Students of the Week – January 16, 2017

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.
We’re pleased to introduce Lucas Pyle, a member of the senior class at Middlebury Union High School, this week’s student of the week. Lucas is the son of Will Pyle and Silvia Gonzalez and resides in Middlebury. Lucas has been active in all aspects of life at MUHS.
 Athletically inclined, Lucas has been a member of the varsity soccer team for four years. He wears the orange and black team colors with pride and enjoys playing in the position of defender under Coach Livesay’s leadership for the MUHS Tigers. This past fall he was named to the Addison Independent Boys’ Soccer All-Star Team. His involvement in soccer has come full circle, as he now serves as a volunteer coach to children ages 5-12 with the local Parks and Recreation Department’s Panther Soccer Club. Lucas enjoys being involved with younger players and helping them to hone their skills on the soccer field.
Lucas is studying Spanish and volunteers at the Open Door Clinic, a local organization that provides free healthcare to individuals who do not have health insurance. Lucas assists with paperwork for both the medical professionals and the patients. He values time with his family and friends and spent six weeks last summer in Argentina with his grandparents. While in South America, he attended a camp for two weeks where he conversed only in Spanish. He described the experience as being inspirational, fun and one that he will always remember.
Lucas is having a productive senior year. The fall was busy with soccer practices and games, homework and filling out college applications. His hard work has paid off, though, as he was admitted early decision to his first choice college, Tufts University in Medford, Mass. Lucas is looking forward to enrolling next fall and feels that Tufts is “just the right place” based on the size, academic offerings and proximity to Boston. In the meantime, though, he’s focused on spending time with his friends and enjoying the remainder of his senior year. He has a challenging academic course load that includes AP Calculus, AP English, AP World History, Choir and Chemistry II.
When Lucas is not in school or at the Open Door Clinic, look for him on the trail, as he just joined the MUHS Nordic ski team. He opted to try something new and says that thus far cross-country skiing has been a blast! He’s hopeful for a great season. With his positive attitude and outlook, we’re sure he will find success in his new sport, just as he will in his future.
Vergennes Union High School is pleased to recognize Hunter O’Connor as its Student of the Week. Hunter lives in Waltham with his parents, Shaun and Stacy O’Connor. Hunter’s older brother Grady is a sophomore at Laconia Tech in New Hampshire.
Over the past four years at VUHS, Hunter has been on honor roll and high honor roll multiple times. This semester he is challenging himself by taking both Physics and Chemistry. He earned an Underclassman Award in Science and has also represented VUHS at Boys State. Outside of the classroom Hunter plays basketball and baseball, and has been team captain of both.
During the summer Hunter works at DAR State Park as a park attendant. He also volunteers with his family at the annual Three Day Stampede to raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. Hunter likes to hunt, fish and hang out with friends.
Hunter says, “What I have taken from my high school experience is a strong work ethic. I always try to influence people around me in a positive way. My advice to other students is to take it one day at a time and to make the most of what you are doing.”
Leo Racht, a Math teacher at VUHS says this about our student of the week, “Hunter is clearly the student the faculty had in mind when we established the five guidelines a few years ago. As a senior and throughout his four years in high school, he has been an outstanding role model to the rest of the students both inside and outside the classroom. Outside of the classroom, Hunter has distinguished himself as an exceptional athlete in both basketball and baseball. What also makes Hunter special as an athlete is his comprehensive knowledge of the history of both sports that he truly loves.
 “He also mentors young athletes and makes himself available any time there are questions. He is a true leader who many students admire.”
Following graduation from VUHS, Hunter will be attending Ithaca College to study exercise science and play baseball. He is then hoping to go into a DPT program to become a certified physical therapist. The faculty, staff and students of VUHS wish Hunter 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:
Addison Central Teens
Addison County Economic Development Corporation
Business Telephone Systems
Champlain Valley Plumbing and Heating
Jackman Fuels Inc.
JW DE Ryan
Martin’s Hardware
Strategies for College, Inc.
United Way of Addison County
Vermont Book Shop  

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