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News about ways to support Burgundy. If you have questions about supporting Burgundy through volunteering or making a gift, please contact Michele McCabe.

Off-Campus Learning Made Possible Through Annual Giving

Friday, April 20, 2018
Huntley Meadows
First graders exploring Huntley Meadows on a previous trip.

Annual Giving supports memorable learning opportunities for all our students, on campus and off! For virtually all field trips during the year, the cost of transportation and admission is already covered, not an add-on fee for families. Annual Giving helps make this possible.

First grade authors write and share books
about local wildlife, often inspired by what
they've seen at Huntley Meadows.

The Huntley Meadows field trips that the first grade classes go on each year are a great example of the importance of field trips in the curriculum. The spring visit is coming up on April 24. Huntley Meadows Park, located just four miles from Burgundy, is a nearby resource ideal for younger students. The series of field trips — one each in fall, winter, and spring — offer first graders the opportunity to study wetland plants and animals and to learn about the importance of wetlands in the ecosystem. They observe how the wetlands change with the seasons, noting the differences in the plants and types of wildlife encountered on each trip. The field trips gives students an excellent opportunity to hone their observational skills, a key component of science education.

The Huntley Meadows trips also correspond to a central tenet in Burgundy’s mission, which is to instill respect for the natural world. After each trip, first graders share their experiences with the class verbally and in written form. They also draw a picture that reflects what they saw. The spring field trip is paired with research about local wildlife. Many choose to focus on wildlife they saw on their trips. As a culmination of the project, students create a book that allows them to write about scientific concepts in an age-appropriate way.

There are many more great field trips coming up this spring! These are just a sampling of the opportunities offered to Burgundy students throughout the year:

  • Buckeyes and Viceroys will enhance their knowledge of astronomy today with a visit to the planetarium at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria.
  • As part of their study of Asia, which the classes are beginning now, the Buckeyes and Viceroys will also visit the Japan Information & Culture Center (part of the Japanese embassy) in the next few weeks.
  • Coopers and Redtails students will head to the Kennedy Center April 26.

If you've already made a gift to support Annual Giving, thank you! If you have not made a gift or would like to make an additional gift, please consider doing so today to support field trips and so much more!

Give Now!

Questions about giving? Please contact Michele McCabe, Advancement and Annual Giving Coordinator, at

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Thank You, Volunteers!

Friday, April 20, 2018

It’s National Volunteer Week! We want to give a hearty thank you to all our many volunteers!

At each admission open house I try to be honest with parents looking at Burgundy about who we are, and one of the things I say is, “We are not a ‘drop ’em off at JK and pick ’em up at 8th grade graduation’ kind of place.”

At Burgundy it’s a shared journey, one to which parents, guardians, and families contribute substantially and help facilitate with their various kinds of volunteering: from classroom and library volunteering to leading garden days or working at Cove opening and closing, from hosting potlucks to bringing family culture (and food) to school curricula to organizing (and sometimes making) refreshments for special events, to staffing the fall fair and auction, and chairing annual giving, from chaperoning Cove trips to helping us design and bid and build the new Logan Loft, parent volunteers have been involved in almost everything at Burgundy over the years! The simple truth is that we would not be the school that we are without our parents and guardians, and parent volunteering is in our DNA, from the very founding of the school and building of the original campus by parents who’d purchased the old dairy farm.

To all of our volunteers, including those who are working parents whose volunteering is after-hours, via email and phone calls, and sometimes less visible — we love you!

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Thank You! Dedicating and Enjoying Our New Spaces

Friday, April 13, 2018
Cutting the Ribbon
Cutting the ribbon to officially open The Logan Loft! See more photos from the dedication.

On Wednesday our school community and many guests gathered to celebrate the dedication of The Logan Loft, named for alumni parent donors who inspired hundreds more donors in our community to fund construction, and the Campus Commons, which will honor longtime librarian Ann Van Deusen. The program opened with singing from the 7th grade “Burgundy Bellas” chorus; included remarks from Head of School Jeff Sindler, Board of Trustees President Joanne Petty, and Campaign Chair Charlie Rawls; and concluded with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

The true celebration started Tuesday night, however, during the first Arts Festival in the new space. The gallery is full of artwork from Burgundy students, completed throughout the year in classes and groups, focusing on various art media and techniques. Several students also offered musical performances during the event. If you missed it, the art remains on display.

Burgundy once again extends thanks to all the donors to this Campus Renewal project, who have made it possible to transform our Alexandria campus by building The Logan Loft and Campus Commons. Soon, look for an opportunity to suggest an official name for the Campus Commons, recognizing Ann Van Deusen’s legacy at Burgundy.

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A Springtime Celebration of Arts and Community!

Friday, March 30, 2018
Cake art
Our students have been cooking up
some delicious art pieces to share
at the Arts Festival!

Two upcoming events will help us celebrate the transformation our new spaces are having on Burgundy’s curriculum and community. Mark your calendar and plan to join us!

First, the inaugural Arts Festival in the new building will showcase work from every Burgundy student. This is a new location for a longtime Burgundy tradition. The annual Arts Festival is nearly 30 years old! Join us 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, to see the art and enjoy student musical performances and light refreshments.

