Monthly Archives: June 2013

June 2013


3  End of Marking Period
3  Scholarship Night (7 pm)
4-6  Underclass Exams (Early Dismissal – 12:35 pm)
5  Commencement Rehearsal
7  Faculty In-Service – Make-up Exams
7  Commencement (5:30 pm)


From the Headmaster

Dear Families:

We have arrived at the end of the school year and, for our seniors, the end of their four years at Burr and Burton. It has been an amazing year, and the recent run of our public events has been incredible: the AP Psychology fair, Holocaust class presentations, Little Shop of Horrors, choral performances at Lincoln Center, the performing arts showcase at SVAC, Sophomore Service Day, The Gawlik Awards, last week’s fundraising Gala, sports performances galore, among others.

While there is always a desire to look back and reflect, I would also like to look forward as we have had a confluence of events and decisions recently that look to the future.

First, we are in the process of purchasing 20 acres of land directly adjacent to our main campus, and it is simply magical. The woodland is beautiful, there is a crystal clear pond, and the main building, Birchbrook, is representative of architecture from a bygone era. I do not think it is hyperbole to say that this is the single most important land acquisition since Joseph Burr funded the initial property upon which our beloved Seminary Building sits, and it opens up a host of possibilities for the future of our main campus as it brings it to almost 50 acres.

On the technology front, next year, we will furnish every student at Burr and Burton with an iPad, thereby unleashing the tremendous potential for today’s technology to transform the teaching and learning process. As with the land acquisition, this step will be transformative and might be as momentous on the pedagogical front as the land acquisition is on the physical.

Further, as announced on Earth Day, we have brought to fruition a hydroelectric power deal with the Carthusian monks on Equinox Mountain. Effective immediately, our entire electric supply is being provided through this carbon-free source at a 10% price reduction. Thus, we will save $15,000 per year while preserving the environment and providing an educational venue for our students. This is a true “triple bottom line” project.

All this, and we have just completed our first year of the Mountain Campus. Over forty students have now experienced the rigor and challenge of a semester on the mountain, and the results are unequivocal: the Mountain Campus program is a life-changing opportunity.

Then, there is the daily business of teaching and learning, which is our true heart and soul. In every department, there is evidence of reflective practice, the challenging of assumptions, and a commitment to continuous re-thinking of our program and approach. We came through the NEASC accreditation process with flying colors and a comprehensive road map for the future. This summer, a team of students and adults will go to Shelburne Farms for a “farm to school” program that will impact our relationship with food and the local agricultural community. Homework Academy is now an integral part of our school and has met with great success. Our assembly program is revitalized. We are refocusing our efforts to address drug and alcohol issues, and on a daily basis, we are making and supporting the human connections so vital to making us a true learning community.

In support of all these efforts, we have an advancement office tirelessly seeking support for the future (newsflash–the Gala on May 24 set yet-another record on the fundraising front), a business office ensuring that our finances and operations remain true, a food service department keeping our bellies full and our taste buds interested, and a maintenance department working behind the scenes to keep our buildings and campus in tip-top shape.

* * * * * * *

There is no one thing that makes a school “great.” Rather, greatness is a function of being able to create a unique, passionate experience for each and every student, whether it is in the classroom, on stage, behind the camera, on the sports field, or elsewhere. And each of these experiences is dependent on students working with adults in a truly collaborative relationship.

If there has been someone who has been particularly meaningful to you and your daughters or sons this year, please consider letting that person know. Your words of support are very meaningful and very powerful.

On June 7, we will honor the Class of 2013, and then we will all head off for a much-deserved respite. It has been a great year, and I look forward to celebrating its accomplishments and bringing it to a close. Our future is bright.

Onward and forward,

Mark H. Tashjian


Dear Families,

As the school year draws to a close I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to all those who supported the Mountain Campus and our students this pioneer year. Our launch has been a fantastic success, and we couldn’t have done it without this incredible community of students, teachers, friends and neighbors. As in any good school, we learned a few things along the way and are eager to start again next fall with a new group of motivated, curious and caring students. Congratulations to our graduates; your legacy will live on as Mountain Campus Pioneers.

