Students of the Week – February 20, 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.
Otter Valley Union High School is pleased to announce Alyssa Falco as its Student of the Week. Alyssa lives in Pittsford with her parents, Vicky and Carlo Falco. Her sister, Isabella, is a ninth-grader at OVUHS and her brother, Luciano, is a fifth-grader at Lothrop Elementary.
Alyssa has been on the Scholars List consecutively over the years and was inducted into National Honor Society junior year. She is currently taking AP Biology, AP Literature and AP Calculus. In junior year she also took AP Chemistry.
For academic excellence Alyssa was given an award for advanced anatomy and physiology in 11th grade; advanced biology in ninth grade; advanced American studies in 10th grade; and Excellence is You and the Law in 11th grade. She also received the OV Citizenship Award her junior year; the Society of Women Engineers award, Elmira College Key award and the Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony award.
Alyssa participated in field hockey (grades 10-12), basketball (grades 9-11) and softball (grades 9-12). She was Student Council secretary in grade 12, and an active participant since ninth grade, and participated in neuroscience club in grade 12. She has been involved in all class committees and has an internship through the hospital in the physical therapy department.
Alyssa has been working at McDonald’s for five years and continues to work there. She has also volunteered for the bike giveaway at the fairgrounds since she was about 10. Alyssa also helped coach her brother’s basketball team this year and last year as well as her sister’s team when she was in sixth grade. Alyssa was a junior counselor at the rec camps over the summer of her freshman year, and she has volunteered at her church for the food drive, decorating the church and helping to serve people at dinners. She is also part of the community service group Otter Paws, which hosts food and blood drives and raises awareness for illnesses such as breast cancer.
Outside of school, Alyssa enjoys hiking, kayaking and fishing.
Alyssa has learned what stress really is, from playing sports and having practice every night, while also trying to keep her grades up and making sure her work is done right while still trying to enjoy her youth. It’s hard but it only gets harder. High school is only the beginning of her life. Alyssa’s advice to other students is to enjoy it while you can but know that there’s so much more to the world you’ll get to experience.
Alyssa has been accepted and plans to attend UVM with a major in neuroscience and eventually become a neurologist.
Teacher Ms. Cioffredi says, “I was particularly excited to see that she wants to pursue a career in the medical field. In advanced anatomy class, she demonstrated an exceptional understanding of the content, from histology to gross anatomy. Alyssa is motivated by a commitment to understanding course content, not just grades. Outside of her strong academics and involvement in school and community activities, I see Alyssa as a compassionate young woman, a quality that will lend itself to becoming a phenomenal physician.”
Mount Abraham Union High School is pleased to announce Mavis Reardon as its Student of the Week. Mavis lives in Starksboro with her parents Chris and Karene Reardon.
Each year of high school, Mavis has made some variation of Honor Roll, or other academic achievement, and last year she made National Honor Society. Mavis has taken advanced classes every year they have been available, starting with American Studies in sophomore year when it is normally a junior level class. Following that, she has taken two advanced placement classes each year, English and American history in her junior year, and European history and studio art in her senior year.
Throughout middle school and high school, with the exception of this year, Mavis has been a member of the fall musical set crew.
During the school year Mavis volunteers once a week at the Lawrence Memorial Library in the children’s department. She has done this every year of high school as a way to give back. During the summer she works at the Bristol Creemee Stand.
Outside of school Mavis enjoy skiing, (though with this winter that has been limited), reading and painting. Currently she is halfway through Dostoyevsky’s “Demons,” a newly translated version of the novel “The Possessed.” Mavis says, “It’s a great read!” She also really enjoys painting, sketching and constructing notes from her classes, which she says “is actually fun, promise!”
One thing Mavis has learned from high school is that only you can be your own best advocate. This has really been enforced throughout her high school experience. As for personal philosophy, she does not really have one simply because she doesn’t feel she has enough experience to have one that isn’t filled with excessive cliches.
After high school, Mavis plans to attend college, though she’s not sure where yet. Her goal is to study constitutional law, but to get there she plans to also focus on international relations, foreign policy and history, the latter simply out of personal interest.
History teacher Al Zaccor says, “Mavis is serious, driven and dedicated to academic excellence. She is a ‘make it happen’ person who everyone wants to have on their team.”
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 County Economic Development Corporation
Barash Mediation
Business Telephone Systems
Champlain Valley Plumbing and Heating
Jackman Fuels Inc.
JW DE Ryan
Martin’s Hardware
Paige and Campbell Insurance
Peak View Eye Care
United Way of Addison County
Vermont Book Shop  

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