TSA Newsletter, Dec. 8, 2017

Posted by on Dec 8, 2017 in Newsletter

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Also, check out our facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/TheSharonAcademy/ 


Calendar of Upcoming TSA Events

HS = High School
MS = Middle School

December 2017

Thurs 14 Jr. Iron Chef Family Information Meeting at TSA’s Middle School – 4:30pm – 5:00pm
Wed 20 Cafe “Afternoon” for all HS & MS – at the HS – Regular Dismissal at 1PM – All Students, HS + MS to be picked up at HS at 1pm
Thurs 21 Winter Break Begins

January 2018

Mon 1 New Years Day – No School
Tues 2 Teacher In-service – No School
Wed 3 School Resumes – Dismissal at 12:30 – note change in time.
Wed 3 First Day of Skiing – Suicide Six at 12:30pm – sign-up survey coming soon.
Wed 3 Alumni Ski Day – Suicide Six at 12:30pm

To download a copy of the TSA School Calendar for 2016/2017, please click here: TSA 2017/18 School Calendar




We are closing in on our goal of raising $1.5 million for the Next Twenty Years Fundraising Campaign by December 31st. Thanks to the more than 450 people who have already made a contribution, we have raised $1,401,355!

We have only $98,645 left to go! We have $69,045 left to raise for The Pat Woodin Scholarship Fund and $29,600 for the Next Twenty Years Fund. If you have not given to one of these important initiatives or the 2017/2018 Annual Fund please consider giving a gift today. Simply click here: Donate Today


Congratulations to Rob Stainton, who retired from his 13 year career as TSA’s VB Soccer Coach, (not his teaching position). A plaque that was presented at the recent soccer banquet reads “The Sharon Academy soccer field will hereby be known as Rob Stainton Field in honor of Rob’s passion, support, guidance and commitment to the TSA soccer program and its players.” The plaque is aluminum with a carved Phoenix logo and a detailed portrait of Rob on the sidelines coaching. The plaque will be mounted in the spring on a stone near the home bench where Rob delivered his famous halftime speeches. Thank you Rob for your many years of service to TSA’s boys and athletics!

Congratulations to TSA Middle School GeoBee winner Jack Brandon ’22.
A special thanks to HS student, Cal Hale ’18 for his help. See below’s MS Section for more details about the competition.

All School News

Do you need holiday gifts for your family? TSA’s HS sugaring elective is selling maple syrup by donation! Each quart is only $15, and each bottle was hand-crafted by a team of dedicated TSA students. All proceeds are reinvested directly back into the continuation of the sugaring elective for future seasons and future years. If you’d like to donate more, that would be greatly appreciated! So come buy your syrup today! To acquire your syrup, contact Rob Stainton at rstainton@sharonacademy.net


Please turn off your cars when waiting to pick up your students at TSA! Idling cars in our schools’ parking lots create harmful air pollution for our students and our environment. If you get cold during these winter months – we invite you to come inside our warm schools. You’ll get warm and we will bet that your students will be quicker to get out to your waiting car! You can check on guidelines and laws regarding idling vehicles here from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Website:

More information from the Environmental Defense Fund:

  • Turn off your ignition if you’re waiting more than 10 seconds. Contrary to popular belief, restarting your car does not burn more fuel than leaving it idling. In fact, idling for just 10 seconds wastes more gas than restarting the engine.
  • Protect your car engine by idling less. Frequent restarts are no longer hard on a car’s engine and battery. The added wear (which amounts to no more than $10 a year) is much less costly than the cost of wasted fuel (which can add up to $70-650 a year, depending on fuel prices, idling habits and vehicle type). Idling actually increases overall engine wear by causing the car to operate for longer than necessary.

Reasons to stop idling – A simple turn of your key can keep the air cleaner and save money and fuel. Every time you turn off your car engine in place of idling, you’ll:

  • Make the air healthier by cutting down on hazardous pollution in your town or community. Idling tailpipes spew out the same pollutants as moving cars. These pollutants have been linked to serious human illnesses including asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and cancer.
  • Help the environment. For every 10 minutes your engine is off, you’ll prevent one pound of carbon dioxide from being released (carbon dioxide is the primary contributor to global warming).
  • Keep money in your wallet and save fuel. An idling car uses between 1/5 to 7/10 of a gallon of fuel an hour. An idling diesel truck burns approximately one gallon of fuel an hour.


