Mettawee School's Burnham chosen as a Rockstar


West Pawlet resident and para-educator, Brooke Burnham, may not have a Twitter account with over 39 million followers like Lady Gaga, but to her colleagues at the Mettawee Community School, Burnham is a bonafide "Rockstar." And the folks at the Vermont Education Health Initiative, think so too.

Every school year since 2015, the Vermont Education Health Initiative has encouraged school employees to nominate individuals who represent wellness (physical, emotional, social, spiritual) in all components of their life: workplace, home and community.

After an extensive review, up to 30 people in the state each year are designated as a VEHI Rockstar.

For the 2018-19 school year, Mettawee Community School's Burnham checked off all the boxes to capture the prestigious award.

This marks the first time a VEHI Rockstar label has been given to anyone from the school.

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"Brooke is always ready to take the lead," said Karen Stomsky, co-worker and friend who nominated Burnham for the honor. "She volunteers for tons of things, whether it's running our local free clothing drive at the school each year or overseeing a water station at the Susan B. Komen Race for a Cure in Manchester. She is always willing to go the extra mile to help someone."

And recently that someone has been Burnham, herself.

"I spent so much time giving to others that for many years I never took time for myself," Burnham said, as she showed her vision board with the words "Just Breathe" displayed prominently.

"I never thought I liked to read, for example, until I started to do so five months ago," Burnham said. "I have just finished my eighth book and realized I really like reading. I am also now practicing mindfulness, focusing on what I have control of and letting go of what I do not. Changing my mindset has significantly reduced my level of stress."

Burnham's attitude does not go unnoticed at Mettawee.

"Brooke brings her energy and joy to school every day," said Mettawee School Principal Brooke DeBonis. "Her positive outlook and focus on personal wellness is infectious. She is a role model for students, staff and her fellow teachers. She is our Rockstar!"


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