Students of the Week – February 13, 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 Joshua Girard, a senior at Middlebury Union High School, as this week’s student of the week. Josh is the son of Jodi and David Girard of Bridport. An enthusiastic and engaged student, Josh finds particular enjoyment in the areas of math and science, both of which he has excelled in academically. Not one to shy away from a rigorous course load, Josh is taking Advanced Placement Calculus 2, Advanced Human Biology, Chemistry 2, Project Physics, Agricultural Theory and Western Heritage this year.
Josh loves music and thanks Mrs. Severy for her enthusiasm and support of the school’s band and jazz ensemble. Josh is the lead trumpet in the jazz band and plays first trumpet in the concert band. He is looking forward to joining his fellow band members for a three-day trip to New York City in March to play in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Josh has auditioned for the district music festival and will soon compete in the state music competition. He has taken trumpet lessons for several years and will soon begin offering lessons to those learning how to play the instrument he loves.
 In addition to his studies and involvement in music, Josh is a member of the MUHS hockey team. He is a forward on the team and when asked how long he has been playing hockey, he answers, “Forever!” He loves the time on the ice and the spirit of camaraderie with his teammates. His grandfather taught him how to play golf, and Josh spends the spring, summer and fall on the links. He enjoys teaching golf to children ages 8-13 at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course during the summer.
Josh has thoroughly enjoyed his four years as a Tiger and is looking forward to college. He wants to enroll in a college or university where he can continue to pursue his interests in the areas of math and science. He’s considering a major in engineering and seeks an institution with a strong sense of community, something he strongly values. Josh’s positive personality and varied interests have prepared him well for the road ahead. We’re confident he will enjoy college, but he will be missed at MUHS when he graduates in June!
Vergennes Union High School is pleased to recognize Annika Vorsteveld as its Student of the Week. Annika lives in Panton with her dad and mom, Hans and Melissa Vorsteveld. Annika has an older brother, Jason, who graduated from VUHS and VTC and is currently working on the family farm.
During Annika’s freshman year of high school, she was awarded a science award for Academic Excellence from Mrs. Clark. During her sophomore year, Annika attended RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) at Lyndon State College. After taking advanced art as a junior, Annika received the Outstanding Artist Award. Also during her junior year she represented VUHS at Green Mountain Girls State. Annika was enrolled in AP Literature her junior year and is currently taking AP Biology. Annika has been on Honor Roll all four years of high school.
Annika has a lot of worldly experience. She went to Nicaragua with the Fuller Center for Housing and built houses for two weeks in February 2015. The summer before senior year, Annika traveled to Thailand through The Experiment in International Living, learning about Buddhism and teaching English to Thai students. Annika also went to Ghana her junior year in a cultural exchange with Trinity Yard School. This April Annika is looking forward to traveling to Costa Rica through Eco-Teach and learning about turtle preservation.
Annika says this about her high school career, “Something that I’ve learned in high school is finding balance between sports, friends, academics and experiencing different cultures. I think it’s important to cultivate and create opportunities for experiential learning within and beyond high school. Traveling has been the best way for me to create balance in being a typical teenager with a healthy dose of gratitude and humbleness in embracing diversity in our world.”
Lee Shorey, a longtime teacher at VUHS, says she considers Annika a “VUHS youth ambassador.”
“She has volunteered her time to provide service in four continents, in our school and local communities representing her family and us with intelligence, grace and rectitude,” Shorey says. “Annika has surpassed the expected standards in academics, art, music and athletics. In my view she has exceeded them in character and service to others, making a difference where it counts.”
Following graduation from VUHS, Annika plans to attend college and travel. She is in the decision making process since she has been accepted into five colleges. The faculty, staff and students of VUHS wish Annika 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 certi?cate 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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