Monthly Archives: November 2013

November 2013


1   Mid Term Exams
2  American Choral Directors Association Honors Chorus
4-8 Mountain Campus Camping Trip (Monday through Friday)
4  Eighth Grade Parent Information Meetings – 1 pm to 3 pm – Hunter Seminar
5  Mandatory Parent/Athlete Ice Hockey Meeting – 6 pm to 7 pm – Cafeteria
6 Eighth Grade Parent Information Meetings – 8 am to 10 am – Hunter Seminar
6-9 Fall Play – The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later – 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm – Riley Center for the Arts
11 Veteran’s Day – No School (Faculty In Service Day)
12 Refuse to Use for Freshman – 3 pm to 4:30 pm – Hunter Seminar Room
12 Refuse to Use for Sophomores – 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm – Hunter Seminar
12 Eighth Grade Parent Information Night – 7 pm to 9 pm – Riley Center
13 VSAC Paying for College Night – 7 pm to 8:30 pm – Riley Center
14 Mandatory Winter Sports Meeting – 6 pm to 7 pm
16 Saturday Series – Frankenstein – 7 pm to 9 pm – Riley Center
21 Refuse to Use for Seniors – 6 pm to 7:30 pm – Hunter Seminar
21 Refuse to Use for Juniors – 6 pm to 7:30 pm – Cafeteria
27-29 Thanksgiving Break – no school


From the Assistant Headmaster

Dear BBA Families,

We fall into November with the start of the second academic marking period and the winter sports season.  With the time change (don’t forget to fall back this weekend), you might be tempted to hunker down during the dark November evenings. I encourage you to take advantage of the rich opportunities available this month to connect as a community.  

Next week, come out to experience the powerful drama production The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. The cast consists of BBA students and faculty members and the production is serving as a catalyst for dialogue on diversity and acceptance at BBA.

Later in the month, you can enjoy two special film screenings. On November 19th at 7:00 pm, BBA presents The Long Bike Back, which chronicles filmmaker Pearson Constantino’s recovery from a terrible bicycle accident as he rides his bike across the country with his brother.  Pearson will work with classes throughout the school day on film scoring, storytelling and cinematography.  On November 21 at 6:00 pm, Hunger Free Vermont and the Windham Foundation present A Place at the Table a film that will change how you think about issues of hunger.  

On November 25 at 6:30 pm, join us for an evening with singer/songwriter Mark Erelli accompanied by Charlie Rose for a collaborative arts presentation featuring BBA students and (possibly) faculty members.  Mark and Charlie will work with vocal and instrumental students and in music studio classes during the day to prepare a few numbers to perform that evening.  

Most importantly, I want to let you know that Mark Tashjian’s recovery is moving along nicely and he plans to share a more in depth retrospective when the time is right. If you head to the Laramie Project you might just catch him performing on stage!



Meg Kenny
Assistant Headmaster


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 is here! The holidays are too (at the end of the month)!

  • November 1st begins with the second day of midterm exams.
  • On the fifth there is a mandatory meeting for all ice hockey parents and athletes.
  • Also on the 6th – 9th is the fall play, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.
  • On the 11th is  a faculty in service day but there is no school for the kids. There will be teacher appreciation desserts at their lunch!
  • On the 13th VSAC will have their Paying for College night at 7 pm.
  • On the 14th there is a mandatory meeting for parents and athletes that are doing winter sports.
  • Finally, we enjoy the Thanksgiving Break which is from the 27th – 29th.

A big thank you to all those who helped with the clothing drive!

See you in December!

Peggy Brockett
Parent Association President


From the Advancement Office

2013 – 2014 Annual Fund – Your participation is critical!

By now, you have received both the Annual Fund brochure and a personal appeal from Mark Tashjian for your support of this year’s Annual Fund.  As parents, your participation is key to our success – parent support demonstrates your commitment to our mission to serve the needs of all students, and especially YOUR student.

We are stressing participation again this year by all parents and encouraging you to give at a level that works for you.  You may say to yourself, “What can my $10, $25, or $50 dollars do for BBA?”  I would like to stress that each and every gift counts as a vote in favor of top-quality education.  With your support, we can demonstrate to other donors and foundations that our families are behind us 100% which in turn, inspires their generous support. 

