The Sharon Academy Newsletter, September 11, 2015

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in High School, Middle School

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



Tues 15 Meeting regarding February’s Trip to Europe – 7:30 at the HS
Fri 18 
In Service – No School for MS and HS
Tues 22 College Fair for all 11th and 12th graders:  Buses leave TSA at 7:30am for the College Fair at the Southern New Hampshire University. More information to come.
Thurs   24 High School Information Night for all HS parents at 6:30pm at the HS.



Chalk and Chow – New Date

The Second Annual Chalk and Chow Festival was postponed due to rain.  It will now be held on the green in South Royalton on October 1st. Students from The South Royalton School and The Sharon Academy will be collaboratively working on 2-D and 3-D chalk designs all day on the sidewalk on Park Street beginning at 8:00am and going into the afternoon and into the early evening. Children and adults are also are invited to use the chalk. Beginning at 3:00pm there will also be a farmer’s market and raised doughnuts cooked over a fire. Come celebrate fall!


General News

Mindfulness Group: 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. 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.

When: 2:15pm, every Wednesday except during Teacher In-Service and vacations
Where: Flo’s room at TSA High School
Leader: Florence Tolbert
Fee: Just drop in – it’s free!

No registration or experience required.

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 Flo at

Looking for a Delicious Pizza Dinner?  Another day, another TSA soccer game and another opportunity to have dinner made for you.  Come to The Sharon Academy during any of our Varsity home games, watch some soccer and pick up a pizza or two for dinner. The dough is handmade with King Arthur Flour and the pizza sauce is also homemade with fresh organic vegetables from Tunbridge Hill Farm.  Yum! Go Phoenix.  Upcoming games:

  • Saturday, September 12, Varsity Girls at 11, Varsity Boys at 1.
  • Saturday, September 19, Varsity Girls at 11, Varsity Boys at 1.

Abby Will Re-Use Your Bubble Wrap:  Abby Tonks of AbbyTPottery (TSA’s Brian Tonks is her husband) will happily take and reuse your air pillows, bubble wrap, or styrofoam peanuts. She uses it to package and ship her pottery around the country. Please be sure it is clean and please put it in a bag. No other packing materials, please. Leave it outside Brian’s office at the high school.  Last year, Abby pulled over 2000 gallons of packing materials out of the waste stream and put it to good use. For more information, please contact Abby Tonks at or

Still Collecting Boxtops for Education: Members of the TSA community are encouraged to keep their eyes out for the little Boxtops for Education coupons or stamps which appear on a variety of food and general household products, anything from granola bars to toilet paper!  Each coupon or box top is worth 10 cents when redeemed.  We collect these boxtops, submit them, and use the proceeds to support individual students in a variety of ways, whether it be financial support for taking an off-campus course, paying for a licensing exam, or assisting a TSA family in crisis. It’s just one small brick in the foundation of community support we try to nurture, and your support is deeply appreciated!  Boxtops can be sent in to Janice Stumpf at the high school, or left in the manila envelope hanging on the bulletin board just outside her office. Help make a difference!

Important Reminder – Contact Information Survey:  Our Annual Contact Information Survey was emailed to families on August 10th.  Some families have reported that this email went to their Spam folders.  In case that also happened to you, please follow this link to access the survey: Contact Information Survey.  This survey provides us with ESSENTIAL contact information so that we can reach you with any concerns or questions about your student.  It is also the information we use to notify you of school closings and to create our TSA Parent Phone Book.  We collect this information electronically in response to our families’ request that they not have to fill out multiple forms with similar information.  With this online survey, families only need to fill out ONE FORM online instead of filling out 4 or 5 slightly different forms by hand. We require families to complete this survey each year, so that we always have current information on file.

Before you start you will need the following items:

  • Medical Insurance card
  • Primary Physician’s name and phone number
  • Dentist’s name and phone number
  • List of any medications your student is taking
  • Emergency contact information for three adults (other than parents/guardians)

The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Last Day to Order New Sharon Academy Athletic Wear: The athletes at TSA are selling a new selection of sporting merchandise from FanCloth. All proceeds from the sale of these items goes to support TSA Athletics. Each athlete has a catalog that shows a range of sport and leisurewear that carry the phoenix logo and shows your support for the school’s athletic teams. The athletes have all the details on how you can order from the catalog. All orders must be received by 9/11/15 so that you have your apparel in time this Fall’s play off season.  For more information, please contact Rob Stainton at  To download the catalog, please click here:  TSA Athletic Wear

Amazon and TSA: Did you know that any time you order something through Amazon, you could support TSA at the same time?  When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible items to Sharon Academy. Bookmark the link and support us every time you shop.

