Students of the Week – 2/4/19

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.
Evan Laurent, daughter of Pamela and Michael Laurent of Bristol, is the latest Mount Abraham Union High School Student of the Week. Her two sisters, Rebecca and Molly, are in grades 11 and 9 at Mt. Abe.
Evan has been involved in all aspect is of life at Mt. Abe. She takes challenging academic classes AP Biology, AP U.S. History and AP Literature and Composition and has made honor roll every year of high school. In recognition of her good work, she was awarded the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award in 11th grade, a $10,000 a year scholarship to University of Rochester.
Extracurricular activities include varsity field hockey in grades 9-12, indoor track, Nordic skiing, the fall musical in grades 9-12, the spring musical and Poetry Out Loud, where students will memorize and perform poems in a school-wide competition in February.
Outside of school Evan has volunteered at the Three Day Stampede, a yard sale-type fundraiser that raises money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation since middle school every summer. She also volunteered at a youth field hockey camp at Mount Abe last summer. She has also worked at Kidshow, a weeklong theatre camp for elementary aged children in Hinesburg and New Leaf Organics, an organic vegetable and flower farm in Bristol. She also keeps busy as a lifeguard and teaching swim lessons at the Mount Abe pool during the summer.
When she has free time, Evan likes hiking, playing field hockey, skiing, playing the piano, and generally any activity where she can be outside.
Her feeling on the high school years? “Just find what makes you happy and chase that. Nothing else is more important than that.”
School Counselor Alan Kamman says, “Evan Laurent is a serious student. She balances this with a friendly demeanor and determination to always do her best. She is well rounded, maintaining good grades, participating in activities, and working in the community. She takes pride in what she calls her inner drive to be her best self, and places value on improvement and learning. Evan is environmentally minded, socially conscious, and globally aware.” AP English Teacher Lisa Grzyb adds, “Evan is self possessed, wise, and empathetic. She brings a high level of focus to her work that serves to engage those around her, making her an invaluable asset to the classroom.”
Post-graduation Evan is planning on hiking the Long Trail and then attending college out West. The Mt. Abe community wishes her all the best.
Congratulations to Nathan Claessens, son of Faith and Bill Claessens of Brandon, for being selected as Otter Valley Union High School’s Student of the week. Nathan’s older brother works as an orthodontic assistant at an orthodontist’s office in Burlington.
Nathan takes his academics seriously with advanced classes such as AP Literature and Calculus. During this school year he has taken two college-level courses through CCV using dual-enrollment — “Intro to Environmental Sciences” in the fall semester and “Creative Writing” this semester. Both of these courses are offered online by CCV.
He played baseball at OVUHS in his freshman year, but since then has focused his energies on all things soccer, playing all four years. Nathan anchored the team as center back. This year he also helped out the Otter Valley football team by serving as their position kicker.
Nathan has been a shift leader at the Brandon Hannaford supermarket since April of 2017. He enjoys his time in the store and both the people he works with and the people he provides service to. “I continue to find new places and avenues to continue my service there in all aspects of the store,” he says.
He enjoys spending time with all of his friends and family. And in any spare time he has he loves to play soccer, watch soccer, and talk about soccer.
Nathan says, “High school gives you a lot of information; while it is important to listen and pay attention in class, it is just as important to make friendships. Everyone is thrown together from several towns but within just a few years everyone knows each other and it is important to include yourself in that family because you all share a connection that shouldn’t be forgotten.”
After high school Nathan plans on attending the University of Vermont to earn a bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Teacher Lawrence Gerrior says, “Nathan is bright, energetic, compassionate and genuinely well rounded. His grades have been consistently above average in all of his courses, and he has actively participated in a diverse assortment of extracurricular activities.” Teacher Meredith McCartney adds, “Nathan is an individual who will go very far in this world. He already has the key elements sorted out for success: resourcefulness, diligence, respectfulness and kindness.”
Everyone at OVUHS wishes Nathan good things in the coming years.
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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