CVU Dives for Special Olympic Events

Mr. Bennett G. Townley

The 2019 CVU Cool Schools Penguin Plunge in Burlington, VT made another huge impact on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019, for Special Olympics of Vermont. There were over 176 participants, according to a school poster that was located in the hallway.  

The Cool Schools are schools with Unified Sports Programs, which allow uniquely abled and intellectually disabled students to play school sports such as basketball, bocce, and bowling. The Unified Sports Team has a coach like any other sports team, but the biggest difference is that there are typically non-disabled students, known as partners, to help individually coach students when they need extra help.

“3232” – Courtesy of Heather Glenn Photography

Rahn Fleming, CVU Learning Center Director, stated, “The Penguin Plunge is important to CVU because it is a chance and an opportunity for us to live our message of inclusion and singleness of purpose.”  Fleming also stated that the first year CVU only had a small crew, which comprised between fifty and a hundred participants in 2013. Peter Booth, a math and Nexus teacher at CVU said that the first Penguin Plunge in 1995 had only ten people and that has increased significantly, growing to over 2,000 plungers in Vermont.

Booth, an avid Plunger and parent of a child with a disability, stated, “The PP [Penguin Plunge] is so important to CVU because (a) it raises so much money for Special Olympics Vermont and (b) it supports people in our community with disabilities.”

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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.

Image result for shelburne police department

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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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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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Racial Alliance Committee Forms to Raise Consciousness

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.

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One of the RAC posters around CVU

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.


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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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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 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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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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CVU’s Premiere Golf Course Gets Some Respect

Mr. Samuel Comai, CVC Leisure Sports Correspondent

The student body seems to be quick to judge the new frisbee golf course behind CVU. Insults from some CVU students have been aggressive and ill-informed. With misinformation circulating, it is important to put the truth of the course at the forefront of this discussion. The extensive surveying, design, and work put into the course do not match the respect it is getting. Carol Fox of the Wellness Committee, puts forward an honest takef about this fantastic resource.

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In the warmer months of the year, it is common to hear kids complain and insult the “frisbee golf” course. “Why would the school waste $20,000 destroying the forest and putting in a course that will never be used?” some of them wonder. “Think about everything else we could use that money for,” others assert. It is quite obvious that a large percent of the student body is unaware of the facts behind The Hawks Nest. The most widely spread misconception is that $20,000 of the school’s budget was used for the course, which in fact is not where the money came from.

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CVU Visitors Impressed, Inspired by School Environment

Ms. Nicole Eaton

HINESBURG, VT — On Thursday, December 7th, a group of Hanover High School students came to Champlain Valley Union High School to get ideas for their school. Each student got a tour of the school and got to sit-in on a class or two.

Alice is a sophomore from Norwich, Vermont, and Julia is in her first year at Hanover High.

Alice and Julia were both impressed by the environment at CVU and expressed their positive observations of excitedness. They especially loved the block scheduling and what seems like a “stress free” environment.

The girls loved a lot of things about CVU, but the things that they loved the most was block scheduling and the “stress free” environment.

“CVU’s block scheduling is very cool. It really gives students the opportunity to seek help if they need it and breaks up the week in a nice way,” says Cook. “You have opportunities to try things on different days. It makes sense in a way that our schedule doesn’t from an emotional and stress level standpoint.” she continues.

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Presenting… Final Projects from the Middle East

Misters Isaac Cleveland and Thomas Daley

HINESBURG — This past week, students in Chris Smith’s U.S. and the World classes presented their final projects for the Middle East unit. However… there’s a catch: every project—and all work in this unit, for that matter—was designed by the student.

“I love this unit,” stated Smith, “I think students get into it more.” CVU junior Iris Mann was in agreement: “You don’t necessarily have to, you can choose to,” Mann explained.

Projects included giving presentations, creating videos, baking food, making a Kahoot!, and much more. Chiara Antonioli, also a junior at CVU, made baklava—a traditional Assyrian dessert—for the class as a hope for peace in the Middle East; she noted that feuding entities such as Israel and Palestine or Greece and Turkey come together at holidays in that they both enjoy Baklava. Continue Reading

Tangible Product Fair Rolls into CVU

Mr. Jacob H. Bouffard 

As the fourth quarter closes and seniors can start to see their final days as high school students come to an end, only one thing stands in their way at Champlain Valley Union…Grad Challenge. A year long product that showcases “real world” experiences to high school students allows for them to gain a new perspective in a field of their choice. Many of these projects include a tangible product that the students made, and these products are shown to the whole school before their presentations during the Tangible Product Fair.

