Photo by Al Frey

Champlain Valley graduating senior Paige Thibault of Charlotte, right, hugs classmate Sofie Roy after the duo sang the National Anthem to kick off the CVU graduation ceremony at UVM’s Gutterson Field House Friday.

Light red, dark red, brick red, maroon, crimson, scarlet. Hues of red were the dominant colors signaling Redhawk loyalty inside the University of Vermont’s Patrick Gymnasium Friday as hundreds gathered for Champlain Valley Union High School’s graduation ceremony.

Also in evidence, before the ceremony even began, was lots of hugging. People who may not have seen each other since their children’s elementary school years greeted each other and marveled at the fleetness of time.

The graduation began with the shrill, rousing drone of bagpipes as the St. Andrew’s Pipeband of Vermont led the procession of graduates to their seats of honor on the gym floor.

After years of listening to lectures, it was the students doing most of the talking on Friday afternoon.

Principal Adam Bunting quoted one of those students in his introductory remarks.

“The spirit of this class was captured aptly by Milo Cress at the end of Convocation two nights ago, in his words, ‘The ceremony of applauding our uniqueness and strength will last as long as we have the strength to be unique.’”

Bunting then thanked the graduates for setting themselves apart and creating a community where everyone is valued for being themselves.

Jack ZuWallack led the Pledge of Allegiance and Paige Thibault and Sophie Roy sang the National Anthem.

Superheroes among us

Jack Guernsey welcomed the audience and said when he was younger, he wanted to be a super hero. He said that he attended pre-school with a red cape pinned to his T-shirt and people called him Super Jackson.

“Once it reached the point where reality and my perception of it became a little too close, my parents held an intervention and we decided that it was the time for me to stop wearing a cape to school,” Guernsey said. “That intervention may or may not have taken place last week.”

He told his fellow graduates that super heroes are all around us and they are disguised as teachers, peers, friends and family.

All of the graduates will learn how to walk their own path, said Guernsey, who has had a walking disability since birth.

“If I’ve learned anything in 18 years of life, it’s that it does not matter how you walk. It matters that you keep moving forward and embracing your magnificent destiny,” he said.

Guernsey charged the class “to go be super” and said, “So, it ends just how it began: With red, flowing fabric draped across my shoulders.”

High school playlist

Aidan Johnson delivered the second address. He said that through all the moments, all the rides to school, the countless sports games, four winter balls and two proms there “was one common aspect that put the exclamation point on each experience we dove into – that one thing was music.”

He cited some of the music that followed them through their career at CVU, including “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap, “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and “See You Again” by Wiz Kahlifa.

When things were good, when things were bad, when they were at the best and at their worst, music was there for this class.

“During the last four years we’ve created a playlist entitled ‘High School,’ which is filled with the songs and memories we hold so dear,” Johnson said.

Student speaker Eleanor Woodruff said that she started playing basketball in first grade and always looked up to the CVU team. Although they almost always won, it was their pride she said she admired.

“Now, having been through the program I can say pretty uniquely that I have lost two basketball state championships, right here in this gym,” Woodruff said. “Though our season ended in just about the most heartbreaking way it could, I wouldn’t trade those months we spent in the gym for anything.”

She said that things often don’t turn out the way you wanted but that doesn’t mean that going through the experience wasn’t worth it.

Jessica Gagne, Alexandra Maklad and Adalia Williams then presented kayaks as the class gift to the school.

The guarantee of adversity

The guest speaker was Kelly Brush. Brush’s childhood dream was to be a championship skier and she was well on the way to realizing that dream when, as a sophomore member of the Middlebury College NCAA Alpine Ski Team, she had an accident during a competition and hit a lift tower stanchion. She injured her spinal column and now uses a wheelchair. By her senior year of college, she was skiing for Middlebury on a monoski.

Brush is a winner of the NCAA Inspiration Award and founded, along with her family, the Kelly Brush Foundation, which gives grants and inspiration to help those with spinal cord injuries to have an active lifestyle. adaptive sports equipment

“There’s not a lot of days when it’s not selfish to say that the world revolves around you, but today it’s one of those days, so enjoy it,” Brush said.

After a pause for the audience’s laugher, she said, “Nothing in life is truly guaranteed but encountering adversity is about as guaranteed as you’re going to get.”

