Welcome back to school! In this first newsletter of the 2015-16 year, we wanted to share a bit with you about how we spent our summer break. What do teachers do when they aren't in the classroom???

Stay tuned to your email and our Facebook group for more information and pictures.

Shelly Emmett
Shelly Emmett
In our first staff meeting of the year, we talked about things we were glad we did over the summer. We also talked about reasons that we are glad to be returning to school. We include topics like this in our staff meetings (just like we do in our classes with kids) because it helps us all to remember that even though working at Blue Mountain School is a big part of each of our lives, it is not the only part. There is more to each of us than meets the eye! It's always fun to hear things that you may not have already known about the people you work with and see every day.

Here is what I shared about my summer:

I love summer! Even though I am still working in the summer, the extra daylight and warmth make the days feel different than they do during the other seasons (almost like you're on vacation even when you're not). This summer, I read every book by an author I really like, went on a few trips with my family and saw old friends on one of the trips, got a dishwasher (!) and helped to fix up our kitchen so that it works better for us, made a lot of pesto and tomato puree and put it in the freezer...and got married! It was an eventful few months.

I am glad that we are returning to school because I appreciate having more of a rhythm to my days, and I am excited about the new families that have joined us this year. This is a big year for us because we are starting the accreditation process, which has been as rewarding as it has been challenging, so far.

Welcome back, everyone!

Upper Elementary & Middle School
Andy Anderson
Andy Anderson

Welcome to the new school year everyone! I look forward to finding out about your summer and learning more about each of you in general. In some instances we will be meeting for the first time. Great! I can't wait to kick the year off with this truly awesome community.

Middle Elementary
Shawna Williams
Shawna Williams


Although I didn't travel to any exotic locals this summer, I enjoyed getting to know more about what this area has to offer like Floyd Fest, Yoga Jam, and the many wonderful parks! You may also have seen me at the Farmers Market, where I worked with Good Food, Good People, or at BMS summer camp. Both were great places to meet many new friends. Now that summer is wrapping up and school begins, I look forward to welcoming back familiar faces and meeting even more new friends!


Early Learning
Hari Berzins & Jenni Heartway
Hari Berzins
Jenni Heartway
Hari says...

What I Did This Summer

I worked hard with my family to finish our house. We got our Certificate of Occupancy and moved in to the house on August 6!

I grew a big garden, and enjoyed visits from many family members from far away.

Jenni says...

My family had a full and exciting summer. Between exciting summer camps and weekly playgroups here at Blue Mountain, we were fortunate enough to take a few camping trips and a beach trip with our extended family. But to me, one of the most memorable parts of the whole summer was our (almost) daily trip to our pond. 
Sometimes we would take snacks and coconut "milkshakes" and other times we wouldn't even grab a towel. It was such a great opportunity to relax and and just be together. Often the babies and kids would happily play, while Perrin and I just sat and enjoyed the peace. We found interesting plants and creatures. Sometimes we would fish or pick berries or apples. Sometimes we would make sandcastles or rivers down the bank. The pond was like a magical reset button for all of us, and we would walk back feeling refreshed and ready for the evening.

I'm looking forward to carrying that peace and contentment with me into the new school year.

Early Childhood
Stefi Schafer
Stefi Schafer

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

At first I went "Yoo-hoo, school's out!"  Then I realized I had a lot of work to do! As I do most summers, I was a substitute teacher at my former employer, a child care center in Blacksburg.ThereI had the chance to reconnect with children and their families and lots of other professionals in early childhood education. I was able to work with all age groups, from itty bitty infants to the big 5th graders. I also refinanced my house, which involved lots of red tape, crossing "T"s and dotting "I"s. Phew!

After the craziness of pencil pushing and figure crunching it was time for some fun! There was the occasional cookout, lots of river splashing, some home projects, and one or two lazy Netflix coma days. I had a great time at Floyd Fest, too, and even worked a bit at the BMS childcare booth. :)

As the end of August came closer, I found myself stopping at the school supply section in the stores, screening yard sales and thrift shops for "I could use that in the classroom" items, and simply feeling ready to be back here at Blue Mountain School. Welcome back!

