The Sharon Academy Newsletter, September 5, 2014

Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in Community, High School, Middle School, Newsletter

In this Issue:

Mark Your Calendar
Welcome New Staff
General News
Middle School News
High School News
Community Service Opportunities


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

September 2014

Thurs 11 Middle School Information Night for all MS parents: 6:30pm at the MS.
Thurs 11 College Fair for all 11th and 12th graders: Buses leave TSA at 7:30am for the College Fair in Burlington.
Fri 12 In Service – No School for MS and HS
Thurs 18 High School Information Night for all HS parents at 6:30pm at the HS.
Thurs 25 1st Annual CHALK Festival with South Royalton High School (See Gen News below)
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Welcome to the 2014/2015 school year.

The most obvious, and common, question I am asked at the beginning of each school year is, “How is it going?”

It’s an essential question; one we all ask ourselves every year after the first few days of school. The answer however, is as elusive as the question is obvious. What is it exactly that defines a successful start? How would we know? What are the benchmarks?

The first few weeks of school are a time that we both eagerly anticipate and dedicate a tremendous amount of planning to. Each year, approximately 20 – 25% of our student body are new. Each year, we ask our rising seniors and 8th graders to step up into the leadership roles that have been vacated by graduating students. Setting the tone and getting the energy right are essential aspects for our first two weeks of school. I feel fortunate to work with a group of educators that understands this need and works so diligently each year to try and get it right.

The secret to success is no secret. It’s messaging and modeling. We have to get the message right and we have to be modeling it the first minutes that students arrive. If we are consistent and articulate and if students sense our commitment to the TSA community, then we often find ourselves getting off on the right foot.

As always there are intangibles, circumstances that are both hard to define and unpredictable. Those intangibles can play a huge role as they did three years ago when tropical storm Irene exerted such a devastating impact on our communities. Irene is an extreme example, many others are much more subtle. Regardless, they play a role as well and we need to be both vigilant and flexible as we respond and adjust.

This year the start of school has felt magical. Faculty and staff have been exceptionally clear and consistent in their messaging and extraordinarily positive and upbeat with their energy. It would be impossible to ask for more. The senior class did an outstanding job welcoming the 9th graders, 7th graders have thrown themselves into their new school with gusto and laughter, the 9th graders have arrived full of anticipation and wonder, the weather has been spectacular, and fall soccer is off to a great start. You can positively feel its cumulative effect as you walk in our doors.

Michael Livingston

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Welcome New Staff

Please help us to welcome our new staff members!

Angelique McAlpine, Volunteer and Development Coordinator
Having been a TSA Parent Volunteer herself for many years, Angelique is ideally suited to head up our volunteer efforts. She will be working with all TSA parents to help them find the volunteer opportunity which fits their skills and interests.

Ellen Bagnato, Director of Career and College Advising
Ellen takes over the College Advising position for Kimberly Barnhart and looks forward to helping TSA students with this exciting process.  Ellen brings a wealth of experience in school counseling and administration in many types of schools and countries throughout the world.

Nicole Antal, High School French
We are adding yet another native-speaker to our World Language teaching team with Nicole who is from Belgium.  She is excited to be teaching one section of French at the high school.

Rick Bourdon,  HS Statistics
Rick teaches Stats here at TSA every other year (as a volunteer!)  His experience with statistics stems from his 20 years as a professor of Animal Breeding:   there are lots of statistics in genetics and animal husbandry.

Jim Nourse, HS Humanities
Jim joins us for the first semester teaching Humanities while Stephanie Davis is on maternity leave.  A former TSA Board member, school principal, and a life-long educator, Jim is excited about working with our 9th and 10th graders.

Tom Diamond, MS Para-Educator and Afterschool Homework Support
After many years teaching at both Newton School and in Hanover, Tom joins the middle school to provide extra student support and to facilitate the afterschool homework program.

Francis Noel, MS Spanish
Another native speaker, Francis is replacing Nikki Abetti who moved to Italy. Francis is from Venezuela and we are delighted to have her join us.

