Students of the Week – 12/17/2018

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 selected Grady Brokaw as it’s latest Student of the Week. Grady is the son of Jen Canfield and Tim Brokaw of Lincoln. His older sister Finnian is a sophomore at UVM.
Grady likes to challenge himself, especially academically. He has been a consistent honors student, taking higher-level classes whenever possible, such as Biology in grade 9, American Studies and Chemistry in grade 10, and AP U.S. History in grade 11. Grady also took personalized learning classes through Mt. Abe’s Pathways program, where students have the opportunity to choose a topic to learn about and connect it back to school subjects for school credit. Grady learned about timber framing and built a timber-framed covered bridge that he then donated it to Zeno Mountain Farm. This year he is taking on the challenge of AP Biology.
Grady has represented Mt. Abe on the varsity lacrosse team all four years of high school, serving as caption in his junior year. He is looking forward to his final season.
Grady has found volunteering very gratifying. He says, “If you have to get paid for everything you do, you’re not worth that much at all.” Along with his donation to Zeno Mountain Farm, he has volunteered for the Lincoln Volunteer Fire Company as a firefighter and a first responder. He also held paid jobs during the summer working outdoors landscaping and for several local builders.
Other activities that Grady enjoys include spending time with friends, hunting, exploring the woods with his dogs, skiing at Mad River Glen, and maple sugaring.
High school has taught Grady to manage stress and time. “If there is one thing that high school can be it is overwhelming, and being able to take the stress I build up throughout the school day and break it down into tasks I need to complete has definitely helped me strengthen my time management skills.” He says, “If I could give advice to future students it would be to not worry about what other people think about you because what they think truly does not matter … Take chances, have fun, work hard, and make friends. Because in my experiences I would not make it very far without my incredibly supportive group of friends.”
Grady plans on taking a gap year next year to work and travel, then go to college.
Mathematics Teacher Bob Maurer says Grady “is always engaged, attentive, and participates fully in every class. He works extremely hard in class and on his homework and projects, and always has his materials submitted on time and properly completed. He is a joy to have in class and is a model student.” Advisor Katie Ivory adds, “Grady is an exceptionally hard worker and a deeply thoughtful and curious young man. He brings his whole heart to his work and his interactions with others.”
The Mt. Abe community looks forward to seeing what Grady accomplishes in the coming years.
Clay Hays of Pittsford has been chosen as Otter Valley Union Highs School’s Student of the Week. Clay is the only child of John and Claudia Hays.
Throughout high school Clay has consistently maintained Scholar’s Role or better, and has gained many accolades as a result. He joined the National Honor Society during his junior year. He is currently enrolled in all of the AP classes offered at OVUHS. He has received the St. Anselm College Book Award, Excellence in Physics, Excellence in Advanced Sports Medicine, and the OV Activities Association Citizenship Award. He was also chosen to participate in the Vermont Principals’ Association Equity Summit in Montpelier and had an opinion piece published in the BrandonReporter.
His talents also apply to athletics at OV, where he has played varsity soccer all four years. Active in his class, Clay has served as class vice president in grades 11 and 12, and this year serves as Student Council president.
Each summer Clay works at Wood’s Market in Brandon stocking produce and checking out customers. During strawberry season, he works at the pick-your-own stand weighing what people picked and making sure everyone gets berries. Every week he volunteers as an assistant instructor for a karate class in Rutland, which allows him to both teach karate and interact with his community.
Clay enjoys being outside hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, camping and snowboarding in his free time.
Clay encourages his fellow students “not to get caught up in the small things. It is important to keep track of the big picture and try to stay positive.”
At the moment, Clay’s post-high school plan is to enter college for international studies, but he knows that what he wants to study may change anytime.
“Clay was in both my advanced anatomy class and my dual enrollment sports medicine class,” says teacher Anne Cioffredi. “He stood out as one of the top students in both of those classes, going beyond what was required in assignments and on tests making connections beyond the classroom. He had a keen eye for looking at the biomechanics of injury and applying his knowledge of anatomy to do very thorough assessment of injuries. He set a high standard for both social behavior in class and ethics in academics. He was a quiet leader and was well respected by his peers and faculty alike. Seldom is there a student that is so well rounded with high academic standards, an excellent work ethic, a contributing member of the school community and a talented athlete, but that is exactly the person Clay is.”
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

Share this story:

More News

Bernard D. Kimball, 76, of Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY — Bernard D. Kimball, 76, passed away in Bennington Hospital on Jan. 10, 2023. … (read more)

News Uncategorized

Fresh Air Fund youths returning to county

The Fresh Air Fund, initiated in 1877 to give kids from New York City the opportunity to e … (read more)

Obituaries Uncategorized

Mark A. Nelson of Bristol

BRISTOL — A memorial service for Mark A. Nelson of Bristol will be held 1 p.m. on Saturday … (read more)

Share this story: