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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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.


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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Missing Cafeteria Plates Jeopardize Reuse Ethic

Mr. Colin Lach

HINESBURG – At CVU the school cafe plates and bowls have recently been disappearing becoming a costly commodity for the school to handle. CVU has reportedly lost 150 plates in one month. According to the CVU cafe this decrease in the reusable plates is due to students not returning them to the cafe after use or disposing of them in the garbage.

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At Champlain Valley High school the cafeteria is known as one of the best school cafes in the state. This reputation relies heavily on the work of the staff and how they respond to student feedback. When the CVU environmental club requested that CVU switch to plastic Reusable plates Food Service Manager Leo Laforce made the switch, even though it was a more costly option.

Before making the switch CVU used foam plates, According to Leo CVU could buy 140 foam plates for the price of 1 plastic reusable plate. At this price point losing an average of 6 plates a day this has become a large problem for The Redhawk Cafe, and they may make the decision to switch back to foam plates.

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Say No to Palm Oil

Mr. Zaq Urbaitel


Courtesy of Wikimedia

Have you taken a shower and used shampoo or conditioner today? Have you washed your hands with soap or done a load of laundry with detergent? Maybe you had some margarine or Nutella on your toast. These are all normal things that all of us do, although, what you probably don’t know is that all of these commodities have palm oil in them.

Products possessing the substance include, ice cream, soup, lipstick, pizza, instant noodles, cookies, bio-diesel, and unfortunately chocolate. Actually, according to WWF (World Wildlife Foundation), in the US alone, palm oil is included in roughly 50 percent of all packaged food, cosmetics, and cleaning products. So, what’s the problem with that? Well, palm oil is one of the leading causes of deforestation in the world today, destroying life at an alarming rate.

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Youth Risk Behavior Survey: Are our Students Safe?

Ms. Sophie Boyer

CVUHS-On Thursday, March 23, 2017 all of CVU students took the Youth Risk Behavior Survey during advisory.  The Youth Risk Behavior survey is a survey designed to monitor major common health risk behaviors, and is beneficial as a public health tool to measure the health of the youth. All grades are able to take the survey from grades 6th-12th.

The questions asked fall under the following categories: smoking, physical activity, drug and alcohol use, parental expectations, public safety, and acceptance.  

Though these questions are important, the identity of the respondent is not a variable; the survey overall is completely anonymous. The survey is given every two years for schools to take. Not all school boards agree to give the survey, but most do. According to the Vermont Department of Health, on average about 35,000 take the survey each cycle.  In 2015, 99% of high schools participated, and more than 21,000 students completed the survey. Over 13,500 middle school students also participated. Also, nationwide, from 1991 through 2015, more than 3.8 million high school students have completed the survey.  

Image result for youth risk behavior survey

Once data collection is complete, the data is processed by the Center of Disease Control Prevention before becoming available for analysis by the state. This can take several months, so the Youth Risk Behavior Survey data is often not available until the following winter.

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CVU Reacts to New Lunch Regs

Ms. Jam Giubardo


VIRGINIA–On Monday, May 5th, 2017  new Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the removal of the regulation of school lunch standards emitted by the former first lady, declaring at a Virginia school that the administration would “Make School Meals Great Again.”

The previous regulations placed on school lunches by Michelle Obama, The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, put regulations on the amount of sugar, dairy, and white flower in school lunches causing a lot of controversy in schools nationwide. The regulations made kids not want to eat the cafeteria food, which lead to a drop in the income of school cafeterias.

Mr. Perdue said, “”I applaud former First Lady Michelle Obama for addressing those obesity problems in the past,” But, “If kids aren’t eating the food, and it’s ending up in the trash, they aren’t getting any nutrition — thus undermining the intent of the program.”

The new regulation lift will not completely disturb Michelle’s efforts, just slow them down. The USDA will now let states grant exemptions regarding whole grain standards for the 2017-2018 school year if they’re having trouble meeting the requirements, and the agency said it will “take all necessary regulatory actions to implement a long-term solution.”

