Students of the Week – January 4, 2016

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.
 It is with pride that Middlebury Union High School recognizes Claire Armstrong as its Student of the Week. Claire lives in Cornwall with her parents, Lucy McKeon and Brad Armstrong. Her sister, Kai, attends Fairfield University.
Claire’s achievements represent a remarkable balance of academics and athletics. She is, for example, both an AP Scholar and a two-time All State soccer player. And while Claire played varsity lacrosse from ninth through 11th grade, she maintained High Honor status the entire time. As a result, she was recognized last year as a high school All Academic player.
Claire is both a member of National Honor Society and a Peer Leader. Her fine work in science and mathematics has earned her awards and citations from the Society of Women Engineers, the President’s Education Program and the American Legion. Last year, Claire was selected to participate in the Mathematical Sciences program at the Governor’s Institute of Vermont.
Besides being a varsity soccer captain this fall at MUHS, Claire was the manager and captain of the Champlain Valley Futsal indoor soccer team last winter. She has been active with the MUHS Neuroscience Club and with Idle Free VT. Claire plans to be back on the lacrosse field this spring.
Claire has given much of her time tutoring in the MUHS Learning Lab. She also has been a regular volunteer at the humane society and at Middlebury Community Suppers. Claire has worked at the Quaker Friends First Day School for four years, and has been a Snow Bowl ski instructor for three seasons. Other activities Claire enjoys include biking, traveling and playing with her animals.
College is definitely in Claire’s future, and she hopes to explore the sciences and perhaps engineering. Given her active athletic life during high school, we suspect Claire’s path from labs to library will extend to locker rooms and lawns of play as well.
Claire, all of us at MUHS wish you continued success both inside and out of the halls of higher learning. 
Vergennes Union High School is pleased to recognize Sara Stearns as its Student of the Week. Sara lives in Middlebury with her moms, Lisa Bessette and Helen Myre. Her dad, Scott Stearns, lives in Ferrisburgh. Sara has an older sister, Megan Stearns; an older step-sister, Megan Ashley; an older step-brother, Drew; a younger brother, Dylan; and a younger step-brother, Kyle.
Throughout high school Sara has been on Honors and High Honors. Sara was recognized as an Outstanding Student at the Hannaford Career Center and is part of the National Technical Honor Society. She has been active in the Gay Straight Ally group since freshman year and is currently president. Sara has played soccer and basketball, and is the manager of the boys’ lacrosse team.
Since Sara was 11 years old she has been babysitting. She is currently nannying for a family with a 3-year-old boy. She has been volunteering at VUHS as a behavior interventionist and helps out at the Parent Child Center in Middlebury.
Sara gives this piece of advice to others: “From my high school experience I have learned so much about how people grow, develop, and reasons why people may act. I feel that through my years in high school I have been through a lot. I have overcome and learned. I’ve also learned to appreciate the little things in life. If I could tell the students one thing I would tell them to always be themselves. Everyone is unique and people need to start to accept the differences and appreciate them.”
Lee Shorey, a teacher in the Resource Response Center, says, “In my role at VUHS as a Special Educator and resource adviser, Sara assists me. She works hard to serve younger students needing help, researching ways to improve our school climate and support her class of 2016. I believe Sara will power up anywhere she is in the world and be a part of the changes needed to make a situation better.”
Following graduation from VUHS, Sara is planning on going to Castleton University and majoring in social work. The faculty, staff and students of VUHS wish Sara 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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