Commencement 2017
Sunday, May 28, 2017, 119 boys donned caps and gowns on a perfect 70-degree day and took their final walk around the Avon Old Farms School Village Green as students, surrounded by schoolmates, family, faculty, and friends. Awards were distributed, diplomas carefully bestowed, and finally Avon's most recent graduates passed through Alumni Gate. We congratulate our young men on completing the final steps in their journey at Avon, and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

To view images, visit our SmugMug account.

Portal Logins

Closing Days Information

Recorded Commencement Events


Event Photography

The Avon Old Farms photography team will take photos of the awards ceremony, concert, and Commencement. Photos will be available on our photo gallery shortly after Commencement Weekend.


Individual Photography

Photographer George Chambers will take several photos of each boy receiving his diploma. There is no need to preorder. Families will receive photo proofs approximately 8-10 days after the ceremony.


Closing Days Schedule

Pak Mail: Packing, Shipping, and Summer Storage Services

Pak Mail provides packing, shipping and summer storage services for Avon Old Farms students.

Shipping & Storage Program

  • One stop for packing, shipping, and summer storage
  • Conveniently purchase quality packaging supplies – boxes, tape, bubble wrap, etc
  • Free shipping/storage labels
  • Shipping rates based on weight, size, and volume

Storage Rates

  • Small box $10, Medium box $20, Large box $30
  • Unboxed Small $15, Unboxed Medium $25, Unboxed Large $35
  • Chair/Mattress $65
  • Bike $50
  • TV/Computer $30


  1. Cash
  2. Personal credit card or parent card (with written permission)

Seniors: You can arrange to have certain items stored for the summer and then shipped directly to your new college address. Last year, several seniors found this to be a great alternative to shipping items home only to turn around and lug them off to college.


  • Thursday, May 25, 1 – 4 p.m. in the Day Student Parking Lot
    • You may purchase shipping/storage boxes and packaging materials as well as arrange for shipping. Seniors will want to get most of their shipping done prior to Senior Day.
  • Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Diogenes Circle
    • This is the last opportunity for seniors to buy packaging materials and arrange for shipping.
  • Tuesday, May 30, 1 – 4 p.m. and Wednesday, May 31, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Day Student Parking Lot
    • Underclassmen may arrange for summer storage as well as buy packaging materials and arrange for shipping.

Pak Mail is pleased to have the opportunity to provide packing, shipping and storage services for you. If you have any questions, please stop by the Pak Mail table or give us a call at 860-561-1369. We'll be glad to help.

Bookstore Buy Back and Rental Return Dates

We will be holding the book buy back in the Commons Room in the Student Center on the following days:


  • Saturday, May 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


  • Tuesday, May 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Please Note: Wednesday, May 31 is the last day to return books for credit.

Airport Shuttle Information

2018 School Trips

Summer Reading

Required Summer Reading

Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by John Bilas

Dear Parents and Students:

We are pleased to announce that author, lawyer, and famed ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas will spend September 29, 2017 with us. In preparation for his visit, everyone at school will read Bilas’ bestselling book Toughness, a masterful examination of what the abstract notion of toughness looks like in the world and how one can forge this quality. Former UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun writes, “Jay Bilas gives meaning to one of the most overused words in sports. Bilas explains the complexity of acquiring and utilizing all aspects of toughness, be it mental or physical, both on and off the playing field. It is a great description of a concept and value we all need in our lives.” And fellow ESPN analyst Rece Davis P’15 praises Bilas’ book: “Tough it out. Be tough. Stay tough. How often do we hear that in sports and life? It’s the go-to answer for any problem. We all want toughness. Jay Bilas take this intangible concept and gives it concrete meaning. The inspiring and humbling stories of truly tough people are written artfully and show that being tough isn’t just a catchall cliché. It’s a transforming personal value. Jay does a brilliant job illustrating why toughness is a quality I want to cultivate in my life every day.” We encourage you to read his book this summer, so when the book is discussed in English class in the week leading up to his visit, you will have a richer experience with the story.

We also invite you to choose books to read from a long list of the recommended books in the drop-down menu below. We encourage all of you to read at least two books in addition to Bilas’ Toughness.

Please note that if you are enrolled in any of the English honors courses or in AP Literature and Composition, you must read a book that your teacher assigns and is specific to your course. We encourage those of you who take the AP or honors courses to read at least two titles in addition to your required reading. Students in AP and English honors courses are also asked to prepare written work about their course–specific summer reading, and your essay is expected to be submitted to your teacher on the first day of classes.