Onward and Forward!

Ben Freeman
Mountain Campus Director

mountain pic

Curious to learn more? Take a look at our blog or come up for a visit!

A video about the Spring semester may be seen here.


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.

June is here already! Can you believe it?
The end of the marking period is on the third and scholarship night is also on the third at 7 pm.
Then final exams from the 4th-6th with early dismissal (12:35) those days. The last day of school is June 6th.
Rehearsal for commencement is on the 5th and commencement for the class of 2013 is Friday, June 7th. That’s also a faculty in service day, so the kids have that day off!

I told you there was a lot going on by the 7th!

See you next year!

Peggy Brockett
Parent Association President 


From the Athletic Department


August 11 – Mandatory Football Parent and Athlete Information Night 5 pm in the cafeteria.

August 12 – Football practice begins.

August 14 – Mandatory Fall Sports Parent and Athlete Information Night for ALL Fall Sports 6:00 pm in the gym. All athletes and parents will meet in the gym first. Football players and parents will be dismissed and all others will go to individual team meetings.

August 15 – Soccer, Field Hockey and X-country practices begin.

Fall Head Coaches:

Football: Jason Thomas      

Girls’ Soccer: Dan DeForest

Boys’ Soccer: Peter Mull     

Field Hockey: Barb Miceli    

Field Hockey: Julie Fifield    

X-Country: Sandy Birch     

All students must have had a physical exam after October 31, 2011 prior to participating in fall sports. Copies of new or existing physicals must be provided to the athletic department.

All the necessary forms needed to participate in athletics can be downloaded from the schools web site, These completed forms must be brought to the meetings on August 11  or August 14 or mailed (attn. Kathi Bierwirth) to the school before August 10.

Returning Burr and Burton students must be in attendance at the first day of practice and all juniors must attend the varsity tryouts.

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


From the Advancement Office

As the school year comes to an end, it’s a time to look back on our successes and what a year it has been!  And the Advancement Office couldn’t be more grateful for all of the support that has come through our doors.  

First, our annual fundraising gala, Evening under the Stars, was a huge success!  From the online auction, to the raffle, to gala sponsorships, sponsoring faculty members to attend, and the live auction and call to support the Student Success Program, it was an evening to remember.  While we are still working on paying our expenses and gathering the pledges made during the event, it looks like we will net well over $300,000.  That is a remarkable number and we are appreciative of all who supported the efforts of the gala committee and responded to our expert auctioneer, Eric Nathan’s call to action. 

Second, at our last tally, our parent participation in the Annual Giving Campaign is up over last year by 3.3%.  Any trend upwards is a good trend and we have yet to add in the support we received in May.  I’m confident we’ll end up even higher.  So thank you to all parents who gave to the annual fund.  Whether you made an outright gift, a gift in kind, supported Friends of Hockey, bought raffle tickets or an online auction item – all count toward our parent participation number. 

Third, we once again exceeded our annual fund goal which means all of the extraordinary opportunities we offer to YOUR student will continue.  While other schools cannot always offer after school activities, fun and interesting clubs, three seasons of sports, music, dance and drama programs, a plethora of out of the ordinary courses and more, Burr and Burton Academy can because of the annual fund.  

And last but certainly not least, we want to thank all of our parent volunteers. Peggy Brockett, Parent Association President led a stellar group of dedicated committee members.  Bob McLeish and Kathleen James led the Advancement Committee of the Parent Association and Gina Vickers was an awesome Gala Committee chair. Vice president and communications liaison Drew Dunigan did a super job at outreach to our BBA families.  Jennifer Amatruto and Tracy Staton served admirably on the Arts and Humanities Committee, Peggy Brockett and Tammy Pollard warmly welcomed parents of Freshmen and transfers students to our community.  And Kate Miskovsky headed up the Community Life committee.

