Daily Archives: January 1, 2017

January 2017



9  Second Semester begins
12 Mountain Campus Family Meeting: 5 pm to 6 pm, Hunter Seminar Room
16 Martin Luther King Day – No School
17 Mountain Campus Winter/Spring Semester Orientation
25 Open House for Parents: 6 pm to 8:30 pm
26 Dance and Drama New Student Works: 6:30 pm to 9 pm, BBA Riley Center
27 Moroccan Dinner

From the Headmaster

Dear Families:

I don’t know whether you are one of those families who cares about New Year’s resolutions or, at the other end of the spectrum, hates the whole exercise. Regardless, I hope you agree that some reflection at various points in time is worthwhile. With that in mind, I came across four different articles during this break that I thought were worth sharing, each one with its own cause for thought, and each bearing implications for how we approach education here at BBA.

  • The Long-Term Jobs Killer Is Not China. It’s Automation. This article points to the tremendous impact that automation is having on our economy. Certain jobs are not just disappearing overseas, drawn by lower wages, but are being eliminated entirely as technology explodes. If ever there were a case for education, this is it: young people must develop a range of higher-level skills in order to thrive in the economy of the future. 
  • Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead?  This article focuses on a professor, Adam Grant, who sounds extraordinary in his ability to give of himself. In fact, his secret to his own success is to give to others; his giving helps those around him succeed and is pivotal, therefore, to his own success.
  • New Head of Nutrition Gives Liverpool a Taste of Premier League Success. No matter how many ways we cut it, we are what we eat. The focus of this article is on a nutritionist for an elite sports team, but the lessons are the same for all of us: putting good food into our bodies helps us perform mentally as well as physically. Along with sharing this article for your own edification, we want to continue to move the food service at BBA towards healthier and tastier options.
  • Tragedy Made Steve Kerr See the World Beyond The Court: This article about Steve Kerr, who coaches the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, explores a deeper side to him than just trying to put a round ball through a round hoop. More to the point, everyone has challenges in their life, and Mr. Kerr gives us an example of how to take those challenges and create depth and perspective.

And in closing, I want to share an observation gleaned from nine years at this great school: the ONLY thing that separates our top tier students from the second and third tier is their commitment to quality.  Those students with the resolve to complete all assignments thoroughly and to approach all classes with a desire to learn will be the ones who succeed now and into the future.  They will get into the best colleges, be the most employable and will have the greatest control over their destiny in life.  So if you want to make a New Year’s resolution, here’s a suggestion:  help your sons and daughters resolve to do their absolute best in 2017.

I hope you are enjoying the holidays, and I wish you a very happy new year.


Mark only Signature

Mark H. Tashjian


From the Advancement Office


Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’  ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

A little food for thought at we start out the new year, and we hope everyone had a super holiday break enjoying two weeks off from school!

We want to thank all of our BBA parents who made a gift to the Annual Fund at the end of the year. We appreciate your response to our appeals, and yes, we continue to ask for your support because it is extremely important. Because of our independent status, your support ensures we can continue to provide an extraordinary educational experience for all students at Burr and Burton.

Thank you again to all parents and students who came to the Stakeholder Meeting with the State Board of Education held on December 12. It was an important meeting and our collective voice was heard loud and clear.

Fundraising Gala

We are gearing up for the planning of this year’s fundraising gala, Sail into Summer, to be held on May 26, 2017. Once again, this is a premier event which kicks off the social season here in the Manchester and the Mountains area and an important part of our fundraising efforts for the year. Last year’s event raised over $230,000! We will be returning to the Taconic Hotel so be sure that date is on your calendar. A “Save the Date” card will be coming out shortly. In conjunction with this event, we are looking for support in several ways.


Gala Sponsorship is one way to show your support for this important fundraising event. Sponsorships are $250, $500, $1,000, $1,500 and $2,500 with lots of benefits for your support. Whether you choose to represent your business or if you’d like to do a sponsorship as a family, all sponsorships go to help offset the expenses of putting on this event. If you’re interested in becoming a Gala Sponsor please contact Pauline de Laszlo at 802-549-8277 or email her pdelaszlo@burrburton.org.

