TSA Newsletter, April 27th, 2017

Posted by on Apr 27, 2017 in Newsletter

The Sharon Academy

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Calendar of Upcoming TSA Events

April 2017

Fri 28 MS Dance – 6:30-9:30
Sat 29 TSA’S 21st Birthday Party Gala – “Coming of Age”
– 7pm – 11pm

May 2017

Thurs 4 Outdoor Challenge for 10th Graders – See HS Section for more details
Fri 5 Outdoor Challenge for 10th Graders
Mon 8 Senior Exhibitions – Starting at 8:15am
Tues 9 Screens and Teens Parent Meeting – 5:30 – 6:30pm
Tues – Thurs 16 – 18 Middle School to High Five
Fri 19 Inservice – No School for Students
Sat 20 HS Prom – 6:30pm at Hotel Coolidge in White River Junction, VT
Thurs 25 Cafe Night at TSA HS – 6:30pm
Fri 26 MS Semi-Formal – 7pm
Mon 29 Memorial Day – No School

The TSA School Calendar for 2016/2017 is available.  To download a copy, please click here: TSA 2016/17 School Calendar




Aenea Thorne, TSA class of 2014 and current Junior at Champlain College,
has received notification that the short film she submitted to the 2017 Freedom and Unity Youth Film Contest has won an award.  Titled “Dichotomy”, it is a 100% solo film project exploring the experience of a young person living with depression. The film will be part of a screening at Briggs Opera House in White River Junction on May 7th.  Check out here for Film Conference information:
And see Aenea’s film here: “Dichotomy” film: https://vimeo.com/177144092



All School News

An Important Message From Andrew Lane:

It is with a mixture of sadness and appreciation that I write to you today to announce that Christian Durgin, our beloved colleague, will be stepping down at the end of the school year from his position as our middle school science and math teacher after 11 years at TSA. We are sad to lose him as a teacher, advisor, role model, entertainer at many middle school talent shows, soccer coach, colleague, and fellow lover of all things middle school. We are excited to hear about his plans to pursue an advanced degree and a new career in the mental health field.

Christian will still be in our community – he has plans to start part-time math or science tutoring, and we may call on him as a substitute teacher from time to time. We all know that over time, the place where we need to expend our life’s energy shifts, and we are eager to see where this shifting energy takes Christian. We wish Christian the best of luck and know that he will continue to follow his heart and his deep commitment to helping others as he moves forward on his journey. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me a message or give me a call at school.

Andrew Lane
Director of the Middle School
The Sharon Academy


Get Your Tickets Now for TSA’s 21st Birthday Party Gala – We are “Coming of Age” – This is one of TSA’s most wonderful annual community events. Come join the fun this Saturday, April 29th from 7pm – 11pm for TSA’s Gala!  More information, including how to buy your tickets, can be found here: Gala


Before you get to the Gala – Check out our Gala On-Line Auction:
These items will be available until May 7th.  Bid now!  All proceeds help TSA continue to deliver student centered education.


National Screen Free Week at TSA, Monday, May 1st-Saturday through May 7th = “Choose Your Challenge” Week at TSA!  In honor of National Screen Free Week, TSA is offering opportunities for students to individually or collaboratively take part in various challenges regarding limiting regular screen use. While there may be tasks that we can’t avoid screens for that week, such as homework, we can experiment by limiting some of our screen use and seeing how we feel. During this week, students and staff had the opportunity to voluntarily make a pledge to limit their use in whatever way interests them. We are hoping this week will bring about some good conversations and awareness about screen use for us all!

What Challenge are YOU up for?

  • I pledge to turn my phone off and not use it unless I need to make a call this week.
  • I pledge to not participate in ANY social media this week.
  • I pledge to not watch TV this week.
  • I pledge to not go on Youtube this week.
  • I pledge to not participate in gaming this week.
  • I pledge to put my phone in the secure TSA phone-basket from 8:15-3:15 each day this week.
  • I pledge to use my computer only for school related work this week.
  • I pledge to have device-free meals this week.
  • I pledge to have device-free study halls this week.
  • I pledge to…..Choose your own!

