VUHS e-News, Week of April 17

Brought to you by the Commodore Parent Teacher Group 

Message from the Principals

In this edition of the e-News you will read about the recent success of our high school band and chorus as well as some middle and high school students’ participation and success in Vermont History Day. Our middle school Junior Iron Chef team prepared their championship winning meal this past Tuesday for our state legislators in Montpelier. On Thursday, middle and high school students (and one alumnus) presented to a group of Burlington educators about the work we do with restorative practices and building the positive community we call Vergennes Union High School. Most of this learning and performance occurred outside the traditional classroom and all included authentic audiences (collegiate judges, state legislators, history day judges and observers, and Burlington educators).

These are excellent examples of VUHS students learning and demonstrating the transferable skills (see below) we expect them to know and be able to do by the time they graduate, so they can be positive, contributing members of society.

Self-Awareness and Self Direction: I can identify and actively pursue interests in preparation for lifelong learning and growth.

Collaboration: I can exhibit the skills to work independently and collaboratively with efficiency and effectiveness.

Informed, Integrated and Critical Thinking: I can use a variety of sources to understand, interpret, analyze and evaluate information.

Problem Solving: I can apply a variety of problem-solving strategies demonstrating reflective, creative, critical and innovative thinking and modeling.

Clear and Effective Communication: I can use written and oral communication for a variety of audiences and purposes.

Nice work and thank you students for representing VUHS so well. You make us proud to be Commodores.

Stephanie and Jay

Plan Ahead!

  • April 21: Half-day for students (AM) and in-service for staff (PM).

  • April 24-28: Spring Break – No School

  • May 12: High School End-of-the-Year Student Presentation Day

Are you looking for a way to get involved at VUHS?

The Commodore Parent Teacher Group is always looking for new members to work toward their mission of promoting family involvement in the school, improving communication between parents, teachers and administrators and providing enrichment programs for students.

For those interested, we will hold our final meeting for the year on May 3rd at 6:30 in the VUHS library. We would love to have you in whatever way you can participate. Contact Carla Mayo at, if you are interested.

Vermont History Day -

On April 8, Ryley Olsen, Jarret Muzzy, Adam Clark, and Ian Gramling participated in VT History Day. Ian Gramling won second place in the Senior Individual Exhibit category. Adam Clark and Jarret Muzzy won 1st place in the Junior Group Exhibit category and also won the The Deborah Pickman Clifford Vermont Women’s History Prize. All three of them have the opportunity to represent Vermont in the National History Day Competition.  Congratulations!

Friday Night Movie/Fundraiser

The National Honor Society is sponsoring a free showing of “Zootopia” on Friday April 14th at7:00 pm. While the movie is free, donations will be accepted and bake sale items available to raise funds for the Malek Primary School in South Sudan. Open to anyone. Hope to see you all there.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Hello from your resident Student Assistance Professional, Suzanne Monzel. Since April is Alcohol Awareness Month, it is my hope that providing information about key actions parents and caregivers can take to prevent underage alcohol abuse will support healthy conversations and strong communication about the risks of alcohol use.

The following information is taken from the “Family Resource Guide” developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. SAMHSA talks about 6 key actions parents and caregivers can take to prevent childhood alcohol abuse.

  • Establish and maintain good communication with your student.

  • Get involved, and stay involved in your student’s life.

  • Make clear rules and enforce them with consistency and appropriate consequences.

  • Be positive role models.

  • Teach your student to choose friends wisely.

  • Monitor your student’s activities.

Some of the tips SAMHSA suggests to start a discussion with your student about alcohol include:

  • Discuss family rules about alcohol (clear expectations to not use alcohol, consequences if they do).

  • Discuss the laws about underage drinking (make sure it is clear that drinking alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal).

  • Teach your student about the dangers of underage drinking.

  • Monitor alcohol in your home (make sure alcohol is not available at parties given by your student).

  • Think carefully about what to tell your student.

  • If you drink yourself, be sure to drink responsibly around your student (don’t drink and drive, consider no alcohol parties that include your student).

  • Help your student find ways to have fun that don’t involve alcohol.

  • Help your student get professional help (if you think they may be using alcohol).

SAHMSA has a guide with activities available to help you talk about alcohol with your student on the Too Smart to Start website.

Please remember that “students are less likely to drink and have fewer alcohol-related problems when their parents/caregivers set clear expectations about alcohol use” (Nash, McQueen, and Bray, 2005).

