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Dear MHS Community,

This round of Salutes will wrap up our Solon Salutes for the year. Between concerts, playoff games, and awards ceremonies, we’ve had a big week. The highlight for me was following our seniors through the student gauntlet as they processed to the auditorium for the ceremony:

This graduation also marks an important transition for three folks who deserve hearty Salutes for amazing work with students. Marianne McNamara (ELL 12 years), Sue Beem (Math 17 years), and Linda MacDonald (English 46 years!) are retiring from MHS with the class of 2014. While I could say much about each of them, the students said it all when this trio received a standing ovation during the awards ceremony.

Finally, also moving on are Nathalie Sugarman and Ivy Zeller. We thank them for all they have done to support our students. Pam Towne will continue her work as a Special Educator in our district at UES. Thank you for your hard work at MHS, Pam!

I look forward to seeing many of you at graduation. Thank you for your support this year. MHS is blessed by the community it serves.



  • From a loyal tennis parent: I am writing to tell you how proud I am of this year's tennis team for their amazing season. They finished strong (16-2) and lost in the championship match to a stronger Burr and Burton in oppressive heat in Bennington. MHS is a cohesive team, and for that, they are champions in my book. I would also like to shout out to Ben Field and Kate Laporte who drove down to Bennington 2 1/2 hours to cheer on their friends and classmates. Tennis is not a sport that attracts a lot of spectators (despite the MHS girls winning record) so for them to drive to Bennington in support of their friends was exemplary.In closing, I just want to thank Wendy Watson and Laura Furber, the MHS coaches, who steered yet another team to a state championship. Well done MHS Girls tennis.
  • From Cathy Butterfield: I would like to recognize senior Ellen Eurich for her work with the chickens. Not only did she help construct the coop, she has been introducing students and faculty to the new arrivals. She has been so vigilant, that she was able to rescue chicks that had escaped after the door to the coop wasn't properly closed as well. Ellen is terrific.
  • From Cathy Butterfield: I would like to recognize Zack Vanden Bergh for his work ethic in World History Seminar. In November he stated that his intentions included improvement in his already strong grade. He has continued to work hard and maintain his wonderful sense of humor--even in the month of June, which I appreciate. He has become one of the top writers in his grade, which is impressive.
  • Salutes to Isa Anasari, Maya Facciolo, Sasha Travis, Molly Holt, and Willow Barbero Menzel for completing their final exhibitions of the year. Thank you for putting such heart in your learning!
  • From Brooke Pearson: Here are two different Solon Salutes:
    • Thanks to Alyssa Barrett and Julie Connor for all of their help planning the Senior Class Day of Service. Not only did they attend and offer insights at our planning meetings, they also assigned their classmates to the various work teams. Their participation in the process was invaluable.
    • A big thank you to all of our PLAY mentors this year. How much of a difference you made could be seen in the shining faces of the youngsters you mentored at the end-of-the-year celebrations earlier this week. Thank you for getting up early on Wednesday mornings, week after week throughout the year, to share yourselves with 30 plus UES and MSMS kids. Thank you:


  • Alyssa Barrett*
  • Shaniah Bartlett*
  • Caleb Basa*
  • John Basa*
  • Fred Bashara**
  • Reed Bingham *
  • Ian Browning
  • Lexi Shea
  • Julie Connor*
  • TJ Dellipriscoli**
  • Ellen Eurich*
  • Brendan Flanagan
  • Kia Rae Hanron*
  • Forest Hanson
  • Ethan Herz*
  • Julian Kelly
  • Jon Kilian
  • Rory King
  • Amy Koch
  • Kate LaPorte
  • John Moccia**
  • Tom Nowlan*
  • Sam Ringer*
  • Nell Sather*
  • Josie Slade*
  • Nat Swyer**
  • Julia Thetford**


  • Caitlyn Bashara
  • Donavon Bigelow
  • Chloe Golonka
  • Rachel Isaacs-Falbel
  • Rylin Ives
  • Jillian Reed
  • Isabel Tomasi


  • Chloe Boyce


  • Anders Heyerdahl

Half of the seniors listed (those marked with a single asterisk) mentored all four years! Five more (those marked with two asterisks) mentored three years! Great commitment from the mentors from the Class of 2014!!!



  • Thanks to our Guidance Team: Cindy, Nancy, Lissa, and Geoff. The Master Schedule is complete--which is no small act. You manage to balance the needs of the system with the needs of our students. Great work.
  • The MHS community would like to salute Hilary Goldblatt, Kirk Krietz, and Cailin O’Hara. They have done exemplary work this year to grow our music programs and put on amazing shows (despite working in three buildings!).
  • Many thanks to Sue Monmaney for her invaluable support of Soar!

Dear MHS Community,

I’ve been staring at my computer screen for nearly 10 minutes, and I haven’t found a way to capture the past twenty-four hours at MHS. I think I will just Wow. WOW! (yes, I am shouting at you with all caps)!

A day in the life…

Thursday, May 29, 2014:

  • 8:00 a.m.

