CVU School Board News

Good News:

Two CVU students won awards in the 2013 CSWD Reuse Showcase contest. Olivia Hern of Shelburne won for 3-D Awesome Art and Rose Watts of Hinesburg won for Fabulous Fashion. Hern was advised by Visual Art teacher Emily McLean and Watts was advised by Family and Consumer Science teacher Eleanor Marsh. All winning pieces will be on display at Frog Hollow on Church Street in Burlington for the month of March.

Design and Technology teacher Olaf Verdonk worked with a team of CVU students in the Engineering Club to compete at UVM’s FIRST Robotics Competition on Saturday, Feb. 23. The CVU Robohawks did well for the first time out as a team.

On Thursday, Feb. 7, a CVU FBLA team won the State LifeSmarts Competition.  This is the third year CVU FBLA has won this event.  The team consists of Chris Petrillo (of Williston), Roshi Brooklyn (of Jericho), Sam Giles (of Shelburne), Graham Hulvey (of Shelburne), and Devon Cantor (of Shelburne).  As state champions, the team will head to Atlanta, Ga. in April to compete in the National Competition. 

On the Court and in the Classroom:

A fact not well known is that only three percent of the CVU budget is spent on all extracurricular programming, including athletics. Remarkably, successful sports teams at CVU are common, and the CVU Nordic ski teams and girls basketball teams are only the latest examples. Both the boys and girls Nordic ski teams recently won their respective state championships and both the Varsity and JV girls basketball teams had perfect seasons—a feat accomplished by a girls varsity basketball team less than five times in Vermont history.

What is well known, however, is that athletics often provide real-life lessons, and it takes skilled coaches to help players emerge from the ups and downs of this highly competitive environment that is better for the experience. This is not unlike how great teachers nurture their students in the classroom. Talented teachers and coaches are the catalysts that help students find their personal success, develop strong character, and emerge as informed, contributing citizens—CVU is fortunate to have both, often in the same individual.

The CVU girls basketball teams have been in transition for the past two years, as new coaching staff is working to coalesce three separately coached teams into a unified basketball program that shares a common philosophy around athletic skill building and personal character development.  Leading the transformation is Varsity Coach and AP Government teacher Ute Otley, a native Hoosier, member of the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame and Dartmouth alumna who, as a four-year starting point guard, helped lead the Big Green to four consecutive Ivy League Championships. She is well supported by her talented coaching colleagues, Dick Carlson (Varsity Assistant Coach and retired Shelburne Social Studies teacher), Cathy Kohlasch (JVA Coach and Williston Physical Education teacher), and Katie Kuntz (JVB Coach and CVU Social Studies teacher) in promoting a philosophy that stresses team building and commitment and transcends both the court and classroom:

• Push yourself—never be satisfied with what you have accomplished. See what you can actually achieve if you put everything you have into it, whether it’s your studies or something physical. Don’t stop short because you are afraid to fail.

• You can achieve more together than you ever can as an individual; or, in other words, no one of us is as smart or talented as all of us. Teamwork is the key to success, in sports and in government.  What can you do to make your teammates better? How can compromise create the best possible outcome for all involved, not just a select few? 

• Sacrifice is often required. Greatness has a price; if being great were easy, everyone would be great. You must be willing to sacrifice to reap the benefits. That sacrifice might be your free time, your playing time, or your willingness to compromise for the greater good. In society, it might be your tax dollars, the time you volunteer for your community, or a stance you take against public opinion. Delayed gratification may be your only reward.

• Do things the right way—no short cuts. Pay attention to detail. Be honest. Play and study hard, but always be fair and never cheat. Be respectful of your opponent and display good sportsmanship and good citizenship. Be a loyal team player. The hallmark of character. Is doing the right thing when no one else is looking.

The program engages its players and the community on many levels: holiday caroling at The Terraces, a local senior living complex; Varsity games that occasionally feature “mini-games” between local recreation league girls basketball teams during half-times; cookies to thank opposing teams for traveling to CVU for pre-season scrimmages; and team outings to games at local colleges are only a few examples of the ways in which coaches are instilling excitement and pride in their players. The coaches families also pitch-in, with hand-knit holiday scarves (of course in Redhawk red and white) made by the head coach’s mom and Valentine’s cookies made by the assistant coach’s wife for the players. “CVU students benefit in so many ways from the financial and emotional support provided by the community and the girls basketball teams are no exception.  We hope more residents will come and enjoy our games.  It’s a great way to spend an afternoon or evening during Vermont’s cold winter months,” Otley said.

This is only one example of the type of caring and enthusiastic work that makes CVU such a special place. Our comparatively modest investment in extracurricular activities is a great bang for the buck—creating points of community excitement and pride and, simultaneously, offering up valuable lessons in character.

Upcoming Events of Interest:

CVU will soon be looking for community panelists for Grad Challenge presentations on May 24. Contact MaryAnne Gatos for more information:

Save the date for CVU’s production of “The Miracle Worker” on March 15, 16, and 17.

A Special Word of Thanks:

The CVU School Board would like to express our appreciation to all CSSU voters who again showed support of our high school and its students by adopting the budget and all associated articles on the March 5 ballot.

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


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