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The Apology Complex: Why It’s Time to Stop Saying “I’m Sorry”

Editor-in-Chief, Ms. Koko Vercessi


Courtesy of BBC

How many conversations have you had with your friends where you don’t say sorry at least once for something that didn’t require it? While many people believe that old school manners and the art of etiquette is dying, others are suffering from a very different kind of problem that doesn’t involve rudeness. All around the world, people are plagued by what has become known as the “Apology Complex”, or “Sorry Syndrome”.

“Sorry Syndrome” comes in the form of a type of constant verbal regurgitation of the words “I’m sorry” during situations that do not really call for this kind of proclamation of an apology. An apology can take the form of an admittance of guilt, a way of showing regret, or an attempt to show sympathy. The words once used to convey an apology are now being used in everyday conversations. I doubt that anyone has passed by or participated in a conversation in which they have not heard or uttered themselves the words “I’m sorry” when the situation did not really call for an apology.“Sorry Syndrome” has gotten so bad that people assume judgement and feel the need to apologize for simply just being, or just acting in a natural way. But because of a comment or funny look, many of us resort to simply apologizing to the people around us for being ourselves.

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ChittCore’s TJ Provides Important Addiction Education

Mr. Joshua Bliss & Mr. Cameron Longchamp

HINESBURG — CVU health teacher from Chittenden Core, T.J. Mead, spent this last Wednesday teaching his students about the painful realities of drug addiction. The students took action working on the simulator that T.J. designed to help students understand what addiction was and how it affects teens.

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T.J. started his class by asking the students to define what they thought addiction meant. The lesson T.J. was teaching was about the effects of drugs and how that applied to the teen brain because the brain is not fully developed until the age of 25.

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Chittenden Core Health: Students Learn about Addiction

Mssrs. Josh Bliss & Cameron Longchamp

HINESBURG – CVU health teacher from Chittenden Core, T.J. Mead, spent last Wednesday teaching his students about the painful realities of drug addiction. The students took action, working on the simulator that T.J. designed to help students understand what addiction was and how it affects teens.    

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Mead started his class by asking the students to define what they thought addiction meant. The lesson he was teaching was about the effects of drugs and the kind of effects they had on the underdeveloped teenage brain.

Mead stated, “the students wrote down on pieces of paper three people important to them, three passions they have, three attributes, and were given a scenario.  The students had to pick one card out of each category to lose as a consequence for their actions. After each scenario the next one would get more complicated.”

The class was very helpful, as many of the freshman were unaware of much of the information that he taught.  Freshman student, Stewart Robinson, commented on the new material, stating “It was very helpful. People may not know that if you do drugs it can cause addiction, which is why it’s a very important class to teach.”

Freshman student, Jordan Halverson, added “Most of it was new info. I only knew a little about addiction before the class but now I know a lot.”

Both students agreed that Mead should continue teaching the class in the future. He hopes that his class will help keep students on the right path moving forward, and that they will remember his class as a valuable lesson.


Why the Present Moment is a Gift

Ms. Koko Vercessi, Editor-in-Chief 

“Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now” -Eckhart Tolle

Image Courtesy of ublicdomainpictures.net

Image Courtesy of Publicdomainpictures.net

It’s easy to get caught up in thoughts of the future and regrets or mistakes you made in the past, but why is it so important, and so much healthier to live in the present moment? The present moment is the place where we can live and think freely and become centered in ourselves. Worrying about the future and having regret the past makes us miserable and filled with anxiety and feelings of restlessness.

Many practices such as yoga and meditation promote mindfulness and centeredness in one’s self. These types of practices allow people to take time to become aware and mindful of the present moment and appreciate the beauty of the world around them that many tend to miss in the wild frenzy of the future-driven world that we live in. Humans are constantly driven to think about the future in order to have purpose and aspirations to reach. A future-driven mindset is healthy in some ways as it can help you maintain a strong focus on your goals. The problem with allowing yourself to be consumed with thoughts of the future is that you will be in a state of constant anxiety and dissatisfaction with your present state. Everything that you do will not be for your own fulfillment in the present moment, but for tomorrow’s goals and dreams, goals and dreams that may naturally change over time, making those moments of anxiety and worry obsolete and unnecessary.