Video poduced by Huber & Shanks

In the past, the Tangible Product Fair has included all types of projects from a cake, to a surfboard, or even a metal sculpture. There are no limits on what students can enter into the fair, as long as they produced it themselves.

The main purpose of the fair is to allow students to put their work on display and talk about the experiences they had while doing the project. Since the presentations are only in front of roughly twenty people, the tangible product fair allows students to freely talk about their creations one on one without any pressure.

Having a tangible product fair doesn’t only showcase the student’s new found talents, but it also gives future seniors an idea for what they might want to do for their projects when the time comes. CVU senior Jeff Boliba “I got the idea to make a snowboard for my grad challenge my sophomore year when I saw that someone made a surfboard for their project”.

The fair is scheduled to be on Thursday May 25th, 2017 during all of third block. Students are encouraged to stop by during their lunch period and glance at all or some of the projects. There is no word on how many projects will be present, but in the past there has been enough to fill up the library with all sorts of inventions and creations.


Sons of Pitches Rock Out for Senior Class

Mssrs. Christopher T. O’Brien and Mr. Jacob C. Griggs

On Friday, May 12, the Sons of Pitches put on a show to help fund raise for the 2017 senior class.  

The concert was held in the CVU auditorium. The group of acapella singers were able to bring in $600 in one night of performing. With a big crowd to support the singers, they provided entertainment for the night.  


Image by Jennifer Lucey

CVU Senior and one of the leaders of the group, Nate Shanks, explained his thoughts on the event,  “It was a good way to get the student body and the public together to enjoy the night. It was also nice to see a big team effort from a bunch of different people.”

Another vocalist for the Sons of Pitches, senior Max Pudvar, said “We exceeded our own expectations for how the performance would go. It was awesome doing a collaboration with Urban dance and Rick (aka Hip Hop) I think everyone who attended enjoyed themselves and got their money’s worth.”

The crowd seemed to be pleased with the concert, stated CVU senior Hannah Munn. “I really love the courage and strength that they had during the concert.  Not going to lie it hit me straight in the soul when they sang Hallelujah.  This was also a great way to unify the class and bring in money.”  


Image by Jennifer Lucey

Although the acapella group sang throwbacks, they also sang newer songs like Gold Digger by Kanye West and Magic by BOB.

The $600 that were raised was from a one to five dollar donation upon entry. Michelle Fongemie, Laurie Gunn and an anonymous donor who attended the concert generously donated $100.

Here’s the full performance, if you dare:

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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Sofa in Learning Center: both Comfortable and Constructive

Ms. Emma Lieberman

Authors Note: The entirety of this piece was written while sitting on the big comfy couch in the learning center, while a CVU Junior (who wishes to remain anonymous) was power napping in the corner.

Come on in and take a load off. Recently, the faculty lounge sofa was placed in the CVU Learning Center. It is rumored to return to its home after school on Friday, Dec. 9, but I believe it should be a permanent addition to the school’s common areas. Rahn Flemming, Learning Center Tutor, says that it “promotes tenacity and academic endeavors because when you want to get up and leave, you can’t”.

After speaking with several CVU students, it is understood that the couch in the Learning Center is not only comfortable, but it is alse aesthetically pleasing. Caleb Jensen, strong safety on the JV football team says, “It’s a pretty couch.” In addition, it has social value, as you can fit anywhere from one to six students on it, and the couch is non-discriminatory. The couch can accommodate students of all shapes and sizes. Roarke Flad even states, “I got more work done in one block on that sofa than in any other chair in the school.”

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Better add a sweater to that polo-tee ensemble, golf and soccer seasons to converge

Mr. Max Akey

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

HINESBURG, Vermont– As winter quickly approaches the four towns that make up Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU). The many golf courses in the Chittenden County area close for the season and cover up the greens. CVU golf teams home golf course, Rocky Ridge, anticipates what will be the last spring golfing season for Vermont high school golfers.

This April will mark the last high school golf season to be played during the spring. At the start of this school year, the Vermont Principals Association (VPA) made the decision to move the golf season to the fall for the 2017-2018 year. This big change for CVU’s athletics is already beginning to affect not only the student athletes at CVU, but the coaching staff as well. Seth Emerson, the golf team’s head coach at CVU said earlier, “This change will affect us in a lot of ways. We’re going to lose a lot of quality golfers to soccer in the fall next year.” Golf, just like every other sports program at CVU, is taken very seriously and requires a high level of commitment. I have interviewed some of CVU’s student athletes and coaches regarding the decisions they will have to make next year.

The golf season has always been a spring sport for Vermont High School athletics. Many golfers start their season as soon as the snow melts and the ground dries up in the Spring. For high school golfers, the school season is the start to their year of golf. Golf has continued to be played throughout the summer and into the fall, or until the ground becomes too wet and muddy. The VPA is switching golf to a fall sport in an attempt to give the golfers more time for preseason practice. Often times, the ground is far to wet and the weather does not give golfers the practice they need to be prepared for such a short season in the spring. Their (VPA) hope is that the switch from Spring to Fall will allow high school teams to practice for the full fourth months of the season. “Day one in August is beautiful, where as in the spring you can’t golf in March in Vermont. There are a lot of positives to the switch,” says Seth.

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Trevithick Renews Natural Resources class

Ms. Olivia Cottrell

CVU Redhawk Cafe — on January fifth, Dave Trevithick’s two classes of Natural Resources had a public night. Students who have been working all semester on project got a chance to present their ideas and work to the public. This work was all based around CVU, how it could be made more self sufficient, how the overall health of the watershed that CVU is in is being impacted, and many more. More impressively, the work was student driven.

This year Natural Resources got a revamp. Trevithick took the class over and redesigned the curriculum to be based around student driven (and designed) projects work that students would be able to complete. According to Trevithick the idea is to get more students involved and caring about the environment, how it impacts the school and more importantly how we impact it.

The night went smoothly overall. Students were able to get ideas out to the community and receive feedback. Some community members were very interested in the work that had been done and spend a fair amount of time talking to individuals about their findings and research.

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CVU’s new flying disc golf course takes off

 Mr. Declan Trus


Photo courtesy of Snowbasin

As of this year, CVU has had a disc golf course available to students and staff members. The idea for this project came from Carol Fox and was approved by Kevin Riell, CVU’s former athletic director, with the Vermont Employees Health Initiative (VEHI). Carol had been meeting with other wellness leaders from our district, and one of them who was really passionate about disc golf had suggested many times to build the course. Carol and Kevin later met with Christopher Young, the president of Green Mountain Disc Golf, and Jeff Spring, who built the disc golf course behind Stowe, to start planning how to build the course.

According to Carol Fox, (who was in charge of the project) the course was made possible by a grant received from VEHI at the end of 2014. With this grant, the school decided to build this disc golf course. Young and Spring were the designers and builders of the course. Although they received some compensation, they logged 93 hours of volunteer work to complete the course. The total amount of money that was spent on this project was about $18,000 on labor, forestry equipment, materials and equipment for the course itself. Most of the labor was volunteer and included clearing the woods to make room for the course paths.

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Clowns: Why the long face?

Mr. David Huber

Courtesy of The Boston Globe

Photo courtesy of The Boston Globe

A recent trend has spooked the halls of CVU.  The fear some students have been experiencing has been from the recent clown scares/sightings happening nationwide.  This Clown scaring started as a marketing strategy for an upcoming indie film called “It”.  Since then, this marketing strategy has sparked numerous copy cats that aren’t advertising for the movie but are going out to scare individuals that come across them.  

Recently Vermont has been targeted by this spooking, local high school students who attend BFA which is just North of Burlington received threats from apparent clowns that were telling them, “We’re going to kidnap the students and kill the teachers”.    This has sparked law enforcement to get involved and their investigation concluded that it was another student from a nearby high school. This hasn’t been the case around the country though.  Schools in philadelphia received similar threats which sparked the school districts to close down schools in the area because the threats received were very specific and they shut the schools down for precautionary reasons.  

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Chromebooks: The new normal for CVU Freshmen

Mr. Doug Schmidt

HINESBURG, VT – CVU’s new “1-to-1” program is equipping every incoming freshman student with a new laptop to use both at school and at home to further incorporate technology into the learning process.

The program started in 2015, when the class of 2019 received new Windows computers. While the computers worked, they were unable to properly connect to the wireless network the school already had installed. “The Windows computers were good in concept, but in functionality, they had an older wireless card so they only operated on one of the two WiFi frequencies which caused major issues in all cores”.  These computers were replaced at the end of the 2015-16 school year with an updated Chromebook to avoid running into the same problem. So far, three weeks into the school year, no major issues arose other than a few shattered screens and broken keys.


