North Branch alumni gather to tell stories, reminisce

RIPTON — More than two dozen former North Branch School students gathered on a cold night at the North Branch School in Ripton on Dec. 28 to reunite, share stories and play Ultimate Jeopardy in the Big Room.
The alums came from all corners of the country and spanned 15 years of graduating classes. “Our alums love to come back to the school,” says Tal Birdsey, co-founder and head teacher at the school. “They loved the school when they were students here, and it’s an important place for them still.”
“Even though we all range in age and years since attending North Branch, we all share the experience of a middle school education that was relevant to heart, mind, body and soul,” remarked Zelie Wright-Neil, former student and current teaching fellow at the school.
 “It has been an incredible experience to work with the students here, after having been a student more than 10 years ago.  Much has changed, but the needs, interests and passion of these kids is the same.”
Alums reminisced and then competed in a hard-fought Jeopardy showdown that included current events, NBS history, facts, quotes, equations and formulae learned in school years ago. The final Jeopardy question required the teams to complete the final couplet of Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay.”
The alums hail from towns from all over Addison County including Leicester, Middlebury, Weybridge, Goshen, New Haven, East Middlebury, Bristol, Shoreham, Lincoln, Ripton and Cornwall.

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