The Sharon Academy Newsletter, March 31, 2016

Posted by on Mar 31, 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 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


Fri 1 TSA MS Dance – 6:30pm – 9pm
Sat 2 TSA Open House – from 11:00 – 1:00 at both the middle school and the high school.
Tues 5 Rescheduled TSA Cafe Night – at the TSA HS in Moore Hall 6:30pm
Thurs 7 No School – TSA HS Only – Student/Parent/Teacher Conference Day
Fri 8 No School – TSA MS Only – Student/Parent/Teacher Conference Day
Sat 9 April Break Begins for TSA MS & HS
Mon 18 Classes Resume for TSA MS & HS
Sat 30 TSA 20th Birthday Party Gala – 7pm – 11pm – more details and a link to our on-line ticket order form below.



Congratulations Middle School Students on a fantastic Circus!  We had over 600 people in the audience enjoying the antics on display. From juggling to treasure hunting, stilt walking and sword fighting (and one extraordinary water ballet), the audience was entranced. Photos coming soon to our Facebook page. Also, if you haven’t had a chance to see the WCAX coverage of the preparation for the event, check it out here:

Thank you, Troy Wunderle, for guiding our students through the Circus process in a most wonderful way for the tenth consecutive year!

Thank you also to all of the parent volunteers who helped make the circus a success!

Congratulations to Caleb Eastman ’18
 who placed first in the Pelkey’s 450 Archery Competition in St. Albans, VT on Saturday March 26th in the Cadet Division of Olympic Recurve Archer’s. This is a nice way for him to enter into the teaching of his archery elective (taught together with Koltin LeDuc ’18) at the TSA HS that started this week.

Thank you to Taite Clark ’17
for representing TSA in Montpelier.  Taite testified at the statehouse and wrote an entertaining and detailed account of the experience below in the High School section.

Thank you to Emily Frost ’17
 for representing TSA at the New England Innovation Awards sponsored by the Smaller Business Association of New England in Waltham, MA. Eleanor was interviewed about the experience and you can find this in the High School section as well.

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General News

Join us for TSA’s 20th Birthday Party Gala!
Saturday, April 30th, 7 – 11 pm.
Bring your friends for a night of celebration, music, and fun.
Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, a spectacular cake cutting ceremony, dancing with band Still More Cats, and later dancing with Coquette playing rockin’ covers and originals. For more information and to order you tickets visit:

Open House at The Sharon Academy – You are invited to The Sharon Academy’s Open House on Saturday, April 2 from 11:00 – 1:00. The Sharon Academy (TSA) still has a few spaces available in our 7-12 grade programs for the coming fall. To learn more, please join us for our Open House at both the middle school and the high school this Saturday. TSA – celebrating 20 years of student-centered education.

Rescheduled CAFE NIGHT
, Tuesday, April 5th; show starts at 6:30. Come enjoy our very own rescheduled TSA talent show at the TSA high school in Moore Hall. Coffee, tea and goodies will be available before the show starts. We hope to see you there! For more information, please contact Kate Sensenich at

Found at the Circus: one brown cap with goggles & one gray fleece hat. 
Please contact Catherine at the middle school, 763-2531, to claim your headgear!

Enclosed Trailer Needed:  
We will be holding on-line, silent and live auctions for our TSA 20th Anniversary Birthday Party Gala on April 30th. Leading up to that we need a safe dry place to store all of the wonderful items that are being donated to auction off in support of TSA.  Do you have an enclosed trailer we can borrow for this purpose? If you do, please contact Dave Eastman via email at or call him at (802) 369 – 9285


3 Requests for help in relation to parking and driving around TSA:

1) Please – Turn Your Key (off) – Be Idle Free – an important reminder to parents and all drivers to TSA: Please turn off your engines when waiting to drive your student home in or TSA parking lots. Last week a teacher counted 13 cars idling all at once at the end of a school day at the HS.

A UVM Vehicle Idling study determined that Vermonters’ discretionary idling results in 36,500 metric tons of CO2 emissions (and consumption of four million gallons of fuel) annually. And, a State of Vermont Environmental Surveillance Chief states, “Exhaust from idling vehicles is a common asthma trigger at schools. By limiting exposure to tailpipe emissions, schools can help reduce their students’ risk of developing asthma and decrease the severity of symptoms among students who already have the disease.”

