Monthly Archives: August 2015

August 2015


9   Football Meeting for Parents and Athletes: 5 – 7 pm BBA Cafeteria
10 Football Practice Begins
12 Mandatory Fall Sports Meeting: 6 – 7 pm BBA Gym
13 Fall Sports Practices Begin
18 Senior College Admission Seminar: 10 am – 1 pm various locations
19 Senior College Application Workshop: 10 am – 12 pm various locations
20 Senior College Application Workshop: 10 am – 12 pm various locations
24 New International Student Orientation: 9 am – 3 pm
24 Extracurricular Theater, Dance & Film Meeting: 6 – 9 pm BBA Riley Center
25 Transfer Student Orientation: 10 am – 2:30 pm Hunter Seminar Room
25 New International Student Orientation: 8:30 am – 3 pm
25 Fall Play and Film Auditions: 1 – 5 pm BBA Riley Center
26 Freshmen Orientation: 7:50 am – 1:20 pm BBA Riley Center
26 Junior Jumpstart: 7:50 am – 12:30 pm Start in Advisories
26 Fall Play and Film Auditions: 2 – 5 pm BBA Riley Center
26 Reception for New International Students: 2:30 pm BBA Cafeteria
26 Freshmen/New Parent Orientation: 6:30 – 7:30 pm BBA Cafeteria
27 School Opens – Early Dismissal
27 Fall Play & Film Callbacks & Final Callbacks: 1 – 5 pm BBA Riley Center


From the Headmaster

Dear Families:

As the calendar turns to August, we are weeks away from the start of preseason sports practices, auditions for the fall play, orientation, classes, and the welcoming of new and returning students to our beautiful campus.

This summer has been a busy one, with many changes afoot. Programmatically, we will be implementing “Flex Block,” which is designed to help students develop time management skills and unleash their creativity and initiative. We have a newly created maker space and a beautiful new turf field. We have enhanced our food service to increase quality, convenience, nutritional value, and the understanding that food systems play in our health and well-being. As with each year and each summer, we strive not only to celebrate our successes, but refocus on the future, always seeking to be a better and better educational community.

Summer is also a time for reading and reflection, and I share with you an essay written by Oliver Sacks that I found to be particularly meaningful. Oliver Sacks is a professor in the New York University school of medicine and is a prolific and profound author. This New York Times essay, written as he faces his own mortality, speaks in many ways to many aspects of life. For me, most powerfully, it speaks to the richness of life that comes through education. The more we learn, the more we understand, the greater becomes the gift of spending time on this earth.

The essay may be seen here.

I hope you enjoy this essay, and I hope you share my excitement for all the learning that lies in our future. I look forward to getting started on another school year in this great school with this great community.


  Mark only Signature

Mark H. Tashjian


From the Advancement Office


Dear Parents,

Lots of exciting things are happening here at BBA. The turf field is nearing completion, summer camps are in full swing, the Student Success Program orientation is underway and soon we’ll be seeing our students coming back for fall sports practices. Even though it’s only August 1, we are already thinking about the coming year and all of the great opportunities that will be available to our new and returning students. We look forward to seeing everyone back on campus soon.

Those opportunities I just referenced are due to the overwhelming and generous support of many of you. We want to thank every parent who contributed to the success of last year – our Annual Fund drive was a phenomenal success! Whether you wrote a check, donated a service, made of gift-in-kind to the Online Auction or Live Auction for the gala, volunteered time in the concession stand, worked on the gala committee, attended the gala, sold ads for the Performing Arts program, sold raffle tickets of any kind, baked cookies or brownies for sale during the school year, helped coach a sports team, organized the Senior Sendoff party, or participated in some other way, we want to say a big, heartfelt THANK-YOU! We couldn’t do what we do without your help.

We look forward to the coming school year with great anticipation and excitement and offer a warm welcome to all of our families and students. If you’re new to the school this year, we look forward to your involvement in our school activities, and ask you to consider working with the Parent Association, the Advancement Committee or the Annual Gala Fundraising Committee. It’s fun, rewarding work, and a great way to get to know other parents.

