The Sharon Academy Newsletter, May 8, 2014

Posted by on May 9, 2014 in High School, Middle School, Newsletter

In this Issue:

Mark Your Calendar
Upcoming Events
General News
Middle School News
High School News
Community Service Opportunities
Summer Opportunities


Mark Your Calendar

May 2014

Mon 12 Senior Exhibition Day
Tues 13 In Service – No School
Weds 14 HS Auditions for next year’s interim
Thurs 15 RESCHEDULED – the last Cafe Night of the year has been rescheduled for the 29th
Fri 16 All HS Trip
See HS News below
Sat 17 Prom 7:30pm – 11:00pm
See HS News below
Mon 19 No MS After School Program
Tues – Thurs 20 – 22 All MS Trip to High 5
Fri 23 MS Only- No School
See MS News below
Thurs  29 NEW DATE: Last Cafe Night of the Year
 Fri  30 MS Semi Formal
See MS News Below


Please note:

  • All Community Service Hours for the year are due on June 1st. See Gen News Below
  • The last day of school – June 13th, will end at 2:00


May at TSA

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.




We love hearing about what our students are up to! Please write to
with news of any celebrations or accomplishments.

Congratulations to Kimberly Barnhart who will transition from being our College Advisor to being our 11th and 12th grade History Teacher starting this Fall.  Kimberly already has exciting plans for her classes next year.  Stay tuned!

Five TSA students have artwork on display at Vermont College of Fine Arts as a part of “An Artistic Discovery” – the 33rd Annual Congressional Art Competition sponsored by Peter Welch. Rosemary Connelli ’14, Emma Farrington ’14, Dejah Lee ’15, Isabelle Hotelling-O’Connor ’14, and Lucien Rosenbloom ’14 all have pieces in the show.  “An Artistic Discovery” provides Congress and the public with the opportunity to encourage and recognize the rich artistic talents of young Americans. The winning piece of art will hang in the U.S. Capitol Building. The closing reception and award ceremony is on Thursday, May 15th, from 9-11 a.m. at Vermont College in Montpelier. Good luck!

Thank you to all of the families who prepared lunch for us for Teacher Appreciation Week.  You helped make our day special, and certainly helped us feel appreciated.

A big thank you to Cotey Anderegg ’14, Green Up dayGreta Binzen ’14,  Taite Clark ’17, Chris Gish ’16,  Ben Hayslett ’14 and Otis Hudnut ’16 for helping collect trash on Green Up Day this past Saturday in Sharon, VT along Route 14. We picked up a total of more than 11 bags of trash! Great job everyone!

SneakersThank you to everyone who donated sneakers to the TSA Sneaker Drive.  Deniz and Justice collected 65 pairs of sneakers which they will be sending to South Africa soon! Together, we have saved 130 South African feet. Thank you for all the donations.





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Job Openings

TSA currently has 4 part time positions available.

  • Development and Marketing Coordinator
  • Career/College Advisory
  • High School Novice French
  • Middle School Spanish and French

For full details, please visit our website:


Alumni News

Welcome Back, Kathleen Moore ’13! TSA has hired Kathleen to help the 9th and 10th grade Humanities with Beliefs Presentations while Stephanie is on maternity leave. It is a joy to have you back in the building, Kathleen. Thank you for reconnecting with us and for sharing your knowledge and experience in this way.

Save the Dates for TSA’s first ever ALUMNI REUNION: Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22, 2014. This reunion is for all TSA alumni who graduated between 2001 – 2009.  The steering committee of TSA Alumni have  planned a great 2-day reunion including: cocktails, a barbeque, and a bonfire!  For more information, updates, and details on the reunion, please click here:   Please pass the word – there are many alumni for whom we do not have contact information.



General News

Fundraiser for a local family in need:  This Saturday, May 10, from 5-7pm at the Sharon Elementary School, there will be a fundraiser and pot luck dinner for the Bird family of Sharon.  Jimmy Bird, a carpenter, fell off a roof and broke both legs and some ribs recently. The family does not have insurance. They have two young children.  Admission: $5 per person if you bring food; $10 per person if you do not bring food. There will be spaghetti for those that are not able to bring food with them. Donations are welcome!

