The Sharon Academy Newsletter, January 10, 2014

Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Community, High School, Middle School, Newsletter

The Sharon Academy Newsletter, January 10, 2014

In this Issue:

Mark Your Calendar
TSA’s Chain Reaction Day
General News
Middle School News
High School News
Community Events
Opportunities for Students
Summer Opportunities

Happy New Year!



Mark Your Calendar

January 2014

Thurs 16 Paying for College Night for 12th Grade Parents, 6:30 PM
Mon 20 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:
No School for students. In-Service for Teachers
Tues 21 Chain Reaction Day honoring Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy. Followed by an all-school potluck
Weds 22 HS Second Marking Period ends

Future Dates:

  • All HS Field Trip: May 16th, 2014
  • Prom: May 17th, 2014
  • All MS Field Trip: May 20 – 22nd, 2014
  • MS Semi Formal: May 30th, 2014




Thank you to all of the students who performed in the Café on December 20th.  We had so much fun!  If you would like to see photos, please click here to go to our Galleries page:

Thank you to the Energy Crew in the HS for helping us to save energy over the December Break.  They unplugged refrigerators, computers, and copiers, and pulled shades in rooms to keep the heat in.  Thanks for helping to keep issues regarding the way we use our resources at the front of our minds.

Good luck to Sam Hayden ’17 who is competing in the American Bouldering Series Eastern Divisional Championships in New Jersey this weekend.

Lucia Gagliardone ’16 is now in Azogues, Ecuador staying with a host family with 3 boys. She is attending a public high school with Ecuadorians and is speaking all Spanish all the time except for her English class. She also has Chemistry, Math and Social Studies. She says the SS content is the same as TSA’s. She wears a uniform, goes to school from 7am to 1pm and the most asked question to her from the teens is if she has a boyfriend. She goes to Church on Sunday, dance (recreational/exercise type) 5 nights a week and has little time to make her own schedule or choices. Her host mom is keeping a good eye on her. She would love to hear from you. Her address is
Lucia Gagliardone
c/o Wilson Rolando Vazques Quezada
Luis Cordero 4-17E de Noviembre
Azogues, Canar, Ecuador


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TSA’s 2014 Chain Reaction Day:

A celebration in the spirit of the work
of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A TSA event for all high school and middle school students, inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. …


On Tuesday, January 21, 2014, all high school and middle school students and staff at The Sharon Academy will engage in a day filled with activities, conversation-inspiring workshops, and food.  The objectives of the day will be to: Explore the unspoken assumptions we make on a daily basis, increase our awareness of how our differences can enhance our relationships with each other or divide us, and begin to engage in conversations about difficult topics. We have a variety of community members and TSA staff presenting on workshop topics exploring race, gender, class, culture and the media.  Students and staff will have the opportunity to sign up for workshops that interest them.  To conclude the day’s events, all students and staff will join together for a potluck lunch in Moore Hall.  We are asking all students and staff to contribute to the potluck lunch and we have designated specific items for each grade to bring.

Middle school students should be brought to the TSA High School on January 21st by 8:15am. The day’s schedule will be as follows:

  • 8:15-9:00 Opening Event
  • 9:15-10:30 Workshop I
  • 10:45-12:00 Workshop II
  • 12:00-12:30 Closing Event
  • 12:45-1:15 All School Potluck Lunch
  • 1:30 Electives Begin and  Middle school students return to Middle School

(All Food should be brought to Moore hall on the morning of January 21st. Please try to bring dishes that do not need to be warmed up)

  • Grade 7& 8: DRINKS, DESSERT, or LUNCH FOOD
  • Grade 9: DRINKS
  • Grade 10: DESSERT
  • Grade 11: LUNCH FOOD
  • Grade 12: LUNCH FOOD

If you have any questions about the January 21st event, please contact Kate Sensenich (, Ext 115)


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General News


TSA Receives Grant for Professional Development: The Sharon Academy has been awarded a $12,000 grant from an anonymous family foundation to support professional development for TSA faculty and staff. The family which made this award is making it in recognition of the incredible dedication of TSA faculty, many of whom have interests in pursuing additional education.  This fund will support our faculty in taking classes and engaging in other professional growth opportunities.

