February 1, 2019 | Vol 12, Iss 21, No 417



What IS Behind that Curtain? 

This has been a week packed full of activity and we are now into February! We held Transition Day for students moving into a new school in the fall (i.e.: from Lower to Middle, etc.) and Transition Night for their parents. Middle School shared their biography presentations (more about that below) and the symphonic band rehearsed together. All week long, we have had Homecoming activities, a pep rally, and today's basketball games. Tomorrow will bring the High School Homecoming Dance. We have been filled with School Spirit until we are overflowing - how awesome!


When I left home the grass was sparkling with frost in the morning light, this afternoon it is a beautiful sunny day, very spring like. The weather has certainly been a source of conversation this week. We missed Tuesday because of the threat that it was posing, even though much didn't happen, we are thankful that everyone was safe.


Want to find out what is behind that curtain pictured above? You will have to read all the way to the end. Enjoy the Superbowl weekend and the beautiful weekend weather. Happy Groundhog Day!


Fine Artist of the Week

Meet Middle School student Zoe Caines! She is a new member of the MSA Band, and is rocking it out on the clarinet. Zoe has been practicing the clarinet for a few weeks now, and is already advancing into her music for the upcoming concert. She's learning new notes and rhythms every day in band, and is really becoming quite the instrumentalist. Her ever present positive energy is also a great addition to the MSA Band. Due to her continuing efforts and infectious good-natured personality, Zoe has been chosen as the Musician of the Week. Way to go Zoe, you rock!


We Met a Holocaust Survivor

Holocaust History through Literature, Film, and Music - Elective Winter Learning Course

For Winter Learning 2019, I wanted to offer students an opportunity to learn about the Holocaust while also receiving an Elective Credit. Six amazing students took full advantage of two packed weeks of learning. I could literally write a book on the opportunities that the students were exposed to, but I will try to limit it to a few short notes.

Over the course of the two weeks student read, discussed and analyzed: Night by Elie Wiesel and The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. Along the way they read and analyzed picture books about the Holocaust. Students were asked to read the books written for children and discuss whether these books and the serious topic of the Holocaust were age appropriate. The take-a-way was that young children should be introduced to the history of the Holocuast and they agreed that the majority of the books were age appropriate.

We were all excited when we received the information that we were invited to the Heritage Sandy Springs to meet and listen to the real-life account of Holocaust Survivor,  READ MORE

--Nellie Jackson, Upper School Instructor


Class of 2019 - College Acceptance

Congratulations to Christian Kelm on his acceptance to the University of Miami.

Lacrosse Interest Meeting

Any students interested in joining this year's Lacrosse team should meet in Coach Josh's classroom (PreUpper bldg - 2nd room on the left) on Wednesday, February 6th at 12:15pm. The team is co-ed and open to any student in grades 6 and up. We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday. 


--Coach Josh and Coach MG


Galapagos Islands - WLP

Guest Journalist - Ana Christina Fields, U10

The trip to Ecuador was a life changing experience. It was so incredibly thrilling to see all the animals that you don't see around in the states. Some of these animals included sea lions, tortoises, sea turtles, blue footed boobies, iguanas and penguins. They were so unreal to see in real life and so up close. We went snorkeling and got to see all the life in the sea and it was amazing. Another thing that was fascinating to see was how people live down there. People begging on the streets for money, doing anything they can to live their lives. It makes me stand back and just realize how fortunate we are and how we can take it for granted. I don't think i will ever see the world the same after realizing how lucky we are that we even have a roof over our head and safe water to drink. I have made so many more friends and so many unbreakable bonds with some of the kids on the trip. I finally met some really good friends that I finally felt I could trust. I would like to thank Greg, Vaidehi and Cynthia for making this trip happen and working so very hard to keep us safe and have fun at the same time. Thank you!


Homecoming Court 2019

The nominations on Homecoming Court are listed below, the chosen King and Queen for each school is in bold.

Communication Arts School

Kaitlin Bolander

Amy Lamp'l

Andrew Jones

Cole Reed


Upper School

Freshman:   Katherine Adair and Luke McCoin

Sophmores:  Madison Taylor and Cayden Harris

Juniors:  Catie Claire Coyle and Ethan Stroup

Seniors:  Jin Butler and Jacobi Garrett


Congratulations to everyone!

Homecoming Court 2019

Communication Arts SchoolUpper SchoolKatherine Adair          Luke McCoin (Freshman)Madison Taylor          Cayden Harris (Sophomores)Catie Claire Coyle          Ethan Stroup (Juniors)Jin Butler          Jacobi Garrett (Seniors)Homecoming King and Queen will be announced in between the Middle School (1:00pm) and Varsity (2:30pm) games today.

