The Sharon Academy Newsletter, May 1, 2015

Posted by on May 1, 2015 in High School, Middle School, Newsletter

In this Issue:

Mark Your Calendar
General News
Middle School News 
High School News
Community Service Opportunities
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 2014 – 2015 calendar, please click here:

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



Fri 8 Frederick Douglass Reading (See General News below)
Mon 11 Senior Exhibition Day
Sat 16 HS Prom (See HS News below)
Tues – THurs 19 – 21 MS at High Five (See MS News below)
Thurs 21 All HS Trip to Portland, ME (See HS News below)
Fri 22 No School – Teacher In Service
Mon 25 No School – Memorial Day
Thurs 28 Cafe Night
Fri 29 MS Semi Formal(See MS News below)

The month of May is a very busy month at TSA.

Please be sure to read this newsletter carefully to keep track of all that is happening.




Congrats to our Athletic Director, Blake Fabrikant, who recently received the 1st Place prize in the White River Film Slam.  Congrats as well to Colin Pope ’09 and Quinn Thomashow ’16, who starred in the film.

Gala Collage

Photography by 9th graders Kaila Skeet Browning and Sophie Roe

We are grateful for all of the donors, volunteers, and attendees at this year’s Taking Flight Gala. Nearly 150 people filled our silk-draped gym to eat delicious food, bid on a variety of amazing auction items, and dance the night away to Jeanne & the Hi-Tops.   A great time was had by everyone.  Taking Flight was made possible by the generous contributions of time, talent and treasure by many individuals – more than 70 donors and volunteers who gave and sourced incredible gifts for our auctions, the 10 artists who donated their talents to creating interactive workshops for our Art Day, the fabulous 40+ students volunteers who contributed their energies, and to the 30 families who bought and prepared food.  Together, we raised over $19,000 to to help support TSA’s Art Program.  The gala is a huge group effort, and we are grateful for the support we receive each year.

General News

Attention Sharon Residents: Expect partial or full road closures on River Road the week of May 4 – 8 between the hours of 9am – 3pm as roadway culverts are replaced. Construction to begin on River Road (TH3) commencing at the Royalton Town line and proceeding south approximately 2-1/2 miles, ending PRIOR to Howe Hill Road. Active construction zones will be approximately as follows:

  • Monday, May 4: north of Commerce Park to Royalton Town Line
  • Tuesday -Wednesday, May 5-6: from Commerce Park to vicinity of Broad Brook Road
  • Thursday-Friday, May 7-8: Broad Brook Road south to project end north of Howe Hill Rd.

River Road to Howe Hill Road will be open at all times. Drivers should proceed with caution, travel at reduced speeds, and be alert at all times for traffic control.  Please observe detour signs when in effect. Construction schedules may change due to unanticipated change in conditions.  More info: Sharon Selectboard Office 802-763-8268 #4.

Reading and Discussion of Frederick Douglass: On Friday, May 8, at 7 PM, our school will be hosting a reading and discussion of Frederick Douglass’ 1852 Fourth of July Oration in collaboration with the Vermont Humanities Council.  This  groundbreaking speech by one of the first great African-American activists and statesmen analyzes themes of race and patriotism.  While times have changed drastically since its original delivery, the oration still poses essential questions in our era of protests in Baltimore and war in the Middle East.  More than anything else, Douglass asks us what it means to be Americans.  We are inviting community members of all ages, backgrounds, and political affiliations to take part in this conversation answering that question.  The first half an hour of the event will be a reading of the oration.  Any attendee is invited to read, but no one is required to read.  The following time will be dedicated to a discussion, facilitated by TSA Junior Daniel Lazar and TSA History teacher Andrew Lane. Refreshments will be provided.

2015 High School Interim: It’s official. Next fall’s production for the interim will be Spamalot, a lovingly ripped off musical version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail!   So, if you have suits of armor lying around your house collecting dust, or rust, grab your brillo pad, clean them up, and let us know you have them! It’s off to merry ole England and a little joust with ridiculous British comedy! Audition information has been sent to all of next year’s juniors and seniors via Gradelink.

Box Tops Update: The Sharon Academy received a check this week for $103.20 from Boxtops for Education, recognizing the 1032 boxtops that you have patiently cut, saved, and delivered to the school in the past few months!  This money is kept in a special account to be used when the faculty perceives a specific student need which is not covered in the regular school budget. It might be support for a student who needs an off-campus course, or transportation assistance to a conference or festival, or paying the registration for an education-related test, like the nursing exam we paid for a number of years ago for a student whose career path was being stopped by lack of funds!

