VUHS e-News, Week of April 17

Brought to you by the Commodore Parent Teacher Group 

Message from the Principals

Congratulations to the members of the VUHS Class of 2017! We wish you all the best as you take this next step in your young lives. We know you will do great things. Remember the VUHS community is always here for you.

Despite the graduation of our senior class, we still have a lot going on this last week as our other high school students take their final exams and finish their classes for the year. Middle school students are participating in year-end studies (YES), which allows them to choose an activity they are interested in offered by a faculty member. There is still much learning to do. Thank you for being present each day.

On Friday June 16th, high school students who miss exams will make those up. All students will participate in final times with their morning meeting groups first thing in the morning. 7th graders will attend the step-up ceremony where we recognize our 8th graders. Student council is planning some fun end-of-the-year activities for grades 9-12. The career center has their last day of classes on Friday June 16th for both morning and afternoon students. We will run a bus depending on planned attendance.

And a final thank you to all our parents and guardians as well as the VUHS faculty and staff. We appreciate all you have done to support our students this school year.


Have a happy, healthy, and safe summer.

Stephanie and Jay


End of School Year Dates

Grades 9-11

Last Regular Day of Classes: Friday, June 9

Exams: Monday, June 12-Thursday, June 15

1/2 day Friday, June 16

Grades 7-8

1/2 day Friday, June 16

8th Grade Step Up Ceremony - Friday June 16

Summer VUHS Building Hours

The building will be open each weekday this summer from 7:30-3:30. Exceptions to this are July 4th and a couple days when the main hallway floors are being re-done. Please enter at the main entrance (turret). If there is no one in the main office, check in at the Guidance and School Counseling Office. Any changes to the summer building hours will be posted on the VUHS website.

ANWSD Safe Schools Statement

Parents - Please be aware of the following safe schools statement that the ANWSD School Board has created to communicate to our broader communities. Thank you.


"The Superintendent and Directors of the Addison Northwest School District wish to reassure the members of our educational community in these uncertain times. We remain committed to maintaining safe and welcoming schools regardless of race, gender, disability, national origin, documentation, religion, sexual orientation, political orientation, or family income. In addition to compliance with federal law, it is also our moral and ethical duty to protect and to provide an equitable education to all of the students who pass through the doors of our schools."


Commodores Community Project (2016-2017):

I wanted to share with you all the many accomplishments achieved this school year by the Commodores’ Community Project group. This group was started in the fall of 2016 by Lynne Rapoport and me (Suzanne Monzel) with the goal of opening opportunities for students to participate in prevention activities in the school community. A goal is to grow the project to participate in community offerings as well. The group started off with a Red Ribbon Week project where they constructed a “Natural Highs” board in the cafeteria. Students were encouraged to write on multi-colored post-its things they do that make them feel good that don’t involve the use of substances.


They spent several sessions looking at the current 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data to identify and assess areas that were concerning to them in terms of the data.  Here are some strengths and a few concerns that the group identified:


Top Strengths for Vergennes Union High School: ● 92% of students think their parents would think it wrong for them to smoke cigarettes ● 97% of students felt safe at school ● 84% of high school students talk to parents about school at least weekly.


Top Concerns for Vergennes Union High School: ● 38% of high school students have tried marijuana (higher than cigarettes) ● Only 52% used a condom the last time they had sex ● 17% of high school students reported that they have been bullied, and 13% reported being bullied electronically ● 8% of high school students reported to have attempted suicide in past 12 months ● Only 49% of high school students feel like they matter to people in their community.


During April, which is Alcohol Awareness Month, alcohol facts were posted around the school to teach students about some of the consequences related to alcohol use. Example facts:


● On average, someone in the U.S. is killed by a drunk driver every 40 minutes.

● Alcohol or other drugs was a factor with 75% of the men and 55% of the women in reported acquaintance rapes on college campuses.


The culminating event for the group this year was the MOCK DWI demonstration right before prom. The event was created to show students how long it takes for first responders to get to the scene of a vehicle accident, remove deceased people, field test drivers suspected of being intoxicated and get victims medical attention. Commodores’ Community Project students had several opportunities to connect with 3 critical community agencies and work together as a team with Vergennes Police, Vergennes Fire Department, and Vergennes Rescue.


We look forward to growing this opportunity for students in the future. If your student has an interest in participating in the Commodores’ Community Project next year, please have them let me (Suzanne Monzel ) or Lynne Rapoport ( know.

Science news from Mr. Powers:

Mr. Powers recently received the Samsung technology award package for the school that he earned as the State winner for his algae growth unit plan.


VUHS has received the following as part of the $25,000 prize:

15 Notebook 9 Pro laptop computers

15 Galaxy tab tablets

15 Level wireless headphones

2 Samsung Chromebooks


The devices will be used to replace aging desktop computers with powerful new laptops for 15 teachers, and the tablets will be used to allow the science department to utilize digital probes for a variety of investigations in several different classes.