Online Auction Items

We will once again be holding an Online Auction in April. As always, we are looking for items for the auction, and in particular, donation of services or high quality items. If you own a business or would like to do something as an individual, we are looking for items such as:

  • Cord of wood (delivered)
  • A morning of spring cleaning
  • A couple of hours of window washing
  • Decorating consultation
  • Landscaping consultation
  • Gift certificates to local restaurants or any local business

Anything along these lines would be terrific. If you have something in mind, please contact Gina Vickers at 802-549-8277 or email her at gvickers@burrburton.org.

Live Auction Items

Also, if you have an item that might be appropriate for a Live Auction item please let us know. For example, this might be a week in a vacation home in a warm climate or at the beach during the summer, or a unique experience of some sort. And the good news is if you become a gala sponsor, donate something to either the Online or Live auction it will count toward parent participation in the Annual Fund!

Once again, best wishes to all of our Burr and Burton families for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017!

cindy's only signature

Cynthia Gubb
Director of Advancement


From the Creative Arts Department


The Theater and Dance New Works Project

On Thursday, January 26 at 6:30 pm in the Riley Center for the Arts, Burr and Burton Academy’s Creative Arts Department will present The Theater and Dance New Works Project.  Join us as we take away the veil of the creative process, as students share their original choreography, scenes, monologues, poetry and scripts in a workshop atmosphere.  If you ever wanted to see the first steps of creative genius, do not miss out on this opportunity.  Listen, watch, experience the process/performance and be a part of the talk back with the artists.  This event is free, but donations are accepted.



Over 30 BBA Drama and Dance Students collaborated with the Manchester Lions Club for the annual Elf Express the weekend before Christmas.  Started over 5 years ago, this fund raiser and these students are living BBA’s mission of service to community.  


Congratulations to Leah and Miles Allen as they will be attending the Green Mountain Music Festival on March 4, 2017 at the College of Saint Joseph in Rutland, Vt.


Second Semester Schedules
All students should check their second semester schedules through the On-Campus Portal (under the Classes tab, view Other Classes, drop down to “All-Year”). Students who need to make changes should contact their counselor as soon as possible.  

Career Development Center
Tom Pasternack, School Counselor Coordinator at the Career Development Center, will be visiting BBA in January to talk to sophomores and juniors about a wide variety of technical courses that are available at the Career Development Center.

College and Career Planning for Juniors
The School and College Counselors will meet with all juniors in individual student appointments to be scheduled in February and March. We will discuss the student’s academic record, extracurricular and work experiences, and other positive factors that will contribute to a successful college application process or transition to work or other opportunities. Our goal with all students is to help them create a successful plan for life after BBA.  We will assist students in developing an appropriate college list, answer questions and provide support for the college search and provide guidance related to a gap year, career search, course selection, employment opportunities and more. We welcome parental contact and feedback at any time.

PSAT score reports  have been mailed home, and scores have been posted to the “Testing” page on student Naviance accounts. Included in the PSAT mailing is information about upcoming SAT Prep opportunities.  Students may also review their scores and other relevant information at http://studentscores.collegeboard.org.

SPRING 2017  Standardized Testing Information for Juniors

Test Test Date Location Register by
SAT or Subject Tests January 21 OTHER Dec. 21, 2016
ACT February 11 OTHER Jan. 13
SAT March 11 BBA Feb. 10
ACT April 8 BBA Mar. 3
SAT or Subject Tests May 6 BBA Apr. 7
SAT or Subject Tests June 3 OTHER May 9
ACT June 10 OTHER May 5

Students do NOT need to register for ALL of the above tests. Check your schedule and determine which date(s) work for you. To register for the SAT:
www.collegeboard.org. To register for the ACT: www.actstudent.org.

Test Prep Opportunities

SAT Prep Course at BBA: High End Test Prep with Brian Marohnic
The cost is underwritten by BBA so students are only charged $100.  A further fee reduction is available for students from low-income families.  Classes meet in the Hunter Seminar Room and are timed to prepare for either the March SAT or the May SAT.