In search of furniture: The shared office of College and Career Advising and The Dean of Students is in need of a facelift. If you have a loveseat, living room chairs or wooden “table chairs” that are in good repair and you would like to donate them, please contact Ellen Bagnato or Christa Wurm at 802-763-2500 x 116.

Calling All Time Capsules: Last year’s TSA 8th graders can still turn in their middle school Time Capsules.  Simply drop it off with Catherine at the middle school or give it to Cynthia at the high school.  They will make sure the capsule gets delivered to the top secret vault at the middle school.

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Phoenix News

Congratulations to Chris Gish ’16 who won the Essex Invitational and set a new course record by 1 second!  This is a race with all of the top runners in the entire state.

Our Boys Cross Country team was third in the JV race at the Essex Invitational.

Our JV Girls soccer team won their first game this season against Randolph.

Varsity Boys started the season with a tie against Randolph and a win against South Royalton.

Varsity Girls won their first two games against Randolph and South Royalton.

Upcoming Double Header: We have a double header this Saturday against Craftsbury.  Varsity girls are at 11:00, Varsity Boys are at 1:00.


Middle School News

Gradelink:  The middle school is using Gradelink, an online grade reporting system.  Gradelink gives parents access to daily assignments and student progress.  It is also the system through which we will create and deliver report cards.  This is the same system that is used at the high school.  We will be coaching parents on the use of this technology at the Middle School Parent Information Night. If you are unable to attend the information night please contact Pam Ward for information on how to access your student’s online Gradelink account.

Heifer International:  Please turn in your Heifer permission slips! From September 23rd – 25th the middle school will be visiting Heifer International Overlook Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts. This is a two night, overnight trip.  Your student has been given a packet that includes information, forms and permission slips.  Please look it over and return the two green forms.   Click here for an electronic copy of the packet: Heifer International Pack    

Calling in Absences:   Cynthia Masterman, who works in the high school building, keeps track of all student absences.  If your student will be absent for the day, please email Cynthia at or call 763-2500 x-100 and leave a message by 8:30am.   If she has not heard from you by this time, she will send you an email and/or a message on your phone answering machine to let you know your student has not arrived at school.  Thank you for your help in keeping track of your student’s attendance.

The Middle School After School Homework Support Group

What: An after school supervised group at the middle school
Who:  Any middle school student who is in the building after 3:30 will be expected to attend. Tom Diamond is the person in charge.  Tom can be reached at or      802-281-2422.
Why:   To provide:

      • academic homework support
      • a quiet space to do homework
      • supervision while waiting for parent pick up

When: 3:35pm – 5:00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Students have about 20 minutes after school to socialize, eat, drink and use the bathroom before the group begins.  (Please note that students are not allowed to leave the school grounds and come back unless they have special permission.) If you will be late (after 5:00) picking up your student, please let Tom know.  He may have to transfer your student to the high school to wait.
Where:  At the middle school.

Other things you should know about the Homework Support Group:

  • Behavioral expectations during homework club are the same as during the regular school day. Paramount during homework time is that students have a peaceful, supportive workspace where others do not distract them.
  • Students will have access to their cell phones during this time. However, phones are closely monitored by Tom. Cell phones should only be used for messages or discussions regarding rides and pick-up times.
  • Students are expected to do homework during this time.   If the rare occasion arises when they are finished with their homework, students may silently read a book or read informational or news articles on approved websites.
  • Computer use will follow the guidelines of the school’s computer usage policy. While the temptation to connect to email, messaging or social media sites can be challenging, it is absolutely not allowed. If a student has no way other than email to contact parents regarding rides, Tom will supervise the process.

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High School News

Books Needed for European Literature–11th & 12th grade: Students in Division III Literature need to acquire the texts listed below.  New, used or electronic versions are fine. Copies are available to borrow, but students must contact Maria Piasecki directly to arrange to do so.  There is limited availability for some titles. Dante’s Inferno is the first text we will use in class–students should have a copy by Sept 21st.

