January 25, 2019 | Vol 12, Iss 20 No 416



Hopefully your Week was as Terrific as Ours

What an incredible week! We sure packed a lot of stuff into a short week and it was awesome! This week began Spring Semester for PU/CA/U, we held a very well attended Open House with a great group of folks we are looking forward to learning more about them, all the winter sport groups had pictures taken, we also hosted Donuts for Dads in Lower and Middle. Our fabulous Junior Theater Festival group came back with some wonderful awards as did our Wrestling team - make sure you check out those articles below. Pictured above is Alli Kogoy at the signing ceremony that was held today, she has decided to go to Brevard College and will hopefully be a part of their athletic program. Behind her are Andrew Kogoy - her dad, James Sampson - Athletic Director, her tennis coaches - Nellie Jackson and Vaidehi Rallapalli, Lori Kogoy - her mom, and Robert Moore - Headmaster. Alli has competed on the varsity tennis team from her first days in Middle School. Everyone is so excited for you, we hope you will come and visit and keep us posted on how things go.

Have a great weekend see you Monday when it will be Homecoming Week (read about those activities below).


Fine Artist of the Week

This week our Artist of the Week is Lower School student Max Young. He is always positive and focused in the art studio. He is working on a block printing project and is always super safe while he carves. His block print design is bold and awesome. Congratulations Max!


Feature Teacher

Meet Sylvia Cutchin, Middle School Math teacher. This is Sylvia's first year as a teacher here, but she has 10 years experience as an MSA Mom! She loves that MSA is a family. She does have over 30 years of teaching in a variety of settings, both general ed and special ed. Sylvia says, "students need a place to learn where they feel loved and where they feel they are an important part of a community." She realizes that everyone has their own talents and ways of learning, and so her objective as an educator is to foster an atmosphere that encourages students to reach their full potential.

Sylvia and her husband have two boys Jacob (MSA 2016) and Garrett (MSA 2019). In her free time she enjoys relaxing with her family and trying new foods. She loves all kinds of different food. Currently she is reading Victoria by Daisy Goodwin, a companion to the BBC series on PBS - Sylvia is a self-proclaimed anglophile. You may not know that, although she has called the metro Atlanta area home for over 30 years, she is an LA Girl - that's Lower Alabama - she grew up in Fair Hope, AL along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. She will always be a Gulf Coast Girl at heart.

Thank you for what you do each day and welcome!


College Bound

The college acceptances are flying in, here are the ones we received this week:

  • Jin Butler - College of Coastal Georgia
  • Jacobi Garrett - West Virginia University and Coastal Carolina University
  • Samantha Horton - Perimeter College - Georgia State University
  • Jack Hurtsellers - Piedmont College
  • Christian Kelm - University of Oregon
  • Andrew Liban - University of North Georgia

Congratulations to all of you in the Class of 2019 - we are very proud of everyone!


Nature Photography - WLP

During the second week of WLP Astrid Cortes and Troy Blume lead a group of 13 students on nature photography excursions. We started the week with learning about the different cameras the students had and how to adjust their settings. Some students had smartphones, compact digitals, or DSLR cameras. All of these offered great options for capturing nature. We first hiked around the MSA campus grounds experimenting with the different settings on the camera. Tuesday we went off campus to the Roswell Mill to hike around and get photos of the Vickery Creek waterfall and some of the rusted out remnants of the original confederate mill. The next day we hiked Amicalola Falls (pictured) and the students got some great long exposure shots of the waterfall's silky texture. The following days of the week, students played with editing their photos and put together a slideshow of their favorite photos from the week as well as any they has taken in the past. They then presented them to their classmates in the form of an art critique, commenting on what they liked, disliked, or what could have been changed.