Make these last weeks of summer count and we’ll see you in a few short weeks!

Most gratefully,

cindy's only signature

Cynthia Gubb
Director of Advancement

P.S. For parents who are alumni, please note the following:

2015-screen-Reunion-brochure-1Whether you are celebrating a significant reunion or not, we are calling all of our parents, their friends and family who are Burr and Burton alumni to sign up for this year’s reunion on the Hill. Scheduled for homecoming weekend, September 18 – 20, 2015, the event promises to be an action-packed, fun-filled weekend.

You can register online, by phone and by mail. For a full list of the weekend activities, please visit our website and click on the brochure link to see the schedule.

If you have questions, or need more information about Reunion Weekend, please contact Christina Cole at or call her at 802-549-8277. All are welcome – you don’t have to be celebrating a significant reunion anniversary to come, have fun and dance the night away. But sign up soon, because interest is high and last year the dinner on Saturday night at the Equinox was sold out! Join us for a blast from the past – we look forward to seeing you!



A New Academic Year Brings a New Face
to Admissions and College Counseling

As many people are aware, Mr. Anton retired at the close of the 2014-15 academic year after many years of service to the students, staff, and parents of Burr and Burton.  Phil’s retirement provided me an opportunity to apply for the Director of the Admissions and College Counseling position.  The thought of moving to Vermont and trying a new role excited me so I applied.  In March Mr. Tashjian offered me a contract which I accepted.  Since July 1st I have been on the job, and as students and faculty prepare to return to school it is time for me to introduce myself.

FootballMy name is Kirk Knutson. Over the past 27 years I have served students as a coach, teacher, counselor, and principal. My fondest professional experiences have resulted from helping students discover and use their values and strengths to overcome challenges and achieve goals.  It is my hope to forge similar experiences with stakeholders at Burr and Burton.

Personally, my wife Mary and I have been together for 30 years. We started dating in 1985 and were married in 1988. Over the years, we enjoyed hiking, traveling, and spending time recreating with our extended family. Mary likes taking walks and reading while I enjoy trail running and playing guitar.  With certainty, our most significant bond is the result of raising our sons. Our oldest son Matt is attending college in pursuit of a music performance degree, primarily focused on playing alto sax, writing compositions, and learning about jazz. Matt is entering into his junior year.  Our youngest son Mark graduated from high school in June and will begin college this August to study industrial design. Although Matt and Mark will be staying in Minnesota and Wisconsin, we all are eagerly looking forward to new adventures in Vermont.

On June 12th Mary and I loaded our belongings and as “empty nesters” drove for three days from Wisconsin.  Arriving in the Manchester area filled with the anticipation of joining your community, with help from Paul and Amy Bremel as well as their kids, we unloaded a U-Haul and spent the next couple of weeks settling into our new home. Since then the days have sped by and as August approaches my primary focus has shifted to Burr and Burton. Prospective parents and students continue to apply for admission. Students pop in and out of the counseling department as they consider course options for the coming year. Summer campers buzz around the school campus. The maintenance staff steadily works to ready the school. And me, I am learning my new role due to the kindness of Phil Anton, Mary Grabarz, Melissa Michaud, Andrea Hogan, Cristin Rose, Maria Bittinger, Meg Kenny, Robin Urbanski, and so many others. 

There is some degree of stress in leaving a familiar place that was once home, in switching jobs after 17 years, and in saying goodbye to old friends.  Yet, each day in the Manchester area I am discovering ways to make this place my home. Each day as I arrive at Burr and Burton I am learning what I need to do to serve the students, parents, and staff of our school.  Each day I meet new friends who share their insights with me. These changes are evident, and so too is  the excitement of being a new member of the Burr and Burton Bulldog Community.

Mandatory College Admission Seminar for Seniors

Seniors planning to apply to college must attend the Senior College Admission Seminar on Tuesday, August 18, from 10 am – 1 pm. Please report to the Riley Center.  BBA counselors will cover important dates and the details of the BBA college application procedure. We will continue to meet individually with seniors throughout the fall to look at the college lists, review applications and support students throughout this process.

