Spaulding High School

Quarter II - Mid Winter Newsletter 2021


From the Desk of David Wells

If the school year was a football game, we are at halftime. We started the year with extra pregame warm-ups and came out strong. We got knocked back by the pandemic and had to go fully remote but we came back. Now is the time to gather around and sharpen our strategy for the rest of the school year. I am not calling for a “Hail Mary” pass because we are not desperate. Instead, we need to be determined and do everything in our power to increase student growth towards proficiency.

Our plans are already taking place because we are playing the long game here. I am calling our plan “Barre 35: Growing Learners & Closing Gaps.” We need to think of what our current four-year-old preschool students will need to be successful graduates in 2035.

Our professional development is already laying the foundation for this plan. We looked at engaging learners in the fall, focused on essential steps towards proficiency this winter, and will take a close look at student data this spring. Like a football team at halftime, we need to adjust our teaching strategies now to close achievement gaps. We will be using data to inform instruction with every classroom teacher focusing on the highest student needs in front of them. Our interventionists will provide even more targeted instruction to help struggling learners. Again, we have to remind ourselves that this will take sustained effort. We should not expect every student to be 100% proficient immediately, instead, we must focus on continual growth.

Another key part of this plan will be to bring back summer programming to support students.

I am working with leaders across our district to design a summer program that will keep students engaged in learning and give them back some of the critical social time together that they missed during this pandemic year. Please stay tuned for further developments in our summer program that will be announced in the coming weeks.

I have said it before but it bears repeating, I am glad to have such a dedicated team of Barre educators to work with me. Your dedication is legendary. We can do great things as we work together.

Now, all we need is for Bobby Booth and the Spaulding Marching Band to perform a halftime show!

SAVE THE DATE: Parent Farewells for Seniors

Thursday, Feb. 11th, 11pm

This is an online event.

Family and friends of Seniors still have time to design a Farewell message to congratulate and celebrate your Senior's achievements through the Jostens' Program that will be included in Our Echo, the school's yearbook. Deadline for Submission: Thursday, Feb. 11th.

For more information, feel free to reach out to Mrs. Carpenter at



SAVE THE DATE - Winter Break Starts

Friday, Feb. 19th, 3pm

155 Ayers Street

Barre, VT

February Vacation starts begins Friday, February 19th and ends on Tuesday, March 2nd.


Engaged Learners Going Forth with Spanish

For over 20 years, students have been immersed in Spanish culture under the guidance of Ms. Strong.

Whether it be learning how to analyze the relationship between word order to conjugating verbs or traveling with Ms. Strong to the jungles of Costa Rica, her love for world languages is evident in the way she delivers instruction. Many of her former students attribute this experience as positive way in which they can practice their linguistic skills, but also make connections with other countries realizing that "people are basically the same" as Ms. Strong notes.

Charlotte Kellett, Class of 2024 concurs as she practices familial terms on a Simpson's graphic. "I appreciated having Spanish I at the middle school," but she's thrilled to have Embedded Honors as an option in Spanish II that allows her "to grow and do more projects."

And for her peers, they are in agreement too! To be able to engage in conversation 1 on 1 and in person with Ms. Strong; what a treat.

Algebra IB + "SURE" = Dunlea

An animated, Mandy Dutton, Class of 2023 describes remote learning as incredibly empowering and enables her to feel successful in class whereas during the Spring, "I struggled... I couldn't stay ahead and felt overwhelmed by the number of assignments."

But upon reflection, Mandy credits Algebra IB as a class where she regained the confidence to be a student again. Mandy's classmate, Julia Mundinger, Class of 2023 concurs and describes Algebra IB as something she looks forward to.

"I am not afraid to work on a problem, make mistakes, and reassess" because she knows she has the support of her teacher. Both credit and noted strongly, "I can't wait for our Google meeting and engage in the Problem of the Day" whether it be dealing with an activity on probability by rolling the dice or flipping a coin.

