Sarah Malcom: An Outstanding Teacher

 Ms. Alia Russo 

This year’s 2018 “UVM Outstanding Teacher Award,” goes to Sarah Malcolm, a science teacher at CVU. Every year, Vermont offers awards to teachers to highlight their notable teaching skills recognized by other staff members and students around the school.

Malcolm has been teaching science for 14 years at CVU, and first started teaching in Massachusetts. What got her into teaching was coaching field hockey while she was injured playing field hockey. She liked working with high school students and fell in love with the idea of helping kids and being a mentor for them. “I really liked science and a bunch of other subjects, but primarily I loved science and working hands on with some math and vocabulary, and there’s a lot of skills embedded in science, and I liked putting all them together,” said Malcolm.

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Malcolm both coached and taught here at CVU, and at prior schools for the first half of her teaching career. She then stopped coaching once her children got older, but continued to bring her teaching skills to the classroom everyday.

Malcolm loves many things about being a teacher. What she loves most of all is spending time with her students. “One thing I love is the environment that gets established in a classroom after some time. I also love the team aspect that occurs and that students find ways to collaborate together. I love seeing them pushed to as far as they can go,” said Malcolm. She never fails to keep students awake and alert during class with her funny humor and remarks.

Malcolm has many strengths as a teacher. “Things that I feel very confident about is my establishing of relationships with students and them establishing relationships amongst each other within class. I feel very confident about the subjects that I teach and my understanding and knowledge of those subjects. I also love strategizing and planning for what we actually do in class and how we get there,” said Malcolm.

Although Malcolm has many strengths, every teacher has some things they could work on. “I think that over time, time has become an issue, and so I’m really into systems and being super efficient. It’s been very hard to differentiate pace in class and that’s something that I’ve been working on to do better with lack of time. I also think there’s a lot of different ways to communicate and I’m not doing all of them well so that’s an area that I’d love to improve on as well,” said Malcolm.

Being a science teacher, Malcolm loves things a certain way and values being organized with her students’ work. She also values knowing what the class needs to work on in order to get better and understand the content she’s teaching. Malcolm has some areas with teaching she could improve on, but she continues to show CVU her outstanding teaching skills.  

Malcolm enjoys teaching at CVU and is very appreciative of what CVU has to offer. “I really like the people at CVU. I love the students and faculty here. I think we have an excellent faculty and staff. I like collaborating with my colleagues and having the opportunity to be creative, and I think there’s a lot of things you can try here that you can’t at other schools,” said Malcolm. Malcolm also loves being able to express herself in class with her students. She feels very comfortable being herself which is something she values. “It’s been a very good fit for me and I’ve enjoyed my fourteen years here,” said Malcolm.

Malcolm is a very well rounded teacher who inspires students to work their best every day. She knows exactly how to create the perfect learning environment that keeps students engaged and excited to learn, which is a very hard skill for teachers to achieve.

 

Opinion: The Problem With Desks

Ms. Talia Loiter

The ultimate truth is that kids don’t want to go to school just to sit inside in a dark classroom all day. Most American schools follow the same model where the day is split into blocks of class, with a small break for lunch, and bells telling students when it’s time to move on. This is an incredibly outdated system left over from the Industrial Revolution when rapidly growing factories needed a way to control the large amount of workers moving through their facilities. Most class schedules are designed without regard to the multifaceted needs of a student today.

Image courtesy of Talia Loiter

Students need a schedule and a space to learn that helps maintain a healthy lifestyle and mindset. A large part of this is getting outside and moving around. An experiment by the Department of Hygiene and Public Health at the Nippon Medical School found that students who were sent into the forest for two nights (know as forest bathing or “Shinrinyoku” in Japan) had lower levels of cortisol (a stress marking hormone) than those who spent two nights in the city. The constant buffer of our dark classrooms is stressing students much more than needed.

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AP Classes: a Necessity for the College-Driven

Mr. Samuel Knox

With college on the seniors’ minds, everyone is wondering if their SAT scores are high enough, if their GPA is up to par, and whether or not their essay says what they intend it to. However, one thing that students tend to put in the back of their mind is the number of Advanced Placement (AP) classes they have taken and how they will have performed in those classes.

At Champlain Valley Union High School there are 10 AP classes offered: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Calculus, Statistics, U.S. Government and Politics, Studio Art, Music Theory, Human Geography, and English. All of these classes are yearlong and the demand for enrollment is high. For classes such as Human Geography and Government, it takes as many as three blocks to fill the demand, and even then there are many students stuck on the waiting list. Although it is great that so many students are interested in these classes, it is quite upsetting for many to hear that CVU cannot meet their demands– all students should have access to these critical college-level classes.

