Monthly Archives: June 2016

June 2016


1  Mandatory Commencement Rehearsal: 10 – 11 am BBA Riley Center
1 Senior Sendoff: 7 pm – 8 pm Riley Rink at Hunter Park
2 International Student Graduation Dinner: 6:30 – 8:30 pm BBA Cafeteria
3 Commencement: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Frelinghuysen Field
9 VT Gubernatorial Forum: 6:30 – 8:30 pm BBA Riley Center


From the Headmaster

Dear Families:

In the past two weeks, we have had a gala that raised $240,000, the annual awards assembly honoring student effort and achievement, Mountain Campus final projects, Avenue Q, the second annual Science Symposium and Psychology Fair, the Creative Arts Expo, Gawlik Awards, Scholarship Night and other celebrations large and small. Seniors have completed their exams, and underclassmen are studying away as I write this. Sports playoffs are in full swing. The culmination, of course, is Commencement 2016 this Friday 5:30 pm.

Here are some things you should know about commencement:

  • The weather: try as we might, we cannot control the weather. We will make a determination about whether we will be inside or outside based on the weather forecast. Please understand that we must be risk-averse: we are not going to risk raining on this glorious opportunity to honor the class of 2016.
  • If commencement is at Riley Rink, it will be great. The last commencement that we had with clear skies was in 2011. On one hand, we can look at this as a string of bad luck. On the other, we have learned that Riley Rink is a wonderful venue for the celebration. Bring a festive attitude and the rest will take care of itself.
  • Seating opens at 4:30 pm. Each year, there are approximately 2000 people who come to commencement, so please keep this in mind. Please be adaptable if your preferred seating is already taken, and please be mindful of others when taking photographs and videos.
  • The faculty speaker, selected by the senior class, is science teacher Dave Spero. Our keynote speaker is Colby Halligan, class of 2011. If you’re interested in Colby’s background, I gave a description of her accomplishments in the May Bullhorn. She is an amazing young woman and a great, accessible role model for our graduates.

Commencement will be an inspiring capstone on what, by any and all measures, is another successful year at Burr and Burton Academy. On behalf of this school, I thank all of you for your trust and support, and I wish you a fantastic summer.


  Mark only Signature

Mark H. Tashjian


From the Advancement Office



With months of planning finally completed, it’s hard to imagine that our annual spring fund-raising gala Do You Believe in Magic? has come and gone. A great deal of time and effort goes into the planning of this event and we are happy to report it was a smashing success!!! From the moment gala goers arrived, to the last magic trick performed by David Hall, the excitement and energy at our new venue was simply astounding. The black and white décor in the room was stunning, the decorations were perfect in every way, the food was delicious, the Raffle was lots of fun, the Live Auction was incredible, and topped off by yet another amazing “Make Some Magic” call. Every person in the tent understood the importance of the event and rose to the occasion in support of our Burr and Burton students. The numbers are in the process of being finalized but we raised approximately $240,000.

We want to thank each and every person who contributed in some way to the success of our spring fundraising efforts:

  • Donors to the Online Auction and those who purchased items
  • Our generous Gala sponsors
  • Our Live Auction donors and Raffle item donors
  • Our Live Auction winning bidders and Make Some Magic supporters
  • The creative and imaginative Do You Believe in Magic? Gala Committee led by Robin Apps and Pauline de Laszlo
  • The beautiful centerpieces designed by Peggy Brockett of Lily of the Valley florist created with flowers donated by Tara Pollio Floral Event Design
  • The student entertainment and student volunteers
  • Julie and Neil Freebern, Jim Raposa, Bill Muench and Kevin Morrison, faculty members who supported the event throughout the evening
  • The Taconic who went all out for our big event
  • Our photographer, Gary Baker and the Advancement Staff
  • Oscar Trugler for his beautiful graphics and design work for the event
  • Eric and Jane Nathan for their auction services

The list goes on of all the people who made this evening possible and who banded together to show how important support of Burr and Burton Academy is to our mission and our students.

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

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

Thank you, Parents and Grandparents! 

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

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

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

Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

There is still time…

Our fiscal year ends June 30, 2016, so if you haven’t made a gift in support of Burr and Burton Academy’s Parent Fund, there is still time. You can make a gift online or drop a check in the mail – but we hope you will join over 150 BBA families who have already made a gift. Our thanks to Diana Pagnucco and Beth Eyre for their help on the Advancement Committee and their cheerful and fun appeals throughout this past school year.

