Monthly Archives: October 2015

October 2015


3  SAT at BBA: 8 am – 1 pm Cafe & F.L. classrooms
7  Bulldog Leadership Summit – Establishing Your Brand:
7  7 am Hunter Seminar Room
7  Parent Conferences: 1 pm – 5 pm
8  Parent Conferences: 1 pm – 8 pm
12 Columbus Day – No School
14 Freshman Service Day
14 Senior Workshops & PSAT: 8 am – 11:30 am
20 BBA Mountain Campus Systems in Sustainability Trip:
20 Economy, Environment and Equity
23 Calliope Cafe: 6:30 pm – 9 pm BBA Riley Center
30 End of Marking Period (12:45 pm dismissal)
30 Halloween Dance: 8 pm – 11 pm BBA Cafeteria


From the Headmaster

Dear Families,

The school year has really caught its stride. So many students are benefiting by taking full advantage of Flex Block to seek extra help, do homework, collaborate with fellow students, work in the music or art studios, and learn that time is a commodity to be cherished, not wasted. Judy Mccormick Taylor field was dedicated on a stunning Saturday afternoon or homecoming weekend, during which every single one of our sports teams played to victory. The fall play, 12 Angry Jurors, is in full rehearsal. Over 300 students gathered last Sunday evening to share in the magic and majesty of a supermoon eclipse. With 675 students, this is a busy place filled with opportunities for engaging, vigorous educational experiences.

Politics, Education, and Act 46

As an independent school that serves the public, we pay close attention to the statewide political environment. This past legislative session, Act 46 was created. Its two most important features are: 1) it will lead to consolidation of school districts state wide, and 2) it contains spending caps and penalties that will put pressure on local educational spending.

The most important educational right that you possess as parents and guardians is freedom of choice: you have the freedom to select BBA, or any other school, for that matter, that you choose. We are closely monitoring the impact of Act 46, and I will keep you posted if any threat emerges regarding school choice as school districts consolidate.

Regarding the spending caps, they will put pressure on all schools to cut costs. This may have the unfortunate effect of weakening some schools, but BBA is blessed with a strong fundraising base and endowment. Thus, I fully expect us to continue to move forward educationally to be the school that your sons and daughters deserve today and that our communities need well into the future.

Bottom line: enjoy the school year, enjoy the many ways that students thrive at BBA, and be ready to protect the combination of school choice and independence that allows this school to be all that it is.

Thank you very much for the support you show in so many ways.


  Mark only Signature

Mark H. Tashjian


From the Assistant Head of School


Dear BBA Families –

Effective teacher-parent-student communication is fundamental to student success. Over the next two weeks, through interim progress reports and parent-teacher-student conferences students and parents will receive meaningful feedback and essential information to help students improve their learning.

Interim Progress Reports

By October 2nd, Interim Progress Reports will be released in BBA’s OnCampus parent and student portal.  Interim reports are designed to give a snapshot of each student’s academic performance. All freshmen, new transfer students, and international students will receive their current grade and a comment for each class that runs as a semester course. All other students will receive a grade for each semester course and a comment if they currently have a C or below in the course. Please note that classes that run every other day (all year) do not report interim grades until the end of the first marking period, however, you will find a comment for D and E yearlong classes.

Progress Reporting Schedule for Semester I

  • Interim Progress Report I — by October 2nd.
  • Mid Term Progress Report (for semester courses), Interim Progress Report I for (D and E year long courses) — by November 6th.
  • Interim Progress Report II — by December 11th.
  • Final Course Grade (for semester courses), Mid Term Progress Report ( D and E year long courses) — by January 22, 2016.

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences

Parent-teacher-student conferences are scheduled for Wednesday, October 7th from 1-5 pm and Thursday, October 8th from 1-8 pm with a faculty dinner break from 5-5:45 pm. Students are welcome and encouraged to attend conferences. This is an important opportunity to meet with teachers to discuss progress. If your son or daughter cannot attend, please discuss the following with your child prior to your scheduled appointments — What do they like best? Least? What progress are they making? Where are they most successful? What challenges do they face? How are they using Flex Block? During your conferences, share your personal insights regarding your child. It is often this personal knowledge and perspective that teachers act on and leads to enhanced student learning.

