Students of the Week – May 4, 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 proudly presents Margaret “Megan” Santell as its Student of the Week. Megan lives in Brandon with her parents Roberto and Ann Santell. Her sister Alaina is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, her sister Shannon is a student at Keiser University in Miami and her younger sister Mariah is a freshman at O.V.U.H.S. 
 Megan has maintained a top-10 GPA throughout high school and is currently ranked number nine in her class. It is no surprise that she is enrolled in AP Biology, AP Literature, and AP Calculus, and has taken the advanced language Spanish 4 class. She was awarded the Elmira Key Scholarship in grade 11 and the Academic All-State Award in grades 9 and 10 at Lee County High School in Sanford, N.C. She was inducted into the National Honor Society last year.
Beyond the classroom, Megan, who also answers to the moniker “A$AP,” has played varsity softball all four years of high school and in grade 11 she was the ? eld hockey manager. In grades 11 and 12 she participated in varsity cheerleading. 
 Outside of school, she enjoys practicing softball, cooking and taking walks through Brandon. She also enjoys playing with her dogs Duchess and Diesel. She works as a front-end associate at the Rite Aid in Brandon and has also interned at the Special Waste Department of Casella Waste Systems Inc. 
 Megan says, “I have learned during my high school career that instead of trying to be someone that you’re not, be you, and be the best you that you can possibly be.” After high school, Megan plans to attend Castleton State College in the fall and major in Business. From there she plans on continuing with her master’s in Healthcare Administration. 
 Her teacher and softball coach Ms. Candon has nice things to say about Megan. She says, “Megan brought with her solid fundamental skills and a strong knowledge of the game. She was an integral part of our championship season. She is very positive on and off the ? eld. She provides strong leadership and is an outstanding role model for her peers and younger students to follow.” 
 Teacher Mr. Havens is equally upbeat. He says, “Megan is always happy, smart, very kind and generous to others.” 
Everyone at Otter Valley wishes Megan Santell the very best in her future. 
Mount Abraham Union High School is pleased to name Jennifer Gordon as its Student of the Week. Jen lives in Bristol with her mom. Her parents are Matt and Lora Gordon. She has three siblings, Matthew, Brittany and Alyssa.
Every semester of high school, Jen has achieved either highest or high honors. For the past four years she has achieved academic excellence. She has won many awards throughout high school, including excellence in global citizenship, collaboration, and problem solving. She was inducted into the National Honor Society in her junior year and was voted secretary of the group.
Jen has been on the basketball and field hockey teams in grades 7 through 12. She also participated in the Fall musical in grades 7 through 12.
Jen works for the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union Expanded Learning Program at Bristol Elementary School. It is a program that meets twice a week after school. Jen works in the Farm to School workshop where the kids are designing outdoor classrooms and possible landscapes for the playground that would include more gardens with vegetables that would be utilized in the schools’ cafeteria. She also volunteers her time at the Three Day Stampede helping to raise money and awareness to find the cure for Cystic Fibrosis. She also volunteers some at the food shelf, and has done other volunteer work through the National Honor Society.
When Jen is not in school, she enjoys being outdoors. She like to hike and cross country ski. Most of her time outside of school is spent with family or friends, and surrounding herself with people who make her happy. She’s always playing basketball, whether it be AAU or Summer League ball. She enjoys being with her kids at Bristol Elementary and helping her community in anyway she can.
Jen says high school has taught her how to balance work and play. She says, “High school has taught me all about different kinds of people, and how to interact with them. Mt. Abraham has such a strong sense of community and support that it also taught me to always help out a friend or neighbor when ever anyone is need.”
Jen will be attending Ithaca College to major in athletic training. She plans to continue school to get her Masters in athletic training, as well as a doctorate degree in physical therapy with a discipline in athletics.
School counselor Mr. Kamman says, “Jen is a warm, friendly, and engaging young woman who displays leadership and resilience. She is a natural leader who earns the respect of her friends and teammates. Her election as a captain of her field hockey team this year is a clear example of that leadership.”
All in the Mt. Abraham community wish her the very 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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