Bob Beach Sr. Maritime Apprenticeships

for students entering 10th, 11th, and 12th grade in fall 2017. Become part of the crew of the Sailing Canal Boat Lois McClure as she travels up and down the Erie Canal this summer! Learn first-hand about public history, canal boats, and shipboard life through this Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Initiative. Stipend included. More information at


The Guidance and School Counseling Office has received and continues to receive information regarding summer programs offered by various colleges, universities, and other groups. Any current 8th-11th grade student (or their parent) who is interested in pursuing a summer program is welcome to come to the office and peruse our folder of programs at any time.

Follow this link for other summer opportunities previously advertised in the e-News ☺

Want to learn more about VUHS?

Check out the VUHS Blog. We hope to make regular posts to keep everyone updated about the wonderful things happening at VUHS. You can subscribe to the blog with your email account and get regular updates and/or follow @VergennesUHS on Twitter (blog posts feed the Twitter account automatically). Please share this with others (alumni, friends, relatives, and community members).

Don’t forget that you can also check out the school website! There are lots of great resources and contact information for families and students.

E-news special note:

Did you miss an edition of the e-News? Never fear! Beginning with editions in January 2017, they can be found archived on the website! Click on “e-News” under the “Student & Parent Links” tab.

Upcoming Events

All April Board Meetings:  Follow this link

April 19: ANWSU (6 pm) & VUHS (7 pm) Board Meetings in the library.

April 21: Half-day for students (AM) and inservice for staff (PM).

April 24-28: Spring Break – No School

April 26: ANWSD Board Meeting 6 pm in the VUHS library.

May 3: Final Commodore Parent Teacher Group meeting for the year at 6:30 in the library

May 12: High School End-of-the-Year Student Presentation Day

Guidance & School Counseling Office

Please use the Guidance link below to find out more about underclassmen career exploration opportunities as well as dates and information for SAT and ACT testing.

Music Department

Congratulations to the VUHS Symphonic Band & Concert Choir!

The VUHS Symphonic Band and Concert Choir traveled to Philadelphia, PA April 6-9, 2017 to perform in the World Strides OnStage Music Festival. Each ensemble performed on April 8th for a panel of three collegiate music educators. They received comments and rankings from each adjudicator. The Symphonic Band received a 1st Place Gold ranking, and the concert Choir earned a Silver ranking. The entire VUHS music group was awarded a trophy for the Festival Spirit Award, given to a group that best represents their school and community at the festival. Bravo Vergennes!

While in Philadelphia, the 82 music students and 16 chaperones took a historic walking tour of the Old City, and saw a production of "Freedom Rising" at the National Constitution Center. They heard an incredible concert at the Kimmel Center by the Philadelphia Orchestra, and shivered through a baseball game between the Phillies and the Nationals. The group also spent time at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Many thanks to the VUHS music parents for organizing an amazing welcome home from the festival complete with signs, Main Street lined with supporters, and lots of fire trucks and police vehicles with flashing lights! The buses were filled with students and adults smiling, shrieking, and crying!

Mrs. O'Daniel and Miss Fitt are filled with pride for the way that the Symphonic Band and Concert Choir performed at the music festival. The hard work and practice of every student showed in the confidence they had as they performed in the adjudicated concert. Their attitudes and behavior were exemplary. VUHS is a wonderful school where every student can experience success!

The Commodore Friends of Music is a group supporting the musicians at Vergennes Union High School. We fundraise several ways. We have an ambitious list of support to give our music students this year. There are many ways YOU can help. Contact us by email We also have a website and a Facebook page.

Local Business Discount Cards

The Commodore Friends of Music have provided the students with an opportunity to fundraise for either their Philadelphia trip or for the group as a whole. The discount cards are $10 and can be used until the end of November 2017 at participating businesses throughout Vergennes, Bristol, Middlebury and more. All the businesses are listed on the back of the card. Our goal is to sell 500 cards and we receive 100% of the profits!! Thank you for all your help supporting the music program of Vergennes Union High School! Please or connect via their Facebook page to find out how to purchase cards. 

For more music department news, follow the link below:

Sports News

Summer Workout Program for all student athletes: Follow this link to find out more information!

Youth Football Camp: Follow this link to get more information about this summer opportunity!  

For a schedule of upcoming events and practices for this week, go to…