Vermont Commons School celebrated its 15th graduation on Friday, June 8, and three Shelburne residents were honored during the ceremony. Graduating senior, Alexis “Lex” Jackson, daughter of Jeff Jackson and Carol Blattspieler, received two awards: One for academic distinction in language arts and another for outstanding contributions to the school community. Lex will be attending Colby College in Waterville, Maine in the fall. Graduating senior, Nate Jaffe, son of Nancy and Mark Jaffe, received an award for distinguished achievement in social studies. Nate will attend Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. in the fall. Ninth-grader, Adrian Kelly, son of Nathalie and Greg Kelly, received an award for distinguished achievement in research and service, a class that connects learning to community engagement and environmental stewardship.
VCS Alumna and Science Instructor, Ruth Heindel, also a Shelburne resident, received the Vermont Commons Naturalist Certificate. The Naturalist Certificate recognizes VCS students who have exceeded the goals of the VCS Science Mission Statement of producing Naturalists. Heindel is only the fourth VCS student to receive this award. She is leaving VCS because she has enrolled in a PhD program in the Dartmouth Earth Sciences Department to pursue her interest in arctic geology. In addition to her acceptance into the Earth Sciences Department, she has received an Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Fellowship to be part of Dartmouth’s Polar Environmental Change program. The program will allow her to research glacial history and landscape evolution in Greenland, while considering the social impacts of climate change in the arctic and effective methods of science communication.