TSA Skiing and Snowboarding Program at Suicide Six: The first day of TSA’s Ski and Snowboard Program will be the first Wednesday after winter break. Suicide Six is a relatively small, very friendly ski area located in Pomfret, Vermont. Suicide Six offers us very reasonable prices on skiing, snowboarding, lessons, and rentals. While this program is not mandatory, we encourage all students to participate. We have had great fun with this program in previous years. It is a ski area that offers terrain for all abilities. It has many beginner runs and it is a great place to learn to ski or snowboard. It also has enough challenge that even our advanced skiers and boarders can enjoy the afternoon with their friends. Suicide Six has also installed a new high-speed quad chairlift, which means more runs for your student each visit. Additionally, high school students can use participation in this program to satisfy their physical education requirements. Please contact Catherine Farrington at: cfarrington@sharonacademy.net, with any questions. Your input is needed. Please fill out the Skiing and Snowboarding Program Survey – EVEN IF YOUR STUDENT IS NOT PARTICIPATING. The link for the survey is as follows:  http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07eevpk1o8jaju92je/start

Phoenix Sports

Brought to you by Sports Editor, Anika Eastman ’21

You have only 13 TSA swag shopping days left until the holiday break!!!  Choose from TSA gear like: sweatshirts, sweatpants, baseball and pom-pom hats, fleece jackets, long sleeve t-shirts and water bottles.  Contact Kim via email kdk13vt@gmail.com for all your holiday shopping needs!

Game Results:

VB 47, Thetford 29 – Saturday, Dec. 2. Congratulations to the varsity boys basketball team, who won their first scrimmage of the season against Thetford. They had an amazing score of 47-29. Sam Knoerlein had 15 points, Joshua Amodeo had 11, Fisher Kelley had 9 and Cole Ward had 8.

VB 51, Green Mountain 34 – Tuesday, Dec. 5. Austin Gaudette led the boys in scoring with 18 points including four 3 pointers. Sam Knoerlein had 10 points and Fisher Kelley added 8. Go Phoenix!


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



Upcoming Games Next Week –

Basketball Home Opener Special Giveaway:
If you purchase a TSA water bottle for $15 during the Varsity basketball home opener on Dec 13 vs. Mid-Vermont Christian School, you will receive a $5 voucher to be used at concessions during the game.  This is a one time deal so don’t be left out!  Go Phoenix! For more information, please contact Kim Knoerlein at kdk13vt@gmail.com

VB Basketball Home Game v Mid Vermont; Wed. December 13, 7:00pm – 8:30pm


VG Schedule Coming Soon – Check the on-line athletics calendar below for the latest game schedule.



TSA High School sports schedules can be found at:


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

TSA MS Science Update:  This week we have been using chemical indicators to test different foods for the presence of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Students have been choosing foods to test and making predictive rankings. Next week, we will introduce and spend most of our time working on vitamin/mineral projects which will be due before winter break.

TSA MS Language Arts Update:  This week students in Language Arts continued to read and discuss Black Potatoes, a non-fiction book about the Irish Potato Famine. Quarter Century Club lists are due on December 15th.

TSA MS Social Studies Update:  Next week in social studies, students will continue their investigation into food justice issues by watching the documentary Down and Out in America. We will also consider an alternate perspective offered by Garrett Hardin’s essay Lifeboat Ethics.
On December 20th (the last day of school before the Winter Break), please pick up your middle school student at the high school at 1:00pm.  Students will be attending the Cafe Night (afternoon) at the High School.


Secret Santa at TSA’s MS:  Every year our Secret Santa gift giving tradition generates a lot of laughter and excitement at the middle school. The activity will start Thursday, December 7th when each student will select at random a classmate’s or teacher’s name. Then, beginning on Thursday, December 14th, students will secretly deliver gifts to his or her special person. Secret gift giving will take place until Wednesday, December 20th. On Wednesday (the last day of school before holiday break), Secret Santas will reveal themselves and give one final gift. Gifts can be handmade items, funny nice notes, pictures cut out of magazines, origami, CDs, re-gifted items from home, goodies of all kinds, locker decorations, etc.  The point is to secretly shower a person all week with attention, not expensive gifts. The total cost amount for the week ought to be in the range of $5.00 – $10.00. Please encourage your student to participate. Some students need help thinking of gifts. Students that are neglected by their Secret Santa feel left out, so it is important that everyone fully participates. Please contact Catherine, (802) 763-2531, with any questions.

TSA Middle School GeoBee: TSA Middle School GeoBee: In an exciting competition, Jack Brandon (8th) won, with Tori Foster  (8th) coming in second. Leah Foster (8th) was the third place finisher. All student participants should be commended on their excellent geography knowledge. A special thanks to Cal Hale ’18 for his help with TSA Middle School’s Geo Bee.

TSA MS MathCounts practice is happening on Monday, December 11th from 3:30 – 4:30 pm.  Please contact Sandy Thorne at: sthorne@sharonacademy.net, with any questions.


Jr. Iron Chef information meeting: Thursday, December 14th, from 4:30-5:00PM.  The middle school has registered three teams for the Jr Iron Chef competition!  Please check your email for the team list. Contact cfarrington@sharonacademy.net with any questions.