Thank you all for your belief that when we each contribute a little time and attention, we can do good things!  The box top collection envelope is hanging on the bulletin board just outside of Janice’s office, and boxtops can be found on a number of food and paper products. Our biggest source of boxtops is probably from boxes of granola bars, followed by Pillsbury Crescent Rolls!

Alumni News

Letter from  Lucyanna Labadie, The Sharon Academy ’13

Dear TSA community,

My passion for sustainable design/build, ecological agriculture, and outdoor education have led me into a gap year off from college at the University of Vermont following my freshman year, to explore experiential education and service-learning. I will be returning to school in fall of 2015 as a sophomore. My year thus far has been full of lessons, hard work, and rewarding experiences, but does not end yet.

I am preparing to spend the coming summer pedaling a bike across the continental United States east coast to west, with the non-profit organization Bike & Build (learn more at This organization supports new affordable housing projects in the United States, organizing cross-country cycling trips for young adults who help build affordable housing along their journey, while providing grants for building materials to partner organizations like Habitat for Humanity. Over ten seasons, Bike & Build has contributed more than $4.5M to housing groups to fund projects planned and executed by young adults.

Each rider is required to raise a minimum of $4,500 before embarking on their route. I am just over halfway to meeting this goal, in order to embark on a 3,940-mile adventure on May 31st.

All money raised goes toward building affordable housing and generating awareness for the cause. A portion of the money I raise will go to a local organization and affordable housing affiliate of my choice. In the midst of working on fundraising and training for the bike trip, I am living in my hometown of Stockbridge, working a few different part-time jobs to cover my gap year and college expenses and to put towards this trip. Alongside fundraising in preparation for this journey, I am training for the long miles ahead on my bicycle and volunteering with COVER home repair out of White River Junction, VT.

If you are interested in donating, please visit my online fundraising page at, or send a check with my name in the memo, made out to “Bike & Build” at:

Bike & Build, Inc.
6153 Ridge Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19128

I thank you for your support! The smallest contributions make a huge difference.

Lucyanna Labadie

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Middle School News

2015 Circus Highlights on YouTube!  Thank you to Ryan Newswanger (father of Lowry ’20) for taping Dr. Wunderkin’s World of Wonders. Ryan edited his two camera shoot into a 17 minute video featuring circus highlights.You can find the video on YouTube:
Science fair!  Students have begun work on their science fair projects.  The following link provides everything you want to know about this project including timetables and criteria sheets.  You students also has been provided with a hard copy of this information.    Timeline,  Grading Criteria,  Written Work Criteria

High Five Outdoor Leadership Program: Students will be attending the High Five Adventure Learning Center in Brattleboro, Vermont on May 19, 20 and 21st . Please click here for important information regarding this trip.  Included are forms and permission slips that need to be returned ASAP.  A sign up for parent drivers is also included in the information. A hard copy of all of this information has been sent home as well.

Time Capsules for Eighth Grade StudentsEighth grade students have received a Time Capsule envelope.  Their job is to fill the envelope with fun and meaningful mementoes from middle school and to turn it in for safe keeping by the end of the school year.  The envelopes will be filed away for four years.  On the last day of the student’s senior year time capsules will be delivered to students (if a student has changed schools we mail him/her the envelope).  Opening the time capsules together with old buddies from the middle school is always a fun and meaningful experience. Parents are encouraged to contribute by writing a letter to their student to put in the time capsule.  The letter can include hopes, wishes, congratulations or anything else you imagine your student would like to read when they are graduating from high school.  The more effort put into the time capsule now, the more fun it is to open four years from now.  Filled time capsule envelopes can be returned to Pam Ward at any time before the end of the school year. (Admittedly, we receive some late ones, including some come in during the summer and beyond.  The important thing is to get it done!)

MS Graduation is coming up!  The Sharon Academy Middle School Graduation Ceremony has been intentionally designed to support the goals of our mission.  Students are publicly recognized for their strengths, thanked for their efforts, and honored for the transformation they have undergone during their middle school years.  All eighth grade students are required to speak and are expected to reflect on their own personal growth, and to appreciate the supporting role that others have played in their lives. Additionally, the Graduation Ceremony provides a forum for the 7th and 8th grade to perform the choral work that they have been practicing for the prior ten weeks.  We recognize that the ceremony is long, and while we have trimmed the ceremony a bit from recent years, we have consciously decided to continue our tradition of having each student speak and to have their advisor speak about them.  We ask that family members come with the understanding that our graduation program is an integral part of our curriculum and to help us to support our students in this important transition to high school.