For many students, Algebra IB is part of a sequence of courses that provide them with stepping stones to other courses within the Math Department, such as Statistics, Robotics, and Engineering. But for Mandy & Julia, Algebra IB is more than arithmetic operations, quadratic equations, and expressions, it's about the relationships they have established with their Math teacher.

When asked to create a mathematical expression for their teacher, here's what they proposed:

Algebra IB + "SURE" = Dunlea

Big picture

Virtual Learning Doesn't Stop Mr. Bushnell's Classes

Rigor, relevance, and relationships continues to be a theme in education, which is clearly evident in courses, such as World War II & Humanities.

Upperclass students, Taylor Audet, Class of 2022 & Aly Felch, Class of 2021 are well-versed in the variety of offerings that the department provides them, but US History & World War II have challenged them intellectually, especially when analyzing primary and secondary sources in order to understand the past. But they love it!

Colby Berard & Emily Morris, Class of 2022 understand the value of a Close Reading that provides them with background knowledge while checking for understanding, but they love the activities in which instruction is delivered whether it be a Jamboard, role play activity, or analyzing the actions of others.

They also credit the amount of work, effort and organizational skills that Mr. Bushnell possesses, which makes their ability to understand what is being taught easier.

As Colby shares his appreciation of Mr. Bushnell taking risks with Flipgrid, his peers light up and smile because they are in agreement. They understand that memorization and worksheets are not relevant, but the lessons learned from the past are.

As for Mason Chioldi, Ariyana Little, & Lance Trepanier, Class of 2024, these Humanities students were direct in their response about their experience as an incoming Freshman and credit Mr. Bushnell's calm demeanor as being incredibly helpful as they oriented themselves to Spaulding.

And after hearing from their peers, they are excited to continue their adventures with Mr. Bushnell.


Big picture

Empower, Engage, and Mobilize

Three words that not only define the SADD/OVX program, but our students too.

Under the leadership of PJ LaPerle and Dawn Poitras, students like Grace Berry, Aliyah Elliot, Emma Lee, Abigail Lindhiem, Rebecca McKelvey Jonathan Maurice, Willem Pontibriand, Jenna Sawyer, Jasmine Sayah, Miranda Walbridge, Porter Walbridge, & Deanna Wild are feeling empowered.

Empowered to make change, but also beyond the classrooms walls or virtual classrooms of Spaulding High School.

Immediately on their minds is helping their peers and giving them a voice by establishing a social media page where they can hear directly from them about what they need and how they can help educate.

By doing this, their goal is to create a week of activities that raises awareness about mental health. They feel this is so important as COVID impacts everyone's daily life.

In addition, they continue to engage with legislators at the Vermont Statehouse to voice their concerns, regarding flavored vapes, ecigs, tobacco and as Rebecca McKelvey, Class of 2023 noted, "It's a good thing to do and be respected for your opinion."

As Grace Berry, reflects upon their work and their mentors with a smile, Jonathan Maurice, chimes in; both are members of the Class of 2023.

"I have learned a lot and the rally is fun." According to a survey conducted by CounterBalance, a campaign, sponsored by the Department of Health, "youth are twice as likely as adults to say they would try a flavored tobacco product over a non-flavored one."

So it may be fun, but the message is an important one, and all members agree on that.

For Dawn, these kids are important and their contributions are inspiring.

In her words, "I am one of the luckiest advisors! This group of young people have taken on many causes that are important to them from mental health, substance use & abuse and peer relationships."

These students continue to develop their leadership, communication and educational skills to make sure correct information is available to their school community as well as the greater community.

And so, "keep moving forward because you are doing great things!" as Dawn fondly concludes her statement.


From the desk of Jamison Mast, Class of 2022 & Yearbook

The Fall Season of 2020 was very wacky and one we would have never expected.

