Sarah Malcom: An Outstanding Teacher

 Ms. Alia Russo 

This year’s 2018 “UVM Outstanding Teacher Award,” goes to Sarah Malcolm, a science teacher at CVU. Every year, Vermont offers awards to teachers to highlight their notable teaching skills recognized by other staff members and students around the school.

Malcolm has been teaching science for 14 years at CVU, and first started teaching in Massachusetts. What got her into teaching was coaching field hockey while she was injured playing field hockey. She liked working with high school students and fell in love with the idea of helping kids and being a mentor for them. “I really liked science and a bunch of other subjects, but primarily I loved science and working hands on with some math and vocabulary, and there’s a lot of skills embedded in science, and I liked putting all them together,” said Malcolm.

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Malcolm both coached and taught here at CVU, and at prior schools for the first half of her teaching career. She then stopped coaching once her children got older, but continued to bring her teaching skills to the classroom everyday.

Malcolm loves many things about being a teacher. What she loves most of all is spending time with her students. “One thing I love is the environment that gets established in a classroom after some time. I also love the team aspect that occurs and that students find ways to collaborate together. I love seeing them pushed to as far as they can go,” said Malcolm. She never fails to keep students awake and alert during class with her funny humor and remarks.

Malcolm has many strengths as a teacher. “Things that I feel very confident about is my establishing of relationships with students and them establishing relationships amongst each other within class. I feel very confident about the subjects that I teach and my understanding and knowledge of those subjects. I also love strategizing and planning for what we actually do in class and how we get there,” said Malcolm.

Although Malcolm has many strengths, every teacher has some things they could work on. “I think that over time, time has become an issue, and so I’m really into systems and being super efficient. It’s been very hard to differentiate pace in class and that’s something that I’ve been working on to do better with lack of time. I also think there’s a lot of different ways to communicate and I’m not doing all of them well so that’s an area that I’d love to improve on as well,” said Malcolm.

Being a science teacher, Malcolm loves things a certain way and values being organized with her students’ work. She also values knowing what the class needs to work on in order to get better and understand the content she’s teaching. Malcolm has some areas with teaching she could improve on, but she continues to show CVU her outstanding teaching skills.  

Malcolm enjoys teaching at CVU and is very appreciative of what CVU has to offer. “I really like the people at CVU. I love the students and faculty here. I think we have an excellent faculty and staff. I like collaborating with my colleagues and having the opportunity to be creative, and I think there’s a lot of things you can try here that you can’t at other schools,” said Malcolm. Malcolm also loves being able to express herself in class with her students. She feels very comfortable being herself which is something she values. “It’s been a very good fit for me and I’ve enjoyed my fourteen years here,” said Malcolm.

Malcolm is a very well rounded teacher who inspires students to work their best every day. She knows exactly how to create the perfect learning environment that keeps students engaged and excited to learn, which is a very hard skill for teachers to achieve.

 

Opinion: The Problem With Desks

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.

Image courtesy of Talia Loiter

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.

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AP Classes: a Necessity for the College-Driven

Mr. Samuel Knox

With college on the seniors’ minds, everyone is wondering if their SAT scores are high enough, if their GPA is up to par, and whether or not their essay says what they intend it to. However, one thing that students tend to put in the back of their mind is the number of Advanced Placement (AP) classes they have taken and how they will have performed in those classes.

At Champlain Valley Union High School there are 10 AP classes offered: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Calculus, Statistics, U.S. Government and Politics, Studio Art, Music Theory, Human Geography, and English. All of these classes are yearlong and the demand for enrollment is high. For classes such as Human Geography and Government, it takes as many as three blocks to fill the demand, and even then there are many students stuck on the waiting list. Although it is great that so many students are interested in these classes, it is quite upsetting for many to hear that CVU cannot meet their demands– all students should have access to these critical college-level classes.

The big question is why are students so intent on taking these classes? Ben Wetzell, a CVU junior taking two APs, explained it perfectly. “When I went and toured at Tufts [University], they said that you should definitely be taking AP classes! For them, it is an indicator of your work ethic.” Bay Foley-Cox, a senior who has taken a total of five APs, elaborated on this idea, “In a world where attending college in incredibly important, students in high school should gain some exposure to what it is like to take a college course. I think AP classes encompass a lot of the values in terms of education that we treasure at CVU. Also, every single admissions session I have attended has said that they are looking for a difficult class load and a good performance in those classes.” Wetzell and Foley-Cox have captured the very reason APs exist: to give students the opportunity to experience college level work before attending college. This is something that colleges love to see as it gives them a sense of how students deal with average high school courses as well more challenges ones.