Some difference, much the same

A big part of Brush getting to where she is in her life was her belief that she could get there, she said. “Probably the most important thing that I learned is that I’m still myself and that my ability to learn and to think hasn’t changed,”

Because of that, her ability to enjoy life was unchanged.

“Sure, I do some things a little bit differently, but they’re not worse,” said Brush, who grew up in Charlotte and went to Charlotte Central School. “I roll instead of walk; I sit in a monoski instead of standing up, but these are little things and pretty insignificant.”

Although she couldn’t compete with her Middlebury team anymore, Bruch said she realized that she could still be a part of the team, and that being a part of the team and supporting it was what she really liked.

“I could be involved in other ways,” Brush said. “And honestly, was I really going to miss doing those sprints until I thought I was going to puke?”

She said that the graduates will face adversity. They might not get into the college or get the job they want, but it’s how they respond to it that matters.

Three-hundred twelve graduates, from Kali M. Adams to ZuWallack, then walked across the stage to get their diplomas and congratulations.

“Becoming an adult starts today,” said Jimmy Jiang in his farewell remarks. “Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is awesome.”


ACCESS CVU Scholarship – Bay Foley-Cox

Ancient Greece Award – Annaliese Holden, Jackson Guernsey

Arthur H. Scott Scholarship Award – Joshua Ashooh, Ambu Dulleba, Rowan Dunlop, Shayla Lawrence, Sophie Roy, Megan Rogers

Bryan Daniel Memorial Award – Nicole Eaton

Champlain Lanes/M&R Charities Scholarship – Nathan Cuttitta

Charlotte-Shelburne-Hinesburg Rotary Club – Joshua Ashooh, Emma Bissonette, Abigail Ferrara

Coach David Bremner Award – Aidan Johnson, Sydney Jimmo

Craig Sampson Memorial Scholarship – Quentin Hopwood

Creative Writing – Justin  Schaaf, Taylor Antonioli

CVU Redhawk Football Award – Jack ZuWallack

Design Technology Award – Max Barron

Diligence Award – Ava Brooks, Asher Pellett, Jillian Hebert, Justin McQuiston

Donald Moore Cross Country Scholarship – Ella Whitman

Dylan Peters Visual Arts Memorial Scholarship – Elena Crites

El Premio de espanol – Ulysses Vogel, Eleanor Weisman-Rowell, Allison Selwah

Excellence in Science – Eleanor  Woodruff, Kyle Bergeron

Faculty Award – Paige Thibault, Aidan Johnson

Family and Consumer Science Award – Larissa Hackett

French V Language Award – Zoe Prue, Claire Montgomery, Julia Kahn, Kyle Bergeron, Eleanor Woodruff, Brendon Tivan, Ivy Miller, Jessica Gagne

Friends of CVU School Spirit Award – Bennett  Cheer

Girls Nite Out Productions Scholarship – Rowan Dunlop

Greg Cluff Citizenship Award – Kali Adams

Hart Athletic Award – Ella Whitman, Charlie Averill

Horatio Alger Association Vermont Scholar – Joanna Engisch

Integrity Award – Silas Cote, Zane LaDuc

Journalism Award – Nicole Eaton

Junior Class Marshalls – Abigail Harkness, Liam Heininger

Kathy M. Stringer Devost Scholarship – Ella Whitman

Kevin Riell Memorial Scholarship – Nicole Eaton, Aidan Johnson

Larry Wagner Math Award – Jacob Murphy, Bay Foley-Cox

Literacy Award – Alfred Wathugi

Louis Armstrong Jazz Award – Peter Antinozzi

Magna Cum Laude Award – Kristin Arles, Gabriel Atkins, Madison Barup, Kyle Bergeron, Cole Boffa, Hannah Bohmann, Cecily Breen, Aidan Bundock, Nikos Carroll, Lillian Cazayoux, Geneva Cote, Elena Crites, Julia Daggett, Nicolas Durieux, Elizabeth Emmons, Eryn Erdman, Abigail Ferrara, Sydney Glickman, Dylan Gooley, Maxwell Gorman, Larissa Hackett, Violet Hamel-Wade, Seamus Higgins, Madison Hubbard, Jimmy Jiang, Aidan Johnson, Benjamin Klein, Samuel Knox, Sam Koskinen, Shayla Lawrence, Mia Lewis, Jane Lindsley, Talia Loiter, Alexandra Maklad, Jacob Murphy, Catherine Noel, Madeline Oliver, Stella Pappas, Hannah Postlewaite, Zoe Prue, Caroline Reynolds, Jason Rosner, Justin Schaaf, Allison Selwah, Sohaila Shiffert, Rayona Silverman, Clara Tiballi, Brendan Tivnan, Tessa Van Buren, Grace Washburn, Eleanor Weisman-Rowell, Ella Whitman, Thomas Wright

