Monthly Archives: June 2014

June 2014



1   5K Race Sponsored by the Student Run Activities Committee at BBA
2   Public Screening of the Carnegie Hall Performance in the Riley Center at 7 pm

3   Senior Bell Ringing
5   Gawlik Media and Performing Arts Awards at SVAC at 7 pm
9   Scholarship Night in the Riley Center at 7 pm
13 Burr and Burton Academy Commencement at 5:30 pm


FootballFrom the Headmaster

Dear Families:

At 2:15 pm this Tuesday, the seniors will ring the bell, descend from the senior steps in front of the Seminary building, and follow a tradition that dates back over 180 years. Burr and Burton’s 181st commencement is on the horizon.

In the past ten days, we have had a gala that raised over $250,000, a Student Success Program trip to California, the Mountain Campus final projects, and last night’s stunning Creative Arts Expo. Still on the horizon are exams, the sold-out Gawlik Awards, sports playoffs, Scholarship Night, the psychology fair, and other celebrations large and small culminating in commencement 2014 on June 13 at 5:30 pm.

Our commencement speaker is Kevin Pearce, world champion snowboarder (yes, he defeated Shawn White multiple times) and survivor of a traumatic brain injury. Watch The Crash Reel to get a sense of his remarkable life story. The faculty speaker is Dan DeForest, legendary math teacher and coach, who is retiring after 36 years of service to Burr and Burton students.

Each year is filled with accomplishments large and small, made possible by the human connections that are a hallmark of this school. If there is a particular faculty or staff member who has made a difference in your Burr and Burton experience, please consider letting that person know.

Buckle your seatbelts and let’s all enjoy the end of this year’s thrilling ride together.


  Mark only Signature
Mark Tashjian




From the Assistant Headmaster

Awards Assembly Remarks – May 30, 2014

In the early 1990s, in my first years of teaching, I attended a national conference in Washington D.C. There, I was exposed to ideas and perspectives that pushed my thinking, expanded my depth of knowledge and caused me to reflect deeply on my beliefs about learning and the impact I hoped to have as an educator. The highlight of that conference was a keynote address by Maya Angelou — in hindsight it was a “bucket list” moment — before “bucket list” was a part of our vocabulary. As you know, Maya Angelou died this week — her life and work are a model for all of us. I can’t think of another human being who embodied the spirit of this year’s theme Got Grit more profoundly. She believed an individual’s power and voice were key in achieving what is possible.

Her life’s experiences are full of examples of perseverance, passion, resilience and commitment.

One of my greatest privileges is to witness students embrace these qualities in themselves and celebrate with them as they discover what is possible. As we begin our celebration today I’d like to thank Maya Angelou for her example of a life well lived and share with you the final stanza from her poem “A Brave and Startling Truth”.

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

This morning we continue Burr and Burton Academy’s tradition of honoring student achievement and effort in the arts, academics and athletics. This assembly is just one way our community celebrates student accomplishment and success.

There are celebrations of learning happening all around us and it is joy to celebrate with you.  

In the last few days…

I met with a small group of students as they worked together to plan and cook a breakfast in honor of meeting goals they set for themselves earlier in the year.

Before I left the breakfast, they proudly articulated their individual accomplishments — including high performance at a job placements, making a Gawlik nominated film, and positively interacting with others — this is a celebration of learning.

I witnessed Mountain Campus students present their change agency projects — including; pollinator gardens, river studies, a bee operation, composing systems and a reflective mural celebrating community — this is a celebration of learning.

I ran into a local business owner who mentors a BBA student for a field study who praised the student’s performance and professionalism — this is a celebration of learning.

I listened to students and chaperones who traveled to San Francisco reflect on the experience and the trip’s impact –this is a celebration of learning.

I conferenced with a student who is successfully persevering and overcoming great hurdles in order to meet graduation requirements — this is a celebration of learning.

All of you sitting here experience your own private celebrations of learning.

Think about the moments in your classes when you not only demonstrated depth of understanding but also other qualities like patience, empathy and support.

Think about a time that you looked up from an assignment and realized that significant time had passed, and your project had come to life.

Think about your accomplishments — the challenges you overcame — the progress you made — the new understandings and skills you gained — these are all celebrations of learning.

In the coming days, our public celebrations of learning continue: The Arts Expo, The Psych Fair, The Gawlik Awards — culminating with Commencement on June 13 where we celebrate each graduating senior.

And, today we recognize individual students for outstanding effort and achievement. We acknowledge the determination it takes to reach the highest level of excellence and celebrate together the accomplishments of our community.