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Bohemian Rhapsody: Our Critic Casts a Skeptical Eye

Ms. Elena Crites

Bohemian Rhapsody, the movie titled after the iconic rock ballad/opera/hard rock anthem and directed by Bryan Singer, was released on November 2, 2018. The film follows the story of the spectacular Freddie Mercury, played by Rami Malek, and his band, Queen. The film is essentially just a pretty safe biopic – save for Malek’s extraordinary performance and the thrilling soundtrack you’d expect from a movie about Queen.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Bohemian Rhapsody, the movie titled after the iconic rock ballad/opera/hard rock anthem and directed by Bryan Singer, was released on November 2, 2018. The film follows the story of the spectacular Freddie Mercury, played by Rami Malek, and his band, Queen. The film is essentially just a pretty safe biopic – save for Malek’s extraordinary performance and the thrilling soundtrack you’d expect from a movie about Queen.

 In the film, the story is presented that Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), born Farrokh Bulsara, an immigrant from Tanzania, met a group of band members while they were performing as a band called Smile. After they lost their lead singer, the ambitious Freddie joined the band and they began to produce new music as Queen. The film follows Freddie’s life and various romantic relationships, as well as the changing dynamics within the band.

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Vermont Nurses Negotiate Better Pay

Ms. Amber Robert

Courtesy of Valley News

Courtesy of Valley News

BURLINGTON, VT — After long months of negotiations, the University of Vermont Medical Center and the UVMMC Nurse’s Union reached a tentative contract agreement on Thursday, September 20th, 2018.

Earlier this year, many of the UVMMC nurses went on a two day strike. The union wanted a 24% increase over three years, but the hospital only offered a 13% increase (according to WCAX). The medical center and the Nurse’s Union have settled on a 16% wage increase over three years.

One UVMMC ICU nurse, Rachel Robert, commented on the working conditions vs. salaries. “For over a year now we’re constantly being called in for overtime and extra hours because there aren’t enough nurses staffed for the unit. We are constantly cycling through staff, which creates safety issues for the patients. It is very sad to see nurses that have been here for 20+ years leaving because they aren’t earning enough to retire on schedule.”

The average nursing salary in Vermont is $65,000 according to the Nurse Salary Guide. This salary is frustrating when compared to surrounding states. Massachusetts’ average nursing salary is $85,000. New York is $83,000. New Hampshire is $70,000. And that’s just in the North East. States such as California have an average nursing salary of over $100,000.

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Amnesty International Advocates Locally, Sees Success Globally

Ms. Alexandra Anderson

Amnesty is one of CVUs most established clubs, working in tandem with the international organization Amnesty International, whose central mission is to combat human rights violations globally. From events such as Write for Rights, where students write letters to foreign or domestic leaders about injustice, and the annual Eastern Regional Conference in Boston, Amnesty gives students a platform to create genuine change.

Katherine Riley, CVU Amnesty Advisor for the past 19 years, is a passionate advocate for Amnesty and its goals. “The mission as a whole is to bring to light social injustices, human rights abuses around the world,” she explained. She is emphatic about the necessity of high schoolers involvement in global issues, stating, “at the highschool level there’s an opportunity to raise awareness about injustice and also bring to light the reality for students that their actions can make a difference.” Due to its connection to the larger organization, the goals of the individual branch can be realized by joint forces globally, giving students the satisfaction of inciting real and genuine change.

Image Courtesy of Amnesty International

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CVU Looks to Hire New School Resource Officer

Mr. Sean Garey

In recent years gun violence in schools has become too common. Parents, teachers, lawmakers, and students are all demanding change. They all want safer schools. One of the methods being used to achieve this goal is a School Resource Officer (SRO).

After recent tragedies in schools across America, there has been talk of CVU hiring an SRO. An SRO is a career law enforcement officer with sworn authority. They are deployed by an employing police department or agency in a community-oriented policing assignment, to work in collaboration with one or more schools. According to the National Association of School Resource Officers, only “42 percent of public schools reported that they had at least one [School Resource Officer] present at least one day a week.” Some people ask if it is necessary for CVU to have an SRO. “NASRO recommends that every school have at least one carefully selected, specially trained school resource officer.”

Adam Bunting, principal of CVU, said the main role of an SRO in CVU would first be, “[To] build connections with students. The second would be to serve on student support teams.” An SRO will be just another connection students can have in school. The SRO will also be able to help students with problems outside of school.

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Stress: Turn and Face the Strain

Ms. Violet Hamel-Wade

 Life is full of stressors, ranging from more traumatic sources of stress such as the death of a loved one or a serious illness, to everyday stressors such as missing a bus or arguing with your significant other.

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Image from Blue Diamond Gallery

 American Psychological Association’s annual stress report sheds light on the stress that the people around us are feeling. The report lists Generation Z, roughly anyone born after 2000, as the second most stressed generation. Teen stress is often underestimated by adults, as most teens don’t have to manage the responsibilities of adults, such as paying rent or supporting a family. Studies, like this stress report, however, help to prove that teen stress is higher than it has ever been.

It’s no secret that many CVU students are experiencing anxiety on a daily basis, all at varying levels. “Stress is a natural fight or flight response that people need,” school nurse Megan Trevithick says. “If school wasn’t stressful we wouldn’t be motivated. It’s all good practice”.

