Birthdays Are Still On

Ms. Lauren Kovacik

The typical birthday usually consists of a gathering of friends and family, the exchange of presents, the iconic song, and the ultimate finale of blowing out a specific number of candles on top of a decorated cake.

The COVID-19 virus that has spread to almost every country in the world has made these birthday celebrations non-existent. However, even considering the global pandemic, people are still finding ways to celebrate one another on their special days.

Senior Sophie Dauerman says, “For my birthday, my friends surprised me with a video of friends, family, coaches, and teachers wishing me happy birthday. It made my day and helped me feel more connected. Now I’m passing it on and working on a surprise birthday video for someone else!” Having her friends do this allowed Dauerman to be positive in the face of COVID-19, and allowed her to enjoy her birthday even while in quarantine.

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Another senior, Abigail Harkness, states, “I think it’s important to still stay connected virtually, even though we can’t be together in person. There have been a few of my friends’ birthdays and we have made videos for them of all their friends and family saying happy birthday. This was an awesome way to show them that we’re all still there for them to celebrate on their special day.” These videos are a powerful memory that anyone who has to have their birthday in quarantine can look back on for years to come, and remember what their friends did for them.

Class president, Mia Brumstead, also adds,  “For my quarantine birthday, I had a special celebration with my family. I got to pick out what I wanted for dinner and dessert, and my family put it all together. Even though I was really looking forward to celebrating my 18th birthday with friends, I was happy that I could still find a way to mark this big milestone in my life. Social distancing guidelines have restricted everyone from being connected with friends and family, but there are still innovative ways to celebrate a quarantine birthday, and I hope people take advantage of that.” Celebrating with family is just as important as celebrating with friends, and especially in quarantine they are always there for you to make your birthday special, regardless of a global pandemic.

Ella Thompson was able to come up with a fun way to celebrate, “For one of our friend’s birthday I coordinated with her mom and we got a group of people to come and hold up signs that read “Happy happy Bbirthday” on her lawn. Her mom even put tape in the yard that was eight feet 8ft apart so we knew where to stand. Then we sang happy birthday and left the present and cards on the lawn. Obviously it wasn’t the same as a real birthday party, but it’s so important to show people that you care. A birthday may not seem like a huge deal but everyone is going through something right now and it’s a great way to reach and brighten someone’s day.” Thompson was able to find a way to celebrate that made her friend feel special but also followed the social distancing guidelines that had to be followed.

Lily Michalak says, “I was in a car parade, and I think it’s important because it keeps people’s spirits up and still helps celebrate a birthday.” Ensuring that even in quarantine someone knows that people care about their special day is essential, even under circumstances when normal birthdays and other celebrations aren’t able to happen.

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Students Make Lemonade

Mr. Ryan Eaton

During the Current COVID-19 pandemic, the CVU community has experienced new and diverse experiences. These experiences have given people opportunities to do and try new things.

This video shows the various things some CVU students do when dealing with quarantine. There’s everything between throwing rocks and playing sports, to new hobbies and shopping online. Everyone deals with quarantine differently, and these are just some things people do to stay occupied.

Thank you for watching!

 

2020 Graduates Honor Connor Lewis’ Memory

Ms. Sabine Foerg and Ms. Lauren Kovacik

CVU’s 2020 senior class chooses to honor their former classmate, Connor Lewis, with a memorial scholarship for two deserving seniors,  keeping Connor Lewis in their hearts as they graduate from high school. Students and teachers voted for two recipients of the scholarship on May 15th.

On June 2nd, 2017, our community unexpectedly lost a beloved classmate, student, and friend. Connor Lewis, remembered by his community as a kind, nurturing, and lighthearted student, has remained in the hearts and minds of his classmates, CVU’s graduating class of 2020. As a 9th grader, Connor entered the CVU community in the Nichols core. Years later, a committee of his classmates and friends have chosen to honor him as they graduate high school by creating a scholarship in his name.

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Students and faculty were asked to nominate “a classmate who embodies these values: kindness, inclusivity, and dependability”, says Principal Adam Bunting who addressed the community.  “Two $1000 scholarships will be awarded to CVU High School seniors who have demonstrated these values over the course of their four years of high school.”  These scholarships are to be given in honor of Lewis, and the students who receive them should have and portray some of the characteristics that Lewis is remembered most for.

The committee is led by Connor’s friend and classmate, Garrett Gruendling, alongside several other seniors. Originally, this group was organizing a ping pong tournament to raise funds for the scholarship, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event was unable to take place. Instead, the group turned to their classmates and came up with the idea of the scholarship in Lewis’ name.

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Community Has Your Back

 

Ms.  Lexi Anderson

Over the course of the past month, the world has drastically changed. The normal day to day rituals have transformed in the light of a new global crisis, COVID-19. This pandemic has touched every aspect of everyday life, eating away at normalcy, and proving a threat to millions of people globally. The news is bleak, and often disheartening. Once bustling streets have now gone silent. Classrooms sit unused. Hospitals are struggling as supermarket shelves sit empty, ghostly reminders of life before lockdown.

