The Sharon Academy Newsletter, January 7, 2016

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Newsletter

In this Issue:

Mark Your Calendar
General News
Phoenix Sports
Middle School News
High School News
Community Service Opportunities
College Info
Community Events

To make a submission to The Sharon Academy’s newsletter, please click here

and complete the new online submission form.


Mark Your Calendar

MS = middle school, HS = high school

To download a PDF version of our 2015 – 2016 calendar, please click here:

Also, check the website regularly for calendar updates: TSA Calendar



Wed 13 School dismissed at 12:30 for all – Suicide Six Ski and Snowboard Program Finally Begins! (Note:  12:30 will be the Wednesday dismissal time through March 2nd)
Thurs 14 TSA Sponsored Paying for College Night – 6:30pm for Juniors and Seniors and their parents (See Scholarships and College Info Section below for more information.)
Fri 15 TSA Middle School Dance – 6:30 pm (See Middle School Section for more information)
Mon 18 Martin Luther Kind Jr. Day – No School
Tues 19 Chain Reaction Day – See Chain Reaction Day section below for much more information. (Note: MS Students at the HS)
Wed 20 School dismissed at 12:30 for all – Ski and Snowboard Program at Suicide Six
Fri 22 HS Second Marking Period Ends
Wed 27 School dismissed at 12:30 for all – Ski and Snowboard Program at Suicide Six




Congratulations to Emily Weatherill ’17, Claire Jenisch ’19, Emily Masteller ’16, Juniper Gillespie ’19, and Wednesday Gillespie ’19 for their wonderful performances in this year’s The Christmas Revels. From the chorus to singing solos and doing the sword dance, their performances were wonderful, and their commitment to theater is impressive.

Chris Gish [’16] set a Vermont state record
in the boys 1,000-meters to highlight a two-state indoor track and field meet at Leverone Field House on Wednesday, December 29th. [Chris] Gish finished with a first-place and second-place finish for the Sharon boys, winning the 1,500 meters in 4:17.28 and taking second by a half-second in the 1,000 meters with a Vermont state indoor record of 2:34.27. (quoted from the Valley News) Congrats Chris!

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2016 Chain Reaction Day

2016 Chain Reaction Day:  A celebration in the spirit of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for HS and MS:  Tuesday, January 19th. A TSA event for all high school and middle school students, inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. …

On Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 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 Tuesday, January 19th 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 (See below for what to bring.)
1:30 Electives Begin and  Middle school students return to Middle School

What students and staff should bring to the Chain Reaction Pot Luck Lunch:  Grade 10 students should bring a dessert to share.  Everyone else, grades 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 and Staff should bring a lunch food to share.  Note:  Staff should also bring Plates, cups and utensils.

All Food should be brought to Moore hall on the morning of January 19th. Please try to bring dishes that do not need to be warmed up.

For more information, please contact Kate Sensenich at


General News

12:30 pm (earlier than normal) Wednesday dismissal for all students started this week (yesterday).  This will continue through March 2nd.

Fred Tubula ’15, his family, and his village need closer, clean water:
 Fred Tubula ’15, our exchange student from Kenya last year, made a big impact on the TSA community. It is from Fred that we learned how much water is needed where he lives in Kenya. Fred’s family and members of his village must walk many kilometers each way to get water everyday during the drought season (which is most of the year).  Please consider a donation to help drill a well for Fred, his family, and his village.  

A small group from this community is working with a reputable non-profit organization, called WhoLives. They have developed a innovative low-tech system for drilling deep wells in rural Africa. Please check out the Generosity fundraising web site to learn more about Fred and this project, it includes a link to a video about WhoLives and the well drilling system they have developed:–2/x/12089093

Any donation amount, no matter how small, will help Fred, his family, and his village receive the closer, clean water they deserve.  Go to the web site above to learn more.  For more information contact Dave Eastman at:

Mindfulness Group, Wednesday afternoons: 2:15pm to 3pm, free for students and parents.
 The Mindfulness Group, consisting of a few of our staff members, has been meeting since 2013 on Wednesdays and would like to invite you to join.
When: 2:15pm, every Wednesday when school is in session and there is no In-Service. Dates are posted on Flo’s Mindfulness website:
    Where: Flo’s room at TSA High School
Leader: Florence Tolbert
No registration or experience required.

Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as: “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.” Mindfulness enhances quality of life.  Living in the present moment is difficult when our mind is constantly analyzing the past and worrying about the future.  Practicing mindfulness in a group can be beneficial both mentally and physically.

