At long last, Lake Region reigns

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copyright the Chronicle November 9, 2016

by Tena Starr and Brad Usatch

It’s been nearly 40 years since the Lake Region Union High School boys soccer team made it to a championship game. The last time was in 1978 when they lost to Milton. In the school’s 49 years of existence, the team has often been excellent — but never been a champion.

Until Saturday.

It was a big time payback at South Burlington High School Saturday afternoon when LR once again made it to the championship, and once again faced Milton.

This time, an undefeated Lake Region came home with the trophy and a decisive 4-0 win. Over the course of the season, they outscored their opponents 105-6.

The hard fought first half of Saturday’s game ended 1-0 with the goal by Matthew Lawlor, set up by Riley Urie, who scored three in the second half, pretty much assuring a Lake Region win well before the clock ran out.

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NEK End Addiction holds forum at Lake Region

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copyright the Chronicle September 28, 2016

by Elizabeth Trail

When Melissa Zebrowski’s brother and Jeannette Birch’s son died of drug overdoses in December and March, the two women’s reactions were to channel their grief into fighting the local heroin epidemic.

“We just felt a need to do something,” Ms. Birch said.

The two teamed up and told their family stories to Lake Region Union High School students in the spring.

They plan to continue their work in classrooms at Lake Region — and possibly at other high schools in the area — this fall.

One of the goals is to end the shame and silence surrounding addiction, they say.

Another is to get accurate information out to high school students — both information about the dangers of drugs, and resources for getting help in a crisis.

“I don’t want just to tell our story,” Ms. Zebrowski said. “We need to be telling a lot of stories.”

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LR Rocks singer showcase March 4

 

The Lake Region music department presents an antidote to the midwinter blues on Friday, March 4, when LR Rocks presents its annual singer showcase at Parker Pie in West Glover starting at 7:30 p.m.

The vocalists of the Power Rangers and Funk Out will perform a stylistically diverse show of solos, duets, and ensemble selections. Highlights include “Peace Train,” “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu,” Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” “Four Chords,” Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September,” the Adele mash-up “Rumor Has It/Someone Like You,” “For Good” from the musical Wicked, and much more.

Back-up musicians are Josh Lavine (drum set), Jade Dennison (piano), Chris “Fingers” Doncaster (bass), and special guest on the keys, Dr. Pepper Sue.

This concert is a fund-raiser for the “Trills and Thrills” band festival in June. Suggested admission is a $5 donation per person. Ticket sales and reservations are in advance only, and begin one week prior to the show. Seating is limited!

Doors open at 7 p.m. on the night of the show.

Please contact Kathy McCoy at 754-2500, extension 0, or e-mail at [email protected]

For general questions about the show, please contact Sara Doncaster at 754-2500, extension 219, or 754-6335. — submitted by Sara Doncaster.

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Lake Region is state winner of Solve for Tomorrow Contest

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Lake Region Union High School is the state winner in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest.  Teacher Connie MacFarlane won technology for the school with her idea for making a website to link businesses and organizations that have excess food with people who are in need.  Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

Lake Region Union High School is the state winner in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest. Teacher Connie MacFarlane won technology for the school with her idea for making a website to link businesses and organizations that have excess food with people who are in need. Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

copyright the Chronicle December 16, 2015

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

When teacher Connie MacFarlane received an e-mail with instructions to “answer a few questions for a chance to win technology for your school,” she did.

Now Lake Region Union High School (LRUHS) is the Vermont state winner of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest.

“I answered the questions and submitted them then forgot about it,” she said. “Next thing I know, I find two tablets sent to me with a notification that I was a state finalist and I need to submit a proposal.”