The big question is why are students so intent on taking these classes? Ben Wetzell, a CVU junior taking two APs, explained it perfectly. “When I went and toured at Tufts [University], they said that you should definitely be taking AP classes! For them, it is an indicator of your work ethic.” Bay Foley-Cox, a senior who has taken a total of five APs, elaborated on this idea, “In a world where attending college in incredibly important, students in high school should gain some exposure to what it is like to take a college course. I think AP classes encompass a lot of the values in terms of education that we treasure at CVU. Also, every single admissions session I have attended has said that they are looking for a difficult class load and a good performance in those classes.” Wetzell and Foley-Cox have captured the very reason APs exist: to give students the opportunity to experience college level work before attending college. This is something that colleges love to see as it gives them a sense of how students deal with average high school courses as well more challenges ones.

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RISE Looks to Elevate Learning in June

 Mr. Caleb Martin

Hinesburg VT — For two weeks at the end of the 2018-2019 school year, CVU students will not be having traditional classes. Instead, they will be participating in a program called “RISE,” which consists of teacher-run activities that students may not have access to inside or outside of their regular classes.

Screenshot 2019-02-18 at 9.49.57 AMRISE (Reflective Interest-based Student Experiences) is a newly implemented program at CVU as of 2018. Carly Rivard, the personal learning coordinator at CVU, claims that RISE is very much needed, “Based on the research [taken over the past two years] that Peter [Langela] and Abbie [Bowker] conducted as part of their Rowland Foundation work, as well as the current understanding of what jobs and careers will look like for current students, it is clear that students need a set of skills that are not always practiced regularly in the more conventional school system. Students also need more time to take low stake risks that allow them to discover and develop interests, core values, and [their own] purpose. RISE is one way to provide more opportunities for students to use their voice to achieve their own personal goals.

The data collected by the Rowland Foundation found that, according to Langella, the majority of CVU students do not feel that they possess the freedom to choose what they study in class. CVU faculty saw this information and used it as a catalyst to fill the void left in many of its students academic aspirations. Langella shared how he thinks RISE can be helpful to students. “Students can use RISE to explore a topic of interest that you are curious about, or you can use it to further your understanding of a topic you already have experience in.”

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Behind The (Green)screen: A Look into CVU Student Council News

Ms. Elena Crites

Every-other Tuesday at 10:00 am, CVU Student Body Co-President and Student Council News Anchor, Nicole Eaton, is hard at work. Along with notorious CVU AV expert Gary Lambert, Nicole produces bi-weekly news segments in order to inform the student body on the goings-on of the CVU community.

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Nicole Eaton rocking the SCN anchor spot (and cross-promoting CVU Basketball)

 This is Nicole’s first year anchoring, and she was selected not only due to her Student Council position but also because of her strong interest in broadcasting and her experiences within the field. She says that while filming this year’s welcome video, she talked with Gary regarding her college plans to study communications as well as her experiences during an internship she had with FOX 44 and ABC Local 22.

The CVU anchor position was still yet to be filled, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. “ I [love anchoring the SCN], just because this summer, when I was watching the anchors for the FOX 44 and ABC Local 22, it was really inspiring, and I didn’t really get a chance to actually practice the skills that I was seeing them use… [Now] I’m using [those] skills and it’s fun that people get to see me and that I get to see myself do something that I want to do in the future.” For Nicole, anchoring is not only an enjoyable extra-curricular activity, but also a great addition to the resume of a future communications major.

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Making a Difference by Munching: Cafe for a Cause

Ms. Elyse Martin-Smith

Yummy! Nothing tastes sweeter than being able to make a difference in a furry friend’s life… Except for doing it while eating a delicious waffle from the CVU Cafe! Every year, Leo LaForce and the CVU Student Council team up to set up Cafe for a Cause, where the profits of all purchases at the cafeteria for one day go to a certain charity. There is also a raffle managed by Student Council and this year there was a donation table as well. This year, the charity was the Humane Society of Chittenden County.

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Photo by Elyse Martin-Smith

Cafe for a Cause has been an annual CVU tradition since 2004 or 2005. Leo LaForce, head of the CVU Cafe, has worked very hard to make this a successful event at CVU to give back. “I’ve worked in restaurants my entire life, which is always for profit… so there has really never been an opportunity,” says LaForce. His idea for this contrasts his past work, so he turned to his core values to gain inspiration for this event. “I’ve always felt people should give to the community, or give back in some way”

One thing that makes this event possible is the support of the community, which became apparent when LaForce approached the Chief Operating Officer for the CVSD district, proposing the idea. “He said ‘go for it!’” LaForce recalls. The Cafe relies on donations to make this possible, which makes community involvement even more valuable.

 This year, the Humane Society was chosen by Leo LaForce as this year’s lucky charity. Some years, like last year, it is selected by the CVU Student Council. Last year, the profit was actually split between the Richmond and Hinesburg Food Shelters. However, this year, the Chittenden Humane Society was the sole organization receiving profits. The mission statement of the Humane Society is “to foster compassionate treatment of animals and prevent animal suffering; to strengthen the human-animal bond; and to further the cause of responsible animal ownership through education and public awareness,” according to their website.  I mean, who doesn’t love helping animals find a forever home or helping provide them with proper healthcare?

