CHS Winter Athletics Season Wrap-Up

For a nice fun-for-your-Friday feature, let’s talk about athletics!

Colchester High School’s winter athletics teams had a great season this year.

For the first time in the school’s history (in Division I), the boys’ hockey team made it to the Division I state championship on March 13, and the girls’ ice hockey team went to the state quarter-finals.

Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com

Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com

For the first time in the school’s history, the girls’ varsity basketball team made the state semi-finals, and the team also set a school record for the most wins in a season with a record of 17–6. The boys’ varsity basketball team hosted and won a playoff game, making it to the state quarter-final.

Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com

Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com

The dance team came in third in the state this year.

Photo credit: Laura Miller

Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com

The wrestling team made a strong showing at the state championship; Nick Eddy was the state champion, and Eric Decker was the state runner-up.

Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com

The alpine and nordic ski teams also had successful seasons; in fact, the nordic team had record number of participants this year.

Photo credit: Coach Kevin Ose

Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com

School athletic programs are often heralded for encouraging discipline, accountability, responsibility, sacrifice, and self-confidence while instilling a sense of community spirit and school pride. They are also regarded as a fun and engaging way to enhance health and wellness and combat childhood obesity.

JV Girls' Basketball. Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com

JV Boys' Basketball. Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com

A Colchester Middle School wrap-up is planned for the near future. Stay tuned!

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A Bear Hug for Hope—And a Moose Hug from Monty

In our March 19 CSD Spotlight feature, we shared the tremendous effort that a student team from Malletts Bay School put into raising more than $1,515 for the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days campaign. On March 22, the group—Julia Dragon, Kaity Mazza, and Blake Ruescher—visited Fletcher Allen Health Care to present a Bear Hug for Hope to a hospitalized child, and while they were there, they were honored in an appreciation ceremony … and they got to meet a special guest.

Just try to watch this video without smiling!

You can read more about Monty the Moose here.

MBS students meet Monty the Moose

Many, many thanks once again to everyone in the community who stepped up to the MBS students’ challenge to raise money for the American Cancer Society!

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Shake, Rattle, and Roll! UMS Hosts Successful Family Math Night Event

Go down deep enough into anything and you will find mathematics.
—Dean Schlicter

On Thursday, March 22, thirteen Union Memorial School students and their families gathered together to enjoy pizza and Goldfish crackers and to learn math games using cards and dice. Participants then took home the game packets—along with the dice and decks of cards—for additional fun and engaging ways to help reinforce their math skills.

The event was sponsored by UMS’s Title I program. (If you missed our August 19 CSD Spotlight primer about Title I, you may read it here.)

Math is arguably one of the most widely used subjects in the world, both in professional and in personal practice—even everyday cooking, grocery shopping, and banking require math skills. Furthermore, studying mathematical applications aids in developing reasoning skills and helps students learn to organize a variety of complex tasks or situations into clear, simple, and logical steps.

Cultivating math skills also bolsters students’ ability to identify and analyze patterns, and it enhances logic and critical-thinking skills.

If you would like more information about UMS’s family math night, please e-mail UMS’s Lynn Mazza.

Many thanks to everyone who participated! Remember that UMS’s calendar of events can be found on the school’s website, and Colchester School District posts a district-wide calendar of events, as well!

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

CSD Wellness Program Wins National Award and Grant!

The Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE) has awarded Colchester School District’s wellness program with its School Employee Wellness Award again this year!

CSD’s wellness program won the DHPE’s bronze award last year, and this year, the DHPE chose it for a silver-level award. The requirements are stringent, and CSD is the only district in the state to receive this distinction!

As a silver winner, CSD’s wellness program will receive a $500 grant to support further enhancements as well as recognition on the DHPE’s website. Representatives of the program will also be invited to present at national conferences, and there are a variety of other perks, as well.

We take health and wellness initiatives very seriously; in fact, an entire pathway of the newly completed Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan is devoted to wellness-oriented, balanced, and healthy learners.

For questions or comments about the district’s wellness program or about the DHPE’s award, please e-mail Wellness Coordinator Connie Gavin.

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Students Take On Faculty in Trivia Event!

Do you know the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet? Do you know the only state in the nation that does not contain an area in the national park system? Do you know who remained in orbit in the command module while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin explored the lunar surface?

