Category Archives: Volume 9, Issue 1

Gender Equity Club gets New Advisor

Ms. Amber Robert

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

Photo courtesy of Lifetouch

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

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

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

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

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Early Decision: A Faustian Bargain?

Ms. Elena Crites

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


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

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

So what’s the big whoop?

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Young Voters May Turn Political Tides

Ms. Talia Loiter

During the 2016 presidential election, CNN reported that only 1/2 of the young people in the US voted. They estimated that 13 million of the 18-29 year olds who voted, chose Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and only 9 million voted for Trump. That means that a large majority of the younger population voted Democratic, or simply voted against the Republican Candidate, Donald Trump. For millennials (aged 18-34), most general elections also tend to sway towards majority liberal with 49% voting Clinton and only 28% Trump, as reported by CIRCLE (The Center For Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement).


So what will happen when more young people start to come of age? Today, 68% of  young voters identify as independent or liberal, according to the Pew Research Center, and even more are turning 18 just in time for the next presidential election in November of 2020.

The independent group has the ability to swing elections during close calls. RealClear Politics,  a Chicago-based political news and polling data aggregator, asserts that the party that wins independents will likely win the House majority. Capturing these non-affiliated voters (neither Democratic or Republican) is often essential to winning a swing district (which may have enough electoral college votes to push the election over the edge).

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Female Superhero Films Take Flight

Ms. Elena Crites

Over the past decade, big screen adaptations of favorite comic book characters have dominated the theaters. The rising popularity of superhero films has left many viewers entertained and many production companies with pockets full of cash. Hollywood has become more and more invested in various superhero franchises such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe whose first movie, Iron Man, came out in 2008. So why was it that Wonder Woman, the first successful superhero movie featuring a woman hero, came out just last year?

Other than 2017’s Wonder Woman, it seems that every film made by industry leaders Marvel and DC Comics that have featured a female hero, such as Catwoman (2004), Elektra (2005), or even Supergirl (1984) were underwhelming. Not only did they tank in the box office with totals of $82.1 million, $56.7 million, and $15.3 million respectively, but they also received terrible reviews with scores of 9%, 10%, and 10% on Rotten Tomatoes. “…My belief was always that they didn’t work, not because they were female-led stories,” said Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige in an interview with Entertainment Weekly for the upcoming film Captain Marvel, “They didn’t work because they were not particularly good movies.”

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New Courses Broaden Art Department’s Pallette

Ms. Violet Hamel-Wade

HINESBURG, VT — Two new art classes will be offered at CVU starting semester two of the 2018/2019 school year.


Graphic Design, taught by Abbie Bowker, will occur during fourth block on white days. Bowker says that this class will “further the students understanding of design and visual communication.” Throughout the course, students will partner with the Principles of Business class that runs during the same block. “I’m looking forward to the collaboration between the classes,” Bowker says. “It creates a deeper appreciation for the team involved in creating PR [Public Relations] for a business.” 

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Editorial: I Believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

Ms. Alexandra Anderson, CVC Editor

The voices and stories of women have consistently been silenced or ignored throughout history. Whether simply declaring them untrue, or claiming malicious intent, we have had to learn to keep our stories quiet for fear of retribution, discreditment, or continued and worsened assault.

Recently, when Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony captured the nation’s interest, there was a part of me that blossomed, a feeling of pride that expanded through my chest. Finally, there was progress. Finally, a woman would be given a platform to speak out against those who oppressed her. Quickly, that feeling dissipated, shriveling up and disintegrating just as it had bloomed. It was made clear that this was anything but that, more formalility than morality, simply letting her speak so that everybody else would shut up.

I wasn’t surprised. Time and time again, disappointment masquerading as progress has graced the national stage. After the Access Hollywood tapes about Trump were released, people yelled, and then moved on, then forgot, and he soon took on the title of President. People boycotted airports, only to watch as systematic xenophobia and racism still quietly wove itself through the core values of our administration. After countless school shootings, mass shootings, and massacres, the NRA still stood staunchly with the second amendment, while simultaneously declaring “fake news,” and ignoring the first.

