Students of the Week – November 10, 2014

The Addison Independent is proud to publish the Students of the Week from area High Schools each week. The students are chosen by teachers and administration from each school who would like to recognize their exceptional engagement in the high schools they attend.
Otter Valley Union High School is pleased to name Vytas Nielsen its Student of the Week. Vytas is the son of Todd Nielsen and Aida Nielsen of Brandon. His brother, Robertas, is a junior at Otter Valley.
This year Vytas will take four Advanced Placement classes: Biology, Calculus, European History and Literature. He is a member of the National Honor Society, is one of two student representatives on Otter Valley’s school board and is the vice president of the senior class and also the co-treasurer on the Student Council.
Since seventh grade, Vytas has been doing rock climbing at the Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center. He has played football since eighth grade, played lacrosse till 11th grade, has participated in the one-act plays since his freshman year, and has been in the musical since last year.
In 2013, Vytas worked as an assistant camp counselor who was made a counselor because of staff issues. This put him in charge of six 10-15 year olds for three weeks. He says it taught him that there is a real responsibility in starting to be an adult and that there are some rough situations that you just have to push through. He also worked on a dairy farm on and off during 2010-2011.
Outside of school, Vytas tries to spend a lot of time relaxing to wind down from his busy schedule. During the summers he likes to go swimming with friends at his camp in Wallingford, go hiking, or just have movie nights with a few people.
Vytas says he has learned that high school is a time to have fun as well as to “learn from all of our mistakes, and I’ve made quite a few of those as all high schoolers have in their lifetimes.” He says his philosophy “is to just not stress.”
After high school, Vytas plans to obtain his bachelor’s in nursing and then moving on to get his master’s as a nurse practitioner
According to Mr.Havens, “?Vytas always greets you with a smile. His academics are top notch, and his kindness knows no bounds.” And Mr. Dwyer says, “Perceptive, zany and insightful are among the word words that come to mind in describing Vytas Nielsen … Vytas is an honest and caring person who demonstrates great school spirit.”
Vytas has been a wonderful part of the Otter Valley community, and everyone there wishes him the best in his future.
Mount Abraham Union High School congratulates Mary-Kate Clark on being named Student of the Week. Mary-Kate lives in Monkton with her parents, Martin and Kathleen Clark. Her older brother, Andy, attends Keene State.
Mary-Kate has consistently been on highest honor roll in high school. She is vice president of the National Honor Society, through which she is a Bristol Food Shelf coordinator. Last year she took Advanced Placement Calculus AB. This year she is taking AP Calculus BC, AP Biology and AP English Literature and Composition, as well as Spanish 5. She has participated in the Challenge Diploma for all four years. She has been offered scholarships to both the University of Rochester and the University of Vermont.
Mary-Kate played has played soccer and basketball at Otter Valley, as well as AAU basketball. She has been on the varsity softball team since junior year. She been in the fall musical all four years and will play the dragon in the upcoming “Shrek, the Musical.” She has been in the spring musical since sophomore year. She has played alto sax in the jazz ensemble all four years. She’s been in the cappella group since junior year and in the chorus all four years, attending Green Mountain District Chorus in grade 11.
Mary-Kate has been a participant in Young Life in Addison County since ninth grade and is training to be a volunteer leader. She has been on the Winter Ball Dance Committee and the Prom Committee. This year she is Class Council Treasurer.
In the summer, Mary-Kate works for her parents at Martin’s Hardware in Bristol. This past summer she volunteered for the Young Life Work Crew as a dining hall server at a camp in Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Bristol Federated Church.
Outside of school she enjoys reading, playing sports, singing, dancing and hanging out with friends.
When asked for advice for other students, Mary-Kate said, “If you always choose to be friendly, caring, loyal, honest and, above all, love everyone, you will lead a joyful life.”
Megan LaRose, vocal director, says, “You believe in the future of humankind when you have a student like Mary-Kate. She is a steadfast friend, a committed worker-bee, and a joy to be around. Her approachability opens doors for classmates and younger students alike, improving all that is good about our school community.”
After high school, Mary-Kate plans to go on to a four-year college, studying mathematics or biology.
Everyone at Mount Abe wishes her the best.
Otter Valley Students of the week receive a gift certificate from the Book & Leaf Bookstore. Mt. Abe Students of the Week receive a free pizza from Cubbers. Vergennes Students of the Week receive a free sandwich and drink from 3 Squares Cafe. Middlebury Students of the Week receive a free pizza from Green Peppers. Students of the Week from all area high schools will receive a gift certificate from Vermont Book Shop.
With support from:
Barash Mediation
Business Telephone Systems
Champlain Valley Plumbing and Heating
JW DE Ryan
Martin’s Hardware
Paige and Campbell Insurance
United Way of Addison County
Vermont Book Shop 

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