MSA Mustangs vs. Center Academy

Homecoming Week Schedule - January 28 - February 1

  • Monday - Decades Dress up: Dress from the 20's, 50's, 60's, or 70's. Upper and CommArts will nominate/vote for the Homecoming Court
  • Tuesday - Represent your School by wearing your School's color: Lower is yellow, Middle is blue, PreUpper is pink, CommArts is gray, and Upper is green. There will be a Pep Rally at 1:25, and a Teachers vs. Students basketball game at 2:00pm. We will also announce the winners of the Homecoming Court.
  • Wednesday - Show your Spirit: Wear your favorite high school, college, or professional sport team shirt with school uniform bottoms.
  • Thursday - Character Day: Dress as your favorite movie or book character.
  • Friday - School Spirit Wear Day: your MSA Spirit Shirt with Uniform bottoms (good opportunity to wear your weekend shirt!). The Middle School Boys play at 1:00pm and the Varsity Boys at 2:30pm. In between the games we will present the Kings & Queens of Homecoming.


Concessions will be available, don't forget to bring your money.

  • $2.00 item - Hot Dogs
  • $1.00 items - Candy, Drinks, Chips, Popcorn, or Cookies
  • $0.25 item - Airheads

Watch your Mailbox

It's hard to believe it is that time already, but watch your mailbox for your Reenrollment Contract, they went in the mail this week and should arrive to you soon.


Your Reenrollment Contract is due back with your deposit by February 21, 2019.


STAR Student/Teacher

Congratulations to Emily Kane! The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program honors Georgia's outstanding high school seniors and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development. Emily selected Bonnie Bergstresser as her STAR Teacher and credits Bonnie's ability to teach in a way that students learn (and just being awesome!) for giving her a new perspective and confidence in her mathematical abilities, something she felt was lacking before attending Mill Springs Academy. Pictured are Emily and Bonnie re-creating all of their hours studying for the SAT and her other various dual enrollment and high-level math courses.

There will be a breakfast to honor all of the area's STAR Students and their selected teacher in the spring. The STAR Program is designed to recognize high school seniors who have the highest SAT score on a single test date on the two-part SAT and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average. Each high school STAR Student is asked to name his/her STAR Teacher. Students then compete for school system titles, and those winners compete for region honors. Region winners compete for the honor of being named State PAGE STAR Student. STAR Teachers continue on with their STAR Students at every level of the program.

Congratulations Emily and good luck going forward!


2018-2019 National Geographic Geography Bee

Every year Mill Springs Academy participates in the National Geographic Geography Bee. The purpose of the bee is to motivate students to want to learn about the world and increase public awareness about geography. The winner of the National Geography Bee wins a $50,000 college scholarship and a National Geographic trip! This year we had an extremely successful preliminary round of the Geography Bee. We had around 70 students who participated this year that were in grades 6 through 8. The preliminary rounds were held in the PreUpper Social Studies classes. Next week, we will be completing the championship round. The top 10 students that will be competing are, William Gaines, Sam Copple-Goodman, Marie Jackson, Edward Gorgoll, Kai Goltze, Seth Horwitz, Zach Porter, Adriano Hagedorn, Logan Vladick, and Eli Gelernter.  Wish these students good luck on the final rounds.  All participants in this year's Geography Bee did a fabulous job! 


Middle/JV Track Interest Meeting

We will be holding an interest meeting for any students in grades 5 - 8 interested in joining or learning more about the Track Team. The meeting will be held in PreUpper Room 1310 (Karen's Classroom) on Monday, January 28 at 12:30pm.


Cellphone Photography

This week in Matt's class we studied Cellphone photography! The students learned all about the functionality of their cellphone cameras and how to use each of the editing features the phone can utilize.


Students had fun with landscapes and slow motion, time lapse and portraits and how to stage and frame a photograph. We explored the 'Rule of Thirds' and the 'Rule of Odds'  and learned how to take panoramic photos. At the end of the week we traveled to the Suwanee Town Center Park to photograph statues and sculptures along with a Piece of the Berlin wall and a 9/11 Tribute that included a piece of the World Trade Center.


The highlight of the week for Matt was when his students told him they have enjoyed sharing what they learned with their parents and friends and they were able to teach them some of the principles they learned during class.


Meet MSA's Newest Hams

Please congratulate PreUpper students Andrew Buchberger and Eli Gelernter on their success at the end of the Ham Radio License Prep Winter Learning seminar led by Martha Muir. Andrew presently has the call sign KN4IVE/AG which indicates that he successfully passed the FCC test to earn his General Class Amateur Radio Operator's license, the second level of ham radio license. Eli earned his first level of ham license by passing the Technician level exam.