However, the bolstered sense of community is anything but depressing. Towns are rallying, people are protecting each other by staying inside despite it’s difficulty, and a new initiative has begun; having those who know how to sew in the community create and donate masks for people in need. 

Since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, breathing masks are essential for people on the front lines of fighting the pandemic, as well as those most at risk. As the cases in the United States grow exponentially, the number of available masks is plummeting. According to Business Insider, the United States only has 1% of the necessary number of masks, which is 3.5 billion. 

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The masks that are most effective for hospital workers treating coronavirus patients are the scarce N95 respirators, a mask that helps filter and facilitate healthy airflow. These masks are imperative for those on the front lines of the virus; unfortunately there aren’t enough to go around. Though they are the most effective, they’re also the most rare, and so citizens have stepped in to help. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” Though they do not have the quality of the N95 masks, these homemade cloth face coverings are imperative to slow the spread of COVID-19 among the community. “[recommend] the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others” The CDC says. 

In Shelburne, as you drive down the street, or walk into the grocery store, there are colorful, patterned, homemade masks adorning everyone’s face, a subtle stand against the virus sweeping the state, country, and world.

Virginia Coolidge, a resident at the Wake Robin retirement community, made homemade masks for her and fellow residents. “We’re the ones who need to be the most careful, I’m happy to use my skills to help out the community.”

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Asha Reviews CVU Musicmakers

 Ms. Asha Hickok

It’s no secret that quarantine has brought out the creativity within many people. Our CVU community is no exception to this. Across all four grades, the silence of the halls of CVU has been replaced with the music of students. Across SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify and more, CVU students have released music to keep our spirits up. 

  In early April, CVU Junior Ezra Brown released his first official EP, Third Block Saved My Life. Filled with a unique but joyful blend of songs, Brown’s music has a distinctly indie pop sound to it, with lyrics that appeal to the core emotions of many teenagers. Brown’s EP has five total songs on it. The songs range from speaking to the melancholic loneliness that can be felt even when one is surrounded by their closest friends, teenage love, pure joy, the vulnerability of being honest with another human, and longing. The songs range from slow and dreamy to upbeat and dance-inducing. Overall, the EP has professional production quality and should definitely make space on your late night driving playlist. Check out Brown’s most recent single, Plants, out now. https://open.spotify.com/artist/38ERXTcJrpEW4bwUiUAXJs?si=9HMk_S_HQ1-4_qAN7lqhrg

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  No stranger to the local music scene, senior Isaac Goldman has been a trailblazer as a CVU singer-songwriter. While Goldman started by playing lead guitar for The Fonies, a band made up of all CVU students, quarantine has inspired Goldman to release his own music on Soundcloud. Goldman has four total songs released. While the songs have a simple and honest sound to them, the lyrics are poetic and thought-provoking. Most songs are guitar focused with reverb-heavy vocals, although a few tracks feature percussion and even piano. Goldman’s music is perfect for a night of relaxing and reflecting. Feel like this isn’t enough? Don’t worry! Goldman has more music on the way, so keep an eye out. https://soundcloud.com/isaacgoldman

 If you’re looking to venture into a more heavy and less meditative genre, Grayson Moore began releasing originals and covers on his Soundcloud. Moore is a newcomer to the CVU music scene but not to making music. He first released a short, guitar instrumental that showed off his technical skills. It could easily be described as short and sweet. He then released a stand out piece called Satisfied?. With heavy guitar track and raw vocals, Moore emphasizes heartache and pain with this grunge-esque single. Moore’s music would be most fitting when you’re feeling particularly  scorned by life and all it’s thrown at you recently. https://soundcloud.com/grayson-moore-290909639

 These three musicians are just the tip of the iceberg. While these three have been advertised on social media, there’s bound to be more local CVU musicians out there releasing music to fit your every mood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opinion: Take Time to Escape the Pandemic

 Mr. Calvin Lord

When this pandemic first struck, there was an adjustment period of sorts. We all gathered our things, made sure our support systems were ready, and frantically tried to learn all of the safety measures that were so suddenly necessary to accomplish simple things, like going to the grocery store. But after a month or so, things started to fall into patterns. Coping methods became second nature. The new way of life that had felt so unreal began to feel habitual.

Now, a whole two months later, we’re all settling in for what looks like the long haul. The news and the government tip side to side, trying to provide us with hope and comfort without allowing us to put ourselves in danger. 

We’re able to see each other’s faces now, the top halves of them, at least. There are still heavy restrictions on social congregation, and this is, unfortunately, shaping up to be one of the longer-term effects of the virus. Many people, like myself, have surely taken up new hobbies and pastimes by now, to fill the solitude in their lives.

