The Spear 2019-20

Scenes from the 2019-20 school year.
2020 Graduation


The seventh graduating class of The Burlington School celebrated commencement on Friday, June 12, 2020. This year’s graduation was a little different, as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a delayed ceremony that was held outside at the school. This year’s class was able to be socially distant during the festivities while families watched from cars or online. This 25-member class, which earned over $3.2 million in scholarships, will never forget their graduation.

Scenes from graduation

At the conclusion of each trimester, we recognize Middle and Upper School students for their achievements inside of the classroom with Honors and High Honors distinction. These students must meet high standards to be honored.

The highest award that TBS issues each year are the Heart Awards. One is issued in each division to a student who is moving to the next division, or graduating, and who personifies the TBS pledge. This year, the Lower and Middle School Heart Awards were presented via Zoom. The Lower School award went to Bradlie Dennison, while the Middle School honor was earned by Liza Self.

At top, Bradlie Dennison and Liza Self are virtually presented their Heart Awards. At bottom, Upper School High Honors and Honors recipients pose for a group photo.
Community Feel

Knowing that community is a key part of the TBS experience, the Student Government Association developed a plan to provide a way for the school-wide community to come together in celebration – a pair of Community Day events in which grade levels were mingled in games and other fun activities.

Tucker Holland ‘23 said, “Interacting with the younger students is something we don’t get to do a lot so the Community Day is a lot of fun.”

Upper School students join the visiting South Korean students for a final photo.

The TBS community also welcomed a group of students from Gwacheon City, South Korea again this year. Those students spent time in our Upper School, attending classes and building relationships with TBS students. At the end of their time here, the Korean students were presented gifts from the school.

Community also means helping those in need. Beginning in eighth grade, students have a minimum service-hour requirement that needs to be performed with a non-profit organization. This year, TBS students completed over 5,200 hours of community service.

Learning Away From TBS

While learning in the classroom is important, TBS students also learn outside of the classroom. Every fall, our Middle and Upper School students take class trips. These trips range from local, day-long excursions over the course of a week to week-long trips to locations such as Philadelphia, Washington, New Orleans or Florida. These trips are designed to bring members of the class closer together and get to know one another.

Our Lower School students also venture outside of the classroom and visit places such as the Children’s Museum of Alamance County and a local pumpkin patch. This year, our fourth grade students participated in the Greensboro Swarm’s Education Day festivities.


Over the course of the year, TBS holds numerous celebrations. While the number was limited this year, TBS was proud to hold our annual Veterans Day program to honor those who have served our nation. In October, we welcomed in a large crowd for the Fall Festival.

We look forward to the return of celebrations such as May Day and Grandfriends’ Day as well as Field Day in the future.

All About the Arts

December’s annual Holiday Event was an incredible event! Those in attendance were able to hear outstanding performances from Broadway’s Ben Crawford, who is currently in Phantom of the Opera and has also played Shrek. Crawford performed numerous hits, including some with our Middle and Upper School choirs.

Our students were also able to get time with Crawford at school, as the performer visited with our Lower School students who had made Shrek masks, judged a Middle School Phantom mask contest and checked out artwork painted by Upper School students.

TBS students were able to showcase their musical skills with multiple choral concerts, two rock ensemble concerts and handchimes performances during the year.

The annual winter concert was held at Elon University’s Whitley Auditorium, while the rock concerts and one choral performance took place in the Upper School Gathering Space. Handchimes students participated in the Veterans Day celebration.

The Burlington School student artists notched an impressive showing at this year’s Burlington Woman’s Club Art Festival. A total of 20 TBS entries earned honors at the annual show.

Bringing home honors in Middle School were:


• Diego Ortiz (1st), Kaitlyn Colon (2nd), Abigale Robinson (3rd) and Brianna Davis (Honorable Mention)


• Diego Ortiz (1st) and Evan Clayton (2nd)

Graphite Pencil Drawing

• Elizabeth Davis (2nd) and Samira Namaste (3rd)

Upper School winners were:

Acrylic Paint

• William Whitley (2nd) and Samantha Harper (3rd)


• Will Self (2nd), Anijey Flores-Jasso (3rd), Mari’ Robinson (Honorable Mention) and Taylor Jones (Honorable Mention)


• Iain Maxim (1st), Emily Leiser (2nd), Matthew Brown (3rd), Ardyn Eggar (Honorable Mention) and Londen Glasgow (Honorable Mention)

Graphite Pencil Drawing

• Samantha Harper (3rd)

Four TBS students also collected five awards at the annual Alamance Arts Council competition.

