Dear MHS Community: I feel like everyone deserves a Salute for making it through this grey, rainy transition into Fall. Yuck. Despite the dark, there is much to celebrate this week. First, we put a wrap on three fall sports. Yes, I hate losing as much (probably more) than anyone. When the dust settles, though, we know that electronic numbers on a scoreboard pale in the significance of all we accomplish as teams throughout a season. Win or lose, we are PROUD of all the running, cheering, sweating, planning, strategizing, etc. Keep an eye on our XC Championships this weekend. Also, if you get a chance, listen to the XC team cheer. It’s weird...but it is Montpelier through and through.


In addition to the wrap on sports was the powerful presentation that all of MPS attended yesterday. Dave Melnick LICSW led an inservice on the impact of developmental trauma on our students. The subject matter was emotionally difficult, but I was inspired by the manner in which all of our faculty and staff embraced the idea that some kids are “one good relationship away from making it.” Dave provided a blend of empathy, neural/biological science, and hope.




  • From Kate Vanden Bergh: “To: Bill Basa and Mike Raker. I would like to acknowledge Bill Basa and Mike Raker for their leadership and commitment to creating a community of compassion, respect, and love of hard work on this year’s boys’ varsity soccer team. These boys cared about each other, cared about themselves, and in the process played a lot of beautiful soccer. Thank you, Bill and Mike!”

October 23: 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

October 24: 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Teachers will be available to meet with you during the day.

Beginning Monday, October 13, parents will be able to sign-up online at

Each conference will last 15 minutes.

If you do not have internet access, please call the MHS office at 225-8000 for assistance with scheduling your appointment(s).

We look forward to seeing you at Parent Conferences!

Dear MHS Community:  The Fall Harvest Celebration is my favorite day at MHS. Not only is it a time when we give back to the community, but it is also a time when we forge our community.  We are distinct individuals working toward a common goal and celebrating growth (figuratively and literally) as a collective.  Words won’t do the day justice, so please see some of the images by searching #MHSFHC on Twitter and Instagram (actually, have your kids show you).  A huge thanks to the Fall Harvest Committee.  It’s a labor of love...but it is labor.


This week also marked the inception of the The Conversation.  On Monday, upwards of 60 students gathered in Sarah Squier’s room to discuss the culture, beliefs, and choices into which students are typically unwilling to invite their elders.  I’ve been in the high school biz for 15 years now, and I’ve never seen students speak so candidly and eloquently.  A thanks to Sarah Squier, Mary Ellen Solon, Kerrin McCadden, Matt Knisley, Geoff Sather, Lissa Knauss, Cathy Butterfield, and Dan MIller-Arsenault (I hope I didn’t forget anyone!).  And thanks to you, students, for your openness and...well...goodness.



  • From Vivian Tomasi:  Please give a shout out in the next Solon Salutes to the students who organized the "Consent" campaign for the dance. I think it raised some really important issues for young men and women to think about - and apparently it did change some behavior at the dance. Some students were considerate and asked, before assuming, another student to dance.

  • Fine.  I’ll post it.  Students 6.  Faculty 3.  Booooo.



  • Check out this press release about Jillian Reed: Montpelier high school flutist Jillian Reed has been named to the 2014 All-National Concert Band Honor Ensemble sponsored by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Reed will join 670 of the most musically talented and skilled high school students in the United States for a once-in-a-lifetime experience: performing on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 29, 2014.


  • From Lissa Knauss: Thanks to Lexie Drew for your willingness to go the extra mile for others.



  • From Myles Chater:  In the recognition of a very busy week at MHS, I would like to salute Profa AKA Colleen Purcell for her organizing and facilitating the Project Hope visitors.  This was a great experience for cultural exchange.  Sharing and learning first hand about other cultures, history and traditions was amazing.  


  • From Linda MacDonald: Kudos to Susan Monmaney and Jason Miles for understanding closure and supporting a former colleague. You are total professionals! Thank you.

Dear MHS Community:

Do you ever wonder what happens at MHS during our late-start Wednesdays? Come along for a tour...


Let’s begin in the Community Connections room. Here, Jake Petrasch works with the Outing Club to the soothing sounds of chickens clucking just outside the window.


Below, you will see two of our faculty groups working on calibrating the Habits of Learning Learning Expectation.


Lissa Knauss and Matt McLane (or the back of his head) are front and center organizing our Learning Exhibitions. Note to Ninth Graders and Ninth Grade Parents, this means you...this spring. Can’t wait to hear the Class of 2018 tell us about their educational journeys.


Our final two groups are focused on higher order thinking skills: Problem Solving and Creativity.


You won't be surprised with which teachers are using student work to discuss the writing Learning Expectation. Cathy Butterfield presented a lesson on Harrison Bergeron to Sarah Squier, Katy Chabot, Ron Allen, Jerry Tillotson, and Kerrin McCadden.


Also not pictured: Faculty members Pearson, Russo, Bate, Morton, Parker, Monmaney and Kiniry. They were too deep into analyzing student work in the context of our Communication LE too be photographed.



  • To Ben. Misery loves company.


  • To Student Council, Myles Chater, Whitney Machnik, Matt Link, and Guillermo Sarriera. Thanks for a fun bonfire.


  • From Mary Ellen Solon: A shout out to Sue M’s TA. Thanks for the idea to start contra dancing during recess!
  • Go class of 2018! When I asked a student what she had accomplished on Thursday, she said, “We enchanted a forest!” You know what, I agree. Also, none of this happens with out Brooke Pearson. Thanks for organizing the Ninth Grade Day of Service.




  • From the MHS XC team: A Solon Salute to Norm Robinson, a great coach, person and friend. We will miss you when you're gone!
  • To the Barre Technical Center. Y’all rock. It’s wonderful to see our students prosper.

Upcoming Events:

  • Faculty Student Kickball Game: Monday, 3:15...Rain or Shine!
  • Fall Harvest Celebration: Wednesday, all day.

Dear MHS Community:  I fell in love with a quote this week: “Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.”


Ever have the experience of going to a doctor’s office and being diagnosed before you finish a sentence?  Conversely, ever have the experience of really, really being heard?  It is my hope that your experience at MHS feels more like the latter than the former.  To teach.  To learn.  To communicate about important issues, takes time and the willingness to be present. Let’s hold each other accountable for understanding instead of replying (I know I need the practice!).


  • Thanks to our students for making MHS Unplugged work.  NPR picked up the story and is featuring MHS.  Recess should go national!


  • Thank you, Seamus Murphy, for finishing the touch-ups on our old, ugly tables.  They look much better now.  Also, Ada Rohan, Henry Valentine, Asa Richardson-Skinder, Mikayla Flynn, Mackenzie Naylor, and Cricket Basa helped (who did I forget?).


  • Our Advanced Art students did Montpelier a real service this week.  They reframed and refreshed an artistic endeavor that had gone awry.  Check out their work as you walk down State.  

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  • Speaking of art...I’m not sure who this young man is, but I think his first name is Ethan.  I know he attends U-32.  Anyhow, let’s Salute him.  Cool work:

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  • From Brian Gallagher:  I would like to send a big thank you and Solon Salutes out to those who assisted me during the canoeing unit in order to make it very successful for the freshman. Sue Monmaney, Bill Haines, Jake Petrasch, Brooke Pearson, Matt McLane and Drew McNaughton.

  • From Tom Sabo:  Best picture ever...


  • Thanks to the efforts of Director of Curriculum and Technology Mike Martin, we now have a Mac Lab (and a really long job title).  Teachers and students will be able to create digital products effectively and efficiently.


© 2011 Montpelier Public Schools