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Back to School Newsletter

Letter From the Headmaster

Happy FALL! Can you believe that we are already starting the fall season….at least according to the calendar? We are well into the first nine weeks, and the students came back from summer ready to learn! It was great to see everyone back together at BA!

Our growth goal for the school year is to implement the principles of the Energy Bus into our school community this year. The book is by Jon Gordon and takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals 10 secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward-thinking that leads to true accomplishment at work and at home. Our faculty and staff are reading the book together and learning to share and spread the positivity that the book is designed to create. We have both the main book and The Energy Bus for Kids for our elementary students. A big thank you to PTA for helping fund this professional development opportunity! One of my favorite quotes from the book is:

“Every morning you have a choice. Are you going to be a
positive thinker or a negative thinker? Positive thinking will
energize you.” –Jon Gordon

I highly recommend the book to everyone!

As we kick off the fall season, we have many special events and programs added to the calendar. Please be sure to see information sent by email, on our website, and on social media.

Our first big event was Grandparents’ and Special Friends Day, and it was a huge success! We are so thankful to celebrate these important people in the lives of our students. This week is homecoming week with fun dress-up days, a truck parade, pep rally, home football game, and low country boil for our alumni! We hope you will join us for this exciting week to pump up the GATOR Spirit!

I look forward to the exciting months ahead of us and hope to see you at BA very soon!

Leisa Houghton
Head of School

Curriculum Corner

Brandilyn Stroup, Director of Curriculum and Support Services

The 2022 school year has been off to an exciting start with new curricula, class offerings, and programs throughout the school that are designed to enhance our students’ educational experience at Bulloch Academy! As Energy Bus Rule #2 states, “Desire, vision, and focus move your bus in the right direction.” Bulloch Academy’s bus is headed in the right direction because of our desire, vision, and focus to provide the best educational experiences to our students. Through generous donations from the BA Ball held in January 2022, we were able to purchase new science and technology materials to benefit students at all levels. Lower school teachers were provided with extra funding to purchase science materials specifically for their classrooms. Middle school and high school teachers have been supplied with a variety of kits and supplies to amplify their curricula, such as blood typing models, genetics and DNA labs, oceanic circulation models, basic dissection kits, muscle action models, and more. In addition to the classroom materials, the Makerspace has been stocked with a plethora of materials, including class sets of graduated cylinders, beakers, thermometers, pipettes, hotplates, and a variety of other materials to be used for experiments. 

The Ball also funded new technology materials, including a second 3-D printer for the Makerspace and various other items for advanced technology and the new middle school broadcasting course, including a drone. Stay tuned throughout the school year for exciting material and content produced from these purchases!

Bulloch Academy applied for and received two separate grants, including the stART Grant and the Dollar General Youth Literacy Grant. The stART grant is an Arts Education Grant funded through the Georgia Department of Education, designed to create sustainable arts initiatives to support arts education. Our art program was awarded $10,000 to fund the purchase of a Kiln to support Ceramics education for all students at Bulloch Academy. In addition to the Kiln, the grant funded a starter kit of clay and other materials needed to support Ceramics education. We can’t wait to see what amazing items Mrs. North’s art classes create! 

The Dollar General Youth Literacy Grant assists with the funding of expanding new literacy programs with the purchasing of books and other materials for these literacy programs. Bulloch Academy was awarded $3,000 to expand the Literacy Footprints Guided Reading program into 2nd grade, with the purchase of leveled reading materials and supplies to support reading education in the 2nd-grade classrooms. 

Students at Bulloch Academy will continue to benefit from all of these newly purchased instructional materials for years to come. We are excited about providing new opportunities for students to learn, create, and explore and are grateful for the generous donations and funding that have been provided to grow these various programs at Bulloch Academy. 

Gator Guidance

Tara Nix, Middle and High School Counselor

It has been a busy first few weeks of school! In August, we hosted a virtual Peach State Tour. Representatives from UGA, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Augusta University reviewed offerings, admissions processes, and deadlines specific to each college.

