This Month

A Message from Charlie Abelmann

If you missed the earlier e-mail, I hope you take a moment to read the message from Janet Rutledge and me (it immediately follows this note). I am proud to be at Barrie where our students learn about the world and how important it is to promote global citizenship. Some of our upper school students are in NY this weekend at the Model UN, and soon many of our Prep students soon will be out on ESW trips learning about other cultures. Our students are supported to have a strong voice and sense of agency for making the world a better place.

I hope this weekend you also have a chance to enjoy the spring musical, Beauty and the Beast. Thanks to all those who supported Cedric and the cast. I also want to thank our staff for all the work to make the upcoming Echo Hill and ESW trips possible. These programs require a lot of our staff and they deserve our appreciation.

A Message about Diversity and Inclusion at Barrie

Barrie's mission encourages students to make a positive impact in a rapidly changing world. In recent weeks, we have seen new national policy initiatives that are alarming to many. Complex and controversial positions are being staked on issues such as border protection, immigration enforcement, refugee status, religious freedoms, gender differences, and human rights. At Barrie, we believe these issues affect every member of our community.

Last week, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice rescinded existing guidance on Title IX regulations that protected transgender students' access to school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities. As a school that values inclusion, diversity, and the dignity of all people, we believe it is essential to affirm our ongoing support of LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff.

One of our core values at Barrie is diversity of thought and culture. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion, which we live each day on campus, is summed up in the statement: We honor and celebrate the uniqueness of each individual and embrace each person’s beliefs, experiences, values, and perspectives in support of our inclusive and welcoming community. Barrie does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or a person's status as a qualified individual with a disability, in administration of its educational program, admission policies, financial aid program, staff hiring, and other school-administered programs.

We recognize that recent controversial political actions have increased uncertainty and anxiety for members of our community (as well as the broader community). These developments strengthen our dedication to providing an inclusive environment to families and staff from every walk of life. We welcome all families, including those with same-sex parents and transgender students. At Barrie, we will continue to fulfill our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness by providing gender-inclusive restrooms across the campus. Our goal is to create a welcoming environment that includes our staff, and we are proud to provide equal benefits for same-sex married staff.

We want our students to have the skills to talk about different viewpoints and be informed to engage in critical public discourse. We see the national debates as an opportunity for students to learn about important issues. We do not shy away from controversial topics and want our students to be informed, active citizens. We are pleased to be a part of a safe, caring, and inclusive learning community.

As always, we welcome discussion from our families on these and other issues.


Charlie Abelmann
Head of Barrie

Janet Rutledge
Chair, Barrie Board of Trustees

Montessori Students Bring Clay to Life with Stopmotion Animation

by Vann Lassiter
Clay animation or Claymation is one of many forms of stop motion animation. Each animated piece, either character or background, is made of a malleable substance. At Barrie, we use Play-Doh. How does the process work? Students move the piece they wish to animate and take a picture each time the piece is moved. When you play back the sequence of images rapidly, it creates the illusion of movement. As students learned, this is how many movies are made for children.

Lower Elementary students used the app on the iPad entitled, Stop Motion Free. Clay animation can be used for storytelling or video production to support the many aspects of any lesson. For the past week, students in Lower Elementary created a “story” or “scene” using Play-Doh, then used the Stop Motion app to turn it into a movie. I hope you enjoyed the video clips the LE teachers passed on to you, in class newsletters. The students enjoyed seeing their ideas of each students came alive!

During our next LE rotation, students will create a stop motion piece to illustrate the metamorphoses of the tadpole into a frog – a lesson they’ve been learning in science. What are the benefits of stop motion? Great question! Clay Animation with an app such as Stop Motion Free helps students gain greater communication skills, serves as a connector between classroom curriculum learning and real world applications (i.e. movie production), supports self-expression, refines technical skills, and helps develop presentation skills.

