration with the Bromley Outing Club this winter. The meeting will be held in Room 02 in the lower level of the Seminary Building.

Thursday, November 15, 6 pm mandatory winter sports parent/athlete meeting.
All winter sports (including ice hockey and alpine skiing) meet in the gymnasium. From this meeting teams will be directed to individual meeting locations. Ice hockey players and parents will not be required to stay.

Thursday, November 15, 5pm
Be sure to join the boys and girls hockey teams for their annual Pasta Dinner before the winter sports meetings on November 15 from 5 pm-6:45 pm. Enjoy a night off from cooking as your family comes to meet coaches and get ready for the winter sports season. The teams will serve up pasta with meat sauce, Caesar salad, garlic bread, drinks and delicious homemade treats. Admission is $5 per person or $20 per family.

Monday, November 26 All winter sports begin tryouts.

All students participating in a winter sport must have had a physical exam after March 2011.

Physical forms and permission forms can be downloaded from the schools web site These completed forms must be brought to the meeting on November 15 or mailed (attn. Kathi Bierwirth) to the school before November 23 (please identify the sport on the form).

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Director of Athletics, Kathi Bierwirth at

Winter Sports will begin the week after Thanksgiving on November 26. Because of the later start time for winter sports teams there will be games scheduled for all teams during the February 18-22 break. The Varsity Dance state competition will be held on February 16. Please keep this in mind when scheduling family vacations.


Please note: * Do Not type in Academy. * The word and must be typed out.

  • Click on Burr and Burton. Once on Burr and Burton’s page got to the right side of the page. Click on sign up for our FREE schedule update email.
  • Type in your email address.
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  • As soon as games are scheduled, canceled or rescheduled you will receive an email.

The quest for the Golden Athletic Cup is back!

5th Annual Student vs. Faculty Ice Hockey Game – Nov. 16

All proceeds from the game will help offset ice costs for both BBA girls and boys hockey programs.

Have a rival teacher, a favorite teacher, a son or daughter, brother or sister, mom or dad, even a best friend who you would like to see embarrass themselves and get tossed along the ice? Well we have just the fun-filled night for that! The Burr and Burton Ice Hockey Bulldogs are hosting the Fifth Annual Student vs. Faculty Ice Hockey Game on November 16th at Riley Rink! The game starts on Friday at 6pm! Come watch your teachers, friends, and/or family members get crunched up against the boards, fly through the air, or even do some crunching of their own! Remember, these people don’t play hockey! An even greater chance to watch them embarrass themselves on the ice. But wait, there’s more! You can also buy a penalty! See any player go to the box because you said so! There will be a shoot out right after the game and free ice cream for players! Also, there will a public skate right after the game for anyone interested! Get ready to get your skate on!  The proceeds go towards The Bulldogs ice time expenses, so come out on your Friday night and watch a bunch of rookies make fools of themselves to support both the BBA boys and girls ice hockey teams!

From the Booster Club

Booster Club meetings are every second Wednesday of the month at 6:00pm in Julie Fifield’s room.

Thank You
Arlena Merrow
President of Boosters


From the Advancement Office

National Philanthropy Day


1 : goodwill to fellowmen; esp : active effort to promote human welfare

2  a : a philanthropic act or gift b : an organization distributing or supported by philanthropic funds

November 15th is National Philanthropy Day and it’s a time to recognize and celebrate the generosity of our community.  Most people don’t think about what it takes to make a community work and what goes on behind the scenes.  There are many nonprofit organizations in our local area, run by a combination of paid staff and volunteers, and generously supported by a broad range of donors.  We are fortunate to have so many caring, passionate individuals that see an issue and address it with grit and hard work.

The same holds true for Burr and Burton Academy.  Just take a look around our campus and see the amazing effects of philanthropy – every building or improvement you see is due to the generosity of private supporters.  In addition, many of the opportunities and extraordinary programming is here because of the generous support from friends of the school.

So in honor of National Philanthropy Day, I encourage each and every parent to support the school and all that we provide for YOUR student.  Make a gift to the annual fund today – remember it’s all about participation this year.  You’ll find more about the Class Challenge in this month’s Bullhorn from Kathleen James and Bob McLeish who are leading the charge to get more parents to support the school.  And shortly, you’ll be receiving a letter from Headmaster Mark Tashjian asking for your support so please take time to read the letter and respond to his appeal for a gift.

We’re all in this together in an effort to support extraordinary educational opportunities for each and every one of our students.

Thank you!

Cynthia Gubb
Director of Advancement


From the Director of Student Success Program

A group of five Burr and Burton students (Dylan Jemola, Kelsey Blanchard, Gecaunna Ellis, Sean Armstrong and Amanda Shortsleeve), attended a lecture at SVC on Tuesday, October 16 with Jen Hyatt (Dean of Studies) and Jason Pergament (Director of Student Success Program).

This inaugural lecture for the 2012-2013 Lecture Series was entitled, “Poverty is Not Destiny: Social Equity and Basic Justice in America”. The speaker, Eric Cooper Ed.D., is President of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education. He spoke passionately to the scholars about their imperative to succeed and reach their potential.