In scratchboard, both Ava Acton and William Whitley earned honorable mention honors. Samantha Harper picked up honorable mention honors for her graphite drawing entry. Finally, Whitley and Anaya Thomas were awarded honorable mention for their acrylic painting works.

TBS On Stage

The Gathering Space in the Upper School building was transformed into a theater in the round for the fall performance of Dystopia! The Hungry Maze Game of Divergent Death that featured students from grades 5-12. Rehearsals for the production of Aladdin Jr. had been underway for nearly a month before TBS moved to a remote learning environment and ultimately made the decision to cancel the yearly spring musical tradition.

Athletic Success

While spring sports season was just getting underway when the COVID-19 virus shut everything down, the TBS Spartans had much success in athletics throughout the fall and winter.

TBS entered the spring ranked second in the state in the Wells Fargo Cup standings, tallying 217.5 points and trailing leader Greenfield by just five points.

In the fall, the girls cross country team finished as the state runner-up and saw two runners – Keegan Lee and Emily Leiser – place in the top 10. On the boys side, Iain Maxim finished in the top 10. The volleyball team earned the number three seed in the state playoffs and advanced to the semifinals, while the boys soccer team reached the state quarterfinals.

After winning both the regular season and conference tournament titles, the boys basketball team garnered the number three seed in the state tournament and advanced to the state championship game. On the girls side, the Spartans also ran through the regular season and conference tournament to capture titles. That team also reached the state title game as the number two seed.

The Middle School boys soccer team picked up a conference title and the volleyball team put together a run to the conference title match.

Many of our athletes picked up conference and state awards during the 2018-19 campaign. Below is a list of those students.

Boys Soccer: All-Conference – Connor Gould, Will Stadler; All-Tournament – Lucas Dumayne, Clay Haigh

Volleyball: All-Conference – London Agnew, Allison Mann, Molina Williams; All-Tournament: Cierra Woods; Conference Player of the Year – Molina Williams; Co-Conference Coach of the Year – Emily Williams

Cross Country: All-Conference – Keegan Lee, Emily Leiser, Iain Maxim; All-State – Keegan Lee, Emily Leiser, Annabel Marmolejo, Iain Maxim

Girls Tennis: All-State – Ellie Riddle

Girls Basketball: All-Conference – Aniyah Vanhook, Samantha Walker, Molina Williams; Conference Tournament MVP – Molina Williams; Conference Player of the Year – Molina Williams; All-State – Aniyah Vanhook, Molina Williams; AP All-State – Molina Williams

Boys Basketball: All-Conference – Kuluel Mading, Ja’Dun Michael, Ji’Lil Michael, Mylyjael Poteat; Conference Tournament MVP – Kuluel Mading; Conference Player of the Year – Mylyjael Poteat; All-State – Ja’Dun Michael, Mylyjael Poteat

Athletics at the Collegiate Level

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

Haley Faucette (Wingate University) signed to play soccer collegiately, while Ja’Dun Michael (Elon University), Ji’Lil Michael (Mars Hill University), Lars Nilsen (Elon University), Mylyjael Poteat (Rice University), Aniyah Vanhook (Mississippi Valley State University), Jesse Walters (Guilford College) and Molina Williams (UNC Charlotte) will continue their basketball careers at the next level.

TBS has now had 29 former students continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.


Middle School math teacher Sarah Holt was honored as the TBS Teacher of the Year for the 2019-20 school year. This marked Holt’s second year at TBS.

Q: Why did you want to become a teacher?

A: My sophomore year at Appalachian State University, I was able to be a part of a mission trip where we were able to spend a week teaching and working with students at an underprivileged orphanage. It was not until that week that I truly understood the quote “students do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” I was able to see during that one week the fulfillment that came from loving and encouraging students to reach their potential. I went into the trip as a business major and returned knowing without a doubt that I wanted to change my major to education.

Q: What do you like about teaching at TBS?

A: There are so many things that I enjoy about teaching at TBS, but the students and staff are certainly at the top of my list. I remember when I was interviewing for the position, I was told “teaching at TBS is like teaching at the Disney World of Schools.” After completing my second year of teaching at TBS, I couldn’t agree more with that statement. I feel extremely blessed to be surrounded by such an amazing group of students and staff, they literally make me look forward to coming to work each day. The students at TBS are some of the best and the brightest students I have ever had the privilege of teaching, I feel confident in the ways they will shape the future of our society. I am constantly in awe of my colleagues; I truly believe I work with the best in the profession and enjoy collaborating with them each day.

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

A: Although the school year was cut unexpectedly short due to COVID-19, fortunately, I was still able to do my favorite unit dealing with ratios and proportions called “The Game of Life” with my sixth grade students. Each student’s fate for one week is decided by drawing a random card that lists a job title, education level and yearly salary. Jobs range from farmworkers to surgeons, and salaries range from $19,500 to $290,000. Students assume their role for the duration of the lesson. Each student is given a planning sheet where they use their annual salary to calculate their gross monthly income (GMI). Many students are outraged when they learn they are required to pay 30 percent of their GMI to taxes, and are shocked when they calculate their net monthly income. This never fails to lead into valuable discussions of why we pay taxes and the different programs and organizations they benefit. Each student gets the opportunity to choose where they want to live, however, they are required to compute cost of living adjustments. Students are given a list of the estimated average a family in Burlington spends on monthly bills. They each get to decide a city in the U.S. where they want to live and use an online cost of living comparison which gives a percent increase or decrease of each item in comparison with living in Burlington. Students are then tasked with using the given increase or decrease to determine how much they will pay each month. After the cost of bills per month is determined, students are directed to Zillow.com where they have the option to either rent or purchase a home in their respective cities. They are introduced to the standard 28/36 debt to income ratio, and have to work to ensure the Zillow generated estimated monthly house payment does not exceed 28 percent of their GMI. If they choose to purchase a car, the combined house and car payments cannot exceed 36 percent of their GMI. For the second part of the lesson, each student creates a balance sheet where they start out with a deposit of their net monthly income and then deduct their expenses accordingly. For the next few class periods, students are immersed in the game of life. I create cards containing various different “life events” that I draw at random. If the card drawn applies to the student they must enter it into their balance spreadsheet as a deposit or withdrawal and adjust their balance accordingly. For example, teachers may get a three percent supplement bonus, or owners of luxury cars might have to pay five percent of the value of their car for increased insurance. I love standing in the hall during class change and listening to students discuss math outside the classroom. Students really begin to understand the value of money. This lesson is designed to show students that math is not just an isolated subject they learn in schools. It engages a variety of different learning styles and provides multi-curricular connections. This lesson allows students to see how the math they are learning is used each day in the world around them.


Kristina Madarasz, a 2011 graduate of The Elon School, graduated from the University of New England School of Dental Medicine in May. She was accepted into the highly selective Dental Residency program at Harvard University.

Luke Huffines ‘14 graduated from NC State in 2018 with a degree in forest management and has worked a variety of forestry jobs. He is currently managing redwood forests for the Mendocino Redwood Company in northern California. He has also worked on ranches in New Mexico and Montana.

A Message From Advancement


On behalf of The Burlington School I would like to announce the 2019-2020 Donor Honor Roll and THANK YOU for your generous financial contributions to our students, faculty and staff.

The Burlington School is fortunate to have philanthropists such as you who have financially supported the numerous events and causes within our school. Whether you contributed to the Annual Fund, the Holiday Event, the Annual Golf Classic, the Spring Auction or numerous other organizations within The Burlington School, we THANK YOU! Because of your generosity, over 350 students and our faculty and staff are afforded the opportunity to come together daily to provide academic excellence and outstanding arts and athletic experiences in a beautiful and safe school.

I look forward to seeing you and working together for a successful 2020-2021 school year at The Burlington School!

With sincere gratitude, WE THANK YOU!

Marshall M. Qualls

Director of Development / Advancement