 

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It’s hard though, to ignore that lonely melancholy. Sometimes it just can’t be pushed down. When that happens, and this might seem counterintuitive, the best thing one can do is to bask in it. Find ways to bring it out and feel it through. One of those ways is exploration. Exploring your town, county, or local roads is one of the few ways to get out of your house and move without putting anyone else in danger. And it can have fantastic psychological effects.

It’s common knowledge, at this point, that going for walks can help you clear your head, and get your brain moving. But what about finding a pretty corner of the woods? When was the last time you had that childish sense of adventure awakened in you, that vison of the world that bends to your imagination, carving paths and stories around you as you walk and climb? It is a wonder that is so easy to forget.

 I assure you, it is equally easy to bring back. Everyone’s got that one road they always thought was so pretty but never walked down, or that cool path into the nearby woods with a bramble and weeds barring the way.

Go down that road. Let the little subtle world surround you, and breathe. You’ll find yourself in a place where it’s okay to be alone, even lonely, without it feeling so shocking, scary, or utterly fundamentally wrong. By introducing yourself to somewhere entirely new, you can break the painful cycle we’re all drowning in. You’ll find it’s easier to be in the moment, and stop thinking about the world and the future.

Some would call this escapism. And yeah, that’s exactly what it is. A little bit of escapism is okay right now. We have to get away from this pandemic, in whatever ways we can, to stay human. It’s not like the virus is something we can exactly rise up to and face head on, not any more than we’re already doing by just staying home all day. 

So, go for a walk. Escape with me.

 

Students RISE Independently

Ms. Lauren Kovacik

If you have ever wanted to teach yourself something new, or acquire a unique skill set, a RISE independent study was a way for CVU students to do that. Now, however, considering the current quarantine, many students are finding ways to participate in independent studies on their own time.

The second annual RISE at CVU was to take place at the very end of the 2019-2020 school year, during the last two weeks of June, before Senior graduation and all students headed off to summer.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced the closure of all schools had to be done by March 17th, which meant that RISE would not be able to happen for the 2019-2020 school year. 

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Many of these seniors were excited to take part in an independent study, and Mia Brumstead, one of the student body co-presidents provided an insight into why that may be. She says that seniors wanted to participate in independent studies “probably because they’re [seniors] in the mindset that they don’t want to be in school, and a lot of people didn’t like the RISE offerings because they are more based on teacher interest rather than student interest.” This mindset is seemingly a propelling force according to Brumstead, because seniors are ready to move on.

Bumstead also explains that an independent study allows students to explore opportunities that would truly interest them, “They [RISE leaders] are also being very lenient with the independent studies, so people can explore what they want and also can have the certainty of being with their friends.” These elements of an independent study made it attractive, because you could choose what you wanted to do and who you wanted to learn with.

Another senior, Madeline Love, explains why she was participating in an independent study, “I’m doing an independent project because as a senior in real high school and I’ve always been told what to do and what classes to take without much of a choice and I felt that with an independent [study] I’d be able to create my own learning, my own rules, and my own goals.” This personalized pathway is what an independent study is all about, allowing students to create a learning experience that would engage them.

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Redhawk Pride is Not Cancelled

Mr. Ryan Eaton

The class of 2020 was expecting to finish their last year of high school and begin a new and beautiful decade, full of great things to come; Everyone was ready to conquer the new decade with a bang, but unfortunately, this bang wasn’t going to be good.

Over the month of March 2020, CVU students have been on a roller coaster of events and emotions, starting with a two-week delay of school, then canceling school for the rest of the year, then postponing spring athletics. What’s next?

The VPA (Vermont Principals Association) gave athletes some hope early on, making a statement on the morning of March 27. “ At this time, we are not canceling the spring season. It may come to that. However, we feel it is important to gather further information and talk with some people about options, if any, that we may have. This situation has changed so rapidly in just the past week that it is hard to predict where we may be in another two or three weeks. It may be worse or maybe better. Time will tell. We feel that as an organization, we need to have more time before we can make a definitive decision. So again, the bottom line is that spring Sports have been suspended, but not canceled at this point.” Too many spring sport athletes, this is a blessing to hear; there is still hope for seniors to get their final season in. 

The VPA said they would make their final decision on April 30th. 

On April 30th at 10:55 a.m. CVU Athletic Director, Dan Shepardson, sent out an email to all athletes letting them know the devastating news. The email concluded in “…Bottom line, unfortunately, they (spring sports) are canceled.”

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College athletes that compete during the spring season weren’t as lucky. The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) canceled all spring sports and the remainder of all winter sports back in March, which includes one of the biggest sporting events of the year, March Madness. 

And it just keeps on going down from here

Professional sports began cancellations in March, starting with the NBA, due in part to several players testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. The first case of the virus we saw in the sports world was Rudy Gobert on the Utah Jazz. A couple of days before Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, he jokingly touched the mic and everything on the table at a press conference to mock the virus. ESPN talked about this issue and was talking about if Gobert had the Virus while playing a semi-contact sport, then most likely more cases will appear in the NBA. And that’s exactly what happened. NBA stars started to come out about how they have the virus and tested positive, and then the virus grew exponentially.