So, please save money, improve air quality, reduce carbon emissions, conserve energy, and comply with Vermont’s laws.  Thank you!

2) At the High School – please help us utilize our limited parking spaces by parking as close as possible to the car next to you.  
We could increase our capacity by almost 50% if we could just park a little closer together.  Thanks!

3) When picking up at the high school please try to park your car instead of forming the long line that invariably forms at the end of the school day.  The line of cars prevents those that need to get out of parking spaces from leaving. Thanks!

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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 Catherine at the Middle School, or contact Kim Knoerlein at:

Join the TSA Athletic Booster Club:  Join this dynamic group of volunteers that do a wonderful job helping to promote and raise money to promote TSA athletics. Our next meeting is at 5:30pm on April 4th. For more information contact Kim Knoerlein at


Look forward to hearing reports about spring sports that are beginning soon!

Ultimate Frisbee, Baseball, and Track and Field! 

Go Phoenix!

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

Middle School Dance – Tomorrow Night!

  • Date: Friday, April 1st
  • Time: 6:30 – 9:30pm
  • Location: The Middle School
  • Admission: $1 or a donation for the food shelf.
    7th grade students – bring a snack to share
    8th grade – bring a drink to share

If you are interested in chaperoning the dance please send a note to

Middle School conferences will be held on Friday, April 8th,
the day before April break.  Your student’s advisor will be contacting you to make an appointment.  Thank you for attending with your student.

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High School News

TSA Sophomore Experience April 28 and 29th; 3:30 pm – 1:00 pm. 
Recognizing that the sophomore year is an “in between” year (coming after the excitement of the freshman year and preceding the unique challenges of our junior year) we are offering an overnight, experiential “off-campus” program to help create a sense of purpose, community, adventure and ultimately give sophomores something special that makes their year stand out among others. Please read the attachments to the email that was sent out on 3/24 to all parents or guardians of our sophomore class for additional information. NOTE: WAIVER FORM NEEDS TO BE SIGNED AND RETURNED TO TOM CANFIELD. For more information, please contact Tom Canfield at

Sandy Thorne is providing support for Math and Physics through the Learning Lab.
She has appointments available during B, F, and D blocks, during Study Hall Elective and after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. She can be reached at

The following account of his visit to the statehouse was written by Taite Clarke ’17:

Taite, ML, Kate and Brian testify to House Education Committee about our [TSA HS] student government: As some of you know, I, Taite, recently took a trip to Montpelier with Brian [Tonks], Kate [Sensenich] and M[ichael] L[ivingston] to testify to the House Education Committee about how our student government recently changed the procedure for class evaluations. We went on the invitation of Rep. David Sharpe, who is a co-chair of the committee. I’ll explain a bit of what it was like, because it might be hard to picture. We were packed into a room a little bigger than Flo’s room, with twelve state representatives seated around a cluttered table in the center, and various other people and lobbyists squeezed against the walls. Kate and I sat in front of a microphone at one end of the table, and Brian and ML sat against the walls and pretty much had to speak sitting down. Kate and I answered questions from the representatives, with ML and Brian speaking up occasionally. Imagine an Exhibition except you get to sit down, it’s all Q&A, you get to defer questions to someone who knows more than you, and no one is grading. And you actually understand your topic. The questions covered:

-how student government votes and gets new representatives
-how much power student government has
-why I chose to go to TSA
-background information about the school
-whether I supported marijuana legalization (jokingly)
-what opportunities there are at TSA to learn a niche subject (the answer is Independent Studies)
-what sort of collaboration there was between teachers and students in this process (answer: lots. We worked on class evaluations for a full year.)
-whether I was seeing the process get implemented, and teachers’ reactions
-whether teachers give feedback to the class on what they could do better