Flo, who also teaches the Introduction to Mindfulness elective at TSA, draws on a variety of programs such as Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction, Patricia Broderick’s Learning to Breathe and the Mindfulness In School Project, to name a few. Sessions include various meditation exercises, body scans, and occasional readings.  This group is not affiliated to, nor does it promote, any religion. Works from different authors, including Vietnamese Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh, are sometimes referenced.

For more information, please contact Florence Tolbert at: or visit

Green Up Vermont’s annual poster and writing contests:
submit a Poster Design for Green Up Day. Any student K-12 may submit an entry. Entries must be received by January 31st. One poster design is selected as the official 2016 Green Up Day poster, promoting Green Up Day, the first Saturday in May. Poster entries should be 11×14 inches, created by hand, without the aid of computers, and must include the words “Green Up Vermont”. Writing entries should be a poem or an essay of up to 400 words relating to “What Green Up Day means to you”.  Entries should be mailed to Green Up Vermont, P.O. Box 1191, Montpelier, VT 05601-1191, or delivered to the Green Up Vermont office at 14-16 Baldwin St. For many more dtails and entry rules: visit the Poster and Writing Contests page at or call 802-229-4586 or 1-800-974-3259

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Phoenix Sports

Don’t forget to get your TSA Sports Booster Club Local Business Savings Card!
Get your card from Cynthia at the TSA High School or contact Kim Knoerlein at:

Time for a
White Out!  It’s time to show your team spirit by purchasing one of TSA’s low-cost White logo’ed t-shirts for just $10. See Blake to make your purchase.
Then wear your white TSA t-shirt to our home basketball games.

Remember the smell and taste of that wonderful homemade pizza at our home soccer games?  
Well, now that same pizza dough, ‘Cynthia’s Famous’, is available for $3 for a 1 pound dough ball (makes 1 pizza).  They will be available at all home games but Cynthia or Blake could probably get you some during a school day. Enjoy your pizza today and support TSA Athletics!


Varsity Boys:
December 22, 2015 – Craftsbury 65, TSA Varsity Boys 61
January 2, 2016 – TSA Varsity Boys 50, Chelsea 21.  The Phoenix rode a strong first quarter, where they outscored the Red Devils 24-5, to improve their record to 6-1. Max Perkins had a career-high 18 points for Sharon. Carter Blanchard also had 18 points, and Jay Knoerlein and Harvey Kelley each had seven points. Congratulations boys! Keep up the good work!
January 5, 2016  – Williamstown (Division 3) 54, TSA Varsity Boys 49

Varsity Girls:
January 4, 2016 – Green Mountain 52, TSA Varsity Girls 39
December 18, 2015 – TSA Varsity Girls 53, Trinity Baptist 32. The Phoenix boasted a trio in double figures while improving to 3-2. The Phoenix trailed 13-12 after one quarter, but more than doubled up Trinity over the middle two frames, 35-17

JV Girls:
January 6, 2015 – Twinfield 47, TSA JV Girls 17

Indoor Track:
December 30, 2015: Chris Gish ’16 finished with a first-place and second-place finish for the Sharon boys, winning the 1,500 meters in 4:17.28 and taking second by a half-second in the 1,000 meters with a Vermont state indoor record of 2:34.27.  Dillon Buttner ’18 also had a nice showing by winning his heat in the 1,000 meters.

Jay Knoerlein ’16 and Carter Blanchard ’16 have a nice article written about their road to recovery from injuries in the Valley News. Here is the link:


Please come out and support a Phoenix Team!

Middle School Basketball:
1/12/2016 Tuesday Chelsea Away 5:30pm

JV Boys:
1/7/2016 Thursday SoRo Away 5:30pm
1/9/2016 Saturday Rivendell Away 1:00pm (note: this is an updated time change)
1/12/2016 Tuesday West Rutland Away 5:30pm

JV Girls:
1/13/2016 Wednesday Williamstown Home 6:30pm

Varsity Boys:
1/7/2016 Thursday SoRo Away 7:00pm
1/9/2016 Saturday Rivendell Away 2:30pm (note: this is an updated time change)
1/12/2016 Tuesday West Rutland Away 7:00pm

Varsity Girls:
1/8/2016 Friday Chelsea Away 7:00pm
1/11/2016 Monday Cabot Away 5:30pm

Indoor Track: Dartmouth Relays
1/8/2016 Friday Leverone Field House at Dartmouth 3:00pm
1/9/2016 Saturday Leverone Field House at Dartmouth 10:00am


You can get even more TSA Phoenix Sports News and Pictures on the TSA Athletics Booster Club Facebook Page:

You can also check out pictures of Phoenix Sports events at: – it does require a Shutterfly Registration – but it is Free!