The English Department’s mission emphasizes both curiosity and empathy, and there is no shortage of evidence that reading is among the best ways to build those “muscles.” With that in mind, parents, we especially appreciate all the ways that you can and will encourage your son to spend time reading this summer.


The English Department

Suggested Summer Reading: Pick Two

General Fiction

  • A Separate Peace
    by John Knowles
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany
    by John Irving
  • The Grapes of Wrath
    by John Steinbeck
  • So Long, See You Tomorrow
    by William Maxwell
  • The Alchemist
    by Paulo Coelho
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
    by Junot Diaz
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
    by Michael Chabon
  • A Confederacy of Dunces
    by John Kennedy Toole
  • The Corrections
    by Jonathan Franzen
  • Last Man Standing
    by David Baldacci
  • Life of Pi
    by Yann Martel
  • The Lovely Bones
    by Alice Sebold
  • Monster
    by Walter Dean Myers
  • The Power of One
    by Bryce Courtenay
  • A River Runs Through It and Other Stories
    by Norman Maclean
  • Snow Falling on Cedars
    by David Guterson
  • The Known World
    by Edward P. Jones
  • The Art of Fielding
    by Chad Harbach
  • Everything Is Illuminated
    by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Lord of the Flies
    by William Golding
  • Atonement
    by Ian McEwan
  • Middlesex
    by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Slaughterhouse-Five
    by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Great Expectations
    by Charles Dickens
  • Tomato Red: A Novel
    by Daniel Woodrell

Mystery and Suspense

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-­Time
    by Mark Haddon
  • Never Let Me Go
    by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Bone Vault
    by Linda Fairstein
  • Ender’s Game
    by Orson Scott Card
  • Mystic River
    by Dennis Lehane
  • Dracula
    by Bram Stoker
  • The Alienist
    by Caleb Carr
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    by Stieg Larsson
  • And Then There Were None
    by Agatha Christie
  • The Little Friend
    by Donna Tartt

Science Fiction and Fantasy

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
    by Douglas Adams
  • Dune
    by Frank Herbert
  • The Time Machine
    by H.G. Wells
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
    by Arthur Clarke
  • Neuromancer
    by William Gibson
  • The Andromeda Strain
    by Michael Crichton
  • The Hobbit
    by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Lord of the Rings
    by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Martian Chronicles
    by Ray Bradbury
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
    by Philip Dick

Biography and Memoirs

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
    by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
  • Fever Pitch
    y Nick Hornby
  • All Souls: A Family Story from Southie
    by Michael Patrick MacDonald
  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
    by Ishmael Beah
  • Tuesdays with Morrie
    by Mitch Albom
  • What is the What
    by David Eggers
  • The Complete Persepolis
    by Marjane Satrapi
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day
    by David Sedaris
  • Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!
    by Richard Feynman
  • Black Boy
    by Richard Wright

Outdoors and Adventure

  • Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft by Thor Hyerdal
  • Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
  • The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain’s Journey by Linda Greenlaw
  • The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger
  • Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man’s Miraculous Survival by Joe Simpson
  • Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War by Mark Bowden
  • Coming into the Country by John McPhee
  • Annapurna by Maurice Herzog
  • War by Sebastian Junger
  • Call of the Wild by Jack London

General Non-Fiction

  • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
    by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It
    by Elizabeth Royte
  • Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Change the World
    by Jane McGonigal
  • Faithful: Two Die-­Hard Red Sox Fans Chronicle the 2004 Season
    by Stewart O’Nan and Stephen King
  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
    by Steven Levitt
  • Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time
    by Dava Sobel
  • Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
    by Michael Lewis
  • Liar’s Poker
    by Michael Lewis
  • Consider the Lobster
    by David Foster Wallace
  • Naked
    by David Sedaris


2017-18 Information


Academic Questions Contact Information
College CounselingJonathan Crocker
Director of College Counseling

Course Selections: Grades 9-10Rob Whitty
Academic Dean

  • Course Selections: Grades 11, 12, and PG
  • Language Placement
Graham Callaghan
Academic Dean

Student Life Questions Contact Information
  • Airport Shuttle
  • Packing List
  • Dress Code
  • Student Permissions
Jill Craft
Administrative Assistant to Associate Headmaster


Cindy Tartaglia
Facilities Coordinator

Health Center

Lenore Severni
Director of Nursing

Room Assignments

Brian Doyle
Dean of Students

Student Bank & ATM

Sarah Wallace
Accounts Receivable Coordinator

Technology and Portal Questions Contact Name

Deb Case
Director of Information Technology


Portal Logins/ VeracrossSheila Albert
Database Administrator

Hardware/Computer ResourcePeter Deckers
Associate Director of Information Technology

Athletics Questions Contact Name
  • Teams
  • Requirements
  • Impact Testing

John Bourgault
Director of Athletics


Avon Old Farms Student Handbook

New Student FAQs

What is the dress code?