The following morning, Wednesday, April 11, at 8:40 a.m., the entire school will gather for a dedication of the new building and Campus Commons. A brief program will include remarks and music. Afterwards, adult guests are invited to join us for coffee and pastries as students head back to class. Please note that this is an outdoor event, and in the case of inclement weather it will be postponed to Wednesday, May 2. Unable to attend? We plan to broadcast the program via Facebook Live video on Burgundy’s Facebook page.

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Box Tops By the Numbers

Friday, March 30, 2018

Box Top coordinator Meghan Semiao (parent of Avelina, 1st Grade Goats) gathered each classroom’s collection of Box Tops earlier this month and shared the numbers. Across our Alexandria campus, we collected 905 Box Tops, with the Viceroys and Kindergarten classes contributing the most. Each one is worth 10 cents, so that means this collection netted $90.50 for Burgundy’s annual giving fund, which supports professional development, program and instruction, and financial aid. You can send Box Tops in anytime! We’ll plan for one more collection and count before the end of the year.

JK + Main Office: 1
Kindergarten: 216
1st Grade: 88
2/3 Buckeyes: 58
2/3 Viceroys: 403
4/5 Coopers: 88
4/5 Redtails: 35
Middle School: 16


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Start Smiling Now for Extra Donations!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Amazon Smile

Are you using Amazon Smile? If not, now is a great time to start! Amazon will triple their donation to Burgundy with your first purchase. From March 12 to 31, Amazon will triple the donation rate to 1.5% on your first eligible purchase at All monies donated by Amazon through this program are applied to Burgundy’s Annual Giving Fund.

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Auction Thanks, Congratulations, and More Opportunities

Friday, March 2, 2018

2018 Auction banner


Crazy wind storm! Power outages! No problem! Burgundy Soared thanks to our amazing community! We are truly humbled and inspired by your generosity. Parents, faculty, staff, and students gave their time, talent, and financial support to make this year’s Auction a grand success. It was an honor to serve as your Burgundy 2018 Auction co-chairs. We are forever grateful!

— Jane Hyatt Thorpe and Betsy Erickson, co-chairs


Raffle Winners

Congratulations to our raffle winners!

Best of the Live Raffle
Sarah Read, who chose Six Bottles of Unique California Reds as her prize from among the live auction offerings.

Burgundy Raffle Winners
Grand Prize, $400 gift card to Del Mar Restaurant: Heidi Parsont
Nationals Baseball for Two and a $100 gift card: Kate Westhoven
Echo Show: Josh Cohen
$250 Neighborhood Restaurant Group gift card: Chuck Weger
$250 Amazon gift card: Kaadze Wright

Early Registration gift card winner
Clay Berry and Bikas Joshi


Pick Ups, Payments and Connections

Please remember to pick up your items from the Advancement Office prior to Spring Break. Unpaid Auction invoices will be emailed after March 15.

To everyone who received a certificate at the auction: please reach out to the donor as soon as you can to make arrangements to redeem your item. Similarly, if you as a donor know who won the item you donated, please reach out to the winning bidder. If you have a question about who won the item you donated, please contact Allison ( or 703.842.0488).


Post-Auction Sale

Because there were so many terrific items available on the night of the auction, a few great ones got lost in the shuffle and did not receive bids. These few items are available now in our after-auction sale. We think you'll agree that these items are worth a second look! Don't forget, all sales benefit financial aid.

Contact Allison Niedbala ( or 703.842.0488) to indicate your interest in purchasing by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13. First come, first served!


Kids' Creations

There's still time to purchase your child's class project if you haven't already done so! Order online through Wednesday, March 14.

For families of K Foxes, K Frogs, 1st Goats, 2/3 Buckeyes, 2/3 Viceroys, 4/5 Coopers, 4/5 Redtails and 6th grade: To pick up your child's project, stop by the Advancement office at Norton House, 5622 Norton Road at the top of the Burgundy driveway. If you haven't yet paid you can do so at that time. We'll be in the office during parent-teacher conference days (March 15-16).

For Junior Kindergarten, 1st Sheep, 7th grade, and 8th grade: Your child's project will be available in the coming weeks. We'll let you know when it's ready.


Thank You, Sponsors and Contributors

We are grateful to this year’s business sponsors and contributors, whose generosity helped offset the cost of the event and allow more money to go directly to financial aid.

Gold Balloon: Bagel Uprising and Forrester Construction
Silver Balloon: R&W Group
Bronze Balloon: C&B Property Specialists, DJ Phillycheze, Taylor’s Handyman Service



Ama and Aaron Adams

Bagel Uprising

Monique Baskin

Alicia Boyce and John Voorhees

Liza Chapman and Steve Memery

Pat Davis and Wes Callender

Audrey and John Dreibelbis

Betsy and Nelson Erickson

Elizabeth Ewing

Cathy and Jim Guertin

Mary Quillian Helms ’85 and Paxton Helms

Hong Kong Bistro

Etibar and Eri Jafarov

Andrea Menaker and Scott Dinwiddie

Rosalind Mowatt and Michael Ingerick

Tracey Murphy and Terry Murphy

Melissa Murrell and Chad Murrell

Preston and Allen O'Neil '92

Leslie Platt and Mark Staniorski

Ann and Steve Ridenhour

Miki Scheidel and Noah Geesaman

Vini Schoene '73

Alexa Stott and Greg Herbold

Megan Thomas and Matt Warren

Jane Hyatt Thorpe and Michael Sramek

Keelin Vaccaro and Alan Warburton

Tina Chindgren Wagner and John Wagner

Kaadze Wright

Sarah Zapolsky and David Williams



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Ready to Soar? Auction Tomorrow!

