CVU XC: Examining the season, looking to the future, keeping runners at the front of the pack

Mr. Isaac Cleveland

CVU boys and girls cross-country won with record breaking times last saturday during the NVAC District Championships in Swanton, Vermont. Tyler Marshall, the senior superstar of CVUHS boys cross country running, won during the 5k with an astounding new personal record: a 15:24.2 minute 5k time. He ran just under a five minute mile and beat his nearest competitor by a minute. Tyler Marshall shared that with this new personal record, he was even more ready for next weekends race. “It was a confidence booster,” he said, “not only for myself but also for my team.”CVU’s girls team was lead to the first place title by none other than our very own Sophia Gorman, Ella Whitman, and Jennifer Ireland, scoring 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the competition. Gorman won with a 18:11.9 minute time and ran just under an impressive 6 minute mile.

However, even with these stunning times and multiple championship medals for both Gorman and Marshall, what will happen to their team as these two seniors leave for their college careers?

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Some Leaves continue to Cling to CVU tree, despite advancing seasons

Mr. Merrill Alexander

HINESBURG-  Clearly not all of CVU trees are ready for winter quite yet.  One CVU tree was still clinging to about 5% of its precious leaves even by mid November.

While most trees are completely bare of all leaves one tree in CVU’s parking lot is still clinging to a few leaves.  The leaves are brown and shriveled showing they are ready to come off.  The rest of the leaves are probably just one wind storm away from falling, like their comrades.

According to CVU student-arborist Nathaniel Mick, these leaves are the “oddballs.”    While most trees are completely barren the few remaining leaves are not that unusual.

Opinion: Regulation causes Additional Hardship for Vermont Farmers

Mr. Jeremy Lang

When one imagines Vermont, the mind may wander to lush green rolling hills, farms covered in neatly wrapped hay bales, and black and white spotted cows grazing peacefully. Tall, slow moving tractors dot the mountains, and the only sound is the wind blowing through neatly planted rows of corn and hay. Under this postcard view is a disturbing truth: our Vermont farmers and farms are vanishing quickly.


Here are some facts:

2.4 million acres in Vermont in 2015 were currently used as arable fields, pastures, wilderness, managed woods and natural habitats.  This is called “Current Use,” which means the owner gets set in a lower tax bracket so that they don’t have tax debt. This amounts to one third of Vermont’s land being under land conservation.

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The Best Fall activities in the best fall state

Ms. Emma Lieberman

Fall is arguably the most beautiful season in Vermont. People here certainly take advantage of all that fall has to offer. From small businesses, to corn mazes, there is always something to do. On one gorgeous autumn weekend, our intrepid reporter explored Chittenden County, and compiled some of the best things to do during this incredible time of year.

Rutland Wrestles with the reality of Syrian Refugees

Mr. Trey Tomasi

Many towns and cities in Vermont have warmly welcomed refugees from various countries. Vermont has accepted refugees from Nepal, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Syria, to name a few. Vermont has proudly supported the Vermont Refugee Resettlement program for 25 years. The purpose of this program is to help refugees adjust to life in their new country. They assist with learning the new language and help to create community partnerships. If Vermont is a state that supports welcoming refugees, then why do the residents of Rutland have such resistance to Syrian refugees settling in their city?


The city of Rutland is split over the settlement of 100 Syrians moving into their community. Chris Louras, mayor of Rutland, apparently met in secret with representatives of the refugee resettlement program. Louras offered his town as a new home for unvetted Syrian migrants. During these negotiations, Louras “violated the city charter” and this started a chain reaction of protests throughout the city. From the beginning, those involved kept it secret so they wouldn’t be met with opposition. Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program Director Amila Merdzanovic said, “I cannot emphasize enough the importance of not sharing the information… move slowly, keep it to a small circle of people, and then expand.” In an email to Louras, she stated, “if we open it up to anybody and everybody, all sorts of people will come out of the woodwork. Anti-immigrant, anti-anything.”