The Student Ambassador Initiative is now in full swing. The initiative is an effort to offer students a chance to “buy into” the positive culture of Bulloch Academy, play forward the enthusiasm and excitement, and lead others by serving them. We have discussed the importance of putting others before ourselves and going the extra mile to help one another. We are not calling attention to ourselves but to the strengths of those around us. Thirteen students 6th-8th grade were selected. The selection includes some middle school students new to BA as well as already established BA students.

Our college tour was amazing, primarily because of the outstanding student group that attended. They were respectful, punctual and kind which is a beautiful reflection of Bulloch Academy students.  A big shout out to Morgan Conner, Kevin Nix, Tripp Turley, Ashley Wren, and Courtney Burnette for partnering in this exciting endeavor! We walked many miles touring Georgia Tech, Emory, the University of Georgia, Georgia College, and Mercer University and enjoyed quaint restaurants in several locations. The experience of gridlock in downtown Atlanta gave us another memory and kudos to Mrs. Morgan and Coach Nix for navigating us out of the International Soccer game traffic entanglement! Each campus is special in its own way and visiting helps each student get a sense of the environment, surroundings, culture and school spirit. Our next tour will most likely be Alabama, Auburn, Samford and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Upcoming Dates

  • Classroom Guidance Sessions will be scheduled in October and November to educate and engage students on the topics of anxiety & worry, the attributes of a good friend and intentional choice to be one.
  • Individual meetings are being held with students and parents upon request to discuss topics for college essays, building a resume, community service ideas and options for classes (AP, Honors, Dual Enrollment)  based on the students’ future interests.
  • Individual guidance appointments are in process for 12th grade and 11th,10th, and 9th will follow.
  • We will host the PSAT for Juniors and SAT for Seniors on October 12th.
  • We will host the ACT on November 1st for 10th – 12th grade students.

Nurse’s Notes

Heather Dabbs, RN, BSN

Since our return to school in August, I have enjoyed seeing all of the students’ faces, both old and new! This year is off to a busy start in my office. Students come with a multitude of symptoms. Sometimes, they just need a little TLC! Please remember to check with your child as to how they feel before they come to school. The Bulloch County area has already seen a lot of early flu.

     We started health lessons last month in our lower school. Our first lesson was about what a school nurse does, when to see the nurse, and healthy vision. The students enjoyed a cute story about a girl named Paige, who thought “I can see just fine”. Paige needed an eye exam and glasses. I thought this paired nicely with our vision screenings in third and fifth grades.

     If you have a student that requires medications throughout the school day, please contact me if we have not already spoken about it. There are some forms that your student will need to have signed by his/her doctor in order for me to administer a prescription medication on campus. Also, if your child carries an inhaler or an EpiPen on campus and we have not spoken about it, please contact me. There are some specific forms that these students need to be signed by a physician. We are working towards linking these forms on our website. For any over-the-counter medications, you must give your written permission on the Procedure of Student Illness form, in order for them to be given medication throughout the school day. If you are not sure about what you did or did not write on this form, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].

As always, Go Gators!


Kevin Nix, Athletic Director

I walked into a classroom last week and asked the students if they were winning and they looked confused, probably because they were in a classroom.  Then I said, “did you make your bed?” That’s a WIN. “If you come home to a clean bedroom with your bed made, it gives you a sense of peace.” I asked them what they do if the trash can is full and they need to add their own trash – do they take the trash out or do they pile it on top? Taking the trash out is a WIN.

I go into our classrooms because I want every choice our students make every day to be about winning.  I don’t want to only share these ideas during athletic practice and competition – WINNING is a lifestyle and it basically comes down to choices.

All of our football teams have a winning record! That’s good, but the confidence and the poise they are showing is even more inspiring. Our coaches are training young men to be leaders on and off the field. 

Our cross country teams had their first race on Monday, September 12th and our MS girls and boys won their race. Our high school girls placed second and what is incredible is that they even had enough runners to score as a TEAM, which was not the case in recent years. Our boys also have enough to score as a TEAM, they are getting faster each week. The campus was crazy that Monday, but what an event to fill the stadium on Monday with 9 MS teams, 9 high school teams, and 6 elementary teams!

The softball team at both HS and MS levels started the season with a lot of youth and inexperience but they work hard every day and get better. Our varsity is working hard to get the best possible playoff seeding. Congratulations to Sydney Priest for her GIAA All-Star selection!

