TSA Newsletter, February 2nd, 2018

Posted by on Feb 2, 2018 in Newsletter

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Calendar of Upcoming TSA Events

HS = High School
MS = Middle School

February 2018

Tues. 6 The Outdoor Challenge – Class of 2020, 1:30pm – 3:15pm
Sat. 10 MS Mathcounts Regional Competition – in Windsor, VT
Sat. 24 February Break Begins – (Ends Tuesday, March 7th)

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




Congratulations to all of our TSA HS Juniors and Seniors who put on a fantastic Renaissance Faire on Tuesday. Delicious food, interesting musical challenges, building great architectural structures from the era with legos, as well as some sword play, were just a few of the many instructive and entertaining booths set up. Attendees enjoyed an educational pre-faire presentation and then were given Florens and Shillings to spend according to the economic class they were randomly placed into when entering the fair. These were used to buy food, refreshments and other authentic Renaissance goods. What fun and what great hands-on learning! (Pictures coming soon to our facebook page.)


All School News

Snow Days and Delays – How is the Call Made?

Admittedly, The Sharon Academy has a bit of a reputation for calling snow days and delays a bit easier than other school districts in the area. But, there is a method to what some would call Michael Livingston’s madness.

Did you know that in some years we have students attending TSA from 20 different towns in Vermont and New Hampshire? That’s right up to twenty towns – this makes for a huge geographic area from which students and parents must travel to get to The Sharon Academy Middle and High Schools.

So, here is how it is done: Head of School, Michael Livingston and Office Manager, Janice Stumpf track the weather 10 days out, on two different weather channels on a regular basis. If there is any thought of a snow day or delay – Michael and Janice will be up at 5:00 am checking on school closures and delays on the WCAX and VPR web sites. (They use both because they refresh at different rates.) Michael and Janice also live about 30 miles apart – so simply looking out the window for each, provides another point of information to make a decision.

Why do Michael and Janice pay such close attention to what other towns are doing? In each town, road crews plow and maintain school bus routes first. Once these are maintained, the road crews contact school principals and tell them that it can be business as usual, or that they cannot maintain the roads and make them safe for busses under current conditions. So, this is important to check in each of our towns that send students to TSA. However, the other condition that Michael and Janice must consider is that these closures and delays are only based on the roads that are considered school bus routes. You may have noticed in your town that your road is not maintained as well as others in the mornings. This is why. Finally, another factor considered is that TSA has a disproportionate percent of students who drive to school, compared to other schools in the area.

All of these factors are weighed before Michael and Janice make the call to delay or cancel school. Most of the time Michael and Janice get it right because they err on the side of keeping our students safe. These procedures have worked well for a lot of years. They are also both fully aware that we live in Vermont and experiencing weather, the way that we do, is part of living here. They know all too well that getting to school and getting our important work done must be a priority. It is a balancing act. Ultimately, the call to have students come in later or not at all, because of the conditions of your road or driveway, is up to you and your family. You know best as to what is the safest and right call for your family members. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about these procedures.


Wish List Items Needed at TSA’s Middle School:

  • Used copies of Ready Player One and The Maze Runner, to use for a book group. If you have one to donate please bring it to either the middle school or high school, thank you.
  • Refrigerator – have a gently used one you can spare or are getting rid of? Contact Catherine Farrington at cfarrington@sharonacademy.net
  • Clean plastic containers with lids such as yogurt containers are needed in the MS Art room to store paint in during our Circus Interim. If you have any, simply drop them by the MS or contact Marcy Innes for more information at minnes@sharonacademy.net


Do you remember our beloved TSA student from Kenya, Fred Masago? As a school we helped to raise money to bring water to Fred’s Family and Village. A well was drilled and it failed. And now, a new plan has emerged, lead by Fred Masago himself to restart the effort. Re-sighting of the well and new methodologies should help in this new effort to make it a success. Water is so scarce in Kenya. Please consider giving generously and sharing this effort with your friends and family: https://www.gofundme.com/freds-well-project-kenya-water-accessibility-fundraising


Phoenix Sports

Brought to you by Sports Editor, Anika Eastman ’21


Phoenix Game Results:

VB 57, Whitchester 42. Monday, Jan. 29.
A much closer game for the varsity boys, at halftime Whitchester was winning 28-22. Eventually they found their stride and had a 23-5 run in the third quarter, and finished strong. Sam Knoerlein scored 21 points, Austin Gaudette 15 points. Fisher Kelley added 10 points with Josh Amodeo finishing with four points.

VB 63, Blue Mountain 34. Wednesday, Jan. 30. Congratulations to the varsity boys, who remain undefeated after their game against Blue Mountain. Austin Gaudette scored 19 points, Josh Amodeo added 12 points with Olly Skeet-Browning scoring a career-high of 10 points. Sam Knoerlein scored nine more points and Cole Ward had seven.


JVG 32, St. Johnsbury 25. Thursday, Jan. 25. A good game for the girls, who had to go into overtime to accomplish their win. Emma Foster had a great game and scored 16 points, Eliza Masteller 8, Beth Dobrich 5, Molly Kinnarney 2, and Tommi Hoyt 1.