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Coach Trevithick Hands Off to New Coach, Garvey

Mr. Ben Vincent

The end of a CVU athletics era came upon CVU January 29, when Dan Shepardson the CVU Athletics Director announced by email the Varsity Lacrosse Head Coach, Dave Trevithick, would be retiring from his position the upcoming season.

 “It was time because I got a lot busier, new baby, and um it just seemed like the right time with all the busyness happening,” Trevithick states briefly. His 10-year tenure with the CVU Lacrosse program ended quietly after the 7th of 7 straight D-1 State Championships, the longest run in Vermont high school lacrosse record. 

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With the conclusion of such an impressive record, a new coach is named to follow up Trevithick’s record-breaking career. On January 29, ex- MLL player Tom Garvey was announced to be the Redhawks’ new head coach for the 2020 season. Garvey comes to CVU with an impeccable playing career, and he will soon transfer his knowledge of the sport to a coaching career. 

Garvey was born on October 29, 1983, in his hometown of Garden City, NY as Tomas G. Garvey. In high school, he played lacrosse, football, and indoor track. He was an All-American as a senior, then went on to attend Johns Hopkins where he was on the National All-Star team his last three years. Garvey now lives in Burlington. 

Trevithick has high praise for his replacement stating, “I know a lot of what Tom’s past is. Having him here will be pretty great!” Trevithick is beaming with pride, knowing the program will be in good hands for the years to come.

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Monty Python Edukational Show Goes On

Ms. Tiferes Simcoe

“I didn’t want to be a barber anyway; I wanted to be a lumberjack.” That’s not a line you hear everyday. Well, the CVU students who participated in the Spring play were tirelessly rehershing these unusual yet funny lines spoken by Monty Python actors. 

Monty Python Edukational Show was supposed to perform on March 13 and 14 at 7:30 PM as well as March 15 at 2:00 PM. However, because of the coronavirus they only got to perform one show on that Friday, March 13 at CVU. 

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Monty Python was a British surreal comedy group who created the sketch comedy television show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which first aired on the BBC in 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four seasons. The Python phenomenon developed from the television series into something larger in scope and impact. 

Sydney Hick’s, one of the senior directors, describes the play like this: “Monty Python is a comedy group, and the show is a bunch of their most famous sketches blended into one show.” This play is unique because five of CVU’s high school seniors are directing the play.

Hicks continues to say, “What they normally do is have the One Acts that are all completely separated. But this year a student directs a few different scenes in the show. One common thread throughout the show is the teacher. That is why they call it the Monty Python Edukational Show. The teacher tries to use these Monty Python sketches to teach life lessons which doesn’t really work out because it is Monty Python, which is immature humor.”

Interested in how immature humor contributes to the play, Cameron Hoff, an actor in the school play,  explains, “ it makes the play surface level funny, it’s easy humor for everyone to get and laugh at.  The immaturity makes the play inclusive and fun.” Humor adds to plays because it leaves room for all age ranges to enjoy the content. 

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Neighborhoods Reach Out

Ms. Sabine Foerg

Through the difficulties of the Covid19 quarantine, neighborhoods have been finding new and creative ways to forge deeper community bonds, while following social distancing protocol. 

Front Porch Forum, an online forum allowing local communities to share information or seek and offer assistance to neighbors, has become a light in the darkness for many community members. 

 22346991-sidewalk-chalk-drawing little free libraryWe Hear You

Since Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced the “Stay home, Stay safe” order on March 24th, minimizing unnecessary activity as a response to the covid19 outbreak, neighborhoods have been bonding over shared social distancing activities, planned through the Front Porch Forum. 

“Our business is to help neighbors connect and to build community,” says Front Porch Forum co-founder Michael Wood-Lewis in an interview with the Barre Montpellier Times Argus. This statement has gained even more weight, as community members rely more heavily on online connection and communication during social distancing. 

Countless discussion posts have been made discussing how to incorporate fun activities into social distancing on the Chittenden County town Front Porch Forums. Communities are working to create fun new routines that provide lighthearted moments and support in a time of uncertainty. “The inventiveness of fellow residents continues to amaze and lift up,” says Shelburne select board member Jerry Storey.

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Daylight Savings or Losing Time?

Ms. Asha Hickok

Every March, Vermonters, along with almost every other state in the United States, get ready to set their clocks ahead and lose sleep for the sake of later sunsets. This practice typically marks the beginning of Spring and welcoming back warm weather, but at what cost? 

Currently, in the US there are two states who do not follow the practice of Daylight Savings. Those two states are Hawaii and Arizona. However, the rest of the country still follows the changing of the clocks. In recent years, this has become a debate amongst senators throughout the US, as well as citizens.A poll conducted by AP-NORC found that 71% of respondents want to end the active practice of changing clocks. The reasons for this are varied. 

