The Spear 2020-21

Scenes from the 2020-21 school year.
2021 Graduation


The 20-member Class of 2021 graduated from The Burlington School on Thursday, June 3, in a ceremony held inside of Hunt Gymnasium due to rain. This class earned in excess of $3.0 million in scholarship offers.

As a part of graduation, the school presented its final Senior Awards. Earning the Heart Award was Cierra Woods (pictured). Nora Mansfield was honored with the Service Award. Recognized with the Outstanding Scholar Award was Ellie Richardson.

Scenes from graduation


The highest award that TBS issues each year is the Heart Award. This honor is presented to one student in each of the three milestone grades (fourth, eighth and 12th) who personifies the TBS pledge. This year, the Lower School award was earned by Kennedy Chasnis (above, with teacher Nicole McDonald). The Middle School honor was bestowed upon Noah Stewart (below, with teacher/Middle School Academic Dean Kristi Tanner). The Upper School award can be found on the graduation page.

At left, Lower School Heart Award recipient Kennedy Chasnis with teacher Nicole McDonald. At right, Middle School Heart Award recipient Noah Stewart with Academic Dean Kristi Tanner.
Field Day

While many of the school’s community-wide events were canceled this year, students in Lower and Middle School were able to celebrate the end of the year with Field Day! Students in Middle School competed with their cohort groups, racking up points in events like the softball throw, balloon toss and tug-of-war. Lower School students worked as classes in things such as cone-flipping, the sack race and a balloon pop.

WOW Week / Emersion Term

WOW Week and Emersion Term experiences may have looked a little different in 2021, but TBS was excited to be able to hold these annual offerings for students. During the week, Lower School students held theme days and traveled to Smitty’s Homemade Ice Cream. Middle School students participated in a variety of different “classes” that included learning babysitting skills, the chemistry of cooking, disc golf and sewing. In the Upper School, students trekked to Haw River and Cedarock State Parks, spent time on campus tie dying shirts, playing games and getting to know their classmates better.

Community Service

One of the hallmarks of every year at TBS is community service. This year, students in grades 8-12 continued their commitment to helping out the community – both in school and in surrounding areas. Despite the pandemic, those students were able to complete over 1,500 hours of service during the year!

Among the on-campus projects were canned food and pet supply drives, organizing storage spaces and helping to clean the science lab.

Artistic Achievement

TBS arts programs continued to bring forth quality productions, concerts and artwork over the course of the 2020-21 school year.

The Rock Ensemble group performed three shows (one a virtual concert), while drama, dance and choir all released virtual shows this year.

In fine arts, TBS students once again captured numerous awards at the Alamance County Arts Council’s 63rd Annual Visual Arts competition. Award winners were:

Colored Pencil Drawing (Middle School): 1st – Maygan McLaughlin (Hamburger), 2nd – Angelina Moore (Fox), 3rd – Lauren Keimig (Gerber Daisies), Honorable Mention – Anna-Magdalena Rundell (Apple), Diego Ortiz (Billiards), Sidney Robinson (Hibiscus) and Kai Namaste (Red Row Boat)

Mixed Media 2D (Middle School): 1st – Ria Shah (Halloween), Honorable Mention – Aisha Yunus (Cupcake)

Acrylic (Upper School): 3rd – Maddie Chisholm (Deer), Honorable Mention – Anaya Thomas (Nashville) and Samantha Young (Chuck Taylors)

Athletic Success

In a year that saw numerous changes due to COVID, the TBS athletic programs again put together impressive seasons.

In the school’s first year as a 2A member, the Spartans saw three teams make state finals appearances – boys and girls basketball and baseball – with the boys basketball squad claiming the state championship.

Cross country, track and golf all had individuals compete at the state meet. In cross country, sophomore Keegan Lee placed seventh. Senior Cierra Woods captured a pair of silver medals at the state track meet, finishing second in both shotput and discus, while Lee earned a bronze medal for her third-place showing in the 400m. On the links, senior Will Holt tallied a 16th-place finish at the state meet. He was just three strokes back of sixth place.

The athletic performances helped TBS to an eighth-place finish in the state-wide Wells Fargo Cup standings. The program earned 197.5 points and bested schools such as Davidson Day, Westchester Country Day and Burlington Christian Academy.