For more information, please contact Kate Sensenich at 763-2500 ext 215


Parent Support Group Meetings at TSA!  Screens and Teens. Helping support our kids (and each other!) navigate the complicated world of social media and technology. This is an open forum for any parents/guardians interested in joining. Kate will be facilitating the meetings with some guiding questions regarding social media and teen technology usage. The hope is that the ideas, questions, advice and curiosities that you bring will continue to guide the group. Kate says, “I am by no means on expert on this topic, but I would like to create a space where parents can share thoughts and offer support to each other as you navigate the complicated world of raising teens in a digital age.” Please do not feel you have to attend each meeting. Drop-ins are welcome! These evenings will be held at The Sharon Academy High School – Tuesday May 9th, 5:30-6:30pm – Moore Hall (The Pit) – Light Refreshments served.  For more information, please contact Kate Sensenich at ksensenich@sharonacademy.net


Rte 132 Drivers! Beware of Truck Traffic for Elizabeth Mine Solar Construction Project.  There will be approximately 9 heavy trucks (in groups of 3) per day traveling from I-89 in Sharon across Rte 132 to the mine and then returning to I-89.  Use caution and if you become aware of any safety concerns, please alert the Sharon or Strafford town office.


Free Goldfish Available to a Good Home. A message from 8th Grader, Ben Rodis:  “My science fair partner and I are using live Goldfish in our project. After our project is done, we have nowhere for them to go. We would really appreciate it if someone would take them.”  If you are interested, please contact Ben at brodis@sharonacademy.net


Phoenix Sports


You can get even more TSA Phoenix Sports News and Pictures on the TSA Athletics Booster Club Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/tsaboosterclub



NEW TSA Swag Has Arrived!  The New TSA Swag has arrived and will be on sale next week. There will be a fashion show at all school meeting next week with pictures to follow. If you can’t make the fashion show here is what we have:
Long sleeve T-shirt – black with white lettering $15
Hoodies – Green with white lettering $30
Fleece half zip – Green with white lettering (embroidered) $40
Sweat pants – tie waist with gathered legs and elastic waist with open legs – Gray $25
Winter hats – white and green stripes, pompom on top $15
Water bottles – stainless steel and insulated $15

All clothing comes small to XL, There are a few 2XL and 3XL hoodies

For more information, please contact Kim Knoerlein at kdk13vt@gmail.com


You can also check out pictures of Phoenix Sports events at: https://tsaphoenix.shutterfly.com/#
– it does require a Shutterfly Registration – but it is Free!



Middle School News

Middle School Academic News:

MS Language Arts:  After lots of learning and planning, students are finally into the business of writing their short stories. We will continue to have literary circle classes on Tuesdays and Fridays and will be writing and editing our stories the rest of the week.

MS Science: This week students are working on their introductions for science fair. The finished drafts will be due next Wednesday May 3rd.

Other Middle School News:

MS Dance this Friday, April 28th, 6:30-9:30pm


Middle School Spirit Week will be May 8th – 12th.  The days will be:
  • Monday:  Sundae Monday and PJ day:  Please come dressed in pajamas and bring a topping for an ice cream sundae bar.  TSA will provide spoons, bowls, and ice cream.
  • Tuesday:  Twin Day:  Find a partner and dress alike
  • Wednesday:  Favorite Character:  Dress like your favorite fictional character.
  • Thursday:  Imitation is the best form of flattery:  Dress up like someone else in the middle school community.  Feel free to borrow their clothes, or figure it out on your own as a surprise.  The best imitation will be awarded a prize.
  • Friday:  Sporty vs. Nerds:  Choose a side and dress either like a sports figure or as a classic nerd.  The side with more representation wins.


MS Graduation is coming up! Friday June 16, 2017, 6:30-9:30 PM. 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. Please help us to support our students in this important transition to high school.

  • All students are expected to attend this event on June 10th from 6:30 – 9:00 PM.
  • Both the seventh and eighth grade will perform a choral program.
  • Each eighth grade student will give a short speech. Students will have 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 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 will also be some refreshments available during the ceremony. Dessert will be served following the ceremony.



High School News

On Wednesday
Thursday, and Friday, May 3, 4, and 5, our Juniors will be completing state-mandated testing.  
On Wednesday, Juniors will be taking the NECAP Science test. This is a paper test and will be in the same format that students are accustomed to, having taken NECAPS for several years. On Thursday and Friday, Juniors will be taking Vermont’s new standardized test – the SBACs (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) – for Math and Language Arts. These tests will be administered on a computer.  Students will be introduced to this new format in late April. All of the testing will begin promptly at 8:15 in the gym. Testing will end in the early afternoon, usually around 1:00. The specific times will depend on the testing schedule for the day. In preparation for the testing, please encourage your student to:
  • get a good night’s sleep
  • eat a good, healthy breakfast 
  • bring their best effort to the test
Students can bring a water bottle and a book to the testing. Phones will have to be turned off for the duration of the testing. Sometimes the gym is chilly and students may wish to have a warm extra layer even if it is expected to be warm outside. Please note that these tests are required by the state. Any student who misses a part of the tests will have to make it up at a later date. Thank you for your support.


