Mr. Finn Wheeler
Ms. Alexandra Anderson
The United States has been sculpted by the press. The truth cuts through the clouds of illusions and misconceptions, and provides the necessary clarity in the midst of national and global confusion. School publications are incubators for these writers, teaching skills, ethics and providing first-hand experience. However, a debate has been sparked between administrators and journalists: does a school administration have the right to censor student reporters.
Justin Chapman, the Advisor for the Champlain Valley Chronicle, is strongly opposed to the practice of censorship. He has often preached the necessity for freedom of press, emphasising its relevance inside and out of CVU. “We have to pursue the truth,” he said, emphatic and passionate, “[censorship] is somebody imposing their values on somebody else.” He cites issues such as libraries banning books, and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) imposing “Hayes Code,” a series of provisions that banned sensitive material from it’s screenplays. “You have to allow for the discussion rather than stifle it,” he asserted.
Chapman has been associated with the paper since the early 2000’s, and has commented on the environment of respect here at CVU for its student journalists. “[Journalists] have a lot of freedom and support,” he commented, emphasising the largely civil relationship between CVU’s administration and the press.
The principal of CVU, Adam Bunting, has accentuated the necessity for freedom of press, citing it as both a school and national concern. “Journalism and the press are one of the key processes in a democratic system, [we need] truth opposed to sensationalism,” he insisted.
Mr. Samuel Knox
HINESBURG, VT— On Sunday, October, 28, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series with a 5-1 blowout match against the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is the team’s first win since 2013. While some of the students at Champlain Valley Union High School— located 220 miles from Boston— are thrilled with the outcome, others are quite upset and some couldn’t care less. Nevertheless, this World Series win is a big deal at CVU.
Ian Parent, a senior at CVU and a player on the varsity baseball team, said enthusiastically, “I am a huge Red Sox fan! I’m just so excited for the city of Boston because let’s be honest, we don’t win enough.” He elaborated by talking about some of his favorite players on the team, “Alex Cora is the greatest manager of all time, especially as a rookie and David Price came in clutch.” In the series, David Price, 33, only allowed 3 runs in the entire series and pitched 3 of the 5 games. It was truly a spectacular series for Price who, in terms of sports, is quite old.
Another life-long Red Sox fan, Brendan Tivnan, stated, “My parents grew up in the Boston area and therefore have been fans their whole lives, so have I. I love watching [the Red Sox] and all of its players. They are a great young team with a lot of great young players. Also, I am glad that they beat the Astros and the Yankees because I hate both of those teams!”
Ms. Elyse Martin-Smith
Yummy! Nothing tastes sweeter than being able to make a difference in a furry friend’s life… Except for doing it while eating a delicious waffle from the CVU Cafe! Every year, Leo LaForce and the CVU Student Council team up to set up Cafe for a Cause, where the profits of all purchases at the cafeteria for one day go to a certain charity. There is also a raffle managed by Student Council and this year there was a donation table as well. This year, the charity was the Humane Society of Chittenden County.
Cafe for a Cause has been an annual CVU tradition since 2004 or 2005. Leo LaForce, head of the CVU Cafe, has worked very hard to make this a successful event at CVU to give back. “I’ve worked in restaurants my entire life, which is always for profit… so there has really never been an opportunity,” says LaForce. His idea for this contrasts his past work, so he turned to his core values to gain inspiration for this event. “I’ve always felt people should give to the community, or give back in some way”
One thing that makes this event possible is the support of the community, which became apparent when LaForce approached the Chief Operating Officer for the CVSD district, proposing the idea. “He said ‘go for it!’” LaForce recalls. The Cafe relies on donations to make this possible, which makes community involvement even more valuable.
This year, the Humane Society was chosen by Leo LaForce as this year’s lucky charity. Some years, like last year, it is selected by the CVU Student Council. Last year, the profit was actually split between the Richmond and Hinesburg Food Shelters. However, this year, the Chittenden Humane Society was the sole organization receiving profits. The mission statement of the Humane Society is “to foster compassionate treatment of animals and prevent animal suffering; to strengthen the human-animal bond; and to further the cause of responsible animal ownership through education and public awareness,” according to their website. I mean, who doesn’t love helping animals find a forever home or helping provide them with proper healthcare?