I meet with a junior to discuss how we select our valedictorians. He is impressed with the 2014 Valedictory Group and hopes to join Julie Connor, Brian Cain, Enya Hughes, Tom Nowlan, and Mahima Poreddy when he is a senior.

  • 10:00 a.m.

Thom Wood (Facilities Director) and Tom Allen (Director of Maintenance, MHS) join me to discuss our bond upgrades and summer work. I am excited to hear the details about our roof, bathroom, parking lot, auditorium, and bleacher projects. I am especially pleased that the bleachers will be done in time for graduation.

  • 11:00 a.m.

Lilly Russo-Savage conducts her final learning exhibition for her studies in Italian. Matt McLane, Sarah Squier, and I (along with Lilly’s parents and her Italian tutor) are treated to an amazing meal created by Lilly: fig and goat cheese on crostini; pasta puttanesca (sauce and noodles are handmade by Lilly); real olive oil; and a peach tart (also homemade). I think about the power of personalized learning and authentic assessment. Lilly studied aspects of the language by translating recipes from Italian to English (I might also add that one of her final assessments was taking the SAT II in Italian). While I chew, I think about the difference between memorizing words via online studies and the texture of a rich cultural experience. Lilly’s project helps knit a small community at her dining room table.


  • 12:15 p.m.

MHS hosts a surprise assembly. We focus on the many types of genius our students possess. I am thankful for Kerrin McCadden who organizes a student-run show that weaves words and music--poetry and song. Jillian Reed, Maddie Dunn, Mikaela Moore, Maddi Boyce, Molly Holt, Gabe Otter, Geoffery Sarpong, Kate Cipolla, Jenn Caldwell, Aurora Brush, Sasha Travis, Gabe Harter, and Julia Hancock Song rock the house. I am moved by the manner in which our performers are received by their peers. Rowdy applause follows each poem/song. Bill Laidlaw, Brian Gallagher, and Carolyn Kiniry organize a full-school capture the flag game as an intermission before the second portion of the assembly. Hundreds of bodies are in motion. Tom Sabo kicks off the final part of the assembly by welcoming MHS alums and stand up comedians Sean Williams ‘04 and Carmen Lagala ‘03. While their material is hilarious (and almost school appropriate), they set a powerful example of how one pursues the gift of talent.

  • 3:00 p.m.

I read a cool email from Sue Abrams talking about the work that she, Whitney, Sue, and Josh have completed in relationship to standards-based instruction. I am loving that our professionals are always looking for best practice.

  • 6:00 p.m.

With only 15 players, Solons Lacrosse plays an inspiring game against Harwood. Rallying from a 6-1 deficit, we pull to within one goal with 24 seconds remaining. We shoot wide twice and lose 10-9. The seniors and juniors encourage the underclassmen to be proud of the hustle and fight--the refusal to quit in adversity. Jordan and Forrest lead with the traditional team cheer of FAMILY.

  • 5:30 a.m.

I receive an email from Superintendent Brian Ricca informing me about a senior prank. I head to school slightly nervous. Mean senior pranks can taint what should be a meaningful and joyous time.

  • 7:00 a.m.

My nervousness gives way to genuine laughter. The students have left us a gift in our cafeteria…




  • From Lisa Fredette: I want to give an enthusiastic shout-out to Shaniah Bartlett, who took the initiative to clean toilet paper out of the trees in front of the school during her free period. She said she was proud of her school and didn't want it to look like trash."I only wish I was taller" she said as she jumped up to try to snag an errant piece of TP with a broom. Thank you Shaniah!
  • From Susan Monmaney: A Salute to Abi Huntsman for taking care of our place -- picking up trash in the courtyard and returning others' dishes to the cafeteria. Thank you Abi!
  • From loyal, anonymous parents:

To the Solon Ultimate Teams... Congratulations to our Boys for winning the State Championship and the Spirit Award, to the Girls for winning the Spirit award, to all players for bringing their talent, spirit, endurance & heart to the season.

To the Solon Ultimate Coaches... Congratulations to Anne Watson for being voted Youth Ultimate Coach of the Year. Also, tremendous gratitude to all the coaches for their vision, skill, dedication, willingness to camp in torrential downpours with the players, driving/carpool coordination, and sense of humor with our players. Thank you Anne Watson, Nolan Beniot, Olivia DeJohn and former coach Dave Bennett who drew many of our players into ultimate.

To Ultimate Players Who Made All State Teams... First Team: Ian Browing, Julian Kelly, Reed Browning. Second Team: Issac Avery-Padberg and Ivan Bansah. Women's Team: Kia'Rae Hanron and Lilla Fortunoff




  • From Martin Allen and the Scholars Bowl Team: Thank you, Brooke Pearson, for all of your hard work and tireless effort.
  • From Matt McLane: The Exhibition PLC would like to give a shout out to Toni Ceckler for sharing her thoughtful and constructive ideas regarding exhibitions. Very much appreciated.

