Monthly Archives: November 2014

November 2014


5   Fall Play – “The Odd Couple” 6:30 – 9:30 pm in the Riley Center
5   Student Success Program Dinner before the show
6   Fall Play – “The Odd Couple” 6:30 – 9:30 pm in the Riley Center
7   Fall Play – “The Odd Couple” 6:30 – 9:30 pm in the Riley Center
8   Fall Play – “The Odd Couple” 6:30 – 9:30 pm in the Riley Center
5    Student Success Program Dinner before the show

11  Mandatory Winter Sports Meeting 6 – 7 pm in the cafeteria
12  Elf Express/One Act Information and Audition Meeting 3 – 6 pm
12  in the Riley Center
13  Eighth Grade Parent Information Meetings 1 – 3 pm
4    in the Hunter Seminar Room
13  Financial Aid Information Night 7 – 9 pm in the Riley Center
13  Refuse to Use 9th Grade Event #3:  3 – 4:30 pm
12  in the Hunter Seminar Room
13  Refuse to Use 10th Grade Event #3:  4:30 – 6 pm
12  in the Hunter Seminar Room
14  Eighth Grade Parent Information Meetings 8 – 10 am
4   in the Hunter Seminar Room
14  Student vs. Faculty Hockey Game 7 – 9 pm in Riley Rink
17  Winter Sports Practice Begin
18  Refuse to Use 12th Grade Event #3:  6 – 7:30 pm
12  in the Hunter Seminar Room
19  Italy Trip Planning and Pot Luck – for participating students and
12  their parents 6 – 9 pm in the cafeteria
20  Eighth Grade Parent Information Night 7 – 9 pm in the Riley Center

20  Naviance Parent Workshop 3 – 4 pm in Kevin Morrison’s Tech Lab,
12  Lower Level Smith Center
20  Naviance Parent Workshop 7 – 8 pm in the BBA library
20 Refuse to Use 11th Grade Event #3:  6 – 7:30 pm
12  in the Hunter Seminar Room
24  Mountain Campus Parent Conferences all day
26-28  Thanksgiving Break

From the Headmaster

Dear families:

This past week, a group of colleagues and I had the extraordinary opportunity to see Dr. Angela Duckworth, an educational researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who has been pioneering studies in “grit.” She has been able to prove through methodical research what many knew all along: those who succeed at anything simply refuse to quit.

Achievement = talent x effort

She quoted Charles Darwin: “men do not differ much in intellect, but in zeal and effort.” (Darwin was writing at a time when “men” implied women – at least I think women were implied. He may have also been writing at a time when female achievement was simply ignored by some.)

She quoted studies of Olympic athletes, and highlighted her own research with West Point cadets. Again and again, it came back to the simple formula: dedicate yourself passionately to your pursuit, and refuse to quit.

Dr. Duckworth also discussed the importance of having “partners in grit.” That is where you as parents and guardians come in, and that is where we as educators come in. We all want to create an environment that supports the development of passions and encourages students to persevere through the challenges of the learning process. Dr. Duckworth pointed out that the time most people want to quit is when they are struggling, and that is the time when they need partners to push them forward. “Quit when you are winning, if you want. But don’t quit now.” Of course, very few of us want to quit anything at which we are succeeding, and that is the whole point.

School is not always easy. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, areas of frustration and confusion. If we succumb to the weaknesses rather than turning them into strengths, if we view struggle as failure, we will not find success. However, if we view struggle as a growth opportunity, if we view confusion as an opportunity to develop deeper understanding, and if we view the entire educational process as an opportunity to grow our minds and strengthen our brains, we will find success in every sense of the word. THAT is Bulldog Strong!

Happy November. Winter approaches, and the school year is racing along.


  Mark only Signature

Mark H. Tashjian

From the Parent Association

FootballThe Burr and Burton Parent Association endeavors to foster partnership between families, school, and the community through communication, education, social and fundraising activities and advocacy.