What does the Annual Fund support?  Here’s one great example – 770 iPads were leased at an expense of $98,664 per year.  Tuition paid by your town does not cover that expense, we have to fundraise to cover that cost.  But it is worth every dollar we raise to provide this extraordinary educational tool to all students and all faculty.  When considering a gift, think about the iPad that your student is using to enhance their learning experience here, or the after school clubs that we offer, or the service learning trips planned for the second semester, or any of the “extras” that are available to your student at Burr and Burton Academy.  These opportunities are provided by meeting the Annual Fund goal.

Last year we were able to raise parent participation from 27% to 35%.  Let’s keep that percentage growing – don’t put it off and make your gift today.  It’s easy, you can give online, you can send a check, or you can donate a service of some sort to the Online Auction – all gifts count toward the participation number.  We will track the Annual Fund by class again (if you have more than one student we’ll count your gift in each of their classes), and offer an incentive to the class with the most support (more to come on that later).

Thank you for your past support; last year was an incredible year for the Annual Fund and we are working to replicate that success.  Help us get to the goal!

With grateful appreciation, 

cindy's only signature

Cynthia Gubb
Director of Advancement


From the Athletic Department

Tuesday November 5, 6 pm
Mandatory boys and girls ice hockey parent/athlete meeting in the Rowland Center cafeteria.

Thursday November 14, 6 pm
Mandatory winter sports parent/athlete meeting.
All winter sports (including ice hockey) meet in the gymnasium. From this meeting teams will be directed to individual meeting locations, ice hockey players and parents will be dismissed.

Monday November 18 – Ice Hockey tryouts begin.

Monday December 2 – Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, Snowboarding, Basketball, Dance and Wrestling begin tryouts.

All students participating in a winter sport must have had a physical exam after March 2012.

Physical forms and permission forms can be downloaded from the schools web site These completed forms must be brought to the meeting on November 5 or 14 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

Because of the later start time for winter sports there will be games scheduled for all teams during the February 17 – 21 break. The Varsity Dance state competition will be held on February 22. Please keep this in mind when scheduling family vacations.

To Receive Athletic Schedule Updates:

  • Go to
  • Find your school: type in “Burr and Burton.”
    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 go to the right side of the page.
  • Click on sign up for our FREE schedule update email.
  • Type in your email address.
  • Follow steps from here.
  • As soon as games are scheduled, canceled or rescheduled you will receive an email.

Dollar Skate November 3
Friends of Hockey are hosting a Dollar Skate at Riley Rink on Sunday, November 3, 2013 from 1:45 to 3:45.  The cost is $1 for ages 13 and under and $2 for over 13.  Please join us for a great time and delicious baked goods.  All proceeds benefit Friends of Hockey, which supports the Varsity Hockey program.  This event is being sponsored by Spiral Press Café and Perfect Wife Restaurant. 


From the Dean of Students

Dear Parents,

It is hard to believe that November is already upon us. As we transition to colder temperatures and shorter days, I ask that you be mindful of the following.

  1. If your child drives to school, please encourage him/her to wake up a little earlier so that he/she can drive safely to school. As winter approaches your child may need extra time to clean off the car and possibly navigate slippery roads.
  2. During inclement weather, there may be occasions when Burr and Burton Academy is open, but your local community school may be close. This is especially true in the mountain communities. On these days, arriving to school a little late or even staying home is an acceptable option. Note: Please call (362-1775) anytime your child will not be attending school.
  3. Over the past two months, some students have developed a pattern of coming to school late.  Per our attendance policy, being tardy to school/class may affect your child’s grades. Every third tardy is the equivalent of one class absence.
  4. Encourage your son/daughter to talk with his/her teacher(s) if they are having attendance difficulties. Absences over fourteen may result in a grade reduction, unless your child creates a plan to make up missed classes and work with his/her teacher(s).

Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions about this notice or our attendance policy. 


Anthony J. Cirelli
Co-Dean of Students


Texting and Driving

Recently all students had the opportunity to learn about the dangers of texting and driving and then discussed strategies that they can use to diffuse, and or remove themselves, from potentially harmful situations.  

They watched the film From One Second to the Next by acclaimed director Warner Herzog. 

The video can be seen here.

We encourage all parents to have a follow up discussion with their child about the perils of texting and driving as this is such an important topic.


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Greetings from the Mountain Campus!