LaForce felt this was a really great fit for this year’s donations. “It’s not just helping animals; it’s helping people! Everyone knows how important a pet is to them.” It is also very local, which some people may not know. The Chittenden Humane Society, although the same organization, is not directly affiliated with the National Humane Society in the realm of donations. “They have to raise money for what they do for their own individual charity,” Leo comments, highlighting the importance of helping the local strands of the larger organization.

 Cafe for a Cause can help make a significant difference for whatever charity is chosen that year since it raises a lot of necessary funds. According to Leo LaForce, “We raised $347 through Raffle sales and $7,403 through Cafe sales to total $7,750 dollars.” Considering the current student enrollment, there was a good turnout. “Out of 1308 students we served 357 breakfast meals (27%) and 774 lunch meals (almost 60%)” and “out of 300 adults we served 38 breakfast meals (almost 13%) and 75 Lunch meals (25%),” Leo LaForce mentioned in a school-wide email. These numbers are impressive in comparison to some recent years, and it can significantly help the Humane Society.

Putting on such a large event requires the support of many people and groups. Student Council helped to put together the morning waffle bar for Cafe for a Cause and assembled a large raffle. The raffle included prizes ranging from a FitBit to a french press, all due to generous donations from many businesses. Jessica Ke really lead this project and expertly organized the student aspect of this event. Her efforts were greatly appreciated this year in helping it run smoothly.

Although this event was a success, there is always room for improvement. Andre LaChance has consistently assisted with organizing students, as well as the critique of the event so that it can run more smoothly next year. This is extremely helpful in many ways. Compared to last year, there was a significantly higher profit this year, showing that things are already improving. Also, many a variety of new local businesses donated products to the raffle, creating new bonds within the community.

Overall, Cafe for a Cause was very successful this year, and a great idea that has been well refined at CVU. Simply by eating some delicious tortellini or enjoying a cup of coffee, the lives of precious pets are improved. Just in time for “giving season” and CVU’s Attitude for Gratitude Week, this event furthers the idea of giving and gratitude. Leo LaForce said his “favorite part is seeing the amount of support from the CVU community, the amount of students that come in, the amount of adults that come through, and the amount of joy they seem to be taking in that event.” He was very grateful for everyone who helped out with this event. He was also able to spread the kindness.

LaForce said that another one of the most rewarding parts of this is “the joy we see them experience and seeing what it can do.” With this in mind, take this as inspiration to spread a generous and gracious mentality like this event does. Finally, remember to look out for Cafe for a Cause at CVU in future years!

Interested in the cause? Visit the Chittenden Humane Society webpage at the link below!

https://www.chittendenhumane.org/

 

Students Abroad Expand Horizons, Comfort Zones

 Mr. Caleb Martin

Imagine moving to a foreign country all alone for nine months and not being able to speak in your first language. Why did over one million students in the US decide to take this risk, and what are the potential benefits? Frans Lindberg, an exchange student at CVU, explained his reason for why he made the decision to come to the US. “It is a family tradition, both my older brother and sister went abroad for a year.” He said that playing for the soccer team in particular was a great experience that made his year.

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Jan Bedard, the Regional Coordinator for Education First (EF) exchange student agency, explained how the process begins. “It all starts with having a potential American family express interest in hosting, which is pretty rare. Once I have determined that they are likely a suitable family and genuinely interested, I make contact with the school to be sure that they have a space for the student and are willing to work with me and my organization. All four of my kids graduated from CVU and I have been supervising EF students at CVU since 1993. We hosted before that, so CVU is pretty easy. Other schools may not have any spaces left or not want exchange students.”

Not only is CVU an easy school for the agency to work with, but the students find it to be a great place to live and learn as well. Lindberg said, “The teachers are great and if I have a question in class I do not hesitate to ask. The language barrier was small at the beginning of the year and has got increasingly smaller as my time at CVU goes by.” CVU is great for exchange students, and exchange students are great for CVU. They provide a different perspective on the world and help other students at CVU see themselves from a global point of view.

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Planning For The Future: What to Look For When Searching For The Right College

Ms. Charlotte Willis

With seniors gearing up to graduate and juniors starting their college search, many teens are left wondering what they should be looking for when trying to find the right college for them. While searching for colleges can be hard, there are some things to consider about a school to make the picking process easier.

One of the Chittenden Guidance Counselors, Sarah O’Hara- Hughes, says a few things to think about are the size and location of schools. Where a college is located is one of the most important things that a person should take into account. Another important trait of a college is majors. If you know what you want to major in, you have to make sure that the college you choose offers it.

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A sample Naviance “scattergram”

Hughes commented on what she thinks is important in finding the right school. “The size I think is important too. Are they looking for small, medium, large? And this can all be done in a college search, particularly the one [CVU] uses is Naviance.”