To all of our parents who worked with the Performing Arts Department, the Friends of Hockey, the Booster Club, helped out with fundraisers for all sorts of student needs, all home bakers who contributed countless cookies and bars to bake sales, and many other unsung heroes, we give you our sincere thanks for your help and support of our BBA students! 

I know I’ve probably missed someone and if I did, I apologize.  Please know that this school is a special place because of you.  Dedicated and talented faculty are a major factor; visionary and supportive administration and staff are extremely important; but PARENT involvement is key.  Being involved in your student’s education ensures they will be engaged and succeed in school.  And that’s why we do what we do – to help each and every student find success at Burr and Burton.

Have a great summer and if you’re around campus, stop by and say high to the Advancement Staff.  And once again, a heartfelt THANK YOU for all that you did to support our Burr and Burton students this year.

With deep appreciation,

Cynthia Gubb, Rich Thompson, Nancy Brown and Christine Hoard 

Cynthia Gubb
Director of Advancement


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The Student Success Program has had a great first year at BBA. Jason Pergament, Director of the program, has been hard at work planning interventions to address the achievement gap that exists here in our community.

One of the major programs being initiated this year is the Summer Success Camp (July 22 – August 8, 2013). The Success Camp Staff has been focusing their energy on getting ready to welcome our incoming Freshman. They are working hard to finalize the details of camp – including time on the ropes course, a Vermont college tour and a week up on the Mountain Campus. There is a great energy at the sending schools about this offering and all of the staff involved are excited to meet this new cohort of scholars. They are confident that their efforts will ensure these students start off their career at Burr and Burton on the right foot!


Student Travel Opportunities

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The itinerary and more information may be found here.

Moroccan Wanderers

During April break, 2014 a group of BBA students will head to Morocco for 10 days. They will visit Casablanca, where they will relive the 1940s classic Casablanca when they eat dinner in Humphrey Bogart-style at the famous “Rick’s Cafe”.  Following this, they will explore the golden kasbah of Ait Benhadou on a scavenger hunt that takes them throughout the town in a search for Moroccan treasures. This is only the beginning! The trip includes a sunset camel ride and sand boarding through the desert, a hike deep into Todra Gorge, and time in the UNESCO-acclaimed thousand-year-old market of Marrakech, where they can watch snake charmers mesmerize their cobras and buy trinkets sold by vendors. Throughout the week, students will hear Mosques make their calls to prayer and students will journal about their experiences. 

During the middle of the week, students will perform Community Service in Ait Bougamez. The nature of the community service will be set closer to our departure time, based on the needs of the community. Students will earn 16 hours of community service during the time spent in Morocco, allowing them to give back to the communities they stay in.

The trip is jointly sponsored by the foreign language department and the social studies department, allowing all students to apply. Rustic Pathways is the tour guide responsible for the itinerary and leadership, with Michelle Emery, French teacher, and Kendra Larson, Social Studies teacher, as chaperones. For more information, contact Michelle Emery at or Kendra Larson at

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See the Spain video here.


From the Media and Performing Arts Department


A free, public viewing of the Lincoln Center performance DVD of Calling All Dawns will be presented at 7 pm, Wednesday, June 5 in the Riley Center for the Arts at Burr and Burton Academy.  The performance is approximately one hour in length.  For further information, please contact Julie Freebern or 802-362-1775 ex. 231.


College and Career Information

Summer Homework for Rising Seniors

  • Request a college recommendation from a teacher before summer vacation – use the Teacher Recommendation Request Form (available in the School and College Counseling Office).
  • Visit college campuses and enter your observations in your Naviance journal. Update your online Naviance resume (
  • Complete all summer work required for your fall classes –Information and summer reading assignments available on under academics. Draft a sample college essay – Rising seniors received the new essay topics for the Common Application in advisory, copies are available in the School and College Counseling office and are currently posted on the Common Application website ( The new version of the entire Common Application will be available August 1.
  • Work on Service Learning projects.
  • Learn something new through work, summer programs or self-study.
  • Set a personal goal and achieve it; think about how you want to challenge yourself in your senior year. Register by August 23 for the September 21 ACT at There will be another opportunity to take the ACT in October. Registration and test dates not yet announced for the SAT- check on for updated information.

