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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Scholars Bowl Teams Put a Serious (Intellectual) Smackdown on the Competition

Mr. Henry Caswell, CVC Campus Correspondent

When you think of Champlain Valley Union High School, what usually pops into your head is usually the athletics, the large student body, the strong community, and the wide variety of classes that our available to students. What you might not think of are the clubs, in particular the Scholars Bowl team.  Scholars Bowl is a competition involving questions and answer games where speedy answers are the key to winning.

This year’s team has been the most successful CVU Scholars Bowl team since 2011, according to John Bennett, the CVU Scholars Bowl coach. “We won the novice bracket at the PHAT tournament in December, the JV A and B state championships, the VT NAQT championship on March 9, and finished at least in the final 4 for the 9th time in the past 12 seasons.  Our quarterfinal win over Burlington is already being considered one of the most exciting matches ever. We beat all the other top contenders in the league this season at one time or another and played well in our semi-final loss to Hanover”, Bennet said.  

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Henry Wilson, Thomas Daley, Sam Gelin, Nate Hodgson-Walker, Cooper Birdsall, Zach Loiter, Mark Lang, Andrew Silverman, Mathew Silverman, Evan Beal, Bay Foley Cox, Peter Antinozzi, Milo Cress, Gabe Atkins, Ben Gramling, Isaac Krementsov, Sam Lawrence, Jake Tworog, and Patton Wager are all part of the team that is divided into smaller teams starting with the A team and ending at the F team.

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Snow Daze: Who Makes the Call and How?

Mr. Henry Caswell, CVC Special Ops

Every student at CVU will tell you that call at 6:00 in the morning noting that school has been cancelled is the best feeling ever. Living in Vermont, where snow is very prominent in the winter, students can expect around two or three snow days a year. But students usually never know if they’ll actually have a snow day until the next morning. Educating students and teachers on the factors that our administration takes consideration is important so we know the real chances of a snow day. In addition, it’s important to know who makes those decisions for Champlain Valley Union High School so we know who to hold accountable.

Jeanne Jensen, the COO of the Champlain Valley School District, talked about who makes the decisions around snow days and what factors they look when making the call. Jensen noted that it is the role of the superintendent to cancel school.

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Snow Day Calculator, Magic Eight Ball, or Jean Jensen? What do you rely on to plan your snow day?

When asked what factors are considered, Jensen said the following. “The factors that go into the decision are  the weather forecast from the National Weather Service, and the road conditions from the local town road commissioners – specifically whether or not they have been able (or think they will be able) to make the roads safe for travel.”

 Jensen also mentioned that it is easier to make a decision when the storm has ended overnight or is ending early in the morning. In addition, she said that it’s difficult to predict how the roads will be at 3:00 when we have to make a decision at 4:30 AM. “We never want to bring students to school and not be able to get them home,” Jensen added.

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Home-school to CVU: A Drastic Change for Some

Ms. Greta Powers, CVC Culture Correspondent

Remember how frightening it was on the first day of freshman year at CVU? It was scary. New kids, new classrooms, new building. Now envision that first day of school, but this time, you’ve been home-schooled your entire life. This experience is ten times more frightening. It’s a vision a lot of people shudder at even thinking of. For some students, that scenario is a reality.

Only a small amount of students are home-schooled; statistically, in the 2011-2012 school year only approximately 3% of the K-12 student population was home-schooled, according to National Center for Education Statistics. What would happen if that 3% of students transferred to a public school? Specifically, transferred to a public high school? It’s been seen in pop culture, most famously in Tina Fey’s cult classic film, Mean Girls, but it also happens in real life.

Motivations for homeschooling. Image from Wikicommons.

Motivations for homeschooling. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Take Kelly Malone-Wolfson, for example. She’s a current home 8th grader, and is hoping to attend CVU as a freshman in the fall. The difference between her and many other Chittenden County 8th graders is that Kelly has been home-schooled since 6th grade.