The visit was mainly important because it introduced the committee to a different kind of independent school. The independent schools that tend to be talked about more in the committee are ones like Lyndon Institute or Burr and Burton, which operate with more… financial freedom than TSA. We offered the point of view of a school that has accepted every student that applied for the past three years, and makes every effort to live within its means, while also giving students the power to change things like class evaluations. The representatives on the committee don’t hear much about how we’re dealing with Act 46 down here, either. We kind of need to bring our message straight to them. Students rarely testify in front of any committee in the State House, even though decisions about education affect each of us. ML said that the mood in the committee room was better, more friendly, when there was a student in the room than when he had been there alone. My presence certainly added credibility to our message. And honestly, it was less frightening than a lot of other public speaking things I’ve done recently. It sounds like a big deal, but it doesn’t feel like it when you’re actually there.

An Interview With Eleanor Frost ’17 about her experience at the New England Innovation Awards in Waltham, MA

On Tuesday, March 22nd, Michael Livingston, Head of School and Eleanor Frost ’17 traveled to the campus of Bentley College in Waltham, MA.  The Sharon Academy was one of 150 organizations nominated to receive a New England Innovation Award by the Small Business Association of New England (SBANE). Michael chose Eleanor to represent TSA because of her experience on the school board and her presentations skills.  Michael and Eleanor presented the innovation of TSA in front of a panel of 3-4 judges. They were given 15 minutes to speak about what makes TSA an innovator in education, with limited use of technology. We asked Eleanor about her experience:

TSA Newsletter (TSAN): How did you feel the event went for you and TSA?

Eleanor Frost (EF): It went really well, but it’s hard to pitch the idea of a school and education. We wanted to pitch that we teach kids to love learning. But, a lot of schools say they do that. We really do it!

TSAN: What kind of preparation did you do for your presentation?

EF: Well, we prepped for a more formal presentation. But, it ended up being a pretty informal setting. We kept getting interrupted by questions from the panel, so we didn’t get to say everything we had prepared.

TSAN: I know TSA didn’t move beyond this nomination stage, but how did you feel like you did?

EF: We were the only real school there. There were a lot of tech start-ups. But, it was fun giving the pitch. I think we did well.

TSAN: What did you learn from the day?

EF: Learning how to talk to different people, and how to pitch an idea. The networking piece is also really important.

TSAN: What were your favorite parts of the event?

EF: I liked the buffet, but I also really liked talking to everyone after we gave the pitch. Michael called it “shmooze time”. There were interesting people, even someone from Randolph that had created technology for submarines. But the best part of the day was on the way home, talking to the Uber cab driver from Sierra Leone.  He was really interesting.

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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


20th Birthday Party Gala Student Help Needed:  We are looking for several students to help with our 20th Birthday Party Gala on Saturday, April 30th. A range of jobs will be available, from helping to set up to serving hors d’oeuvres.  A great way to earn your Community Service hours while having fun. Contact Dave Eastman at

Opportunity at the Montshire Museum.
 The Montshire is looking for volunteers to help them clean up after their annual auction.  On Friday, May 6, 2016 from 9:30 pm -12:00 am, 4 – 6 people are needed to help the Montshire to clean up after their auction.  On Saturday, May 7, from 8:00 am – 10:00 am, 4 – 6 people are needed to help put exhibits back in place and do light cleaning. For more information:  Call Burke Cunningham at 802-649-2200 x240 or email


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Scholarships and College Info

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

FREE Preparation for the ACT:  TSA is excited to offer all students a free resource to help them prepare for the ACT. In partnership with, all TSA students will receive free access to TutorMe’s Online ACT Preparation Course. Created by ACT experts, the TutorMe course features over 10 hours of fully-animated content, along with 500+ practice problems covering all concepts tested on the ACT. This course normally costs $79, but is being offered to our students for free for 6 months. To access this course, sign up at and enter the coupon code that was sent to you via email. For more information, please contact Ellen Bagnato at or visit

College Information Session for Students with Disabilities, April 6th, 6:30 pm at Hanover High School.
 Hanover High School welcomes students and parents from throughout the Upper Valley to learn about navigating the college process and accessing support services once a student has been admitted to college. This session will be most valuable for students in their junior and senior years. The panel will include:

● Ward Newmeyer, Director of Student Accessibility Services at Dartmouth College, who will talk about rights for student with disabilities in the college setting and the process for accessing accommodations.
● Rachel Mason, Coordinator of Regional Recruitment at Beacon College, who will talk about college programs that are exclusively for students with learning differences.
● Travis McArthur, Admission Coordinator at The College Internship Program (CIP), who will talk about post secondary programs for students with disabilities.
● Joseph Stallsmith, guidance counselor at Hanover High School, and Amy Good, learning specialist at Hanover High School and parent of a college student with dyslexia, who will also be available to answer questions.