Both exams required those students to study and master a great deal of information on the physics, regulations, and best practices for operating the variety of equipment now included in the Amateur Radio spectrum. READ MORE

Pictured: Jim Stafford, Elden Morris, Andrew Buchberger, Eli Gelernter, and Marvin Wilken after Andrew and Eli passed their ham radio license exams.


Transition Night for Parents

Thursday, January 31

7:00 - 8:30pm

Parents of Rising 5th & PreUpper 7th Grade Students


This will be held in the Great Room of your new school

Current 4th Grade families (Rising 5th) - Middle School Great Room

Current 6th Grade families (Rising 7th) - PreUpper School Great Room


MSA Wins Awards at JTF

The sixteen MSA drama students pictured above presented ELF the Musical at the largest musical theater festival in the world this past weekend in Atlanta, the Junior Theater Festival. There were over 6500 people at the festival. These students represented Mill Springs Academy well in EVERY way and earned several awards and honors:


  • Mill Springs Academy - Excellence in Ensemble Work (trophy)
  • Jack Hurtsellers - Inspirational Performance (trophy) out of 6529 people!
  • Ella Parsons and Jack Hurtsellers - Named our "All-Star" performers and performed a number directed by a Broadway director on stage for the entire audience.
  • Lilliana Coco was selected as one of three people in the whole 6529 group to read the question she formulated for Thomas Schumacker (President Disney Musicals) on stage TO him and to Caissie Levy (Elsa on Broadway in Frozen) and the Lopez family (composers of the FROZEN music).


STUDENTS - Interested in joining next year?  Anyone in 5th-12th grades can sign up for the Junior Festival Theater class in the fall to attend!


Using Math in Everyday Life

Middle School students are reading about how math is part of our everyday lives! Students receive a monthly magazine – Scholastic DynaMath for 5th graders and Scholastic Math for 6th graders. Lexi Murphree (M5) and Zoe Weaver (M5) (pictured in that order) said their favorite article this month is "Hot Wheels" about how a young man born with a condition called arthrogryposis competes as a wheelchair racer. Lexi said, "It's so cool that they compete with other kids their age." Zoe commented, "They used math to calculate the speed. They can reach up to 6 mph? Geeze, my bike doesn't go that fast."

--Sylvia Cutchin, Middle School Instructor


Conferences are Coming!

Whatever days your school is holding conferences, there are no classes for your student. Please pay close attention to the schedule, which follows:


Lower/Middle Parent Conferences

February 7 and 8

PreUpper/CommArts/Upper Student Conferences

February 15 and 22


Students should wear their uniform to the conference. If you have any questions, please contact your principal, they will be glad to answer them for you.



Congratulations to our MSA wrestlers, who battled their way to the GISA Region Team Championship trophy last night in Macon Georgia. Making this the sixth-straight year in a row that the Mustangs have claimed the title!


We had 5 Gold medalists, 2 Silver, and 2 Bronze.


Our Mustangs topped a wry competitive field which included: Windsor Academy, Creekside Christian, Loganville Academy, and Brandon Hall.


Next week we go to GISA State Championships at the Storm Dome in Americus GA. Go MUSTANGS!


CommArts Sewing - WLP

Eight CommArts students tried their hand at sewing this year. The group began by learning to hand sew. By the end of the week each student had hand sewn five mini stuffed animals. The students caught on so quickly that they also had time to do lessons on the sewing machine. We went to Hobby Lobby and learned how to pick out and buy fabric that we would turn into pillows. What a fun week! Pictured is Ella Parsons (CA7) working on her sewing project.


Get Your Tickets!!

The Mill Springs Academy

Parent Volunteer Association Presents


Mustang Mardi Gras

Live and Silent Auction

February 9, 2019 - 7:00pm

Naylor Hall, Roswell


The PVA is actively planning for this fun event! We hope you all will join us as we raise money for the next MSA Capital Campaign that will include a new Fine Arts Building.

Make sure you get your tickets before they are gone. Follow the links below for more information.