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Opinion: Tesla Drives Toward Auto Pilot

 Mr. Declan Trus

Photo courtesy of


Tesla, an auto manufacturer that specializes in electric cars, has just released an upgrade to their car’s computer software. This new upgrade is called Version 8. One of the many updates in Version 8 of Tesla’s software is upgrading the autopilot system to use radar in order to know where it’s going. This is not one of the safest options that Tesla could have done. In October of 2014, the radar sensor was originally installed as a supplementary system to the primary camera imaging system. Tesla now believes it can be used as a primary system. One of the problems that this poses is that the car will have a very strange perception of its surroundings. For example, the radar can see through fog, rain and snow easily, but anything metallic appears like a mirror, and anything metallic and dish shaped will amplify the reflected signal, making the object appear many times its actual size. Avoiding false alarms like this is a big problem that Tesla is faced with as they attempt to convert to full radar. These false alarms include, anything opaque being partially, or fully invisible to passengers in the car or other drivers on the road.

Although metallic surfaces can be very visible to the car’s radar, anything opaque will be transparent as glass to the radar. This is a major hazard because if a person were to let the car do all the driving, then the car would not stop or avoid something it can’t see. This can be dangerous for passengers and other drivers on the road.

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Clowns: Why the long face?

Mr. David Huber

Courtesy of The Boston Globe

Photo courtesy of The Boston Globe

A recent trend has spooked the halls of CVU.  The fear some students have been experiencing has been from the recent clown scares/sightings happening nationwide.  This Clown scaring started as a marketing strategy for an upcoming indie film called “It”.  Since then, this marketing strategy has sparked numerous copy cats that aren’t advertising for the movie but are going out to scare individuals that come across them.  

Recently Vermont has been targeted by this spooking, local high school students who attend BFA which is just North of Burlington received threats from apparent clowns that were telling them, “We’re going to kidnap the students and kill the teachers”.    This has sparked law enforcement to get involved and their investigation concluded that it was another student from a nearby high school. This hasn’t been the case around the country though.  Schools in philadelphia received similar threats which sparked the school districts to close down schools in the area because the threats received were very specific and they shut the schools down for precautionary reasons.  

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Opinion: Teacher Salaries, not meeting the standard in light of other professions

Mr. Bryan Claussen

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A great teacher does not just force facts into the minds of students.  A great teacher can inspire students, help them understand something that will help them in life, or even convince them to pursue their dreams.  Teaching is a very important, yet very underappreciated profession.

A global study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said, “Teachers across 34 developed countries make about 22% less, on average, than their full-time counterparts with similar education levels who have chosen to do pretty much anything else with their lives.”  In today’s society, teaching isn’t a desirable job and people that go into the profession are taking a pay cut compared to other fields.

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Smartphones might be dumbing us down

Mr. Willem Hillier

As anyone who has ever been in a modern high-school classroom knows, smartphones are very often used, whether the teacher wants them to be or not. Some teachers see them as a tool for learning, others see them as a hinderance. This debate between students and teachers, in all combinations, is something that is happening right now across the nation.

The way teachers view and control phones in the classroom could affect an entire generation of learners and thinkers. In a very practical sense, it will change the way the high schoolers of today work tomorrow, since students will inevitably carry the techniques they have learned and practiced in high school into the work environment. Here at CVU, it really is truly a mixed bag among teachers when it comes to smartphones.

Among the many who think the use of smartphones in classrooms have both pros and cons is Christopher Hood. He believes that these personal electronic devices can be used appropriately, and so far this year he has seen students “using good discretion” with their smartphones. However, he also cautions that there are students that can be irresponsible with their use, and he says that he sees students “checking their fantasy football teams” and “watching ESPN”, as well as using various social media services. These types of activities contribute to the sentiment of Polly Vanderputten. She has a policy of “Out of View, Out of Mind” when it comes to smartphones, and strictly enforces it. In her classes, students are required to place their phones into personal manilla envelopes before the start. Judging by the lack of smartphones in my French class, her method seems pretty successful! However, this method can be problematic when there is a valid use for a smartphone.

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Water Levels on Lake Champlain Could Hit a Record Low

By Mr. Kaelan Murdock

On October 11, water levels on Lake Champlain had dropped over four feet, according to My Champlain Valley. As of now on November 4, the water levels are still dropping. The Lake is rapidly approaching what could be one of its all-time lows. Boat launches are dry, small rocky islands are becoming exposed, and swamps are being replaced by mudflats. Due to the low water levels in McNeil Cove, the boat launch channel has become so clogged with sediment that dredging has become necessary.  The photos below document that process.


The iPhone 7: Are the new features worth it?