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

cindy's only signature

Cynthia Gubb
Director of Advancement



2016 Commencement Information Brochure here.

Summer SAT Prep Courses at Maple Street School

  • Beginning the end of June and also during July Maple Street School will host summer SAT Boot Camps for rising Juniors and Seniors.  Contact Joy Stewart,
  • The Tutorial Center offers an SAT prep class starting August 14 for 6 weeks, skipping Labor Day. So Aug 14,21,28, Sept 11,18, and 25th. Contact The Tutorial Center – 362-0222

Summer Homework for Rising Seniors

  • Request  college recommendations from teachers before summer vacation – use the Teacher Recommendation Request Form (available in the School and College Counseling Office).
  • Visit college campuses and enter your observations in your Naviance journal. Update your online Naviance resume (
  • Complete all summer work required for your fall classes –Information and summer reading assignments available online.
  • Draft a sample college essay – Rising seniors received the essay topics for the Common Application in an all-class meeting; copies are available in the School and College Counseling office and are currently posted on the Common Application website ( The 2016-17  Common Application will be available August 1.
  • Work on Service Learning projects.
  • Learn something new through work, summer programs or self-study.
  • Set a personal goal and achieve it; think about how you want to challenge yourself in your senior year. Register for the September 10 ACT at There will be another opportunity to take the ACT in October. Registration and test dates not yet announced for the SAT- check on for updated information.

Application Seminar and Workshops for all College-Bound Seniors

Thursday, August 18, 10 am – 12 pm
 and/or Tuesday, August 23, 10 am – 12 pm Information on the college admission process and preliminary work on college applications.  Come to one or both sessions to work with your counselor and fill out your college applications before the busy fall semester begins.

Summer Homework for All

Students need to budget time over the summer for any required academic work. All students will have a summer reading requirement and assignment from the Social Studies Department and some students will have summer assignments in AP classes.  Assignments will be posted on the Burr and Burton website ( and available in hard copy in the School and College Counseling Office.

Attention Class of 2018

All rising juniors must report to school on Wednesday, August 24, for the Junior Jumpstart Program. Juniors have reached an important milestone and we’ll mark this special day with activities to kick off the second half of high school! Students will be introduced to career and college information, standardized testing options, and more. They’ll also meet new students and have some time to reconnect with classmates and advisors.

Summer contact information for School and College Counseling Office

All of the counselors have limited office hours throughout the summer and will periodically check and respond to email. We are also available to meet with students and parents by appointment. Please keep in touch with your questions and updates.

Rising sophomores have shifted counselors from Kirk Knutson  to Andrea Hogan, Melissa Michaud or Cristin Rose. Maria Bittinger will work with all international students; other juniors and seniors will retain their current counselor. School and College Counselor assignments will again be noted in the end-of-the-year mailing.

Senior Plans

Members of the Class of 2016 recently completed surveys about their various plans for life after Burr and Burton. We will automatically send final transcripts for seniors who indicated enrolling in a college. (There is no need for a special request or form!) Students who later change their enrollment decision should let us know so we can follow up appropriately.

We wish graduates good luck in their ventures. Please know that we look forward to hearing from you. We’ll miss you!


The School and College Counseling Office contacts:

Maria Bittinger, School and College Counselor for international students,  549-8242;

Mary Grabarz, Registrar, 549-8127;

Andrea Hogan, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, 549-8145;

Kirk Knutson, Director of Admission and School Counseling, Counselor for freshmen, 549-8125;

Melissa Michaud, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, 549-8130;

Tony Napolitano, External Learning Coordinator, 549-8241;

Jason Pergament, Director of Student Success Program, 549-8244;

Cristin Rose, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, 549-8126;

Lynne Welsh, Office Assistant, 549-8242;


From the Athletics Department

Some Thoughts on Preparing for the Fall Season:

Bulldog LogoMost of the disappointment I see after athletic team tryouts can be eliminated by the athletes.The disappointment typically stems from one of two areas. The athlete overestimated his or her abilities or the athlete underestimated the amount of time it would take to get ready for the season.

On the day this is published there will be 78 days until our Mandatory Fall Sports Parent and Athlete Information Night. If an athlete were to work just 30 minutes each day preparing for the season they could end up with 39 hours of preparation. Many students will intend to work out but won’t actually get started until a week or two prior to the season. At that point the athlete would need 4 hour workouts each day to match the amount of preparation time for an athlete who started on June 1st (and the condensed time frame would not serve his or her muscles nearly as well).

The reason for the disconnect is that the consequences of not working out today are not readily apparent. For that matter the benefits of working out today aren’t readily apparent either. By helping your athlete to see the compounding effect of daily preparation to achieve a long term goal you would be helping them not only improve as an athlete, but to learn one of life’s most important disciplines.

By making the practice more efficient, an athlete can eliminate the first problem. Studies show that less developed athletes and musicians spend most of their practice time working very comfortably on things they are already good at whereas highly developed athletes and musicians spend their practice time concentrated on skills they have not yet mastered. Which brings me to two of my favorite quotes. I share them with you in hopes that they will inspire focused workouts all summer long.

“Don’t mistake activity for achievement.” ~ Coach Wooden

“There are no limits. There are plateaus, and you must not stay there; you must go beyond them.” ~ Bruce Lee

Important Fall Sports Information:

August 14 – Mandatory Football Parent and Athlete Information Night 5 pm in the cafeteria.