It is hard to believe that our fall semester has hit the halfway mark and that winter is at our doorstep.  We are just back from our “Case Study in Sustainability” trip to northern Vermont, where students investigated what it means to balance a triple-bottom line: building economy while benefiting community and restoring environmental health.  Our case study this semester was the greater Hardwick region and 13 different businesses and non-profit organizations working together or in parallel to improve their towns and our state for the better.  It was an inspiring and immensely educational journey!
If you are interested to learn more about what we are doing at the Mountain Campus, please visit our student blog or the BBA web page.  We will also be hosting a student visitation day on Wednesday, November 20.  If your son or daughter is interested in learning more about the Mountain Campus, a visit is the best possible way to understand the power and depth of our program.  There will be additional announcements and sign-ups at BBA later this month.
Ben Freeman
Mountain Campus Director

Mountain Campus blog:


From the International Program

The International program is glad to report that we have 57 international students this year from Japan, South Korea, China, Macau, Thailand, Brazil, Spain, Bolivia, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Our international students stay at one of our four  homes that serve as small dorms near the school, but the majority stay with host families. We have a great group of host families that share their lives with the students and make long-life connections. These students are involved in sports, art, theater, cinematography, media, music, Caliopi Cafe, leadership groups, allowing us to get to know another culture while adding diversity to our community and school. This year we have our first international student participating in the Mountain Campus Program and we will have two more joining this program next semester. Our students either come for several years and graduate from BBA and go on to college in the U.S., or they come for a semester to a year, to improve their English as well as learn about our culture. 

Great Adventure

The International students visited Great Adventure Amusement Park in Lake George.


Student Travel Opportunities

A few spots still available

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See the Spain video here.


Costa Rica April 2014

Spanish Teacher Sue Ritchie is leading a trip to Costa Rica during the April 2014 break. The trip will have a focus on Spanish and Science, including visits to volcanoes, thermal volcanic springs, zip lining in the cloud forest, visiting a Butterfly Farm, a boat ride on the Pacific Coast, and much more. Dave Curtis and his wife will also be chaperones. See Sue Ritchie for details. The cost is approximately $2500 including all meals. Max 24 students.  Brochures are now available.


From the Creative Arts Department

Laramie cast photo

The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later

Burr and Burton Academy’s Creative Arts Department will present The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later on November 6, 7, 8 and 9, 2013, at 6:30 PM in the Riley Center for the Arts. This provocative play was written by Moises Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris and Stephen Belber, members of the Tectonic Theater Project.  This piece draws on hundreds of interviews by the Tectonic Theater Project with the inhabitants of Laramie, Wyoming, along with the use of personal journal entries, court documents and news reports about how the town has or has not changed since the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, a murder that was denounced as a hate crime.  As a result of this incident, a spotlight was focused on the lack of hate crime laws in various states, including Wyoming. 

In the spirit of honoring diversity, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later is being used to open a candid conversation within the community.  The cast, consisting of forty-two students, faculty and administration members, invites the audience to join in a question and answer period after each show.  Don’t miss this bold work of documentary theater that asks, “How does society write its own history?”  Tickets are $7 for Burr and Burton students, faculty, staff and children under 18, $12 for the general public and can be ordered online at  Our 24-hour information line is 802-549-8224.  The box office opens one hour before the show.  Due to the mature content of this dramatic production, parental discretion is advised.


Simon Aborn, Gabe Goodrich and Zak Horvath will represent Burr and Burton at the American Choral Director’s Association Men’s Honors Chorus Festival Saturday November 2, 2013 culminating in a 5:30 pm performance at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Fine Arts Center.



School and College Counseling

VSAC Financial Aid Night
The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation Financial Aid roadshow comes to Burr and Burton on Wednesday, November 13th, 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 Monday, November 11th when there are no classes.

Castleton On-The-Spot Admission Program
Castleton gives students the opportunity to interview with Castleton College admissions counselors at BBA on Wednesday, December 11. They will immediately receive their admission decision IF the student’s COMPLETED APPLICATION has been received by November 20th. 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 8th is the registration deadline for the SAT on December 7th at Burr and Burton. Go to Seniors who want to take the December 14th ACT at another school should register by the November 8th deadline at

Update for Juniors
College-bound juniors took the PSAT on October 16th. 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 2013-2014 school year, even those enrolled in second semester AP courses, are required to pay an exam fee of $90 per exam by Monday, December 2nd.  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 5 – May 14, 2014.

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.