While some varsity sports did not compete in the fall, and Middle School sports were on hold for the 2020-21 school year, TBS is looking forward to returning to a full slate of athletic competition in the fall.

Many TBS athletes picked up awards during the 2020-21 campaign. Below is a list of those students.

Cross Country: All-State – Keegan Lee

Girls Basketball: All-State – Amiyah Ware

Boys Basketball: All-State – Kuluel Mading, Jamarii Thomas

Baseball: All-State – Sammy Edwards, Landon Parker, Will Stadler

Girls Track: All-State – Keegan Lee, Cierra Woods

Athletics at the Collegiate Level

The success of the TBS athletic teams has led to multiple Spartan student-athletes playing intercollegiate athletics. This year, four of our seniors committed to play for colleges.

Isaiah Escobar will play basketball at Pfeiffer University. Also playing basketball will be Kuluel Mading who will attend the University of Buffalo. Jamarii Thomas will stay in-state and play basketball at UNC Wilmington.

Cierra Woods will compete as a member of the track and field program at High Point University.

TBS has now had 33 students continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.


Middle School Spanish teacher Katy O’Day was honored as the TBS Teacher of the Year for the 2020-21 school year. This marked her 18th year at TBS.

Q: Why did you want to become a teacher?

A: My mom and dad were both elementary school educators and I grew up learning in fun and active ways, even on vacation! This habit is deeply ingrained in me and I love to learn about new things. When I went to college, I recognized how much I enjoy working with students and being a part of their education in the classroom. Learning was always an adventure in our family and I wanted to share that with my classes as well.

Q: What do you like about teaching at TBS?

A: I love everything about our school – the community, the camaraderie amongst the staff and the wonderful families! One of the major characteristics of TBS that sets it apart in my mind, however, is that we value learning a second language at a young age. When our students are able to have exposure to the Spanish language at a young age, it strengthens our program all the way to the Upper School and gives our students an advantage at a young age.

Q: What is something that you did in your class this year that you would like to share with other teachers?

A: One of the biggest challenges this year was how to coordinate learning with our remote and in-person students. I usually have many activities that involve students chatting or collaborating during my classes and knew this was an important piece of my classroom that I didn’t want to lose. I also wanted to ensure the remote students had the same level of engagement. I developed a digital board game that the students could play on together during class to practice the skill we were learning. Each student, whether in class or not, could move their game pieces and answer questions via Google Meet. The excitement from all the students made the extra time I spent making the game well worth it! Not to mention, they all mastered the content!

Q: What was your reaction when you learned you were named the TBS Teacher of the Year?

A: I was incredibly honored when I learned I was named the TBS Teacher of the Year! The past year and a half has been challenging for everyone. As teachers, we have had to shift and learn how to teach in new ways. To be chosen as Teacher of the Year during such a difficult time makes the honor even more meaningful!


Throughout the school year, TBS students achieved numerous accomplishments. Below are just a few:

Diversity and Inclusion Committee Conference

Members of the Upper School Diversity and Inclusion Committee attended the NCAIS Virtual Diversity and Inclusion Conference. Those in attendance were Nora Mansfield, Remy Averitt, Raven Ford, John Stanfill, Keegan Lee, Anaya Thomas, Maniya Graves, Sarah Hargrove, Christopher Latham and staff advisors Heather Danishanko and Katie Fennell. The conference was a full-day experience with specific offerings for students, teachers and those who identify as BIPOC. Keynote speakers included North Carolina’s 9th Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green and Wake Forest Baseball Coach Tom Walter and former Wake Forest Baseball player Kevin Jordan.

Lee Writes Blog on Social Media Usage

Keegan Lee decided to eliminate the use of social media for two months during the school year. She reflected on her experiences with a blog entry on the site LOG OFF that can be found online at logoffmovement.org. LOG OFF is a community of teenagers around the world who “are passionate about lowering social media’s impact on mental health while teaching teenage users and their parents about how to navigate the vast inner-workings of life on social media.”

