Burr and Burton Academy fetes 204 graduates for Class of 2019

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

MANCHESTER — The largest class in Burr and Burton Academy history

graduated on June 7, as 204 Bulldogs turned their tassels and tossed their caps into the air on a day perfect for the occasion.

After many weeks of rain storms, the Vermont weather produced a spring day so nice, BBA headmaster Mark Tashjian called it the "nicest day ever" for the event, which drew an estimated 2,000 people from throughout the Northshire, across the United States and several foreign countries.

Tashjian told the graduates that they were leaving BBA and heading into the world with an amazing array of talents, skills and pursuits and their plans reflect that.

"The Class of 2019 received more than 500 offers of admission and will matriculate in 84 different colleges in 24 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and the Netherlands," Tashjian said. "We have given you our best. And you have led this school in amazing ways."

Tashjian recognized valedictorian Rachel Hemmer.

"Our valedictorian is a scholar, dancer, student ambassador, and will be heading to Brown University, where we she will study mathematics and astrophysics," Tashjian said, then added, "That sounds easy."

He also introduced co-salutatorians Trinity Delano and Angelina Scarlotta.

This year we are delighted that two students share the salutatorian distinction," Tashjian said. "They share a love of language, literature and writing. One is heading off to George Washington University, the other to Dartmouth College."

Academic Dean Jen Hyatt presented Burr and Burton Academy Senior Commencement awards.

Jake Baker, Blake Greene and Olivia Watanabe each received the Outstanding Senior Athlete Award.

Article Continues After Advertisement

Creative Arts Awards went to Milo Farrell and Anna Freebern.

The John Ezell Community Service Award, celebrating the graduating seniors with the strongest record of service, was awarded to Isabella Nick and Melissa Nolan. The E. H. Henry Award, for students who have earned the highest respect of both peers and adults, went to Sabayo Matiku and Ava Zilkha.

Salutatorian Trinity Delano earned the Scranton Leadership Award.

Headmaster's Awards, which celebrate character and echo three key words in our mission:

Responsibility, integrity and service, were awarded to Sage Lalor and Justin Sweeney.

Article Continues After These Ads

Graduates Sarah Crosier, Julia Dapron and Karl Dooling presented the senior gift of a new mascot to the school.

Students recognized their parents and guardians with a standing ovation and honored the faculty and staff.

Board chairman Seth Bongartz, who has served on the Board of Trustees for 17 years and graduated from BBA in 1972, spoke.

The Class of 2019 chose Nancy Biller to be their speaker. Biller has been at BBA for 16 years, starting as a substitute teacher and, as of 2011, is the campus supervisor at the school.

Secretary of Education Daniel M. French was the keynote speaker. French, of Manchester, served as the Superintendent for the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union from 2007-2016, during which he was named Vermont Superintendent of the Year and served as President of the Vermont Superintendents Association. In 2014, he was named to the technical work group that helped design President Obama's National Connected Superintendent's Summit.

One of the highlights of the ceremony was when Tashjian shared some details about the graduating class with numbers that made the audience's eyes widen at times and revealed a driven and determined group of graduating seniors.

Article Continues After Advertisement

Tashjian said that, of the 205 graduates, 153 were headed to college. Another 17 were headed to a two-year program, four were headed to trade schools, one was going to serve the United States in the military, 18 planned to join the workforce, and five were going to take a Gap Year before beginning college with plans to travel, join a Rotary Exchange in Belgium, compete in junior hockey, undergo full-time training and hike the Appalachian Trail.

In all, 20 graduating seniors are second generation Bulldogs, Tashjian said, 11 who have grandparents who are alumni, while 36 will be first-generation college students.

Nine faculty and staff members had students graduating.

There were also 18 seniors who were international students and will take a BBA diploma back to China, Thailand and Spain.

"They possess stunning talent in sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, cinematography, dance, fashion design, ceramics and music," Tashjian said. "It really must be seen — and heard — to be believed."

Athletically, Tashjian bragged just a little on the class' 12 Marble Valley League championships, 10 state titles, and six individual state champions, and recited a lengthy list of individual honors and accolades on the athletic fields and courts.

But it wasn't just the academic, sports and artistic achievements that Tashjian said made BBA proud. Much of their seniors' success was based on their qualities as good people.

"Most of all, this class has set a tone of respect for individual differences, support for each other, and care for students in the younger grades," Tashjian said. "They have helped make us a better school and a stronger community, and I can say in all honesty and sincerity that I will miss this group."