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GC and R.I.S.E. Represent New Twists on Old Ideas

Ms. Jasmine Leavitt

Hinesburg VT–  Although Grad Challenge has changed from a research process to a reflective one, some students say the stress and anxiety for them has not changed, even though they may see the purpose of Grad Challenge.

CVU senior, Liam Freeman says, “Grad Challenge has being going well. I have met all the deadlines so far, since I am passionate about my topic: Fly Fishing.”   

CVU senior, Clark Schmitt noticed some overlap of having both RISE and Grad Challenge in the same year. “The RISE program allows people the same opportunity as Grad Challenge. It would be cool if they incorporated the two together, so students could work with seniors on their Grad Challenge.”

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Editorial: The Desk Problem, American Schools Need to Move Beyond the Industrial Revolution Menatlity

Ms. Talia Loiter

The ultimate truth is that kids don’t want to go to school just to sit inside in a dark classroom all day. Most American schools follow the same model where the day is split into blocks of class, with a small break for lunch, and bells telling students when it’s time to move on. This is an incredibly outdated system left over from the Industrial Revolution when rapidly growing factories needed a way to control the large amount of workers moving through their facilities. Most class schedules are designed without regard to the multifaceted needs of a student today.

Students need a schedule and a space to learn that helps maintain a healthy lifestyle and mindset. A large part of this is getting outside and moving around. An experiment by the Department of Hygiene and Public Health at the Nippon Medical School found that students who were sent into the forest for two nights (know as forest bathing or “Shinrinyoku” in Japan) had lower levels of cortisol (a stress marking hormone) than those who spent two nights in the city. The constant buffer of our dark classrooms is stressing students much more than needed.

If everyone was given a break to spend an hour outside every day, we would all be much less stressed as the research shows. The time allows kids to have a mental and physical break from the blocked out back-to-back schedule. Instead of going from one class to the next, never giving their brain a chance to rest, they would be able to have a moment to simply breathe. Healthguide.org asserts that exercise decreases depression, anxiety, and stress. It would also allow students to get up and move their bodies which could reduce fidgeting in classrooms.

For many kids at CVU, coming back after the summer break is hard. Many of them spend their free days enjoying the warm Vermont weather outside. During break, kids are free to move about to their hearts’ content because of all the extra time they have. Students can spend time getting exercise, being outside, seeing friends and family, exploring new places, and learning about things that interest them.

The big thing is that this is all possible even with a persistent schedule. For example, I had a job this summer. I was able to stick to my daily schedule at work and then have free time to do what I wanted for the rest of the day. I was also able to pick a job that I enjoyed. I worked outside because that is what is important to me. The stress of school life doesn’t allow for people to make these types of choices.

However, one way our school is addressing this issue is the new RISE program. For the two week, end of school period, students can choose to take classes in many different subjects that interest them or do an independent study. It allows kids to have a well deserved break from stress while still learning.

Although this is a good step forward, RISE doesn’t fix the fact that we are cooped up inside all winter and fall, having our energy drained by fluorescent lights and plastic chairs. Whether it’s the incorporation of a green space, an extended lunch/recess, or the elimination of homework to give more personal time, there’s no doubt that there needs to be a way to let our brains and bodies rest throughout our busy school days to come.

 

Gender Equity Club gets New Advisor

Ms. Amber Robert

HINESBURG, VT — The Department of Labor states, “The proportion of women with college degrees in the labor force has almost quadrupled since 1970. More than 40 percent of women in the labor force had college degrees in 2016, compared with 11 percent in 1970.” On Wednesday, September 19th, Kathleen Gibbs announced her new role as advisor for the CVU Gender Equity Club.

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Photo courtesy of Lifetouch

Gibbs shares, “As a mother of a fifteen year old daughter, I clearly have a personal investment in this issue. I want her to have every opportunity in school, in life to grow into a confident, happy, self-reliant individual.

Ms. Gibbs, herself, has taken advantage of her opportunities. She went to the University of Vermont for a degree in English. In her junior year of college, she attended the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.

Gender equity is generally perceived as being a “women’s issue.” However, Ms. Gibbs has a goal to focus on the issues facing men such as, “How do young men learn to be good fathers?  What is it like to be a young man growing up in the ME TOO era? How is education failing boys today?” Gibbs hopes that male students will want to educate themselves about the issues facing women today.

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CVU students, like Kristin Arles have similar goals to Ms. Gibbs, “My goal for the club this year is to educate CVU on how gender inequalities are still a pressing issue worldwide, not just something of the past, and how deep-rooted these issues are.” In addition, Arles hopes to “lessen the tension in the air surrounding topics such as feminism.”

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Early Decision: A Faustian Bargain?

Ms. Elena Crites

The deadline is coming.  The pressure is on. As if college itself isn’t daunting enough, how about early decision? Early decision is a binding college choice. This means that if you are accepted, you’re going. With early decision, students have to apply significantly earlier than the non-binding regular decision, as well as decide exactly which college they want to go to. Early decision requires quite a lot of certainty, and requires students to meet early application deadlines, but the rewards can be significant. It’s like signing a blood oath. But it’s worth it.