Meg Kenny
Assistant Headmaster


From the Technology Department

As the first year of our iPad Learning Initiative comes to a close we continue to reflect on the successes and challenges of 1:1 iPad integration. Key to our reflective process is gathering and analyzing student and faculty feedback on how the use of technology impacted teaching, learning and our overall school culture. Our mission and core values guide our work to ensure that technology use continues to strengthen the powerful partnership of teaching and learning.  

Initially, we planned for students to keep their iPads over the summer,  but due to inventory and maintenance concerns we plan to collect all student iPads and store them for the summer.

Please review the following information with your son/daughter.

iPad Collection Procedures for 9th – 11th Graders

Advisors will collect iPads (and accessories) on Thursday, June 12th from 8:00 – 8:25 am during a mandatory advisory before the last scheduled exam (E-Block).

iPads will be stored at BBA for the summer and you will receive the SAME iPad back in August at the start of the school year.

Important Reminders:

1. Be sure your iPad is FULLY CHARGED when you turn it in with ALL of the following accessories:

  • Shell Case
  • Padded Sleeve
  • Power Brick
  • Data Cable

2. Click HERE and follow the directions for backing up your iPad to iCloud. This will ensure your iPad retains its settings and data for next year.

3. Want to back up your Notability data? Click HERE for directions.

4. Your advisor will be inspecting your iPad for physical damage before it is stored for the summer. Damaged iPads will be replaced so it is critical that you follow the directions for backing up your iPad (mentioned above) prior to turning in your iPad.

Thank you for your cooperation and if you have questions please contact Kevin Morrison at


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.

It’s June – graduation and there is less than half a month to go!

The senior exams are from the 4th – 6th.
The Gawlik Media and Performing Arts Awards are on the night of the 5th.

It’s the end of the last marking period on the 9th and it’s also Scholarship Night.
Graduation practice is on the 11th.
Underclass exams are from the 10th – 12th.
Graduation is on Friday the 13th of June at 5:30 pm.

That’s a wrap for this year (at least)!

I want to extend my thanks to all of you who have made my job so much easier throughout the year and wish everyone a relaxing and enjoyable summer!

Best Wishes!! 

Peggy Brockett
Parent Association President


From the Advancement Office


By now, the dust is just settling from Passport to the World, our annual spring fund-raising gala. A tremendous amount of time and effort goes into the planning of this event and we are happy to report it was a smashing success!!! From the moment gala goers arrived (in the pouring rain), to the moment the band stopped playing, the excitement and energy in the tent was simply amazing. The food was exotic and interesting, the decorations perfect in every way, the Travel Raffle was lots of fun, the Live Auction was incredible, and topped off by yet another astounding Build a Dream call. Every person in the tent understood the importance of the event and rose to the occasion in support of Burr and Burton and our students. The numbers are in the process of being finalized but it looks like we will net approximately $270,000 from this year’s gala.

We want to thank each and every person who contributed in some way to the success of our spring fundraising efforts – to those who donated an item to the Online Auction and those who purchased one, to the amazing and imaginative Passport to the World Gala Committee led by Gina Vickers and Robin Apps, to our Parent Association President, Peggy Brockett, to the student entertainment, the student volunteers, Julie Freebern, Jim Raposa, Bill Muench and Kevin Morrison, faculty members who supported the event throughout the evening, to our Gala sponsors, to The Perfect Wife Restaurant, to our photographer, Gary Baker, to the Advancement and Facilities staff, to Oscar Trugler for his beautiful graphics and design work, to Equinox Valley Nursery, and to Eric and Jane Nathan for their auction services. The list goes on of all the people who made this evening possible and who banded together to show how important support of Burr and Burton Academy is to our mission and our students.

We are here for one reason, and one reason only – to give our students the best possible education. Because of your generous support, we can provide all of the programs that allow our students to stretch their wings, imagine limitless possibilities, and take full advantages of the opportunities that instill grit, build confidence, and encourage intellectual, physical and emotional growth preparing them for success in the world beyond Burr and Burton.

So, THANK YOU to all who were a part of this magical evening. If I’ve missed someone on the thank you list, I apologize, but we want to make sure you know how much we appreciate your support.

Update and winning class in the Parent Participation Challenge

We would like to congratulate the Class of 2015 – winner of this year’s Parent Challenge. The junior class will be treated to a pizza party before the end of the school year and their class fund will receive $500. Here are the results!

