Students of the Week – 1/21/2019

he 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.
Congratulations to Cora Funke, Mount Abraham Union High School’s Student of the Week. Cora lives in Monkton with her parents Kristin Blanchette and Otto Funke and her siblings Annika and Ian.
Cora has achieved highest honors for every semester of high school and academic excellence each year. Last year she took AP Calculus and AP U.S. History, and she is currently studying AP Biology, AP European History, and AP Literature. She especially enjoys her history classes. Over the summer Cora also completed Introduction to Sociology as a Dual Enrollment course through UVM.
Cora has played basketball and softball through each year of high school, and she is currently a captain on her basketball team. She also plays trombone in the Mt. Abe jazz ensemble and concert band, and she serves as an officer in the music department. Cora has been a Class Council representative since 10th grade, and she also participates in Mt. Abe Student Activism and the Environmental Action Group, which is currently working to ban plastic bags in Bristol. In 10th grade she attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) seminar, and last summer she was a Girls State delegate.
For the past three summers, Cora has volunteered at Audubon Vermont’s summer camps as a Counselor in Training, which has been an absolute blast. She also does various volunteer work as a public relations assistant for HOBY Vermont and at the Monkton town recycling center. In the fall of her junior year Cora worked at Monkton’s after school program, and through last summer and fall she worked at Lantman’s Market in Hinesburg. She also does a lot of babysitting.
Outside of school Cora likes to ski, go surfing, make pottery, cook blueberry pancakes, watch movies, and spend time with the people she loves.
Cora says, “I have learned that it is absolutely okay to sometimes rely on help from others to support you. Working hard always pays off, and you will get out of high school what you put into it. At the same time, sometimes it’s equally important to take a step back and just breathe.”
Her teachers can attest to her strength. Band teacher Matt Tatro says, “Cora is a decisive young woman who holds true to her convictions.” AP History teacher Tom Learmonth adds, “Cora is meticulous in her work, insightful in her conversation, and fun to be around!” “I have known Cora since the 9th grade, and she has always exuded quiet confidence and a singular focus on excellent work. I can always count on her to be fully engaged and to play a leadership role in the classroom,” says U.S. Government and Politics teacher Al Zaccor.
After high school Cora plans to attend a four-year college or university somewhere in the Northeast.
The Mt. Abe community looks forward to seeing what Cora accomplishes in the coming years.
Hayden Gallo, son of Jonathan and Paige Gallo of Brandon, has been chosen as Otter Valley Union High School’s Student of the Week. His sister Sydney is in 8th grade at Otter Valley.
Hayden’s accomplishments are many. He has been awarded UVM’s Green and Gold Scholarship, is a member of the National Honor Society, and has consistently achieved the scholar’s roll each year of high school. He has been awarded academic excellence in numerous classes including AP Chemistry, Advanced American Studies, French and Trigonometry. He received the Rensselaer Medal award and the University of Rochester’s Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award and is the male winner of the 2018 Wendy’s High School Heisman Scholarship for the state of Vermont. He also attended Green Mountain Boys’ State this past summer.
A member of the varsity lacrosse and varsity cross country teams for the past four years, he is captain of both teams. He has been class president all four years of high school. He has been a student council member throughout his high school career and is currently its vice president. Hayden also volunteers with the Unified Basketball team and has competed on the Otter Valley Quiz Bowl team for the past two years, and serves on the Athletic Leadership Council.
For the past two summers, he has worked at Camp Thorpe in Goshen, a not-for-profit camp serving children and adults with a variety of physical and developmental needs. As a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Brandon he also does volunteer work for the church.
In what little spare time he has left, Hayden enjoys swimming, golfing, traveling and origami.
Hayden says, “Take advantage of every opportunity presented to you because you never know what may ignite a passion within you. Also, attempt a leadership role and enjoy high school because it goes by very quickly.”
Post-high school Hayden plans to attend college and study in the areas of math and science.
Teacher Barbara Sicot sums it up this way, “Once in your career, you come across an exceptional student, who will both change the lives of those around him, and/or is destined to go far. Hayden is one of these students. From being an outstanding student to a leader in student council, to being an outstanding athlete, Hayden is well liked by his teachers and peers… He is willing to help people around him and is extremely respectful. I have seen him countless times, helping and explaining a concept to a fellow student. He has a very inquisitive mind, on top of being a hard-worker. In my French IV class, he was always asking questions out of curiosity. His papers were always top quality. There are not enough words in the dictionary to describe what a great student and human being he is.”
The entire Otter Valley community wishes Hayden all the best in with his future plans.
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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