  • Dante’s Inferno, trans. Robert Pinsky, dual language Italian-English publisher–Farrar, Straus, Giroux
  • Othello — Folger Shakespeare Library edition
  • Macbeth — Folger Shakespeare Library edition
  • Candide by Voltaire — Dover Thrift Editions
  • Heart of Darkness  by Joseph Conrad (Signet Classics edition with The Secret Sharer)

For more information, please contact Maria Piasecki at

Spanish Students to HOP for Latin Music Concert:  The Spanish Department will be taking all Spanish students to see a matinee at Dartmouth’s Hopkin’s Center on Thursday, October 8th. The performance is by the LA-based music group La Santa Cecilia, winner of the 2014 Grammy for Best Latin Rock Album. TSA’s World Language Department is sponsoring the trip and we’ll be transported by the fabulous Randy Leavitt in TSA’s own BioBus! For more information, please contact Mary Newman at or visit

HS Rock Climbing Team/Club: The rock climbing team/club will start next Tuesday, Sept 15 4:00-5:30. If you are interested in participating please go to the GMRCC web site to complete the online waiver. You can pay the daily rate as a trial or can join the team by calling GMRCC to pay the annual membership rate. Contact Nancy Menton if you are interested in joining us. I can provide transportation to GMRCC for three but will not be returning to TSA to provide transportation back. We will continue to welcome members throughout the next few weeks.

Meeting regarding February’s Trip to Europe: We are taking high school students on an educational trip to Europe (France, Italy, and Switzerland) over February break, scheduled to correspond with the Division III European History year. We are pleased to announce that there are places available. We will be hosting an enrollment meeting on September 15, at 7:30pm at the high school. We hope you will come and learn more. If you have any questions, contact Kimberly Barnhart ( or Janice Stumpf (

Meeting Date: September 15, 2015
Meeting time: 7:30 pm at the high school

Coastal Studies for Girls: If you are a 9th or 10th grade girl, and are interested in learning about Coastal Studies for Girls (CSG), please join a representative from the program on September 17th during Y Block in Stephanie’s room to learn more.  CSG is a program that focuses on marine biology and outdoor exploration.

Model UN: If you are not going on the Europe Trip this February, and are interested in international diplomacy, political science, etc, talk to Stephanie Davis to learn more about Model UN. (Unfortunately, the dates of this Model UN conflict with the Europe Trip.)



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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Scholarships and College Info

Receive up to $22,000.00 for college with The Horatio Alger Scholarship

To qualify:

  •  A student must have at least a 2.0 GPA
  • Demonstrate critical financial need ($55,000 or lower family income)
  • Be involved in co-curricular and community service activities
  • Exhibit a strong commitment to pursue and complete a bachelor’s degree

To learn more and apply, visit

​The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program recognizes students in middle and high school who have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service.  In each state the top applicant will be receive an award of $1000.00 (not a scholarship) and an all-expense paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington D.C.To learn more go to​

Upcoming College Visits:
We welcome seniors, juniors and sophomores at college visits.  Please talk with Ellen and/or register on Naviance if you would like to attend.

Simmons College Mon, September 14, 2015 11:00 AM
Vermont Technical College Mon, September 14, 2015 11:00 AM
Bennington College Mon, September 14, 2015 11:45 AM
Mount Ida College Tue, September 15, 2015 2:45 PM
The New School – Eugene Lang College Wed, September 16, 2015 10:00 AM





Community Events

The Fifth Annual Sprouty, September 12: A 5K and 10K race along the White River in Sharon, Vermont, the Sprouty supports the Farm-to-School program at the Sharon Elementary School. The race is committed to bringing out community members and serious runners alike as we celebrate good health, local agriculture and the beauty of September in Vermont. T-shirts are provided to the first 150 to register, but you have to register by midnight Friday, August 28, 2015 in order to guarantee we have your size. The day includes a fun-run loop for kids around the elementary school with ribbons for all kids. Refreshments (including free smoothies) await at the finish area. Kids 12 and under register for free. Prizes are awarded to the top three male and female finishers in the 5K and 10K. Free lettuce plants from Dandelion Acres for all participants.  For more information, please click this link:


Classified Ads

House Lots for Sale: Two lots within walking distance to TSA high school on a quiet, town-maintained, dead end road. This is a lovely private setting where you can hear birds, spring peepers and the White Brook. Septic and driveway permits are in place; no building permit is required in the Town of Sharon. The lots are 1.5 and 1.6 wooded acres with a recorded survey. An added bonus is easy access to miles and miles of trails right from the properties! Please email for more information. For more information, please contact Miriam Rubin at

Fall Yoga with Sylvie: September is a great month to establish healthy routines to take us into the cooler months. These classes ground us into strength, flexibility, a clear mind and open heart.  All inquiries welcomed. Free trial class.

  • South Royalton-BALE Commons
  •     Thursday-5:15-6:45, Level I
  • Randolph-Chandler Music Hall
  •     Mondays-4:30-5:45, Level I
  •                     6:00-7:30  Level II
  •     Thursdays-8:00-9:30 am, Morning Mix

for info or to register;     802-498-8439