Congratulations to Kimberly Barnhart, Division 3 History
Kimberly is returning to teaching History – the first subject she taught at TSA. So is so excited to be sinking her teeth into this role again.

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


Thank you to all who came to our Annual Beginning of the Year Potluck.  It was a wonderful reminder of the strength of our community.  The food was delicious, and the opportunity to spend time with so many of our families was greatly appreciated.  We hope you had a good time.

Thank you to our Seniors for planning such a wonderful Orientation Day for our 9th graders!  From pie eating contests to volleyball, good fun was had by all.

Orientation 2014

Thank you to Ryan McCormick from High 5 Adventure for leading our entire student body, faculty and staff in a series of team building exercises. Ryan encouraged us all to step out of our comfort zones. He related the games we played back to TSA’s mission statement, noting that in order to “realize their potential” and “make a difference in the world” students will need to stretch.

If you noticed how nice the drive up to the High School is looking these days, please take a moment to appreciate sophomores Jacob Mayer, Thatcher Morrison, and Michael Usher.  These three boys noticed that the grass along our long driveway was growing like crazy, and they decided to weedwack the entire hillside so that it would look nice for the Potluck.  Thank you, boys, for your initiative and willingness to help us all out.

Congratulations Sadie Dutton ’15  for winning  UVM’s Green and Gold  Scholarship.  The University of Vermont Green & Gold Scholarship is an academic merit scholarship awarded to the academically strongest rising high school senior from every Vermont public secondary school.

Congratulations to Sawyer Levy ’15 who won the Jimmy T scholarship at the Jimmy T Memorial Showcase soccer game in Proctor last Saturday. This scholarship was awarded to a student-athlete who embodies stewardship in his community. Sawyer’s outstanding community service record, his dedication and excellence as an athlete and his volunteer work coaching youth soccer were all significant factors in qualifying him for the scholarship.



General News


Student Contact Information and Family Directory:  Please remember to complete the Student Information Survey that was sent to you at the beginning of August.  It is essential that we have complete information for each of our students.  Please take a moment to review the Family Directory (click here to download) to make sure your information is correct.  If you are not listed, please complete our survey by clicking here.

Attention last year’s TSA eighth grade students: It is not too late to turn in your middle school time capsule. Simply bring it to the middle school and we will file it away. Make sure your name is on the outside! We miss you!

Medications for Students: Please remember that if students are bringing prescription medications on to school property, parents need to send a note in about the medications and those medications must be kept with the school office during the day. Your help is greatly appreciated.

First Annual Chalk Festival: TSA has joined together with The Vermont Independent School for the Arts and the South Royalton School create this special art event. During the day on Thursday, September 25th, South Royalton’s center will be turned into a street art “canvas” along with the town’s weekly farmer’s market, a musical performance, and annual community potluck Stone Soup meal. On the day of the event, a section of street abutting the South Royalton Green will be roped off, and a group of student artists from TSA and SoRo will work on their planned chalk pieces through the whole day. (The artist, Katie Runde, will be leading the event. You can see some of Katie’s cool 3-D chalk creations here: Students will work in teams of varying sizes depending on the size of their planned piece, culminating in a large piece in the center of town. One of the most important goals of the project is to create an opportunity for high school students from historically rival schools, to work together on a non-competitive and collaborative project. It is the hope of the organizers that this event will be the first of many opportunities for shared projects for the benefit of all students and the wider community.

All TSA students who are are interested in a challenging art project are encouraged to participate. Please email Jenn Hayslett for more information at

Wanted: Old roller skates or skateboards for physics classes. The wheel bearings must still be in good condition. 4 to 6 pairs needed. Please contact Steve Basham at or 763 2500 ext 104 if you are able to contribute.

Wanted: Flatware, pens, and pencils. The high school goes through a lot of flatware, pens, and pencils throughout the year. If you have been wanting to clean out your drawers of mismatched flatware, please send it in. We can always use those extra pens and pencils you have. Thank you.

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Middle School News

We are off to a great start to the new school year. Thank you for sending us such an enthusiastic group of students!