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Early decision usually requires applicants to submit their application by November 1, as opposed to regular decision deadlines that usually fall somewhere from December-February. There are three possible responses to an early decision application. Accepted, deferred, or denied. When an applicant is deferred, this means that the school they applied to liked their application, but before admitting the student, they’d like to see how the applicant compares to students applying regular decision. In the case that an applicant is either deferred or denied, this early response allows them time to complete and update a new application to submit to other schools during the regular decision process. For those who are accepted, they have a set college plan months before their peers, giving them some time for some much-needed rest.

Early decision has also proven itself to be a pretty elitist process. For students who are accepted early to a college and bound by their decision, they are unable to compare financial aid between multiple colleges. This ends up preventing quite a lot of students from partaking in the ED process. Naomi Williams, Chittenden Guidance Counselor, says that “while [early decision] is a great option for many students, it is a huge decision that students typically make with their families.  Since applying ED is a binding agreement and [applicants] will not be able to compare financial aid offers from multiple colleges, it is important that these factors are considered.” Most schools will allow a student to back out of the binding contract if they truly don’t receive enough financial aid, but this still leads to a missed opportunity for the student to apply ED to another school that may have provided them with enough support.

So what’s the big whoop?

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For the Library, Change is Constant and Connections are Consistent

Mr. Cole Otley

The CVU library is a place students come to study, socialize, and collaborate with one another. “[It] is a place where people can connect,” said Peter Langella, a CVU librarian. “Students can connect with the school, with other classmates, and with themselves.” Though it may not seem like it at first to many, there is a lot more that goes into keeping the library such a great place. The CVU library is constantly adapting in order to fulfill the needs of the entire student body.

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Screen capture by Cole Otley

Over the past couple of years, the changes to the library have been noticeable. Whether it be the new rooms in the back or the new tables in the front, the library continues to keep people guessing with refreshing new layouts. “The changing environment of the library makes the learning environment better,” Langella says. “I’ve read some studies that claim people’s brains function better in different environments, and it’s different for every person.”

The library most certainly offers different spaces for people to learn, and students can take their pick on where they will be most productive. “The library gives students a place to collaborate,” says student body president Bennett Cheer. “That’s why I keep coming back.” There are a lot of qualities about the library that make it the preferred study area for a lot of students. “It’s quiet, calm, clean, and a good place to come get work done,” said CVU student Nikos Carroll. Nikos is among the hundreds of students that come into the library every day of the school week in order to do homework, study, and collaborate in a place that satisfies each need.

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An Interview with CVU’s Co-Class Presidents

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Ms. Grace Colbeth

Champlain Valley Union High School Co-Class Presidents Nicole Eaton and Bennett Cheer share an interest in promoting inclusivity, kindness, and involvement at CVU, attributes they have both learned at their homes in Williston.

Nicole Eaton, native to the town of Williston, says that having an open mind has provided her with a wealth of experiences at CVU.  Eaton has “done more than [she] anticipated,” listing off many different clubs, activities, sports, and other extracurriculars. “I have participated in Student Council, Athletic Leadership Council, Principal’s Advisory Council, Young Life. I am also a part of the CVU Student Council News.” Eaton laughs, “Wow! And those are just the clubs!”

Eaton has also participated in sports in the last three years at CVU. For example, “Varsity basketball, track and field, and I was also the varsity baseball team manager,” Eaton shares. “Busy is an understatement! I am always on the go!”

“I did not plan on being a part of so many different things at CVU, but I just kept an open mind and tried a bunch of things out.” Eaton continues,  “I fell in love with all the clubs and sports! I found new interests and hobbies throughout my exploration of activities at CVU that will help me out in the future,” Eaton says. “For example, I gained a ton of interest in leadership and public relations, and I know that I will use so many of the skills I gained in my life in the future.”

Bennett Cheer, also native to the town Williston, has also been active and involved in the past four years at CVU. “I am part of Athletic Leadership Council, Future Business Leaders of America, and Student Council!” Cheer is also happy with his athletic accomplishments, “I am captain of the Varsity Football team; I play on the Varsity Basketball team in the winter, and I also played Lacrosse prior to Junior year.” Cheer notes his love and participation in the group, “Sons of Pitches,” the all-male acapella group at CVU organized by Anthony Spagnolo, a CVU wellness teacher. “It has been a really busy few years!”
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CVU Seniors Attempt to Slam the Brakes on the $50 Parking Fee

Mr. Samuel Knox

Photo of Champlain Valley Union High School Senior parking lot, courtesy of Samuel Knox.

Photo of Champlain Valley Union High School Senior parking lot, courtesy of Samuel Knox.

Hinesburg, VT — As Champlain Valley Union High School (CVUHS) seniors wheeled into school on August 30, 2018, they brought more than just their school supplies; they were required to present their license, registration, and $50 (payable to the school) to Debbie Seaton at the front desk.

