Signs posted on the school lawn

With Stowe High School closed and a drive-in graduation planned, seniors in the graduating class are being recognized this way: With signs honoring each of them individually, posted on the school lawn.

Stowe High School class of 2020

Charles Alekson, Michael Arczynski, GianCarlo Biondi, Raimon Bleda-Vilalta, Bella Braverman, Ethan Brown, Mackenzie Bruce, Esberto Cardenas, Alina Chmura, Robert Crist, Emily Croes, Rachel Cunningham, Joel Davidson, Tobias Dodge, Grace Dolan, Anne Eagan, Atticus Eiden, Abigail Fountain, Kaiya Gants, Ty Garon, Maxwell Gentle, Catherine Gianni, Kobe Hogan, Johan Holtenman, Hamish Hunter, Andrea Jackman, Alexis James, Kate Kauffman, Lillian Keller, Rowan Keller, Forest Laporte, Abigail Lehmann, Sage Lively, Shea Lyden, Jack MacDonald, Shane Malcolm, Isabel Masi, Ashley McHugh, Maxwell McKenna, William McKibbin, Kathryn Meyer, Nicholas Mitchell, Emily Murphy, Matthew Nicolai, Oliver Palmer, Oliver Paumgarten, Brennan Raymond, Alexander Reichelt, Lola Richards, Kathryn Riley, Patrick Roling, Trey Rosamilia, Rashane Russell, Roshawn Russell, Jamaica Samiling, Damion Santamore, Gavin Schleupner, Jackson Seivwright, Jacob Shapiro, Haley Spencer, Ethan Stewart, Alexander Tilgner, Jacob Touchette, Faith Walsh, Bjorn Westervelt


Congratulations to the Stowe High School class of 2020, who on Saturday will be part of a graduation ceremony that seems much like a drive-in movie, made necessary by the coronavirus. The in-your-car graduation will start Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Mount Mansfield parking lot at Stowe Mountain Resort. Attendance is limited to one vehicle per graduate, and the entire event needs to be limited to 300 people — essentially, the 65 graduates and their immediate families. Not even school board members are expected to attend, to minimize the crowd. Students will listen to the graduation proceedings on their car radios. Here are photos of the graduating seniors, along with their accomplishments, postgraduate plans, and comments about their experiences:

Charles Alekson

Accomplishments: Nine combined varsity seasons, two-time varsity cross-country captain, varsity baseball captain, alpine ski team captain,

2017 state D-3 cross-country champions, 2018 state D-3 cross-country runner-up, 2019 state D-1 alpine ski team runner-up.

Postgraduate plans: Attend Union College to run cross-country and track.

Michael Arczynski

Accomplishments: Watched “A Dog’s Purpose” without crying.

Postgraduate plans: St. Lawrence University

GianCarlo Biondi

Accomplishments: Winner of the Love of Learning award, Summa Cum Late honors.

Postgraduate plans: Attend Norwich University honors program, major in nueroscience.

Statement: Not what I expected at all ...

Rai Bleda

Accomplishments: Division 2 soccer state champ and Division 1 tennis state champ. Best street baller at Stowe High School.

Postgraduate plans: Northeastern University.

Bella Braverman

Accomplishments: Second team All State (girls varsity soccer), LSUU student delegate to China.

Postgraduate plans: Attending the University of Denver.

Kenzie Bruce

Postgraduate plans: Dalhousie University for bioveterinary sciences.

Park Crist

Postgraduate plans: Attending CU Boulder.

Emily Croes

Accomplishments: Varsity cross-country running for three years, captain of cross-country running team junior year, attended early college at Clarkson University.

Postgraduate plans: College.

Statement: Glad to have left early.

Rachel Cunningham

Accomplishments: Captain and four-year varsity athlete for field hockey and basketball, black belt in karate, Diversity and BOSS club founder, first team Capital League for field hockey, second team for basketball, Kids on Top volunteer.

Postgraduate plans: University of Vermont majoring in global studies.

Statement: Thank you to the community of Stowe for being an amazing place to grow up in and call home. I am forever grateful for my parents, friends, teachers, and coaches for providing me with opportunities and valuable lessons that I can take with me for years to come.

Grace Frances Dolan

Accomplishments: In the past four years I have had the opportunity to intern at Stowe Elementary School, perform with Grace Potter as a member of TRIP Dance co. and have had many other memorable experiences.

Postgraduate plans: I will attend the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., as an undecided major with hopes to become an elementary school teacher.

