Student of the Week – 10/16/2017

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.
Middlebury Union High School is pleased to introduce Greta Hardy-Mittell, daughter of Ruth Hardy and Jason Mittell, of East Middlebury as the featured student of the week. A senior at MUHS, Greta is involved in many aspects of the school and is well known for her musical talents. Greta is pursuing a challenging curriculum this year and loves her classes, especially Advanced Placement English with Mr. Krahn. She’s also taking Introduction to Sociolinguistics at Middlebury College, which she thoroughly enjoys.
An avid writer, Greta has participated in the Young Writers Project and participated twice in the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Bread Loaf. Greta was invited to share one of her poems, “Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Cry,” at the Women’s March in Montpelier on January 21, 2017. She read the poem before an assembled crowd of 10,000 people on the steps of the Vermont Statehouse. Greta was chosen as a semi-finalist in the highly competitive Calvin Coolidge Scholars Program. She traveled to Washington, D.C., in August, as a guest of the Coolidge Foundation, and was the only Vermont student chosen for this honor. While in the capital, she and peers from across the country toured the White House and the Supreme Court, listened to lectures and participated in debates on political issues. She said the experience continued to fuel her interest in activism.
Greta has a special interest in environmental science and art and highly recommends that students take advantage of the Governor’s Institute program offerings. She did two of these programs, one in art and one on environmental science. She describes both as “great!”
When asked about what words of advice she has for her fellow students at MUHS, Greta suggests trying new things and “stepping outside of your comfort zone.” She did this when she tried out of the cross country and track teams, an experience she thoroughly enjoys.
Looking ahead to life after MUHS, Greta would like to enroll in a liberal arts college or university that offers a broad range of coursework. She’s not sure yet what she will study, but she wants to include her love of music. She’s been a member of the MUHS band for four years and the jazz band for three. She plays both the clarinet and the piano and says that participation in Districts, All State Music Festival and Berklee College of Music’s competition have been highlights of her musical career. She is looking forward to May 2018, when she performs a solo with the Vermont Youth Orchestra at Burlington’s Flynn Theater.
Whether it is on the stage, a field, in a concert venue, or in the classroom, we’re confident that Greta’s future is bright. We wish her a wonderful senior year and best of luck beyond.
Vergennes Union High School is pleased to recognize Shawn Richards as its Student of the Week. Shawn lives in Addison with his mom, Kimberly Richards. He has an older brother, Brandon, whograduated from VUHS in 2014.
Last year Shawn was in the Forestry Program at the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center. During his year there he participated in several statewide competitions, winning first place in the land and soil judging and in the twig and pest identification competition. Shawn also rowed for the VUHS team during his middle school and ninth-grade years. 
Shawn has served as a volunteer on the Addison Fire Department for several years, completing numerous trainings. He has also completed his Water Rescue and Ice Water Rescue Certifications.
Outside of school Shawn plows driveways during the winters. He is also an employee for Button Bay State Park. During the off season he works with Bill Scott at Greenbush Gardens.
Shawn’s advice to other students?
“Don’t quit. You’ll get there when you get there,” he said. “Do your best and never let anyone put you down. You can do anything you set your mind to.”
Beth Adreon, an educator at VUHS, appreciates Shawn’s many good qualities
“Shawn’s sense of humor and ability to engage with his classmates brings an unique perspective to classroom discussions and his written work,” she said. “He is able to link his academics to the real world and see value in the content he is exposed to.”
Following graduation from VUHS, Shawn plans to pursue a career as an electrician. The faculty, staff and students of VUHS wish Shawn 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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