Amy Lamp'l          Andrew Jones

Kaitlin Bolander          Cole Reed


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.


Galapagos Islands - WLP

Guest Journalist - Samantha Horton, U12

The most enjoyable thing about going to the Galapagos was being able to see tortoises and turtles close up. These are my favorite animals, and that being said, I was overwhelmed with the opportunity to see them. I was so happy when we saw them the first time, and that sun burned bright enough inside of me that I stayed happy for the entire trip. I was never able to touch one, but I swam right over a green sea turtle, and it did not care, it just continued to eat algae. That right there had to be one of the best moments of my life, top five, easily. I have probably taken over one hundred pictures of just the giant tortoises, for me, overwhelming to be perfectly honest. I could have taken five hundred, I'm sure. To be crystal clear, I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to go to the Galapagos Islands, and when I did, I had the time of my life. Now I just have to figure out how I can get back.


Have You Seen Me?

Jodi's 4th grade class has been learning about different kinds of adjectives. We put them to use by writing a lost pet poster. Students picked an unusual pet and wrote a descriptive paragraph about it. Our newest students, Nicholas Bateson, gave a perfect description of his pet peacock! It reads:




Pet's Name: Fluffy

Type of animal: A Peacock

Description: Fluffy has a small, fragile, blue body. He is kind, loving, smart, friendly, and helpful. You will know it's him because of his blue, black, orange, reddish brown, and white tail feathers. He is often roaming in areas where he can find insects to eat. Please call if found.


Last Chance To 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


Galapagos Islands - WLP

Guest Journalist - Avery Terpstra, U10

My trip to Ecuador was one to remember for a lifetime. I experienced so many things, like snorkeling with sea turtles to bargaining prices at a local market. My favorite part was when we were on the islands. The weather was amazing and all the activities were incredible. One of my favorite activities was when we went swimming in the canal. It was absolutely breathtaking. All the tour guides made the trip fun and did a great job of explaining everything and having good communication. I made so many new friends and memories that I will cherish for life. Thank you to Vaidehi and Greg for an amazing time. (Avery is pictured in the center)


Writing Legislation

In Greg's Civics class we have started the semester with an introduction to the government. Talking about what it means to be a citizen of the United States and different forms of government. Greg has started the E-Congress Game with the students. E-Congress is a simulation that guides students step-by-step through the legislative process:

  • Phase I: Introduction - learn about the legislative process
  • Phase II: Research - explore topics and formulate ideas for writing a bill
  • Phase III: Writing - write original legislation
  • Phase IV: Committee - review bills from around the country in classroom committees. Vote to approve, reject, or return to author for amendment.
  • Phase V: Amendment - debate their bills' amendment proposals and respond to the amended bills that they voted on in Committee.
  • Phase VI: House Floor - vote individually and view results on all of the bills

Right now the students are at Phase III. Greg Bodeep states, "the program E-Congress is like the video on School House Rocks, 'How a Bill Becomes a Law' on steroids."


Public Open House

Wednesday, February 13

9:00 - 11:00am

Student Activity Center


Many of you have attended an Open House on campus, and if you have, you know it is a great opportunity for someone to get a good feel for what Mill Springs is all about. If you haven't attended an Open House, it provides potential families with an overview of the school, a wonderful Fine Arts presentation, at least one parent and one student perspective, a tour of the school and an opportunity to speak with the principal. If you know someone that might benefit from attending MSA, PLEASE invite them to an Open House or better yet bring them! Word of mouth is by far the biggest way families find their way to Mill Springs. We know that you sometimes have the chance to be "Mill Springs on the Street" and we truly thank you for sharing MSA!


Galapagos Islands - WLP

Guest Journalist - Jin Butler, U12

During my nine-day trip to Quito, Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands 11 students and two teachers, Vaidehi and Greg, got the chance to learn about the wild life in the Galápagos Island but also the history of the islands and Quito, Ecuador. The group met up with our tour guide, and journeyed around Quito, Ecuador for two days. During our time in Quito we got to indulge in freshly made empanadas from a local café. I had never had empanadas before I came to Ecuador; glad I had my first taste of the delicacy while being in the country were, they are made. One of the biggest highlights from Quito for me was visiting the equator line (pictured Griffin Middleton and Jin at the equator line). That experience was very cool, I learned so much from the tour! The reason Ecuador is called what it is, is because it is in the equator. One thing I found fascinating at the Intinan Museum was the sun dial they had.  READ MORE


Fab Friday in Lower

Last Friday the Lower School students earned a polar bear and penguin Fab Friday. Our students created polar bears using cotton balls. Then we went outside and played Polar Bears and Penguins (like Sharks and Minnows). We finished the day by watching a penguin movie called, "Happy Feet." Pictured art is by Ethan Cohn L4.

