Students of the week: 9/24/2018

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.
Mount Abraham Union High School has named William Wright as it’s first Student of the Week for the 2018-2019 school year. William and his parents, Doctor Vickie Backus and Wesley Wright, live in Starksboro.
William says, “I tend to base my achievements off of my own productivity that only I can measure.” That hasn’t stopped him from receiving the Rensselaer Medalist Award, given to a promising student in the fields of science and engineering, nor from consistently receiving highest honors every term. He already has AP Calculus under his belt and is tackling AP European History and AP Biology this year.
William has played on the varsity soccer team for three years. Last fall he was named to Lake Division 1st team and says, “I am currently captaining a promising young group of lads for the Fall 2018 season.” Every year at Mt. Abe he has joined the track team, fall musical, jazz band and math league. He added the spring musical his junior year.
Preoccupied with school, extra-curriculars, skiing, club soccer and traveling, William still manages to work as a coach at Summit Soccer, a week long day camp for kids grades K-9. He also “volunteered” last year with a close friend, teaching him everything he could about singing, production, dance and percussion.
Outside of school Williams plays club soccer for Addison United, skis at Mad River Glen and Sugarbush, practices with his band, fishes, gardens, “nerds out on Big Bang Theory,” plays the drums, dances, eats sushi, hits the gym and then the books, and discusses ways to resolve the most troubling conflicts in society.
William says, “I’ve learned through high school that failure is often more rewarding in the long run than easy success. We must all experience failure, pain, embarrassment and heartbreak to develop a perspective that will benefit us in the future, even if these negatives linger … It’s better to stand out and stick to my own morals rather than conform. Conformity nowadays is chaotic, stressful, corrupt and full of ignorance, with a complete lack of emotional intelligence … Focus on the things that will ultimately lead you toward your goals and exclude the unnecessary bits — live genuinely and explore while you can.”
After high school William plans to attend college either in New York, Boston, or locally. He’s not sure of a major, but he wants to change the world, starting with the sciences.
His teachers agree that William is a talented, reliable, generous, hardworking, humble and compassionate student. Advisor Janet Logan-Robnett sums it up best: “Perfect human being would define Will. He cares deeply for others and values the importance of learning. Throughout his high school education he has advocated for a meaningful, authentic education.” He has researched, contemplated and planned his post secondary options so he can pursue a career of purpose and interest. In addition he excels on the soccer field and stage.
Otter Valley Union High School is happy to present Sam Buswell as its Student of the Week. Sam and his parents Marianne and Randall Buswell live in Brandon.
Sam has received many academic awards during his time at Otter Valley. He has been on the Otter Valley Scholar’s Roll every marking period. In 11th grade he received the Yale Book Award, was inducted into the National Honor Society and received excellence awards for Advanced American Studies, Advanced Behavioral Science, Spanish 5, Advanced Studio Art, and FST (Functions, Statistics, and Trigonometry). In 10th grade he received excellence awards for World Geography, Advanced American History, Spanish 4, CP (College Prep) Chemistry, Health, and Literature 10, as well as excellence awards for BSCS Biology, English 9, Spanish 2, Spanish 3, and Global Studies. He has taken or is currently enrolled in all three of Otter Valley’s AP classes; Chemistry, Biology, and Literature. He has taken the most advanced courses that are available to him, including all five of OV’s Spanish classes.
Sam has been a member of the Varsity Golf Team for all four years of high school. He competed at states in 9th grade, won the sportsmanship award in 9th and 10th grade, and recently was the medalist at a match as a 12th grader.
He has two paid jobs, working at Keewaydin Dunmore Camp for Boys as a food service worker and at Neshobe Golf Club as a cart boy. He washes golf carts and helps maintain the golf course approximately 30 hours a week during the summer and 20 hours a week during the school year.
Sam enjoys several outdoor activities during his free time. His favorite pastime is skiing. He can be found on the slopes at Killington and Pico, and backcountry skiing in the foot-access terrain of Killington. He also enjoys mountain biking and playing golf.
Sam Says, “I have learned from high school that the best way to be successful is to have a reason to. Thoughts of the future have always motivated me to give my academics my all. If I was to give advice to a younger student, I would tell them to spend time pondering the future, and where they see themselves in it.”
Sam plans on focusing his college studies on Environmental Studies, with the goal of being an Environmental Lawyer.
“Samuel is a highly intelligent, perceptive young man,” says Sam’s AP Chemistry teacher Larry Gerrior. He “grew in learning, in character, in depth of understanding. He seeks truth in each and every area of his life, whether in learning, discussing philosophical ideas, or relating to his fellow students and his teachers. Because of his positive disposition, his reflective way of operating, and all of the character traits that make him so special, Samuel’s questions never go unanswered, and his searches always bring him to exciting new discoveries. Samuel is consistent, dedicated and passionate, enthusiastic, and a pleasure to work with.”
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
Countryside Carpet & Paint
Jackman Fuels, Inc.
J.W. & D.E. Ryan
Jackman Fuels Inc.
NFP Insurance Benefits & Wealth Management
Peak View Eye Care
Route 7 South Sandwich Company
United Way of Addison County
Vermont Book Shop

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