                        Class of 2014                        27.8%

                       Class of 2015                   31.8%

                        Class of 2016                        30.6%

                        Class of 2017                        24.2%

Thank you, Parents and Grandparents! 

We would also like to extend a sincere thank you to all parents and grandparents who have contributed to Celebrate Your Graduate to date. We appreciate the great response. Your endowment gifts will be a big help to educate the next generation of Burr and Burton students. If you haven’t had a chance to make a gift in honor of your graduate, there’s still time. Mail your tax-deductible donation to:

Burr and Burton Academy
Advancement Office
PO Box 498
Manchester, VT 05254

Write Celebrate Your Graduate and the name of your graduate in the note line or you can also make a gift using your credit card by contacting Nancy Brown, Advancement Coordinator at BBA at 802-549-8110 or

Congratulations to the Class of 2014!

Look forward to being in touch later in the summer – have a great break!

cindy's only signature
Cynthia Gubb
Director of Advancement


From the Creative Arts Department


The 4th Annual Gawlik Awards in the Southern Vermont Arts Center on June 5 at 7 pm. Please reserve your tickets at

A free, public viewing of the Carnegie Hall World Premier of The Drop That Contained The Sea by Christopher Tin will be presented at 7 pm, Monday, June 2 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 at or 802-362-1775 ex. 213.  


From the Athletics Department 

Important Fall Sports Information

August 10 – Mandatory Football Parent and Athlete Information Night 5 pm in the cafeteria

August 11 – Football practice begins

August 13 – Mandatory Fall Sports Parent and Athlete Information Night for ALL Fall Sports 6 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 14 – Soccer, Field Hockey and X-country practices begin

Fall Head Coaches:

Football: Jason Thomas    

Girls’ Soccer: Suzanne Mears

Boys’ Soccer: Peter Mull    

Field Hockey: Barb Miceli 

Field Hockey: Julie Fifield          jfifield@

X-Country:Paul Bremel     

All students must have had a physical exam after October 31, 2012 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 10  or August 13 or mailed (attn. Kathi Bierwirth) to the school before August 10.

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

Mark your calendars: Homecomimg/Alumni Weekend 2014 – September 19 & 20.

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

Concussion in Sports: What You Need to Know – CLICK HERE FOR COURSE LINK

Sports-related concussion in high school sports can be serious or even life-threatening situations if not managed correctly. National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have teamed up to provide information and resources to help educate coaches, officials, parents and students on the importance of proper concussion recognition and management in high school sports. Mick Koester M.D., ATC, Chair of the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and Director of the Slocum Sports Concussion in Eugene, Oregon takes you through this course. In this course you will understand the impact sports-related concussion can have on your players, how to recognize a suspected concussion, the proper protocols to manage a suspected concussion, and steps to help your player return to play safely after experiencing a concussion.


From the Health Center

Ask an Expert We are introducing a new Bullhorn Section “Ask An Expert” where you have the opportunity to submit questions to our health center team.  We will pull one or more questions each month and answer them in the next Bullhorn. Questions can range from simple to complex and cover a variety of topics: substance use/abuse, nutrition, immunizations, sleep, stress and parenting questions – to name a few. These questions will be directly sent to Sandy Birch and be shared monthly with our health team. Ask your question here. We will not address any school policy related questions – these should be directed to the Dean’s Office or Meg Kenny.

Social Studies Summer Reading

Summer is a great time for rest and relaxation. It is also a great time for students to think deeply and reflect. The Social Studies Summer Reading assignment is geared to make use of the extra time students have to give them a jump start on our curriculum. You can use the links below to view the assignments. Contact Dave Miceli at if you have any questions.

BBA Summer Camps – Space Still Available

Several camps have sold out but there is still room in a wide variety of camps. Please visit the summer camp link: for further information.

K1BBS … Some Old News … and Some New News

Chris KHere is some old news with some fantastic new news. First, the old news: The ham radio contest team at K1BBS was on fire (did I mention blazing) in the 2014 School Club Roundup. During the week of February 10-14, 26 participants activated K1BBS for 24 hours … making 859 contacts (a K1BBS record) and scoring 237,084 points (another K1BBS record). BBA’s contest team put in an amazing performance on a worldwide stage. The numbers: 859 countable contacts (plus 62 duplicates that can’t be counted) 45 countries, 44 states, 8 Canadian Provinces, 31 schools, and 12 clubs. This year’s contest was not without its challenges. No, we didn’t blow up the amp (2002) … or burn up an antenna tuner (2003), or have the antenna fall down (2010). We did, though, have a snow day and a half. But, that didn’t faze us as a handful of students braved the elements to keep K1BBS on the air.