While this is true, there are many cases in which the stress of school can impact a student’s ability to learn. “If you’re emotional then you shut down. You’re not processing and absorbing information. You get stressed because you don’t understand what is going on. It becomes a cycle,” Trevithick continues. This negative cycle seems to be a reality for many CVU students.

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Target Misses the Mark

Ms. Violet Hamel-Wade

Vermont is a state that is known for it’s beautiful scenery, endless outdoor adventures, and locally produced farm products. It is without a doubt a gorgeous place to live, and one that many residents are proud to call their home. However, our green mountain state has always lacked the commercial society that has grown considerably throughout the world. Many people feel suffocated by the small town feel and enjoy the journey to the next state over for a shopping mall with enough stores to satisfy even the casual shopper. It is for this reason that the new Target that opened in the University Mall on October 21st, 2018 was such a huge deal.

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Target is known for its versatility and universality. It has things to interest anyone from the pre-teen and the young mother to even the great grandfather. The buzz had started even before a date was set for opening, but shockingly following the autumn grand opening, many locals were underwhelmed.

We waited a long time for Target to come to Vermont,” said “Kacey” on Facebook, “but so far I’m disappointed. There seems to be a little bit of everything, but not a lot of anything.  And I do not understand at all why you would take up so much space of this small store with food!! There is a Hannaford, Trader Joe’s and Healthy Living surrounding Target.” It is true that the University Mall nearly shares a parking lot with Hannaford and if you prefer more niche items, Healthy Living and Trader Joe’s have you covered. It seems highly unnecessary to include a grocery section in this already cramped Target.

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Behind The (Green)screen: A Look into CVU Student Council News

Ms. Elena Crites

Every-other Tuesday at 10:00 am, CVU Student Body Co-President and Student Council News Anchor, Nicole Eaton, is hard at work. Along with notorious CVU AV expert Gary Lambert, Nicole produces bi-weekly news segments in order to inform the student body on the goings-on of the CVU community.

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Nicole Eaton rocking the SCN anchor spot (and cross-promoting CVU Basketball)

 This is Nicole’s first year anchoring, and she was selected not only due to her Student Council position but also because of her strong interest in broadcasting and her experiences within the field. She says that while filming this year’s welcome video, she talked with Gary regarding her college plans to study communications as well as her experiences during an internship she had with FOX 44 and ABC Local 22.

The CVU anchor position was still yet to be filled, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. “ I [love anchoring the SCN], just because this summer, when I was watching the anchors for the FOX 44 and ABC Local 22, it was really inspiring, and I didn’t really get a chance to actually practice the skills that I was seeing them use… [Now] I’m using [those] skills and it’s fun that people get to see me and that I get to see myself do something that I want to do in the future.” For Nicole, anchoring is not only an enjoyable extra-curricular activity, but also a great addition to the resume of a future communications major.

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The Eric Epidemic: A Look Into CVU’s Latest Fad

Ms. Elyse Martin-Smith

Kindhearted CVU junior Eric Couture has become an icon at CVU seemingly overnight during the beginning of 2019, but for a surprising reason. Small images of Couture have been placed in nooks and crannies around the school. Thanks to CVU junior Noel Bedard and some friends, it has been estimated that over 2,281 photos of Couture have been hidden around classrooms, bathrooms, and more.

The photo of Eric spotted outside of room 164, courtesy of Elyse Martin-Smith.

The photo of Eric spotted outside of room 164, courtesy of Elyse Martin-Smith.

In the beginning, the photo had started as a fun and accidental discovery between friends. They had no idea how much it would catch on in the CVU community. “Initially, our mutual friend, Avery Murray-Gurney, began messing around with the zoom on her phone camera and accidently took the photo. The photo itself was never even meant to exist,” said Noel Bedard.

“She found it inherently amusing due to Eric’s expression and therefore printed out about five of them and hid them around the school.” Bedard then asked for a copy of the photo. “Basically, I had to take it to another level.” With the help of some friends, more and more photos were placed around the school, slowly gaining more attention and positive recognition. What began as a few innocent photos quickly multiplied exponentially into a whopping multi-thousand picture operation, fueled by delightfully entertained onlookers.

Bedard and his comrades were inspired by a very dedicated and fun outlook on life. “My friend Calvin and I, Calvin being a discordian, a discordian basically being a religion devoted to pranking other people,” interested them in this daunting but epic pranking task.

The first “batch” of Erics were created on Monday, January 7th using CVU’s own library printer. Each batch consisted of 24 Erics, with merely five sheets racking up 120 Eric photos. As increasingly positive reactions emerged, so did the number of batches. The printing process became algorithmic, calculated considering defective Erics to total about 2,281 photos, which does not even include the amount that Calvin or others printed independently. The photos were meticulously and tediously hand cut before they moved onto the more fun stage of being hidden around the school.

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