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Will CVU Get Free Condoms?

Ms. Jam Giubardo


Courtesy of lifesitenews.com

HINESBURG, VT– On March 15th, 2017 a memo from the Vermont Health Department and Vermont Department of Education called upon the CVU administration and the student body to decide if CVU should make free condoms available to all students.

The VT Dept. of Health and VT Dept. of Education’s memo consisted of a list of facts regarding cases of STIs and STDs in recent years. The reports show that over 80% of the STI cases have been Vermonters 24 years of age or younger. This caused them to call upon Vermont schools to establish a free condom policy.

Freshman health teachers asked Freshmen to develop proposals about their thoughts on free condom availability and why. Students outside of the cores were also encouraged to state their position on the debate.

Freshman personal health teacher, Trevor Mead, was asked what he thought about the memo and he said, “I love that at CVU administration values student opinions so much, to basically place this in their hands. It is important that the students have a say on topics that most directly affect them.” He also added, “It is also great that Adam [CVU’s Principal] has left room for people who don’t think it’s a good idea to have a voice as well.”

Other teachers and administrators agree that the opportunity is an effective and progressive way to mitigate the presence of STI’s and STD’s among high schoolers and are ready to see what the school decides to do.

Mind Over Matter: Positive Thinking May Have Real Physical Effects

Ms. Koko Vercessi-Clarke, Editor-in-Chief 

Image Courtesy of Deviantart.net

Image Courtesy of Deviantart.net

So you’ve heard the saying, “think and it shall become” but what does this actually mean? Does the idea that your mind has the power to create and change your reality actually have any basis in fact and statistical evidence?

There have always been people who have told you that your brain has the amazing ability to create its own reality based on your thoughts and regular thinking habits and patterns, so how exactly does this work and how can we use it to our advantage? The definition of the statement “Mind Over Matter” is one that refers to the ability of thought processes to influence our physical reality.  UCLA scientists and colleagues from the California Institute of Technology have collaborated to complete studies that show humans can regulate the activity of specific neurons in the brain. According to the UCLA Newsroom our brain can “increase the firing rate of some [neurons] and decrease the rate of others”. If our brain has the ability to exert its control over which neurons fire and when, this means that it can choose what we focus on and “override the visual reality”.

Perhaps the best example of the power of the human brain to manipulate and create our own visual reality is what is known as the Placebo Effect. According to Dr. Mercola, “A placebo is an inactive treatment or substance, such as a sugar pill or sham procedure, that looks and feels just like a regular medical treatment. Patients receiving a placebo generally believe it is the same as the typical standard of care, and many experience what’s known as the “placebo effect” – an improvement in symptoms – even though they received no actual “active” treatment.” In patients with certain ailments or injuries, studies have shown that just the belief that a pill has the ability to heal and repair your body can have the same effects as if the patient actually had taken a pill with the ability to bring about this healing medically. This is because the brain is tricked into believing in this pill and its abilities and therefore it tricks your body into healing normally as if the pill’s effects were really at play.

ScienceDaily reported out about a study done at Baylor College involving patients with knee pain and osteoarthritis where 180 patients with knee pain were randomized into three groups. One group had torn or loose cartilage removed, the second group underwent arthroscopic lavage (the bad cartilage is flushed out), and the third group underwent simulated arthroscopic surgery where small incisions were made, however; no instruments were inserted and no cartilage was removed from these patients.

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Dawn of the zombies: sleep-deprived teens need to get off the screens

Mr. Nathaniel Mick

The recommended number of hours a teenager should sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation, is seven to nine; in reality, only fifteen percent of teens are getting that amount. Between blue light from screens, distractions from devices, homework, procrastination, and early school starts — teenagers have a lot to deal with. It’s no surprise that so little get sleep, but that’s no excuse for more than eighty percent of teenagers to lack sleep so often.