  • All students are expected to attend this event on June 12th 6:30 – 9:00 PM.
  • Both the seventh and eighth grade will be performing a choral program.
  • 8th grade student will be giving a short speech. Students will be given time at school to write their speech. They should also be writing and practicing their speech at home. We will begin the speech writing process at school at the end of May.
  • Students are expected to dress slightly more formally than casual school.
  • Please consider bringing a bottle of water and a snack to make your evening more comfortable –there also will be some refreshments available during the ceremony.
  • Dessert will be served following the ceremony.

End of school year middle school dates to remember:

  • May 19-21stMiddle school goes to High Five Outdoor Leadership Center in Brattleboro (see above for more details) Leave at 8:15 on the 19th.  Arrive back 5:30 on the 21st .
  • May 223d  – No school – middle school only
  • May 25th – No school – Memorial day
  • May 29th – Middle School Semi-formal at the Royalton Academy   6:30 – 10:00
  • June 4th – Middle School Science Fair in theevening (6:30 – 8:30)
    7th grade Spanish Fiesta – need to bring in a dish to share – more information coming.
  • June 5th – 8th grade Spanish Fiesta – need to bring in a dish to share – more information coming.  Need to plan ahead due to Science Fair being night before.
  • June 11th – Eighth Grade Field Trip.  Seventh grade has regular school day.
  • June 12th –  Last day of school.  Dismissal at 2:00.  Middle school graduation celebration 6:30 – 9:00.  All students should attend.

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High School News

HS Field Trip: We are looking forward to this year’s High School Field Trip on Thursday, May 21st.  This year, we are going to Portland, ME!  We are in the final stages of planning the trip, but here is some useful information to help you plan for the day:
To Bring:
  • Students will need a bag lunch and money for dinner.  (Please let Janice know if you need assistance with dinner money.)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunscreen
8:30 – Leave TSA – Don’t be late!
11:30 – Eat bag lunches at Fort Williams Park
1:00 – Choice of activity
Students have been given a choice of the following activities for the afternoon:
  1. whale watch
  2. hiking
  3. biking
  4. museums
  5. kayaking
  6. bowling
5:00 – Dinner and exploring Portland in groups no smaller than 3.
7:00 – Leave for home.
10:00 – Arrive TSA – please don’t be late picking up
Students signed up for their activity choices this week, but changes can be made.  Please contact Janice, or Spike, with any questions.
If your student is not going on the field trip, we’d like to know so that we can budget properly.  Thank you.

TSA Prom 2015:  Students and staff at TSA are cordially invited to this year’s Prom which will be held on Saturday, May 16th from 7:30pm-11:00pm at The Sharon Academy. Tickets will be available starting Friday, May 1st at a table in the pit during lunch as well as in Kate’s office. This year’s prom tickets are $25.00 and are paid for by the Student Activity Fee that was charged to each student at the start of the year. Students will need a ticket to gain entrance to the prom. If TSA students would like to bring guests (1 guest per TSA student) the guests will need to pay the $25.00 for a ticket. Guests will also need to be registered with Kate Sensenich before May 15th with their full name, school, phone number, as well as a parent or guardian’s contact information.

Prom Volunteers and Donations Needed!

  • Veggie, Fruit and Cheese Platters (2-3 of each)
  • Savory Finger Foods
  • Sweet Finger Foods
  • White Holiday lights
  • White Tables Cloths
  • Tall glass vases
  • White fresh flowers (any variety)
  • (Please label all items clearly with your last name)

We are also looking for some set-up and clean-up help!

  • Set Up times: Thursday afternoon and Friday morning/early afternoon, Saturday late morning.
  • Clean-Up Times: 11pm-11:45pm


If you can help our prom committee with any of these requests, please contact Kate Sensenich at

TSA Student Board Member: If you are a current sophomore with an interest in becoming a Student Rep on TSA’s Board, now’s your chance.  Elections will take place on May 15th.  For more information, please talk with Kate Sensenich or current Student Reps:  Jill Gramling or Daniel Lazar.


Career & College Guidance

College Planning Day for Juniors at Barnard College: May 3 at 1:00 pm.  Workshops for students and parents on the college application process, admissions interviews, college essays, financial aid and more.  For more information visit:

Scholarship Opportunities: We encourage seniors to apply for college scholarships.  No matter what the award amount may be, each scholarship  equals dollars that students do not have to pay out of their pocket in the future.  Listed below are a few of the thousands of scholarships available.  Seniors were also given more scholarship information in PATH class.