He encouraged them to form learning communities that would empower them to see past the barriers society has set up for them. This year at Southern Vermont College the theme of the lecture series is, “Look Within, See Beyond: Stories of Empowerment and Change”. All lectures are free and open to the public and will take place at Southern Vermont College in the Everett Mansion Theatre.

Jason Pergament


International Service Learning Opportunity

Service Learning Trip to Costa Rica – April break 2013

Service to Community, Earth, Flora and Fauna

The Costa Rica service learning trip is a student travel experience whose focus is to gain a better appreciation for the culture, climate and resources of Costa Rica by engaging in experiential learning, service, fun and adventure. We are looking for students who believe in the key words stated in the mission of BBA; responsibility, integrity and service. All students are welcome to apply.

See Mrs. Niles or Ms. Silver for more information or contact them at or


Media and Performing Arts Department

Burr and Burton Academy’s Media and Performing Arts Department will present  the play M*A*S*H, written by Tim Kelly on November 7, 8, 9, 10,  2012 at 6:30 pm in the Riley Center for the Arts. Based on the novel by Richard Hooker, the Academy Award nominated movie and the Emmy Award Winning TV show, the play M*A*S*H highlights the hijinks of those madcap doctors, nurses and enlisted men as they deal with the difficulties of war.  Tickets are $7 for Burr and Burton students, faculty, staff and children under 18 and $12 for the general public.

Tickets are on sale during lunch blocks in the cafeteria or if you want to beat the rush please order tickets online at

Our 24-hour information line is 802-549-8224.

Box office opens one hour prior to show.

Calling All Dawns Lincoln Center NYC Trip: Second Payment Due Wednesday, November 14th $200.00
Congratulations to Abbey Grant, Hilmon He & Zak Horvath on their selection to the American Choral Director’s Association Honors Festival where they performed Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the University of Massachusetts Orchestra and Chorus on Saturday October 27th.


From the Library

Why Should Our Students Read…

Parents, even some educators, might wonder why reading for fun is as important as reading for school.  Multiple studies, including those presented in Nichole Lynette Smith’s “A Study of Middle Grades Students’ Reading Interest, Habits and Achievement,” (linked below) show that students who read for fun achieve more in school.  Reading everything from novels and nonfiction books, to manga and websites, has a positive impact on teens’ personal and educational lives.  

Research also illustrates that for every 100,000 words read a person’s vocabulary increases by 50 percent  The average person can read 250-300 words per minute, which adds up to almost 31,500 words per week.  A teen reading 15 minutes a day, therefore, could increase his or her vocabulary skills tremendously in just over three weeks,  That’s a pretty amazing literacy leap when you consider that it means reading for just 15 minutes a day.

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.  Don’t forget to “Like Us” on Facebook.

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.

Regular Library Hours

Monday – Thurs 7:00 am – 4:00 pm

Friday 7:00 am – 1:00 pm


College and Career Information

VSAC Financial Aid Night
The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation Financial Aid roadshow comes to Burr and Burton on Wednesday, November 14th, at 7 pm in the Riley 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.

Families need to pay attention to individual college financial aid deadlines which are different from admission deadlines. Please check EACH college’s website for information. Students applying to  private colleges should check to see if they are required to complete the CSS Financial Profile Form. Forms are available on-line at

Keep those applications coming! Let us help you brainstorm essays, review applications and consider good matches. Many seniors have already submitted one application; other students are still working through the initial process. A good rule of thumb is to apply before the December break. Remember to have your test scores sent directly to the colleges from the College Board or ACT. We’re here to assist and support you. If you still need to schedule some campus visits, consider taking advantage of days and times when there are no classes: Monday, November 12th is an in-service day for teachers only; there are also two early release days (for parent conferences) on Monday, November 19th and Tuesday, November 20.

Castleton On-The-Spot Admission Program
Castleton gives students the opportunity to interview with Castleton College admissions counselors at BBA on Monday, December 10. They will immediately receive their admission decision IF the student’s COMPLETED APPLICATION has been received by December 3rd. Students must sign up for an interview appointment in the School and College Counseling Office.

SAT/ACT Registration Information
We recommend that juniors hold off on these tests until the spring semester when they will have had a chance to review PSAT results and take a prep class, if desired. Test prep classes will be scheduled in the spring and we will alert you to those opportunities. Seniors should note that November 1st is the registration deadline for the SAT on December 1st at Burr and Burton. Go to Seniors who want to take the December 8th ACT at another school should register by the November 2nd deadline

Update for Juniors
College-bound juniors took the PSAT on October 17th. When the results are received in December they will be given to the students and a copy will be sent home. Beginning next semester, when we will have completed our most intense period of work with the current seniors, we will conduct individual college or career planning meetings with juniors.

PLAN Results
Sophomores will receive the results of the PLAN test in December. Copies will be mailed home.