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The US Department of Energy found that 0.5% of total energy saved daily during Daylight Savings. While this may not seem like a significant enough percentage to encourage a change in outlook of Daylight Savings, the US Department of Energy found that 99.8% of the US population uses electricity on a daily basis, so 0.5% can be a catastrophic number in reference to the size of the US population.

Additionally, an increase of light, according to the Brookings Institute, actually prevents an increase in robbery rates. 

However, in parallel to the pros, cons can also be highlighted surrounding Daylight Savings. In a research study done by Medium it was found that switching the clock two times a year can actually result in more health issues, such as a 10-20% increase in cancer rates. Concerned about health issues, local congress people around the world are moving to support adapting a standard time year round. 

In Washington state, Congress is close to, adopting year-round daylight savings. Senator Marco Rubio, from Florida and the former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, has spoken out against the time change on Twitter, using the hashtag: #locktheclock. 

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One Hour, One Pint, Saves Three Lives

Ms. Sabine Foerg

Looking for a new way to give back to your community? A local Red Cross blood drive could be your next good deed. Many CVU students, faculty and community members did their part at CVU’s annual March blood drive. 

CVU held its annual Red Cross blood drive in the gym all day Thursday, March 12. Any student or faculty member aged seventeen or older, weighing a minimum of 110lbs in good health, was likely eligible to donate. 

According to Red Cross, the blood drive draws in people for many different reasons, ranging from giving for family members and friends in need, to simply the free snacks and drinks provided after the procedure.

Blood drive

“I am giving blood because it isn’t too painful for me, and I think it is the right thing to do. There are a lot of people who can’t donate, and I can, so I feel like it is the right thing to do because I have that ability,” says CVU Senior Maggie Sides, who donated at CVU’s blood drive. 

The process, Red Cross says, is simple for donors. The donor must fill out a questionnaire and sign in with ID before going through a brief “mini-physical” and a health survey. “The actual donation only takes eight to ten minutes,” according to Red Cross. One pint of blood is donated per donor. According to the Red Cross, every pint of blood could save as many as three lives. 

The CVU blood drive is run by the Student Council along with the Red Cross. “We have been publicizing the event with posters and banners, and student council members have been sitting at an information and sign up table during lunch one week before the blood drive and the week of,” says CVU sophomore and Student Council member, Finnegan Mittelstadt. 

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CVU Becomes Virtual Reality

Mr. Nani Clemmons

With the Covid 19 virus, our lives have seemingly moved to a virtual reality, plugged into computers, limited to the traveling space of our own backyards. What if we could travel though? 

What if, with the aid of technology, we could travel the world while staying home? What if we could go further? 

How you may ask? Through virtual reality. Virtual reality or VR is a fake 3D environment individuals can enter and interact with through the use of a headset and a controller. 

VR Equipment

Gary Lambert the media production educator at Champlain Valley Union High School believes there’s a lot of educational potential with VR, and for the last couple of years, Lambert has been experimenting with new ways to bring the technology to students. “I think there are applications for [VR] in lots of different classes. There are lots of different ways VR could potentially be used to put students in an environment, either a custom-built environment or even on virtual trips. With VR you can take virtual trips to real locations and experience what that place looks like without having to actually go there.” Through VR, students can travel to exciting new places that previously seemed out of reach due to high expenses. For example, students of history classes could visit famous historical sites and museums all around the world while remaining in their classrooms.

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Hank the Tank Raises Hope

Ms.  Jade Leavitt

Hot Dog! Have you heard about the Make-A-Wish Fundraiser?  

Did you see the dog at school? 

On Friday February 14th, Tammy Joe Dickinson, a CVU business teacher, used her dog, Hank, to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation in order to help her Champlain Valley Union Principles of Business class learn marketing skills through experience.

Hank Sales

Make-A-Wish is a foundation dedicated to raising money to fulfill the wishes of children diagnosed with a critical illness. Wish recipients must be older than two and a half and younger than 18 years old. Recipients also have a threatening medical condition.

According to Dickinson “Hank the Tank”, this semester’s ‘business,’ uses Dickinson’s dog to draw the attention of students passing by in the hallway. 

Dickinson thinks Hank is the perfect marketing tool. 

Katherine Riley purchased dog treats and expands her thoughts on the cause. “I think it’s a great fundraiser and I love the idea that the business class is actually doing something practical and seeing the reality of trying to get a product from the idea all the way through.” Riley also has a therapy dog of her own and thinks, “Having dogs at school adds to the climate. Especially in times of higher stress.”

Dickinson adds to the calming presence of her dog when she says, “I feel like my stress levels are so much lower when Hank is here.” 

In a recent Washington Post Article, Why do we love pets? An expert explains, Author Karin Brulliard states, “Ours is a pet loving culture… The pet industry spends a lot of money promoting what it prefers to call the “human-animal bond.””

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“Bro Code” Takes Aim

Mr. Calvin Lord

With several peaceful months having passed since the CVSD school board lifted their state of emergency on April 17th, it’s time to look back at one of the most historic, unexpected, and possibly redundant movements in this district’s history.  