 Mr. Douglas Schmidt

Apple released their new iPhone 7 model earlier this month which features a better camera, screen, and stereo speakers. However, Apple neglected to include a headphone jack, rendering all previous headphone models useless unless customers purchase a lightning jack converter, or spend more money to buy their new headphone model AirPods, or Bluetooth headphones from a third party. Arguably, this could be Apple’s worst move, ever.  

A headphone jack serves more than one purpose on an iPhone. It can be used as a microphone input, a credit card reader, a thermometer, and 3D camera. More importantly, it can be use as an audio output. A headphone jack is a more practical, robust, and a much simpler version of Bluetooth. The headphone jack just worked. Micah Singleton, a tech writer for The Verge, said,The belief that killing the most popular port in the world on the most popular smartphone in the world would have no consequences is wholly shortsighted.It’s more than just a plug, it’s the source of income for a massive industry of headphone jack accessory developers around the world, and Apple just simply stole it from them.



Image courtesy of Business Insider

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Kids flip out on new trend: water bottle tossing

Mr. George Lomas

Yet another trend has spread across the country thanks to a high school student named Michael Senator, AKA The Water Bottle Flipping Kid. Water bottle flipping was first started when Senator was involved in his school’s talent show. Usually in a talent show people sing, dance, or perform some other impressive art or talent. Senator decided to do something a little different. His act began with an empty stage except for a single, small table sitting front and center on the stage. Senator came out from the side of the stage walking in a funky ice skating manner with the water bottle in his right hand. He had intense music in the background building throughout his performance. Senator was able to time it so that when he flipped the bottle, the landing of it was at the exact same time as the “drop” of the music. Of course, Senator nailed the landing and everybody in the crowd went absolutely insane. The cameraman starts uncontrollably flailing the camera everywhere, but you can still just make out Senator casually walking off the stage as if nothing had ever happened.


Image courtesy of Vox


Water bottle flipping is an incredible art. The fact that such a simple trick can make a crowd go absolutely berserk and give the person doing it such an incredible feeling of accomplishment shows just how amazing bottle flipping really is.

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A Survivor’s Story: The Holocaust Trip opens eyes

By Mr. William Ravell

Meeting a survivor of the Holocaust is something that very few people have done, and it is becoming harder to meet survivors as the event grows more distant in the past.

Survivors of the Holocaust can provide first hand accounts of the terrible things that occurred that can’t be understood by reading, or watching movies. The CVU Holocaust and Human Behavior class had the opportunity to meet David Bayer, a Hungarian Jew who lived through the terrors of the Holocaust.

Bayer told us the story of his life, starting with how he was a well-off Jew living in Hungary. When the Nazis invaded, his life was forever changed. He was forced to live in a ghetto and had to beg for food from Nazi soldiers. When he did this, His peers pointed out to the men that David was a Jew. Bayer described the feeling of being betrayed by his friends in such a way as heartbreaking and sad. A few of the Nazis poured their soup on the ground in front of him, once they knew he was Jewish. CVU senior, and member of the class, Kiera O’Brien, said that Bayer “thought that they were his friends, and they turned on him. That’s hard to think about.” O’Brien also talked about how it was “Upsetting to understand what he had to go through. It is hard to imagine a childhood so altered.”

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Is Heavy Metal a Dying Genre?

Mr. Daniel Sedic

Art by Ole Ivar Rudi

Art by Ole Ivar Rudi

In the past decade, pop artists such as Rihanna, or Kanye West have topped the charts with catchy beats and memorable choruses. They’ve packed stadiums with fans, played their catchy beats, and sang their memorable choruses to thousands of people. However, a genre that seems to be less in the spotlight now-a-days is metal. This begs the vital question: Is metal dying? What happened to the genre that once topped the charts and served as the definitive style of music for metalheads across the world? The answer to this is no! Metal is thriving–alive and well. In 2016 alone, 1.24 million metal albums were sold.

A common argument is that the demographic for metal is dwindling–no one wants to listen to angry shouting and loud guitars. However, this is totally false. The demographic is larger than ever, as angsty teens are looking for an outlet  and middle aged folks are going through their midlife crises. Metal is a genre that speaks bluntly, and often voices the emotions that people can struggle to understand and work through. This makes it a popular genre, as most chart toppers these days have pretty shallow lyrics. This isn’t to say that all popular music sucks, and that metal is the supreme genre, but metal is a genre capable of conveying a degree of emotion that transcends what most pops songs can achieve.