LaForce felt this was a really great fit for this year’s donations. “It’s not just helping animals; it’s helping people! Everyone knows how important a pet is to them.” It is also very local, which some people may not know. The Chittenden Humane Society, although the same organization, is not directly affiliated with the National Humane Society in the realm of donations. “They have to raise money for what they do for their own individual charity,” Leo comments, highlighting the importance of helping the local strands of the larger organization.
Cafe for a Cause can help make a significant difference for whatever charity is chosen that year since it raises a lot of necessary funds. According to Leo LaForce, “We raised $347 through Raffle sales and $7,403 through Cafe sales to total $7,750 dollars.” Considering the current student enrollment, there was a good turnout. “Out of 1308 students we served 357 breakfast meals (27%) and 774 lunch meals (almost 60%)” and “out of 300 adults we served 38 breakfast meals (almost 13%) and 75 Lunch meals (25%),” Leo LaForce mentioned in a school-wide email. These numbers are impressive in comparison to some recent years, and it can significantly help the Humane Society.
Putting on such a large event requires the support of many people and groups. Student Council helped to put together the morning waffle bar for Cafe for a Cause and assembled a large raffle. The raffle included prizes ranging from a FitBit to a french press, all due to generous donations from many businesses. Jessica Ke really lead this project and expertly organized the student aspect of this event. Her efforts were greatly appreciated this year in helping it run smoothly.
Although this event was a success, there is always room for improvement. Andre LaChance has consistently assisted with organizing students, as well as the critique of the event so that it can run more smoothly next year. This is extremely helpful in many ways. Compared to last year, there was a significantly higher profit this year, showing that things are already improving. Also, many a variety of new local businesses donated products to the raffle, creating new bonds within the community.
Overall, Cafe for a Cause was very successful this year, and a great idea that has been well refined at CVU. Simply by eating some delicious tortellini or enjoying a cup of coffee, the lives of precious pets are improved. Just in time for “giving season” and CVU’s Attitude for Gratitude Week, this event furthers the idea of giving and gratitude. Leo LaForce said his “favorite part is seeing the amount of support from the CVU community, the amount of students that come in, the amount of adults that come through, and the amount of joy they seem to be taking in that event.” He was very grateful for everyone who helped out with this event. He was also able to spread the kindness.
LaForce said that another one of the most rewarding parts of this is “the joy we see them experience and seeing what it can do.” With this in mind, take this as inspiration to spread a generous and gracious mentality like this event does. Finally, remember to look out for Cafe for a Cause at CVU in future years!
Interested in the cause? Visit the Chittenden Humane Society webpage at the link below!
Ms. Talia Loiter
Morning Workouts with Coach King
Every Monday morning in the CVU fitness center, King Miln can be found leading a group of students in a strength workout. He decided along with fellow Nordic Ski coach, Sarah Strack, to make use of the extra hour on late start days at CVU for strength training.
One skier, Celia Cote, 15, from Williston, says she wants to improve her core and upper body strength since “those are important for skiing and I don’t always work on that during [the off season].” Another skier, Geneva Cote, agrees that she needs more upper body and core strength because she “doesn’t really work on them on [her] own” and they are “really important for Nordic.” Miln says that 50% of the skate ski motion is upper body because you need your arms to push just as much as you need legs.
Miln says that the workout is tailored specifically for Nordic Skiers. “[These workouts] build less injuries, more endurance, and more speed for the ski season.” He says that the coaches work together to pull different types of exercises from NENSA, the New England Nordic Ski Association, and the US Ski Team, to create a circuit of moves that help skiers build muscles that are most important for the sport. “We’re trying to do more upper body, because that’s where [the team] is weakest in, guys and girls.”
Mr. Caleb Martin
Imagine moving to a foreign country all alone for nine months and not being able to speak in your first language. Why did over one million students in the US decide to take this risk, and what are the potential benefits? Frans Lindberg, an exchange student at CVU, explained his reason for why he made the decision to come to the US. “It is a family tradition, both my older brother and sister went abroad for a year.” He said that playing for the soccer team in particular was a great experience that made his year.
Jan Bedard, the Regional Coordinator for Education First (EF) exchange student agency, explained how the process begins. “It all starts with having a potential American family express interest in hosting, which is pretty rare. Once I have determined that they are likely a suitable family and genuinely interested, I make contact with the school to be sure that they have a space for the student and are willing to work with me and my organization. All four of my kids graduated from CVU and I have been supervising EF students at CVU since 1993. We hosted before that, so CVU is pretty easy. Other schools may not have any spaces left or not want exchange students.”
