Students of the Week – March 23, 2015

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 proud to name Kirsten Werner its Student of the Week. Kirsten lives in Brandon with her parents, Peter and Karleen Werner. Her brother, Erik Werner, is a sophomore at St. Lawrence University, where he is studying conservation biology.
Kirsten has consistently been on the Scholars’ Roll and Honor Roll throughout high school and has been a member of the National Honor Society since junior year. She has taken AP Literature, AP Biology and AP Calculus. In 2014 she was awarded the Wellesley College Book Award. In the summer of 2013, she participated in the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine held at Babson College in Boston.
Kirsten has been a part of Otter Paws, a community service club, since sophomore year. She has also been a part of the Walking Stick Theatre since junior year, helping out in the costume department.
Since 2014, Kirsten has been working part time as a busser at Café Provence. She has also worked at Werner Tree Farm in Middlebury during the Christmas season and at Kinney Pike Insurance in Rutland.
Outside of school Kirsten enjoys dancing: ballet, jazz, contemporary and modern. She has been studying dance for 10 years at the Vermont Center for Dance Education in Rutland. This year she had the lead role in the studio’s performance of “Cinderella” at The Paramount Theatre in June. Other than dance, she enjoys sailing, kayaking and traveling.
Kirsten says, “While in high school, I have learned that it is really important to find something that you are passionate about. If you find that passion, no matter what it is, you will be both successful and happy.”
After high school, Kirsten plans to attend a college on the East Coast where she will study biology and eventually work in the medical field.
Guidance counselor Mrs. Robear says, “Kirsten has consistently proven to be an intelligent, poised, active and gracious member of our community, one who has been elected as our prom queen as a junior and one who was eager to share a picture of her wild game hunt that she participated in this fall. She truly represents the best of Otter Valley and of Vermont!”
We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations, Kirsten, from everyone at Otter Valley.
Mount Abraham Union High School congratulates Sarah Sodaro on being named its Student of the Week. Sarah lives in Monkton with her mom, Denise Walther, and her younger sister, Caroline, who is a seventh-grader at Mount Abe. Her dad is John Sodaro. She has three older half-siblings that live in New York.
Sarah calls herself “a strong B student and a hard worker, never giving up.” She received Academic Excellence in May of 2013, and has been consistently recognized for exemplifying TREAT, Mount Abe’s guidelines to working together as a community. She received the Foundational Science Award and an Art Recognition Award in 2012, Best Poetry Performance Choice Award (as decided by classmates) in 2011, and a P.E award in 2010.
Sarah has been on track and field since middle school. In 10th grade, she started running cross-country as well. She has also been involved with chorus. She takes a Design and Illustration Class at the Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury. She has participated in the school musicals in grades 9, 10 and 12.
In grades 9 and 10 Sarah sometimes helped out at Emerald Rose Gifts in Bristol. She has also started babysitting.
Sarah has been involved in STARS (Students Taking Action Responsibly) during middle school and the Vermont Teen Leadership and Safety Program in high school.
Outside of school Sarah enjoys spending time with her dog Zac; spending time with her friends and family; hunting, fishing, and four-wheeling with her dad; and spending time at her family’s cottage on Shadow Lake in Glover during the summer.
Sarah says high school has taught her “never to give up, even when the tides get rough, because it will get better. … Work hard but never take life too seriously. … Believe in yourself, because you matter, and we are all capable of much more than we think.”
Sarah plans to attend college and work in a field where she can help others. She also wants to keep art in her life.
One of Sarah’s teachers says, “Sarah is a kind, gentle, and positive young woman. She displays grit and determination in all that she does. She has been an exemplary student at Mt. Abraham and will no doubt be successful in the future!”
All of the Mount Abe community wishes Sarah nothing but the best. Congratulations, Sara
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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