November 30, 2018 | Vol 12, Iss 15, No 411


I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving and a wonderful break. We ended last week with Grandparents' Day - the band playing above is from Friday's festivities. We had an awesome time hosting your grandparents and are so thankful for the support they provide to both you and our school. This week was spent looking forward to the CommArts Festival "Technology through Time" which was fabulous, I hope you all enjoyed it. There is a group who have gone to Nashville to participate in the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, they return tomorrow. Today PreUpper students (and some faculty) dressed in their favorite SEC team color, I am not partial in anyway, but there sure was a lot of red.We have December in the wings with that comes several large things. The students (grades 7-12) are preparing for exams. The Band and Chorus will perform several times, there are some transition events that take place, and we have an Alumni Holiday Party. Even though we just came back from a restful week, I bet the count down has begun for the Winter Holiday's. Before you know it we will be in second semester and 2019! Just  B...R...E...A...T...H...E...  we can do it!May your home be filled with love and light making each day bright.

Fine Artists of the Week

Earlier this month, chorus singers (pictured in this order), Isa Stokes (PU7), Lilliana Coco (CA9), Jack Hurtsellers (U12), and Bennett English (U10) traveled to the Secret Cove Recording Studio in Sugar Hill to make professional quality tracks of their singing! The group got a chance to record two group numbers while Lilliana and Jack recorded solo songs as well (the songs that they will be singing solo at the Literary Festival). The group presented their two choral songs, "Mr. Roboto" and "Video Killed the Radio Star" for the Communication Arts festival. Since the theme of the festival was "Technology through Time," these song lyrics fit perfectly, but the group also used their tracks to sing along with live, employing technology to make a fuller sound. They will present these songs again, plus the two solo songs, at next week's band and chorus concert. They sound fabulous and we are proud of their hard work. We will share the tracks later so you can hear them as well and we know you will agree! Congratulations to all of you.

Thank You!

Thank you to the cooperative and amazing carpool parents who make sure I am warm and hydrated during carpool.


Thank you,

Cindy Thorne

Carpool Coordinator


College Acceptances

Congratulations to the following students for their acceptances to the indicated schools:

  • Kaitlin Bolander - Reinhardt University
  • Jacobi Garrett - Lynn University AND Oregon State University

Hooray for History

This was a busy month in Elke's World History class. Students explored the ancient regions of Egypt's Nile Valley, as well as the Indus and China. They were able to demonstrate what they learned in a variety of ways through projects (picture 1), presentations, and games. One of our most memorable activities was a simulation in which students had to survive as the early peoples survived as hunter/gatherers. They foraged for food, or farmed, built shelters, and had to transport water to their settlements. Our Ancient Egypt project had some fantastic results including 3D models, paintings, cooking and skits. Scottie Owen is in picture 2 building a shelter with Popsicle sticks. The students seemed to enjoy their learning. Students also had reflections about class to share:


"I really enjoy history this year, which surprised me because history is normally my least favorite subject. I have learned so much and enjoy the different ways that you provide to help us learn the material. I enjoy coming to class to learn and retain information. I feel like you give us the perfect amount of work and time to study. You also review a lot for quizzes and test in class, which I appreciate a lot. I like that our schedule for the day is on the board, so we know what to do. I really enjoy that our homework that is on Mustang and is clear about what we're supposed to do." --Avery Terpstra


"History is my favorite subject. This is a fun class. I enjoy all of the activities that we do in this class.  My favorite activity was watching the flocabulary videos, those help to complete the quizlets and the worksheets." --Cameron Keskonis


"Being completely honest I enjoyed a lot of it but I hated vocabulary so much. I loved the projects especially. I enjoyed some of the topics we had this year." --Matthew White


Keeping Us Updated

Recently we got an update on Reid Cohen - MSA 2018 and his gap year adventure with Carpe Diem Education. He is currently along the coast in Tanzania becoming S.C.U.B.A. certified among other interesting cultural experiences. He just found out that next semester he will go to Belize to be part of a program called WildTracks. They work to protect and conserve endangered species. He will be specifically working with spider and howler monkeys and manatees. We look forward too hearing about that adventure as well! Thank you for letting us share.


Book Fair Success: Thanks to YOU!

Our annual Scholastic Book Fair was amazing thanks to the support of our wonderful community! We raised over $1,800 that will be used to add awesome books and audio books to our library collection. Because of your generosity, many of our classroom teachers also have cool new books for the students to read! Thank you to all of our students, teachers, staff, and families that visited Book Fair throughout the week (even in the pouring rain!). It was also wonderful meeting so many families on Grandparents' Day. Special thank you to Beth Coetzee, Suzanne Gaines, Juani Randolph, Lori McCullers, Katie McCullers, Maddie Hahn, and Peter Cook for all of your help setting up, running Grandparents' Day, and breaking down the Book Fair. We appreciate you all so much! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making this another successful Book Fair.