Not only is CVU an easy school for the agency to work with, but the students find it to be a great place to live and learn as well. Lindberg said, “The teachers are great and if I have a question in class I do not hesitate to ask. The language barrier was small at the beginning of the year and has got increasingly smaller as my time at CVU goes by.” CVU is great for exchange students, and exchange students are great for CVU. They provide a different perspective on the world and help other students at CVU see themselves from a global point of view.
Ms. Alexandra Anderson
Ms. Taylor Chatoff
Ms. Charlotte Willis
With seniors gearing up to graduate and juniors starting their college search, many teens are left wondering what they should be looking for when trying to find the right college for them. While searching for colleges can be hard, there are some things to consider about a school to make the picking process easier.
One of the Chittenden Guidance Counselors, Sarah O’Hara- Hughes, says a few things to think about are the size and location of schools. Where a college is located is one of the most important things that a person should take into account. Another important trait of a college is majors. If you know what you want to major in, you have to make sure that the college you choose offers it.
Hughes commented on what she thinks is important in finding the right school. “The size I think is important too. Are they looking for small, medium, large? And this can all be done in a college search, particularly the one [CVU] uses is Naviance.”
Ms. Jasmine Leavitt
Hinesburg VT– Although Grad Challenge has changed from a research process to a reflective one, some students say the stress and anxiety for them has not changed, even though they may see the purpose of Grad Challenge.
CVU senior, Liam Freeman says, “Grad Challenge has being going well. I have met all the deadlines so far, since I am passionate about my topic: Fly Fishing.”
CVU senior, Clark Schmitt noticed some overlap of having both RISE and Grad Challenge in the same year. “The RISE program allows people the same opportunity as Grad Challenge. It would be cool if they incorporated the two together, so students could work with seniors on their Grad Challenge.”
Ms. Willow Bertrand
QUEENSBURY, NY— On Saturday morning of September 15th, 26 of the top CVU female runners, along with the top 23 CVU male runners, boarded the bus at 6:30 am for a 6:45 am departure to Queensbury, NY to race against teams from around the state of New York.
The team’s nerves were high as they ventured towards the important race against New York teams. As coach Bliss said, “The most important thing is that the level of the competition is a bit higher than our first two or three races. Most athletes like the course, and it challenges us to run fast earlier in the season.”
First up was the girl’s varsity race, with Alice Larson taking first place (running a personal best of 18:19), Ella Whitman in 6th, Finnegan Mittelstadt in 12th, Sadie Holmes in 14th. Catherine Noel and Jasmine Nails followed closely behind to finish off the team with a second place finish, a slim nine points away from first place.
After the varsity girls’ successful race, the varsity boys stood upon the starting line, ready to compete against 22 other teams, with Jared Leonard leading the boys team in 16th, Gavin Schaaf in 27th, Skyler Heininger in 40th, Alec Mogielnicki in 46th, and Jamie Williamson finishing off the score in 54th. Overall, the team placed 5th out of 22 teams.
Ms. Talia Loiter
The ultimate truth is that kids don’t want to go to school just to sit inside in a dark classroom all day. Most American schools follow the same model where the day is split into blocks of class, with a small break for lunch, and bells telling students when it’s time to move on. This is an incredibly outdated system left over from the Industrial Revolution when rapidly growing factories needed a way to control the large amount of workers moving through their facilities. Most class schedules are designed without regard to the multifaceted needs of a student today.
Students need a schedule and a space to learn that helps maintain a healthy lifestyle and mindset. A large part of this is getting outside and moving around. An experiment by the Department of Hygiene and Public Health at the Nippon Medical School found that students who were sent into the forest for two nights (know as forest bathing or “Shinrinyoku” in Japan) had lower levels of cortisol (a stress marking hormone) than those who spent two nights in the city. The constant buffer of our dark classrooms is stressing students much more than needed.
If everyone was given a break to spend an hour outside every day, we would all be much less stressed as the research shows. The time allows kids to have a mental and physical break from the blocked out back-to-back schedule. Instead of going from one class to the next, never giving their brain a chance to rest, they would be able to have a moment to simply breathe. Healthguide.org asserts that exercise decreases depression, anxiety, and stress. It would also allow students to get up and move their bodies which could reduce fidgeting in classrooms.