June 1st deadline for Community Service: Please remember to get all of your community service hours in before June 1st in order to be counted for this year.  This is especially true for Seniors.  If a senior does not get their Community Service hours in before June 1st, they will walk in graduation without a diploma. Additionally, transcripts will not be sent until Community Service work is completed.  To use the easy online submission form, please click here:

Lice Blaster: The TSA middle school and high school are now proud owners of a LiceGuard Lice Zapping Comb. These combs can be borrowed from the school if your family has an outbreak of lice. Just let us know by calling Cynthia Masterman at the high school or Pam Ward at the middle school. We will most happily share our special comb. Please note: we are not aware of any cases of lice in the middle school or the high school at the moment. We just wanted to let you know about this resource as soon as it became available.

Looking for Costumes: The Musical for the upcoming school year (2014-2015) is Disco Inferno! The Costumes Committee is in need of clothing from the 70’s. See photos below for examples. Please pass the word around because it is a hard find these types of clothes and we need all the costumes we can get. Also if parents are interested in helping the Costumes Committee sew costumes we would love the help! Please contact Alice Connelli at if you would like to help or have questions.



Seven Stars Parking: Please remember that the parking lot at Seven Stars is for the use of their clients and patrons. Please do not use their parking lot for games, etc.

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Middle School News


Projects Galore: Students have been working steadily on projects in Social Studies, Science and Language Arts classes. Please see below to view criteria sheets and other news regarding these projects.

Social Studies – Students are working on this every day at school. Your student has been assigned either Level 1 or Level 2 work, both of which are outlined at the following link:

Science Fair: The middle school science fair project is well underway. Students have work time every day at school, but in order to keep up students should also be working on this project at least a half hour every night until the end of the school year. A good way to assist your student is to have them describe their project and engage in a conversation about the topic to further their understanding. For a detailed outline of the requirements and due dates for this project please click on the following links. Students have all of this information in hard copy. Please note that some students have been assigned a Level 1 version of this project. In this case families will soon receive a separate email from Natalie Golden with the Level 1 criteria sheets and should disregard the links below.

Language Arts – Final drafts for the October Sky essay are due on Friday by the end of school. Students have started a poetry unit and will be studying and writing different forms of poems. Book cards are due on May 27th.


High Five Outdoor Leadership Program – This is a reminder that students will be attending the High Five Adventure Learning Center in Brattleboro, Vermont on May 20, 21 and 22nd. Drop off will be regular time on the morning of May 20th but pick up will be later than usual at about 5:30 on the 22nd. Please also be aware that Friday, May 23rd is High Five recovery day and there will be no school for middle school students . To download the medical release form and the Info for attendees form, please click here:


Drivers Needed:  We need drivers to help transport middle school students to and from High Five Outdoor Leadership Center in Brattleboro, Vermont on the morning of May 20th (leave Sharon at about 8:15) and on the afternoon of May 22nd (leave High Five at about 4:00).

Progress reports and NECAPS Third trimester progress reports and NECAP scores from tests taken in the fall will be sent home either Friday May 9th or Monday, May 12th.

Afterschool Homework Support Group – This group will NOT be meeting on Monday, May 19th. We will be going to High Five Outdoor Leadership Center on the 20th and students will not have homework to complete before then.

Middle School Semi Formal: The middle school semi formal is on the evening of May 30th 6:30 – 10:00 at the Royalton Academy. Please watch for a separate email to middle school parents for details.

Time Capsules for Eighth Grade Students: Very soon eighth grade students will be handed a Time Capsule envelope. Their job is to fill the envelope with fun and meaningful mementos from middle school. 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 right 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 13th 6:30 – 9:00 PM.
  • Both the seventh and eighth grade will be performing a choral program.
  • Each 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.
  • Dessert will be served following the ceremony.