On September 17, CVUHS principal Adam Bunting responded to some concerns, “In a single school year we spend over $2,000 on striping and $24,000 on plowing. I would say
that in total we probably spend more than $25,000 a year on the parking lot alone. I mean, the recent renovation that was done cost around $192,000.”

When the Champlain Valley Union High School Seniors were given a survey asking them how they felt about their parking lot, 82.1% of them felt as if the lot was “well maintained.” However, in the same survey, when asked on a scale from one (“very upset!”) to ten (“happy to pay!”) about how they felt about their $50 parking fee, the average response was a four.

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Rosalind Franklin & Nicole Gorman, Unsung Heroes in Science

Ms. Sarah Clauss, CVC Science & Environmental Correspondent

When most people think of famous scientists, they think of Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, or Isaac Newton. While these are three important contributors to our body of scientific knowledge, it’s not a particularly diverse group. While the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) was once dominated by white men, we owe our current understanding to men and women from all nationalities, ethnicities, and origins.

Nicole Gorman teaches AP Biology at Champlain Valley Union HS. Despite the quick pace of lessons and massive amount of content that she covers, Ms. Gorman always takes time during the unit on genetics to discuss Rosalind Franklin, the woman whose chromographs of genetic material — shared by a colleague, without Franklin’s knowledge or permission — led to Watson and Crick’s double helix model of DNA.

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Rosalind Franklin, The Mother of DNA

 

Although Franklin’s work allowed Cambridge University geneticists James Watson and Francis Crick to accurately model DNA, she did not receive a Nobel Prize. Franklin died at age 37, likely a result of exposure to X-ray radiation in the line of her research.

Ms. Gorman teaches this lesson for several reasons. First, she says, “I like to talk about the scientists that contributed to our understanding/helped to explain a variety of foundational concepts… One compelling reason to point this out is to encourage students themselves to ask, discover and explain.” She also thinks that it is an important lesson in collaboration; too many young scientists think that working together is not necessary. Lastly, Gorman takes this opportunity to talk about taking credit for the work of others. “The story of Rosalind Franklin is an interesting story about how this can and does happen,” she says.

Ms. Gorman also discussed why she thinks that it’s important for students to have a diverse set of academic role models. According to her, “role models are a source of inspiration. Inspiration from many different sources ensures that you can continue to be inspired as you grow and change over time.”

In addition, she claims that having a role model that a student can identify with allows them to imagine themselves making the same choices and moving in similar directions to that person. She says, “If your role model is someone you want to be, then this desire will drive the choices you make….even if they are difficult choices. The power of thinking you are similar to someone or want to be like someone is an excellent driver of engagement, [which] drives progress.”

Rosalind Franklin is just one of many inspiring scientists in her field. But in CVU’s AP Biology classroom, her story is inspiring the scientists of a new generation.

 

College Tuition: “A Never-Ending Trend Toward Absurdity”?

Ms. Greta Powers, CVC Culture Correspondent

With the recent CVU College Fair, students have the years after graduation on their minds. Questions on tests, applications, and final decisions are occurring even to 9th grader’s. A main worry is the unavoidable fact that college is expensive and getting more expensive every year. It’s well known that college will make a larger dent in one’s wallet than it used to, but just how much extra stress is being put on college students these days? According to Forbes, as of 2013, the total loan debt of students graduating from American colleges is $1 trillion. To say this is an outrageous amount of money would be an understatement. But will college ever be less expensive or are students’ tuitions on a never-ending trend toward further absurdity?

Matthew Seklecki is the Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont and has seen firsthand the effects of a large price tag on college enrollment. He explained where St. Michael’s gets its funding: “We receive the mass majority of our funding from tuition dollars and that runs our funding budget. College is costing more than it used to.” The latter is clear, but it can be hard to understand precisely why college expenses are rising.

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Editorial: We Can’t Legalize Weed – Here’s Why

Mr.  Ethan Duncan

Dear reader,

We cannot legalize marijuana in Vermont (or any other state, for that matter). It is too dangerous to us as people and as a society. The mental and physical harm that it causes is too great, it affects the lives and well-being of America’s future (kids and young adults), and the government, as it is with everything, would be ineffective in controlling the industry.  

Marijuana undeniably has some benefits, which is probably why 22.2 million people have used it in the past month in the US, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. According to Business Insider, glaucoma treatment, epileptic seizure control, and anxiety decrease, are just some of marijuana’s supposed medical benefits. However, it should not be available to the everyday person for recreational purposes because the risks of smoking weed outweigh any potential benefits.

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Image courtesy of ScubaBrett, via Flickr

First of all, the physical and mental harm that marijuana has on a person is simply crushing. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, marijuana affects brain development and impairs one’s long-term thinking ability, making it dangerous to young people, especially teenagers, who could suffer for the rest of their lives.

