Tag Archives: seniors

photo by Debbie Seaton

Was Prom Really That Different This Year?

By Georgia Bruneau, Mon, June 7th, 2021

HINESBURG- As we know CVU prom was a little different this year. Aside from adding masks to everyone’s outfits, our biggest change was the location. Prom this year was held outside right next to the school. A lot of work went into making this prom enjoyable for everyone. There was a big tent, a dance floor, and even food trucks. That’s a first for our students here and as much fun as it was, most hope for it to be the last.

CVU senior, Maggie Bruneau voiced her opinion on the dance. “It was okay, better than how I expected it to be but, to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. I’m a little disappointed that I will never get to experience a true high school prom but this was fun too. I appreciate the hard work the staff put in to make the night enjoyable and fun for everyone. The food trucks were cool and different, and the red carpet was really pretty throughout the school. I could tell there was a lot of effort put into it.” 

Sophomore Esther Cuneo, like Bruneau, shared the experience of her first prom. “For my first ever prom it is definitely not how I dreamt it would be. But it was fun, very close to normal, I would say it felt like life was almost normal again. But for the circumstances, it looked way better than I thought. The staff definitely put their best efforts into the decorations and it showed, I honestly didn’t think it would look that good. And the food trucks were a great bonus. As for the actual dance… I didn’t stay long. But everyone I saw looked great and seemed to be having a really good time. Overall I would say it was a success, and now our proms can only get better from here” But fortunately unlike Bruneau, that won’t be Cuneo’s last CVU prom, and like she said, “Our proms can only get better from here.”

Some of the prom chaperones have a different viewpoint on how the night really went. “Everyone came in looking great, high spirits, everyone seemed really happy, which was normal prom stuff.” Says campus supervisor Seth Emerson. “It seemed like everyone was having a really good time, the dance floor was crowded the whole time, it looked like people were having a blast! It came out better than I expected.”

Math teacher “Jersey Steve” Reinman agrees with Emerson’s lively take on the prom evening but sets a more realistic tone for the night. “Prom was totally different this year, you had to wear a mask, it wasn’t at the venue it was at CVU in the back of the parking lot, there were a lot of restrictions on what we could and couldn’t do, but that being said, prom was totally awesome this year. The food trucks out there were really cool, and way more people came than I thought.” 

As for Steve’s expectations, the night went above and beyond dealing with the restrictions we had. “But it wasn’t like prom a couple of years ago like when it was at the old lantern in Charlotte, that was a really nice place. But for what our guidelines were, I think we knocked it out of the park!” Most agree with this honest statement, for dealing with a global pandemic our prom staff really made the night “almost normal.”

Photo by Debbie Seaton

The Class Of Covid And The Battle Of 2021

Jagger Lehouiller

Hinesburg VT–Hybrid learning has been a very difficult adjustment this year. I decided to interview several students at Champlain Valley Union High School to ask about their experience with Covid throughout their senior year to see if it has been as challenging for them as for me. 

 To my surprise, many students are feeling the same emotions as I am. One senior, Derek Pickard, stated, “although I believe that CVU is a great school and has tried many different solutions to all of the mayhem that was this year, I think student support may have gotten a little tangled this year. With so many other problems occurring and so many substitutions being made to continue the learning experience I believe that individual 1 on 1 student faculty help was not as supportive regardless of all the intent of it being there.”  Many students, specifically seniors, have seen a lack of support/ or enough support this year. With there being so many issues in and out of school, students have felt the school has turned a blind eye on them.

Senior Bella Serafini felt, “I have a very hard time with hybrid learning because I feel disconnected from my teachers and I feel as though learning material is much harder.” Lack of structure and support has led to students having a harder time adjusting to these new schedules. 

In the past, it was required for seniors to create a “Graduation Challenge”. It was an interest-based learning experience built around something you enjoy, and/or are interested in. This challenge was required to graduate, and most looked forward to it. This year, the Grad Challenge is not the same as it was; now students are expected to create a slideshow reflecting their past, present, and future. With minimal information and confusing guidelines this change has led students to confusion.

One student said, “As of today May 6th 2021 I have put zero thought into my graduation slide. I feel as if it is an excuse to make other students who have graduated before feel as if they did there project for nothing a slideshow about myself will not prove to anyone the person am I compared to previous grad projects where you could reflect on what u love through helping the community” another students states, “I think Grad Challenge is a good way to connect with the community, but I think there is too much pressure associated with it.” 

CVU has had quite a confusing and difficult year, but as seniors we have proven to overcome all obstacles. 

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New Virus, New Mask Mandates, New College Application Process?

Hailey Chase

HINESBURG, VT– Two words of 2020 were “new normal,” and that can even be applied to CVU’s seniors’ different college application process. From travel restrictions to different class scheduling at CVU, this “new normal” has had a significant impact on seniors’ college decisions.