If you missed the Book Fair, you can shop the ONLINE Scholastic Book Fair through Sunday December 2nd! The books purchased will still benefit our school and be sent directly to MSA. Ms. Brittany will deliver them to homerooms when they arrive (usually before Winter Break begins).


Math Riddles

Middle School students enjoy solving riddles, and some of their favorite riddles involve math. This year they have solved a variety of logic problems and riddles. The following number riddle provides an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of place value and base ten number operations – "I am a 3-digit odd number greater than 800. My tens digit is 2 less than my ones digit. I am divisible by 3 but not 5. The sum of my digits is 12. What number am I?" If you have trouble solving this problem, ask a Middle School student to help you. Pictured left to right are Joey Lenox (M6), Sydney Johnson (M6), William Gaines (M6) and Luisa Gorgoll (M6).


Holiday Market is Coming to Mill Springs Academy

Monday, December 3 - Wednesday, December 5

Dear Parents:

We are inviting you and your child to participate in the upcoming "Holiday Market" at Mill Springs Academy. This program makes it possible for children to experience the joy of choosing their own special holiday gifts for family and friends. The "Holiday Market" will be set up at the school in the CommArts Great Room of the Upper School Building and supervised by our PVA. They will help the children pick that perfect gift for the price they a familiar, comfortable atmosphere.

This program will create wonderful memories for the students while teaching them to budget their money and make their own decisions. There will be a large variety of gifts in different price ranges to choose from. Imagine the fun they will have surprising a loved one with a "secret" gift they bought...all by themselves!

We welcome you to be part of this great experience. A "money control" envelope will be provided to your student (1st-8th) to help them decide whom they should buy gifts for and how much they should spend. You can even suggest ways that your child can earn extra shopping money.


THE HOLIDAY MARKET ... Where wishes come true!


Shark Tank!

The 11th Grade Communication Arts Economic students have completed the annual Shark Tank Project. The students spend the semester creating a new product. They research and write a 3-page business proposal, and create a sales pitch. Once they have completed their business proposal and built a sample product, the students then pitch their business to a panel of Sharks in front of the entire community. Bonus points if the Sharks invest! What a wonderful group this year (pictured in this order) with the Water Pocket by Nathan Mostyn, the Super Scrubber by Zach Hale, and the Airless Bike Tire by Jack Holt and Nic Allen. What an exciting time to think of what they will achieve in life!



Just a reminder that the deadline for contributions to this year's Teacher and Staff Holiday Gift is Friday, December 7th.  Each year, MSA parents have generously thanked our teachers and staff  with a group cash gift.  No amount is too big or too small!!  Remember, you get the added advantage of not having to go buy gifts for staff, teachers and your child's principal at those pesky crowded stores!!


You can mail a check for your entire donation payable to MSA/PVA to the school or feel free to personally deposit your envelope in the decorative holiday basket located in the Administration Building. You can also make an online payment through the MSA/PVA Store. Just go to Scroll down to Teacher & Staff Gift Contribution. Enter the amount you would like to contribute along with your name and email address. Then click "Submit."


Together, we can make this a very special holiday season for the INCREDIBLE teachers and staff of Mill Springs Academy.


If you should have any questions or concerns then please do not hesitate to contact Debbie Drew. Thank You.  



This week we concluded our photosynthesis series with students giving Google Slide presentations about what they know, and a look at evergreens - which are often displayed during the holiday season.

The classes have observed on the Mill Springs campus that leaves on deciduous trees turn colors - bright yellow, red, orange, and finally, brown. Now many of the leaves from these trees are gone.

However, we have noticed from our outdoor studies that some trees not only stay green, they also keep their leaves all winter! Those trees are called evergreens because they stay green year-round by growing new leaves before shedding old ones.

Despite the less than ideal weather, I enjoyed teaching this series because it is something that students can observe and understand in the real world. Pictured: Edward Gorgoll reviewing his Google Slides photosynthesis project with PreUpper dog Max.


Looney for Legos

Lower School students were especially excited for their Fab Friday this week—Lego Day! We got to play a Lego themed aiming game, do a scavenger hunt for Lego men, and decorate our own Lego person. Students also got the opportunity to bring in their own Lego sets to show and build with. We really loved building different structures and vehicles with our friends. At the end of the afternoon, we watched the Lego Movie and had quite a few laughs. What a fun and exciting Friday treat! Pictured are Griffin Snell L4, Ethan Cohn L4, Preston Bonham L3, and Caleb Donaldson L4.