Middle School Parent Information Night: Please join us from 6:30-8:30 on Thursday, September 11th for loads of information about the middle school. If you need to bring your student, there will be a quiet space where he or she can wait and do their homework. Middle School Handbooks will be distributed at this meeting. If you cannot attend we will send one home with your student on September 15th.

Honor Code: Your student has been asked to sign an honor code in the presence of their parent/guardian. Please ask your student for this form, and have them sign and return it ASAP.

Field Trips: Your student has been given a packet of information and schedules regarding 6 upcoming days when students will be leaving the school. Please make sure you return this packet ASAP. The first outing in on Monday, September 8th !!!!!

Chaperones needed: We still need chaperones for our above field trips. You will be receiving an email telling you which dates and times chaperones are needed.

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High School News

All High School Students: Please remember to check in with Cynthia each morning so that she can mark you as present on the attendance sheet.

All 11th and 12th graders and Parents: The field trip to the NEACAC College Fair in Burlington is Thursday, September 11. Buses leave TSA at 7:30 am and will return in time for electives.  For a list of the colleges that will be represented at the fair, please click here.  Please note, we ask our 11th and 12th graders to design and print their own “Business Cards” for the College Fair to help them create a relationship with the Admissions Officers they meet.  It saves significant time at the College Fair and makes a very positive impression with the colleges. Please help your students to print these out at home on heavy paper/cardstock so that they are ready to roll for the College Fair.

Colleges visiting TSA:  Over 20 colleges are planning to send admissions representatives to visit TSA over the next couple of months. These are generally colleges to which TSA students apply, such as UVM, University of Maine, Farmington, Dalhousie, Skidmore and Montserrat College of Art. The full list and schedule can be found on Naviance, where students can also register to attend the visit, and more visits are added regularly. (Each high school parent and student has an account. If you do not know how to access your Naviance account, email Ellen Bagnato at Juniors are encouraged to come to a few of these visits even if they are not interested in the school because it will be good practice. Remember – get permission from your teacher BEFORE missing class for a college meeting at TSA.

Junior Exhibitions: Please click here to download a PDF of the Exhibition Schedule you received last week.  Please note that there are some upcoming deadlines to keep track of.

Assignment Notebooks: All HS students received an assignment notebook on Tuesday. These cost of the notebooks is covered by the School Fee. However, if a student loses their assignment notebook or would like an additional one, it must be ordered through Janice in the office, and the student’s account will be charged accordingly.

Independent Study: All students interested in pursuing an Independent Study should speak to Flo Tobert. The deadline to apply for an Independent Study is September 19.

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.


The Sharon Sprouts Farmers’ Markets are back for another school year, and they are looking for volunteers to help. The first Sharon Sprouts Farmers’ Market for the school year will be held at Sharon Elementary School on Saturday, September 6 from 9am-1pm with some indoor and outdoor tables, in conjunction with the 4th annual Sprouty!  Call Donna Foster at 802 763-8280 for to volunteer! Great Community Service opportunities helping with the market, serving lunch, or the Sprouty!!

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Community Events

The 4th Annual Sprouty is on Saturday, September 6, 2014. It is a 5K Run/Walk; 10K Race; Kids’ Fun Loop that benefits the Sharon Elementary School’s Meal Program. With music and great refreshments. For more information on registration costs, race times, etc, or to register (before September 3rd), please click here Alternatively, contact Kevin Gish for info ( After the 3rd, registration is at 8:00 am on the day of the race.


The Sharon Sprouts Farmers’ Markets are back for another school year.   They will have 4 markets during the school calendar year and all proceeds of table sales and the local lunch go to the Farm, Food, and Nutrition Program at Sharon Elementary. The first Sharon Sprouts Farmers’ Market for the school year will be held at Sharon Elementary School on Saturday, September 6 from 9am-1pm with some indoor and outdoor tables, in conjunction with the 4th annual Sprouty!  The market will feature a great selection of local produce, meat, bread and baked goodies, herbs & spices, jams & jellies, eggs, fall flowers, and more! There will also be some locally made crafts. Sharon Elementary students will be making FREE smoothies for Sprouty participants, making some for sale, and there will be a local lunch from 11:30-1. Call Donna Foster at 802 763-8280 for information!