Masonic Patriot Lodge 33 Scholarship – Hannah Bohmann

Master Musician Award – Paige Thibault

National Federation of High Schools Award of Excellence – Jessica Gagne, Samuel Sturim

National Merit Scholarship Finalist – Gabriel Atkins

New England Red Sox Service Scholarship – Emma Bissonette

Outstanding  Business Student Award – Ethan Duncan, Meredith Gove

Outstanding English Student Award – Kali Adams

Outstanding Essayist Award – Claire  Montgomery

Palmer Award – Harper Mead, Aidan Johnson

Pat Mraz Library Award – Kali  Adams

Principal’s Leadership Award – Nicole Eaton

Renaissance Artist Award – Stella Pappas

Robert J. Pepper Science Award – Grace Washburn

Sara Grayson Memorial Award – Sophie Roy

School Directors’ Award – Jessica Gagne, Kali Adams

Society of Women Engineers Certificate of Merit – Jessica Gagne, Lila  Ouellette, Eleanor Woodruff

Summa Cum Laude Award – Kali Adams, Evan Beal, Milo Cress, Bay Foley-Cox, Jessica Gagne, Julia Kahn, Emma McMahan, Ivy Miller, Claire Montgomery, Lila Ouellette, Samuel Sturim, Paige Thibault, Eleanor Woodruff

The Governor Phil Hoff Vermont Honor Scholarship – Jessica Gagne

The University of Vermont Green and Gold Scholarship – Jessica Gagne

Tom Titus Track and Field Award – Luke Morton

Tomorrow’s Business Leader – Samuel Sturim

Twenty First Century – Social Studies Award – Paige Thibault

UVM Math Test Certificate of Merit – Gabe Atkins

Vergilian Award – Eleanor (Ella) Woodruff

Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Scholarship – Kaylee Beyor, Abigail Ferrara, Meghan Gilwee

Visual Arts Department Award – Aidan Bundock

VSADA Scholar/Athlete Award – Taylor Antonioli, Kyle Bergeron, Kaylee Beyor, Cole Boffa, Hannah Bohmann, Kristy Carlson, Nikos Carroll, Lillian Cazayoux, Geneva Cote, Elena Crites, Julia Daggett, Nicolas Durieux, Nicole Eaton, Eryn Erdman, Mullein Francis, Liam Freeman, Jessica Gagne, Meghan Gilwee, Sydney Glickman, Dylan Gooley, Maxwell Gorman, Benjamin Gramling, Samuel Hansen, Emma Hawko, Seamus Higgins, Madison Hubbard, Elizah Jacobs, Sydney Jimmo, Aidan Johnson, Sara Kelley, Olivia Kinsel, Benjamin Klein, Shayla Lawrence, Mia Lewis, Emma McMahan, Harper Mead, Luke Morton, Jacob Murphy, Catherine Noel, Madeline Oliver, Mason Otley, Caroline Reynolds, Claire Rocheleau, Jason Rosner, Justin Schaaf, Allison Selwah, Rayona Silverman, Teddi Simons, Claire Smith, Samuel Sturim, Paige Thibault, Brendan Tivnan, Noah Townley, Eleanor Weisman-Rowell, Olivia Werner, Ella Whitman, Andrew Wilkinson, James Williamson, Eleanor Woodruff, Thomas Wright, Abigail Ferrara

Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom Eunice B. Farr Incentive Award – Amber Robert

