Students of the Week – 5/14/18

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.
Otter Valley Union High School is happy to name Christa Wood as its latest Student of the Week. Christa is the daughter of Tammy and Brian Wood of Florence. Her sister Heather also attends OVUHS.
Christa has challenged herself throughout school. This year she is studying AP English Literature, AP European History, Advanced American Studies and Advanced Anatomy. She has also played softball at Otter Valley since her sophomore year.
It was in her sophomore year as well that she got a job at the Maplefields in Pittsford and has worked there ever since. Outside of school Christa enjoys shopping and spending time with her friends.
“I have learned from high school that you need to try your best at everything you do,” she says.
In the fall Christa will enroll at Castleton University, where she intends to study nursing
Michael Dwyer, her AP English and European History teacher has seen Christa’s admirable qualities.
“Christa’s integrity and honesty are qualities for which her teachers as well as her peers admire her,” Dwyer said. “She is a student who leads by her positive attitude and her own sense of accomplishment.”
Anatomy teacher Michele Cioffredi adds, “I am particularly excited to see that she wants to pursue a career in the medical field. In Advanced Anatomy class she demonstrates an exceptional understanding of the content, from histology to gross anatomy. Christa is motivated by a commitment to understanding course content, not just grades.”
The faculty, staff and students at Otter Valley wish Christa all the best in the years to come.
Mount Abraham Union High School is pleased to present Molly Funk as its Student of the Week. Molly lives in Bristol with her parents, Elizabeth Maher and Thomas Funk, along with her sister Louisa and exchange sister Maria Eugenia Sanchez from Paraguay. Her sister Hannah is a sophomore at Georgetown.
Molly has really loved the challenging classes she chose to take at Mt. Abe. Last year her favorite class was AP Studio Art. She also took calculus and AP European History. This year she is studying AP Language and Composition, AP U.S. History and AP Biology. She has achieved highest honors all four years and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Molly devoted herself to the Environmental Action Group at Mt. Abe all four years. She worked on education campaigns about environmental issues, a composting facility at the school, food waste collection bins in the hallways and dish drop off stations beyond the cafeteria. Molly also has been a member of Mt. Abe’s Community Council, Poetry Out Loud, and a founding member of Mt. Abe Student Activism, which became deeply involved in the local conversation surrounding gun reform and planned a rally on the Bristol town green. Molly also played soccer and took part in fall and spring musicals.
She has worked as a kennel assistant at the Bristol Animal Hospital and volunteered with Elderly Services in Middlebury. She also volunteered to work on the Bristol Elementary School production of “Rats!” Last summer she studied abroad in Panama and volunteered as a teaching assistant in a local kindergarten.
Molly can often be found knitting, reading, crossword puzzling or doing art of some form. She loves traveling with her family to interesting places, including Iceland and Peru, skiing and hiking, and baking with her sister.
Of high school Molly says, “I have learned to appreciate the unique and quirky aspects of my school and greater community. Certain memories or characteristics of Mt. Abe make me so proud to be from here, from our compost facility, to our school spirit to our spunky teachers. I think the ability to appreciate the place you are makes life a lot better.”
In the fall Molly will attend Boston College, where she will be a part of the Gabelli Presidential Scholars program.
“Molly is such a passionate young person who speaks out for the injustice in the world,” says Advisor Jess Little. AP History Teacher Tom Learmoth adds that Molly is “A bright spirit, possessed of passion and the will to make it happen. I want her on my team!”
Everyone at Mt. Abe wishes Molly the best of luck and many more successful activism projects in the years to come.
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:
Barash Mediation Services
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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