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Guyette honored in Vergennes

VERGENNES — Vergennes Union High School on Saturday surprised its former drivers’ education teacher, coach, groundskeeper and athletic director Roland Guyette — still a tireless contributor to the school 11 years after his formal retirement — by naming its athletics fields after him.
More than 100 friends; VUHS students, teachers, officials and alumni; and members of Guyette’s family were on hand between the two VUHS homecoming soccer games when the wraps came off two signs at the newly built entrance to the VUHS fields.  
One sign, carved in stone facing the school, simply reads, “V. Roland Guyette Athletic Fields.”
And a metal plaque sitting atop a semicircular stone wall that bends around a stone patio, honors Guyette:
“Thank you for the countless hours you have spent teaching and coaching our students and maintaining our fields. Words cannot express our heartfelt thanks for the years of dedication to the Athletic Department and VUHS.”
VUHS board member Donald Jochum — a former student of Guyette’s — said on Saturday he was proud to have made the motion to approve naming the fields after Guyette.
Another in attendance was Vergennes Mayor Michael Daniels, who read from a resolution in which he did “hereby proclaim this 24th day of September, 2011, as Roland Guyette Day and ask that all citizens join me in acknowledging his dedication and commitment to our community.”
Daniels gave Guyette the official copy of the page-long resolution, which detailed Guyette’s contributions.
Guyette joined the VUHS faculty as the drivers’ ed teacher in 1967, and continued in that position until 2000. During his tenure, he spent 30 years coaching teams that included junior varsity girls’ basketball, JV and varsity baseball, girls’ varsity soccer, and JV and varsity boys’ soccer.
He also served as the VUHS athletic director in the 1976-1977 school year, and then again from 1978 to 1981, and was the school’s official groundskeeper from 1990 to 1999.
After his retirement in 2000, that latter position changed to “groundskeeper’s attendant.” Guyette remains a fixture running the clock at home soccer, baseball and basketball games, while handling the announcing chores at basketball games, as well.
Guyette taught at two other schools before coming to VUHS, and has served public schools for 54 years in all.
Daniels also noted Guyette has served as the director of the Vergennes city pool for two decades.
Guyette is a longtime Vergennes resident who now lives with his wife, Sandra, in Waltham. A poignant moment on Saturday came when they shared a kiss as the gathering applauded.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at andyk@addisonindependent.com.

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