New Posting:
Heartland Lions Club Scholarship.  Available to seniors who live in Royalton, Sharon or Tunbridge.  There are five $600 scholarships available.  Deadline is May 15, 2015.  See Ellen for an application.

Continuing Postings

  • REGINALD LEE BLAIR MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP: The Reginald Lee Blair Memorial Scholarship has been established in memory of “Reg” Blair who as a long time teacher and principal of the Sharon Elementary School showed exceptional personal commitment to the youth of the community, a commitment far beyond the requirements of his position in the school. The scholarship was awarded first in 1997 and each year since. The scholarship provides a one time stipend for formal, long term (at least 2 full school years) post-secondary education for a Sharon graduate. Applications will be accepted until 7:00 P.M. on Monday, May 4, 2015. See Ellen for a list of criteria.
  • Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission awards five, $1000 scholarships annually to high school students pursuing career and life choices consistent with the vision and values of vibrant and sustainable communities. Applications must be submitted by May 15, 2015. For more information, please see Ellen.


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 


Green Up Day: Saturday is Green Up Day in VT.  Green Up Day is a unique institution here in our state and a wonderful opportunity to earn Community Service hours and make a difference in your community.  If you would like to help with Sharon’s Green Up Day efforts, please meet Hugh Maurer at TSA High School at 10:00am.  He will lead a team as they clean up around here and nearby landing sites around the river.  People are also needed at the town garage where sorting gets done and move items from trucks.  Wear long pants, appropriate shoes and gloves.

Medieval Festival needs volunteers!  Open Fields School in Thetford, VT needs volunteers for the Medieval Festival. Set up is Friday, May 22 from 3:30 – 7 pm. The Festival  is Saturday, May 23 from 8 am – 4 pm. Clean up is from 4 – 7 pm.  During the festival, we need festival runners (helping out wherever needed), entertainment (strolling minstrels, face painting, etc.), vendor assistants (helping sell food or other items), and entertainment assistants. Visit and select the “Volunteer” link to sign up! For more information, please contact Kimberly Barnhart at or visit

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Summer Opportunities

Seeking Summer Arts Camp Junior Counselors: Looking for a fun summer job?  Enjoy working with children?  Interested in the arts?  ArtisTree/Purple Crayon is a nonprofit community arts center and gallery in South Pomfret, VT.  We are looking for responsible high school-age individuals with leadership skills to serve as summer arts camp junior counselors. For more information, please contact Karen Rodis at 457-3500 or visit.

Dartmouth Mathematics Summer Enrichment: The Mathematics Department at Dartmouth College and the Center for Mathematics Education at Dartmouth are pleased to announce two summer enrichment workshops for local high school students. Here is a chance for students to interact with mathematicians in a fun, non-graded environment. Topics covered will be outside of the usual high school syllabus. An exploratory approach will be emphasized. Each program will cover different mathematical topics and students are invited to attend one or both sessions.Summer 2015 Workshops:

  • Session 1: July 20,21,22,23,24.
  • Session 2: August 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Workshops will meet from 1:00 to 4:00 in Kemeny Hall on the Dartmouth Campus. Program cost for each workshop is $20.00. Contact Amy Potter 603-646-2415 for more information or to apply. Email: For registration form go to:



Sharon House for Sale: 143 Sharon Meadows   Quality Custom Built in Serene Setting $315,000-For Sale By Owner Kelly 315-317-0902 (by appointment only)

•   Year Built: 2012
•   No. Stories: 2
•   Square Feet: 1990
•   Bedrooms: 3
•   Bathrooms: 2.5
•   Heating: Hot water plus Pellet Stove!
•   Internet: Fiber Optic
•   School: Choice including Sharon Academy!

Over 3 acres with year round creek and artisan well nestled on the side of Howe Hill with just a few neighbors. First floor master bedroom and bathroom with double sinks. Hardwoods on first floor and stairs trimmed with mahogany! Upstairs hall hardwoods and two very large bedrooms and bathroom. Granite kitchen counters with top of the line stainless steel appliances. Gas Stove. Very large closets. Walk out basement. See Flyer:

Building Lots for Sale: Two private, wooded 1.5 acre home lots offered for sale, located on White Brook Rd in easy walking distance to TSA high school. Site surveys have been recored; septic and driveway permits are on file, and one lot has the fist portion of a driveway already built. Lovely sites on a quiet dead-end road with easy access to miles of off-road trails for walking, biking, snowmobiling and skiing. Great neighborhood on a well-maintained town road just .7 miles off Rte 14. $40,000 per lot. For more information please call 802 299-5336