VUHS e-News, Week of May 14, 2018

Brought to you by the Commodore Parent Teacher Group 

Administrators’ Message

Dear VUHS Families,

As you know, a big part of the construction this summer addressed security issues at VUHS along with improvements to lighting, heating, and ventilation. The front door security system has been tested and is ready to implement. That means that the front doors will be open prior to 8:00 am to allow for regular on-time school day access and will lock automatically at 8:00 am. Students arriving later than 8:00 am will need to ring the bell to request access and be buzzed in. These students will need to sign in at the main office and their arrival time will be documented. There is a camera system and door buzzer located between the two sets of doors and the door immediately to the left is the one that opens when being buzzed in.

All building doors will remain locked throughout the day so parents or visitors arriving at school during the day will need to be buzzed in after being checked through the camera and speaker system. Once admitted into the building, the regular visitor sign-in process will be followed.

Please do everything you can to ensure your student is at school before 8:00 am. It has always been our expectation that students are at school prior to 8:00 so they have the time they need to prepare for the day and arrive at their morning meeting on time.

Thank you for your help and cooperation in supporting this important improvement to our ability to keep students and anyone in the building safe. Let us know if you have any questions.

Stephanie, Ed, and Jay

School Calendar Reminders

October ANWSD Board/Committee Meeting Schedule

October 15 - Senior Walk-a-thon

October 15 - ANWSD Board Meeting - 6:00 pm - Vergennes Union High School Library

October 19 - School Recess - No School - Enjoy the long weekend.

October 25 - Community Conversation - 5:30-8:00 pm (More details below)

October 30 & November 2 - Student/Parent/Teacher Conferences - more info soon

Senior Walk-a-thon

On Monday, October 15, the Class of 2019 will participate in the annual senior class walk-a-thon to raise money for the Love Your Brain Foundation and Zeno Mountain Farm. These two organizations have a partnership to offer a healthy and positive camp-style retreat for people affected by brain injury. This is a cause near and dear to our hearts (the senior class and the VUHS community as a whole) because one of our seniors experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a child. The senior class is doing this walk with and for him. On October 15th, they will walk and run from the volunteer fire department in Jerusalem, VT to Zeno Mountain Farm in Lincoln, VT.

The Love Your Brain Foundation is “a non-profit organization that improves the quality of life for people affected by traumatic brain injury (TBI) and raises awareness about the importance of brain health and resiliency.” Zeno Mountain Farm “champions lifelong friendships and opportunity for people with disabilities and other marginalized communities”. Please check out their websites at the previous links and consider supporting this cause and sponsoring a senior on this walk. Checks should be made out to ANWSD with VUHS Senior Walk in the memo line. Checks and cash can be given to a senior or turned in to the VUHS main office. Thank you for your support!

ANWSD Community Conversations - Please join us!

You are invited to Community Conversations with the ANWSD Community Engagement Committee on Thursday, October 25, 2018 for an evening of discussions about the future of our schools and school district. You will learn about our school district’s history as well as a snapshot of where we are today. From there we will turn our conversations to the future and where we go from here by breaking into small groups. A free meal will be served in the VUHS Cafeteria from 5:30 – 6:00 pm. Please RSVP here by October 19, 2018. We will then convene in the VUHS library from 6:00 – 8:30 pm. Childcare will be provided. Please join us in these very important conversations. All are welcome! A follow-up discussion to this event will be held on Thursday, November 8, 2018 from 5:30 - 8:00 pm.

Music Department News

Some important dates for music students and their families in grades 7-12.

Tuesday, October 16 - Commodore Friends of Music Meeting - 6:30 PM - Band Room

All are welcome! Come be a part of this great group supporting our kids.

Monday, Nov 5 - HS Vocal & Instrumental District Auditions (after school) - Proctor HS

November 15, 16, 17 - Musical - "Anything Goes" - 7:00 PM - VUHS Auditorium

Monday, November 19 - Middle School District Auditions (afternoon) - Otter Valley UHS

Commodore Friends of Music Patrons Drive - Our annual patron drive is in progress. Click here for more information. Donations can be made by mail (see attached) or through our website via PayPal. Thank you in advance for all your support!

News from the Career Center

Every two weeks the career center publishes an online newsletter highlighting what’s happening in their programs. Often our students are featured in the awesome work they are doing. Check out the latest edition here.

