Student of the Week – 10/23/2017

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.
Mount Abraham Union High School is happy to present Casey Ober as its Student of the Week. Casey lives in Lincoln with her parents, Dan and Sally Ober. Her sister Emma, 19, attends College of the Atlantic. Casey has had an excellent academic career at Mt. Abe, achieving academic excellence for the past three years and Highest Honors all four years. Last year she was inducted into the National Honor Society, and took AP European History and AP Calculus AB. This year she is tackling AP Language and Composition and AP Biology.
Casey has played varsity soccer since grade 10 and is team captain this year. She has been in the fall musical for all four years. For the past three years she has been a part of the Poetry Out Loud club at Mt. Abe, competing since freshman year. Last year, after winning the school competition, she went on to the POL State competition. She is also involved in Mt. Abe’s Environmental Action Group and Mt. Abe’s Scholars Bowl team.
Casey worked at Bristol Health and Fitness last school year. In the summer she heads to Timberlock, a family-owned camp in the Adirondacks. She spent some time volunteering at Zeno Mountain Farm, a camp in Lincoln and volunteered at the annual Legion dinner with some of her soccer team.
Casey likes to ski at Mad River Glen and go on backcountry ski trips with her father. She loves hiking with friends and when they’re not up for it, with her dog Ginger. She says, “I’m all about living life outside, it’s way better than being inside.” She plays soccer year-round with the Addison United Soccer Club and recently joined the Nordic Soccer Club. She has been on the Vermont Olympic Development Program team for the past two years. She also enjoys working out.
Casey says high school has been a roller coaster; a lot of ups and downs, but also something that has gone by pretty fast. She says, “It’s is the kind of place that is fun and interesting when you put effort into making it that way.” Her advice? “Put more into life than you expect to get out of it, and never regret your choices … Do all the things that you love, try new things, and make your life as complicated as you want.”
Casey plans on attending a college out west, where she can continue to play soccer, be close to mountains and skiing and learn new things. She also hopes to do some travelling.
English teacher Addie Thompson writes, “Casey is an incredibly talented poet. She has a defined, strong voice and has an understanding of the complexities of poetry that shows incredible wisdom. She is a true asset to any learning community and brings light, laughter and good old down-to-earth fun to any classroom.”
Otter Valley Union High School proudly presents Olympia Kulp as its Student of the Week. Olympia lives in Pittsford with her parents, Rishi Connelly and David Kulp. Olympia has made principal’s list or honor roll every semester. She was named to the National Honor Society Lutra Chapter in the spring of 2017 and received the Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony award from the University of Rochester and the Elmira Key Award from Elmira College this past spring, as well. She also attended the New England Young Writers’ Conference in the spring of 2017. She currently takes AP Literature and AP European History.
Olympia has been involved with Walking Stick Theatre since seventh grade, and currently serves as its vice president.
She has volunteered at the Maclure library since grade 10. She worked at a bakery in Massachusetts the summers before grades 10 and 11, and as a staff member for campers ages 11-13 at Rowe Camp in Massachusetts the summer before grade 11. Olympia has volunteered at the yearly Girls on the Run race at the Rutland Fair Grounds in grades 10 and 11. She also volunteered at a blood drive at Otter Valley just a couple of weeks ago.
Outside of school and work Olympia enjoys hiking, listening to music, writing poetry, watching movies, and spending time with her wonderful friends. Every once in a while she might enjoy a novel. Every summer she attends Rowe Camp. It has been her second home since grade 6.
Olympia says, “The most important thing that I have learned from high school is that you can’t do it alone. I would not be where I am today if I did not have an amazing support network composed of teachers, counselors, friends, and family … we each are the masters of our own reality, and must create meaning in our routine, and allow our routine to give us joy. There is no escaping work — whether you want to do it or not there will always be work to do. So work hard now even if it’s not fun because success in high school will allow you to do work you love later in life.”
Olympia plans to attend college directly after high school, and earn her bachelor’s degree.
Her guidance counselor, Meredith McCartney, says, “Academically, Olympia has not only taken an advanced curriculum at Otter Valley, she has sought creative learning environments beyond our walls.” Her experiences include taking a course called “What’s The Story” through the Bread Loaf Campus of Middlebury College, The New England Young Writers’ Conference, the School of Creative and Performing Arts, and OVUHS’s Extended Learning program. McCartney continues, “Olympia’s impressive mix of conventional and non-conventional course work speaks to the depth of her intellectual aptitudes.”
Everyone at OVUHS wishes Olympia the great success in all her future endeavors.
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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