Students of the Week – 1/14/2019

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.
Middlebury Union High School introduces Maisie Newbury of Weybridge as its Student of the Week. She resides with her parents, Michael Newbury and Holly Allen, and her older brother, Robbie.
The faculty at MUHS values Maisie’s engagement in the classroom and her ability to write critically and speak thoughtfully on a myriad of subjects. She is a gifted student and serves as the president of the school’s National Honor Society. Maisie has pursued one of the most challenging curriculums available at the high school; by the time she graduates, she will have completed ten Advanced Placement classes. In addition, she has successfully completed a course at Middlebury College, “Introduction to Hispanic Literature and Cinema,” which was taught completely in Spanish.
Maisie has spent multiple summers at Camp Nokomis on Lake Winnipesauke in New Hampshire enjoying the outdoors. Her time on the lake has been spent sailing, swimming, waterskiing and enjoying time with friends.
She especially enjoys writing and has been an active participant in the in the Young Writers Project. Maisie entered an essay in Senator Bernie Sanders’ “State of the Union” contest last January and it was selected as one of 20 finalists from a statewide pool with over 600 entrants. She and the other student finalists met with Senator Sanders in Montpelier and discussed world and national issues in a political round table. Maisie’s essay, along with those of the other finalists, was published in the United States Congressional Record.
Maisie has traveled to Spain on an MUHS sponsored trip. She has served as a peer leader to entering ninth-graders and her advice to new students is to “take each day as it comes.” She has been a member of the Tiger cross-country, Nordic ski and track teams and says that sports have always been a vital part of her life. She has valued her teachers at MUHS and is looking forward to college next year. Maisie was admitted early decision to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
A bright future awaits this talented young woman and everyone at Middlebury Union High School wishes Maisie well.
Vergennes Union High School presents Ashley Cray as its Student of the Week. Ashley lives in Ferrisburgh with her dad and mom, Kelly and Dana Cray. Ashley has an older sister, Hailey, who is a junior at the University of Vermont and is studying biology on the pre-med track.
Ashley has been on the honor roll or high honor roll for all of her high school career, and plans for that to continue throughout the rest of her time here at VUHS. Ashley was inducted into the National Honor Society this year. She has taken three Advanced Placement courses, and challenged herself with upper-level science and English courses.
Ashley has been a member of the cross country team since her sophomore year and has been captain since her junior year. Since 9th grade, Ashley has also participated in both outdoor and indoor track and captained both since her junior year. Ashley is a member of student council and of QSA (Queer Straight Alliance), is the senior class secretary and was a cast member in the musical. She represented VUHS as a Girls State delegate her junior year. Ashley has also tutored middle school students. One of Ashley’s favorite volunteer experiences in the past year was a 17-day trip to Ghana, where she helped students at the Trinity Yard School develop creative writing skills.
Ashley says, “I think one of the biggest things I have learned throughout high school is that procrastination is not your friend and should be avoided at all costs. Also, a planner is a lifesaver. My personal philosophy is to always treat people and the planet with respect and dignity. This is something my mother has always told me, and I think it is an incredibly valuable piece of advice. Some advice I would give to other students would be to talk to your teachers. If you are struggling with an assignment or need more time, they are almost always extremely understanding and always willing to spend extra time with you to help you understand something.”
VUHS English teacher Michael Thomas says, “Ashley is completely authentic, whether reflecting on her own personal growth or on an abstract issue: the learning itself is always her true focus, rather than any personal recognition or grades. She has been an important part of creating a productive and inclusive intellectual community in my classroom.”
Following graduation from VUHS Ashley plans to attend college and study environmental science. The faculty, staff and students of VUHS wish Ashley Cray 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 gift card from Route 7 South Sandwich Company. 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
Countryside Carpet & Paint
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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