The Sharon Academy Newsletter, January 9th, 2015

Posted by on Jan 9, 2015 in High School, Middle School, Newsletter

In this Issue:

Mark Your Calendar
Chain Reaction
General News
Middle School News
High School News
Community Service Opportunities
Community Events
High School Electives


Mark Your Calendar

MS = middle school, HS = high school

To download a PDF version of our 2014 – 2015 calendar, please click here:

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

January 2015

Thurs 15 College Financial Aid Night for 12th grade parents (See College Guidance below)
Mon 19 No School – MLK Day
Tues 20 Chain Reaction Day (See Chain Reaction below)
Weds 28 HS 2nd marking period ends


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TSA’s 2015 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 20, 2015, 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 20th by 8:15am.   Once at the high school, students should go to the gym.

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 20th. Please try to bring dishes that do not need to be warmed up, unless it is in a crock pot.  Please label your dishes.  We will ask students to bring their dishes home with them.

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

If you have any questions about the January 20th event, please contact Kate Sensenich (, Ext 115)


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BoxTops Thanks: Thanks to the generosity of those of you who have made a habit out of clipping Boxtops for Education from your toilet paper rolls and brownie mixes and granola boxes, TSA has just received a check for $270.50!  This money goes into a reserve fund that’s used to help individual students in times of particular need, whether it’s to pay for a special test or course, or personal support. It’s a way we all gather as a community to care for each other without having to sponsor a public fund drive.  You make it happen, and we thank you!  If you haven’t started collecting, we ask you to consider it. Boxtops for Education are printed on many food and household items. Clip them and send them in to school. An envelope for collecting them is located just outside Janice’s office.

Thank you to Parents for Interim Support: Thank you parents for the amazing support you provided during Interim. In addition to supporting the performers and crews, you provided delicious food and support for the intermission tables and Wine & Cheese Receptions. You also contributed many late night (and early morning!) hours to clean up the Chandler after the production. Please do email Angelique your contributed time for interim, it is very helpful for us to understand how much parent effort supports the show each year (see 1300 Hours and Counting below for more information about parent volunteerism at TSA).

Indoor Track: Congratulations to our students who took advantage of Dartmouth’s indoor track this winter:  Willie Barnes ’18, Max Buskey ’15, Dillon Buttner ’18, Chris Gish ’16, Maie Kimball ’16, Luna Skeet Browning ’16, Gretta Stack ’16, and Fred Tubula.  Special mention goes to Chris Gish who ran the fastest 3,000 meters of his life last week, to Fred who jumped 19 feet 8 inches in the long jump after having just joined the Indoor Track team, and to Max who won the 600m at 2 meets and will compete in the Dartmouth Relays on Saturday along with Fred. The Dartmouth Relays is a highly competitive event with athletes from across the country.

Thank you, Larry Satcowitz, for noticing and completing a grant that has secured 10 new Chromebooks for the high school.

1,300 Volunteer Hours and Counting: TSA Parents have donated over 1,300 hours of volunteer time to TSA since August 2014, providing facilities support, chaperoning field trips, supporting sports teams, providing food support to interim, and much more. THANK YOU for your generosity with your time and skills. Keeping track of the time parents contribute to the school helps with budgeting, with applying for grants, and provides us with the information we need to understand what it takes to keep our school running smoothly.
If you have contributed time to the school that has not been recorded through the Volunteer Portal, or that you have not submitted to Angelique via email (, she is happy to add your time to our database. No task is too small.  Remember – small gestures of time and support add up quickly and make a huge difference to the school.

General News

School Picture Retakes: The new date for school picture retakes is Thursday, January 15th, 2015 starting at 9:00 at the high school.
Ski Wednesday Reminder:  Please remember that for the duration of the Ski Wednesday program, school will be dismissed at 12:30 on Wednesdays.