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Chromebooks: The new normal for CVU Freshmen

Mr. Doug Schmidt

HINESBURG, VT – CVU’s new “1-to-1” program is equipping every incoming freshman student with a new laptop to use both at school and at home to further incorporate technology into the learning process.

The program started in 2015, when the class of 2019 received new Windows computers. While the computers worked, they were unable to properly connect to the wireless network the school already had installed. “The Windows computers were good in concept, but in functionality, they had an older wireless card so they only operated on one of the two WiFi frequencies which caused major issues in all cores”.  These computers were replaced at the end of the 2015-16 school year with an updated Chromebook to avoid running into the same problem. So far, three weeks into the school year, no major issues arose other than a few shattered screens and broken keys.


Photo by Doug Schmidt

The goal of the program, according to Matt Vile, CVUs IT coordinator, is “to have a device in every student’s hand throughout the day to work on courses online with Moodle and Google Drive, and to do school work at home.” He went on to say “This creates an almost seamless connection between working at school and at home, in addition to equipping students with technology they can use throughout their four years at CVU,”

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Behind the scenes: New Changes to Moodle

By Mr. Alex Merrill

Image courtesy of

When you log into moodle this year have you noticed a change?  Five out of Ten CVU students have.  Some students noticed they had to change their password, while others noticed a new color scheme.  However; these small changes could just be made with a couple clicks of by an administrator.

The truth is that moodle at CVU has made its biggest leap in years. This summer CVU upgraded our moodle from Moodle 2 to Moodle 3.  If you have not noticed a change that is probably because IT did a good job with the upgrade.

Moodle has been in use for eight years at CVU and in that time it has been upgraded twice.  Once from Moodle to Moodle 2, and now to Moodle 3.  According to Charlie MacFadyen, Tech integration specialist and moodle expert, “CVU has always tried to stay current with Moodle but only wants to upgrade when a version is “stable”. Stable means that a version is free of all major bugs and runs smoothly.”

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IT snaps out of it, unblocks popular app

Mr. Kyle Gorman

Image courtesy of

Over the past two decades there have been numerous fads, in the world of fashion, in the world of sports, and most substantially, the world of technology. One trend that is seemingly here to stay is Snapchat.

Snapchat is a messaging software, that requires one to take a picture of themselves or something else, and put text on it. That is just the very basis of the app, Snapchat now has magazines within the app that users can flip, through and 3D filters that can be pasted on to you and even your friends faces.

Snapchat has become a staple in the technology world thus far, especially with the youth. Even in school this app seems to take priority in the minds of students of Champlain Valley Union High School.

As I myself, am an avid “snapper” and student at CVUHS, I wanted to investigate the hard facts behind snapchat use. I sat down with 50 of my peers, with at least ten members of each class and asked them questions about their use of the app, their results may come as a shock to some of the older crowd, but I’m sure millennials will understand.

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Windows vs Mac: Smackdown-down-down Saturday Nite!!!

By Mr. Kaelan Murdock

Image courtesy of


Windows and Macs have been competitors for years. Everyone knows that Windows is better known for flexibility and customization, and that Mac is more streamlined and user-friendly—but is one computer really better than the other?

Well the answer is obviously yes—right? One has to be better than the other… Here are some interesting facts I’ve gathered over my years of computer experience to help people become more knowledgeable on the subject:

If 3D applications or gaming is your thing, you’re far better off with Windows. Windows has a wide variety of games ranging from Xbox ports to Windows specific titles. According to Gary Lambert, a member of the AV staff at CVU: “Pc is better for gaming and 3D applications…In my opinion, Mac never oriented themselves towards gaming. It’s really too bad because Macs’ graphics are great.” Mac is limited in the realm of gaming. Yes there are a few Mac specific games, but I would wager Mac only has about a quarter of the games Windows has readily available. Mac does excel in the creative industry however. Professionals often use Macs for editing, music making, and much more.

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AED: Preparing for the unexpected

By Mr. Maxwell Akey

HINESBURG, Vermont– On March 2nd, 2015 at the semifinal Vermont division one girls basketball game between CVU and Rice, a traumatic event took place. Towards the end of the game Rice head coach. Tim Rice fell down unresponsive towards the end of the game. No one had any idea of what to do for a while, considering Time Rice was unresponsive on the ground, until an athletic trainer was able to get an AED and perform CPR until the ambulance came.