Friday, March 2, 2018

2018 Auction banner

Photo booth
Picture yourself here! Soar away in our
hot air balloon photo booth at the Auction.


See you tomorrow!

As you know, Auction proceeds from live and silent auction items, raffles, and contributions, detailed in our catalog, support financial aid. A big thanks to co-chairs Jane Hyatt Thorpe and Betsy Erickson, who have put in so much time and effort to make the Auction wonderful!

Chuck Weger — alumni parent, longtime volunteer, and husband to 2/3 Viceroys teacher Vicki Hayes — is our featured speaker this year. He is an Auction stalwart and will share his perspective from decades of connection with Burgundy.

Check-in is available 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. tomorrow in the Atrium. If you plan to park on neighborhood streets, please exercise good judgment and allow plenty of room around driveways and intersections.

If inclement weather causes any changes to our schedule, we will post a message on our website and Facebook and contact families and via email and text.

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We'll Soar Together in One Week!

Friday, February 23, 2018

2018 Auction banner


Thanks to everyone who has sent in an RSVP. We need to hear from you, yes or no, so that we know how much food to order, and more! If you haven’t yet done so, RSVP now. Otherwise you will be contacted tomorrow for a response. Register by 11:59 p.m. this Sunday, February 25; we’ll randomly pick a name from those registered and the winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card. If you have problems registering, please contact


Volunteers are also still needed for event setup, especially this Wednesday and Thursday! Please sign up if you can lend a hand.

Here’s what awaits you on Saturday, March 3: you will enter the event through the Middle School Atrium beginning at 5:30 p.m. At the registration tables you will check in and collect your seating information and bidder number. Please note that at 6:15 the registration tables will no longer be staffed by volunteers; you will be responsible for picking up your materials from the table.

Then, you may think you're entering the Gym, but you will be uplifted into the enchanted world of Burgundy Soars – Rising to the Future. Keep your bidder number handy. You'll use your number to bid on items in the silent and live auctions and to enjoy the various games, raffles and festivities. There are many choices, from $25 balloon pops to deluxe Taylor Swift tickets and everything in between, you’ll find auction items in every budget to bid on.

Pick a Balloon: This is an opportunity through which you can purchase gift certificates to some of your favorite local restaurants in $25, $50, and $100 values. At the auction, look for people with paper balloons on clipboards.

Burgundy Raffle and Best of the Live Raffle: You can purchase raffle tickets online via the reservation form, but if you'd like another opportunity to increase your chances of winning one of these great prizes, look for the raffle ticket table immediately upon entering the Gym. Burgundy Raffle tickets are 3 for $25 or 10 for $75. Best of the Live tickets are $50 and the winner will be able to choose the live auction item of his or her choice. You do not have to be present to win; purchasers of Best of the Live tickets must indicate their live auction item of choice before the auction. Peruse our live auction offerings and take your pick!

Cocktail Bar: Delight in specialty cocktail drinks ($10) from parents Nadia Grenier and Amanda Traub.

Fine Wine Bar: Thanks to the generosity of parents Mary and Chris Sexton, you'll be able to purchase fine wine by the bottle. Both reds and whites will be available.

Silent Auction: You'll see a wide range of items donated by students, parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, alumni, and local businesses. Bidding for all silent auction items will close at 7:15 p.m.

This is an elegant, adults-only evening. Put on your cocktail attire, and plan ahead so you can enjoy yourself and know you have a safe way home. Consider establishing a designated driver, or plan to book a ride with a service like Lyft or Uber, Alexandria Yellow Cab (703.549.2500 or, or Drivers Incorporated (will drive both you and your car home, 703.994.3931).

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Personnel News: February 23

Friday, February 23, 2018

We are pleased to announce that Matt Sahlin (pronounced Suh-leen) will join Burgundy as Director of Advancement. He will begin work July 1.

Matt has served since 2012 as Director of Development at Alexandria Country Day School and previously worked in development at his alma mater Trinity College (CT). At ACDS, Matt was a senior administrative team member. He is familiar both with independent schools generally—he is a graduate of Choate—and the small K-8 school environment. Matt led a successful major campaign at ACDS and helped strengthen both their Annual Fund and culture of philanthropy. Prior to his move into development, Matt was a history and drama teacher, yearbook advisor, and coach at ACDS (he continued coaching as Director of Development).

We thank the staff, trustees, administrators, teachers, and parents who took part in our interviews for this position. We look forward to welcoming Matt to Burgundy!

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