Dr. Ford swearing in before the Senate Judiciary Committee testimony

Since 2016, contradictions blared from every news outlet, stood bold faced on headlines, and slipped over harsh tongues in heated conversation. With the confirmation of Kavanaugh, it has never been more apparent. A man confirmed to overturn Roe v. Wade, an allowance for women to finally take control of their heavily regulated bodies, has been accused of multiple accounts of sexual assault. The worst part, however, is the apparent disregard for this fact.

Bageshree Blasius, CVU AP Government and Politics teacher at CVU commented, “I think women in general are not seen as powerful in politics…[they are] not taken as seriously.” The message sent is abundantly clear; the lives and stories of women in this country are valued less than the credibility of men in power.

I am sixteen years old. That makes me one year older than Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when she experienced the trauma-inducing event that stalked her every move for the past thirty six years. Though thirty five years younger, though living in a new age, though safe in my small town, parts of her testimony ring bells of familiarity within me.

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For the Library, Change is Constant and Connections are Consistent

Mr. Cole Otley

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

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Screen capture by Cole Otley

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

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

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VT VS CO: Volleyball

Ms. Josephine Paradee

At CVU, the girl’s varsity volleyball team is stacked with six seniors, eight juniors, one sophomore, and one freshman. Leading the team are the three seniors, Julia Daggett, Olivia Werner, and Rayona Silverman, participating for their fourth year.

At Manitou Springs High School, all the way in Colorado, is a team of veteran volleyball players including six seniors, three juniors, one sophomore, and two freshman. Leading their team are four fourth year seniors, Abbie Boren, McKayla Cully, Kylie Middleton, and Belle Brown.

Maddie Kelly, a Manitou Springs student, provided some insight on what a normal season looks like for her. She has been playing volleyball ever since she was in sixth grade and has played on three different club teams. One club team she has participated in was a recreational team through Woodland Park, a town just fifteen minutes from Manitou. “Club season focuses more on skill rather than winning” she comments. She says she feels she gets better through club season, but that school season makes her more mentally tough. “Coach makes us run stairs when we let balls drop or miss our serves… And we all hate running stairs, so we make sure we hustle all the time,” she said. When asked if she prefers club over school season, she responded with, “they both have their quirks.” Volleyball has been such a big part of her life and she is planning on playing college. “Hopefully,” she says about playing in college. She is leading her team with the most consistent digs and aces.

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Image from Allie Robbins

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CVU Redhawks Fall Short of 4th Quarter Win Against Essex Hornets

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Mr. Zachary Hark

Essex, VT — On Friday, September 16th, 2018, Champlain Valley Union High School lost to Essex High School, 22-8, to put them 0-3 for the season.

 The Essex Hornets defeated the CVU Redhawks under the lights on Friday night at their home turf. The Hawks had a 4th quarter comeback score by running back, #12, Alex Murray, for 22 yards.

 “It felt great, but without the team, I wouldn’t have gotten into the end zone,” said Murray.

 Alfred Wathugi, a CVU student fan said, “It was nice to see the boys secure the touchdown along with the 2 point conversion.”

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Burlington Art Hop Draws in Locals

Ms. Talia Loiter

Burlington, VT – The weekend of September 7th, Pine Street was closed off to make room for the annual SEABA Art Hop. Local artisans showcased their works with open studios, events, street stands, fashion shows, and exhibits, pulling in art enthusiasts and curious passersby.  

South End Arts Business Association (SEABA) puts on the Art Hop every year in order to “promote Burlington’s Pine Street corridor and its growing number of artists and businesses.” Their aim is to “represent [their] membership which includes many of the exhibiting artists and sites in the South End Art Hop.”