  • Video 1: Video 2: Video 3: Video 4: Video 5:

  • Video 6: Video 7: Video 8: Video 9: Video 10:

  • Video 11: Video 12: Video 13: Video 14: Video 15:

Upper Elementary Choir Performs at Aspenwood

Last Friday, the Upper Elementary Choir (the Barrie Voiceband) went to sing at Aspenwood Senior Living Center. on Bel Pre Road. They performed a concert of World Music songs, Renaissance tunes and American Spirituals. They also began the concert with the Star-Spangled Banner. The residents sang along with the anthem, and sat in rapt attention as the singers added Native American-style flutes, recorders, drums, harp and bowed psaltery to enhance their teacher's piano-playing! Afterward, the choir warmly greeted each resident with a hello and a handshake. We should be very proud of our choral singers!

2017 STEAM Fair Brings Divisions Together

Barrie students from across the divisions gathered in the Jamie L. Roberts Athletics Center gymnasium on March 9 for the third Annual Barrie STEAM Fair. STEAM work (an acronym of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) is a core part of the Barrie academic program at both the Montessori and Prep levels. Traditionally a Prep-only event, this year's Fair included projects by the students of the Montessori Upper Elementary class (grades 4 and 5). Led by the Prep Science Department (Noel Ellis, Andrea Falotico, and Rob Kim) and the Upper Elementary teaching team (Shawna Johnson, Alicia Enright, and Madison Ashe-Donnem), the students' projects filled the entire gym. From homemade ferrofluids and guitars, to Ooblecks and elephant toothpaste experiments, the projects represented the intersection of an rigorous academic challenge with students' personal interests and passions. Enjoy a gallery of photos from the event.

Barrie Equestrians Complete Successful Season

The Barrie Equestrians are wrapping up a very successful show season. After finishing second overall at the end of last season, the Junior Varsity team came back this year determined to improve their performance. Throughout the season, they displayed great individual improvement and consistency as a team bringing home ribbons every show. Their hard work paid off with the Barrie JV Equestrian Team ending the show season as the Interschool Horse Show Series (ISHS) JV Team Champions by a large margin. Barrie JV team riders include Sara G.'17, Wesley T.'21, Aubrey D.'21, Avigyle H.'20, and Deena R.'19. The Barrie Varsity riders, Karl P.'17 and Aleta K.'18, have displayed their poise and skill throughout the season to great individual success. The Barrie Varsity and JV teams will be competing for the last time this year at the ISHS Invitational Sunday, March 12 for individual placings.

In Barrie's other competition league, the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), Alayna B.'22 finished her season at IEA Zone 3 Finals. Her consistently good performance at every show qualified her to ride at the IEA Regional competition earlier in February. From Regionals, only the top three riders in each division qualify to move onto the Zone Finals. With 13 riders competing for those three spots, Alayna's excellent ride at Regionals earned her the qualification to Zones. Qualifying to compete at the IEA Zone 3 Finals makes Alayna one of the top 12 riders of her division in Zone 3, which includes Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. We are very proud of the many accomplishments of the Barrie Equestrians this year.

The 2017 Barrie Spring Musical, Beauty and the Beast, debuted Friday night to a sold out house in the Safer Theater; the Saturday matinee performance is sold out as well. There are a few tickets still available for the Saturday evening and Sunday matinee performances. Visit to purchase your tickets before they’re all gone.


BELLE: Mili Mercado

BEAST: Gideon Lee

COGSWORTH: Jamie Kendall

LUMIÈRE: Peter Frederiksen

MRS. POTTS: Dana Bederson

CHIP: Jacob Woubishet

BABETTE: Kennedy Williams

WARDROBE: Arsema Adenew

GASTON: Alejandro Rehfuss

LEFOU: Noah Wood

MAURICE: Alan Mirzoev


SILLY GIRL 1: Aideen Hwang

SILLY GIRL 2: Wesley Tipton

SILLY GIRL 3: Sierra Stubbs

VILLAGERS: Joseph Butler, Atesh Can Ozturk, Caleb Coble, Brian Cooperman, Matt Shingleton

