Students of the Week – 11/5/2018

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.
Mt. Abraham Union High School is pleased to present Elizabeth Siminitus as its Student of the Week. Elizabeth is the daughter of Joan and Mark Siminitus of Starksboro. Her sister Julia is attending St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M.
An excellent student, Elizabeth has garnered highest honors and academic excellence every year of high school. She took AP Calculus AB and AP US History junior year and is currently enrolled in AP Biology and AP English Literature and Composition. Over the summer she took a public speaking course at UVM. She is also taking the highest-level French class offered at Mt. Abe. Sophomore year she was accepted to attend the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership seminar.
She has joined the fall and spring musicals every year, both as a cast member and in costuming. She has also played trombone in concert band and jazz band every year and was accepted into the Vermont Youth Philharmonia last spring. Elizabeth has been on the varsity track team every year. She played JV soccer freshman and sophomore years and varsity as a junior. In her sophomore year she started running indoor track and joined the Scholar’s Bowl team and remains on both teams. She has been a member of Community Council and was elected treasurer sophomore through senior year. She is also a member of the Environmental Action Group every year.
Outside of school Elizabeth serves as a lifeguard and a camp counselor over the summer. Every Sunday she volunteers as a religious education teacher at St. Ambrose church in Bristol. In her free time, she loves to read everything she can. She also enjoys downhill skiing, listening to music, playing with her dog, and taking mini road trips with her sister and friends to the movies and other places.
Of high school Elizabeth says, “It took me a while to learn, but I realized that there is such a thing as too many activities … I wanted to be involved in everything, but I had to learn what was healthiest for me, which is different for everyone. We all learn differently and we all deal with events differently, so it’s important to focus on yourself and try not to compare too much with the people around you. Focus on you, and try to have fun!”
Elizabeth is in the process of applying to college. “I don’t really know what my future will hold, but I’m ready to see where life takes me,” she says.
Advanced French teacher Jori Jacobeit says, “Beyond her exceptional academic performance, Elizabeth has poured her heart into Mt. Abraham for the past six years. She has left her mark on our school community through her engagement in athletics, the arts and student leadership.”
Everyone at Mt. Abe wishes Elizabeth well when she moves on to college and beyond.
Congratulations to Dylan Mackie of Brandon, who has been named Otter Valley Union High School’s Student of the Week. Dylan is the son of Tara and Troy Mackie of Brandon. His brother Conor is an apprentice electrician at Interstate Electric and his sister Brielle is in 9th grade.
At OVUHS, Dylan has taken many advanced classes, such as CP (College Prep) Chemistry, Trigonometry, Pre Calculus, and Advanced American Studies. He has been on the scholars roll and honor roll throughout high school. Scholars roll is what he strives for and he has gotten it in most marking periods of high school. He has also received excellence in Advanced American Studies in 11th grade, excellence in Advanced American History in 10th grade, excellence in English 9 in 9th grade, and excellence in Spanish 2 in 9th grade. He was inducted into the National Honors Society in 11th grade.
Dylan is involved in multiple sports every year. He has played varsity basketball since 9th grade, varsity soccer in 9th grade, JV/V football in 10th grade, and varsity football in 11th/12th. He has also been a player coach in Unified Basketball since 10th grade.
Dylan helps coach and teach the Unified Basketball team at Otter Valley. The Unified team is for mentally delayed students. He says, “It is a wonderful opportunity for them to play a sport, and I am glad that I can help them enjoy basketball as much as I do. I was one of the first students to join and start helping, and I will be playing again this year.
Outside of school, Dylan enjoys playing basketball, hanging out with his friends, listening to music, and working out.
“Throughout my high school career, I have learned to be as outgoing as possible, says Dylan. “The people you meet shape your experience.”
After high school Dylan plans on going to college to study business.
“Dylan is a very courteous and positive individual,” says his English teacher Mrs. Roberts. “He is consistently respectful, and is willing to help anyone regardless of the situation. Dylan is also a very conscientious individual, and takes pride in the quality of his school work. Dylan has received numerous academic awards, including Excellence in Advanced American Studies, and was inducted into the National Honor Society last year. Dylan is also an impressive athlete and a positive role model who is looked upon for his leadership skills on the field. Dylan clearly understands the value and importance of working as part of a group, as he has impressively been on three varsity teams since he was a freshman in high school and has won numerous awards for his leadership abilities.”
The staff, faculty and students wish Dylan all the best 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 $5 gift certificate to Route 7 Sandwich Co. 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
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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