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ShredHawks Hang on for More Snow: CVU’s Ski & Snowboard Club Frets about Iffy Conditions

Mr. Ethan Oglesby

HINESBURG- CVU’s Ski and Snowboard Club, The Shredhawks have experienced a slow start to the season due to bad weather, but are hoping this changes soon.

So far this season, the club has only made one after-school trip to Bolton Valley, where in past seasons, it would have made up to four or five by this point in the season.

Image by CarolFoxProductions Inc.

CVU Shredhawks and mascot. Image by CarolFoxProductions Inc.

An avid skier and Shredhawks member, Fiona Love says, “We have gone up once, but after this past thaw, we have been waiting for better conditions. After this upcoming storm, we are heading to Bolton for a day trip this Wednesday.“

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201 Plungers Put Booth’s Mane on the Line, a First-time First-hand Account

 Ms. Elyse Martin-Smith, CVC Roving Reporter

BURLINGTON —  On February 3rd I participated in the Penguin Plunge at the Burlington waterfront for the first time. It was a new experience that was very rewarding in the end.

To begin, we were all standing outside in the freezing cold as we waited for the festivities. Everyone was very cold, but I could never expect how cold we would feel afterwards, which was even worse than I imagined. After we took our team picture, we were separated into different groups in warming tents. Everyone was very excited and nervous at the same time as we got ready to take the icy plunge.

Image courtesy of Gino Johnson

Image courtesy of Gino Johnson

 

The tents were filled with anticipation and excitement radiating almost as much as the heat. Julia Herberg, a CVU freshman and first time plunger shared one of the reasons she was excited to participate. She said, “I am excited for the food.” In fact, plungers received coupons for many places, including Skinny Pancake and David’s Tea. Julia also added that she liked how it brought people together.

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A Fresh Look at the Old Winter Ball

Ms. Greta Powers, CVC Culture Correspondent

Two weeks before the Winter Ball, during White day block 3, Chittenden core Personal Health/Project Adventure teacher, TJ Mead, is laying out the rules for a highly anticipated game in Project Adventure.

“The game,” TJ eagerly says, “is called chaos ball.”

“Sounds like another name for Winter Ball,” I quipped. The remark was met by laughter from my classmates and a grin from TJ.

The previous day in Personal Health, the class had discussed different problems that could occur around the time of Winter Ball. It was merely another time out of a thousand someone had uttered the words “Winter Ball” at CVU in three weeks.

Whatever the reason for its popularity, there seems to be a lot of fuss over Winter Ball. My friends bought numerous dresses online to find the right one and to also eliminate the dreaded chance of being stuck with a faulty dress. When one of my male friends asked a girl why she purchased so many dresses, she quickly responded with, “Well, I have to find one that’s good!” as if it were obvious. It wasn’t quite that obvious to the boy.


I too, cynically enough, enjoyed seeing the ups and downs of people asking each other out to the ball. It was as if I were a spectator on the bleachers of a game, but the game was a bunch of 9th graders either being rejected and embarrassed, or accepted and excited. In this game, halftime is a big dose of emotions.

So what’s with all the hoopla about Winter Ball? Though not even the most popular formal dance of the year (Prom takes that prize), it still seems to catch the attention of many CVU students. Perhaps because it concludes the week of midterms and with that pressure gone, it’s a fun way to celebrate. Or maybe Winter Ball provides a sense of comaraderie amongst CVU students; everyone can talk about it because everyone knows about it.

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13th Annual Cafe for a Cause Benefits Richmond Food Shelf

Sr. Enzo Delia

Each year in the heart of December, Cafe for a Cause takes place in the CVU Cafeteria.  Cafe for a Cause is CVU’s way of giving back to surrounding communities in a big way.

 “Cafe for a Cause is a fundraising event that was started about 12-13 years ago, just as a way of raising money for charities and giving back to the community,” says Leo LaForce, who started the event a year after becoming the CVU’s cafeteria owner/manager in 2004.