Mandatory Application Seminar for all College-Bound Seniors

Tuesday, August 20, 10 am – 1 pm
 Information on the college admission process and preliminary work on college applications.

Senior College Application Workshops (optional but recommended)

Application Workshops 10am – 12 pm Wednesday, August 21 and Thursday, August 22 
Come to one-or both-sessions to work with your counselor and get your college applications filled out before the busy fall semester begins.

Summer Homework for All
Students need to budget time over the summer for any required academic work. All students will have a summer reading requirement and assignment from the Social Studies Department. Students enrolled in AP English 11 or 12, AP US History, AP Biology and AP Psychology will have course-specific summer work. Assignments will be posted on the Burr and Burton website and available in hard copy in the School and College Counseling Office.

Attention Class of 2015  
All rising juniors must report to school on Tuesday, August 27, for the Junior Jump Start Program. Juniors have reached an important milestone and we’ll mark this special day with activities to kick off the second half of high school! Students will be introduced to career and college information, standardized testing options, and more. They’ll also meet new students and have some time to reconnect with classmates and advisors.

Summer contact information for School and College Counseling Office
All of the counselors work a different schedule throughout the summer and will periodically check and respond to email. We are also available to meet with students and parents by appointment. Please keep in touch with your questions and updates.

As advisory groups, rising sophomores have shifted counselors from Phil Anton to Andrea Hogan, Melissa Michaud or Cristin Rose. Juniors and seniors will retain their current counselor for consistency. Phil Anton will continue to be the counselor for incoming freshmen. School and College counselor assignments will again be noted in the end-of-the-year mailing.

Senior Plans
Members of the Class of 2013 recently completed surveys about their various plans for life after Burr and Burton. We will automatically send final transcripts for seniors who indicated enrolling in a college. (There is no need for a special request or form!) Students who later change their enrollment decision should let us know so we can follow up appropriately.

We wish graduates good luck in their ventures. Please know that we look forward to hearing from you. We’ll miss you!


From the Library


Teen Book App!

Want an easy way to find awesome, award-winning teen books? Use the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) Teen Book Finder App!  It’s easy to use & has lots of info on great books for teens. More info (including the download link) is here:

Here are some recent additions to the Lisa B. Tuttle Memorial Collection and they are a great place to start if you are looking for some recommended summer reads. 

Marr, Melissa and Kelley Armstrong, eds.  Shards and Ashes.  A collection of nine dystopian tales, with selections by Veronica Roth, Nancy Holder, Melissa Marr, and others.

Van Draanen, Wendelin.  The Running Dream.  When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.

Johnson, Maureen.  The Name of the Star.  Rory, of Boueuxlieu, Louisiana, is spending a year at a London boarding school when she witnesses a murder by a Jack the Ripper copycat and becomes involved with the very unusual investigation.

Schrefer, Eliot.  The School for Dangerous Girls.  Sent to a remote, run-down reform school in Colorado, fifteen-year-old Angela is placed with the better girls, but upon learning that her “dangerous” friends are being isolated and left to live as animals, she takes radical steps to join them and help them escape.

Blake, Kendare.  Anna Dressed in Blood.  Cas Lowood, armed with his late father’s mysterious athame, set out to kill a ghost known as Anna Dressed in Blood, but what he believes will be a routine task turns deadly when he discovers Anna is unlike any ghost he has ever encountered before.

Ness, Patrick.  A Monster Calls:  a Novel.  Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill–an ancient, wild creature that wants him to face truth and loss.

Berger, Jonah.  Contagious:  Why Things Catch On.  Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.

