Students of the Week – December 14, 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 Elias Wyncoop as its Student of the Week. Elias is the son of Paul Wyncoop and Lisa McLaughlin Wyncoop. His brother, Xavier, is in ninth grade at MUHS. The family lives in Orwell.
Elias has earned High Honors or Honors during all his three years at MUHS. His AP courses have included Environmental Science, Spanish, Statistics, World History and, currently, English. He is also taking Art History at Middlebury College. Elias was selected for Governor’s Institute of Vermont programs in Current Issues and Youth Activism, and he has written his way to two acceptances for the New England Young Writers’ Conference.
Very active in Model U.N. since ninth grade, Elias has attended the Dartmouth U.N. Conference each year and plans on a fourth trip next spring. Elias is a member of the Student Coalition on Human Rights (SCOHR), is on the staff of Calliope, and he captains the MUHS Scholars’ Bowl team. He is also a Peer Leader, the Student Senate secretary and a social studies teaching assistant. Elias finds time after school to run on the cross-country and track teams, and to play Ultimate Frisbee.
Elias volunteers at the Community Supper in Middlebury each Friday. He works at Camp Aurora in the summer. When time allows, Elias enjoys reading, traveling, writing, hanging with friends and practicing Spanish. Since Elias claims to be plotting Vermont’s secession from the U.S., his plan to travel and then attend college in Canada seems quite logical.
Elias’ personal philosophy includes “thinking big” (see secession plot above) and “being thankful for what you’ve got.” He suggests that younger students enjoy their high school days, pursue their interests, and not worry too much about grades. It’s a suggestion Elias obviously has taken to heart — and perhaps his good grades came from work, not worry.
Oh, Canada, you may have our energetic Elias for a while, but eventually we’ll want him back! We wish you the best of luck, Elias, wherever your travels lead you…
Vergennes Union High School is pleased to recognize Emily Martin as its Student of the Week. Emily lives in Waltham with her parents, Andrew and Kate Martin, and her younger sister, Natalie, who is a seventh-grader at VUMS.
Emily has been on Honor Roll since freshman year and received awards for Excellence in Social Studies all four years. She took AP European History as a sophomore and AP US history as a junior. During her junior year she was awarded the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Social Justice and Leadership Award from the University of Rochester. Currently, Emily is taking AP Literature and Composition. She also earned the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, which is a national award given to students who have demonstrated leadership, personal challenge and service within their community. Emily also represented VUHS at Girls’ State.
Emily is one of three student representatives to the VUHS school board. She is the secretary for the class of 2016. Emily has won several awards in public speaking competitions. She has made it to the state level for both the American Legion Oratorical Competition and the Lions International speech contests. Emily is currently interning under former Gov. Madeleine Kunin and the executive director of Emerge Vermont, an organization that works to educate, train and encourage Democratic women to run for public office on a state and national scale.
Emily gives this piece of advice to others: “Get involved in your school and community, be confident, set your own goals and standards and you will achieve whatever you put your mind to!” Cookie Steponaitis, a social studies teacher at VUHS/VUMS, said, “As a teacher and mentor, it is a delight to meet and work with students like Emily. Passionate about community service, the American political system and being an active member of a democratic society, Emily has set her goals high and her sites on a career in political science. VUHS will miss her!”
Emily has applied early decision to George Washington University to study political science. The faculty, staff and students of VUHS wish her 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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