Students of the Week – November 17, 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.
Middlebury Union High School is pleased to recognize the many accomplishments of Luke Benz. Luke is the son of Hannah and Eric Benz of Middlebury. He has three siblings: Abigail, a sophomore at MUHS, Caleb, a seventh-grader at MUMS, and Sarah, a second-grader at Mary Hogan.
Several awards speak to the breadth of Luke’s academic achievements. As the top scholar in his class, Luke was the recipient of a Vermont Green and Gold Scholarship. He was also a national finalist for the Samsung American Legion Scholarship. Last May Luke was inducted into the National Honor Society; in June he received the Harvard Book Prize and the St. Michael’s Award for Academic Achievement and Social Conscience.
Luke’s academic achievements include the American Legion Department Awards for math and science in grades 9, 10 and 11, and Honorable Mention in those grades for music and Spanish. Luke earned the top MUHS score in the American Math Competition and twice placed in the top 10 percent statewide in the UVM competition. He is currently taking Advanced Placement Biology, English and World History along with a linear algebra course at Middlebury College. AP Calculus, Spanish, Statistics and U.S. History filled Luke’s schedule last year.
As a 10th-grader, Luke participated in both the HOBY Leadership and New England Young Writers’ conferences. Junior year found Luke at Boys’ State and the Vermont Governor’s Institute for Engineering. He has been a Peer Leader and captain of the Scholars’ Bowl. Luke also played soccer all four years at MUHS, on varsity the last two.
Very active musically, Luke has been a valued and versatile participant with either his trombone or trumpet in the MUHS Jazz and Concert bands, the Bristol Town Band and the Middlebury Wind Ensemble. Luke qualified for the Green Mountain district jazz and concert bands for two years and was selected to play trumpet in last year’s All State Festival.
Luke earned an Award for Excellence in Community Service for his many hours of work. He tutors peers at school, and also volunteers at the Open Door Clinic, helping with tech support and Spanish translation. In rare spare moments, Luke enjoys watching sports, playing fantasy football and romping with his dogs.
Luke plans to attend a liberal arts college or university and certainly should have his choice from among the best.
Our heartiest congratulations to Luke. He’s been a force among us; may it continue to be with him.
Vergennes Union High School is pleased to recognize Sebastien Crowell as its Student of the Week. Seb lives in Vergennes with his parents, Hilary and Richard Crowell. His older sister, Alexandria, is currently attending college.
Seb has been part of the Student Council since junior year. He received the Most Improved in History Award sophomore year. Seb also participated in the Landmark College Social Pragmatic Group Summer program last summer.
Seb has run track and field since seventh grade. He was a member of the 4×100 meter relay in the Division II championships in 2012, and received second place in 2013. He has also been a member of the indoor track team since ninth grade, and ran cross-country during his freshman and sophomore years.
Seb has been playing trombone since age 9. He is part of the Commodore Jazz Ensemble, and is the leader of the trombone section. Seb has been in the marching and instrumental band.
Seb was soccer manager in 11th grade. He has also been on many committees, such as Homecoming and Prom. Seb has been on the set production crew for VUHS musical productions since freshman year, and has been set production crew captain since junior year.
Seb has also participated in Peace One Day since freshman year, and became the Peace One Day coordinator in 11th grade. As a junior he was a band mentor in the Special Education department. This year, he volunteered for the Special Olympics. He has also been an American Red Cross volunteer. The volunteer work Seb is most proud of was his work organizing the annual VUHS senior walk-a-thon for autism awareness. He helped his class raise over $3,000 to donate to Common Ground, a camp in Starksboro for children with autism.
The advice Seb would give to other students at VUHS is: “Everyone has challenges in their lives, and it is not the challenge that defines you, it is the effort that you put into creating your own happiness, and giving to those who struggle more than you do.”
Matt Schlein, a teacher at the Walden Program, said, “Seb is an amazing young man. From organizing his classmates to raise close to $4,000 for youth with autism, to his impassioned poetry, to his big smile, he makes his presence known in such a positive way to all who come in contact with him.”
Following graduation from VUHS, Seb plans to study environmental science. The faculty, staff and students of VUHS wish Seb Crowell the very best in the future.
Otter Valley Students of the week receive a gift certi?cate 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 certi?cate from Vermont Book Shop.
With support from:
Barash Mediation
Business Telephone Systems
Champlain Valley Plumbing and Heating
Jackman Fuels
JW DE Ryan
Martin’s Hardware
Noonie Deli
Tae Kwon Do KICKS
United Way of Addison County
Vermont Book Shop

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