2019 BBA Graduates

Garren Etienne Reyes AberthHenry AhlfeldIan James AnglumMadison Marie AnyanJack ArmbrusterRaven Iris Ashay Atsalis-GogelJohn Collins BakerElizabeth Ann BardinSamuel Tanner BarrowsGriffen Owen BenjaminLillie Ann BerkhoutBruce Chase BlanchardKole Samuel BlanchardLexa Haley BlombergWenhan BoPatchanop BoonsaiAzurah Booth-GageKiera Grace BoveyOlivia Renee BrandLondon Claire BremelChevaughn Romario BrownieJessop Berlin BurrowAngela Rose CaggianoSamuel William CairnsAllura MacKenzie CameronKerri Ann CampbellElizabeth Catherine CarterCharleigh Michelle CarthyJordan Francis CasseseOlivier Didier CazaudumecBailey Patrick ChapmanSamuel Avery CharetteRaymond ChenYalu ChenYilin ChenRiley Jean ChristyOwen Cedric Congdon-MooreNoah J. CoppolaSarah Ann CrosierMatea Deville CusackTyler Gerret CyrCharles Townsend DaleyJulia Morgan DapronTrinity Alanna Hawkins DelanoSierra Marie DeMasiIsabelle Jade DesrochesCecilia DevineKarl Daniel Dooling Nevada Noel DotsonDaniel James DresslerCaroline Elizabeth DunbarMadeline Claire EgbertJordan Elijah EisenmanQuinn H. EvartsKatrina Alicia EwensNatalie V. EwensMilo Jane Tyler FarrellJulia Lee FillionTrevor Colby FinaldiVivian May FinckPatrick N. ForstmannAiden Francis FrancombRyan Alexander FrankWilliam Glen FrankAnna Leigh FreebernSam Bernard Hennessy FreemanLauren Davis FrenchYuet Ming FungCarrie Ann GaiottiXiaofan GeHelen L. GeneoAvery Elizabeth GilgallonSydney J. GoldfarbEmily G. GolembeskiJessica Anne GrabherBlake Michael GreeneFynn William GreeneMargaret Stuart HallGrayson Sinclair HandshawKristina D. HarmonDaniel Flaherty HathewayMadison E. HeatonRachel Elizabeth HemmerMary Kathrynn HortonLauren A. HuntSarah J. HuntSarah Florrie Moffett HyndsJohn Arthur Imperatore llRachel Mae JonesAleaser JosephTucker Willim KellyAmelia Frances KennedyCecelia Hope KerstenRachel Lois KimballKaleb KingOwen David KingMatthew J. KleckowskiBaruch Benjamin KoffmanElizabeth J. KopeckMackenzie Jean LacosteNathan R. LalorSage Elizabeth LalorBrian A. LamEthan Phillip LareauZoie Marie Jean LarkinsColby Thomas LearySze Ming LeeAlexandra Le GrysZijie LeiRebecca JoAnne LeiliAlvaro Letamendia BarreirosNan LiYuying LiuZhentao LiuOscar LoomisAndrei Arthur LynchChloe Elizabeth MacDonaldAnnabelle Mae MacksonCasey E. MaraAva Mae MarshallJulia Grace MartinSabayo Benton MatikuTimothy R. MatuscikBrianna Lynne MayneMarshall John McCulloughFiona Mary McMahonCharles Walter McVickerSydney A. Miller Jr.Evangeline Taylor MorrisonHayden Edward MyersAisha Natalia NavarreteAbigail Claire NavinJake Erik Leonard NicholsonIsabella Layne NickMelissa Maria NolanKaitlyn Rose NorthNoah J. Ovitt Cassie Marie PearceHadley Clay PerkinsOlivia Evelyn Hamilton PitcherAshley Rose PoddickChandler S. PoukMadeline Taylor ProutyEmma Keats PutneyGisell Alexandra Yuvaille QuillayAmber RacheleJasmine RacheleClaire Elizabeth ReidJohn Robert RicitelliAtrau Edward Ford RobertsJohn Elias Ramirez RodriguezPatrick R. RossCasper Lawton RoweRebecca SalzerEmily Reed SamuelsonCameron Louis SargentJonathan Gary SaundersOlivia Leigh SaundersSarah LeeAnn ScalleatAngelina Maria ScarlottaAlexandra Catherine SchafferEgan Royce SchmittSteven Anthony SchmittLucille DeRussy SenecalEric Calvin SheldonWilliam Simmers VIBhummanat SittipongpittayaJarrett Dale SladeAlexia Gabrielle SmithNatalie Claire SommonsElizabeth Sierra SpencerConor Henry StaussEmily Kanisorn StewartIsabelle G. StimmelEmily Jane SullivanJustin Michael SweeneyEdward Scott ThompsonCheyanne Dezere TowneRyan Howard TowsleyEmma Ann Bailey TschaikowskyMary Helen TurnerBrendan George Webb Van Ommen KloekeAidan Finn Hubert VogelSimon E. VogelNicole Jadwiga VoitechonokOlivia C. VolovikAedan Thomas WalshQi WangCorynn Marie WasylikoOlivia K. WatanabeCaleb WeinsteinChase WeinsteinSadlyn Grace WestonCasey Lee WilliamsAbigail Lee WimerSky Lynn WoodardChenru XuMingchu YaSean James YoungGrace Marie YurkoAodong ZhangFengjia ZhangMikael E. ZielinskiAva Marianne Zilkha


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions