August 17, 2018 | Vol 12, Iss 1, No 397



Happy First Week of School

We started the school year with new teacher training, our faculty returning for inservice (you can read about our scavenger hunt below), and a wonderful New Family Orientation! On the first day of school I saw parents taking pictures of their student with their new principal all the way to a mom singing "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" out of the car window as she drove off campus. We continued on with an awesome first week of school, I hope you are getting rave reviews from your student. Even though we are just beginning to get our feet wet in class, our sports have begun practicing, the performing arts group held their annual meeting, and today our seniors attended a leadership luncheon. There is already lots going on.
Today you can read about some fun stuff that took place in this week's classes. There are photos of a couple visiting alumni, some information about our PVA, and a compilation of "What I did on my summer vacation" from our staff/faculty. My picture is above (grapes in the vineyard), I spent a couple nights at Chateau Elan and took some photographs with my new camera. I hope you had a great summer and I want to hear about it! Send me YOUR vacation photos and a brief description of where you went - next week I will share those in the Weekly News.


Have a terrific weekend!


What I Did on My Summer Vacation

This summer our staff and faculty have taken some pretty fabulous vacations. Pictured clockwise starting at the top left:

  • Kate McElliott, Fine Arts in between with Freddie Gershon (CEO, MTI) and his wife at a party in their NYC home for those awarded the teacher fellowship by the Music Theatre International (MTI)
  • Amy Abramson (Middle School) and her son at Mt. Rushmore
  • Angela Davis (from Counseling) enjoying Montego Bay, Jamaica on a Reggae Catamaran cruise excursion.
  • This sunset picture is from Sylvia Cutchin's trip to Mobile Bay, she is a Middle School instructor.
  • Kayso the Library Dog laying by the pool while his mom (Librarian Brittany) was buying him a house. Congratulations!
  • Will Turner (Middle Principal) and his wife Molly visited St. Simons Island this summer.
  • Kate McElliott and her family are pictured here at the Grand Tetons in Wyoming.
  • This summer LaToyia Armstead from Middle School went fishing for the first time EVER at General Butler State Park in Carollton, KY. Look she caught a fish!

It certainly looks like everyone enjoyed those vacations. Thank you all for sharing!


Fine Artists of the Week

This week's Fine Artists of the Week are alumni Will Domenico - MSA 2014, Sam North - MSA 2016 (both pictured on the left), and Sammy Mishkin (2nd from the left in the right hand picture). All three have been working immensely hard over the summer to prepare for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, at the Holly Theater in Dahlonega! The show is a beautiful story of love, sacrifice, diversity, community, and acceptance. Directed by MSA Drama teacher Jamie Fambrough and designed by Tech Director Patrick Rose, and featuring the award-winning music from the Disney animated film an Victor Hugo's masterful storytelling, The Hunchback of Notre Dame has been a smash success for two weeks! Will, Sam, and Sammy have had an amazing journey this summer, learning difficult music, stage combat, and dazzling dance choreography. The show runs two more weekends, so you can still catch them if you're interested! Give them a huge round of applause for being this week's Fine Artists of the Week!


I am From ...

This week in MG's Creative Writing class, students had the opportunity to get to know each other through the use of poetry.  The class began constructing "I am From" poems, which will be the first online post for the class' writing blog,  To construct these poems, students were each given a note card with a prompt such as "things found around your house," "phrases and sayings you hear from your family," "family member names," favorite foods," etc. written on it.  They were then given 3-5 minutes to write as many responses to the prompt as possible on a sheet of paper before rotating note cards with their classmates.  After the rotation made one cycle, students then edited these responses and inserted them into a stanza-style format that, once completed, took the shape of a meaningful poem.  Once the poems are finalized, they will be published electronically with the link to them distributed to the MSA community (please stay tuned). It was a fun opportunity for students to personalize a creative writing assignment and to get to know each other in the process!    READ MORE


Annual Fund

The 2018-2019 Annual Fund is officially underway. We kicked off this year's campaign with our staff and faculty during the week of Inservice. This AMAZING group has already participated at 100% and has increased their overall giving from last year by 16%!  


The goals for this year's campaign are:

  • Raise $300,000
  • Achieve 100% participation from our entire school family (parents, Board, faculty/staff)

Appeal letters, brochures and pledge forms will be sent out to parents next week. Please be on the lookout for this important mailing and give great consideration as to your level of support. For your convenience, gifts and pledges can be made online by clicking here.  


Participating in the Annual Fund is the most is the most important gift you can make to MSA. And remember...NO GIFT IS TOO SMALL. 


We Have the Write Stuff

Middle School writers completed their first classroom project by adding a summer blurb to our writing tree (shown on the classroom wall). Every few weeks, a new topic will be added to the tree and students will be able to respond to the topic in written or artistic form. My writers really enjoyed reading other student's responses and sharing their own summer adventures. Some students traveled out of the country, while others created summer memories closer to home. Swimming, tubing, boating and water parks seemed to be our most popular destinations, while the summer highlight for some was getting to spend extended time playing favorite video games or visiting with relatives. Summer 2018 may be a wrap, but we have great memories!

--Amy Abramson, Middle School Instructor


What is the PVA?

Did you know there is a fun Parent organization at school? The Parent Volunteer Association (PVA) is WAY more than volunteering!  The Mill Springs Academy community is as unique as its students. So many of us have traveled winding roads to find ourselves here, and this community "gets it".  The PVA likes to get together to share our stories and our children's struggles and successes with parents who understand in a way that others cannot. We offer many opportunities to meet other parents and support one another while we serve our community.


The PVA helps our school too! We raise funds by offering a Chick-fil-A lunch to our kids on Mondays, hosting our annual Auction and Dinner in February and selling Used Uniforms at bargain prices!   We are excited to offer a future donation to the Capital Campaign because of fundraising efforts.


We encourage you to join the PVA! It is an annual membership so if you signed up last year, please sign up again this year. Your membership fee of $25 goes right back to the school to help fund important projects. We often send out information but only to those folks who have signed up. So please don't miss out - sign up today! Here is a link to our sign up page:


Do you have questions? We would love to hear from you! Feel free to contact for more information about YOUR school's PVA!!


New Kids on the Block

Lower School would like to welcome our new students: Charlie Latzak, Owen Burke, Ethan Cohn, Ady Rajarajen, Jackson Kramer, Cameron Merritt, and Zachary Hamil.  All of them had a fantastic first day of school. The Lower School teachers have been learning a lot of fun things about our students. Owen is most excited about Art class this year. Ady traveled to India over the summer, while Cameron's family looked for the perfect new home closer to MSA. Zachary was excited to share with our community that he has 2 goldfish and 2 dogs. We ended our first week with an ice cream party. It's going to be a great year!


AED Scavenger Hunt

During Teacher Inservice Week, the staff and faculty gathered for our Emergency Response Plan review and activities. An AED (Automated External Defibrillator) Scavenger Hunt encouraged everyone to explore buildings on campus to know where all AEDs are located. Lt. Chad Taylor from Milton Police Department presented the Run, Hide, Fight procedure. The teachers also played a Kahoot trivia game to help process information from the Emergency Response Plan - Kaylee from Lower School was the big winner with some awesome reaction times. Pictured are a group of teachers at the baseball field where they found one of the AEDs on the Scavenger Hunt. If you saw the Facebook post - there are nine (9) AEDs on campus.


CommArts in the Coral Lab

This week in Coral Lab we spent time some time creating questions and generating curiosity about the ocean. We had some great questions such as, where do the fish come from, do sea urchins have eyes, and how big is the ocean? In the process we calculated that it would take just over 1 billion MSA campuses to cover the entire surface of the ocean. Pictured at the Coral Lab are 8th graders Jaden Prince, Owen Parker, and Jeremiah Jones.

--Michael Adams, Communication Arts Instructor


Visiting Alumni

Sam Lynch MSA 2017 visited yesterday. He came to see his framed, retired track jersey. He left it for MSA as a memento to show that even students with learning disabilities can be successful. He hopes it inspires future generations to know that he was successful on our track and cross country teams and he was able to go on to do those things in college as well. He is currently attending Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina. He participated in track and cross country at MSA from 2011-2017, he was a two time XC GISA State Champion, a two time XC AAC Champion, a two time Track and Field GISA State Finalist and the AAC League MVP. Pictured with the jersey and Robert Moore our Headmaster.


Robert Golden MSA 2013 also visited this week. He is currently working at The Standard Club. Robert is pictured on the right with Janet Ford.


Calculus Coffeehouse

It's a new year, and with a new year has come a new look for the classroom! I have redone my classroom to create a more comfortable space similar to a coffeehouse. I got the idea after doing some reflection on myself as a student. I struggled in the classroom setting. During tests I was so focused on how much other students were writing and felt anxiety because I couldn't even figure out the first question. I realized, taking online classes, that I do a lot better as a student whenever I am able to study and take tests in my home, with a more comfortable setting. Not to mention, with Mill Springs being a college prep school, a lot of my college days were spent studying with friends in a I wanted my classroom to be similar to this, and to create a space where students felt comfortable collaborating with each other while working through assignments. I decided to try this with my students to try to limit the test anxiety and general classroom anxiety and encourage collaboration in math. Pictured is my Honors Pre-Calculus class in the new classroom setup. So far the kids have LOVED it. They feel a lot more comfortable, there is a lot more collaboration when working on assignments, and even my advisory has found the new setup to be a catalyst to creating conversation. I'm looking forward to the new year and to seeing the brilliant minds of my students at work!

--Hayley Adams, Upper School Instructor


Telephone Extensions

If you are calling the school for something, most things can be solved by speaking with your principal, or another representative within YOUR School. If you have that individual's extension number you can get to them directly without going through another person. You can always use the directory lookup on the phone (by pressing 2), or you can look up anyone's direct dial number or extension on the school's directory ( Thank you, your help is greatly appreciated, here is a list of certain extensions:

Lower - Laurie Jones - x1100
Middle - Will Turner - x1200
PreUpper - Susan Sanders - x1301
PreUpper - Nina King - x1302
CommArts - Chelsea Michelson - x1400
CommArts - Taniah Jones - x1523
Upper - Cynthia Traylor - x1530
Upper - Jaime Gutierrez - x1525
Upper - Lisa Imsand - x1550
Counseling - Susan Day - x1730
Bookkeeping - Patsy Beckwith - x1708

Technology - Thomas Berg - x1758


Community Cares & Concerns

The Schutz Family

If there is ever a care or concern you would like to share with the community, please just email me at any time, I will be glad to include either names or situations. For privacy, I will only list names and claim ignorance if anyone asks me for details. Cheri 

If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.

 --Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire



Monday, August 20

  • Chick-fil-A Begins
  • 12:30pm One Act Play Auditions
  • PM Program Begins


Tuesday, August 21

  • 12:30pm One Act Play Auditions


Wednesday, August 22

  • 4:30pm Boys Varsity Soccer @ Howard


Thursday, August 23

  • 4:00pm Girls Varsity Volleyball @ Lyndon Academy
  • 6:00pm International Thespian Society Induction


Saturday, August 25

  • 9:00am SAT Testing


Monday, August 27

  • Lower School Portraits


Tuesday, August 28

  • Middle School Portraits




13660 New Providence Road • Alpharetta, GA 30004 • (770) 360-1336

Forward this eNotice to a friend.
Unsubscribe from this eNotice.