There’s a certain beauty to the irony that I am falling asleep at my keyboard as I write this.

The problem with sleep is that it is easy to go without it for a night, but that could mean up to a week of recovery. Many teenagers, and adults, haven’t felt what being truly rested feels like in a long time. With so much going on in life, it’s easy to put off sleeping for later. After all, sleeping takes up valuable working time, and seems so trivial. However, recovering a night of sleeplessness isn’t as simple as it seems. Sure, missing a few hours the night before a big test can be reversed with a few more hours of sleep the days after. Unfortunately, when you miss a few hours for a week or two, things start to get complicated.

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The footbag feud: fun or fitness?

Mr. George Lomas

Racing back from the Stone Age, Footbagging has made a drastic come-back among youth, and even adults. Footbagging is a sport and fun backyard activity that anybody can play. It requires no more than a simple round bag filled with sand or dirt and your feet. Many people who are completely uneducated and inexperienced in this activity are very easy to spot because of their use of the words, “Hacky Sack”. In this case, “Hacky Sack” is a direct meaning for, “I don’t know anything and am very stupid.” By using the word Footbag instead, you immediately give off the vibe of superior intelligence and skills. The rules to Footbagging are simple; you can use any part of your body other than your hands and arms to keep the bag in the air. Usually, people use their feet by kicking the bag straight up into the air at roughly eye level, over and over again and passing it to other players. It may not sound like much, but the second you make a successful kick, you’ll be hooked for life.

Courtesy of Pintrest

Many people believe footbagging to be a high-intensity requiring a lot of flexibility and strength, but not according to footbagging amateur Kaelan Murdock: “I find footbagging to be quite peaceful and calming. In fact, I can never footbag without doing some sort of meditation or mindful breathing techniques at the same time. It helps me focus on my foot-eye coordination and balance. I’m surprised that no one has come out declaring footbagging as a form of meditation.” According to Soren Kurth, a footbag specialist who shares a similar opinion to Murdock, “Whenever I footbag, I play music in the background, usually sounds of nature and chimes. It keeps you in the correct mindset which is having a calm and sturdy soul and empty mind. This makes it a lot easier to make your kicks and stalls much more natural and effortless. It’s almost a form of yoga in that you’re keeping an empty mind, but being be aware of your body and surroundings along with keeping a steady breathing pattern.” Very interesting perspective from Kurth and Murdock.

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Ravell on cereal: Lucky charms, neither charming nor lucky

Mr. Ravell, Food Criti  at Large

Lucky Charms are a classic cereal that are among the most popular. But should they be? To me, Lucky Charms are only half good, at best. Half of the cereal is tasteless and leaves a weird residue in your mouth, the other half is marshmallow that is more styrofoam than anything else. Every bowl of this cereal has left me feeling unsatisfied and sad. Lucky Charms are bad tasting, not very healthy, and, not even very lucky.

In my research, I have found that I am not alone in this feeling. CVU senior, and breakfast cereal enthusiast, Walker Storey, says that the marshmallows are “way too sweet” and that the other pieces are “too hard to wrangle.” Storey also describes them as “the grossest things of all time”. CVU senior Colin Monsey also agrees that the marshmallows are too sweet. On the other hand, CVU senior Natalie Gagnon says she would like the cereal if it was only the marshmallows, and it would be called “Lucky Marshmallows”. While people have different reasons, they agree that Lucky Charms are an overrated cereal.

Image via Deviantart, by RegularBrony54

Image via Deviantart, by RegularBrony54


People who disagree with me may say that the cereal has to balance healthy and unhealthy to be both good, and good for you. While the gross brown things may taste healthy, they aren’t as good for you as you’d think. Every cup of this cereal has 2.6 grams of fiber, which is only 0.1 grams more than Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a much better cereal.