Session 1 (for March 11 SAT) Session 2 (for May 6 SAT)

Session One Course Dates (to prepare for the March 11 exam): January 20, 27, February 3, 10, March 3.

Session Two Course Dates (to prepare for the May 6 exam): March 24, April 7, 28, and May 5.

The two sessions above are identical courses so students will only sign up for one.  To register for either course, bring $100 (payable to BBA) to Mrs. Welsh.  Fee reductions are available to families with financial need – see your counselor.  Registration deadlines: Jan. 15 for Session 1;  March 15 for Session 2.  

Manchester Tutorial Center Organized Classes*
*Timed to prepare for SAT at BBA 0n May 6; cost is $350
Classes from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on 3/19, 3/26; and 4/2, 4/9, 4/23, and April 30.
Contact the Tutorial Center at 362-0222 to register and pay for the class.

Local SAT and ACT Prep Course
Contact mary.mangiacotti@comcast.net or jstewart@maplestreetschool.com for more information about cost and class dates for their 2017 SAT Prep course offering.

Governor’s Institute Winter Weekend applications available online starting December 10 at www.giv.org/applynow.

WHEN: February 10 through 12 or February 24 through 26.
WHO: Any student in grades 9-12 who want to go into depth in one of the subjects offered. (Financial Assistance is provided.)
WHAT: Advanced Painting and Drawing, Vocal Performance, Social Entrepreneurship, Animals & Law, Actors’ Audition Masterclass, Astronomy, Bioinformatics (Health Data Science), Robotics, Architecture Invention, Youth Leadership.
WHERE: Students spend the weekend in residence at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt.
HOW: Students fill out applications at www.giv.org by January 16. Spots will fill up quickly!

Regarding Governor’s Institute of Vermont SUMMER Institutes, applications are available beginning February 1 at www.giv.org/applynow.

College Application Update
Congratulations to the many seniors who have already been admitted to college! Most seniors have applied and are now waiting for responses from colleges that don’t report decisions as quickly. We continue to work with the seniors who are still in the process of applying and aim to have them get their applications in by the end of the month.

Mid-Year Grades for Seniors
Many colleges request the mid-year or first semester grades of their applicants. Rest assured that the registrar will process grades as soon as possible following exams. We’ll then forward an updated transcript to all colleges listed on students’ transcript request forms. Because we use a universal mid-year report form, there is no need to provide us with college-specific forms.

From the 9th Grade Corner
Many of the 9th graders have started the process of looking at and creating a “draft” academic plan for their next three years here at Burr and Burton. Through advisory meetings this winter freshmen will learn about transcripts, AP classes, and the Career Development Center. They will also learn about graduation requirements. They can access their draft plan through Naviance which is linked in our OnCampus portal. There are a number of tools within the Naviance platform that we encourage students to explore such as the career interest profiler. Academically, January brings a new semester and new classes. We continue to stress the importance of using Flex block time wisely and scheduling this time in the Enriching Students program.

Forms for scholarships listed below are downloadable from Naviance at: http://connection.naviance.com/burrburton. PLEASE thoroughly complete the transcript request form found in the School and College Counseling Office. See Mrs. Welsh with questions.

VSAC Unified Scholarships:
IF students get their  VSAC Unified Scholarship application done and postmarked by Friday, Feb 3, the student will  be in the running for a $1,000 Early Bird scholarship from VSAC. Come to School and College Counseling to obtain the scholarship book if you don’t already have one. Many scholarships to apply for, one application. (The regular deadline is March 3;) See your counselor or Mrs. Welsh if you have questions. Students MUST bring their document requests to Mrs. Welsh in School and College Counseling a few days prior to any deadlines!

American Legion of Vermont Scholarship
Eligibility: High school seniors whose parents are legal residents of VT. Must have been accepted at an approved and accredited school or college at the time of consideration. “Fillable Form” on website: vtlegion.orgAward: $500; Deadline April 1.

