Students of the Week – December 21, 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 names Jonna Keith as its Student of the Week. Jonna lives in Pittsford with her parents, Jon and Monica Keith. Her two older brothers live out of state.
Jonna has earned excellence in biology, French, and global studies (grade 9); advanced American history and French (grade 10); and advanced American studies (11). In 11th grade she received the Wellesley College Book Award and was inducted into the National Honor Society. This year, she was named an AP Scholar. She is currently taking AP Chemistry, AP Literature, and AP European History. She has been on the Scholars’ Roll every marking period of high school.
Jonna was involved in Nordic skiing in grades 9-11. She has been on the tennis team since the 10th grade and was captain last year. She has been involved in Walking Stick Theatre since the seventh grade and currently serves as vice president. She was Cinderella in the fall musical and is now directing a one-act that she wrote. She has on the student council since 10th grade and currently serves as the president. She has been the treasurer of her class since 10th grade. She is also a member of the jazz band. She is also a student representative to the OVUHS School Board.
During the summer Jonna works as a lifeguard at the Pittsford Recreation Center. She volunteered at Rutland Regional Medical Center in grades 10 and 11 and does volunteer work at St. Alphonsus Church in Pittsford. In 10th grade, she attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference and met their challenge 100-plus hours of community service in a year, for which she received the President’s Volunteer Service Bronze Award.
Outside of school, Jonna enjoys theater and musical activities. She also enjoys writing, alpine skiing and swimming.
Jonna says of high school, “I have learned that opportunities are everywhere, you just have to look for them.” Her advice to other students: “Get involved and enjoy what you do.”
Mr. Dwyer calls Jonna “a student whose positive demeanor and enthusiasm are contagious,” and Mrs. Roberts says, “Jonna is kind, compassionate, helpful and extremely hardworking.”
While Jonna has not yet decided where she will attend college, everyone at Otter Valley knows she will do well wherever she ends up. Congratulations, Jonna!
Mount Abraham Union High School congratulates Fiona DeWitt on being named its Student of the Week. Fiona lives in Bristol with her parents, Doug and Dana DeWitt, and her brother, Ethan, who is in eighth grade.
Fiona has been on the honor roll for all years of high school, despite taking advanced placement (AP) classes for the past two years. She has explored independent studies as well, teaching herself Norwegian.
Fiona played on the soccer team in ninth and 10th grade, and participated in rowing this year. She has been a member of Sweet Beats/Transition (school a cappella group) since her sophomore year and has performed around the state with this group. Additionally, she has been a member of the Vermont International Awareness club for the past two years, and is currently the vice president.
Fiona has volunteered at the local library stocking books and helping with the children’s activity days. She also babysits and pet sits. Last summer she worked at the local ice cream shop in Bristol, which was her first job with a regular paycheck.
Fiona has a great passion and love for film. She enjoys making short films with her friends and family, and she watches as many movies as she can in her free time. She also loves hiking and camping, and seeks every opportunity she can to explore.
Of high school, Fiona says, “I’ve learned to let some things go and that the most important goal of your learning should be that you learned something, not necessarily that you get an A.” She says, “My personal philosophy is to actively pursue what you enjoy and not to worry about the ideas others have for your future.”
Her advice for other students: “Remain vigilant, for velociraptors attack from the side.”
After high school, Fiona plans to go to study film or language in college and study abroad in Norway.
AP U.S. history teacher Tom Learmonth says “Fiona is the full package — grace, wit, charm, wisdom. Musical, artistic, a powerful synthetic thinker with great insight; and great taste in movies!”
The Mount Abe community wishes Fiona good luck in her future. (Or, as they might say in Norwegian, “Lykke til!”)
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’s Inc
JW DE Ryan
Martin’s Hardware
Paige and Campbell Insurance
United Way of Addison County
Vermont Army National Guard
Vermont Book Shop  

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