For many kids at CVU, coming back after the summer break is hard. Many of them spend their free days enjoying the warm Vermont weather outside. During break, kids are free to move about to their hearts’ content because of all the extra time they have. Students can spend time getting exercise, being outside, seeing friends and family, exploring new places, and learning about things that interest them.
The big thing is that this is all possible even with a persistent schedule. For example, I had a job this summer. I was able to stick to my daily schedule at work and then have free time to do what I wanted for the rest of the day. I was also able to pick a job that I enjoyed. I worked outside because that is what is important to me. The stress of school life doesn’t allow for people to make these types of choices.
However, one way our school is addressing this issue is the new RISE program. For the two week, end of school period, students can choose to take classes in many different subjects that interest them or do an independent study. It allows kids to have a well deserved break from stress while still learning.
Although this is a good step forward, RISE doesn’t fix the fact that we are cooped up inside all winter and fall, having our energy drained by fluorescent lights and plastic chairs. Whether it’s the incorporation of a green space, an extended lunch/recess, or the elimination of homework to give more personal time, there’s no doubt that there needs to be a way to let our brains and bodies rest throughout our busy school days to come.
Mr. Cole Otley
For the Library, Change is Constant and Connections are Consistent
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.
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.”
Ms. Violet Hamel-Wade
An air of anticipation hangs in the dark theater. The whispers create a quiet hum as phones are switched off and parents shush their children. The pit orchestra has been playing a continuous tune that fades to silence as a spotlight appears in the center of the stage. Behind the curtains, nerves are high.
Some of these students are performing in their first CVU show, while others are about to have their first experience playing a main part. The voice of the audience falls silent and the show begins. The cast entertains the audience, singing, dancing and joking their way through the story. At the end of the performance, the curtain falls and families leave the theater, laughing and recounting their favorite parts. What they don’t see, however, is the team of students who live behind the curtains.
While the actors and actresses we see on stage certainly play their part in the magic of CVU’s theater productions, the crew is an essential yet often unnoticed piece of the production.
“I don’t think that the people who see the show really think about [the crew] at all. The cast is really good about understanding that they need and depend on the crew,” says Bronwen Cobden, the stage manager at Legally Blonde, the most recent musical at CVU.
Ms. Jasmine Leavitt
Ms. Greta Powers
There’s a new club at CVU with the goal of addressing racism. It’s called Racial Alliance Committee, and is led by CVU’s Akuch Dau, Page Thibault, Katelyn Wong, and Prince Yodishembo.
The committee started holding official meetings a few weeks ago, and its main purpose is to raise awareness and educate others about race. Thibault says, “RAC is all about bringing race to the consciousness of CVU, because I think race goes unspoken about and it’s unaddressed in our curriculum as well as our CVU culture.”
Thibault’s purpose for the club is what initially sparked her intent for co-founding the committee. She states that last school year she felt very impassioned about recognizing Black History Month at CVU. She got some momentum with Adam Bunting and Rahn Fleming regarding education about race, and with that momentum she got students from Montpelier High School to come to CVU and give an assembly.
At that time there was an attempt at starting a Racial Alliance Committee at CVU, but according to Thibault, it didn’t work out so well due to a lack of leadership. This year, however, Thibault was determined to keep the ball rolling, and started up RAC for a fresh start.
Katelyn Wong joined the original group, who also provided a clear purpose for RAC. She expressed her feelings on how in today’s current political climate a lot of unacceptable things are happening that shouldn’t be allowed. “Our mission or movement is to talk about those things with people and to start the conversation because I think that when something is uncomfortable people laugh it off and [say] ‘Oh it doesn’t happen’. I think it’s OK to be uncomfortable with these things because they’re really hard.”
Thibault also addresses the importance of RAC in connection to the majority of white students at CVU. “CVU is a great social justice community but I think that race is often left out of the conversation. You could point that to [being] such a white school, such a white state, but I think regardless it’s really important to bring it up.” Thibault also emphasizes the importance of the club creating a safe space for those of color and anyone wanting to express their feelings about race.
Mr. Zachary Hark, CVC Photo/Video Editor