Monthly Archives: September 2015

September 2015


7  Labor Day – No School
10 School Photos
12 ACT Testing at BBA: 8 am – 1:30 pm BBA Cafeteria
12 Freshman Frolic: 7 pm – 1o pm BBA Cafeteria
16 Open House for Parents: 6 pm – 8 pm BBA Riley Center
17 Powderpuff Football Game: 5 pm – 6 pm Upper Field
17 Homecoming Cookout and Bonfire: 6 pm – 8:30 pm Upper Parking Lot
18 – 20 Reunion Weekend ’15
19 Homecoming Dance: 8 pm – 11 pm BBA Cafeteria
21 Fall College Night: 7 pm – 9 pm BBA Riley Center
24 BBA Mountain Campus Parent Open House:
24 6 pm – 7 pm BBA Mountain Campus
29 BBA Mountain Campus Watershed Expedition begins


From the Headmaster

Dear Families:

Last week, we opened our doors to 675 students, including 59 international students, a freshman class of 163, and 26 students attending the Mountain Campus. We are launching Flex Block and the Hildene partnership, our sports teams are playing on a state of the art turf field, and everywhere you look, students and teachers are busy and productive. We are off to an excellent start.

Parenting as Coaching

While the school year is still fresh, and before any “issues” arise, I want to share with you a perspective on how to best support your sons and daughters as problems arise in their high school years. They may encounter difficult relationships with another student or a teacher.  They may not get the grade they think they deserve; or the playing time on a sports team; or the part in the play they had hoped for.  Life brings challenges, and while we all prefer our life to move forward seamlessly, one of the most important skills we can develop is the ability to solve life’s problems independently.

With this in mind, I ask that you parents and guardians think of yourself as a coach: give your best advice, help develop a game plan, show interest in schoolwork, and expect high school students to handle most problems themselves, with your support remaining in the background.  By doing this, you will help us prepare your sons and daughters for college and for life, and you will teach them the critical skill of self-advocacy.


This is my eighth year as headmaster at Burr and Burton Academy, and it continues to be an honor and an inspiration to serve students, families, communities, and our outstanding faculty and staff. Thank you for entrusting your daughters and sons to this school, and thank you for the support you show in so many ways.

Happy New Year.


  Mark only Signature

Mark H. Tashjian


From the Assistant Head of School


Dear Families,

Today, we launched Flex Block! Whenever a learning community takes on a new initiative it requires the community to embrace the changes with commitment, clarity of communication, and flexibility. I’m confident that key structures are in place to support a successful roll out. I told the students at this week’s assembly, that it is going to take all of us, working together to create the right culture — one that is productive and industrious while at the same time preserves opportunities for choice and spontaneity. Read here to learn more about Flex Block.

Please mark your calendar for Open House on September 16th. It begins at 6 pm with an opening session in the Riley Center followed by  individual classroom visits. This year’s opening session will include updates on Flex Block and BBA’s OnCampus portal.

Open house is designed to give you a snapshot of your child’s academic life at Burr and Burton. You will follow your child’s schedule and meet Burr and Burton teachers. You’ll learn about the engaging and vigorous learning experiences offered at Burr and Burton, the enduring understandings and essential questions students explore, and the essential skills and the habits of mind students develop.  You’ll learn about homework expectations/policies and how students use the iPad as a learning tool. I’m confident you’ll gain a sense of how the experiences your children have in each course foster and support our mission and core values and how committed we are to helping your sons and daughters grow into the best versions of themselves.

I hope to see you all on September 16th!





Meg Kenny
Assistant Head of School


 From the Co-Dean of Students



Dear Families,

My hunch is that both you and student(s)
are on information 
overload right now,
so I will keep this brief.

Use this list to help you get ready for the school year.

  1. Pick up your iPad.
  2. Purchase your parking permit by Monday, September 14.
    This can be done online here
  3. Add money to your lunch account.
  4. If you think you qualify for our free and reduced lunch program, please contact Maureen Harvey in our business office.
  5. Drive cautiously and park carefully while on campus.
  6. Lock up all valuables during PE classes and athletic practices/games.
  7. Take full advantage of your flex block.
  8. Seniors need to pick up a “Free Block” permission slip from Mrs. Towslee.
  9. Recycle, compost, and cleanup after yourself at lunch.
  10. Use technology to enhance your education and not to hurt others.
  11. To avoid getting caught in a traffic jam on Seminary Avenue, try to arrive at school by 7:45 am.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


Toni signature
Tony Cirelli
Co-Dean of Students


From the Advancement Office


Welcome Back!

We would like to extend a warm welcome back to all of our students and families. For our new families, it was nice to meet some of you at the Freshmen Parent Orientation night. We hope your student will enjoy their experience at Bur and Burton Academy and take full advantage of all that is offered here.

As we start the new school year, we are in the process of printing and mailing our Annual Appreciation Report. I know you will be impressed, as we are, with the breadth and depth of the support for our school. We had an incredible year last year, and we look forward to replicating that effort this year. Please understand that parent support is an important part of our annual campaign and we will be reaching out to you in the coming months. Parents Beth Eyre and Diana Pagnucco head up our Parent Advancement Committee and will be in contact with all of our parents. We raise support for Burr and Burton for one reason – to give your student the most amazing educational experience possible.