2013/2014 Scholarship List
Sscholarship information can be found in the School and College Counseling Office and is listed on Naviance at:

American Legion Oratorical Contest
Eligibility: This is a state and national Constitutional Speech Competition open to 9th through 12th graders.
Deadline: December 13.
Online information: (left side of screen, Info Center) or Karlene DeVine at 802-877-6392 or email:

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:

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;


From the Health Center

Change can be tough…

If you are confused about the recent changes to the health care system, you are not alone. Vermont Health Connect is a new way to choose a health insurance plan that works best with you and your family’s needs and budget. Unfortunately, unexpected glitches with sign-up programs and website issues have left many with unanswered questions about available health plans and enrollment options. Thankfully, Navigator Organizations have been created to help people and families find an insurance plan that is best for them. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) has been named a Navigation Organization in our area and they are ready and willing to help you.

You can reach them at: or call 1-866-476-1321 to schedule an appointment for help.


From the Library

YALSA’s Alex Awards

YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, sponsors the Alex Awards which are given to “ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.  The winning titles are selected from the previous year’s publishing.”

Here are the 2013 winners:

Bullhorn November 2013

Caring is Creepy by David Zimmerman — While trying to survive a long boring summer in rural Georgia, Lynn befriends a lonely soldier online.  When they meet face to face, tables are turned as Lynn tries to exert power in her out-of-control life.  

Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman — With only a worn copy of the Girl Scout Handbook for reference, resourceful and tenacious Rory Hendrix must navigate the depression landscape of a 1970s trailer park where she suffers abuse at the hands of a neighbor and neglect from her mother.

Juvenile in Justice by Richard Ross — Richard Ross’ riveting photographs give voices to incarcerated youth in juvenile detention centers across America.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan — Clay Johnson loses his web-designer job and begins working the night shift in a bookstore with only a few customers.  This marvelous mashup blends mystery, adventure and romance into a literary and technological tale.

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf — Written by a former classmate of Jeffrey Dahmer, this graphic novel illustrates the teenage years of a future serial killer.

One Shot at Forever by Chris Ballard — This remarkable story follows the Macon Ironmen, a team of misfits with a hippie coach, through a recordsetting baseball season.

Pure by Julianna Baggott — In a world destroyed by nuclear detonations only a privileged few have remained pure.  Two teens from different sides of the Dome unite to search for answers to troubling questions about their origins.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich — 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 tribe and white communities.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt — 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 realized nothing is what she thought it was:  not her family, not her uncle, not even herself.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette?  by Maria Sempke — Through a series of emails, letters and FBI files, Bee follows the trail of her missing mother to the ends of the earth in this quirky, laugh-outloud tale.

Library website:

Library Hours:
Monday – Thurs.       7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday                              7:00 am – 1:00 pm


2014 Burtonian Yearbooks

From the Yearbook Desk

  • Senior Portrait and baby pictures should be handed in to Mr. Vincent at
  • Yearbooks are now on sale at for a $7 discount off the cover price until December 1, 2013.
  • Parents of Seniors, it is time to reserve your recognition ad space in the 2014 yearbook. Congratulate your student with a personalized ad. Ad size is 1/8 of a page, about the size of a business card. Each ad is $30 and is printed in full color. This size ad allows for either a small quote and small picture or just writing with no picture or a picture with the students name.
Please contact Mr. Vincent at 802 549 8186  or  with any questions.


Open Invitation

Any community member interested in being a guest speaker for a BBA Personal Finance class please contact Mr. Kujovsky at or at 549-8280.  Some topics to be covered are: budgeting, banking, credit, investing, economics, consumerism and much more.  Any expertise that you could bring to the classroom would be welcome.


Corporate Sponsors

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

Headmaster’s List

Berkshire Bank
Bromley Mountain
Mack Molding
r.k. Miles
Rugg Valley Landscaping
Stratton Mountain Resort
The Orvis Company
The Vermont Country Store
Vermont Country Properties/
Sotheby’s Int’l Realty &
Manchester Gym  

High Honors List

Equinox Hotel and Resort
Finn and Stone Insurance
Spiral Press Cafe
The Perfect Wife
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 and Heating
Mountain Goat North, Inc.
Mountain Weavers
People’s United Bank  

Academic Pin

Black Diamond Tree Service, Inc.
Dydo & Company, Inc.
Glebe Mountain Gardens & Landscaping
Northshire Bookstore
TD Bank



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