JVG 11, Hartford 40. Saturday, Jan. 27th. An unfortunate loss for the girls, better luck next time!  Eliza scored 5 points, Leah Foster 2, Molly Kinnarney 2, and Aliza Aldrich 2. Keep up the good work TSA!


Undefeated Woodstock Wasps Boys Hockey Team – The Phoenix VB basketball team is not the only undefeated team.  Tom Bissaillon, TSA ’21 and the Woodstock Wasps boys ice hockey team are also undefeated, currently 14-0-0. Congrats to Tom and his team, keep up the great work!


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 –

VB Basketball Home Game v Arlington; Monday, February 5, (NOTE THE NEW GAME START TIME) 6:00pm – 7:30pm

VB Basketball Home Game v Rivendell; Thursday, February 8 , 7:00pm – 8:30pm    


JVG Basketball Away Game v Blue Mountain; Wednesday, February 7, 4:30pm – 6:00pm


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

Important Message for Current 8th Grade Families:  TSA Intent To Return Form – As mentioned in the email you received on December 22nd regarding the process to follow for 8th graders moving into TSA’s High School,  please click on the link below to access the Intent to Return Form, and indicate on the form if your student is planning to attend TSA next year. Please return this form by Friday, February 16th. Please click here for: The Intent to Return Form

This week in MS Language Arts:
 Students worked on editing and revising their journalism articles for the Food and Hunger Newsletter. The final drafts are due on Friday and then we can begin the publication process. We also began our new literary circle book for the Energy unit. October Sky, by Homer Hickam, is a memoir about growing up in a coal mining town. Hopefully you’ve seen your student reading it at home.

This week in MS Science: The digestion unit is underway: students experienced today how the starch in a cracker turns to sugar just with exposure to saliva’s enzymes. We will learn the anatomy and functions of the digestive system before wrapping up this short unit next week with a look at sugar and diet-related diseases.

Next week in Social Studies:
Next week in Social Studies we will wrap up the Food & Hunger unit and begin our next unit on Energy & Sustainability. We will have a regular Current Events class on Friday.


Our MATHCOUNTS team will compete in a regional competition in Windsor on Saturday, February 10th!


Jr. Iron Chef is getting started with practices. We look forward to hearing about (and maybe tasting) their concoctions as they prepare for their competition on Saturday, March 17th.

Next Middle School Dance will be on Feb. 9th, 6:30-9:30.
Admission is either $1 or one can of food for the Sharon Food Shelf. Fallon’s advisory will set up and clean up. Fallon’s advisees should plan on staying till about 9:50 for cleanup. We will need three chaperones. Parents should email Catherine if they are able to help out. 7th graders should bring snacks to share. 8th graders should bring drinks.



High School News

Junior Parent Night:  Life After TSA
– Junior parents and students are encouraged to attend the Junior Information Night on Thursday, February 15 at 6:30. Ellen Bagnato, Director of College and Career Advising, will continue the conversation about preparing for life after TSA and, specifically, applying to college and for gap years. Please mark your calendar for this important conversation.


Upper Valley Portfolio Day – Friday, March 9th.  The Sharon Academy and Hanover High School have partnered with AVA Gallery to organize the second Upper Valley Portfolio Day at the AVA Gallery on Friday, March 9 from 10am – 1pm. This is a fantastic opportunity for students in grades 9-12 to get supportive feedback on their art work and learn more about art programs in college. So far we have 5 schools confirmed to attend.  They will review student art work as well as share information about their respective college programs.  Confirmed schools include: Montserrat College of Art, Lesley University, Maine College of Art (MECA), University of New Hampshire, Colby-Sawyer College. We hope to add a few more schools to the list soon! Students in grades 9-12 are encouraged to attend.  If interested in attending, please contact Ellen or Laura. For more information, please contact Laura DeCapua at ldecapua@sharonacademy.net.


Driver’s Education classes taught by Yankee Driving School will be offered at TSA by the Yankee Driving School beginning 4/30. While this may seem a ways a way it is not too early to hold your spot.  This class is open to TSA only for now, but will open it to non-TSA students by the end of February. To be sure you have a spot in this class please go to yankeedrivingschool.com  click on classes then on Sharon to find the schedule.  Print the form and mail by “snail mail” with a $100.00 deposit. You’ll notice on the schedule that after TSA closes for the school year there are still more classes.  At this point these have moved to the morning.  That may change back to the afternoon.  Changes will be posted as soon as possible. This is Gabriella’s 10th year providing this service at TSA. For more information, please contact Gabriella Netsch at 802 558 2897 or visit yankeedrivingschool.com


Scholarship and College Info

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

VSAC Scholarship Deadline is Coming Soon: TSA Seniors are reminded that the deadline to apply for scholarships through VSAC is February 16
Remember that VSAC requires very specific formatting for all recommendation letters.  Students should communicate with the recommendation letter writer BEFORE January 23 to confirm all details. For more information, please contact Ellen Bagnato at ebagnato@sharonacademy.net