The dress-code has a few variations depending on the occasion.

  1. Classroom Dress - khakis or chinos, belt, button-up shirt, socks, dress shoes, tie, and a blazer. Classroom dress is to be worn during class days to morning meeting, class, and meals in the refectory.
  2. Smart Casual Dress - khakis or chinos, belt, button-up shirt, socks, and dress shoes. Smart Casual dress is to be worn during announced buffet meals and to Saturday events. A student is always notified beforehand when this dress is appropriate.
  3. Casual Dress - t-shirt, polo, jeans, sweatshirt, sweatpants, etc. Casual dress can be worn when classes and special events are not in session - usually a Saturday afternoon and all-day Sunday.
  4. Vespers Dress- Grey pants, black belt, black polished shoes, black socks, white button-up, school tie, school blazer This is the School Uniform which should be worn during very special ceremonies like graduation. Vespers can be purchased off campus at Men’s Warehouse, or on-campus when Formals by Antonio comes on campus to fit students who wish to purchase their ensemble on-campus during the opening of school.
  • Boys typically wear their navy-blue school blazer most days, but are not required to do so, unless informed.
  • Shorts are allowed with classroom dress and smart casual only when the weather permits, the school’s Provost will make announcements stating when shorts are allowed. Shorts cannot have cargo pockets.

What size is my bed?

All beds are regular twin beds. Students are allowed to bring mattress pads with them or purchase one on a store run.

What can I bring into my dorm room?

  • One small refrigerator is allowed per room.
  • A monitor screen of any size and gaming systems are allowed.
  • Your room comes with a desk and chair, but you have the option to bring an office chair.
  • Fans are recommended, as there is no A/C in the dorms.

Are we allowed to have food in our dorm rooms? When can we order food for delivery?

Food is allowed in your rooms, however, you must be responsible for how you store it. You can order food after study hall and on the weekends. If you have questions regarding the Dining Hall, please contact Hector Vazquez at

Where and when do I get my class supplies?

You will begin your classes and then your teachers will make you aware of what you need to have for the year. Do not feel pressure to have any supplies when classes first start. All of the materials on your list will be in stock at the Hawk’s Nest School Store. You can also get supplies during school trips to Wal-Mart in the first week of school.

If I am a day student, what should I bring to school every day?

Each day student is assigned his own locker. We recommend that you keep a spare change of classroom dress in your locker at all times. You are also given a “laundry loop” upon which you can put your gym clothes after practices so that they are washed for the next day by our equipment manager. It is up to you to determine which books you need to bring back and forth between home and school.

Do the weekend activities cost anything?

No, all tickets for weekend activities are purchased by the school for students. However, some school dances are fundraisers during which there may be a suggested donation upon entry. All students sign up for social activities the week of the activity via email.

How do I get my books?

Books can be purchased through our online bookstore and should be picked up on campus during opening day registration. Books are available to rent or buy.

What happens if I get sick in the middle of the night?

Our Health Center is open:

  • Weekdays from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Saturdays from 7 -11:30 a.m. and 6 - 7 p.m.
  • Sundays from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 6 p.m - 7 p.m.
When the health center is closed, a faculty member and a school nurse are on-call. If a student is in need of medical assistance, he should call the faculty member who is on-call, whose number will be posted in the dormitory. If the situation is urgent, the boy should call 911. UCONN Health Center is five minutes away, and the on-call faculty member will transport the boy there if necessary.

Is it mandatory for me to play three sports?

No. You are required to participate in two competitive sports out of the three seasons that you are at Avon. However, there are several afternoon activities that fall under the category of “competitive sport” (Robotics, Independent Art Project, Drama, Team Manager). Freshmen are encouraged to participate in a competitive sport during the fall season, as being a part of a team is valuable when it comes to acclimating to a new community environment. Seniors are only required to participate in one competitive sport. AOF Strength does not count as a competitive sport, and is only open to grades 10, 11, 12 and PGs.