 “This year’s proceeds are going to a local food shelf; Student council specifically chose the Richmond Food Shelf as there is a tie in with the Richmond Food Shelf and CVU, and there was also an article that rose awareness of the fact that the Richmond Food Shelf is particularly struggling this year, so the money will go to the Richmond Food Shelf, but we’re also asking for food donations, and the food donations will go to the Hinesburg Food Shelf,” explains Leo.

The food options for this year were similar to last year, featuring many students’ favorite items, kicking off with waffles in the morning, made by your very own Student Council reps.

“Usually, every Cafe for a Cause we do one of the most favored items of the students which is the cheese tortellini in the pesto sauce, so we’ll be doing that, alongside another favorite, Pizza from Dominos, and this time in a complete white dough as opposed to the usual half-whole wheat dough, which students tend to prefer [the white dough], in addition, we’ll have all of the other normal items, the burrito bar, the salad bar, panini’s and things like that,” added Leo.

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Caroline Investigates the Importance of Sports

Ms. Caroline McNamara

 

I  like to dance, and my favorite food is pasta and meatballs. I have my parents. Their names are Joe, Sue, and Kim. My siblings are my sisters Mary and Laurel. I have brothers, too. Their names are Seth and Simon and Gostaf.  I also have pets. Daisy and Ruby are dogs, and I have a cat named Stella.  And I  run track in Special Olympics with my dad.

I do the Special Olympics games with the head coach, who is my dad, and two of my sisters are also helping. Special Olympics is a Unified Sports team consisting of young athletes with and without disabilities.  I think it is going to be great doing this with my friends, and we will have so much fun. I would like to win a gold medal and buy a big house with a hot tub. I would buy some food like pasta and meatballs, hamburger and some hot wings, and I would have big parties with my friends.

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CVU Visitors Impressed, Inspired by School Environment

Ms. Nicole Eaton

HINESBURG, VT — On Thursday, December 7th, a group of Hanover High School students came to Champlain Valley Union High School to get ideas for their school. Each student got a tour of the school and got to sit-in on a class or two.

Alice is a sophomore from Norwich, Vermont, and Julia is in her first year at Hanover High.

Alice and Julia were both impressed by the environment at CVU and expressed their positive observations of excitedness. They especially loved the block scheduling and what seems like a “stress free” environment.

The girls loved a lot of things about CVU, but the things that they loved the most was block scheduling and the “stress free” environment.

“CVU’s block scheduling is very cool. It really gives students the opportunity to seek help if they need it and breaks up the week in a nice way,” says Cook. “You have opportunities to try things on different days. It makes sense in a way that our schedule doesn’t from an emotional and stress level standpoint.” she continues.

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Feelgood Administrators Greet Students, Build Community Every Morning

Mr. Hank Caswell

Kathryn Riley and Adam Bunting stand outside almost every morning greeting students as a way to connect with them and make them feel welcome at school. Their efforts have changed the atmosphere throughout the halls and in the classrooms.

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Principal Bunting Welcomes the CVC into his Office

CVU Principal Adam Bunting is one of the administrators who greets students each morning at the doors of CVU. So, my intention first of all is that I enjoy it. What I find is that when I see students coming in in the morning, it reminds me to do my job the best that I can do it because we’ve got these amazing young people coming to school who sometimes are psyched to be here or sometimes not feeling it, but you get this feeling that there’s a lot of potential that’s walking into the building. The other piece to it is that if someone is having a tough day, a lot of times you can pick that out just by making eye contact with somebody. You can pause and connect with them, and if you’re not doing that face to face interaction then you will never get that chance,” he says.

Bunting feels he can get closer to students and develop relationships that wouldn’t have been established without his actions. “I also want it to be some modeling. Let’s step away from some of the electronic devices and actually connect and create a community that’s as welcoming as possible. If we want that, we better act it and live it, both from students and faculty.”

