Raising money and a shot at video stardom
By Josh O’Gorman
Staff Writer | April 08,2013
It’s funny how I stumble across education news sometimes.
Sunday afternoon, a call went out for firefighters to respond to the Fire Hill area of Florence, and being the only reporter on duty, I abandoned writing my education column, picked up my Vermont Atlas and Gazetteer and tried to find Old Hubbardton Road.
Much like the circuitous route I took to get to the fire, this story will come around to education. Scout’s honor.
As I walked around the Fire Hill area, snapping pictures, talking with firefighters and residents while trying to stay out of the way, I came upon a young man wearing an Otter Valley wrestling T-shirt by the name of Evan Perry. The 15-year-old freshman was in the middle of a bottle drive to raise money for his team and was at a hilltop residence on Denaro Lane when, well, I’ll let him tell it.
“We were collecting bottles and all of a sudden the fire was right there,” Perry said of the fast-moving flames which came right up to the edge of the driveway.
As we looked at the smoke from farther up the hill, Perry told me he was also collecting money to help Katie Pope, a ninth-grader at Otter Valley Union High School who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma.
The school’s Hello Kitty Club is holding a lasagna dinner fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. April 25 at the high school. In addition to lasagna — which sounds so good right now I’m going to make one when I get home tonight — there will also be a raffle and music from the Neshobe Elementary and Otter Valley bands. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and children 5 and younger are free. If you’re interested in volunteering, donating items or would like more information, you can call Tina Spotts, Lori Robear or Rhoda Butler at Otter Valley at 247-6833. You can also visit www.facebook.com and search “Katie Pope Fundraiser.”
Skills to pay the bills
The students at Stafford Technical Center showed they are becoming experts in their fields during the Vermont Skills USA Competition last Thursday in Burlington. Skills USA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers, and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical trades and service occupations, including health careers.
Seven students took the gold in their respective fields, including Kobe Pinkham for auto collision repair technology; Courtney Patterson for nurse assisting; Tyler Bathalon and Andrew Fitzgerald for teamwork and Kylie Sherwood-Malone, Andrew Fitzgerald and Allyson Bradley for communications.
Courtney, Tyler, Kobe and Andrew will travel to the National Skills USA Competition in Kansas City in June. While there, I hope they are fortunate enough to sample the ribs from Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue, which is some of the best barbecue I’ve ever had.
Congratulations to Middlebury Union High School senior Erin Connor. Erin will once again represent Vermont at the American Legion’s High School Oratorical Scholarship Program National Contest. She made her first trip to the big dance in 2011 and made it to the second round of the three-round contest.
Connor will travel to Indianapolis this month and compete with other state winners speaking on the U.S. Constitution. The American Legion awards $138,000 in national scholarships annually. The winner receives a scholarship of $18,000. Second- and third-place winners receive $16,000 and $14,000 respectively.
Students, parents and teachers interested in American Legion scholarships should visit www.vtlegion.org, call 223-7131, or send email to email@example.com.
Good luck, Erin. I’m sure your parents, Paul and Marian Connor, are really proud of you.
Reaching for success
First of all, an apology for my delay in mentioning this, followed by an immediate congratulations to the members of the Rutland Middle School rock climbing team for taking fourth place, out of 16, in a statewide competition. The competitions took place at the Green Mountain Rock Climbing centers in Rutland and Quechee.
This isn’t a sport that gets a lot of attention, especially during basketball season, so if you see any of the athletes, give ’em a pat on the back and an attaboy. Those climbers are Artur Smiechowski, Emerson Palmer, Jonathan Urbani, Caleb Garland, Jack Walker and Logan Moore.
Calling student filmmakers
Castleton State College, in partnership with Vermont Public Television, is reaching out to high school students to enter the 18th annual Castleton Videofest.
Students throughout are encouraged to submit DVDs in any of four categories: documentary, experimental or animation, narrative fiction, and public service announcements or advertisements.
Scholarships of $500 will be awarded for first place in each category. Video professionals will judge the entries on creativity, content and execution.
Submissions must be postmarked by April 22. A public screening of the winning videos and an award ceremony will be held at Castleton State College Friday, May 10.
For more information and contest rules, call Samantha Green at 468-6156 or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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