We encourage all parents/students to schedule appointments. Please schedule your conferences by following the instructions at the embedded links.

Please note that if you are a two household family, and another parent has already made appointments, you need to contact Sue Towslee at so that she can set up an additional account for your student.

BBA teachers welcome parent-initiated conversation at anytime.  If these days and times are not convenient for you, please email or call your child’s teachers directly to arrange an alternative time.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

On October 14 we will run special programing for each grade level:

  • All 9th graders will “take to the streets” for the annual Freshman Service Day. They should plan to arrive by 8:00 am and report to the Gym to organize prior to their departure. All groups will arrive back at BBA in time for sports and dismissal at 2:35.
  • All 10th graders will participate in the Sophomore Summit. The Summit includes: a morning programing related to career planning and BBA’s field study program and a performance by Speak About It (a theater troupe out of Portland, ME) that will engage our students in dialogue on consent, boundaries and healthy relationships. The day continues with an abbreviated Flex Block/Lunch followed by afternoon classes.
  • All 11th graders will should report to the cafeteria or their assigned testing location for either PSATs or the ASVAB test. Following testing the day continues with an abbreviated Flex Block/Lunch followed by afternoon classes.
  • All 12th grades who have November 1 college application deadlines are required to attend morning application workshops in the Smith Center. All seniors are required to be on campus by 11:15 for a performance by Speak About It (a theater troupe out of Portland, ME) that will engage our students in dialogue on consent, boundaries and healthy relationships. The day will conclude with C-block. Please note that lunch will be available in the lower campus cafe for seniors starting at 11:00 am.

Best –





Meg Kenny
Assistant Head of School


 From the Co-Dean of Students


Dear Parents, 

I am happy to report that since implementing our new non-rotating schedule, student tardies have dropped considerably. With that said, we still have a few “frequent flyers” who consistently arrive late to school. Please help your child get to school on time. Being punctual now will help your son/daughter in the future. All students arriving late need to sign in and get a pass from Mrs. Towslee in the main office. Note: Tardies are cumulative and may affect your child’s overall classroom attendance and grade. 
Additionally, tracking the attendance of 670 students is no easy task.  To help with the process, please call the main office (362-1775) to inform us if your son/daughter is sick and will not be attending school. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Toni signature
Tony Cirelli
Co-Dean of Students


From the Advancement Office


Annual Fund kick-off

As I mentioned at the Parent Open House, the annual fund drive starts October 1 and we are counting your support this year. Beth Eyre and Diana Pagnucco, co-chairs of the Parent Association have come up with some fun ways for all parents to get involved and get counted in the parent fund challenge! Be on the lookout for communications from them.

Why is parent participation important? When we are working with other donors and foundations, a strong showing of support from parents illustrates that you believe in what Burr and Burton is doing for your student and encourages generous support from others. Your lead inspires others who may not have as close of a connection to the school. And most important, it is your child that benefits most from the Annual Fund.

We welcome many forms of support and will count any of the following as a gift toward the Annual Fund:

  1. A gift of cash or a check
  2. Appreciated stocks (or ones that haven’t performed that you want to get rid of them)
  3. If you own your own business, commit to a Corporate Sponsorship or a Gala Sponsorship.
  4. A donation of a service, product or other item for the spring Online Auction (examples include: window washing, yard maintenance, an oil change, a cord of wood)

There are lots of options and we try to make it easy for you to participate based on what works best for you. We ask you to do what is right for your family, whether it’s $5 or $5,000 or anything in between, it’s the number of parents who give that we’re counting, not the amount.

So look for the Annual Fund brochure in your mail in early October and please consider supporting this year’s campaign. It’s all about providing your student with the best educational opportunities possible. And we need your help to do that.  