Middle School News

TSA Middle School Dance: Friday, January 15, 2016, 6:30 – 9:30pm
Where: The TSA Middle School
Cost: 1 item of food for the food shelf or $1.00
Guests: Students are allowed to each bring two guests that they know well and that are in 6th, 7th or 8th grade. Marcy Innes must approve all guests ahead of time. Only guests that are pre-approved are allowed into the dance.

Important:  Middle School Drop Off for Chain Reaction Day at the TSA High School on Tuesday, January 19th:
Please remember to drop your student off at the high school on Tuesday, January 19th, for Chain Reaction Day. For more details on the day, including information on what to bring for the Potluck, please see the Chain Reaction section in General News. Middle School students will return to the middle school before the end of the school day. Please plan to pick up your student at the middle school at the regular time for dismissal.


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High School News

Junior Exhibition Presentation Day 
New date:  Monday, March 21. We have changed the date of this all-school event to take place on Monday, March 21st, so that students are not presenting the day after we “Spring Forward”.  Please contact Maria Piasecki with any questions or concerns regarding this change to the school calendar.  For more information, please contact Maria Piasecki at:

Call for Image-Heavy Magazines – Before Jan 19th.
Maria Piasecki and Laura deCapua are putting out a call for collage materials for a project/workshop that will be taking place on Chain Reaction Day, TSA’s celebration of the work and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. We would love to collect a variety of image-heavy texts (magazines, we imagine) you do not need back that students can cut up and use as collage material to create art project related to the themes of the day. Please bring boxed or bagged collage materials you can donate to Maria’s room (second on the right, headed from the Lobby to Moore Hall).  Thank you for helping out!

Delicious TSA Maple Syrup:
 TSA made maple syrup is still available for a donation of $20 a quart. The donation goes directly back into the sugaring operation to purchase equipment for the upcoming season. For more information please contact Rob Stainton at RStainton@ Sharon or Cynthia Masterman at or just come by the school and we will get you a quart!


Community Service Opportunities

TSA now has an active community service page on Facebook. Like the page to be notified about current community service events and opportunities:

Have a community service opportunity that you wish to notify people about?Email with the information and we will let our staff and students know about the opportunity.

Students:  Want to fill out our Community Service online form? Click here

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Scholarships and College Info

For previously posted scholarship information, check out the TSA web site at: Scholarships

Parents of Junior and Senior students are encouraged to attend* the TSA Paying for College Night next week on Thursday, Jan 14 at 6:30 pm. During the event 
The event will: Includes a review of the basics of financial aid, sharing how to read a financial aid award letters, and sharing resources for further financial aid support.
*Please note that this event will NOT take the place of attending a VSAC Financial Aid Forms night.  Parents of seniors are STRONGLY encouraged to attend an upcoming forms night at one of the following locations: 
    Jan 7:  Hartford High School at 6:30 pm
    Jan 11:  South Royalton High School at 6:00 pm
    Jan 13:  Randolph Union High School at 6:00 pm
    Jan 20:  Rivendell Academy at 4:00 pm
    Jan 28:  Chelsea Public School at 6:00 pm
    Jan 28:  Woodstock High School at 6:00 pm

Apply to Governors Institutes Winter Weekends:
 Winter weekends are exhilarating hands-on academic weekends for Vermont 9th-12th grade students. Spend the weekend at a college campus taking on an intensive-study challenge, gaining exciting new skills, and making new friends. Events are overnight Friday – Sunday at Goddard College.
February 5-7: Astrophotography, Advanced Math for Girls
Feb 19 – 21: Biomedical Research, Hacking and Cybersecurity

These events are affordable for everyone. Sliding scale tuition based on what you can pay. Application deadline is January 13.  For more information, please contact Ellen Bagnato at or visit

The Vermont Golf Association Scholarship application is now available online at:
The applicant must be a Vermont high school senior, be a resident of the state of Vermont and accepted at an accredited undergraduate program at a two-year or four-year college or university. Applicant must be in the top 40% of his or her graduating class OR have cumulative average of 80% and a combined SAT score of at least 1500.  Criteria used for selection is financial need, scholarship, and the applicant’s (not the parent’s) connection to the game of golf; such as a golf team, working in a golf shop, working for a grounds superintendent, etc.  Finalists must meet with the VGA Scholarship Selection Committee for a short interview.  For more information, please contact Ellen Bagnato at or visit