College Application Workshops (strongly recommended)

We strongly recommend that all seniors attend one or both college application workshops on Wednesday, August 19, 10 am – noon or Thursday, August 20, 10 am – noon. In these sessions, students will work on their individual Common Application with direct support from the School and College Counselors. The workshops will take place in the library.

Make sure your course schedule is set for the entire year; it’s very difficult to drop/add for second semester and we are required to report any changes of academic classes to college admission offices.

iPad redistribution for seniors will take place between 9-10 am on the lower level of the Smith Center in Mr. Morrison’s classroom on August 18, 19 and 20.  Seniors planning to attend the College Admission Seminar should plan to pick up their iPad on Tuesday morning no later than 9:30 am.

Orientation for New Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors

All new sophomores, juniors and seniors should report to the Smith Center Library on Tuesday, August 25, from 9 am – noon. The students will meet with BBA Student Ambassadors who will answer questions and share tips about adjusting to Burr and Burton. We’ll also help students locate their classrooms and get connected to BBA technology. The program will end with a pizza party.

Junior Jump-Start Program

All juniors report for school one day early—on Wednesday, August 26, from 8 am to 12:30 pm. Juniors have reached an important milestone and we’ll mark this special day with activities to kick off the second half of high school. The Junior Jump-Start program will cover career and college information, standardized testing options, the junior year planning calendar and more! Juniors will meet new students and have some time to reconnect with classmates and advisors. Students will be able to pick up their iPads. Please meet in the cafeteria to start the day.

Freshman Orientation – Students Only

All freshmen should meet in the Riley Center for the Arts on Wednesday August 26, from 8:00 am – 12:30 pm. Students will meet their classmates, teachers, advisor and freshman mentor. They’ll find their classrooms, participate in a question and answer session, and have some fun, too. Dress casually to participate in activities.

Fall College Night for Junior and Senior Parents

Mark your calendar for Burr and Burton’s Fall College Night for Parents on Monday, September 21, at 7  pm. This program will take place in the Riley Center and will provide grade-specific information for the college admission process.

Other Upcoming Events

Look for more information in next month’s Bullhorn about these upcoming programs:

  • College Fair Field Trip for Juniors  to UVM —  Friday, September 18
  • PSAT – in-school testing for juniors on Wednesday, October 14
  • Financial Aid Information Night on Thursday, November 12

Standardized Testing Registration for Seniors

The registration deadline for the September 12 ACT with writing (at BBA) is August 7. Burr and Burton will also be a test center for the SAT on October 3 (the registration deadline is September 3). Please note that Burr and Burton does not collect the fees for the SAT or ACT; students must create accounts and register directly with these organizations at and . Please keep track of your usernames and passwords by making a journal entry in your naviance account – you’ll need them again.

Test Prep for October SAT

The Tutorial Center has test test preparation classes for the October SAT. Call 802-362-0222 for cost and details. Group and private classes are available. First class takes place early August.

Campus Visits

Seniors who haven’t yet visited colleges are strongly advised to make plans to do so as soon as possible. While scheduling college visits during vacations and on weekends is preferable, we understand that it is sometimes necessary for students to miss school. Campus visits are excused absences if parents notify the Attendance Office in advance. BBA School and College Counselors also make their own campus visits every year. Let’s trade campus tour reports!

College Visits to Burr and Burton

Throughout the fall months, college admission representatives visit Burr and Burton. Juniors and seniors can keep track of the ever expanding list of visits on their Naviance accounts and make plans to attend meetings with teacher permission.

Contact Information

Don’t hesitate to call us if you have a question, a concern or feedback. We welcome all contact and the opportunity to work with you to assure the quality of your student’s Burr and Burton experience.