Kiernan, Denise.  The Girls of Atomic City:  The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II.  In this book the author traces the story of the unsung World War II workers in Oak Ridge, Tennessee through interviews with dozens of surviving women and other Oak Ridge residents. This is the story of the young women of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who unwittingly played a crucial role in one of the most significant moments in U.S. history.

Andrews, Jesse.  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.  Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.

Saenz, Benjamin Alire.  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.  Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  The Raven Boys.  Though she is from a family of clairvoyants, Blue Sargent’s only gift seems to be that she makes other people’s talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys from the expensive Aglionby Academy, she discovers that he has talents of his own–and that together their talents are a dangerous mix.

Levithan, David.  Every Day.  Every morning A wakes in a different person’s body, in a different person’s life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon.

Kontis, Alethea.  Enchanted.  When Sunday Woodcutter, the youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week, kisses an enchanted frog, he transforms back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland–a man Sunday’s family despises.

Quick, Matthew.  Boy21.  Finley, an unnaturally quiet boy who is the only white player on his high school’s varsity basketball team, lives in a dismal Pennsylvania town that is ruled by the Irish mob, and when his coach asks him to mentor a troubled African American student who has transferred there from an elite private school in California, he finds that they have a lot in common in spite of their apparent differences.

Condie, Ally.  Matched.  Cassia has always had complete trust in the Society to make decisions for her, but when she is being paired with her ideal mate, a second face flashes on the screen, and Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility as she tries to decide which man she truly loves.    If you like Matched try its sequels:   Reached and Crossed.

Ritland, Mike and Gary Brozek.  Trident K9 Warriors :  My Tales from the Training Ground to the Battlefield with Elite Navy SEAL Canines.  Provides an inside look at the dogs that serve as highly trained K9 warriors doing detection and apprehension work in battlefield conditions as elite Navy SEAL canines, with anecdotes from the author’s experience as a Navy SEAL and a trainer and supplier of working and protection dogs.

Erdrich, Louise.  The Round House.  An attack on 13-year-old Joe’s mother near their North Dakota Ojibwe reservation home leads him and his friends on a quest to solve the crime.  This coming-of-age story highlights friendship, family, tradition, and the uneasy relationship between the tribal and white communities.

Hohn, Donovan.  Moby Duck: the true story of  28,800 bath toys lost at sean and of the beachcombers, oceanographers, environmentalists, and fools, including the author , who went in search of them.  Journalist Donovan Hohn chronicles his quest to learn about the mysterious loss of 28,800 bath toys lost at sea, discussing the discoveries he made during his conversations with environmentalists, experts in oceanography, and various other individuals.

Skilton, Sarah.  Bruised.  When she freezes during a hold -up at the local diner, sixteen-year-old Imogen, a black belt in Tae Kwan Do, has to rebuild her life, including her relationship with her family and with the boy who was with her during the shoot-out.

King, A.S.  Ask the Passengers.  Astrid Jones, who realizes that she is a lesbian, deals with the gossip and rejection she faces by sending love up to the people on airplanes as they pass over her.

Rowell, Rainbow.   Eleanor & Park.  “Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.”

Moyes, Jojo.  Me Before You.  “They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose–Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life–steady boyfriend, close family–who has never been farther afield than their tiny village.  She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident.”

Emerson, Jason.  Giant in the Shadows: the life of Robert T. Lincoln.  After nearly 10 years of research, Emerson offers the first truly definitive biography of the famous lawyer, businessman, and statesman who, much more than merely the son of America’s most famous president, made his ow indelible mark on one of the most progressive and dynamic eras in U.S. history.

Souder, William.  On a Farther Shore: the life and legacy of Rachel Carson.  Offers details about the life of marine biologist, environmentalist, and author Rachel Carson and discusses the influence of her book “Silent Spring.”

Mam, Somaly.  The Road of Lost Innocence.  Somaly Man, a Cambodian woman who was sold into the sex trade when she was twelve, relates her experiences in the industry and discusses her work as an activist in Southeast Asia.