The shotgun team had a big event a few weeks ago on a Saturday at Baygall, and I saw my first ever shotgun competition. The Conners put on a great event down to the smallest detail, and there was an incredible level of support and volunteer effort from parents.

The booster golf tournament was a big success, as was the membership drive. Thanks to all the parents, participants, and supporters of these events!  As another branch of the booster effort, the athletic program, headed by Jody Polk was also a BIG hit! 

The varsity cheer program opened the season with a first-place finish at West Laurens and the MS did the same at Robert Toombs.

The MS Tennis team has 22 players on the roster and have won most of their boy’s and girl’s matches these first few weeks.

We are furiously putting winter and spring sports schedules together, which is a challenge with all the new faces in the athletic department. But we EMBRACE the challenge, we FORGE ahead during BUSY schedules and LONG days because we LOVE the kids and it is a PRIVILEGE to be their coach.

Pre-K Press

Kim Burnette, Lower School Director 

Our Pre-K year is off to a fantastic start! There is so much to see, to learn, and to do every day! Four year olds are like “sponges”; they are soaking up so many new things all at once – they want to have answers to ALL their questions!

Beginning Pre-k is a time of great adjustment: the students are learning to share and wait their turns with 20 plus friends, they are making new friends, eating in a lunchroom and trying new foods, taking a nap, walking in a line, etc. The list goes on and on. It is overwhelming to think of all the new things they are experiencing each day! Thank you for your support as you encourage them to get to school on time each day, unpack their bookbags and get settled, learn to open their lunch items, etc. We want to help them feel successful and more independent each day!

The fun and learning never stops with our Creative Curriculum. This model follows a thematic approach to learning. The students have been studying the following topics: Under the Ground, Up In Space, Fire Safety, and Fall and Farm are coming soon! The youngest Gators have shown their Gator Spirit by dressing up for Home Game Football Theme Days and experiencing their first pep rallies. Bright From the Start celebrates GA Pre-K Week from Oct. 3– 7 this year which incorporates some fun activities like a special book for all students and special visitors to our schools to read to our classes. It is also Homecoming Week for us!

Our school is involved in becoming an Energy Bus Certified School this year which impacts our faculty and staff and our students. My favorite part of this approach is being POSITIVE and knowing we are all on the same TEAM – The GATOR TEAM! We are here each day to make it the best day we can for your students!

Lower School

Gators and Their Letters 

Chase Wiggins, 10th grader

Since the beginning of the school year, Ms. Angel Presley’s Kindergarten class has been learning a new letter every week. The children do activities that are related to the letter that is for that week. On Fridays, they do a party where they have snacks and play games that start with the letter of the week.  This week the class did the letter “P” and did many activities including making pizza art out of paper. They put different ingredients on the pizza. They had a pizza party to celebrate learning the letter “P”.


Around the World

Addie Becker, 10th grader

Over the past few weeks, our second grade has been learning all about the seven continents. They have recently been studying hills, valleys, oceans, and more. Learning the landforms has been so fun for our second graders and even being able to sing an exciting song that they love! We are so thankful for the teachers we have that make our learning so fun. 


Turtles, Eagles, and Scarecrows Oh My!

Pam Anderson, 3rd Grade Teacher 

The Bulloch Academy third graders were excited and eager to attend the Ole’Scarecrow Medicine Statesboro Puppet Show at the Averitt Arts Theater on Thursday, September 22. The Bulloch County Historical Society provided everything to sponsor this opportunity for all third graders in Bulloch County to enjoy and gain exposure to some interesting and fun facts about their heritage. The puppeteers were delightful as they portrayed famous historical figures such as: Blind Willie McTell, Coach Erk Russell, and Hernando DeSoto. The students were intrigued by many facts. They learned that once sea turtles were in ancient oceans that covered Bulloch County, and that Statesboro was once spelled “Statesborough.” They also found out that the first courthouse was a log cabin, and that Statesboro was once the largest exporter of Sea Island cotton in the world. Their conversations continued into the classroom as they enjoyed discussing and coloring in their Bulloch County coloring books provided by the Historical Society. What a great learning experience!


Bulloch Academy 4-H

Nancy Smith, 5th Grade Teacher

Fifth graders are in full swing with 4-H!  After campaigning and giving their speeches, the election was held on August 26th. We are very proud of all of the students who ran for a 4-H office!