The Overnight Challenge (The OC) for TSA 10th Graders – dealing with change, adversity, and risk: May 4th and 5th. The Sharon Academy firmly believes that respectfully pushing students out of their comfort zone enables them to discover strengths that they might not otherwise know they had and to admire the strengths of their classmates. Our goal is that this experience will increase their confidence in themselves and their understanding of each other. Recognizing that the 10th grade year is an “in between” year (coming after the excitement of the first year of high school 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 to give 10th graders something special that makes their year stand out among others.


The High School’s All School Trip will be June 9th, 2017.  More details coming soon.


TSA Students Travel To France This Summer:  This summer eight Sharon Academy students will travel to France for most of a month where they will be hosted by French families. The program highlights language immersion, history and culture. Before meeting their families, they will spend a brief period exploring Provence (Avignon, Arles, Nimes to the Camargue). While “en familles”, they will take mini excursions to Normandy’s Omaha Beach, Arromanches, Pointe du Hoc, Mont St Michel, and St. Malo as well as the Chateaux of the Loire. Paris and Versailles will culminate their program. Participating students include: Joseph Campbell, Cal Hale, Anyata Hamilton, Emma Petersson, Juniper Gillespie, Aidan Trimble, Hailey Swett and Max Farrington. Sara Brown Dropkin, leader, organizer and current French teach at TSA, began offering programs through the Experiment in International Living and has created her own exchanges for the last thirty plus years. Her husband Lester Dropkin, retired musician and engineer, and Jillanne Thomas, professeur in the language department at University of California at Irvine will also accompany the group.



Scholarship and College Info

The Paying For College Night information session that was scheduled for Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 at TSA has been canceled.  If you would like more information on this topic, please contact Ellen Bagnato at ebagnato@sharonacademy.net or you may visit the VSAC website at www.vsac.org


Free College Planning With VSAC. High school juniors, sophomores & parents — Attend College Pathways 2017 for free college planning workshops that cover the admissions process, where to find money for college, how to find a school that matches your needs and budget, and more. Choose from three dates on three different Vermont college campuses. It’s all free.
April 29 at Johnson State College, Johnson, 9:00am – 12:30pm
For more information, please contact Ellen Bagnato at ebagnato@sharonacademy.net or visit http://www.vsac.org/college- pathways

Explore College and Career Options with Vermont Tech. Vermont Tech has a number of upcoming events for sophomores, juniors and seniors to check out all they offer:
Williston Campus Spring Open House      April 29
Randolph Try a Major Day                           May 5

For more information, please contact Ellen Bagnato at ebagnato@sharonacademy.net or visit http://www.vtc.edu/admissions-aid/tours-events


Alumni News

2017 Alumni Events Calendar

Saturday, April 29th – TSA’s 21st Birthday Party Gala. All alumni are welcome to come celebrate with us. Enjoy dancing to The Party Crashers, great food, cash bar and a lively auction

Sunday, April 30th – Alumni Brunch at ML’s. All alumni are welcome to come enjoy some bagels and fun with Michael Livingston at his house.  Check out the facebook page for the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/765025130321552/

NEW DATE & NEW FORMAT:  Thursday, May 19th – Alumni Day. Share your experiences and your wisdom about life after TSA, as well as suggestions/feedback about TSA with faculty and staff.


Community Service

Calling interested volunteers for help with Strafford Creative Preschool’s first annual Cow Pie Bingo fundraiser.
  In search of enthusiastic and creative high schoolers who could help with festivities from 1-3 on Saturday, May 20: face-painting, bubble or balloon fun, arts and crafts of any kind. Or, pitch another amusing, kid-friendly idea. They’d love to have you! Please contact Brooke: brookewilk@gmail.com

