Student of the Week – 11/13/2017

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.
Bastiaan Phair, a current senior at Middlebury Union High School, and resident of Cornwall, is the son of Patrick Phair and Tanya Byker.  His sister Eva is a sophomore at MUHS.
An active and engaged student, Bas thoroughly enjoys academics and he notes that mathematics has been a favorite subject since an early age.  He is currently auditing Multivariable Calculus at Middlebury College.  Bas has pursued a well-rounded curriculum at MUHS and has challenged himself with some of the high school’s most demanding courses.  He will graduate in June having taken seven Advanced Placement classes, including AP Calculus 1 and 2, AP Statistics, and four years of Latin. 
Bas spent last summer interning at an experimental physics lab that a specialized in researching ultra high precision measurements of sub-atomic particles at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He focused his time doing a variety of tasks setting up and writing code for one of the experiments in the lab. 
An active member of the high school’s Model UN club, Bas enjoys participating with his classmates in this activity.  He values the parliamentary procedure, discussing world issues, negotiating, and hearing the views and perspectives of other students.  While attending a Model UN conference in St. Johnsbury,  Bas was awarded “best delegate” for his involvement.  He thanks Mr. Sears for serving as the club’s advisor.  He also participates in Scholars Bowl and especially likes the rapid fire question and answer period.
Bas plays varsity basketball for the Tigers and has a pivotal role as the team’s power forward.  He’s excited for the approaching winter season and ready to hit the court!  When not playing basketball, you’ll find Bas on the field as a member of the school’s ultimate frisbee team. 
Looking ahead to college, Bas seeks academic rigor, focus, and a place where he will be surrounded by a motivated and spirited group of peers, just as he has found at MUHS.  His advice for the younger students at the high school is to take advantage of the clubs, sports, and the wonderful teachers who offer support and interesting lessons.  Bas is finalizing is college list and is considering a variety of options.  He says he knows one thing for sure and that is that he is grateful for his four years at MUHS!  The faculty and staff wishes Bas well in his final year at the high school and as he prepares to head off to college!
Vergennes Union High School is pleased to recognize Mason Charlebois as its Student of the Week. Mason lives in Vergennes with his dad and mom, Marcel and Cathy Charlebois.  Mason has a younger sister, Ryleigh Charlebois, is a 6th grader at VUES. He also has an older brother, Aaron Desabrais, who lives in Tennessee  and work as a mechanic and an all around handyman.
Throughout high school, Mason has had numerous academic achievements. He served as class president Sophomore year and continues to serve as president of the Senior class. Since Junior year, he has been a student representative for the local school board of directors. Mason participated in the annual Boys State 2017 event, this year held at Lyndon College.  He was inducted into the National Honor Society as a Junior and continue to be a member. As a Junior, he as a participant in the 2017 Bernie Sanders State of the Union Essay Contest where he was able to chat with the senator along with 20 other students from around the state. Mason also received an excellence in social studies award both as a Sophomore and a Junior. Sophomore year, Mason attended the 2016 New England Young Writers Conference. Recently, Mason was awarded the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Award.
In the summer of 2016, Mason participated in IYLEP (Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program) where he, along with 30 Iraqi teenagers, discussed important issues affecting their communities. This most recent summer, Mason was a paid facilitator for DYLEP (Digital Young Leaders Exchange Program) where he hosted various video chats with people from all over the world discussing important issues such as poverty, terrorism, and the environment. As a Junior, Mason delivered the Gettysburg Address on behalf of the American Legion Post #14 to the city of Vergennes following the Memorial Day Parade in Vergennes. Mason also helped organize a Memorial Day celebration for Vergennes Union Elementary School as a Junior.
Mason says this about being a student at Vergennes:  “Throughout my years at VUHS, I’ve been able to meet a number of people with diverse backgrounds and personal stories. To me, that’s what makes Vergennes stand out amongst other schools in Addison County: the people. The VUHS community is the tie that binds this town together and which compels me to continue to learn.” Steve Orzech,a Social Studies teacher at VUHS says this about Mason, “Mason can be so quiet and unassuming that it is often a surprise when he orates on a subject with fire and passion that I almost never see in a high school student.  His commitment to causes he finds worthy is truly inspiring.  I wish adults who talk about generational apathy could hear him speak just once.”
Following graduation from VUHS,  Masonintends to attend a four-year college or university and major in political science with a emphasis on public policy. Eventually he plans to run for public office. The faculty, staff and students of VUHS wish Mason 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

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