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An Interview with CVU’s Co-Class Presidents

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Ms. Grace Colbeth

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Samuel Knox

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

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

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

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

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Student Justice Committee Returns After Successful First Year

Ms. Alexandra Anderson

Student Justice Committee (SJC) is one of CVU’s newest clubs, and plans to make a triumphant return in 2018. Unified under a message of inclusion and activism, they strive to bring productive debate, education, and awareness of national issues to environments such as CVU, emphasizing how they connect back on a local level.SJC

Established in the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting, the two founders of SJC, Sydney Hicks, 17, and Asha Hickok, 16, were deeply affected by the news. They were moved to organize a walkout in protest of gun violence. “We were all really fed up and wanted change,” Hicks said, tired of watching as tragedies took place. Hickok added, “we talked to some students and they thought it would be a really cool idea.” Other notable achievements by SJC include a trip down to Washington DC to participate in the “March For Our Lives” event last March. “Bringing a bus full of CVU students was really special, there was a lot of passion,” Hicks commented. That success and overall experience was the true inspiration for the committee. “It was a starting point, that’s when we realized this club might just work.”

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“Leaf Peepers” Jaunt to Vermont for Fall Foliage

Mr. Zachary Hark

Hinesburg, VT — Fall time in the Green Mountains is a special time. Spectators from all across the world are drawn to Vermont to catch the vibrant colors of fall.

Image courtesy of Zachary Hark

This year’s foliage is even better than people believed. The Weather Channel came out with an article on October 4th, 2018 by Linda Lam, a Weather Channel meteorologist, about a weather pattern that caused warmth in the east and snow in the west. Lam said, “these weather changes have impacted fall foliage.”

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Students Paddle to Learning with New Natural Resources Canoes

Ms. Alia Russo

Imagine leaving school for one period, travelling to Lake Iroquois and going on a peaceful adventure with canoes in the outdoors. That’s what CVU science teacher Dave Trevithick invisions in the near future for his students here at Champlain Union High School in Hinesburg, Vermont. “Students need more connections with the outdoors,” says Dave, “We have water access but don’t use it.”


According to Trevithick, the most useful way to use this water access would be through canoes. Having canoes will establish a great learning experience for students. They can spend their time outdoors instead of sitting in class for an hour and a half, allowing them to learn more about the environment. “Kids aren’t getting outside enough,” says Trevithick. According to a study done by the Outdoors Foundation, “almost half — 49.0% — of the US population ages 6 and over participated in an outdoor activity at least once in 2017. This continues three years of slight growth in outdoor participation.” The report also says that, “adults who were introduced to the outdoors as children were more likely to participate in outdoor activities during adulthood than those who were not exposed to the outdoors as children.” The report asserts that kids aren’t spending enough time outdoors, and the numbers only grow slightly.

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The Dollar Divide: How Has CVU Battled Economic Inequality?

Ms. Alexandra Anderson

CHICAGO, IL — An epidemic of mass school closings is afflicting inner city neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois, adding to the already overwhelming load of adverse circumstances plaguing youth at risk. Whether a bustling metropolis, or a quaint town, the economic disparity between families stalks the lives of youth nationally. From Englewood to CVU, the problem quietly weaves itself into the American culture.


Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago since 2011, has justified the issue with causes such as under enrollment and underperformance, but has failed to recognize the larger problem at hand: an environment that fosters neglect in an ever gentrifying urban space. Here, in a city with an enormous wealth disparity and racial divide, the population living on or below the poverty line in primarily non-white neighborhoods have had to learn to cope with abandonment.

Asha Hickok, a 16 year old junior at CVU, traveled to Chicago this summer with the program Conversations from the Open Road, to learn about the deteriorating public school system in Englewood, a designated community area in the south side of the city. She says that although Englewood is an extreme situation, common themes resonate throughout the country in lower-income areas. “The environment that [is created] for students says ‘you don’t matter, you’re not good enough,” she said.