Statement: The past 12 years at Stowe have been anything but ordinary. I’m so glad to go to a college that shares a lot of the elements I love about SHS, like the student-teacher relationships and the small school/big spirit vibes.

Mackie Eagan

Accomplishments: Field hockey captain (also was supposed to be lacrosse captain but could not due to COVID-19).

Postgraduate plans: College of Charleston.

Statement: Stowe High School offered me the opportunity to play and lead sports teams. Also, gave me a phenomenal education and the ability to pursue what I love to learn.

Atticus A. Eiden

Accomplishments: Named to the coaches’ and Burlington Free Press first team all-state hockey teams. Was a captain for the first Stowe hockey team ever to go to the D-1 finals.

Postgraduate plans: University of Vermont.

Statement: Everything went downhill after Robby D left.

Kaiya Gants

Accomplishments: Vermont Principals’ Association girls soccer Division 3 All-State Team and the Capital League First Team.

Postgraduate plans: I am attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for undeclared engineering.

Statement: Thank you to all the teachers and staff who put their hearts and souls into teaching. It made a huge difference throughout my education at Stowe High School.

Maxwell Gentle

Accomplishments: Co-founded Max Squared Services.

Postgraduate plans: University of Miami.

Cate Gianni

Postgraduate plans: Kelley School of Business at Indiana University

Johan Holtenman

Accomplishments: My internship with Cushman Design Group for two weeks over the summer was a big achievement of mine. I learned a lot about that field of work under Mr. Cushman's wing but also a lot about the workplace and how people professionally interact with one another.

Postgraduate plans: I am taking a postgraduate year to continue my alpine skiing endeavors.

Statement: I learned that it's best to be yourself, even when you want to force yourself to be somebody that you’re not to be around people you really don’t like. Be who you are and you will be successful.

Andrea Jackman

Accomplishments: Valedictorian. Field hockey D-3 All-League Capital Division First Team (2018 and 2019). Ice hockey D-II All-League First Team (2018).

Postgraduate plans: Study biology at the University of British Columbia.

Lexi James

Accomplishments: Being captain of all three sports I played (golf, tennis, hockey), keeping decent grades every year.

Postgraduate plans: Gap year spent volunteering in Madagascar, Morocco and Thailand, and then college at University of Denver.

Lilly Keller

Accomplishments: Winning the D-2 girls ice hockey state championship my sophmore year.

Postgraduate plans: I will be majoring in journalism at DePaul University in Chicago.

Rowan Keller

Accomplishments: Played three years on the hockey team, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps alumnus.

Postgraduate plans: majoring in computer and information technology at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Forest Laporte

Accomplishments: I am proud of exploring my interests while at Stowe High, including interning at Willy’s Village Auto and Stowe Restoration, and working at Fire Tower Pizza.

Postgraduate plans: I am going to take a gap year before possibly attending UVM.

Statement: I built great relationships and friendships with my teachers.

Abigail Lehmann

Accomplishments: Varsity basketball and lacrosse captain.

Postgraduate plans: Washington State University.

Sage Bailey Lively

Accomplishments: Stowe High girls hockey captain, girls tennis, Diversity Club head, National Honor Society, BOSS Club, Stowe Reporter/Waterbury Record internship.

Postgraduate plans: Hamilton College.

Shea Lyden

Postgraduate plans: Boston College

Jack MacDonald

Accomplishments: Lacrosse Division 2 state champion 2019, soccer Division 3 state champion 2019, soccer Division 2 state champion 2020.

Postgraduate plans: Temple University.

Shane Malcolm

Accomplishments: Best hooper.

Postgraduate plans: University of New Hampshire.

Statement: High school was awesome.

Isabel Masi

Accomplishments: National Honor Society, varsity soccer and hockey player. Ted X speaker, Long Trail thru hiker.

Postgraduate plans: Studying natural resources at Montana State University.

Statement: It was super positive. Met cool people, played fun sports, shared great memories.

Max McKenna

Accomplishments: Co-founder of Max Squared Services.

Postgraduate plans: Davidson College.

Kathryn Meyer

Postgraduate plans: Oboe performance major at Temple University.

Nicholas Mitchell

Postgraduate plans: Pennsylvania State University.

Emily Wren Murphy

Accomplishments: Organizing a large group of students to attend and volunteer at the 2019 Vermont Winter Special Olympics and the 2019 Vermont Fall Special Olympics.

Postgraduate plans: American University in Washington D.C.