STEM Bridge Building (and Crushing) Competition at Vermont Tech: For Middle School – March 23, 2018 – Randolph Center Campus In advance of the event competition, teams of students create Popsicle stick built bridges; judging based on aesthetics, originality of design, presentation, ultimate load carrying capacity, and predicted failure point. No cost to enter, complimentary lunch and t-shirts – plus scholarship funds offered to top performers. For details: http://www.vtc.edu/bridge-building-competition ; Contact: John Diebold – jdiebold@vtc.vsc.edu



High School News

Welcome to Phern! We have a new addition to the TSA family:
 Last week, Cynthia Masterman retrieved a beautiful hypo-allergenic part-retriever to come live in Vermont. Cynthia will be bringing this cute pup to TSA’s HS each day to spend the school days with our students and staff. Cynthia will use the generous grant received from the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation to train ‘Phern’. See a picture on our facebook page (with many more sure to come.) https://www.facebook.com/TheSharonAcademy/

Vermont Tech – Upcoming Events for HS students:

Vermont Tech Visual Media Competition – create now and submit by Dec 13, 2017 (free and cash prizes)

Entrepreneurship Education (Entrepreneurship crosses all disciplines) – for Vermont 9th- 12th grade students in any discipline! Enter the ninth annual bumper sticker and/or mini video U-Tube competition – themed: “Vermont Entrepreneurship….. It’s amazing for all ages”   Cash and other prizes; deadline for entries December 13, 2017.  Awards presented at the annual 2018 Vermont Entrepreneurship Day in Montpelier, Feb 8, 2018 – at the Statehouse and Capitol Plaza Hotel.

STEM Bridge Building (and Crushing) Competition at Vermont Tech: for High School – April 12, 2018 – Randolph Center Campus In advance of the event competition, teams of students create Popsicle stick built bridges; judging based on aesthetics, originality of design, presentation, ultimate load carrying capacity, and predicted failure point. No cost to enter, complimentary lunch and t-shirts – plus scholarship funds offered to top performers. For details: http://www.vtc.edu/bridge-building-competition ; Contact: John Diebold – jdiebold@vtc.vsc.edu

For information on any of these events, click: HERE or Contact: Laurel Butler @ lbutler@vtsbdc.org


Seeking Chain Reaction Workshop Leaders: On Tuesday, January 16, 2018 TSA will host its 9th Annual MLK day celebration, Chain Reaction.  We will offer a day of student, teacher and community-member led workshops focusing on celebrating, exploring and engaging in the spirit of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We are currently looking for TSA faculty and staff, parents, alumni, or other community members to propose workshops regarding any of the following topics: (Or a subject of your own choosing!)

  • Race and Language
  • Race, Ethnicity and culture in the media
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • Race, Ethnicity and Culture in Art/Literature
  • The Life of MLK Jr.
  • Stereotypes and assumptions
  • Diversity and Difference
  • The privilege of the majority
  • Economic Disparities

This is a limited list so if you have other ideas about workshop topics, please be creative! If you are interested in possibly leading a workshop, please take a moment to think about how your chosen topic may address these ideas:

  • What happens/has happened between “US” and the “OTHER”?
  • How does this topic fit into the work of Dr. King and the spirit of his work?

How does this topic fit with the day’s objectives, which are to:

  • Explore the unspoken assumptions we make on a daily basis.
  • Increase our awareness of how our differences can enhance our relationships.
  • Begin to engage in difficult conversations.

We anticipate that the workshops will last either 75 minutes (single session) or 150 minutes (double session). Please let us know if you are interested in leading one and send along a brief proposal of what you would like to focus on and how the workshop will be structured. You can email Kate Fabrikant at:  kfabrikant@sharonacademy.net or call at 802-763-2500 ext 215



Scholarship and College Info

For more information on most of the topics listed below, please contact Ellen Bagnato at ebagnato@sharonacademy.net

Scholarship for Native American and First Generation STEM students: The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is a program designed to fulfill the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) mandate to promote scientific progress nationwide. VT EPSCoR will  offer $5,000 scholarships to selected Native American (including Abenaki) and First Generation college students who enter STEM majors (science, technology, engineering, math) at a Vermont college or university. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic standing, letters of recommendation, and an essay detailing career goals. First Generation is loosely defined as a student whose parents do not have a four year college degree. To apply for a VT EPSCoR CWDD Student Scholarship, an applicant must be:

  • A Vermont resident and United States citizen
  • A graduating senior at a Vermont high school planning to attend a Vermont college during the next academic year, OR a current undergraduate enrolled in a degree program at a Vermont college or university, with a GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Enrolling or enrolled in a STEM major in college
  • Of Native American ancestry OR a first generation college studentApplications are now open and are due by April 1, 2018. For more information, please contact  at  or visit www.uvm.edu/~cwdd/scholarships


Community Service Opportunities

All HS Students need to complete 40 hours of community service by June 1st, 2018
All MS Students need to complete 20 hours of community service by June 1st, 2018

Community service opportunity in South Royalton on Button Hill. About 2 cords of wood need to be stacked. Please help Liz. Liz’s phone number is 763-2623.