--Carissa Nelson, Lower School Instructor


Life Inside the Forensics Class

Guest Journalist - Collins Losson, U11

Biology and Chemistry both seem like just modern and long written science classes, but what about turning to a life of solving crimes. That is where Forensics class comes in. Throughout the entire semester, our class has taken time and effort to learn deep into the true nature of crime scene investigation. We have learned about identifying different fingerprints, which so far has been my favorite. We also learned about identifying hair as well. The labs we do in class are certainly interesting. We worked with a lot of different toxicities such as prescription drugs and learned how to identify each one during a crime scene. Don't worry we did not use any illegal drugs! One of my absolute favorite things we did though was watch Forensic Files. I watch that show a lot on my free time and the episodes are certainly interesting. I really enjoyed learning about different toxins and how to identify them. We just recently wrapped up our dioramas where we had to create a crime scene out of a diorama and write a story about it. The class discussions we have are quite interesting and the way Vaidehi speaks is very calm and focused. We also add a little fun into it by playing some Forensic competitions on Kahoot. I always lose, but it's still fun. We have also spent some time examining fibers under microscopes. If anyone is interested in crime investigation or forensics, I would definitely recommend this class. 


Did you get Mustangs in Motion?

If you are prone to take pictures of your Mustang at any of the events, on or off campus, whether you take pictures with your cellphone or a camera, I would love to have them to share on our different social media outlets. When you attend any of the athletics or other activities, please keep me in mind and forward your pictures to It's so helpful to have other feet on the street. Thank you in advance, I really appreciate it.

--Cheri Harwood, Director of Communications


Campus Telephone Numbers

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. HOWEVER if you are driving in your car when you are calling ... well, we have laws about that now, and we want you to be safe. Sooo... save your principal's direct dial number in your phone and it will be easier. The list below has both extensions AND direct dial numbers to make this simpler for you. If there are other direct dial numbers you would like - i.e. a coach or teacher -  you can look any of them up on the school's directory ( Thank you, your help is greatly appreciated, here is a list of certain extensions/direct dial numbers:


Lower - Laurie Jones - x1101 - 678-893-7786
Middle - Will Turner - x1200 - 678-893-7841
PreUpper - Susan Sanders - x1301 - 678-893-7843
PreUpper - Nina King - x1302 - 678-893-7791
CommArts - Chelsea Michelson - x1400 - 678-893-7827
CommArts - Taniah Jones - x1523 - 678-893-7830
Upper - Cynthia Traylor - x1530 - 678-893-7812
Upper - Jaime Gutierrez - x1525 - 678-893-7810
Upper - Lisa Imsand - x1550 - 678-893-7820
Counseling - Susan Day - x1730 - 678-893-7847
Bookkeeping - Patsy Beckwith - x1708 - 678-893-7774

Laptop Repairs - Jason Mack - x1757 - 678-893-7858


Sign Up for the Exam Bus

If your student is in PreUpper, CommArts, or Upper and will need to ride the Exam Bus during exam week, here is your chance to sign up


If you already ride the bus in the afternoon, you can take the Exam Bus at no cost - you are already paying for it. Please make sure you review the stops, it is the same route as the Late Bus.


If you don't ride the afternoon bus, but would like to take advantage of the Exam Bus, still check the route, and then make sure you sign up to ride the Exam Bus. The cost is $20 per ride.


Community Cares & Concerns

The Allen Family
The Buckley Family
Families affected by the California Wildfires
Creekview High School
The Holt Family
The Izenberg Family
The Shurling-Smith Family
The Smith 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 

 "Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done whether you like it or not."

 --Thomas Huxley




Friday, November 30

  • 5:00pm Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Center Academy


Saturday, December 1

  • PoCC/SDL Conference Trip returns


Sunday, December 2

  • Hanukkah begins at Sundown


Monday, December 3

  • Holiday Gift Shop, CommArts Great Room
  • Chick-fil-A Day
  • 3:30pm Band Final Exam


Tuesday, December 4

  • Holiday Gift Shop, CommArts Great Room
  • 1:15pm Band/Chorus Concert, L/M/PU student audience
  • 7:00pm Winter Band/Chorus Concert, Theater


Wednesday, December 5

  • Holiday Gift Shop, CommArts Great Room
  • Exam Review Day PU/CA/U
  • 1:15pm Band/Chorus Concert, CA/U student audience
  • 3:30pm Boys Middle Basketball vs. Cottage School


Thursday, December 6

  • Exam Review Day PU/CA/U
  • 4:00pm Varsity Wrestling, @Brandon Hall


Friday, December 7

  • Exam Review Day PU/CA/U
  • Volunteer Service Hours Due M/PU/CA/U
  • Winter Learning Prep PU/CA/U
  • 12:00pm Booster Club Pizza Friday
  • 5:00pm Girls Varsity Basketball @Brandon Hall
  • 6:30pm Boys Varsity Basketball @Brandon Hall


Monday, December 10

  • ACT Testing Window through 12/18
  • Exam Review Day PU/CA/U
  • 12:00pm Chick-fil-A Day
  • 12:15pm Band Party
  • 3:30pm Boys Middle Basketball @Swift School
  • Hanukkah ends at Sundown


Tuesday, December 11

  • 1st Period Exam PU/CA/U


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

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