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.

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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.

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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

Fidget Toy Fad Finds Footing across the U.S.

Mr. Justin Olson 

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Pen clicking, desk drumming, foot tapping,  all symptoms of a posterchild fidgeter. If you have these habits or know someone who does, you may benefit by looking into the possibility of purchasing some kind of fidget toy. Having recently hit the market and exploding on social media, fidget toys of several types have captured the attention of many who may benefit from their use.“More than one-third of American workers experience chronic work stress” states APA (American Psychological Association.)  Marketed as being able to relieve the effects of ADHD, ADD, lower stress levels and even help kick nasty habits like nail biting or smoking, fidget toys and their claimed effectiveness have soared in popularity in just a matter of months.

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Bad Cows: The Largest Contributers to Climate Change

Mr. Zaq Urbaitel 

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The threat, legitimacy, and causes of climate change have been heavily debated for decades. According to a 2012 study done by the Pew Research Center, only 67% of Americans agree there is solid evidence that the Earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades, and a mere 42% say the warming is mostly caused by human activity. When climate change becomes the topic of conversation, many consider cars and industry as the main factors. To the surprise of many, the largest contributor to climate change may not be what you think.

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Free Fishing Festivities

Mr. Justin Olson

“Vermont has a strong fishing tradition, and world-class fishing in many of its lakes and rivers”, says States Louis Porter,

Photo Courtesy of Cbronline.com

Photo Courtesy of Cbronline.com

Commissioner of Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “Free Fishing Day gives anglers of all types the chance to try out fishing in Vermont for the day for free, an experience we think they’ll truly enjoy.”

Vermont’s Free Fishing Day is an annual event in the state that allows residents and nonresidents to fish the lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams (found in abundance across the state), without having to purchase a fishing license. Free Fishing Day for the 2017 year is planned for Saturday, June 10. Participants can fish anywhere in the state, while still abiding by Fish & Wildlife regulations and rules: catch and release, use live bait and lures, as well as fish in legal and protected bodies of water.

Not everyone has the equipment and the experience to participate in this day of outdoor fun, and Vermont Fish & Wildlife has taken these thoughts into account: they have options. Fishing gear is available at 12 different state parks across Vermont, including Button Bay, Burton Island, and Lake Carmi State Park through the Reel Fun program.

For those that need a little instruction, the Grand Isle Family Fishing Festival is open to anglers of all ages with no experience or equipment necessary. The event will feature several learning stations, where participants will be taught a variety of fishing skills such as knot tying, casting, hook setting, identification, and even how to clean any caught fish. Information about the events can be found online on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website.

 

Bringing Back the Bats

Mr. Justin Olson 

From the time it was first documented, in the winter of 2006 in the state of New York, up to now, White Nose Syndrome

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

(Pseudogymnoascus destructans) has been decimating the North American bat populations. In 2012, it was estimated that approximately 5.5 million bats had been fatally affected by the fungus.

White Nose Syndrome (WNS), is a fungus that survives and thrives in caves and cold, including bat hibernacula, hibernating locations. This fungus can often times be prominently seen on the nose, wingtips and other hairless areas of infected bats.

Scientists hypothesized that it was killing bats by causing them to use up their energy reserves before the end of their winter hibernation. USGS (United States Geological Survey) tested this and found that bats with WNS used twice the amount of energy compared to non-affected members of the same species. During winter months, bats will hibernate in caves, attics and other dry, dark places. Throughout this time, these bats have slowed their metabolism, this allows the bats to survive for several months without having to eat. WNS causes these bats to wake, and increases their activity.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife asks people to watch for any bat activity during winter months, as this is a sign of WNS. They also ask people to be observant of any bats they come across. WNS is not always visible, but if observed, report it to VT Fish and Game.

 

 

CVU Senior Prank: An Antiquated CVU Ritual Or A Necessary CVU Tradition?

Mr. Christopher T. O’Brien and Mr. Jacob C. Griggs 

A senior prank is when the graduating class gets together to leave one last mark on their school. The prank is an experience full of excitement and laughter late in the year for all of the school to enjoy. Although, before that can happen, the graduating class will get together and discuss what type of prank they want pursue and then have to get it approved by the principal.   

In 2010, the senior class filled up four corners (the busiest intersection of the school) with beach balls. The class of 2016 held apasted image 0 (1) tailgate in the senior parking lot one morning and all parked poorly leaving no spaces for some students, while the class of 2014 saran-wrapped the pillars in four corners, making it hard for students to walk through the already congested area.  

 

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Model UN: One of Two Things You Can Stress About Freshmen Year

Ms. Jam Giubardo

Image Courtesy of Carlisleschools.org

Image Courtesy of Carlisleschools.org

On May 19th and May 20th, 2017, the Champlain Valley Union High School class of 2020 participated in a two day simulation of the United Nations (Model UN) at St. Michael’s College and CVU. The students debated about real world issues and proposed how they would try to fix them.  

Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and academic activity in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. The first day took place on May 19th at St. Michael’s College and May 20th, at CVU. This was different from previous years where both days were at St. Michael’s College.

The students were given current real world issues and were faced with the challenge of coming up with a plan to solve them. They were given time in and outside of class to create speeches about what their problem was and how they would solve it. On the day of the stimulation they presented their speeches to other students with the same topic. On the second day, they engaged in a Socratic Seminar, in which the students were able to discuss what solution would work the best and how to revise it, until it was satisfactory to all the students in the group.

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AP Frenzy

Mr. Jack Reeves 

Image Courtesy of Flickr

Image Courtesy of Flickr

Many people question the amount of stress placed on high school students, especially juniors and seniors. After the SAT, ACT, midterms, finals, college applications, grad challenge, for students at Champlain Valley Union High School, and more, is another elaborate (not to mention expensive) standardized test. Are multiple standardized tests really worth a student’s effort? The tests in question here are of course AP tests, provided by College Board. While there certainly is opposition, students and teachers at CVU seem to see the value in the test and its intensity.

College Board is a for-profit company, the same company that makes the SAT. Advanced Placement courses, regulated by the company, are completely free and open to take for high school students. But, in order to take the course’s summative test, it’ll cost upwards of 100 dollars. Most competitive students will be taking 2 or more tests, adding up to hundreds of dollars. The benefit of taking this test, beyond beefing up a transcript, advertised by College Board is the ability to earn class-worth credits that transfer to (some) colleges.

In 2015, roughly 2.5 million students took roughly 4.5 million AP tests. In an environment where getting into a “good” college is something held to a high degree, many consider the AP tests to be essential. Students at CVU have mixed opinions, “It’s pretty bad, just unnecessary stress. I’d describe it as long and unimportant”, says Ethan Leonard. He cites his reason for taking an AP test to be getting college credit. Another student, Elliot Cockayne, who took two AP tests says, “I was glad I took them, it was worth the work”, he agrees that they are quite stressful but continues, “If you just study, you’re set up nicely”. AP teachers seem to have a similar opinion.

“I think that it’s a good test taking experience”, shares Chris Hood, who teaches AP Statistics, “It’s not necessary for every student, but it’s a good preparation for college”. AP Biology teacher, Nicole Gorman, is very certain that students should take the test, “Taking the class and not the test is like joining a soccer team, going to practices, and then not going to the playoffs”, she claims. Test-taking students are on her side, “It’s the entire reason you take an AP course”, says Cockayne. Hood doesn’t feel exactly the same way. He thinks that, “Without the test, there’s still value in taking the course”.

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From the CVC Business Desk: CVU Students Gamble in Cryptocurrencies

 Mr. Zach Toensing

 Hinesburg, Vermont- The tech boom has hit the halls of Champlain Valley Union High School as many students are in a buzz surrounding cryptocurrencies, and the opportunity to make money surrounding them. Many students have begun investing in these online currencies with hopes of getting rich quick with these extremely volatile gambles.

Cryptocurrencies are online digital currencies that use cryptography as a security measure. Most of them are anonymous and not issued by any central authority, meaning there is no government or nation that backs the value. This is a fact that scares off many people, but hasn’t affected the value of these currencies. The current value of the top 10 cryptocurrencies is valued at nearly 100 billion USD as people all across the world have begun investing.

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There are many different cryptocurrencies available on the market for people to buy, with the leaders being Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple. CVU student Will Hubbard is one of the students who have been following the rush. “I’ve seen a huge growth in the amount of money that I have invested. I originally put $200 in and now it is worth over $500 in Ripple. It makes more sense to invest the money I have then just let it sit in the bank,” Hubbard said. These coins have the potential to make people very very rich. A simple of $100 investment into Bitcoin in 2010 would be valued today at over $76 million. Numbers like these appeal to the gambling side of many students.