Sponsorship opportunities:
Auction donations:

Questions? Contact us at


The Science of Speed

Shown in this photo are Robert Papasidero and Addison Monette of my Physical Science class. They were partners performing an activity to see how fast they can speed walk. The activity is part the chapter on Speed, Velocity, and Acceleration. The students had to see how fast they could walk 60 feet, by taking stopwatch measurements every 10 ft. Once they acquired the data for themselves and their partner, they then graphed their data to compare each other's speed. After graphing, students answered analysis questions to find out who had the faster average speed in feet per second, and then used their knowledge of conversions to calculate their speed in meters per second, centimeters per second, and miles per hour. We also discussed how acceleration can be understand by looking at the changes in the slope of the graph.

--Troy Blume, Upper School Instructor


Coral Lab 2.0 - WLP

MSA's Coral Lab received a facelift during Winter Learning by a dedicated group of PreUpper students. The beginning of the week found the students prepping the lab for a fresh coat of paint (Jacob Riggins painting the lab walls on the right). Following the prep, the students worked in shifts to get all the wall surfaces painted a nice shade of oceanic blue. They then spent some time hanging coral-related artwork and re-organizing materials. Aside from all the tasks involved in this renovation, the students were also responsible for the lab's daily maintenance and feedings. The group learned how to test for PH, Calcium, Salinity/Specific Gravity, and how to properly and safely feed corals, invertebrates, and reef fish.


For the last two days of the week, the students worked diligently with MG to build a new 80-gallon saltwater tank system that will soon be home to some new corals, invertebrates, and reef fish. "I really enjoyed seeing our lab transform throughout the renovation process," said 8th grader Zachary Schneiderman (pictured installing the wiring for the new tank pump on the left). "We really got a lot accomplished in just five days." Overall, it was an extremely productive week in the Coral Lab. If you would like to come tour the lab and observe our marine creatures, please contact Michael Griffeth (MG).


We Have a Dream ...

Over the past couple of weeks, Lower School students have been learning about Martin Luther King Jr. and how he worked to end segregation. We read a book called "When Martin Luther King Jr. Wore Roller Skates" and learned about MLK's childhood and his life's work. Group 3 wrote biographies in a mini book about Dr. King's early life, family, education, life's work, and his "I have a dream" speech. Group 4 wrote journals about what they would ask MLK Jr. if they could speak with him. They even came up with their own dreams to help make the world a better place. Some of their dreams were to live in a world without war, stop making cigarettes in the U.S., help sick people, stop people from speeding, reduce crime rates, and to end bullying. Pictured is a page from Owen Burke's (L3) biography.

--Kaylee Simmons, Lower School Instructor


Guest Journalist - Nico Bateson (L4)

Martin Luther King Jr., I really like what you did. You gave black people their rights. Were you willing to die if it meant African Americans got equal rights? How did you keep doing those non-violent protests even after the police used fire hoses on the people protesting? What did you feel like after your house was bombed? Thank you for helping all of those people.


Community Cares & Concerns

The Allen Family
The Buckley 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 

"The greatest discovery of our generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their state of mind."

 --Williams James



Friday, January 25

  • 4:00pm, Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Howard School
  • 5:30pm, Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Howard School


Monday, January 28 - Friday, February 1

Homecoming Week


Monday, January 28

  • Chick-fil-A Day


Wednesday, January 30

  • Boys Middle Basketball APAC Championships
  • Transition Day - Rising 5th Grade Students
  • 4:00pm, Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Atlanta Area School for the Deaf
  • 5:30pm, Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Atlanta Area School for the Deaf


Thursday, January 31

  • Transition Day - Rising 7th & 9th Grade Students
  • 7:00pm, Transition Night - Parents of Rising 5th & 7th Grade Students, in your new Great Room


Friday, February 1


  • 8:30am, Symphonic Band Rehearsal
  • Booster Club Pizza Friday
  • 1:00pm, Boys Middle Basketball vs. Center Academy
  • 2:00pm, Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Center Academy


Monday, February 4

  • 8:00am, Coffee after Carpool, Crabapple Starbucks
  • Chick-fil-A Day



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

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