Since the Tim Rice episode occurred, a new addition to Vermont’s second largest high school Champlain Valley Unions sports teams includes the emergency CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) plan. This new regulation was mandated by the Vermont Principals Association (VPA).

Vermont high school sports are well underway. At Champlain Valley Union High School just 4 weeks in, this year’s fall sports teams are CPR trained and ready with an emergency plan in case of another sudden cardiac arrest scenario similar to Tim Rice’s. According to athletic director Dan Shepardson, “I hope we never have to use this plan. It’s not going to stop a broken leg or a torn ACL, but like the Tim Rice incident, it’s to know how to handle a situation like that.” Continue Reading

Natural Resources: Leonardo DiCaprio slated to play Dave T. in upcoming Movie

By Mr. Declan Trus


Photo courtesy of

As of now, there is no movie in the works, but Dave Trevithick, a science teacher here at CVU, intends to create full sustainability program at school.   This includes growing vegetables for the cafeteria, and even the possibility of raising chickens on school grounds for the cafeteria. One possibility to create sustainability is growing plants such as raspberry bushes as a way to clean storm water draining into the fire pond so it can be used as a fishery.


Photo courtesy of

Dave T. states that CVU’s sustainability projects are “something that will affect everybody in the building for the rest of their time at CVU or maybe even their life.” Each project in Dave’s plan is connected to each other. The vegetation planted on the edge of the fire pond is called a riparian buffer, it filters dirt and other debris out of storm water being drained into the pond. This will make the pond cleaner and will allow more fish to live in the pond that students could catch by fly fishing. This water will also be pumped to the gardens where fruits and vegetables will be grown to be served at the school cafeteria.

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Beware the “Leaf Peepers”

By Ms. Olivia Cottrell


Photo courtesy of


Fall in Vermont is more that just the beauty of the leaves, it is also a highly marketed industry. If you search google for ‘Fall in Vermont’, or anything similar to that, you can find a plethora of websites advertising an amazing natural phenomenon. This phenomenon is one that most Vermonters take for granted. This amazing spectacle draws many people from all over each year. People come from all over, in hopes of catching a glimpse of the painted trees.  If you pay attention, you can see license plates from places ranging from New York State to Washington, which is an awfully far trek to see what, to most Vermonters are just some leaves.

Many Vermonters, myself included, grumble about the ‘leaf peepers’, as we refer to them. Drive down almost any dirt road that’s not too far off the beaten path in mid-October (which according to many is prime leaf season), and you can find a car with out-of-state plates pulled haphazardly off to the side of the road with people ogling out the windows. If the residents of the car do not have their faces squashed against the glass, they will most likely be in some other inconvenient position trying to get a good photo, someplace like the middle of the road.

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spikeball: gets the old testosterone flowing

By Mr. Maxwell Akey

HINESBURG, Vermont– Get your tickets to the first annual 2016 Spikeball Roundnet Nationals located at West Potomac Park, Washington DC on October 15th. The winner will take home $4,400 cash plus tons of “Spikeball Swag”… Or you could add Life Team Sports to your second semester schedule at Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU) and learn to play spikeball without intense competition.

The global outburst and rise of Spikeball across the United States has influenced Vermont’s CVU to add Spikeball in the class Life Team Sports (LTS). LTS, a required class in order to graduate from CVU, has added a new tailgate unit for the class criteria. Spikeball, along with other popular lawn games like Kan Jam and Cornhole, are all new games to the unit and to the LTS environment at CVU. One of CVU’s LTS teachers, Tess LaPlante, spoke on the topic. “Spikeball is unique as far as the yard or long game activities go because it is the most active. It really tests athletic strength, speed, agility, and it requires a lot more communication with your partner.”

The highly entertaining four player game is rapidly spreading across the student body at CVU. The game is very similar to volleyball and four square. The game is played with one spikeball trampoline and one spikeball. Two teams of two stand across from each other a couple feet away from the net. One player serves the ball off of the trampoline to the person on the other team standing across the net. Next, the other team has three hits to successfully spike the ball onto the net and have it bounce off without hitting the net more than once. Once the ball touches the net,it is a change of possession and the opposing team gets their three hits to try and spike the ball. Points are rewarded if the ball hits the ground, the rim of the net, or if a team takes more than three touches.

