Students of the Week – November 16, 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.
Middlebury Union High School is pleased to recognize James Whitley as its Student of the Week. James is the son of Patrick and Lisa Whitley; they live in Weybridge. His sister, Laura, is a sophomore, and his brother, Brian, attends Weybridge Elementary.
James maintains his own apiary. He and his bees appear to share a work ethic, and if honey were achievement, the Whitley brand would be a blue ribbon winner!
James has earned High Honors throughout high school, and for that he received the President’s Education Award along with an AP Scholar Award. He was also recently named the MUHS nominee for a UVM Green and Gold Scholarship. In 11th grade, James garnered the Harvard Book Award, the Clarkson University Leadership Scholarship and a Boys’ State Hall of Fame recognition and scholarship.
James has taken AP Biology, Calculus and U.S. History, and he is currently enrolled in AP English, Statistics and World History. He is also a teaching assistant in chemistry. After fall and spring classes, James runs off to compete in cross-country and track. In summer, he works at a modular house building company.
Recognized for his strong, quiet leadership qualities, James is president of the MUHS National Honor Society and is one of our Peer Leader Coordinators. James is also captain of the MUHS wrestling team, and he happens to hold the school record for most wins in a season.
James shares his body/mind/spirit interests and talents with others by serving as a coach for the Middlebury Area Wrestling Association, peer tutoring in our Learning Lab, and assisting with catechism classes.
Professing a love of animals — especially chickens!?! — James’ ultimate goal is to be a veterinarian and care for creatures small and large. James has spent time shadowing at the Castleton Vet Clinic. In his rare spare moments, he likes to hunt and trap, and watch anime.
Whether as a bee in one of his hives or a community member at MUHS, we have all benefitted from James’ hard work, and from the caring and sharing person that he is. We thank you for that, James, and warmly wish you the very best in the years ahead.
Vergennes Union High School is pleased to recognize Tyler Kepes as its Student of the Week. Tyler lives in Addison with his dad and mom, Andy and Janet Kepes. Tyler has an older sister, Samantha, who is a freshman at Kenyon College in Ohio.
Tyler has made honor and high honor roll every semester of his high school career. He was elected into the National Honor Society. Tyler has challenged himself by taking AP Calculus his junior year, and during the summer he participated in a UVM engineering course. Tyler was awarded the Norwich Math and Science Scholarship and was also one of the representatives from VUHS for Boys’ State.
Tyler is an active member in our school community. He is a member of VUHS Student Council and math team. He is on numerous sports teams, including soccer (he was team captain this year), basketball and lacrosse. Tyler is also part of the symphonic and jazz bands. He has been a drum major since his sophomore year. He was elected by the graduating class to be the graduation marshal. He also participated in the Governor’s Institute.
Outside of school Tyler has been an assistant at a summer ropes course. He has volunteered his time helping with the Bixby Library plant and book sale. He is a basketball referee for younger students and helps with soccer clinics. Tyler has spent two weeks helping with a Habitat for Humanity group.
Tyler gives this piece of advice to others at VUHS: “Strive to find things you’re passionate about, and work hard for these things. School is about finding what you enjoy, so make it as fun as possible.” Lynn Kayhart, a math teacher at VUHS, said, “Tyler thrives on authentic learning opportunities, his enthusiasm and energy motivate others to do their best. His inquisitive nature and need for deeper understanding is contagious. Whether in the classroom, soccer field or basketball court his leadership shines through. Tyler is dependable and a true friend to his peers. Congratulations, Tyler!”
Following graduation from VUHS, Tyler plans to go to college to study mechanical engineering. The faculty, staff and students of VUHS wish Tyler the very best in the future.
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
Jackman Fuels
JW DE Ryan
Martin’s Hardware
United Way of Addison County
Vermont Army National Guard
Vermont Book Shop

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