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Penguin Plunge: A First-time Plunger Recounts her Frigid Flop

Ms. Joyce Ke, CVC Culture Correspondent

The new year has begun and to no surprise, there is a huge group of students who are plunging into the frigid waters of Lake Champlain for the annual Penguin Plunge. The Penguin Plunge is an annual fundraiser that is held by Special Olympics Vermont. All of the proceeds go towards allowing kids and adults with intellectual disabilities to have the chance to train and compete in competitions right here in Vermont. This year, the Penguin Plunge was held on Saturday, February 3rd at the Burlington Waterfront.

This will be CVU’s sixth year plunging. With 167 people in 2016 and 168 having signed up last year, this is a big year for the CVU Penguin Plunge because the goal of reaching 200 plungers was finally met. This year, 201 students signed up to plunge and the student body raised $50,000 for Special Olympics.

Image by Joyce Ke

Joyce charges the toward the frigid waters of Lake Champlain. Image by Gino Johnson

CVU participates in the “Cool Schools” Penguin Plunge and the process to plunge is all pretty simple. The first thing you need to do is sign up on the penguin plunge website and raise a minimum of $150. Afterward, you need to fill out a waiver and bring it to Peter Booth. Once  you have completed those steps, you can get yourself a t-shirt, hat, and inflatable penguin from Peter. The very last step in this process is to go plunge into the lake and have fun.

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CVC Video Feature: The Case of the Missing Strawberry Pop

Mr. Samuel Swavay Comai

The Redhawk Cafe is now the area of a case that has caught CVU students off guard. The Redhawk Cafe offers a wide variety of tasty snacks and treats. In the weeks proceeding Thanksgiving Break, the cafeteria lost one of its most well-liked treats. The Strawberry Shortcake Pops were not only good, but they sold like wildfire. Now the cafeteria is missing it’s most flavorful treat, and the culprit, health regulations.

The missing Strawberry Pops first came to the attention of students during the week of November 13th. As kids funneled through the cafe doors, something felt different. The usual crowd of students wasn’t by the cooler which contained the Pops. The corner of the freezer that normally held the pops was filled with a couple stacks of ice cream sandwiches.

“I was pretty taken back by the entire situation! Those pops are a great snack and treat,” comments strawberry pop enthusiast, Sam Weese.

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Lettuce Club Butts Head With Bureaucracy

Eric (left) and Phaedra (right) doing a test run

Eric (left) and Phaedra (right) doing a test run

Mr. Kai Reinsborough

Eric Couture, a 16 year old sophomore at Champlain Valley Union High School, has a love of lighthearted competition. He’s been involved in theater and music, and plays the tuba, but this is the first project he’s undertaken on his own. “It’s my sense of humor, I have a really terrible sense of humor,” Couture said, in reference to a club he’s proposed that “started off as a joke, and then we started talking to some people about it … so we thought we might as well make it a real club.”

Inspired by an internet post, he’s organizing what he calls “Lettuce Club World Championships 2017.” It’s a competition to see who can eat a head of lettuce the fastest. “It’s a free for all,” Couture explained, “Whoever finishes their lettuce first is president for the next year, and is in charge of organizing the next meeting.”

“Most likely we’ll start before school at 7:45, so less than a half an hour. Half an hour at max. We did a test run yesterday and it took us around 15 minutes, so we’re thinking half an hour should be long enough for most people.” I tuned in to the 9/18 test run on instagram live where Couture and his good friend/co-organizer, Phaedra Miller, each ate a head of lettuce, albeit at a more leisurely pace. “You have to eat the whole lettuce from top to bottom to be able to win. Even that gross part at the bottom.”

Other than organizing the next championship, “There’s no actual useful prize, just bragging rights,” said Couture. “We might get a plastic tiara.”

I asked Couture how he got his club approved by the school. “We haven’t yet …We already have a club advisor, so the last hurdle is getting it approved as a club, and we’re hoping that that happens. We should be hearing about that soon.” TJ Mead, the Chittenden Core health teacher, is lined up to be their advisor.