A study by the National Association of Sciences found that people who heavily smoked marijuana during their teenage years lost 8 IQ points on average between age 13 and age 38. Marijuana also causes breathing problems and lung irritation. The American Lung Association states that while they encourage the continued research of marijuana’s potential benefits, they caution the public against smoking marijuana and that it can cause “chronic bronchitis and marijuana smoke has been shown to injure the cell linings of the large airways, which could explain why smoking marijuana leads to symptoms such as chronic cough, phlegm production, wheeze and acute bronchitis.”

It also causes increased heart rate, which makes people more vulnerable to heart attacks. Studies also find that pregnant mothers who have smoked marijuana find their newborns have a lower birth weight on average and a greater chance of behavioral and brain development issues over time. Marijuana, according to LiveScience and the National Institute of Health, causes feelings of fear and panic, hallucinations, trouble concentrating, decreased ability to perform tasks, and decreased motivation. This is especially terrible for a nation in which people are developing a reputation of acting entitled and lazy.

Tim Trevithick, a counselor at CVU, spoke to the physical effects that he has seen in our own communities, stating that, “We have seen kids develop cases of cannabis psychosis. It used to be really rare, and now it is becoming less rare. Marijuana is highly celebrated by the pro-legalization side, but it is really one of the least understood drugs.”  

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Sophomore Engage Day Offers Exercise in Activism

Ms. Alyssa Gorton

In today’s political climate, it can be difficult choosing who and what to believe. Even more difficult is standing up for your own personal convictions in a way that is peaceful, respectful, and powerful. As a 14-17 year old in Vermont, it may seem like there is little to do or to be done due to the voting age. With passion, however, there is always work to be done, especially if you have an affinity for a governmental profession. CVU’s Engage Day is an amazing opportunity to let students get involved in what they’re spirited about, and make connections within the community.

For many students, including myself, social activism is important, seeing as the environment we’ve been forced into is one of ceaseless media coverage, dividing politicians, and up until recently, the silencing of the youth. One of CVU’s workshops titled Social Activism, sparked the interest of both me and many of my friends. No matter what political party you identify with (if any), it’s easy to see that we’re in a time of division and strong opinions, but knowing how you can make a difference in your community is without a doubt empowering to you and those around you.

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Image courtesy of Alyssa Gorton

The workshop was, without a doubt, run extremely well. That was mostly due to the charisma and kind nature of the selectboard candidate Rebecca (Becca) White, who composed the workshop and interacted with those in the group in a way that was genuine and educational. One of the first things we did as a group was discuss issues that were important to us and put them up on the whiteboard to get a general feel of the room.

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Most people in this room came prepared with a variety of questions to ask about how to get involved in their community. While there are already many ways to get involved at CVU through school clubs and opportunities, some students would either like to seek a more individual approach to activism, or just go above and beyond with their community involvement.

A club new to the CVU scene, Student Justice Committee (SJC), was made with the intention to allow and commit students to seek out and change that which they deem unjust, unfair, or inane. The founders, Sydney Hicks and Asha Hickok, who also helped organize our walkout, stated that their intentions lie within “further pursuing actions based around activism, and inviting students to discuss politics in an open and safe environment,” which is a prime example of the student leadership culture founded within the walls of CVU.

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School Resource Officer Anthony Cambridge Builds Bridges

Mr. Logan Jipner

HINESBURG, VT – Word of a new police presence at CVU has been floating around the school community, lately. People are seeing police more often at school and are curious as to why Anthony Cambridge, CVU’s Student Resource Officer, has been making more regular appearances on school grounds lately.

Officer Cambridge stated, “I’ve actually been there more in the past year compared to the  previous years. I’ve been there more than I’d like to be.”

Cambridge comes to CVU for a variety of reasons. “It’s always something different. Sometimes it’s something stolen, an accident at or near CVU, weapons or drugs or cigarettes (violations of school policy).” In addition he says, “I go to CVU to talk about things that are going on to prevent incidents from occurring.” Cambridge comes to school when he is called to deal with policy violations, but in his current position, he also works alongside students, faculty and the school board on initiatives and training that are meant to be preventative safety measures.

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Anthony Cambridge tests out a new infrared digital thermometer. Photo courtesy of the Citizen.

At first, Officer Cambridge says he didn’t want to be the SRO for CVU. “…my relationship with the school used to be bad, but I should be familiar with the school.” Cambridge expresses that when cops are only seen as punishers, it makes it difficult to build relationships. However, when students learn to appreciate police for all they do to create a safe community, positive relationships between students and local police can become the norm.  

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Club Stalwarts: FBLA Manages Statewide Presence

Mr. Ethan Duncan

Future Business Leaders of America, or FBLA, is a “career and technical student organization, with a focus on business education,” according to Vermont FBLA Treasurer and CVU FBLA President Preston Webb. “What we try to do at CVU is enhance everybody’s business skills through a number of activities… it’s this cool relationship between community service, leadership activities, and collaborative activities.”