--Jodi Easter-Smith, Lower School Instructor


Did You Get It?

By now it has been a week since the reenrollment contracts have been mailed. If you have not received your 2019-2020 Reenrollment Contract, please contact Sheila FitzGerald. Her direct phone number is 678-893-7773.


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


Galapagos Islands - WLP

Guest Journalist - Christian Kelm, U12

I enjoyed every bit of the Galapagos trip. The food throughout the trip was excellent, so good that I found myself reaching for seconds of things I would never touch back in the states. Our two tour guides, Alejandro and Pavlo, were both very friendly, funny, and knowledgeable about their countries. Quito was filled with many cultural, historical, and religious buildings, monuments, and works that absolutely fascinated me. The San Francisco and Santo Domingo churches were beautiful with ornate architecture. Quito was very clean, I dare say more so then Atlanta, and decked out in art, an all-round vibrant city. I loved the talks of Quito and Ecuador's pasts, from up to national revolution, to down to a specific engraving on a wall in an alley. I only spent about 4 days in Quito but now, it feels like I spent at least 4 weeks. The views in Quito will be emblazoned in my mind for years to come. Images of rolling hills, winding valleys, towering mountains, pristine lakes, and imposing volcanoes get stuck in my head as I look back now.  READ MORE


"Who Am I?" aka The Middle School Biography Project

Do you know about Jim Thorpe? Maria Tallchief? George Washington Carver? Middle School writers are in the middle of a multi-week, multi-step biography project. This project combines researching skills, presentations, creativity, editing, the use of rubrics and jumping out of our comfort zones! Students picked the names of famous folk from a hat (or in our case, a plastic pumpkin!) and researched their person. We learned about writing "hooks", which are different ways to get readers interested in your writing and hooking them in. We are putting together five paragraph essays on our famous people and also creating tri-fold presentation boards! Our biography project will culminate on February 1, with an all-Middle presentation day, where students will present their research and board to their peers.--Amy Abramson, Middle School Instructor

Turn in Free $$ Labels and Caps

Send them with your student, drop them in the office, or bring them on conference day!

Box Tops, Coke caps (PowerAde, Minute Maid, & Dasani) are due by Friday, February 22 to be eligible for the drawing. Place items in a Ziploc bag or envelope with your student's name & grade on the bag. Drop in the collection containers in each school or office. Spring drawing winners will be announced in March. EACH School will have a winner who can choose a $10 Gift Card from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Dick's or Target. Contact Lesly Huffman at with any questions.


Photography Exhibit - Behind the Curtain

This week in PreUpper a beautiful collage of photos was put on display. These photos were taken by Elli Banks (PU7, pictured). She is inspired by nature and the photos she has taken are proof! All but one of her photos were taken on a trip to Alaska. The one photo, of a hawks' nest with babies in it, was taken at her grandmother's house and it was this photo that made her realize her love for taking photographs in and of nature. If anyone would like to see them up close, they can be viewed in the hallway of the PreUpper building. Congratulations Elli, your collection is beautiful.


Galapagos Islands - WLP

Guest Journalist - Quinton Day, U12

I have done several things on the Galapagos trip. Snorkeling was probably my favorite part of the trip. I was able to see many interesting animals while snorkeling (pictured). They ranged from sea lions, sea turtles, black tip sharks, to exotic fish. I also saw sea urchins for the first time; I didn't think that they would be so hairy. They were unnerving to me. I tasted the foods of the country, such as the fish, chicken, coffee, and fried guinea pig. The turtle museum was very interesting. I learned about how one turtle at the museum saved his entire species by having approximately one hundred children. Good thing he doesn't have to pay child support. Jokes aside, it was memorable. Swimming in the lava tunnels was also cool. It was interesting how the tunnels were formed by thousands of years of water carving them.  The boat rides to the island were fun, especially on the last day when it was very rough waters, and the students in the back got soaking wet. Spending eight days with my classmate helped me grow with them. I got to learn more about them in ways I wouldn't of, by simply passing them in the halls. So over all it was a good time. I learned about the animals and the culture. I feel that this trip was enlightening to me, and I feel that I really grew closer to my peers.


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 spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur."

 --Vince Lombardi



Saturday, February 2

  • Groundhog Day


Monday, February 4

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


Thursday, February 7

  • L/M Conferences - No Classes L/M only
  • ThesCon 2019 Trip departs


Friday, February 8

  • L/M Conferences - No Classes L/M only


Saturday, February 9

  • ThesCon 2019 Trip returns
  • 7:00pm, Mustang Mardi Gras, Naylor Hall


Monday, February 11

  • ACT Testing Window thru 3/1
  • Chick-fil-A Day
  • 2:00pm, Boys Varsity Basketball AAC Championship, home



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

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