Vermont Golf Association Scholarship: Please note that students who work at a golf course/golf club are eligible for this scholarship even if they do not play golf! The Vermont Golf Association Scholarship Fund assists deserving Vermont resident students in obtaining a college education or technical training of university grade. The Vermont Golf Association Scholarship Fund, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, awards a minimum of 10 Scholarships to Vermont High School Graduates for up to four years to help further their education. Applications must be submitted no later than May 1, 2018. For more information, please contact Patrick Murray at pj3murray@gmail.com or visit http://vtga.org/vga-scholarship-fund-2


St. Andrew’s Society of Vermont Scholarship: The St. Andrew’s Society of Vermont Scholarship Foundation is offering 3, $1000.0 scholarships for VT residents. Applications will be considered from VT residents or from the St Andrew’s Society of Vermont members and their families, regardless of residency; who will enroll or who are already enrolled in an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree program in the coming fall semester. Selection:  Recipients are selected by the scholarship committee on the basis of previous scholastic records, 3 letters of recommendation, SAT scores and a letter describing educational goals and financial need. Deadline:  Wednesday, Feb 23, 2018. For more information, please contact Darryl Calkins at  or visit:


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


The Woodstock Inn and Resort is hosting their 4th annual Tubb’s Snowshoe and Face Race over at Suicide Six Ski Resort – it is a great way to get high school-aged kids in the area involved. The Race will take place on February 3rd at 4:15 PM. As the race will benefit the Chad Children’s Hospital in Hanover, it is also a great way for students to gain community service credit. Any questions? Contact Sydney Sturgeon at: 802.457.5595 or SBS@woodstockinn.com

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

Hadley Greene ’18 Photography Exhibit Opening at the Chelsea Library, Feb 2, 2018, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Hadley is a student at The Sharon Academy and a resident of Strafford. She is Chelsea Public Library’s featured artist for the month of January and February. Light refreshments will be provided.


Only Yesterday at Northern Stage, Jan. 31st – Feb. 18th, 2018. Olivia Swayze, TSA 9th grade student, is appearing in Northern Stage’s upcoming production of “Only Yesterday”. A world premiere, this play focuses on John and Paul on the brink of their stardom, stuck in a motel room in Florida on the night of hurricane. This show runs from Jan. 31st through Feb. 18th. Tickets are $15 and available at Northern Stage’s website: www.northernstage.org or you can call the box office at 296-7000.


VTeen 4-H Science Pathways Cafe will be hosting its first teen science cafe on Saturday, February 3 from 5:30 -7:00 pm at the University of Vermont. Teen science cafes are a free, fun way for you to explore science with local scientists through informal discussions and hands-on activities. And there is always free food! These cafes are planned and run by teens for teens. Open to all youth in grades 7-12. Our first cafe topic will be Astrobiology: Life Among the Stars with Hillary Emick who conducted her graduate research as part of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, a team of hundreds of scientists at dozens of universities around the country working to understand where else life could exist in the universe and how to find it. If you’d like to get on our email list, then please contact lauren.traister@uvm.edu


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

Artistree Community Events and News:

Come celebrate the publication of a new book by Upper Valley author Michael J. Caduto — The Garden of Wisdom: Earth Tales from the Middle East — hosted by Artistree Community Arts Center and the Norman Williams Public Library. During this free family program Michael will present storytelling, music (sing-along) and a brief visual feast of photos showing the animals, plants and landscapes of the Middle East.  More than 10 years in the making, this book grew from a peaceful collaboration of some 20 organizations and 50 individuals from Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine—all working in partnership to create this unique children’s book of indigenous nature stories that focus on animals, plants, friendship, Earth stewardship and wisdom. Michael will sign books for purchase following the event. For more information, please contact ArtisTree Community Arts Center at info@artistreevt.org or visit https://artistreevt.org/the-garden-of-wisdom-earth-tales-from-the-middle-east.html.

Lyle Brewer, Guitarist: February 11, 2018; 4pm; $10 – Brewer has been a staple of the Boston music scene for the last ten years. Ask any musician who has worked with him and they will laud his mastery of almost any style of music, with a maturity that belies his age.

Chloe Brisson Quartet, February 23rd, 2018, 7:30pm; $20 – Jazz vocalist Chloe Brisson and her quartet play original compositions and Jazz standards. As a young, passionate vocalist who is devoted to the tradition and the craft of jazz, Brisson aspires to be a positive and innovative addition to the jazz community in the years to come. https://artistreevt.org/chloe-brisson-quartet.html



Apartment for Rent in Sharon, VT– large two bedroom first floor apartment in quiet country setting. Available March 1st. $1,200 per month includes heat, electricity, lawn care, snow and rubbish removal. Washer and dryer hook up available. No pets. No smoking. References and lease required. Call Judy Robinson at 802-763-7916


Michael Gross Building & Design LLC of  Tunbridge, VT 

  • Full Service Building & Remodeling
  • Contracting Services
  • Modular Home Sales

Contact TSA alumni and current parent Mike at 802-889-5679
or mg.building.design@gmail.com or visit greenmountainmodular.com