It’s time to answer the question that many students are still asking: “Why in tarnation did they put up tiny little porcelain urinals on the walls?” The enigmatic answer: to comply with the Bro Code.

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In August of 2002, the bathrooms and plumbing systems of most CVSD schools were torn down and rebuilt. This meant new sinks, new dispensers, fresh linoleum flooring, and new urinals in the men’s rooms.

“The old urinals were in serious decay,” says Ken Thompson, a retired contractor who had worked on the project, “by which I mean they bore a greater resemblance to petrified diseased fungal growths than actual latrines.”

“Most men were pretty happy about the change, and they welcomed my construction crew with open arms,” says one of the contractors who was employed by the district at that time.

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Pink Is For You

Ms. Tiferes Simcoe

Think back to this past Valentine’s day when you might have been sad, watching the person across from you in Advisory receive multiple carnations. Or were you the happy-go-lucky one with the flowers in hand? Either way, you have the Italy Trip fundraiser to thank. 

It was clear that many people at CVU were feeling some love because the red carnations representing love were sold out before the second week of the Italy trip fundraiser. 

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The fundraiser took place during lunches in the CVU Cafeteria on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for three weeks leading up to Valentine’s day. 

Fortunately, for the consideration of all who might have wanted to buy themselves or a friend a pity flower or a last minute gift, the fundraiser continued during lunch that Valentines day, February 14th.  

Latin and art student organizers recognized that Valentine’s day can mean many different things to people and relationships. The fundraiser provided three carnation color options to meet those varying needs. 

According to the organizers, the red carnation was meant to be sent to someone you are in love with, while the pink carnations were for an awesome friend who definitely deserved to be recognized on Valentine’s day. Lastly, the white carnation was sent by secret admirers to their interests. 

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Danish Students Experience Superbowl and Walmart

Ms. Sabine Foerg

CVU welcomed 19 Danish students from Odsherreds Efterskole, our European sister school in Fårevejle, Denmark, into classrooms and homes on January 28th. This exchange experience has been successful for the past eight years, and the community and CVU’s volunteer hosts excitedly awaited the arrival of the Danes this year. 

Seventeen CVU and two Burlington High School students hosted Danish students. Many of these hosts will travel to Denmark in April to stay with the Danish students at Odsherreds. The visitors were at CVU from January 28th through February 5th. 

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The exchange program runs every two years, with two faculty leaders. CVU teachers Lacey Richards and Cyndy Craft are the 2020 chaperones. The Danes arrived Tuesday night, attended classes with their host students every morning, and participated in other local activities in the afternoons such as skiing with the CVU Shredhalks at Bolton, visiting and Jerry’s factory, exploring downtown Burlington, and touring the statehouse.

CVU Senior Maggie Sides volunteered to host a student. “I have always loved interacting with other cultures and this seemed like a great opportunity to show someone around CVU while learning about them and their life”. This is her first time hosting an exchange student, and she had a lot in store for her danish visitor. “I want to take her to Killington for tubing, go out to get some typical American food, go shopping, and do the Penguin Plunge together”.

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Redhawks Welcome Class of 2024

Ms. Sabine Foerg

8th graders joined CVU from five sending schools on January 30th for the annual 8th Grade Parent Night, an event that draws in almost 500 students every year, and even more parents. This event allows incoming students and their parents to gain first-hand knowledge about their future school in a welcoming atmosphere. 

CVU Senior, Ella Thompson, is the student council coordinator of the event. “The main purpose is to give students an idea of the CVU environment,” Thompson says. “It was helpful for me as an 8th grader to get my bearings and understand the layout of the school. It helped me feel more adjusted when I switched schools.”

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According to Thompson, the event begins with an assembly for both parents and students. CVU Principal Adam Bunting welcomes guests, followed by an introduction from Student Body Co-Presidents Mia Brumsted and Becket Pintair. “The speeches give a fun and heartfelt introduction to our school,” Thompson says. Following the speeches, students attend a skit performed by student council members and a student-led Q&A session, while the parents meet CVU students and 9th grade core teachers.

CVU senior Kate Gruendling attended the event as a freshman and has been helping with it as a member of the Student Council for years. “8th grade parent night was my first time really seeing CVU so it was good to get a tour and see where I would spend the next four years,” Gruendling recalled from her experience. “I also got to meet some of my future classmates, which was great.”

“We want them to feel welcome and comfortable in the school and show them that they have older students at the school who care about their wellbeing and want them to feel safe and successful,” Thompson says. “The mood is lighthearted and fun. I remember I was pretty nervous coming here for the first time, and we are hoping to make it a little less scary and make CVU feel more familiar for 8th graders”.

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Welcoming Restorative Justice at CVU

Ms. Alexandra Anderson

Restorative justice, a new disciplinary system focused on individual growth, has begun to take effect in institutions around Vermont. This model, hallmarked for its focus on community involvement, conversation, and personal development, has been applied to youth legal misdemeanors around the state and more recently has reached the halls of Champlain Valley Union High School. 