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Photo Story: Vermont City Marathon 2017


CVU Continues to Set Records In Track and Field

Mr. Wyatt Troutmaster Hoechner

CVU Track and Field team is in full swing like most spring sports, on 05/13/17 CVU hosted their latest track meet. With key athletes out with injuries like Sophia Gorman CVU didn’t dominate every event at the track meet. Yet this didn’t stop the rest of the team. Every athlete has been taught to push their limits and strive towards faster times. This dedication can easily be seen on the track but also in the recorded time sheets.

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Track meets are massive and consist of multiple different events. With that said CVU, has a wide spread of talented runners in its arsenal. In just this one track meet on 05/13/17 CVU not only won multiple events but set many PR’s (personal records) as well. In the Discus event Alison Kloechner set her new record, along with Tyler Marshall one of our star athletes who seems to just get faster and faster. Marshall took over the 800 meter dash sweeping away his old PR and getting a time of just 1:58.

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Four Corners In Four Years

Mr. Jacob H. Bouffard and Mr. Christopher T. O’Brien

Walking through four corners at CVU on an early Friday morning before school, very few students were socializing in this commons area. Unlike in years past, four corners has begun to fade from being one of the central parts of the school, to an empty area.

Four corners is where all the hallways meet and has been known as the place to be before school. Over the years, the intersection has had many different looks as several students left their trace with paintings on the walls. However, in recent years, students have decided to socialize in other places.

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Image by Josh Bliss

CVU Seniors Charlie Bernicke, Max and Dillon Hamrell and Nick Mogilnicki, were too intimidated freshmen year to be in four corners prior to school, and would instead go into “The Fishbowl” to spend time before school began. “The Fishbowl” is a place in the Freshman core that many freshmen spend time in.

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AP Human Geography: Lacey Emphasizes Empathy

 

Mr. Thomas Daley

According to the World Health Organization, 1.8 billion people use a drinking-water water source contaminated with faeces. The United Nations Water for Life campaign reports that, on average, women in Africa and Asia walk 3.7 miles to collect water, sometimes in amounts less than three gallons. The United States Geological Survey states that the average American uses 80-100 gallons of water a day. In the U.S. humans have a very lavish relationship with water, something that is easy to unintentionally take for granted. One CVU teacher’s AP Human Geography class, however, has decided to put an end to the ignorance.

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During the week of March 13, 2017, Lacey Richards tasked her students with a challenge. The first option was to carry five gallons of water everywhere for a week—something both physically and emotionally stressful. The second was to, over the course of the week, boil all water for 10 minutes before using it; this was designed for students who were physically unable to carry out the first option, or for those who simply could not fit transporting five gallons of water into their schedule. “It definitely made me appreciate the fact that we can turn on the faucet and have running water around here,” explained Ben Stevens, a CVU junior, “Carrying 40 plus pounds of water everywhere I went was not that fun. I think that experience is what made me realize how tough walking to get water is and how fortunate we are to have access to running water.”

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The Power of Social Media: It’s Not all Bad

Mr. Chris O’Brien

When the older generations of the world think about sharing through social media, they often find themselves either confused, scared or both. They will see on the news how a person’s identity was taken from facebook and cyberbullying happened on twitter. What the older generation doesn’t often see, is good coming out of social media.

On March 15th, 2017, an entrepreneur and former Viner of the name Jerome Jarre put out a tweet with a video asking for help, saying, “There are 20 million people in East Africa who have no more food, no more livestock, and who are going through the worst famine.” This event had been brought up at the UN, and they even continued to call it the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII; however, the mainstream media was not going to be fixing the problem anytime soon.

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Once Jerome heard about this problem, he created the video and put it on twitter hoping to raise awareness for the issue; he tried to get in contact with other people to see if they could help out. Soon after, he had actor, Ben Stiller, and his crew of filmers on board to document and help the process.

The video on twitter was geared towards Turkish Airlines, asking for their support. A lot of the famine in Africa is located in Somalia, and the only airline to go to Somalia is Turkish Airlines. Therefore, with flights from Turkish Airlines and support from the internet, the famine could be significantly reduced.