End of school year middle school dates to remember:

  • May 30th: Semi-formal at the Royalton Academy 6:30 – 10:00 pm
  • May 20-22nd: Middle school goes to High Five Outdoor Leadership Center in Brattleboro (see above for more details)
    • Leave at 8:15 on the 20th.
    • Arrive back 5:30 on the 22nd.
  • May 23rd: No school – middle school only
  • May 26th: No school – Memorial day
  • June 5th: Middle School Science Fair in evening (6:30 – 8:30)
  • June 12th: Eighth Grade Field Trip. Seventh grade has regular school day.
  • June 13th: Last day of school. Dismissal at 2:00. Middle school graduation celebration 6:30 – 9:00 pm. All students should attend.


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High School News

Senior Exhibitions: Senior Exhibitions will be on Monday, May 12th.  The full schedule is posted on our homepage:

Summer Reading: Summer reading choices are now available for viewing! Every HS student is required to read one of the Summer Reading books over the summer. During the first week of school, students will complete a project, led by a teacher, on their book. Students: please follow the link and sign up for your first, second and third choices for summer reading.  The deadline to sign up is Thursday, May 22nd.  Students not registered by that date will be placed in a reading group without their input. Please note that you are signing up for the book that you will read and the group in which you will participate during August Workshop Days. YOU ARE WELCOME to read more books on the list!!  Direct questions, comments and concerns to Charlie McMeekin and Christa Wurm.

TSA / Baxter Library Partnership: The Baxter Library has decided to move some of its young adult collection to TSA HS to provide the students with new reading material. The books are located in the bookshelves next to the entrance, and can be checked out by anyone. There is a How-To document to explain how to use the library. If you have any special requests, please use the form or email or visit the website The librarian at Baxter Library – Nicole Antal – will rotate the books every two weeks, on Tuesdays after All School Meeting. Please feel free to seek Nicole out if you have questions.

Independent Studies: High School independent study proposals for summer work are due to Kimberly Barnhart by Monday, June 9 (exam review day).

TSA Prom 2014: Students and staff at TSA are cordially invited to this year’s Prom which will be held on Saturday, May 17th from 7:30pm-11:00pm at The Inn At Idlewood in Sharon, Vermont. Tickets are now available 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 Help and Donations Needed! Many people have graciously donated items and time to help make the Prom beautiful. Thank you! The prom committee is still looking for several items and some set up and clean-up help:

  • 2 more Cheese and Cracker Platters
  • 2 more Veggie and 2 more Fruit Platters
  • Finger Food Desserts
  • For a chocolate fountain- strawberries, pineapple, shortbread cookies, potato chips, graham crackers
  • White Holiday Lights (still need! Please label with your last name taped to the cord and bring to Kate’s office)
  • White Candles- any size (need lots! please bring to Kate’s office)
  • White flowers- can be brought to school when picking up students after all-school trip on 16th
  • HELP setting up from 12-3 on Saturday at Idlewood
  • HELP Cleaning up from 11pm-11:45 at Idlewood after the prom

Please contact Kate Sensenich at if you can help provide food for this event. Once I know who can help I will send out a follow up email about where and when the food can be brought to TSA and Idlwood.

Senior Exhibition Presentation Day: Reminder – Senior Exhibitions are coming up! Exhibition day is Monday, May 12.

All High School Trip: May 16th is our all-school trip to Massachusetts for a Class II-III rafting trip with CrabApple Whitewater. Thank you to everyone for returning your liability waiver forms for the trip! Here are the travel details for that day:

  • 7:15– All students should arrive at TSA
  • 7:30— Buses depart from TSA (Please be here early, as this departure time has NO flexibility)
  • 9:30— Arrive at CrabApple in Charlemont, MA, gear up and go rafting
  • 4:00— Depart CrabApple for home
  • 5:30— Arrive back at TSA

For a document that answers many questions about the trip, please click here:



Community Service Opportunities

Book Sale: The Baxter Library in Sharon is looking for 4-6 volunteers for thier annual book sale, the first weekend of June. They need volunteers to bring the books outside and arrange the tables and tent. Friday (06/06) afternoon, 5-7 pm and Saturday morning (06/07) 9-11 am, and possibly Sunday afternoon (06/08) 1-3 pm. Volunteers can sign up for an hour or more, they will take any help available. The book sale allows the library to buy books and offer programs to the Sharon community. For more information, visit”

Medieval Festival: Open Fields School in Thetford needs volunteers for the Medieval Festival coming up the weekend of May 24. Any volunteers can sign up at (click on “Volunteer” on the left side of the page). Kimberly Barnhart is the volunteer coordinator for this event, so students can direct questions to

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Community Events

Local Band: TSA Parents Ted Buttner and Jean Paltney are in a band named Wool. They play original rock music (and some covers, too). Wool will be playing at Crossroads Pub on Wednesday, May 28th from 8-10pm. No cover charge.