Dan “Shep” Shepardson, CVU administrator, was hesitant about the idea. “Seems like it’s trying to make a mockery of the co-curricular/club setup,” he said, when reached for comment, “I don’t support any kind of activity that encourages people to do anything to excess.” Though he did say he “[might] be willing to do it as a ‘one time’ thing for a cause/purpose or fun,” he said that he was “doubtful that anyone would actually join a club to do this.”

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Cameras Keep an Eye on Parking Lots

Mr. Soren Kurth

 

Security cameras were placed on the exterior doors of Champlain Valley Union High School two years ago, in an effort to maintain better security outside of the building itself, and mainly in the parking lot. 

Students are mostly saying that they understand why the cameras are there, however, some students believe there are better uses for the money. For example, a senior at CVU, Fiona Love, said, “I feel it was needed, but we could have bought more tables and chairs for the library, or pave the road up to the Junior Lot.”

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Student Council Takes Action

 Mr. Garrett Dunn

Hinesburg, VTRoarke Flad, a graduating senior of the 2018 class at Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU), has spent his last 2 years as a member of CVU’s Student Council. This year, he has been working with his Co-President, Lydia Koutras, in Student Council to make students’ voices heard.

Roarke joined Student Council because he felt like student voices were out of his hands and saw an opportunity to do something about it. “I was complaining and not doing anything about it, so I threw my hat in the ring and was lucky enough to get elected,”

Currently, Roarke’s position only allows him and his co-president to plan school events, run meetings, and give speeches to his class. Roarke’s goal is to be a representative of his school’s voice and turn that voice into action. Unfortunately, some challenges create a slow process. “I definitely think it’s the system…it’s a little bureaucratic considering the teachers are put in those roles [class council advisors],” Roarke said, “we’re students and our voice is respected, but at the same time there’s that undertone of ‘we’re only students.’”

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Media Center Opens Its Doors

Mr. Cole Casale

“The media center room was built as part of a plan to create a way to teach video production and media literacy at CVU.” This was the foundation that the CVU video production room was built on, according to Gary Lambert. “Everything that is included in the room and the resources and help available are all in place so students are able to use them and become more comfortable with video production, which will, in turn, help to increase media literacy.”

At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year at CVU, students were surprised to see the new production room that had been built over the summer. With this surprise came many questions about the space. Lambert speaks about the room and all of the benefits that come with its creation.

Unfortunately, many students don’t feel like they can use it for a number of reasons. Lambert wanted to change this mindset, saying, “because we took over a classroom, it’s our space to schedule. It’s really just [for] anybody that is interested [in] coming into 118 and we can figure out a time that we can do what people are coming up with.” Students and faculty with an interest in learning to use this new resource are more than welcome.

Photo Courtesy of Charlie MacFadyen


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Noah’s or Bust

Mr. Hank Caswell

 

Leo LaForce has been in the food industry for over 40 years and has been the manager of the CVU cafeteria for 14 years. Leo controls the ins and outs of the CVU cafeteria and decides what is available for students to purchase. According to LaForce, he works with his staff to meet regulations while providing quality food the students will buy.

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LaForce emailed CVU students and faculty on April 4th, 2017, explaining that the cafeteria would begin selling Noah’s Spring Water instead of Vermont Pure.

LaForce asserts that magnesium is a necessary mineral that should be incorporated into the body and Noah’s Spring Water carries 110 mg of magnesium per liter.

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Library Stuns World with Summer Renovations

Mr. Lucien “L” Theriault

lucienlibrary

Champlain Valley Union High School students returned from summer vacation and were greeted by a transformed library space. “We moved into this space 13 years ago and about every year we have made changes to the layout, so this is just another extension… another way to make the space work better,” said Jennifer Lucey, head librarian at CVU and seasoned educational advocate of CVU students.