Wow! November is upon us already! Your children have finished mid terms and believe it or not the holidays are rapidly approaching.

BBA’s calendar is full so I will do my best to keep you updated. Some of the highlights will be the Fall Play, the start of the Winter Sports Season, Financial Aid Information Night and Thanksgiving Break. So, be sure to update your calendars.

The Parent Association has been busy. We have kick-started the Parent Challenge for the Annual Fund and plans for the Gala in May are well underway. We could use more volunteers so if anyone is interested, please let us know. We have a lot of fun planning this event.

We had a hugely successful Clothing Drive/Exchange last month. Many thanks to all of you who helped and those who made donations. The people who came were extremely appreciative.

We have a Faculty and Staff Appreciation Dessert coming up on November 11 when there is an In Service Day. So heads up to all you bakers. We will be looking for volunteers.

Keep checking your Sunday emails and the BBA website for reminders and details and enjoy the busy season.

Peggy Brockett
Parent Association President

From the Co-Dean of Students

FootballDear Parents,

It is hard to believe that we are already into November. With snow on the horizon, please encourage your children to get up a little earlier to allow extra time for removing snow and ice from their cars and slippery roads. The weather on the mountain is usually a lot different than in Manchester, so please take this into consideration. We recognize that road conditions vary from town-to-town, and your safety is important to all of us. Do your best to get to school on time and be safe in the process!

Mark your calendars for Friday, December 12, 2014. We are inviting all students (16 and older), faculty, staff, parents, and community members to participate in the “Twelve Days of Giving.” BBA students have attended the “Gift of Life Marathon” blood drive in Rutland for the past four years. Last year, the event set a national record, and over 2,300 pints of blood were drawn in a single day. Because of our exemplary student participation in years past, the American Red Cross selected Burr and Burton as one of the twelve sites to host this year’s version of the blood drive. What an honor for our school and students!

Although there is no national record at stake this year, the Red Cross would like us to have 100 pints of blood donated on December 12th. I think that we can do much better than 100 pints, but we need your help. Please give the ultimate gift; the gift of life.

Donation Information:   “Twelve Days of Giving”

Date: Friday, December 12, 2014
Location: Henry Gymnasium

Time: 9 am – 2 pm

To make an appointment “Enter Here” and add the following information. (Zip – 05254, From Date – Dec. 11, 2014, To Date – Dec. 13, 2014)
Note: you may need to create an account in order to make an appointment.

Thank you for in advance for donating.

Toni signature

Anthony J. Cirelli
Co-Dean of Students

From the Advancement Office


2014 – 2015 Annual Fund – Parent participation is needed!

By now, you have received both the Annual Fund brochure, and a personal appeal from Mark Tashjian will be arriving shortly 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 of course, your student.

We encourage you to give at a level that works for your family. 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. Take a look at the Annual Appreciation Report and see how many donors believe in the work that we do at Burr and Burton! It’s impressive.

What does the Annual Fund support? Here’s one important example – 770 iPads that are distributed every year are leased at an expense of $98,664 each year. Tuition paid by your town does not cover this expense, we fundraise to cover this 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 your student is using to enhance their learning experience here, or the Mountain Campus semester, or the Student Success Program, or the thirty-some after school clubs that we offer, or the service learning trips planned for the second semester, or any of the amazing “extras” that are available to your student at Burr and Burton Academy. These opportunities are provided by meeting the Annual Fund goal.

Beth Eyre and Diana Pagnucco are heading up the Parent Association Advancement Committee this year and they are excited about keeping the parent participation percentage growing – don’t put it off – make your gift today. It’s easy, you can give online by clicking on this link, you can send a check, become a corporate sponsor or you can donate a service of some sort to the Online Auction – all gifts count toward the participation number. Beth and Diana will be sending out an email shortly to offer you a parent perspective on the Annual Fund and a couple of fun incentives to participate.