CVU senior Sunny Premsankar expressed how this year’s college process was unique for her. Sunny was unable to visit any schools before sending in her applications—something most seniors can relate to. Like Sunny, most seniors utilized online resources for the majority of their college research. Many colleges and universities now offer virtual self-guided tours; prospective students can click through campus and get an idea of what schools may look like. Thankfully, Sunny was able to visit the school she committed to, but only a few days before the May 1st National Commitment Day deadline. Another obstacle she had to overcome was the final semester of junior year; the world was shutting down, school was online, but AP classes continued to teach new material. 

“End of the school year-wise, I think it was harder for AP class and for AP exams. For Chem at least, we had to do three units online before the AP exam. It was definitely harder to end with a good grade,” the student noted. Sunny’s experience in her final semester as a junior is something almost all students at CVU can relate to; when COVID hit and school was online, it was a major change that didn’t discriminate—absolutely everyone was affected. For juniors and seniors enrolled in AP classes last spring, that meant a greater challenge to learn the new material in preparation for finals and the AP exam. 

CVU Guidance Counselor Jen Bickel-Hayes weighed her opinion on the class of 2021’s college application experience as well. On the topic of new test-optional policies, she explained, “One of the biggest changes was that most schools took a test-optional approach with their testing policy. This means that applicants were able to submit test scores if they felt they would be beneficial to their application. However, if they chose not to send test scores, the schools would not view this negatively when considering a student for acceptance,” which many students were grateful for. In Vermont, SAT and ACT testing sites began canceling test sessions in March 2020, and there were little to no tests offered until September of 2020. The guidance counselor also touched on new COVID-related writing prompts on many schools’ applications as an opportunity for applicants to share how COVID has affected their life, whether it be academic or not. 

In terms of college applications for future college applicants, Bickel-Hayes believes that there are a few significant changes that are here to stay, the first one being test-optional policies at some colleges. “Many schools will remain test optional for at least next year’s application season. This is due to the fact that it is still difficult for students to take the tests or take it multiple times,” she stated. 

COVID has had an immense impact on the world—not just on CVU and its students. “New normal” policies are being implemented into every aspect of life, and the college application process is no exception. With lasting effects, from finishing junior year remotely and the inability to visit colleges, CVU’s seniors have had a much different college application process than pre-COVID classes, and now some of these changes, such as test-optional policies, are here to stay.

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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Seniors offer advice on applying to college

Ms. Lucy Anderson

As April draws to an end and May begins, there are many changes. The days grow warmer, students start participating in spring sports, and everyone looks towards the promise of summer. However, the greatest change for many CVU seniors is the knowledge of where they will be attending school next year. After months of hard work writing essays, gathering recommendations, filling out applications, and finally receiving admissions decisions, the members of the class of 2016 who have chosen to attend a college or university know what school they will next year call home.

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The process of selecting a college is arduous and in most cases, extremely stressful. As the long ordeal draws to a close, many seniors want to share their wisdom with juniors and underclassmen. In order to do so, CVC caught up with Lucy Pappas, CVU vice president and future Middlebury student. Pappas applied to Middlebury early decision, which means that she sent in her application early with the condition that if she got accepted, she was binded to that school. Pappas recommended early decision for any student that has “truly fallen in love with a school, because knowing where you’re going so early is really nice. However, if you’re not completely sure, there’s nothing wrong with applying everywhere regular decision or early action. When I went on the Middlebury tour, I had that ‘ah-ha!’ moment.”

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A Tribute to Seniors

Ms. Katherine Hoechner

Time is trickling down as the days become closer and closer to June 12, 2015- the day that the Senior Class graduates from Champlain Valley Union High School.

From college, to gap years, prep schools and adventures, I’ve discovered that CVU Seniors are practically doing it all in the year to come. As exciting as the next step is however, it’s also quite scary to look back and see where the past four years have gone.

I remember walking into CVU my first day as a freshman. I even remember the exact outfit I was wearing, and if you were wondering, it was my favorite blue Forever 21 shirt and white Urban Outfitter shorts. I remember being the little fish inside a huge school of sharks, as well as being rather rattled at the random video cameras documenting our first day arrivals. It’s crazy how time flies, I mean look at where we all are now.

It’s scary to take a blast into the past and realize how far we’ve all come. Four years ago I would have never expected to be graduating and enrolling into Eckerd College in Florida with my very best friend. I didn’t expect to see one of my amazing best friends enroll herself into Cornell’s Class of 2019, and I sure as hell wasn’t expecting this year to go by as fast as it did. It’s insane where we all began and to see where we all are headed- and

I decided to walk around the school one afternoon and catch up with fellow Seniors about where they plan on going next year. I wanted to see which route students deemed fitting for themselves, why they picked the route, and what excitement and worries come with that big decision (whatever it may be). The directions that each individual students  are about to embark on are both unique and intriguing and I think this is probably the best part of this year, that is, figuring out where everyone plans to go. We all started together, and now we end in our own different ways.

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