Monthly Archives: December 2017

December 2017


1 Parent Association Meeting: 8 – 9 am, BBA Library
2 SAT at BBA: 8 am – 1 pm, Smith Center
5 Winter Concert – Large Ensembles, 6 – 7 pm, Riley Center for the Arts
5 Winter Concert – Large Ensembles, 8 – 9 pm, Riley Center for the Arts
6 Winter Concert – Large Ensembles, 6 – 7 pm, snow date
6 Winter Concert – Large Ensembles, 8 – 9 pm, snow date
10 International Holiday Potluck for Host Families, 5 – 7 pm, BBA Cafeteria
14 Theater and Dance Fest, 6 – 7 pm, Riley Center for the Arts
14 Theater and Dance Fest, 8 – 9 pm, Riley Center for the Arts
15 Theater and Dance Fest, 6 – 7 pm, snow date
15 Theater and Dance Fest, 8 – 9 pm, snow date
16 Elf Express
19 Mountain Campus Final Presentations, 5:30 – 7:30 pm, BBA Mountain Campus
19-21 Final Exams – 12 pm dismissal
22 Holiday Break begins


From the Acting Head of School

Dear BBA Families:

As my time as Acting Head of School winds down I’m conscious of the strength of our BBA community. So many individuals have stepped up in Mark Tashjian’s absence by adding responsibilities to their positions; by facilitating  important professional work that strengthens our learning, and by continuing to create engaging and vigorous learning experiences that prepare our students as citizens who contribute and create, lead and innovate, care and empathize. Personally, I’ve been heartened by the support I’ve received from the entire community – trustees, faculty, staff, families, and most importantly BBA’s students.

Working out of Mark’s office provides a different perspective on life at BBA.  I’ve enjoyed the drop in visits from adults and students I did not see that often on the 2nd floor of the Seminary Building, and you can’t beat the view from the office windows. I’ve picked up on a few things these past three months — our international students receive many packages each day; hardly anyone picks up mail on a daily basis; Maria Bittinger has the best laugh; the conference room is the busiest place on campus; you can’t hear music in the halls from Mark’s office (and I really miss it); sometimes the photocopier chatter reminds me of an SNL skit, and sometimes it provides a temperature gauge on the stress level of our faculty!

There are only a few weeks left before exams, and there are many opportunities for students to receive academic support prior to the end of the semester. Teachers are available before and after school (by appointment) and during Flex Block. As a reminder, student OnCampus progress grades are open to parents until December 6th. You can view what students can view – assignments, due dates, grades and progress to date. Please reach out to teachers if you have questions or concerns.

Please read an important Bullhorn post from Tony Cirelli, Dean of Students, regarding our concern with the rise of vaping on BBA’s campus. His memo clearly outlines BBA’s policy, the consequences if a student is caught vaping or in possession of vape paraphernalia and the health concerns associated with vaping. All of us at BBA are committed to keeping our campus free of substances, and I thank you in advance for having a conversation with your students about this important matter.

Lastly, I hope to connect with many of you in the coming weeks at BBA’s winter concert, the Theater and Dance Fest, Mountain Campus Final Presentations, and athletic games and competitions.





Meg Kenny
Acting Head of School


From the Dean of Students

Dear Parents,

I do not want to sound like an alarmist, but since the beginning of the school year, we have seen a dramatic increase in the use and possession of electronic cigarettes and vape supplies at school.

Burr and Burton banned vaping and the possession of vape paraphernalia when they first gained popularity about five years ago. As a result, we categorize the use and possession of vape pens as a violation of our Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) policy. For clarity, an AOD penalty carries with it a five-day suspension from school (three external and two internal).

The uptick in use is primarily due to the companies aggressively marketing vape supplies to teens and the interest in trying something new. In the process, these companies are making a lot of money off of your children.

For example, the “Juul” ($50 for starter kit) contains high levels of nicotine and resembles a USB flash drive. Other devices are more elaborate and provide users with a digital display. They cost upwards of $150.00 (see photos below). While we do not believe that students are vaping marijuana oil, we do know that THC oil is readily available.  