Thank you for your past support or for your support if you’ve already given this year. Last year was another outstanding year for the Annual Fund, which means it was an outstanding year for the opportunities we were able to provide YOUR student. And we are working to replicate that success – please help us get to the goal!

With grateful appreciation,

cindy's only signature
Cynthia Gubb
Director of Advancement

Student/Parent Directory is Now Available

Parents please note, the Student/Parent Directory is available on-line and can be accessed by clicking on the link HERE. Please check your student and family information. If there are any changes that need to be made, kindly email Mary Grabarz at This information was compiled from Student Information forms that you submitted.  Thank you.

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The leaves are down, the cold is coming, it’s admissions season!  The Mountain Campus is currently accepting applications for the final spaces in the spring semester 2015.  We recently hosted a packed open house for over 30 prospective students and will offer other chances for students to visit in November and December.  If your son or daughter is interested in learning more about the Mountain Campus, please contact us about an opportunity to visit or talk to one of our faculty or alumni about this incredible opportunity.  To see what learning looks like on the mountain, take a look through our blog and Smugmug photo albums – it doesn’t look like how I learned science, history and English in high school, but it’s powerful, enduring and joyful.

Ben Freeman
Mountain Campus Director

From the Athletics Department 

Tuesday, November 11, 6 pm – Mandatory winter sports parent/athlete meeting.
All winter sports will meet in the gymnasium. From this meeting teams will be directed to individual meeting locations.

Monday, November 17 – All winter sports begin tryouts.
Ice Hockey, Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, Snowboarding, Basketball, Dance and Wrestling.

All winter athletes must have had a physical exam after March 1, 2013.
Copies of new or existing physicals must be provided to the athletic department.

All the forms (wellness exam, sport health questionnaire and rules and regulations) needed to participate in athletics can be downloaded from the schools web site, Please bring completed forms to the meeting on November 11.

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

Please note that there are games scheduled over the holiday break December 23- Jan. 3 and during the February break16-22. The Varsity Dance state competition will be held on February 21. Please keep this in mind when scheduling family vacations.

Like us on facebook for all your Bulldog athletic updates!

From the Creative Arts Department

The Odd Couple – female version


The Burr and Burton Academy Creative Arts Department will present Neil Simon’s comedy The Odd Couple – female version on November 5, 6, 7, 8 at 6:30 pm in the Riley Center for the Arts.

When newly separated, neat freak Florence Unger, moves in with free spirit, messy Olive Madison, fireworks explode as they navigate living together while discovering the true meaning of friendship. This female-centric version of Simon’s Tony Award winning play, Academy Award nominated film, and the long running successful tv sitcom that illustrates how sometimes good friends should not become roommates. See a preview here.

Before the performance we will also be offering our “Dinner and a Show” at 5 pm on both opening and closing night. This three course Farm-to-Table dinner, with a choice of a vegetarian lasagna or pork loin, is hosted by members of the BBA Student Success Program as a fundraiser in support of their program. The cost for dinner is $25 per person.

Tickets for the play are $7 for Burr and Burton students, faculty, staff and children under 18 and $12 for the general public.

Tickets for the play, dinner or both are available online at: Our 24-hour information line is 802-549-8224. Box office opens one hour prior to show time.


Congratulations to Gabby Vella, Sammi O’Neill and Mikayla Schaffer on their selection to the American Choral Director’s Association Honors Chorus Festival hosted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Saturday, November 1, 2014


College and Career Information

Financial Aid Information Night

Susan Rochette, Director of Student Financial Services at Southern Vermont College, will present the principles and basic steps of the financial aid process on Thursday, November 13th at 7pm in the Riley Center. Parents of seniors and juniors are encouraged to attend this important informational meeting.

Families need to pay attention to individual college financial aid deadlines which are different from application 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 applications; 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 campus visits, consider taking advantage of Monday, November 10 when there are no classes at BBA.