How can I sign out to go home or leave for the day?

Boarders are not allowed to have cars on campus.

  1. Local leaves- Students are allowed to check out to town at appropriate times during the week. Any unauthorized leave from campus will result in appropriate disciplinary action. Students are not allowed to ride with any driver under the age of 23. Day students are never allowed to drive boarding students.
  2. Weekends- Weekend leaves begin when a student has fulfilled his last school commitment of the week. Leave slips may be obtained at the entrance to the Associate Headmaster’s Office and turned into the Dean of Students or the Administrator on Duty (AOD) when signing out. All overnight leaves must be cleared with the Associate Headmaster’s Office by after lunch on Friday except in the event of an emergency. Students may not leave for a weekend if they have Sunday work crew.
  3. 5 ½ Day Boarders- 5 ½ Day Boarding Status is a privilege which students who live within 1 hour of the school may earn. This privilege requires each student to be in good academic and social standing. Five-and-a-half day boarders do not have to fill out leave slips to go on a weekend leave. They must, however, sign out with the Dean of Students or the AOD before they leave campus and must return in time for Vespers on Sunday evening. They may not leave on Friday night. Students who fail to observe these rules will lose the privilege of being a 5 ½ day boarder. Five-and-a-half day boarders are only allowed to leave with their parents or guardians.
  4. Vacations-Students cannot leave school early or return late from any scheduled vacation period. Students are required to meet all commitments through their last scheduled class or activity before they may leave campus for a school break. Teachers often plan tests or other graded exercises at this time. If there is a graded exercise, test, or quiz and a student misses it, he will receive an F for that exercise. We ask that students and parents adhere strictly to the published school calendar when planning travel.
  5. Miscellaneous- Boarding students and 5 ½ day boarders are not allowed to leave campus during the week, including Friday evening, if it interferes with study hall or Saturday classes. Trips to concerts, movies, and sporting events during the week, including Friday, unless sponsored by the school, are forbidden. Special permission must be obtained from the Associate Headmaster at least one week in advance.

How do we know what classes to sign up for?

Our Academic Deans carefully review your transcripts from this past year and make decisions based upon what they see and your past teacher recommendations. Then, they will email you with a proposed class schedule. You can approve the schedule, or if you have issues with it, you are welcome to connect with them and they will work with you to place you accordingly. Even if you are worried about your placement level in a certain class, we have a 3 week add-drop period during which you will be able to truly determine whether you belong in a given class-level or not. If you think that the class rigor is too much or too little for you, your advisor and the Academic Dean will be able to move classes accordingly.

How will I know where to find my classes?

Everyone will be in the same boat during the first few days. The upperclassmen are there to help you, so ask them. If someone sees you looking around like you are lost, he or she will tell you where to go. Also, during orientation, your advisor will walk you to all of your classrooms. Do not be afraid to ask anyone for directions!

When will I know who my roommate and advisor are?

This information is given to you during registration on opening day. All rooming changes are made with our Dean of Students under exceptional circumstances only. Advisors can be changed after a student’s first year through the Associate Headmaster’s Office.

Where do I send my final transcript?

Final transcripts should be mailed to:


Leon Hayward Dean of Enrollment

500 Old Farms Road

Avon, CT 06001

2016-17 Information


Academic Calendar

May 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Sun, Apr 30
Mon, May 1
Tue, May 2
Wed, May 3
Thu, May 4
Fri, May 5
Sat, May 6
Sun, May 7
Mon, May 8
Tue, May 9
Wed, May 10
Thu, May 11
Fri, May 12
Sat, May 13
Sun, May 14
Mon, May 15
Tue, May 16
Wed, May 17
Thu, May 18
Fri, May 19
Sat, May 20
Sun, May 21
Mon, May 22
Tue, May 23
Wed, May 24
Thu, May 25
Fri, May 26
Sat, May 27
Sun, May 28
Mon, May 29
Tue, May 30
Wed, May 31
Thu, Jun 1
Fri, Jun 2
Sat, Jun 3

2 Week Rundown Parent Newsletter

Parents of Avon

Our mission is to promote camaraderie and a sense of community among Avon families and friends and enhance the academic, athletic, and extracurricular experiences of the Men of Avon.

France and Spain Trip

March 8 - 18, 2018

Your Gifts Make a Difference

The quality programs that enrich the lives of the young men at Avon Old Farms are made possible through gifts to the annual fund by parents, alumni, and friends of the school.