Merrick Counsell ’75 joins Alumni Association Board
Longtime Class Liaison and friend of Burr and Burton, Merrick Counsell ’75, was unanimously elected to the Alumni Association Executive Board in October. Merrick has worked extensively in the insurance industry over the years, including Briggs- Fowler and The Richards Group. He is semi-retired, runs an annual canoe trip for teens with the Dorset Church, and likes to ski, hike, kayak, golf, and travel. A fond farewell and thank you to Carol Roberts ’77 who stepped off the Board this fall. Carol is a regular attendee and volunteer at Reunion Weekends, lives in the Burlington, Vermont area, and works in the lab for a baby formula company, Perrigo, in northern Vermont. Merrick joins current Board members Gloria Rovnak Palmer ’81 (president), Judi LaMontagne McPhail ’65 (secretary), Juliette Gates Britton ’89, Stephen Drunsic ’93, Meredith Ams Fleurie ’05, Liz Hand Mackey ’05, Lisa Kern Rohde ’98, Elizabeth Silsby ’09, and Jon Wilson ’01.
Alumna joins Hildene as Director of Advancement
Nan Bambara ’86 is the new Director of Advancement at Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home in Manchester, Vermont. “I’m excited to be joining Hildene, a place that’s familiar to me and to my family, and such a valuable asset to our community and beyond,” said Nan. After graduating from Burr and Burton, Nan worked in the Peace Corps, as well as holding leadership positions in both the private and non-profit sectors in Florida, Maryland, and Vermont. “Nan is coming to Hildene at an important time in our history after four decades of growth,” said President Seth Bongartz ’72 (also the chair of Burr and Burton’s Board of Trustees), who retires at the end of 2019 after 18 years at the helm. “Looking forward, it is important to understand that our work is never done. We can always do better and there are always more lives to touch. We are very fortunate to have generous and loyal supporters and I believe Nan is the right person at the right time to help grow our capacity.” Nan has also served as president of Burr and Burton’s Parent Association.
Candles “in the shadow of Equinox”
When your CEO is a 195-year-old mysterious female entrepreneur, you have a fierce obligation to create a respected product that is unique and honors the historical legacy but is loved by customers as well as the planet. The Icy Palmer Candle Company, VT, (IPC), feels they have done just that. The IPC is the lovechild of Melissa Guyette Klick ’76 and is inspired by the iconic legend of Miss Icy Palmer, a Tuscarora Native American who was abandoned in a local sugarhouse in 1824. For the next 87 years, Icy carved out a life of solitary independence by pouring candles, and being a healer, as well as very gifted fortune teller. Melissa graduated from Connecticut College, raised a family, and enjoyed a 30-year career in the not-for-profit arts. In 2016 she founded her candle company which specializes in environmentally friendly soy candles with custom designed art labels. Individually hand-poured and designed in Sunderland, Vermont, Miss Icy and Melissa have become an unstoppable “team,” with product being carried nationally by retail boutiques and Vermont museums. Most recently the IPC collaborated with Lorraine Perry Harrington ’53 to create BBA’s exclusive “In the Shadows of Equinox” signature soy candle. Both Icy and Melissa agree, “never underestimate Vermont women, because we never underestimate ourselves.” Melissa adds that her family is sixth-generation BBS/BBA graduates, including her great, great, grandfather, O.G. Felt, and Melissa’s great grandmother, Libbie Felt. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Allard ’86 studied philosophy and English at Boston College, but most recently received an Executive MBA from Sonoma State University with a focus on the wine industry. Brian works for Bouchaine Vineyards in the Napa Valley. Prior to that he owned retail stores for seven years, a time when he co-founded a children’s charity, largely sponsored by profits from his fashion shows. After 9/11 he hosted a Vermonter for a New York Fire Department fundraiser fashion show at Artesa Winery. The proceeds went to the education trusts set up for the children of fallen NYC firefighters during 9/11. Brian lives in California and hopes to return to Vermont within a few years. “Bouchaine just relaunched in Vermont—it’s giving me a great chance to come back home every few months, in between trips to Chicago to see my brother’s family and my parents.”
Jake Alexoupolos ’09 benefits Special Olympics
Kudos to Jake Alexopoulos ’09 as he continues to use his considerable golf talents in support of Special Olympics. Jake played at the Dorset Field Club in September where he raised over $2,000 as a golf celebrity for Special Olympics Vermont. Jake also played in a golf tournament at Sugarbush Resort Golf Club with Melissa Siner Shea, President and CEO of Special Olympics Vermont. Jake was inducted into Burr and Burton’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.
Two alumni join Advisory Council
We welcome Kym Fox Bromley ’91 (photo not available at time of publication) and Bill Fritts, Jr. ’68 to Burr and Burton’s Advisory Council. Kym runs a dog care business from her farm in Danby, Vermont. Bill was inducted into Burr and Burton’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018 in the Legend category, and after a long career in government and private industry, continues to work in the financial and insurance sector in Indiana. They join other alumni on the Advisory Council Pete Johnson ’58 (vice-chair), Dave Bardin ’71, Pauline Towslee Davison ’68, Peter Henry ’60, and Wendy Rizio ’93.
We always enjoy when alumni from around the world return to Burr and Burton. It’s also great to hear when alumni get together at a distance, as happened recently when Ruiqi Xue ’17 visited Veit Schopper (a student here in 2015) in Stuttgart, Germany. Ruiqi is from Shenzhen, China, and is currently studying at Middlebury College. Veit lives in Stuttgart.