Beckett Pintair, CVU Student Body President and leader of the Youth Restorative Justice Board in Williston, has seen first hand the effects of restorative justice on youth infractions. “Right now the [justice] system is not very functional; it doesn’t look at actual people.” He said, “it doesn’t actually do anything to repair the harm to the responsible party or the victim… with restorative justice they can actually learn from their crime.” 

Through the Restorative Justice Board, Pintair has been able to mentor young offenders, write “creative and constructive” learning contracts and learn about the larger scale impacts of criminal justice reform. “Really, what restorative justice is about is repairing the harm yes, but also building connections, so that the community and the person is stronger and can become stronger out of that,” he explains.


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15 Minutes Can Make a Difference

Mr. Ryan Eaton 

If you’ve been a part of the CVU community for the past four years, you have experienced several schedule changes throughout the years. Over the past year, returning CVU students have encountered an increase in advisory time from fifteen minutes to thirty minutes each day.

 If you’ve been here for two or more years, you’ve gone from a late start during the middle of the week on Wednesday, to the first day back after a weekend on Monday. It has been a little confusing.

This change, explains Peter Langella, a CVU faculty member, is to allow students and teachers, time to meet with each other, whether it’s because a student missed a class and needs a recap on what they missed, or maybe the student just needs extra help to get a better understanding. 

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One junior CVU student, Charlotte Couperthwait, explains why she likes the new additional fifteen minutes.”Yes (I enjoy the extra fifteen minutes) because it gives me more time to study if I have a summative next block or later in the day, and I have more time to do homework and it gives me a lot of free time to meet with teachers about classes that I missed or don’t understand.” Couperthwait shares the value of more time during the school day, but some CVU students don’t see it that way. 

One CVU student, Ryan Canty, explains why he doesn’t like the new advisory times “I do not like the extended fifteen minutes of advisory because it takes away from time after school and time we can get out of school early at 3 o’clock and possibly (the extended time) could cause athletes to be late for sports practices or events. I’ve used the time once and that was to practice a dance for Winter Carnival.” Canty says he doesn’t find the extra 15 minutes in the morning useful.

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Students Push For Environmental Education

 Ms. Lauren Kovacik

The thought of Advanced Placement classrooms brings images of stressed-out students hunched over their work, but that’s not always the case. 

The new AP environmental science class will allow students to access to curriculum that engages students in scientific learning that is directly related to environmental issues they care about.  

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The new course offering was student-driven, and many have already expressed interest in taking the course. The Enact club has been working diligently for months to offer the new course here at CVU. Just this past week, the course was approved and is on the books for next year, according to Katie Antos-Ketchum, the EnAct Faculty Advisor. 

Sophie Dauerman, a leader in EnAct and a senior, explains that Enact specifically focuses on improving our school’s impact on the environment, sustainability, and educating its members about the climate. 

Dauerman was one of the students who spoke to the curriculum clearinghouse before winter break in December. This committee is a group of CVU educators that discuss and approve proposals for new courses.

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CVU Tries On Reused, Recycled and Free

Ms. Asha Hickok

On Wednesday, January 15, CVU students walked into a transformed library. Tables were skewed across the front of the room with piles of clothes organized by different styles and pieces. 

Throughout the day, groups of students filtered through the Clothing Swap, chatting with friends and shopping for donated, second-hand clothing pieces. 

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CVU’s third annual clothing swap has come and gone. The first two swaps occured last year, one in the fall and the other in the spring. This year, the clothing swap was combined into one event hosted in the library in mid-January, and produced a varied crowd of “shoppers.”

“My favorite aspect is there’s a lot of different people shopping and the normalization of second hand [shopping],” states Robin Lauzon, one of the main organizers of the Clothing Swap. Lauzon explains the roots of the swap and how a small idea was able to grow into a successful and multi-purposed event. Continue Reading

Fonies Rock Winter Ball

Ms. Asha Hickok

We’ve all seen those coming-of-age high school movies with the prom set up in a large high school gym. Neon colored balloons and streamers frame the scene and, most prominent, set up on a stage, front and center, is a band playing hit music.

Although CVU’s Winter Ball does not take place in the gym, nor is the venue typically decked out in neon balloons and streamers, the Winter Ball is headlined by a band.

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Typically, CVU employs Top Hat Entertainment to play a variety of upbeat and slow pop songs. Top Hat Entertainment is a popular entertainment company in Vermont that is typically hired to DJ weddings, school dances and other private functions. 

This year, the CVU Winter Ball provides a mix of traditional DJing and live music from a well-known student band, Fonies.

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Opinion: Students Should Know their Choices at the Polls

Ms. Julia Grant

With the election looming 11 months away, people are tuning in to process the candidates and score them on various topics they care about. 

CVU has a large number of students who will be eligible to vote in this upcoming election, and many of them are looking for a candidate they can stand behind.