Williston-Richmond Rotary Scholarship – Judah Avery

Zeke Kassel Memorial Award – Jackson Guernsey, Kristin Arles

Graduating Class of 2019

Kali M. Adams

Bryant C. Aldrich

Heather Anderson

Chloe T. Andrae

Peter Antinozzi

Taylor M. Antonioli

Kristin A. Arles

Joshua P. Ashooh

Gabriel R. Atkins

Addison Aube

Alysha M. Aubin

Charles A. Averill

Judah B. Avery

Elizabeth Baccei

Theodore G. Baker

Max A. Barron

Brayden W. Bartlett

Madison L. Barup

Evan G. Beal

Sophie M. Beliveau

Francis T. Berard

Kyle J. Bergeron

Daniel P. Bernier

Willow Bertrand

Kaylee M. Beyor

Zachery Billado-Dubie

Emma M. Bissonette

Justin M. Bissonette

Toni Blackburn

Benjamin R. Blackmore

Madison A. Blaine

Morgan Blaine

Koell J. Blake

Shane B. Boehmcke

Cole A. Boffa

Hannah E. Bohmann

Keith T. Booska

Nathan Borrok-Hoffman

Moriah Bosen

Zanna R. Branicki

Cecily G. Breen

Avery Brooks

Brianna Brosseau

Lucas R. Brown

Aidan S. Bundock

Benjamin P. Buscher

Jesse Campbell

Riley E. Canty

Kristy Carlson

Nikos J. Carroll

Lillian M. Cazayoux

Taylor Chatoff

Bennett R. Cheer

Amelia J. Chicoine

Kayden N. Clark

Spencer P. Clark

Timothy R. Clark

Hannah G. Cleveland

Corey M. Clodgoe

Bronwen S. Cobden

Peter Cockayne

Logan C. Cody

Grace A. Colbeth

William R. Colquhoun

Kevin I. Conger

Gavin M. Cote

Geneva R. Cote

Silas R. Cote

Olive J. Cotton

Milo J. Cress

Sophia L. Cresta

Elena S. Crites

Isabella S. Curtis

Nathan R. Cuttitta

Julia E. Daggett

Akuch A. Dau

Bryce W. Davies

Finland J. Davis

Enzo M. Delia

Kale J. Denis

Makenzie E. Detch

Lily J. Donnelly

Isabelle B Dornbierer

Allyssa M. Downs

Lindsey M. Drew

Makayla A. Driscoll

Hunter Ducharme

Mayve A. Duell

Ambu L. Dulleba

Ethan W. Duncan

Rowan A. Dunlop

Kylie J. Dunshee

Nicolas A. Durieux

John C. Eagan

Nicole M. Eaton

Robert Edson

Robert M. Ellis-Clark

Elizabeth T. Emmons

Joanna N. Engisch

Eryn E. Erdman

Isaac D. Euler

Jazmyn M. Farlow

Abigail C. Ferrara

Matthew J. Fisher

Riley W. Fisk

Emma E. Flore

Bay Foley-Cox

Jared G. Forsythe

Mackenzie R. Fournier

Mullein M. Francis

Liam W. Freeman

Thomas A. Frink

Haven E. Funkhouser

Jessica E. Gagne

Sean K. Garey

Taylor A. Gauthier

Meghan E. Gilwee

Sydney M. Glickman

Elena L. Godbout

Jacob R. Gonyeau

Dylan T. Gooley

Maxwell J. Gorman

Kacey E. Gorton

Meredith R. Gove

Benjamin R. Gramling

Jacob R. Graveline

Jackson N. Guernsey

Larissa J. Hackett

Violet E. Hamel-Wade

Samuel E. Hansen

Zachary P. Hark

Emma E. Hawko

Jillian A. Hebert

Alexander I. Herman

Seamus M. Higgins

Rachel E. Hoar

Annaliese E. Holden

Willa R. Holliday

Elijah M. Holmberg

Quentin I. Hopwood

Mason L. Howe

Madison N. Hubbard

Elizah R. Jacobs

Gregory M. Jacobs

Caleb L. Jenson

Jimmy Jiang

Sydney E. Jimmo

Aidan J. Johnson

Elizabeth A. Jones

Bernice M. Kabengele

David M. Kabengele

Julia L. Kahn

Sara G. Kelley

Jacob T. Kindestin

Olivia G. Kinsel

Benjamin M. Klein

Samuel W. Knox

Brianna R. Kolibas

Sam R. Koskinen

Cameron A. LaBounty

Zane LaDuc

Levi A. Lagrow

Donovan X. Lamothe