A GoFundMe page was setup to provide a way for people to contribute. This page was a home for the whole project and would contain all relevant information. With just hours of page being up, huge donations started pouring in from people like Colin Kaepernick donating $25K twice and Wilson Chandler and Calvin Harris each donating $25K as well. With this generous support and more, it became trending on the GoFundMe website. Soon, companies started donating money as well. Most notably, Alex and Ani donated $50k and the GoFundMe business itself donated $50K as well.

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Storytelling: A Study in Empathy

Ms. Kali Adams 

Enter the dusky lighting of the auditorium, choose a seat, and settle down. It’s time for a story.

When the bell rings at 9:45 every morning, students in CVU usually scatter to their various advisories and spend a few minutes connecting with their peers before the next bell and their next class period. Peter Langella, however, has set up an activity in lieu of advisory. On these Tuesdays, you can find students headed to the auditorium, eager to listen to a story being told by one of the faculty members.

This event, known as Storytelling Tuesday, started in October 2015. Langella was inspired by a quote from Newbery Medal-winning author Kate DiCamillo, who said that stories can “make hearts that are capable of containing much joy and much sorrow, hearts capacious enough to contain the complexities and mysteries and contradictions of ourselves and each other.” “To learn about ourselves and others,” Langella says, “we need empathy, and there are few better ways to acquire it than through the power of story.” Thus, Storytelling Tuesday was born as a way to bring CVU staff and students together through the power of the spoken word.

Langella kicked Storytelling Tuesdays off with a story from his college days about the power of community. “The crowd was quite large and respectful,” he recalls. Each Storytelling Tuesday has followed a similar format since, with faculty members telling stories that last for around eight minutes, and are often from their own experiences–though, Langella says, “the event has featured a few other [story] forms like traditional tales and fables.” Other than the time constraint, Langella sets no requirements for the stories told. “I tend to trust people to know what is appropriate for this setting,” he says.

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CVU Unified Basketball Team Shoots for The Championship

Ms. Jaime Vachon

Despite being a newly formed team in 2016, CVU’s Unified Basketball Team made it look easy on their way to the first ever Unified Basketball Championship.

The record setting season, on top of winning the championship the previous year, has sparked many people’s attention for this coming season. After losing six players to graduation at the end of last year’s season, coaches Anthony Spagnolo and Peter Booth are assembling an almost completely new team.pasted image 0 (5)

The team is already hard at work with practices after their win against BHS on the 21st, with a score of 47-36. Every Tuesday and Thursday, CVU’s Unified Team can be found working on their skills in the gym.

With all the team spirit and hard work, prospects of another championship are looking very high. When asked who the best defender on the team is, assistant coach Anthony Spagnolo had this to say, “I’d have to say Alex Farrington, he moves his feet pretty well.” And with hustlers like Justin McQuiston, the unified team seems unstoppable.

pasted image 0 (6)CVU’s Unified team has a thrilling season ahead of them before the championship game. With their next opponent, Colchester on the 28th, many will be excitedly waiting to see the outcome of their next game.

 

Costly SCS Renovations Set to Minimize Distractions

Mr. Xander Miller, Special Current Events Corresondent

Sitting in 8th-grade math class only one noise can be heard. The migration of kindergarteners walking to their lunch period outside our open walled classroom and the last thing every middle schooler needs is another distraction in school.

To minimize the distraction of students Shelburne Community School started the process of renovating it’s middle school classroom wings to remove the distractions that come from open walled classrooms.

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Allan Miller Co-Principal of Shelburne Community School said the purpose of the renovations was to discard the open-classroom concept built in 1917 which is very distracting to a student’s learning environment. Current CVU Freshman Mackenzie Miller said, “When I was trying to take a test or read, noises came into the classroom regularly. It did not matter if the noise started in the hall right outside of the room or in another area of the school. I could hear it”.

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Here Comes Treble: Conflicts Between CVU’s Major Music Groups Arise

Ms. Julia Higa, Special Current Events Correspondent

Rumors have been flying around about how the Sons of Pitches and the groups of the CVU music department feel about each other. Frustration towards the Sons from some of the music groups sparked up significantly after their “‘Twas the Night Before…” holiday special concert on December 21st. One member of the Sons of Pitches describes the backlash as, “bullshit.”

The Sons of Pitches have been a boys a-capella group here at CVU for a little over a year. Their comedic take on the music has attracted many CVU fans, but has also created some tension between the groups of the CVU music department.