Donovan, Jeremy.  How to deliver a TED talk: secrets of the world’s most inspiring presentations.  A complete guide to creating presentations that inspire others with your story.

Shlaes, Amity.  Coolidge.  A provocative reexamination of America’s thirtieth president, Calvin Coolidge.

Erdrich, Louise.  The Round House.  An attack on 13-year-old Joe’s mother near their North Dakota Ojibwe reservation home leads him and his friends on a quest to solve the crime.  This coming-of-age story highlights friendship, family, tradition, and the uneasy relationship between the tribal and white communities.

Bergman, Peter.  18 Minutes:  Find Your Focus, Master Distraction & Get the Right Things Done.  Presents tips on how to cut through interruptions and clutter in daily life and focus on the things that are most important to us.

Brunt, Carol Rifka.  Tell the Wolves I’m Home.  June thought she knew everything about her beloved uncle, Finn. After his death from a mysterious new illness called AIDS, his grieving boyfriend delivers Finn’s favorite teapot to June’s door, and she realizes nothing is what she thought it was: not her family, not her uncle, not even herself.

Cross, Sarah.  Kill Me Softly.  After being raised her whole life by her fairy godmothers, Mirabelle runs away to the town where they said her parents had died at. But when she gets there, she starts to notice that this isn’t any ordinary town and that the teens that live here are fated to play out the Grimm’s fairy tales. So when Mira finds out that she, too has a role to play, it’s only a matter of time before her story could lose its happy ending.

Roth, Veronica. Insurgent.  In the sequel to Divergent, Tris Prior is safe housing at the Amity compounds with her fellow survivors. With the whole city at war with its self and Jeannie looking for all the divergent, Tris must learn to embrace her own divergence and understand it, though it might prove a dangerous task.

Stiefvater, Maggie. The Raven Boys.  The Raven Boys is a thrilling adventure that captures you and takes you down the supernatural path with a daring girl named Blue, four complicated guys and one life-altering quest and mystery of finding the Glendower King.

Wein, Elizabeth. Code Name Verity.  Verity is held captive by the Gestapo in 1943. She is told to reveal the secrets of the pilot who brought her to France or face the brutal consequences. As she does this, she weaves a story of an unlikely friends hip and the bonds formed by it. Their tales intertwined form a suspenseful, breathtaking narrative of espionage – hope – horror – and friendship that spans untold secrets!

Hartman, Rachel. Seraphina.  Dragons and humans have finally achieved peace, and the anniversary celebration is fast approaching. For Seraphina Dombegh who is half dragon and half human , life is about blending in. However, a series of events will place her in the path of the Prince Lucian, Captain of the Queen’s Guard, and a hunt for a killer determined to start a war.

Although the BBA Library is closed during the summer, our collection remains available to the entire school community through the Mark Skinner Library. 

Happy summer reading! 

Library Hours:
Monday – Thurs       7:00 am – 4:00 pm
Friday                      7:00 am – 1:00 pm


Corporate Sponsors

We thank the corporations below for their generous support of Burr and Burton Academy and hope you will in turn support their businesses.

Headmaster’s List

Berkshire Bank

r.k. Miles

Stratton Mountain Resort

The Orvis Company

The Vermont Country Store

TPW Management

High Honors List

Finn and Stone Insurance

Mack Molding

The Equinox Resort and Spa

W.H. Shaw Insurance Agency, Inc.

Honors List

Casella Waste Management

Homestead Landscaping

Mettowee Mill Nursery, Inc.

The Bank of Bennington

The Richards Group

Academic Letter

Aspen Motel

Battenkill Communications

Bradley D. Myerson Law Offices

Dublois and Associates

Engel Spivey Lemonik, PC

Hand Motors

High-Tech Plumbing & Heating

Mountain Weavers

People’s United Bank

Academic Pin

Dydo and Company, Inc.

Glebe Mountain Gardens & Landscaping


Northshire Bookstore

TD Bank


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