A Journey Overseas, A New Opportunity for Many

England, Ireland, Wales Trip

Mr. Thomas Daley

Blarney Castle, Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, the London Eye, and the Globe are a few of the many locations experienced by the 38 students on CVU’s England, Ireland, Wales trip last month. More than just sightseeing, the trip is designed to expose high school students to a foreign country…perhaps for the first time.

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Stonehenge, Photo Credit: Cooper Birdsall

Head chaperone and CVU Social Studies and Scholars Bowl coach, John Bennett stated, “My real hope is that students who get this chance to travel, and, if it’s the first time or whatever for them, that it’s a spark of interest in travel all their lives.”

Around Ireland and the United Kingdom in 11 Days

It all began in Ireland where travelers saw the Ring of Kerry and Blarney Castle before heading to Dublin for two days. After crossing the Irish Sea and visiting sights in Wales, the group headed to Salisbury in central England. One highlight of the Salisbury stop was seeing the school where William Golding taught—a trip back to January of sophomore year for any CVU student.

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Salisbury Cathedral, Photo Credit: Cooper Birdsall

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Swimming with the Friendliest Animals in the World

The Galapagos Islands

Ms. Jam Giubardo

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CVU Galapagos trip, students got to observe hundreds of new animals, including this friendly little Galapagos Barn Owl. Photo taken by CVU student, William Braun.

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, Ecuador — Imagine you are snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands in the middle of the Pacific ocean. Your tight mask sticks to your face as you clench onto the salty rubber tube and breath in. You dunk your head down into the glass clear water and immediately see a whole new world of unique creatures. Millions of colors flashing from a thousand different fish. The coral reefs are swaying with intense serenity and the starfish are bathing in the sun. You turn your head and see a giant sea turtle gliding through the blue sea and a white tipped reef shark swims past your leg. You aren’t afraid because they aren’t afraid. The animals don’t even seem to notice you.

The Galapagos Islands are very special. Most people know them for the discovery of the theory of evolution, developed by Charles Darwin. And yes, research done there has fueled thousands of scientific research projects and discoveries, but from a non-scientist perspective, the islands allow for the most unique experiences and drive curiosity.

In February, 2017, Champlain Valley Union High School took a group of 18 students and 2 teachers to the Galapagos Islands. While they were there they got the opportunity to observe thousands of species unique to the climate and to the islands. During a survey at the end of their trip, the students were asked to state something that amazed them the most about the islands. William Braun, a CVU Junior, responded saying, “Being in a place like the Galapagos, where the wildlife and land is almost completely untouched really redefined what it meant to be one with nature. It was amazing to get so close to the animals and still watch them behave naturally as if you weren’t even there.” This not only illustrates the beauty and experiences people have there, but also shows how 17-year-olds, with little to no knowledge about animals and ecology, notice the magic there too.

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Jay Peak’s financial slide won’t affect snowsliders

Mr.  Bryan Claussen

The snow is falling, and as far as most people are concerned, winter has finally started.  The more ambitious skiers and snowboarders have already hit the slopes, and many of us are looking to get out there soon.  Jay Peak, located in Vermont’s Green Mountains, is a resort about an hour and a half away from our district.  Jay Peak is an East Coast powder trove, getting an average 360” of snow per year, and it arguably holds some of New England’s best skiing and riding; however, . However, in the spring of 2016, Jay Peak had a massive financial scandal. Two developers at Jay Peak had raised $350 million from 700 foreign investors for new projects at Jay Peak. The investors paid at least $500,000, and in exchange, they were supposed to get Green Cards and eventually obtain permanent residency in the United States. This EB-5 visa program was designed to put money into rural areas and areas with high unemployment rates.  However, the developers misused more than $200 million of the funds. The money was transferred among investors, and used in cities such as New York, Dallas, and Chicago to build large hotels, which did not meet the objectives of the visa program.

Courtesy of UnofficialNetworks.com

According to the Boston Globe, in June, Vermont financial regulators reached a $5.95 million settlement with the developers’ financial firm. The resort will also likely be sold in 2017 to recoup money for investors and contractors. This was all big news back earlier in the year, but with winter upon us what does it mean for the skiing?

The short answer is not much. Jay Peak has seen slightly reduced season pass sales, but luckily much else remains the same. When you’re on the slopes, this financial scandal should have very little impact on you, so just rejoice in the fact that we have snow this year!