Since college students are required to advocate for themselves, students are highly encouraged to attend. For more information, please contact Ellen Bagnato at

Free College and Career Planning Workshop:
Now in its 15th year, College Pathways offers free workshops to help guide juniors and sophomores and their parents — wherever they are in the college planning process. Whether students are just beginning to explore their path after high school or highly motivated to figure out their college options, they’ll find info they need on

  • applying to college, the step-by-step process
  • tips for applying to highly selective institutions
  • writing an essay that stands out
  • strategies for the SAT & ACT tests
  • the college search: factors to consider & tools to use
  • college costs & financial aid
  • playing intercollegiate sports
  • … and more!

New this year:  What I wish I had known: student panelists give perspectives on what worked (and what didn’t!), plus the challenges, successes, and surprises of their first year.

Students and parents can choose from three dates and locations:
Saturday, April 2, Castleton University (9:30 am – 2:00 pm)
Monday evening, April 4, Lyndon State College (with the NEK College Fair)

Workshop details and registration at:

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Community Events

Chili Cook-Off and Silent Auction in South Straffiord, Saturday, April 9th: 5pm to 7pm for just $5. Come support a wonderful local preschool while eating delicious chili and bidding on fabulous items donated by local merchants. All proceeds go to the Creative Preschool in South Strafford, Vermont. The event will be held at Barrett Hall in South Strafford. The chili and auction are downstairs while child care is available upstairs for children over the age of 2. For more information, please contact Mary Newman at

Host a French Student this July:
Mme Merideth Jackson, resident of Lebanon, NH, French teacher at the Upper Valley Waldorf School and former teacher at Windsor High School, is coordinating with Vistas in Education to bring a small group of French students to the Upper Valley for three weeks, July 6-27. The students fully integrate with their host family taking pleasure in the daily routine and life of an American family. Families with teens should have a sincere interest in welcoming the French student into their family life, and at minimum provide meals and a bed.  The French students aged 13-18, are eager to practice English and learn about our culture. For more information, please contact Mme Merideth Jackson at or visit www/

Inspirations Theater Camp Enrollment Now Open.  August 1 – 13
(+ July 27 – 29 for leads 12 and older); 9:00 – 3:30 most days. Quality theater experience in central Vermont: Join Inspirations Theater Camps August 1 – 13 for theater games and a full-length original musical production. If your child enjoys the high that comes from putting on the circus, they’ll enjoy our camp! This year’s show, The Ramayana, featuring a city of monkeys and a ten-headed demon. Students aged 12 and up interested in being considered for leads should enroll by April 30th. For tuition information please visit website. For more information, please contact Torsti Rovainen at or visit  Also check out the Inspirations Flyer:

PathStone National Farmworker Jobs Program 
provides Past/Present Agricultural Workers Free Training in either agriculture or a field of your choice. Call 877-764-4109 to get more information. For more information, please contact James Cooper at 877-764-4109 or visit



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Help Wanted

TSA Middle School Social Studies Teacher
Full time position
7-12 VT Certification Strongly Encouraged
Apply via ID# 2372624

TSA Long Term High School Biology Teacher Substitute
Part time position – 60% for a full year
Apply via ID#2433104


Relay for Life at the University of Vermont: It’s time for Relay for Life again! On April 8th, TSA Alum Beth Potter ’13 will be walking for 12 hours straight in support of those with cancer, caregivers, and anyone else who have been affected by the disease. Any donations would be greatly appreciated, and can be made by following this link:
Beth is trying to reach her goal of $400. For more information, please contact Beth Potter at