Yoga & Physical Education
Sarah McCarthy
Sarah McCarthy
As I started to think of what to present and share in my kids yoga class at Yoga Jam Festival this year, I remembered how much fun it is to create new stories with yoga poses for the kids for my classes at BMS. Sometimes the stories come easy, and sometimes it takes a while to create them.
I feel this is how school can be, too.

Sometimes it is easy to come and be part of a new class in a new school year, and sometimes it takes a little while to feel comfortable. Sometimes writing a story for class flows easily, and sometimes it takes a few days. Sometimes a child wants to raise a hand and share, and sometimes it takes a while to feel courage to share while everyone is listening. Most things in life take time to cultivate.

We develop skills along the way. We develop ourselves along the way, who we are, how we interact in a group, and what helps us to shine. I hope my yoga class this year can contribute to our kids being helped along the way to being healthier in mind, heart, and body in their lives. I am looking forward to a sweet and fun year with everyone!


Lore Deighan
Lore Deighan
I am ready to make ART!!!!!!

Contemplative Studies
With great respect and love, a heartfelt welcome to this new school year.

This year in mindfulness class, we will start out reviewing our mindfulness skills. I will be sending out worksheets for practice at home. It is essential that families participate together to encourage the skills.

After our basic skills have been reviewed thoroughly, I will ask the students what they would like to accomplish in class this year. As they take ownership in their practice, I believe they will be successful.

Jami Eaton
Jami Eaton
I am so excited to be joining the Blue Mountain School community and to have the honor of teaching the students Espa ├▒ol. I wish I could say I spent the summer backpacking in South America to get ready, but I spent most of it driving between my families in North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Now that summer is over, I am really looking forward to welcoming each child to a little corner of the Spanish-speaking world once a week. Bienvenudo!

We hope you enjoyed reading the Indigo Messenger.

Be sure to  it to anyone you think may be interested.

Thank you,

The folks at

In This Issue
Sep 23: Harvest Celebration
Sep 25: Make Up Day 
After School Care: If you need a little extra child-free time at the end of the day, try our after-school program, which runs from 3:15 to 4:30. Contact the office before 2:30 to sign up at the drop-in rate of $10, or register a month at a time to save 20%. Call 745-4234 or email Carol for more information. 
Board of Trustees

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is Wednesday, October 14, at 5:30 in the enrichment room. The public is welcome to attend.  


In Gratitude We Thank
Community Education Resource Cooperative (CERC) for making a donation to the school that helped support our summer play group.

Virginia Commission for the Arts for a grant to bring music education to the Early Childhood and Early Learning classes.

Mitchell Berliner, John and Mary Peluso, Annie Guppy, and David Blevins for matching donations for the VCA music grant.

Floyd Fest and Yoga Jam for welcoming us at their events.
The many volunteers who  helped with the BMS booths at Yoga Jam and Floyd Fest.

The person who donated a piece of art to the school at Yoga Jam.

Rebekah Hicks, Karl Berzins, Corey Avellar, and Colleen Wagoner for cleaning and fixing up things at school.

Amy Avery, Kristen Koch, and Jami Eaton for donating little jars for a project.

Wesley Wenger for yummy, fresh-pressed cider for staff meetings.

Tara Daystar and Perrin Heartway for being special guests at the summer play group.



Shopping on Amazon?

We encourage everyone to support local businesses whenever you can. However, if you find yourself shopping on Amazon, please use the link below, and a portion of your purchase will go into our scholarship fund.
Going Krogering?

With all the wonderful and farm fresh food in Floyd, it's hard to imagine spending much time in Kroger, but if you find yourself there, please help the school earn a little extra for the scholarship fund.

Link your Kroger Card to BMS with the Community Rewards Program. Our Organization Number is 84005.

Blue Mountain School 

470 Christiansburg Pike, Floyd, Virginia 24091