Students of the Week

Mount Abraham Union High School has selected Isaiah DiNapoli of Monkton as its final Student of the Week for the 2018-2019 school year. Isaiah is the son of Robert and Catrina DiNapoli. His brother Jordan graduates from the University of Connecticut this spring.
Isaiah has achieved academic excellence three out of the four years he has spent at Mt. Abe, and received high honors for the past six semesters. His class choices have been challenging, including five Advanced Placement courses. In his junior year he took AP United States History and AP English Language and Composition. This year he has taken AP English Literature, AP Biology, and AP Computer Science.
Isaiah is very busy with school activities, particularly those involving music. He has also played saxophone in both the jazz band and the concert band since his freshman year. This year he was recognized for his hard work and talent with a WorldStrides Solo Musicianship Award in New York City. He has lent his skills to Mt. Abe’s Fall and Spring Musicals in the past year and participated in Little City Jazz this year as well. He has been a member of the Travel Club for all four years and also played soccer and baseball.
Outside of school Isaiah works for the Expanded Learning Program at Bristol Elementary School. He teaches elementary school students robotics using Lego WeDo and Lego Mindstorms and has done so since the end of his sophomore year. Like many of his peers, he also volunteers each summer with the Three Day Stampede Towards the Cure for Cystic Fibrosis.
Isaiah’s go-to leisure activities are playing his saxophone whenever he can, listening to music, travelling, and spending time with his friends.
He says, “Throughout my high school career I have learned about how hard work pays off in the end. I believe in taking pride in what you love doing and persisting through all obstacles. As my grandfather has always said, ‘Work hard and rest later.’”
This summer he will continue working at the Expanded Learning Program and has plans to hike the Long Trail. Then he will join the class of 2023 at Saint Lawrence University studying Computer Science.
Music teacher Matt Tatro says, “Isaiah is a reliable, talented musician. He has worked tirelessly to help make the Mt. Abe Music Department a better program.” AP English Teacher Katie Ivory adds, “Isaiah is a joy! He has a keen sense of humor and a drive to learn and grow that truly comes from within.”
Everyone at Mt. Abe wishes Isaiah DiNapoli all the best as he moves on to college.
Kexin Qian has been selected as Otter Valley Union High School’s final student of the week for the 2018-2019 academic year. Cathy is an exchange student from Guangzhou, China. She is the only child of her father Jin Qian and mother Jing Liu. Her English name is Cathy, and her parents call her “Coco.” She has lived this year with her host family, the Fullers, in Brandon.
Cathy came to Otter Valley this past fall on an exchange and is in Otter Valley’s senior class. Not daunted by the difference between Chinese and English, Cathy’s academic work has been all A’s. She was inducted into the National Honor Society earlier this spring. She has also been recognized for excellence in Literature 12, Intro to Studio Art, Food Lab and World Geography.
Cathy has not participated in any sports at Otter Valley, and few extracurriculars. She did, however perform a traditional Chinese dance in the OV talent show. She was very active in school in China, drumming in the school orchestra, as president of the school’s anime club, and in participating in many dance performances.
Dancing is Cathy’s favorite thing. She studied ballet when she was very young, and started to learn Jazz by herself when she was in 7th grade. She started to record her dances and loaded them on websites when she was in 9th grade. She also enjoys playing musical instruments. She learned to play piano when she was four and has continued to do so for 13 years. She learned to play drums when she was 10 years old. She really enjoys cooking, which, she says made it much easier to adjust to American eating habits.
Cathy is very grateful to her teachers for such a valuable chance to experience American school life earlier than her other peers. She will continue to do so when she begins college at Ohio State University in the fall. She says she also learned a lot about local culture and daily life. She says, “My personal philosophy is be happy all the time. I am just speaking as an exchange student from China to give advice, do not study all the time and go out and make friends — as many as you can!”
“Cathy is an exceptionally hard-working student who brings excellence to all that she does,” says teacher Dave Praamsma. “Despite challenges as an English-language learner, Cathy excels in her communication skills both as a speaker and a writer. She brings insight and a strong spirit of inquiry to all of her learning, demonstrating herself to be a very able and ambitious learner. It has been a pleasure to work with Cathy and to be part of her introduction into American culture and schooling.”
Everyone at Otter Valley will miss Cathy and wishes her the best of luck when she starts at Ohio State this fall. 
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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