The goal of the competition is for high schools around the country to come up with an idea to solve a problem in their communities using what they’ve learned in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Ms. MacFarlane teamed up with her colleague Betsy Calhoun to submit the proposal… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Drilling underway on new well for Lake Region

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Drilling began on Friday for a new water well at Lake Region Union High School.  As of Tuesday morning, H.A. Manosh was still drilling.  A big pile of dirt shows that progress is being made.  Photo by Elizabeth Trail

Drilling began on Friday for a new water well at Lake Region Union High School. As of Tuesday morning, H.A. Manosh was still drilling. A big pile of dirt shows that progress is being made. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle September 23, 2015

by Elizabeth Trail

Drilling began Friday on Lake Region Union High School’s new well.

About two weeks into the new school year, Lake Region maintenance personnel discovered that there was no water in the building.  The well refilled a little overnight, and the school limped carefully through the remainder of the week. But it soon became clear that the school was going to need a new well.

“I know just enough about this to be dangerous,” Principal Andre Messier said at the Lake Region school board meeting on Thursday night.

Normally, the school draws about 3,000 to 3,500 gallons of water a day, Mr. Messier said.  At the time that the well failed, the draw was about 6,000 gallons a day, and a leak was discovered… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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At the Lake Region graduation: “You can take the raccoon out of the wild, but….”

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As part of Lake Region Union High School’s graduation ceremony, graduates must give a white rose to someone who has stood by them in their journey.  Pictured here, MaKayla Baraw (right) gives a rose to her brother Hazen Baraw (left).  Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

As part of Lake Region Union High School’s graduation ceremony, graduates must give a white rose to someone who has stood by them in their journey. Pictured here, MaKayla Baraw (right) gives a rose to her brother Hazen Baraw (left). Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

copyright the Chronicle June 17, 2015

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

The Lake Region Union High School Class of 2015 graduated on Sunday in a beautiful ceremony filled with parting advice, comedy, and music. There were 81 graduates.

Devin Royer gave the student address and compared the Class of 2015 to his pet raccoon. It was lovable, but sometimes you had to throw a laundry basket over it to control its wild side.

He looked towards the laughing teachers, who were seated to the right of the stage for confirmation that they sometimes wished they could have thrown a basket over this year’s graduating class.

He recalled advice teachers had given him. For example, cheating is like pregnancy.….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In boys baseball: Rangers trip to Florida apparently paid off

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The Rangers pose in their camouflage uniforms for a group portrait.  In the back row, from left to right, are Coach Eric Degre, Ethan Willey, Eli Leroux, Matt Messier, Logan Harper, Brennan Perkins, and Liam Kennedy.  In the front are Kolby George, Noah Royer, Zach Royer, Dakota Macallister, Denver Bodette, Brady Perron, and Dillon Gile.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

The Rangers pose in their camouflage uniforms for a group portrait. In the back row, from left to right, are Coach Eric Degre, Ethan Willey, Eli Leroux, Matt Messier, Logan Harper, Brennan Perkins, and Liam Kennedy. In the front are Kolby George, Noah Royer, Zach Royer, Dakota Macallister, Denver Bodette, Brady Perron, and Dillon Gile. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle May 13, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

Major Leaguers begin each season with spring training, a time to polish skills that may have gotten rusty over the winter. For almost all clubs that means heading south to warm weather.

What works for the bigs ought to work for high school, thought Lake Region Union High School Baseball Coach Eric Degre. His staff and players agreed.

Deciding to head to warmer places was easy; making it happen was harder. Each player had to raise more than $1,000 to pay for the trip, but with help from the community they managed the feat. Their destination was Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida…. To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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How to play spring sports without spring

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Lake Region Union High School boys baseball coach Eric Degre steps outside to survey the baseball field Friday.  “There's two feet of snow on the ground now,” he said.  “And we're expecting more over the weekend.”  Though Mr. Degre has reason to feel blue — the pitcher's mound can be seen just above center frame — he intends to take his team to Florida for spring break.   Photos by David Dudley

Lake Region Union High School boys baseball coach Eric Degre steps outside to survey the baseball field Friday. “There’s two feet of snow on the ground now,” he said. “And we’re expecting more over the weekend.” Though Mr. Degre has reason to feel blue — the pitcher’s mound can be seen just above center frame — he intends to take his team to Florida for spring break. Photos by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle April 8, 2015 

by David Dudley

Each year around April 1, the weather plays its own April Fool’s prank on the Northeast Kingdom. For young athletes in the area, the first day that the temperature rises above 30 degrees engenders an irrepressible need to get outside and play.