This year’s captains: Teja Pammi (138 contacts) and Carolyn Tobia (86 contacts) led the charge. And now, the new news: Two of next year’s three captains are pictured below: Quinnlyn Murphy (right), Zhongmin (Angela) Xie (not pictured), and Cubby Arvin-DiBlasio (center) have risen to the top by making the most contacts amongst students not graduating in 2014. And … the wait is over for the results are in. So, how’d we do?  Did I mention that K1BBS is the Champion of the World! That’s for all schools in all divisions. No college / university, high, middle, elementary school, or individual had more points than BBA’s K1BBS. We are literally on the top of the world! Congratulations to the members of the 2014 K1BBS contest team. We get to spend the year basking in the glow of our world championship. Enjoy it now … because come February 9-13, 2015 … every school in the world is coming after Burr and Burton Academy. We’re up for the challenge!


College and Career Information

2014 Commencement Information Brochure here.

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 8 for the September 13 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 19, 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 10 am – 12 pm Wednesday, August 20 and Thursday, August 21 
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 Language or AP English Literature, 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 2016  

All rising juniors must report to school on Wednesday, August 27, for the Junior Jumpstart 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 Cristin Rose or Maria Bittinger. 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 2014 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!

The School and College Counseling Office contacts:

Andrea Hogan, 549-8145;

Melissa Michaud, 549-8130;

Cristin Rose, 549-8126;

Maria Bittinger, 549-8126;


Student Travel

French home stay in June 2015! 
If your student has taken/is taking/will be taking French 3 or higher, they are eligible for the French home stay trip next June to Paris and Pau, France next summer.  We are heading back to the city where we stayed in 2013 because our hosts were so wonderful. The trip is a two week trip, with a long week in host families plus 4 days in Paris to explore the sights.  Save $200 by signing up by June 15 of this year!  See Michelle Emery for details:

Morocco for April break, 2015!
We will be heading back to Zawiya Ahansal, the village in the mountains where we worked this year teaching English to the village children.  We will also be hiking, riding camels into the Sahara, and exploring the souks of Marrakech.  This trip is open to anyone with a sense of service and adventure who is willing to “rough it” in order to learn about sustainable development in remote areas of the world.  Morocco is a liberal Muslim country, with a high value on hospitality and modesty.  Official languages are Berber, Arabic, and French, but many people speak Spanish, English, and other languages.  See Michelle Emery ( or Andrew MacArthur ( for more information.  

IMG_0321-1Ecuador next summer (2015)
Are you interested in traveling to Ecuador next summer (2015)?  BBA has recently established a sister school in Cuenca, Ecuador and the first exchange will take place next year.  In October 2014, 20 Ecuadorian students will visit BBA for two weeks and the following June we will be traveling to Ecuador.  This is an amazing opportunity to visit a spectacular country!  See Mr. Nolan for more details.

Costa Rica February 2015 – 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 the natural 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.
Please see or email Bonnie Niles: or Lauren Silver: for more information.


From the Library

As you plan your summer reading, why not try some excellent nonfiction titles just added to our Library’s Collection. Here are just a few:

  • One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, An Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season by Chris Ballard.
  • What Makes Vermont Special: An in-depth Look at Vermont State Symbols by Greg Carpenter
  • Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution — a Memoir by Moying Li
  • Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917 by Sally M. Walker
  • Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language & Charisma by Patti Wood
  • The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age by Catherine Steiner-Adair
  • Denied, Detained, Deported: Stories From the Dark Side of American Immigration by Ann Bausum
  • Ice! The Amazing History of the Ice Business by Laurence Pringle
  • Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd
  • The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure by Martin W. Sandler

Our book collection at BBA will be available to the community this summer through the Mark Skinner Library. We will try to deliver to Mark Skinner on a timely basis. For more information about our Consortium and collection sharing program, please feel free to contact us. Library website:

Library Hours:

Monday – Thurs       7:00 am – 5:00 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 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
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
Spivey Lemonik Swenor, PC
Hand Motors
JK Adams / The Kitchen Store
JOY – all things underthing
Mountain Goat North, Inc.
Mountain Weavers
Northshire Bookstore
People’s United Bank  

Academic Pin

Black Diamond Tree Service, Inc.
Cole Engineering and Construction 
Glebe Mountain Gardens & Landscaping 
Goepel Construction 
TD Bank


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