Photo courtesy of

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The New SAT: A modern update on an old enemy

By Mr. Alex Merrill

Photo courtesy of 

On Saturday, Oct. 1, many Seniors took the SAT. This was the first time the SAT was offered in the 2016-2017 school year. Was this an accurate test of CVU studentsintelligence, a necessary evil to get into college, or just another money sucking exercise sponsored by the college board?

The SAT was first created in 1926 as a college admissions test. Since then it has been modified many times. The newest changes occurred last spring and were the most significant in over twenty years. In fact, this SAT has been dubbed “The New SAT.” The biggest change was making the essay section optional. Other changes include returning to a 1600 point scale, making the vocab section more relevant to student learning, and aligning the curriculum to common core standards. These changes have made the test more popular with some educators, but many opinions remain unchanged.

After interviewing several Seniors most said they had taken the SATs twice. Victoria Thompson was the exception, saying that she was satisfied with her scores from the first time she took the test. The College Board claims that well over 50% of students will improve their scores the second time around. Katherine Mathon, who took the SAT twice last year, said that she did see an improvement. Maya Townsend just took SATs for the second time and said she felt like she did better; though she admitted she will not know for sure until official scores are released.

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VT economy: Whether or not we’ll weather the weather

By Ms. Olivia Cottrell

The 2015-2016 winter was a bitterly disappointing season, according to many native Vermonters. Most people- from avid winter fans, to the people that hate the cold- were immensely disappointed in the winter and the effects it holds on the climate and economy today. Over the 2016 summer, Vermont was suffering from a drought. Compared to the average of around 39.9 inches of rain for northern Vermont, this summer hasn’t been good at all. Andy Nash, the meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Burlington, says that in most places we would need up to eight inches of rain to get soil back to normal.

Photo Courtesy of

The hot and dry summer, combined with an upsetting past winter, will have many effects on Vermont. The Vermont Ski Areas Association reported 3.2 million ski visits, a 31 percent decline from 2015, when there were 4.7 million visits to ski resorts. This is definitely in part due to the dismal ski weather. Only 72 inches of snow fell at the top on Mount Mansfield, and an average of 29 inches statewide this past winter. For Mt. Mansfield, this is a remarkable decline; in 2015, 146 inches fell, making the 2015-2016 winter’s snowfall the lowest since the early 90’s, and one of the lowest in history. In 2007 a record amount of 327 inches of snow fell. While 2007 was an exception, Vermont is really struggling from the effects of a dismal winter.

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Eyeing the storm: how do we cope with increasingly drastic weather?

By Mr. Kyle Gorman

Image courtesy of

There is no force more destructive than nature. Time after time,coastal communities are trashed and destroyed by unstoppable hurricanes. The American population has seen it before– the immense damage that has been caused to mainly southern states is always a constant battle. As we move into the hurricane season of 2016, no one is optimistic.

Although we have taken the proper precautions and prepared ourselves for the worst, no one wants to relive past tragedies again in the present. Hurricane Matthew promises to be a powerful force all across the southern hemisphere of the United States, and there is no stopping the brute strength of nature.

Hurricane Matthew is not indifferent to storms we have seen before, but his destruction is almost inevitable. The damage caused can set towns and states back years, and there are entire countries who are much worse off than we are.

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Grab and go grub for the CVU student that’s always on the move

By Mr. Will Ravell

We’ve all had days where we sleep in through our alarm and are running late. You don’t have time to eat breakfast, so you go through the day hungry because the cafeteria always has lines. That’s where the Redhawk Cafe Cart comes into play.

A few years ago, the CVU Cafeteria purchased a cart but didn’t really do anything with it. This year though, Leo Laforce decided to make it happen. It is widely known that students are often in a rush in the morning, meaning that they may not have time to eat. Many times the cafeteria will have lines, making it hard for students to grab some food. The idea of the Redhawk Cafe Cart is that it will be much faster, offering mostly “grab and go” type snacks, according to Laforce. This cart can be used with cash or with your school lunch account, optimizing the convenience. The hours of operation for the cart are from 7:30-10:10 every morning, to make sure that students are fed in the early part of the day.

Students and teachers aren’t sure what to think of the cart. Senior Colin Monsey says “It’s weird.” He also admits that it is a “good idea.” Senior Nate Shanks says that the cafeteria is closer and has a better variety. Business teacher Tamie-Jo Dickinson is a fan of the new cart, saying that one of her students returned to class much faster because the cart had no line. Out of a whole morning business class, only three had ever used the new cart. Senior Zach Toensing says that if the cart were to have iced coffee, he would be using it all the time.