The School and College Counseling Office contacts:

Kirk Knutson, 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 all international students,362-1775;



From the Athletics Department


Important Fall Sports Information

  • August 9 – Football Parent and Athlete Information Night 5 pm in the cafeteria.
  • August 10 – Football practice begins
  • August 12 – Fall Sports Parent and Athlete Information Night for ALL Fall Sports 6 pm in the gym (5:15 in the Hunter Seminar Room for Seniors). All athletes and parents will meet in the gym at 6 pm. At the conclusion of the all sports meeting the football players and parents will be dismissed and all others will go to individual team meetings.
  • August 13 –  Soccer, Field Hockey and X-country tryouts begin.
  • Returning Burr and Burton students must be in attendance at the first day of practice and all juniors and seniors (this includes transfer students) must attend the varsity tryouts.
  • August 18 – Injury Prevention for Female Athletes – Clinic begins at 6 pm in the BBA cafeteria.

Fall Head Coaches:

Football: Jason Thomas –

Girls’ Soccer: Suzanne Mears –

Boys’ Soccer: Peter Mull –

Field Hockey: Barb Miceli –

Field Hockey: Julie Fifield –

X-Country: Paul Bremel –

All fall athletes must have had a physical exam after October 31, 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 school’s web site,

Completed forms must be brought to the meetings on August 9 or August 12 or mailed (attn. Dave Miceli) to the school before August 7.

Proof of insurance is required for participation in athletics. If an athlete needs insurance, forms will be available at the Parent and Athlete Information Night to purchase insurance through the school.

Mark your calendars – Homecoming/Alumni Weekend September 18 & 19. A complete schedule of events will be available in the September Bullhorn.


Sports-related concussion in high school sports can be a serious or even life-threatening situation if not managed correctly. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have teamed up to provide information and resources on the importance of proper concussion recognition and management in high school sports. Parents and athletes are encouraged to take the free online course:

FootballIf you have an athlete in your house, the weeks leading up to the start of the Fall Sports Season probably bring with them an intense mix of diligent preparation, excitement about new experiences, fear of failing publicly, and big dreams of success. This year, I too, am sharing in that mixture as I begin my first season as Director of Athletics at Burr and Burton. I’m sure you can identify with that if you reflect on the beginning of a new segment in your own life. Isn’t that why we want our children to play sports, because we know that they will have a range of experiences that prepare them for real life? I hope for your children, as I do for my own, that they are acquiring the discipline that comes with preparing each day for a goal in the distant future. I hope they are experiencing the thrilling sensation of trying something new whether it be a new sport, a new playing position, or a new role on the team. The teenage brain is wired for novelty and we have a safe place for them to experiment. I hope they will experience failures and I hope you will let them. Together with their coaches we will make sure that your child has the support they need to appreciate what the experience has taught them, adjust their strategies, and try again. Most of all I hope your child finds success; the kind of success that can ignite a passion and build confidence. At the end of the season we will all look with pride on our young Bulldogs and the people they are becoming.

We will kick off our Fall Sports Season on August 12 at 6 pm in the gymnasium with Jim Kaat as our keynote speaker for the mandatory Parent/Athlete Meeting. Jim Kaat is in his 58th year in professional baseball. He spent 25 years as a major league pitcher before going on to successful careers as a coach and now a broadcaster. Jim is excited to share his thoughts on youth sports and the life lessons he learned through athletics. We are fortunate to have Jim and I’m sure you will find some pearls of wisdom in his speech.

Earlier that evening, Jillian Joyce will help our seniors develop the skills they will need to set the tone for our athletic programs this Fall. This leadership workshop, specifically geared towards senior athletes, is an extension of the Bulldog Leadership Summit. Jillian, a stand out Field Hockey player at Dartmouth, is currently teaching at our Mountain Campus. Seniors participating in athletics are expected to meet in the Hunter Seminar Room at 5:15 pm.

John DiBlasio is running a special clinic on August 18 designed to minimize injuries for female athletes. John is the owner and primary provider at Prospect Rehabilitation here in Manchester. His clinic on speed and agility training was well received last year and we are very excited to have him back to work specifically on one of the biggest dangers in athletics today. This clinic is geared towards coaches and athletes but parents are certainly welcome. The clinic will begin at 6 pm in the BBA Cafeteria.