Come one! Come all! It is Polar Express time in White River Junction, VT. 
If you have volunteered in the past we are hoping that you will once again hop on board with us and join in on all the fun. If you have not helped out before, please feel free to join us this year. We always need Conductors, Chefs (no worries, there is no cooking involved) and Jolly People. The trains will depart on December 9th and 10th, 2017. Volunteers for the train must be at least 15 years old. We are looking forward to seeing each and every one of you again this year as we head off to the North Pole. All volunteers will be required to attend a one (1) hour training session. **All training will take place at the Welcome Center in downtown White River.** For more information, contact:   polarexpress.info@yahoo.com or call (802) 369-5159


Volunteers Needed for Wassail Parade in Woodstock, VT. A team of volunteers is being put together once again to help run the Wassail Parade in Woodstock,  VT.  If you are interested in helping with this beautiful, Victorian themed holiday parade please let me know.  We are in need of parade marshals, parking attendants and folks to handle participant registration.  Also needed, will be clean-up helpers at the end of the parade.  Volunteers are asked to arrive at the staging area behind Spooner’s Restaurant at noon.  Being a part of the Woodstock holiday experience is fun and so very memorable.  Hope to see you there! For more information or to sign up, please contact Ellen Zaika at Volunteer@HighHorses.org

On going: High Horses Therapeutic Riding Center always needs volunteer help.
To get trained, or just find out more, please contact Lowry Newswanger at lnewswanger@sharonacademy.net



Community Events

The Upper Valley Curling Club will hold a “Learn to Curl” clinic on Saturday, December 9th at 5:45 p.m. at the Barwood Arena in White River Junction, VT. The clinic costs $25 per person and is open to any individual age 12 and older. The club provides all equipment needed to curl; you just have to wear warm clothing and shoes with non-skid soles. Participants will start with an off-ice introduction to the concepts and rules of the game and then move onto the ice for hands-on instruction and lots of fun. If time allows, we may even play a short game. Curling is one of the faster growing sports in the U.S. and now is your chance to see what it is all about. There are many local people in the Upper Valley who curl regularly and they want to show you how much fun it is to play the game. Space is limited at each session so interested participants must register in advance. For more information email: uppervalleycurling@gmail.com or visit our website www.uppervalleycurling.org to sign up.


The Green Mountain Youth Symphony is performing on Sunday December 10th at 2pm at the Barre Opera House. Performing TSA students are Juniper Gillespie, cello, Wednesday Gillespie, viola, Kaylee Starke-Meredith, violin, and Laila Reimanis, flute. They will be playing Dvorak’s 9th symphony, American in Paris by George Gershwin, and a saxophone concerto by Alexander Glazunov. Admission is by donation: Adults $15, Seniors $12, Students K-12 $5, and children under 5 free. For more information, please contact Leah Wilhjelm at leah@gmys-vt.org or visit http://www.gmys-vt.org.


Coquette (featuring three TSA alumn) is having a reunion concert to celebrate former TSA French Teacher and mother to two band members, Flo Tolbert’s 50th birthday on Saturday, December 16th, at Sweet Melissa’s, in Montpelier, VT, at 9:00 pm. We hope you can join us! Contact Flo for more information at: floinvermont@gmail.com


ArtisTree calendar listings for upcoming events for December – check our website for full listings:
www.artistreevt.org or call: (802) 457-3500 or email: info@artistreevt.org

Music Events at the (ArtisTree) Hayloft
Thursday, Dec. 21st 7pm Open Mic Night with Jim Yeager https://goo.gl/RFnvN6

Holiday Performances at The (ArtisTree) Grange Theatre
Friday, Dec. 8th 7:30pm – BarnArts & ArtisTree presents Holiday Cabaret https://goo.gl/diQ9cP
Monday, Dec. 18th 7:30pm – ArtisTree Music Theatre Festival presents Christmas at the Grange Theatre https://goo.gl/u2YCuX

ArtisTree Holiday Gift Workshops in December
From Candles to Handmade Art Journals, Homemade Soaps, Ornaments, Jewelry Making and much MORE!
http://www.artistreevt.org/holiday-gift-workshops. html

Help Wanted:

Posted 12/5/17

Manage Social Media, Website, Newsletter
Beginning January 2018
Apply at www.schoolspring.com Job ID 2864094
Equal Opportunity Employer


Posted 12/5/17

Grades 9 & 10
2018-2019 school year
Apply at www.schoolspring.com Job ID 2872893
Equal Opportunity Employer