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CVU’s award winning singers at Arts Appreciation Night. Photo courtesy fo the Williston Observer

A concerned band student, Nathan Bamberger, expressed that the Sons had violated a school guideline by performing songs that had relations to a religious holiday, deeming that if they want to be associated as a CVU group, they should be held to the same standards as every other performing arts group at the school. Sons of Pitches member, David Huber, explained that after having worked on the concert material for 5-6 weeks, they were warned the day of the show that they had to remove any content affiliated with Christmas, “The school let us know five minutes before the concert that we had to change the content, but as a Jewish kid, the songs or the concert didn’t bother me at all,” Huber says.  

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Unintended Consequences: CVU’s New Schedule at Odds with Service Club

Ms. Allie Kloeckner, special Current Events Correspondent

Normally if you walk through the halls of Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU) in the morning, everywhere you look there are zombies. Well, actually they’re just sleep deprived high school students. But, this year, the class schedule was changed, allowing teachers to have professional development every Wednesday morning from 8 to 9, eliminating early block. However, this doesn’t come without disadvantages, particularly one issue that extends beyond the walls of CVU. Every other Wednesday morning from 7:45 to 8:15 for over 20 years, CVU’s Key Club has been meeting in room 206/204. However, ever since the school year began in August of 2016, Key Club has been forced to move to Thursday mornings. What’s the problem with this, you ask? Other clubs already meet then, meaning that the number of Key Clubbers has dwindled down to a handful of students on good days. The lack of members is negatively affecting CVU’s connection to its community.

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The mission statement of the club is simple; “Key Club is an international student-led organization which provides its members with opportunities to provide service, build character, and develop leadership.” For Koko Vercessi-Clarke, a Key Club officer, Key Club does exactly this for her. “Key Club is a way for me to connect with people in a way that allows me to give back to a community that always had my back. It provides an outlet for anyone who wishes to reach out and help out in their communities in ways that may not always be large or glamorous, but in ways that address the needs of people whether they are big or small. Key Club is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to be a leader and step out of my comfort zone in order to benefit and address the needs of other people.”

But take away the members of a club, and it isn’t a club anymore and can’t fulfill its purpose. CVU’s Key Club was started in 1983, that’s 34 years that CVU has helped facilitate students volunteering and giving back to the community. But this new schedule threatens its presence in the community.

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CVU FBLA Team Brings It to the State Level

Mr. Jack Caswell, Special Current Events Correspondent

A contracting company going out of business; a hair salon expanding to new territory; a landscaping business reaching out to a new target market – what do they have in common? The timer clicks to a start – CVU students have 20 minutes to save a company from going out of business and present their ideas to a panel of judges. Welcome to the FBLA Spring Conference.

On Tuesday, February 21st, CVU Students traveled to Fairlee, VT to participate in the annual FBLA Spring Conference. Students participated in competitive events, listened to guest speakers, and took part in the election for the FBLA State Officer team.

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Tami-Jo and Colleen bring class to class. Image courtesy of Tami-Jo Dickinson

The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) is a club at CVU that focuses on promoting business education through positive, real-world experience.

CVU member Ben Spencer remarked, “I am part of FBLA because of I want to pursue an education in business and FBLA is a great way to get a better understanding of how not only business education works, but how business works.”

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Veni, Vidi…Vici? Latin (Day) is Not Dead

 Mr. Ben Carnahan, Special Current Events Correspondent

Latin might be a dead language, but its spirit lives on in high school students across Vermont. From freshman to seniors, novice to scholar, Latin Day keeps the spirit alive. However it’s more than just running around in togas.

Every year UVM’s Latin department puts on Latin Day at Patrick Gymnasium in Burlington, Vermont. Latin Day is a competitive event centered around the celebration of classical antiquity, that has several components for schools to show off which school is the superior Latin scholars. Schools are tasked with putting on skits from Roman mythology, reciting authentic Latin, and a test to see which students know the most about the language. This year; Mount Mansfield Union, Bellows Free Academy, Burlington High School, Rice, Crossroads Academy, Lamoille Union High School, and yours truly, Champlain Valley Union, will be competing for the Silver Bowl.  

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Latin Day costume. Photo courtesy of Leanne Morton

In an interview Leanne Morton, Latin Teacher at CVU, said, “I like the idea of bringing students together. With Latin being the smallest language in the school I like bringing them together to celebrate and learn the language. It brings all four levels together, brings our whole program together and celebrating that spirit.”.

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