Join the VUHS Math Team:

If your child enjoys math, encourage them to join the Math Team for the 2018-2019 school year. Our first meeting was Friday, October 12.  If you weren't able to attend, please see or email Mrs. Kayhart.

Our meets for the year are:

Date Location

Monday, Oct. 29th         Mt. Abe                      

Tuesday, Dec. 4th         Colchester                

Monday, Jan. 7th         VUHS

Thursday, Feb. 14th                Burlington

Wednesday, March 13th         Mt. Mansfield   

Speech and Writing Contests

As we receive information about various contests, we’ll post the information in the e-News. After a few weeks, we’ll move the information to a linked document, so it’s still accessible, but allows room for other opportunities. The American Legion Oratorical Speech Program is the first one and is outlined below.

NOW is the time to consider participating in the American Legion (AL) Oratorical Contest, a Constitutional Speech competition. For a well-prepared, talented student (gr 9 – 12), there is an excellent possibility of garnering some money for college.

  • Vermont Department top 3 receive award money.

  • National winner, top 3, receive scholarships of $18,000, $16,000 and $14,000 respectively

  • All other national participants receive $1500 to $3000

  • American Legion National winners automatically seated for National Forensics League Tournament

The Vermont contest application can be found here. This should be completed and returned to the address or FAX number at the bottom of the application no later than November 30, 2018. Completing the application doesn’t obligate the student to participate, but it does give Karlene (Vermont Department Chair) an idea where to focus resources for the best possible outcomes and find a local American Legion post to support the student.

Competition begins with a contest held at a local American Legion Post in January. The local post winner competes in a District Contest tentatively planned for February 2019. The district winner goes on to a state level contest to be held tentatively March 2, 2019. There are 5 districts in Vermont. The national contest is held in Indianapolis April 5-7, 2019. (travel expenses paid for student and chaperone)

The student must:

  • Speak 8-10 minutes on some aspect of the US Constitution as it relates to the responsibilities of citizens

  • Speak 3-5 min. on one of 4 “assigned” amendments (one is selected by a draw from the hat moments before speaking)

For vital information about competing in this program, go to

Scroll down to the pictured topics under “Rules and Resources, Competitors, and Contests”.   You will find contest information there. See this “Prep book recommendation” for a useful resource. Many participants have begun in their 9th or 10th grade years. That gives them the experience of researching the topic and executing public speaking. By the junior and senior years, the student can then refine their style and presentation winning money along the way.

If you have any questions please contact Karlene DeVine at

Girls Rock the Capitol Program

An exciting internship opportunity for girls in grades 9-12 held at the state capitol. Students have the opportunity to shadow six different legislative days between January and June. See more information here, including the application and other details. Applications are due by October 30 and require three recommendations.

Health & Wellness

In a previous message from the administrators, they spoke about the prevalence and dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping. This Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website talks specifically about the dangers of nicotine, but young people can use e-cigarettes to vape many different substances, often not really knowing what they are inhaling. Please take time to read more about this significant trend among young people and take the time to talk with your student about the serious dangers involved.

Opiate Addiction Workshop Series

The Vermont Department of Health is sponsoring an opiate addiction workshop series throughout Vermont for the next three Tuesdays. The workshop in Addison County is at the Patricia Hannaford Career Center. Click here for more information.

Vergennes Union High School Booster Club

The Vergennes Union High School Booster Club would like to thank everyone for their time, support, and donations this fall season. Soon the winter sports will begin and “indoor” concessions will be roaring. Please look for your team slot to sign up for helping with concessions. The Booster Club depends on your help to be successful. If you would like to attend a meeting, we meet the first Tuesday of each month at 7 pm in the VUHS library.


Booster Club President

Kirsten De La Cruz  


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 next meet on November 7th at 6:30 in the VUHS Library. Can’t commit to meetings but want to get involved? Just let us know and we will add you to our distribution list. You will receive not only agendas of our monthly meetings but also periodic requests for help with different school initiatives that might be a better fit for you and your schedule! Please let us know if you would like to join us in our efforts. We would love to have you in whatever way you can participate. Contact Lynne Rapoport at, if you are interested or just attend a meeting.

Want to learn more about VUHS?

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.