That need is only magnified for high school athletes. The delays caused by weather such as this year’s, where winter shows every sign of hanging on, can mean less time for practice, and could give opponents in a less snowy clime a competitive edge.

Spring sports coaches have to be on top of their game to face this challenge. They have to figure out resourceful ways to practice outdoor sports while indoors.

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At Lake Region: Madame Rivard to leave the classroom

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Sally Rivard, or Madame, as her students call her, is leaving the classroom after 30 years of teaching French at Lake Region Union High School.  She will coach other teachers and help them self-reflect on their own teaching practices.  Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

Sally Rivard, or Madame, as her students call her, is leaving the classroom after 30 years of teaching French at Lake Region Union High School. She will coach other teachers and help them self-reflect on their own teaching practices. Photo by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

copyright the Chronicle March 25, 2015

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

When you enter classroom 213 at Lake Region Union High School, you’ll find it filled with French-related paraphernalia. Canadian, French, and Haitian flags are suspended from the ceiling, and a bilingual “unload at top only” plaque hangs on the back wall above travel posters.

“I got that one from Jay Peak,” said Sally Rivard, who has been Lake Region’s French teacher for the past 30-odd years.

This is her last year of teaching French at Lake Region. Her blue eyes sparkle and her blond, jaw-length hair swishes as she talks about her students’ curriculum, which she is obviously passionate about.

Her infectious grin makes it easy to see how she made a lasting impression on the people she worked with over the years and the students she taught.

Principal Andre Messier was a senior when Ms. Rivard, or “Madame,” as her students call her, first taught at Lake Region.

“He was only sent to the office once,” she said of her former pupil. She also said he was a good student.

“She was always dynamic and full of energy,” Mr. Messier said. “Both of my kids had the benefit of it.”

That energy explains the huge variety of activities and subjects Madame included in her curriculums.

For every quarter, students study a song, a book, a movie and have both a listening project and a cooking project.

“Oh, there’s the escargot,” Mr. Messier said when describing the types of sounds and smells that might waft down from the second floor where Madame teaches.

Her own French teacher, who died last year, inspired her.

“She approached the classroom with a sense of play,” Madame said. “That’s cool. I sort of try to honor her by doing that.”

When Ms. Rivard first moved to Barton 30 years ago, the area resembled her own hometown of Deerfield, Massachusetts, she said.

“There wasn’t any diversity,” she said.

She decided to give kids an idea of other cultures. Together they explored stereotypes and backed away from them to ask “why” and “what does that say about people?”

“I think my role is to cause other people to think about stuff,” she said. “Humanity is the common denominator.”

Mr. Messier said she has children speak, hear, and read the language through culture.

There are two types of culture, Ms. Rivard said, little “c” which includes day-to-day life and habits, and big “C,” which encompasses history, art, dance, and music.

“There’s always food,” she said, referring to techniques that get students involved. “That usually does it.”

In the French culture unit this year, students tried escargot, or snails, for the first time. Half the class loved it, some hated it and the rest felt indifferent, Ms. Rivard said.

“They’re willing to try something new and different.”

Level four students worked on the Renaissance period in France, cooking raspberry and nutella-flavored macaroons, which were created in the renaissance.

Next up, chocolate, which was imported during the Enlightenment period and was all the rage at the French court.

By picking topics that are likely to interest the kids but still have historical or cultural importance, Ms. Rivard gets the students to think backwards and make connections.

One student was interested in hunting and decided to compare practices in the United States to practices in France, discovering that people don’t hunt as much there.