If you’ve read this far, then you are the kind of Bulldog Supporter that we are looking for to help grow the Booster Club. The organization’s work to build Bulldog Spirit among parents and the community, to help athletes develop pride in their teams and their school, to continue athletic traditions, and to recognize team successes requires many caring people to spend a little time and effort. If you’d like to support this vital group, please join us for a brief meeting at 7 pm on August 20 in the Gym Lobby.

Please do your part to help your athlete succeed by completing the proper paperwork and submitting it prior to the first practice. Athletes will not be able to participate unless all of their forms have been turned in.


Join BBA’s On-line Food Market!

basket-of-veggiesFor the past year, BBA faculty has had the opportunity to participate in a weekly on-line food market through and Rutland Area Food and Farm Link. We are now able to expand this program to BBA families. This is a pre-order coop system which has the advantage of allowing members to order what you want when you want. There is no pressure to order weekly. You can choose from a variety of local items including meat, produce and value added products. If you would like more information in participating in this program, please email



MakerThis summer, the BBA staff has been hard at work renovating and repurposing underused storage areas in the basement of the Seminary building to create a totally new working environment, BBA’s first makerspace.

What is a makerspace?  Imagine a place that is part art studio, part science lab and part workshop, a place that encourages creativity and collaborative problem solving, and is interdisciplinary in its approach to critical thinking and making. In the BBA makerspace, students will be given guidance, time, and basic tools and materials to realize their ideas through hands-on, project-based learning. Initially, students will be able to access the makerspace with their classroom teachers, and independently, during flexblock.

While BBA’s initial foray into the maker-world is, by necessity, limited in scope, in time we hope to expand the capacity to include more sophisticated tools and materials and to develop a comprehensive project-based learning curriculum.


From the Creative Arts Department

81014d_60ac2bde8b5840ef91ccfccfebd4a572.jpg_srz_p_558_366_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzCongratulations to the Burr and Burton Academy Vocal Music Ensemble for their invitation from composer Christopher Tin to participate in a repeat performance of his song cycle, “Calling All Dawns” at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in April 2016. 

An informational meeting will be held Thursday, September 10 at 6:30 pm in the Riley Center Music Room.  

Please contact Julie Freebern for more information regarding this opportunity at or call 362-1775 ext. 231.


BBA Extracurricular Theater, Dance and Film Meeting

On Monday, August 24, 2015 at 6 pm in the Riley Center, there will be an information meeting regarding the extracurricular offerings in dance, film and theater for the 2015-2016 season.

12-Angry-JurorIf you are interested in The Fall Play (Twelve Angry Jurors), The Creative Choreography Workshop, Ballet/Pointe/Variation Classes, The Fall Film, The Elf Express, The Theater and Dance New Works Project, The Spring Musical (Avenue Q-school edition), Playwriting and Screenwriting, Lighting Design, Costume Design, Set Design, Set Building, Crew or Stage Management, please attend this meeting.

There are so many opportunities for everyone! Join our BBA family!  Please sign in when you and sides (dialogue) will be handed out at this time to those interested in auditioning for the fall play.  We are looking forward to seeing you! If you have any questions, please email

Burr and Burton Academy Auditions
and Callback Information:

PLAY (Twelve Angry Jurors)


Tuesday, August 25 (open call) at 1 pm
 Wednesday, August 26 (callbacks) at 2 pm
Thursday, August 27 (final callbacks) at 1 pm


The Riley Center for The Arts
Information can be found at:
If you have any questions, please email


Student Travel Opportunities


This student trip will be led by Spanish teacher Sue Ritchie – April 14 – 21, 2016. Information about this trip may be found here. Please contact Sue Ritchie for additional information at



Costa Rica Service Learning Trip  February 2016

Monkeys, Jungles, Turtles, Service, Adventure, and Fun!