Sharing Frost’s environment
Congratulations to Carling Berkhout ’15, the 2019 Robert Frost Stone House Museum Kilpatrick Fellow. As a child growing up in nearby Dorset, Carling recalls visiting the museum as part of an elementary school field trip. Years after her first visit, she has returned to the Frost House as the museum’s Kilpatrick Fellow. Through November 1, 2019, she will assist with programming, marketing, and day-to-day operations. Carling observes, “I like meeting people who aren’t from the area but are stopping here on their way through. They’ll tell me about their relationship to Robert Frost and they walk away having been changed in some way.” Carling graduated from Bennington College this year and adds music to her repertoire, with folk duo, Carling & Will, with Will Mosheim ’03, and the musical trio Surplus Daughters.
Michele Emery shares that Samantha Sullivan ’15 graduated from UVM and is teaching in France this year. Michael Nolan ‘13 and Katie Bourque ’14 taught in the same program last year. David Nolan ’14 is teaching in Spain this year.
Billy Canfield reports Brooke Champine ’17 graduated from Full Sail University with a B.S. in Music Business in an accelerated program and has a flourishing photography business. Visit brookechampine.com. Liam O’Brien ’17 graduated from Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island, with an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts and was offered many great positions in the culinary industry and stays connected with BBA students and our Student Success Program. Hunter Bovey ’16 is a Heavy Equipment Operator at VTrans, received his CDL from Southwest Vermont Career Development Center (CDC), and has worked his way into this position of responsibility over the last three years.
Alyssa Thompson-Tucker ’04 passed the Boards this fall and is now a Nurse Practitioner on the way to completing a Doctorate in May.
An eventful month for Sheryl Hadeka ’04
Thank you to Sheryl Hadeka ’04 for joining us for her 15th Reunion in September. Sheryl received the 6th Annual Alumni Arts Award at the Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony at the Riley Center on Saturday, September 21, 2019. On very short notice she opened the Hall of Fame program by playing the alma mater on the French horn. We are especially grateful, given the trek from Buffalo and that she was just married earlier in the month. Sheryl is the first woman to win a seat in the brass section of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra where she is tenured second horn. Congratulations! To see the complete list of current and past Hall of Fame inductees, visit burrburton.org/alumni and click on Hall of Fame.
Reunion ’19 a wrap
It was a warm, blue-sky last weekend of summer for alumni and families returning to Manchester and the Hill for Reunion Weekend ’19 on September 20 – 22, 2019. Thanks to all alumni from near and far and across the years who joined us. Ruth Stone Fowler ’44 won the most senior alumni award at the Alumni Dinner, joining us for her 75th Reunion. Sean Murphy ’84 trekked all the way from Anchorage, Alaska, and took home the greatest distance prize. The 50th Class of ’69, led by Class Liaison Gayl Heinz ’69, had the biggest turnout at the Alumni Dinner. Linda Griffith ’79 and her band, Doublecross, filled the Trillium Ballroom at Taconic with delightful music, and Bob Stannard ’69 joined Linda for a couple of numbers. It takes many hands to pull off a Reunion Weekend and special thanks to the following alumni and individuals for their help: Melissa Abraham and the staff at Taconic, Adam Annunziata and the crew at Manchester Country Club, Gary Baker ’72, Kathi Frost Bierwirth ’81, Jonathan Bigelow, Lucy Gobbi Costa ’81, Stephen Drunsic ’93, Gayl Heinz ’69, Tammy Keyes ’86, Astri and Mike Kilburn ’67, Sheryl Letourneau ’79, Linda Day McKeever ’69, Judi LaMontagne McPhail ’65, Dave Miceli, Kyle Murphy ’07, Pete Nicholson, Shannon O’Leary ’04, Gloria Rovnak Palmer ’81, Carol Roberts ’77, Andy Shaw ’75, Molly Smith ’02, Jon Wilson ’01, and students Asa Ackerman-Leist, Hannah Callen, Riley Callen, Carina Crane, Ben DesRoberts, Skylar Dryden, Emma Egbert, Zoe Grigsby, Maialen Hoffman, Sophie Jager, Ciaran Von Ommen Kloeke, Lexi Lacoste, Hannah McArdle, Henry Putney, Sarah Vigue, and Zane Zupan. Thanks to Advancement staff for their tireless efforts Nancy Brown, Pauline de Laszlo, Kate Leach, Margot Page, and Oscar Trugler. And Headmaster Mark Tashjian for leading the way. Thank you all! Photo – Class of ’89 at the Alumni Dinner at Taconic Hotel.
Reunion Weekend ’20?
A save the date postcard for Reunion Weekend ’20 will be sent to all alumni (for whom we have current addresses) in early January or visit burrburton.org/alumni for Reunion ’20 updates.
Reunion Sponsors made it happen
A big Bulldog thank you to our Reunion Sponsors who made possible our biggest alumni event of the year September 20-22, 2019. Please help us thank them with your patronage.
With the season of giving around the corner, we invite alumni like you to support Burr and Burton. The end of the year is a wonderful time to honor a favorite teacher, coach, or classmate who made a difference in your formative high school years. Your tax-deductible Annual Fund gift helps “grow” the next generation of 750 Burr and Burton students. Visit www.burrburton.org/onlinegiving or mail your donation to Burr and Burton, PO Box 498, Manchester, VT 05254. All alumni making a gift are listed in the Annual Appreciation Report. Thank you!
Kim Gilbert ’73, August 6, 2019
Carolyn Moore Young ’48, August 13, 2019
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