Ms. Rivard said that according to the student’s research, one possible reason for that was connected to history.

“Hunting was traditionally for nobles and kings,” she said.

With restrictions on hunting land, peasants simply couldn’t hunt and the practice didn’t develop the way it did here, she said.

Some of her cultural teachings hit even closer to home, going into the students’ own cultural roots by learning how to pronounce Canadian French or Québécois using a book called Québécois for Dummies and online tutorials.

The students’ own grandparents’ accent and Québec’s media outlets made the teachings more relevant.

The people at Lake Region taught her some things about French too, Quebecois French.

“We joked about creating a dictionary of Québécois words versus Parisian words,” Mr. Messier said.

Despite her French name, Madame’s background is English.

“I can’t be a French teacher with the name Filkins,” she said, joking that she married her husband for his French name.

The French curriculum is both local and global, covering cultures from around the world that speak French.

In a unit about Haiti, students read a book about a day in the life of a Haitian child. The book was written in Creole, French and English side by side, which allowed students to see the differences and similarities between the languages, Ms. Rivard said.

They discussed political turmoil, resilience, what people value and why they go to extremes. They went into a civics discussion asking how to help raise the standard of living and whether or not it’s their place to do so.

“She has kids experience the language,” said Mr. Messier. “It’s not just textbooks.”

In fact Ms. Rivard has made sure her teachings reached further than the classroom and affected more people than just her own students.

The higher French levels did a research and community project of their choice, but the project had to have a long-lasting impact for the community, she said.

One student who loved ballet and recognized the French names of ballet positions decided to make a YouTube video explaining the positions and their names as a teaching tool for an after school class.

“That’s longevity,” Ms. Rivard said.

Lake Region welcomed kids from France on Wednesday, March 25, for a two-week visit. Ms. Rivard had to find homes for 19 kids and two chaperones.

It’s the first time Lake Region has welcomed a class from abroad during the school year, she said. The 16- and 17-year-olds will spend a day and a half in school with her students.

“It’s going to be a challenge because English is not their focus,” Ms. Rivard said about the visiting teenagers.

The students are from an agricultural and equestrian school and want to see the flora and fauna of Vermont.

While the upper French classes at Lake Region speak almost entirely in French in class, Ms. Rivard expects some communication difficulty. The goal of speaking mostly French in class is to help students not feel scared to try and speak, and to feel comfortable expressing themselves.

According to Mr. Messier, Ms. Rivard’s influence is also felt in other departments, like the Spanish department.

Ms. Rivard said she’s been working closely with the Spanish teacher to ensure students are being evaluated similarly in both programs.

Next year she will work even more with other teachers in the school since she is not actually leaving, only moving out of the classroom, she said.

“My role for next year is to be a coach,” she said.

She will observe other teachers’ courses and help them self reflect about their practices in a program tentatively called Mutually Exploring Teaching And Learning (METAL).

“I’m glad that I’ll be able to work here part-time because it would be like tearing out a part of my soul if I leave here cold turkey,” she said. “It’s been great fun. I would never have swapped this job for anything.”

contact Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph at [email protected]

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Xavier gets his wish to be a wrestler

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Xavier Gilbert, 6, grins as he practices a wrestling hold called the half nelson on his partner, Lake Region Union High School wrestler John Stafford.  Photos by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

Xavier Gilbert, 6, grins as he practices a wrestling hold called the half nelson on his partner, Lake Region Union High School wrestler John Stafford. Photos by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

copyright the Chronicle March 11, 2015 

by Nathalie Gagnon-Joseph

Xavier Gilbert, six, was all smiles Monday evening when the NEK Python and Lake Region Union High School wrestlers invited him to join their practice in the Lake Region cafeteria.

He was diagnosed with leukemia March 13, 2014. Shortly thereafter his doctor recommended Xavier for the Make a Wish program.

He met his wish-granters, or fairy godparents, Christine Joyce and Jeannie Chase, during the summer.

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