We hope you will join us as we once again offer a service learning trip to Costa Rica during the February winter vacation in 2016. This trip is open to all students. The focus of the trip is to explore the culture, countryside, people and wildlife that this beautiful, tropical country has to offer. Our days will be filled with service opportunities, engaging with nature, along with adventure activities such as experiencing a canopy tour, horseback riding, and visiting an authentic pottery. This trip will also include a visit to the Pacific coast beach of Ostional on the Nicoya Peninsula where the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles arrive every year to nest. You will experience views of spectacular volcanoes, and hike to giant waterfalls where you can enjoy a swim. During the ten day trip we will have many opportunities to engage in service opportunities, interact with locals, practice your Spanish and enjoy local and healthy food. This is a fantastic opportunity to view monkeys, sloths, gorgeous birds, butterflies and flowers, within a safe and nurturing environment.

This trip is intended for students who want to spend a meaningful, inspiring, fun-packed week in a country whose philosophy revolves around the care and health of its people, animals and environment. We will travel with a professional local naturalist  and guide who is a wealth of information about the wildlife and the people. He takes us to the special places only the locals know about.

For more information, please contact Bonnie Niles at or Lauren Silver at


From the Library

FootballI am thrilled to be joining the BBA faculty and look forward to meeting all of you in a few weeks!

I wanted to share with you a great resource for free audio books that I have been using this summer: SYNC. Every week  SYNC makes two audiobooks available for free download. They usually pair a newer young adult book with a classic.

Another option for free audiobooks is Listen Up Vermont. This resource is available through  Manchester Community Library (MCL). All BBA students are eligible for MCL library cards and can access this service for ebooks and audiobooks using their library card.

Happy reading!
Margi Putney
Library and Media Specialist

For more information please contact the Library staff at 802-549-81122 or 802-549-8123.

Regular Library Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 5 pm
Friday: 7 am – 1 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
Stratton Mountain Resort
The Orvis Company
The Vermont Country Store  

High Honors List

Equinox Hotel and Resort
Finn and Stone Insurance
Rugg Valley Landscaping
Spiral Press Cafe
The Perfect Wife
Vermont Country Properties – Sotheby’s International Realty
W.H. Shaw Insurance Agency, Inc. 

Honors List

Mettowee Mill Nursery, Inc.
The Bank of Bennington
The Richards Group

Academic Letter

The Aspen at Manchester
Barrows House/Dorset Inn
Battenkill Communications
Bradley D. Myerson Law Offices
Equinox Square Associates
Equipe Sport Ltd.
JK Adams / The Kitchen Store
JOY – all things underthings
Mountain Goat North, Inc.
Mountain Weavers
Northshire Bookstore
People’s United Bank
Spivey Lemonik Swenor, PC  

Academic Pin

Engineering Printing Solutions
Glebe Mountain Gardens & Landscaping 
Goepel Construction
iShip Express
Ishu Productions
Mountain Goat North, Inc.
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

We gratefully acknowledge and thank our Garden Party Gala Sponsors.

Ever-blooming Sponsors

Express Copy, Inc.
Nathan Auction and Real Estate, Inc.
Jamaica Cottage Shop

Band Sponsor

Carolyn and Robert Crabtree

Heirloom Sponsors

Berkshire Bank
N. Williams Store
Southwestern Vermont Health Care

Wine Sponsor

Hoa and Orland Campbell

Ornamental Sponsors

Langway Chevrolet of Manchester
Northshire Bookstore
Stratton Rentals

Perennial Sponsors

Atlantic Projects Company
Equinox Village
Spivey Lemonik Swenor PC
Manchester Capital Management
Merrill Lynch
Rutland Regional Medical Center
Sugarhouse Builders
Doveberry Inn
The Vermont Country Store
Vermont Store Fixtures

Annual Sponsors

A Safe Place Storage
Arcadia Arts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont
Cole Company, Inc.
Coleman’s Auto Repair
Decorative Interiors
Flying Cow Signs
GSK Climate Control
Heinel’s Clothiers
Heritage Family Credit Union
Homestead Landscaping
Long Ago and Far Away
RE/MAX Four Seasons
Robert S. Ruhl DMB, PC/Deerfield Valley Dental Care
The Mountain Goat North
Valley View Saloon

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