Once believed to be safe, the vapor from these devices can contain varying levels of nicotine and other harmful chemicals. Recent studies have determined that vaping can cause serious physical ailments such as “Popcorn lung” (  

If use and possession are not enough, we have caught a few students illegally buying supplies and selling them both at and outside of school. This underground market is troubling to the school administration, as well as our faculty and staff.

In closing, I encourage you to have a serious conversation with your student(s) and remind him/her of the potential physical effects and school consequences for using, possessing (self, backpack, car, etc.) and selling.

Please contact me directly if you have any questions.


Anthony J. Cirelli
Co-Dean of Students


A second Visit Day to the Mountain Campus will be on Thursday, December 7th. This is an opportunity for interested BBA students to see the campus and program. The bus will leave the BBA faculty parking lot at 11:20 am. Students will be returned to BBA in time for C block at 1:15 pm.  Students: E-mail Andy Dahlstrom, Director of the Mountain Campus at, to sign up for this Visit Day, (please copy your guidance counselor), or for more information about a Mountain Campus semester.

The Mountain Campus invites the extended BBA community to the fall semester students’ Final Project Presentations on Tuesday, December 19th, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. This evening is a chance for our students to share their work on creating positive change. Public speeches and readings, poster presentations, art and film will be part of this demonstration of a semester of learning. For students and families considering the Mountain Campus, this is the best way to witness how a range of MC students experience education in this setting. The event will be in at the Mountain Campus, at 3067 Hapgood Pond Rd., Peru, VT. 05152.


From the Advancement Office:


As the holiday season in upon us, it’s a good time to reflect on the generosity of spirit of our BBA community! We want to thank all of our parents and families who support Burr and Burton Academy in many different ways.

Thank you to the Parent Association and the many hours they have put into reaching out to all BBA parents. Under the new leadership of Nan Bambara, this year the Parent Association executed a clothing exchange, made refreshments and helped with other needs for the fall play, hosted a new parent get-together, and much more. The Gala committee under the leadership of Kate Townshend and Urszula Knowles is already hard at work planning for this important event on May 25, 2018. And we appreciate the efforts of parents who provide food and refreshments for traveling teams, come to our performing arts events and cheer on our Bulldogs on the field, court, tracks and trails, slopes and parks, and the ice rink. Thank you to the Booster Club and all of the activities they have been involved in. Thank you to those who have helped organize fundraising events to support the hockey program, especially the most recent Student vs. Faculty Hockey game at Riley Rink.

Thank you to our host families of International students, for welcoming these students into your home to be a part of your family. And to our dorm parents who fashion a family of a different sort by creating a supportive, caring environment for their International students. (We’re always looking for more host families so if you’re interested please contact Pia Nolan at

And last but certainly not least, thank you to all parents who have supported the 2017 – 2018 Annual Giving Campaign with a gift or corporate sponsorship. For those of you who haven’t yet made a commitment, there is still plenty of time unless you want to take the tax deduction in 2017! If that is the case we must receive your gift by December 31, 2017. We continue to promote parent participation as the main focus of our fundraising efforts. We count outright gifts, corporate sponsorships (if you have a family-owned business), gala sponsorships, a donation of a service or item to the spring Online Auction, gifts made to the Bus Fund, the 88 Keys campaign and gifts made to Friends of Hockey. If you’ve already given, please encourage other parents to do the same. After all, we’re all in this together.

So once again, our most sincere thank you to all of you who have supported the school and our students in some way in the past months – we couldn’t do it without you.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season from all of us in the Advancement office.

cindy's only signature

Cynthia H. Gubb
Director of Advancement

PS. It easy to make a gift – feel free to use any of the following:

By mail: Advancement office, Burr and Burton Academy, P. O. Box 498, Manchester, VT 05254

Credit card: Online or call Nancy Brown in our office at 802-549-8110
In person: Stop by the Advancement Office and drop off your gift. We’d love to see you and say thank you in person.