As we mentioned in our March 14 CSD Spotlight feature, Colchester High School’s fifth-annual Jeopardy-style “Battle of the Brains” competition took place on March 22.

Teachers George Deane and Dustin Scheuch took on students Nick Kaim, Maggie Connors, Emily Berry, and Dillon McPherson in front of a packed theater of cheering onlookers.

The CHS student team takes on the CHS faculty team in the fifth-annual Battle of the Brains.

Student volunteers generated human-powered electricity for some of the equipment necessary for the event!

The faculty team emerged victorious in the competition.

WPTZ’s Stewart Ledbetter interviewed the student team following the competition.

If you missed last night’s WPTZ’s News Channel 5′s coverage of the event, you can watch it here!

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

Announcing the Brand-New Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017!

We are thrilled to unveil the newly completed Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017, complete with fabulous photography and artwork contributions from our students and community members!

Click here to view a .pdf of the plan. You may also view the plan on Colchester School District’s website. Hard copies of the plan are also available at the district’s administrative offices on Laker Lane and will soon be available in other locations, as well. Stay tuned!

Many, many thanks once again to everyone in our community who worked to bring this plan into existence. We deeply appreciates our community members’ collaboration in this endeavor as we continue preparing and inspiring our students for their futures and for their positive contributions to our society. We believe that by partnering with our community, we can continue our mission of educating each of our students to become engaged, productive citizens who lead successful, balanced, and healthy lives.

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

Chop, Chop! CMS Joins the Fifth-Annual Jr. Iron Chef Competition

Allez cuisine!
—Chairman Kaga, original Iron Chef host

As it has done in years past, Colchester Middle School will send a team of creative culinary artists to the Jr. Iron Chef Vermont event at the Champlain Valley Exposition on March 24 to compete with more than forty other middle school teams from around the state.

CMS’s Family and Consumer Science teacher Connie Gavin, who is also the district’s wellness coordinator, is mentoring the four team members in their planning and preparations, and she will accompany them to the event. In fact, this is Ms. Gavin’s fourth Jr. Iron Chef Vermont competition.

The event is based loosely upon the original Iron Chef 料理の鉄人 Japanese television cooking show, which officially ran from 1992–1999. The immensely popular show spun off a number of international editions, including Iron Chef America, Iron Chef UK, and Iron Chef Australia. All of the shows featured timed cooking events, and in that spirit, Jr. Iron Chef Vermont is also timed—teams have ninety minutes to prepare their creations for the judges.

There are quite a number of other rules and conditions for the competition; for example, teams cannot use any electric heating tool, including toaster ovens, hot plates, Crockpots/slow cookers, electric griddles, microwaves, and the like in the preparation of their dishes, and all entries are required to include a minimum of five seasonal Vermont ingredients—those that are in season in March!—provided on the day of the event. Entries containing nuts, meats, poultry, or fish are prohibited, desserts are not allowed, and water is not provided. Recipes have to be submitted and approved in advance, and once approved, they cannot be modified. The dishes, which have to be made into exact serving sizes, will be judged on taste, presentation, creativity, best use of local ingredients, and level of appropriateness for replication in school cafeterias.

Because of the number of challenges presented to the teams, the CMS group has been meeting weekly in the kitchens in the Family and Consumer Science room at CMS since January to strategize, try out recipes, and vote on the dishes they prefer for the competition.

Jr. Iron Chef Vermont is a statewide competition for students designed to provide hands-on experience preparing nutritious foods, and it is hosted by the Burlington School Food Project and Vermont Food Education Every Day (VT FEED) … which itself is a farm-to-school program run in partnership with Food Works at Two Rivers Center, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, and Shelburne Farms. (See how interconnected our greater communities are in so many ways?) Jr. Iron Chef Vermont serves not only as a fun-filled and educational competition but also as a fundraiser for these Vermont farm-to-school programs; all of its proceeds directly support VT FEED’s programs. And it empowers students to collaborate with teachers, food service professionals, and local farmers to address the challenges of procuring nutritious food for our schools while simultaneously promoting lifelong healthy eating habits.

The CMS team was selected by the Vermont Dietetic Association for a Kids Eat Right Initiative grant, which awarded them $300 for supplies and equipment, an opportunity to be on WCAX’s “Across the Fence” program, and the opportunity to work with Deana Novembrino, a local chef and registered dietitian. Chef Deana is teaching the students a great deal; as a dietician, she has helped them to boost the nutritional content of their offerings, and the participating students are having a great time throughout the process. Some of the students have expressed interest in pursuing culinary arts as a career—so it is an opportunity for hands-on career training at the middle school level, as well.

CSD’s food service program, directed by Steve Davis, is hugely supportive of the Jr. Iron Chef Vermont initiative; the food service department is supplying many of the staples ingredients like apples, onions, and carrots, while the team’s coaches have shopped for some of the more specialized items. Jr. Iron Chef Vermont is a program designed to encourage students to help create recipes for our schools, and thus it is yet another example of a great partnership between our students and our food service group.

And finally, Mike’s Auto Parts donated a brand-new team banner for the competition!

The March 24 competition will be a fun and inspiring family event—complete with numerous farm-to-school vendors, games, and giveaways—and community members are encouraged to attend to support their teams.

That is a community-centric, intelligent event no matter how you slice (or chop or dice or julienne) it.

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

Join Us for Free Upcoming Musical Performances!

Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them—a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.
—President Gerald Ford

Two free upcoming events this month will provide opportunities to hear the talented musicians in our school district.

Please join us for the Colchester High School choral program’s spring concert on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. at CHS. The concert will feature the chorus, concert choir, and chamber choir.

Please also join us for the Colchester District Band Concert on Saturday, March 24 at 11:00 a.m. in the CHS gymnasium. The district band concert is particularly important because it brings all of the ensembles from Malletts Bay School, Colchester Middle School, and Colchester High School together to perform, providing the students and parents with a great perspective on the music program and its sequence—younger students get to see where they are going by hearing the high school band, and older students get to see where they have come from, reminding them of all the progress they have made.

As a bonus, before each piece is played, there will be one student from each group and school sharing experiences in the program, shedding light on all the benefits of music.

The Friends of Colchester Music will be holding a 50/50 cash raffle at the district band concert. Proceeds from the raffle will help provide donations of instruments, materials, scholarships, and music education programs to all of our schools in Colchester. (For more information, please visit their website.)

The concerts are free and open to the community!

Remember that Colchester School District posts a district-wide calendar of events, and each school has its own online calendar, as well!

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

Ospreys + Daffodils + Altruism = Funds Raised for American Cancer Society

A team of fourth graders at Malletts Bay School are pacesetters for the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Daffodil Days, raising $1,515 through their efforts!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

MBS students Julia Dragon, Kaity Mazza, and Blake Ruescher approached Principal Julie Benay about their interest in organizing a fundraiser to help people with cancer, and she told them about ACS’s annual daffodil event. The students enthusiastically took up the cause, creating an awareness bulletin board, writing a letter to the community, making announcements to promote the cause, and helping to tally the results of their efforts.

Raising $1,515 is an impressive feat; it places the students into the American Cancer Society’s Pacesetter designation, which wins them recognition on the Daffodil Days websites and invitations to tour American Cancer Society programs our area, which may include the Hope Lodge, Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, and research facilities. On March 22, the students will visit Fletcher Allen Health Care to present a Bear Hug for Hope to a hospitalized child.

Don’t forget to pick up your daffodils on Tuesday, March 20 at Malletts Bay School between 2:45 and 6:15 p.m.!

MBS students—like students in all of our schools—are terrifically dedicated to charitable causes, as is evidenced with a host of other initiatives they have undertaken for the benefit of their community. In response to the destruction that Hurricane Irene carved through our state, for example, MBS students raised $2,338.91 to support victims of the storm, and in June of last year, MBS students raised more than $1,000 to fight juvenile diabetes.

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

What Do You Get When You Add 100 People, Ice, and Smiles?

I love skating so much, and I feel like every time I step out onto the ice, that’s what I’m meant to do.
—Clara Hughes

Nearly one hundred students and family members participated in the Union Memorial School PTO’s annual family skating event on March 10 at the Essex Skating Facility.

Porters Point School also recently had a family skating event at the Essex Skating Facility; theirs was on March 11, and nearly ninety people attended.

The skating events were a nice blend of community camaraderie and health and wellness initiatives. Ice skating is a fun way to get out and be active in our northern climate—especially this winter when we didn’t seem to have much in the way of snowfall!

Many thanks to all who attended!

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

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