The high school experience is a very important time in a student’s life. We encourage parents and guardians to get involved with the school in some way. The more involved you are the more you know about the great opportunities offered here at Burr and Burton. It’s not hard to find a place to volunteer – feel free to call our Advancement office – reach out to me, or to Christina Cole at or call her at 802-549-8277.

Our annual fundraising event committee is gearing up again for this year’s Parent Association gala. Robin Apps and Pauline de Laszlo are the co-chairs this year. It’s a fantastic event, the committee is fun to work with, the Advancement Office is extremely supportive of the entire process and we make as easy as possible for the committee! If you have an interest in serving on the committee, please contact Robin Apps at or call her at 802-297-3078 or Pauline de Laszlo at or call her at 802-362-4414. And be sure to mark your calendar for the event, which will be May 27, 2015.

We wish every student great success in the coming school year and look forward to another fantastic year. 

Alumni Reunion Weekend

Calling all Burr and Burton parents who are also alumni! Don’t miss Reunion Weekend on Friday, September 18 – Sunday, September 20, 2015. While we honor and celebrate alumni from classes ending in 5 and 0, all alumni, spouses and families from all classes are welcome. The weekend will include many events, the highlight being the Alumni Dinner at the historic Equinox Hotel on Saturday evening. 

Visit and click on the Alumni tab for more information and to register. Or contact Christina Cole in the Alumni Office at 802-549-8277 or email her at The Alumni dinner has sold out the last two years so reserve your seat today!


cindy's only signature

Cynthia Gubb
Director of Advancement



College and Career Information

Make-up Senior College Workshop

College-bound seniors who missed the August 18 workshop need to attend a makeup workshop on Thursday, September 3 during Flex Block. Please meet in the Hunter Seminar Room at the start of Flex Block.

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 in the Riley Center. Deb Shaver, Dean of Admission at Smith College, will be our keynote speaker.  Deb brings years of professional and personal experience with her, and we look forward to an engaging and upbeat evening.  Following her talk we will cover important topical information regarding the college process for both junior and senior parents.  Questions about the Junior and Senior Parent College Night may be directed to Lynne Welsh, 802-549-8242.

College Fair Field Trip

Burr and Burton is sponsoring a field trip for interested college-bound juniors on Friday, September 18. Students and the College Counselors will leave promptly at 6:15 am. (Pack a breakfast and snacks!) We will attend the College Fair at University of Vermont at 9 am, followed by a tour of UVM and a quick lunch at the Davis Student Center.  (Bring money to purchase lunch items.) We  will then tour Champlain College and head back to BBA with approximate return of 4 pm. Approximately 250 college representatives will take part in the College Fair.  To sign up, bring a completed college fair worksheet and permission slip to the School and College Counseling Office. Bus seats are limited, and will be reserved on a first come, first serve basis until full. Permission and mandatory College Fair Homework Assignment due to Mrs. Welsh no later than Tuesday, September 15 to hold a place on the bus.

Standardized Testing Registration for Seniors

Burr and Burton will host the SAT on October 3. The deadline to register is September 3.  The registration deadline for the October 24 ACT  is September 18, and the registration deadline for the November 7 SAT  is October 9. (BBA does not host either the Oct. ACT or the Nov. SAT — students will need to sign up for a different test site.)

Register online at and Please note that the school does not collect the fees for the SAT or ACT; you must register directly with these organizations.  Students who qualify for fee waivers should request one from Mrs. Welsh or their counselor.

Junior Testing

Most juniors will take the PSAT (a preliminary, or practice, SAT) on Wednesday, October 14 during school hours. Students must bring the $15 registration fee (cash or check made out to Burr and Burton Academy) to Lynne Welsh in the School and College Counseling Office by October 1.  Late registration fee is $20. The PSAT is a wonderful opportunity for students to assess their testing skills.

Juniors who do not wish to participate in the PSAT have the opportunity to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery), an entrance test for students interested in serving the US Military. The ASVAB highlights skill areas not normally tested so students planning to find a civilian job after high school may also benefit from taking this exam. This is available to Seniors as well.

Contact the School Counseling Office if you have any questions. Students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch should speak with Mrs. Welsh to request a fee waiver for the PSAT.

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. Monday, November 9th is a particularly good day to visit colleges because there is no school for students as it is a faculty in-service day at Burr and Burton.

College Representative Visitors

Juniors and seniors may be excused from class, with teacher permission, to meet with college representatives visiting Burr and Burton this fall. Nearly 40 colleges have already scheduled appointments during the month of September alone. Please check the college visit list on Naviance ( or the College Planning Calendar in the School and College Counseling Office for the most up-to-date list of visitors and meeting locations. Daily announcements will also serve as a reminder of these appointments. College visits provide students with a great opportunity to ask questions, make a connection with the college representative and learn the most current campus information.

Contact Information

Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have a question, a concern, or wish to offer feedback. We welcome all contact and the opportunity to work with you.