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No, your body cannot function simply on Adrenalin, so change up your habits

Ms. Koko Vercessi

Image Courtesy of Pinterest

Image Courtesy of Pinterest

Adrenal fatigue just means you’re tired, right? Today, adrenal fatigue represents a bigger picture that encompasses more than “just being tired” and a solution that can’t always be found through just catching up on some lost sleep.

AdrenalFatigue.org states that adrenal fatigue is “a collection of signs and symptoms, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level.” So what are the adrenal glands, and what do they do exactly?

The adrenal glands are two glands located on top of your kidneys that produce both nonessential, and essential hormones in your body. The outer part of the adrenal gland is known as the Adrenal Cortex, and this is the area of adrenal glands that helps to produce hormones essential to the regulation and control of metabolism, stress, and blood pressure. The inner area within the adrenal gland is known as the Adrenal Medulla. This area oversees the production of hormones such as adrenaline in situations where a fight or flight response is triggered.

Adrenal fatigue is a result of long-term emotional or physical stress or chronic infections. Adrenal fatigue is not a condition that is obvious or easily identified because you may not exhibit any signs of physical illness, yet you are unable to relieve your fatigue by sleep. In general, it may be hard to spot someone suffering from true adrenal fatigue because their symptoms may simply come across as that of someone who is just worn out or tired.

The doctor who first coined the term “adrenal fatigue” warns that if someone were to continue to let this constant weariness and exhaustion go on, in serious cases they will experience difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours every day. Dr. James L. Wilson says that as your adrenal functioning reduces consistently, the various systems in your body become more heavily affected. This is because your body is attempting to find ways of compensating for the decrease in adrenal hormones; your body will alter your metabolism, the balance and levels of fluid in your body, and your cardiovascular system and heart rate.

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Sticking to The Vaccine Debate

Ms. Emma Lieberman

Image Courtesy of Everydayhealth.com

Image Courtesy of Everydayhealth.com

How many doorknobs do you touch in a day? How many other people have touched those doorknobs in a day? Paul Offit, MD, says that children are exposed to more bacteria, toxins, and viruses in one day than those that are found in vaccines. The spread of viruses is very real, especially in a public high school with 1,300 students. There is a simple way to prevent the widespread of viruses and diseases, though very controversial.

The world’s first vaccine was administered in 1796 in Berkeley, England. Now, vaccines are administered daily to people around the world. There are five shots in particular that are required during childhood for a student to attend Champlain Valley Union High School; these are Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), Tetanus, Hepatitis B, and Barasila. There used to be three ways in which a student could be exempt: philosophical beliefs, religious beliefs, or medical exemption. Philosophical beliefs have been recently taken out of the running, and religious beliefs are soon to follow.

A recent poll taken from 118 random CVU students showed that 5.1% have never received a vaccine in their life, and out of even those who have gotten shots, 10.6% are against. “Your body was made to be able to fight off diseases. You don’t actually need vaccines. It’s just putting crap into your body,” says CVU sophomore Isabella Durocha.

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Another intelligent insight as to why teenagers can’t get anything done…

 By Ms. Koko Vercessi

Image Courtesy of Addassets.com

Image Courtesy of Addassets.com

So why is it that you just can’t seem to manage your time, or you can’t organize your thoughts? All of these issues, from time management to making good choices, can be attributed to the inner workings of your executive function. According to WebMD.com, in its simplest form, your executive function is a collection of “mental skills” that helps you to get things done. These mental skills, including time management, attention, ability to focus, and memory, all are linked to an area of the brain known as the frontal lobe.

During your high school years, the frontal lobe is not fully evolved yet. In fact, this area of your brain continues to evolve until you reach the age of 25. Executive functioning during the adolescent years is particularly hard. This is because not only is your body going through a physical and emotional roller coaster ride, your mind is working to keep up with it all while it is still in the process of evolving towards adulthood. Dr. Lynn Margolies stated in an article that “Executive functioning is slow to fully develop. It emerges in late infancy, goes through marked changes during the ages of 2 through 6, and does not peak until around age 25. Adolescents’ limited executive functions are out of sync with their emerging freedom, sense of autonomy, and intense emotions, failing to equip them with the reins needed to for appropriate restraint and good judgment during this time of temptation.”