The changes were thoughtful and incorporated elements that the staff thought would be valuable to the new layout. “For about three or four years we have been researching what we wanted to do, [attending] day-long workshops, to support educational philosophy. We have gone on lots of site visits, talked to the librarians, the teachers and the students who use the space. Our site visits included a variety of libraries [high school, college, and public]… in Chittenden County, around Vermont, and in at least 6 other states [as well as] Ireland,” said Lucey.
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Custodial Crew Keeps CVU Looking Good

Ms. Sophie Boyer

There is no doubt that CVU is a good looking school. Inside and Out. Thanks to our dedicated maintenance crew, we are always walking down clean halls, playing on perfect fields, and learning in a fresh environment. Most people don’t realize how much work is actually being done around here to maintain this 60 acre, 225,000 square foot property.

Our CVU maintenance crew is here from 6:30am -3:00pm, and our night crew is here from 3:00pm – 11:30 PM. There are both indoor and outdoor crews, both of which have different responsibilities.

During the school year the outside maintenance crew is responsible for keeping the sports fields maintained, which includes mowing, weed-whacking, painting, raking, and trash clean up.

cvu sign

 

According to Kurt Proulx, head of CVU maintenance, the  football field in particular takes many hours to maintain, and uses many gallons of field paint. Field hockey fields have other needs which is that the grass on theses fields need to be cut shorter than the others.  The softball and baseball fields are pretty straightforward to maintain. As well as the soccer fields.

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Sophomores, Warp One, Engage! The Next Generation of Tenth Graders Finally Have Their Day

Ms. Kali Adams

 As juniors plodded through NECAPs, seniors volunteered as part of Senior Service Day and freshman rambled around St. Mike’s for Model UN, the CVU sophomores participated in the inaugural “Engage Day” at CVU and in the greater community.

This was the first rendition of this event, reflecting the evolving curriculum at CVU. “Part of our school’s role is helping students reflect about what matters to them inside and outside of school, and how those interests and values can help them make a meaningful life,” said Annie Bellerose, who helped coordinate Engage Day. She explained how Act 77, a bill pertaining to flexible pathways in education passed in 2013, has helped CVU’s curriculum evolve. “The class of 2019 gets to be at the forefront of this process, which is cool in many ways (getting new experiences, more individualized learning),” said Bellerose, “and also challenging–until this work becomes more integrated into our curriculum and schedule, it can just feel like additional stuff to do, especially as the guinea pigs.”

Video by Katie Peck

So far, the Class of 2019 has been the testing ground for projects like Personalized Learning Plans (PLPs) and Roundtables. Engage Day was just next step in this development. “We just wanted to have students get some kind of hands-on learning experience beyond their usual school day that connected to something they were curious about,” said Bellerose. “Kind of a low stakes way to try something new or to dive deeper into a previous interest.” Lindsey Drew, one of the sophomores who participated in Engage Day, liked the premise of the day and thought that, it’s great that CVU is allowing students these opportunities.”

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It’s Gotta be the Shoes… Or is it Just the Hype?

Mr. Zachasteez Toensing

HINESBURG – Champlain Valley Union High School has seen a trend in recent years of leading the state in sneaker culture. In recent months, many more students have ditched the traditional Skechers and Sperry’s and switched to a more expensive style of Jordans and Yeezy’s. Students are starting to care much more about how they look, and are sacrificing lunch money in order to show off what shoes they recently purchased.

Adidas-Yeezy-Boost-350-Low-V2-Steeple-Gray-Beluga-Solar-Red

Some steezy Yeezys

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Prom: A Night Your Wallet Will Never Forget

Mr. Tomas Georgsson

Prom is considered the most elite of the high school events that occur during your four year career. Weeks of planning before hand, the boy asking the girl, the parties that are planned both before and afterward, all leading up to a single night which formally ends in a mere four hours. So when I saw what the price to rent a tux was, the outfit that I would wear for only four hours, I was flabbergasted. Continue Reading