Photo by Doug Schmidt

The goal of the program, according to Matt Vile, CVUs IT coordinator, is “to have a device in every student’s hand throughout the day to work on courses online with Moodle and Google Drive, and to do school work at home.” He went on to say “This creates an almost seamless connection between working at school and at home, in addition to equipping students with technology they can use throughout their four years at CVU,”

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Behind the scenes: New Changes to Moodle

By Mr. Alex Merrill

Image courtesy of

When you log into moodle this year have you noticed a change?  Five out of Ten CVU students have.  Some students noticed they had to change their password, while others noticed a new color scheme.  However; these small changes could just be made with a couple clicks of by an administrator.

The truth is that moodle at CVU has made its biggest leap in years. This summer CVU upgraded our moodle from Moodle 2 to Moodle 3.  If you have not noticed a change that is probably because IT did a good job with the upgrade.

Moodle has been in use for eight years at CVU and in that time it has been upgraded twice.  Once from Moodle to Moodle 2, and now to Moodle 3.  According to Charlie MacFadyen, Tech integration specialist and moodle expert, “CVU has always tried to stay current with Moodle but only wants to upgrade when a version is “stable”. Stable means that a version is free of all major bugs and runs smoothly.”

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spikeball: gets the old testosterone flowing

By Mr. Maxwell Akey

HINESBURG, Vermont– Get your tickets to the first annual 2016 Spikeball Roundnet Nationals located at West Potomac Park, Washington DC on October 15th. The winner will take home $4,400 cash plus tons of “Spikeball Swag”… Or you could add Life Team Sports to your second semester schedule at Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU) and learn to play spikeball without intense competition.

The global outburst and rise of Spikeball across the United States has influenced Vermont’s CVU to add Spikeball in the class Life Team Sports (LTS). LTS, a required class in order to graduate from CVU, has added a new tailgate unit for the class criteria. Spikeball, along with other popular lawn games like Kan Jam and Cornhole, are all new games to the unit and to the LTS environment at CVU. One of CVU’s LTS teachers, Tess LaPlante, spoke on the topic. “Spikeball is unique as far as the yard or long game activities go because it is the most active. It really tests athletic strength, speed, agility, and it requires a lot more communication with your partner.”

The highly entertaining four player game is rapidly spreading across the student body at CVU. The game is very similar to volleyball and four square. The game is played with one spikeball trampoline and one spikeball. Two teams of two stand across from each other a couple feet away from the net. One player serves the ball off of the trampoline to the person on the other team standing across the net. Next, the other team has three hits to successfully spike the ball onto the net and have it bounce off without hitting the net more than once. Once the ball touches the net,it is a change of possession and the opposing team gets their three hits to try and spike the ball. Points are rewarded if the ball hits the ground, the rim of the net, or if a team takes more than three touches.

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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.

Planning Ahead: AED

By Mr. Kyle Gorman

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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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Jenga Tournament tumbles down at CVU

By Mr. Nathaniel Mick

A loud boom, followed by a series of loud crashes is heard around the CVU cafeteria. Shortly after, an uproar of voices is heard from the origin of the crash. Looking closer, there is a group of 30 people huddled around a circular table, clapping the victor of the game on his back. The loser sits down in disbelief, disgruntled with his loss. 5 minutes later, the bell rings, and everyone leaves; like nothing ever happened.

CVU has been hosting an underground Jenga tournament for over 2 weeks, and it is just now beginning to gain popularity. The tournament is set up in a loser bracket system, where the worst players compete to be the worst at Jenga. The ultimate loser will face a punishment decided by the winner.


Jaden Rogers strategically removing a block from the tower.

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Reckless Driving


By Mr. David Huber

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Young and reckless, fast moving vehicles, and poor decision making.  These are some of the characteristics that CVU students have obtained within the last year.  You may think that every student goes to and from school safely and responsibly but the harsh reality is that CVU students are making poor choices behind the wheel and believe that they are as so called “Invincible”.  Many students have been reported for reckless and negligent driving so much that last year the surrounding police forces(Williston, Shelburne, and hinesburg) installed radar detectors along major school routes travelled by students and adults.  These radar detectors relay information that help the police target certain areas that are commonly known for speeding or have become speeding spots in the recent months. Yes police have caught some individuals, but for the most part, most kids at CVU continue to speed to school.  

Safe teen driving has been a discussion that has been ongoing for years now, and year after year communities are affected, whether it’s a teen who continues to wreak havoc with their terrible driving skills or a tragedy occurs.  Regardless, this is issue has yet to be resolved and every more dangerous drivers hit the roadways.

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