Dear MHS Community,

Top Ten reasons why we should all love BARB AUSTIN HUTCHINS:  


10.  The art show.

9.  The energy of a caffeinated dachshund.

8.  An ability to inspire (high quality) art in anyone.

7.  Cool car.

6.  Anyone who enters the school is received with a warm, enthusiastic Barb greeting.

5.  The ability to make me nervous with her description of permanent art installments that sound slightly odd but end up being awesome.

4.  Encouraging seniors to “make their mark.”

3.  She always reminds us that the human spirit is at the heart of our work.

2.  Art in the hallways.

1.  She has her own parking spot.



  • This Salute goes to our Seniors.  We are proud of your work on the Senior Day of Service.

  • Thank you for the thoughtful and fun discussion (not a debate!) regarding our Library during Unplugged time.  


  • From Lisa Fredette: I saw a lot of students running in the corporate cup last Thursday. They did well too! The ones in my classes are Ben Field, Chloe Golonka, Brian Cain, and George Valentine...I'm sure there were others but I only recognize so many faces at this point! I guess I'd like to toss out a general "Good job to those students who participated in the Corporate Cup."

  • To Emelie Gosselin.  Yup.  Because you care enough to ask!  And, I agree, it really is a nice tie.

  • Lukas Luetje, thanks for the art show in TA!



  • From Sue Dell: I want to praise Jason Miles and his Woods/Design students who made an Adirondack chair that was the Grand Prize at The Good Beginnings Baby Expo held April 12th at Berlin Elementary School.  Jason's class donated this beautifully crafted item to The Family Center of Washington County who collaborates with MHS as a community-based learning site for students interested in early childhood careers.  We are so thankful for their generosity.

  • From Mitchell Whalen: Rob the janitor yesterday helped me out by taking time out of his day to jump start my car when the battery died after lacrosse practice. I'd appreciate it if I saw him get some recognition for his kindness.

  • Thank you to Brooke Pearson, Sue Monmaney, Matt McLane, John Bate, Marianne Signorino, Corinne Gretch, Betty Hammond, and Libby Cookson for your work on the Senior Day of Service.

  • From Heather McLane about Matt McLane (no relation):  He has been so helpful in facilitating community-based learning for my class. I also appreciate that he volunteered to help chaperone my field trip and then asked some interesting questions during the tour. Matt's work is really integral to the education of MHS students.



    • Tammy Field supplied our seniors with food and water for our day in Hubbard Park.  Thanks, Tammy!  Geoff Beyer and Stephanie Olson supplied the work.  Thanks to you, too.
    • Check out our new cafeteria piano!


Dear MHS Community,

I received this letter of concern from Carolyn Jones earlier in the week and absolutely loved it. She articulates a complaint in a thoughtful, respectful, and diplomatic manner. In the age of the quick-send and fiery email, Carolyn provides an example of powerful communication through writing. As a result of her letter, we will be reconvening our Unplugged Committee (with student participation) to discuss her request:

To whom it may concern,

Today I attempted to clarify the point of closing the library during recess with a few students, and we have established some concerns about the practice. We are completely okay with the library closing when it is beautiful outside, because who wouldn't want to bask in the sunlight; however, we are under the impression, and please feel free to correct us if we are wrong, that the library is closed in order to push some students into other recess activities. Though we understand that purpose, we also find problem with it. Recess is meant as a time for both exploration of new opportunities outside of the curriculum and a time for relaxation during a 7-hour school day. We believe that both are equally important. The closing of the library closes one of those options for students. Personally, I enjoy participating in recess activities. However, there are some days when just lying on the ground and socializing with your friends is an ideal option. I hope that this makes a good point and I would like to have future discussions about the issue.

Carolyn Jones



  • To our JUNIOR CLASS and Junior Proctors: Thank you for your thoughtfulness and humor. You made your final NECAPs count. Y’all rock!
  • From Hilary Goldblatt: Congratulations to Jillian Reed on her outstanding flute performance at the Scholarship Recital at last weekend's All-State Music Festival.
  • From Hilary Goldblatt: Congratulations also to Jillian Reed for performing in the All-State Band, Rachel Isaacs-Falbel, Anna Scoppettone, Tristan Blais, Gabe Harter, and Abbey Jermyn for performing in the All-State Orchestra, and Jessica Collins, Julie Connor, Nell Sather, Charlie AldrichAdam Cerutti, Tomas Rogel and Jake Delcore for performing in the All-State Chorus. These musicians did an outstanding job at the concert on Saturday, May 10th at St. Johnsbury Academy.



  • From Carolyn Herz: A Salute for the unsung deeds that Brooke Pearson does for the kids -- he gives generously of his time and devotion.
  • From Sam Bromley: Betsy Strobell, Ellen Selkowitz, Pattie, Sarah Marcus, John Bate, Bill Laidlaw and Brooke Pearson all deserve a solon salute for their help pulling off the Integrated Science field trip. They were all amazing help managing the 81 students we had on the trip. We couldn't have done it without them.

© 2011 Montpelier Public Schools