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Mt. Abe names top students of 2016

BRISTOL — Mount Abraham Union High School announces the valedictorian and salutatorian for the class of 2016. Hannah Funk of Bristol, daughter of Tom Funk and Elizabeth Maher and older sister of Molly and Louisa, is this year’s valedictorian. Mahli Knutson of Bristol, daughter of Linda Knutson and younger sister of Lili, is this year’s salutatorian.
Hannah Funk chose the most difficult route through high school, continually achieving at the highest level and earning straight A grades. Hannah spent her junior year in Peru, living with a host family and immersing herself in Spanish and South American culture. Even with her year in Peru, during her three years at Mt. Abe in addition to a full schedule she completed multiple Virtual High School classes, Independent Learning Opportunities, three Advanced Placement courses, and a senior year advanced Spanish class at Middlebury College.
Beyond the classroom, Hannah was busy. She was a dedicated member of the girls’ soccer team throughout high school. She is passionate about the environment, and was a key mover and shaker with the Environmental Action Group, and was an integral part of this group’s work to launch a schoolwide composting effort. Hannah enjoys acting, and acted in multiple plays on the Mt. Abe stage, most recently in the fall production of “Seussical the Musical.” In addition, she competed skillfully in Poetry Out Loud competitions, this year being named a state finalist. During the summer she volunteers for a month each year at Zeno Mountain Farm in Lincoln, where she spends quality time with people with disabilities from all walks of life. Through all of her many commitments, Hannah is enthusiastic, determined and passionate, while still maintaining a fabulous sense of humor.
Next year Hannah will be attending Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where she plans to major in International Relations. The Mt. Abe community celebrates Hannah Funk and her many accomplishments, and wish her the best in future endeavors.
Mahli Knutson challenged herself every step of the way through high school, earning a total of 34 credits, 10 credits beyond the requirements for a Mt. Abe diploma. Among other things, these credits included multiple Virtual High School and Advanced Placement classes, a UVM summer ecology class in Costa Rica, and a Middlebury College course in Mandarin Chinese during her senior year. In addition to these classes, Mahli spent her sophomore year in China, living with a family, attending the local school, and fully immersing herself in Chinese language and culture.
When not working on her academic commitments, Mahli involved herself in many extracurricular activities. She was one of two trombonists in the high school band, and also played trombone in the jazz ensemble and for the Bristol Town Band. Mahli was a key member of the Environmental Action Group, and along with Hannah worked hard on the school’s composting initiative. Mahli also served as president of the Brain Bee Club, acted in several of the school’s musicals, represented her class at Community Council, and was a member of Math League. Mahli has been a lovely presence at our school, quick with a smile and a kind word to others, doing it all without taking it all too seriously.
Next year Mahli will be attending Middlebury College, where she plans to major in International/Global Studies. The faculty and staff at Mt. Abe wish Mahli well as she continues her education. 

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