NEWPORT -- Several new members have been added to the faculty and staff at United Christian Academy.

Jonathan Barker comes from Maine where he has just completed his master's degree in English Literature. Jonathan did his undergraduate work at Eastern University in St. David's, Pa. where he was a student in the Templeton Honors College. He grew up in Derby and returns to Newport to teach English to students in grades 8-12.

Jay Gerber is also a long time resident of the Northeast Kingdom. The son of a missionary family who spent a good deal of time overseas, Jay currently lives in Canada. No stranger to the Northeast Kingdom, he graduated from Stanstead College and from Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. He has a degree in mathematics and has taught at Hazen Union High School, North Country Union High School and North Country Union Junior High School. Fluent in French, Jay will be teaching French I, II and III to students in grades 9-12. He is also available to tutor students who may be struggling in math.

Melissa Larabee has been employed by UCA as a paraprofessional and will be the Internet learning specialist. She will coordinate the school's newest program in conjunction with Sevenstar Academy that will allow students to enroll in accredited online high school classes. Melissa has a daughter, Cheyenne, who is a student at UCA.

Carrie Barker is Jonathan Barker's wife. A graduate of Eastern University in St. David's, Pa., she is also a new mom! She will be serving as the yearbook advisor.

Sarah Roy returns as the girls varsity coach, and the new boys varsity coach is Alyssa DeLaBruere. Alyssa is not new to UCA or others. However, she will be adding her coach's hat to the many others she wears.

Best Of Newport 2011

For the third consecutive year, United Christian Academy has been selected for the 2011 Best of Newport Award in the Elementary & Secondary Schools category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA). The USCA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Nationwide, only 1 in 140 (.75 percent) 2011 Award recipients qualified as three-time award winners. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2011 USCA Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

Fundraisers

The Rootin Tootin Shootin Fundraiser is on Sept. 24. Participants are needed, as well as volunteers. The wreath fundraiser will begin Oct. 4 with delivery on Nov. 30. The first two fundraisers of the school year have already begun -- a Yankee Candle fundraiser and a Pampered Chef fundraiser.

Interested individuals are encouraged to collect box tops for education coupons found on many household items and groceries. They can be turned in at the school. The first deadline for box tops is Sept. 29. Also remember to register your Price Chopper AdvantEdge Card either online or at the customer service desk in store to earn points in the Tools for Schools program. It is quick and simple to register and is of no cost to you. Simply sign up and choose UCA using the code 18660. Each year the school is able to purchase valuable school supplies thanks to the points earned. Be sure to ask family and friends to register their cards for UCA as well.

The first PA meeting of the school year is today, Sept. 12 in the auditorium. All are welcome.

GoodSearch: Did you know that you can contribute to UCA every time you search for something on the Internet? You can, simply by using the search engine "GoodSearch." GoodSearch.com is a company that donates approximately .01 cent to the charity of your choice each time you use it. You simply set GoodSearch.com as your search engine of choice and sign up to have the donation made to United Christian Academy in Newport, Vt. In addition, GoodSearch.com has arrangements with hundreds of national retailers who will donate a portion of your purchases to UCA as well. To sign up for GoodSearch, go to www.goodsearch.com and follow the prompts to make United Christian Academy your recipient of choice. Thereafter, every time you use GoodSearch.com you will make a donation to the school.

Wish List: dehumidifier.

Varsity soccer schedule (UCA games will be held at Gardner Park): girls -- Sept. 13, UCA @ Winooski, 7; Sept. 16, Canaan @ UCA, 3:30; boys -- Sept. 14, UCA @ Cabot, 4:30; Sept. 16, Canaan @ UCA, 5.

Mark Your Calendar

Happenings over the next months: Sept. 9-23, Yankee Candle & Pampered Chef fundraiser; Sept. 24, Rootin Tootin Shootin Fest, 9 a.m. -- 2 p.m.; Sept. 30, UCA fundraising dinner, 5--6:30 p.m. at the United Church of Derby; Sept. 30, required Christian Service Day; Oct. 4, Whipple school photos; Oct. 4, Wreath fundraiser begins; Oct. 10, Columbus Day Holiday; Oct. 12, PSAT (grades 10 & 11); Oct. 20-21, ACSI Nexus Conference, no school; Oct. 28, Harvest Party; Nov. 4, first quarter ends.

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