Noah Lemieux, Vermont FBLA Vice President and CVU FBLA member, added“If you are at all interested in going into business, or even just having a job, FBLA is a great thing to be a part of.”

 

“As a local officer, being president of CVU FBLA, I help facilitate our meetings, create agendas, try to make it entertaining and try to get stuff done. We’ll do stuff like business trivia and different games as well,” says Webb.

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Image thanks to the Fantastic Ms. (Carol) Fox

Webb is the president of CVU’s chapter, but several other officer positions are available besides president. Local officers help the chapter run its services in and out of school. These positions include vice president, secretary, treasurer, parliamentarian, and more. Members of FBLA are allowed to run for local office and help their local chapter, but also have a chance to participate at the state level through elections at the Vermont State FBLA conferences. Noah Lemieux was elected the 2018 Northern Vice President of Vermont’s FBLA chapter.

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CVU’s Premiere Golf Course Gets Some Respect

Mr. Samuel Comai, CVC Leisure Sports Correspondent

The student body seems to be quick to judge the new frisbee golf course behind CVU. Insults from some CVU students have been aggressive and ill-informed. With misinformation circulating, it is important to put the truth of the course at the forefront of this discussion. The extensive surveying, design, and work put into the course do not match the respect it is getting. Carol Fox of the Wellness Committee, puts forward an honest takef about this fantastic resource.

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In the warmer months of the year, it is common to hear kids complain and insult the “frisbee golf” course. “Why would the school waste $20,000 destroying the forest and putting in a course that will never be used?” some of them wonder. “Think about everything else we could use that money for,” others assert. It is quite obvious that a large percent of the student body is unaware of the facts behind The Hawks Nest. The most widely spread misconception is that $20,000 of the school’s budget was used for the course, which in fact is not where the money came from.

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CVU Cafeteria Shakes it Up

Ms. Sofia Dattillio

Hinesburg, VT— On Monday, January 22nd, CVU students saw a change in their cafeteria with the arrangements of booths, tables, and waste bins after they continuously left behind trash, food, and recycling on tables and between the walls and booths.

Prior to the new arrangement, the custodians were spending too much time picking up after students to make sure that the cafeteria was cleaned up and ready to go for the next day.

According to Marilyn Mashia, one of the CVU custodians, “People were stuffing trash and food between the walls, leaving trays on the floor, [and] just leaving a complete mess.”

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Image by Sofia Datilio

This change allows for the campus supervisors, Tim Albertson, Jamie Hayes, and Seth Emerson, to spread out more within the cafeteria to ensure students are picking up after themselves.

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Student-led Walkout Honors Parkland Victims, Advocates for Change

Mr. Scott A. Stanley

HINESBURG, VT — The recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida left the entire country in a state of shock and dismay. School shootings seem to have become more and more frequent since Columbine in 1999, and little has been done to prevent them. On the 14th of March, schools nationwide held walkouts to bring awareness to these atrocities and to push for change. The US Congress’ inability to institute new laws to protect school children have left many frustrated and demanding change. 

Because of a Nor’easter that shut down schools across Vermont, CVU Principal Adam Bunting moved the planned student action to Friday, March 16th. An estimated 600 students and faculty gathered at the entrance to the school.

While there were many people who both supported and opposed the walkout, Principal Adam Bunting decided to allow it. “We did it first obviously to honor the victims of the Parkland shooting, two, to encourage student advocacy, whether it’s one way or another.”

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Learn by Doing At Area Tech Centers

Ms. Makayla Driscoll

Champlain Valley Union High School hosted representatives from Burlington Technical Center and the Center for Technology, Essex on Thursday, February 8th to provide a brief overview of each program the schools offer. Both CTE and BTC provide technical programs based on challenging the comprehension of students 16 years and older, according to Vermont Adult Career and Technical Education Association.

Schools such as CVU, South Burlington High School, Colchester High School, and Essex High School allow students grades 10+ to apply for a program of their choice at either CTE or BTC to further their education in a specific field.  

According to Marie Eddy, one of CVU’s guidance counselor, CTE provides students with programs such as Automotive Technology, Building Technology and Systems, Childhood Education/ Human Services, Computer Animations & Web Design, Computer Systems Technology, Cosmetology, Dental Assisting, Design & Creative Media, Engineering & Architectural Design, Health Informatics, Natural Resources-Forestry and Mechanical, and Professional Foods.

Image courtesy of Big Heavy World

Image courtesy of Big Heavy World

 

Can’t find what you’re looking for at CTE? BTC provides Auto Body Repair, Automotive Science & Tech, Aviation & Aerospace Tech, Computer Systems & Emerging Technologies, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Design & Illustration, Digital Media Lab, Human Services, Medical & Sports Sciences, Programming & Computer Science, and Welding/ Metal Fabrication programs. Between the two centers, everyone is bound to find a program that they’ll enjoy! 

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