2015 – 2016 Student and Parent Directory – New Format

Good news – access to faculty, staff, student and parent information (names, addresses and phone numbers) is already available through OnCampus under the tab “Directories”. If you haven’t logged in yet, it’s important that you do. We will not be publishing a directory going forward. The link is:

Please take time to review the information listed about your student, your family, your address, emails and phone numbers. We use this information (especially emails) for outreach to parents. If any of the information is incorrect, there are a couple of options:

  1. You can make changes and additions to your own information. You can also set up the type of notifications you wish to receive.
  2. You can email Mary Grabarz with any changes at mgrabarz@burrburton or Ramona Towne at

OnCampus is a terrific resource for you; take some time to look around it and see what information is at your fingertips!

Save the Date: Grandparents and Special Friends Day has been scheduled for Friday, April 29, 2016

Our annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day is scheduled for Friday, April 29, 2016, from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Invitations will be going out in March. If you would like your children’s grandparents to be on the invitation list, please make sure we have their names and addresses in our database. If we don’t have their information, send an email to Nancy Brown in the Advancement Office at

It’s a fun and interactive day for grandparents and special friends to see what their grandchildren are experiencing here at Burr and Burton, and we provide an interesting and engaging program for them. The grandparents will be in the Riley Center for the program portion of the day. Then they will meet up the students in the Riley Center lobby, and move to the cafeteria for lunch. The lunch will take place after classes at 12:45 pm.

Many thanks,

cindy's only signature

Cynthia Gubb
Director of Advancement



Junior Testing – Wednesday morning, October 14

College-bound juniors will take the PSAT (a preliminary, or practice SAT) and need to bring a $15 registration fee by October 2 (Late fee is $20) to Lynne Welsh in the School and College Counseling Office. (Checks are payable to Burr and Burton. Fee waivers for students on free lunch are available.) The PSAT is a wonderful opportunity for students to assess their testing skills in preparation for the college admission process.

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 benefit from taking this exam.  There is no charge associated with the ASVAB.

  • Freshman Service Day: Wednesday, Oct. 14 – All freshmen participate / no classes that day
  • Sophomore Summit Morning: Wednesday, Oct. 14 – Introduction to school and career related opportunities
  • Junior Testing Morning:  Wednesday, Oct. 14

PSAT – Sign up by bringing $15  to Lynne Welsh by October 2 (Late fee is $20;) checks payable to BBA and fee waivers available for qualifying students

ASVAB (Armed Service Vocational Battery) – Sign up with Lynne Welsh in Counseling Office; free, for juniors or seniors

Senior College Application Workshop time in Library:  Wednesday, Oct. 14

  • Dedicated time for work on college applications with support from counselors – come by anytime between 8 -11 am (Required for all students applying to college with a November 1 deadline)
  • Seniors may also want to use this day for a college visit

Naviance Workshops for Junior and Senior Parents

Junior and Senior parents are invited to participate in Naviance Workshops in the library on the Parent Conference Days from 1 to 5 pm on Oct 7 and from 4 to 8 pm on Oct 8. Interested? Just drop in!

Standardized Testing Registration for Seniors

For seniors who need additional testing:

  • October 9, deadline for November 7 SAT (not offered at Burr and Burton)
  • November 5, deadline for December 5 SAT at Burr and Burton
  • November 6, deadline for the December 12 ACT (not offered at Burr and Burton)

Register online at or Please note that Burr and Burton does not collect the fees for the SAT or ACT; you must register directly with these organizations. (We recommend that current juniors wait to take the SAT and ACT until the spring after they have received their PSAT results and have had the opportunity to participate in a test-prep course.)

Application Reminders for Seniors

In addition to hosting the Senior Application Workshop time on October 14, the counselors are busy meeting with students on an individual basis to consider college lists, review applications and discuss essay topics. If your student is experiencing a roadblock in this process, please let us know so we can reach out to them.

By now, seniors should have submitted requests for teacher recommendations. Students who plan to complete their applications during the month of November need to have their essays and applications to their counselor by October 15 for review. Please refer to the Burr and Burton College Application Guide on the school’s website for more detailed information about timelines and the overall application process.

We encourage students interested in the University of Vermont to apply by November 1st to take advantage of the free application fee waiver for Early Action applicants and to receive a non-binding reply by the December holiday break.