Intent to Return fee: This is the time of year to inform us of your student’s intention to return to TSA in the fall of 2014.  Letting us know your intent is essential to our planning.  As you know, TSA is committed to small class size and our finances are tight. It is important that we know the number of students who will be returning next year, as we will soon inform prospective new students regarding their enrollment for Fall 2014, and we need to have an accurate count of spaces available.
  • Families of 8th graders: please fill out the attached Intent to Return form (click here to access the form: ) and return it with your payment by February 14th.
  • Families of 7th, 9th, 10th, and 11th graders: If you know that your student  will not be returning to TSA in the fall, please inform us ASAP,  before February 14th.  All student accounts will be charged the annual $100.00 intent to return fee unless we hear otherwise from you.

If you need assistance making a decision about your student’s school placement, please contact Pam Ward ( at the middle school or Louise Caldwell ( at the high school.

Wednesday Dismissal Times: For the duration of the Ski Wednesday program (January 8th – February 19th), school will dismiss at 12:30 on Wednesdays.

Student Climate Lobby: On January 10th, there will be a student climate lobby day at the state house. All students are welcome. Please contact Margaret Gish if you would like to carpool.

BoxTops: We received word over vacation that we have earned over $200 this year from our collecting boxtops for education!  This money is used to support students with specific educational needs which cannot be financed by existing programs, and which the family cannot afford. In the world of high finance, it’s not a big deal, but to individual young men and women, it can be a huge help.  Thank you so much for your support of this program.  Having said that, for the first time in the past twelve months, the number of boxtops waiting to be processed has reached a serious low point! Perhaps some of our diligent collectors are stockpiling, or perhaps their students graduated. This is a call to anyone who reads this to take that extra thirty seconds to clip boxtops when you see them on your cereal, granola bars, Kleenex boxes, butter boxes, wherever you find them, and leave them in the envelope hanging outside of Janice’s office!

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Middle School News

Attention 8th Grade Families: Please remember to arrange a shadow day for visiting the HS. The available days are: January 15th, 22nd, and 29th. Call Amber Wylie at 802.763.2500 x120 to make arrangements.

High Five Adventure: The middle school will be undertaking a new adventure this spring from May 20th to May 22nd. In the past we have visited the Hulbert Outdoor Center for our annual trip in May. This year, we will be exploring a new team-building experience in Brattleboro, VT at the High Five Adventure Center. ( The main reason for this change is to take advantage of the highly experienced team of outdoor educators that will work with our students at High Five. (One of High Five’s most famous current team-building clients is the Boston Bruin hockey team.) The goals for the 7th grade include developing leadership and team building skills as these students step into the 8th grade leadership position at the middle school. The goal for the 8th grade is to look ahead to high school and examine the ways positive and negative risk taking plays a role in the high school experience, and how students can support each other for optimal growth.


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High School News


Change in Famished Phoenix Lunch Schedule at the High School: Miriam from the Famished Phoenix Catering will be joining students and staff on Tuesday Jan 14th at the all-school meeting to discuss the best days to offer lunch for sale to students. Tuesday has not been a popular day, therefore we will discuss whether offering lunch on Thursday (instead of Tuesday – there will NOT be lunch for sale next Tuesday!) and Friday will work for families and students. This will make it easy to plan for and remember: pack a lunch early in the week, and have lunch at school at the end of the week!
Students may purchase a Coupon Book for $36 (checks accepted, made out to Famished Phoenix please). These are booklets of tickets for $36-worth of food that can be kept at school so students don’t need to carry cash for their lunch. They are very handy for those days when you forget your lunch!
Ninth Grade PATH reminder: There will be a test on Monday, Jan. 13, 2013 on vocabulary, test-taking strategies, task analysis and prioritization, and organization.  Bring to PATH class your finest binder/organization system for any one of your classes.  This is a part of the test.

We need photos from JV girls soccer for the yearbook! Please e-mail Mollie Faccio ( with the photos.  Alternatively, please send in a flashdrive or CD for her.

Yearbook orders: Each high school student receives a yearbook. If you are interested in buying an additional copy, please contact Jay Knoerlein, Paige Bissaillon, or Jocelyn Johnson by January 15th. Each additional copy costs $30.

