Students of the Week – 4/9/2018

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.
The latest Student of the Week from Middlebury Union High School is Justin Holmes. Justin is the son of  Steve and Jessica Holmes of Cornwall and is a senior at MUHS. He has a ready smile and is well known by teachers and students at the school. He says he has enjoyed his time at MUHS and has valued the academics and extra-curricular activities tremendously. Justin currently serves as a peer leader to Ms. Stebe’s advisory and likes the interactions with the 9th graders as they transition to high school. He laughs as he tells the story about fainting on his first day of freshman year in 2014. Justin’s advice to all students is to get involved in activities as a vehicle to get to know others. He says it is a great way to meet people and try something new.
Justin’s interests are varied. In seventh and eighth grade, Justin took courses in animation and together with a group of peers created 11 Paper Place. It is a story about two pieces of paper that mysteriously and magically turn into paper people after being spit out of a printer. The short documentary can be found on Vimeo and appeared in the Huffington Post. Justin operates a small business where he utilizes a drone and does aerial photography; some of his clients include local realtors.
Spanish is one of Justin’s favorite subjects and by the end of his 9th grade year, he had already studied the language for three years. He spent his sophomore year living in Mexico City with a host family and attending school where all of his classes were taught in Spanish. He smiles when he says he took English IN Spanish. His host father was Jose Antonio who is currently running for President of Mexico.
Sports are an important part of Justin’s life and he has played both soccer and lacrosse for the Tigers. He will participate in the senior play, “Beauty and the Beast,” in the spring. As he looks ahead to the future, Justin envisions a possible career path in business, entrepreneurship and possibly animation. He’s applied to a variety of colleges and is awaiting news of admission decisions. Everyone at MUHS wishes Justin well as he prepares to graduate and head off to college in the fall.
Vergennes Union High School is pleased to recognize Kaitlyn Brace as its Student of the Week. Kaitlyn lives in Ferrisburgh with her dad and mom, Scott and Lisa Brace. She has an older sister, Lexi, who is a freshman at Franklin Pierce University, who is studying biology and secondary education, and a younger brother, Eli, who is a 7th grade student at VUMS.
Kaitlyn strives to be the best student she can be. She is currently taking  AP Biology, and she took Calculus her  junior year. Kaitlyn is also a part of the National Honor Society. She was a member of the math team her sophomore and junior years. During Kaitlyn’s  four years at VUHS, she received many different academic awards. These awards come from areas of study like science, social studies, and language. Last year Kaitlyn was  awarded with the Sage Scholarship.
Outside of the classroom Kaitlyn has been an active participant in our community.  Kaitlyn has played soccer since her 9th grade year and was a co-captain this year. At VUHS, one of Kaitlyn’s favorite events is Peace One Day. This past year she was able to create the annual Peace One Day banner representing honoring diversity. Also, Kaitlyn has been an active participant in student council, where she helps to organize school events.
Kaitlyn says this about her high school career: “If I had to give advice to other students, I would tell them to find something they love, and use it to motivate them, not distract them.” Karl Steen an English teacher at  VUHS, says this about Kaitlyn: “Kaitlyn Brace is a leader in our learning community. In the classroom and on the soccer pitch, Kaitlyn has demonstrated the perseverance, talent, intelligence, and integrity that define the Commodore spirit. In the face of hardship, Kaitlyn persists; she challenges herself to improve and to progress toward her goals. She is ambitious, self-directed, and committed to taking full advantage of opportunity. We have no doubt that she will emerge as a source of pride for her next campus in the same fashion as she has here for the staff and students at VUHS. Congratulations, Kaitlyn!”
Following graduation from VUHS,  Kaitlyn will be attending the pre-med program at Goucher College in Baltimore, Md., and will be a part of the soccer team. The faculty, staff and students of VUHS wish Kaitlyn 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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