TA News

Head of School Weekly Email: State Champs, Drama Promo, Teacher Learning, Semester-Away Programs & More

Dear TA Families,

Here are some highlights from our Halloween week and updates on what’s on the horizon at TA.

Congrats, State Champs!

The girls cross-country team brought home the big trophy on Saturday, claiming the title of Division III champions for a second year in a row. The boys team earned third in the state. For more details and photos of our home-course race on 11/29, visit

Fall Play Performances Coming Up

You’re invited! Thetford Academy Drama Department presents Peter and the Starcatcher on November 18-19. This swashbuckling, family-friendly play tells the story of how an unhappy orphan becomes Peter Pan and a flamboyant pirate becomes Captain Hook. With a cast of orphans, British aristocrats, sailors, pirates, and mermaids, Peter and the Starcatcher imaginatively explores the depths of greed and despair and the bonds of friendship, duty and love.

The production features actors Emma Willens, Connor Gaine, Grace Elmer, Zurael Star, Heidi Hewes, Twyla Weinstein, Sam Kraemer, Rayne Waln, Simon Swingforth, Matthew Vivian, Elizabeth Waterman, Henley Cook, Rebecca Osgood, and Whitney Lewis. The technical and backstage team is led by Acadia Cook, Shisi Dai, Hugo Billiau, Starleigh Fielder, and Gracie Haley-Tobin. The production is directed by Thetford Academy’s new performing arts teacher, Jeff Seabaugh. Performances at 7pm. Tickets sold at the door, $10 for adults and $5 for students. 

TA Educators in the Field

Last week I wrote about some of the field trip experiences students have had this fall to take their learning off campus and into the community. This is one of the many ways we get to actively explore our world again as we come out of a more cautious pandemic period. Similarly, TA educators are resuming professional travel to participate in live workshops to learn and present with colleagues from around the state and country. 

On Friday, Scott Ellis and Ehrin Lingeman attended the Teaching Place Conference at Lake Morey, joining educators from around the Upper Valley committed to engaging students in ecological studies, school gardens, and outdoor education. On Wednesday, Siobhan Lopez and Bri Barnes represented Thetford Academy at the Governor’s School Safety Conference in Burlington. Last month Melissa Perry attended the New England Association of Mathematics Teachers conference in Killington, VT with expert presenters in math education (including TA alum Annie Fetter ’84!). And, Scott Ellis attended the annual NOLS Wilderness Risk Management Conference, a national gathering of leading outdoor program educators and managers, which conveniently took place close to home in Burlington, VT this year. These professional opportunities allow us to bring our TA expertise and experiences to others in the education field, and to hone our skills and bring back new ideas and practices to TA.

College & Semester Program Reps Visit TA

We continue to have a robust offering of college rep visits throughout the fall. Here is the  schedule for next week: LINK. Juniors and seniors (and their parents) regularly receive email updates and invites from Counseling Team Coordinator Tippi Oshoniyi, so be sure to look for those in your inbox.

Sophomores, take note: Coming up later in the month (on 11/21 and 11/30) we will host rep visits from the Alzar School and the Mountain School, two semester-away programs for juniors. Application deadlines for next school year are February 15, 2023, so if this is something you are considering as part of your high school journey, talk with your parents and counselor now and plan ahead. An overview of this opportunity and links to a few more semester programs can be found on the TA website:

In other counseling news, seniors and their parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to participate in the upcoming college financial aid workshop offered by VSAC and the TA counseling department. This will be a hands-on session with guidance on completing the FAFSA and other forms and requires some advanced preparation on the part of families.Health UpdatesDon’t let the balmy late-autumn temps fool us, flu has arrived early and intensely. Please keep up with our weekly updates from School Nurse Ellen Gnaedinger, which are sent out by email and also posted on our websiteSave the Dates …

  • Nov. 16: College financial aid forms workshop, 6:30pm
  • Nov. 18-19: Performances of Peter and the Starcatcher in the MJR Theater
  • Nov. 19: The TA Alumni Association Craft Bazaar is back!
  • Nov. 23-25: No school – Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Visit the calendar page on our website for details on these and other school events

Have a good weekend,

Carrie Brennan, Head of School

Featured images: Here is a glimpse of our spirited assembly on Monday, with students lining up to display Halloween costumes.



We set high expectations. We challenge all members of the school community to reach their highest potential.


We value initiative, courage and dedication. We take personal responsibility for the goals we set and work hard to achieve them.


We work and learn together. We see teachers as coaches, students as team members, families as partners, and learning as practice and action.


We provide individuals with personalized support and guidance. We care about each other and the larger community.


We respect differences among people. We welcome the contribution of varied perspectives to a rich and flexible school culture.