Request for host homes for visiting artists: The Hop will be hosting a group of 15 theater artists from New York City over spring break (Friday, March 13, 2015 through Sunday, March 29, 2015) as they work on development of their new play.   Since they will be here nearly three weeks, The Hop is hoping to set them up in a local house within a 5-10 mile radius.  There are also a 2-3 little ones and their caregiver, so access to a kitchen for cooking meals is essential. If you or anyone you know is traveling during this time and might like to rent out their home to the Hop, please contact Karen Henderson for more details:  603-646-3453

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Middle School News

Attention parents of 8th graders:  Remember to call Amber to schedule a Wednesday shadow day for your student.  To read a copy of the process for coming to TSA HS that was sent to you in December, click here.

All Middle School Families: Please remember to drop your student off at the high school on Tuesday, January 20 for Chain Reaction day.  For more details on the day, including information on the Potluck, please see the Chain Reaction section at the top of this newsletter.

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High School News

Electives: Students will sign up for 3rd marking period electives next week.  Please see the bottom of this newsletter for a list of elective choices.



Career & College Guidance

Senior Parents: It is time to be applying for financial aid for college.  If you are a Vermont resident we strongly encourage you to attend a Financial Aid Workshop with VSAC.  There are many dates and locations around the state, including:
  • Hartford High School on January 12 at 8:30 pm
  • Chelsea Public School on January 14 at 8:00pm
  • South Royalton High School on January 19 at 8:30 pm
  • Woodstock High School on January 22 at 6:00 pm
Registration is required and you will need to bring specific forms.  Check the VSAC website for more details:
These workshops are very helpful and different from the financial aid night to be held at TSA on January 15.  We encourage you to attend a VSAC workshop and the TSA financial aid night.



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



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Community Events


Emerging Artists Showcase: This year’s Emerging Artists Showcase will be on Saturday, January 10th at Damon Hall in Hartland.  This event is a great opportunity for mostly high school age students to show off their performing or visual artistic abilities in a friendly environment. It gives them both exposure and confidence – sometimes even connections for future jobs. Also – Visual artists displaying their work are able to sell it if they wish both during intermission and after the show.

BarnArts Teen Touring Company:  7th-12th graders, please join us as we take playful improv and turn it into theater of your own creation. No experience necessary. Students will learn many theatrical skills including: improv, staging, and production.  They will learn important creative development skills such as character and script development and script writing.  Most importantly, students will learn to address the issues that are important to them in a creative medium. The semester’s work will culminate in performances at area schools and public venues in the spring. 10 weeks plus performances. Spring Semester begins January 13th.  Tuesdays 5:30-7:30pm at ArtisTree in South Pomfret. Instructors: Linda Treash and TSA Parent Dave Eastman.  For more information, including costs, please visit:

Opportunities with Revels North:

Revels Teens Auditions:  Sunday, Jan. 11, 10-11am, 17 1/2 Lebanon Street, Hanover, NH (located in the realtor office).  Revels North’s Teen Program is a fun and safe environment for teens to share their love of music and just be themselves. Teens will discover their own voices through the learning and performing of songs deeply rooted in the Revels tradition as well as a sampling of folk music from around the world. Monthly workshops focus on singing in harmony while still leaving time for dancing, theater and group-building games. Being part of this unique group builds confidence and inspires teens to seek out music in other aspects of their lives. Optional performance opportunities allow teens to develop stage presence and leadership skills and to connect with wider communities. Revels Teens is directed by Lynn Mahoney Rowan with support from Revels North Artistic Director, Maureen Burford and the entire Revels North team.