Anumakonda Advances to Regional Spelling Bee

After winning the TBS Spelling Bee, fifth grader Riya Anumakonda advanced to the Regional Spelling Bee in Charlotte in late March. Riya placed in the top 10 at the regional after making the ninth round at the competition.

Dunn to Represent USA

An avid BMX racer since he was four years old, fourth grader Dominick Dunn (pictured) has the opportunity of a lifetime. Now nine years old, Dominick will represent the United States at the BMX World Championships in Papendal, Netherlands in August.

Dominick qualified with his performance in Rock Hill, S.C., in March and will be one of 16 boys on Team USA in the 10 Challenge Boys group.

Dominick said that earning a spot made him feel proud and that he’s excited to be able to travel with his family to another country. “I’ll be able to compete with people all around the world. Everyone in my family except the dog will go. I want to see what it’s like there.”

In BMX racing, eight riders start from a starting hill. They then traverse a course with various bumps and turns, aiming to be the first one across the finish line.

To become a champion takes a lot of work, and Dominick puts in the time daily. He said, “I do two workouts every day, one before school and one after school. After school is about two hours. We have a gym in our garage. We have rollers and a rubber band that you put on two cylinders. You have two in the back of you and one in the front. You have to balance and keep your core tight and pedal as fast as you can.”

The championships will be held from August 14-22. Dominick’s birthday is August 18 and he’d like nothing better than to earn a podium finish to celebrate.


Molina Williams, a 2020 TBS graduate and a member of the women’s basketball team at UNC Charlotte, was selected to represent the U.S. Virgin Islands as a member of its National Team at the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup this summer. The tournament also featured teams from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela.


The Burlington School announced the formation of its first formal alumni association earlier this spring. Membership is automatically granted to graduates of Burlington Day School or The Elon School, as well as any TBS graduates.

The Burlington School would like to encourage all alumni to visit association’s website, tbsalumniassociation.org, to view the shared history and the many elements that will evolve as the association develops.

The association will be led by Alumni Association Director Rob Linens. Rob can be reached via email at alumni@theburlingtonschool.org.

A Message From Development

Dear Donors,

On behalf of the Burlington School, I would like to announce the 2020-2021 Donor Honor Roll and thank you for your generous financial contributions to our students, faculty and staff.

As the pandemic continued to sweep our nation, non-profits were nervous and skeptical about their organizations financial stability. I never felt that level of concern. I knew that the TBS donor base was strong and loyal and that the school would remain safe and healthy until the pandemic passed. That confidence comes from the positive relationships we have with our community and the extraordinary philanthropists whose names appear on our 2020-2021 Donor Honor Roll. This year was an outstanding year in fundraising led by numerous volunteers who believe in the mission of the school and in the outstanding opportunities that are afforded our students in academics, athletics and the arts.

Marshall M. Qualls, Director of Development


During the 2020-21 school year, the TBS Development Office, with the assistance of numerous volunteers, was able to put on a variety of fundraising events. A huge thank you goes out to everyone who made these events happen and to those who participated.

The annual Holiday Event continued, but in a virtual format this year. The school proudly welcomed a variety of alumni, friends of the school and students to record performances that were then compiled into one show. A live stream of the production was done through Stellar Tickets, allowing constituents of the school to take in the musical performances. Alumni and friends who performed were: Kelly Autry, Hayes Cummings, Mitchell Holsclaw, Charlie Holt, Philip Kowalski, Rob Linens, Morgan Maner, Jennifer Alston Milton, Lauren Russell, Melvin Tunstall and La’Tonya Wiley.

An online auction replaced the school’s Annual Auction and Dinner event in April. Including the Fund-a-Need portion of the event, which raised funds to upgrade technology, this auction raised over $45,000 for the school!

Finally, the TBS Golf Classic was held at Alamance Country Club in May. The tournament sold out and allowed supporters of the school to gather for an afternoon of golf and friendly competition!.

Earlier this year, TBS was the recipient of a generous gift. TBS is fortunate to have been gifted a Baldwin Grand Piano from the family of Mary Lindley of Burlington, N.C. The school would like to express appreciation to the Lindley Family for this wonderful addition to our Performing Arts Department. This exceptional instrument will be enjoyed by current and future musicians.