Financial Aid Information Night

Thursday, November 12 at 7 pm in the Riley Center. Susan Rochette, Director of Student Financial Services at Southern Vermont College, will present the principles and basic steps of the financial aid process   All junior and senior parents are encouraged to attend this important informational meeting.

Campus Visits

Seniors who have not visited colleges are strongly advised to make plans to do so as soon as possible. While scheduling visits on holidays and weekends is preferable, we understand that it is sometimes necessary for students to miss school. Parents should notify the school in advance for absences to be excused, although these absences still count toward the 14 – absence total for individual classes. Monday, October 12, and Monday, November 9, are particularly good days to visit colleges because Burr and Burton will not be holding classes.

College Visits

Juniors and seniors may be excused from class with teacher permission to meet with college representatives visiting Burr and Burton. Please check the college visit list on Naviance ( Daily announcements also serve as a reminder of these appointments. College visits provide students with a great opportunity to indicate their interest in specific colleges, ask individual questions and learn the most current campus information.

All Students Planning to Enroll in Field Study for Spring 2016: Completed applications are due to Mr. Napolitano by Friday, November 13th.  Field Study Applications and Field Study Handbooks are available in the School & College Counseling Office, or see Mr. Napolitano.

All Students Planning to Enroll in an Independent Study, Off-Campus Dual Enrollment, or On-line Course for Spring 2016: Completed applications are due by Friday, December 18.

Independent Study Applications are available in the School & College Counseling Office, or see Mr. Napolitano.

Attention Sophomores!

Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) is a dynamic, interactive educational program designed to prepare our country’s youth to become effective, ethical leaders in their home, school, workplace and community. Sophomore students who attend the Vermont seminar interact with leaders in business, government, education, media and non-profits; they get a realistic look at our nation, its people, and their role within the world community. The VT HOBY seminar will be held in May 26-29, 2016, at Saint Michael’s College.  Go to for more information. Stop by the School and College Counseling Office for an application. Applications are due back to Mrs. Welsh by Friday, October 31.

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

On Tuesday, October 6 the Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country team will host their regular season home meet. On Tuesday October 20 they will host the MVL Championship. Both meets will be held off campus at the Severance property which is approximately 3 miles south of the Equinox Hotel.

The Athletic Department and the Booster Club would like to thank all those parents that volunteered and contributed food items for the homecoming events, it was a great weekend!


Field Hockey:

  • October 19 – Tournament pairings are completed and can be found on after 1 pm.
  • October 20/21 – Play downs
  • October 23/24 – Quarterfinals
  • Semi Finals – 27/28
  • October 31 – State Finals – UVM


  • October 19 – Tournament pairings are completed and can be found on after 1 pm.
  • October 20/21 – Play downs
  • October 22/23/24 – Quarter finals
  • October 27 – Semifinals
  • October 31 – Finals – Burlington High School

Cross Country:

  • October 31 – State Meet – Thetford Academy


  • Oct. 31/Nov. 1 – Semi Finals
  • November 7 – State Finals – Rutland High School


BBA Alpine Skiing Updates

The shorter days and the falling temperatures are a sure sign that snow is just around the corner! If your son or daughter is planning to tryout for the alpine ski team please review the following information. More detailed updates will follow in the November Bullhorn and at the Mandatory Winter Sports Meeting.

The varsity alpine ski team is for those athletes that have previous experience in both alpine disciplines – slalom and giant slalom. Like last year there will be a tryout period and per Burr and Burton policy – any sport where there is only a varsity team (snowboarding, alpine skiing,and ice hockey) athletes may be cut after the tryout period if he/she is not at the varsity level.

If you plan to ski on weekends and over vacations we recommend you purchase a season’s pass through the Bromley Mountain Student Season Pass program. Afternoon passes and full day passes are available a reduced rate. Please pick up a season’s pass form outside of Sue Towslee’s office. Please note that applications are due by October 15, 2014.

Varsity athletes who do not purchase a ski pass, are required to purchase a training pass. Bromley Mountain generously offers this pass to our athletes for $100. These passes will be issued after the varsity team has been selected and they are only valid Tuesday – Friday while an athlete is training with the BBA team.