BRAIN BEE at Dartmouth: The Neuroscience Center at Dartmouth and the Society for Neuroscience New Hampshire Chapter are hosting the second annual Upper Valley Brain Bee at Dartmouth College on Saturday, May 17, 2014. The Brain Bee is a fun and educational neuroscience competition for high school students living in the Upper Valley. We hope to show students the fun in learning about the brain and to provide an opportunity to experience what the field of neuroscience is all about! All participants will have the opportunity to sign up for a “Brain Boot Camp” run by Dartmouth College graduate students to train for the main event! The Brain Bee, which will be open to the public, will include an interactive neuroscience fair with demonstration booths followed by a hands-on, brain-friendly competition. All students will receive a certificate of participation recognized by the International Brain Bee, and prizes will be awarded to the top three winners! To register go to Deadline to register is April 30th.

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Class of 2014: residents of Royalton, Sharon, or Tunbridge: the Heartland Lions Club and the Rising Sun Lodge (Free Masons) each offer scholarships, ranging from $600 to $750. Applications are outside KB’s office.

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Summer Opportunities

Note: many colleges offer summer courses for credit to students. These are a small sampling of the opportunities available.

Want a Great Intercultural Experience this Summer? For five summers volunteer host families have welcomed students (14-16 years of age) from the Basque region of Northern Spain into their homes. This Basque-Vermont connection, which was started up by the Wellspring School has produced some wonderful experiences and friendships for both the students and the families. As a host family you would welcome a student into your home from June 25th to July 20th, treating them as one of your family and having them join in with your summer plans. Each host family will receive a stipend to help pay for food and any activities that you might do with the student. The program will also give a donation to the Sharon Academy of 300 euros (approx. $400) for every TSA family that hosts a student. This is a wonderful opportunity for your family to get to know another part of the world and at the same time enable a student to improve their English.For more information please email: Jools Skeet at or Sally Hostetler at

The Stone Bench project is being sponsored by Pentangle Arts for students who reside in any of the Woodstock HS area. It is open to young people ages 13-19. Participants will gain a solid skill basis in three-dimensional design, lettering, architectural and sculptural stone working, as well as an appreciation for the industrial history of the Marble Valley region. Applications are due May 16. For more information, contact Nerissa Edwardsa at



House for rent in beautiful Stockbridge Vermont. Stockbridge is a sending town for TSA. 3-4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, gardens, white river beach and swimming hole at bottom of driveway, trails with views of Pico and the white river valley, set far back from road for privacy and safety, great place for kids and pets, DSL 2 Mbps high speed internet, only 3.2 miles to Stockbridge Central School and 14 miles to Sharon Academy. 1950 per month. Contact George Abrams at (802) 359-7519

Building Lots for sale:Approved building lots in the beautiful sending town of Stockbridge, Vermont. Dead end road surrounded by land trust protected forests and trails. Close to beautiful Music Mountain neighborhood. Only 3.8 miles to Stockbridge Central School and 18 miles to Sharon Academy. Contact George Abrams at (802) 359-7519

3 bedroom Homestead for sale in Sharon: 37 acres, total privacy, pond, HUGE 3 story barn with 2 heated areas. Wonderful woodworking shop, trails, gardens galore. AGA cooker from England. Master bedroom on first floor, Mexican tile. Full basement…lots of storage. This property is UNIQUE. Lots of built ins with Mexican tiles. Economical to heat. Too much to list. Formally a goat farm but could be a horse farm, sheep farm, or an educational farm property. Fully fenced. Several pastures and outbuildings. This is not your “traditional” property. It is very very special. Call Pic and Jon Conner 763-2929.