Revels Mummers Workshop:  Latham Library, Thetford, VT, Sunday, January 11, 1:30-4:30.  Mumming is an age-old tradition celebrating the cycles of the year and, as a form of street theater, lends itself to community gatherings and connection. This year-round mumming troupe for all ages will be meeting for monthly workshops and performing opportunities. Grab your family and join us on Sunday, January 11th.  Our first performing opportunity is the following week, Sunday, January 18th. So if you have a secret desire to be a Dragon, Father Christmas or the Doctor come and learn about the rich traditions of folk drama and dance, the costumes and the songs, and the writing of a script. Share first hand in the contemporary renaissance of ancient traditions, and try things out at your own pace. Open to those new to mumming and we welcome those who have been “acting out” for years. For more information and to register online, go to: or contact or 866-556-3083

Revels Kids 2015: Abenaki Traditions: Revels Kids (ages 6–12) and Revels Tweens (ages 11–14, in Norwich) introduce children to diverse world cultures through weekly exploration of music, dance, drama, and storytelling. The program encourages children to celebrate their unique voices and their joyful sense of creativity. For additional information, including dates and locations, contact or 866.556.3083



High School Electives, Marking Period III

Below please find short descriptions of the electives offered for the second marking period.  Electives are offered throughout the year as a way for students to explore areas of interest different from, or more focused than, their core classes, as well as a way for mixed age groups to interact with teachers involved in a (sometimes) different setting.

Students are encouraged to reflect upon their personal learning plan over the course of their entire time here at TSA high school when signing up for electives; to intentionally build a narrative of who they are as a student and a person.  Also please keep in mind that each student has a graduation requirement to earn .75 studio art credits and 1.5 P.E. credits over the course of their time here.  Long-term thinking and planning can be helpful in creating more flexibility senior year.

Please contact the named instructor(s) or Christa Wurm with any questions.  Classes are populated based on seniority.  There is a one week add/drop period, during which a move to a different class is not guaranteed.

Key to Elective Symbols:

* This elective provides a .25 studio art credit
^ This elective provides a .25 physical education credit

*Introduction to Art
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.  Successful completion of this class will earn a student .25 Studio Art credits.

Instructor: Jay Mead

*Photo 1
This course will explore basic photography techniques, including:  light, compositional creativity, and camera parts and their functions.  Students will receive weekly assignments and are required to upload photographs to a web-based archive for in class critiques. Students will also maintain a photo blog throughout the course.  Students in this class will likely contribute to the photography used in the school yearbook and on the TSA website.  Some instruction on digital imaging and digital ethics will be discussed.  Students taking the course should be aware that the weekly assignments are mostly done outside of class. This means you will have homework in this elective. Prerequisite:  Intro to art or permission from teacher.  Required equipment:  2G thumb drive, your own digital camera that can be used solely on manual settings.  USEFUL, but not required:  laptop.  Successful completion of this class will earn a student .25 Studio Art credits.

Instructor: Laura DeCapua

*An Introduction to Drawing People
In this elective we will practice studying, drawing, and painting people. We will observe and study figures from life and photographs as well as incorporate our own memory and imagination to create compositions in pencil and some watercolor or acrylic.  Successful completion of this class will earn a student .25 Studio Art credits.

Instructor: Jennifer Brown

^Collaborative Movement and Dance
This movement and dance elective is open for all students who are interested in learning more about the art of modern dance in various forms. This will be an active class where students are expected to join in on the warm-ups and the learning of the choreographed routines and sequences. There will be opportunities for students to collaborate and share their ideas. Successful completion of this class will earn a student .25 PE credits.

Instructors: Kate Sensenich & Lucia Gagliardone

^Winter Running II
We’ll go running on nearby dirt roads and go out no matter what the weather. You 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 you spend 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 up to one hour every class and one day per week outside of class. 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; lightweight synthetic jacket or other warm layer; and a stopwatch or other way to keep track of time. Students may not take this elective if it will interfere with their sport. Everyone will be expected to fully participate every class.  Successful completion of this class will earn a student .25 PE credits.


  • To help get students outside during the short winter days.
  • To establish a pattern of exercise to continue after the elective is over.
  • To increase strength and fitness.

