The Hidden Technological Treasure Troves of CVU

Mr. Hunter Ducharme

Have you ever needed to make a video for one of your classes at CVU? Three years ago it wasn’t as easy to as it is now. There was no green screen, no sound room, and taking out equipment was nearly impossible. Or, at least, it was nearly impossible until several film teachers talked to Nick Molander, a CVU administrator, about upgrading the AV room to better meet the needs of students.

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Image courtesy of Mr. Gary Lambert

Molander and Adam Bunting, CVU principal, understood the issues teachers brought up and took action. Bunting sought out Gary Lambert, who was teaching at Burlington Tech Center to fill the vacant media position at CVU. “I was impressed with the work he did over at Burlington Tech. He built a studio and program over at Burlington that kids fell in love with,” said Bunting.

That’s exactly what Bunting wanted Lambert to do at CVU, and Lambert’s expertise made it happen. Lambert went to work, finding out what students and faculty wanted and needed. “It was my dream since I walked in the door to build a studio kids could use. They hadn’t had anything like it,” Lambert expressed.

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Image courtesy of Mr. Gary Lambert

Since Lambert has come to CVU, there is now an entire studio in room 116 that includes almost everything you would see in a professional studio. It has everything from a green screen to a soundboard. The room is even carpeted to reduce the amount of echo when filming. There is a separate sound room inside the studio for strictly recording audio. This room is almost completely soundproof, and they are working to make the whole studio soundproof so there won’t be any outside noise.

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CVU Hypes Up Habitat for Humanity

Akuch Dau

HINESBURG, VT-  Each spring, Champlain Valley Union High School students set off on a bus to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to take part in the annual Habitat for Humanity trip. This year, 31 students and five chaperones will leave on Saturday, April 20th, and return on Sunday, April 28th.

CVU’s travel website highlights the Habitat for Humanities trip, stating, “CVU has sponsored successful Habitat for Humanity trips for almost 20 years.“ The Habitat for Humanity page goes on to explain the benefits of the trip, ”This is an incredibly powerful win-win trip for students. [They] get to experience another part of the country and help others who are less fortunate than many of us. CVU students participate in building projects that benefit the community, while they learn life skill that benefit themselves.”

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Images courtesy of Ms. Carol Fox

Participants also meet CVU students that they may not have connected with before, creating new friendships that last a lifetime. “They get to have an “alternative” spring break and enjoy some warm weather, and, it looks good on their transcript/resume or makes an excellent college essay!” according to the site.

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The Next Steps for Charlotte Beach

Mr. Aidan Bundock

The Recreation Department of Charlotte surveyed the community in November of last year, asking them to respond about their use of the Charlotte beach as well as what community members wanted to see in the next steps for the renovation.

The survey had over 215 returns on Front Porch Forum and the results were presented to the select board on November 26th, according to Charlotte News. The results of the survey expressed that the beach and swimming docks are the most utilized aspects of the beach park. CVU senior Lily Pecor from Charlotte said, “I like the swim platforms the most because I can be there with all my friends.” Charlotte Beach is a popular place to access Lake Champlain, but there is also has a park with many facilities. Another Charlotte senior at CVU, Daniel Bernier, said that aside from the beach, he also likes to use the tennis courts and cookout stations with his family.

Six Great Lakes

Image from All That’s Interesting

Over 35% of applicants said it would be ‘Likely’ or ‘Very Likely’ that they would use the playground while attending the beach. The respondents also indicated overall satisfaction with the present facilities at the park and would be open to upgrades to the facilities.

According to Nicole Conley, the Recreational Director for Charlotte, a recent donation of forty thousand dollars by a private donor was given to Recreation to upgrade the playground. Conley said there are many things that the Recreation Department wants to do with the beach, but that “we want to start small, work on the playground, and expand from there.” According to Conley, the beach practically pays for itself from beach fees, so Recreation has to be conscious of money and take what they can get.

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Junior Class Council Gathers Bottles for Prom

Ms. Adalia Williams

Courtesy of Karen Needler, CVU Teacher.

On January 12th and 13th, eight students took to the streets to collect bottles donated by the CVU community. The fundraiser was held by CVU’s Junior Class Council in order to to raise money for the Junior class.