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Hinesburgers Stuck in Rut with Rural Road Conditions

Ms. Jasmine Leavitt

Hinesburg, VT — The condition of the Hinesburg rural roads, specifically Magee Hill Rd, Pond Brook Rd, and Palmer Rd, have Hinesburg residents angered.

Over the course of the 2018 summer, the roads have been crumbling. The town of Hinesburg rarely maintains the roads; there are potholes and washboards everywhere, and the right side has completely turned into a ditch, making the road very narrow and dangerous. Some residents are angry, and they want to be heard.

Palmer Rd. Courtesy of Jasmine Leavitt

CVU sophomore, Palmer Rd Resident, Jade Leavitt says, “These roads are not safe to drive on because when two people are driving on it you could easily get in an accident due to the road being so narrow.” She presents a solution for this issue, stating, “The town should maintain the road as often as needed, and fill in the potholes to make the road less dangerous.”

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A Lot More in Ch’lotte: Revitalization Continues With New Philo Ridge Market

Mr. Samuel Knox

Charlotte, VT — On July 5, 2018, Charlotte, VT witnessed the grand opening of a new restaurant/market: Philo Ridge Farm and Market. For the longest time, Charlotte (a quaint town with less than 4,000 residents) has been dominated by The Old Brick Store, its only restaurant prior to July 5th.

However, with the addition of Philo Ridge Market, Charlotte is changing drastically as residents from across the area are coming to enjoy its food.

Photo of Philo Ridge courtesy of Neagley and Chase Construction Company.

Embraced with open arms, Francine Stephens, one of Philo Ridge’s owners said, “The welcome from our community of Charlotte has been beautiful and amazing, and we are thrilled to become a part of the fabric of this community.”

As many people know, however, including Stephens, running a business in a small town can be quite difficult. She responded to this concern with nothing but optimism. “We are working hard to listen to and respect the desires of our community as they are the very thing that can make or break us.” Moreover, on their website, they provide customers with a way to directly contact the owners, via phone or email; they also allow the public to subscribe to the market’s email to receive news and updates about new additions.

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FDA to Crack Down on the Youth Vaping Crisis

Ms. Charlotte Willis 

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared the use of e-cigarettes among teens an “epidemic,” and is pressuring Juul and other vape companies to come up with a plan to keep their products out of the hands of adolescents.

On Wednesday, September 12, 2018, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced, in an open letter, the actions that e-cigarette companies must take to make vaping a less desirable activity for teens. Gottlieb also threatened a potential ban on flavored e-cigarette products.





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So, what do the companies need to do to comply? Well, the FDA told the top five vape companies, (Juul, Blu, Logic, Vus, MarkTen XL) that they have 60 days to submit a strategy that proves they can keep their products out of the hands of minors. If they can’t, the FDA said, they may demand the companies to “remove some or all of their flavored products” from the market.

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A New Generation of the Apple Family: iPhone XS, XS MAX, and XR

Ms. Elena Crites

CUPERTINO, CA — On Tuesday, September 12, the new iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR were announced at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California.

The XS starts at $999.00, the XS Max at $1099, and the XR at $749, according to Apple.

Image Courtesy of


Each new phone boasts a new range of specs. According to the company, the XS carries a 5.8” display, the XS Max a 6.5” display (the largest on any iPhone yet), and the XR a 6.1” display. Every phone is water resistant, with the XS and XS Max resistant to a depth of 2m, and the XR resistant to a depth of 1m. Each phone also has wireless charging capabilities, Face ID, a 7MP TrueDepth selfie camera, and a Liquid Retina LCD screen. Apple says that the screen is “the most advanced LCD in the industry.” Like the iPhone X, none of these phones have home buttons.

Different memory capabilities are available as well with 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB options for the XS and XS Max, and 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB options for the XR. A variety of colors and finishes are also available. The XS and the XS Max come in gold, space gray, and silver, while the XR comes in red, yellow, white, coral, black, and blue, as seen on the Apple website. The new phones will be available in stores starting Friday, September 21st.