The development of executive functioning occurs in an area of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex, an area highly sensitive to stress. With this in mind, it’s not surprising to find out that there is a relationship between low levels of executive functioning during the teenage years and the stress many high school students face on a daily basis. Dr. Adele Diamond spoke on the subject saying, “Unlike anywhere else in the brain, even mild stress can flood the prefrontal cortex with the neurotransmitter dopamine, which causes executive functioning to shut down.”

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AED: Preparing for the unexpected

By Mr. Maxwell Akey

HINESBURG, Vermont– On March 2nd, 2015 at the semifinal Vermont division one girls basketball game between CVU and Rice, a traumatic event took place. Towards the end of the game Rice head coach. Tim Rice fell down unresponsive towards the end of the game. No one had any idea of what to do for a while, considering Time Rice was unresponsive on the ground, until an athletic trainer was able to get an AED and perform CPR until the ambulance came.

Since the Tim Rice episode occurred, a new addition to Vermont’s second largest high school Champlain Valley Unions sports teams includes the emergency CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) plan. This new regulation was mandated by the Vermont Principals Association (VPA).

Vermont high school sports are well underway. At Champlain Valley Union High School just 4 weeks in, this year’s fall sports teams are CPR trained and ready with an emergency plan in case of another sudden cardiac arrest scenario similar to Tim Rice’s. According to athletic director Dan Shepardson, “I hope we never have to use this plan. It’s not going to stop a broken leg or a torn ACL, but like the Tim Rice incident, it’s to know how to handle a situation like that.” Continue Reading

Grab and go grub for the CVU student that’s always on the move

By Mr. Will Ravell

We’ve all had days where we sleep in through our alarm and are running late. You don’t have time to eat breakfast, so you go through the day hungry because the cafeteria always has lines. That’s where the Redhawk Cafe Cart comes into play.

A few years ago, the CVU Cafeteria purchased a cart but didn’t really do anything with it. This year though, Leo Laforce decided to make it happen. It is widely known that students are often in a rush in the morning, meaning that they may not have time to eat. Many times the cafeteria will have lines, making it hard for students to grab some food. The idea of the Redhawk Cafe Cart is that it will be much faster, offering mostly “grab and go” type snacks, according to Laforce. This cart can be used with cash or with your school lunch account, optimizing the convenience. The hours of operation for the cart are from 7:30-10:10 every morning, to make sure that students are fed in the early part of the day.

Students and teachers aren’t sure what to think of the cart. Senior Colin Monsey says “It’s weird.” He also admits that it is a “good idea.” Senior Nate Shanks says that the cafeteria is closer and has a better variety. Business teacher Tamie-Jo Dickinson is a fan of the new cart, saying that one of her students returned to class much faster because the cart had no line. Out of a whole morning business class, only three had ever used the new cart. Senior Zach Toensing says that if the cart were to have iced coffee, he would be using it all the time.

There had been talk of the cart moving around the school, but Debbie Donahue says that the cart will not be moving from Four Corners, because Four Corners is the heart of the school that every student goes through every day.

So far, business has been slow, according to Leo Laforce and Debbie Donohue, but it is starting to be busier, especially during rushes between blocks. It seems that the only real problem for the cart at this point is awareness. Students are confused by it, and aren’t sure what to make of it. If you are a fan of the cart and want it to stay around, tell people about it.

VPA puts the Nasty in Gymnastics

By Ms. Emma Lieberman


Photo courtesy of The Williston Observer

Varsity Gymnastics is not as safe as it could be for high school students. This is an argument that has taken place between parents, gymnasts, and the Vermont Principals Association (VPA) since 2013. There are very specific rules and regulations on both national and international terms for gymnastics competition and the VPA doesn’t honor all of them.