We’re almost there! Only $3,333 left to raise to get the second $5,000! – 
Student Athlete Bus Fund

We still have an incredible matching challenge on the table to assist with funding transportation for student athletes. The primary purpose of this fund is to support student learning by keeping our BBA athletes in the classroom longer and/or getting them home from games earlier. Here’s how it works – when two teams (Varsity and JV) are scheduled to share a bus to the same location but play at different times, this fund 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. These funds would also be used to send Varsity teams in a coach bus to playoff games that are further than 2.5 hours away.

In the Fall of 2016 a donor contacted Burr and Burton about setting up a transportation fund and laid down a challenge gift of up to $10,000 if we could match it. To date, we have raised $6,667. Please consider making a gift of any amount to get us to the goal of $3,333. This is a very attainable goal and we only have six months left to raise the matching funds. If we don’t raise the total amount, we lose out on the $5,000.

If you have questions, contact Cindy Gubb in our Advancement Office at or call her at 802-549-8201. Be sure to label your gift “Bus Fund” and mail it to:

Burr and Burton Academy
Advancement Office
P.O. Box 498
Manchester, VT 05255

The donor has graciously extended this challenge through this current school year – we don’t want to miss out on this fantastic opportunity!!


From the BBA Parent Association

On behalf of the BBA Parent Association, I would like to wish a warm and wonderful holiday season to all our students, families, faculty and staff. 
Be safe, stay healthy and come back in January with renewed energy for learning, teaching and parenting. 
Until next month,
Nan Bambara
BBA Parent Association President


From the Creative Arts Department

The Music Department will present a Winter Concert Tuesday, December 5, at 6 pm and 7:45 pm featuring the Instrumental Music Ensemble, Vocal Music Ensemble, Circuits Electronic Music Ensemble and Chamber Choir.  Tickets are available at


Burr and Burton Academy’s Winter Showcase,  A FESTIVAL of DANCE, DRAMA and FILM 

Burr and Burton Academy’s Media and Performing Arts Department is proud to present its Winter Showcase, A Festival of Dance, Drama and Film, Thursday, December 14, at 6 pm and 8 pm, on stage in the school’s Riley Center for the Arts. Don’t miss the chance to experience the wide range of talent from BBA’s curricular acting, dance and film classes. There is something for everyone in this tightly packed evening of performance.

Acting scenes range from comedy to drama, together with original scenes and monologues by BBA students. 

The Fall Short Film project will be presented, together with commercials and PSA’s from the collaboration between the acting and cinema classes.

The BBA Dance Company consisting of 40 dancers, will perform five numbers, including a “West Side Story Suite” from the Broadway musical, a hip hop number, a ballet piece, a contemporary number and a playful, lyrical piece.

Tickets are $3 for students and $6 for adults and can be purchased online at:



Seniors should be finalizing the college process –
be sure to connect with your School and College Counselor!

2018 Cap, Gown and Diploma Online Order Forms are DUE. (Form is in Parent Portal)
AP Fees are DUE. (for 1st and 2nd semester AP course students)
Transcript Request Forms are DUE for all seniors with January Deadlines.
(Don’t forget it is the student’s responsibility to send SAT/ACT scores directly from the testing agency to the colleges.)

Seniors, once you receive a college decision, please let us know so we can keep an accurate record of our students’ successes. We’ll also pass along your happy news to Mr. Tashjian so he can announce it at Monday assemblies!

Standardized Testing
PSAT results are due to be released the second week in December. Students will receive emailed instructions from the College Board on how to access their individual scores and direct them to create a College Board account if they haven’t already done so.  As soon as BBA receives scores, they will be uploaded into each participating student’s Naviance account.

Regarding standardized testing preparation, families of juniors will receive mailed information from BBA regarding test prep courses and the test registration process.

February 10 is a testing date for the ACT. The test will not be at BBA, but will be administered at other nearby locations. Students wishing to register for this exam by will need to sign up at by January 12, 2018.