There had been talk of the cart moving around the school, but Debbie Donahue says that the cart will not be moving from Four Corners, because Four Corners is the heart of the school that every student goes through every day.

So far, business has been slow, according to Leo Laforce and Debbie Donohue, but it is starting to be busier, especially during rushes between blocks. It seems that the only real problem for the cart at this point is awareness. Students are confused by it, and aren’t sure what to make of it. If you are a fan of the cart and want it to stay around, tell people about it.

Good, Better, Best?

 By Mr. Max Schmid




Champlain Valley Union High school is ranked as the 38th best High School out of 26,407.  American High Schools are known for their Strong School spirit and their competitiveness. They want to compete with other schools to be able to compare their selves with them. This competitiveness goes from regional to rivalries across the country.

To actually measure how high a High School ranks compared to others, some associations started to create rankings. According to in 2015 we were the 38th best public High School in the United States. That means that we are better than 99.86 % of all schools. We were the only school in Vermont to crack the list. So you can see that this is a remarkable accomplishment.

The rankings capture how much each High School does to invest in the academic excellence of its students. The Association sees this as the factor that ultimately explains why a school deserves to be called a leader in education. The Investment is measured based on a variety of factors including everything from SAT scores to athletics and even hey quality of the lunch in the cafeteria.

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VPA puts the Nasty in Gymnastics

By Ms. Emma Lieberman


Photo courtesy of The Williston Observer

Varsity Gymnastics is not as safe as it could be for high school students. This is an argument that has taken place between parents, gymnasts, and the Vermont Principals Association (VPA) since 2013. There are very specific rules and regulations on both national and international terms for gymnastics competition and the VPA doesn’t honor all of them.

Varsity Gymnastics is one of the smallest high school sports in Vermont, and it is on the brink of extinction. The sport is going on its second year of probation with the threat of being cut if not enough girls join. Schools simply can’t afford the sport anymore.

Gymnastics is not only one of the smallest sports, it’s also one of the most expensive. Renting out a gym space every night and on some weekends, or buying equipment for a school gymnasium can cost thousands of dollars. Competition leotards can range from generic $60 leotards, to custom made $300 leotards per gymnast. In addition to long-sleeve competition leos, some schools have matching tank warmup leotards with a price range of $40-$200 per gymnast.

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Students Explore Different ways to Fill In the Gaps

Ms. Koko Vercessi

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The deadline for college applications is fast approaching, and for those students applying for early decision, that deadline was this Tuesday, November 1st. According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than 20 million students apply to colleges each year and there were over 21 million students attending American colleges and universities in the fall of 2014. However, what many students are discovering is that there are many more options available to them in terms of future plans and opportunities than the regular college experience that most experience the fall after their graduation. Students now have the option of taking what is called a gap year. The American Gap Association defines it as “an experiential semester or year, typically taken between high school and college in order to deepen practical, professional, and personal awareness” and they also have estimated that around 30,000 to 40,000 students in the U.S. take such time off annually. So what exactly are the benefits of taking a year off between high school and college, and what are the negatives of this unique, yet increasingly popular choice?

The American Gap Association states that 90 percent of students who took a Gap Year returned to college within a year in 2015. This seems to be a promising number and leads many to believe that gap years are actually a way to encourage hard work and focus in preparation for college and the rigorous experience it provides. Among the benefits of taking a gap year is that fact that it gives students time to take a step back and take a breath after years of working hard on getting good grades, being involved in extracurriculars, and establishing leadership roles within your school environment. The College View also states that a gap year also gives students time off to think about the academic direction and career path they want to pursue, the work and volunteering opportunities that many students use this year to become involved in provides them with invaluable experiences and strong additions to their resumes, students that work full time are able to save money for school tuition and other college costs. In addition, a 2011 study conducted by former dean of admissions, Robert Clagett at Middlebury College concluded that students who had taken a year off had consistently higher GPAs than those who didn’t. Princeton’s Bridge Year Director John Luria also said that “A lot of our students say when they enter as freshman that they have a greater sense of purpose in their studies”.

The benefits of taking a gap seem to be both substantial and convincing, but are the negatives equally as conceiving? Continue Reading