In the midst of Vermont’s cold winter, they looked to their community in order to collect bottles in an effort to raise money for upcoming Junior class activities. Camille Menard, a CVU junior who participated in this event said, “I’d definitely say it was cold… We were in the Hannaford bottle area for over an hour, our hands were freezing… The conditions were not ideal.” Students battled the chilling temperatures in order to raise money for their junior class. Collecting bottles is just one way students work to raise the funds that pay for events like Winter Carnival and Junior Prom.

Karen Needler, a CVU math teacher and Junior Class Council advisor said that parents from Shelburne to Williston contributed. Over a hundred dollars were raised in this effort, according to Needler.

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CVU Dives for Special Olympic Events

Mr. Bennett G. Townley

The 2019 CVU Cool Schools Penguin Plunge in Burlington, VT made another huge impact on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019, for Special Olympics of Vermont. There were over 176 participants, according to a school poster that was located in the hallway.  

The Cool Schools are schools with Unified Sports Programs, which allow uniquely abled and intellectually disabled students to play school sports such as basketball, bocce, and bowling. The Unified Sports Team has a coach like any other sports team, but the biggest difference is that there are typically non-disabled students, known as partners, to help individually coach students when they need extra help.

“3232” – Courtesy of Heather Glenn Photography

Rahn Fleming, CVU Learning Center Director, stated, “The Penguin Plunge is important to CVU because it is a chance and an opportunity for us to live our message of inclusion and singleness of purpose.”  Fleming also stated that the first year CVU only had a small crew, which comprised between fifty and a hundred participants in 2013. Peter Booth, a math and Nexus teacher at CVU said that the first Penguin Plunge in 1995 had only ten people and that has increased significantly, growing to over 2,000 plungers in Vermont.

Booth, an avid Plunger and parent of a child with a disability, stated, “The PP [Penguin Plunge] is so important to CVU because (a) it raises so much money for Special Olympics Vermont and (b) it supports people in our community with disabilities.”

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CVU Track Resurface Raises New Concerns

Mr. Ben Klein

CVU Track and Field Wins States in 2016 - Image Courtesy of Andrew McClellan

CVU Track and Field Wins States in 2016 – Image Courtesy of Andrew McClellan

“It’s painted backward, the drainage is poor, and the surface is worn down,” Champlain Valley Union High School Track and Field Captain Luke Morton commented about the condition of the current CVU track. The CVU Track and Field program hopes to benefit from a resurfaced track, as proposed to the CVU school board at a recent meeting.

Morton implied that although the track conditions are poor, it may be the least of the program’s worries. He cites, “Diminishing participation and inadequate funding,” as just a few of the problems which have contributed to the team’s struggles over the past three years. Morton also suggested that the current status of the deteriorating facilities reflects the state of the track program.

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The Laramie Project sets out to “Erase Hate”

Ms. Greta Powers

On October 6th, 1998, 21 year old Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, tortured, and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming. Six days later, he passed away due to head injuries, and the story shook the country for a big reason: not only did people find the murder itself horrific, but horrific turned to devastating when people learned Shepard was killed because he was gay. Twenty years later, the story continues to leave a mark, as it’s hard to forget what happened in the small town of Laramie. This year for the spring play, CVU decided to put on The Laramie Project, a show that depicts the aftermath of the death of Matthew Shepard.

Matthew Shepard

Matthew Shepard. Image from the BBC

The play was created by The Tectonic Theater Project, and the script is verbatim theatre: it’s crafted from actual interviews, journal entries, and news reports from after Shepard’s death. The authenticity of the script of the play puts audience members right into the story, thus making it more moving.

The cast is comprised of an ensemble, and each member plays multiple characters, which along with the structure of the script, creative blocking, and use of projections, provide a unique representation of the event. Candy Padula, director of the play, states, “I was alive when this incident happened and I remember the world wide reaction to the beating and murder of this young University of Wyoming Student, Matthew Shepard, because he was gay.  The reaction was enormous.” The Laramie Project allows for both those who remember and those who don’t remember the event to feel its message and importance through the stage.

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