Middle School

A Tour Around the Solar System

Elle Hook & Jacklyn Wickham, 10th graders

Mrs. Poulin’s 6th grade class has been learning about the moon and its phases, the sun, and the earth. They talked about how the moon and the sun affect the tides. Mrs. Poulin let them see the solar system for themselves and took them to the Planetarium at Georgia Southern. It was called “A Tour Around the Solar System.” They saw the stars and the planets. The tour showed them parts of a lunar and solar eclipse. The students said it was very cool to see that up close. The most exciting thing they said they did was getting to see all the planets orbit and see them up close. They zoomed in on the inner planets, then zoomed in on the outer planets, and last, they showed the sun. They said it was so bright that it lit up the whole room. It really gave them a good idea of how the planets orbit and how they move. They had a wonderful time!

Our Future Doctors

Addie Becker, 10th Grader

During the second week of school at Bulloch Academy, Mrs. Pam Sapp’s 7th grade Life Science class was visited by Dr. Don Aron. They were learning about the skeletal system, which led to this amazing opportunity. Students got to practice wrapping each other’s arm with casts while learning about each part of the inner arm. They were so excited about doing this activity they even signed each other’s casts. Thank you so much for showing these bright-minded students new things, Optim Orthopedics!


High School


Upper School Science

Maddie Herrmann, 10th grader 

Mrs. Bailey’s class has been having a great time so far! They’ve been doing several labs including a murder mystery lab, an egg lab, and releasing butterflies with preschoolers. The murder mystery lab involved analyzing the stomach contents of a poison victim to determine where and who poisoned him. For the egg lab, the students subjected a membraned egg to several substances to measure its weight. Finally, the students were taught a lesson about monarch butterflies and then they helped the preschoolers release them. 

Carmen Uribe, 10th grader

Dr. Bailey’s junior class has performed several experiments this year already. One such experiment was trying to filter out substances from each other. Together in a bag was sugar, black sand, iron, and poppy seeds. They had to use different methods to filter out each substance. They used magnetism to filter out the iron, they used decanting to filter out the poppy seeds, they used filtration to remove the sugar from the black sand, and they used evaporation to remove the sugar from water. So far this year, they have also learned how to use Bunsen burners and Dr. Bailey demonstrated how a copper penny reacts with nitric acid.


The Kite Runner

Anderson Roach, 10th grader

Ms. Courtney’s AP Literature class recently read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. They created their own kites as an analysis of the novel. Each kite had to have a representation of the novel’s setting, characters, symbols, and theme. The Seniors had a great time doing this activity.


New offerings in the Upper School 

Alayna Scott and Sydney Blythe 

Bulloch Academy offers two new classes for electives and those classes are Yearbook with an added marketing component as well as Multi-Media and Film Broadcasting class. Some of the new offerings that are in the Marketing class are creating graphics used for Bulloch Academy’s special school events, helping produce newsletters, and submitting articles that are published weekly in the Statesboro Herald. The students that are in this class really enjoy it and think that it is a great learning experience. The Multi-Media and Film Broadcasting class have lots of new equipment like new drones, cameras, microphones, and a green screen. They get to edit videos and lots of fun other things. These classes are a great way for the students to learn how to be responsible and to learn lots of new things to take out into the real world with them. Bulloch Academy is so excited to have these classes!


Bulloch Academy Scholars

Congratulations to these Bulloch Academy students who were selected as College Board National Recognition Program awardees!

Senior, Katherine Whitlock was recognized as a Commended student in the National Merit Scholarship Competition. She was in the top 50,000 highest entry scores out of 1.5 million and received a Letter of Commendation in recognition of her outstanding academic promise! Seniors, Claire Vickers and James Burke were awarded the NRSTA, National Rural and Small Town Award. They earned this because of their academic achievements in school and outstanding performance on the PSAT. Bulloch Academy is looking forward to a year full of outstanding academic achievement.