Young Writer’s Conference Invitation: Students are invited to attend a weekend of writing workshops, craft sessions, and open mic at the Champlain College Young Writers’ Conference, May 23-25. Now in its fourteenth year, this conference is for high school students who wish to share their passion for story, drama, and song with their writerly brothers and sisters—and with celebrated New England authors. We offer three days of readings, improv, Moth storytelling, poetry slams, literary jazz/blues fusion, and extended friendship on the hillside campus of Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont.  The 2014 keynote speaker is renowned essayist and naturalist TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS,  the author of the environmental literature classic, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place. Her other books include: An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field; Desert Quartet; Leap; Red: Patience and Passion in the Desert; The Open Space of Democracy; Finding Beauty in a Broken World, and When Women were Birds. She has worked as a “barefoot artist” in Rwanda, camped in the remote regions of Utah and Alaska wildernesses, and was featured in Ken Burns’ PBS series on the national parks. In 2006, Williams received the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society, their highest honor given to an American citizen.  The postmark DEADLINE OF FEBRUARY 15 is fast approaching and our search lights are on. If you have a tale to spin, or a story to share, please download an application (or cover letter & brochure) from our website:

Poetry Out Loud: Save February 20 for this year’s local celebration of Poetry Out Loud, when students who choose to participate will recite two poems from memory, with one of them getting the chance to represent The Sharon Academy at the state semi-finals!  The evening begins at 7:00, and is open to the public.  Our judges this year will be Bob and Kathy Eddy.  Kathy is a noted composer and writer, and Bob has just won the Vermont Press Association’s award for arts criticism. The event is open to any TSA student in grades 9-12, but there’s a special incentive for Division II students. Any student who successfully recites one poem that evening will earn one added point on their third quarter Humanities grade. Two successful recitations earns them two points, and winning earns them three!  Rules for participation are posted on the Poetry Out Loud website, as are all of the eligible poems.  Clever students may well find poetry to use which also supports their belief presentation!

HS Electives:  Below are the descriptions of the electives offered this year, third marking period.  Please peruse them, ask the teachers questions, think and dream about long term benefits and exploration and self-expression.  Students will be asked to sign up next Wednesday 1/15 during advisory.


* Successful completion of a class marked with * earns .25 studio art credits.

^ Successful completion of a class marked with ^ earns .25 physical education credits.


MP III 1/23 – 3/26 15 classes

Model United Nations

Model United Nations is a simulation of the UN General Assembly and other multilateral bodies. In Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues on the organization’s agenda. While playing their roles as ambassadors, student “delegates” make speeches, prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the Model UN conference rules of procedure – all in the interest of mobilizing “international cooperation” to resolve problems that affect countries all over the world. Students need to be available for the Conference at Dartmouth College March 28 – 30
Instructors: Stephanie Davis and Carter Glass


One Act Play

Auditions have already been held for this play, but there is still space for folks to work on tech. All students with a part will automatically be enrolled in this elective, which then becomes the actual rehearsal time as we prepare to participate in the Vermont Drama Council’s one-act play festivals.
Instructor: Charlie McMeekin


^Winter Running

We’ll go running on nearby dirt roads and go out no matter what the weather. Students do not need to be able to run very far or fast to take this class. It is fine to start out mostly walking and then build up the amount of time spent running. The overall goal is for students to increase or maintain their fitness, develop or maintain good exercise habits and get outside. Students will be expected to be outside for one hour every class and one day per week outside of class. They will keep track of this information in a log. Students must show up ready on the first day with: running shoes; synthetic fabric long underwear, hat and socks (no cotton); gloves or mittens; water-resistant shell and wind pants; lightweight synthetic jacket or other warm layer; and a stopwatch or other way to keep track of time. All students will be expected to participate fully every class. Basketball players and other athletes may not take this class if it conflicts with their sport.
Instructor: Larry Satcowitz


