Students of the Week – March 7, 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.
Otter Valley Union High School congratulates Emma Cijka on being named its Student of the Week. Emma lives with her family in Hubbardton.
Emma has taken or is taking every AP class offered at Otter Valley. She has taken 10 science credits and was awarded the Bausch and Lomb Science Award last year. Additionally, her junior year she was inducted into the National Honor Society, awarded Highest Honors from the Society of Women Engineers, and presented with the Patrick Gilmore Band Award. She was accepted into District and All State Bands all four years of high school and was first chair flutist in the Vermont All State Band last year. This fall she was selected as one of Vermont’s Presidential Scholars. She has held a straight A average throughout all years of high school.
Emma ran on the cross-country team all years of high school, acting as captain her senior year, and has been on the Nordic ski team since 10th grade (also captaining her senior year). She has played in jazz band since grade 9 and in the pit orchestra for the musical since grade 8.
She loves music and has playing piano and flute for many years. Since seventh grade she has played flute in Lakes Region Youth Orchestra and the Brandon Town Band. She competes in Bible Quizzing Competitions through the Church of the Nazarene.
She worked as a lifeguard at the Pittsford Recreation Area this past summer, and for three summers has volunteered at Windsor Hills Camp in New Hampshire. She is involved in her church, playing the flute for services, and helping package bread donations to local food shelves for the last three years.
When asked for her advice for other students, Emma said, “No matter what you’re doing, always work as hard as you can. … If you invest enough time and effort, you’ll be amazed what you can accomplish.”
This fall, Emma will attend Cornell University and will study animal science at their College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She intends to become a veterinarian.
Congratulations to Gena Chiola, Mount Abraham Union High School’s Student of the week. Gena, the daughter of LuAnn Chiola and Geoff Davis, lives in New Haven.
Gena has taken or is taking AP English, AP European History and AP U.S. History. She is pursuing three Independent Learning Opportunities her senior year. She has made highest honors grades 7-11 and is a member of the National Honor Society. In ninth grade, she took third place in the Bernie Sanders State of the Union Essay Contest. In 10th grade, she attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference.
Gena has run cross-country since eighth grade. She was on the rowing team as a senior. She played piano for the jazz band in 11th grade and this past fall spent a semester abroad in Nepal and India. She has been a member of the Vermont International Awareness Group since junior year. She attended the Governor’s Institute for the Arts in 11th grade.
Gena has worked as a food runner at Tourterelle Restaurant in New Haven for the past two years. She also works summers on the Lester Farm.
Outside of school, she enjoys reading, writing, playing piano and teaching herself to play the guitar.
When asked what she had learned from her high school experience, Gena said, “Every moment, no matter how wonderful or unpleasant, is a learning opportunity, and realizing this can bring more meaning to your time in high school.” Her personal philosophy is “Always be grateful for what you have rather than unhappy about what you don’t have.” And her advice to other students is, quite simply, “Make your own adventures.”
After high school, Gena plans to attend a progressive liberal arts college.
Gena’s French teacher, Jori Jacobeit, says, “Genevieve’s passion for languages grows from her deeply rooted curiosity about the world. Gena’s skills as a listener and communicator support her engagement in issues of social justice and the environment.”
The Mount Abe community wishes Gena the best as she sets out to make her own adventures. 
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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