Student of the Week – 12/11/2017

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 presents Ezra Marks as Student of the Week. Ezra is the son of Donna and Andrew Marks of Cornwall. His sister Isadora recently graduated from UVM and now resides in Burlington. Ezra states that he really has enjoyed his high school experience as it has combined myriad activities and challenging academics.
Academically, Ezra is pursuing a full load of classes during his senior year, including several Advanced Placement courses. He is serving as a teacher’s assistant in AP Biology with Mr. Johnstone, is doing an independent study in Organic Chemistry and is enrolled in a computer science class at Middlebury College. He previously completed an online course at UVM in U.S. History.
Outside of class, Ezra focuses his time and talent organizing school assemblies, dances, and activities as part of his responsibilities as a Co-President of the MUHS Student Senate. He moderates the senate’s Facebook page, and assists with the school’s Instagram and Twitter feeds and encourages the local community to “follow along” to see what is happening at the high school. Ezra is actively engaged in Calliope and enjoys Ms. Greene’s leadership and has participated twice in the New England Young Writers’ program at Bread Loaf.
One of Ezra’s favorite activities has been the Vermont Governor’s Institute. He strongly encourages other students to participate. He has attended GIV programs in Engineering, Architecture, Entrepreneurship, and Digital Media.
Ezra is focusing his college search on small, four-year liberal arts institutions and is also considering some larger, research-based universities that also have a breadth of humanities offerings. He’s looking ahead to college with optimism and excitement and we know a bright future awaits. 
Vergennes Union High School is pleased to recognize Benjamin Praamsma as its Student of the Week. Ben lives in Ferrisburgh with his dad and mom, Dave and Joanie Praamsma. Ben has two older siblings: Noah, who graduated from Calvin College in 2017 and is currently working for AmeriCorps, and Stephanie, who is a junior at Calvin College. He also has two younger siblings: Maya, a sophomore at VUHS, and Gabriel, a freshman at VUHS.
Ben is currently on the honor roll and has been throughout high school. He was inducted into the National Honor Society his junior year and is now the vice-president of the group. Ben received the 5 guidelines awards during his 9th-grade year for science and physical education, and in 11th grade in English/Humanities, Engineering & Architecture, Mathematics, and World Languages.
Ben is an active member of our school community. Every Friday morning he leads the Youth Alive Bible Study Group. He guides discussion, prayer and community service projects. Ben was on the math team from 2016-2017. He has been a member of the school musical light and sound crew and is a varsity athlete on cross country and the track and field teams.
Outside of school Ben is busy working and volunteering. He has worked at DAR State Park, Park Squeeze and Scott’s Greenbush Gardens. Currently he works at Shaw’s. He volunteers as a tutor in math and science, and participated in a week-long community service program: TASC (Teens Actively Serving Christ). He also participated in the Holland Rescue Mission, The Rock Ministry, Green Up Day, ANEW Shelter, The Charter House, and other organizations.
Of high school Ben says, “‘Carpe diem.’ I find the idea of seizing the day so important … because we seem to be constantly bombarded with opportunities to learn, work, serve, build and participate. … The best thing you can do for yourself and your community is to participate.”
Lynn Kayhart, a math teacher at VUHS says, “Ben Praamsma is simply a wonderful human being. His passion and love of learning is seen in everything he does. He is not afraid to ask the “What if” questions and takes every opportunity to make the most out of his education. Ben strives to be the best person he can be and to always help others in any way possible. He has over 200 hours of community service over the past three years. I’m confident that Ben will meet the future with a great deal of success and help to make the world a better place.”
Following graduation from VUHS, Ben plans to enroll in a four-year, religiously affiliated liberal-arts college in the Midwest, where he anticipates an education in the biological sciences. The faculty, staff and students of VUHS wish Ben 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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