Advanced Placement Exam Fee
All students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses during the 2017-2018 school year, even those enrolled in second semester AP courses, are required to pay an exam fee of $95 per exam by Friday, December 15. Payments after this date will be charged an additional $5 per exam.  Students may bring in cash or checks (made out to Burr and Burton Academy) to the School and College Counseling Office, or pay by credit card at (this link is available through the OnCampus Resources tab as well).  There are fee reductions available for eligible students – please speak with Lynne Welsh or Cristin Rose. All students enrolled in AP courses are required by Burr and Burton to take the AP exam. AP exams are held May 7 – May 18, 2018.

Financial Aid
It is important to pay attention to individual college financial aid deadlines which are different from admission deadlines. Please check each college’s website for information.

Some private colleges also require a form called the CSS Financial Aid Profile. This two-part process should be started immediately so as not to delay funding. Forms are available online at or via the VSAC website:

All families of students applying for need-based financial aid will submit the FAFSA. Please remember that you can estimate on your forms and revise them later. Many colleges distribute financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis. The FAFSA form may be submitted at Families can register at this site in advance of January 1 to receive the necessary separate pin numbers for students and parents. (Beware of another website,, which charges people to complete the forms. FAFSA is a FREE form!).

All students applying for need-based aid will also submit the VSAC Vermont Incentive Grant form after January 1. It is available online at

From the 9th grade corner:
December will be a busy month on campus with the start of winter sports, mid-term (for year long classes) and final exams for semester classes. There are also a number of theater, dance and musical performances.  It will be important for our 9th graders to finish the semester strong by utilizing flexblock well, and connecting with their teachers in classes in which they may need extra help.

Upcoming Events:
Winter Concert – Tuesday, December 5 at 6 pm and 8 pm performances (snow date, December 6)
Winter Theater and Dance Fest, Thursday, December 14 at 6 pm and 8 pm performances (snow date, December 15)
Final and Mid-Term Exams – December 19-21 with (snow date, Friday, December 22)

Governor’s Institute Winter Weekend applications available online starting December 10 at
WHEN: February 9 through 11 or February 23 through 25.
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 Spots will fill up quickly!

2017-2018 VSAC Scholarships for Vermonters Workbooks are in the School and College Counseling Office.
Scholarship information can be found in the School and College Counseling Office and is listed in Naviance Family Connection at:

The School and College Counseling Office contacts:

Maria Bittinger, School and College Counselor for International Students, 549-8136;

Mary Grabarz, Registrar, 549-8127;

Cory Herrington, Dean of Students, Counselor for Freshmen, 549-8210;

Andrea Hogan, School and College Counselor for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, 549-8145;

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

Melissa Michaud, School and College Counselor for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, 549-8130;

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

Cristin Rose, School and College Counselor for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, 549-8126;

Lynne Welsh,  Admission and Counseling Office Manager, 549-8242;


From the Athletics Department

Another season is off to a great start. I look forward to seeing you out in support of our Bulldogs. Please keep the following in mind:

If your child is competing I ask three things of you. I know from personal experience that they are difficult. However, they are necessary if you are going to truly give your child over to their sport so they can make it their own. I ask that you model the exemplary behavior we ask of our young people. You are their first role models.

  1. Limit your comments to encouragement and celebration – leave the coaching to the coaches, the officiating to the officials, and the playing to the athletes.
  2. Avoid analyzing the game or your child’s play right after the game. All they need to know is that you enjoyed watching them play. When your child is ready for your advice they will come to you.
  3. Speak positively about the team and the individuals who are part of it. It is hard to have a positive experience when the people you admire are tearing it down.

Basketball and Ice Hockey Ticket Prices 2017-2018
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.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for all your Bulldog athletic updates!



