Student of the Week – 10/2/2017

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.
Middlebury Union High School is pleased to introduce Julian Schmitt as its student of the week. Julian is the son of Samantha Farrell-Schmitt and John Schmitt and is a senior at MUHS. His brothers, Henry and Gabe, are enrolled at Mary Hogan and his sister, Catherine, is a sophomore at the high school. The family resides in Middlebury.
Julian is the definition of a well-rounded student. His name regularly appears on the Honor Roll, he attended a program at Harvard for high school students where he studied Quantum Physics, and he captains the Tiger Cross Country and Track and Field teams. In addition he participated in Boys State, where he served as Auditor of Accounts. Julian plays lead trumpet in the MUHS jazz band and competed with his peers in the Berklee School of Music High School Jazz Festival, where the Tigers placed first in their division. As a result of that win, Julian was chosen to attend Berklee’s week-long summer camp for musicians along with four fellow Tigers. He enjoyed participating in the Discover Jazz Festival on Church Street in Burlington and marching in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade with the school band. Julian is also an active member of the high school’s Scholars Bowl team.
Academically, Julian favors math and science courses, but has enjoyed all of his coursework at MUHS. He says “the teachers are encouraging and the classwork is interesting.” He enjoys problem solving and working in teams with other students. He spent 14 consecutive hours delving into a math problem last winter at Middlebury College as part of Moody’s Mega Math Challenge. A recipient of the prestigious Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) medal, he was thrilled when he found out it came with a $100,000 merit award. Julian is focusing his college search on institutions where he can pursue his interest in the field of math and engineering, preferably in the Northeast.
Julian’s advice to entering ninth-graders is to make the most of every opportunity at MUHS. He encourages them to join clubs, try a new sport, and ask questions in class and seek out the help of teachers. He has enjoyed his years at MUHS and is excited for all that lies ahead when he enrolls in college in the fall of 2018.
Vergennes Union High School is pleased to recognize Nora Hatch as its student of the week. Nora lives in Ferrisburgh with her parents, Jennifer and Jason Hatch. She has three sisters: Hannah, a junior at UVM; Sophie, a sophomore at VUHS; and Claire, in 7th-grader VUHS.
Nora joined VUHS’ Walden Program her junior year. The program lets her discover how her individual self relates to society and nature. Last year she also received a grant on Honoring Diversity from the Rowland Foundation. She is currently using her grant to work on events such as Peace One Day, which focus on how to promote the message of honoring diversity within communities and the world in a peaceful way. Nora attended Green Mountain Girls State at the end of her junior year. She has been on honors and high honors throughout her high school career, and pushed herself to take challenging classes like calculus and humanities her junior year. Nora has received many awards for her academic achievements such as the Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony scholarships.
Nora has been on the Peace One Day Committee since grade 10 and was one of the emcees this year. She also plays saxophone in the concert band and is a member of the Commodore Jazz Ensemble. Nora played JV soccer in grades nine and 10, and varsity this year. In grades nine and 10 she also played lacrosse.
Nora says, “One thing that I’ve learned from my high school experience is that you are allowed to make mistakes and that they don’t have to define who you are. You learn from all of your mistakes and do better the next time … a quote that I feel like I live by is, ‘From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow.’ -Aeschylus. I carry this quote on a piece of paper on the back of my phone, and to me it means that even though I might feel like I’m not accomplishing much now, growth is always possible and that in the end something amazing will come out of all my hard work.”
Lee Shorey, a long-time educator at VUHS, says, “Nora Hatch has what it takes to exceed all our VUHS expectations. Her greatest challenge is to meet the expectations she has set for herself before she graduates. Top on her list is to be a leader who promotes a safe school climate by asking her fellow students to accept the differences in others. I have the greatest respect for Nora and choose to work closely with her on a number of service projects because of her genuine enthusiasm — a trait I value very much.”
Following graduation, Nora plans on attending college either in New York City or out West. She would also like to spend time traveling the world. The faculty, staff and students of VUHS wish Nora 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:
Bourdon Insurance Agency
Business Telephone Systems
Champlain Valley Plumbing & Heating
Green Earth Energy
J.W. & D.E. Ryan
Jackman Fuels Inc.
Middlebury Antique Center
Peak View Eye Care
Tinker and Smithy Game Store
United Way of Addison County
Vermont Book Shop

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