Upper Elementary Cast Members

Lydia Ekzarkhov, Victoria Galabov, Kyah Ikle-Khalsa, Everett Lee, Haiden Roberts, Justin Ways-Hinnant, Noah Woubishet

Crew/Production Team

Kyla Alston

Aubrey Dudek

Sara Graham

Rebekah Green

Aleta Kibler

Will Mather

Ehani Mercado

Jesse Neff

Ninika Osuji

Julia Page

Aden Salim

Benj Welland

Director: Ricardo Blagrove, Kevin McAllister

Choreography: Devon Wallace, Shalyce Hemby

Music: Cedric Lyles, Evander McLean

Sound: Corey Brown, Jesse Neff

Lighting: Riki Kim, Lynn Joslin, Lily Kakhonen

Set: Jeff Harrison, Chris Kendall, Gary Kleckner

Scenic Design: Andrea Cruz, Sunny Gough

Thank you for all your support and assistance with For the Love of Barrie 2017. We had a wonderful turnout and raised more than $55,000 for the Annual Fund.

I’d like to personally thank the Planning Committee including parents Clare Bolek, Li Cheung, Parisa Bahmani, Ronald and Angela Gaete, Catalina Canales, Ingrid Kleckner, Theresa Valois, Lisa Tenley, and Jackie Vincent.

Thank you to our sponsors!!

  • (GOLD $1,000 contribution) Jaguar Technology, Kevin Creamer and Cynthia Shields, and Dr. Tom DiBacco
  • (SILVER $500 contribution) Assured Services, INC, Insurance Services Group, Kramer Consulting, PNC Bank, Art Restoration by Abbas, and The Valois Property Group
  • (BRONZE $250 contribution) Anderson Davis & Associates, Integrative Therapy of Greater
    Washington, Six Flags America, Sole D’Italia, and Tortilla Café

Thank you to all the auction item donors, attendees, High Point Catering, and auction winners!! If you’re interested in joining the For the Love of Barrie Planning Committee, please reach out.


Chris Gilliland
Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Model UN Students Visit Manhattan

A group of Barrie Prep students and teachers are in New York City this weekend as part of the Change the World/Model UN Conference in Manhattan. You can learn more about the group’s activities by following Rob Kim’s Twitter feed, @rkim_Barrie, or the Twitter hashtag #BarrieMUN. See below for a preview. Barrie’s upcoming Extended Study Week trips will all be tweeting about their experiences; feeds will become active as the trips begin. Click here for a preview.

This Month's Galleries

Enjoy these galleries of recent events: Bigs and Littles Read Across America and the Family Ice Skating Party.

Bigs and Littles Celebrate Read Across America

2017 PTO Skating Party

Coming Up on Campus

  • March 27-31 - Extended Study Week (ESW)
  • March 31 - LE Folktales
  • April 3 - 7 - School Closed - Spring Break
  • April 26 - Prep Poetry Slam
  • April 27 - ½ Day for Students - Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • April 28 - No School for Students - Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • May 1 - 5 - Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 6 - PTO Family Event - “Finding Neverland”
  • May 8 - 12 - All School Art Show
  • May 12 - Grandparents & Special Friends Day - ½ Day for Students
  • May 13 - End of Year Horse Show
  • May 13 - Prep Prom
  • May 13-14 - Prep After Prom
  • May 17 - Open Barn
  • May 25 - Lower and Upper Elementary Moving Up Ceremonies
  • May 29 - School Closed - Memorial Day
  • May 30 - Farewell Event for Charlie Abelmann
  • May 31 - Primary Moving Up Ceremony
  • June 1 - Health Forms Deadline for Summer Camp and School Year 2017-18
  • June 1 - PTO End of Year Volunteer Reception
  • June 1 - Prep Arts Night
  • June 2 - Kindergarten Campout
  • June 7 - Senior Breakfast
  • June 7 - College Transition Workshop
  • June 7 - Eighth Grade Moving Up Night
  • June 9 - Last Day of School - ½ Day for All Students
  • June 11 - Graduation
  • June 19 - First Day of Barrie Camp
  • June 19 - First Day of Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies

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