Panera fundraiser

Dear MHS Community: I wandered into the Library today to catch the tag end of The Conversation, a discussion series dedicated to the complexities facing our adolescents. Here is what I witnessed: 102 students talking openly, honestly, and respectfully about gender, relationships, substance use/abuse, and rape culture. More importantly, this group of students dedicated themselves to the actions and behaviors to create a safe, caring space for themselves and for their peers. My favorite part? The seniors shushing one another to hear the voices of the underclassmen. My second favorite part? At least to my eye, much of the experience seemed to be student led.

The Conversation was a nice cap to Awesome Week. Thanks to Liz Bailey and Mary Ellen Solon, we focused on the skills that lead to resilience. Check out the attached link to get the feel for the learning that Liz and Mary Ellen encouraged us to embrace: (Start watching at minute 6:26)


In addition to Awesome Week, we also had Budget Presentation Week (okay, that may be a bit of a stretch). The MPS Leadership Team is proud to put forth a budget that is only a .86% increase from last year and includes important additions to our music programs, custodial staff at UES, and a district Sustainability Coordinator. Don’t hesitate to email or call me with questions about the FY16 proposed budget. Also, a huge thanks to Kirby Gordon and Willow Barbero-Menzel for their presentation.

Finally, please see the invite below from Spiral International:

Starting in January, Montpelier High School will be hosting five students from Guangzhou, China for the second semester of this school year and we are currently seeking families interested in hosting students for their stay here in Vermont. If you and your family are interested in experiencing another culture and sharing what you love about living in the Green Mountain State, we would love to speak with you about this unique opportunity. Hosting is an incredibly rewarding experience that will create lasting memories and positively influence the life of the visiting student as well as your entire family. Host families receive a stipend of $800.00 per month to cover the cost of hosting. For more information, please contact Sam Hagen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 802-498-7742.


  • From Brooke Pearson: Thanks to Derek Cassetty, Eric Grey, Evan Lewis, Caroline Cunningham, Erica Sarpong, Christina Tang, Rosie Boucher, and Tomas Rogel for giving their time to put together bags of food at the Montpelier Food Pantry that were distributed to 125 local families. Your enthusiastic willingness to give of your time to help those in need in our community is exemplary. Thank you.
  • Shout out to the students of Laidlaw and Bromley's TA for organizing and running the food drive. We raised over $800!
  • A Salute to our students for organizing their own Solon Snowflake Gift Exchange.
  • Jillian Reed baked Beth Maguire a pie (Beth gets a Salute this week because her dad has been waiting patiently for her to get one).


  • Anna Hamilton created the cutest candy animals for Owen Koucky.


  • Thanks to you, students, for making The Conversation work.



  • From Emma Polen: Thank you to Ms. Monmaney for lending her jacket during the fire drill when she saw I only had a t-shirt on! She's amazing!
  • Congratulations, Sam Bromley!!!


  • From Brooke Pearson: Thanks to custodians John Balzanelli and Bob Welch for the hours they spent last weekend making MHS shine for our annual Debate and Forensics tournament. Your concern for giving our students and their peers from other high schools the best possible experience and your desire to make all of us at MHS proud to open our doors to visitors from other schools are an inspiration for us all. Thank you!

Dear MHS Community:  Well, here’s the good news in regards to the weather: our students certainly don’t lack in self-advocacy!  I read many articulate and impassioned perspectives on the (non) snow days this week.  

Joking aside, I know that it has been a grind.  See if this equation makes sense: Lack of sun+icy roads+no power+holiday stress=tough times.  

In a conversation with my brother yesterday, I told him that I was confident that--in August--I could circle the weeks that would be most difficult during the school year.  We tend to think that our stressors and problems are unique (and they are to an extent), but year after year, the behavior of students tends to redline in the same time periods.  Yup, as humans we think our elevated emotional states transcend weather, sunlight, and--well--the expectations of the people who surround us.  The older I become the more willing I am to give myself and the people around me a break as we head to the winter solstice.  

Of course, even in the dark days of winter, there is much to celebrate: Check out Ingram--son of Corinne Gretch:


  • From DMA:  I am sorry I am late with my Solon Salute, but I'd like to nominate the student body for the warm reception they gave Richard Blanco.  They cheered him like a rock star; it was really awesome.

  • From Hillary Goldblatt: Just thought I'd spread the news that Lily and Anna's original musical compositions were selected to be performed live by professional musicians through Music-COMP's competition!  The concert will be held on Monday, January 12th at the Elley-Long Center on the campus of St. Michael's College in Colchester.  

  • From Brooke Pearson: A salute to the Scholars' Bowl team: Last Friday, four MHS Scholars' Bowl teams competed against 32 of the 60 teams from Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire that competed at the Pre-Holiday Academic Tournament (PHAT) at South Burlington High School.  Our one "A" team finished 25th out of 38 "A" teams with a record of 5-3.  Our novice teams finished 1st (that's right, FIRST!), 7th, and 11th out of 22 novice teams, with records of 8-0, 5-3, and 4-4, respectively.  Individually, Graham Janson and Fox Winters finished first and second in the novice bracket!  Good job, Scholars' Bowlers!

  • To the many members of the class of 2014, thank you for remembering a friend.



From Carolyn Jones and Tomas Rogel: Salute for Tom Allen and the rest of the janitorial staff for working hard to clear our parking lot and sidewalks to make sure everyone was safe coming into school this morning.

New MHS Boosters’ Spiritwear Now Available!

Congratulations to Harriet Porter Class of 2018 Winner of the MHS Solon Owl Design contest!
Now accepting pre-orders for Spiritwear with the new design. Click on this link to download the order form.
Order forms and checks may be dropped off at the main office Mon-Fri 7:30am-3:30pm, mailed to MHS Booster 5 High School Dr Montpelier VT 05602  or 
Copy and paste the completed order form and email it to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Send checks via US mail or deliver to main office
All orders received by Friday Dec. 12 will be delivered by Tues Dec 23!
Spiritwear ($5 Lanyards too!) make great gifts for any holiday your family is celebrating!
Thank You for supporting MHS!

© 2011 Montpelier Public Schools