News about Burgundy alumni, alumni families, and former faculty and staff. Send alumni news to email@example.com.
Renee Woods Stramel ‘82 works for World Art Group, an art publishing company in Richmond, VA. The company sells artwork all over the world on a wholesale basis to framing companies, furniture companies and big interior design houses. She currently has a piece that was licensed by Anthropologie as a tapestry!
She writes, “Burgundy taught me how to see, but more importantly, it taught me how to be curious. It lets me explore new media and techniques at work and has lead to the innovation and development of new products. I really think it is my most important quality. So much of what I do comes down to basic problem solving and having the skills to think creatively. My constant striving to explore and discover keeps those skills sharp. My curiosity sets me apart in a very competitive world, and that started with being a Burgundy Kid."
For more about Renee and her work, visit www.reneestramel.com/home.
From an opportune meeting in Rome to a conference participant in Zurich, studying author James Joyce has taken Burgundy grad Mikaela Kelley '08 across the globe.
Indeed, in August, Kelley was invited to return to the James Joyce conference as a visiting scholar and attend an annual summer workshop in Zurich. She was also asked to publish a review of the Zurich conference that will be in James Joyce Quarterly.
“Being able to participate in the workshop was a huge honor,” Kelley said. “In one small room, seasoned Joyceans who have dedicated their life to studying his work were seated next to new scholars who have just begun to scratch the surface of his work – me.”
Read more about Mikaela and her work here.
We are so proud of you, Mikaela!
Burgundy grad highlight: Emma Beall ‘09 received her Master's in Public Health from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in May 2018.
Emma also recently began a new position with the City of Alexandria as the Coordinator of the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA) on June 1. Anyone (youth and adults!) interested in learning more about SAPCA or volunteering should contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org or 571.302.1022. We are so proud of your accomplishments and work, Emma!
Emma is pictured here (center).
Cassie Cope ‘14 is the recipient of the 2018 The Little Theatre of Alexandria (LTA) scholarship. LTA has been Cassie’s home theater since she began studying voice in second grade and where she has performed as Jacqueline Bouvier (Grey Gardens), Anybodys (West Side Story), and Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables.) The scholarship will be helpful as she heads off to college in 2019!
Recently caretaker Ali Shepard ’04 brought some new animals to join the herd in Burgundy’s barnyard. There are three turkeys—two females, one male, all Narragansett turkeys, a heritage breed. One of the females hatched with deformed toes and slight head bob; the other female has been a companion for her. Ali also added two new hens; they are Golden Laced Wyandotte and Black Sex Link varieties. Ali reports everyone is settling in fine and she expects visitors to the barnyard will enjoy the beautiful new look these fowl bring as well as the new sounds from the turkeys. For a short time last fall, Burgundy hosted a rescue turkey named Blossom, but she was unable to live outdoors and returned to a previous owner.
Once you’re connected to Burgundy, you’re always a part of our family! We encourage alumni, their families, and former faculty and staff to stay connected. In addition to sharing news back and forth, we’re also happy to host visitors.
Recently we enjoyed two visits in one day! Alumnus Mike Bianco, who attended Burgundy for two years of elementary school in 1946-1948, and his friend Pat stopped by to see the many changes to our Alexandria campus since his student days. Former teacher and alumna Meegan Scott ’88 also visited Norton House with her young son. Meegan taught at Burgundy until 2009.
We regret that we have sad and surprising news for our community. Early the evening of June 21, Topaz, Burgundy's young filly, passed away after a brief illness.
Topaz began showing signs of digestive discomfort on Wednesday evening. The vet visited and began treatment but recommended taking Topaz to a veterinary hospital. Caretaker Ali Shepard '04 took Topaz and her mom Poppy to the the Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg. Poppy was there to be a comforting presence for Topaz. Unfortunately, from last night through the day today, Topaz exhibited several rounds of painful digestive distress. Despite excellent care from a team of doctors, nurses, and veterinary students, her health worsened, and she had to be put down.
The vet confirms that Topaz was suffering from colic, which refers to any form of digestive distress in a horse. Colic in a horse can be very serious and sometimes fatal. Surgery is sometimes a good option but was not in this situation.
Topaz brought many members of our Burgundy community a lot of joy in only a few months of life. Students or families may be interested in writing sympathy or thank you notes for Ali and/or the wonderful veterinary team who worked to save Topaz's life. These notes can be dropped off at Burgundy's Alexandria campus or sent to Burgundy, c/o Caretaker Ali, 3700 Burgundy Road, Alexandria VA 22303.
On Thursday, June 7, Burgundy celebrates the graduation of the 8th grade Class of 2018. The graduation ceremony is a student-directed event, and each member of the class will play a role.
After their time at Burgundy, these young alumni plan to attend a variety of independent and public high schools:
- Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
- Bishop O'Connell High School
- Collège du Léman (Switzerland)
- Edmund Burke School
- Episcopal High School
- Flint Hill School
- Georgetown Day School
- Gonzaga College High School
- Justice High School
- Madeira School
- Maret School
- McDonough High School (Maryland)
- National Cathedral School
- Ponte Vedra High School (Florida)
- Rock Ridge High School
- Sidwell Friends School
- St. Andrew's School (Delaware)
- St. George's Independent School (Tennessee)
- St. Paul's School (New Hampshire)
- St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School
- T.C. Williams High School
- Thomas Edison High School
- West Potomac High School
This morning at a special All School Meeting in the amphitheater, second grader Anna M. announced the name caretaker Ali Shepard ’04 has chosen for Poppy’s foal, born in the barn last week. We’ll call the filly Topaz! The Burgundy community offered a lot of suggestions, and the idea of “Topaz” came from Melissa Koval, parent of 8th grader Rowan Smith. In the announcement, Anna explained “Topaz is a gemstone and she’s our little gem!” The opportunity to announce the foal’s name was an auction item this year.
Earlier at the meeting, visiting students from Deep Creek Middle School shared a musical presentation with a poem, a song, and a rap celebrating the connection and friendship between the school and Burgundy. Deep Creek is an independent school on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera, also home to the Island School. Every other spring, 7th and 8th graders from Burgundy visit the Island School for a week and in turn host Deep Creek students.
Early Wednesday morning, miniature horse Poppy gave birth to a filly. Caretaker Ali Shepard ’04 reported that the delivery was very quick, after she had spent several days on foal watch with help from friends including Austin Fodrie, Burgundy’s technology support and integration specialist. Poppy, also known by her full name Poppyseed and her registered name Baby Be Mine, came to Burgundy last October and turned 19 on Tuesday. She birthed several foals with previous owners and has already demonstrated how her experience as a mother will be beneficial to this new baby: Ali shared that the filly took longer than expected to begin nursing, and Poppy helped by lying down to nurse, which is uncommon for horses.
Poppy and the baby are staying by themselves in a stall in the barn for a few more days, and will be introduced to and integrated with the rest of the Burgundy herd of animals gradually. Most classes have come by in the last two days to meet the baby and learn the rules — primarily, using quiet voices in and around the barn and looking only, not touching, at this point.
Ali will supervise visiting hours for Poppy and her foal Saturday and Sunday, 2-4 p.m. Please note: if the barn doors are closed, the barn is closed to visitors. If you see Ali working with Poppy and the foal outside the barn, please ask from a distance if it is okay to approach.
Ali is getting to know the filly’s personality for a few more days before choosing a name for her, and students are sharing name suggestions.
More foal photos coming soon to Burgundy's Facebook page.