Escape Hysteria

Carmen Uribe, 10th Grade

Bulloch Academy’s junior AP Language class got to experience hardships and frenzy in their AP Language classroom. Mrs. Courtney Burnette’s class participated in an escape room, “Escape Hysteria,” on Friday, September 2nd. The theme was The Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller. The Crucible is based on the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts 1692. The students were racing to solve puzzles and be the first to escape being accused of witchcraft. They got to dress up as characters and act out a scene at the end of the escape room with bonnets. Overall, they had a blast and learned a lot more about the witch trials and its allegory to the Red Scare to prepare for their test!


High School History

Jacob Ward, High School History Teacher

Through grades nine, ten, and twelve we continue to press on with the curriculum and are enjoying the journey! Regarding ninth-grade Human Geography, we trekked southward as we learn about the landscapes, communities, cultures, and typography of the many countries within Meso-America, the Caribbean, and South America. As we continue, I look forward to what the students produce with their upcoming flag projects. In years past, students looked forward to these assignments, and I anticipate great and insightful work from this year’s students.

In tenth-grade A.P. World History, we continue pressing on with the instruction; for we have already completed the first several units of the nine in total! I continue witnessing growth as we steadily prepare for the A.P. Exam on May 11th. Since the school year’s beginning, the students have examined primary and secondary documents, answered A.P. style questions for each quiz and test, and led discussions about pivotal events of the past. The students’ desire to learn impresses me, and I expect that this great school year continues.

Continuing with the tenth-grade class, students in College Preparation World History continue to excel. The curriculum prepares them for their future endeavors, whether that be at the college level or the workforce. A few weeks ago, the students learned about the major civilizations in the ninth century and the first millennium in the Common Era. This, of course, stretches across the globe. The student body strives for greatness with their assessments and assignments. I look forward to the work they craft as we begin the set of biographical projects in the near future. Alongside class work, the students prepare for their future endeavors, whether that be at the college level or in the workforce. Skills such as note-taking, study habits, and class-related discussions remain paramount in the class. These skills assist students in their quests after high school, I find.

The twelfth graders continue to learn American political dynamics, structures, and public participation in A.P. U.S. Government and Politics. Recently, the students examined the interactions between the three branches of government, as we concluded the second unit of five. In order to effectively prepare the students for the A.P. Exam on May 1st, they take A.P. style question quizzes and tests. Of course, to reinforce class content and foster creativity, many projects will be assigned throughout the school year. To begin the year, students completed a political compass mapping project to evaluate their personal political leanings to their peers.
They produced wonderful work, and I anticipate this same quality to persist. I look forward to the future work these twelfth graders produce, as they begin their transition into their future endeavors outside of Bulloch Academy after graduation.

In summation, the student body continuously exudes an eagerness to learn, examine information, and practice proper studious habits. I truly believe this year will be great.


Mrs. Jennifer Gaines, Upper School Technology 
6th, 7th, and 8th students are diving deep into the phases of production and the various careers in the film industry. Just recently these STEAM students developed their first short film. Pictured is a group working in the production phase of their short film. They are having a ton of fun seeing these productions that they developed from a concept to writing the script and creating the storyboard come to life.
Advanced Technology students are working hard to develop hype videos for the athletic department. They work in groups to film and edit these videos featured on the @bulloch.gators Instagram page. Pictured is a student editing using industry-leading, video editing software, Adobe Premiere Pro.


Ms. Ashley Wren, K-12th Music Teacher

We’ve gotten off to an exciting start in the music room this year! Since school started, grades K-3 were busy preparing for our Grandparent’s Day programs last week.  The students sang lots of precious songs and we even put together a slideshow of each child telling everything they love about their grandparents.  Next up, we begin learning all of their lines and songs for Christmas plays in December! 

Our 2nd graders have also been busy with learning to play their harmonicas!  This is the first year I have taught harmonica, and it’s off to an amazing start.  Third grade students are working their way through the “Recorder Karate” program with all students earning their white belt so far. Fourth and fifth grade have been busy learning to play the ukulele and fifth grade has even started rehearsing for our annual Veteran’s Day program taking place on November 11, 2022. You won’t want to miss it!

Middle School and High School students currently in music started the year with sharpening their ukulele skills and have now moved on to guitar.  Both groups will be learning Halloween songs to share with our Lower School students in October. 

We’re off to a wonderful start! 

Musically Yours,

Ms. Ashley 

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