The VT EPSCoR Center for Workforce Development and Diversity (CWDD)
works to cultivate and prepare a diverse science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce in Vermont by inspiring students to enter STEM careers. As part of our work we are pleased to award $5,000 scholarships to Native American (including Abenaki) and First Generation college students who enter STEM majors at a Vermont college or university. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic standing, letters of recommendation, and an essay detailing career goals.  To apply for a VT EPSCoR CWDD Student Scholarship, an applicant should be:  A Vermont resident and United States citizen, a graduating senior at a Vermont high school planning to attend a Vermont college during the next academic year, OR a current undergraduate enrolled in a degree program at a Vermont college or university, with a GPA of 3.0 or above, enrolling or enrolled in a STEM major in college, and of Native American ancestry OR a first generation college student.  Deadline is April 1, 2016.  For more information, please contact Ellen Bagnato at or visit

The Live Más Scholarship
is not based on your grades or how well you play sports. No essays, no test scores, no right or wrong answers. They’re looking for the next generation of innovators, creators and dreamers – whose post-high school education we will help fund. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for the next generation. The Taco Bell Foundation will be awarding 220 scholarships to deserving recipients, ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 each.  Due date is Jan 31, 2016.  For more information, please contact Ellen Bagnato or visit
Insurance Scholarships:  A variety of scholarships are available through many insurance companies. Check out this website for a list of scholarships, deadlines and application requirements.  For more information, please contact Ellen Bagnato at or visit

Hood Milk Sportsmanship Scholarship:  
Hood MIlk awards three student athletes from each state in New England with $5000.00 toward furthering their education at a two or four year accredited college or university. The application is simple and straightforward and can be found at For more information, please contact Ellen Bagnato or visit

UMaine Flagship Match Award:
UMaine has launched our new scholarship program! Students from your area are eligible for our UMaine Flagship Match Award. This award is a competitive scholarship program that guarantees academically qualified, first-year students from Vermont to pay the same tuition and fee rate as the University of Vermont. The guidelines are as follows: Students will be awarded based on the combination of their Academic Tier and Residency. To qualify for a Flagship Match Award students must submit their admissions application by February 1.  No FAFSA is required to receive the Flagship Match Award, but students must file a FAFSA by March 1 in order to be considered for federal need-based aid.  Students who qualify for the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) regional student program are not eligible for the Flagship Match Award. For more information, please contact Ellen Bagnato or visit 

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Community Events

Martin Luther King, Jr. Events at Dartmouth College:  1/15/16-1/28/16.  Each year Dartmouth College hosts a week of lectures, discussions and other events dedicated to honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.  Most events are free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Christa Wurm at cwurm@sharonacademy.netor visit

BarnArts Teen Touring Company Spring 2016:  Tuesdays, 5:30 – 7:30.
 Begins on January 19 at ArtisTree. Join instructors Murray Ngoima and Nate Hinson as they lead students through a theatrical exploration of contemporary youth ideas.   Playful improv is used to test characters, develop conflicts and facilitate script writing as we move our ideas into a presentable production to take “on the road” to area schools and venues. Tuesdays, 5:30-7:30. $90 for 12 weeks. For more information and to register, please contact: BarnArts at (802) 332-6020 or visit

Date: 1/9/16; Event times: 9am – 2pm; event price: FREE
High school and middle school students with an interest in robotics, STEM fields, team sports, or just plain fun, are invited to attend the season kickoff meeting of FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) Team 885 (“The Green Team”) in Randolph Vermont, Saturday January 9 from 9am to 2pm.  The meeting, to be held in the downstairs conference room at Gifford Medical Center, will include viewing a closed circuit broadcast from NASA revealing this year’s FRC game challenge. FRC will be explained to newcomers, and following the broadcast, the team will begin discussing game strategy. Refreshments and lunch will be served.  Interested students, their parents, and adult mentors are invited.

Team 885 includes students and mentors from 14 Vermont towns who come together to design and build a robot in just six weeks that will compete in events throughout New England. Students use their creativity to design and build a robot from scratch, learning hands-on and analytical skills as they go. Past robots have had to launch balls and frisbees at targets, climb pyramids, stack totes, and balance with other robots on a teetering bridge.

Team 885 also invites students and adult mentors with interests in video production, photography, social media, event planning, catering, and public outreach. Over $20 million in college scholarships are available to FRC participants.

For more information, visit or contact Amanda Wheeler
After School Arts programs coming to Chandler Music Hall in Randolph in January. They have four classes offered for ten-week sessions beginning January 11th. Ukulele lessons and other great classes in storytelling, world music, and theater arts are available to students this winter. For more information, check out:  After School Arts Information.  You can also feel free to contact Emily Crosby at