A video (see attachment here) that was made as part of the competition, with invaluable assistance from Melissa Brooks and Eva Kamman, explains what the unit plan is about. Congratulations Mr. Powers!


Free yoga for girls age 10-16

on Saturday June 10th at 11 am at Vergennes Movement. All levels welcome. A great way to learn about this beautiful practice that focuses on positive self-image, dealing with stress and learning about what your body can do.


Eligible Women Can Access Free Health Resources

Ladies First is a program from the Vermont Department of Health that offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings as well as heart health screenings for eligible women. Screenings include mammograms and Pap tests, and follow-up screenings if needed. Through Ladies First, women can access health coaching and other lifestyle support to improve eating and increase physical activity. Members may also qualify for weight loss and fitness programs such as Curves, Weight Watchers, and memberships to local fitness centers. Call 800-508-2222 to see if you are eligible or check out our website

Summer of 2017 at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vergennes

Join us from 9:00 - 1:00 every day for activities, or challenge your friends to a game of pool or air hockey. Students going into 4th through 12th grades are welcome. We are also offering Extreme STEAM, our hands on science camp, for students going into 4th through 8th grade. Free breakfast and lunch are provided to all. For more information call 877-6634, follow this link, find us on Facebook at Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vergennes, or check out our website. Follow this link to register on-line or print a registration form to mail or drop off at the club.



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.

Upcoming Events

June Board Meetings:  Follow this link for a schedule of meetings

June 16: 8th Grade Step-Up Ceremony 9:30-11:00 - Auditorium

June 16: Last day of school for grades 7-11 (half day – dismissal at 11:15)!

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.


Congratulations to the Middle School Band and Chorus for earning a SUPERIOR rating at the Trills & Thrills Music Festival on June 2nd. The Concert Band earned an average score of 94 out of 100. The Concert Choir earned an average score of 94.5 out of 100. Following the festival performance, a good time was had by all at the Great Escape. Many thanks to the parent/guardian chaperones who gave their time on Friday to attend the festival.


Fall Musical! The VUHS Music Department will present the musical "42nd Street" November 16-18, 2017. This is a fantastic musical loaded with tap dancing. Robert and Barb Demic will be the directors of the show. Barb is offering tap dance classes during the summer.

Tuesdays - 6:00 - 7:00 PM July 11 - August 8

Thursdays - 3:00 - 4:00 PM July 6 - August 10

The cost is $3 per person per class, or $30 up front. This is a steal!

Students who will be in grades 8 - 12 in the fall are encouraged to audition for the musical. People can take as many tap classes that they can fit into their schedule. Barb wants to give everyone a chance to learn the basics of tap dancing. It is so much fun! There is a sign-up sheet in the hall near the chorus room for the tap classes.

Contact Susan O'Daniel at if you have any questions.


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.


For more music department news, follow the link below:

Sports News


VERGENNES CHAMPS SWIM TEAM   It isn’t too late to join!



Swimmers will be placed in practice groups based on ability—beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Minimum requirement: Child must be 5 years old, enjoy being in the water, and want to participate in a FUN and SUPPORTIVE team atmosphere. Meets are encouraged but optional. Your level of participation is up to you! Swim team begins early June and ends early August.

Practices are Mon-Fri 7-8am/8-9am depending on practice group and swim meets are Tuesday & Thursday evenings. The 2017 swim team calendar is now available. Please inquire to have one emailed to you along with the registration forms.

Swim Team Fee: $75 per swimmer (family max $200)  

Pool Pass Fee: Vergennes resident single $50/family $100; Non-resident single $65/family $130

Try swimming with V.S.T. this summer and see what it can do for you! We are part of the Champlain Valley Swim League: www.cvslvt.comPlease contact us with any questions or if you need more information at Go Champs!



Booster Club Update:  As the school year winds down, we would like to thank you for supporting the Commodore Booster Club (CBC) concession stand! We appreciate that so many people volunteered their time, provided delicious food, and were our loyal customers. And, we could not have had such an amazing season if it hadn’t been for Joy Pouliot, one of VUHS’s biggest fans and amazing cooks.  She kept the stand going all season and it was wonderful to see her smiling face at the basketball games. THANK YOU, JOY!


This year your support made it possible for the Club to provide over $25,000 in financial support for our VUHS teams and to improve our outdoor facilities.


Here are some of the things that we were able to fund this school year:

Repair and expansion of the baseball backstop and safety fences

Baseball pitching machine

New Concession Stand on outside fields (that is available for school clubs to use)

New equipment in the indoor concession stand

Varsity Boys/Girls team spirit wear shirts

Hockey participation fees

Middle School baseball uniforms

Team busing around the state


We wish you a happy summer vacation and look forward to seeing you in the fall.


Thank you,

The Commodore Booster Club Officers

Kim Haigis, President

Kirsten De La Cruz, Vice President

Morgan Denton, Secretary

Cathy Reitz, Treasurer

Steve Alexander, Member at Large



Pool and Swim Lesson Schedule for the Sam Fishman Pool: Follow this link!


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