Varsity Home Openers:

Saturday, December 16 at 7 pm – Boys Hockey v. Brattleboro
Wednesday, December 3 at 6 pm – Wrestling v. Fair Haven
Saturday, December 30 at 2:30 pm – Girls Basketball v. CVU
Saturday, December 9 at 5 pm – Girls Hockey v. NCU/LI
Saturday, December 23 at 2:30 pm – Boys Basketball v. St. Johnsbury
Wednesday, December 3 at 2:30 pm – Nordic Competition, Wild Wings
Saturday, December 27 at 1 pm – Dance Competition
Tuesday, January 16 at 1 pm – Snowboard Competition, Okemo (Technically not Home but it’s as close as we get).
Wednesday, January 3 at 1 pm – Alpine Competition, Bromley


French Exchange information

There will be a meeting on Sunday, December 3 at 4 pm in the cafeteria for all families who are hosting French Exchange students from Pau in February.  The link to sign up to host is: We are still looking for 2 or 3 more families, especially if you can host a boy.
Contact Michelle Emery for more information at

From the Library 

Click on this link to see the latest news for the Lisa B. Tuttle Library. Later this month look for the “Pop-Up Library” in the cafeteria during exam breaks. This is a convenient location to check out books and digital audiobooks for the vacation while getting a snack between exams.

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

The 2017-18 Annual Fund drive has launched. 
We rely on our corporate partners to help support the wide variety of programs and educational opportunities for our students.  Please take a look at our sponsor benefits below and contact Pauline de Laszlo at or 549-8277, if you are interested in making a meaningful gift to our learners.

Corporate Sponsor Benefits HERE

2017-2018 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 ($5000 +)
Berkshire Bank –
Bromley Mountain –
r. k. Miles –
Stratton Mountain Resort –
The Orvis Company –
The Vermont Country Store –
TPW Management –
High Honor Roll ($3000 +)
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. –
Honor Roll ($1500 +)
Bank of Bennington –
Cilantro –
Matt Waite Excavating
Mettowee Mill Garden Center & Landscaping –
Northshire Bookstore –

The Richards Group –

Academic Letter ($500 +)
Battenkill Communications –
Bradley D. Myerson Law Offices –
Equinox Construction Company
Lily of the Valley Florist –
Midura Building Company –
Mountain Goat North, Inc. –
Mountain Weavers –
Northshire Bookstore –
People’s United Bank –
Prospect Rehabilitation –
Samuelson Law Offices
Spivey Lemonik Swenor, PC –
The Aspen at Manchester –

The Dorset Inn and Barrows House –
The Works Bakery Café –

Academic Pin
Metropolitan Engineering Associates
Scott Thompson Builders –
The Pharmacy – Northshire

Planning for the 2018 Parent Association Spring Gala (Friday, May 25th) has already started! 
The following sponsors were a huge part of our $230,000 fundraising success:

2017-gala-logo-1-copyFlagship Sponsor


Taconic –
Windjammer $2500 
Berkshire Bank –
Express Copy –
Nathan Auction & Real Estate, Inc. –
The Weinstein Group, P.C. –
Schooner $1500
Four Season Sotheby’s International Realty –
Stratton Rentals –
Ketch $1000
Guaranteed Rate
Langway Chevrolet VW of Manchester –
Southwestern Vermont Health Care –
Cutter $500 
Celebration Rentals, Inc. –
Dorr Oil Company –
Peter and Michelle Drasher
Equinox Village –
Glebe Mountain Gardens and Landscaping –
GSK Climate Control, Inc. –
James Young, Esq. – younglawvt
Lily of the Valley Florists –
L/S Gerontology Seminars: The Osnow Family
Lynch& Son, Inc.
Manchester Capital Management –
Mountain Goat North, Inc. –
Rutland Regional Medical Center –
The Dorset Inn/Barrows House/ Dorset Rising –
The Reluctant Panther –
Sloop $250 
aboutFACE Orthodontics –
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont –
Bradley’s Pro Shop –
Cole Company, Inc. –
Cota & Cota –
Decorative Interiors
H.N. Williams –
Heritage Family Credit Union –
James A. Young, Esq.
McWayne Jewelers
The Pharmacy –
Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail,
and Burr and Burton the vessel
Please contact Pauline de Laszlo at (802) 549-8277
or for information on sponsorship levels and benefits.

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