Contract Bridge

Contract Bridge is one of the most popular card games worldwide.  It is a team game played with a partner against another two person team.  A successful bridge partnership will understand the rules of the game and also learn a bidding system.  The bidding system taught in this course will be Standard Bidding with Five Card Majors which is a very common bidding system in the United States and abroad.  Class time will be spent reviewing lessons that students will read as homework, playing hands that demonstrate the topics learned in the lesson, and also playing open games of Rubber Bridge.  Class is limited to seven students.
Instructor: Steve Basham



Language defines our reality. It is through language that we construct ourselves and our reality. The Yurt Alert was born at TSA in 2013 to invigorate our thinking and to encourage critical thinking among the community.  Journalism is the art of non-conformity and transformation. This is what The Yurt Alert is about; touching our reality, deconstructing it through language with the written word to reinvent ourselves. The Yurt Alert is about breaking silence. Come join us in this art of transformation.
Instructor: Maria Clara de Greiff


Philosophy and Film

In the Philosophy and Film elective we are going to be exploring the fundamental concepts of human existence and emotion through the storytelling of film. Throughout the elective, we will be watching films whose story lines invoke journeys of self-discovery and self-reflection. After each film viewing, we will have an in-depth discussion covering subjects that center around the intricacies and meaning of everyday life.
Instructor: Blake Fabrikant


*Tai Chi and Collage

In this class we will combine learning the precise movements of an ancient martial art practice with experiences in a variety of visual arts such as gesture drawing, collage, and painting.  We will be studying and recording observations of how one art form influences the other.
Instructors: Todd Binzen and Jennifer Brown



For this introductory studio course students will explore drawing, painting, and collage. We will develop a common language that integrates the principles and elements of design. Special attention will be paid to the strengths and attributes of various media:  charcoal, pencil, ink, pastels (oil and dry) watercolors, tempera, acrylics and mixed media. The students will create observational drawings and abstract compositions. This course is a prerequisite for other studio art courses and will be an excellent starting point for those who want to build a strong visual portfolio.  Instructor: Jay Mead



Build mobiles using metal smithing techniques and incorporating found objects and a variety of materials. Hammer, drill, cut and design your way to a project of balance, grace and visual interest.  Those who attend this class are advised to Google the following prior to class: Alexander Calder, Marco Mahler Mobiles, Timothy Rose, Bruce Cana Fox.
Instructor: Sherry St. Germain


Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Ensemble is open to all musicians – both instrumentalists and singers.  We will work on learning a few standards and some techniques of improvisation.  Based on interest, we may work as one ensemble or break into groups for different tunes.
Instructor: Brian Tonks


Flying Within The Confines: Great Works of Short Fiction
Of the short story, David Sedaris said, “A good one would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit.” In this elective we will seek to examine works by the masters of the craft, such as Hemingway, Munroe, O’Connor, and McCleod, among others.  We will discuss how these great writers craft their short stories, and how the confines of space can be true liberation.  Students have the option of taking this course for ¼ English credit with the completion of weekly writing assignments and a final major literary analysis.  All participants will be required to complete reading assignments and to contribute to a strongly discussion-based classroom on a daily basis.
Instructor: Spike Carter


Drivers’ Education

Students should have already registered and paid a deposit for this class online at  Instructor: Gabriella Netsch


Introduction to Adventures in Synthetic Biology

This lecture and laboratory course will introduce students to the exciting emerging fields of biological engineering and synthetic biology.  We will learn some basic biology about inheritance, DNA, genetics, evolution, and the cell.  We will also read about and discuss important contextual issues surrounding these fields, including biosafety, ethical, environmental, and conservation protocols.  In the lab portion of the course, students will design, safely build and safely dispose of genetically modified bacteria to demonstrate their academic understanding.  See attached comic book on “Adventures in Synthetic Biology” for more info, or click here.”  Taking this course will help prepare a team of TSA students to organize a team to enter the 2015 iGEM competition.
Instructor: Steve Aldrich


Maple Sugaring

This will be a hands-on class, and students will even have the opportunity to design their own project to improve the sugar bush with the possibility of implementation. This elective is designed for students who are interested in actively participating in the project and continuing work even after this elective is finished (sugaring season doesn’t end until the beginning of MP4). Students will be expected to be prepared to be outside every class and expected to stay outside for the whole class. Students should not be afraid of hard work, such as dealing with firewood, hauling sap, stringing sap line and many more sugaring related activities. The primary goal of this elective is to allow students with any level of experience (even who have never been inside a sugar house) to come learn about sugaring and become active in the Sugaring Project while having fun and enjoying the outdoors.   Especially welcome are Division II students potentially interested in taking over the project when we graduate.
Instructors: Brian Renfro and Wyatt Blanchard (Rob Stainton)


Study Hall

This is a not for credit class.  Add four hours a week to your time to study in a quiet, supervised space.  To register for this class, a student must present a written proposal of how their time will be spent productively and submit it to Christa.


