Students of the Week – 3/26/2018

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 Ella Nagy-Benson of Weybridge as its Student of the Week. Ella is the daughter of Andy and Gwen Nagy-Benson and she has two sisters, Mary, a sophomore at MUHS, and Rachael, a fourth grader. When asked what her favorite class is, Ella says it would be a hard choice as she has thoroughly enjoyed each of her courses at MUHS. After thinking about it, Ella states that she tends to favor science and credits Mr. Johnstone and Mr. Scaramucci for sparking her interest in biology, a field she plans to pursue in college. Another favorite class was Ms. Aronson’s AP US History where the topics were interesting and the discussions were stimulating. 
As the editor of “Calliope,” the high school’s literary magazine, Ella has helped to design the cover and likes working alongside her peers on this special publication. She serves as a peer leader and mentors entering 9th graders as they transition from middle school to high school. Ella volunteers at the Whiting School in their after school program, helping to facilitate programming for children. She’s an active member of the Congregational Church of Middlebury where she teaches Sunday School to 5th and 6th graders and is enthusiastic about her participation in the youth group. Ella has gone on service trips to Boston, Washington, DC., and the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation doing volunteering work as a youth group member. Locally, in Middlebury, she volunteers at the Charter House Coalition serving breakfast to residents of Addison County.
Ella has been playing the piano for 12 years and as a sophomore was selected to participate in the Young Artists Showcase in Burlington. She played in Burlington at St. Paul’s Cathedral. She plays lacrosse for the Tigers and says winning the state championship her junior year was a true highlight. She skied on the school’s Nordic team her 9th and 10th grade years.
Her college search is in full swing and Ella says she is looking for something similar to Middlebury, but outside of New England. She feels fortunate to have the college in “her backyard” but wants to explore a new geographic region of the country. She wants a small four-year liberal arts college that focuses on community, academic engagement, and where she will know her professors. She has been accepted at Davidson College. She is considering a major in the sciences and credits her experience last summer at UVM’s MedQuest program as a spring board. Ella is well on her way to a bright future.
Vergennes Union High School is pleased to recognize Kristina Jochum as its Student of the Week. Kristina lives in Addison with her parents, Don and Carmen Jochum. Her older sister, Marissa, graduated from Siena College last May.
Kristina’s been on the honor roll every quarter of high school, and she was inducted into the National Honor Society as a Junior. Kristina completed AP Calculus during her junior year and scored a 5 on the AP exam. She is currently taking Statistics as her dual enrollment. For underclassmen awards, Kristina earned Excellence in Mathematics during her freshman year, Outstanding Achievement in Science, Outstanding Achievement in German II and Excellence in the Five Guidelines in her sophomore year, and an award in Small Businesses and Mathematics in her junior year. Kristina also earned the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Excellence in Science and Mathematics, which could earn her a scholarship of up to $25,000 per year.
Kristina has been an actively involved VUHS community member. She was Class Treasurer last year and this year and is currently the treasurer of the National Honor Society. She also has been a member of the yearbook staff, and this year she became one of its coeditors. Kristina is a member of the Math Team. She was the stage manager for the past two VUHS musicals. Kristina has played the flute for all four years of high school. She is also a basketball player. Outside of school Kristina works at Hannaford in Middlebury. She also volunteers at her church’s dinners and movie nights. She participated in the Penguin Plunge this year. Kristina has also worked in the 4H Food Booth at Field Days since 2013.
 “I have learned a lot from my high school experience,” Kristina says. “I’ve learned that time management is an extremely tough thing to figure out; however, it is very important to do so. You need to stay focused and driven in school, and you need to want to learn because how far you take your education is up to you; the sky’s the limit. I’ve also learned that everyone has different work habits. The key to success is finding what works best for you.”
Kristina’s German teacher, Janet Kepes, says, “Kristina is a conscientious student who always strives toward perfection. She is the student who asks the questions to fully understand something. She is the student who works to incorporate new ideas in her work. She is reliable, hard-working and a real asset to our community.”
Following graduation, Kristina would like to attend a four year college in New York to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics as well as study German. The faculty, staff and students of VUHS wish Kristina 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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