Statement: Thanks to the faculty and staff at Stowe High, I found a stronger passion for climate change and the environment. I also learned more about the world and formed more curiosities and questions that I'm excited to study more as I move forward to major in international relations. The SHS community has always been very strong and I'm glad I was able to learn more about how important these relationships in our community are.

Matt Nicolai

Accomplishments: After much research, I worked hard to be selected into several summer programs in New York City at the American Institute of Architects and, in New Haven, a pre-law program through Yale. These summer programs not only helped prepare me for college, but also provided an opportunity to meet professionals and experts and to realize there are many opportunities to grow and learn throughout life.

Postgraduate plans: Emmanuel College in Boston.

Statement: Stowe High School was a great place to attend my junior and senior year of high school. There was a balanced way of encouraging students, a small classroom feel while still requiring that we push ourselves to be our best.

Oliver Palmer

Accomplishments: Passing pre-calc with Ms. Horton; managing to sneak a trip to Piecasso almost every day of my junior year.

Postgraduate plans: Attending UVM and skiing as much as humanly possible.

Statement: Stowe High School was an incredible home to me for the past four years and I’d like to thank all of my teachers for their help in making that possible.

Oli Paumgarten

Accomplishments: D-1 hockey state finalist.

Postgraduate plans: Gap year.

Statement: I had an unorthodox path through high school, but it's for the better. I'm grateful to have had experiences at both boarding school and Stowe High, all playing a part in who I am. Playing hockey for Stowe was a dream come true.

Alexander Reichelt

Accomplishments: Never lost to Harwood.

Postgraduate plans: Study civil engineering at the University of Vermont.

Lola Richards

Accomplishments: Active member of Jay Peak Ski Patrol, National Merit Scholarship award, three-year cross-country team captain.

Postgraduate plans: studying neuroscience at Queen Mary and Westfield University in London, UK

Statement: Thank goodness I’m finally done; looking forward to the rest of my life.

Katy Riley

Accomplishments: Varsity sports, club leader.

Postgraduate plans: Ohio State University.

Patrick Roling

Postgraduate plans: Castleton University to study athletic training and to play football.

Rashane Russell

Postgraduate plans: I will attend Vermont Technical College and graduate from the business program in the spring of 2023.

Statement: High school taught me how to do a lot of important things in life, such as time management, decision-making, problem-solving, communication, and having a positive attitude. Life will always come with its ups and downs but you can’t give up. Understanding that staying determined and focused will help you overcome, and accomplish anything you put your mind to. High school was a good time to have fun and focus on what you really want in life. Something I will always cherish is the support from all the staff, along with the spectacular sports programs. Go Raiders!

Roshawn J. Russell

Accomplishments: Early college graduate.

Postgraduate plans: Attend Vermont Technical College as a business major.

Statement: High school started off very different and new to me but once I settled in, time started to fly.

Mica Samiling

Accomplishments: National Junior Olympics twice in a row for riflery.

Postgraduate plans: Norwich University for criminal justice.

Gavin R. Schleupner

Accomplishments: graduate of Green Mountain Technical and Career Center automotive program and recognized in National Technical Honor Society.

Postgraduate plans: Continuing to work as a technician at Twin City Subaru in Berlin, Vt., since completing my co-op position through GMTCC.

Jackson Seivwright

Accomplishments: 16 consecutive cornhole bags landed in a game.

Postgraduate plans: Wesleyan University.

Statement: Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Jacob Shapiro

Postgraduate plans: University of Vermont

Haley Spencer

Postgraduate plans: University of Delaware

Alex Tilgner

Accomplishments: 4-time state champion (3 soccer, 1 tennis).

Postgraduate plans: Study engineering at Northeastern University.

Statement: 3 principals, 2 grading systems, 1 pandemic. The Class of 2020.

Jacob Touchette

Accomplishments: I managed to overcome many challenges pushed my way and I was still able to pull it off

Statement: It was wild.

Bjorn Westervelt

Accomplishments: Salutatorian, 2020 U.S. Biathlon Junior National Team, ninth at 2020 Biathlon Youth World Championships in Switzerland, ninth at 2020 XC Junior Nationals in classic 10K, U.S. Biathlon Youth World Championship Team 2019 Slovakia and 2020 Switzerland, represented U.S. Biathlon at 2017 Liatoppen Biathlon Festival in Norway, Stowe High varsity athlete in cross-country.

Postgraduate plans: Attending the UVM Honors College majoring in mechanical engineering, skiing on the UVM Division 1 Nordic Ski Team, and representing the U.S. Biathlon Junior National Team at competitions around Europe.

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