Students of the Week – May 16, 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 is delighted to call Kendra Stearns its Student of the Week. Kendra lives in Brandon with her parents, Sharon and Gordon Stearns. Her older sister attends Auburn University.
Kendra has made the Scholars’ Roll throughout high school, and is a member of the National Honor Society. She was named a John Hopkins University Talented Youth. She is currently taking AP Literature, AP European History, and AP Calculus. By taking some online classes through Brigham Young University, she was able to combine her junior and senior year.
Kendra has been a cross-country runner since 10th grade.
Kendra has worked at Eastwood Animal Clinic, and now works at the Vermont Fiber Mill. She volunteers by doing therapy visits with her dog, Lyndi. She takes Lyndi to nursing homes, and brings her to Otter Valley daily.
Outside of school Kendra enjoys horseback riding, training animals, swimming, running and competing animals.
Kendra says high school has taught her “how to organize and plan, as well as study very hard.”
Her personal philosophy: “Just keep smiling — having a bad day every now and then only helps you appreciate the great days.” Her advice to other students: “Do everything you can during high school. Do your homework, play sports, volunteer, get good grades, try new things; not for your teacher or your parents, but for yourself, because this is the time in your life to learn what you love.”
After high school, Kendra will be attending the University of Kentucky and majoring in Visual Media Communications/Media Studies.
Mr. Dwyer says, “Kendra Stearns in a diligent, hard-working student who has accelerated her schedule to finish Otter Valley a year ahead of time. She is passionate about her work with therapy dogs, and her constant companion, Lyndi, has to be one of the few golden retrievers who has matriculated through several AP courses.”
Otter Valley wishes Kendra the best of luck in her future! 
Mount Abraham Union High School is proud to call Eliza Kurth of Bristol its Student of the week. Eliza is the daughter of Bertil and Alicia Kurth. Her brother, Soren is a sophomore at CVU.
Eliza has been on highest honors every semester of high school, achieving academic excellence all four years. She is a part of the National Honor Society (12th grade), and has taken Advanced Environmental Science (11th grade), AP Biology (12th grade) and AP Calculus (12th grade).
Eliza has been a competitive and recreational equestrian since 9th grade. She was on the Nordic ski team in grades 11 and 12. She has been a member of the Mt. Abe Environmental Action Group all four years of high school, serving as co-leader in 12th grade. She has been in the Equine 4-H Club since 9th grade, serving as president all four years.
Eliza has ridden horses at Wishful Thinking Farm in New Haven for 10 years, and has worked there for 3 years. She also has been working at Comfort Hill Kennel in Vergennes for the past 6 moths. She also enjoys doing a lot of volunteer work at various locations.
Eliza’s biggest hobby is horseback riding. She has been riding for 10 years and has loved every minute of it. She also enjoys downhill and cross-country skiing and environmental activism.
When asked for advice for other students, Eliza said, “Try hard, life is what you make of it. You get back what you put in.”
After high school, Eliza will attend Green Mountain College where she will be able to fully immerse herself in her passion of environmental science.
AP Biology teacher Samantha Kayhart says, “Eliza is an incredibly conscientious student who always goes the extra mile in her studies. She has an avid curiosity about the natural world and genuinely loves learning. Eliza is a delightful student in every way!”
Mount Abe’s loss will be Green Mountain College’s gain. We wish her the best in her 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’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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