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 sophomores, juniors, and seniors,   362-1775


From the Athletics Department


This week marks the beginning of competitions for our Fall athletes.

The players and coaches have been hard at work for a while and I am excited to see them compete.

Homecoming Weekend is just around the corner.

Here is the schedule:

Thursday, September 17

  • Student Powder Puff football game at BBA – Taylor Field 5:30 pm
  • Student Cookout at BBA 6:30 pm
  • Homecoming Pep Rally Bonfire at BBA 6 – 8 pm

Friday, September 18

  • JV Gold Boys Soccer vs. Rutland at REC Knapp Field 5 pm
  • JV Gold Girls Soccer vs. Rutland at BBA Judy McCormick
    Taylor Field 5 pm
  • Varsity Boys Soccer vs. Rutland at REC Applejack* 5 pm
  • Varsity Girls Soccer vs. Rutland at REC Applejack* 7 pm

Saturday, September 19

  • JV Green Girls vs. Rutland at BBA Upper Field 10 am
  • Varsity Field Hockey vs. Fair Haven at BBA Judy McCormick
    Taylor Field 10:30 am
  • JV Green Boys Soccer vs. Rutland at BBA Upper Field 11:30 am
  • JV Field Hockey vs. Fair Haven at BBA Frelinghuysen Field 12 pm
  • Varsity Football vs. Burlington at BBA Judy McCormick Taylor Field
  • Dedication of Judy McCormick Taylor Field
    during halftime of football game
  • Golf Ball Drop between 3rd and 4th quarters



*There are new prices for admission to Applejack Field.
$5 for adults (18 and over) and $3 for students (under 18) and senior citizens (65 years or older).

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 –


Join BBA’s On-line Food Market!


For the past year, BBA faculty has had the opportunity to participate in a weekly on-line food market through Rutland Area Food and Farm Link. We are now able to expand this program to BBA families. This is a pre-order on-line 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 follow this link. If you choose to sign up or have additional questions please contact Sarah McMillan at


From the Creative Arts Department

Calling all dawnsStrike the harp and join the chorus for an exciting opportunity to perform Christopher Tin’s,Calling All Dawns, at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall on April 3, 2016, organized by Distinguished Concerts International New York and conducted by their Artistic Director Jonathan Griffith.  This two-time Grammy winning album is a classical crossover featuring 12 songs, each in a different language and organized into 3 movements; day, night and dawn, corresponding to life, death and rebirth. Members of the Burr and Burton Academy Vocal Music Ensemble will be joined by choirs from around the world, a professional orchestra, guest soloists and the composer for a five day residency in NYC Thursday March 31-Monday April 4 to prepare for this monumental performance.  Ensemble members and their families are invited to an informational meeting Thursday September 10th at 6:30 p.m. in the Riley Center Vocal Room.  For more information please contact Julie Freebern at  802-362-1775 ex. 231.


Student Travel Opportunities


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



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


Sixteen BBA students experience Ecuador

In June, sixteen BBA students, led by faculty members Chris and Pia Nolan, left Manchester to immerse themselves in Ecuador.  The 22 day trip was the second half of a new exchange program between BBA and Colegio Santana in Cuenca, Ecuador which brought Ecuadorian students to Manchester last fall.

IMG_1693During their time in Ecuador, the students stayed with host families for two weeks which allowed them to live the day to day life of an Ecuadorian family.  Will Sambrook (class of 2017) said, ”The one thing you don’t usually get when you travel is an insider’s view on what daily life is like. With a host family, you can really settle into the community and witness things you otherwise would never see. I met so many new friends by being with my host brother and my only regret is not staying with my family longer!”  

During the same period, the students took part in school activities at Santana and explored the city of Cuenca and surrounding countryside through a variety activities such as rock climbing, zip lining and canyoning. According to Natalia Sowulewska (2017), “Cuenca is one of the most amazing towns that I have ever been to. Every student from Santana welcomed us with such kindness that it greatly compelled me to go back for a semester.” 

The trip also included community service work at a very isolated school which serves approximately twenty families.  There, the students painted the school and many out buildings as well as interior of the school’s chapel.  The students also brought boxes of school supplies from the United States to donate and they pooled their funds and purchased a sound system for the school.

After two weeks in Cuenca, the group departed for a week of travel which included several days in the Amazon rainforest, the valley of volcanos and the northern highlands.  Ann Fisher (2017) said, “I loved the time we spent in the jungle because we were constantly surrounded by nature with such diversity. It was a very unique experience. My favorite moment was jumping fully clothed– leggings and all– into the Napo River off of a raft made of logs that we tied together with ropes. Sambrook added, ”The monkeys were my favorite; they even took a candy bar right from my hand!”

Many of the participants were aided financially by the generosity of Rowland Fund for Student Life which offers grants to help students travel on BBA trips.  Nolan said, “I believe that foreign travel is one of the best forms of education available.  The fund that Barry and Wendy Rowland have set up ensures that all students have access to that education.  They are amazing people and we, as a community, are so grateful for all that they have done.”

Questions or comments about the exchange can be directed to Chris Nolan at


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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