As stated in the Burlington Free Press, "While decisions are on-going on how it will fully implement the state's sports guidance for COVID-19," the VPA announced a tentative schedule that alleviated concerns for many, especially Vermont Fall Senior athletes - even if it meant athletes across the state needed to wear masks during practice or competitions.

A major ruling that impacted Friday Football Frenzy and Saturday games was embracing the two hand touch rule, which was a significant transition from full on tackle and completely changed the way the game was played this year. In some ways, it launched the success of Varsity Football into the playoffs.

According to Christian Titus, Class of 2022, "the phrase 'got game' meant to me this year that we all had a chance to play a very different type of game. Some of us played tackle since we were eight, but this year we adjusted focus from tackling to more on catching, speed and agility."

He also noted self worth and their ability to finally believe in themselves by flipping their 0-4 start into a 4-4 championship contender. Like Varsity Football, our Soccer and Field hockey teams experienced a new way of competing under COVID guidance, but both groups credit team chemistry and rising talent like Paige Allen, Sage MacAuley, and Rebecca McKelvey, Class of 2023 to keep team building going.

Senior Halle Pletzer, Class of 2021 stated "I honestly can't say enough about this team and I am extremely thankful that my last season here at Spaulding was the best one yet. This team is forever.”

Jake Darling, Class of 2021 described his cross country season as challenging, but "I'm very proud of our perseverance and what we learned and accomplished this season."

Altogether, our teams did great this season and they made the best of what they had. We can't wait to see our Winter athletes compete and wish them the best of luck too.


Big picture

12th Grade Elise Atwood, Marcus Aylward, Elliot Bresett, Analie Choquette, Kailey Craig, Matthew Durgin, Dylan Estivill, Allison Everett, Abby Fantoni, Natalie Folland, Rachel Forlow, Shea Harding, Rebecca Isaac, Trent Julian, Carson King, Taite Magoon, Lexi Montgomery, Matthew Parrott, Halle Pletzer, Anna Sancibrian, Ariel Schumacher, Liam Sherman, and Zachary Stabell

11th Grade Taylor Audet, Ashley Boisvert, Logan Bristow, Alexis Chase, Bria Dill, Evan George, Brandon Isaac, Hayden Kennedy, Jacob Lamphere, Madison Lantagne, Andrew Loomis, McKenzie Martin, Jamison Mast, Gabrielle Mathews, Alexander Maurice, Jonathan Maurice, Ned McCarthy, Brandon Noury, Ella Pitonyak, Alexander Rivard, Noah Rubel, Camden Simpson, Cadence Stevens, Zoe Tewksbury, and Samuel Wilcox

10th Grade Natalie Allen, Paige Allen, Seth Almand, Madison Ashford, Cole Baitz, Francesca Barney, Grace Berry, Tyler Boutin, Mattie Cetin, Carter Dayton, Grady Emmons, Ellison Fortin, Abigail Geno, Kathryn Harding, Benjamin Hiscock III, Grace Isham, Meredith Kerin, Hannah King, Lily LaCroix, Abigail Lindhiem, Ian Longfellow, Ian Macdonald, Angelique Macie, Aiden Madison, Cole McAllister, Rebecca McKelvey, Kieran McNamara, Samuel Norris, Kyle Pecor, Andre Pelletier, Madison Pembroke, Ronald Saldi, Amera Severtson, and Reese Thayer

9th Grade Marshall Aja, Isabella Boudreault, Camden Burke, Garret Cameron, Aubrey Cheney, Mason Chioldi, Madison Churchill, Paige Dickinson, Ian Forlow, Ruby Harrington, Gabriel Hoar, Charlotte Kellett, Aidan Kresco, Ariyana Little, Cameron Locarno, Allison Longo, Hannah Magoon, Ashley Morrison, Corrina Moulton, Aidan Mundinger, Jalona Mundo, Lydia Murner, Averill Parker, Brooke Rayta, Noah Ronson, Parker Severy, Lilly Tewksbury, Liam Tremblay, Ivahn Wakefield-Wilder, and Deanna Wild