Jack M. Landry

Kyle R. Lang

Matthew M. Larrabee

Isaiah N. Lawlor

Shayla F. Lawrence

Jasmine A. Leavitt

Daniel S. LeBlanc

Justin M. LeClair

Stephanie D. Lee

Chandler W. Lehman

Noah L. Lemieux

Peter T. Leombruno

Jared F. Leonard

Tyler J. Lestage

Mia S. Lewis

Jane Lindsley

Talia Loiter

Maverick J. Lowrey

Nickolas K. Lyman

Tristen T. Maclay

Olivia M. Major

Alexandra W. Maklad

Juliana E. Marino

Brynn T. Marshall

Caleb R. Martin

Leah M. Martin

Noah K. Martin

Margaret E. Mathon

Jonathan McAuliffe

Emma R. McMahan

Justin D. McQuiston

Harper E. Mead

Jack S. Merrill

John W. Merrill

Ella Miller

Ivy D. Miller

Chase A. Mitchell

Quinn W. Mlynarick

Alec J. Mogielnicki

Lisa Monteith

Claire E. Montgomery

William H. Moody

Caleb A. Moreno

Luke Z. Morton

Colton C. Murphy

Jacob S. Murphy

Alexander Q. Murray

Sean Murray

Michael D. Nails

Catherine A. Noel

Colby P. Norton

Madeline M. Oliver

Cole B. Otley

Mason V. Otley

Lila Ouellette

Lauryn A. Ouimet

Jesslyn M. Owen

Stella J. Pappas

Ian T. Parent

Lily M. Pecor

Asher M. Pellett

Nicolas J. Petrunich

Boaz W. Pike

Justin K. Ploof

Nikki M. Poirier

Trenton G. Poitras

Sierra M. Polley

Alex G. Polly

Hannah O. Postlewaite

Zoe M. Prue

Caroline F. Reynolds

Chase W. Reynolds

Brian P. Rich

Ian A. Rider

Amber L. Robert

Claire A. Rocheleau

Megan E. Rogers

Victor E. Romano

Jason P. Rosner

Benjamin H. Ross

Conner J. Rougier

Sophie B. Roy

Alia M. Russo

Nathaniel J. Sampson

Justin M. Schaaf

Jacob B. Schaefer

Zachary M. Schaw

Audrey A. Schnell

Kathryn I. Schroeder

Allison T. Selwah

Natalie Senior

Madeleine M. Serafini

Sohaila C. Shiffert

Faith A. Shive

Rayona T. Silverman

Teddi Simons

Tyler G. Skaflestad

Allison Smardon

Claire M. Smith

Cooper W. Snipes

Nathan R. Songer

Kaitlyn T. Sorrell

John P. Spasyk

Alden C. Spell

Lucas St. Cyr

Michael O. St. Louis

Shea C. Stirewalt

Trevor J. Stokes

Graham M. Streeter

William E. Strobeck

Samuel H. Sturim

Luke H. Sweeney

Paige E. Thibault

Joseph Paul Thompson

Katherine L. Thompson

Clara Tiballi

Brendan Tivnan

Elizabeth B. Toensing

Keeghan E. Tolan

Bennett G. Townley

Noah F. Townley

Nolan E. Trello

Mark Tuhacek

Evan D. Turner

Parker L. Urie

Tessa A. Van Buren

Haley C. Vespa-Lapointe

Ulysses S. Vogel

Alexandra P. Wainer

Grace N. Washburn

Alfred W. Wathugi

Erin M. Watson

Eleanor F. Weisman-Rowell

Olivia R. Werner

Jason M. West

Gary M. Whalon

Finn M. Wheeler

Jayvon D. Whitlock

Ella M. Whitman

Gavin Wilczynski

Andrew J. Wilkinson

Adalia M. Williams

James P. Williamson

Evenjalina M. Wilson

Katelyn T. Wong

Eleanor C. Woodruff

Thomas D. Wright

Prince L. Yodishembo

Jack M. ZuWallack

Show us you enjoyed this content by becoming a newspaper subscriber.

We use a Facebook Comments Plugin for commenting. No personal harassment, abuse or hate speech is permitted. Comments should be 1000 characters or fewer. We moderate every comment. Please go to our Terms of Use/Privacy Policy "Posting Rules and Interactivity" for more information.