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Community Events


Godspell Auditions: Chelsea Mountain Players is holding auditions for Godspell (2012 Revival)on January 22nd and 23rd from 3:30 to 6:00 at Chelsea Town Hall.  Auditions are open to all students in grades 6-12.  For the audition, bring any song you feel comfortable singing 20 seconds of that you think shows of your vocal range well. A quick acting audition will also take place.  Show Dates: April 10th & 11th at Chelsea Town Hall. Please Contact Billy Ray Poli at or 685-4551 EXT 132 if you have any questions!

Emerging Artist Showcase Seeks Young Talent: On Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:00 pm, the sixth annual Emerging Artist Showcase will feature rising young performers and visual artists from up and down the Upper Valley. The Showcase will take place at Damon Hall at Hartland Three Corners. The event’s producers have put out a call to all performers and artists aged 16 to 26 to sign up and share in the celebration of your talents. Musicians, singers, dancers, poets, acrobats, jugglers, comedians, storytellers, and other performers, along with painters, sculptors, cartoonists, and other visual artists–and even chefs are invited to participate. The Showcase is a production of Hartland Community Connections. For more information about the showcase, or to sign up and take part, contact: Jaxon Morgan at 802-291-1049 or

Cochran’s NordicChallenge: (The first Nordic Ski Cross Event in New England) Sunday, March 9th at Cochran’s Ski Area (910 Cochran Rd, Richmond, VT 05477). A fun, festive, and competitive citizens Nordic Ski Cross Race for all ages. Uphill, downhill, slalom gates, jumps, and obstacles, all on one pair of skis. Spectator friendly! Don’t want to race? Come watch the fun and eat pancakes with hot Slopeside Syrup. Interval start. Seeding based on ability, age and sex. Shorter course for kids, 12yr. and under. Prizes for top three in all age and ability categories. Cost: Adults $30 preregistered by March 2nd online or $40 after March 2rd and same day. Kids $10 (12yr. & under). Includes entry fee, headband and pancake sausage feast with Slopeside Syrup. Start Time: 10am Kids and 11am Adults. For more information contact: Laura Farrell or 802-291-1348

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Opportunities for Students


School Year Abroad: is a program offered in China, Spain, France and Italy. A representative is coming to meet with Kimberly Barnhart at 1 pm on Jan 28. Interested students may attend the meeting in KB’s office.

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Buick Scholarships up to $100,000: Seniors interested in studying engineering, technology, design or business with an interest in the automotive industry are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. Visit for program details and the online application. Deadline: February 28, 2014, 5:00 p.m. EST

Vermont Grocers Association Scholarships: VGA Scholarship application is available to all VGA Retail & Associate members who have student employees or employees with children attending college for the first time. VGA will award Fifteen Scholarships in 2014 totaling $22,500: 3 Scholarships based on merit at $1,500; 12 Scholarships based on financial need & merit at $1,500. To request an application, Call the VGA office: 800-842-8503 or 802-839-1928 or email:  When requesting an application be certain to include the following: Student’s name, home address, email address, telephone number, and how the student qualifies to apply (Name of VGA member company and whether the student or parent is employed there). Application deadline: APRIL 28, 2014


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Summer Opportunities

Summer Academy: A four-week residential/commuter program open to high school juniors and seniors. Students can earn three credits and have a residential campus experience. For more information about summer courses and Summer Academy, visit

JumpStart UVM: Entering first-year students who have been admitted and decide to enroll at UVM in fall 2014 can get a head start on their college career by living on campus and completing a 3-credit class. JumpStart students can take part in field trips and social activities on campus before the start of fall semester. For more information on the Jump Start program, please visit

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