Class of 2014 marks Champlain Valley Union’s 50th year

Champlain Valley Union marked its fiftieth year with the graduation of 278 students at the University of Vermont’s Patrick Gymnasium at 1pm on Friday, June 13. Over an hour later, with diplomas in hand, the Class of 2014 flung their mortarboards into the air and marched out the door to thunderous applause. Although the “Triumphal March” music for the senior processional was canned, Seamus Buxton and Eliza Giles sang the national anthem a cappella.

Senior Emma Griesser welcomed those in attendance followed by a special address from Senator Diane Snelling whose mother, Barbara Snelling, was the driving force behind the construction of the union school. A CVU graduate, Sen. Snelling reminisced about the site selected for the school, a rural farming community, and offered this perspective, “progress happens when people are committed to change.”

Senior speakers’ Anna Fransceschetti and Will Columb, imparted words of wisdom to the graduating class, after which the class gift, the refurbishment of the outdoor volleyball courts and a new Redhawks Mascot, was announced by seniors Amanda Whitbeck and Liam Donnelly.

Next was guest speaker Chris Hood, whose comments to the class were warm, honest, and poignant as expected from this CVU alum and math teacher of 21 years. Hood, who graduated from CVU 25 years ago with the Class of 1988, urged students to “teach and learn.” He demurred about being asked to speak at graduation, and joked while he told a personal story illustrating how everyone, even a 3-year old boy, has the capacity for both skills. “My son Henry has a beloved stuffed bear named Scratchy,” he shared. “While his mother drove, Henry held Scratchy out the car window to see if he could fly. Sadly, Scratchy could not. After searching for the elusive bear for hours, Henry, nearly inconsolable, “taught” his mother about adversity. His lesson: even when all hope was lost, and before Scratchy’s eventual discovery, everything would be alright.”
Offering a farewell rap at the commencement ceremony was 2014 class member Sokuen Ryan who reminded students to “shine their light on others.”
Chris Hood
Like any good mathematics course, the messages on this graduation day added up: Celebrate the past, work together. Teach. Learn. Shine. And as Hood concluded, “You can always come home.”

Scholarships and awards
ACCESS CVU Scholarship: Arianna Davis
American Mathematics Competition: Aubrey Wiederin
Ancient Greece Award: Amanda Whitbeck
Arthur H. Scholarship Awards: Seamus Buxton, Mikala Clark, Taylor Fontaine, Brianna Hake, Olivia Hern, Zoey LaChance, Amanda Milne, Isabelle Rose, and Addison Zinner
Bryan Daniel Memorial Award: Amanda Beatty
BTC: President’s Award for Academic Excellence: Kiernan Fitzgerald
BTC: Outstanding Second Year Student: Andre Hathaway
Charlotte-Shelburne Rotary: Nikolas Baya, Jeannine Bissonette
Chinese Language Awards: Nikolas Baya, Emily Geske
Coach David Bremner Award: Zackery Evans
Cowboy Lewis Memorial Scholarship: Seamus Buxton
Creative Writing Awards: Kristin Bauer and Zoey LaChance
CVU Redhawk Football Award: Kiernan Fitzgerald
CY’s Outstanding Leadership in Prevention Scholarship: Zoey LaChance
Design Technology Awards: Russell Fox and Wesley McEntee
Diligence Awards: Michael Gilbeau, Sarah Kinsley, and Megan Mansfield
Direction Center Award: Zowie Tuttle
Don Moore Scholarship: Zachary Marshall
Dylan Peters Visual Arts Memorial Scholarship: Olivia DeCarr
El Premio de Espanol: William Columb and Maria Mignano
Environmental Activism Awards: Cameron Harris and Miranda Selinger
Eunice B. Farr Incentive Award: Steven Robert
Faculty Awards: Cameron Harris and Anthea Weiss
Family and Consumer Science Award: Chloe Reynolds
French Language Awards: Gabrielle Masson and Robyn Leary
Friends of CVU School Spirit Award: Alex Bulla
Friendship Masonic Lodge #24 Awards: Seamujs Buxton, Autumn Eastman, Olivai Hern, Steven Robert, and Addison Zinner
Greg Cluff Citizenship Award: Lucas Hilker
Hart Athletic Award: Kaelyn Kohlasch
Hinesburg Lions’ Club Award: Jeannine Bissonette
Integrity Awards: Taylor Fontaine and Jenna LaFountain
John Phillip Sousa Band Award: Robyn Leary
Journalism Awards: William Bernicke, Corinne Casarico, Becca O’Brien, Brandon O’Connell and Max Whitcomb
Kathy M. Stringer Devost Scholarship: William Columb
Key Club Award: Brianna Hake
Larry Wagner Math Award: Bikolas Baya
Literacy Seminar Award: Ellen Parent
Louis Armstrong Jazz Award: David Kerr
M&R Charities, Inc. Scholarship: Brianna Hake
National Merit Scholarship Commendations: Nikolas Baya, Caroline Braun, Kestrel Grevatt, Fiona Higgins, Caroline Jones, William Kay, Maeghan McAuliffe, Kelly Ng, Miranda Selinger, Emma Slater, Kyle Stanley, David Tamas-Parris, and Aubrey Wiederin
National Technical Honor Society Member: Shannon Fahy
Northfield Savings Bank Scholarship: Carly Caswell
Outstanding Business Student Awards: Jessica Holly and Max Whitcomb
Outstanding English Student Awards: Seamus Buxton and Fiona Higgins
Outstanding Essayist Awards: Caroline Braun and Corinne Loiseau
Outstanding Senior Musician Award: Christopher Jordan
Palmer Award: Evangeline Dunphy
Pam Paradee Community Outreach Award: Kaelyn Kohlasch
Principal’s Leadership Award: Emma Griesser
Raising Aspirations Award: Olivia DeCarr
Robert J. Pepper Science Award: Wesley McEntee
Sara Grayson Memorial Scholarship: Lauren Kelley
School Directors’ Awards: Fiona Higgins and Amanda Whitbeck
Skills USA Bronze Medal Award: Colin Snyder
Stiller Family Foundation Scholarship: Amy Conn
Theatre Award: Zoey LaChance
Tom Titus Track & Field Award: Autumn Eastman
Tomorrow’s Business Leader Award (FBLA): Anthony Burds
Twenty First Century-Social Studies Awards: William Columb and Anthea Weiss
US Presidents Scholar Candidates: Nikolas Baya, Nicole Israel-Meyer, Brendan Murphy, David Tamas-Parris, and Sarah Winget
UVM Math Test Certificate of Merit: Aubrey Wiederin
VBCA: Amanda Beatty and Kaelyn Kohlasch
Vergilian Latin Award: Olivia Matthews
Visual Arts DDepartment Awards: Patrick Stearns and Addison Zinner
VSADA Scholar/Athlete Awards: Autumn Eastman and Zackery Evans
Washington Masonic Lodge Scholarship: Seamus Buxton
Williston-Richmond Rotary Scholarship: Max Whitcomb
Working on Respecting Diversity: Ming Fen Congdon
Zeke Kassel Memorial Awards: Sokuen Ryan and Ming Fen Congdon