Who's in the Burrow?

Taming the Cat

Few people know that SBA parent Dave Riggs (father of Bria Riggs, '14) wrestles cantankerous snowcats in his spare time. 

When the groomer malfunctioned today prior to Team Nordic's classic sprint, Riggs sprang into action. Here he is taming the cat. 

Congratulations to senior Katrin Larusson, who took second overall on the girl's side, and sophomore Sam Zabell, who placed eighth overall on the boy's side. Team Nordic is back at it tomorrow, weather willing, with a 5K stride. 

Scene on Campus Pic of the Day

Kelly Farrell's art students got in the holiday spirit this week, making ginger-bread houses. If you look closely, it appears that Julia Bjorkman's house features a yummy, gummy-lined pathway to the front door. Happy holidays, Marmot folk!

Scene OFF Campus Pic of the Day

Three SBA student-athlete-musicians, violinists Sam Zabell, Camille Hartley, and Casey Jobe, performed last night at the Glenshire Community Center. All three are students of Truckee's Liz Glattly.  Pictured below are Hartley and Zabell, who were the final two acts. 

SBA Can!

Skyler Mullings (left) and Casey Jobe (right) move
canned goods collected by our community,
readying them for transport to the Truckee Community
Christmas collection facility on Monday.
Single mothers, the elderly or housebound, and over 300 needy families in the Truckee area are among those who will not go hungry this holiday season thanks to the efforts of Truckee Community Christmas

Sugar Bowl Academy students and faculty made a difference, too, partnering with Truckee Community Christmas in its canned food drive. 

For over two weeks students and faculty brought canned goods to campus in a challenge to see which advisory group could collect the most food. Skyler Mullings even brought in a large load of organic Annie's bunny rabbit pasta. 

The winning advisory ended up being the group that sponsored the canned-food drive this year, the ninth-and-tenth-grade "Off Piste" advisory. Coming in a close second was the older boy's advisory, with a strong late push by Marc Talbott. 

Photos follow of parts of the collection facility (only two rooms of many other rooms full of food are pictured here), which has seen canned-food donations hit a historic high this year, according to local realtor and Truckee Community Christmas leader Lynn Richardson

Advisory: Theme-Based Curriculum and the Rise of the Intentionally Non-Traditional

Older Girls' Advisory learns to change a tire
See the full post HERE
On one memorable fall day this year, the “Virtuous Dudes” of Sugar Bowl Academy’s Older Boys’ Advisory and the “Women Empowerment”-themed Older Girls’ Advisory were learning some ballroom dance steps from advisor Martin Benes.

Elsewhere on the Sugar Bowl Academy campus, a ninth-and-tenth-grade advisory group was taking a fencing lesson from advisor Jeff Schloss.

It was advisory hour, when the non-traditional and the unpredictable surface on campus, but with an underlying intentionality that – viewed more closely – makes it all, well, make sense.

For many independent schools across the country, advisory is conceived primarily – and somewhat sterilely – as a way of making sure students are on target to fulfill basic graduation requirements. The right courses have been selected, the right forms signed and delivered, the “i” is dotted and the “t” crossed.

SBA's advisory program is designed with more ambitious goals in mind, serving dynamically as a system of support for the whole child outside of the traditional classroom setting, as an environment conducive to introspection and goal setting, and as a place where our student/athletes can explore and reflect as an intellectual exercise on how a simple theme can connect life's experiences.

“Themes are large guiding scaffolds for advisors to hang their curriculum on and allow for each group to have an independent direction and identity,” said Dean of Students Andy Giordano. 

“The identity of an advisory group comes largely from the top down, where advisors collaborate and choose a theme that can excite and engage their advisees, and then develop a storyline of curriculum to give their time with their group meaning. All groups focus on ‘knowing students well,’ but the theme gives flavor and uniqueness to this umbrella idea in advisory.”

The following are the themes that this year’s advisors have selected:

· Women Empowerment
· An Attitude of Gratitude
· Off Piste
· State of Adventure
· Virtuous Dudes

At opposite ends of the age spectrum on campus, the older-girls’ advisory and the eighth-grade advisories are studies in the kind of age-appropriate, theme-based advisory planning that is happening on the Sugar Bowl Academy campus.

“Women Empowerment” is the theme of the older-girls’ advisory group. Beyond learning some salsa moves, recently the group also got a lesson on how to change a flat tire, check the oil, change the wiper blades or a headlight, and jump start a car from SBST Alpine ski coach Nate Fisher (if you missed the blog post on the subject you can catch up at http://tinyurl.com/SBAadvisory).

Said advisor Kelly Farrell: "Our girls are becoming self-sufficient women right before our eyes.”

The mission statement for the group reads as follows:

“We, the Older Girls’ Advisory, aim to identify the unique qualities in each of the girls and do our best to supplement those qualities with knowledge and skills that will give them more confidence to face their post high school years as ambitious and able individuals.” 

The eighth-grade advisory, led by Steve Ascher, Bryce Hubbard and Aly Kendall, is similarly focused on preparing students for a transitional stage – but in the younger students’ case, the transition from middle school to high school.

The group’s mission statement – aimed at instilling an “attitude of gratitude” for all the doors that an independent school education can open to those who make the most of their experience - targets the following specific areas of development:

· Adept transition to high school;
· Demonstration of organizational strategies;
· Participation in meaningful community service;
· Commencement of a lifelong journey of thoughtful self-reflection; and
· Reflection on the approaches involved in the development of healthy interpersonal relationships.

Winter Term Advisory Mission Worksheet
When leading the eighth graders in a discussion about healthy interpersonal relationships, advisors asked the group to consider thinking of these relationships as personal bank accounts, with positive interactions seen as deposits and negative interactions as withdrawals. 

“The eighth graders had a very interesting and productive discussion about ways to be more positive with one another, family members, and adult authority figures,” said advisor Aly Kendall.

“Eighth grade can be socially challenging, but Bryce, Steve and I are working collaboratively to try and help our youngest members of Sugar Bowl’s high school process their emotions productively and become thoughtful as well as thoroughly engaged members of our SBA community.”

Participation in meaningful community service was achieved in the fall when the eighth-grade advisory visited Truckee’s senior apartments and played bingo with senior citizens.

Said Giordano: “Our program mirrors the development of the whole child by building expanding connections between our students and their community. Each year the definition of community grows as students progress and begin to understand the uniqueness of their opportunity and the ubiquity of an individual’s connection to the broader world.”