Varsity Gymnastics is one of the smallest high school sports in Vermont, and it is on the brink of extinction. The sport is going on its second year of probation with the threat of being cut if not enough girls join. Schools simply can’t afford the sport anymore.

Gymnastics is not only one of the smallest sports, it’s also one of the most expensive. Renting out a gym space every night and on some weekends, or buying equipment for a school gymnasium can cost thousands of dollars. Competition leotards can range from generic $60 leotards, to custom made $300 leotards per gymnast. In addition to long-sleeve competition leos, some schools have matching tank warmup leotards with a price range of $40-$200 per gymnast.

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Caffeine is love, caffeine is life?

By Ms. Olivia Cottrell

Image result for caffeine

Photo courtesy of The Odyssey Online

CVUHS- Coffee, coffee, buzz, buzz!  On a regular basis 58 of the 270 students surveyed drink caffeinated tea or coffee. While students are relying on caffeine for many reasons, it always brings back the age old question of is caffeine good for you?

Caffeine, coffee in particular, has benefits other than just giving people that little wake up nudge they need in the morning. It may help lower the risk of liver disease and type two diabetes. Coffee also contains a lot of antioxidants. While there are many upsides to coffee, there are also downsides.

Caffeine, in excess, may cause insomnia, nervousness, muscle tremors, an upset stomach and many other problems. An excess of caffeine is not an exact measure. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, anything over 600 mg of caffeine per day is ‘too much’. 600 mg of caffeine is the amount in three 8 oz cups of coffee, or about eight and a half cups the same size of black tea. For the Starbucks lovers out there, this is a Venti’s worth of coffee.

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Planning Ahead: AED

By Mr. Kyle Gorman


Photo courtesy of Bradleyemsconsult.com

In the heat of competition anything can happen. That’s why we love sports, the excitement that fills the lungs of spectators  can only be found in the stands of CVU games. Our school undoubtedly has the most school spirit in all of vermont, but that level of excitement for the fans, as well as the high amount of pressure put on players, and we have to be ready for it.

As of the beginning of the 2016 fall sports season, all teams and club sports have to put an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) into place. Previous to this new requirement, coaches have had a plan on how to handle the collapse of an athlete, but this course of action addresses the possibility of a fallen coach, and how players should handle that situation. 

The Emergency Action Plan looks to become a staple of the CVU community as past acts of heroism have prompted a change, and a general goal of educating the athletes can be achieved with this new system in place.

Earlier this year the unstoppable CVU girls basketball team was facing Rice in a star studded semi-final showdown. As the game became closer and closer, and the time winded down, stress for both players and coaches alike high. With only 3 points separating the teams and a lone minute on the scoreboard, the coach for the Rice team; Tim Rice, collapsed. Rice needed medical attention, luckily CVU trainer Tony Lora was on hand. Just to be safe Tony always carries an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) with him. Mr. Rice would come to thank Tony and the AED for his life. The compact defibrillator was able to resuscitate Tim Rice and keep him alive until the professionals could step in and take him to the hospital. The Coach is now alive and well, and he has become a catalyst for this conversation. Tim’s wife Candy told the Burlington Free Press, “What we really need to stress here is the fact we had the defibrillator”, she said. “That’s huge, if CVU didn’t have that, we’d be having a whole different conversation here”. Thankfully Mr. Lora was on hand and ready to take action, but he cannot be everywhere at once, thus the Emergency Action Plan was born.

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CVU’s New Game: cornhole. Yes, cornhole

Mr. William Ravell

CVU’s Wellness Department just got a little bit bigger. Recently, the department purchased the yard game Corn Hole.

Corn Hole was purchased to be used for Life Team Sports classes. Wellness teacher Anthony Spagnolo says the purpose of the game is is “jump start the transition” from more active games to less active ones. Spagnolo says that there have been “rave reviews”. Senior Colin Monsey says that Corn Hole is a “great game for friends to have fun.” There is controversy about the new addition to the department though. Senior Hannah Munn says that she “hates Corn Hole” and that it is “frustrating”. Kiera O’brien says that the game is “Pretty lame”.