Community Events

GRAPHIC NOVEL WORKSHOP – The Young Adult Genre with TSA PArent Jo Knowles and Tillie Walden July 31-August 4, 2017. YALSA award winning author Jo Knowles teams up with Eisner nominated cartoonist Tillie Walden to share their strategies for crafting authentic, relatable teen characters and narratives. This five-day workshop utilizes lectures and exercises to successfully examine the idiosyncrasies of the young adult genre. Ages 16+. High school graduates may earn up to 2 college credits. And here is the link for more information: http://www.cartoonstudies.org/ index.php/summer-workshops-2/
JAG Productions Film Screening:  THE GROUND ON WHICH I STAND on 4/22/2017; at 7:00pm. The Ground on Which I Stand is the title of one of August Wilson’s seminal speeches, and the title of this award-winning film about his life and writings. The documentary premiered on February 20, 2015 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Wilson’s birth, the 10th anniversary of his death, and Black History Month. Stick around afterwards for a discussion on August and his impact with Jarvis Antonio Green. Tickets: $10. For more information, please contact JAG Productions at info@jagproductionsvt.com or visit http://grounddoc.brownpapertickets.com/


MULTICULTURAL FASHION, FOOD, MUSIC, ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL, A Celebration of Multicultural Vermont, SATURDAY, APRIL 29TH, 10 AM – 11:30 AM at the Sharon Elementary School. Arts & Crafts activities; Storytelling; Explore facts about Multicultural VT.  Activities include:

Arts and Crafts representing Asia, Africa, South and North American and Europe will be on from 10 to 11:30am. During that time, besides all the arts and crafts, there will be a few fun more activities such as:
  • a trivia game of flags,
  • a large Children of the World puzzle to be put together by kids.
  • Listening Station – music from around the world
  • Exploring stamps from around the world
  • Try speak another language: say hello, good-bye, peace in different languages from around the world and learn a gesture of respect common in certain countries.
From 11:30 to 12:00 – Fashion show with clothing from: Mexico, Ecuador, Scotland, Norway, Brazil, Greece, Germany, Chinese, Hawaii, Abenaki tribe just to name a few!
We also wanted to show the diversity of our wonderful state of Vermont. So, we have created activities or have invited people that represent these cultures: India, Korea, Japan, Ethiopia, Guinea, Zimbabwe, China, Romania, Thailand, Norway, Nepal, Mexico, etc.
A fantastic variety of ethnic food will be served by different members of the community! We have food confirmed that represent the following countries:
Romania (three dishes)
Thailand (one dish)
Italy (one dish)
A few African dishes (Ethiopia (one dish) and another African peanut stew)
Mexico (1-2 dishes)
India (one dish)
China (1-2 dishes)
Japan (1-2 dishes)
Greece (one dish)
John Bartholomew, our Windsor state representative, will be teaching a few international dances from 1pm to 1:30pm.
Sayon Camara, a professional musician from Guinea, and a resident of Woodstock, Vermont, will be putting on a wonderful performance at 12:45pm. We also have Mr. Hafiz Shabazz, the director of the World Percussion Ensemble joining us. This performance will lead into two drumming workshops, half an hour each, with Sayon.
We look forward to an awesome day of celebrating together the diversity that exists in our state of Vermont and the USA!  Any questions or more details, please contact: Roxana A. Matthews, Site Coordinator, One Planet Afterschool Program @ Sharon Elementary via email at: rmatthews@wrvsu.org or roxana.a.matthews@gmail.com

Revels North March 2017 Happenings:

May 13 & 14 – Christmas Revels Auditions
May 15 – First Rehearsal for Summer Revels
May 20 & 21 – Pancake Breakfast
For more details on these events, please visit:  http://revelsnorth.org/



Help Wanted: Cleaning Service or a person to clean TSA’s two school buildings beginning mid-June:

  • For TSA’s Middle School:  6 hours/week in the school year and as needed during the summer. This is a long-term position.
  • For TSA’s High School: 10 hours/week in the school year and as needed during the summer.  This is a substitute position that will end in October.  Job Description attached, click:  HERE

Looking for summer housing – Lucyanna Labadie is from TSA’s Class of 2013 and is a current undergraduate student at the University of Vermont studying Ecological Design and Forestry. She has accepted an apprenticeship with Timber Homes LLC out of Vershire, Vermont this summer and looking for simple, affordable housing in the area, preferably in South Royalton, Tunbridge, Chelsea, or Vershire! If you are looking for a summer house sitter or have a space you would consider renting, please contact Lucyanna Labadie at lucyannalabadie@gmail.com, or call: 802-558-6384  She can provide excellent references and am happy to discuss details.