Upcoming College Visits
Juniors and seniors may be excused from class, with teacher permission, to attend college meetings. Students and parents can find our most up-to-date list at We also post a paper calendar inside the School and College Counseling Office and list visits in the weekly announcements.

AP Exam Information
All students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses during the 2012-2013 school year are required to pay an exam fee of $90 per exam by Monday, December 3rd.  Students may bring in cash or checks (made out to Burr and Burton Academy) to Cristin Rose or Lynne Welsh in the School and College Counseling Office. There are fee waivers available for eligible students – please speak with Cristin Rose.  All students enrolled in AP courses are required by Burr and Burton to take the AP exam. AP exams will be held May 6 – May 15, 2013.

College Athletics
Seniors interested in playing intercollegiate athletics next year need to register at Stop in the School and College Counseling Office for assistance or computer access.

Selective Service Registration
Eighteen-year-old males need to register with the U.S. Selective Service at Male students need to do so in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.

2012/2013 Scholarship List
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:

The Voice of Democracy Scholarship (VFW)
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 Serving in Our Military?”
Award $30,000, Deadline: by midnight, November 1st, to local VFW Post.
Application in School and College Counseling Office; online at

Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship
Eligibility: senior, employment, community service, leadership, financial need.
Award: $4,000 – $60,000; Deadline: December 7.
Application in School and College Counseling Office and online at:

NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award
Eligibility: Graduating Seniors with their own small business. Tips for a successful Scholarship Application • Start Early. Don’t wait until the last minute to complete the application. • Proofread your application. • Don’t procrastinate. Deadlines are final. Your application will not be considered if it is late. • Take Responsibility. Keep of a copy of your application for your records. • Watch your email. We will communicate with you regarding your application through email. Please add to your address book and do not “opt out” of any communication sent from this address or you may not receive important information about your application, including notification if you are selected.

American Legion Oratorical Contest
Eligibility: This is a state and national Constitutional Speech Competition open to 9th through 12th graders.
Deadline: January 6.
Online information: (left side of screen, Info Center).

WACE National Co-op Scholarship Program
Eligibility: GPA 3.5+. Must apply and be accepted at one of the ten WACE Partner Institutions.
Postmarked Deadline: February 15 (early applications encouraged).
Online information:

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:

Abbott and Fenner Scholarship
Eligibility: US citizen, high school student, must write an essay on the following theme :
• What have you done outside the classroom that demonstrates qualities sought after by the post secondary institution that you are hoping to attend? Also, which of these qualities means the most to you?
The essay should be between 500 and 1000 words. Your submissions must be sent to us by email at:
Award:$1,000; Applications online at
Deadline: June 14, 2013.

Students should review the eligibility requirements online for any scholarship listed below, pick up a nomination form from the School and College Counseling Office and return the form by November 15. The nomination form includes a short essay on why they think they should be nominated for the particular scholarship. The nominee will be selected by the Scholarship Committee.

2013-14 Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program  NOMINATION
Eligibility: Senior with GPA 2.8 or higher demonstrating strong leadership abilities in school activities or through work experiences. Strong commitment to and involvement in community service. Plans to attend college or vocational/technical school. (Comcast employees are not eligible.)

Boston University  Trustee Scholarship Competition

Villanova Presidential Scholarship

Saint Michael’s Scholarships

Phil Anton, Director of Admission and School Counseling, Counselor for all freshmen 549-8125;

Andrea Hogan, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors 549-8145;

Melissa Michaud, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors 549-8130;

Cristin Rose, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors 549-8126;

Maria Bittinger, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors,  549-8126:


Stratton Ski & Board Club Scholarship Program Winter 2012-2013

Open to students in the following districts:  Stratton/Winhall, Jamaica, Manchester, Peru, Londonderry, Brookline, and Townshend, Arlington, Dorset.

The Stratton Ski & Board Club and Stratton Mountain are pleased to announce the eighth year of our Scholarship Program intended to encourage local youths to participate in the Junior Weekend Competition Programs offered by Stratton Mountain.

This program is offered to students in grades 5-12 (ages 10-18) who: have an avid interest in Alpine Racing, Freestyle Skiing, or Snowboarding. This program is intended for families for whom it would not otherwise be possible to participate in the weekend competition program or for whom it would pose a significant hardship.

The scholarship program will cover: cost of participation in the designated weekend Seasonal Competition Program, Stratton Season Pass, Junior Membership in the Stratton Ski & Board Club, and $500 stipend toward equipment (including skis or board, boots, helmet, goggles, and clothing).

This is a rigorous program, requiring an enormous commitment of time and energy from both the participant and the parents or guardians. The recipient must enroll and participate in one of Stratton Training Centers Competitive Programs which run every Saturday and Sunday and all holiday periods from 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., beginning the fourth weekend in November through the first weekend in April.  Participants need to be at Stratton ready to ski or board every morning of the program. In addition, competitions are held at various mountains in the area on four or more (depending on the program and the age of the participant) days during the season.

Applications available outside the main office.

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