 

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The options are becoming slimmer, as the past few weeks have brought the end of the campaign trail for many hopeful Democratic presidential candidates including Kamala Harris, Steve Bullock, and Beto O’Rourke. Among the many reasons for dropping out, these candidates have mostly blamed financial shortages or lack of support substantial enough to keep them in the race.

As the candidate pool narrows, it becomes more imperative that new voters remain informed on the remaining candidates as Election Day approaches rapidly. A better understanding of who’s running for candidacy and their stances on important issues is the best way we as young voters can make an informed decision and fight against political apathy. 

A poll conducted by the Washington Post surveyed young voters (ages 18-34) on the issues that are most important to them and the issues that will get them to the polls. The poll results showed that stances on social justice issues such as environmental issues, reproductive rights, and gun policy are most likely to persuade young voters to get out to the polls and vote for a certain candidate. 

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Project Hoeppner Shares Hope

Ms. Maddie Baker

Although September is the National Month of Suicide Awareness,  devoted to educating and bringing awareness to mental illness and suicide prevention, Project Hoeppner continues to reach out to young people, encouraging the discussion of how young people can get the help they need, sharing hope for anyone who needs help.

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The goal of Project Hoeppner is to increase awareness around the catastrophe that is teen suicide, to offer courage for teens to say, “I need help,” and to help loved ones hear that message and find the help they need. “ We’re committed to supporting teens and their efforts to support each other,” Hoeppner adds, understanding that suicide can happen with few warning signs.

“ Mental health is as important as physical health. Both can make or break a students experience in school,” says Julie Dimmock, the Snelling House guidance counselor here at CVU. Dimmock then continues to explain the importance of being educated about mental illness. “Even though physical illness is easier to recognize mental illness can still knock you off your game.”

In the fall of 2018 CVU had a very close experience with teen suicide when the community lost a close friend and peer, Paul Hoeppner.  After Paul’s death, his family – Sue, Joe, and Marc took initiative and started Project Hoeppner. “ We are so grateful for this community of ours and of Paul’s and the blanket of love that surrounds us,” said Sue Hoeppner, acknowledging that community support sustains them in their grief. Suicide awareness hits a personal note for many, not only because of a connection with Paul but also for the many others in CVU who struggle with mental illness.

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Traditional Teaching Makes Way for the Unusual

Mr. Chandlee Crawford

“One minute, private reasoning time,” says Ben Epstein, clicking his red handheld timer. The room is quiet, with the only noise being the occasional scratch of pencil lead on an “important moments” handout. After a minute passes, a low rumble of voices ruminate in the room as the students, in groups of four, share their thoughts in a counterclockwise rotation, 30 seconds each. Everyone’s voice is heard but Epstein himself, who is walking silently around the room with a stopwatch on his lanyard and a notebook in hand.

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Epstein’s classes are known for being unusual.  They are highly structured to capitalize on the students’ collaboration and creativity, rather than the teacher. No lectures, no homework, no strict mathematical formulas to memorize, students are never sitting alone. Instead, students work through the curriculum from top to bottom with only each other and the occasional queue from Epstein.

While math classrooms tend to be more organized lectures by the teacher, Epstein shifts responsibility so that student voices control their own class. Odd as this practice may be, Epstein’s methods completely conform to the recommendations of best teaching practice – what are considered to be the most effective teaching strategies to maximize. The objective is that the struggle of defining math independently (in groups without teacher input) will allow students to better understand concepts because they developed the math themselves.

“You don’t need to be taking in information that someone else created and then replicating that,” says Epstein, “you can be put in a situation where you might invent those things, and there’s no reason why that can’t be any one of those students that are part of that class.” The connections that students make allow them to build their own strategies for problem solving, rather than copying someone else’s. Those skills are transferable to other areas of math as well.

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New Pub in Town

Newly opened, Bucky’s Pub offers a variety of favorite food options, a comfortable space, and an alternative to the “the usual” in Hinesburg.

After 3:15, CVU students usually flock to local establishments to get a quick bite to eat before games or practice or rehearsal, taking the sidewalk to Jiffy, making the drive a block further to Paisley Hippo or grabbing an iced coffee at the Parkside. 

Bucky’s Pub, located behind Jiffy Mart at Ballards’ Corner Road,  is open Monday through Saturday, 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, and Sundays,  2:00 pm- 6:00. pm 

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Bucky’s Pub, once named Travia’s was on sale for many years before Tony and Ruchel St. Hilaire purchased the establishment  May 10th, 2019 and officially opened the last week of July, 2019.

The St. Hilaires are Hinesburg residents, who are excited to get to know their community better with good food and a social space to hang out and watch a game or grab a bite to eat between activities. “We heard that Travia’s was for sale and thought it was a great opportunity to transform the space into a welcoming pub for the community,” says Ruchel St. Hilaire, “Both Tony and I enjoy the social atmosphere that can be found in local pubs. It’s nice to see people chatting and interacting, and we wanted to give Hinesburg another option for that to occur, “ 

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