School Newsletter

Quarter IV - 2019


In His Words: Thank You

With the passing of our FY2020 budget on May 14, we are now over all major hurdles to become operational as the Barre Unified Union School District on July 1, 2019. With that said, there are still a lot of meetings between now and then, and a lot of work for our central office staff to make the transition a reality.

As we continue with the transition through this summer and beyond, we greatly appreciate your patience, your help, your questions and suggestions, and your positive attitude.

Lastly, I want to share some of what I said when I received the Frederick H. Tuttle Service Award on May 16, not because I like to or want to talk about myself (I do not) but because it is about you.

I did not prepare anything in writing for that evening, but this is my recollection of some of what I said:

"I may be receiving this award, but no leader earns an award like this alone. There are 600 people who earned and deserve this award. That includes our school boards, of which the four chairs are here tonight, because they have guided and supported me for four years, and I could not ask for better support. It also includes our administrative team of 20 strong, who work day in and day out to support our staff and students through thick and thin.

It includes 280 teachers and as many support staff in a variety of capacities who work their butts off every day with a passion and dedication that is humbling to witness. These people pour their hearts and souls into their jobs as they serve 2700 students and their families, some with seemingly insurmountable odds, to make our community a better place every day.

I accept this award on behalf of every one of those people." - John Pandolfo

** John Pandolfo has served as our superintendent for four years. Prior he held the Curriculum Instruction and Assessment position for the district for three years and his former training is in mathematics as a high school teacher. In the words of Paul Malone, Chairman of the Board, "John is invested in our community and he is truly deserving of this award."





Budding Artists Honored at Congressional Art Show

Since 1981, students across Vermont have participated in the annual Congressional Arts Competition that 'recognizes and encourages young developing artists' to pursue their artistic

This year thirty six high schools were in attendance at Vermont College of Fine Arts, along with Aubrey Benoit, Jillian McGary, and Kyle Proteau. Mr. Eaton and Mrs. Reardon joined their students and they were incredibly proud of their work.

However, they were thrilled for Aubrey because her entry entitled, Brother was selected among 157 entries by a group of local panelists.

According to Aubrey, Brother will be showcased in the United States Capitol and House office buildings for a year.

In response to her being selected, Aubrey and her family had the honor to meet Representative Welch of Vermont who commended Aubrey's talents.

Congratulations, Aubrey!

Midnight Mountain Builds Healthy Skills

Serving over 200 students since 2010, Georgie Stapleton and Peggy Roy Portelance continue to act as a guiding light for many students who pass through the Midnight Mountain Transition program.

The goal of the program is to build healthier skills for 8th graders transitioning to 9th grade at Spaulding High School. Participating students are challenged to think outside of their usual “comfort zone” by engaging in activities that provide them strategies to be successful.

These activities help with self esteem and building relationships with others, such as with their peers and Freshmen teachers like Ms. Brizzolara, Mr. Dunlea, Ms. Mishkit, and Mr. Moore.

Their mission was reinforced in the expressions of Student Ambassadors Eleanor, Tiffany, and Delaney (see photo above) who are in agreement: "Midnight Mountain alleviates any anxieties about transitioning to high school."

Tiffany strongly noted, "this high school is not like in the movies... yes, there are cliques, but not like how they are portrayed on television." For her, the Spring meeting in 2018 combined with a Summer retreat gave her the confidence to meet new people.

Like Tiffany, Eleanor and Delaney both cite a friendly and supportive environment that gives others the ability to be themselves, learn from each other, but more importantly have trust in the transition of leaving middle school.


Roll Tide Tour Rolls into Our Sending Schools

Music is an universal expression of the human spirit — a basic human need. It allows us to communicate our deepest ideas and feelings, to explore and preserve our cultural heritages, and to celebrate the realms of emotion, imagination, and creativity that result in new knowledge, skills, and understanding.

And that is exactly what Mr. Booth's and Mrs. Elgood's Roll Tide Tour did with both sending schools.

According to Mrs. Elgood, the tour came about when Bobby and Mrs. Elgood 'were looking for ways to build a greater connection between the high school music department and the middle and elementary schools.' She cited a previous experience doing this type of performance and believed the Roll Tide Tour would add value to the community.

Barre City Elementary & Middle School and Barre Town Elementary & Middle School teachers concur and they look forward for their return next year.


Supporting Our Students

Through our partnership with Ana Kohlbach and Rocko Gieselman from VocRehab & VABIR, Ana and Rocko are here to provide additional services to our students in terms of career counseling, job exploration, work readiness training, and assistance as they transition beyond high school.

According to Rocko, ... "we are here for the students and we want to know the students interests and abilities by building a relationship with them, so we can better serve them."

Ana also echoes this sentiment and enjoys working one on one with students. She notes, however, "scheduling and finding time can be a challenge throughout the school day, but the investment is worth it." Worth it in terms of students experiencing success with learning who they are and where their interests lie, along with the amazing resources and support from the Department of Labor.

Rocko cites ONet as a wonderful resource enabling students to explore their interests and figure out occupations that exist within their own community and beyond. They also cite Jayson Capobianco, Spaulding's Employment Specialist as another resource that is valuable to their mission.

Jayson is in his third year with Spaulding High School and he has been a positive force working collaboratively with Ana and Rocko. He has a heightened awareness of our students needs and how they would be a good cultural fit for Rocko and Ana. But more importantly, he cares and he wants our students to be empowered with their choices, specifically around career exploration and opportunities.

For more information, feel free to contact Rocko at

or Ana Kohlbach at about their programs.


Recognizing Academic Achievement

The spirit of Tide Pride is always present whether it be in a classroom, during an athletic competition, school function, or among the alumni and community members who continue to invest in our school.

In particular, without the support of the alumni, service organizations, members of the community, local businesses, and other friends of Spaulding, it would not be possible for Spaulding High School to issue generous awards to Seniors who applied for In House Scholarships.

According to Dave Lacroix, the Spaulding High School Scholarship Trust was created in 2015 due to the sizable contributions over the years. It's mission is to "provide financial support for graduates of Spaulding High School and Central Vermont Career Center, helping students pursue post-secondary education and workforce training in wide-ranging career fields."

This is echoed by John Lewis, House Scholarship Committee Chair, who is also head of the History and Social Sciences Department. Mr. Lewis has been a faculty member and he has served this district for over 34 years. He understands the significance of his role. He notes how careful his committee is to adhering to the criteria of each scholarship and the Scholarship Trust's mission.

He too believes in administering awards to graduating Seniors that are either merit based, need based, career specific or non specific in nature, depending upon the terms of the gift. He appreciates how diverse each one is and honors student achievement.

For more information on the Scholarship Trust, please feel free to contact Mr. David Lacroix, Spaulding Alumnus, Class of 1973 at or feel free to click on the link to learn more:

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SAVE the DATE: Fall Sports Meeting

Wednesday, Aug. 7th, 6pm

155 Ayers Street

Barre, VT

Please welcome Mrs. Soffen, our new Athletic Director and former Spaulding Alum as she welcomes Fall athletes and their parents to a preseason meeting in the gymnasium.

For more information leading up to Pre Season, feel free to contact Mrs. Soffen at