VT EPSCoR CWDD Scholarship
Eligibility: First generation OR of Native American ancestry; US citizen, VT resident, senior planning to attend a Vermont college or already enrolled as an undergrad in Vermont College/University; GPA, 3.0; enrolling in STEM Major in College. Award: unknown, Deadline: April 1.

APPLICATIONS ONLINE: www.uvm.edu/~cwdd/scholarships.

The School and College Counseling Office contacts:

Maria Bittinger, School and College Counselor for International Students, mbittinger@burrburton.org

Mary Grabarz, Registrar, 549-8127; mgrabarz@burrburton.org

Cory Herrington, Dean of Students, Counselor for Freshmen, cherrington@burrburton.org

Andrea Hogan, School and College Counselor for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, 549-8145; ahogan@burrburton.org

Kirk Knutson, Director of Admission and School Counseling, 549-8125;  kknutson@burrburton.org

Melissa Michaud, School and College Counselor for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, 549-8130; mmichaud@burrburton.org

Jason Pergament, Director of Student Success Program, 549-8244; jpergament@burrburton.org

Cristin Rose, School and College Counselor for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, 549-8126; crose@burrburton.org

Lynne Welsh,  Admission and Counseling Office Manager, 549-8242; lwelsh@burrburton.org


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From the Athletics Department

It feels like Winter and our teams are getting into the heart of their competitive season. We hope you will join us and cheer on the bulldogs. Here are some highlights in our programming as we head into the New Year.

Peak Performance Program
The Peak Performance Program provides tools for the highly motivated athlete to reach an elite level of performance. Julie Fifield began running our Peak Performance Program this Fall.  This two year program consists of 8 – Six Week Sessions  (4 sessions per year). New members may join in January when we begin our 3rd session of the year. Interested students should contact me directly at dmiceli@burrburton.org.

Student Athlete Bus Fund
We have a special opportunity to support student learning. One of our community members has offered to increase our transportation resources. The goal is to help students academically by keeping them in classrooms longer and getting them home earlier on game days.

When two teams (Varsity and JV) are scheduled to share a bus to the same location but play at different times this money would be used to pay the cost of sending a second bus later in the day so that the team playing in the later game would not have to miss as much school and the team playing the early game could get home sooner.

This money would also be used to send teams in a coach bus to playoff games that are further than 2.5 hours away.

We have been offered a gift of up to $10,000 if we can match it. Please consider making a donation of any amount by contacting Cindy Gubb (cgubb@burrburton.org 802-549-8201) in our Advancement Office. Be sure to label your gift ‘Bus Fund.’

Basketball and Ice Hockey Ticket Prices 2016-2017
Adults $4
Students $2
Senior Citizens (age 62 and over) $2

Season Pass Prices for Basketball Games Only Students and Senior Citizens: 10-game punch ticket $15
Adults: 10-game punch ticket $30
Season Passes are available for purchase at the Burr and Burton Athletic Office and at all home games.
Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for all your Bulldog athletic updates!

Varsity Home Openers:
Wednesday, January 4: Nordic Competition 2:30 pm Wild Wings
Wednesday, January 4: Boys Basketball v. Vergennes 7:00 pm
Saturday, January 7: Dance Competition 1:00 pm
Tuesday, January 10: Snowboard Competition 1:00 pm Okemo (Technically not Home but it’s as close as we get).
Thursday, January 19: Alpine Competition 11:30 am Bromley


From the Library

Are you making New Year resolutions? Up for a challenge? Take a look at Goodreads, a website I highly recommend, which has a Reading Challenge that anyone can join. You set a goal for the number of books you would like to read in a year, then watch your progress and compare with friends. Like other social media sites, you can set your privacy settings so that only your “friends” see your progress and what you have read. Another option for those looking to stretch their reading range is The Read Harder Challenge. Perhaps instead of increasing the volume of your reading you would like to increase the diversity of your reading. The Read Harder Challenge offers challenges like “read a book about sports,” “read a debut novel”, “read a nonfiction book about technology.” I’m working on my own personal Read Harder Challenge. On my list: horror, sci-fi and mystery. I’m always looking to expand my range so I can offer suggestions to students for their prefered genres. Some suggestions from recent reads or current reads:

The Enemy by Charlie Higson. This is the first zombie book I’ve read. It’s action-packed right from the start. A mystery disease has either killed or turned all the adults into flesh eating zombies. It’s part Lord of the Flies, part The Walking Dead. Great for reluctant readers.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand is humorous historical fiction with a touch of fantasy. Lady Jane Grey, from Tudor times, lives in a universe where certain humans transform into animals.