Spagnolo talks about how the game “brings people back to a simpler time” and that it is “like a family reunion” whenever people play.

The traditional game is played on wooden boards, the ones CVU bought, a much sleeker plastic design, which is much more durable than the original material.

New Café Cart at CVU – Quick Food Made Easier

By Ms. Emma Lieberman, Staff Writer/Videographer and Mr. Bryan Claussen, Anchorman/Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: According to Cafe Czar, Leo LaForce, “We have made sure that the cart does not block the enACT monitor … they worked so hard on.  I think the cart actually helps bring attention to the great information the monitor offers especially in conjunction with areas in which the enACT and the Cafe work so well together to bring beneficial changes.”  LaForce has already helped to bring composting, recycling, re-usable silverware and plates, and other moves toward sustainability in CVU’s cafeteria.

Approaching Anxiety in School

Ms. Alexa Uline

Teachers continue to try and ease anxiety within schools.

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as, “An emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure”, but a high school student might label it as “homework”.

There’s no doubt that high school can give students anxiety, whether the class is advanced placement or just a typical elective. According to Stan Williams, college applications create another level of stress for graduating students. “That press for self achievement is keeping people from doing things that really make them happy and that’s leading to a lot of anxiety and a lot of depression.” Williams explains that colleges are realizing that the additional pressure from the college process creates an unhealthy environment for high school students.

Anxiety self-portrait by Katie Crawford

Anxiety self-portrait by Katie Crawford

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Anderson Slices Up the Meat Industry

Ms. Lucy Anderson

There are many powerful forces in the United States that work to influence politics in Washington. The ability to advocate for your interests is a cornerstone of democracy, and groups from every sector exercise this right. In order to keep interest groups from wielding too much power of lawmakers, there are regulations in place surrounding funding and access. It is important that no one sector is too influential, because in a democracy, all sides of an issue must be heard.

meat cleaver

Thanks, Royalty Free Stock Photos

If this is true in the United States, then everyone should be able to voice their opinions on important issues, such as climate change and water usage. Unfortunately, this is not currently the case, as shown by the power of America’s meat industry. According to the US Department of the Interior 2009 Geologic Survey, Animal Agriculture water consumption in the US ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually, and animal agriculture is the number one source of greenhouse gases. Why aren’t we talking about this? Concerned, environmentally conscious citizens should be considering vegetarianism to be a responsibility.

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To-daze Sports: Athletes Take Concussions Head On

Mr. Michael Regan

According to a study by journalists at PBS program Frontline, 96.2 percent of deceased pro footballers had the condition, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, before dying. “If you’re worried about concussions, you’re in the wrong business.” said Carolina Panthers fullback Brad Hoover. Concussions are a huge problem in the NFL, but are also just part of football by its violent nature. For this reason in the last 10 years the NFL has added more than 15 rules to the game’s official rule book, in order to protect players heads and general health. These rule additions range from penalties, to automatic medical timeouts to mandatory concussion tests. This is all part of a massive effort to protect pro athletes from brain injury, and CTE.   

Image courtesy of CNN

Image courtesy of CNN

CTE is a progressive degenerative disease that affects the brain of people who have suffered repeated concussions and traumatic brain injuries. The majority of the 5.3 million Americans who suffer from CTE were athletes who took part in contact sports. The symptoms of CTE are both debilitating and life-changing for both the individual, and for his or her family. According to Brain Injury Research Institute the symptoms of CTE are but not limited to; memory loss, difficulty controlling impulsive or erratic behavior, impaired judgment, behavioral disturbances including aggression and depression, difficulty with balance, and a gradual onset of dementia. The Brain Injury Research Institute also said that there have been “several notable cases” including the suicide deaths of NFL player Junior Seau, and professional wrestler Chris Benoit who committed suicide after murdering his wife and son.

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