Instructor: Larry Satcowitz

^Weight Training
Classes will be held at Vermont Law School.  This is a trial basis.  Students will develop fitness regimes, which could be goal or sport specific, consisting of free weight, nautilus and aerobic components.  Females as well as males are encouraged to participate, and all participants should be ready to work hard.  Basic elements of anatomy, physiology and nutrition will be addressed.  Grades will be based on the following components: written regimen, goal sheet, training log, participation and safety awareness.  Assessment methods may include short quizzes, readings or small projects, like presenting an exercise to the class. Successful completion of this class will earn a student .25 PE credits.

Instructor: Steve Basham

^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 students potentially interested in a leadership position.  Successful completion of this class will earn a student .25 PE credits.

Instructor: Rob Stainton

Filmosophy (Philosophy and Film)
Graded- based on attendance and participation
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 on the intricacies and meaning of everyday life.

Instructor: Blake Fabrikant

 Exploring The Self: Personal Essays
¼ English Credit: Graded
The personal essay is most often associated with college essays, forced and often canned and lacking the kind of personal punch that makes the genre so engaging.  In this course we will seek to break that mold and seek to access ourselves through honest reflection and consideration of the hard questions we grapple with on a regular basis.  This course is offered for English credit and will require weekly readings and participation in class discussions.


  • To offer an outlet for students who need to write down the struggles they are going through.
  • To engage with students who “aren’t writers” and turn them into people who no longer fear writing.
  • To prepare students for the daunting task of college essays by getting the hard part, honesty on the page, out of the way.

Instructor: Spike Carter


Drivers’ Education (14 max)
Students should have already registered and paid a deposit for this class online at

Instructor: Gabriella Netsch

Stringed Instruments
Dust off your fiddle and borrow a uke!  In this class, students will set goals regarding their acoustic stringed instrument and work to accomplish them.  Each class will have goal setting and review, practice/instructional time, and time to jam!  Reading music is not required, nor is a performance at TNC.  All levels, all stringed instruments welcome – this is an experiment!  Talk to Christa or Randy if you do not have an instrument – we will try to find you one.  Let’s make our own Goat Rodeo!

Instructors: Christa Wurm and Randy Leavitt

SAT Preparation
The SAT is seen by some as the epitome of everything that we try not to do in the classroom. Formulaic, impersonal, critical, and anxiety-producing, does it really measure anything that makes life worth living? Yet it is an entrance requirement of most colleges. What is the best way to deal with this necessary evil? Simple practice in the company of good friends and a trusted guide will go a long way to diminishing your stress levels and making sure you earn the best score possible. Plus it will make your mom really happy (You could call it an early Mother’s Day present.)

The objectives for this course are:

  • to learn about the different sections of the SAT, how it is scored and what to expect the day of the test
  • to practice different problem types, informally as well as under test-like conditions
  • to learn the strategies for different problem types that will work best for your learning style
  • to optimize your score on the practice tests

This course will have homework and will require purchasing The Official SAT Study Guide, second edition (no dvd) by the College Board.  This book costs around $17.00 If purchasing this book presents a problem, please contact Christa Wurm or Janice Stumpf.

Instructor: Tracy Gillespie

Model United Nations
The Model UN elective will focus on preparing students for the Dartmouth Model UN conference on April 10-12. Students will learn about the United Nations, practice their debate skills and plan fundraisers to benefit the Model UN program, along with researching their assigned country for the Dartmouth conference. It is a Pass/Fail course and the only prerequisite in that you are available the weekend of the conference.

Instructor: Paige Bissaillion

One-Act Play
Students audition to be in this elective, whose sole purpose is to perform a one-act play in the Vermont Principals’ Association and Vermont Drama Council one-act play festival in March.  This year’s production is The Bald Soprano, by Eugene Ionesco, and is our first offering from what’s called the theater of the absurd.  Student directing this year will be Robin Chadwell. Students enrolled in the class MUST be available to participate for the Saturday of the regional festival in March. We will learn the date when regions are assigned on January 9.

Instructor: Charlie McMeekin