The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence is great for readers looking for a book similar to Hatchett. Two boys must survive in the Alaskan wilderness.  

Library Hours

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

Margi Putney
Library Media Specialist
(802) 549-8122

From the Tech Department

Did you get some new gadgets or electronics over the holidays? Are you looking for a home for the old ones? We are interested in flat panel tvs, computers, gaming systems, digital cameras, printers, remote controlled toys or battery powered toys that move etc. Some device age restrictions apply. Items may be used for parts to become something new. Contact Amy Wright at awright@burrburton.org with the details of what you would like to donate. Thank You!


Moroccan Wanderers  


Announcing the 5th annual Moroccan dinner to be held on January 27 at 5:30 pm in the BBA cafeteria, with proceeds supporting the BBA service trip to Morocco.  Tickets are advance sale only, only $30 per person for a complete 3 course meal plus activities (henna and photo booth).  Tickets may be purchased at https://forms.diamondmindinc.com/burrburton/moroccan_dinner, from Michelle Emery (memery@burrburton.org), or from a student going on the trip.

From 5:30 to 6 pm appetizers will be served while guests enjoy a slide show of past trips, henna art, and a photo booth where they can try on authentic Moroccan garb. Guests will be seated at 6pm and will enjoy an authentic chicken and apricot tajine with cousous, followed by desserts and mint tea. All food will be prepared by Chef Eric Emery of Manchester, former maitre d’hotel for the French President. Proceeds will go to support student travel and to support the work of the Atlas Cultural Foundation.  

During April break a group of BBA students will head to Morocco for 10 days. They will visit Casablanca to see the Hassan II mosque built right on the seashore. Following this, they will explore the golden kasbah of Ait Benhadou on a scavenger hunt that takes them throughout the town in a search for Moroccan treasures. This is only the beginning! The trip includes a sunset camel ride and sand boarding in the Sahara desert, a hike deep into the Todras Gorge, and time in the UNESCO-acclaimed thousand-year-old market of Marrakech, where they can watch street perfomers and buy souvenirs. Throughout the week, students will hear mosques make their calls to prayer and students will journal about their experiences.

During the middle of the week, students will participate in Community Service in Zawiya Ahansal in the Atlas mountains. Working closely with Atlas Cultural Foundation (atlasculturalfoundation.org), service opportunities will include tutoring students in English, helping with ongoing building projects, or aiding with the community garden.  Students will earn 12 hours of community service during the time spent in Morocco, allowing them to give back to the communities they stay in. During this service trip, Rustic Pathways is the tour guide responsible for the itinerary and leadership, with Michelle Emery, BBA French teacher, and Jessica Pollack, BBA Math teacher, as chaperones.

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
r. k. Miles Inc.
Stratton Mountain Resort
The Orvis Company
The Vermont Country Store

High Honors List

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

Honors List

Bank of Bennington
Mettowee Mill Garden Center & Landscaping
The Aspen at Manchester

Academic Letter

Barrows House and Dorset Inn
Battenkill Communications

Bradley D. Myerson Law Offices
Dibble Painters

Equinox Asset Management
JOY – all things underthings
Lily of the Valley Florist
Mountain Goat North, Inc.
Mountain Weavers
Northshire Bookstore
People’s United Bank
Prospect Rehabilitation
Spivey Lemonik Swenor, PC 

The Richards Group, Insurance & Financial Services
The Works Bakery Café

Academic Pin

Equipe Sport, Ltd
Hill Farm Inn
iShip Express
Metropolitan Engineering Associates
Midura Building Company
Samuelson Law Offices
Scott Thompson Builders

Do You Believe in Magic?
2016 Gala Sponsors

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Abracadabra Sponsors

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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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