Castleton Decision Day Program

Castleton State College gives students the opportunity to interview with admissions counselors at BBA on Tuesday, December 9. Students will immediately receive their admission decision if the student’s COMPLETED APPLICATION has been received by November 20. 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 winter/spring and we will alert you to those opportunities. Seniors should note that November 6 is the registration deadline for the SAT on December 6 at BBA. Go to Seniors who want to take the December 13th ACT (not at BBA) should register by the November 7th deadline at

Update for Juniors

College-bound juniors took the PSAT on October 15. When the results are received in December they will be given to the students and a copy will be sent home. Beginning next semester, School & College Counselors will conduct individual college or career planning meetings with juniors.

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 2014-2015 school year, even those enrolled in second semester AP courses, are required to pay an exam fee of $91 per exam by Friday, December 5. 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 4 – May 15, 2015.

College Athletics

Seniors interested in playing Division I or II 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.

Opportunity for Wilderness First Aid Class

The Tutorial Center at Smokey House is offering a Wilderness First Aid Class Thursday and Friday, February 26-27. Currently there are 6 openings for the class and a possibility of a second session. If you are interested please contact:

Vermont Health Care Career Awareness Resources: The Vermont Health Care Careers website has a new look and updated information! www.vthealthcareers.orgAlso visit us on Facebook to see what’s trending now! 

VT AHEC Health Careers Team: Champlain Valley AHEC; Northeastern Vermont AHEC; Southern Vermont AHEC

2014/2015 Scholarship List

Scholarship information can be found in the School and College Counseling Office and is listed in Naviance at:

Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship

Eligibility: senior, employment, community service, leadership, financial need
Award: $4,000 – $60,000; Deadline: December 5
Application online at:

American Legion Oratorical Contest

Eligibility: This is a state and national Constitutional Speech Competition open to 9th through 12th graders.
Deadline: November 28
Online information:

The School and College Counseling Office contacts:

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;

Student Travel Opportunities

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

New this month  — Our Credo database now includes over one thousand reference titles!  That’s 3,670,732 entries, with 474,000 images, 279,000 audio files, and almost 1500 videos — all from the world’s best publishers.  Each month Credo features 8 topics on the Credo home page.  The following Topics featured this month:  

  • Library of Congress
  • Rowing
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Alan Turing
  • Petra
  • Dracula
  • Terracotta army
  • Pumpkin

Six new and two updated titles have been added to our Academic Core Credo collection.  The new titles are American Constitutional Law:  The Bill of Rights and Subsequent Amendments which puts current events in terms of what those who initially drafted and ratified the Constitution sought to accomplish.  The Atlas of Human Rights reveals human rights in inequities from nation to nation and the consequences of these inequities worldwide.  Constitutional Amendments is a thought-provoking and interesting text providing a complete examination of each of the United States’ 27 Constitutional Amendments.  The Encyclopedia of Religion and the Law in America provides coverage of key court decisions, case studies, etc that shape religion and law in today’s society.  The History of Canada is a beautifully written narrative history of the second largest nation on earth.  Encyclopedia of the Solar System has been updated to include fifty-seven chapters from over seventy-five eminent authors who review fundamental topics as well as new models, theories and discussions.

Please note our new increase in hours below:

Monday – Tuesday 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday 8:10 am – 5:00 pm

Thursday 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
Equipe Sport Ltd.
Hand Motors
JK Adams / The Kitchen Store
JOY – all things underthing
Mountain Goat North, Inc.
Mountain Weavers
Northshire Bookstore
People’s United Bank
Spivey Lemonik Swenor, PC  

Academic Pin

Black Diamond Tree Service, Inc.
Cole Engineering and Construction 
Glebe Mountain Gardens & Landscaping 
Goepel Construction
Heinel’s Clothiers
iShip Express
Metzger & Mole Physical Therapy

TD Bank

Reunion ’14 Corporate Sponsors

Barbara J. Bardin ‘69
Tim and Juliette ‘89 Britton
Paul ‘96 and Chrissy Carroccio
JJ Hapgood
Spiral Press
Vermont Renewable Fuels


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