Welcome to our first submission of News from CVU. Each month we plan to highlight student, faculty, and staff accomplishments and present a feature article that describes an initiative or event that CVU is working on. We will also mention upcoming events that are open to our community.
CVU’s Good News:
Seniors and Shelburne residents Emily Polhemus and Andy Wise are spending the year at Datong High School in Shanghai through the Vermont International Academy program. The students report that they’re adjusting to the school and the area, and are getting out to explore bustling Shanghai.
For the past few weeks, members of the CVU varsity soccer teams have been volunteering to help coach the Shelburne Kindergarten Soccer Program on Sundays. This is a 100 percent volunteer endeavor and an average of 25 coaches have been showing up each week to work with the kindergarten teams.
Krysta Dummitt, CVU 2011 and Shelburne resident, has been awarded the Freshman First Honor Prize for the Class of 2015 at Princeton University. This prize recognizes exceptional achievement in the academic work of the freshman year and includes a prize for the purchase of books for CVU’s library as well.
Eleanor Marsh, family and consumer science teacher, and her students joined forces with 12 other Vermont schools earlier this year to raise over $3,000 for the Vermont Food Bank through the Vermont Association of Family & Consumer Science’s Building Community Project.
Patti Tomashot’s advisory made dinner at Ronald McDonald House as a community service project. The meal? Fruit salad, tossed salad, apple crisp, and homemade mac and cheese (the House’s request!), all purchased and made by the advisory.
Monthly topic: CVU Succeeds in Whole School Energy Challenge
During the 2011-2012 school year, CVU participated in the Whole School Energy Challenge pilot program established a collaboration between the Vermont Energy Education Program, Efficiency Vermont, and the School Energy Management Program. The pilot at CVU was spearheaded by the school’s Environmental Action Club (EnACT) and the maintenance team—and set a lofty goal of reducing the school’s energy consumption by 10 percent.
The team began with an energy audit to determine where the school could best conserve and also to set baseline data. The first step was removing small appliances school-wide and centralizing usage. This meant saying goodbye to single office refrigerators and microwaves and a small expansion of energy-efficient appliances to the faculty/staff lounge (a happy side result was that this brought more people to the faculty/staff lounge during lunch, creating a more convivial atmosphere for everyone).
In addition to this simple yet powerful decision, faculty, staff, and students were educated on better usage and encouraged to take a “hibernation vacation” over weekends and school breaks—shutting down and unplugging power sources for computers and printers. As if this was not enough, computers are now shutdown earlier each evening by the IT department and the school’s HVAC system was improved to be more efficient.
One other major change was to the lighting in CVU’s renovated theatre: using rebates from Efficiency Vermont, the incandescent bulbs were replaced by LED bulbs. It is proven that LED bulbs consistently use less power than incandescent bulbs and also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower electric bills. Efficiency Vermont estimates that CVU saved 127,000 kWh and $13,700 through the efforts of this committee and the school community.
And while CVU was already energy conscious, this challenge made the whole community think and act more intentionally—an example: lights are now turned off as people leave classrooms and offices, rather than relying just on the motion sensors installed in nearly all classrooms. Also, almost every adult member of the community, encouraged by EnACT students, signed a 10 percent less pledge.
In fact, the students and EnACT, under the leadership of 9th grade English teacher Katie Antos-Ketcham, were the reason so many faculty and staff members eagerly jumped on board to assist. Presentations were given during faculty meetings and to students during assemblies that inspired and educated in such a way that to not make change seemed the wrong thing to do. This year it’s clear that the message and the learning stuck: it’s natural now for all community members to take that extra step and turn off computers and lights as they leave for the day, the weekend, a break.
What’s next? Two additional energy audits were conducted to see where CVU can further reduce usage during peak hours (off peak is where the team has been able to cut the most consumption) and create cost savings—with the actual next steps still being determined.
Readers who are interested in their own reduction in energy usage can find out more by visiting the websites of Efficiency Vermont and the Vermont Energy Education Program.
Upcoming Events of Interest:
Saturday, Oct. 20 – ACCESS Craft Fair 8 am
Thursday, Oct. 25 through Sunday, Oct. 28 – Fall Musical “Grease” 7:30 pm (except Sunday, which is at 2 pm)
Shelburne Representatives to the CVU School Board:
Susan Grasso 985-0604
Susan Holson 985-2452
Joan Lenes 985-8515
CVU Liaison to the Communications Committee:
Robin Lauzon – email@example.com