August 15 – Football practice begins

August 17 – Mandatory Fall Sports Parent and Athlete Information Night for ALL Fall Sports 6 pm in the gym. All athletes and parents will meet in the gym first. Football players and parents will be dismissed and all others will go to individual team meetings. Senior athletes of all sports should stick around for a leadership workshop at 8 pm in the Hunter Seminar Room.

August 18 – Mountain Biking, Soccer, Field Hockey and X-Country practices begin.

Fall Head Coaches:

Football: Jason Thomas:

Girls Soccer: Suzanne Mears:

Boys Soccer: Peter Mull:

Field Hockey: Barb Miceli:

Field Hockey: Julie Fifield:

X-Country: Paul Bremel:

Mountain Biking: Jon Mowry:

All students must have had a physical exam after October 31, 2014 prior to participating in Fall Sports. Copies of new or existing physicals must be provided to the school nurse.

All the necessary forms needed to participate in athletics can be completed through your OnCampus account. These forms must be completed prior to the meetings on August 17 or August 14.

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

Mark your calendars: Homecoming/Alumni Weekend 2015 – September 30 and October 1.


From the Health Center

For most, summer break is a time to unwind, relax, and regroup. For some however, mental health issues that kids deal with during the school year, could enhance. Read the following link to gain some insight on some common summer blues, and ways to decrease this:


BBA recently held “Wellness Week” and a link about the goings on can be found here.


From the Library

Summer Reading – Required and Recreational

One of my favorite parts of summer is the additional time to read. It’s an added bonus when the  reading takes place in a beautiful location: in a hammock, under a tree, next to a stream. We are hoping that students will have lots of opportunities for reading this summer. We have started to put together a list of summer reading recommendations that we have gathered from students and teachers. We will continue to update it during the summer as we receive more reading recommendations. Take a look now and check back later. You might find your next read.

In an effort to encourage reading, returning students whose library accounts are in good standing will be able to check out books from BBA’s library for the summer. These books may be returned to the Manchester Community Library during the summer or back to BBA in the Fall.

The Manchester Community Library is a beautiful spot to read with wonderful resources including print and audio books and DVD’s. All BBA students are eligible for Manchester Community Library (MCL) cards. Their MCL card will allow them to check out MCL’s books as well as have access to BBA books all summer as we share resources between the libraries.

Social Studies Required Reading

Students taking a Social Studies course next year have a required text and assignment that is due September 6, 2016 whether they are taking the class during the first or second semester. Details of the books and the assignment can be viewed here.

  • Incoming freshmen will all read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.
  • Students taking CP II World & US History will read Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Students taking CP III World & US History will read Confessions of an Economic Hitman John Perkins
  • All seniors taking a social studies elective will choose one book from a selected list on this document.

All required social studies books are available in BBA’s Lisa B. Tuttle Library or the Manchester Community Library (MCL). MCL has multiple copies of the required texts.

Happy reading!

Library Hours:

Monday – Thursday 7:20 am – 4 pm
Friday 7:20 am – 1 pm

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.

Headmasters 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
Engineered Printing Solutions
Finn and Stone Insurance
Rugg Valley Landscaping
Spiral Press Café
The Perfect Wife Restaurant and Tavern
H. Shaw Insurance Agency, Inc.

Honors List

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

Academic Letter

The Aspen at Manchester
Barrows House and Dorset Inn
Battenkill Communications
Bradley D. Myerson Law Offices
Equinox Asset Management
JOY – all things underthings
Lily of the Valley Florist
Mountain Goat North, Inc.
Mountain Weavers
Northsire Bookstore
People’s United Bank
Spivey Lemonik Swenor, PC
The Works Bakery Café

Academic Pin

Dibble Painters
Hill Farm Inn
iShip Express
Midura Building Company
Samuelson Law Offices
Scott Thompson Builders

Do You Believe in Magic?
2016 Gala Sponsors

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Abracadabra Sponsors

Gala logos 1

Hocus Pocus Sponsor

Four Seasons Sotheby’s

Presto Sponsors

Black Diamond Tree Service
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Drasher
H.N. Williams Store
Langway Motors
Manchester Capital
Southwestern Vermont Medical Center
Stratton Rentals

Voila Sponsors

Atlantic Projects
Dorset Inn & Barrows House
Equinox Village
Glebe Mountain Gardens and Landscaping
Lily of the Valley Florists
Mountain Goat North, Inc.
The Reluctant Panther
Rutland Regional Medical Center
Spivey Lemonik Swenor
Tara Pollio Floral Event Design
The Vermont Country Store

Magic Wand Sponsors

Arcadia Arts
Bradley’s Pro Shop
Cole and Company
Decorative Interiors
Deerfield Valley Dental Care – Dr. R. Ruhl
GSK Climate Control
Heinel’s Clothiers
Heritage Credit Union
Long Ago and Far Away
L/S Gerontology Seminars – Lois Schram
McWayne Jewelers
Mount Snow
Nerium International
Vermont Kitchen Supply
Weston Country Store

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