In addition, all athletes are required to pay a $25 membership fee to the Bromley Outing Club (BOC).

BBA will once again offer an enhanced training option for varsity alpine athletes. This early release option is open to varsity athletes who are in good academic standing and receive a recommendation from a teacher and coach. Students who participate are required to attend Monday afternoon and Wednesday evening study/support sessions at BBA. The fee for the program is $250 which covers transportation, additional coaching and academic mentoring.

The snowboarding team will be training at Stratton Mountain again this year, so we encourage those students to take advantage on the early season specials on passes to Stratton.


November 10 – Mandatory parent/athlete meeting for all winter sports 6 pm in the gym. Seniors meet at 5 pm in the Hunter Seminar Room.

November 16 – Winter sports tryouts begin. 


From the Creative Arts Department

12-Angry-Jurors-Poster-2On November 4, 5, 6, 7 in the Riley Center for The Arts at 6:30 pm, the Burr and Burton Academy Performing Arts Department will present Twelve Angry Jurors based upon Reginald Rose’s combustible Twelve Angry Men.  The story is as relevant today as it was over 60 years ago when it
premiered on CBS from Westinghouse Studio One and was made into the 1957 Academy Award nominated film starring Henry Fonda.
Get your tickets and see how one man stands alone against bigotry, confronts racism and endures the difficulties encountered during the process of deciding a young mans innocence or guilt by a group of people whose diversity of personalities fuels the intensity and conflict.
Get your tickets at: Tickets are $7 for BBA students, faculty & staff $12 for adults.  



Calliope Concert

The Creative Arts Department will host a Calliope Concert, an evening of music, Friday, October 23 at 6:30 pm in the Riley Center. Admission is $3 students/$5 adults. Students interested in performing should contact Julie Freebern prior to October 15 to schedule an audition.


Student Travel Opportunities

During the past two Monday morning assemblies, BBA faculty members announced upcoming travel opportunities available to students for the school year.  The following list includes contact information of the trip leaders and parents are encouraged to contact them for more information.

Destination:      Time:                     Trip Leader:

Cuba                        February                  Chris Nolan:

Spain                       April                          Sue Ritchie:

Costa Rica              April                          Bonnie Niles:

Quebec                    March (weekend)   Michelle Emery:

France                     June                          Michelle Emery:

Germany                 June                          Barb Miceli:

Rowland Fund for Student Life

The Rowland Student Life and Learning Fund was established to support students financially so that every student has the opportunity to experience the transformative power of travel. The fund has supported 340 students in the last 5 years. Over $50,000 a year is granted based on family need and the quality of students’ essays. We ask that all award recipients pay something toward the trip, but the travel grants make the trips affordable for all — regardless of a family’s financial situation. The application is available on BBA’s onCampus portal under resources. Please note that the due date for applications is Wednesday, October 22 and that family income documentation is required.


Resources available in the library

The Lisa B. Tuttle Library is a wealth of resources with over 13,000 print resources, audiobooks, DVD and databases. The online catalog and databases can all be accessed from personal devices on or off campus. In the case of our research databases, passwords are required which can be obtained by contacting the library staff.

Our library is also a part of the Northshire Library Consortium, whose members include Manchester Community Library and Manchester Elementary School. We share materials between the three libraries and their patrons. If a book is requested that is not owned by the Consortium, we will attempt an inter-library loan from another library in the state.

We love to connect students with materials that excite and engage them. Part of our budget is reserved for student requests. Please let us know if you have any recommendations.

The results are in: BBA’s Favorite Summer Reads. We have many of these in the library. Come check them out!

Margi Putney
Library Media Specialist
(802) 549-8122


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 Weavers
Northshire Bookstore
People’s United Bank
Prospect Rehabilitation
Spivey Lemonik Swenor, PC  

Academic Pin

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

Reunion ’15 Corporate Sponsors

Amy (Walter) Chamberlain ’85 The Perfect Wife Restaurant
Howard O’Donovan ‘65
Steve & Judi LaMontagne McPhail ‘65
Members of the 50th Reunion Class of ’65
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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